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Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

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2015 Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 11-30-2018
White Bordeaux from New Zealand? Yup! This is not your typical Kiwi Sauvy. It is textural, complex and refined with a lingering saline finish which highlights it citrus and subtle herbal notes.

2017 Bodega Chacra "Cincuenta y Cinco" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 09-19-2018
I was so excited to taste this wine that I made Joe open a bottle of the Sin Azufre to compare it against. The "without sulfur" bottling has been one of my favorite Pinots that I have tasted all year, and it comes from this vineyard. This was an opportunity to taste a "natural/minimal intervention" wine with a wine that is made with intervention from the same year, same vineyard and same winemaker! And while I still love the Sin Azufre the 55 has stolen my heart. This is a great bottle of Pinot. It got plenty of high notes and dark tones to really accentuate those high notes It dances on the palate with plenty of acid and just enough tannins. New world fruit and savory earthy core It has something for just about everybody. Wow!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 97

Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
It is hard to choose a favorite Launois wine. All of them are so good. What makes the Quartz stand out, other than it being unique in that it has few ATM's of pressure in the bottle, is the brightness of the fruit. There is a dazzling purity that make you want more and more! The mousse is soft and you couldn't guess that there is less pressure, and the finish is terrific. Grab some while we still have it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Clean pear fruit backed with a hint of minerality. There is way more wine in this bottle of bubbles than you would expect from a Prosecco at this price point.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 91

2017 Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio
Review Date: 07-25-2018
This is really good Pinot Grigio. It is not Pinot Grigio that is putting on French Pinot Gris aires. It is bright with some intrigue on the nose. Crisp with just enough weight to keep it from being sharp. It has clean flavors that pleasantly linger. A wine that can wash down the simplest or most complex fare or just enjoy by the pool. This is Italian Pinot Grigio.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2017 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 05-29-2018
This has been one of my favorite bottlings of Pinot in the store for the last several years. There is always something very captivating about this wine. The wine tickles my palate, the method of production a vineyard work tickle my brain. Let's get to the later first. It is old vine Pinot, from the same vineyard as the Cincuenta y Cinco bottling from the producer. It is harvested a few days earlier than the traditional bottling and makes it without sulfur "sin azufre". Piero Incisa della Rocchetta meticulous winemaking crafts a "natural" wine that is clean and precise while simultaneously being earthy and savory. For me it is like drinking an untranslated version of Patagonian Pinot. You didn't know you wanted one until you try this. The nose is broad, with equal parts fruit and savory notes. Mixed fruit and berries with an earthy/mineral thing that is equal parts Sancerre blanc and Graves rouge that has been sitting in the sun all afternoon. I know, run with it, there is a little magical realism with this one. On the palate it is that same mix of fruits and berries with a dash fruit skin bite and more of that earthy savoriness. The wine glides across the palate then start to take on more weight, the tannins that you thought that were not there, slowly reveal themselves and the best part is the finish. It goes and goes but it starts and stays on the tip of your tongue. That sun-soaked earthy, mineral, Patagonian stoniness does something that I have never experienced from any Burgundy. Even more fun is to have this wine with the Cincuenta y Cinco, what a difference and few days and sulfur makes. It is beautiful but totally different. That is the kind of experience that will reinvigorate your love for the mysteries of wine, or at least it does for me.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 93

2016 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 05-18-2018
Spring in a glass. This is a cool and refreshing white with soft floral, cool tropical, lychee and stone fruit on the nose. Medium light on the palate, it is crisp but not lean there is surprising texture to this wine. This is a wine that will brighten any occasion.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2014 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 04-29-2018
Soft and approachable with lots of bright fruit backed with tobacco and earth. Medium-full with just enough tannic grip. This wine will charm you with its lifted aromatics and its surprising complexity.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 RP 90

2014 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-28-2018
Classic Napa cab with the wonderful openness of the '14 vintage. Rich berry fruit backed with restrained use of oak and polished tannins. Drink or hold, but it will be hard to do the later.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 91

2013 Marqués de Murrieta "Finca Ygay" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-19-2018
This is almost as good as the 2010, do you remember how freaking good that was? While it might not be as intense as that wine it has a savory complexity in its youth that the 2010 didn't and more importantly it is more open knit. This wine drinks as if it were at least three years older. It is rich without being heavy, has good length and very polished tannins. There is plenty of ripe cherry fruit, it just accented with chocolate and savory spices.

2014 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-29-2018
This is one of the benchmark Chardonnays of the world. There is not a Chardonnay lover nor, I will assume winemaker, who will not be impressed with this wine. This is a wine purity balance and dances effortlessly on the palate. It makes most of the white Burgundy that I have had recently look like they are dancing with two left feet.

2015 Catena DV "Tinto Histórico" Mendoza
Review Date: 03-29-2018
I am really enjoying what Catena is doing right now. I am totally fired up with the appellation releases that they have done. I think that the time is right for us in the US, and elsewhere, to really dig into the dirt of Mendoza, and Catena is giving us a master class at a really affordable price. While this wine is not digging into the soils of Mendoza it is looking at the roots of the industry. Bonarda and Malbec were and are the pillars that Argentine wines stand on. It is delightful to see them blended together like they used to be. There is a real synergy here. The aromas are heavy but lifted with dark fruits, a floral note, and a savory almost grilled meat tone. The palate is rich but not heavy build around pleasantly aggressive tannins and more of that dark, pretty fruit. A hearty yet friendly wine that is easily enjoyed by itself but it really wants you to have something rich and meaty so it can help you wash it down.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 DC 91

2014 Franz Keller "Franz Anton" Spätburgunder Baden
Review Date: 03-28-2018
Let me tell you a secret, "the best value Burgundies at K&L are found in the German section". I know that this is a very controversial thing to say but there is a lot of truth to it. While there are good many good red Burgundy's to be had at this or lower prices those wines do not have lift, charm, poise, complexity, nor purity that this wine does. This wine lives up to the expectations that the appellation "Burgundy" classically has. The one thing that this wine does not have, is a library of books examining the uniqueness of the regions "Terroir". There will be, we just have to wait for them. Think I am crazy? You might be right, but you'll have to try a bottle to confirm it. You will not regret it.

2013 Fable Mountain "Night Sky" GSM Coastal Region
Review Date: 03-23-2018
A delightfully textural wine. There are no edges here, but it is not flabby. Dark fruits with a spice and a touch of South African spice. If you like rich wines from the South of France, this is something that you must try.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90 VN 90

2013 Fable Mountain "Tulbagh Estate" Syrah Western Cape
Review Date: 03-16-2018
Wow! That is what you can expect with your first sniff of this wine. The nose is heavy it is so rich. Dark macerated cherry and pomegrante backed with sweet woodsy notes, whiffs of tar and then laden with lots of pepper. The wine is big but polished with an almost creamy roundness, just no cream. More blue fruits come to play on the palate and again big spice. This is an intense wine, that doesn't require an intense meal. A perfect bridge for anyone who loves Rhone wines and wants to try some of the best wine coming from South Africa at a crazy reasonable price.
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 92 JS 90

2015 Corofin "Cowley Vineyard - Main Slopes" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 03-16-2018
The Cowley vineyard is in the Southern Valleys region of Marlborough, specifically Ben Morvan. These Valleys are where the some of the most interesting Pinots of Marlborough come from. The mix of Greywacke, Loess and clays and the cooler, drier climate give the varietal more depth, texture and complexity. Just one sniff and you can see how special it is; blueberries, strawberries with a floral lift and the most delicate spice and mineral tones. It is a structured wine, think Burgundian, high acid with framing tannins, there is a suppleness but it has a firm hand this is dinner wine or something to put in your cellar for a few years. The long finish plays out with darker red berries and black fruits that dance along with fine dusting minerals and crushed herbs. This is a wine that requires a little more effort on the drinkers side, several hours of decanting, medium term cellaring and appropriate food pairing it is well worth it and the rewards exceed that of and comparably price French wine.

2015 Paxton "AAA" Shiraz-Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 03-16-2018
This is and it isn't what you would expect from an Australian Shiraz blend. It has the fruit, plenty of dark cherry and plums but it has a coolness and focus with modest spice and a muted floral note. Super fine tannins, thank you Grenache, and good acidity move the dark, lightly peppered, fruit on the palate giving it a more European feel. The Syrah component reads almost like a great Crozes. Purity and complexity, you taste the attention to detail. This is a wine that will appeal to any drinker, whether your old world or new in your drinking preference.

2015 Jax "Y3 Taureau" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 02-28-2018
A full bodied, but mellow tannined red from Napa. Ripe and rich fruit with intrigue and a nice touch of spice. A red you can reach for for almost any occaision.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Buehler Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Rich, creamy CA Chard with a bright pop of Russian River Fruit. hard to beat, especially at this price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Classic Cremant de Loire, and on of the best sparkling wine values we have had at K&L for long, long time. Cool yellow fruits, rich yeast notes and a crisp finish. It drinks well above it's price point.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Aquitania Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Alto Maipo might be the bridge that connects the structure, presence and poise of left bank of Bordeaux to the ripe and pure fruit of the West coast of the Americas. I can smell and taste that connection, I will let the physcist try to explain how this particular is made and maintained, (and don't cop out with Bordeaux train French enologist and that the vineyards are in Chile, that is not fun and too easy!) This has ripe high-toned red Cabernet fruit, think Pauillac or Spring Mountain, and a savory mountain scrub/herbal note. The wine is dry, French dry not CA dry with a slight edginess to the tannins but with a nice finish for red fruit and dusty earthy tannins. This is dinner wine, not a cocktail wine, and it requires 30 mins or more in a decanter to really open up and show you what it is all about. A good wine, a great bridge from the new world to the old.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 91 RP 90

2016 Roberto Henriquez "Pipeño" Pais Bio Bio
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Pipeño is a traditional style of wine, winemaking and wine drinking from Chile, especially from Southern Chile. Just to look at the raw material before digging into anything else about this wine should pique most people’s curiosity; 200+ year old Pias vines! Most commercial vineyards are old at 20 years! Most wines made from 100 year old vines are 4 times the price of this wine. For those whom this is important to, the vineyards are more than organically farmed. Additionally the wine is made with minimal intervention. Fermentation is partial carbonic, done in traditional Rauli barrels with native yeasts. This qualifies it for most “natural wine” consumers. Meaning this wine has a little of that funk, but in the best way, I’ll get back to that later. As mentioned, Pipeño also refers to a style of drinking. Taking young fresh wines, and mixing them with non alcoholic beverages, just to be enjoyed with food and good company. While this is not something to be mixed, it is light and refreshing and can go down as quickly and as enjoyably as any “spritzer”. Here is where I want to talk about that funk, it presents itself like a hint of vinegar, think like a shrub, a strawberry rosemary shrub! This wine has soft dusty fruits, with slightly tangy acid, and just enough framing tannins. It is fresh and savory and mouth watering, you cannot help yourself from going back and taking another sip. Being less than 12% alcohol abv, you will not feel bad about how fast the wine disappears. While this may not be for everyone, this is not only a cork dork wine. Simply, this is an unusual wine that begs to be shared with good friends and good food.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Moss Wood "Wilyabrup" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-31-2018
This is a wine that should make most winemakers in California and Bordeaux jealous. This is a wine of richness and restraint. A wine with immediate impact and subtlety. It is extremely generous yet not completely forthcoming. It is a wine for tonight and a wine for the cellar. It is the best of both worlds, Napa and the Medoc, it is just what we have come to expect from Margaret River and especially Moss Wood. A wine for all drinkers to pay attention to.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
JH 97 JS 96

2016 Trellis (Amelia Park) Bordeaux Blend Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-31-2018
They did it again. This is the best Cab value in the store. Medium to full bodied, rich dark fruits, a touch of spice for intrigue and moderate tannins. An any occasion wine.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-11-2018
This wine is consistently great, there is a reason Leeuwin has the reputation that they do. This is the boldest, richest wine that I have had from them. It still has that classic red fruit but it is heavier and darker, it is almost dank, in the best possible way. The fruit is accentuated with a savory earthy, spice notes, you cannot keep yourself from going back to nose it again and again. The heaviness of the nose is not echoed on the palate. It is full and intense but structured and delineated. Rich, complex, great fruit foiled by savory complexity, bold but not heavy. This is great Cab from a Great producer and the best thing about it is drinking great now. That was a lot of greats, and it deserves every one of them.

2015 Chateau Los Boldos "Grande Reserve" Cachapoal Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-02-2018
A charming bright Cabernet nose with lifted red berries and a wisp of leather and earth. It is medium bodied with slightly darker fruits than the nose would suggest. It has sneaky tannins that are polished and is lightly oaked. This is an everyday cab that is not simple and very charming.

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Black Label)
Review Date: 12-30-2017
A very elegant and focused Cabernet, with the poise of a St. Julien and the cool ripeness that you would expect from Margaret River. The nose is all red fruits backed with cedar-y spicey oak. There is nothing over done with this wine, everything works together seamlessly. The fruit and spice continue on the palate back by ripe dusty tannins. This is a wine for every Cabernet lover, new world and old/.

2014 Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (White Label)
Review Date: 12-29-2017
Intense nose with concentrated dark fruits, tapenade, bay leaf and a hint of eucalyptus. The nose is impressive, inviting and complex. Ripe and rich entry with round mouth filling polished tannins with just a hint of oak. The dark fruits are back with a brighter berry nose as well as tapenade and muted herbal notes. What a deal!

2016 Cascina Alberta Langhe Nebbiolo
Review Date: 12-06-2017
This is something that anyone who loves Piemontese wine needs, a charming everyday Nebbiolo. Red fruits with high-toned spice components and subtle herbs. The nose is very pretty and intriguing. It is medium- to light-bodied, and the fruit is darker than the nose suggests. Easy tannins make their presence known but are not intrusive. Grab some now — unfortunately we didn't get a lot of this.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch
Review Date: 08-02-2017
This wine is rich, complex and a great value. The nose is spicy, tart cherries and Chinese five spice, minus the star anise, dusty earth and a touch of sweet oak. It is full bodied with medium tannins. The fresh is brighter and fresher than on the nose and the earth takes on a fine mineral quality. This wine calls out for lamb!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa
Review Date: 08-02-2017
This wine comes across like white Burgundy, I do not know if it is the because the granite soils, the coastal wines but for a full malo Chardonnay this wine has freshness and drive that you do not normally see in the “new world” especially at that price point. The nose is toasty oak and cool fruits. The palate is cool stone fruits, sweet citrus that is framed with very reserved oak. This is will be a go to Chardonnay this summer for me.

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-15-2017
This has a complex yet humble nose. It is warm, generous and inviting with a mellow sweetness backed with just the rights amounts of spice on the nose. For being 104 proof it doesn't need any water. That extra hint of heat drives the long finish on this extra fine Bourbon.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WA 94

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Very enticing Pinot. The aromatics Range from bright berries to dark cherries with spice, earth and herbal nuances. It is medium light bodied but with substance, round mouthfeel, sizable but soft tannins pull everything together and let you know that patience will be rewarded, but that dark fruit and rich texture temp you into drinking it all now.

2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Cherries, wild strawberries, subtle spice with a lovely dusting of earth on the nose. Round ripe fruits greet you immediately on the palate, all ripe red berries. A dusting of oak and spice on a clean and easy finish. Way more expressive than any CA Pinot at the same price point.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 BC 90

2009 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-30-2016
This is captivating Rioja. The nose tells you everything you want know about it. Subtly intense, with layers and layers of fruit, both dark and red, a crazy mélange of spice and dusty earthy tones. I'm content just to sit and nose the wine, kind of.... The palate delivers everything that it promises on the nose but with super fine tannins and a long lingering finish. This is a great wine that you will be hard pressed to hold on to, but please try, it will just get better and better.

2014 Amici Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-15-2016
A Sonoma beauty. Cool apple, pear fruit notes with a hint of pastry, vanilla and spice. Full on the palate with nice rounded texture that is balance with good acidity. With flavors that range from apple turnover to lemon bars, my mouth is watering just thinking about this wine.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 92 WE 90

2014 White Rock Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-15-2016
A very refined Napa Chardonnay. A wine that has restrained richness and intensity that is driven by fresh acidity. Citrus, apple and stone fruit aromatics with a touch of oak. On the palate it is long and intense with cool fruits and a very subtle touch of oak. Like everything they do at white rock, it is an incredible old world interpretation of Napa.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
WE 91

2007 Marqués de Murrieta "Castillo Ygay" Gran Reserva Especial Rioja
Review Date: 02-24-2016
I always have a soft spot for this wine. The first Rioja that I ever purchased to put into my cellar was the 1989. The '07 is my favorite release since the '94. What makes this wine stand out for me is the balance, on every level. The aromatics carry fruit, spice, something floral and the right amount of oak. This is not as powerfully built as some of the more recent releases, it dances on the palate with fresh dark and sour red fruits gliding over polished tannins and playing with integrated oak spice and plenty of earth. The finish just goes and goes. Drink it tonight but put a couple of bottles away, I'll be checking in with this wine again in about 10 years.

2012 Robert Craig "Affinity" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 12-29-2015
Dark, bold and rich. This delivers just about everything you can ask for from a Napa Valley Cabernet blend. Dark-berried fruit, spicy oak, plush texture, and a lingering finish. The only thing missing is the steak to eat while drinking it.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 VN 91

2010 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 12-29-2015
Old school delicious Brunello. Dark, earthy, savory this is a welcome treat in a world of very ripe oaky reds. A long time favorite at K&L. Great now, gets even better with time.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 95

2014 David & Nadia "Aristargos" White Blend Swartland
Review Date: 09-16-2015
A member of the Swartland Independent Producers, don't know what that is? Go to their website, it will get you fired up. To lazy to be bothered, buy a bottle of this! 5 different varietals from 12 different vineyard sites, blended together to create their unique expression of the Swartland. The nose is broad and sappy with a pronounced mineral tang. The palate is rich with pure golden fruit and and dusty minerals that just linger and linger on it lip smacking finish.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 VN 91

Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès
Review Date: 05-30-2015
This is no ordinary Cava. There is a good percentage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are used in the blend. What that means is that there is breadth and depth to this sparkler that you do not find in similarly priced Cavas. Mix that with clean fruit tones, a moderate amount of yeastiness and a classic Brut finish and you get one of K&L's best sparkling values.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 08-31-2012
Champagne in all but name? Aged 18 months on it lees, just like NV Champagne. Made by a wine maker trained in Champagne. Grapes grown, well not in Champagne but that's why we can sell it for $15! Toasty, nutty and dry with just a hint of red berries. Buy this buy the case and drink it every night.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
Review Date: 08-31-2012
This is always the first wine from Denois to disappear. Good mouse and great pinot flavor can you ask for more? Yes, and reasonably priced!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2006 Antonio Sasa "Martina" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-29-2011
This is my go to '06 Brunello. Why? Because it is ready to rock 'n roll. Dark, intense with very attractive fruit tones and complexity that is not buried underneath youthful tannin. Drink it tonight with an hour decant or hold onto it for a few more years.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2006 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 10-26-2011
It has finally arrived. After listening to Greg and Greg talk it up for months. It more than lives up to the hype. It is dark, rich, powerful but not over done. It still possesses some delicacy and nuance. Not quite ready now, but go ahead and dive in!

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-29-2011
This is the go to value Champagne here at K&L. Dry, toasty with subtle fruit notes. Everything you want from Champagne except for the price tag!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Arran 10 Year Old Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2011
I often overlook this Single malt; it is easy to do when looking at our shelves, but after trying this recently, no more. This small independently owned distillery is new, just about 15 years old. Their entry level whisky should be in everyone’s liquor cabinet. Medium rich with a great blend of both Bourbon and Sherry barrels; this is a whisky with no edges. It as easygoing and comfortable as a broken-in lay-z-boy. Perfect for kicking back and forgetting about your day, it will not challenge you with its complexity but indulge you with caramel, crème Brule, heather and a touch of apple.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-28-2010
Party bubbles. A touch darker than you'd expect. Dark fruits fine bubbles and a crisp finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Fleury Brut Rosé de Saignée Champagne
Review Date: 12-28-2010
This is like drinking sparkling red burgundy. Surprise power, depth and subtlety. Worth every penny.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 VN 90

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