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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 »
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: Redwood City
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."
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 »
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 »
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."
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!
From the Winery "This Pinot works hard for the working people. Telling a truly Oregon story, the wine draws from vineyards across the state. Each site adds its unique mark to the final Underwood blend, which highlights the rich juicy flavors of Oregon Pinot at an extraordinary price. The perfect wine to enjoy anywhere, any day of the week. Underwood is fast-becoming one of Oregon’s best values in Pinot Noir. Light and pretty raspberry fruit gains mass and flavor interest with well-integrated veins of stem and earth. It’s nicely balanced and true to varie... Read More »
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 »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "There’s extra richness across the palate of perfectly ripened apple, pear and melon fruit. The weight of the wine in the mouth is substantial but maintains a sense of lightness and proportion, and the finish extends out gracefully as long as you can wait for that next sip." (10/2014) Wine & Spirits: "High-toned, with sweet quince accents, this broadens on the palate. Pour it with a smoked turkey panini." (10/2014) Wine Spectator: "Silky and fresh, with a delicate bead of tangerine-inflected green melon flavors gliding easily into the finish. Drink now." (10/2014)
From the brewery: "Hops climb up twine that’s just loosely tied to the trellis with a half hitch knot— and this Imperial IPA is just loosely tied to tradition. The Mosaic hop imparts surprisingly floral aromas instead of the more expected grapefruit-y notes. On the palate, complex layers of flavors might remind you of guava, mango, stone fruit and lemon, unraveling your idea of what an Imperial IPA should be."
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.
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.
Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A fruity but attractively complex and softly spicy nose mixes both red and dark currant aromas with briar and earth hints. There is a sleek and restrained mouth feel to the equally fruity middle weight flavors that that offer reasonably good length though not the depth suggested by the nose. This is attractive in its fashion and could be enjoyed now." (1/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Brilliant red. Red berries and herbs on the spice-inflected nose and palate. Tangy and focused, showing a slightly tart edge to its red fruit and good back-end cut. Serve this one slightly chilled. ...Read More »
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 brewery: "This lively IPA delivers a crisp and light malt body with ample citrus and pine notes from Chinook and Equinox hops. Inspired by the aromas and silence we experience when exploring the scenic pine forests just up the road from our brewhouse."
Inventory: Redwood City
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "As with Pinot, there is no "Summum" bottling from selected rows or barrels this year, so Evening Land’s 2011 Chardonnay Seven Springs La Source reflects all of their best vines and lots. White peach and citrus dominate a luscious, creamy yet vibrantly juicy palate whose sense of richness and sheer density go beyond that of the "regular" Seven Springs bottling, yet without sacrificing clarity, or sheer juicy refreshment - though in buoyancy and mouthwatering salinity that ostensibly "lesser" wine holds the edge. There are more piquant elements incorporate ...Read More »
According to the winery: "The wine opens with lifted primary red fruits and notes of five spice on the nose. On the palate, red currant and pomegranate characters are supported by supple tannins and vibrant acidity through a long, satisfying finish. Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
Adam is a recreation of an historic beer style. Originally made in Dortmunder, Germany, it was the first beer produced by Hair of the Dog. Rich in flavor, Adam is best served as a dessert beer. It is great with chocolate or cigars, or just a warm fire and good company. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 50 IBUs.
A Bronze medal winner at the 2012 World Beer Cup, this was also named Beer of the Year by the Willamette Week in 2013 and Best Beer of 2012 by the Portland Tribune. A golden-hued ale with floral aromas, soft hoppy bitterness and a crisp finish.
92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Vivid ruby-red. Perfumed, complex scents of black raspberry, mulberry, cola and candied flowers, with a smoky Indian spice nuance adding complexity. Fleshy dark berry and rose pastille flavors are lifted and framed by juicy acidity. Tightens up with air and finishes on a lively bitter cherry note, with lingering spiciness and smooth, harmonious tannins." (7/2014) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Temperance Hill Vineyard comes from organic vines planted at 860 feet, one of the highest in the Willamette Valley. It has a complex bouquet the is well defined: black fruit, w ...Read More »
93 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Editors' Choice" Fine-tuning a legacy, second-generation winemaker Jason Lett’s wines are clean, elegant, poised and balanced. This is textbook Pinot Noir, with just-ripe raspberry and cherry fruit, vivid acidity, savory herb, and a foundation of clay and clean earth. Drink now-2024." (10/2014)92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is now supplemented by purchased fruit from outside the estate, fermented mostly in small 4- and 8-hectoliter vats to enable a cool ferment as the heat escapes from the top before it has time to build. It has plenty of earthy ...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 brwery: "'Style is whatever you want to do, if you can do it with confidence' - George Clinton. Funkatronic; this beer is a blend of styles and it's a little difficult to describe. It's a Belgian style beer with late late kettle additions of Nelson Sauvin, that's then dry hopped to absurdity with more of the same until it finally receives a nice dose of Brett. It's designed to put the funk in your face. With this Funky Wild IPA it's not about the IBU's, it's all about the aromatics."
Inventory: Redwood City
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 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."
From the brewery: "In the spring of 1980, a bearded, ragtag work crew known as Gypsy Stumpers were hired to clear stumps out of the new runs on Hood River Meadows. Camped at lift tower 10 on HRM, they worked long hours falling trees six feet in diameter, but only three feet tall. Much like the stumpers, this beer works twice as hard for your riding pleasure. Tangerine and herbal flower notes make their way through the resinous, pine forest nose. Its sturdy body holds the weight of the vigorous hopping, resulting in an assertive balance."
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 The Dragon's Tale Gamay Noir, from 282, 284 and 358 clones, is named after the typhoon that swept across Oregon that year. There were two pickings on October 3 and November 2, the second undergoing carbonic maceration. It has a delightful bouquet with lifted Morello cherry and cold stone scents. The palate is medium-bodied with soft fleshy red fruit, moderate acidity and a slight vegetal tincture on the Chinon-like finish." (3/2015)
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
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 »
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."
90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Pinot Noir Bergsptize Laurel Vineyard has a very restrained but very well-defined bouquet with scents of red cherry, cold granite, flint and a touch of burnt toast. It is very distinctive, but I find this very attractive. The palate is lean and reserved to the point where you would describe it as anaemic compared to some of those ostentatious 2012 Pinot Noirs from Oregon. But it is well balanced, mineral-driven, nicely poised with a lean but focused finish. And at just 10.7% alcohol, you could easily drink this with either fish or meat. Very fin ...Read More »
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2012 Pinot Noir les Dijonnais is due to be released this spring. It comes from Dijon clone (113, 114, 115, 667 and 777) and includes 5 percent whole-cluster fruit. Harvested October 6, it sees 40 percent new cooperage. This is much more reserved on the nose compared to the Cuvee de Tonneliere '12, but displays exquisite delineation with lucid black cherries, dried fig and limestone scents that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and layers of rounded redcurrant, cranberry and pomegranate fruit. There is presence ...Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City
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 »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2013 SEXT Riesling, which has just a tiny bit of pétillance, contains 7% alcohol and 7.4% residual sugar. It has a "direct" bouquet of dried pineapple and beeswax aromas that are nicely defined, though not as complex as the Wind Ridge Riesling. The palate is intriguing (in a positive way) because the "sparkle" is more noticeable than I expected and it instantly refreshes not just the mouth, but your body from head to toe. No, it's not an intellectual Riesling, but what a perfect aperitif." (3/2015) Wine Enthusiast: "Turning to Moscato-levels of sweetness and alcohol, th ...Read More »
Fresh and ready to refresh, this 2013 Chardonnay is a pure an unadorned expression of the vintage in the Willamette Valley: it was fermented in stainless steel. "Juicy apple and pear with spice and citrus oil," the winery suggests.
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)
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 »
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 »
Just in time for the holiday season, legendary Oregon fruit distiller Steve McCarthy brings you his best liqueur yet: Clear Creek Cranberry. I have been anxiously and impatiently awaiting this elixir since I got the chance to sample it at the distillery four months ago. This is not the sugary-sweet, syrupy substance you probably are expecting. This cranberry liqueur captures the pure tart and tangy essence of the berry itself, with just enough sweetness to balance it out. It's juicy, supple, and incredibly addicting. It's going to blow you away and it's ... Read More »