Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

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2014 Benmarco Malbec Uco Valley
Review Date: 02-21-2018
This is more than just a great value red. It is an affordable introduction to mountain fruit wine. Now, we can say that about most Mendoza wine, but this behaves like mountain wine from other regions in the world for a 5th of the price. From the heights of Los Chacayes in the Uco Valley at 3300 feet with alluvial soils are made up of rocks, sand, silt, and limestone. Its elevation and soils are definitely translated into this wine, I wish that could be said about wines from other mountainous regions, but I digress. This wine has lifted aromatics; focused berry, floral tones, and minerality. The palate is structured but not oppressive, this is a wine for tonight, not a decade from now. The flavors are more complex than the nose and enhanced with soft tannins and fresh acidity. A wine that was made to be drunk with gusto but also has a story to tell.

2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This wine is ready to unseat all of K&L's traditional best buy Malbecs, any regular in store customers will known which ones I am talking about. This is more than just a simple everyday red. There is depth of flavor here; dark fruits, a subtle savory note, a touch of that Malbec spice/earth all backed by rounded easy tannins. This is a great everyday red.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
DC 90 WS 90

2016 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner Niederösterreich (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This wine has a glacial quality to it. The flavor profile is cool, almost chilled, it is intense but builds slowly, and it has a gentle yet cutting acidity. Chilled grapefruit, soft mineral notes, and delicate spice on the nose. The palate is light, crisp, and mouthwatering, echoing all of the aromatics. This is serious Gruner and at a very reasonable price.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 JS 91

2016 Jules Taylor Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Having fallen in love with the Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blancs that we have carried I should not have been surprised with how good this Chardonnay is. Cool apple with a hint of something tropical, a touch of spice and something else that I cannot pin down. It is medium bodied with really good mouthfeel backed by crisp acidity and nice length. A chardonnay for all occasions, and all drinker old world and new.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 93

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.

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

2016 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 01-31-2018
A near perfect dinner wine. Light, crisp and very refreshing. It will help wash down almost everything.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2016 Pala "I Fiori" Cannonau di Sardegna
Review Date: 01-02-2018
This is classic Cannonau. Unmistakeable from the first sniff, bold dark cherry and red fruit backed by a distinctive savory herbal note. It is medium bodied but rich and mouth-filling, with lots of juicy dark fruits, dusty myrtle herbal notes and a modest amount of tannin and acid to pull it all together. This is every night Italian wines with no edges nor extreme earthiness, yet unmistakably Italian. Think red sauce, red meat, hard cheese and good company.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

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.

2015 The Opportunist Shiraz Langhorne Creek South Australia
Review Date: 12-30-2017
This is not what you would expect looking at the label, and it has an awesome label. This is not a fruit bomb, it has plenty of dark berry fruit with a little bit of earth and touch of spice and a wisp of classic savory Syrah. It has just enough tannin to back the fruit and give a sense of restraint. An ideal middle of the week, red wine.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
W&S 91

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (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/.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JH 95

2014 Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (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!

2013 Leviathan California Red Blend
Review Date: 12-29-2017
Dark, rich and full bodied Cabernet blend. This is a wine that will command attention dark fruits with savory undertone, big ripe tannins that are supple and plush, and a long finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

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

2014 Tilia Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 12-06-2017
This is a great everyday drinker, even better a party wine, it is simple, charming and very drinkable. Dark cherry and dark berry fruit with a spicy compote note and a hint of well worn leather on the nose. Medium bodied, round fruit entry with soft tannins that gently expand on the palate. Charming dark cherry fruit with a real subtle spice note on the palate.
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2012 Viña Quebrada "Domus Aurea" Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley
Review Date: 11-30-2017
Mountain Cabernet! This is a big intense Cab that I would recommend to anyone looking who is looking for something new. While it is not a new product I think this is the most enjoyed incarnation that we have had of this wine in years. Dark red fruit with a dusty warm chaparral spice like note to it. It is big and chewy, with ripe tannins and pleasant savory note that really brings out the fruit on a very long finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2014 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 11-30-2017
Consistently the best rose value in the store. Fine bubbles and delicate red berry fruit. perfect for almost any occasion.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-15-2017
Beautiful and reserves, for California Pinot. Red fruits, floral hints, touch of spice, easy soft tannins. It is hard not to like this wine.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2016 Oakridge "Over the Shoulder" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 11-15-2017
Another great over the shoulder Pinot. This is a cannot miss value Pinot. Clean, precise Pinot Noir fruit with a hint of spice and a whisp of something floral. Medium light bodied with that great fruit resting on modest tannins and lively acidity. Nothing in the store, from any country comes close to how good this wine is for the money.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 91

2016 Stony Bank Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 11-15-2017
Racy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. With a cooler fruit profile than typical, Chilled tropical and citrus fruits, delicate herbal notes and a hint of minerality.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-30-2017
Could be the best domestic Pinot for around $25 in the store. This wine has purity, complexity, balance and drive. It is simply great Pinot Noir.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2015 Foxglove Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-25-2017
Foxglove = screaming deal! Terrific Cabernet. Classic dark Paso Robles fruit with just a hint of tobacco and enough tannin to give it some umph. This is an everyday California Cab that really stands out.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Laubarit Rouge, Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-23-2017
We made a lot of friends with this wine last year, it was great to see it again. Organic everyday Bordeaux, what is not to like. Medium-bodied, dry tannins, modest mid-palate richness, with dark red fruits that are dusted with tobacco and earth.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2013 Trinity Hill "The Gimblett" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 08-23-2017
Hawkes Bay has become one of my favorite places in the world for Bordeaux varietal wines. In the right hands you can get everything, ripe fruit, rich texture, complexity, fine earthy tones, and freshness. It is the perfect marriage of the old world and the new. Trinity hill is the right hands! Dark berries and fruits, a dusting of mocha, earth and tobacco, polished tannins and enough acidity to give lift to all of the flavors. My favorite "bordeaux" right now!

2016 Meli Riesling Maule Valley
Review Date: 08-23-2017
Dry Riesling for a song! Lemon, lime a touch of green apple and a whiff of petrol. I thought the days of inexpensive and delicious Riesling were gone, I rejoiced when I tried it!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Garage Wine Company Pais
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Mission, or Pais, is a little of a head scratcher for me, especially if you read the back label. This is a wine that plays with expectations; it smells like a Pinot but with the power of a Cab. Aromatically it is delicate red berries macerated with a moderate amount of spices; on the palate are big, solid and polished tannins. What isn’t confusing is how good this wine is.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2016 Garage Wine Company Cinsault Itata Valley
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The Itata Valley is a perfect place for Cinsault; the igneous soils give focus and add complexity. With high toned aromatics of sappy red fruits backed with subtle baking spices. Medium bodied with modest tannins and fresh acidity this is a perfect wine to get a party started with. It’s a perfect Pinot substitute when you want a little more punch without grip.
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.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 VN 91

2015 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-21-2017
Coleraine is the answer to the request, "I want a New World wine" (that is implied because this request occurs while standing in the Domestic Cabernet section) with richness and fruit but with restraint and complexity (they are looking at the Bordeaux section). This wine has it all. It is a great wine. Never mind that it is priced at the entry level for high-end wine from both of those regions. Hawkes Bay is the great Cabernet family terroir that most people do not know. They should, especially if they Cabernet based wines from K&L. This will not disappoint, in fact, it will encourage more excursions to this often-overlooked region.

2014 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Napa Cab for tonight! or later this week if you want. This wine delivers. Full bodied and rich with dark fruits that are framed with just the right amount of oak and ripe 2014 tannins. What do I mean by that? The tannins are full and present but glide across the palate. This is a wine that will age nicely but I cannot see it lasting long in your cellar because of it approachability.

2016 Josef Ehmoser Zweigelt Rosé Wagram
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Clean delicate red fruits and citrus tones with a savory, mineral note and delicate Zweigelt spiciness. Light and crisp, it is that savory notes that makes me want to go back for more!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Bodegas Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 06-28-2017
This is Pinot Noir! Light Pinot Noir, 12.6 ABV. This perfectly captures that paradoxical element that, for me great Pinot's have, a delicate light tactile impression with bold intense flavors that linger and linger. Dusty Morello cherries, woodsy(not oaky) eathy spice, whispers of savory spice and all of that on a clean precise with with mouth watering acidity and finish that goes on and on. Oh, and it is made without sulpher if that is important to you....
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 92

2016 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Rosé Mendoza
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Yum! Peach, melon, citrus and floral notes. A juicy, crisp and delicious blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir. Yeah that's right, when was the last time you had wine with those two varietals?
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Early summer in a glass! Cool Peach and melon notes with a subtle spice notes and a crisp citrusy finish. This is a delightful everyday white that can be paired with both simple and exotic foods or simply as an aperitif with friends.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Stony Bank Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with a twist. It has the classic Grapefruit citrus tones along with riper more tropical notes but the twist comes with minerality. This is not a big grassy Kiwi Sauvy, there are some green notes but this wine is more stone than grass. A wine for almost any occasion its mouthwatering acidity begs for a second and third sip.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 04-28-2017
Cool ripe fruit, clean light green notes, penetrating minerality and snappy acidity. Yes please, can it be chilled and waiting for me when I get home tonight?

2014 Elephant Hill Hawke's Bay Syrah
Review Date: 04-28-2017
This wine is a game changer. Once you try this, you will think of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay in particular, when you hear Syrah. The combination of climate and soils create a unique expression of this classic varietal. Dark fruit and bright berries, cracked pepper, a savory element on the finish and enough acidity to focus all of the previous elements. Dark, bright, rich and savory, what more can you ask for from Syrah? Oh yeah, it is only $20, try to find a Syrah with that much character for that price from anywhere else in this world!

2014 Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 04-21-2017
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.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 91 WE 91

2016 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough
Review Date: 03-15-2017
From one of the cooler sub-districts of Marlborough. This has a light, generous personality. Open knit with lots of citrus ranging from mandarin to ruby grapefruit and just a hint of Sauvignon grassiness. Crisp but not tart, the flavors echo the aromatics but minus the green component. Friendly, delicious and reasonably priced, I anticipate drinking quite a few bottles of this off in the next several months.

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Barossa Shiraz is something that has to be tip toed around sometimes. There can be too much baggage for some people, understandable. This is a wine that is boisterous and exuberant but it is not over the top. It is that last part which has been the problem. Most people really like rich dark fruits. Most people like spice. Some people even like a little tapenade in their wine. This wine has plenty of the former and a respectable amount of the later two. Medium tannins and the secret ingredient, enough acidity to tie everything back together. This is the wine to reacquaint you with Australian Shiraz.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

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: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 BC 90

2012 Voyager "Girt by the Sea" Bordeaux Blend Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 02-22-2017
Here is another great Cabernet blend from Margaret River. This has become one of my go to regions for Bordeaux varietal wines. This wine is a charmer. Rich fruit, supple tannins and enough acid to pull it all together, that is why I like this region so much!!! There is a nice touch of oak and spice and well. There are lots layers to this wine but is not a cork dork wine. Pour yourself a big glass and enjoy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 VN 90

2015 Tierhoek Sauvignon Blanc Piekenierskloof South Africa
Review Date: 01-03-2017
A delightful Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and refreshing without being aggressive or tart. Ripe apple with hints of citrus and a whiff of grass. Pleasantly textured this is a great wine to have around the house. Perfect for poultry, fish or any assortment of vegetarian dishes.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

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 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 09-29-2016
A bright and spicy style of Zin. Full and rich on the palate but with pop and lift that you don't always see from the varietal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-24-2016
This is real deal Cabernet. What I love about this wine is that you absolutely get that beautiful Napa Valley Cabernet fruit but there is so much more going on with with. There is a judicious amount of oak, it rounds out and adds subtle chocolate and spice notes. There is also a savory almost olive like note to it that plays incredibly off the fruit. Full and rich this is a very satisfying Cabernet.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WE 92

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-11-2016
Over ten years old, with lots of potential and only $20, I love this wine! A very complex nose that you just keep going back to over and over. On the palate it is medium full with much more intensity than you would expect for any wine in this price point.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

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