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K&L Staff Recommendations
Great Buy - Just Reduced! On our recent trip to Oregon this summer we certainly found plenty of great wines and met with a multitude of amazingly talented people. Many of the wines we found on that trip have already come in and sold out mostly due to our sheer excitement about the quality of wines we found. One of the most exciting opportunities from that trip was to work closely with our friends at Bethel Heights to put together a Pinot Noir exclusive to K&L as part of our burgeoning Co-Branded project. This 2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-A... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* This is an impressive effort, especially considering it is the winery’s mass-production cuvée. All in proportion, it’s built upon an acid/mineral base, with tangy, just-ripe berry fruit. It feels quite delicate, yet has the persistence and structure of a more substantial wine. Aged for 10 months in one-quarter new French oak, it’s worth tucking a few bottles away for a long-term look." (12/2014)92 points Wine Spectator: "*Smart Buys* Taut, tart and surprisingly generous, blooming with juicy, cranberry-accented blackberry, cherry and spice flavors that linger easi ...Read More »
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste--it's still packed with strawberry and pomegranate fruit, with the same supple texture, acidity and peppery spice and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl!
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Light and elegantly crafted, this iconic release is the textbook example of well-made cool-vintage Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s aromatic, floral and sillky. The tangy berry fruit is clean and ripe, though definitely on the lighter side. Pretty berry and cherry flavors are set against tart acids, with just a touch of milk chocolate from barrel aging." (2/2015) K&L Notes: You may recall the superb 2010 vintage of this wine, which received 95 points from Wine Spectator and was ranked #3 in the Top 100 Wines of 2013 along with a Highly Recommended designation. Domaine Serene ... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editor's Choice* This 7,000-case effort retained the quality for which the winery’s limited-production wines are known. The fruit-laden 2012 vintage helps, and the wine beguiles from first sniff to last sip. Cherries, chocolate, sandalwood and saffron interweave. The mouthfeel is soft and supple, and the delicate balance of fruit, acid and barrel never lets you down." (2/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Intense raspberry and cherry aromas are complemented by white pepper, allspice and smoky minerals. On the palate, juicy, sharply focused red fruit flavors stre ...Read More »
This is the same delicious Underwood Pinot Noir as the bottle, but in an easy-to-transport pop top can! No, it doesn't affect the taste - it's still packed with lemon, apple, and pear fruit with the same supple texture, acidity, and minerally finish. Perfect for summer sipping, for camping, boating, picnicking, beaching, or rocking out at the Hollywood Bowl!
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is matured 100% in oak for 11 months of which 20% is new. It is a little more backward on the nose compared to the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir '13, probably because it had only recently been bottled. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin that ensure this is very easy drinking. No hard edges here: smooth in the mouth with strawberry and raspberry coming through on the finish." (3/2015) K&L Notes: The Drouhin family were the first Burgundians to get a foothold in Oregon after the wine world noticed that great Pinot Noir was be... Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "The aromas are ripe and rich, offering plum, currant and roasted potato notes as the flavors come together and finish with precision against firm tannins. Best from 2017 through 2022." (2/2015)90 points Wine & Spirits: "A vinous Pinot Noir, this is quiet and mildly tense, its scents of dried cherries carried on a sleek texture. It needs some cellar time and then something delicate to match, like arctic char." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant ruby-red. Spice-accented red berry and floral pastille aromas show good clarity and a touch of succulent herbs. Silky and sweet on the palate, offering juicy ...Read More »
Whisky Advocate: "3 year old peated malt whisky, aged in Oregon oak. Rich nose of peat—burning leaves, a touch of sweet diesel—and fresh oak. There's no stinting on the peat; it's young, it's in your face. Whiskey to stand toe-to-toe with Portland's hopped-to-blazes beers. Not just peat: creamy malt makes a solid floor and an exit that may be the most complex part of the experience. Refined for a 3 year old. Limited annual release. (Vol. 22, #4)" K&L Notes: The new Fall 2014 release of McCarthy's is here and it's the last batch that will come from the actual McCarthy era. While Steve ... Read More »
Evesham Wood harvests their entry-level 2013 from several vineyards in Northern Willamette Valley. With a focus on quality viticulture, these vineyards are all dry-farmed and cultivated sustainably. Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, fermented in small lots, and aged in French oak (10% new) for 10 months before bottling. This adds up to an excellent value for deftly handmade and terroir-driven Pinot Noir. The winery describes the profile as "Bright and crunchy with cranberry, red cherry and cinnamon with a bit of firmness on finish."
From the winery: "It’s hard to keep your pinky up when you’re drinking wine from a 375 mL can. These are the most approachable and ready-to-travel anywhere wines we produce. Whether you’re sitting in a hot tub after a good day of riding or heading where other wines dare not travel, we have you covered without sacrificing the craft taste Union is known for. Our new Rosé Wine is a much-anticipated, highly drinkable way to bring out the summer vibes wherever you are. The canned version expands the wherever you are to anywhere you want to go."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Mt Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir comes from vines located above the winery augmented by purchased fruit from notable vineyards. It contains around 40% whole-cluster fruit (one of the central tenets at Cristom), and only undergoes one racking during its 12 months in barrel: one just before filtration and then just before bottling. It has an attractive tertiary/woodland-scented bouquet with dried rose petal notes coming through, much less fruit driven than many other 2012 Pinot Noirs. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry. It is ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "Beautifully styled, this wine brings a solid blend of citrus, cucumber, tangerine and melon flavors. The length and balance are there for further aging, but the stunningly good flavors encourage near-term drinking." (10/2015) K&L Notes: Elk Cove Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in Oregon and they produce one of the best examples of Pinot Gris from the Pacific Northwest. The Willamette Valley's cool climate is perfect for delicate, slow ripening Pinot Gris, offering just enough sunlight and warmth to fully develop sugars, with cool night temperatures that help ... Read More »
95 points Wine Spectator: "*Highly Recommended* Supple, expressive, multilayered and harmonious, this teems with ripe currant, plum and blueberry fruit, weaving in espresso, cream and nutmeg notes as the finish expands against polished tannins. Drink now through 2022." (7/2015)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "If ripe, jammy fruit is what you like in an Oregon Pinot, this is your baby. A generous amount of strawberry and cherry flavor is wrapped in a cloak of chocolate from 14+ months in 60% new French oak." (8/2015)
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Brut is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay undergoing a 5% malolactic fermentation and disgorged in September 2014. It was matured in 20% neutral oak and 80% stainless steel. It has a vibrant citrus-driven bouquet that is well defined and offers a little touch of peach with aeration. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, touches of brioche and pineapple with a fresh, vivacious finish. Excellent - and great value, too." (3/2015)90 points Wine Spectator: "Light and appealing, with an airy texture and smoky, toasty watermelon and floral flavors, finishing ...Read More »
From the winery: "Said to be a Goldilocks vintage in Oregon; not too hot, not too cold and not too much rain! 2014 was, however, the warmest season on record in the Willamette Valley. Interestingly this was not due to high maximum temperatures, but rather higher than normal minimum temperatures. A warm spring and a little rain gave us an early bud break and the season maintained warm temperatures throughout. Nighttime temps were well above normal accelerated ripening despite large crop loads and harvest began at the very beginning of September. The dry w... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "Brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops, this IPA is wonderfully fragrant. It leads with a mélange of fruit aromas: mandarin orange, ruby-red grapefruit, passion fruit, mango, pineapple and papaya. Those notes carry through to the medium-weight palate, supported by flavors of bread dough and lightly caramelized malt. A dank stickiness adds depth to the palate and length to the finish." (9/2013)
Inventory: San Francisco
90 points Wine & Spirits: "**Best Buy** This wine’s dark cherry aromas are supported by a pronounced oak frame, as dark as bitter chocolate. It’s intense and brooding, with oak playing more of a supporting role in the texture and flavor. Cellar and let the wood settle for a year." (8/2014) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby. Black raspberry, musky flowers and anise on the nose. Juicy and light on its feet, offering slightly jammy dark berry and cherry flavors and a touch of spiciness. Closes with good breadth, a touch of warmth and gentle sweetness. This fruit-centric pinot would be good with a light chil ...Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* The lovely wines from this pioneering estate, now in the capable hands of second-generation winemaker Jason Lett, are generally priced well below any comparable efforts. Here the texture and minerality evoke surpassing elegance. Lime, grapefruit, a bite of pineapple all come into play, with the depth and balance that suggests several years of life ahead." (2/2015)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Gris Estate is from vines planted in Rolling Green Farm and Daphne Vineyard (the first plantings in the United States from four cuttings) and for the first time, ...Read More »
From the winemaker: "Wild strawberries, crushed rose petal, lavender and pink peppercorn lead to a palate reminiscent of watermelon salt water taffy, amaretti cookie and red currants. The bright and briny acidity is perfectly balanced with a touch of fruit sweetness. The 2014 Ponzi Pinot Noir Rosé is a blend of fruit from high elevation sites Merten and Dion Vineyard, and saignée from Ponzi’s finest Pinot noir lots."
From the brewery: "This is our take of the renowned Bohemian-style pale lager that you might find in Bavaria or the Czech Republic. Ours is a little more golden, rounder, and a little more malt driven than many other versions. The beer possesses strong hop character that is balanced by its rich, round, malty palate. Refreshing and balanced, this beer is a favorite of our winery friends during harvest."
According to the winery: "This rosé is vinified differently from most: fully barrel fermented in neutral oak, it is aged 6 months before bottling. Full-flavored and rich, with creamy strawberry notes. It is balanced with a lingering finish that lasts just long enough for you to pour yourself another glass.
92 points Wine Spectator: "Light and silky, bright with cherry, raspberry and cinnamon, coming together harmoniously against refined tannins on the expressive finish. Best from 2016 through 2022. 8,000 cases made." (2/2015)91 points Wine Enthusiast: "This bottling occupies the middle step between Ponzi’s Tavola and reserve-level Pinots. The exceptional 2012 vintage delivers a wine with unusual concentration for its price. It presents a refreshing mix of briary berry, mineral, hints of chive, pepper, chocolaty barrel notes and a suggestion of yeast, and is finished with fine-grain tannins." (2/2015)90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-r ...Read More »
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright violet color. Smoky cherry and dark berries on the nose, with hints of licorice and dried flowers building in the glass. Sappy and focused, offering bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Finishes spicy and tight, with an echo of smokiness and strong tangy bite. Quite lively for a 2012: this shows the nerviness that I associate with better 2011s." (7/2014)
Growers Dick & Deirdre Shea were known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir fruit in Oregon before they started their own winery in 1996. They still provide fruit to renowned producers such as Penner-Ash, Ken Wright, and St. Innocent, but Dick and Deirdre now keep about 25% of the fruit they grow for their own label. The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir is sourced from 13 blocks of their vineyard which includes Wädenswil, Pommard, and 3 different Dijon clonal selections. The wine was made with 6% whole clusters and aged in 48% new French oak. From the winer... Read More »
Small-production Oregon Pinot Noir can be hard to find outside of the state. It's more often the "big names," established in the 1970s, that you will find--if any! Holloran is a small winery located in West Linn, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Since 1999, they've sourced from small, estate vineyards in Dundee and around the Willamette Valley.
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* From 20-year-old, Dijon clone estate vines, this substantial, tongue-gripping Chardonnay has intense depth of flavor. A luscious mix of grapefruit, apple, melon, spice and mineral elements, it drives down through the palate and never quits." (4/2015)93 points Wine & Spirits: "Another fine study in chardonnay by the esteemed family from Beaune, this wine’s voluptuous ripeness makes it more demonstrative and plump than the Edition Limitée. Its ripe pineapple and pear accents are buoyed by mouthwatering, mouthfilling acidity and a leesy textural grip. Give it some ag ...Read More »
From the brewery: "Fred aged in new, medium toast American oak barrels for at least 6 months. Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. Fred is a big inspiration for me and many other brewers. Fred's work in all-grain brewing and beer styles helped me become a better brewer. Fred the beer is a deep golden color. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties in an effort to incorporate the whole world into this beer. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 65 IBUs. We hope that Fred will inspire you to sh... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright ruby. Appealing, expressive aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote and candied flowers are lifted by a hint of white pepper. Pliant red and dark berry flavors become sweeter with air, picking up spice and cola nuances. Shows very good energy and cut on the spicy finish, which is firmed by silky, harmonious tannins." (8/2014)
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the steepest east-facing vineyard with heterogenous soil types located just outside the winery, the 2012 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard includes about 40 or 50% whole cluster fruit. It has a perfumed, quite floral bouquet with generous crushed strawberry and raspberry scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a lovely mineral-core of fruit cloaked in dark cherry and bilberry fruit. There is fine salinity here, very good depth, with a long and quite powerful saline finish. Excellent. (NM)" (3/2015)93 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and expressive, glowing with blackberry, ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "The widely available Yamhill Cuvée is bright and polished, showing a tangy mix of cranberry and strawberry fruit. It’s built with precision, accenting the crisp fruit with streaks of lemon, orange and grapefruit." (2/2015) K&L Notes: The winery calls it the "little sister" to their Evenstad Reserve, but it often scores within a few points of that bottling. The 2010 earned accolades and a 90 point score in Wine Enthusiast.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Illahe Vineyard has a lifted bouquet with violet scents permeating the dark cherry and blackcurrant nose. The palate displays quite a lot of extraction, although the acidity keeps everything balanced, the finish quite glossy with a long cassis finish. Fine. (NM)" (3/2015)
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard, which is often the first and last fruit to be harvested because part of the vines lack sunshine late in the afternoon. It has a well-defined and very natural bouquet with ebullient red berry fruit intermixed with rose petals and cedar. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, wonderful focus and superb tension right to the finish. This feels a little more compact and backward than Cristom's other 2012, but there is clearly breeding and sophistication here." (3/2015)93 points Wine & Spirits: "Louise is often the darkest, most concentrated si ...Read More »
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2011 Pinot Noir Sommers Reserve contains a higher percentage of estate fruit compared to the Mt. Jefferson, around 80%, and is treated like the single-vineyard-matured for 18 months in around 50% new oak. It includes 50% whole-cluster fruit. It has a mellow, natural bouquet with lifted brambly red berry fruit with touches of bay leaf and autumn leaves. I like the delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite crisp and reserved at first, but it gently fans out with pretty red berry fruit mixed with plenty of dried herbs. This a ...Read More »
Winemaker's Notes: "Destemmed in 1¼ ton lots, Jim’s light touch in the winery allows the intrinsic character of the wine to blossom. Passive temperature management ensures spontaneous fermentation proceeds and is monitored and guided by sensory analysis, gentle extraction techniques and low peak temperatures. Immediately upon reaching dryness, the lots are gently pressed in a half-ton wood bladder press and settle 2-4 weeks before being transferred to 5%-10% new French oak barrels for twenty months. They are only racked to prepare for bottling. Maresh Vi... Read More »
McKinlay is a small, 1,000-case family winery on the slopes of Parrett Mountain in Oregon's Willamette Valley that crafts exquisite Pinots. Made by Matt Kinne, the great-grandson of Oregon orchard farmer George Angus McKinlay, who uses native yeasts, minimal new oak and no additives. The wines are unfined and unfiltered. Don't let this wine's affordable price lead you to believe it's anything but stellar. No matter the vintage, Kinne crafts wines of elegance and delciousness.
Inventory: Main Warehouse
From a traditional farmhouse brewery in Hood River, Oregon, called Logsdon. They use locally grown organic hops, some of which they actually grow themeselves. The Seizoen is carbonated with pear juice and carefully selected yeast strains, and is spicy and fruity, complex and balanced. Bryan Brick, K&L's NorCal beer buyer recalls: "It was surely a revelation that someone was making a rustic, earthen, husky Saison like this. The bottles we have are wonderfully fresh, and the more steady carbonation really adds cut and balance to this delicious beer."
From the winery: "The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a blend from highly regarded vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Black raspberry, anise, and spicy notes of nutmeg,cinnamon. Mid-palate burst of balanced acid and tannin with flavors of black cherry, cranberry and spice with a crisp full mouth finish. A successful blend from the best of the Willamette Valley 2013 vintage."
Wine Spectator: "Light and tangy, with a crisp feel to the raspberry and floral flavors, lingering on the delicately candied finish. Drink now through 2016. (Web-2014)" K&L Notes: A tart cherry, tobacco and forest floor inflected Pinot Noir with just a touch of spice. This is a delightful Pinot.
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice* To call it entry level does not do justice to the quality here-this would be reserve level at many wineries. A generous mix of blueberry and black cherry fruit rolls seamlessly through the fruit-driven core, annotated with barrel notes of cola, coffee and cream." (6/2015) Wine Spectator: "Firm and focused, with earthy undertones to the tar and blackberry flavors, persisting against fine tannins. Best from 2016 through 2020. 3,184 cases made. (Web Only, 2015)"
Details from the brewer: "Our traditional farmhouse brewery is located in Hood River County on a small farm where we also grow some of the hops we use in our beer. Truly handcrafted in every sense of the term. we prefer to use locally grown organic hops, not pulverized hop pellets. Our nursery of "sharbeekse kreik "(cherry) trees brought over from the small Bam's orchard located in East Flanders are growing nicely." 'Seizoen Bretta' Brewer's Notes: "Special Brettanomyces yeast provides added dryness and crisp complexity to the Seizoen Bretta. Bottle con... Read More »
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, expressive aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry pit, floral pastilles and woodsmoke, with a spicy topnote adding vibrancy. Offers silky, open-knit blackberry and spicecake flavors and a touch of cola that gains strength on the back half. In a fruit-driven, forward style, with excellent finishing clarity and length and supple tannins that come in late." (8/2014)91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Clay Court comes from 11-year-old vines cropped at 1.75-tons per acre and at 23.5 Brix aged in French oak for ten months, 40% new. The nose is conservati ...Read More »
From the brewery: "A belgian white IPA. Kumquat and pineapple hop aromas are paired with a fruity belgian yeast strain. Disguised as dangerously drinkable, this beer clocks in above 8%, yet is refreshingly delicious."
Inventory: Redwood City