Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

  
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2014 Garage Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon "Lot #61" Maipo Alto
Review Date: 08-02-2017
This is Mountain Cabernet, a vineyard that is almost 1000m in the Andes. Better yet, it is unadorned mountain fruit. You cannot find that in Napa! This is a Cab that is about fruit, it is not a fruit bomb but sappy, bright, fresh dark red fruits and berries. There is just a hint of spice and herbal notes that just intensify the fruit. Full bodied and nicely textured this is a wine with immediate charm, but I will stash a bottle and check it out in a few to 5 years.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Garage Wine Company Pais
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Mission, or Pais, is a little of a head scratcher for me, especially if you read the back label. This is a wine that plays with expectations; it smells like a Pinot but with the power of a Cab. Aromatically it is delicate red berries macerated with a moderate amount of spices; on the palate are big, solid and polished tannins. What isn’t confusing is how good this wine is.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2016 Garage Wine Company Cinsault Itata Valley
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The Itata Valley is a perfect place for Cinsault; the igneous soils give focus and add complexity. With high toned aromatics of sappy red fruits backed with subtle baking spices. Medium bodied with modest tannins and fresh acidity this is a perfect wine to get a party started with. It’s a perfect Pinot substitute when you want a little more punch without grip.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Rustenberg "John X Merriman" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch
Review Date: 08-02-2017
It would be fair to call this South African St. Emilion. Even though it is 50% cab this has that dark rich and exotic nose that makes me think of old school St. Emilion. All five Chinese spices, with dusty leaves over dark berry compote. Like with the cabernet the palate is brighter than the nose, a touch more red fruits with less spice but more dried leaves and a leather component. This wine feels like it is just beginning to peak, but it has at least a decade of life in it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 ST 90

2013 Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch
Review Date: 08-02-2017
This wine is rich, complex and a great value. The nose is spicy, tart cherries and Chinese five spice, minus the star anise, dusty earth and a touch of sweet oak. It is full bodied with medium tannins. The fresh is brighter and fresher than on the nose and the earth takes on a fine mineral quality. This wine calls out for lamb!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa
Review Date: 08-02-2017
This wine comes across like white Burgundy, I do not know if it is the because the granite soils, the coastal wines but for a full malo Chardonnay this wine has freshness and drive that you do not normally see in the “new world” especially at that price point. The nose is toasty oak and cool fruits. The palate is cool stone fruits, sweet citrus that is framed with very reserved oak. This is will be a go to Chardonnay this summer for me.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 VN 91

2015 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-21-2017
Coleraine is the answer to the request, "I want a New World wine" (that is implied because this request occurs while standing in the Domestic Cabernet section) with richness and fruit but with restraint and complexity (they are looking at the Bordeaux section). This wine has it all. It is a great wine. Never mind that it is priced at the entry level for high-end wine from both of those regions. Hawkes Bay is the great Cabernet family terroir that most people do not know. They should, especially if they Cabernet based wines from K&L. This will not disappoint, in fact, it will encourage more excursions to this often-overlooked region.

2015 Chateau de la Charriere Santenay 1er Cru "Gravieres"
Review Date: 07-05-2017
Wines from this site always appeal to me. Broad, high-toned, sappy and sauvage; one of my favorite expressions of Pinot Noir. This is no exception but we can add on a lusciousness of the '15 vintage. This wine has immediate appeal but medium term aging potential; once you try it you will understand the dilemma.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Napa Cab for tonight! or later this week if you want. This wine delivers. Full bodied and rich with dark fruits that are framed with just the right amount of oak and ripe 2014 tannins. What do I mean by that? The tannins are full and present but glide across the palate. This is a wine that will age nicely but I cannot see it lasting long in your cellar because of it approachability.

2016 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Classic Rioja Rosado priced to keep your fridge full this summer. Blood orange, muted red berries and a little of the dusty mineral Rioja note. Light modestly round and refreshingly crisp perfect for any outdoor gathering, especially if there is a grill nearby.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Josef Ehmoser Zweigelt Rosé Wagram
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Clean delicate red fruits and citrus tones with a savory, mineral note and delicate Zweigelt spiciness. Light and crisp, it is that savory notes that makes me want to go back for more!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Rosé Mendoza
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Yum! Peach, melon, citrus and floral notes. A juicy, crisp and delicious blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir. Yeah that's right, when was the last time you had wine with those two varietals?
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Chateau Soucherie "Cuvée L' Astrée" Rosé de Loire
Review Date: 06-28-2017
A mouth watering slupper of a Rose. Red berries, citrus fruit with a hint of pith and lip smacking acidity. Just delicious and fun alternative to Provençal roses.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Caravaglio Malvasia Bianco Secca Salina Sicily
Review Date: 06-16-2017
Always a good choice. If you have tried this, you know the truthfulness of this statement.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$15.99
VN 90

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-15-2017
This has a complex yet humble nose. It is warm, generous and inviting with a mellow sweetness backed with just the rights amounts of spice on the nose. For being 104 proof it doesn't need any water. That extra hint of heat drives the long finish on this extra fine Bourbon.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WA 93

2011 Proprietà Sperino Lessona
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Lessona could be the Priorat of Italy. What does that mean? It was a historically significant region for Nebbiolo with dramatic isolated alpine terraced vineyards. It was almost lost to the pages of history after suffering Phylloxera, WW2, industrialization and urbanization. It was too expensive and difficult to maintain these great sites and they were all but abandoned. But not completely, thankfully. In the last decade we have been seeing more and more very good to great wines coming from this appellation. Sounds kind of like Priorat, right? And like Priorat these wines can challenge the great wines that are being produced elsewhere in Italy. I would gladly insert this wine in a tasting of Barolo and Barbaresco, and it would put quite a few of them to shame. This is a wine of complexity and structure. Notes of macerated red and dark fruits, with spice and balsam notes and floral element too. Fresh acidity and dusty earthy tannins drive this wine through its long finish. This is a compelling wine now but has tremendous cellaring potential.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 96

2013 Cantine di Ora "Amicone" Rosso Veneto
Review Date: 05-17-2017
This is a rich and luscious wine from the Veneto. Dark cherry, plum, subtle herbs and spice and a hint of chocolate on the nose. Soft tannins and enough acidity to tie everything together. This is a hearty red that is easy to drink, think anything from the grill or with a little cheese on a cool and foggy evening.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Early summer in a glass! Cool Peach and melon notes with a subtle spice notes and a crisp citrusy finish. This is a delightful everyday white that can be paired with both simple and exotic foods or simply as an aperitif with friends.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2014 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-17-2017
This is the most engaging vintage of this wine I have tried. While it is big, it is a RRV Zin after all. There is a freshness and balance to this wine that has you wanting to take a second and third look at it. Ripe and juicy cane berry fruit tones are on the nose and the palate backed with lots of spice and smoke. It is not just about the fruit, it is the structure and concentration that supports the delicious fruit, without it drawing any attention away from it. It is the ripe tannins and acid that give this wine a dynamic pop!

2015 Stony Bank Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with a twist. It has the classic Grapefruit citrus tones along with riper more tropical notes but the twist comes with minerality. This is not a big grassy Kiwi Sauvy, there are some green notes but this wine is more stone than grass. A wine for almost any occasion its mouthwatering acidity begs for a second and third sip.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 04-29-2017
This wine delivers, like it always does. Bright red fruit with a little more richness than the previous vintage. Plenty of classic Rioja spice and earth and all for under $15.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 04-28-2017
Cool ripe fruit, clean light green notes, penetrating minerality and snappy acidity. Yes please, can it be chilled and waiting for me when I get home tonight?

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 04-28-2017
Great everyday Bordeaux. It shows off the vintage with it's dark rich fruit and moderate tannins. A touch of earth and juicy freshness make this a go to weeknight red.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2014 Elephant Hill Hawke's Bay Syrah
Review Date: 04-28-2017
This wine is a game changer. Once you try this, you will think of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay in particular, when you hear Syrah. The combination of climate and soils create a unique expression of this classic varietal. Dark fruit and bright berries, cracked pepper, a savory element on the finish and enough acidity to focus all of the previous elements. Dark, bright, rich and savory, what more can you ask for from Syrah? Oh yeah, it is only $20, try to find a Syrah with that much character for that price from anywhere else in this world!

2014 Jim Barry "Cover Drive" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 04-21-2017
Coonawarra for less than $20!? This has a dark, rich nose with red fruits, oak spice and eucalyptus. Full bodied with plush tannins round mouth feel and a touch of earth on the finish. A great everyday Cab.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 91 WE 91

2011 Bodegas Muriel Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-20-2017
Charming Rioja. Immediately enticing with dark fruit laced with oak and spice. Medium bodied with a suppleness that you do not normally find in Rioja. Moderate tannins, acidity and oak that are well integrated into the dark fruit. It goes down a little too easy and you want to reach for more. I liked it before I knew the price; I liked it even more after I was told $15!

2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Dark and savory Central Otago Pinot Noir! Lush dark cherry fruit backed with a touch of oak and plenty of that savory herbal Central Otagoness. The palate is round with moderate tannins and fresh acidity. The fruit really comes to the forefront with that herbal tone and a nice counter point on the finish.

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Very enticing Pinot. The aromatics Range from bright berries to dark cherries with spice, earth and herbal nuances. It is medium light bodied but with substance, round mouthfeel, sizable but soft tannins pull everything together and let you know that patience will be rewarded, but that dark fruit and rich texture temp you into drinking it all now.

2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 04-04-2017
Really drinkable, rich and complex Cabernet. This wine has something for almost everyone. Polished round tannins that create rich and supple mouth feel. Bright fruit that is accented with dusty earth, and subtle oak spice and a eucalyptus high note for those that crave layers to their wines. The wine has plenty of immediate charm and enough stuffing for the collector. All for under $25, if you like Cab, you have to try it.

2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-27-2017
The wines made from this site in Bendigo always seem to be a touch richer and fleshier than other Central Otago wines. The nose is luxurious, sappy dark red fruits with a dusting of spice and earth. It is on the fuller side of Pinot on the palate with a lush round mouth feel. There is just enough tannin to pull everything back into a long finish.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 95

2015 Birgit Eichinger Hasel Grüner Veltliner Kamptal
Review Date: 03-22-2017
This wine spring in a bottle. Cool, crisp, subtly green and hinting at sun-ripened goodness. Great Gruner aromatics, floral, spicy with a burst grapefruit tone that makes me so happy. The palate it cool stone fruit, cool pear, and sweet green pea notes. It is clean and mouth wateringly refreshing. Something that I want waiting for me in my fridge when I get home at night.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 91

2012 Rippon "Rippon" Mature Vine Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-22-2017
If you love Pinot, click and buy this now. I'll wait. Do it. You will not regret it. If this is not the best Pinot in the store, than it is one of the top 5, regardless of price. This captures Pinot at its most beguiling. It is simply pure but complex. Subtle but intense. Delicate but powerfully structured. Open knit but concentrated. Immediate but reserved. And somehow all of these words fail. Buy some before the staff buys it all.

2014 Vasse Felix "Filius" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-22-2017
This is super serious Cabernet with both New World and Old World appeal. This is a wine that is big dark and rich, and seems to just get bigger and richer the longer that it is opened. Dark Cherry, Boysenberry, oak spice and a touch of eucalyptus. The fruit dominates this wine but it is so far from being a fruit bomb. There is plenty of big but super polished tannins and sneaky acidity which give the flavors a pop but not tang. This is a wine that needs at least 30mins decanting and should great for over a decade.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This is not the Hess that I remembered. It delivers everything that you want from a Napa Chardonnay. Medium full bodied with a creamy rich mid palate, but not drowned in butter. A touch of oak spice, and a crisp stainless steel finish (only about 25% of the wine underwent malo). Ripe but cool fruit tie everything together. I was taken aback with how much I enjoyed this wine. Being under $20 makes it a little better.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2014 Château de la Negly "La Côte" La Clape
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This offers a lot of wine for $12. Bright fruit with red and blue tones. The are floral hints with a touch of spice and easy tannins. This is a great everyday red.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Long-Depaquit (Albert Bichot) Chablis
Review Date: 03-15-2017
Stone fruit, ripe apples and flinty mineral tones. Crisp but not austere. Can you ask for anything more from a $20 Chablis. No.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bodegas Puelles Blanco Rioja
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This wine has been a huge hit at the San Francisco store the last several vintages. A modern white Rioja, no oak aging. Crisp and citrusy with a hint a honey crisp, a whisper of minerality and just a hint of apricot on the finish. A perfect Sauvignon Blanc alternative but really it is just a perfect daily drinker.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 03-15-2017
Delicious. Delivers everything that I want from a wine from this region. Crunchy dark red fruit, stony gravelly tones, a hint of oak and fine polished tannins. This wine way over preforms for the price point.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough
Review Date: 03-15-2017
From one of the cooler sub-districts of Marlborough. This has a light, generous personality. Open knit with lots of citrus ranging from mandarin to ruby grapefruit and just a hint of Sauvignon grassiness. Crisp but not tart, the flavors echo the aromatics but minus the green component. Friendly, delicious and reasonably priced, I anticipate drinking quite a few bottles of this off in the next several months.

2015 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 02-25-2017
While this is a blend of most of their "single" vineyard site it shouldn't be over looked. This does what all great blends should do; express the sum of the individual components. It has an expressive forward element like the Cornish and with more of the drive that the Calvert offers. It also expresses a spice element not found in either. The nose is cherry, raspberry and Central Otago spice. It is medium bodied with soft but moderate tannins. Great fruit with a hint of cola spice and a savory edge to the finish. Not a wine to be overlooked.

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Barossa Shiraz is something that has to be tip toed around sometimes. There can be too much baggage for some people, understandable. This is a wine that is boisterous and exuberant but it is not over the top. It is that last part which has been the problem. Most people really like rich dark fruits. Most people like spice. Some people even like a little tapenade in their wine. This wine has plenty of the former and a respectable amount of the later two. Medium tannins and the secret ingredient, enough acidity to tie everything back together. This is the wine to reacquaint you with Australian Shiraz.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Voyager "Girt by the Sea" Bordeaux Blend Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 02-22-2017
Here is another great Cabernet blend from Margaret River. This has become one of my go to regions for Bordeaux varietal wines. This wine is a charmer. Rich fruit, supple tannins and enough acid to pull it all together, that is why I like this region so much!!! There is a nice touch of oak and spice and well. There are lots layers to this wine but is not a cork dork wine. Pour yourself a big glass and enjoy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 VN 90

2014 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-02-2017
If you want to know what a "classic" White Burgundy smells like, buy a bottle of this. Apple, citrus, banana, toast, nuts, mineral, baking spice, anise any of the aromas that you have seen on the images trying to illustrate Burgundy are here, Beyond that the palate is medium weight, it is clean and very persistent with good extract. This is great Chardonnay.

2015 Averaen (Banshee) Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-10-2017
This is a decadent little Pinot. The nose is dark red fruits with dusting of superfine mocha, list it we a wine chocolate truffle. The palate has that same feeling, super fine dusty tannins and a hint of spice and clean bright fruit. Hard to beat at this price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2015 Charles Smith "Kung Fu Girl" Columbia Valley Riesling
Review Date: 01-10-2017
Dependable and reasonably priced, or I can also say cheap and good. Yellow fruit, stone fruit and a hint of citrus, an earthy element for intrigue, a kiss of sweetness to make it fun and a crisp finish. Buy a case and the only regret you will have is that you didn't buy enough.

2009 Bodegas Muga "Prado Enea" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-30-2016
This is captivating Rioja. The nose tells you everything you want know about it. Subtly intense, with layers and layers of fruit, both dark and red, a crazy mélange of spice and dusty earthy tones. I'm content just to sit and nose the wine, kind of.... The palate delivers everything that it promises on the nose but with super fine tannins and a long lingering finish. This is a great wine that you will be hard pressed to hold on to, but please try, it will just get better and better.

2011 Sportoletti "Villa Fidelia" Umbria Rosso
Review Date: 11-30-2016
Super Umbrian, it is a thing. This Bordeaux inspired blend is rich and with supple tannins, lots of chocolate covered cherry notes, spice and a mineral tone.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 92

2015 Kalinda Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-25-2016
For me this is one of the best Kalinda Pinots we have ever offered. Aromatic, with dark and bright fruits and berries, soft floral notes, earth and a touch of oak spice. The palte is balanced and fresh with more red fruit and berries jumping to the forefront. Easy tannins and fresh acidity make this wine dance on the palate.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Blend Western Cape
Review Date: 11-25-2016
Always one of the best deals in the store. This "cote du Rhone" inspired blend, delivers good fruit, a whisper of earth, a touch of spice ans just the right amount of tannin.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 11-25-2016
This is one of the best Bordeaux blends that we have in stock. Te Mata always over delivers, on every wine that they produce. This is the "Second wine" to the Coleraine but it is the first wine that I want to buy from their portfolio. This wine has richness, great structure, beautiful fruit, subtle complexity; what more could you ask for.

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