Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

  
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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?
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

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 Syrah Hawke's Bay
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: $14.95 Add To Cart
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.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

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

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.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Argyle "Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-15-2017
This wine lives up to its Reserve designation. It has everything that you could want or expect from Willamette aromatics and fruit tones. Where it differentiates itself is texture. It has super polished tannins, giving the wine extra presence without being distracting. It fills your palate with deliciousness and then effortlessly glides onto a lengthy finish. Definitely worth a try.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 JS 92

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 G-S-M Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
This wine forced me to reevaluate my take on this blend from Australia. I have always enjoyed the wines but more often than not they are good reds with some complexity and while I enjoyed them rarely have I found myself thinking about how all the varietal work together. This wine had me jumping from layers of fruit and left me asking, Syrah? Mataro? Is that spice Grenache? What starts the flavor party? I love that you can taste and perceive the transitions. Delicious and intriguing one of my favorite wines of the year so far.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Powell & Son "Loechel" Shiraz Eden Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-24-2017
This is a show stopper. A head turner. "what was I just say....?" This wine will go toe to toe with the best Shiraz/Syrah in the store. Dark, rich, complex, fantastically textured and a long, long finish.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
RP 97

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

2014 Farnetella Lucilla Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 02-22-2017
A Tuscan charmer! Lots of the dark cherry Sangiovese fruit made a little darker with the help of Cab and Merlot. A touch of spice, a whiff of Tuscan dust and a dry but not classically assertive finish. This will be a go to pizza pasta red while it lasts!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

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: $22.99 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.

2015 Tierhoek Sauvignon Blanc Piekenierskloof South Africa
Review Date: 01-03-2017
A delightful Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and refreshing without being aggressive or tart. Ripe apple with hints of citrus and a whiff of grass. Pleasantly textured this is a great wine to have around the house. Perfect for poultry, fish or any assortment of vegetarian dishes.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

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.

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.

2015 Te Mata "Estate" Gamay Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 10-01-2016
Ask almost any staff member in the San Francisco store for a bottle of Beaujolais and the first or second bottle that they will recommend will be this, all depending where they are on the actual floor! Dark fruit, a touch of spice, crunchy acidity and easy tannins. There is nothing not to like about this. Throw in the fridge for 15 minutes and enjoy.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
BC 90

2014 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 09-29-2016
A bright and spicy style of Zin. Full and rich on the palate but with pop and lift that you don't always see from the varietal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "SV5182 - Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 09-29-2016
For anyone who loves burgundy and does not like this wine, I will fight you! Holy Moly this is great Pinot Noir and a ridiculous price for what it delivers. Complex aromatics, a supple palate, lots of layers, great length. Beyond that it has that beguiling Pinot character where it has the flavor intensity of the fullest bodied wine but only lightest softest caress on your palate.

2014 Momento Chenin Blanc/Verdelho Bot River Western Cape
Review Date: 09-29-2016
I love the Chenin Blanc blends we have from South Africa. They are some of the most interesting and delicious white wines in the store, this is no exception. The nose is full of cool yellow fruits, mineral and mellow earthy Chenin Blanc tone. The palate is full and textured with great acidity and feels like is has been finely etched with layers and layers crystals. I know it doesn't make sense but try it you'll see what I'm taking about.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2004 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Always a favorite, just one sniff takes me to a happy place! It has a perfect blend of Fresh and dried cherry fruit balanced with spice, leather, earth and just a hint of funk. It keeps you coming back just to try to tease apart all of the aromatic layers. It is already seamless on the palate, with all of the complexity from the nose played out against a dusty fine tannins and juicy acidity. This is the friendliest Tondonia I have tried. It will be very hard not to drink it while it is young, but this wine has places it still needs to go. So go big, buy deep you will not regret it.

2013 Hendry "Block 24" Napa Valley Primitivo
Review Date: 08-24-2016
For a Zin lover but not Zinfandel, no matter what legend or history you have read. This is dark fruited and spicy, just like Zin but different, and not just it is speaking with a heavy accent different. It plays different on the palate, just a subtle difference in the spice. It is delicious regardless. All that fruit and spice are balanced with enough tannin to make it a little more interesting at the dinner table.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Hendry "Blocks 7 & 22" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Spicy. Herbal and pepper spice with lots of facets to it. Rich and supple with a dark berry fruit and balanced with good acidity. This is not a simple Zinfandel, crush it at a BBQ or take your time with it, you'll be coming back for more.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90 WE 90

2013 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-24-2016
This is real deal Cabernet. What I love about this wine is that you absolutely get that beautiful Napa Valley Cabernet fruit but there is so much more going on with with. There is a judicious amount of oak, it rounds out and adds subtle chocolate and spice notes. There is also a savory almost olive like note to it that plays incredibly off the fruit. Full and rich this is a very satisfying Cabernet.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WE 92

2012 Amici Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-24-2016
While I have had very little experience with the Reserve line of wines from Amici, I have always enjoyed their Napa Cabernet. This is easily 3 times the wine. While it is not 3 times as massive it is more intense, more complex and has a way better finish, it should. Lots of dark red fruits with an aromtic twist. It is structured, I would ideally hold onto it for a while but it is not so big that a rich meal can put it into its place. This is a special occasion wine, it makes an impression and it stays with you.

2013 Cantina Valle Isarco Sylvaner "Sabiona"
Review Date: 08-18-2016
Grand Cru Sylvaner? but that's not Italian. Smaragd Sylvaner from the Alto Adige? that's not Italian. OK so it is neither of those legally but that is what it drinks like. This wine the has power, depth, concentration of the best of the best white wines in the world. Imagine, a medley citrus peels being sun dried in cool alpine air on an ancient alter of quartz! If you are a mineral junky, this is for you! You can almost feel crystals forming on your palate stalagmite stalactite style during the glacially long finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Treves Petite Arvine Val d'Aosta
Review Date: 08-11-2016
I was so excited to see this hit the shelves, it has been a wile since we had anything from the Val d'Aosta. This is a beautiful cork dork wine from a beautiful cork dork region. High tones fruit that is crystalline, with very subtle herbal notes and tons of minerality. There is so much extract that the stoniness almost turns salty, one of my favorite things in wine. It is not so weird and obscure that it is not delicious, it essential evaporates from your glass without you noticing!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-11-2016
Over ten years old, with lots of potential and only $20, I love this wine! A very complex nose that you just keep going back to over and over. On the palate it is medium full with much more intensity than you would expect for any wine in this price point.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2011 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 08-03-2016
This could be the best value from our Spanish selections and there are a lot of values to be had there. Why because this is not just a simple delicious wine, it is delicious but there is too much wine here to be called simple. Multidimensional fruit tones, spice, and earth. Medium bodied with sneaky intensity and just the right amount of acidity, this wine belongs on the dinner table, right next to the salt and pepper.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Neyers "304" Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-07-2016
This is a natural beauty of California Chardonnay. By that I mean that it is not hiding behind any toasty oak. Ripe clean fruit that backed with just the right amount of leesy richness.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2004 Heitz Cellar "Trailside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2016
Beautiful older Napa Cab, just what you would expect from Heitz. This wine dances on the palate, it seamlessly integrates bright red fruits with tobacco, spice and leather. It is full bodied but the tannins are polished and elegant. This has lots life left in it but it will be hard to keep you hands off of it.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2012 Keenan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2016
What a treat. The nose is rich with lots of dark red fruits and a wild spicy tone. On the palate it starts of with bright red fruits that slowly darken to a dusty berries. This wine is built, great tannins and structure with a long tobacco spice finish. Really good now, I's this will be even better in 5-10 years!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 RP 90

2012 Storybook Mountain "Mayacamas Range" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 07-07-2016
This is the classic, the first wine that comes to mind when thinking about the winery and the exemplar of the house style, structured. I like to describe it as Zin made like Cabernet rather than fruit compote. Brambly dark fruit with snap, lots of spice that hangs of good tannic structure. It is full and bright with a long lingering finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
CG 90

2014 Neyers "Chuy's Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-23-2016
White Burgundy from California. If I were served this wine blind, I would guess that it was white Burgundy. The aromatics of Golden delicious apple, delicate white flowers, mineral and soft vanilla tone. The palate is broad but not heavy. it has sneaky richness that is balanced with great acidity. It has a long mouthwatering finish. Really special CA Chardonnay. Let it breath, decant for at least 30 minutes.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart

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