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K&L Staff Recommendations
93 points Wine & Spirits: "This blend is focused on Cristom’s four Eola-Amity Hills vineyards. It’s a dense mélange of stem spice, smoke, graham flour and tobacco, with plummy fruit that absorbs the savory elements, and a sturdy oak component that cradles the lot of it in a warm embrace. Tasted over several days it gains polish and elegance, the oak integrating into something more burnished and structural, lending direction without weight." (4/2013)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Kept for 18 months rather than the Jefferson Cuvee’s 12 months in barrels, a higher percentage of which are new, Cristom’s 2009 Pinot N ...Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops, this IPA is wonderfully fragrant. It leads with a mélange of fruit aromas: mandarin orange, ruby-red grapefruit, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and papaya. Those notes carry through to the medium-weight palate, supported by flavors of bread dough and lightly caramelized malt. A dank stickiness adds depth to the palate and length to the finish." (9/2013)
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 »
92 points Wine Spectator: "Lightly papery tannins underline the loamy earth-inflected cherry and spice flavors on a lovely, sleek and open-textured frame. Shows complexity and deftness, finishing long. Drink now through 2022." (2/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light, bright red. Lively spice-tinged red berry scents show good focus but a touch of heat. Tangy and sharply focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and redcurrant flavors and a hint of bitter orange pith that gains strength with air. The redcurrant note repeats on the rather rigid finish. (JR)" (8/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "A penetrating whiff of wintergreen is ...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."
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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!
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 »
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.
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." (7/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "Relatively light in structure, with fine tannins around a glowing core of cherry, cinnamon and cream flavors, persisting into a long, vivid finish." (2/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
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!
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 »
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 »
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 »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Spicy pear and apple fruit is at the core, with suggestions of green pineapple, mint and lemon verbena. The subtle herbs and citrus components are layered throughout, and the structure favors long term cellaring." (2/2015)90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Estate Chardonnay comes from vines planted in 1965, the cuttings from Spring Mountain Vineyard that originally came from Wente. It has a very defined bouquet with citrus lemon, white peach and honeysuckle scents that are very focused. The palate is well balanced, resinous on the entry, again more a texturally f ...Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "3 year old peated malt whisky, aged in Oregon oak. Rich nose of peat—burning leaves, a touch of sweet diesel—and fresh oak. There's no stinting on the peat; it's young, it's in your face. Whiskey to stand toe-to-toe with Portland's hopped-to-blazes beers. Not just peat: creamy malt makes a solid floor and an exit that may be the most complex part of the experience. Refined for a 3 year old. Limited annual release. (Vol. 22, #4)" K&L Notes: The new Fall 2014 release of McCarthy's is here and it's the last batch that will come from the actual McCarthy era. While Steve ... Read More »
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Chardonnay INOX sees no oak contact or contain any residual sugar. It has a light dried pineapple and peach-scented nose. The palate is simple with a grassy/malic opening, a pleasant seam of acidity and just a touch of spice to liven up the finish. (NM)" (3/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Done entirely in stainless, this offers crisp, clean green apple fruit flavor, with suggestions of pear, ginger and a dash of sweet spice. It’s pleasant, just a bit dilute, and ready for immediate enjoyment." (2/2015)
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 »
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 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."
From the brewery: "This is our take of the renowned Bohemian-style pale lager that you might find in Bavaria or the Czech Republic. Ours is a little more golden, rounder, and a little more malt driven than many other versions. The beer possesses strong hop character that is balanced by its rich, round, malty palate. Refreshing and balanced, this beer is a favorite of our winery friends during harvest."
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 »
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 »
Inventory: Redwood City
The Jezebel is a fruit-forward, early-drinking Pinot Noir, with the balanced acidity and bright fruit flavors that you would expect from Oregon Pinot. 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 create a wine that is... Read More »
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* From 20-year-old, Dijon clone estate vines, this substantial, tongue-gripping Chardonnay has intense depth of flavor. A luscious mix of grapefruit, apple, melon, spice and mineral elements, it drives down through the palate and never quits." (4/2015)93 points Wine & Spirits: "Another fine study in chardonnay by the esteemed family from Beaune, this wine’s voluptuous ripeness makes it more demonstrative and plump than the Edition Limitée. Its ripe pineapple and pear accents are buoyed by mouthwatering, mouthfilling acidity and a leesy textural grip. Give it some ag ...Read More »
The 2014 vintage has yet to be reviewed, but the 2013 earned 90 points Wine Spectator: "Lively and expressive, not opulent but layered with spice cookie and pear flavors. Finishes with intensity and floral notes."
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. (JR)" (8/2014)90 points Wine Spectator: "Relatively light in structure, with fine tannins around a glowing core of cherry, cinnamon and cream flavors, persisting into a long, vivid finish. Best from 2016 through 2020." (2/2015)
92 points Wine Spectator: "Light in color and weight, this brims with cinnamon-accented cherry flavors, persisting on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2022. 216 cases made." (2/2015)91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Black raspberry, cola, rose pastille and a hint of woodsmoke on the perfumed nose. On the palate, gently sweet dark berry flavors are lifted and firmed by juicy acidity and a touch of allspice. The spicy quality gains strength with air and carried through a long, seamless finish, which shows just a hint of dusty tannins. Very approachable now, but has the depth to s ...Read More »
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 »
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."
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."
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)
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 2013 Pinot Noir Three Vineyard is much more refined on the nose compared to the 2012, with well-behaved crushed strawberry and Morello scents neatly aligned. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit, moderate acidity and a slightly chewy but appealing finish." (3/2015)
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)
An explosion of aromas welcome you; apricot, banana and lychee combine with notes of apple on the nose. An invitingly fresh tangerine flavor is followed by grapefruit and lime zest.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Soft and appealing, with gentle blackberry and black plum flavors riding easily over polished tannins and lingering on the expressive finish. The tannins are well-integrated, the flavors persistent. Drink now through 2022. 3,338 cases made." (2/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Spicy black raspberry and cherry pit on the nose, with notes of white pepper and allspice adding complexity. Juicy and focused, offering cherry and dark berry flavors with a touch of medicinal bitterness. Turns sweeter with air and shows very good clarity on the finish, which is firmed by dusty, fi ...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.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* To call it entry level does not do justice to the quality here-this would be reserve level at many wineries. A generous mix of blueberry and black cherry fruit rolls seamlessly through the fruit-driven core, annotated with barrel notes of cola, coffee and cream." (6/2015) Wine Spectator: "Firm and focused, with earthy undertones to the tar and blackberry flavors, persisting against fine tannins. Best from 2016 through 2020. 3,184 cases made. (Web Only, 2015)"
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Even by past standards, this new vintage of Sineann’s Old Vine Zin is spectacular, with ripe, jammy, concentrated fruit flavors of fig, black cherry and purple plum. The balance among the fruit, acidity, tannin and alcohol is spot-on, without blowing away the more subtle compexity of the old vine fruit." (4/2015)
About the winemaker from Wine Advocate: "From 1994 until 1999 Jay worked as assistant winemaker at Cameron, located just a stone’s throw away. He started J. Christopher in 1996 with a small purchase of fruit next to Cameron’s vineyards and since then, he has gradually expanded the portfolio and established a reputation for Burgundy-inspired Pinot Noir: biodynamics in the vineyard, natural fermentation, applying patience in the winery, for example, not warming the cellars to expedite malolactic fermentation and avoiding excessive fruit. Thanks to his frie... Read More »
"Blue Dot is named after our planet: we are only a pale blue dot in this universe. A Double India Pale Ale made with Organic Pilsner, Rye malt and a combination of intense northwest hop varieties."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The maiden 2012 Aeolian Pinot Noir is named after the wind and comes from vines planted 1994-1999 on the estate. Apparently, the wind causes a bifurcation in quality, especially on the west side of the property. It was picked October 5-14 at 23.9 Brix and aged for 11 months in French oak, 40% new barrel. The bouquet is very appealing and in my mind, superior to the Pinot Noir Estate, better defined and demonstrating more mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied with tensile tannins. There is a pleasant prickle of spice, salted licorice and black truffle t ...Read More »
Just in time for the holiday season, legendary Oregon fruit distiller Steve McCarthy brings you his best liqueur yet: Clear Creek Cranberry. I have been anxiously and impatiently awaiting this elixir since I got the chance to sample it at the distillery four months ago. This is not the sugary-sweet, syrupy substance you probably are expecting. This cranberry liqueur captures the pure tart and tangy essence of the berry itself, with just enough sweetness to balance it out. It's juicy, supple, and incredibly addicting. It's going to blow you away and it's ... Read More »
Aviation Gin is a unique partnership between Lee Medoff and Christian Krogstad of House Spirits Distilling in Portland, OR and mixologist Ryan Magarian of Liquid Kitchen in Seattle, WA. Believed to the first collaboration of its kind, Aviation Gin evolved from a friendship and mutual passion for the culinary artistry found within the realm of spirits and cocktails. Aviation Gin is made in the full bodied Dutch Style of days gone by with 100% rye grain neutral spirit and what can be simply described as a “botanical democracy” of Juniper, Cardamom, Cor... 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)