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K&L Monthly Newsletter - Featuring the Wines of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa - 04/10/2017 - Monthly Newsletter

Australian wines continue their resurgence after the United States market posted some big sales numbers last year. It seems the wines are doing the talking—people are listening and they like what’s being said! Not to be outdone, New Zealand recently became the third largest exporter of wines (by value) to the US, now trailing only the juggernauts France and Italy! This positive trend reflects the continued recognition of New Zealand as a premium wine-producing nation and the movement away from cheap bulk wines to more sophisticated bottlings. South Africa, while representing a smaller market volume than Australia or NZ, continues to amaze me (and many of our staff) with the stunning quality and unique character the wines can deliver. The highlight for me in South Africa continues to be Swartland and other west coast locales with their complex soils, abundance of old vines and current crop of talented winemakers with an ethereal touch. Read on to see what I’m talking about. Cheers!

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2016 Bayten Sauvignon Blanc Constantia 92 >60 $12.99 View
2014 Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia (Elsewhere $20) 91 >60 Price: Hidden View
2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough >60 $18.99 View
2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia 96 >60 $24.99 View
2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago 95 >48 $26.99 View
2015 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label) 93 >48 $29.99 View
2015 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia 92 >100 $29.99
Wine Club Price: $24.99.
2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $40) 95 >48 Price: Hidden View
2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $50) 97 >48 Price: Hidden View
2002 Torbreck "Factor" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia 99 11 $129.99 View

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2016 Bayten Sauvignon Blanc Constantia ($12.99)

92 points Wine Spectator: " *Best Values* This is refined, with a steely spine that lets gooseberry, verbena and white peach flavors streak through. A hint of shortbread adds range and mouthfeel along the edges. The long finish has lovely cut. An amazing value. Drink now through 2019. (JM)" (02/2017)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale bright yellow. Complex nose melds orange blossom, stone and tropical fruits, wild herbs and pepper. Plush, fruity, slightly sweet and concentrated, lifted by a floral quality and framed by integrated acidity. Finishes tactile, saline and persistent."

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 17, 2017

Constantia is well known for producing some of the most unique, delicious and interesting Sauvignon Blancs in the world and this Bayten definitely showcases why. It packs an incredible punch of flavor with vivid fruit, bright acidity, and a touch of herbality cool climates are known for. South Africa is certainly gaining a reputation for must-have wines, especially when they price a gem like this at $13. This is an incredible value and showcases what makes Constantia such an amazing area.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 11, 2017

This delectable Sauvignon Blanc is stocked in our cold box, ready for your drinking pleasure. Ripe golden apple, delicate white flowers and barely-ripe stone fruit in the glass. Energetic acidity and slight salinity leave you smacking your lips and reaching for the next pour. Grab this for your next outdoor gathering with friends.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2017

Amazing sauv blanc - drinks way out of its price range. Delicate pale yellow in color with an enticing bouquet of limes, apples, and fresh cut flowers. Great texture without being overly fruity. The kind of white wine I want on a sunny Friday to relax and let me know the work week is over.

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2014 Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia (Elsewhere $20) Price: Hidden

91 points Wine & Spirits: "A classic Coonawarra style of Cabernet, this presents ripe currant fruit in a clean, spicy arrow of flavor. Light touches of eucalyptus follow the fruit through a dry finish. Fresh and lasting, this is an approachable Cabernet for rack of lamb." (10/2016)

91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a terrific value in balanced, ready-to-drink Australian Cabernet. It brings several Bordeaux-ish qualities to the table-medium body, silky tannins and aromas reminiscent of cigar box and Ribena-then adds varietally true flavors and a long finish. Drink now-2025. *Editors' Choice* (JC)" (04/2017)

Vinous: "Deep red. Spicy red currant and cherry scents and flavors are accompanied by subtle floral and herb notes. Juicy, focused and spicy, showing good lift on a nervy, gently tannic finish that echoes the red fruit and spice notes. (ST)" (10/2017)

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 26, 2017

A congenial wine that is chock-full of classic Coonawarra character: blackberry, cherry, mint and baking spices. This is a lip-smacking wine with bright acidity, fine tannin and spice on the finish. Invite friends over, fire up the grill and serve this with those burgers that you're famous for. Summer is here.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 26, 2017

A surprisingly serious Cab from South Australia, this has been consistently good in the past few vintages that I have tasted. Medium-bodied with ripe berry notes, this wine does not get overly ripe or jammy. Instead a lovely acid core drives it forward and fine tannin runs along and coats the palate. Notes of mint and eucalyptus mingle with the layers of currant and blackberry making this a wonderful food wine that will go beautifully with lamb or beef.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 21, 2017

Coonawarra for less than $20!? This has a dark, rich nose with red fruits, oak spice and eucalyptus. Full bodied with plush tannins round mouth feel and a touch of earth on the finish. A great everyday Cab.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 20, 2017

Classic Coonawarra Cab for a song. Jim Barry is one of the best known wineries in South Australia's Clare Valley. Founded in the 1950's Jim Barry has produced some of Australia's most heralded wines, namely the "Armagh" with more than ten 95-99+ point Advocate scores in it's history. Whilst being recognized as one of the countries top producers, what I love about Jim Barry is the incredible value they can deliver with wines like Cover Drive! As an Englishman myself the name based around a shot one might use during a game of Cricket always makes me chuckle. The vines are planted where the village Cricket field once stood. Deep in this wine's rich red fruit and and exotic spices I think I can still pick up some leather and willow! Bad jokes aside, this is delicious Cabernet with real varietal character and freshness. A classic Coonawarra profile for probably less than half the price I would expect to pay for a wine of this quality. This is a bargain.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 20, 2017

Coonawarra is producing some delicious, very easy-drinking wines and this Cover Drive is no exception. It is soft and approachable with lush fruit and just a touch of acidity on the front palate to brighten it up. This Cab Sauv does not overwhelm with overpowering tannin or spice, but glides across the palate with its silky mouthfeel. The Barry family has been making wine here for generations and it's easy to see why their legacy has lasted when you taste this Cab.

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2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough ($18.99)

Sure to be another winner this summer is the new Pinot Noir rosé from our friends at TWR. Once again we have purchased every case we could get our hands on of this tiny production wine with a total of 105 cases produced! This year the wine is sourced from a single hillside block of the Rawiri vineyard in Marlborough’s Omaka Valley. Saignée style, fermented all in stainless steel at cool temperatures to retain lifted floral aromatics and bright berry flavors. Some time on fine lees helps build texture and a savory complexity; ripe, juicy acidity keeps the whole thing dancing on the palate. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L NZ wine buyer)

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 30, 2017

Last year was our first time selling a rosé from TWR, one of our favorite NZ producers. I fell in love with it, and it quickly became my house rosé for the summer. This new 2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough is a little more robust in style, a saignée bottling of Pinot Noir from a single block. Lightly savory with notes of spice. Bright red fruits, sweet and ripe, juicy and delicious. A worthy successor to last year's inaugural offering.

Staff ImageMorgan Laurie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: May 15, 2017

Don't let the bright color of this fuchsia beauty deter you from picking up this fantastic rosé! This is 100% Pinot Noir rosé from Marlborough, made using saignée. There is such a pretty nose of juicy cherry and strawberry. It's crisp, dry and perfect for light summer fare. Delicious!

Staff ImageSarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 18, 2017

Darker in color than the last vintage, but all kinds of character! This year's TWR Rose of Pinot Noir does not disappoint- red cherry, red plum, red currant, strawberry and spice with medium plus acidity and great balance. Looking for a rose to compliment your BBQ'ed ribs, salmon, chicken or steak- or perhaps a plate of cheese & charcuterie? Give this puppy a try! YUM!

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 15, 2017

This year's rosé is rather different from last year's, but just as delicious! While the 2015 rosé boasted lighter, classic Provencal style, the 2016 is much darker in hue, made in saignee style from the Rawiri vineyard. The wine shows lovely blackberry and raspberry notes, with some heft and weight. It's still quite dry, but with a peppery spice and richer fruit component that makes this an ideal food wine. Try this with lighter poultry dishes, veggie dishes, and salmon.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 03, 2017

There is no more perfect way to usher in the warmer weather than with a fantastic Rosé from one of our favorite NZ producers, TWR. Darker in color than the 2015, this vintage showcases the standout qualities of the single vineyard this wine is sourced from in Marlborough. Rich, juicy fruit is king is this Pinot Noir Rosé, which has a touch of acidity and minerality to balance it thanks to New Zealands cool climate. An excellent choice for a spring or summer dinner, this wine can hold its flavor against many different dishes. This is definitely one of the top Rosé picks in the store!

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2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia ($24.99)

96 points James Halliday: "Small batch open-fermented, 35% given extended maceration, blended and matured in French oak (40% new barriques) for 14 months. Xanadu paints an unerring landscape of intense, elegant Margaret River Cabernet, with a stream of cassis fruit bordered by gravelly but fine tannins, oak insistently completing the picture. Great value." (10/2016)

93 points James Suckling: "A concentrated darker fruited and dark green leafy and herb nuanced style that has power and plenty of tannin depth, long and rich. Mulberry and plum, supple and even. Great balance here." (03/2016)

93 points Vinous: "Inky ruby. Potent, mineral-accented boysenberry, cherry liqueur, vanilla, mint and potpourri aromas are complicated by a suave Indian spice nuance that builds steadily with air. Seamless, round and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors and hints of mocha and black cardamom. Finishes sappy and extremely long, displaying round, even tannins and a late, lingering touch of candied flowers. (JR)" (10/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "This paints a true picture of Margaret River in its sage and bay leaf shadings and concentrated cassis fruit. It's all framed by hints of vanilla and toasty oak, but the emphasis remains on dried herbs and fruit through the long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now2030. *Editors' Choice* (JC)" (02/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is redolent of plums, cassis and dried mint notes with hints of cedar and Mediterranean herbs plus a touch of earth. The palate reveals nice ripe tannins and a lively backbone supporting a good core of medium-bodied fruit, finishing with very good length. (LPB)" (10/2016)

K&L Notes: *Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon - 2015 National Wine Show of Australia*

Staff ImageJoe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 09, 2017

2013 was a great vintage in Margaret River, evident in this Cabernet Sauvignon from Xanadu. The nose is bright and expressive. Deeply minty and herbal with some mustard grass notes. Layered with rich, supple dark fruit like cassis and boysenberry as well as hints of mocha. On the palate, big, chewy, and spicy. Dark fruit shines, with mint and herbs present in addition to a tinge of subtle chocolate. Delicious on its own or with herb-roasted lamb

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

Really drinkable, rich and complex Cabernet. This wine has something for almost everyone. Polished round tannins that create rich and supple mouth feel. Bright fruit that is accented with dusty earth, and subtle oak spice and a eucalyptus high note for those that crave layers to their wines. The wine has plenty of immediate charm and enough stuffing for the collector. All for under $25, if you like Cab, you have to try it.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 04, 2017

Wow, the nose on this is gorgeous: with notes of cedar and wet earth, the 2013 Xanadu Estate is reminiscent of walking through a forest, but with the addition of that distinctly Australian eucalyptus hit. Fruit is on the darker side and concentrated, and while this is rich and gutsy, there is restraint, with super soft tannins on the finish. Dusty and drinkable, Xanadu feels more expensive than its price implies, making this a perfect party pick. An old world-style stunner with modern sensibility, this is a spicy, sophisticated Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon that would make Olivia Newton John proud.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 03, 2017

My fetish for Margaret River Cab lives on, thanks to our Aussie Buyer, Ryan Woodhouse. The wines have such a distinctive nose, are not unlike Bordeaux in style and flavor, and have excellent aging potential. The Xanadu is full of notes like cassis, plum, dark cocoa and eucalyptus. There is plenty of the same on the palate, with the addition of baking spices, pepper and gentle tannins towards the finish. There is a lot going on here that makes it ready to enjoy now but it can hang in your cellar for a few more years too. Frankly, at this price you'd be crazy not to stock up with bottles for the upcoming grilling season (which is now, in Southern California) or for that milestone birthday BBQ or pot roast dinner in a few years time.

Staff ImageAnthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 01, 2017

Holy cow. Such an awesome expression of cabernet sauvignon in a true Margaret River style: medium + body, menthol, black fruits, cassis, a hint of white pepper, ripe tannins, and plenty of acid.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 01, 2017

Margaret River has been on an absolute tear with great vintages coming thick and fast. The wines often strike a stylistic balance somewhere between Napa Cabernet and Bordeaux but retain their own unique markers at the same time. The fruit is typically rich and concentrated like Oakville; the tannins and poise more reminiscent of Paulliac; the complex aromas of cedar, crushed mint and sandstone are uniquely Margaret River. The quality of these wines hasnt gone unnoticed and huge point scores are amassing! The 2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet is a slightly more generous, lush style of Cabernet from Margaret River. Saturated dark fruits, blackcurrant, ripe plum, dark chocolate, sweet oak spice and fine broad tannins. Incredible concentration; fantastic value! We bought every case that was available to us as it was just too good to miss at this price!

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 27, 2017

A truly delicious Cab from a hallmark Margaret River producer. This really is a great value for this complex yet highly approachable wine. It has the structure and earthiness reminiscent of Bordeaux, yet the silky mouthfeel is all courtesy of Aussie fruit. This wine exhibits fantastic balance and is absolutely drinkable now, which is dangerous given its low price point, it'd be easy to pick up a few every week.

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2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago ($26.99)

95 points Bob Campbell: "Attractive savoury Pinot Noir with floral, fresh herb (thyme?) and cherry flavours. Moderately concentrated wine with a core of appealing sweet fruit. An elegant Pinot Noir."

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir has a pronounced nose of red currants, black cherries and mulberries with underlying notes of yeast extract, tar, beef drippings and game plus a waft of forest floor. Medium-bodied, the palate provides a great concentration of complex savory / earthy, red and black berry flavors with a solid structure of firm, ripe tannins and lively acidity, finishing long and layered. 94+ (LPB)" (02/2017)

93 points James Suckling: "A deep, dark cherry and plum style with plenty of depth and interest on offer. A subtly earthy and herbal edge to the nose with a plump and voluminous palate and plenty of flesh. Tannins are velvety, A very attractive, long and satisfying palate. Drink now."

93 points Raymond Chan: "Dark, deep ruby-red colour with some black and purple hues, a little lighter edged. The nose is rich with vibrant dark-red cherry and cherry fruit aromas harmoniously melded with a layer of dried herbs and thyme, along with piquant red florals and subtle whole cluster stalk and peppery suggestions. Medium-full bodied, the palate possesses rich and succulent dark-red berryfruit flavours entwined with notes of thyme herb and red florals. The mouthfeel has fresh, lacy acidity enhancing the fruit richness, and fine-grained tannin extract provide a balance, integrated core and line. The wine carries to a fresh, lingering finish of red fruits and florals with herb nuances. This is a gently rich and succulent, red-fruited Pinot Noir with subtle herb and floral notes, a fresh mouthfeel and fine tannin structure. Serve with poultry and pork dishes and Asian cuisine over the next 5-6+ years. Dijon clone fruit from the 'Morrison', 'Muirkirk' and 'Pisa Terrace' vineyards indigenous yeast fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 15% new French oak."

K&L Notes: Winemaker's notes: "The 2014 Pinot Noir is carefully blended from 3 vineyards in the Lowburn and Bannockburn sub regions; our estate vineyards of Morrison and Muirkirk plus grower vineyard Pisa Terrace. All are farmed using certified BioGro organic practices. The vineyards are planted with a mixture of the Dijon clones and cropped at an average of 35 hectolitres per hectare, all vineyards being planted between 1997 and 2000. The wine was vinified using open fermenters, hand plunging, natural yeasts, and 11 months in French oak (15 % new) before racking and settling in tank for a further 4 months. Fermentation was carried out using de-stemmed fruit including the addition of 25% whole bunches. The wine is perfumed with lovely aromatics, there is a range of complexed fruit notes of darker berryfruit, some spice, savoury tones and dried herbs. It has a silky and lush texture, concentrated fruit power yet finely balanced with fine tannins throughout and long in flavour. No filtration or fining, deposits may form. Organically grown and made."

Staff ImageJeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 31, 2017

Consistently one of my favorite Pinot Noirs among our selection from New Zealand, and the first bottle I grab when I want to introduce a customer to the wines of the Central Otago region. Big. Bold. Black-fruited. And with a savory element from the inclusion of 25% whole clusters. Absolutely textbook. And an absolute delight to drink.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 19, 2017

Compared to the Wanaka Rd bottling, you can sense the darker tones to the fruit, the more serious structure, and the fact that this Pinot Noir, while terrific now with a meal (quick suggestion: grilled lamb chateaubriand served with roasted fingerlings), is built to improve in bottle. Mount Edward continues to make the best value Pinot Noir in New Zealand, which in turn places them amongst the best value Pinot Noirs in our selection.

Staff ImageStefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 25, 2017

This is an extremely well-rounded Pinot Noir from one of my favorite Central Otago producers. Mount Edward really puts their focus on high quality fruit coming out of the vineyard so they can practice minimalistic, non-interventionalist winemaking in the cellar. Their gentle, hands-off approach is very evident in the elegance and refinement this wine displays. Twenty-five percent whole cluster adds structure to bright, red fruits and the unfined and unfiltered approach gives depth and intricacies that may otherwise be stripped out. This is a great overview of Central Otago as a three vineyard blend and should be in the house of seasoned Pinot lovers and newbies alike.

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 18, 2017

This wine strikes a balance between fruit notes and savory qualities that I really enjoy about New Zealand Pinot Noir. It is clean and pure with plenty of cherry, red currant and blackberry and has a hint of freshly cracked black pepper both in the nose and on the palate. Cheerful acidity and a lasting finish ties everything together, making this a tasty anytime wine.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 17, 2017

I can't think of a better barometer for Central Otago Pinot Noir than this bottling from Mount Edward. This bottle selects fruit from both of Mount Edward's estate vineyards (Muirkirk and Morrison) plus grower's fruit from the esteemed Pisa Terrace Vineyard. All of thee sites are certified BioGro organic and each one is situated in a different sub-region of Central Otago. Therefore from this wine you get a fantastically panoramic vinous expression of the region encapsulating many of its intricate terroirs into one beautifully integrated package. The skill of the assemblage lies with Duncan Forsyth and his trusty right hand gal Anna Riederer. Here they forge a unity between the power and depth of Bannockburn, the silky textures and elegance of Lowburn and the youthfully vibrant aromatics and bright lift of Pisa. It's a fantastic bottle offering richness and intensity of fruit but also some beautifully subtleties and nuances driven by place. The wine is textural and complex; very giving now in its youth but has plenty of stuffing to last a decade in the cellar should you wish. The only flaw with my barometer analogy is that if you chose this wine as your gauge for quality you are likely to be seriously disappointed by the vast majority of other wines even close to this price. With our winery direct relationship this price is ludicrously low given the producer's pedigree, huge accolades and sheer deliciousness of what's in the bottle.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 13, 2017

Central Otago is one of my favorite regions in New Zealand for Pinot Noir particularly. I love the savory yet clean and bright profile that the grape tends to assume in this region. Mount Edward is definitely one of the top examples for Central Otago Pinot. This bottling includes a few key vineyard sites to showcase the power and depth of the area as a whole. Here you have dark, exuberant berry fruit contending with an almost herbal, brambly note and lovely wet clay earthiness. The wine is made with wild yeast, and organic farming, so you have very little manipulation here, allowing the true character of the terroir to shine through.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2017

Dark and savory Central Otago Pinot Noir! Lush dark cherry fruit backed with a touch of oak and plenty of that savory herbal Central Otagoness. The palate is round with moderate tannins and fresh acidity. The fruit really comes to the forefront with that herbal tone and a nice counter point on the finish.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 12, 2017

This toasty, bacony Pinot Noir from Mount Edward reminded me of some of the bigger, high end Oregon Pinot Noirs, but at half the price! If you love your Pinot with substance, but still dry and long, this is a must try!

Staff ImageSteve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 11, 2017

This organic, unfined and unfiltered wine is deep, dark and somewhat brooding in nature. There is plenty of sweet black cherry fruit to accent the forest floor and spice notes that linger on the bright finish. This is a big, bold bargain that drinks well above its price and should not be missed.

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2015 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label) ($29.99)

93 points Sam Kim: "Ripe, complex and fragrant, the inviting bouquet shows dark berry, game, toasted almond and dried herb characters. The palate is juicy and rounded, and offers bright fruit flavours together with earthy mushroom undertones, wonderfully framed by fine tannins. Beautifully balanced and harmonious with attractive complex flavours. At its best: now to 2019."

91-92 points Raymond Chan: "Light, even ruby-red colour with slight garnet-purple hues, lighter on the rim. This has a softly concentrated and well-packed nose with aromas of savoury dark-red berry and black cherry fruit melded with dark herbs and notes of earth and black minerals, unveiling subtle and harmonious oak and whole bunch stalk detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a well-concentrated core of sweet dark-red and black berried fruit intermixed with dark herb and subtle whole bunch stalk elements, along with black mineral nuances. The extraction provides balanced, fine-gained tannins and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, balancing, lacy acidity. This has a good line, leading to a lush, lively finish od red and black fruits and subtle herb notes. This is a moderately concentrated, sweet, dark-fruited Pinot Noir with moderately extracted, supple tannins and fresh acidity. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years 70% Abel clone and 30% clone 5, the fruit fermented with 26% whole bunches to 13.81% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 22% new French oak. 230 dozen made."

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pale ruby colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir A1 offers pretty notes of kirsch, cranberry preserves and baking spices with hints of red roses, lavender and fallen leaves. Light to medium-bodied and elegantly crafted, the palate reveals perfumed sour cherry notes with a silken backbone and great freshness on the finish. (LPB)" (02/2017)

K&L Notes: 93 points Cameron Douglas MS: "Soft core of ripe light red fruits led by sweet cherry, plum and raspberry suggestions, a an additional core component of mineral with quartz-like features, moderate oak and quite complex. On the palate - youthful texture with medium+ acidity, fine tannins and youthful sulphide action, flavours of red berry fruits and oak spice layers add to a lengthy finish."

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2015 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia ($29.99) Wine Club Price: $24.99.

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Barossa Valley Shiraz reveals pronounced blackberry, dark chocolate and black currant notes over hints of black earth, charcoal, licorice and a hint of violets. Profoundly rich and concentrated on the full-bodied palate, it has some delicious savory/olive tapenade notes emerging, supported by firm, ripe tannins and finishing with great length. (LPB)" (03/2017)

91 points Wine Spectator: "Complex and aromatic, offering a vivid mix of wild strawberry, rose petal and tomato leaf notes. Fresh and harmonious. The tannins provide backbone on the finish. (MW)" (06/2017)

K&L Notes: Powell & Son is a new venture from legendary winemaker David Powell of Torbreck fame (or infamy)! Many of you will have enjoyed Dave's intense, powerful wines before under the Torbreck label. This new project is essentially a distillation of all that went before: everything he has learned about the Barossa's vines, soil and climate, refocused into a small-scale, boutique operation where Dave is hand-making the wines with his son Callum. Powell & Son is about "getting back to basics" Dave says: starting with great vineyards, expressing the purity of fruit and striking a balance of power and grace. The wines are, as you expect, unmistakably Barossa in origin, powerful, saturated dark fruit intertwined with scorched earth and a wild smoked-meat note. They are richly textured and satisfying but not overdone fruit bombs. The 2015 vintage is one that is already starting to get some huge acclaim in South Australia. Dave told me it was a near perfect vintage and he is super excited about the quality of the wines. While they have yet to be issued scores, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW (Editor-In-Chief of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate) writes about a recent barrel tasting at the winery in Barossa: "His 2015s revealed some incredibly exciting wines in the pipeline. David Powell is back."

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2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $40) Price: Hidden

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir exudes gorgeous violets, red roses and black cherry notes with underlying Provence herbs, dusty earth and cinnamon stick hints. Medium-bodied, the palate has a firm backbone of ripe, velvety tannins with lively acid supporting the concentrated, multi-layered flavors, finishing long. Spectacular Pinot Noir! (LPB)" (12/2016)

94 points James Suckling: "An impressively lively and flavor-soaked pinot noir, this oozes ripe red cherry fruits, graphite and spice and has a succulent, fleshy disposition with muscular smooth tannins and striking depth. Drink now."

K&L Notes: Winery Notes: "Hand-picked from our Biodynamic Demeter Certified Bendigo Estate vineyard; with a vine density of 5,000 - 8,000 plants per hectare on grafted pinot noir clones (10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777 & Abel) planted in 1998. The soils on the beautiful north facing slope are Waenga fine sandy loam with quartz and schist deposits. Each small batch was vinified separately according to clone, with a small percentage of whole bunches being retained, left for 5-7 days cold soak before indigenous yeast fermentation kicked in, peaking at 33°C. Gentle plunging throughout ferment, followed by post-fermentation maceration of up to 12 days to ensure optimum tannin balance. Ferment duration 24 days. Pressing directly into selected French oak barriques; approximately 30% new the balance older. The wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation in spring and was bottled in September 2016. The winemaking was very much in keeping with the traditional practices of the old world. The winemaker, Rudi Bauer, has combined these techniques, and his own personal understanding, to create this unique wine."

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

Potentially the best-ever release of this wine. I have long admired Rudi's wines at Quartz Reef and elsewhere but this wine has the x-factor. Hailing from a single, steep, Biodynamic certified, hillside vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, this wine shows the pedigree and structure would would expect from one of Rudi's wines. However its real allure is the purity of fruit and its exuberance both aromatically and on the palate. This sub-region is known for more masculine, structured wines with dark fruit and formidable tannins, but this wine is so accessible and expressive even as a youngster. The tannins are polished, the fruit is bold with perfectly judged ripeness; hints of mineral and wild thyme add a distinctive sense of place; some exotic spice notes from the French oak maturation add a final touch of class. This is a Pinot that you can WOW people with. It captures the classic elements of Central Otago Pinot (as you would expect from one of the region's founding fathers) but also has an international appeal and luxurious quality that way surpasses our stunningly low importer-direct price point.

Staff ImageKirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 27, 2017

The wines made from this site in Bendigo always seem to be a touch richer and fleshier than other Central Otago wines. The nose is luxurious, sappy dark red fruits with a dusting of spice and earth. It is on the fuller side of Pinot on the palate with a lush round mouth feel. There is just enough tannin to pull everything back into a long finish.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 23, 2017

Quartz Reef's Bendigo vineyard Pinot Noir is an excellent example of the power and expression of Central Otago. In this south island region, Pinot Noir does particularly well, creating wines that are both full-fruited and bright, with great savory notes and elegant spice. This wine opens with exuberant, round blackberry fruit with plenty of structure and a medium palate weight. On the finish the wine has a long, savory note with wild mushroom and hints of exotic spice coming into play.

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2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $50) Price: Hidden

97 points James Suckling: "This is the Mouton-Rothschild of Australia - with a screw cap! Incredibly complex aromas of blackcurrants, spices, cigar box, and berries. Full body, a fantastic palate and polished tannins. Goes for minutes. Better in 2017." (03/2016)

96 points James Halliday: "The headline, the main text and the footnotes all say one thing and one thing only: purity. And I suppose I should add elegance. They simply don't come better in this mode." (10/2016)

K&L Notes: Winemaker's Notes: "Dark ruby red with a black core. Vibrant and concentrated fruit aroma of abundant blackcurrant, dark cherries and mulberry. Beneath the lifted aromatics of anise, cocoa, clove, black olive and earthy wild field mushroom provide elegant layers to a highly expressive and complex nose. Structure and fruit weight work harmoniously on the palate, characterized by a dark fruit core of blackcurrant and forest fruits. Savoury spices of dried sage, cassia bark, and tobacco gives subtle texture, and combines with diligent oak integration and a fine acid line. All components arrive to a finish featuring slightly chalky cocoa powder-like tannins. 2012 was an exceptional vintage for Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. Summer temperatures were above average but with very few hot days, the afternoon sea breeze always a welcome cooling influence. The weather was consistently fine, warm and sunny with little rain. A Margaret River powerhouse, the Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon is made in a long lived style due to its ample fruit and sturdy frame. Often described as 'Bordeaux like' the core of the fruit comes from 30+-year-old vines grown in well-draining gravel/granite derived soils. The Art Series range is identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian artists."

Staff ImageSharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 06, 2017

I could go on and on about this magnificent wine. For the sake of brevity I'll focus on just a few of its qualities so you can click the Add to Cart button to the right of your screen before our inventory is depleted. In the glass is an intoxicating bounty of dark fruits, tobacco, cassis, clove and a hint of eucalyptus. The first sip seduces the palate with black currant, black cherry, warm baking spices and well integrated oak. The acidity is lively, the alcohol level respectable (13.5%), the tannins present yet gentle and the finish perpetual. This wine exudes purity, elegance and finesse. Now click that button.

Staff ImageRyan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 03, 2017

My personal barometer for Margaret River Cabernet in any given vintage. This is a benchmark wine with immense pedigree and impeccable consistency. I can absolutely see why one might compare it to First Growth Bordeaux. Not just on the exceptional quality of this release, but on the merit of Leeuwin Estate's unwavering dedication to excellence year in and year out to produce authentic wines that faithfully reflect the season and magical terroir of Margaret River. I feel obliged to mention Leeuwin's entirely pragmatic choice of Stelvin closure. They believe (as do I) that this is the best and most consistent seal for the wine to effectively preserve all the hard work they put into crafting it. The silly myth about not being able to cellar wines under screwcap has been thoroughly debunked long ago and I will be enjoying this wine from my cellar for decades to come.

Staff ImageDavid Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 21, 2017

The majestic wines of Leeuwin are such a pleasure to consume, we often forget how special they are, whether the reason be the screw top or their limited availability. The potential of Margaret River on full display here, with incredible depth matching stupendous freshness. This is what Cabernet is all about. The wonderful deep dusty cassis fruit, the eucalyptus, the high grade fresh tobacco leaf, fancy leather imply a powerful. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is that it achieves such depth and complexity, a full bodied experience while remaining elegant and somehow demure. Not bombastic, but a completely encompassing experience nonetheless.

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 02, 2017

This may be the most elegant Cabernet Sauvignon in the store from outside of Bordeaux, and gives most of even them a run for their money. The Leeuwin Art Series from Margaret River has very fine currant aromatics framed by an almost pencil lead like mineral component. The wine has perfect texture, medium body and resolved, fine tannin. This would be perfect with filet mignon tonight, or keep for quite a long time in your cellar.

Staff ImageGary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 01, 2017

Year after year I find myself increasingly impressed by the value and overall quality of this wine. Robust, age-worthy, structured - the wine has it all. It's a classically styled Aussie cab, brimming with notes of tomato leaves, dried herbs, licorice, dark fruit and spices on the finish. In the early 1970s the estate was identified by none other than Robert Mondavi (presumably as a prospective buyer) as a premier site for high quality wine production and this bottle is evidence that he was absolutely correct.

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2002 Torbreck "Factor" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia - 11 available ($129.99)

99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Remarkably, the 2002 The Factor may be even more awesome than the 2001. It boasts a blackberry liqueur-like intensity with chocolatey richness intermixed with blackberries, raspberries, and cherries. The unctuous texture, refreshing acidity, and sweet tannin frame-up this magnificent wine. It should drink well for 15+ years. Interestingly, the 2002 The Factor did not have the Cote Rotie-like roasted element found in the 2001, no doubt because 2002 was a much cooler growing year than the record heat experienced in 2001. (RP)" (10/2004)

96 points James Halliday: "Fragrant, luscious fruit aromas; gorgeous texture and structure; a complex array of both red and black fruits drive the wine, oak merely a vehicle; fine, filigreed tannins." (10/2004)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Deep, saturated ruby-violet. Intensely aromatic, even perfumed on the nose, with aromas of kirsch, superripe blackberry, molten chocolate, rose oil and violet. Concentrated, fat and unctuous, showing sweet flavors of raspberry and blackberry confit, smoked bacon, molasses, fruitcake and candied orange peel. Finishes with excellent lift and defining acidity for a wine of such ripeness and power." (07/2005)

Jancis Robinson: "My first bottle of this 100 per cent Shiraz was a little cheesy, but the second was much more like it toasty nose with lovely salty savour and great glossy Shiraz fruit. A sweet start was followed by an ample, spreading palate and then, still, a bit of chew on the finish. It's made from the extremely shy produce of seven ancient vineyards in Ebenezer (with some overlap with Run Rig fruit) put into oak, 30 per cent new, for two years. 18/20 points." (07/2005)