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K&L Staff Recommendations
2014 J Vineyards Pinot Gris $14.99
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Beautifully styled, this wine brings a solid blend of citrus, cucumber, tangerine and melon flavors. The length and balance are there for further aging, but the stunningly good flavors encourage near-term drinking." (10/2015) K&L Notes: Elk Cove Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Oregon and they produce one of the best examples of Pinot Gris from the Pacific Northwest. The Willamette Valley's cool climate is perfect for delicate, slow ripening Pinot Gris, offering just enough sunlight and warmth to fully develop sugars, with cool night temperatures that help ... Read More »
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir 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: "It’s hard to keep your pinky up when you’re drinking wine from a 375 mL can. These are the most approachable and ready-to-travel anywhere wines we produce. Whether you’re sitting in a hot tub after a good day of riding or heading where other wines dare not travel, we have you covered without sacrificing the craft taste Union is known for. Our new Rosé Wine is a much-anticipated, highly drinkable way to bring out the summer vibes wherever you are. The canned version expands the wherever you are to anywhere you want to go."
One of the best deals going in Pinot Grigio, this wine is from the Grave del Friuli DOC, an area perfectly suited to the varietal. The 2013 is crisp, fruity and fresh, exhibiting that classic subtle bitter hint on the palate that makes it such an ideal match with dishes like spaghetti with clams, or sauteed freshwater trout. It also makes a fine pairing with sushi. Enjoy while young and fresh.
93 points James Suckling: "Focused white with pure, clean stone, flint and minerals. Nose of focused green-pear, exotic ripeness and juicy character. Great balance and finesse with an extended finish. One of the best-value in Pinot Grigios." (9/2014) Wine Spectator: "A sleek, zesty white, with lots of ground spice and stony mineral notes underscoring the clean-cut flavors of glazed apricot, kiwifruit, sliced almond and preserved lemon. Subtle finish. Drink now through 2018. (Web-2015)" K&L Notes: From one of Northern Italy's finest producers, the aroma on this Pinot Grigio is typically intense, full and fruity, ... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* The lovely wines from this pioneering estate, now in the capable hands of second-generation winemaker Jason Lett, are generally priced well below any comparable efforts. Here the texture and minerality evoke surpassing elegance. Lime, grapefruit, a bite of pineapple all come into play, with the depth and balance that suggests several years of life ahead." (2/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Gris Estate is from vines planted in Rolling Green Farm and Daphne Vineyard (the first plantings in the United States from four cuttings) and for the first time, ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
From the Collio DOC on Italy's border with Slovenia, Venica is one of the region's most well-known and respected estates. Jesera actually means "little lake" in Slovenian, named for where the vineyard sits at the bottom of a cool valley. From the winey: "The natural copper color extracted with maceration is the signature of this wine and its richness reminiscent of williams pear, banana, and acacia flowers wrapped in a slight scent of fresh apricot. Intriguing taste with pleasant flavors of pear syrup and quince peels. Good acid/alcohol balance with a lo... Read More »
90 points Antonio Galloni: "Palmina's 2014 Pinot Grigio is crisp and refreshing, with plenty of stone fruit and floral notes. The non-malo style keeps the flavors bright and slightly reductive, while a touch of lees stirring adds texture. From top to bottom, this is a compelling set of new releases from Steve and Chrystal Clifton at Palmina. In addition to the current releases, the Cliftons poured two 2005 Nebbiolos, both of which were impressive. Although all of these wines are delicious, if there is one wine that delivers an especially compelling mix of quality, personality and v ...Read More »
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better.
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.
Reuilly is an appellation in the eastern part of France's Loire Valley (sometimes referred to as 'poor man's Sancerre') that is starting to get some real attention, with the wines of talented vigneron Denis Jamain leading the charge. Reuilly is blessed to share the same Kimmeridgian clay and limestone terroir with neighboring Sancerre and Chablis to the north, which explains where these wines get their mineral drive and precision. As prices for the more coveted regions creep up, saavy connoisseurs are finding great value the lesser-known, nearby appellat... Read More »
This organically grown Pinot Gris is harvested mostly from the Glintzberg vineyard in Bergbieten, which is essentially the same terroir at the more famous Altenberg Grand Cru (its exposure is just more east-facing than the south-facing Altenberg). This is a classic, dry Alsatian Pinot Gris, with aromas and flavors of pear and tropical fruit accented by nutty notes and subtle spice. Fleshy and unctuous, this wine shows excellent weight and richness in the mouth, but its lively acidity lifts and lengthens the finish, keeping everything in balance. Super fo... Read More »
From the winery: "Said to be a Goldilocks vintage in Oregon; not too hot, not too cold and not too much rain! 2014 was, however, the warmest season on record in the Willamette Valley. Interestingly this was not due to high maximum temperatures, but rather higher than normal minimum temperatures. A warm spring and a little rain gave us an early bud break and the season maintained warm temperatures throughout. Nighttime temps were well above normal accelerated ripening despite large crop loads and harvest began at the very beginning of September. The dry w... Read More »
91 points James Suckling: "A white with floral, white-flour and mineral character, not to mention light green mango and green pineapple. Screw cap. Pinot Grigio with real character." (9/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "Aromatic smoke, acacia blossom, pear and chopped hazelnut notes lace this rich version, while vibrant acidity keeps this light- to medium-bodied and lithe. Lacy finish. (Web-2015)" Antonio Galloni: "Felluga's 2013 Pinot Grigio is decidedly exotic in style. Candied orange peel, mint, chamomile and spices blossom effortlessly in the glass. (AG)" (6/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "The aromas are subtle, but the palate is more expressive, with g ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
95 points Bob Campbell: "*5 stars* Bright, tangy and flavoursome Pinot Gris with white peach, pear,mineral, canned pineapple and subtle toasty flavours. Complex wine with a pleasing texture and lengthy finish." (11/2014)90 points Wine & Spirits: "This is smooth and generous, with smoky lees notes that last alongside the rich pear and apple flavors. A touch of bitterness in the end will match the crisp skin of a roast chicken." (10/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Gris is scented of honeyed peaches and pears with a slight musky perfume and a bit of a citrus lift. The harmonious, silky palate is off-dry (9 g/l of residual ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Florian Beck-Hartweg, along with parents Michel and Yvette, aim to make their great wines starting in the vineyard. Fermentation and aging is completed only in old oak casks that don't interfere in any way with the taste of the wine--some casks are 100 years old or so!. Fermentation is with natural yeasts, and there's no other addition to the wine other than SO2, in small quantity, of course. This newly imported producer follows the organic chart: using no chemical products in the vineyards and absolutely no fertilization (chemical or organic) because Fl... Read More »
From the winery: "A refreshing, dry white with citrus lemon/lime notes, flinty minerality, and crisp finish. In the mouth the wine is rich and textural, from the time spent on lees in the barrel. This is a great match with shellfish of any kind, or richer white meats such as turkey or duck."
Cameron is an eclectic Willamette Valley winery that takes a stand against "faux Burgundian" practices like irrigating vines, in rainy Oregon. They dry farm, and also grow their grapes without the use of pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fungicides. Here's what they have to say about their 2014 Pinot Gris: "Fresh dill, wild fennel and brine on the nose and a driftwood bonfire and essence of the inner tide on the palate. Wait, are we on the shore of Tomales Bay? Take out your kayak and serve the 2014 Ramato with oysters and paella. Definitely recomme... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Wine Enthusiast: "This soft wine is full of yellow fruits and spiced lemon, with a light, tangy texture. It’s rich while having a crisper side. Drink in fall 2016." (4/2015) Wine Spectator: "Aromatic, with hints of honeysuckle and sage, this fleshy white is framed by well-knit acidity, offering a palate of subtle pear, almond, stone and lemon curd flavors. Drink now through 2019. 1,250 cases made." (11/2014)
If there was a boutique producer in New Zealand that resonated with the micro-production, experimental, semi-hipster, natural, "culty" wines that have taken California by storm in the last few years, Sato would be it. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. While travelling in NZ last year many other winemakers I met were really quite jealous that I had managed to pry a few cases of each wine away from Yoshi (who's wines have very quickly become ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "The longtime Alsatian-focused producer-circa 1983-delivers a wine with aromas of lemon peel, pear juice, lime zest and yellow cake. The palate shows orange blossom sorbet and a lemon zest that lingers from sip to finish." (2/2015)
From the Winery; Aromatic and Crisp, white peaches, green mango and honeydew served with greek yogurt. Touch of goose-berry salt taffy and lime sorbet. Think of Camphor candies. 86% Pinot Gris, 7% Chenin Blanc, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Malvasia Bianca.
The winery's note: "The Pinot Gris is made from our 5-acre estate vineyard, Emilia, named after Paul’s mother-in-law; it borders the north side of the winery and tasting room. It was planted in 1993 at a high density with two different clones and two different rootstocks....The Cristom Pinot Gris is fermented in stainless steel tanks and does not spend any time in oak barrels. It has a certain creaminess that comes from the several months that the wine spends on it lees. Typically, the wine has bright citrus-blossom aromas that range from tangerine zest ... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The 2013 Carrick Pinot Gris is from the Cairnmuir Road Vineyard. Fermentation is completed using wild yeasts and vinification includes regular lees stirring and seven months of sur lie aging, as well as fermentation in neutral oak barrels. According to the importer: "White blossom petal and pear are leading factors in the perfume of this Pinot Gris, while subtle oak aromas interlace in the background. We enjoy the texture of our 2013 Pinot Gris. An oily mouth feel from start to finish, drenched in fruit character, is something we look for in every good e... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bott’s 2010 Pinot Gris Sonnenglanz exhibits a deep gold color with scents of lichen, both of which characteristics point toward the presence of botrytis, which adds spice, caramel and honey to peach and smoked meat flavors on an expansive, polished and glycerol-slicked palate. Finishing with sweet persistence, this V.T.-like bottling strikes me as likely to be best enjoyed solo and by 2018. (DS)" (8/2014)89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright golden yellow. Delicate tropical fruits, licorice and sweet brown spices on the subdued nose. Somewhat soft and diffuse on the palate, with licori ...Read More »
90 points Wine & Spirits: "A generous white with crisp apple scents and flavors touching on lemon curd, this is simple, racy and mouthwatering with a tangy acidity that would make it an ideal pairing with shrimp spring rolls." (8/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "This is solidly varietal, with a sleek mix of pear flesh and skin. Some tension created between the phenolic bite and tart acidity carries through into the finish. It suggests that a proper match, with a relatively oily fish perhaps, will bring out its best." (8/2015)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Already showing good focus and pinpoint acidity, th is wine brings green berries, kiwi and lime fruit flavors to the front. The bracing acidity keeps it lively across the palate, and the extra depth of the finish rewards your attention." (8/2014) Wine & Spirits: "Brisk and a touch fizzy, this is pleasingly creamy in the middle, with a lemony finish. A youthful white for summer drinking." (8/2014)
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly honeyed, backed by enough juicy acidity for balance, with a waft of petrol accenting the flavors of melon, orange granita and candied almond, followed by a stony finish. Drink now through 2020." (4/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "This cool wine features considerable freshness cutting the fragrant fruits. The single-vineyard site of Hohrain is next door to Pfersigberg Grand Cru. The wine is still young and showing textured mineral character. It needs several years to bring out its depth of flavor. Drink from 2017." (4/2015)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely floral fragrances lead into an elegant wine with racy acidity. The clover impression continues on the palate, along with apple skin and white peaches. The residual sugar (10g/L) is barely noticeable." (2/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Gris Three Vineyards is 100% estate grown from Corral Creek, Stoller and Ridgecrest Vineyards, harvested between September 19 an October 6, between 20.2 and 21.2 Brix with a gram of residual sugar. It has quite a "punchy" bouquet with candied orange peel and white peach on the well-defined bouquet. The palate is well balanced wi ...Read More »
Keller Vineyard. Hand Picked, Hand Sorted. Fermented and aged in stainless steel after three hours on the skins. Bottled unfined. Gorgeous white wine with a slight rose color, its floral nose gives way to bright flavors of apple, pear, and nectarine with a hint of almond. 250 cases made.
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Sonorous and rounded notions of ripe pear pervade nose and palate. This richness is countered by lovely, fresh and bright acidity, with peppery spice around the edges. This finishes with a pleasant, clean, warm glow." (12/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Leon Beyer's dry 2013 Pinot Gris, sourced from limestone and clay soils in diverse vineyards in Eguisheim, is a nicely fresh and stunningly intense representative with an attractive fruit and sur-lie character. A very good entry level indeed. (SR)" (10/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale straw. Fresh, piercing aromas and flavors of strawberry and spicy pear. ...Read More »