Staff Favorites - Ryan Moses

Ryan Moses

Reviews

2013 Giovanni Manzone "Castelletto" Barolo
Review Date: 05-15-2018
Always a great value, Manzone's Castelletto is another winner in 2013. Nice floral notes combine with leather and black cherry aromas. As is a signature with these wines, the texture is splendid and seamless. There is more juicy red fruit on the mid-palate than you see with the more compact, layered Bricat. It is mouthfilling and mouthwatering at the same time with chewy tannins and terrific persistence. This will be a more immediate wine of the releases from Mazone, but strong for it all the same. Decant for a few hours if you're in to younger Barolo, or cellar for a few years and enjoy over the following decade.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 RP 92

2013 Giovanni Manzone "Bricat" Barolo
Review Date: 05-15-2018
Manzone is always on my radar for collectible Barolo that won't break the bank, and their 2013s are in a real sweetspot. Rose, lavender, bright strawberry, and french vanilla lead a subtle but enticing aromas. On the palate the Bricat is incredibly silky and seamless with great extract. Deep red cherry builds with a bright acidity that carries the finish. The tannins are gentle and a mix between oak and fruit. Very compelling, this will be one to either give a healthy decant or squirrel away for a few years. It does have the stuffing to evolve into something very rewarding, but that's probably about five to seven years out.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 RP 94

2016 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah
Review Date: 05-15-2018
We've been big fans of Paul Gordon and Scott Shapley for a while now, and the last few vintages of their Alturas Syrah have been nothing short of thrilling. Now professional reviewers Jeb Dunnuck and William Kelley are singing their praise with every new publication, including endless comparisons to Northern Rhone all-stars. These wines are not long for this kind of ridiculously low price. Aromatics include deep blackberry, black pepper, and braising herbs. The palate is pure and focused with cool dark red and black fruits, cured meats, and a spicy finish. Texturally pure and balanced, it has a very unique old-world reserve and will be fascinating to visit over the upcoming years. If you can resist, hold for a few years and drink for the following fifteen.

2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-14-2018
What a stunner. The 2015 stood out for our team as a truly special wine - balanced, bright, and elegant while carrying the concentration of the vintage with pure class. The 2016 has another dimension - deeper fruit and more structure, but not so intimidating that it's not ready to go now with a healthy decant. Waves of deep red fruit and garrigue marry perfectly with a chalky minerality, bright acidity, fine grain tannins, and a resilient and long finish. If this is a sign of things to come for 2016 Southern Rhone, we're in for some special wines. This, however, might be one of the biggest overachievers of the vintage - one that any old school or new wave Grenache/CdP lover should load up on while available. Enjoy now with some air, or check in anytime over the next ten to fifteen years.

2014 Larkmead "Solari" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-11-2018
One of two "black label" bottlings tasted at the estate, Solari is massively compelling in 2014 and exemplifies how the vintage can be truly special. It is focused, elegant, and clean with a melange of black and red fruit. With good acid, purity, and depth, it coats the mouth with super-fine tannin. Incredibly detailed and mouthcoating. It is hard to resist now, but give it a long decant or a few years in a cool cellar and then enjoy for the next 10-20 years. Terrific.

2014 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Bright red fruit lines complex and intriguing aromatics on Dunn's flagship 2014 Howell Mountain. It is extremely silky on the palate with focused acidity, and compelling bright but textured plum, cherry, and currant. Like the Napa, it is very elegant and accessible, but there is an elevated depth, density, and refinement that shows through on this bottling. Another great collectible in the classic, old-school mold, try to wait a few years before opening and enjoy over the following fifteen years.

2014 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Dunn Napa is around half Coombsville and half Howell Mountain estate fruit. It is a stunningly approachable vintage for the Dunn family, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty in reserve. Subtle cassis leads a compact palate that leads to plum, black cherry, and red cherry skins. Clean and approachable, it is a charming vintage of Dunn Napa and one that will be fascinating to follow over the years to come. That said, if you were to pull the cork right now it wouldn't disappoint.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2015 Eisele Vineyards "Altagracia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Eisele is one of Napa's most intriguing properties, with an illustrious history and a truly unique take on one of the region's most cherished vineyards. Recently purchased by the team at Latour, they have come to adore the land from which they craft two Cab-based reds. Altagracia is mostly produced from three specific vineyard blocks that lend towards a brighter, more approachable style. The wine is full of bright red fruit and is extremely elegant. It is a wine of restraint that many talk about but few can produce. It is not lacking for that, but just unique. With sweet red currant, light milk chocolate notes, mouthwatering acidity, and soft fine-grain tannins, Altagracia will be intriguing to follow over the years to see the heights that this team can reach. Surely a different style in a land where extraction and volume are usually the norm. Decant now, or hold for another five years to see what it really has in store.
Price: $139.95 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 6-Pack in OWC
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Tasted at the property after a three hour decant. As usual, it is much more brooding and compact than the Napanook next to it. It makes Dominus more challenging, but all the better for it. Gentle aromas of black/blue fruit and tobacco lead to a cool, poised, and polished palate filled with deep red fruit (plum, cherry, currant) and balanced acidity. This incredibly dynamic wine is crafted with only 40% new oak and shows none of it. It keeps providing nuance and layers as it opens up in the glass. Although it is not as dense as the '13 or open as the '12, it should be in the conversation among those greats as a wonderful Dominus of the highest regard - different for sure, but all the more interesting for it.
Price: $1,794.00 Add To Cart
RP 100 VN 97

2015 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Tasted at the property after a three hour decant. As usual, it is much more brooding and compact than the Napanook next to it. It makes Dominus more challenging, but all the better for it. Gentle aromas of black/blue fruit and tobacco lead to a cool, poised, and polished palate filled with deep red fruit (plum, cherry, currant) and balanced acidity. This incredibly dynamic wine is crafted with only 40% new oak and shows none of it. It keeps providing nuance and layers as it opens up in the glass. Although it is not as dense as the '13 or open as the '12, it should be in the conversation among those greats as a wonderful Dominus of the highest regard - different for sure, but all the more interesting for it.
Price: $649.95 Add To Cart
RP 100 VN 97

2015 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Tasted at the property after a three hour decant. As usual, it is much more brooding and compact than the Napanook next to it. It makes Dominus more challenging, but all the better for it. Gentle aromas of black/blue fruit and tobacco lead to a cool, poised, and polished palate filled with deep red fruit (plum, cherry, currant) and balanced acidity. This incredibly dynamic wine is crafted with only 40% new oak and shows none of it. It keeps providing nuance and layers as it opens up in the glass. Although it is not as dense as the '13 or open as the '12, it should be in the conversation among those greats as a wonderful Dominus of the highest regard - different for sure, but all the more interesting for it.
Price: $299.00 Add To Cart
RP 100 VN 97

2015 Smith Story "Pickberry Vineyard" Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-04-2018
What a brilliant wine. Although Smith Story has set the stage with some groundbreaking Pinot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, their Cabernet in 2015 steals the show. Gorgeous deep red fruit is carried by brilliant acidity, but it is also lifted by a beautiful texture. With a phenomenal sense of place, the structure to age, depth and detail, it is the kind of wine that everybody searches for at this price-point but rarely finds. Smith Story is one of those need-to-know, up-and-coming wineries in California - make sure to grab a few bottles where you can before they're on everybody's radar.
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart
VN 95

2009 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-25-2018
A quick check in on a living legend a week ago - there's still no doubt that 2009 Pontet-Canet is a special, reference-point wine in Bordeaux. Among a table of some of the most seasoned professionals, negociants, and winemakers, the bottle we had was emptied very quickly. Deep and brooding still at this young age, it is loaded with copious red/black fruits, extremely fine grain tannin, and a finish that easily passes a minute. Certainly a rival for the First Growths in a vintage like 2009, it will continue to be a wine that is a must-have for any collector for a few decades to come.

2017 Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 04-23-2018
Palmer is very intriguing in 2017. It is one of those properties that tends to thrive in challenging vintages and Margaux had its fair share of challenges. There was a buzz around the wine from folks who tasted it though. Perfumed and smoky aromatics leads to a bright, clean palate with good depth, juicy red/blue fruit, slightly grainy tannins, and an easygoing finish. There was an approachable nature to it that seems to indicate it will be an accessible vintage. It will be compelling to follow on release to see if it adds some depth and layers. Drink 2023-2034.

2017 Tour St-Christophe, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-20-2018
The secret is already out at Tour St Christophe - what they deliver for the price is simply stunning. Such is the case in 2017. Loaded with blackberry, graphite, and dark plum, it is seamless and impressively integrated for such a young sample. With juicy acid and a slightly oaky finish, it shows a class and pedigree that will leave many in St Emilion envious. This will be nearly impossible to resist on release but will reward for years to come and be fascinating to compare with the terrific 2014, 2015, and 2016. Drink 2021 to 2032.

2017 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 04-20-2018
Malescot is great again in 2017 - one of the true gems in Margaux and spectacular in a vintage where their neighbors struggled. Production is down a third from the previous vintage. Warm, inciting aromatics of licorice and dark red/black fruit lead a palate that is full of blackberry, vanilla, and cassis. Terrific concentration, plenty of new oak, bright acidity, and structure to tie it all together. The soft-spoken Jean Luc Zuger knew he had a winner here and the wine spoke for itself. Well done. Drink 2023 to 2038.

2017 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 04-20-2018
A property that has taken Margaux by storm over the past half-decade, the grand vin will continue to challenge the status quo in 2017. There is an oakiness on the nose, but it melds with the palate in good time, showing great vibrancy and depth, dark red fruits, impressive intensity, and a chalky minerality. Certainly on the modern side, but well-judged at that for the vintage. Tasted twice, both with encouraging results. Snap this up early and follow for a decade-plus.

2017 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-20-2018
We were treated to a stunning sample of Duhart at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. It was one of those moments that everyone looked around the table to make sure we had the right glass. It reached an aromatic complexity that was rare in 2017, with aromas of wild black fruit, a touch of vanilla, and sage. Silky, balanced, and clean on the palate there was amble sweet plum, black currant, and blue fruit. Good acid and well-judged tannin completed an impressive finish. Time will tell if this continues to be as dynamic as our one sample, but it is one to keep an eye on. Drink on release and for the following fifteen years.

2017 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 04-20-2018
With the signature textural refinement of the estate, 2017 Domaine de Chevalier shows a real charming profile in the vintage. Juicy, round, and showing impressive depth for the vintage, it has notes of milk chocolate, round red fruit, good detail, and well integrated tannin. Not a blockbuster, but the go-to quality that you'd expect from DDC over these past years. Drink 2021 to 2031.

2014 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-28-2018
What a brilliant wine! Leeuwin once again makes the case that world class Chardonnay doesn't have to come from Burgundy or California. Beautifully bright aromatics lead to a perfectly balanced palate full of ripe pear, meyer lemon, and just a hint of nuttiness. The absolutely seamless texture steals the show, and lively acidity lends tension and length to this year's Art Series. Without a doubt, this is Grand Cru caliber at an affordable price. Wonderfully accessible now, it will also be one that those with more patience can enjoy for another decade-plus at the very least.

2015 Paxton "AAA" Shiraz-Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-16-2018
Every once in a while there's a buzz around the shop for a particular producer - folks that try dozens of wines a day will make sure their colleague took the time to taste a certain wine. Such is the case for Paxton's 2015 AAA. It shows great purity and freshness, refined texture, and is a very graceful rendition of a Grenache and Syrah blend. Those who adore cool-climate Syrah or elegant CdP will find a lot to love, while those looking for a top under-$20 pick will be thrilled with this gem.

2013 Bodegas Aleanna "Gran Enemigo" Cabernet Franc Gualtallary Argentina
Review Date: 02-23-2018
The last vintage of this sold in a flash due to Luis Gutiérrez (Wine Advocate) comparing it to Lafleur in his lofty 98+ point review. Although I didn't get a chance to try that one, tasting the 2013 it became incredibly apparent why. It is an incredibly seamless, elegant, compact Cab Franc that will age beautifully for years. It is also one of those wines that will be fascinating to follow as it develops and I find myself hoping for that opportunity. One of the most refined Argentinian wines I've ever tried, it also shocked and impressed some of the most devoted Old World wine lovers here at K&L. This is one that should be on any collector's radar for sure.

2015 Pavie Macquin, St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-02-2018
Tasted at our UGC event on Jan 25th, 2018. This is the first St. Emilion that I tried at the tasting and one that kept me coming back - what an introduction to a superlative vintage for the Right Bank. Showing a ton of balance and poise, it is a luxurious claret without ever going over the top insofar as concentration or extraction. Beautiful purity a depth back up a long finish in what is sure to be a highlight of this terrific vintage for the decades to come. Hard to resist young, it is one that will reward a bit of time in the cellar and can be enjoyed for the two decades following.

2015 Chateau Puech-Haut "La Closerie du Pic" Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
Review Date: 11-02-2017
We've had a lot of stellar Rhone-inspired French reds of late that I've really enjoyed, but this has quickly become my favorite. Puech Haut's Closerie du Pic could easily sub in for a $60 bottle of top vintage, highly rated Chateaneuf in a blind tasting. There's great focus, purity, minerality, and depth here even after the cork is just pulled, but it evolves beautifully in the glass and deserves a short decant at this stage of the game. This is one that anybody who enjoys a beautiful bottle of Rhone-inspired wine should grab hold of.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
RP 96

2014 Star Lane Santa Ynez Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-17-2017
I've enjoyed Star Lane Cabs for over a decade now and am thrilled to see them getting some long overdue mainstream recognition. Not only are the wines better than ever, but the pricing is stunning - basically the same on our shelves as they were back in the day. That probably won't be the case for long considering what's in the bottle with the 2014 vintage. Beautiful bright acidity carries red and black fruit to go alongside a chalky tannin that's almost reminiscent of Bordeaux. But the brightness and concentration shows a sense of place and a home in California. Drink now with a healthy decant, or follow over the next 10 to 15 years. (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec)
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 95

2014 Red Stitch "Sierra Mar Vineyard" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-31-2017
This was a hit with our team when tasting - it balanced an earthiness with finely-tuned fruit that exemplified a well-built Pinot that's full of surprises. Perhaps the most aromatically complex of the lineup, it still delivers depth on the palate with ripe strawberry, baking spice, black tea, and light oak. Another winner from the team at Red Stitch, who is proving their mettle with Pinot Noir alongside their already renowned Cabernet.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Red Stitch "Soberanes" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-31-2017
This was my favorite of the lineup - a striking, bright, delineated Pinot that represents one of the up and coming, celebrated Central Coast sites in Soberanes Vineyard. The balance and tension keeps this lively and it highlights what high-end California Pinot should be - aligned with a sense of place but with the ability to do so with refinement and class. Drink now with a bit of air, or follow over the next decade. Great stuff.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2013 Red Stitch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-31-2017
This is a no-compromise effort from the great 2013 Napa vintage that shouldn't be overlooked. Deep cassis and black cherry highlight bright aromatics and a composed and well-balanced effort. It has the structure to age for another decade and a half, but will thrill any Cab lover sooner than that with a quick decant. The folks at Red Stitch have been making serious wines for over half a decade now and this will most likely mark their greatest release to date. Tiny production here - around 250 cases produced.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2015 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-29-2017
This is the kind of wine that we search endlessly for, find rarely, and can't keep in stock when we have it. We spend most everyday trying to find that domestic red that drinks like a cult cab but spends like a house pour. For me, this is it - my go-to red in a generous, refined, and delicious style that doesn't hide where its from, but could also go toe-to-toe with Napa bottlings in the $40 to $60 range. And while I've dabbled in the Wines of Substance releases before, this is probably the most impactful rendition I've tasted to date. At $15, this will be hard to beat now and for a long time to come. Load up.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa
Review Date: 07-17-2017
After reading the Decanter review, I had to try this for myself. Usually such bold promises at modest price points can be tough to live up to, but this hits the mark with room to spare. I can't say I'm surprised after tasting the remarkable Chardonnay values that our buyer brings in from South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand...but this one quickly became my favorite to date. A stunning seamless texture supports a bright, vibrant, balanced Chardonnay that reminds me of the poise and focus of a white Burg at multiples of this price. And although it is rote to grasp for a Burgundy corollary to qualify and Chardonnay, I just couldn't shake the thought while enjoying this bottle. Load up while available and enjoy anytime now or over the next 5 to 10 years.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 VN 91

2011 Felsina "Fontalloro" Toscana
Review Date: 05-26-2017
Produced for nearly three decades, Fontalloro remains one of the reference-point examples of pure Sangiovese, and one of the few that you can still find for such an immensely reasonable price considering its pedigree. On the nose it is textbook Sangiovese all the way with strawberry, licorice, and a touch of vanilla and leather. Superb purity on the palate, it has a core of bright red cherry, red plum, and mouthwatering acidity that sustains a clean and lingering finish. It is texturally seamless and barely showing any age at all approaching six years from the vintage. All of these pieces culminate in a wine that will age gracefully for the next fifteen-plus years (although even as a pop-and-pour right now it is extremely dynamic and rewarding). A superb vintage of Fontalloro.

2013 Bond "Quella" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Melbury’s neighbor to the west, it is the youngest of Bond’s vineyard designates, making its debut in 2006. An elegance and grace dominate this wine. Although aromatically reticent at the moment, it is night and day contrasted against Melbury’s density. Bright blue and black fruit frame a soft wine that never lacks for extract or depth. It evolves beautifully with a bit of air (all wines were popped and poured an hour in advance) and keeps showing another dimension when going back to the glass. Gorgeous now, but one that will be fascinating to follow for years. Drink 2020 to 2030.
Price: $499.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 96 VN 95
Limit of 3 per customer

2013 Paul Hobbs "Crossbarn" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-22-2016
Following the hands-off approach of the Crossbarn label, the fruit dominates the profile as only a small bit of oak (usually less than 20%) is used. Black currant, forest floor, and graphite dominate the aromas while bright acidity lifts flavors of black cherry, sage, and tart red raspberry. Fine grain tannins carry the wine to an impressive finish. There is a unique character to this wine, but it also has the telltale concentration and structure of the '13 vintage. Enjoy now with a few hours' decant, or follow over the next 6-12 years.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 93