Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

  
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Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
A very interesting concept in Champagne and one that delivers quality and flavor-wise beyond the unique approach. This wine is basically a single vessel "solera" where each year 100 cases worth of wine are removed from the large oak barrel and then an equal amount of vin clair is added back. Current disgorgement is 2007-2012 base. The wine has tons of pure, juicy fruit, lovely floral high notes and great richness on the palate. The finish is defined by taught acidity and good chalky structure. A wine with real presence and persistence on the palate.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$29.99

2006 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 03-31-2015
Another great Special Club bottle from Launois. Quite unusually for Champagne this bottling is becoming a perennial stalwart! Rich, decadent...ripe for Chardonnay standards in Champagne but certainly no lack of freshness and vibrancy. A powerful wine with the mouthfeel you might associate with a bigger more Pinot based wine...but the flavor says this is all Chardonnay! Toasty orchard fruit, savory Croissant, chalk and spiced pear with more air. Lots of depth from these 60+ year old vines.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-31-2015
One of the most intriguing Champagnes we have in stock (and that's saying something!) I love this wine's counterbalance of broad, nutty, toasty richness balanced by it's racy acidity and mineral core. The Pinot Blanc adds great palate weight while the roasted orchard fruit and stony, flinty mineral flavors linger long on the finish. Great food wine.
Price: $54.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 03-31-2015
An awesome expression of NZ savvy with a point of difference from the oceans of Marlborough Sauv Blanc that we are all familiar with. This is grown in Hawke's Bay on the north island. The climate is warmer than in Marlborough so the wine is not grassy and herbaceous but instead more focused on riper citrus, peach, papaya notes. The palate is rich and weighty with a soft, juicy texture. Elephant Hill's perfect coastal site just feet from the ocean preserves a nice acidity in the wine and gives a subtle salinity that makes it so mouth watering! Exceptional value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 90

2013 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 03-28-2015
I'll keep this very simple. This is one of the (if not THE) best value Pinot in the store. Pinot Noir is notoriously hard to grow and make, thus many inexpensive / mass produced versions are very lacking in depth, complexity and balance. This wine is not. It smells and tastes like classic Pinot of a much higher price point. It's grown on a small, organic, family owned estate. Hand-crafted in small open fermenters and matured in quality French oak. In addition, 2013 was an exceptional vintage in New Zealand elevating the quality even further than in previous renditions. If you are a Pinot fanatic searching for a great everyday bottle that delivers without breaking the bank you can't miss this!
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

Venus "El Ladron" Blue Agave Spirit 750ml
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Pure Agave encapsulated in a spirit. Fresh, spicy, peppery, Aloe juice, yellow florals. Incredible soft, viscous texture, supple and pure. I get salinity again here...I have found this a few Venus Distilling products...perhaps it relates to the address just a few hundred years from Santa Cruz's rugged coast? Great stuff!
Top Value!
Price: $42.99 Add To Waiting List

Venus Spirits Batch #1 Gin 750ml
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Best Gin I have tasted in a long while. Incredible floral nose, white blossom, freshly grated ginger, cardamon, hard spice, clove, meadow flowers and salty air. There is also subtle, savory, grassy, even earthy note that distiller Sean Venus attributed to the Angelica root. I found it very fresh, balanced and complex. Every sniff / sip found another botanical singing its own tune in perfect harmony with the rest.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Kalex Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Really interesting wine. This is carefully and very deliberately made to be a true "Central Otago" Pinot. By this is mean winemaker Theo Coles selects fruit from top vineyard sites in various sub-regions of Central Otago (combining warm areas / cool areas, schist soil, clay soil, glacial deposits and different aspects). Therefore what you get here is not a snapshot of one site or a particular sites specific terroir, but rather a broader more inclusive flavor composition of the region as a whole. The hope is that the whole expression will be greater than the sum of it's parts, and I think Theo has done a great job synthesizing these elements together. The wine is very powerful and masculine in structure (60% whole cluster) with dark spicy berry fruits, plum, briary notes, clove and struck stone. The wine has considerable extract but is not sweet or too viscous, just powerful and brooding. With air the wine gains some nice floral high notes which help give lift and hint at the wines potential a few years along. This is very serious, ambitious and dense Cental Otago Pinot that is worth checking out.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Lagoon Hill Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Review Date: 03-25-2015
Exceptional value thanks to our importer direct deal. Single vineyard, organically farmed, Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc. A super easy drinking style with juicy ripe citrus, passionfruit, fresh cut herbs and wet stone. Round juicy texture and refreshing ripe acidity. Such a great summer wine, stock up now while it lasts at this crazy good price!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 90

2010 Chapoutier-Laughton (La Pleiade) "Cluster M45" Shiraz Heathcote Victoria
Review Date: 03-16-2015
An incredible story and a beautiful wine. It's seems cliched to say (given the concept of this wine) but this seems to strike the perfect balance between "Old World and New" just like the vine material from whence it came. There is power and richness here with plush dark fruit, tar, sweet floral notes...but there is also a nice underlying savory quality. Stony earth, meat, pepper and subtle leather. I still think this wine has more to give as it develops into its adolescence but the hallmarks of great Syrah/Shiraz are already in place.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2010 Torbreck "The Steading" Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 03-13-2015
Super expressive wine, explosive nose of ripe red fruits, warm earth, toasted spices, and wild herbs. It has a soft saturated mid-palate with easy, fleshy fruit and super fine silky tannins the coat the mouth. The Steading is powerful and decadent but refined and balanced. Packed with fruit and sweet spice but also showing some lovely earthy, mineral undertones from the deep rooted ancient vines. A big, pure wine for sure but never seems over-the-top, there is good acidity to keep the ripeness in control. The finish goes on and on as the juicy fruit dissipates leaving the more subtle terroir-driven nuances for you to enjoy. This is going to be a serious contender for Best Grilling Wine of the year 2015.
Top Value!

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 year old Blended Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-13-2015
Surprisingly good! I have sometimes thought that the cheaper Walker bottles weren't worth their salt. Sure the Johnnie Blue has always been a pretty serious bottle but it's hardly inexpensive. This Green Label release however is seriously good! Layers of flavor, excellent mouth-filling texture, touches of sherry, spice, savory grains and toasted wood notes all very well integrated and supple. This is seriously good malt at a very economical price point.
Top Value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94 WA 89

2012 Penley Estate "Phoenix" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra
Review Date: 03-12-2015
An astounding bottle of Cab for the money. This wine is perfectly varietal and regionally correct...it balances Coonawarra's fresh, fragrant blue fruit, tobacco, and crushed mint with riper darker fruits and chocolate tones from the exceptional 2012 vintage. The tannins are smooth and polished from time in french oak (20% new). The wine has great length and presence on the finish that belies its $15 price point. This is an exceptional value!
Top Value!

2012 Yangarra Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale
Review Date: 03-11-2015
Yangarra's organically farmed estate is situated in a cool part of McLaren Vale and their winemaking style respects this more moderate climate. The wines, whilst still having plenty of power, also retain lovely restraint, freshness and minerality that extend beyond primary fruit driven flavors. The grapes are picked from 12 different block delineated by the complex soil composition of this fascinating property. The Shiraz is fermented whole berry, using only natural wild yeast, maceration is limited to only extract fine soft tannin and retain elegance. The finished wine is matured for 22 months in largely neutral French oak with about 20% seeing new oak. The wine receives no fining and only a light filtration. This is a real, authentic expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 95 RP 90

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 03-10-2015
A fantastic first release for this new label (even if I do say so myself...I helped blend it!). What we were searching for here is a really great example of "quintessential" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. We wanted to capture those bright, bold flavors that put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map but we wanted to do it with class and authenticity. This wine uses Awatere Valley fruit for its punchy, snappy, flavor profile of lime zest, ripe citrus, tomato leaf and fresh cut herbs. Then in combination with this we blend a portion of some richer, riper fruit from the warmer Wairau Valley. This adds some tropical tones to the fruit and fleshes out the palate. Finally the 20% barrel ferment gives great concentration and excellent texture to the wine. Feedback from our staff and customers has been excellent. The wine has really hit the mark as a crowd pleasing style but with enough complexity to appeal to the more serious NZ wine aficionado.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Pipeño Pais "Coronel de Maule" Maule Valley (1.0L)
Review Date: 03-06-2015
Super cool wine. Old Mission varietals from farmers in the Maule Valley. This wine is full of brambly fruit, spice, blacker fruit edges and notes of charred meat. Lovely soft, juicy palate and moderate acidity. A great option for drinking something out of the norm (read, interesting for wine geeks) but still very crowd-pleasing for just about any palate. Great value, especially in the liter bottle!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Bodegas Chacra Pinot Noir "Cincuenta y Cinco" Rio Negro
Review Date: 03-06-2015
I applaud Joe's work (and confidence) to bring this wine in. Sure we don't have a huge market for $50 Chilean Pinot...but this wine is sure worth every penny. Lovely brooding, savory nose with damp earth, dark fruit...I thought quite Chambertin like. The wine has beautiful texture, ultra fine tannins and plenty of well proportioned texture on the palate. On the finish the vine age (planted 1955) really shows through with more savory earth / mineral tones. Very well executed Pinot Noir.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal
Review Date: 03-06-2015
Serious Cabernet for the money. Packed full of dark fruit, blackcurrant, graphite and hints of new leather. The mid palate is plush and soft, but in the finish there are some nice grippy tannins that elongate the wine. Excellent value for money.
Top Value!

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 03-05-2015
The Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir offers exception value and quality for money. It is very difficult for produce great Pinot Noir for close to $20...it is almost unheard of to produce noteworthy Central Otago Pinot Noir for this price. Thankfully our direct relationship with Hawkesbury Estate / Atiku has allowed K&L to bring you this wine for a very economical price point. This wine is bursting with ripe berry fruits, hard ground spices like nutmeg and clove from the whole bunch inclusion, crushed rocks and wild Thyme. The palate has plenty of soft accessible fruit up front, but it is also very long and drawn out on the palate by the wines lovely fresh acidity and fine powdery tannins. A delicate kiss of oak helps polish this gem but does not detract from its purity. Whilst this wine does not provide me the lucid insight into this terroir that is afforded by Akitu's remarkable "A1" Pinot Noir...it does provide the imbiber instant gratification and a fantastically expressive bottle of classy, slick Pinot Noir at a very reasonable price. From a small estate close to Lake Wanaka dedicated 100% to Pinot Noir. Winemaker PJ Charteris (Adelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds, Brokenwood).
Top Value!
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Review Date: 03-05-2015
The Akitu “A1” Pinot is one of the most profound bottles I have tasted in quite some time. It is a wine that is defined by tension, precision, coiled power and speaks very strongly of its schist soil origins. The wine is incredibly pure and dynamic on the palate. Not fleshy or extracted but perfectly linear and poised. You can feel the terroir as much as taste it. This wine is about energy and vibrancy. Sure it delivers fantastic Pinot Noir varietal fruit flavors, spice, earth…but this wine is so much more than that, hard to describe, it is something that needs to be experienced. I also believe we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with this wine and the best is yet to come as the tight, compact layers of flavor and texture unfold. I read about this vineyard “Hawkesbury Estate” and the brand new label “Akitu” (meaning “summit” or "apex" in Maori) in the UK press. I immediately reached out to owner Andrew Donaldson to explore working with his wines. What struck me the most was the uniqueness of the site. The vines are planted on a perfect north facing slope on the side of Mt. Barker just south of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago. In a place like Central Otago that is already quite remote…these vines are again defined by their loneliness, this is not an area bustling with vineyards like the hillsides of Bannockburn or along the shores of Lake Dunstan…this is just a few acres of vines perched on lone hill in a cool windswept valley close to the snowcapped mountains of the “central divide”. When I see someone toiling over a site like this, a tricky, labor intensive, on the edge of grape grape growing site...I have to try the wines, because there must be some reason why that person is persisting, they must truly believe they have something special. Andrew only started labeling his own wine in 2012 after selling off fruit for 10 years while he waited for his vines to mature and truly speak of their terroir (something we rarely see in this day and age). Another factor in my excitement was the winemaker brought in to help shape this expression of place, PJ Charteris (PJ's previous positions include: Aldelsheim, Flowers, Penfolds and a 12 year stint at Brokenwood in Hunter Valley where he was awarded Winemaker of the Year!) I am very excited to start working with these wines and I hope you will find them as compelling as I do.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 03-03-2015
This is a Pinot lovers Pinot...That might sound strange...but in this world of big, black, 15.5% ALC Pinot Noir...this Fromm bottling is a breath of fresh dirt! Much more concerned with dusty red fruits, forest floor, earth and savory tones than high octane, heavily extracted fruit and new oak. The nose sets the scene for the wines precision and focus. Tightly packed red berries, dry leaves and Chanterelles. The wine gains weight with some time in the glass taking time to unfold like all great Pinot should. Dusty dark red berries emerge, leaf litter, bark and river stone. A very Burgundian profile with some tell tale spiced orange peel and clove notes that give away it's Marlborough origins to the experienced observer. I truly believe this wine still has more to give and think it will flesh out further with a few more months / years in the cellar. However even now this wine is bright, fresh, pure Pinot Noir that is a really pleasing style for those looking for a more traditional, elegant expression of this fickle grape. Absolutely exceptional value thanks to our direct import.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93

2012 Woodstock Estate "Octogenarian" Old Vine Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 03-03-2015
Explosive nose of red florals, ripe berry fruits and sweet spices. On the palate the wine is packed full of briary, bramble fruits, exotic spice and macerated cherry. This wine has beautiful palate weight, purity of fruit and concentration of flavor. Underpinning all this exotic ripe fruit and spice is a deep and complex savory minerality from these 80+ yr old vines. I can't believe what a steal this wine is thanks to our importer direct pricing. Think really good vieilles vignes Châteauneuf-du-Pape...for a quarter of the price you would normally pay...and you arrive at Woodstock's Octogenarian.
Top Value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 96

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 03-03-2015
One of the best value whites in the store. We have sold literally thousands of bottles of this wine each vintage for the last few years. It has proven itself as one of the most loved and frequently re-purchased wines we stock at K&L. The Nest displays classic snappy, zesty fresh aromas to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is juicy and easy drinking with lots of citrus, gooseberry some stony mineral qualities. Super refreshing and mouthwateringly moreish!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-28-2015
As you would expect from the people that brought us the Prisoner...this wine is full throttle, full bodied, big bold Cabernet. But...it also has class. Sourced from some of the same sites as it's big brother Quintessa and with good chunk of fruit from Coombesville (cooler climate), this wine also has nice acidity and brightness to balance all that raw Napa Valley power. Faust seriously gives some of the big prestigious names in the valley something to think about especially given it's sub-$50 price point!
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 02-28-2015
A perennial value at K&L. Juicy, ripe, black and blue fruit, some chocolate notes. Fresh, soft and easy to enjoy. A classic party wine.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-28-2015
Sure there are cheaper Rossos to be found...but this is much more like a Brunello in disguise! The depth and power here is amazing. Lovely fruit weight, super fine but mouth coating tannins. The wine strikes a nice balance between a little more generosity of modern Brunello but retains the purity and elegance of more traditional techniques. Great wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90

2012 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 02-28-2015
Bright nose of crushed berries and dusty spices. The palate is perfectly weighted without to much extraction but ample concentration at the same time. Silky mouth-feel, great length on the palate. It finishes with just a hint of wild thyme and warm earth that takes me back to the hillsides of Central Otago. There is a lot of wine here for a very modest price point.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Rickshaw Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-28-2015
One the the best value CA cabs in the store. This wine shows the skill of Banshee to deliver serious wines at value price points. Dark and rich but with good Cabernet varietal characters, fine tannins and a juicy hit of Malbec in the blend that just makes this so drinkable.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 02-28-2015
This is how Pinot Grigio should taste! Not the watered down, lifeless, commercial version...this wine is rich in flavor, texture and complexity. It restored my faith in the varietal...check it out, it's a game changer.
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn
Review Date: 02-24-2015
One of NZ's best Chardonnay producers. Felton's "Bannockburn" Chardonnay is from their vineyards dotted around the small village of Bannockburn at the southern end of the Cromwell Basin in Central Otago. The village has a perfect north facing aspect and a mixture of schist and heavier clay and silt soils. Much of this wine comes from the Elms Vineyard...home to the famous "Block 2" Chardonnay and in many ways this wine shares a lot of the same characteristics. Crunchy orchard fruit, spiced pear, mineral, a touch of flint or struck match...and just a lick of citrus acidity to make the mouth water. This bottling is not as keenly focused at the Block 2, but that actually makes it more expressive in its youth and perhaps even more enjoyable upon release than its prestigious stablemate. If you haven't explored NZ Chardonnay...this would be a very good place to start!
Top Value!

2013 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland
Review Date: 02-24-2015
A perennial favorite of mine. Classic Swartland Chenin Blanc. Pure, unadulterated, amazingly drinkable white wine. There is so much easy soft fruit here with Chenin's slightly honeyed stone fruit characters and toasted grain notes. The wine is dry, but has a round, juicy character that makes it just so quaffable. Underneath this primary ripe fruit is a lovely underpinning of minerality from the old vines digging deep into those decomposed granite soils for which this region is becoming known. A fantastic value and a wine that I would recommend to just about any white wine drinker.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Meerlust "Rubicon" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch
Review Date: 02-24-2015
Classic Stellenbosch Bordeaux blend. Smokey dark fruit, graphite, stony minerals and a touch of cedary oak. Medium bodied with good tannin structure and considerable cellaring potential. This is showing great now but has another decade ahead of it I am sure.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $28.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 92

2012 Bodegas Castaño "Hécula" Monastrell Yecla
Review Date: 02-23-2015
Big, powerful, inky black / blue wine overflowing with juicy dark fruit, chocolate coated blueberries and sweet spice. Saturated and full-bodied but with a nice fresh lift and brightness thanks mostly to the region's limestone rich soil. A solid value for fans of these old vine Monastrell bottlings that often deliver a whole lot of wine for the money.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2014 De Wetshof Estate "Limestone Hill" Unoaked Chardonnay Robertson
Review Date: 02-21-2015
What an awesome little Chardonnay. This is just such a great deal and a very versatile white wine. The fruit is fermented and matured all in stainless steel, it sees no oak. This is good news for those that don't like "oaky" Chardonnay...however, what I really like is that this wine still has richness and texture. Some un-oaked Chards can be very simple, crisp and pretty uninteresting. This Limestone Hill bottle has soft ripe fruit, subtle creamy texture, a lovely mineral inflections and juicy vibrant acidity. There is so much going on here for such a low price. This is a "house wine" in the making. Crowd pleasing, easy to drink and can match with a huge variety for foods. Exceptional value for money.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2012 Woodstock Estate Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 02-21-2015
This is a near perfect example of classic McLaren Vale Shiraz flavor profile. Plush, rich texture, power, exotic fruit, spice and that unmistakable lift and brightness that elevates the wine and balances all that perfectly ripe fruit. This is a full bodied wine that is sure to please folks who are looking for a rich saturated wines with tons of power and fruit. However, there is also and elegance and drive on the palate with ripe acidity and fine structural tannins, that draws out the wine long on into finish. An exceptional value thanks to our importer direct pricing. This wine will be a staple with me this summer when the grill comes out.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2013 Woodstock Estate Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 02-21-2015
Looking for killer value in Cabernet? Look no further! McLaren Vale is a regions known for world class Shiraz...but this wine proves they can do it with Cab too! Highly aromatic Blackberries, Blackcurrant and cassis are dominant on the nose and palate. Also some tobacco, cedar, dark chocolate...all the hallmarks I look for in great Cabernet based wines. Mouth filling texture, long, fine tannins wrapped in luscious fruit, with beautifully integrated french oak nuances. Unbelievable value...this could be $50 Napa Cab...don't take my work for it..try it for yourself. One of the best sub $20 cabs I have tasted in many years.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
JH 94

2012 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 02-20-2015
It can sometimes be easy to overlook the most obvious brands when looking for new wines. Sure Cloudy Bay is a far larger producer than decades ago when they rose to fame...but one must consider the pedigree and vineyard holdings that an established producer like Cloudy Bay has. These guys were in the game before most people even thought you could grow grapes in Marlborough! They have some of the most revered parcels of land in the region and a 30 year track record as one of the most influential producers that helped put New Zealand on the world wine map. This Pinot Noir is a minuscule production compared with their world famous Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit was carefully selected from particular vineyard holdings in the Southern Valleys (an area quickly becoming recognized as the best sub-region for Pinot Noir in Marlborough). The vines are cropped to just two tons per acre. The wine has plenty of rich, dark fruit, leafy notes, toasted spices and a lick of French oak. The palate is mid weight with good concentration and ripe soft tannins. This is sure to please a lot of people just as it pleased the worlds top wine critics with multiple 96 point scores!

2006 Sapience Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-17-2015
Phenomenal wine. Hard to put into words. Has such a haunting presence and energy on the palate. Rich yet focused, toasty yet finely honed and mineral intensive. A truly great bottle of Champagne. This crushes the big brands in quality and complexity.
Price: $189.00 Add To Waiting List

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-17-2015
Lovely wine. Bright, fresh, excellent combination of chalky, zestiness and nutty, toasty lees quality. The texture is fine and really drawn out on the palate. I am a fan of Aspasie's "entry level" Carte Blanche...but this is a cut above and worth the small increase in outlay.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Marguet Père et Fils "Amboniacus" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-11-2015
I think Benoit Marguet's Champagnes are some of the most fascinating and complex wines we sell. There is just something about them that has limitless energy and drive. From the vintage wines, to NV, to Rose...they all have a theme of both richness and tension. Lovely toasty lees components but all have a very taught structure and firm acid line. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that makes these wines so special...perhaps that is part of the intrigue...if you're a Champagne enthusiast, do not miss this producer.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Petit Clos (Henri Bourgeois) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 01-15-2015
Fantastic Savvy! Grown on a close-planted, organically farmed estate in Marlborough's Southern Valley sub-region. Clos Henri is a project owned by master vigneron family Domaine Henri Bourgeois from Sancerre. The wine is a lovely combination of New Zealand's typically overt, bright fruit and Sancerre's more classic, restrained personality, with focus and minerality. We really liked this wine and took a serious position on it to bring you the best pricing around. This is a real bargain for lovers of dry, crisp, refreshing whites.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 93 WE 91

1990 Glenfarclas 24 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-17-2014
Stunning. Has some similarities to the "Faultline Casks" bottling but with more refined flavors and more developed, savory rancio characters. The texture is supple and elegant. Whilst this doesn't seem to have the chewy texture and raw "youthful" exuberance of the 9-10 year old bottling, it oozes subtle flavor intensity, focus, and purity. The sherry quality shows a little drier and more nutty rather than sweet and fruity. A beautiful bottle and crazy good for the age / money in today's climate!
Price: $169.99 Add To Waiting List

Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-11-2014
This should come with some kind of warning..."Dangerously drinkable"..."Caution: contents will disappear quicker than intended"..."Drinking this bottle will impair your ability to judge other releases fairly". It's seriously that good. Rich, soft, full of flavor and texturally enticing and just an out-and-out "crowd pleaser." You can search high and low and you won't find a better holiday gift than this bottle. It has brand recognition, it's limited edition, it's cask strength(ish) at 57% alc...and it tastes great!
Price: $109.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Langmeil "Blacksmith" Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa Valley
Review Date: 12-02-2014
Great deal in Cabernet. Rich black fruit, touches of cedar, tobacco, dark earth and graphite. Med-full bodied with nice acidity to balance the dark fruit. This will keep a lot of people happy. This is not a simple fruit-driven wine by any means--there are some good tobacco notes and herbal edge complexity here. Great pricing on this bottle from a top-quality vintage.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91 ST 90

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 12-02-2014
Tongue in Groove is an amazing new project from some of the savviest folks in the NZ wine biz. Ex-Pegasus Bay winemaker Lynnette Hudson leads the team creating these spectacular wines from some of the best vineyards in the country. Her many years of experience and expertise crafting Pinot Noir and Riesling (Tongue in Groove’s obvious focus) show in these stunning wines with silky textures, purity and depth. The “Vine Tender” is Nick Gill, is one of the most talented viticulturalists in NZ. As we know, one of the most important elements of any wine is what goes on in the vineyard! Managing Director is Angela Clifford, she is the one who pulls together Tongue in Groove’s wacky personality and hones it into one pretty slick package! The distinctive labels each represent a different character from the group of friends behind TIG and the designs illustrate their individual personality traits; just like the character of the wondrous, diverse, expressive wines inside the bottles!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
BC 96 JS 96

2012 Tongue In Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 12-02-2014
Tongue in Groove is an amazing new project from some of the savviest folks in the NZ wine biz. Ex-Pegasus Bay winemaker Lynnette Hudson leads the team creating these spectacular wines from some of the best vineyards in the country. Her many years of experience and expertise crafting Pinot Noir and Riesling (Tongue in Groove’s obvious focus) show in these stunning wines with silky textures, purity and depth. The “Vine Tender” is Nick Gill, is one of the most talented viticulturalists in NZ. As we know, one of the most important elements of any wine is what goes on in the vineyard! Managing Director is Angela Clifford, she is the one who pulls together Tongue in Groove’s wacky personality and hones it into one pretty slick package! The distinctive labels each represent a different character from the group of friends behind TIG and the designs illustrate their individual personality traits; just like the character of the wondrous, diverse, expressive wines inside the bottles!

2013 Savage "White" Western Cape
Review Date: 11-22-2014
Very skillfully crafted wine. Containing elements of both subtle minerality and textural power / intensity. As good as this is now, I suspect it will age like great white Bordeaux. Very serious wine of depth and intensity.
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
Review Date: 11-14-2014
This is a highly fragrant wine. Purple flowers, a touch of lavender and anise on the nose. The palate is fresh and vibrant with lifted tones of fresh forest fruits, ground clove, star anise and some juicy raspberry as the mid-palate fleshes out with air. The wine is incredibly exotic and yet very focused and quite structured at the same time. It possesses a bright acidity and the unmistakable vibrancy that comes from deep limestone-rich soils. I can't wait to see how this wine ages; something tells me that it has a decade-plus ahead of it, and yet it is so expressive right now. This type of wine experience illustrates why people persist trying to make wine in very challenging places like the Waitaki Valley...because when things come together, vines on the edge of their existence produce the most exquisite and remarkable wines...just like this one!
Drink from 2014 to 2014

2005 Valandraud, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-09-2014
This wine possesses a really good combination of generosity, richness and power combined with structure, acidity and potential longevity. Where so many have failed (in my opinion) to "amp up" Bordeaux styles, losing elegance and balance, this wine has beautifully achieved a synthesis of power and poise. The wine is just about accessible now (with very hearty food a good spell in a decanter) but I think will be a great prospect for another 10+ years in the cellar.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2012 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 10-23-2014
Rich and decadent wine for a pretty cool and challenging vintage. Strict low yields and careful viticulture of this single vineyard Pinot have ensured great quality and power. Dusty forest fruits, dark cherry, hard ground spices, lovely weight and density to the fruit but with elegance and purity. Some exotic French oak barrel notes and toast showing on the back end which is long and full of spice and earth. Kevin's long winemaking pedigree shows here with the new Greywacke project, allowing him to branch out into these smaller single vineyard projects.

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