Stay Connected
What We're Drinking

 

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

Recent Videos

Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

See all K&L Local Events

Archives

Entries in Pinot Noir (79)

Thursday
Aug022012

{Terra Ignota} Pyramid Valley Vineyard Wines In Stock!

We now have a large range of these spectacular wines in stock

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

On very rare occasions do we find wines that truly inspire—the magic moment we all chase in a simple beverage made from crushed grapes. For this to happen I believe three things have to be in harmony: fruit, structure and terroir. I found these things intricately aligned in the wines of Pyramid Valley. Based in North Canterbury on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the wines made by Mike and Claudia Weersing are truly world class.

Pyramid Valley's Home Vineyard in North Canterbury under a blanket of snowTheir “Home Vineyard” is one of the most carefully cultivated sites anywhere, farmed using biodynamic principles and a whole lot of Claudia’s “blood, sweat and tears.” Beyond their estate they have also forged relationships with growers and small vineyards all over New Zealand. They choose sites of distinction and convert everything to the same stringent biodynamic principles they apply at home. The resulting wines are nothing short of spectacular, perfectly illustrating New Zealand’s plethora of microclimates and diverse terroirs. The winemaking at Pyramid Valley parallels the profound attention to detail in the field: They work with all wild yeasts, tread the grapes by foot and ferment in tiny clay vessels, with an unwavering focus on quality and authenticity.

We have just received a huge range of their spectacular wines into stock, in stores and online:

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyard “Angel Flower” Pinot Noir, North Canterbury ($59.99)

Opulently aromatic: soft berry fruits, exotic spice, hints of warm earth. On the palate: supple, elegant andenergetic. Fine polished tannins and relatively light extraction. The exuberance and depth of this wine suggests its longevity will belie its attractive, graceful structure.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards “Earth Smoke” Pinot Noir, North Canterbury ($59.99)

A powerful and brooding Pinot with darker black cherry, bramble fruit and charcoal, plus ground nutmeg and
clove and an intense, earthy or leaf-litter component. The tannins are more prominent, which perfectly matches the heavier palate weight. Cellaring will no doubt bring reward.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection “Cowley Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Marlborough ($29.99)

The Cowley Vineyard is in the hills and has a more complex soil composition than much of Marlborough, including clay, glacial deposits and granitic stone. This Pinot is dramatically floral, with crushed red berries and hints of anise. The palate is vibrant and concentrated, with spice and rich depth. A touch more forward in style.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection “Calvert Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Central Otago ($39.99)

From a Vineyard shared between some giants of NZ Pinot Noir. (Craggy Range, Felton Road and Pyramid Valley) All farmed Biodynamically. This is the warmest region PV work with and it is reflected in this wines powerful fruit core of Blackberries and dark cherry. Rich and unctuous on the palate, yet retaining freshness and drive. Some dark earthiness and ripe silky tannin. Probably the best cross-over wine for California Pinot drinkers interested in trying Pyramid Valleys offerings.

2007 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection “Howell Family” Cabernet Franc, Hawkes Bay ($35.99)

From the Bridge Pa district of Hawkes Bay, known for its iron- and mineral-rich red loam soils that impart a distinctive complexity into the wines. The winemaker’s notes are perfect here, “hugely perfumed fruit, violets and a tapenade-like mix of olive, black pepper and herbs, especially thyme. Black fruits turn redder with air: blackberry morphing to raspberry.”

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection "Rose Vineyard" Riesling, Marlborough ($21.99)

Intense mineral and lime zest aromatics with a hint of dry grass or straw. A really vivacious palate with tons of citrus notes, some mulling spice, bright floral notes of orange blossom. A lovely weight in the mouth, rich and persistent on the finish.

2007 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection "Kerner Estate" Pinot Blanc, Marlborough ($21.99)

Rich citrus preserve, sweet orange marmalade. Some roasted grains and lees character on the nose give an interesting savory component to an other wise fruit laden bouquet. On the palate this wine is beautifully viscous and mouth filling. A very fleshed out wine that has evolved fantastically in the bottle. All this richness is perfectly balanced by a brisk acidity and long lingering savory minerality on the finish. Very food friendly.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyard "Field Of Fire" Chardonnay, North Canterbury

A beautiful bright Chardonnay dominated by perfectly ripe orchard fruits and again those toasted grain notes I get from so many of the PV wines, I think it must be from the good healthy lees contact. A rich and engaging multidimensional wine with excellent fruit, a subtle touch of oak and limestone character running throughout the tail. Excellent depth and persistence.

Cheers!

-Ryan

Ryan Woodhouse

NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City

Contact

 ***

Terra Ignota is Latin for "Unknown Land". It was the name for the South Pacific region during intial mapping and exploration of Australia and New Zealand. As we are going to be exploring new and exciting wines from this region, we think this is a fitting title for our blog series on wines from this part of the world. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday
Jul032012

Monthly Wine News [July 2012] Monthly Newsletter & Highlighted Recommendations

We've posted the latest electronic copy of our printed newsletter in PDF format online at http://www.klwines.com/pdf-news.asp -- here are some of our highlighted recommendations this month: 2009 Bodegas Vinae Mureri

2009 Bodegas Vinae Mureri "Xiloca" Garnacha Vino de la tierra Ribera del Jiloca ($9.99)

K&L Notes: Located just outside of the Calatayud D.O. (famous for Las Rocas, amongst other inexpensive Garnachas), Xiloca actually reminds me of the incredible value these wines presented about 10 or so years ago: big, juicy, spicy, plump berry fruit, without the sense of overt fruitiness nor dumbed down to simplicity, which unfortunately has become very common in many Spanish (and French) Garnachas of late. Produced from vines averaging 80 years, yielding only 1/3 ton per acre (!), in arguably one of the world's best suited terroirs for Garnacha, this wine offers a whole lot for the money. Highly recommended. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Xiloca is 100% Garnacha with a very fragrant perfume of earthy minerality and black cherries. This tasty, friendly, value-priced offering has ample fruit as well as a sense of elegance. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. Bodegas Vinae Mureri is located just a few miles outside of the demarcation line of the more prestigious DO of Calatayud in the province of Aragon, hence the Vino de la Tierra designation. Like Calatayud, the region is known for its high altitude, old-vine, low-yielding Garnacha vines." (06/2011)

2009 D'Alessandro Cortona Syrah (Elsewhere $16)2009 D'Alessandro Cortona Syrah (Elsewhere $16) ($11.99)

K&L Notes: The climate and soils in Cortona are unlike better known parts of Tuscany, such as Chianti to the northwest and Montepulciano and Montalcino to the southwest. So when Massimo d'Alessandro decided he wanted to make serious wine from his family's land in the 1980s, he planted 12 acres of vineyards to different varietals. What seemed most suited to his vineyards wasn't Sangiovese but Syrah, which now makes up 90% of the plantings. This comes from the vineyard's younger vines and is prized for its freshness and immediate drinkability. And in the hands of winemaker Luca Currado (Vietti), you know it's going to be good. 

90 points James Suckling: "This is very good value in Syrah. Interesting aromas of raspberries, pepper and dried meats, follow through to a full body, and silky tannins with a fresh finish. Polished and pretty. Made from Syrah. Best after 2012." (09/2011)

2009 Bouchard Ainé & Fils Bourgogne Rouge2009 Bouchard Ainé & Fils Bourgogne Rouge ($13.99)

K&L Notes: This delicious Pinot Noir comes the negociant firm of Bouchard Ainé, established in 1750 and now owned by Boisset, but run independently. It is evidence of the quality of the 2009 vintage. In the glass the wine is rich and complex, with a lovely note of rose petals on the nose and a satisfying mid-palate. This is a remarkable amount of wine for the money! As the British would say, it's more-ish, as in "More Please!". And the good news is that you can afford more given our attractive price. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

2010 Ceretto Arneis 2010 Ceretto Arneis "Blangè" ($14.99)

K&L Notes: Forget for a moment that Piedmont is the home of one of the world's most noble grapes, Nebbiolo, and imagine a warm summer's day, sitting under magnificent trees and eating simple egg pappardelle with sage and butter. You don't really want a heavy red wine with your meal, you want something white and clean, so as not to bury the simple deliciousness of it. Enter Piedmont's white wine--Arneis--and this version from one of its most respected producers, Ceretto. Fruit-filled, with notes of pear and apple that would perfectly complement the sage in your pasta, it's made in a vivace style, with just a slight spritz that leaves it dancing on your palate, whisking away the buttery richness.

93 points Wine & Spirits: "Fresh scents of apple blossom honey and beeswax add to the almond richness of this arneis. It’s as smooth as a round riverstone, clean and fragrant. The finish is distinctly Piedmontese in its earthiness; to match braised chicken or a rich fish stew. " (12/2011)

2010 Morgan  

2010 Morgan "Twelve Clones" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($25.99)

K&L Notes: Morgan's 'Twelve Clones' Pinot is composed of fruit from some of the Santa Lucia Highlands best sites, including Tondre Grapefield, Lucia Highlands, Garys', and Morgan's own organically farmed Double L Estate vineyard (55% of the final cuvée). The cool, long, and wetter than average 2010 growing season yielded fine results across the board, enabling Morgan to render craft an exceptional cuvee that shows off the lush fruit character of the region while maintaining balanced natural acidity and a moderate 13.9% alcohol. Aged for ten months 36% new French oak, this Pinot exhibits black raspberry, black cherry, plum, and hibiscus tea aromas and flavors, with accents of vanilla and clove. On the palate, hints of savory herbs fold into the baking spices and fruit flavors, for a complex, layered Pinot that can pair with a variety of foods. Try it with grilled salmon, smoked duck breast, or roast leg of lamb.

92 points Wine Spectator: "Well-crafted, tight and structured, with firm, gripping tannins keeping the zesty, tart wild berry, blackberry and date-nut bread flavors in check. Drink now through 2020." (06/2012)

 

2007 Bennett Lane

2007 Bennett Lane "Maximus" Napa Valley Red Blend ($29.99)

 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tastes dramatic and youthfully vital, with fat, fleshy flavors of blackberries, cassis, mocha and sweet cedar, as well as a mineral tang that grounds them. Very upscale and refined, a pure product of superior terroir and winemaking." (05/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Enticingly complex, rich and layered, showing fresh, vibrant blackberry, wild berry, cedar and spice flavors, with a texture that's both supple and firm. Full-bodied, with a long, lingering finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2020." (07/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Maximus Red Feasting Wine (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 6% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color along with notions of cedar, licorice, black currants, chocolate and coffee. This medium to full-bodied 2007 should drink nicely for a decade or more. " (12/2010)

 

2007 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino  2007 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino "Tradizione" ($29.99)

 93 points James Suckling: "Rose petals and plums on the nose. Full body, with round and chewy tannins and a ripe finish. Tannic, yet polished texture. Give it two to three years of bottle age. This wine is clearly better in 2007 than 2006." (01/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Thick and dark, with generous fruit, spice, leather and tobacco. This is a wine that does not hold back from an aromatic point of view. Mouthfeel is tight, firm and ends with polished tannins." (05/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A sinewy, muscular red, hinting at mint and licorice, with a core of cherry and plum flavors. Stiff tannins corral everything on the moderately long finish. Best from 2014 through 2026. B.S." (06/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Tradizione saturates the palate with layers of dark red cherries, rose petals, spices and licorice. It shows gorgeous mid-palate pliancy and depth all the way through to the finish. The Vitanza wines always have an element of rusticity, but the 2007 Brunello is especially polished. This will always be a fairly full-bodied wine marked by firm, incisive tannins. The 2007 spent 36 months in Slavonian oak. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025." (04/2012)

 

 >> See All Recently Recommended Wines

 

***

Want to see which wines are most popular with our customers? We constantly update our lists of bestselling wines, online at: http://www.klwines.com/bestsellers.asp

Tuesday
Jun052012

{Terra Ignota}: Te Whare Ra - K&L's First Direct Import from the Land of the Long White Cloud

 

Te Whare Ra, is a small, organic, family-run winery in the Wairau Valley of Marlborough.

Te Whare Ra (pronounced “Tea Far-ee Ra”, from Maori meaning “The House in the Sun”) is one of the premier boutique wineries in Marlborough and has some of the oldest vines in the area dating back to the 70’s. Since 2003, it has been owned and operated by Jason and Anna Flowerday. Both are winemakers by trade; Jason is a local to Marlborough and Anna is from McClaren Vale in Australia. The two were destined to have a winery of their own, and Te Whare Ra (TWR) is a culmination of their passion and dedication to quality.

Jason and Anna Flowerday

During some time in Marlborough last year my wife and I stumbled upon TWR. We were looking for small boutique wineries and personally gravitate toward organic/Biodynamic producers. We pulled into the front of the winery but everything looked closed. We rang the bell and Anna answered the door. We chatted a while and she explained that their first pick for the 2011 vintage was happening the next day and they had closed the tasting room to prepare the winery for harvest. Thankfully she offered to pour us some wines anyway and I was immediately stunned by the quality of all the wines.  After the tasting she took us for a wander through the winery and crushpad. Jason joined us and we talked about their viticulture, winemaking style and general philosophy. 

View of the Crush Pad and Individual Berry Sorting at Te Whare Ra

I was amazed by the small scale of production and extreme hands-on, detail-oriented winemaking they employ. The vineyards are farmed meticulously using organic and biodynamic methods. They even have their own cows for manure and other Bio preps. They are members of Organic Winegrowers NZ and are soon to be Bio-Gro certified. Most of the fruit is hand-picked and sorted. The Pinot is then de-stemmed and resorted by the individual berry! Fermentation is done in one-ton open fermenters for gentle extraction and finesse.

Jason Hand Plunging the Pinot Noir

Seeing and hearing all this made perfect sense after tasting the wines. Jason and Anna’s careful hand crafting and obsessive attention to detail define these wines; they are truly distinctive, expressing quality, purity, a dynamic sense of place, and a great thread of textural complexity and detail that shows though in every wine. We exchanged contact info, picked up a couple bottles to give to our Kiwi hosts and left vowing to tell any that would listen about how special these wines were. On returning to the US and getting my position with K&L I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for K&L's first serious collaboration with a single boutique producer from New Zealand through our Direct Import program. 

This is just was just the beginning as we continue to expand our offerings that already include: Oakridge, Dalwhinnie, Te Mata Estate and Waterkloof. You can also look forward to many more Direct Imports in the future!

 

Here is what we have in stock now, ready for you to try. Click on the links to learn more:

 2011 Te Whare Ra “D” Riesling Marlborough (Dry)* ($18.99)

Elegantly floral with a complex palate of concentrated citrus, with Kaffir lime and grapefruit. Zesty acid keeps the mineral laden finish snappy. 1,026 cases made.

 2012 Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough* ($18.99)

Combining tropical passion fruit and lychee notes with cooler qualities of elderflower, citrus and gooseberry from the Awatere fruit. Great mid-palate texture and fresh, yet restrained, acidity on the finish. More concentrated than the 2011 vintage due to low yields and meticulous fruit selection.

 2011 Te Whare Ra Chardonnay Marlborough* ($24.99)

Very Burgundian in weight and texture. The palate is packed with orchard and stone fruits. Beautiful texture and richness with perfect balance. Oak is well integrated with rich toasty notes of creamy hazelnuts and fresh ground grains leading into spicy elegant finish.

91+ RP: "The 2011 Chardonnay is scented of white peaches, lemon curd and baking bread with hints of almonds, gingersnaps and orange blossom. Medium to full bodied, there's just a suggestion of oak complimenting the stone fruit and toasty flavors with refreshing acidity, a silken texture and a nice long finish. Drink this one now to 2016."

 2011 Te Whare Ra Gewürztraminer Marlborough* ($18.99)

Crushed rocks and flowers! Overtly floral, but with serious mineral qualities. A big, rich and textural Gewürtz. Exotic Asian spice and tropical fruit dominate the palate. 510 cases made.

 2011 Te Whare Ra Pinot Noir Marlborough* ($24.99)

Beautiful strawberry and boysenberry fruit on the nose. In the mouth soft red and dark fruits. The typical bright, crunchy Marlborough acidity is balanced with rich savory undertones and depth from the old vines. 450 cases made.

After tasting each wine many times it still amazes me how this marriage of winemakers can excel with every grape variety that graces their estate. These are truly special wines. I hope you will try them!

The Flowerdays

Cheers!

- Ryan Woodhouse, NZ / Aussie Specialist

 

***

 Terra Ignota is Latin for "Unknown Land". It was the name for the South Pacific region during intial mapping and exploration of Australia and New Zealand. As we are going to be exploring new and exciting wines from this region, we think this is a fitting title for our blog series on wines from this part of the world. Stay tuned for more!