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K&L Staff Recommendations
The romantic story of Monkey 47 gin is as follows: in 1951, a British man named Montgomery Collins moved to Germany's Black Forest and opened a guesthouse named "Zum wilden Affen" -- the wild monkey. A renowned gin drinker, Collins' taste for the spirit was not particularly renowned until renovation work at the country guesthouse led to the discovery of a weighty old wooden box containing a bottle and a letter. The dusty bottle had been labeled and decorated by hand, showing a sketch of a monkey and the words "Max the Monkey - Schwarzwald Dry Gin" in bla... Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the Drachenstein vineyard far above the village of Rüdesheim the 2013 Dragonstone is a more reductive and aromatic style of Riesling offering brilliant fruit aromas of white peach, pineapples, ripe apples, and lemons all mingling with a cool and slate-like aromatic background enhanced with herbs. Medium-bodied on the palate the wine starts sweet but the sweetness is directly absorbed by the mineral piquancy that characterizes the wine even more and takes it over the tongue into a salivating finish of great delicacy and elegance. This is pure and piq ...Read More »
This bright, everyday beer is sparkling and fresh, and is expertly brewed using only the noble raw materials allowed by centuries-old German law. A showpiece of the brewing art in Bavaria, and a great treat for the beer expert or beer novice! 5.6% abv
Wine Spectator: "Redolent of ripe peaches and cream, this features lightly spiced notes of dried apricot and pear. Pastry accents grace the soft finish. (Web Only—2013)" K&L Notes: Max von Kunow officially took over the von Hövel estate from his father in 2010, and now stands as the 7th generation proprietor. Weingut von Hövel is a founding member of the VDP, and the estate is now undergoing conversion to organic viticulture under Max. With the quality of their vineyard holdings never in doubt, the von Kunows have spent many seasons putting forth a strong effort to push the quality o... 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.
Founded in the small north-German town of Jever in 1848, the Friesian Brewery in Jever hasn't changed all that much since then, except that they use ultra-modern equipment. The Jever Pils is world-famous for its fresh, slightly herbaceous brew with a slight Friesian-bitter taste.
This blend—Pinot Noir, Portuguieser, with a touch of Dornfelder—was made by Frank Heyden, a second-generation winemaker who's shown much promise in crafting excellent wines from his family's highly rated vineyards in Rheinhessen. His classic wines really outperform for their price tag.
The laws protecting the brewing of Kolsch are as strict as Germany's Purity Law of 1516. Kolsch Beer can only be brewed within the city of Cologne. As the best-known Kolsch Brewery, Gaffel's flavor is derived from an ale yeast that is "lagered" or aged in cold cellars. Gaffel is pale and faintly fruity with a crisp hop finish. The city of Cologne or Koln is located on the Rhine River and north of Munich. In Koln, Germany's third largest city, Kolsch beer is nearly the only beer people drink. Gaffel Kolsch is the favorite of Koln. 5% ABV
Inventory: San Francisco
From Johannes Leitz, the creative winemaker behind Dragonstone Riesling and EINS-ZWEI-DRY. From the winery's note: "This hearty, vigorous rosé with a Pinot Noir base has a range of bouquet that recalls strawberries, violets, raspberries and rhubarb. There is also a hint of lovage and sandalwood. A melting, gentle residual sweetness accompanies every sip. Serve well cooled! It goes well with wild onions in olive oil, air-dried ham, salami, parmesan and naturally a barbecue."
This lightly sparkling wine is meant to be the German answer to Prosecco. From the winery: "Light straw yellow with lovely green highlights. Fresh-fruity aromas of pear, apple and grapefruit. Mild and well balanced on the palate with exotic aromas and a delicate nutmeg tone. Sparklingly refreshing."
92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The bright, high-toned 2013 Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Spätlese needs a warm-up to show its character that intertwines apples, lemons and floral aromas with white peach and finest mineral aromas on the quite complex and lovely pure nose. Grown on a deep loess soil this Spätlese is luscious and libidinous, a romance if not a love affair for your palate. Medium-bodied and lighthearted, this is a very pure and piquant Riesling with a lovely, stimulating sappiness and a lingering as well as salivating salinity in the finish. Has this wine ever been so good ...Read More »
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Straw yellow in color, the freshly opened 2013 Rüdesheimer Riesling trocken shows a hint of burnt milk along with nutty flavors, ripe apples and Williams pears and a nice mineral undertone with lemon peel flavors. The wine opens gentle and quite creamy and develops a certain power and persistent mineral piquancy as well as a nice grip in the good finish. This is already a terroir-driven wine from Leitz's Rüdesheim vineyards and deserves the right handling. (SR)" (1/2015) Jancis Robinson: "Cask sample. A generous expression of ripe and yellow fruit is supported by plenty of ...Read More »
A wonderfully dry, but not mouth-searing style of Riesling for those who love the delicate attributes of the noble Riesling varietal but aren't keen on any residual sugar. Makes for a nice aperitif or to wash down grilled sausages and even matches deliciously with smoked fish.
93 points Wine & Spirits: "This cool, gray-slate vineyard on the south side of the Nahe River regularly turns out elegant rieslings, and Dönnhoff’s 2013 is particularly riveting. Vinified in a combination of stainless steel and wood, it’s crystal clear in flavor, brisk and snappy, yet not at all austere. Rather, it feels perfectly poised, the lemony fruit light and brisk; the acidity firm and supple, with a willowy strength that would hold it strong if it were to meet a juicy halibut steak with favas this spring." (12/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett has a com ...Read More »
From the importer: "This comes exclusively from the Merdinger Bühl vineyard in the Tuniberg, though we requested to exclude the vineyard name from the label. Tuniberg (1000 ha) is a small hill that lies between the Black Forest and the Kaiserstuhl that is only 319 meters high and 9 km long. Merdingen is one of the 9 villages located along the hill. The Tuniberg is comprised of terraces consisting of limestone subsoil, topped with a thick overlay of loess. In close proximity to the Black Forest, with winds blowing in from the Höllental, the Tuniberg boast... Read More »
Very German--very delicious! This beer is a pale yellow, with a thick white head and great lacing. Yeasty and malty, but still refreshing and laden with light, citrus notes. The Riessdorf is a malty beer that is light on body but not on flavor.
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.
From the Brewer: "Nothing refreshes more than this naturally cloudy weissbeer (wheat beer) with its wonderfully rich yeasty taste. Goes very well with light meals, which are not too strongly flavoured - veal sausage in particular. Original wort: 12.7% by weight. Bitter value: 14. Alcohol content: 5.4% by vol."
Inventory: San Francisco
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.
From the brewery: "Situated in beautiful natural surroundings, the pure Felsquellwasser® (mountain spring water) provides the essence of purity that is captured in the unmistakable taste adventure that Krombacher Pils brings us. The taste of our beer is quite decisively characterised by the water it is brewed with. With Krombacher Pils you enjoy a distinctive, finely bitter taste and a full-flavoured aroma – this is a genuine premium pilsner beer with an alcohol content of 4.8 %. Our modern production processes enhance the traditional recipe whilst compl... Read More »
If the label images of old men in powdered wigs seem a bit unusual, it's for good reason. History and winemaking tradition have a different meaning in the Rheingau than the rest of the world. Over 28 generations, the Graf von Schönborn family has operated the wine estate dating back to the year 1349. The estate owns and cultivates 50 hectates of vineyard in the Rheingau, one of only five wine regions in the world to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Riesling is almost exclusively planted, and 80 percent of the acreage is classified as first-... Read More »
Since 1846, Europeans have known Underberg as a remarkably satisfying way to conclude a meal. But to define Underberg, you have to experience it. Underberg is a natural herb bitters taken for digestion. It is not a beverage and should be sipped or taken all at once because of its strong herbal taste. It can also be used as a flavoring. Sample Underberg after a good meal to feel bright and alert. Underberg is made from a selection of the finest aromatic herbs from 43 countries. The ingredients include alcohol and natural flavors from herbs and roots of th... Read More »
This organically produced Riesling comes from the loess, loam and limestone vineyards in and around the village of Bechtheim. Don't let the gentle slopes of the Rheinhessen fool you, the wines here can be some of the best expressions of terroir out there. Fermented and rested in 100% stainless steel this wine pops with aromatic character and texture. Aromas of peach, wet herbs and mineral up top with a plenty of body and texture to coat the palate while giving off subtle notes of caraway, steely minerals and a dry focused finish. (Eric Story, German Buye... Read More »
93 points Wine Spectator: "Juicy and rich, with a tangerine tang to the apple, ripe pear and dried apricot flavors. Offers hints of honey and plenty of savory notes that extend on the minerally finish. Drink now through 2038. 300 cases made. –KM" (2/2015)92 points Wine & Spirits: "The Josephshöfer is ten steep acres of slate just below Graacher Himmelreich, which von Kesselstatt has owned in its entirety since 1858. This Spätlese presents a fascinating take on richness, the wine succulent but entirely earthy. The flavors recall fresh gingerroot in their juicy bittersweet savor, hunkered down and wrapped tigh ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: ""We had healthy grapes until the end of the harvest in the Wassero vineyard, where 60% of the grapes come from," says Eva Fricke introducing her 2013 Kiedrich Riesling trocken whose rest is from the Sandgrub. The Wasseros is the cooler upper part of the famous Gräfenberg towards the forest and dominates the character of this medium-bodied, very mineral and pure if not ascetic wine which literally does not contain a single botrytis berry according to Eva. They all went into the Rheingau Riesling. Discreet on the nose the Kiedricher village Riesling is qui ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Picked on October 17 and bottled with the 9% alcohol plus 36.4 grams residual sugar, the 2013 Riesling Kabinett tastes almost dry. So if you are looking for dry Selbach-Osters in 2013 (which in fact do not exist), take this delicious Kabinett. It is fresh on the nose and offers a bright Riesling and slate flavor as well as a piquant and mineral taste of pure Riesling. To be honest, this is a lovely wine indeed. You don’t need to care about the analytic data, but if you want to you have to accept 8.9 grams of acidity." (2/2015) Wine Spectator: "Lush and ripe, with golden ra ...Read More »
If you haven't had the wines from this estate you should. They are classy, elegant and don't try to beat you into submission by being anything they are not. The estate wine from Dr F Weins-Prüm is feinherb in style. What does that mean? Basically it is a wine that is dry, but with just a touch fruitiness to it that makes it an easygoing, quaffable wine for everyday use. This particular one is loaded with crisp apple and ripe peach, with rounded out minerality and a juicy finish. Before you know it, the bottle will be empty. It's a good wine any time of t... Read More »
(Feinherb) From the importer: "Grown on all iron-infused Devon Slate, this wine first feels like biting into a ripe white peach, juicy, rich, creamy and sweet, with a full aroma. Yet the wine offers great minerality and acidity to balance the sweetness and make it, well...a delicious joy. Most of the fruit comes from the famous grand cru vineyard site 'Würtzgarten' (spice garden) in the town of Ürzig, which gives the wine its spicy profile."
Nothing refreshes more than this naturally cloudy wheat beer with its wonderful yeasty fragrance and taste. Goes especially well with that Bavarian speciality 'Weisswurst' or white sausage! Though hot dogs off the grill are not a bad substitute!
Inventory: Redwood City
91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "A crisp and tensile style, with focused savoriness to the green apple, Meyer lemon and ripe lime flavors. Shows coiled acidity midpalate, leading to a slate- and sea salt—infused finish." (12/2014)
From the winery: "From the Goldwingert we get wines that have a unique minerality and a fruity elegance. Due to the red slate the character of these Riesling wines is much more full-bodied and spicy than the classy fine wines from the blue slate terroir in Bernkastel and Wehlen...a perfect match for sushi. Try it with a spicy wasabi-soy-sauce; the sweetness of the wine cuts through the hot spice of wasabi."
Wine Spectator: "Focused and savory, with plenty of slate and minerally notes to the green peach and crunchy apple flavors. Hints of anise emerge on the well-structured, crisp finish. Drink now." (4/2014)
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Partly fermented in stainless steel, partly in fuder, the 2013 Riesling is a fresh, floral-scented selection of different vineyards offering a spring-like bouquet. Light-footed on the palate, this is a filigreed and racy Mosel classic that is somewhere between dry and sweet and very well balanced. It has a mineral character, but is also fruity in a discreet way." (2/2015)
From the brewery: "A good beer takes its time. The long storage makes our yellow bright lager, 'Original', a flavourful beer enjoyed with fine poured, white foam. With a mild hoppy note and its pleasant fresh spicy taste, it goes very well with salads, poultry, stews or with a hearty snack. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill."
Inventory: Redwood City
For those special occasions when no booze will do. Just give us a second, and we'll come up with one... Baby shower, perhaps, or a wine tasting for Mormons? Not at all cloying, this grapey but balanced sparkler even goes with food. Juicy peach, pear, raspberry and lime with an added splash of mango, grapefruit and tangerine. Well proportioned with a long finish. Bright, fresh, clean and crisp. An excellent apéritif and very versatile with light to medium flavored dishes, creamy pasta, pork and poultry. 100% Trollinger
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Riesling Spatlese Norheimer Kirschheck offers very fine raisin and grey slate aromas on the nose, richer and riper fruit than the Leistenberg Kabinett because this is a south-facing site and -- a Spätlese. Adjacent to the Dellchen but without any volcanic elements, the wine is juicy and sensual but also pure and piquant, persistently salty and dancing, very pure and extremely sexy. Wow, this tropical juiciness here is alluring. (SR)" (1/2015)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett has much more finesse than the Thanisch Kabinett but with 80 grams of residual sugar it's even sweeter. Its piquancy and mineral character lends it a stunning purity and promises a great aging potential. (SR)" (2/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "A touch of pollen adds earthy funk to pristine white blossom and pear notes on this brisk, invigorating wine. Searing acid swipes through the midpalate, but the delicate hints of sweet yellow-cherry persist through the finish." (2/2015) K&L Notes: Mosel Fine Wine: "This big full-bodied wine behaves really ... Read More »
The second largest wine estate in Germany, Juliusspital was founded in 1576 as a monastery and the main building still functions as a non-profit hospice to this day. This sustainable VDP producer farms mainly Silvaner. This silvaner is farmed from limestone soils with a slope of 45%. The wine is fermented in stainless steel followed by aging for several months on its lees in large neutral oak barrels.
Made from a careful selection of Riesling using the methode champenois, this delightful sparkler is fresh and zippy. Stone fruit, herbs and white flowers abound in this alluring bubbly. Perfect as an aperitif or alongside some spicy Thai food.
Antonio Galloni: "Also recommended. (JP)" (3/2015) K&L Notes: Praise from Vinous for the winery's 2013 vintage: "'I am very pleased with the 2013s,' explained Johannes Selbach. 'It was a lot of work for only a fraction of a normal crop,' he told me as we were retasting some of his Rieslings earlier this year, 'but they have matured even better than I had thought at harvest.' After the excellent 2012s, this is another good effort from this estate in Zeltingen, capped by two Ausleses from small plots in his finest vineyards, Anrecht and Schmitt, and a stunning Trockenbeerenauslese. Like... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the lower, richer part of the Josephshöfer and a top parcel in the core of the Domprobst, the 2013 Graacher Riesling trocken (AP #04 14) shows a very clear and stony bouquet even purer and leaner than that of the Wiltinger. Very juicy and piquant on the palate, this full-bodied wine has a nicely fruity intensity." (2/2015)
95 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* Sheer in texture, this honeyed nectar falls on the palate like a whisper, but its stone fruit, red berry and grapefruit flavors are powerful and compounding. Multifaceted with touches of sugar cookie and guava juxtaposed with lime zest and slate, it delivers a long, ponderous finish." (6/2015)93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pure, fresh and lovely greenish lemon and grapefruit flavors on the nose of the filigreed but firm 2013 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese (7.5%, AP #1614) lead to a pure, lean and piquant palate with a lovely sweet juiciness and a crisp, linger ...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.