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K&L Staff Recommendations
We started importing the wines of this small family-owned winery in Colli Orientali de Friuli (not far from the Slovenian border) with the 2001 vintage. Back then they were far better known in Italy, where they have continuously garnered accolades from Gambero Rosso, but these days they have quite a following here at K&L, too. Vintage after vintage the wines from the brothers Ermacora (Dario and Luciano) sell out very quickly. And they still adhere to the motto: Do little, in order to do better.
Reuilly is an appellation in the eastern part of France's Loire Valley (sometimes referred to as 'poor man's Sancerre') that is starting to get some real attention, with the wines of talented vigneron Denis Jamain leading the charge. Reuilly is blessed to share the same Kimmeridgian clay and limestone terroir with neighboring Sancerre and Chablis to the north, which explains where these wines get their mineral drive and precision. As prices for the more coveted regions creep up, saavy connoisseurs are finding great value the lesser-known, nearby appellat... Read More »
From the Collio DOC on Italy's border with Slovenia, Venica is one of the region's most well-known and respected estates. Jesera actually means "little lake" in Slovenian, named for where the vineyard sits at the bottom of a cool valley. From the winey: "The natural copper color extracted with maceration is the signature of this wine and its richness reminiscent of williams pear, banana, and acacia flowers wrapped in a slight scent of fresh apricot. Intriguing taste with pleasant flavors of pear syrup and quince peels. Good acid/alcohol balance with a lo... Read More »
One of the best deals going in Pinot Grigio, this wine is from the Grave del Friuli DOC, an area perfectly suited to the varietal. The 2013 is crisp, fruity and fresh, exhibiting that classic subtle bitter hint on the palate that makes it such an ideal match with dishes like spaghetti with clams, or sauteed freshwater trout. It also makes a fine pairing with sushi. Enjoy while young and fresh.
J Vineyards, perhaps best-known for their bubbly, has a special connection with Pinot Gris--especially the small, Cooper vineyard adjacent to the tasting room and winery. But this fresh, multi-appellation blend of Pinot Gris comes from California coastal appellations like Russian River Valley and Monterey, as well as Lodi and Clarksburg.
From the winery: "The 2014 Pinot Grigio is sourced entirely from Honea vineyard in Los Olivos. 2014 marks the earliest pick in Steve's winemaking career, a result of the general conditions in California (drought, heat, etc). Interestingly, while it was an early pick for Palmina, it lined up with Pinot Grigio harvest dates in Friuli with many of Steve's counterparts such as Bastianich and Scarbollo. Pale gold in color. Bright aromas of yellow stone fruits, white flowers and fresh herbs. Flavors of fresh lemon bar and Asian pear excite the palate. There's ... Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "The longtime Alsatian-focused producer-circa 1983-delivers a wine with aromas of lemon peel, pear juice, lime zest and yellow cake. The palate shows orange blossom sorbet and a lemon zest that lingers from sip to finish." (2/2015)
From the Winery; Aromatic and Crisp, white peaches, green mango and honeydew served with greek yogurt. Touch of goose-berry salt taffy and lime sorbet. Think of Camphor candies. 86% Pinot Gris, 7% Chenin Blanc, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Malvasia Bianca.
If there was a boutique producer in New Zealand that resonated with the micro-production, experimental, semi-hipster, natural, "culty" wines that have taken California by storm in the last few years, Sato would be it. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. While travelling in NZ last year many other winemakers I met were really quite jealous that I had managed to pry a few cases of each wine away from Yoshi (who's wines have very quickly become ... Read More »
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 »
From the winery: "Said to be a Goldilocks vintage in Oregon; not too hot, not too cold and not too much rain! 2014 was, however, the warmest season on record in the Willamette Valley. Interestingly this was not due to high maximum temperatures, but rather higher than normal minimum temperatures. A warm spring and a little rain gave us an early bud break and the season maintained warm temperatures throughout. Nighttime temps were well above normal accelerated ripening despite large crop loads and harvest began at the very beginning of September. The dry w... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "There’s extra richness across the palate of perfectly ripened apple, pear and melon fruit. The weight of the wine in the mouth is substantial but maintains a sense of lightness and proportion, and the finish extends out gracefully as long as you can wait for that next sip." (10/2014) Wine & Spirits: "High-toned, with sweet quince accents, this broadens on the palate. Pour it with a smoked turkey panini." (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "Silky and fresh, with a delicate bead of tangerine-inflected green melon flavors gliding easily into the finish. Drink now." (10/2014)
The 2013 Carrick Pinot Gris is from the Cairnmuir Road Vineyard. Fermentation is completed using wild yeasts and vinification includes regular lees stirring and seven months of sur lie aging, as well as fermentation in neutral oak barrels. According to the importer: "White blossom petal and pear are leading factors in the perfume of this Pinot Gris, while subtle oak aromas interlace in the background. We enjoy the texture of our 2013 Pinot Gris. An oily mouth feel from start to finish, drenched in fruit character, is something we look for in every good e... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Lush and creamy, this is loaded with seductive flavors of ripe pear, melon and sweet apple. There’s a hint of whipped cream and a dash of vanilla, but not overbearing or in any way artificial. It’s simply delicious." (12/2014) Wine Spectator: "Lively and appealing, with pear and peach flavors on a light frame, finishing with an open feel. Drink now. 1,200 cases made." (10/2014)
Florian Beck-Hartweg, along with parents Michel and Yvette, aim to make their great wines starting in the vineyard. Fermentation and aging is completed only in old oak casks that don't interfere in any way with the taste of the wine--some casks are 100 years old or so!. Fermentation is with natural yeasts, and there's no other addition to the wine other than SO2, in small quantity, of course. This newly imported producer follows the organic chart: using no chemical products in the vineyards and absolutely no fertilization (chemical or organic) because Fl... Read More »
This organically grown Pinot Gris is harvested mostly from the Glintzberg vineyard in Bergbieten, which is essentially the same terroir at the more famous Altenberg Grand Cru (its exposure is just more east-facing than the south-facing Altenberg). This is a classic, dry Alsatian Pinot Gris, with aromas and flavors of pear and tropical fruit accented by nutty notes and subtle spice. Fleshy and unctuous, this wine shows excellent weight and richness in the mouth, but its lively acidity lifts and lengthens the finish, keeping everything in balance. Super fo... Read More »
From the winery: "A refreshing, dry white with citrus lemon/lime notes, flinty minerality, and crisp finish. In the mouth the wine is rich and textural, from the time spent on lees in the barrel. This is a great match with shellfish of any kind, or richer white meats such as turkey or duck."
Wine Enthusiast: "This soft wine is full of yellow fruits and spiced lemon, with a light, tangy texture. It’s rich while having a crisper side. Drink in fall 2016." (4/2015) Wine Spectator: "Aromatic, with hints of honeysuckle and sage, this fleshy white is framed by well-knit acidity, offering a palate of subtle pear, almond, stone and lemon curd flavors. Drink now through 2019. 1,250 cases made." (11/2014)
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 retain acidity and varietal character. Hand-harvested, whole-cluster pressed, and fermented at cool temperatures in small stainlesss steel tanks, this delicious value is perfect on its own or with food.
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Bott’s 2010 Pinot Gris Sonnenglanz exhibits a deep gold color with scents of lichen, both of which characteristics point toward the presence of botrytis, which adds spice, caramel and honey to peach and smoked meat flavors on an expansive, polished and glycerol-slicked palate. Finishing with sweet persistence, this V.T.-like bottling strikes me as likely to be best enjoyed solo and by 2018. (DS)" (8/2014)89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright golden yellow. Delicate tropical fruits, licorice and sweet brown spices on the subdued nose. Somewhat soft and diffuse on the palate, with licori ...Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Lovely floral fragrances lead into an elegant wine with racy acidity. The clover impression continues on the palate, along with apple skin and white peaches. The residual sugar (10g/L) is barely noticeable." (2/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Gris Three Vineyards is 100% estate grown from Corral Creek, Stoller and Ridgecrest Vineyards, harvested between September 19 an October 6, between 20.2 and 21.2 Brix with a gram of residual sugar. It has quite a "punchy" bouquet with candied orange peel and white peach on the well-defined bouquet. The palate is well balanced wi ...Read More »
Wine Enthusiast: "*Best Buy* A big, ripe and spicy wine, it also has plenty of fruit to balance plus a drier structure at its center. Just a hint of lychee plus a rounded texture make it full bodied but never heavy. Drink from the end of 2014." (7/2014) K&L Notes: Schlumberger's Princes Abbés Pinot Gris is primarily sourced from the village of Schimberg on south-facing slopes with volcanic subsoil. The wine is fermented in thermo-regulated tanks before aging on the lees for 6-8 months. From the winery: "In a golden yellow colour with hints of green, the Pinot Gris offers a bouquet of ... Read More »
Opulent, nearly exceedingly rich, this Pinot Gris is teeming with baked apple, apricot and flan-like aromas with a soft, mouthfilling palate and length that is pretty much never ending. A finish of acidity and structure lends balance to what will be a long-lived and luscious wine for a decade or more.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Keller Vineyard. Hand Picked, Hand Sorted. Fermented and aged in stainless steel after three hours on the skins. Bottled unfined. Gorgeous white wine with a slight rose color, its floral nose gives way to bright flavors of apple, pear, and nectarine with a hint of almond. 250 cases made.
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is as good a Pinot Gris as this producer has ever made. Apples and stone fruits contribute a fleshy, flavorful mid-palate. Peppery spice and a hint of brioche add complexity and interest. The wine is perfectly balanced and ready to drink immediately." (12/2013) Wine Spectator: "Offers zip and refreshing balance, with honeydew, lime and mineral notes leading to the well-tuned finish. Drink now." (12/2013)
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The winery's note: "The Pinot Gris is made from our 5-acre estate vineyard, Emilia, named after Paul’s mother-in-law; it borders the north side of the winery and tasting room. It was planted in 1993 at a high density with two different clones and two different rootstocks....The Cristom Pinot Gris is fermented in stainless steel tanks and does not spend any time in oak barrels. It has a certain creaminess that comes from the several months that the wine spends on it lees. Typically, the wine has bright citrus-blossom aromas that range from tangerine zest ... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Already showing good focus and pinpoint acidity, th is wine brings green berries, kiwi and lime fruit flavors to the front. The bracing acidity keeps it lively across the palate, and the extra depth of the finish rewards your attention." (8/2014) Wine & Spirits: "Brisk and a touch fizzy, this is pleasingly creamy in the middle, with a lemony finish. A youthful white for summer drinking." (8/2014)
Inventory: Redwood City