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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 »
With a goal of affordability and accessibility for everyone, Union Wine Company delivers its Rosé in a can that is "approachable and ready to travel."
91 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buy* Fresh and inviting, open-textured and refined, with plum, currant and floral flavors that dance through the supple finish. Shows generosity and finesse, finishing on a roasted note. (Web-2016) (HS)" Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Nicely ripened and yet balanced to firmness with a solid streak of youthful, cherry-like fruit running its length, this well-made, mid-sized Pinot wine goes right to the varietal point. It is slightly juicy and comes with a careful trim of sweet oak, and, if not an especially potent wine, it has the fruity confidence and balance to hold u ...Read More »
92 points Wine & Spirits: "*Best Buy* Ponzi's entry-level red, this lacks any pretension and airs. But its youthful energy, a lively red cherry scent, a plush middle-palate and a Jory-soiled redness to the fruit flavors, not to mention a volcanic grip of tannins, make this a lot of wine for the dough." (2/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Who puts their lowest-priced Pinot Noir in 20% new French oak, and includes fruit from their best vineyards in the blend? Ponzi does, and the result is a terrific vintage for Tavola. Bright, compact, aromatic and lushly fruited with plum and black cherry, th ...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. Tasting notes: White peach, apple, and lemon."
If you're looking for a Pinot Noir that expresses the "Red Hills of Dundee" or know nothing about Dundee, but want a fresh, foward-drinking Pinot Noir, the Arterberry Maresh will be right up your alley. It's a fantastically red-fruited Pinot Noir, with dense Dundee flavors deftly interwoven with spice and earth notes. This is declassified Maresh fruit (planted in 1970), with some supporting fruit from the exemplary Juliard and Winderlea vineyards.
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."
Elegant and Burgundian in style, organically and dry-farmed, Evesham Wood's wines are simply gorgeous examples of Oregon Pinot. From the winery: "Very forward with plum, dark cherry, red cherry with a slightly sweet smokiness reminiscent of a toasted marshmallow. It will be fun to watch this wine evolve over the next five years."
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This new sister label from Elk Cove offers 100% Willamette Valley Pinot Noir at an everyday price. Fresh cranberry and raspberry fruit is framed by herb-tinged tannins. The immaculate craftsmanship and clean direct flavors are light years beyond budget Pinot Noir from most other regions. This is your perfect salmon wine. (PG)" (8/2016)
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! From the winery's tasting notes: Cherries, raspberries, and chocolate."
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "This includes grapes from the winery’s Jerusalem Hill vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, in addition to the Dundee Hills sites, hence the more general Willamette Valley designation. It was aged in 65% new French oak for 16 months. It’s open and generous, offering bright berry, cherry and red currant fruit matched to defining acids, all set in a fine-tuned frame of new oak. Re-tasted 24 hours after being opened, it remained fresh, dense and satisfying." (8/2015) 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve was picked from late summer after one of the driest on r ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Rich and textural, this gloriously mixes raspberries, cherries, baking spices, cola, cocoa and coconut components, all woven together seamlessly. It’s forward and juicy, yet built for medium-term aging. Drink now through 2026." (8/2016) K&L Notes: According to the winery: "True to its growing season, our 2014 Dundee Hills is a medium-deep garnet color, with a dark core. On the nose, the wine is refined, with clear notes of spice, rose, black cherry, plum, and sweet red fruits, all wrapped in an earthiness that lends a surprising rustic touch. On the palate, the aroma... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Pretty is the word that comes to mind upon sniffing and sipping this wine, with its beguiling strawberry and cherry fruit. It gathers strength in its core, while maintaining an elegant, well-structured acid/tannin frame. It's an outstanding value in Oregon Pinot from a top producer. (PG)" (4/2016)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* 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. (PG)" (10/2015) Wine Spectator: "Bright and sleek, with pretty pear and peach flavors on a jazzy frame, lingering with refreshing acidity on the finish. (Web-2015) (HS)" 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 climat... Read More »
About the producer: "Patricia Green Cellars is located in the Ribbon Ridge Appellation of the Willamette Valley on a 52 acre estate purchased in 2000 by Patty Green and Jim Anderson. The winery, and thus the two friends and business partners, are noted for producing a tremendously broad selection of vineyard designated Pinot Noirs from several vineyards representing some of the better sites in the Willamette Valley with a particular emphasis over the years on Ribbon Ridge, Dundee Hills and the Chehalem Mountain appellations."
Adam is a recreation of an historic beer style. Originally made in Dortmunder, Germany, it was the first beer produced by Hair of the Dog. Rich in flavor, Adam is best served as a dessert beer. It is great with chocolate or cigars, or just a warm fire and good company. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 50 IBUs.
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." (1/2016)
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* This opens with a full and succulent burst of fruit, notably cherries and plums. The rich and juicy flavors are highlighted with a streak of cola and buoyed with ample acids. This is just flat-out delicious." (4/2016)
It's a rare treat to find a solid, everyday Pinot Noir that over-delivers for under $30, let alone under $15—and from Oregon, at that. This wine is sourced from vineyards across Oregon, and is made to highlight the rich, juicy flavors of the state. Recent vintages have been reviewed favorably, if not in the 90+ point realm (you want the world for $11.99?), by Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, and even Burghound. Fun fact: If you didn't see it here first, you might have seen Underwood at UK retailer Marks & Spencer, who feature it as their only U.S. Pinot No... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "*EDITORS CHOICE* This wine boasts a lovely, creamy texture and citrusy freshness enhanced by deep concentration. Along with the citrus you'll find apple, pear and melon fruitiness. This is an irresistible summer sipper." (8/2015) Wine Spectator: "Light and sleek, with a polished feel to the pear, lime and sassafras flavors, finishing with delicacy. (Web-2015)"
About the producer: "In 2003, Andrea and James Frey founded Trisaetum (tris-say-tum) in one of the few places where climate, soil, and entrepreneurial spirit combine to produce some of the world's best Pinot Noir & Riesling. Today, the family owned and operated winery in the heart of Oregon's Ribbon Ridge AVA produces small lots of acclaimed Pinot Noir and Riesling from its three estate vineyards. Trisaetum's first commercially available vintage was 2007. Our Coast range estate is a 22-acre vineyard within the foothills of the Coast Range mountains ou... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Fresh and forward flavors mix rhubarb, ripe strawberries and sweet Bing cherries. This vibrant wine finishes with a refreshing snap of acidity, making it a pleasure to drink." (6/2016)
Domaine Serene's Yamhill Cuvée is named for the Yamhill-Carlton district where the estate is located, but the wine also includes some fruit from the nearby Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity Hills. The wine is aged in 40% new French oak for 14 months before bottling. This 2013 bottling has not yet been professionally reviewed, but this cuvee from the similarly celebrated 2012 vintage garnered between 91-93 points from each Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiasst, and James Suckling.
Otto blends peaches and cherries with their flagship golden strong ale, Fred. It is then aged in oak barrels for at least 18 months.
Inventory: Redwood City
This wine is a collaboration between Jesse Skiles of Fausse Piste, Tom Monroe of Division Winemaking Company, and Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic. According to Olga Tuttle of Teutonic: "The Tripod Project was formed by a three-way friendship between Barnaby, Jesse and Tom who share the same philosophy about wine, but different winemaking techniques and styles. They wanted to see how a wine would taste made literally three different ways and then brought back together. The Riesling and Pinot Noir fruit was split up three ways and all went to separate wineries ... Read More »
According to the winery: "Barrel-fermented for 10 months in neutral French oak, sur lie. Nudged through 100% malolactic conversion with bi-weekly batonnage. The resulting offering is one of classic style: a nose of citrus flower graced with tones of clove & anise; bright yet unctuous layers of stone fruit & Bosc pear carried out with generous, honeyed texture. And, like many great Chardonnays, this one will have a story to tell for years to come."
91 points Wine & Spirits: "It takes a day for this pinot to shed its oak robe and tarry spice, revealing a bright red core of fruit, like sun-warmed cherries. The texture feels light, lifted, the acids and tannins working together with an effortless harmony. A Wednesday-night pinot." (10/2015) 91 points Wine Spectator: "A light and polished red, with white pepper-accented raspberry and floral flavors persisting against fine tannins on the precise finish. Drink now through 2020. 3,000 cases made." (12/2015) 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Two Messengers was matured in 30% new oak. It has a fresh and vibrant bouquet with wild strawberr ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Ryan Harms is the owner and winemaker at Union Wines, whose motto is "drink with your pinkies down." Union makes killer Oregon wines at different price points (Kings Road represents the middle tier) that showcase the terroir while providing extreme value for your buck. From the winemaker: "Our flagship Pinot is hard to beat. A combination of rich red fruit flavors with freshness and vibrancy unique to Pinot Noir grapes grown in our beloved Willamette Valley, this wine truly reflects the character of this region. We think the best vintage is pretty much r... Read More »
90 points Wine Spectator: "Broad and open-textured, with firm tannins around a generous core of cherry and spice flavors, lingering well. Drink now through 2020. 3,811 cases made." (2/2016)
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 style. This is a perfect mid-week, food friendly white wine. (PG)" (8/2016)
From the brewery: "A trio of hops (Centennial, Galaxy, Cascade, Azacca, Amarillo) come together in this crisp session IPA. Brewed with Meyer lemon, Hop Slice balances floral hop notes and a subtle citrus kick."
Inventory: Redwood City
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a solid, sharply defined, taut wine with a refined core of cherry fruit. The through-line is straight and true, finishing with a lick of citrus. Give this one a little more time to smooth itself out, and drink with pleasure after 2018." (1/2016) Wine Spectator: "Fresh and open-textured, with a prominent green tea note among the cherry and guava flavors, finishing against powdery tannins. Drink now through 2020. (Web-2015)"
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
Wine & Spirits: "Crisp apple and lemon accents make this a fresh 2013—at an unbeatable price. Its terse lemony flavors are ready for your next paella feast." (10/2014) Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* Lively and loaded with citrus fruits, notably juicy orange, this is totally refreshing. Clean, crisp fruit dominates, along with zippy acidity." (4/2015) Wine Spectator: "Sleek and polished, with pretty pear and fresh apricot flavors on a smooth frame, lingering well." (2/2015) K&L Notes: The 2013 A to Z Chardonnay nose opens with bright fruit of kiwi and tangerine, pear and stone fruits then deepens to richer aromas of honey to... Read More »
Estate-grown Pinot Noir from Ridgecrest Vineyards (60%), Corral Creek Vineyards (31%), and Stoller Vineyards (9%). Aged 11 months in barrel, 8% new, 12% one-year-old, and 80% neutral. According to the winery: "2014 was one of those rare vintages when everyone is excited - writers and winemakers love the quality, grape growers had no handwringing to do, and yields pleased bankers, which also means customers will see reasonable prices! Wine quality is excellent, based on full ripeness... this vintage is deeply colored, seriously structures with perfect bal... Read More »
Ovum is a side project from two Oregon wine industry professionals, focusing only on white wine grapes on the fringe of Oregon's Pinot Noir-dominated scene: Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Riesling. Yes, they do have a concrete egg--but there's a deeper meaning to their moniker. The Illinois Valley AVA, by the way, is in the southern Oregon, Rogue River area.
Inventory: San Francisco
Producer Note: "The color is a gorgeous light salmon. Watermelon, pear, jasmine, white flowers, lemon bar, and marzipan explode out of the glass, but never overwhelm. Is that brioche baking in the next room? Yes. Yes it is. The wine will be gone before you know it, before you’ve even had a chance to decide what it was, or what it meant to you. It remains a wine that demands contemplation, but frustratingly refuses to stay in your glass long enough for you to find all of the words. The second bottle will be just as good."
93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Light red. Intensely perfumed bouquet displays wild strawberry, raspberry, dried rose, minerals and cinnamon. Red berry flavors offer power without any impression of weight, picking up floral pastille and baking spice flavors with air. Suave finishing notes of red berries and candied cherry linger impressively. Delicious now, but my past experience with Thomas's wines tells me that this will easily repay a decade of cellaring. (JR)" (6/2008) K&L Notes: The Pinot Noirs of John Thomas are among the most difficult-to-find in Oregon. He first planted the vineyard himself... Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Ransom spirits is a one man, artisanal distillery in Sheridan, Oregon run by Tad Seestedt. The Old Tom gin is all done on an alembic pot still, and it is an historically accurate replication of what people were drinking in the 1800s and during the golden age of American cocktails. (Cocktail historian David Wondrich collaborated on the project.) It has just a touch of sweetness, a golden amber color and is made from malted barley and corn. Make the original Martinez cocktail with the original Old Tom Gin. One of the most fun products we've played with th... Read More »
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 »
Vinous: "Vivid red. Fresh raspberry and spicecake aromas show good energy as well as a touch of jamminess. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet red and dark berry flavors that tail off a bit on the back half. Finishes on a fruity note, with very soft tannins and a touch of white pepper. (JR)" (10/2015) K&L Notes: 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 ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "A new effort from DDO, this drops Domaine Drouhin from the name, and puts the vineyard name front and center. It’s young and well-crafted, with strawberry and cherry fruit. The potential is evident for an impressive site once the vines get some age under them." (8/2016) K&L Notes: According to the winery "Roserock is an extraordinary vineyard at the southern tip of the Eola-Amity Hills, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Ancient volcanic soils, an ideal elevation range and the unique cooling effect of the Van Duzer corridor produce classic cool-climate Pinot Noir and Cha... Read More »
From the brewery: "Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. Fred is a big inspiration for me and many other brewers. Fred's work in all-grain brewing and beer styles helped me become a better brewer. Fred the beer is a deep golden color. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties in an effort to incorporate the whole world into this beer. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 65 IBUs. We hope that Fred will inspire you to share your knowledge with others as Fred has with us."
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)
A classically styled Oregon Pinot Noir, J. Christopher crafts their flaship Pinot Noir as a blend from the Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton, and Eola-Amity Hills appellations. The 2013 release has not yet been professionally reviewed, but the 2012 garnered 91 points and an Editors' Choice designation from Wine Enthusiast and 90 points from Josh Raynolds at Vinous.
94 points Wine Spectator: "Distinctly minerally, with a saline quality to the ripe raspberry and cherry flavors, coming together harmoniously against powdery tannins on the long, vivid finish. Exciting, promising a great future. Best from 2017 through 2024." (6/2016) 91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is the first time this recently purchased vineyard has been featured as an Elk Cove designate. Planted in 2007, it’s just coming into its own. The young fruit is tight and tangy-a mix of raspberry and black cherry. Forward, bright and lightly spicy, it’s nicely focused effort with some high acid snap to the finish. ...Read More »