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Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

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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!
Price: Hidden View Price

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.
Price: $27.95 Add To Cart

2013 Capiaux "Gap's Crown Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-04-2020
A stunning Pinot Noir from what is widely considered a Grand Cru vineyard. Gap's Crown sits on the lower slopes of Sonoma Mountain in what is now known as the Petaluma Gap AVA. This small sub-region of the larger Sonoma Coast AVA is distinct for its funnel-like effect of cooling ocean breezes that swoop in from the coast through a wind gap between coastal mountains. The effect on the vines is lower yields, more flavor concentration from the longer, cooler growing season, and fresh acidity from the moderated temperatures. Fruit from this hillside vineyard is highly sought after and it has long been a prized single vineyard designate for iconic Pinot Producers such as Kosta Browne, Patz & Hall, Paul Hobbs, Sojourn and others. Sean Capiaux 's deep connections in the wine industry allowed him to get his hands on some of this prized fruit and we're delighted to be able to offer this wine with seriously discounted pricing! Plus it's 2013 vintage and is drinking great! Silky smooth on the palate with suave deep red fruits, exotic baking spices, dry leaves, wisps of smoky oak and earthy, mineral undertones. Perfect for popping right now, but still has 5+ years in the tank for sure.
Price: Hidden View Price

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.

2017 Di Costanzo "DI CO" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-30-2020
New to me this year, the Di Costanzo wines are phenomenal! The DI CO is just the introduction to the range, but it leaves you with no doubt that these wines are up there with the best of the valley. It all makes perfect sense when you see Ovid and Screaming Eagle on Massimo di Costanzo’s resume.
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart

2017 Martin Ray Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-30-2020
Martin Ray is consistently on my list of overachievers. Their broad range of wines is a stacked lineup from start to finish. This 95-point Stags Leap District Cab is rich and powerful, with tons of ripe red fruits and a silky texture. Our special pricing is not to be missed!
Price: Hidden View Price

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

2018 Turley "Bechthold Vineyard" Lodi Cinsault
Review Date: 06-30-2020
Stylistically this wine is somewhat of an outlier in Turley’s portfolio. This bright, juicy, light to medium-bodied red wine comes from a vineyard widely believed to be the oldest surviving planting of Cinsault on the planet, dating from 1886. Yes, that’s 132 summers, winters, and everything in between that contribute to the vines’ expression of place.
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: $49.95 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!
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 GRO "Ruhl Vineyard" Mt. Veeder Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-22-2020
We had the exact same end of vintage deal on this wine last year and it evaporated very quickly. The 2017 is every bit as good and this time it has a nice 91 point Wine Spectator write up to boot. From a single vineyard on the slopes of Mount Veeder over looking Carneros, this Chardonnay once again has big, bold, powerful flavors of ripe, golden orchard fruit, nectarine, brioche and poached pear. Round, soft texture with toasty oak and buttery, pie crust notes. The rich, creamy, mid-palate is nicely balanced by some juicy, bright acidity that lifts and extends the finish. The very low yields of this mountain site have once again produced a profoundly concentrated, powerful Chardonnay. If you enjoy Lewis, Pahlmeyer, Rochioli, Rombauer etc...check this out for a fraction of the price.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

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

2018 Samuel Louis Smith "Montañita de Oro" Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-15-2020
The Mantanita de Oro Pinot Noir is a complex and intriguing bottle of wine. It beautifully captures the haunting qualities that make this fickle variety so alluring, captivating yet often so elusive. Made in a style reminiscent of Burgundy, embracing elegance, bright fruit and savory qualities; this wine is also very clearly influenced by it's coastal mountain terroir. The wine has an effortless concentration and power without being highly extracted or overly ripe (13% ABV). The finish of the wine is inflected by a saline minerality and fresh, cool-climate acidity. At first the wine is quite focused with lots of forest floor notes, dried spices, warm stones. As it sits in the glass more effusive floral notes emerge, rose petals and violets quickly followed by soft red fruits, raspberry puree, rose hip and bramble. Though this unfiltered wine is ever so slightly turbid in the glass, the purity on the palate is spectacular, with silky tannin, balanced acidity and beautiful persistence. Wow! A winery direct deal allows us offer this wine at a price, that quite frankly, belies it's world-class quality...but we're excited to get this bottle into the hands of as many customers as possible and introduce many of you to the special wines of Sam Smith.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Etre Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-14-2020
Though I had not heard of Etre wines before I was simply floored by a sample of this wine I received. The bottle was gone in 20 mins flat. When I dug a little deeper it was easy to see why this bottle was so darn delicious. The fruit is sourced from two of the finest Chardonnay vineyards in California: Sangiacomo and Durrell. The wine is made in a very deliberate "Chablis" style. It sees no oak and does not go through malolactic fermentation, keeping it fresh and crisp. It's just flat out delicious, and tastes very much like high-end Chablis. Aromas of salt air, crushed quince, freshly zested citrus and oyster shell. On the finish complex, baked bread / hazelnut qualities persist with saline minerality and vibrant, mouth watering acidity. I immediately took every case available from the winery and we have pricing that's almost too goo to be true! Just wait until you get this in your glass, it's stunning.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2019 Bedrock Wine Company "Ode to Lulu" California Rosé
Review Date: 06-10-2020
One of my absolute favorite California rosé wines every year and I think 2019 might have raised the bar yet again. Made in homage to Lucie 'Lulu” Peyraud of Domaine Tempier, the legendary Bandol producer, and this really hits the mark, combining lovely weight and complexity with freshness and thirst quenching acidity like the very best pink wines of Bandol. This wine is made from incredibly old vines dating from 1920 - 1880! A blend of 65% Mataro (Mouvedre) and 35% Grenache. Light in color but packed with flavor. This will be a staple for me this summer.
Price: $21.95 Add To Cart

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!

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

2014 Saxon Brown "Fighting Brothers" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 06-01-2020
This is a one time price, 50% off this stunning bottle of Zin from top flight producer, Saxon Brown. The Fighting Brothers bottling is crafted in homage to winemaker, Jeff Gaffner's two sons. The wine is an intriguing blend of old vine and young vine Zinfandel. As Jeff explains the old vines (a Zin dominant field blend) give depth and complexity where as the younger vines give bright, vibrant fruit and purity. This is a big, rich wine with lots of dark, ripe, liquored fruit notes, scorched earth, toasted spices and dried floral tones. Very full-bodied with soft, silky tannins and a big saturated feel on the palate. This is hedonistic stuff done right. With a great 93 point review from Parker's Wine Advocate this is a deal that's sure to evaporate quickly. If you love big, rich, dark fruited Zin, grab this fast.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

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.

2018 Te Mata "Estate" Cabernets-Merlot Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Review Date: 05-25-2020
This Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend and is all estate fruit from the most highly regarded Bordeaux-focused producer in New Zealand. Think of this as a "baby Coleraine." This is one of the best deals out there thanks to our winery-direct relationship. Each variety is fermented separately with an extended maceration on the skins. Eight months maturation in a combination of new and used French oak.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

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

2016 La Follette "Heintz Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-01-2020
This exceptional Pinot Noir hails from one of the most highly regarded vineyards in all of California, Heintz Vineyard. The vines sit on a ridge top just outside the small town of Occidental, just a few miles from the coast. The huge cooling influence of the ocean breezes and swirling fog result in a long, moderate growing season that in turn produces concentrated and complex flavors. This bottling is brimming with ripe red fruits, macerated cherry, raspberry liquor, baking spice a wisp of exotic oak. Some savory, dried herb and redwood forest notes add complexity that really speak of this vineyards remote and rugged coastal climes. Just a spectacular bottle of Pinot made all the more exciting thanks to our sharp one-time pricing.

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

2018 Hundred Suns "Sequitur Vineyard" Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-29-2020
The 2017 release of this wine was in my top five wines of the year and the 2018 is every bit as good. Hundred Suns winemaker Grant Coulter spent many years working as the winemaker for legendary Orgeon stalwart, Beaux Freres. During his time there he gained access to some of the most coveted vineyard sources in the region and Sequitur is one such site. Sequitur is the personal passion project of Beaux Freres founder Mike Etzel. This small vineyard high on Ribbon Ridge is farmed according to organic and biodynamic principles with incredible attention to detail to ensure pristine fruit. This is a serious and powerful wine composed of heritage Pinot Noir clone Chalone, Pommard plus some "suitcase clones" of undisclosed origin. The wine is both highly floral and aromatic but brooding and cloaked all at once. Like a deep purple rose with the outer petals just opening but with many more layers to unfurl. Some very positive whole cluster characters give lift and spice. The wine is quite linear and focused in its youth but the flavors are impeccably pure and bright. Purple fruits, Asian spice, hibiscus all underpinned by a distinct soil driven mineral component. This has a very "Grand Cru" feel to it. Clearly a stunning, polished, poised bottle of wine, the best is likely yet to come but can you keep your hands off it tonight!?
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart

2018 Hundred Suns "Old Eight Cut" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-29-2020
Several years ago, before I was the Domestic Wine Buyer for K&L, a colleague of mine wrote that Old Eight Cut Pinot from winery, Hundred Suns, was his number one wine of the year. It baffled me because I had never heard of the producer and was surprised that a sub-$30 Oregon Pinot was his favorite out of many thousands of wines tasted that year. Well if I knew then what I know now I would not have been surprised at all. As I sit here and write this review I am confident that Hundred Suns are THE producer to watch in the Willamette Valley and like my colleague before me, their wines have very quickly become personal favorites. Hundred Suns is a husband and wife project consisting of Grant Coulter and Renée Saint-Amour. Grant was the longtime winemaker at the iconic Beaux Freres winery and is a master of his craft. Hundred Suns source fruit from several A-List vineyards including Shea and Sequitur, they also have their own small 4.5 acre estate that they live on. Old Eight cut is a blend of these world class sites and their pedigree shines through very brightly. The nose is packed with ripe, glossy, forest berries, baking spice, agar wood and lifted sassafras and star anise aromas. The palate is juicy and lush with lots of accessible fruit balanced by some brambly hedgerow qualities. The tannis are very fine and polished. The acidity is beautifully judged giving freshness and length to the wine. It's a seriously great bottle of Pinot Noir with plenty of depth and texture. The perfect intro to the remarkable wines of Hundred Suns.
Top Value!
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2017 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-02-2020
I have long admired Turnbull's wines and in recent years they seem to have gone from strength to strength. It was no real surprise when Galloni issued his only perfect 100 point score to Turnbull's 2017 "Black Label" Cab out of the many hundred high-end Napa wines he tasted from the vintage. With incredible estate vineyards in the heart of Oakville and surrounding hillsides, Turnbull are perfectly situated to keep producing some of the very finest wines Napa Valley has to offer. The 2017 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet featured here is the little brother to the 100 point "Black Label" bottling. Sourced entirely from estate grown grapes and like its sibling is crafted with the same meticulous attention to detail. The wine is positively bursting with flavor and is wonderfully expressive as soon as you pull the cork. Lashings of dark, ripe fruit, cassis, blackberry, plum, liquored black cherry, scorched earth, exotic oak and sweet tobacco notes. Some savory, briary, brambly notes underpin the lush, rich, ripe fruit. Fine polished tannins give definition to the palate and extraordinary length. As noted by several top critics above, this wine offers exceptional value even at its regular $50 price point...and right now our price in significantly sharper than that!

2018 Stoller Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-25-2020
If you're looking for a classic, benchmark example of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that delivers fantastic value for money, look no further. This bottling from Stoller Estate delivers beautifully pure, fresh, delicious, ripe berry fruits, and exotic Asian spices, all underscored by complex leaf litter, savory notes. The tannins are silky and fine, the acidity juicy and bright. Subtle oak tones wrap the whole thing into a very satisfying, quaffable bottle of Pinot Noir that you'll come back to time and time again. It's no wonder that Suckling dropped a huge 94 point review on this wine...we think it's well deserved, and all for under $25!
Top Value!
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart

2015 Andrew Will "Sorella" Horse Heaven Hills Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 03-20-2020
I truly think this wine can stand toe-to-toe with the top growths of Bordeaux. In fact it is very reminiscent of top flight Pauillac from a powerful vintage. Tightly wound black and blue fruits; blackberry, cassis, mulberry, damson. Classic notes of pencil shavings, graphite, scorched earth and cigar box. Structured and age-worthy but the beautifully refined tannin is precisely wrapped with layer upon layer of luxurious polished fruit. This is world-class by any measure.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $79.95 Add To Cart

2017 Maryetta "Black Hoop" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2020
Maryetta's "Black Hoop" Pinot Noir is a blend of three prestigious vineyards in Anderson Valley: 50% Roma’s, 33% Helluva and 17% Valenti. Blended to be a little more fruit forward and bold than the single vineyard offerings, this is spectacular, easy-drinking Pinot Noir that WAY over delivers for the price point. It has beautiful purity of fruit with spiced red berries, raspberry coulis, sandal wood and bramble. Medium-plus bodied, some darker fruit tinges I suspect from the Valenti fruit. Nice mouth filling texture without being overly heavy. This typically sells for $25-$30. We have a winery direct price that is a one time deal too good to be missed.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Maryetta "Roma's Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2020
This stunning vineyard sits high above the valley floor at 1,800ft. The Pommard Clone Pinot Noir vines were planted in 1992 and are dry-farmed producing powerful fruit with great intensity and length on the palate. Another tiny production wine with under 60cs made, just one 500L puncheon barrel! A little fuller bodied than the Helluva Vineyard bottling with more structure. Deep red fruits, loamy earth, crushed rock and mountain herbs. Just coming into its own but I think will continue to expand as months pass. A great bottle of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir for an unheard of price.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Maryetta "Helluva Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2020
Sadly this wonderful brand "Maryetta" will no longer be released under this name. On the plus side...we worked a direct deal with the winemaker to help move through the remaining inventory of these delicious wines. The pricing he gave us is almost too good to be true. Focusing on organically farmed vineyards in Anderson Valley and Mendocino Ridge. This particular bottling is from one of the most sought after vineyards in the region aptly named "Helluva Vineyard". A tiny production of one 500L puncheon barrel yielding just 56 cases! The nose has crushed rose petal, baking spices, brooding red fruits, freshly turned soil. The palate is medium bodied, very silky and elegant. Super refined tannis and superb length and purity on the palate.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Martin Ray Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-10-2020
Martin Ray consistently gets my vote for best quality to price ratio in California. After a recent run of huge successes with their spectacular Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, the 2017 Napa Valley Cab is an absolute steal! The price on this vintage actually went down! That almost never happens with Napa Valley, but in this instance the winery is passing on some fruit cost savings to us and thus to you. The quality of this Cab is plain to see and the price tag under $20 is nothing short of miraculous. Sourced from Coombsville, Rutherford, Stags' Leap and Diamond Mountain, this is serious Napa Cab at an every day price point. Rich, deep, red fruit, currant, plum, liquored cherry, vanilla, toasted spices. Soft, ripe, silky tannins mean that this is ready to enjoy right out of the gate but will also hold for 3-5 years with no problem. Without doubt one of the very best values in modern day Napa Cabernet.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2016 Bootleg Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 02-28-2020
Since the original Prisoner wine took the world by storm in the early 2000s, growing to around 200,000 cases today, many folks have sought to recreate that magic formula. The "Red Blend" category has become a global sensation with these rich, powerful, hedonistic wines becoming some of the biggest sellers in the market place. However I can personally assure you that very few of those wines have come close to the quality and consistency of the original releases. Even the modern day Prisoner is a very different wine, not to mention a significantly more expensive one. In fact many imitators are downright terrible as the quality in the bottle plays second fiddle to over the top marketing or flashy packaging. The Bootleg however has real pedigree in the bottle coming from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley. Bootleg is a project from Jackson Family Wines who's properties in Napa include: Lokoya, Cardinale, La Jota, Mt Brave and Freemark Abbey. The company believes investing heavily in real estate (vineyards) is the best way to secure quality and consistency. So what we have here is a very nicely composed Napa red blend from some of the best fruit in the region. The 2016 is powerful and saturated, ripe, rich, soft in texture but not sweet. Oak gives nice exotic spices and a suave mouthfeel. This is a serious wine for the money, you can tell the fruit is prime and craftsmanship on point. If your a fan of this style of wines be sure to check this out; for my money it's one of the very best examples out there.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Round Pond Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-27-2020
A very powerful wine from a classic, age worthy vintage in Napa Valley. This wine shows the darker, more brooding side of Rutherford Cabernet with plum and cassis fruit underscored by dried herbs, scorched earth and dry tobacco leaf. Full-bodied but not sweet or jammy. The refined tannins suggest this wine will have a nice broad drinking window - it's accessible now but has 10+ years of positive development ahead of it. It's not every day that we get to offer such a great bottle of Rutherford Cab, from a big name producer, for this price point so take advantage of this one.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2016 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-25-2020
Pound for pound one of the very best bottles of classically styled Napa Cabernet around. Larkmead is a property with an esteemed history and yet the wines continue to go from strength to strength with Dan Petroski at the helm. This has everything you could want from Napa Cabernet without any of the excesses that plague many present day contemporaries. This is pure, age worthy, refined Napa Cab at it's finest. The wine is composed from blocks spanning the property's diverse soil types giving a a full picture of the vineyard in a given season. Whilst Larkmead's single block or soil type bottlings offer a step up in power and concentration, I actually love how this Estate bottling is expressing itself and find it every bit as compelling as the significantly more expensive Olomo, Solari and Lark releases. Remarkably fresh aromatics of blue fruits, shaved cedar, cigar box, mint, graphite and loamy earth. Mid-weight, fine but considerable tannins and perfectly judged to frame the elegant, precise fruit. This is very classy stuff that I think really deserves to be discussed among the very best wines being made in modern day Napa Valley...and I write this review just days after tasting many hundreds of wines at Premiere Napa Valley 2020. Buy with confidence, drink this now or over the next 20+ years.

2018 Diatom "Bar-M" Los Alamos Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Wow! This is an utterly delicious, thirst quenching bottle of wine from Santa Barbara legend, Greg Brewer. Diatom is a range of wines made from some of his favorite single vineyards across the region. The premise of the brand is to craft the wines to be as transparent and terroir driven as possible by eschewing any new oak and trying to keep the wines as focused and pure as possible. This is simply bursting with ripe citrus, yellow stone fruits, quince and intense stony minerality. A wine with lovely texture on the palate and a beautifully judged acid line that leaves a mount-watering zest on the palate. Clearly the work of a master craftsman. I'm very excited to be ale to offer this fantastic bottle at a national low price that is too good to show. This might just be your new house favorite...my fridge is already stocked!
Top Value!

2016 Peter Franus "Brandlin Vineyard" Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-05-2020
This combination of factors doesn't come along all that often so don't miss this total sleeper of the vintage. Peter Franus started his wine making career at Mount Veeder Winery back in the 1980s. After more than a decade in that role he started his own eponymous label with a continued focus on wines from Mount Veeder. Peter has been working with the highly regarded Brandlin Vineyard for more that 30 years. All this pedigree and experience is abundantly clear in this 2016 bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon that for me is a benchmark expression of classic mountain-grown Napa Cabernet. This wine is packed full of cassis, blueberry and blackberry fruit; whiffs of lavender, cedar wood, cigar box and warm earth. Medium plus bodied with fine but structural tannin; this is clearly a wine that can age but it is very expressive and giving even at this youthful stage. If you have enjoyed wines such as Mayacamas, Robert Craig, Mt Brave - you need to check out this wine. It offers outstanding value for a wine of exceptional quality and refinement. If you need more convincing check out Galloni's glowing 95 point review!
Top Value!

2018 Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-05-2020
Yet another exceptional release from Martin Ray. In my opinion they're making the very best value wines in all of California bar none. As I said about the last vintage, this is true Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir that should probably cost at least twice what it does and can easily stand shoulder to shoulder with many of the $50 wines from the same appellation. It's pure, elegant, full of fresh, vibrant forest berry fruit, baking spices, subtle oak nuances, silky tannin structure and juicy acidity. A beautifully complete, refined Pinot Noir at a price point that is just unrivaled. Consistently a best seller at K&L with customers and staff alike.
Top Value!
Price: $16.95 Add To Cart

2018 Te Mata "Bullnose" Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 01-22-2020
Truly world-class Syrah by any measure. This wine has a long and flawless pedigree. It combines the wonderfully exotic, explosive, aromatic elements of fine Syrah - violets, forest berries, ripe plum - and supports them with deep, brooding, savory notes of earth, black pepper and smoked meat. Open and expressive right now but also possessing plenty of concentration and structure to age well. I still have a few bottles of 2009 in my cellar and they are drinking fabulously. Another fantastic edition of the legendary Bullnose.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Tesseron Estate "Pym-Rae" Mount Veeder Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 01-16-2020
I tasted this wine with Alfred Tesseron immediately following the 100 point 2016 Pontet-Canet...not an easy act to follow...but the wine stood up in quality and showed a unique and distinctive Mount Veeder derived sense of place. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that the wine had such a different personality than its Bordelais counterpart. Clearly Tesseron has brought the same exacting attention to detail to his new estate but the wine's aromas, flavors and textures are entirely its own. High-toned black and red fruit, bay laurel, cedar, mint and rose water. Savory notes of crushed volcanic rock and dry tobacco leaf. Rich and ripe on the palate but with plenty of freshness and long, refined tannin; the wine has considerable structure but is not aggressive of astringent. I'm excited to see where this estate goes in coming years, but this is quite the debut!
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2016 Tesseron Estate "Pym-Rae" Mount Veeder Bordeaux Blend 3-Pack in OWC
Review Date: 01-16-2020
I tasted this wine with Alfred Tesseron immediately following the 100 point 2016 Pontet-Canet...not an easy act to follow...but the wine stood up in quality and showed a unique and distinctive Mount Veeder derived sense of place. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that the wine had such a different personality than its Bordelais counterpart. Clearly Tesseron has brought the same exacting attention to detail to his new estate but the wine's aromas, flavors and textures are entirely its own. High-toned black and red fruit, bay laurel, cedar, mint and rose water. Savory notes of crushed volcanic rock and dry tobacco leaf. Rich and ripe on the palate but with plenty of freshness and long, refined tannin; the wine has considerable structure but is not aggressive of astringent. I'm excited to see where this estate goes in coming years, but this is quite the debut!
Price: $1,050.00 Add To Cart

2016 Solomon Hills Estate Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-06-2020
A racy, zesty, saline, mineral driven style; this cool climate Chardonnay from a highly acclaimed site in Santa Maria Valley is bursting with citrus, fennel, struck match and flint. Savory almond skin, pie crust notes frame the white florals and Meyer lemon. Through a Burgundian lens this sits somewhere between Chablis and Meursault; a keen acid line and lots of salinity meets nutty, flinty, focused power. Great with Dungeness Crab or Moules Marinière. Plus...our price is just as keen and sharp as this wines searing acidity...$20 off the winery release price!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Ann Albert "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-31-2019
One of my favorite wines of the year, period. Confession: when Eric, the winemaker, sent me a sample of this wine it took me way too long to get to it and taste it...however when I finally did I immediately sent him a note asking how much was available and could we take it all!? I consider him one of the best Chardonnay producers in the state, and believe Bien Nacido is one of California's Grand Crus. This wine has all the subtle power and intensity that this site can convey, expertly framed by Eric's light but precise touch in the cellar. Orchard fruit, white blossom, ocean spray and hazelnut and pie crust. Fantastic intensity on the palate mirroring the aromas with lip-smacking acidity and saline minerality. Don't serve this too cold as it really gains complexity and length as it warms and opens in the glass. A very serious bottle of Chardonnay that can stand toe-to-toe with the best of white Burgundy.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Nor'Wester by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Review Date: 12-31-2019
What a remarkable bottle of Pinot Noir for the price point. This has it all: a stunning nose of crushed flowers, woodsy spices, damp earth and fennel; juicy, forest berry fruits, anise, black cherry and subtle cracked peppercorn. Silky on the palate with bright, crunchy acidity and super fine tannins. It's very refined and layered for an inexpensive bottle...totally over delivers. Impressive stuff.

1990 Lakespring Napa Valley Merlot (1.5L)
Review Date: 12-12-2019
In a lineup of old Cabernet, that to be honest simply amazed me and exceeded all expectations, this 1990 Merlot might have been the single best showing. Absolutely pristine, showing way younger than its 29 years. This is full of silky, polished deep red fruit, plum, redcurrant, fruitcake, earth spices, and sweet tobacco. Lovely soft textures, plenty of fruit and vitality. Just simply delicious. Up there with some top Right Bank Bordeaux bottlings.
Price: Hidden View Price

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