Staff Favorites - Ryan Moses

Ryan Moses

Reviews

2014 Star Lane Santa Ynez Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-17-2017
I've enjoyed Star Lane Cabs for over a decade now and am thrilled to see them getting some long overdue mainstream recognition. Not only are the wines better than ever, but the pricing is stunning - basically the same on our shelves as they were back in the day. That probably won't be the case for long considering what's in the bottle with the 2014 vintage. Beautiful bright acidity carries red and black fruit to go alongside a chalky tannin that's almost reminiscent of Bordeaux. But the brightness and concentration shows a sense of place and a home in California. Drink now with a healthy decant, or follow over the next 10 to 15 years. (83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec)
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 95

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-12-2017
For those who love Syrah or full, rich, but deftly made wines from anywhere need to have a few bottles of this around. Many producers would love to be able to have this kind of depth, concentration, and detail in their flagship $60 Syrah, much less something you can have on the shelf at under $20 (not that you'll find it anywhere else at this price). This is perhaps one of most exciting direct import wines right now at K&L, and it only takes one taste to see why. This is a beauty that will reward a decant now but will be gorgeous in five years and probably drink well for another 10 to 15 after that.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 RR 94

2014 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 09-11-2017
At a recent staff tasting, this outclassed the rest of the table in a way that you'd imagine a grand cru to perform at a table of village wines. Not only is this full of class, refinement, and structure, but I've really enjoyed how 2014 Napanook has developed over the past few months since release. Coming from the same exact vineyard as the grand vin Dominus, Napanook is still the poster child for value in collectible Cabernet. Very few Napa wines this good are still found at this kind of price-point, and this fact is exemplified beautifully in the 2014 vintage.

2014 Red Stitch "Sierra Mar Vineyard" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-31-2017
This was a hit with our team when tasting - it balanced an earthiness with finely-tuned fruit that exemplified a well-built Pinot that's full of surprises. Perhaps the most aromatically complex of the lineup, it still delivers depth on the palate with ripe strawberry, baking spice, black tea, and light oak. Another winner from the team at Red Stitch, who is proving their mettle with Pinot Noir alongside their already renowned Cabernet.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Red Stitch "Soberanes" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-31-2017
This was my favorite of the lineup - a striking, bright, delineated Pinot that represents one of the up and coming, celebrated Central Coast sites in Soberanes Vineyard. The balance and tension keeps this lively and it highlights what high-end California Pinot should be - aligned with a sense of place but with the ability to do so with refinement and class. Drink now with a bit of air, or follow over the next decade. Great stuff.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2013 Red Stitch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-31-2017
This is a no-compromise effort from the great 2013 Napa vintage that shouldn't be overlooked. Deep cassis and black cherry highlight bright aromatics and a composed and well-balanced effort. It has the structure to age for another decade and a half, but will thrill any Cab lover sooner than that with a quick decant. The folks at Red Stitch have been making serious wines for over half a decade now and this will most likely mark their greatest release to date. Tiny production here - around 250 cases produced.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2015 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-29-2017
This is the kind of wine that we search endlessly for, find rarely, and can't keep in stock when we have it. We spend most everyday trying to find that domestic red that drinks like a cult cab but spends like a house pour. For me, this is it - my go-to red in a generous, refined, and delicious style that doesn't hide where its from, but could also go toe-to-toe with Napa bottlings in the $40 to $60 range. And while I've dabbled in the Wines of Substance releases before, this is probably the most impactful rendition I've tasted to date. At $15, this will be hard to beat now and for a long time to come. Load up.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2013 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 08-03-2017
Felsina's Rancia Riserva is one of the wine world's true gems - it has the proven ability to age for decades, thrills the critics and collectors alike, and somehow retains a price that makes it accessible to the masses. Nowhere is all of this more true than the simply stunning 2013. The aromatics are intensely layered with one nuance after another coming to the forefront. On the palate it is very pure with a core of acidity that lifts the fruit and carries a long, bright finish. I've never had a vintage of Rancia that is so dynamic and offers so much at such an early stage and I just can't wait to see how it ages over the years. At under $40, I don't know if anybody in today's market can challenge this kind of class and pedigree.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 96 RP 95

2014 Laventura Viura Rioja
Review Date: 07-24-2017
Perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the store for white wine. The textural refinement combined with refreshing, vibrant fruit and acidity make for a complete and delicious wine that stands out at nearly every tasting we've had. And not just telling the folks next to me that I enjoyed it, but folks from all three stores rallying to this wine because they had the same enthusiastic "we need to get the word out" type reaction. Every bit as good as the instantly sold-out 2013 vintage, but more attractively priced. This is a must-try wine for any palate.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 K Vintners "Motor City Kitty-River Rock Vineyard" Yakima Valley Syrah
Review Date: 07-03-2017
After the 2013 sold out in minutes after a big WA score, the 2014 immediately had big shoes to fill. That said, the vintage was a massive success for the region and it shows in spades here. While the '13 felt more hedonistic, this version shows structure and definition at all the right places. Big without being heavy, it somehow strikes the balance of some of the big name Syrahs, but does so at a fraction of the price. It'll be hard to beat at this price for Syrah of this quality from anywhere in Washington, California, and perhaps the Rhone as well. Another stunner for the MCK label.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
RP 95 WE 93

2013 Einaudi "Terlo" Barolo
Review Date: 06-14-2017
Coming from the oldest Einaudi estate vineyards, this is a slightly more approachable and rounded bottling compared to the prestigious Costa Grimaldi. Still, it is a single vineyard Barolo from a top vintage for under $40 - a combination that is more and more rare by the day. The aromas are generous right out of the bottle with a gorgeous floral note to compliment pure bright red fruit. The palate is classic, balanced Nebbiolo that is already impressive as a pop-and-pour, but will certainly blossom with some time in the decanter or a bit of age. A very complete wine in a way that is (unfortunately) rare with Baroli at this price point.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 VN 92

2013 Einaudi "Terlo Vigna Costa Grimaldi" Barolo
Review Date: 06-14-2017
Just under 600 cases of this gem from Einaudi's Costa Grimaldi vineyard are made every year. This has been one of the early standouts for superb value from the celebrated 2013 vintage. Very intense aromas of black cherry, orange peel, and leather lead the way. The pallet is compact and focused with solid core of fruit, structured tannins, and an intensity that begs for time to unfurl. Although it does require a bit of time, it has all the signatures of a great Cru Barolo bottling and it'll be hard to have your money go further in Piedmont these days.

2011 Felsina "Fontalloro" Toscana
Review Date: 05-26-2017
Produced for nearly three decades, Fontalloro remains one of the reference-point examples of pure Sangiovese, and one of the few that you can still find for such an immensely reasonable price considering its pedigree. On the nose it is textbook Sangiovese all the way with strawberry, licorice, and a touch of vanilla and leather. Superb purity on the palate, it has a core of bright red cherry, red plum, and mouthwatering acidity that sustains a clean and lingering finish. It is texturally seamless and barely showing any age at all approaching six years from the vintage. All of these pieces culminate in a wine that will age gracefully for the next fifteen-plus years (although even as a pop-and-pour right now it is extremely dynamic and rewarding). A superb vintage of Fontalloro.

2013 Bond "Pluribus" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-25-2017
One of the most unique wines of the set, Pluribus feels like a bit of an outlier. Still, it captured the adoration of many at the tasting for just that. This is their Spring Mountain property that made its debut in 2003. Lined with bright red fruit, it is wild, cool, and elegant. It has a serious tannic structure that melts into the wine and gives it more of a focused, linear approach. If there’s a rendition here for the old-school Napa crowd, it is Pluribus without a doubt. Give this one a few years to settle out and follow over the following fifteen.
Price: $649.99 Add To Cart
RP 100 JS 99 VN 96
Limit of 3 per customer

2013 Bond "Quella" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Melbury’s neighbor to the west, it is the youngest of Bond’s vineyard designates, making its debut in 2006. An elegance and grace dominate this wine. Although aromatically reticent at the moment, it is night and day contrasted against Melbury’s density. Bright blue and black fruit frame a soft wine that never lacks for extract or depth. It evolves beautifully with a bit of air (all wines were popped and poured an hour in advance) and keeps showing another dimension when going back to the glass. Gorgeous now, but one that will be fascinating to follow for years. Drink 2020 to 2030.
Price: $599.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 96 VN 95
Limit of 3 per customer

2013 Bond "Melbury" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-25-2017
First made in 1999, this red-fruit dominated Cabernet hails from a seven-acre hillside vineyard just north of Lake Hennessey. Aromatically it is perhaps the most striking of the 2013s, if not for its complexity then at least for its intensity. It was a perfect preamble to how serious the following wines were going to be. Very silky, it had a distinct savory note and is very tightly coiled. The finish is lined with baking spices, bitter chocolate, and bright fruit. It is a wine that seems to be apt to age, although not as demanding as the Vecina for example. Enjoy 2022 to 2035+.
Price: $599.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 97 VN 97
Limit of 3 per customer

2013 Bond "St.Eden" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-25-2017
From an eleven-acre parcel that had its debut in 2001. The nose here is lined with subtle but persistent notes of graphite and a pure floral note that is utterly fascinating. It is easy to call this hedonistic, but that perhaps does not do justice to the overall focus, structure, and acidity that keep it lifted throughout a very long finish. Extremely impressive, this incredibly generous but never over-the-top bottling is a triumph in 2013 and one of the highlights of the tasting, although perhaps some of that is due to the immediate style. It’ll be a great one to follow over the next 10 to 20 years.
Price: $599.99 Add To Cart
JS 99 RP 99 VN 97
Limit of 3 per customer

2015 Amapola Creek By Richard Arrowood "Jos Belli Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-21-2016
Starting with the pale straw color, this is a Chardonnay that shows all the signs of restraint. The aromas are full of pear and red apple coated with hints of vanilla. There's great extract and depth on the palate that reverberates through a lengthy finish. This is by no means a heavy Chardonnay, but instead one of the more pure and focused renditions of Russian River that I've tasted in a long time. If that's your style then load up - this has a lot to give over the next couple years but is also immediately accessible. With a scant 450 cases made, it will only be more difficult to find going forward.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2013 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-13-2016
Dunn has been a "cult" wine in the best ways over the past few years - it's a must-have release from any great vintage and has a remarkably devoted following. However, it still doesn't carry the ultra-premium price of the other "cult" status wines Napa. And sure, Dunn's prices are up a bit this year, but considering this cuvee will stand toe-to-toe with most wines at double this pricepoint, it still manages to deliver a ton of value.

The striking thing about the 2013 Napa Cab is the concentration and depth - from most vintages this is of the quality that you tend to associate with the Howell Mountain cuvee. The wine is almost thick, but there's waves of flavor and acidity propping the whole thing up. Amazingly, this is at another level for Dunn...and that's saying a lot for the heights that most vintages reach.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
VN 94

2014 Martin Ray "Coast Grade Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-08-2016
This was a stop-you-in-your-tracks Pinot Noir for multiple folks in a recent domestic tasting. With a stunning level of refinement, elegance, and depth, it has more in common with the elite $60+ bottlings of Oregon than its neighbors in Northern California. With orange peel, nutmeg, and strawberry aromas up front, the silky palate is full of bright and tart red fruit. Stand-alone it is a real treat, but it'll probably be its best with nearly anything at the dinner table.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

2013 Wirra Wirra "Church Block" Red Blend McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 03-18-2016
Singing right out of the bottle, a melange of bright fruit showcases the Merlot and Shiraz up front. On the palate the Cabernet steals the show as there's a depth of concentration and fine grain tannins surrounding deep red raspberry and plum. Tasted blind, this could be a Napa Bordeaux blend, but the finish seems reminiscent of Bordeaux. Perhaps trying to place it somewhere else is a mistake as it's simply terrific for what it is - a ready to rock, structured, and delicious Aussie Cabernet blend.