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K&L Staff Recommendations
Giovanni Blason and his wife Valentina are young producers who continuously surprise us with the price-to-quality ratio of their wines, earning them tons of kudos in Gambero Rosso and beyond. They come from the Isonzo region of Northern Italy, right up against the Slovenian border. Their Pinot Grigio is really sensational, full in the mouth, rich on the palate and extraordinarily drinkable at this price! Very aromatic, with good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and a long and flowing finish.
92 points James Suckling: "Complex aromas of sliced apples, lemon curd and hot stones. Medium to full body, beautiful fruit and a bright finish. I like the layered texture to this." (11/2016)
Wine Spectator: "Honeysuckle and Honeycrisp apple flavors are layered with juicy acidity in this zesty, light-bodied white. (AN)" (10/2016)
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli, or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape... Read More »
Vinous: "Light green-tinged yellow. Fresh melon and white peach aromas are sharpened by a suggestion of lemon pith. Round and fleshy in style, showing good heft to the ripe, spice-tinged pit and orchard fruit flavors. The peachy quality carries through a plush, warm finish that features suggestions of candied ginger and dried fig. (JR)" (1/2017) Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh flavors of herb, gooseberry, lime and pear comingle. This is the first release of a new sister brand to Elk Cove. All Willamette Valley fruit, including some estate grown grapes, it's done in a clean and refreshing st ...Read More »
Two-thirds of wine production in Alto Adige is controlled by cooperatives, and Erste e Neue is an old cooperative dating back to the year 1900 in the Caldara area. Hundreds of growers' grapes find their way to Erste e Neue to produce quality wines from their sub-alpine terroir near the Mediterranean's Adriatic Sea. From Erste e Neue: "The Pinot Grigio is graced with lovely purity in its clean, focused fruit. There is a wonderful warmth that radiates through the wine even if this remains a fresh, mineral-driven style of Pinot Grigio."
This is the same delicious Underwood wine as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste - it's still packed with lemon, apple, and pear fruit with the same supple texture, acidity, and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching, or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl! From the winery 's tasting notes: White peach, apple, and lemon."
Dario Ermacora was one of our first Italian Direct Imports. His wines have always been textbook, classic, and archetypal for Friulian whites: understated, balanced, with a long finish. His winery is in the Colli Orientali del Friuli or the Eastern Hills of Friuli, a few scant kilometers from the Slovenian border. Most of Friuli is a flat, glaciated plain running from the Julian Alps down to the top of the Adriatic Sea, but on the eastern border the topography changes. In the Colli Orientali a series of horseshoe-shaped glacial moraines dot the landscape ... Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "Fresh and lively Pinot Grigio with sliced apple and pear character, medium body, and plenty of nice fruit." (11/2016)
Raidis Estate is a boutique property in Coonawarra, South Australia. The small acreage of estate vines, planted 26 years ago, is looked after by two generations of the Raidis family. The wines are very small production and faithfully reflect this cool climate, heavily limestone influenced region. The Pinot Gris rosé is very interesting. Extended skin contact draws just the faintest blush pink from the luminous skins of this intriguing varietal. While the color of this rosé is very subtle its aromas and flavors are not. The wine soars with bright floral n... Read More »
Palmina was founded in 1995 by Steve Clifton, one of the founding partners of noteworthy Pinot Noir producer Brewer-Clifton. Palmina focuses entirely on Italian varietals sourced from their Central Coast stomping grounds in and around Santa Barbara County, and few labels have done more to promote and develop the potential of these Italian varietals in this era of California winemaking. The 2015 Pinot Grigio is sourced entirely from the Honea vineyard in the newly established Los Olivos District AVA in Santa Ynez Valley. From the winery: "There is a brill... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Aromatically compelling with floral, stone fruit and mineral highlights, this offers palate cleansing freshness. The mineral-drenched flavors blend melon, peach and lemon rind, with a finishing burst of lime. It was fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel" (10/2016)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Stylish and detailed, this exemplaryeffort showcases a subtle and elegant approach to the grape. Rather than fleshy fruit flavors, it offers focused notes of pear skin, citrus rind and an overriding minerality. It’s drinking quite nicely already, and seems built to continue to evolve through 2020. (PG)" (1/2016) 91 points James Suckling: "A spicy white with lemon and clove character. Medium body, bright acidity and a long and intense finish." (11/2016) Wine Spectator: "Light and toasty, with a crisp feel to the roasted pear and white pepper flavors, finishing on an almond note. (HS) ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* One of Oregon's finest values in Pinot Gris, this offers big, juicy flavors of luscious apple and pear, backed with punchy citrus. The ample acidity tastes of lemon and grapefruit, and a notable wash of minerality comes up in the finish. The blend includes small percentages of Gewürztraminer and Muscat. (PG)" (8/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "**100 Top Values of 2016 and a Smart Buys Designation* Vivid and expansive, with tangy pear and cantaloupe flavors that play against hints of lime, finishing with polish. Drink now through 2019. (HS)" (10/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Pinot ...Read More »
J Vineyards, perhaps best-known for their bubbly, has a special connection with Pinot Gris--especially the small, Cooper vineyard adjacent to the tasting room and winery. But this fresh, multi-appellation blend of Pinot Gris comes from California coastal appellations like Russian River Valley and Monterey, as well as Lodi and Clarksburg.
The 2015 Au Bon Climat wines have yet to be professionally reviewed.
Jay S Miller of The Wine Advocate writes: "King Estate is a 200,000 case winery located outside of the generic Willamette Valley AVA not far from Eugene. It is a tourist destination with beautiful grounds and an attractive restaurant. The winery also makes solid wine, much of it from their estate fruit which is organically certified. Their major focus appears to be on Pinot Gris which is produced at a range of price points and includes several site specific cuvees, all at very fair prices."
93-94 points Raymond Chan: "Bright, light straw-yellow colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and fine in presentation with well-concentrated aromas of yellow stonefruits, spiced pears in a harmonious amalgam with exotic florals musk and flinty lees. The aromatic core builds in depth with aeration. Dyish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate possesses restrained flavours of yellow stonefruits, pears, honey and spices, with subtle layers of nuts, flint and minerals, along with lifted floral elements. This has good mouthfeel, body and presence, the wine following a fine-textur ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points James Suckling: "A dynamic wine with brioche, spice and creamy character. Full-bodied yet bright and intense. No sulfur and yet very fresh. Try it. Intriguing wine." (11/2015) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Planted in 1965, these vines are the oldest examples of this variety in the country. Jason Lett showcases this special fruit by making a natural wine with no sulfites added and no cold stabilization. The crisp apple flavors are forward, the color a light gold, the balance spot on and the finish polished. Drink now through 2020." (2/2017)
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Planted in 1965, these are the oldest examples of this variety in the entire country. Splendid texture is a defining characteristic, with a yeasty, creamy mouthfeel. Ripe apples and toasted grains come through, as the wine extends through a long and powerful finish. Try it with grilled shrimp and a wine and butter sauce. (PG)" (2/2016) 92 points Vinous: "Limpid gold. Fresh citrus fruits, green apple, white flowers and a subtle herbal nuance on the nose. Juicy and tightly wound on the palate, offering nervy quince and orange zest flavors that are very slow t ...Read More »
Barnaby and Olga Tuttle's Portland-based Teutonic Wine Company, is, need we say, an idiosyncratic outfit focused on German and Alsatian wine styles. And obsessively focused on terroir — they now collect grapes before harvest from each vineyard in order to start a native yeast culture for each fermentation.
This blend of 69% Pinot Grigio and 31% Greco is a meditation on the classic white wines of the Mediterranean.
93 points James Suckling: "A fruity and flavorful wine showing ripe fruit and spices. Full-bodied, round and fruity. Lovely bright finish. Very clean, fruity and stylish with pear-skin undertones. A beauty." 93 points Wine & Spirits: "Harvested early and fermented dry, this is a formidable, meaty wine that feels saturated with golden apple flavor. Its satisfying richness would match an equally rich roasted turbot with cream and herbs or blanquette de veau." 93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Smoky glints of stone and ripe Mirabelle plum pervade the more usual notes of ripe pear. There is an earthy undertow but the palate sits serenely with its c ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Light and refreshing, with pretty pear and floral flavors on a soft texture, lingering with precision. The finish lingers. Drink now through 2022. (HS)" (2/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
Just off dry, with ample fruit, the marriage of cool climate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris with warm climate Southern Oregon Pinot Gris brings forth a rich, plump wine energized by bright vivacity...a perfectly balanced tension.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Well differentiated from the winery's Pinot Blanc, this round and fleshy wine offers freshly cut pear fruit with a burst of orange juice and peel. It's bright, lively, spicy and a great all-purpose white wine when you need a break from Chardonnay. (PG)" (4/2017) Wine Spectator: "Light and supple, with easygoing pear and peach flavors. (TF, Web-2017)"
Inventory: Main Warehouse