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K&L Staff Recommendations
Only 69 cases of this Pét-Nat were made. After spending 4 days on the grape skins, it was pressed and fermented in tank for about 45 days, then bottled using the méthode ancestrale (aka Pétillant Naturale) - the wine is bottled before it finishes its final fermentation, thus producing a naturally carbonated beverage. Native yeast. No sugar or sulfates added. 13% ABV.
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Vinous: "Brilliant red. High-pitched raspberry and rose scents are complemented by hints of anise and allspice. Shows very good energy and depth to the red berry and floral pastille flavors, which are given lift by a spine of juicy acidity. Closes smooth, spicy and very long; fine-grained tannins frame the juicy, appealingly sweet red fruit. This wine delivers outstanding value and shows impressive nerve for a warm vintage. (JR)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: If you're looking for a Pinot Noir that expresses the "Red Hills of Dundee" or know nothing about Dundee, but want a fresh, fowa... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Lurid red. Vibrant, sharply focused scents of ripe red berries and candied flowers are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and allspice. Lithe and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out with air. The floral note comes back strong on the clinging, spice-laced finish, which is given shape by harmonious, slow-building tannins. This wine delivers outstanding value and is an auspicious inaugural offering for this project, which is owned by the proprietors of California Pinot Noir ...Read More »
Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) is a pretty, attractive wine to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry and floral notes grace the mid-weight, feminine finish. This is a very pretty, understated appellation Pinot that delivers a compelling combination of quality, value and production. The Sonoma County is a blend of declassified barrels and some purchased fruit. (AG)" (2/2016) K&L Notes: As difficult as it is to produce excellent Pinot Noir, it is even more difficult to do so at a fine value. In their development of the Banshee label, the winemake... Read More »
91 points Vinous: "Translucent red. High-pitched red berry, cherry and rose pastille scents are lifted by blood orange and mineral nuances. Silky, weightless and focused on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become deeper and sweeter with air. Shows impressive depth of flavor but comes off lithe, even delicate. Clings with serious tenacity on the gently tannic finish, which strongly echoes the red fruit and floral notes. Talley's side project, which is not exactly a second label as the wines may include fruit that is sourced from outside Ar ...Read More »
Vinous: "Brilliant red. Spice-tinged cherry and red berries on the fragrant nose. Taut and focused, offering bitter cherry and red currant flavors and a sweeter hint of candied rose on the back half. Clings with good tenacity on the finish, which is framed by gentle, even tannins. (JR)" (11/2016) K&L Notes: Established in 1982 by Craig and Claudia Broadley, the estate is now in its second generation, with their son and daughter-in-law joining the team. They meticulously grow fruit on their estate vineyard and source from other top sites in Willamette. The 2014 blend was made ... Read More »
Cameron Winery is a small operation in the Dundee Hills. They are dedicated to producing sustainably-farmed, naturally made wines from unirrigated vineyards. Owner and winemaker John-Paul Cameron says of the wine: "Aromas of rhubarb and fennel give way to ripe strawberries in the round and luscious mouth. The palate finishes with soft tannins and moderate acidity. A perfect accompaniment to Pecorino, Saint-Aubert or a triple cream blue cheese…which we happened to be tasting the last time we opened a bottle."
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The nose of this wine is quite shy at first, and it takes patience to pull out aromas of plum, crushed berries and a touch of charcoal. The palate opens up more quickly, showing elderberries and elderflowers, plus rose hips and a touch of fennel. (MK)" (11/2016) 90 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Strikingly rich and complex, with a dense core of dark berry, black licorice, earth and cedar flavors that hold their own, easing up on the finish. Drink now." (9/2016)
91 points Vinous: "Brilliant red. Primary dark berry aromas complicated by floral and mineral nuances. Seamless, weighty and gently sweet, offering juicy black raspberry and cherry flavors sharpened and given spicy bite by a suggestion of cracked pepper. The floral note comes back on the long, gently tannic finish, which leaves a hint of candied dark berries behind. Very much in the style of the vintage, but this wine isn't lacking at all for energy. (JR)" (8/2016) Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star* Reasonably ripe and yet a bit muted in its expression of fruit and following the comparatively const ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Red cherry, vanilla, chaparral scrub and cranberry puree show on the nose of this bottling from the longtime estate, and then come the intriguing olive and Middle Eastern spices. The palate hones in on that Mediterranean spice character, with Kalamata olives blending into lavender, exotic mulberry and thyme-laced cherry-plum sauce." (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "A well made, charming effort that offers lots of raspberry, cherry and spice aromas and flavors, the 2014 Classic Estate Pinot Noir (from various clones) is forward, nicely textured and ready to go. I ...Read More »
90 points James Suckling: "A firm and chewy red with plum and berry character. Medium to full body and plenty of juicy fruit. Shows the structure of the vintage. Muscular and lively." (11/2016)
Located on SE Division in Portland, Oregon, Division is an urban winery inspired by the wines of the Loire, Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Northern Rhone.
This Edna Valley Pinot Noir smells savory and spicy, with some tart red fruit to complement the rustic earthiness on the palate. Made from grapes grown at Chamisal, the first vineyard in the Edna Valley, which was replanted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay by Domaine Alfred owner and winemaker Terry Speizer in 1996. Aged for 10 months, sur lies, this wine saw about 60% new French oak and is unfined and unfiltered.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Vinous: "Dark red. Ripe red fruits, pungent flowers and a hint of cola on the perfumed nose. Juicy and seamless in the mouth, offering pliant black raspberry and cherry flavors and a refreshing jolt of spicy white pepper. Finishes sweet and long, displaying smooth tannins and lingering floral and dark berry notes. (JR)" (11/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir is a blend of six vineyard sites that goes through a barrel selection, matured in wood for ten months. It offers brambly red fruit on the nose, a little darker than some others, but nicely defined and full of charm. The ...Read More »
Elegant and Burgundian in style, organically and dry-farmed, Evesham Wood's wines are simply gorgeous examples of Oregon Pinot.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Fermented in an open oak vat and aged in barrel for thre months with full malolactic, the 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir has a well-defined, fresh, Morello cherry and rosewater scented bouquet. The palate is well balanced with sour cherry, sea salt and a twist of bitter lemon - an edgy and tensile Rosé that cries out to be partnered with food rather than something you would drink on its own. (NM)" (6/2016)
Field Recordings is a small winery in Paso Robles that was started by Andrew Jones, who began his wine journey as a nursery vine grower and has stepped foot in nearly all the vineyards on the Central Coast of California. All his vineyard expertise is translated into his bottled wine, Field Recordings and Wonderwall (and also wine-in-a-can under the labels Alloy Wine Works and Fiction). Wonderwall focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from extreme Central Coast vineyards.
Entirely sourced from Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo County, Fossil Point is named for the headland area along the rugged coastline. The marine breezes have a distinct influence on the Edna Valley terroir that is itself uplifted, ancient sea floor. Pinot Noir grapes grow in small clusters and Fossil Point vinifies traditionally in small lots before the wine is aged in neutral and once-used French oak barrels. The wine displays floral aromas with bright and vibrant cherry and berry fruit, leather, and vanilla.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Peppery spice and a nose of violets and roses mark the entry and midpalate of this wine, priced moderately for the appellation. Layered, with a twinge of yeasty baked bread, it has a strong personality, stemmy and feral, with a lasting linger of grenadine. (VB)" (7/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir displays straightforward pomegranate, red currant, and sweet and sour cherries in a medium-bodied, pleasant style. (RP)" (3/2016)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Connoisseurs Guide: "*One Star, Good Value* This engaging, nicely crafted Blanc de Noirs does an exceptionally nice job at being fruity and fresh and moderately yeasty all at the same time. It smacks mildly of juicy cherries while showing plenty of creamy autolysis and is enlivened by perky acidity and a full, frothy mousse. It stands out from its similarly priced, large-production cousins and is an out-and-out steal when found at a discount as it routinely is." (11/2016) 90 points Wine & Spirits: "This isn’t complex, but something about its sweet, sunny fruit and gentle precision feels properly Califor ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
If it looks like a duck, that's because Goldeneye is indeed part of the Duckhorn Vineyards family of wineries, including Migration and Decoy. Goldeneye is the Napa Valley winery's far-north outpost, in Anderson Valley. From a stellar vintage, the 2014 Pinot is the whole package: superb balance, texture and flavor. Notes from the winery: "Nestled amongst the coastal redwoods of the majestic Anderson Valley, Goldeneye’s estate vineyards yield wines that exude the characteristics of their surroundings. Charming, but with a hint of wildness, plush yet rustic... Read More »
Vinous: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Hometown is a refreshing, light-weight wine to drink now and over the next few years. Crushed flowers and sweet red cherry fruit are the signatures. In 2014, the Hometown is on the lighter side. As such, I would prefer to drink it sooner rather than later. In 2014, the blend includes a dollop of Valdiguie. (AG)" (9/2016)
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors’ Choice* Husch is one of the original Anderson Valley wineries and has not been a particular Pinot Noir star, but this fantastic 2014 may start a trend. Fresh and alive, the wine is medium bodied but packs lots of tangy cherry and almost jammy plum flavors into a smooth but lightly tannic texture that provides great structure. Simply delicious, it’s balanced well enough to enjoy time after time." (3/2017) K&L Notes: Husch, founded in 1967, is the oldest winery in the Anderson Valley appellation which over the last decade has become one of the hotbeds of Amer... Read More »
For everyday drinking, JackHammer is your go-to Pinot Noir. Founded by California wine industry veterans Stephen Dooley and Sandy Garber with the express purpose of making delicious wine that won't break the bank. Juicy, fruity, and not to be missed!
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "It’s hard not to jump up and down about the outstanding value represented here, a wine made from Dutton Ranch fruit that’s juicy and generous in baked strawberry, earth and rose petals. A grippy structure provides weight around nuanced, spicy cherry-pie flavor and plenty of body to satisfy." (12/2016)
90 points Vinous: "Full red. A lively, incisive nose displays red berry and cherry scents accented by hints of white pepper, game and musky herbs. Juicy red currant and bitter cherry flavors unfold slowly, showing very good clarity and a touch of medicinal bitterness. Taut and racy in style, finishing with firm thrust, dusty tannins and a suave, lingering floral pastille quality. I like this wine's tension and detail. (JR)" (11/2016)
A good example of what we can do when a producer doesn't mind us using their name under the Kalinda moniker is the 2015 Kalinda Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. On our recent trip to the Willamette Valley, we spread the word that we were looking for a 2015 Pinot Noir to bottle under our private label. We asked numerous wineries that we know and trust, and a lot of them sent us a lot of really great wine. We already knew 2015 was shaping up to be an outstanding vintage, but we felt that that the bottling we tasted from Chehalem was the best on the table. As ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "Juicy acids brighten up the mouthfeel, with pineapple, citrus and black-cherry-cola flavors commingling. This was aged nine months in 20% new French barrels. (PG)" (6/2016) Wine Spectator: "Taut and expressive, layered with plum, guava, floral and spice flavors that persist against light, crisp tannins on the sleek finish. (HS)" (5/2016) K&L Notes: 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 ... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Overlook, the least expensive cuvée from Landmark, is a cross-county blend of 53% from Sonoma, 39% from Monterey and 8% from San Benito. This is a juicy, cherry-dominated, spicy, effusively fruity style of Pinot Noir that is medium-bodied and shows a touch of strawberries and spice. It is meant to be drunk in its exuberant first 3-4 years of youthfulness. Landmark has had an enviable, long record of consistent quality, having been founded by Damaris Deere Ford, the great-great-granddaughter of John Deere. All in all, this is a strong ...Read More »
Hand-crafted by the Pisoni family, the 2010 Lucia Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is composed of fruit sourced exclusively from Pisoni Vineyards and Garys' Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, incorporating the best of what both reputed sites have to offer. Fermented and aged in French oak and bottled unfiltered, this Pinot Noir exhibits classic Santa Lucia Highlands ripe red berry and plum aromas and flavors, with hints of clove and allspice. It is full and round, with fine midpalate weight and textured, spicy finish.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
91 points Vinous: "Brilliant ruby. Vibrant, highly perfumed red and dark berry and floral scents show very good clarity and suave spicecake and cola nuances. Sweet, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and rose pastille flavors supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes sappy and quite long; smooth tannins provide frame for the lush berry fruit. (JR)" (7/2016) K&L Notes: Producer notes: "The 2014 Luli Pinot Noir has a beautiful combination of aromatics and texture. Deep ruby in color, the wine starts out with an exuberant display of wild strawberr... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "This is the brand’s first bottling under new ownership, and the result of this blend of Monterey, Sonoma and Santa Barbara county fruit is familiarly ripe— due in part to the inclusion of 10% Merlot, 6% Chardonnay and 2% Syrah. Pomegranate, clove, vanilla and rum aromas lead into a juicy palate of candied red fruit, slate, anise and Earl Grey tea. It’s slightly sweet but easily enjoyable. (MK)" (4/2017) Wine Spectator: "An enticing if weighty mouthful, rich and deeply flavored, anchored by tiers of blackberry, blueberry, wild berry, cherry and raspberry flavors. Round and ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this wine finds its roots on the 18-acre ranch that sits in the foothills of the Los Padres Mountains--a cooler site that boasts loamy soils accented with gravel. This wine was made 50% whole cluster in neutral French Oak barrels.
Mignanelli focuses on making Pinot Noir from cool climate and mountainous vineyards.
James Suckling: "A bright and fresh pinot noir with sliced lemon, strawberry and flower character. Medium body, crisp and clean. Light tannins and clean and fresh finish." (6/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Another undeniable value is the 2014 Pinot Noir Olema, a Sonoma cuvée that would qualify as a sleeper as well. Pomegranate, allspice and clove intermix with sassafras in this medium-bodied, deliciously fruity, round seductive Pinot Noir to drink over the next several years. Even the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Olema offers plenty of value in an elegant, tasty, cedary, blackcurrant-scented and flavor ...Read More »
Omero Cellars is a small, family-run outfit in the Ribbon Ridge area of the Willamette Valley, and founded in 2008 by Bill and Staci Moore.
Outlier is a fitting name for this outfit run by winemaker/owner Derek Rohlffs, who orchestrates his unique efforts from his home base in the middle of the San Francisco Bay on Treasure Island.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This deservedly popular value bottle gets the star Pinot treatment—nine months in French oak, 27% new. It’s spicy and full-flavored, with resonant blue plum fruit, buttery toast and a tannic frame. (PG)" (2/2016)