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K&L Staff Recommendations
The story of Monkey 47 gin is romantic: in 1951, a British man named Montgomery Collins moved to Germany's Black Forest and opened a guesthouse named "Zum wilden Affen"--the wild monkey. Now considered a renowned gin drinker, Collins's taste for the spirit was unknown until renovation work at the country guesthouse led to the discovery of a weighty old wooden box containing a bottle and a letter. The dusty bottle had been labeled and decorated by hand, showing a sketch of a monkey and the words "Max the Monkey--Schwarzwald Dry Gin." The accompanying lett... Read More »
This bright, everyday beer is sparkling and fresh, and is expertly brewed using only the noble raw materials allowed by centuries-old German law. A showpiece of the brewing art in Bavaria, and a great treat for the beer expert or beer novice! 5.6% abv
Founded in the small north-German town of Jever in 1848, the Friesian Brewery in Jever hasn't changed all that much since then, except that they use ultra-modern equipment. The Jever Pils is world-famous for its fresh, slightly herbaceous brew with a slight Friesian-bitter taste.
Inventory: San Francisco
Extraordinarily aromatic, vigorous wines from a vintner who grows more commanding each vintage. This is the wine that once was called Rüdesheimer Drachenstein, and it’s the wine David Schildknecht said was the best Riesling value in the world, which is because Johannes sells it to us for much less than it’s worth. For a large-production wine this receives the same care in the vineyards and cellar that every Leitz wine receives.
Nothing refreshes more than this naturally cloudy wheat beer with its wonderful yeasty fragrance and taste. Goes especially well with that Bavarian speciality 'Weisswurst' or white sausage! Though hot dogs off the grill are not a bad substitute!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rheingau Riesling trocken Eins Zwei Dry is very clear, fresh and stony on the nose, a classic Rheingau Riesling with bright, fine and citric fruit aromas intertwined with crushed stone flavors. The racy attack on the palate is followed by a pure and salty taste, and a pretty intense and aromatic finish with a very nice phenolic grip. This Rheingau Riesling is refreshingly pure, straight and dry, and its acidity is mercilessly Riesling-like." (10/2016) K&L Notes: A wonderfully dry, but not mouth-searing, style of Riesling for those who love the delicate attri... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Riesling Trocken has a clear, fresh and open bouquet followed by a refreshingly pure and piquant, nicely juicy and charmingly fruity palate. This wine was bottled at the end of September with 58 milligrams of sulfur (total) and just 10.4% alcohol. (SR)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: From Mosel Fine Wines: "The 2015er Estate Riesling Trocken comes from the Estate’s secondary vineyards (Pündericher Goldberg, Rosenberg and the east-facing part of the Pündericher Marienburg) as well as declassified fruit from its 'Grand Cru' vineyards. It offers a gorgeous nose of grapefr... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While initially a bit earthy and savory on the nose, this ethereal kabinett abounds in fruity, floral complexities. Cutting and spry, its sweet, tangy citrus and stone-fruit flavors seem to dance nervously on the palate. It's nuanced and minerally, with a deliciously salty finish. (AI)" 91 points Wine Spectator: "Racy and rich, with concentrated green peach and grapefruit flavors accented by notes of wet stone. Tropical details emerge on the minerally finish alongside hints of smoke. (KM)" (11/2016)
The laws protecting the brewing of Kolsch are as strict as Germany's Purity Law of 1516. Kolsch Beer can only be brewed within the city of Cologne. As the best-known Kolsch brewery, Gaffel's flavor is derived from an ale yeast that is "lagered," or aged in cold cellars. Gaffel is pale and faintly fruity with a crisp hop finish. The city of Cologne (or Koln) is located on the Rhine River and north of Munich. In Koln, Germany's third largest city, Kolsch beer is nearly the only beer people drink. Gaffel Kolsch is the town favorite.
Inventory: San Francisco
This is an extraordinarily unique blend of Portugeiser, Dornfelder and Pinot Noir. It has a bright, fragrant nose, super creamy mousse with pretty strawberry fruit flavors accented by a hint of lemon zest and a dry, refreshing finish. It is great on its own, but has the body to complement a variety of foods, making it an excellent and versatile choice for entertaining. Try it with grilled pork sausages!
Inventory: San Francisco
From the brewery: "A good beer takes its time. The long storage makes our yellow bright lager, 'Original', a flavourful beer enjoyed with fine poured, white foam. With a mild hoppy note and its pleasant fresh spicy taste, it goes very well with salads, poultry, stews or with a hearty snack. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill."
Regarded by some as one of the best Doppelbocks in the world, the Augustiner Maximator pours to a dark brown color with a creamy light brown head formation and a sweet, nutty malt nose. The head quickly subsides and leaves you with a very rich, nutty malty, chewy-toffeeish beer with a thick sweet body and a warming alcohol finish that is balanced nicely by a touch of grassy hops. Hints of chocolate and molasses are present, too.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Citrus-colored, the 2015 Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken opens with a somewhat creamy flavor before ripe seed fruit aromas intermix with notes of wet and milled stones. The attack on the palate is very racy, fresh and pure, and the wine reveals a lot of citric flavors intermixed with stone flavors. Medium-bodied and pure but intense, this is a very straight, fresh and grippy, dry Riesling. It has a mouthwatering astringency in the finish. Remarkably fresh and pure for a 2015. A very expressive cool-climate Riesling that gives me an almost Canadian feeling. ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
As the oldest existing brewery in the world, the Weihenstephaner brewery occupies an exalted site atop Weihenstephan Hill in the Bavarian city of Freising. From the brewery: "Our Korbinian, the full-bodied, dark Doppelbock with light brown foam, wins beer-lovers over with a balance of fruity hints of plums and figs, a dark malt aroma - reminiscent of toffee, nuts and chocolate. Its roasted flavour goes well with smoked meat and fish as well as venison and poultry. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill."
Vinous: "Sourced from gentler, deeper-soiled sites east of Forst, in Ruppertsberg, Friedelsheim and Niederkirchen, this generic bottling is for some reason labeled 'Riesling Trocken Rural' in its home market. Salt-tinged bright citrus and apple are complemented by levity from just under 12% alcohol, leading to a mouthwatering and refreshing if simple and only modestly sustained finish. Ever since secularization under Napoleon, there have been three prominent Spindler wineries in the tiny village but terroir powerhouse Forst, the legacy of a generation spent under ...Read More »
As the oldest existing brewery in the world, the Weihenstephaner brewery occupies an exalted site atop Weihenstephan Hill in the Bavarian city of Freising. This fresh and vibrant wheat beer is as complex as it is refreshing with fruit and herb notes on the nose and palate and a light an bright finish that belies its nearly 8% abv.
Stephan Reinhardt writes: "Von Winning's 2015 Rieslings from Deidesheim are round, luscious and fruit intense, quite powerful and already accessible. The Forster, however, take their time—as usual. They are coolish and discreet on the nose, but really complex on the palate and demanding for longer bottle aging."
91 points Wine Spectator: "Rich and intense, with well-spiced flavors of ripe melon, apple, pear and white berries, backed by crunchy acidity. Hints of smoke show on the minerally finish. Drink now through 2021. 800 cases made." (3/2017)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Weisser Burgunder Trocken is clear, pure and fresh on the nose, quite mineral and a bit flinty. On the palate, this is a juicy-piquant and grippy Pinot Blanc; it has a round and juicy palate with a grippy finish. Enormously attractive in its ripeness, intensity and grippy raciness. (SR)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Quiet, focused, precise, and passionate. These words describe Hanjörg Rebholz and his wines perfectly. He reminds us a lot of Franconian vintner Paul Fürst, and both men are revered highly by winemaking colleagues throughout Germany. Each has a self assur... Read More »
From the brewery: "In the middle of the old part of Bamberg, directly beneath the mighty cathedral, one can find the historic smoked beer brewery Schlenkerla. First mentioned in 1405 and now run by the Trum family in the 6th generation, it is the fountain of Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer (in German language it's called "Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier"). The smoked beer is here at the brewery tavern still being tapped directly from the wooden barrel according to old tradition. Our dark, bottom fermented speciality, brewed with Original Schlenkerla Smokemalt... Read More »
Located in the heart of Trier, this is a winery with a social mission--since 1804, thanks to Napoleon. Originally founded to help fund St. Jakobs Hospital, the winery still partly finances nursing home and hospital care. The sekt brut is a bottle-fermented sparkling Riesling. From Mosel Fine Wines: "90 points. The 2014er Riesling Sekt Extra Brut was kept on its lees for 15-18 months and bottled without any dosage. A gorgeous nose of spices, pineapple, mint, anise and herbs leads to a superb playful Sekt on the palate with nice fresh fruits including yell... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Green fruits and wild herbs on the nose and still showing a little SO2. Definitely has that same reductive quality on the palate. Pretty tight and clean and needing a little longer in bottle to mesh. (JH)" (6/2015) K&L Notes: Mosel Fine Wine: "This Kabinett offers scents of fresh mint, white peach and orchard fruits. The wine is crisp and clean on the palate, with an almost 'as light as water' feel of airiness. The off-dry side of the slightly tart finish gives this wine great drinking appeal. This rather retrained and backward wine should gain complexity with a few ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Riesling Trocken opens with a clear, ripe, fascinating and aromatic stone fruit aroma along with remarkably spicy, flinty and herbal flavors. Bottled with 11.5% alcohol, this is a rather light but intensely aromatic and salty Riesling with a charming roundness and stimulating piquancy. It is very enjoyable already today. (SR)" (12/2016)
Amazing stuff here, and a taste of history! From Michael Jackson: "Mahr's Bräu Ungespundet hefetrub has an alcohol content of around 4.1 percent by weight, 5.2 by volume. It pours with a big, creamy, long-lasting, head; has a golden-bronze color; a wonderfully fresh, perfumy; hop aroma; a remarkably smooth, almost oily, malty, palate; very fresh flavours; and a spritzy finish. It is beautifully balanced, but leans to the dry side. This is a delicious, appetising beer and a true taste of Germany's fast-vanishing artisanal tradition."
Inventory: Redwood City
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The fresh and limey, the 11.5% alcohol 2013 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling is a rather lean, elegant and very mineral-scented interpretation of this cru with almond cake aromas on the nose. Straight, juicy and salty-mineral on the palate, this firmly structured wine reveals a great purity and intensity and is a fascinating "dry“ (please accept 15 grams of residual sugar here as trocken) interpretation Goldtröpfchen and I almost can’t stop drinking it. (SR)" (2/2015)
91 points Vinous: "Exuberant aromas of ripe apricot, pine nuts, wild herbs and sweet lime. Crisp nectarine fruit and succulent texture are juxtaposed here with refreshing clarity. A touch austere but bright and pleasingly spicy on the clean finish. (JP)" (1/2014)
Karl Erbes and his son Stefan run this estate that was established in 1967. The estate consists of five hecatres of land in Ürziger Würzgarten and Erdener Treppchen. All of their vines are ungrafted and the oldest are 70-80 years old. The wines are vinified traditionally in neutral oak barrels.
This incredible (and incredibly rare wine) from the Ahr has the texture and weight of a premier cru Volnay. You will have little doubt when you taste this that German Pinot can have the texture and complexity of great Burgundy. Winemaker Werner Näkel is a pioneer in adopting a dry wine style and the use of French oak barrels in the Ahr.
92 points Wine & Spirits: "This is Martin Kerpen’s most prized vineyard, a fact he highlights with the artist’s label that graces this bottling. Vinified in füder, the 2015 is rich and full bodied, although it’s not particularly sweet. Rather, it’s almost tannic in its lemon-pith power, with mineral spunk and intense acidity. Give it a couple years to relax, or serve with richer dishes, like monkfish in brown butter." (12/2016)
From Imbibe Magazine: "A longtime favorite among German beer fans, this pils is brewed with two varieties of noble German hops and whole-grain Bavarian malts, and is bottled unpasteurized and unifiltered resulting in a summery quaffer that is as refreshing as it is nuanced. Expect crisp apple aromas, notes of bready, honey-sweetened malts and drying floral hop bitterness on the finish."
Inventory: Redwood City
Weingut Willi Schaefer is a Mosel wine estate based in the village of Graach in Bereich Bernkastel. The winery is a member of the VDP (The Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estates) and is solely devoted to the production of high-quality Riesling wines. Weingut Willi Schaefer is a small family winery with a history dating back to 1121. The estate as it stands today was a result of the work of Martha and Willibrord Schaefer in the post-World War Two era. Today Weingut Willi Schaefer is overseen in part by the couple's son Willi, who took res... Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Trocken offers a coolish, clear and very precise bouquet; there are stony and leafy flavors intertwined with white stone fruit and ripe lemon aromas. Dry, medium-bodied, very elegant and nicely piquant on the palate, this is a tightly woven, very well focused and perfectly balance Riesling. It is aromatics and juicy with stone fruit, passion fruit and mango flavors in the persistent, stimulatingly salty finish. It's a pleasure to drink this wine today, but it will certainly benefit from further bottle aging. ...Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A kaleidoscope of sweet, sun-kissed fruit, this dazzling kabinett offers an array of glazed grapefruit, tangerine and stone fruit flavors. It's exceptionally light and airy in texture but penetrates deeply. Spry acidity and a sheen of crushed minerals freshens the midpalate, guiding a clean, citrusy finish. Drink now through 2021 to enjoy its youthful exuberance." K&L Notes: Schloss Vollrads is one of the oldest wine estates in the world, with documented wine records going back to 1211.
A single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the Baden region in Germany. Earthy red cherry fruit on the nose. Lighter bodied with good lift through the finish. Rustic and old world in style. Back label typo: 2013. Should read 2012
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the upper part in the Drachenstein and grown on quartzite, the 2014 Rheingau Riesling Dragonstone has a clear bouquet with mushroom and discreet pineapple aromas, as well as a piquant, juicy, lovely, mineral taste. Light to medium-bodied this is quite long and tension-filled Riesling with just a touch of sweetness. (SR)" (12/2015) Vinous: "We’re down to 32 grams of residual sugar here. I write “down” because the level has kept decreasing annually for more than a decade now, and even so, the wine’s naturally high acidity – especially striking in this vintage – ...Read More »
Mahrs Bräu’s Stephan Michel is a rabid music fan, and occasional brewer to the stars. Having befriended American metalheads Mastodon, he found it easy to convince the band that they needed a serious beer to put their name on. Mastodon is just the thing – a chuggable but deliciously complex unfiltered classic Franconian keller/lager. You can slam to this one all night in the mosh pit without being called a wuss! Don’t forget the lederhosen.
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Markus Molitor holds 2.5 hectares in the Bockstein and his 2014 Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is probably the greatest of this cru in 2014. The wine has an intense yellow color and displays a delicately spicy new oak flavor, perfectly intertwined with bright and ripe fruit aromas, such as pineapples and yellow-skinned apples. This nose combines Burgundy with Mosel Riesling at this early stage. Full and rich but highly elegant on the palate, this is a fascinatingly lush and vital, finesse-full and seriously structured Riesling o ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Felseneck Riesling Kabinett was picked at 86/87 Oechsle and opens with a very clear, precise and spicy/slatey Riesling bouquet. On the palate, the is a light, piquant, round and flinty wine that is similar to Rieslings from Graach (Mosel) with regard to its smokiness and piquancy." Jancis Robinson: "Very good for Kab. Racy, fruity, really quite refined and delicate. Lots of minerals. Tension. 17.5/20 points (JR)" (4/2016)
Jancis Robinson: "Bottled early April. Very intense floral nose and good balance on the palate - not too austere. Lots to enjoy here. Very fluid and flavourful." (4/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Wittmann's 2015 Riesling Trocken displays clear, warm and super-ripe. white fruit aromas along with sweet blossom and floral flavors on the nose. Round and quite powerful on the palate, but also pure and mineral, this is a rich and fruit-intense wine. This is a good indicator what to expect from Wittmann's 2015 range. (SR)" (8/2016)
This estate, which dates back to 1875, cultivates 222 acres of Riesling using organic methods and hand harvesting. Tasting notes from the importer: "The Estate Spätlese is sourced from parcels that neighbor the estate’s classified single-vineyard sites. It also includes pre-selection fruit from the top sites, which gives the wine an extra dimension of fruit and mineral intensity. It is made with the same exacting standards and meticulous attention to detail as the single-vineyard wines, and is designed to showcase Spätlese’s riper, richer style from late... Read More »
94 points Mosel Fine Wines: "Quite shy and even non-saying at first, this only gradually reveals gorgeously elegant and beautifully integrated scents of cassis, grapefruit, pear and flowery herbs on the nose. The wine proves finely spiced on the palate and oozes freshness and elegance as zesty acidity provides focus to the brilliant core of minerals running through the wine. The wine is still on the backward side, both flavor wise and in the finish but the balance and elegance are simply stunning. This will need time to develop aromatically but should th... Read More »
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The white-golden 2014 Riesling Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese (Golden Capsule) offers an intense and deep, yet still discreet bouquet of ripe and overripe, yellow-skinned apples, along with flinty and yeasty aromas, and just a hint of new oak. Lush and salty-piquant on the palate, this is a very elegant, relatively round, smooth-textured Spätlese with a delicate tannin structure and banana flavors in the finish. Still very young, this wine reveals good complexity and tension, and should be cellared for at least another five or seven years, but should age ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The white/golden-colored 2014 Riesling Saarburger Rausch Auslese *** (White Capsule) is very concentrated and clear on the aromatic nose, which displays dried fruits and lemon confit that indicate an extremely late harvest. Full-bodied, rich and incredibly intense, but also clear, fresh, fine and very elegant on the palate with cutting acidity, this is a great and highly complex Riesling. It is persistently salty/mineral and powerful, with an endless and finesse-full finish that reveals a stunning purity and tension. This unique Saar Auslese tastes almos ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse