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Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

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2014 La Encantada "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-28-2020
No, this isn't a typo... La Encantada Estate Pinot Noir at 60% off. And it's darn delicious and drinking beautifully. The reality is that 2020 has been a topsy-turvy year and many wineries that relied on restaurants and tasting room sales have been left in tough positions. Sometimes what makes the most sense is to find someone who will take the entire vintage at a deep discount and move that wine along. That is exactly what happened here. Some samples of this wine arrived on my desk, my interest was immediately piqued as I love many of the wines that come from this spectacular vineyard. La Encantada is nestled right in the "Grand Cru" neighborhood of the Sta. Rita Hills with neighbors such as Sanford & Benedict and Fiddlestix. Several iconic wineries bottle vineyard designates of this renowned site including: Tyler, Foxen, Alma Rosa and Buonaccorsi. These wines typically sell for $50+. This La Encantada Estate release is direct from the owners of the vineyard crafted for them by veteran winemaker Doug Margerum. It captures everything that has made this fruit so highly sought after by Santa Barbara's top winemakers. Perched on a hillside in the southwest of the region, this vineyard is buffeted by coastal breezes, the vines grow in complex soils of clay, diatomaceous shale and flint or chert. The resulting wines have great concentration of color and flavor combining deep, brooding red fruits with dusty mineral tones, stuck flint, dried herbs and ferrous notes. A more elegant style embracing restrained fruit and complex earth and mineral notes. Very serious Pinot Noir for an almost trivial price! This is a one time deal, when it's gone it's gone.
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Mt. Brave Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-25-2020
Mt. Veeder is one of my favorite regions for Cabernet. The wines grown here are very distinctive. They have power and structure but also tend to retain beautiful varietal characters of cedar, tobacco and leather. Combined with the minerality expressed from the rugged volcanic and ancient sea bed soils, these wines are truly unique and fascinating. Mt Brave captures exactly what I described above with the extra bit of flare and exoticism Chris Carpenter puts into his wines. The 2017 might be best release of this wine in recent memory, perhaps owing to the declassification of Lokoya wines that were not produced in 2017. I love that this wine has the upfront fruit and lush texture to be enjoyed young, but at the same time there is obvious potential for ageing here with mountain tannins woven into the fabric of rich, dark fruit. Those compelling cigar box and cedar notes are here too adding another layer on complexity beyond the luxurious fruit. This wine is very well done, nothing is out of place, the balance impeccable. In this day and age when you across a wine of this pedigree, with triple 95 point scores from the top publications, the price tag is typically MUCH higher. This is a great buy for those folks who like to drink super high-end, cult Napa Cabs, but don't want to spend $200-$500 per bottle doing it.

2018 Ojai Vineyard "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-24-2020
Packing a little more weight and extract than its stablemates from Solomon Hills and Puerta del Mar vineyards, this is a classic expression on Bien Nacido with crunchy orchard fruits and hints of twisted citrus peel, rocky minerals, pie crust and dry hay. Lovely weight and presence on the palate, perhaps from the maturity of the vines or low yields, classic Bien Nacido persistence and power on the finish. Great Chardonnay and a faithful expression of this great vineyard.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2018 Ojai Vineyard "Puerta del Mar Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-24-2020
This is as close to Chablis as I think you can get outside of Chablis! This wine just speaks of the ocean. Scattered white blossom, seam foam salinity, oyster shell, bright yellow fruits with chalk and wet stone. Medium bodied with so much energy and vibrancy of flavor. I savored this bottle along with the Solomon Hills bottling over three days and both continued to show beautifully with no sign of slowing down or oxidizing. Fantastic Chardonnay.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Addendum "Stagecoach Vineyard" Atlas Peak Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-14-2020
I don't know about you but I love it when Cab really tastes like Cab! So many these days seeking power and intensity ripen the varietal to the point where it can just taste like generic jammy red wine. Not this beauty from the famed rocky soils of Stagecoach Vineyard...this is real Cabernet Sauvignon though and through. Hailing from the high hillsides of Atlas Peak, planted in rugged volcanic rock they had to blast with dynamite when planting this vineyard, comes this explosive Cab from Addendum. The nose is bristling with black and blue fruits, pine needle, shaved cedar, cigar box, and graphite. On the palate the wine is rich and powerful but maintains the beautiful varietally correct profile the nose alluded to. Waves of deep, shimmering cassis, mulberry, and sloe liqueur flow across the mid-palate. The tannis are well judged and give an adequate framework without corseting the fruit expression. The rocky undertones speak loudly of this wine's mountainous terroir. This is a very serious bottle on wine from one of the most distinctive and celebrated mountain sites in all of Napa. Winemaker, Blair Fox absolutely nailed this one, what a wine. Drink now with a good decant and stash some away for the coming decade or more.
Price: $89.95 Add To Cart

2018 Vivier Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-14-2020
Knowing the illustrious background of winemaker Stephane Vivier I had high expectations for this wine. High expectations that had been further fortified by the glowing Wine Advocate review I read a couple days earlier! So I'm very happy to report that from the first sniff to the last drop, this bottle was everything I had hoped it would be and then some! An absolute masterclass in Pinot Noir. This wine is so aromatic, fine, pure, elegant and enchanting...everything one could hope for from this seductive varietal. The nose is very lifted with fresh flowers, clove, star anise, crunchy red berries, rose water. The palate is ethereal yet powerful at the same time. Beautifully focused with incredible purity and grace. There is terrific energy here, the wine feels positively alive and vibrant. One of the finer expressions of the grape I've come across this year. Bravo!
Price: $36.95 Add To Cart

2016 Migration "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-14-2020
If you love Pinot Noir for its silky, soft, plush texture this wine should be right up your alley! The folks at Migration have fashioned a stunningly beautiful Pinot from one of my favorite vineyards in the state. From the first sip this wine is so polished and sleek on the palate. Aromas and flavors of beautifully ripe raspberries, redcurrant and alpine strawberry take on weight with air. Baking spice and saffron meld into the juicy fruit. In the finish there's hint of that wild bramble and undergrowth quality that is so distinctive of this Grand Cru site in Santa Maria Valley. An exquisitely well made wine that is typically reserved for mailing list only members at the winery, however, we grabbed a parcel direct from the property at a sensational price! This is guaranteed to be a best seller going into the holiday season, what a wine for the price and 95 points to boot!
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2005 Von Strasser "Sori Bricco Vineyard" Diamond Mountain District Bordeaux Blend (6L)
Review Date: 10-14-2020
If you’re having a gathering this holiday season and you like to impress with a big bottle, the six-liter should be on your short list! From the absolutely stellar 2005 vintage, now with 13 years resting in bottle, this wine is rocking. OK, granted, I didn’t taste it from a Methuselah (folks don’t normally send 6L samples!) but I enjoyed the wine immensely. It’s quite red-fruited compared with some of its kin; bold, pretty youthful still, full-flavored; with lots of dusty dry earth characters, leather, cigar box. Perfect tannins for a juicy piece of red meat—prime rib, anyone?
Price: $349.00 Add To Cart

2017 Walt Wines "La Brisa" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-14-2020
A powerhouse Pinot Noir for those who like richer, more fruit forward wines but without the big tannis of Cabernet etc. Walt's "La Brisa" is filled to the brim with exotic dark fruits, scorched earth, vanillin oak tones and toasted spices. Med-full bodied with lots of weight and concentration on the palate, and a whisp of coastal acidity to keep it fresh. With Thanksgiving just around the corner this is a great option for those that like to enjoy bigger wines but without overpowering the noble Turkey!
Price: Hidden View Price

2007 Von Strasser "Sori Bricco Vineyard" Diamond Mountain District Bordeaux Blend (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-08-2020
Another gem of an ’07 wine in its prime. Soft, drinking well, plenty of primary mountain fruit, but also some nice bottle development characters, adding complexity. An incredible deal at this price.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2016 Chanin "Sanford & Benedict Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-06-2020
Wow! A repeat of our sellout, slam dunk deal on the 2014 Chanin Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir email from a few months back, now for the 2016 vintage. Our winery direct relationship with Chanin keeps these incredible bargains coming! Sanford & Benedict is one of the true Grand Cru sites of California and home to the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the Sta. Rita Hills. These old vines grow in a complex mixture of clay, diatomaceous shale, and chert, or flint, rocks. The result is powerful wines with great richness and breadth on the palate and an intricate thread of minerality running throughout. Winemaker Gavin Chanin is a true master of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and his expression of this iconic vineyard is second to none. Don't miss this offer at this unbelievably low price. This one is a case buy.

2017 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-30-2020
This perennial sleeper wine is purely declassified Monte Bello. The fruit is grown at Monte Bello with the same meticulous farming as the lots for the flagship wine. It's harvested the same and the initial the winemaking techniques are exactly the same as its big brother. Only once the wine is almost done with fermentation is it evaluated for inclusion in the Monte Bello or Estate Cabernet. The decision is made by taste alone, the lots that winemaker, Eric Baugher feels can handle more extraction to endow the wine with more structure and longevity become destined for the top bottling, the lots that are more approachable, and lend themselves to earlier drinking are directed to the Estate Cab. The key thing to note here is that Ridge’s “Estate” Cab is almost four times less expensive than Monte Bello! And for those of us with less patience...you can drink it from the outset! The 2017 Monte Bello has multiple 100 point scores and has been hailed as "one for the ages" by Jeb Dunnuck. Touted as "one of the all-time greats" by the Wine Advocate. Several critics have suggested that it will be a 50-60 year wine. Baugher even laughed and said he wouldn't be surprised if it was a 100 year wine! However, if you want something to drink in the meantime you can't go wrong with this bottle.

2016 Copain "Les Voisins" Yorkville Highlands Syrah
Review Date: 09-30-2020
Now this one is just outrageous! Our winery-direct relationship allowed us to get the deal of the decade on this majestic 95-point Syrah from one of the region’s most highly acclaimed producers and winemakers, Copain’s Wells Guthrie. With other producers, such as Halcón, the Yorkville Highlands AVA is quickly forging a reputation as one of the best terroirs in California for Syrah. The rugged hillsides and rocky schist soils produce wines of stunning concentration and depth. This has those classic Syrah qualities of purple flowers, peppercorn, smoky bacon fat, and wild forest berries. And the price—well, you’ll just have to take a look!
Top Value!

2016 Domaine Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-30-2020
This is a truly special deal on one of the finest examples of California Chardonnay you'll find anywhere near this price point! Our long relationship with Jeffrey and Ellie at Mount Eden means that thankfully when they have a few cases they want to move through they often offer them up to us! For the uninitiated, the Domaine Eden label is predominantly from a second property that Mount Eden purchased several years back that sits just below the original estate and was previously Cinnabar Winery. Whilst this estate produces spectacular fruit of its own...this years Domaine Eden Chardonnay is made all the more exciting as is also contains 35% of Mount Eden fruit! No wonder it's so delicious! The wine is filled with crisp orchard fruits, golden delicious apple, peach, and nectarine. Notes of warm bread, roasted chestnuts, and powerful stony minerals add a savory, umami complexity to the pristine fruit. Rarely would you expect to find such layered complexity in a wine of this price point...but then again...rarely would you find this wine at this price point! A couple years in bottle have really helped this wine and I think it's in peak drinking condition as the flavors unfurl beautifully in the glass. The bright acidity and good portion of Mount Eden fruit also leads me to believe it will continue to drink well for another 3-5 years comfortably. Get it while it lasts as this very sharp price.
Top Value!

2017 Copia Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-28-2020
The Copia wines are new to me but WOW - they made a huge impact. After seeing a couple glowing write ups from Dunnuck and Wine Enthusiast on this 2017 Cabernet I sent a quick note to the winery seeing if they might be interested in working with us directly. From the first sip I knew this wine was a winner and that the big scores were entirely justified! It's a seriously impressive wine; made in a modern style with huge fruit concentration and power. Yet, at the same time it's incredibly fresh, vibrant and beautifully balance for such a big wine. Explosive aromatics showing lashings of blue and purple fruits, crème de cassis, crushed blueberry, mulberry, exotic spice, bitter-sweet chocolate and new leather. The palate delivers all that the nose suggests with a flowing, lush mid-palate and beautiful lift and energy driving the finish. This wine shows exactly what this region can do. It's a stunningly delicious, powerhouse Cabernet that never loses control or focus. This is on a par with some of the most iconic producers of the Central Coast and yet (for now at least) the price point is more than reasonable given the immense stature of this release.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

2018 Ridge Vineyards "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 09-23-2020
Always a favorite of mine from Ridge, the Pagani bottling is just an all time classic and the 2018 edition is simply stunning! The wine's perfume literally jumps from the glass, the first time I uncorked a bottle to taste I could smell the aromas of liquored raspberries, bramble fruit, exotic spice and dried flowers from arms length as I poured a glass! On the palate the wine is just as explosive and effusive, packed with deliciously pure, ripe, spiced berry fruits, sweet oak tones and hot stone. Mouth-filling and lush, but no sense of over-ripeness, the structure is ample but not at all intrusive and the wine can be drunk upon release and probably for a decade plus. A remarkable wine that packs in so much exotic ripeness and power but maintains beautiful freshness and lift. The modest price point belies it's quality and pedigree...but once it's in your glass there's no denying it's world-class status.
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2009 Veedercrest Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-19-2020
Very opulent, polished, exotic and rich. Huge density of ripe mountain fruit, big but polished tannins and a lush, decadent mouthfeel. Despite the almost hedonistic upfront attack, the wine has brightness and poise to bring focus to the mid-palate and refined finish. 2009’s moderate and even growing season allowed winemakers to wait for optimal ripeness without fear of losing acidity to heat spikes or other anomalies. This wine really shows the quality of the vintage. It’s very complete and drinking beautifully with a long life (maybe another 15 years) ahead of it. Very classy stuff indeed.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

2008 Veedercrest Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-18-2020
Lots of power here but in a less exotic way than its siblings. Dark almost brooding fruit, intertwined with briary notes, tobacco, cedar, and earth. Very muscular, coiled, intense. Not as forward as its stablemates, this one to savor. The wine really opens up with time in the glass expressing the more savory side of Cabernet. The 2008 comes across as more Bordeaux like than the 06/07/09 and a wine very well suited to red meat. Pym-Rae’s mountain fruit tannins and effortless concentration come through in spades yet are conveyed with a more “old school” feel.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

2007 Veedercrest Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-18-2020
2007 is well known as a highly celebrated year in Napa Valley that Robert Parker called the "vintage of the century". Personally, I have come across quite a few 2007 wines that had not aged as gracefully as I would have hoped. The hot vintage meant that some wines were explosive and impressive in their youth but declined quickly if the pH was too high or structure not sufficient. That is certainly NOT the case with this beauty from Veedercrest! Pym-Rae’s rugged mountainside location at 1500ft elevation never seems to have an issue providing enough structure and this wine has great balance. Dark, dusty red to black fruits, leather, lots of cigar box notes, toasted spices, warm earth. The tannins are ripe and fine, drinking beautifully but will likely continue to develop well for 5+ years and last until 2030 if you enjoy the complex flavors of mature Cabernet.
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart

2006 Veedercrest Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-18-2020
This wine is drinking great! Big concentration, inky black and blue fruits, scorched cedar, pine, crushed rock. Full bodied with tons of richness and fruit weight. The mountain tannins still notable but starting to become groomed with time in bottle and amply coated in luxurious fruit. Wow, this wine is just singing. I’ve opened three bottles, all in immaculate condition. Drink now or over the next decade with ease.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

2016 Substance (K Vintners) "Jack's Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-14-2020
A smoking deal from K Vintners! This single vineyard, Walla Walla Cab is tasting great! Lots of smooth, supple dark fruit, blackcurrant, mulberry, scorched earth. Lovely varietal character comes through in the way of dried herbs, wintergreen and mint. Medium to full bodied with very soft, fine tannins and a polished feel on the palate. At this super sharp price we took everything we could from the winery...after all it's not everyday you see a 96 point Cabernet for this price! Be quick on this one.

2015 Copain "Wendling Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-11-2020
Now this is a wine with a WOW factor! You hear people say from time to time that Pinot Noir can be "enchanting"or "magical" and yet also "elusive" and "fickle." People talk of that bottle of Burgundy they had long ago and have been seeking that experience ever since. Well this a Pinot Noir that evokes such emotions. It embodies the idea of an elegant yet powerful wine that is both graceful and refined but also bold and exotic. Every swirl of the glass brings new aromas of Asian spice, fresh rose petal, ripe forest berries, bramble fruits, Agarwood and truffle. The palate is ample with fantastic fruit weight, luxurious texture, fine but evident tannin and perfectly balanced acidity. The alcohol is a very moderate 12.8% and yet there's plenty of ripeness and fruit purity here. The wine is still quite young and concentrated and whilst drinking beautifully after 4 years in bottle I think it will continue to improve for another 5+ years a likely drink well for another 10+ years. The vineyard site is one of my absolute favorites in California and the producers that get this fruit all speak highly of its quality and they pedigree is very evident here. This is a truly special bottle of Pinot Noir and I'm excited to have some in my cellar.
Price: $39.95 Add To Cart

2017 Avennia "Champoux Vineyard" Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Franc
Review Date: 09-01-2020
As with the instant sell out Red Willow Cab earlier this year, the Champoux Vineyard Cab Franc from Avennia is a tiny production wine (just 125 cases in total) rarely available outside of the winery's mailing list. We grabbed some cases direct from the property and are super excited to be offering this wine out to you. 100% Cab Franc from vines planted in 1997 at the highly renowned Champoux Vineyard. This is an especially exotic expression of the varietal with an effusive perfume of lilacs, crushed berries, woody spices, dark chocolate, hot stone and pipe tobacco. Lush and rich on the palate with layered dark fruit, cassis, sweet plum, macerated olallieberry and espresso cream. Ripe, fine tannins and beautiful purity on the finish. Spectacular bottle of wine, but not much to go around.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Varner "Los Alamos Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-28-2020
The Varner wines have been longtime favorites for us at K&L. Their original Spring Ridge Vineyard is just up the road from our Redwood City store and brother's Jim and Bob Varner are frequent customers (though it's always tricky to know just which one you're chatting with as they're identical twins)! More recently they've shifted focus to Santa Barbara and some beautiful cool climate sites in that area are well suited to their house style. The 2015 Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir is from a historic site long hailed as one of the best in region by iconic producers such as Chanin, Au Bon Climat and Ojai. The mature, hillside vines produce complex fruit, this bottling is mostly Pommard Clone with a dash of 777. The wine is very elegant and refined. Mid-weight and quite translucent in the glass, but packed with flavor and depth. Dusty red berries, sandalwood, baking spice and just as Wine Advocate reviewer Erin Brooks notes, the finish has a fascinating Amaro like alpine herb component that goes on and on. A super food friendly wine, I had mine with roast chicken and it was perfect. Thanks to our close relationship with Varner we did a great deal on the last of the 2015 and we're passing those savings on to you. This is a great bottle of Pinot that is drinking beautifully and selling for a song.
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Scattered Peaks Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-28-2020
In three short years Scattered Peaks has become a Top Pick go-to Cab for us at K&L. The inaugural release of the 2015 vintage became an overnight sensation with an enormous 97 point score! However what is perhaps more important is that we sold hundreds of cases of the follow up 2016 vintage with out any big scores, just on the quality of the wine alone. Customers and staff alike came to understand that this was one of the finest values out there in Napa Valley Cab. With the 2017 release, winemaker Joel Aiken's decades of experience allowed him to craft a wine that beams quintessential Napa Cab properties of dark cassis fruit and dusty redcurrant, loamy earth, pipe tobacco, ripe, fine grained tannins and exotic barrel spice rounding out the finish. It's rich and powerful but also has more of an old school backbone of structure than many contemporary bottlings. It's accessible now but could also comfortably lay down for 8-10 years if you're so inclined. Tasted blind I'm convinced this wine could hold its own with Napa Cabs two, three, even four times its price point with ease...it's that good. And you don't just have to take our word for it...Wine Spectator just wrote it up as one of the best value Napa Cabs of the year.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Avennia "Justine" Columbia Valley Rhône Blend
Review Date: 08-24-2020
Justine is the latest in a line of ludicrously good deals we've gotten from iconic Washington winery, Avennia. Working direct with the winery we;ve brought you several instant sell-out deals at 50% or less of the regular pricing. Avennia's "Justine" is a classic Rhone style blend modeled on the the legendary wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache leads with Mourvedre and Syrah in supporting roles, this wine is sourced from some of the very best vineyards in region including: Upland, Heart of the Hill and Oldfield. In-keeping with its Rhone roots, the wine is fermented using only native yeast, rasied in a combination of 80% neutral French oak and concrete and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The very minimal influence of any winemaking fingerprint allows the striking purity of fruit and terroir driven, earthy flavors to come to the fore. The nose is all flowers and wild herbs, sage, thyme, and chapparal layered over deep red fruits, black raspberry, macerated cherry, and redcurrant. Dusty spices and dry earth, hints of pepper and new leather fill out the savory spectrum. Medium to full bodied with fine tannins and a solid yet polished structural core wrapped with ample fruit. A very complete wines with great balance and poise. At this price it's an absolute steal.

2017 Chanin "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-23-2020
A simply stunning expression of Bien Nacido (one of my absolute favorite vineyards in the country) from Gavin Chanin. Despite the fact that California is now producing a huge range of Chardonnays and maintaining a higher level of quality than ever in its history, the stigma of CA Chard being big, rich, oaky and buttery refuses to fully dissipate. Well, this is a wine that illustrates just how mineral driven, bright, focused and precise CA Chardonnay can be when gown in a great vineyard and crafted by a master. Coming from 40 year old vines in one of the finest parcels of this legendary vineyard, this bottle is alive with orchard blossom aromas, saline minerals, zesty citrus acidity, chalky notes, baked bread and wet stones. Very powerful and full of flavor, but linear and taught at the same time. A seemingly endless finish with waves of mineral, salt and ripe orchard fruit. What a wine! And what a price we have on it...a winery direct deal you have to take advantage of ASAP.

2017 Ghost Block "Estate" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-16-2020
Without doubt one of the finest values in modern day Napa Cabernet. When you consider the estate's prime location in the heart of Oakville with neighbors including Opus One and Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyards, it should come as no surprise that this is spectacular Cab. What is surprising is its $60 price point! Full-bodied with abundant, lush, dark fruit, blackberry, cassis, boysenberry, scorched earth, vanilla oak tones. All this ripe, rich fruit is underpinned by a gravelly, stony, mineral edge and soft, juicy acidity. The tannins are ripe, fine and silky. This wine can be enjoyed right away or over the next 8-10 years. Tasted by our team at Premier Napa Valley in a lineup of very tough competition, this wine held its own versus wines triple its price point.
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2018 Niner Wine Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-13-2020
First thing that popped into my head when tasting this wine was..."ummm, this tastes expensive!" I was then VERY pleasantly surprised to find out...it's not! Right from the outset this has an impressive bold, overt nose of fresh rose petals, liquored cherry, spice cake, vanilla and mulled citrus peel. On the palate the wine the wine is soft and luxurious with ripe, exotic, spicy fruits delivering everything the nose suggested. It has a very silky and sophisticated mouthfeel for a wine of such a modest price point. I think this wine would easily hold its own in a line up of Kosta Browne, Sea Smoke, Kistler, Wayfarer wines...and our special price puts at about a quarter the cost of most of these. If you enjoy suave, sophisticated, fruit-forward Pinot Noir with immaculate purity and polished texture, this is for you...and it won't break the bank!
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Failla Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-21-2020
Now this is an impressive bottle of Pinot for $25! Ehren Jordan's "Failla" wines have long been a go-to for me personally and when recommending wines to customers. They are universally delicious, impeccably well made, simply pure class through and through. Whilst most of the Failla wines originate from Sonoma county, more recently Ehren has been making wines from top vineyard sites in Oregon and has even opened a tasting room in the Eola-Amity Hills. This Williamette Valley bottling from Failla is blended from some of the most highly regarded, well established vineyards in the region including the 1972 planted Eola Springs, 1968 planted Chehalem Mountain and from the iconic 1984 planted Seven Springs. No sub-par juice here this is serious stuff. True to his style and no doubt due to the long hang-time and perfect ripening of the 2018 season, this wine is a little more powerful and concentrated than your typical $25 Willamette Valley Pinot. Bold, powerful, spicy deep red fruits, warm earthy notes, dusty berries, baking spice, medium plus bodied with lots of weight to the almost briary fruit. Great length and persistence on the palate with some more classically Oregonian savory aspects of Pinot Noir showing through - pine needle, coastal forest, bramble leaf. There's a huge amount for flavor and quality packed into this bottle and Ehren has polished it up beautifully. This is a sure-fire winner at this price and a wine with tons of broad appeal that will bring a smile to your face.
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 07-21-2020
Bright, fresh, rosé Champagne with lovely fruit and excellent purity. It shows some subtle notes of crushed mint and strawberry coulis. The quality of the all Grand Cru Pinot Noir fruit sources really show through on this wine. The elegant pure red fruit flavors are balanced by a nice tart cranberry acidity on the finish. A true classic!

2015 Cambria "Tepusquet Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Syrah
Review Date: 07-16-2020
I have huge respect for wine critics that aren't afraid to drop big scores on relatively inexpensive wines when they truly deserve it! This fantastic Syrah from Cambria is a perfect example of giving credit where credit is due. Galloni bestowed this "powerful, dense, and explosive" Syrah with 94 points! Hailing from the Tepusquet Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley with vines planted in the 1970s, this is true cool-climate Syrah. The soils here consist of ancient marine fossils, shale, and windblown sand. The vines are meticulously farmed by the team at Cambria, and the wine is immaculately crafted by 15-year veteran winemaker, Denise Shurtleff. The wine is packed full of quintessential varietal expression: crushed violets, smoldering embers, cracked peppercorn, inky purple fruits, and exotic spices. Rich and weighty, but beautifully balanced and proportioned on the palate. It's originally priced at $32 by the winery, but we have a super deep price on this wine that you have to see to believe. This is an absolute bargain price on a wine that already over-delivered at its full retail price point.
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2017 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-09-2020
Yet again Calera has put together what has to be the single best value California Chardonnay on the market today. With decades of winemaking pedigree and unrivaled sourcing power, the releases from Calera just keep getting better. The 2017 Central Coast Chardonnay comes from the crème de la crème of vineyard sites including: Bien Nacido and Sierra Madre in Santa Maria Valley, Talley's Rincon vineyard in Arroyo Grande and Lone Oak in the Santa Lucia Highlands. All of these are vineyards many producers release as single vineyard wines at $40-$70 per bottle. Stylistically Calera always manages to create a balanced style with plenty of weight, texture and richness, whilst at the same time retaining beautiful, fresh, cool coastal climate acidity and brightness in the wine. The 2017 shows crunchy golden delicious apple, preserved lemon, pie crust, split white oak, toasted grains and sea spray notes. Medium-plus bodied with a nice verve and zestiness to enliven the palate on the finish. Lovely length and minerality too. Just a rocking wine for such a bargain price point.
Top Value!
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2018 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-07-2020
The 2017 release of this wine, that also garnered 95 points from Jeb Dunnuck, went on to be one of K&L's best selling wines of the year! With the 2018 Hartford Court have yet again proven they are the winery to beat. Once again they've put out an incredible Pinot Noir that perfectly showcases the quintessential expression of deliciously pure, bright, cherry fruited, silky soft, Russian River Pinot Noir. Grown and made using the exact same single block, micro-vinification techniques that are used for the higher end wines. The immaculate farming and precise wine making make this bottle THE go-to Russian River Pinot Noir for under $30. If you're looking for a delicious, polished, stylish, Pinot that over delivers in every way, this is it.

2018 My Favorite Neighbor (Booker) "Harvey & Harriet" Paso Robles Red Blend
Review Date: 07-02-2020
Last year when Booker announced there was to be a new wine in their Favorite Neighbor line called Harvey & Harriet that would retail under $50 we couldn't wait share it with you folks, our customers! We actually ran a special price on it at $39.95 and it sold out fast. So then imagine our surprise this year when the new 2018 vintage of Harvey & Harriet was released, with huge scores just like it's predecessor, but at a lower price again! What!? A highly rated Cabernet blend, from an iconic producer, from some of the best vineyards in Paso Robles, from the excellent 2018 vintage...and it when down $10!? Well it's true Harvey & Harriet is back and priced to be one of the best sellers of the year. A full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Syrah and Petite Sirah. This is a rich and powerful wine with opulent ripe fruit like blackcurrant, mulberry; these soft, lush layers of dark fruit are supported by undertones of scorched earth, exotic spicy oak, molten chocolate, cigar box, and and cracked peppercorn. Very approachable as a youngster from Booker immaculate winemaking and ageing in high quality 70% new oak. To echo what Dunnuck wrote about recent releases from Booker's My Favorite Neighbor range, these wines represent incredible value in this genre of wines. They can mix it up with some of the big cult wines of Napa Valley and have little to fear and much to gain! With two 93-95(+) scores and such a modest price point this one is sure to fly.

2018 Birichino "Besson Vineyard" Old Vine Central Coast Grenache
Review Date: 06-30-2020
This year Besson vineyard celebrates its 110th birthday. This incredible site in Gilroy produces one of the most distinctive and delicious expressions of Grenache I’ve come across. Made by two ex-Bonny Dooners, this wine is truly an expression of place. A small portion (plus or minus 10%) of the wine is made from fruit that is dried, or appassimento, boosting the wine’s structure while adding a complex alpine botanical character. The price of this wine is a steal when all things are considered.
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart

2015 Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-24-2020
If I had $50 in my pocket and I wanted the very best bottle of Napa Cabernet I could get...this would be it, period. Simply put, there is no better classically styled Napa Valley Cabernet for $50 than this bottle right here. Enough said.
Price: $54.95 Add To Cart

2015 Beaulieu Vineyard "Tapestry Reserve" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-23-2020
I remember just a few years back tasting through a big lineup of BV wines and thinking to myself what an exceptional value the Tapestry Reserve was not only within that particular lineup, but in wider context of Napa Cab and Bordeaux Blends. It stood up very favorably to some of the much more expensive wines in the tasting and had a real open, expressive "drinkability" factor. So recently when I was offered a screaming deal on BVs 2015 Tapestry I jumped on it. I believe the strength of the wine lies in very concept that gives it it's name: Tapestry. The wine, whilst predominantly based on Rutherford Bench grown Cabernet Sauvignon, also allows the winemaker to blend in other Bordeaux varietals and fruit from other vineyards across the length and breadth of the valley. This allows him to weave a complex, beautifully balanced wine of layered nuance and great depth. Need a little more dark fruit, add some Cab from Stags' Leap. Need to soften the tannin, add some Merlot from St. Helena. They very concept of this blending process combined with BV's extensive vineyard holdings really allows for this wine to show the best of any given vintage.

2017 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-22-2020
Calera is one of the most legendary producers in California. After spending time exploring the wine regions of Europe (including a stint at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti or DRC) in the early 1970's, founder Josh Jensen returned to California determined to produce world-class Pinot Noir. He bought the high-elevation site on the slopes of Mt. Harlan for its limestone rich soils. The rest is history. Calera has produced some of the most high touted bottlings of Pinot Noir ever to be made in California. With the help of Mike Waller (winemaker for the past decade) the wines have seldom faltered in four decades. In 2017 a new chapter began for Calera when Josh sold the company to Duckhorn. Thankfully the Duckhorn folks know a thing or two about great vineyards and winemaking and the wines continue to flourish under new ownership and the seasoned Waller is still at the helm in the cellar. Now to this wine specifically, the first Pinot released in the new era, and what a stunner. This is hands down the best Central Coast bottling I've tasted from Calera in 10 years. The quality of the fruit from vineyards such as Bien Nacido, Solomon Hills and Garys' to name but a few, is all seamlessly woven into a very complete bottle of wine that has to be one of the best values in the WORLD of Pinot Noir. Our razor sharp price compounds that fact making this a true must buy. Very impressive stuff.
Top Value!

2017 Bella Union (Nickel & Nickel) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-22-2020
Here's a chance to grab some seriously pedigreed, high-end Napa Cab at a very reasonable price. Bella Union is a relatively new label from the folks at Nickel & Nickel / Far Niente. The wine comes predominantly from a vineyard on the famed Bella Oaks Lane in Rutherford that is hallowed ground for Napa Cabernet. This bottling shows the quality of the fruit and wine making perfectly; a highly polished, rich, expressive wine with lashings of ripe plum, blackcurrant, smoky spices, loamy earth and dry tobacco. Hints of freshly picked bay leaf and dried herbs linger with the black and blue fruits on the long finish. There's tannin here but its very refined with exotic tones of quality oak smoothing everything out. Fans of Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente's $100+ bottlings take note of this relative bargain with an impressive 95 point write up. This costs $80 from the winery...our price is too good to show, so we have this one on our Insider's Advantage program.
Price: Hidden View Price

2019 Red Car Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 06-18-2020
Now here's a rosé that can hang with the very best of Provence. Red Car have consistently produced a lip-smacking, crisp, zesty, dry rosé and the 2019 is flat out delicious. Made entirely from Sonoma Coast grown Pinot Noir, picked early to capture those zippy, fresh, citrus and red berry flavors. White flowers and bramble leaf on the nose with a spritz of citrus peel and wet stone. The palate is bursting with zesty citrus, tart raspberry, stony minerals and chopped herbs. Very dry and crisp with piercing acidity and drive on the palate. Mouth-watering, thirst quenching stuff that should be on hand and chilled down ready to go on a moments notice. One bottle may not be enough...you've been warned!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Avennia "Sestina" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-09-2020
Avennia seek to highlight the very best vineyards in Washington through traditional techniques, varietals and blends from old world regions such as Bordeaux. The name "Sestina" is a form of medieval French poetry. The concept here is that Avennia take the traditional form prescribed to them by centuries of winemaking in Bordeaux and fill that arrangement with expressions of top vineyard sites here in WA. Avennia pay homage to the Grand Vins of the left bank, but also seek to convey a sense of place that is true to their own locale. The 2016 Sestina is fantastic and perfectly represents the idea behind its name. The nose is very reminiscent of classically styled Bordeaux with lifted floral aromas, cedar, dried tobacco, black and blue fruits, struck rock, and graphite. On the palate there is more generosity to the fruit and texture than the nose might suggest, perhaps owing to the warm growing season in 2016. This plush fruit gives great accessibility at a young drinking age, but don't be fooled by the lush, velvet textured mid-palate, there's plenty of sting in the tail here with a true varietally correct tannin structure that is refined and filigreed. A very deep and complex wine with a lovely broad drinking window to enjoy over the next 20 years depending on your preference. Our special pricing gets this wine right into the sweet spot around $20 a bottle off what you would typically expect to pay. With huge scores and the K&L staff behind it, this one probably won't last long.

2016 Mindego Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-08-2020
An incredible release from the folks at Mindego Ridge, the 2016 Pinot is simply stunning. What I love about this brand is that it combines and true labor of love in the vineyard with one of the best winemakers out there. Mindego Ridge is a small vineyard in the northwestern reaches of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just 8 miles from the ocean. The site would probably be too cold and exposed if it weren't for the south facing, amphitheater like topography and huge stands of majestic Coastal Redwoods that stand guard around the vines. Owners Dave and Stacey Gollnick live on the property and farm every vine by hand with incredible attention to detail. The soil is a complex mix of Purisma Formation fractured shale and clay loam. The Pinot Noir from here is quickly becoming known as some of the best in the region. Mindego sell some of their fruit to renowned local wineries and keeps just a small portion for their own production. The wine is made by famed winemaker, Ehren Jordan of Failla. Ehren seems to know just how to coax out the most incredible expression of this site. Soaring aromatics of bright forest berries, toasted spice, sandalwood, pine forest, bramble and loamy earth. The wine is very concentrated with powerful dark red fruits and warming spices. The texture is soft and mouth-filling but there is great coastal acidity and lift that keeps the wine fresh and vibrant across the palate. This wine seems young and coiled and I think it will continue to age beautifully maybe putting on even more layers of flavor and complexity in the years ahead. A perfect example of just how world-class Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir can be. Bravo!

2016 Beaulieu Vineyard "Georges de Latour - Private Reserve" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-08-2020
BV's Georges de Latour is a Napa Valley icon. The 2016 release is the 80th anniversary edition...yes 80th! The amazing thing is that very little has changed in all those decades. The fruit for this wine is still sourced exclusively from BV Ranches No.1 and No.2 right in the heart of the west Rutherford Bench. Stylistically this wine is a timeless expression of Napa Valley Cabernet; big powerful fruit, rich luxurious texture, loamy dusty earthy, cigar box notes and ripe, refined tannin. It's a concentrated, structured wine but also retains plenty of elegance and poise. This wine is a stalwart, a benchmark, a quintessential expression Napa Cab that has proven itself time and time again and should be considered one of the great wines of the world. Given its pedigree, quality and ageing potential, the price point is a relative bargain in modern day Napa Cab and in my opinion it wipes the floor with many far more expensive so called "cult wines". Our extra sharp pricing and potential best ever vintage release means this wine deserves a place in everyone's cellar.

2018 Drew "Mid-Elevation" Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-01-2020
From the first time I tasted this wine I was totally enamored with it. It's one of those special wines that just has an effortless brilliance to it. It's pure, elegant, vibrant, wonderfully poised and balanced. A near perfect rendition of pure pinosity - forest berries, rose petals, baking spice, leaf litter, damp earth. The texture is silky, acidity juicy and refreshing. Just a fantastic bottle of Pinot Noir. We had it online and on our shelves long before the big Vinous score dropped...when the score came through we bought every case available from the distributor and winery. When it's gone it's gone.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Inglenook Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-26-2020
An exceptional release from this iconic, historic estate rooted in prime Rutherford real estate. This property has a long and storied history too convoluted for the purposes of this review, but the most important part is that the wines from this estate continue to grow from strength to strength, living up to such legendary wines as the 100 point 1941 Inglenook Cab named by Wine Spectator as one of the "Wines of the Century." The 2015 Inglenook Cabernet is a rich and powerful wine bursting with fresh blackcurrant, cassis liquor, ripe plum, rose petal, singed cedar, cocoa powder, and that classic note of "Rutherford dust." Full-bodied, with mouth-filling texture and fine grained tannin. Very impressive, powerful, intense, Cabernet that seems to be just entering its drinking window at five years of age and has the structure and concentration to last another 20. After being so impressed with this bottling we struck a deal with the winery to offer this very sharp special price that is almost unheard of for a Napa Cab of this pedigree with multiple 95 point scores. Make sure you have some in your cellar. You won't be disappointed.

2017 Hirsch "San Andreas Fault" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-03-2020
A perennial favorite here at K&L and with many of our customers across the country. Hirsch has long been, and continues to be, a benchmark producer on the Sonoma Coast. This incredible, pioneering vineyard sits 1,500ft above Timber Cove and Fort Ross on the coast just three miles away. The vineyard is planted to a multitude of clones in a dizzying array of complex soils churned up by the San Andreas Fault that runs just half a mile from the vineyard. This bottling, named after that fault line, is a summation of the property's unique complexity taking fruit from no less than 28 individual estate blocks and intricately weaving them into this stunning bottle. Many of the vines here are seriously mature, some dating back 40 years! Much is planted to heritage clones of Pinot Noir such as Swan, Calera, and Mount Eden. The vineyard is farmed using strict organic and biodynamic principles. The 2017 release of Hirsch "San Andreas" is a wonderfully pure, elegant wine that shows fresh, spicy red fruit aromas and flavors. Cherry, bramble fruit, Pine forest floor, mulling spices. Light to medium bodied but packed with flavor and intensity. It's so energized and vibrant. Beneath all that juicy, bright, delicious fruit is a profound minerality and soil quality that would make a great bottle of Burgundy jealous. This vineyard site has such a unique and powerful sense of place. This is tasting great right now but will be a great companion for 10+ years in the cellar too. Almost forgot to mention our special pricing...what's not to love?!

2018 Hundred Suns "Breaker Vineyard" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-03-2020
Such and incredible, unique wine. Sourced from some of the oldest vines in the region, a block of own-rooted, 777 clone Pinot Noir, planted in deep Nekia (volcanic basalt soils) with some large cobble stones in the lower section of the vineyard. Unfortunately this is the second to last vintage from these old vines as they have succumbed to the ravages of phylloxera and are currently being re-planted. However, what a way to go out! The 2018 is a stunningly complex wine with dark rose petal aromas, wild bramble fruit, freshly cut hedgerow, savory spices and earthy umami notes that are hard to put into words. Ethereal texture with soft silky tannin and vibrant, linear acidity on the finish. Quite coiled and cloaked when first poured, but a few enthusiastic swirls in a nice Burgundy stem quickly teases out magnificent and complex flavors. Very limited.
Price: $54.95 Add To Cart

2013 Cristom "Louise Vineyard" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-29-2020
There's an old anecdote here at K&L that stems from Clyde Beffa and Ralph Sands' many trips to Bordeaux over the last 40 years. When visiting many Chateaux in the region they would often ask to taste wines from less famed vintages, sometimes even downright "bad" vintages. The idea was to see the pedigree of the wine making and vineyard even when mother nature was less than kind. Thus K&L has long been known as a place customers can turn to for sleeper wines and hidden gems. K&L often chooses to stick with a familiar or trustworthy producer rather than follow the hype (or lack there of) around a given vintage. The 2013 Cristom "Louise Vineyard"Pinot Noir is a perfect example of this guiding principle. 2013 started off looking like a picture perfect vintage in Oregon. That was until a prolonged weather event dropped more than four inches of rain right in the middle of harvest. The vintage immediately became a game of vinous Russian roulette with some producers leaving entire vineyards to rot whilst others made remarkably pure, delicious wines full of character and complexity. Cristom, one of the absolute icons of Oregon Pinot Noir, was most definitely in the latter group. So hence we're able to offer you this incredible, highly rated, library vintage of Louise at an ultra-sharp price. Perhaps the key to the beauty of this wine is the fact that half of the fruit was harvested before the rain event and half long after. The Louise Vineyard at Cristom is divided in two sections upper and lower with some 400ft of elevation change from top to bottom. The soils are also vastly different (Basalt / Volcanic Jory in the top portion, Missoula Flood silts in the bottom portion). Even in typical years these blocks can be picked days / weeks apart. In 2013 the upper block was picked a week before the rain where as the lower section was not picked until three weeks after. I believe this has created the wines beautiful balance, layered depth, and complexity.

2018 Hundred Suns "Shea Vineyard" Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-29-2020
Shea Vineyard is undisputedly a Grand Cru site in the Willamette Valley. For decades this vineyard has been a benchmark of quality, consistency, and age-ability. The list of producers who produce a vineyard designate "Shea" is long and formidable. Hundred Suns' parcel at Shea is a small block of pure 777 dijon clone Pinot Noir. This warm, southwest facing block has endowed the resulting wine with rich, ripe, red fruit characters, spiced cherry, raspberry coulis, elderberry. It's broad and weighty on the palate with big concentration and density, however Grant's finessed use of whole cluster fermentation adds a nice element of spice and spine of fillagreed tannin to the mid-palate's ample fruit. This is a wine that will have a fantastically broad drinking window. There's plenty to love right now but I'm confident this will go 20 years in the cellar too.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

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