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K&L Staff Recommendations
Just downriver from Germany's Rheingau region is the Mittelrhein, where the extremely steep slate terroir looks more like what you find in the Mosel than the neighboring Rhine regions. The Jost family has been cultivating vineyards in Bacharach for 180 years, and today Weingut Toni Jost is a 15 hectare estate under sixth-generation proprietor Cecilia. Grapes for this village-designated Riesling come from a plot just above the Grand Cru-classified Hahn vineyard. The wine is fresh and floral with fruit up front and always a mineral and acid-driven structur... Read More »
The Wehlener Sonnenuhr is, without question, the most famous of vineyard sites within the Prüm Estate if not all of the Mosel Valley. With its south-southwest exposure, weathered grey slate and ridiculous steepness (up to 70%) it provides an optimal growing climate for Riesling. The wines from here show fantastic depth of stone fruit flavors accompanied by a fine line of minerality and length. From the cellar of J.J. Prüm, this is a perennially classic, collectible Riesling.
We are very excited to present the Kalinda Rheingau Riesling. The wine comes from one of the top producers in the Rheingau that pays the utmost attention to detail in the vineyards and the winery. Aromas of honeysuckle, freshly zested lemons and stone fruits lead to a palate that is alive with yellow apples, nectarine and a hint of lanolin. This off-dry Riesling is balanced by loads of acidity and is the perfect pairing for spicy or fatty foods. (Olivia Ragni K&L Germany liaison)
Jancis Robinson: "Smells just like guava! Much fuller and more generous and broader of shoulder than the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese. A glimmer of charm under the Prüm stiffness, even a bit of glistening, jewelled tropical fruit, although all this un-Prüm-like frivolity comes not without a corset of palate-scrubbing acidity and a ramrod spine of minerality. So much freshness and quite staggering concentration. 18/20 points (TC)" (9/2016) K&L Notes: The Wehlener Sonnenuhr is, without question, the most famous of vineyard sites within the Prüm Estate if not all of the Mosel Valley. Wit... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While initially a bit earthy and savory on the nose, this ethereal kabinett abounds in fruity, floral complexities. Cutting and spry, its sweet, tangy citrus and stone-fruit flavors seem to dance nervously on the palate. It's nuanced and minerally, with a deliciously salty finish. (AI)" 91 points Wine Spectator: "Racy and rich, with concentrated green peach and grapefruit flavors accented by notes of wet stone. Tropical details emerge on the minerally finish alongside hints of smoke. (KM)" (11/2016)
This happens to be the cousin and neighbor of Martin Kerpen of Heibert Kerpen - go figure right? Anyway, we were turned on to these wines by a friend who is now importing them in Berkeley, and we thank him for that. These are old style Mosel wines from vintages that were not shy on acid and they have not moved from the cellar where they were born until making their maiden voyage last month and landing here on our welcoming shelves. Hello acidity!!! Do you pine for the days when a zippy, and I mean zippy, Mosel wine would bring your palate and salivary gl... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Perfumed and so pretty, this lively kabinett abounds with aromas and flavors of sweet citrus, pineapple and mango. Lavish lavender and potpourri notes persist from nose to finish, lending elegance to this otherwise juicy fruity wine. The sweet-tart tangerine finish is long and meandering. (AI)" (10/2016)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 10% alcohol 2015 Riesling Dragonstone (tasted from AP #16 16) is pretty smoky on the nose where ripe Riesling flavors are displayed. Lush and fruity on the palate, this is a light but pretty intense and charming Riesling with grip and raciness, but not much length. It is an enjoyable wine with a nice finesse, but a rather robust finish." (10/2016) K&L Notes: Extraordinarily aromatic, vigorous wines from a vintner who grows more commanding each vintage. This is the wine that once was called Rüdesheimer Drachenstein, and it’s the wine David Schildknecht said was th... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rheingau Riesling trocken Eins Zwei Dry is very clear, fresh and stony on the nose, a classic Rheingau Riesling with bright, fine and citric fruit aromas intertwined with crushed stone flavors. The racy attack on the palate is followed by a pure and salty taste, and a pretty intense and aromatic finish with a very nice phenolic grip. This Rheingau Riesling is refreshingly pure, straight and dry, and its acidity is mercilessly Riesling-like." (10/2016) K&L Notes: A wonderfully dry, but not mouth-searing, style of Riesling for those who love the delicate attri... Read More »
Coming from one of the top producers of Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) this "entry level" Pinot is a spicy treat. With the chalky soils in the area, Becker produces some of Germany's finest Pinot Noir. Full of spicy strawberry and bright cherry fruit, just a hint of tobacco and a dusty earthiness and layers of subtle textures tell you that you paid way too little for this offering. Delicious on its own, but also complements heavier seafood, poultry and fine cuts of beef or game.
Jancis Robinson: "Subtle, powdery, creamy nose. Round and gorgeous with great precise ripe fruit balanced by tight acidity. Bravo!" (4/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spätlese (AP #87 16) is pure and precise on the nose. Super ripe, but clear and healthy Riesling flavors, as well as some tropical fruit flavors (mainly pineapples), are displayed. On the palate, the wine is very lucid, piquant and intense, revealing a great precision and lovely concentration. The acidity is racy, but ripe and will perfectly integrate into the lush and fruity texture. Pure and salty in the finish, this is a Spätlese that can compete with the best from the Mosel. Great tension and finesse here ...Read More »
A bright, energetic style of rosé that shows wonderful fruit textures and flavors that carry on and on. Lots of strawberry, spicy rhubarb and elegant flower petals abound throughout. This an amazing value for the high quality this wine displays. As I’ve been drinking the 2014 until just recently, I suspect that this will also be drinking unbelievably well right up to and through the next vintage—good stuff! (Eric Story, K&L German wine buyer)
The now-legendary wines of Dönnhoff are fermented on natural yeast, and some are aged in neutral, thick-staved large oak. This slightly off-dry Kabinett comes from a vineyard that, according to importer Skurnik, "is rich in quartzite and gravel for perfect drainage. Krötenpful means 'turtle pond' and is named for the water source in the vineyard."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Citrus-colored, the 2015 Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken opens with a somewhat creamy flavor before ripe seed fruit aromas intermix with notes of wet and milled stones. The attack on the palate is very racy, fresh and pure, and the wine reveals a lot of citric flavors intermixed with stone flavors. Medium-bodied and pure but intense, this is a very straight, fresh and grippy, dry Riesling. It has a mouthwatering astringency in the finish. Remarkably fresh and pure for a 2015. A very expressive cool-climate Riesling that gives me an almost Canadian feeling. ...Read More »
This is an extraordinarily unique blend of Portugeiser, Dornfelder and Pinot Noir. It has a bright, fragrant nose, super creamy mousse with pretty strawberry fruit flavors accented by a hint of lemon zest and a dry, refreshing finish. It is great on its own, but has the body to complement a variety of foods, making it an excellent and versatile choice for entertaining. Try it with grilled pork sausages!
This is quintessential cool climate Pinot Noir. Lighter bodied with snappy aromatics, subtle spice and a mix of fresh red and blue fruits. A strong pick for an easy going sipper which also pairs well with an array of foods and will even math up nicely with the majority of fish dishes.
Now into the third generation of leadership, this winery has over one hundred years of winemaking tradition.
93 points Wine Spectator: "A juicy style, with intense apricot, white currant and crunchy apple flavors, supported by supple acidity. Offers a complex mix of spice and fruit tart notes midpalate. The finish lingers with honeyed accents. Drink now through 2032. (KM, Insider-11/2016)"
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) displays ripe and intense yellow apple, as well as concentrated quince and apricot confiture on the nose. Rich and intense, concentrated, sweet and tart on the palate, this is a very elegant yet concentrated, round and fruity Spätlese that develops a stunning purity, finesse and elegance in the stimulatingly salty finish. This is a stunning Riesling with two faces at the moment: the one is ultra-ripe and reveals pink grapes and a bit of good botrytis, the other has the salinity, puri ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Dry Riesling from the legendary Nahe producer's clay-slate soils, and vines aged 25-30 years.
A single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the Baden region in Germany. Earthy red cherry fruit on the nose. Lighter bodied with good lift through the finish. Rustic and old world in style. Back label typo: 2013. Should read 2012
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The white-golden 2014 Riesling Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese (Golden Capsule) offers an intense and deep, yet still discreet bouquet of ripe and overripe, yellow-skinned apples, along with flinty and yeasty aromas, and just a hint of new oak. Lush and salty-piquant on the palate, this is a very elegant, relatively round, smooth-textured Spätlese with a delicate tannin structure and banana flavors in the finish. Still very young, this wine reveals good complexity and tension, and should be cellared for at least another five or seven years, but should age ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Residual sugar: 45.8 g/l ABV: 9.5%
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "While feather light in stature, this semisweet Riesling stuns with intensity. From nose to finish, dark earth tones and luminous stone fruit and cherry flavors meld seamlessly. It’s intensely ripe, almost tropical in tone, but an electric tang of acidity and minerality keeps it rooted firmly in the Mosel. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Editors’ Choice. —A.I." (12/2016) K&L Notes: 90+ points Mosel Fine Wines: "This offers a gorgeous nose of pear, cassis, melon and herbs. The wine is delicately rich and powerful but overall zesty. The finish is almost off-dry in taste ... Read More »
Paul and Rudolph Anheuser stand as the 14th generation proprietors of their family estate which dates back to the 1600s on the Nahe River in Bad Kreuznach. This Spatlese bottling of the Kreuznacher Kahlenberg vineyard represents an outstanding value from this classified terroir in a fine vintage.
95 points Vinous: "From a prominent, terraced protrusion in today’s Berg Rottland that already when Thomas Jefferson visited to taste the local wines was touted, per his journals, as the entire hillside’s best site, this 2014 lives up to just such an exalted billing. The nose mingles piquant lemon and orange peel, black pepper, smoked salt and pungently bittersweet parsnip and cilantro in a display even more penetrating than that of the corresponding Berg Roseneck. The polished, palpably extract-rich palate conveys subtle, unexpected creaminess allied to an impression of c ...Read More »
From Mosel Fine Wines: "This offers a beautiful yet delicately ripe nose driven by pear, peach, tangerine and laurel. The wine is nicely fruity and elegant on the medium-bodied palate, where dried herbs and spices add depth to the experience. The finish has the presence of a Spätlese, yet remains long and nicely refreshing. There is great upside potential here as the wine gains in focus with bottle age. 91+ points" (04/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Rebholz's 2015 Riesling Trocken Ökonomierat offers a beautifully clear, pure, intense, mineral and herbal-flavored bouquet, which indicates a real Rebholz character. The wine is light, pure and bone dry, but intense and slightly creamy on the palate. It is also very mineral and salty, and well structured by fine tannins. This is a serious wine for Riesling freaks that do not want to spend too much money for a great wine. (SR)" (8/2016)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The fresh and limey, the 11.5% alcohol 2013 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling is a rather lean, elegant and very mineral-scented interpretation of this cru with almond cake aromas on the nose. Straight, juicy and salty-mineral on the palate, this firmly structured wine reveals a great purity and intensity and is a fascinating "dry“ (please accept 15 grams of residual sugar here as trocken) interpretation Goldtröpfchen and I almost can’t stop drinking it. (SR)" (2/2015)
This estate, which dates back to 1875, cultivates 222 acres of Riesling using organic methods and hand harvesting. Tasting notes from the importer: "The Estate Spätlese is sourced from parcels that neighbor the estate’s classified single-vineyard sites. It also includes pre-selection fruit from the top sites, which gives the wine an extra dimension of fruit and mineral intensity. It is made with the same exacting standards and meticulous attention to detail as the single-vineyard wines, and is designed to showcase Spätlese’s riper, richer style from late... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While shades of slate and saffron lend complexity and nuance, this semisweet wine is more a showcase of sumptuous yellow peach and pear flavors. Its high-toned acidity and delicate, lacy mouthfeel make it irresistibly gulpable. (ALCI)" (6/2016) Jancis Robinson: "No producer likes to be labelled predictable, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that traditional Spätlese is the Gessingers’ true forte. I enjoy the combination of racy acidity, zesty citrus fruit, tasteful sweetness and slim-line figure, nothing over-elaborate, but a pure pleasure to drink. Not too s ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Green floral notes and lemon zest perfume this pristine, pretty kabinett. Zesty lemon-lime acidity lends a breathless elegance, brightened by sweet-tart streaks of mango and tangerine that pucker and delight. Drinks gorgeously now, but will continue to improve through at least 2020. (ALCI)" (8/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Harvested between October 20 to 25 the Schloss Vollrads Riesling Kabinett shows a very clear, pure and subtle nose and starts with a racy attack on the sweet palate. This is a very mineral, quite complex and firmly structured Kabinett with a good length and an ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Liaison is 100% Pinot Noir with a fresh and very subtle, yet ripe and spicy nose with rose petal flavors. Low in sulfur, this is a nicely pure, fine and refreshing wine with ripe red fruit flavors, a good grip and mineral tension. (SR)" (6/2016) K&L Notes: No fining or filtration, and 40-50% whole cluster fermentation. Wine Advocate's Stephan Reinhardt enthused about the duo behind Enderle & Moll in his 2015 notes on the winery: "Sven Enderle and Florian Moll cultivate 2.4 hectares of vines on shell limestone and Buntsandstein soils in the village of Münchwe... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Kept for 24 hours on the mash, the 2015 Spätburgunder Rosé Trocken has a very clear, elegant and subtle red berry bouquet. This leads to a charmingly round and fruity, juicy palate with a very nice grip. Very accessible and aromatic." (8/2016) K&L Notes: This bone-dry rosé from Ökonomierat Rebholz is born of limestone soils of the Pfalz. The grapes are 100% organic, and the estate never chapitalizes their wines at any pradikat level. The light salmon color is free run Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) juice which has bright natural acidity which will actually allow the wine... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the upper part in the Drachenstein and grown on quartzite, the 2014 Rheingau Riesling Dragonstone has a clear bouquet with mushroom and discreet pineapple aromas, as well as a piquant, juicy, lovely, mineral taste. Light to medium-bodied this is quite long and tension-filled Riesling with just a touch of sweetness. (SR)" (12/2015) Vinous: "We’re down to 32 grams of residual sugar here. I write “down” because the level has kept decreasing annually for more than a decade now, and even so, the wine’s naturally high acidity – especially striking in this vintage – ...Read More »
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Markus Molitor holds 2.5 hectares in the Bockstein and his 2014 Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is probably the greatest of this cru in 2014. The wine has an intense yellow color and displays a delicately spicy new oak flavor, perfectly intertwined with bright and ripe fruit aromas, such as pineapples and yellow-skinned apples. This nose combines Burgundy with Mosel Riesling at this early stage. Full and rich but highly elegant on the palate, this is a fascinatingly lush and vital, finesse-full and seriously structured Riesling o ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Weisser Burgunder Trocken is clear, pure and fresh on the nose, quite mineral and a bit flinty. On the palate, this is a juicy-piquant and grippy Pinot Blanc; it has a round and juicy palate with a grippy finish. Enormously attractive in its ripeness, intensity and grippy raciness. (SR)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Quiet, focused, precise, and passionate. These words describe Hanjörg Rebholz and his wines perfectly. He reminds us a lot of Franconian vintner Paul Fürst, and both men are revered highly by winemaking colleagues throughout Germany. Each has a self assur... Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Sourced in the prestigious Kranklay plot from ungrafted vines, Molitor's citrus-colored, medium-dry 2014 Riesling Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese ** (Green Capsule) opens with a very clear, intense and concentrated, but pure, very well focused and slightly flinty bouquet of dried and stewed stone fruits and lemons, along with pineapple flavors. Very intense, piquant and elegant on the palate, with a densely woven texture and a piquant, well integrated acidity, this is a full-bodied, round and juicy Auslese with a very complex and aromatic finish. This is a fu ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
90 points Vinous: "From a high-altitude 1982 planting whose fruit nonetheless attracted considerable botrytis, this brims with sappy, tart-edged fresh orange, apple, and pear, to which a glossy, glycerol-rich texture offers contrast. There are unobtrusive hints of lanolin and resin from the relatively new cask in which this fermented and matured. The wine’s formidable density and its oily, zesty orange and kumquat cling are, as with other wines in the present collection, coupled with a certain sense of opacity. (DS)" (10/2016) Jancis Robinson: "Chez Loewen, old vines means pre-war, not second ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Mönchhof estate dates at least as far back as the 12th century, as evidenced by a document still in the Eymael family's possession, signed by Pope Alexander III, showing the Cloister Himmerod--a Cistercian Abbey--having vineyard holdings in Urzig as early as 1177. And the wines have been popular for a long time, too. At the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, Mönchhof won medals for their wines. These days, the wines reflect the personality of the estate's proprietor Robert Eymael: easy to like, with a sense of style and simple sophistication.
90 points Wine & Spirits: "Martin Kerpen marks his best Spätlese with a discreet asterisk on the label; more readily notable is the art that graces it, a fantastical bird reclining in a boat, dining on ripe grapes. The decadence it implies is reflected in the wine. Shy at first, once it’s drunk in some air the tart, limey fruit grows exuberant, peachy in its juicy richness and citrus-bright in its acidity—a virtual call for a party, with plenty of food." (12/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Sourced from ungrafted vines, Kerpen's one-starred 2014 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese * (Artist Label) – AP #12 ...Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
This refreshing German pink is made from 95% Pinot Meunier and 5% Portugieser, has just a minute touch of residual sugar, which makes is a stellar pairing for something spicy. Bright and aromatic red fruits carry all the way through to the core of this refreshing and quaffing rosé. Fantastic with spicy grilled sausages or even a watermelon, arugula and feta salad.
95 points Vinous: "From ancient terraces high above the Berg Roseneck that Leitz began restoring at the turn of the millennium, this bottling as usual finished with residual sugar just above the cut-off for legal Trockenheit. Nearly every installment since has been memorable, but none more so than this one. A glorious nose mingles ripe white peach, gentian and iris perfume, raw almond, along with intimations of the crustacean shell reduction that goes on to capture the salivary glands on a palate generous in succulent fruit and bittersweet inner-mouth floral perfume. A riv ...Read More »
The Wirsching family has been producing wine in this region since 1630. Home to Wirsching is the village of Iphofen, one of the most famous in Franconia and one which produces wines of unsurpassed regional quality from the steeply sloping vineyards. Today, Dr. Heinrich Wirsching serves as owner/proprietor of the estate and carries his family winemaking tradition of nearly 400 years. While the noble yet under-appreciated Silvaner is the estate's traditional focus, Wirsching also produces fine examples of Riesling and Scheurebe. The wines have a fine miner... Read More »
This incredible (and incredibly rare wine) from the Ahr has the texture and weight of a premier cru Volnay. You will have little doubt when you taste this that German Pinot can have the texture and complexity of great Burgundy. Winemaker Werner Näkel is a pioneer in adopting a dry wine style and the use of French oak barrels in the Ahr.