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K&L Staff Recommendations
Great Buy - Just Reduced! On our recent trip to Oregon this summer we certainly found plenty of great wines and met with a multitude of amazingly talented people. Many of the wines we found on that trip have already come in and sold out mostly due to our sheer excitement about the quality of wines we found. One of the most exciting opportunities from that trip was to work closely with our friends at Bethel Heights to put together a Pinot Noir exclusive to K&L as part of our burgeoning Co-Branded project. This 2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-A... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This is an impressive effort, especially considering it is the winery’s mass-production cuvée. All in proportion, it’s built upon an acid/mineral base, with tangy, just-ripe berry fruit. It feels quite delicate, yet has the persistence and structure of a more substantial wine. Aged for 10 months in one-quarter new French oak, it’s worth tucking a few bottles away for a long-term look." (12/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Taut, tart and surprisingly generous, blooming with juicy, cranberry-accented blackberry, cherry and spice flavors that linger easi ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editor's Choice* This 7,000-case effort retained the quality for which the winery’s limited-production wines are known. The fruit-laden 2012 vintage helps, and the wine beguiles from first sniff to last sip. Cherries, chocolate, sandalwood and saffron interweave. The mouthfeel is soft and supple, and the delicate balance of fruit, acid and barrel never lets you down." (2/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Intense raspberry and cherry aromas are complemented by white pepper, allspice and smoky minerals. On the palate, juicy, sharply focused red fruit flavors stre ...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 strawberry and pomegranate fruit, with the same supple texture, acidity and peppery spice and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl!
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light and elegantly crafted, this iconic release is the textbook example of well-made cool-vintage Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s aromatic, floral and sillky. The tangy berry fruit is clean and ripe, though definitely on the lighter side. Pretty berry and cherry flavors are set against tart acids, with just a touch of milk chocolate from barrel aging." (2/2015) K&L Notes: You may recall the superb 2010 vintage of this wine, which received 95 points from Wine Spectator and was ranked #3 in the Top 100 Wines of 2013 along with a Highly Recommended designation. Domaine Serene ... Read More »
Evesham Wood harvests their entry-level 2013 from several vineyards in Northern Willamette Valley. With a focus on quality viticulture, these vineyards are all dry-farmed and cultivated sustainably. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, fermented in small lots, and aged in French oak (10% new) for 10 months before bottling. This adds up to an excellent value for deftly handmade and terroir-driven Pinot Noir. The winery describes the profile as "Bright and crunchy with cranberry, red cherry and cinnamon with a bit of firmness on finish."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is matured 100% in oak for 11 months of which 20% is new. It is a little more backward on the nose compared to the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir '13, probably because it had only recently been bottled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin that ensure this is very easy drinking. No hard edges here: smooth in the mouth with strawberry and raspberry coming through on the finish." (3/2015) K&L Notes: The Drouhin family were the first Burgundians to get a foothold in Oregon after the wine world noticed that great Pinot Noir was be... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Brut is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay undergoing a 5% malolactic fermentation and disgorged in September 2014. It was matured in 20% neutral oak and 80% stainless steel. It has a vibrant citrus-driven bouquet that is well defined and offers a little touch of peach with aeration. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, touches of brioche and pineapple with a fresh, vivacious finish. Excellent - and great value, too." (3/2015)90 points Wine Spectator: "Light and appealing, with an airy texture and smoky, toasty watermelon and floral flavors, finishing ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "The aromas are ripe and rich, offering plum, currant and roasted potato notes as the flavors come together and finish with precision against firm tannins. Best from 2017 through 2022." (2/2015)90 points Wine & Spirits: "A vinous Pinot Noir, this is quiet and mildly tense, its scents of dried cherries carried on a sleek texture. It needs some cellar time and then something delicate to match, like arctic char." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Spice-accented red berry and floral pastille aromas show good clarity and a touch of succulent herbs. Silky and sweet on the palate, offering juicy ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Mt Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir comes from vines located above the winery augmented by purchased fruit from notable vineyards. It contains around 40% whole-cluster fruit (one of the central tenets at Cristom), and only undergoes one racking during its 12 months in barrel: one just before filtration and then just before bottling. It has an attractive tertiary/woodland-scented bouquet with dried rose petal notes coming through, much less fruit driven than many other 2012 Pinot Noirs. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry. It is ...Read More »
95 points Wine Spectator: "*Highly Recommended* Supple, expressive, multilayered and harmonious, this teems with ripe currant, plum and blueberry fruit, weaving in espresso, cream and nutmeg notes as the finish expands against polished tannins. Drink now through 2022." (7/2015)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "If ripe, jammy fruit is what you like in an Oregon Pinot, this is your baby. A generous amount of strawberry and cherry flavor is wrapped in a cloak of chocolate from 14+ months in 60% new French oak." (8/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Though the 2013 Underwood Pinot Noir does not have the faintest chance of winning "Pinot of the Year," for this price I have included it in this report. Pretty light red berries on the nose, the palate tart and fresh, a little disjointed on the finish, but hey, for $12.00 you'll still finish the bottle, something I cannot guarantee for some of the pricier Oregon Pinot Noirs. (UK readers should note that this is actually stocked by retailer M&S. They have good taste.) (NM)" (3/2015) K&L Notes: From the wWinery: "This Pinot works hard for the working people. Telling a ... Read More »
From the winemaker: "Wild strawberries, crushed rose petal, lavender and pink peppercorn lead to a palate reminiscent of watermelon salt water taffy, amaretti cookie and red currants. The bright and briny acidity is perfectly balanced with a touch of fruit sweetness. The 2014 Ponzi Pinot Noir Rosé is a blend of fruit from high elevation sites Merten and Dion Vineyard, and saignée from Ponzi’s finest Pinot noir lots."
90 points Wine & Spirits: "**Best Buy** This wine’s dark cherry aromas are supported by a pronounced oak frame, as dark as bitter chocolate. It’s intense and brooding, with oak playing more of a supporting role in the texture and flavor. Cellar and let the wood settle for a year." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby. Black raspberry, musky flowers and anise on the nose. Juicy and light on its feet, offering slightly jammy dark berry and cherry flavors and a touch of spiciness. Closes with good breadth, a touch of warmth and gentle sweetness. This fruit-centric pinot would be good with a light chil ...Read More »
According to the winery: "This rosé is vinified differently from most: fully barrel fermented in neutral oak, it is aged 6 months before bottling. Full-flavored and rich, with creamy strawberry notes. It is balanced with a lingering finish that lasts just long enough for you to pour yourself another glass.
Small-production Oregon Pinot Noir can be hard to find outside of the state. It's more often the "big names," established in the 1970s, that you will find--if any! Holloran is a small winery located in West Linn, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Since 1999, they've sourced from small, estate vineyards in Dundee and around the Willamette Valley.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Light and silky, bright with cherry, raspberry and cinnamon, coming together harmoniously against refined tannins on the expressive finish. Best from 2016 through 2022. 8,000 cases made." (2/2015)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This bottling occupies the middle step between Ponzi’s Tavola and reserve-level Pinots. The exceptional 2012 vintage delivers a wine with unusual concentration for its price. It presents a refreshing mix of briary berry, mineral, hints of chive, pepper, chocolaty barrel notes and a suggestion of yeast, and is finished with fine-grain tannins." (2/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-r ...Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright violet color. Smoky cherry and dark berries on the nose, with hints of licorice and dried flowers building in the glass. Sappy and focused, offering bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Finishes spicy and tight, with an echo of smokiness and strong tangy bite. Quite lively for a 2012: this shows the nerviness that I associate with better 2011s." (7/2014)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the steepest east-facing vineyard with heterogenous soil types located just outside the winery, the 2012 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard includes about 40 or 50% whole cluster fruit. It has a perfumed, quite floral bouquet with generous crushed strawberry and raspberry scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a lovely mineral-core of fruit cloaked in dark cherry and bilberry fruit. There is fine salinity here, very good depth, with a long and quite powerful saline finish. Excellent. (NM)" (3/2015)93 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and expressive, glowing with blackberry, ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Growers Dick & Deirdre Shea were known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir fruit in Oregon before they started their own winery in 1996. They still provide fruit to renowned producers such as Penner-Ash, Ken Wright, and St. Innocent, but Dick and Deirdre now keep about 25% of the fruit they grow for their own label. The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir is sourced from 13 blocks of their vineyard which includes Wädenswil, Pommard, and 3 different Dijon clonal selections. The wine was made with 6% whole clusters and aged in 48% new French oak. From the winer... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Illahe Vineyard has a lifted bouquet with violet scents permeating the dark cherry and blackcurrant nose. The palate displays quite a lot of extraction, although the acidity keeps everything balanced, the finish quite glossy with a long cassis finish. Fine. (NM)" (3/2015)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard, which is often the first and last fruit to be harvested because part of the vines lack sunshine late in the afternoon. It has a well-defined and very natural bouquet with ebullient red berry fruit intermixed with rose petals and cedar. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, wonderful focus and superb tension right to the finish. This feels a little more compact and backward than Cristom's other 2012, but there is clearly breeding and sophistication here." (3/2015)93 points Wine & Spirits: "Louise is often the darkest, most concentrated si ...Read More »
Winemaker's Notes: "Destemmed in 1¼ ton lots, Jim’s light touch in the winery allows the intrinsic character of the wine to blossom. Passive temperature management ensures spontaneous fermentation proceeds and is monitored and guided by sensory analysis, gentle extraction techniques and low peak temperatures. Immediately upon reaching dryness, the lots are gently pressed in a half-ton wood bladder press and settle 2-4 weeks before being transferred to 5%-10% new French oak barrels for twenty months. They are only racked to prepare for bottling. Maresh Vi... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The widely available Yamhill Cuvée is bright and polished, showing a tangy mix of cranberry and strawberry fruit. It’s built with precision, accenting the crisp fruit with streaks of lemon, orange and grapefruit." (2/2015) K&L Notes: The winery calls it the "little sister" to their Evenstad Reserve, but it often scores within a few points of that bottling. The 2010 earned accolades and a 90 point score in Wine Enthusiast.
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. Appealing, expressive aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote and candied flowers are lifted by a hint of white pepper. Pliant red and dark berry flavors become sweeter with air, picking up spice and cola nuances. Shows very good energy and cut on the spicy finish, which is firmed by silky, harmonious tannins." (8/2014)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Pinot Noir Sommers Reserve contains a higher percentage of estate fruit compared to the Mt. Jefferson, around 80%, and is treated like the single-vineyard-matured for 18 months in around 50% new oak. It includes 50% whole-cluster fruit. It has a mellow, natural bouquet with lifted brambly red berry fruit with touches of bay leaf and autumn leaves. I like the delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite crisp and reserved at first, but it gently fans out with pretty red berry fruit mixed with plenty of dried herbs. This a ...Read More »
McKinlay is a small, 1,000-case family winery on the slopes of Parrett Mountain in Oregon's Willamette Valley that crafts exquisite Pinots. Made by Matt Kinne, the great-grandson of Oregon orchard farmer George Angus McKinlay, who uses native yeasts, minimal new oak and no additives. The wines are unfined and unfiltered. Don't let this wine's affordable price lead you to believe it's anything but stellar. No matter the vintage, Kinne crafts wines of elegance and delciousness.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
From the winery: "The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend from highly regarded vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Black raspberry, anise, and spicy notes of nutmeg,cinnamon. Mid-palate burst of balanced acid and tannin with flavors of black cherry, cranberry and spice with a crisp full mouth finish. A successful blend from the best of the Willamette Valley 2013 vintage."
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, expressive aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry pit, floral pastilles and woodsmoke, with a spicy topnote adding vibrancy. Offers silky, open-knit blackberry and spicecake flavors and a touch of cola that gains strength on the back half. In a fruit-driven, forward style, with excellent finishing clarity and length and supple tannins that come in late." (8/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Clay Court comes from 11-year-old vines cropped at 1.75-tons per acre and at 23.5 Brix aged in French oak for ten months, 40% new. The nose is conservati ...Read More »
Wine Spectator: "Light and tangy, with a crisp feel to the raspberry and floral flavors, lingering on the delicately candied finish. Drink now through 2016. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: A tart cherry, tobacco and forest floor inflected Pinot Noir with just a touch of spice. This is a delightful Pinot.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Light and focused, with real transparency to the cherry and rooibos tea flavors, dancing deftly against polished tannins on the sleek finish." (2/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points Wine & Spirits: "A reserve wine in honor of Ted and Terry Casteel, the brothers who founded the winery, this has a dark resolve. Its red plum and floral scents, its focus and depth all gain with a day of air. But its texture is the marvel here, firm and muscular, as forceful as the winds that channel into the property through the Van Duzer Corridor, with an acidity that gives the wine an almost propulsive quality. Decant it for leg of lamb." (10/2014)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve is a selection of the best barrel from the Dijon 114 and 115 clones planted in 1996 and ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Bergsptize Laurel Vineyard has a very restrained but very well-defined bouquet with scents of red cherry, cold granite, flint and a touch of burnt toast. It is very distinctive, but I find this very attractive. The palate is lean and reserved to the point where you would describe it as anaemic compared to some of those ostentatious 2012 Pinot Noirs from Oregon. But it is well balanced, mineral-driven, nicely poised with a lean but focused finish. And at just 10.7% alcohol, you could easily drink this with either fish or meat. Very fin ...Read More »
From the Winery; The vineyard was planted in 1980 on 106 acres of sedimentary soilsand is primarily planted to Pinot Noir. Freedom Hill benefits during the day from warm air rising from the valley floor and cool evening and night air flowing in from the coast. This helps give Pinot Noir notable structure and a distinctive sense of spice and earth. Freedom Hill wines are known to be very long-lived, yet are accessible and enjoyable when young. Brilliant purple and fuchsia colors are attractive and inviting. Core scents of red fruits are surrounded by note... Read More »
According to the winemaker: "Always one of my favorite bottlings, this year's Eola Amity blend greets one with dense and pure black and red cherry and hints of cinnamon. Those cherry flavors follow through to the lively mid-palate where fresh herbs and plum flavors join, followed by a silky finish."
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Eileen is the youngest estate-vineyard cuvee that debuted in 2000, so the vines are now around 15 years old, located at the highest elevation (it was once a Christmas tree farm.) It is planted with Dijon clones at 2,300 vines per acre. The nose is very attractive with refined red cherry, wild strawberry and red plum fruit that gently unfolds in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a pert entry, crisp acidity and lip-smacking salinity. This is nicely structured with firm backbone that neatly offsets that black fruit toward the g ...Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Sexy, spice-tinged red and dark berry aromas pick up subtle smoke and floral pastille qualities with air. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering intense black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a jolt of allspice. Silky tannins build on the finish, which lingers with excellent focus and length and insistent berry fruit character." (8/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "Polished, sleek and almost plush, with refreshing balance to the apricot-accented black cherry and cinnamon flavors, lingering easily against velvety tannins. Drin ...Read More »
Willamette Valley appellation blend from a great year and a top Oregon Pinot producer; contains Gran Moraine, Zean Crown, Willakia, Roserock, Hyland, Upper Terrace, Saikkonen, and Guadalupe vineyards. From the winery: "A glowing medium ruby color. Redolent of Juicy strawberry and bright cherry fruit on the nose. Aromatic intrigue is heightened by the slight damp earth and warm spice components. The fruit follows through on the velvety textured palate. A great balance of fruit purity and a hedonistic lushness."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Though the 2013 vintage has generally been deemed a challenging one, this astonishing bottling proves that great wine can be made somewhere in almost any year. This warm and fruity, perfectly structured single-vineyard effort opens with a smooth and supple palate offering strawberry and cherry fruit, defining acidity and superb length. Give it a few hours to breathe and it shows depth, finesse and the ability to age and improve through 2025 and beyond." (10/2015)91 points Wine Spectator: "Lithe and expressive, focusing blackberry and cherry flavors into a narrow ...Read More »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Ripe and supple, with a sense of elegance to the generous blueberry, plum and black tea flavors, coming together harmoniously against polished tannins. Drink now through 2022." (7/2015)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Firm and flavorful, this brings well-ripened raspberry and black cherry fruit into focus. The wine spent 17 months in 60% new French oak, wrapping the fruit in layers of coffee, maple syrup and brown sugar. It’s tasty and substantial, best now through 2020." (8/2015)
The Jezebel Pinot Noir is a fruit-forward, early-drinking Pinot Noir, with the balanced acidity and bright fruit flavors that you would expect from Oregon pinot noir. It is a blend of wine from vineyards in the Willamette Valley and from the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon. The fruit is cropped around two to three tons per acre and fermented in small lots with a variety of yeasts that are chosen to bring out the fullest expression of the fruit. Most of the wine is aged in neutral French oak but a small portion is produced in stainless tanks, to creat... Read More »