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K&L Staff Recommendations
Huber "Hugo" Sparkling Rosé $13.99
The Etz family has been in the wine business since 1898, and the estate is now in the fourth generation. With nearly 40 hectares of vineyard in production, the Etz estate prides itself on synthesizing the modern and the traditional. Their goal is to offer wines that show themselves from vineyard to bottle entirely in harmony with nature and the environment, from parcels planted around the famous wine-town Strass. Gaisberg, Galgenberg (that's the gallows-hill, folks), and Wechselberg are among the famous vineyard names to be found in the Etz collection. T... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This shows the greenish scent of conference pear peel and its juicy, tart but ripe flesh. After up-front fruit, it refreshes with a superlight, lemony-fresh body. If you are looking for featherlight refreshment, the Grüners from the 2014 vintage will deliver zippy fruit." (7/2015) K&L Notes: From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the fourth generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a crown cap, this fresh, light, and snappy wine is the kind you want to drink by the liter. This ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This shows the greenish scent of conference pear peel and its juicy, tart but ripe flesh. After up-front fruit, it refreshes with a superlight, lemony-fresh body. If you are looking for featherlight refreshment, the Grüners from the 2014 vintage will deliver zippy fruit." (7/2015) K&L Notes: From some of the top sites in the Kamptal. Michaela Haas is the fourth generation of this family to run the 23-hectare domaine. Fermented and aged in stainless steel and bottled with a screw cap, this fresh, light, and snappy wine will be MVP at your next picnic.
89 points Wine Enthusiast: "This offers a winning combination of yeasty roundness and green pear with added lemon zing. Simple but beautifully balanced, it is refreshing, versatile and spicy without ever weighing heavily on mind or palate. It’s a rounded, yet refreshing wine. — A.K" (7/2015) K&L Notes: Jancis Robinson has called Hochterrassen "Probably the best value of the 'everyday' Grüners." According to the producer, "The grapes of this spritzy Grüner Veltliner come from high-altitude terraces in Stein and Krems. Grown on loess-conglomerate soils this dry wine has a lovely bouquet of fine ... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Taut grapefruit and lemon zest are joined by a little herbal spice and come out in a bracing, brisk feast of citrus. Slender but concentrated, the linear freshness fizzes away on the palate and awakes all senses. Not an ounce of fat on a very slender, toned body and a total joy to sip." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Cuvee detail from importer Terry Theise: "Nigl Kremser Freiheit is named for the village of Krems, on the banks of the Danube river, and the German word for Freedom - 'Freiheit.' This wine was sourced from 3 vineyards in Krems and is picked earlier than the grapes... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Pear sorbet and fresh grapefruit on the nose segue into a very peppery palate that alternates between pungency and subtlety—yeasty overtones swish that pepper around sinuous citrus zest flavors and finish with a concentrated earthiness. This is textbook Grüner from a rising star." (9/2015) K&L Notes: Stylish and graceful with rich apple and spiced pear. This is an absolute pure delight to drink. It holds a fresh edge while maintaining all of the classic Grüner qualities. (Eric Story, Austrian Buyer)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Ripe, juicy notes of yellow pear on the nose are shot through with lively, zesty lemon freshness. Smatterings of white pepper play around the sleek edges of this slender but super-juicy wine. This is totally enlivening and sings with fruit and freshness—with all the verve of its vintage. (AK)" (7/2015) K&L Notes: The Schloss Gobelsburg monastery was making wine back in the 12th century. These days the wines aren't made by monks, but rather by Michael "Michi" Mososbrugger, a wine-lover turned winemaker. The grapes come from loess soils, a crumbly sedimentary rock that... Read More »
Though this vintage has yet to be removed, the 2013 vintage earned 92 points from Wine Enthusiast: "Subtle lemon hints and zesty freshness mellow a little on the creamy but nonetheless very slender, graceful palate. Elegance and purity are hallmarks here and it is depth rather than power that convinces. Very clean finish." (03/2015)
Wine & Spirits: "A blend of zweigelt and pinot noir macerated for six hours on the skins, this has the heft for the dark meat of a turkey, with a slight sweetness and spice to its cranberry fruit." (4/2013) Wine Enthusiast: "This is a soft, creamy, strawberry- and caramel-flavored wine with lively acidity and a very crisp, citrusy aftertaste. It’s an ideal apéritif-style wine, perfect for the summer." (9/2013) K&L Notes: 10th generation winegrower Markus Huber manages this 200+ year-old family operation, and it is under his expert leadership that Huber Hugo has gained international recognition as the st... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Creamy, rounded freshness with an immensely savory core of sage, arugula and white pepper make for an understated but seriously delicious white. There is weight and importance here, but it is lightly worn. The spicy, almost salty flavors keep you wanting more." (3/2015) 92 points Vinous: "Quite broad and caressing on the palate yet at the same time generously juicy with honeydew melon, tangy apple and rhubarb, this wine mingles pungent, nutmeg-tinged green herbs with savory, sweetly-smoky blond tobacco, finishing long on saliva-inducing salinity, subtly peppery bite, ore-lik ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
From the winery: "In 1993 we decided to focus on winegrowing. In the course of time we have cultivated 30 hectares of wine area and have pressed sweet wine out of Welschriesling, Chardonnay, Sämling (Scheurebe), Muskat Ottonel, Traminer and Weißburgunder. We vinify dry and tartaric red wine from Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our varieties of wine can be found on the wine lists of restaurants all over the world, which makes us very proud. That is why we take on the challenge “sweet wine” every year anew."
Crystalline and vibrant in color with a yellow green tinge. An exciting and bright aromatic of fresh apples mixed with subtle baking spice and soft green herbs which give way to a palate of wet mineral and juicy white fruits which then give way to an elegant core of power and structure. Definitely has an addictive quality to this wine and you'll find yourself filling up another glass without even thinking about it. (Eric Story, K&L Austrian wine buyer)
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Spectator: "Rich and seductive, with luscious apple, melon, pear tart and cinnamon flavors. Shows plenty of richness, with a silkiness and creaminess that extends on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 350 cases made. –KM" (4/2014) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rounded and rich, with a pepper and spiced apple character, this is a warm, full-bodied wine. It has a fine texture, but dense structure. From vines just above the castle in Stein, it is still a young wine, so don’t drink before 2015." (2/2014) Jancis Robinson: "Very intense and peppery/herby. Reverberant. Slightly chewy. Attention grabbing. Long." (10/2012)
According to the winery: "In stony, mineral-rich soils - and limestone and slate as well - premium quality grapes are thriving. Karl Holzapfel strives to create clear, vibrant wines with fine fruit and distinctive character - ideal for enjoying every day - as well as dry, compact Smaragd wines with complex aromas and flavours and a wonderful ageing potential."
From the Wine Maker: “My dream of having a winery with wines of style and international character has come true. Today, Wieninger stands for top wines that are from Vienna - and are internationally known. And as a forerunner of high quality wines from Vienna, it means a lot to me to create wines that the Viennese can be proud of.”
Inventory: San Francisco
Ilse and Josef Maier organically farm about 20 hectares of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling in Austria's Kremstal region. Planted to the deep loess soils of the Rosensteig Vineyard on the slopes of the Danube, this wine is a mouthwatering, complex version of what Grüner Veltliner can achieve in the right hands and terroir. Floral, with stone fruit fleshiness and a refreshing mint component, the 2013 Geyerhof Rosensteig is equally at home with spicy Asian fare, smoked fish or a fancy sausage with plenty of sauerkraut and spicy mustard.
92 points Vinous: "The 2014 Grüner Veltliner Meersboden is quite a bit more focused than the Paragon. Lemon peel, white flowers and crushed rocks are all very nicely delineated. The flavors are bright, focused and chiseled throughout. With air, the Meersboden takes on greater volume and intensity, which only adds to its appeal. John Sebastiano and Kick On are the fruit sources. The 2014 was aged mostly in stainless steel, with 15% acacia barrels. This is impressive juice. These might be the very finest wines I have tasted from Graham Tatomer. Although Tatomer has made his ...Read More »
15 points Jancis Robinson: "GV on the label gives a strong hint as to the variety in the bottle. Still very youthful and tart - almost still tasting of the fermentation vat. (JR)" (8/2015) K&L Notes: Domaine Begude is a small, family-owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc. The long, cool growing season lends itself perfectly to the production of crisp and delicate wines, all organically certified by Ecocert & NOP. The "Exotique" is 100% Gruner Veltliner, a grape not authorized for cultivation in France. James Kinglake, owner of Begu... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Moist, mossy freshness frames the green pear fruit on this slender, zesty and very juicy wine. The light body makes for ultimate refreshment." (7/2015)
Inventory: San Francisco
89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From a Gobelsburg plateau clutered with pebbles big as a fist, the 2013 Grüner Veltliner Steinsetz is a clear and aromatic classic of the variety with tobacco leafs, peas, apples, white pepper powder and floral aromas on the nose followed by a full-bodied and piquant palate with juicy cox orange aromas and a marked acidity. Quite salty in the aftertaste this is a quite powerful wine to be served from the decanter in its first year." (10/2014) K&L Notes: From the Winery: "In the vineyards of Gobelsburg, the terroir is different to what is found in the rest of the Kam... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Walter Buchegger's citrus colored 2013 Grüner Veltliner Vordernberg Erste Lage opens with a brillant and elegant bouquet of yellow apples and ripe pears. Full-bodied, rich and powerful, this is succulent and piquant, though somewhat saturated on the finish." (10/2014)
Jancis Robinson: "Big and bold on the palate with spice and grip. Correctly varietal! Not oily at all. Borderline Smaragd and Federspiel." (2/2015)
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "This may be Lamm but it’s no lamb! Palpably dense, forcefully energetic and outrageously gripping on the finish, it knits together bittersweet floral iris perfume, incisive biting radish, cooling mint and sizzling lemon zest for a performance of polish and complexity that is apt to become more relaxed and winsome with some time in bottle. “I want to get all of the sap and precision into the bottle,” Hirsch told me just a few days before doing just that. (DS)" (11/2015) 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From a loess vineyard at the bottom of the famous Heiligenstein with its mineral-rich co ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Green, exquisitely ripe Conference pear with softer, leesy notes create a ripe yet fresh creaminess. There are fringes of spice but fresh fruit and lemony brightness are in the foreground here. Very refreshing and invigorating." (3/2015) K&L Notes: Liter bottles of Grüner are a must-have for any regular wine drinker, they're so food-friendly, affordable and fun, and the one from Allram never disappoints. But sometimes we long for something a bit more sophisticated, but don't want to have to sacrifice freshness or value. The Gaisberg Reserve walks that fine line perfe... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine & Spirits: "Schön is a steep, terraced slope of slate and gneiss rising up behind the Högl winery, at the far western end of the Wachau, where the climate is cool and crisp. That combination of soil and climate created a slim but powerful Federspiel in 2013, dense in its yellow-lentil flavors and firm in its minerality. What’s remarkable is the brightness of its acidity, cleansing and refreshing." (4/2015) K&L Notes: Vibrant melon and citrus bounce out of the glass along with spun tangerine honey and white pepper. Very well balanced with a medium-bodied structure which is a litt... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Pollers are quietly making really great wines in the now-becoming-fashionable Weinviertal (wine quarter) to the northeast of Vienna and they are starting to get noticed. They went organic in '95 and are on the way to becoming certified. This bottling is their drinker, a fresh and zesty wine not to fuss over, just to enjoy with friends and let your mind unwind. It has a lovely nose of grapefruit and snap pea, with hints of white pepper, spring flowers and wet stones.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
92 points Wine Spectator: "This crackles with intense spicy notes to the peach, ripe citrus, apricot and mango flavors, supported by plenty of toasty notes. There's a luscious creaminess on the finish. (KM)" (12/2015)