Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Solo and Snakes

There comes a time in every cyclist's life where he or she faces a peculiar dilemma on the road and is forced to decide whether to carry on with the beloved spandex'd sport. 

For Karl Lawrence team member and longtime friend, Dave Jamieson (pictured above comparing sleeve lengths and farmer's tans with Ric and Richard Chan in Modesto, CA) it happened during a treacherous climb on the infamous Wards Ferry Road. Old road... No guardrails... Plummeting into the Don Pedro Reservoir seems nearly unavoidable. You get the picture.

Well this moment of fear-inspired clarity happened to Ric just as this year's harvest jumped off:

 Yep. That's about seven slithering rattles crossing the road up by Lake Hennessey in St. Helena. Indeed, even during Napa Valley's most beautiful time of year, these fanged reptiles are waiting for an oblivious biker's ankle to sink their teeth into... But, on the bright side, Ric claims to have clocked one of his best times up Greenfield Road after nearly falling off his bike in shock. Must have been all the adrenaline.

In other news, here's a bearded Ric with his longtime tennis partner, Michaela Rodeno. 

Michaela just released her first book of a two volume set, titled From Bubbles to Boardrooms: Act 1: Startups are such Fun. In it, she relates her experiences being the CEO of Domainne Chandon.

Another good tennis buddy, Ron Nicholson, and his wife, Lauren, are on the cover of, and featured in, the current issue of Napa Valley Life:

And here's Mike and Danielle Martines, from Denver. They're long time Karl Lawrence people who stopped by on their annual trip through the Valley. Since our tasting lounge has closed, Ric took them over to see our good friend Bob Bressler, of Bressler Vineyards.

To sum this update up, we are thrilled to announce that our very own Jack Solo Henry turned one! Here's a shot of him and his old man:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tour of Napa Valley 2013

Here's what may be the last group picture of Karl Lawrence's cycle team as they pause at the Aetna Springs rest stop (mile 65) in three digit heat:

 Left to right, front row: Armando Flores, Scott Smith, Bill Kendal, Ric, Dave Jamieson, Mike Purnell. With Bob Fores in back.

The gang was gearing up for the 4.3 mile ascent of the Ink Grade's 1,200 feet of climb. This year marks the sixth consecutive year for Cycle Team Karl Lawrence to ride the 100 mile Tour of Napa Valley. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Buick Romance

Well, folks, it's time for some good ol' Karl Lawrence Now & Then. Or Then & Now.

On October 10th, 2009, David and Michelle Russell took a wedding day drive in Ric's 1936 Buick.

Straying from our usual array of blurry cell phone photos, here's a professional shot of the two lovebirds on their special day:

Now, almost four years later, David and Michelle ventured back to the Valley for yet another ride in the Buick. Here they are at Henry Brothers' Ranch this week:

The Buick's been rolling now for about 77 years. And while our tasting lounge no longer hosts the killer parties it used to, the Buick still navigates the Napa Valley roads with unmatched style and precision. 

So if you're around, give us a ring and you might just be lucky enough to be a passenger in this classic cruiser.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer Update

Fresh after the last of our gear was cleared out of the tasting room, Ric's granddaughter, Zoey, showed off her newly acquired back bridging skill over a bottle of Karl Lawrence.

A few days prior, longtime Karl Lawrence fans, Jamie and Brooks Laudin, came over from Walnut Creek, CA to stock up on some KL Reserve. They hope they have enough to last a couple decades.

Finally, Scott Urie (center) brought his usual suspects for his annual BBQ at KL. Scott's been Karl Lawrence's master grill man for what seems to be about 10 years. We're confident he'll find a new spot to drink good wine and cook up the finest meat in town. 

Thanks for everything, Scott!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2010 Sold Out and The Tasting Lounge's Last Month

Well, folks, we are sold out of the 2010 vintage. The only wines left are the '09 Reserves and some bottles from the library release. You can order on our webshop or email ric@karllawrence.com with any shipping or shopping inquiries.

Also, we are sad to say that our tasting lounge will be closing by June 30. It's been a great few years! But on the bright side, that leaves you guys just enough time to pencil in a visit!

Loyal Karl Lawrence visitor Russel Tom drove up to see us the other day. We'd love it if you all did the same.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spring Things

Well, folks, let's start this Spring update off right with a recent photo of Ric and potential winery heir apparent, Baby Jack:

Three generations, two doo-rags, one nation.

In other news, Karl Lawrence aficionado Ken Yzurdiaga made his last warehouse run. Now that he's stocked up with enough KL to last far into retirement, he's moving to Nevada:

Here's Karl Lawrence Cycle Team member, Bob Fores:

Bob's ridden the Tour of Napa Valley with us four times. He organizes Ride for Mom each year in Modesto, the day before Mother's Day. Here he is last weekend at the after party with a bottle of his favorite wine. 

And while we're on the subject of bike ride organizers, here's Jack McGlynn:

Jack organizes the PCH ride from Carmel to San Simeon, which has been on the cycling circuit for 41 years. Here he is after this year's ride a couple weeks ago with his two prized possesions: a bottle of Karl Lawrence and his new Renovo wooden bicycle frame (a surprise gift to Jack from the PCH riders this year).

Ric in front of the Bixby Bridge on this year's PCH Ride.

And to put an end to the bicycle-fueled update, here's a couple shots from the Stones' concert in Oakland: 

The usual suspects: Dave and Ginge Jamieson with Cheryl and Ric outside Oracle Arena.

A view from the "cheap" seats. 

That's all for now, folks! Hopefully we'll have some actual wine news for you in the near future.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tasting Notes, Inventory, and Visitors

Before some tasting notes from the pros, we'd like to inform you that the 2010 3Ls are all sold out. Head over to our shop at karllawrence.com to see what you can still get your hands on. Now for the fun stuff.

Assistant winemaker Mike Henry, along with the dynamic duo, Richard Zulch and Craig Issacs, got together to give the '09 reserves a quick taste. 

After the three of them discussed each one in the warehouse, Mike took the bottles home for a more "thorough" tasting. Here's what they determined:

Henry Brothers' Ranch 

Dense dark fruits, "red mountain" dust, pepper on the nose. Bold forward red fruits turning to dark black fruits, eucalyptus, pomegranate, spicy dark chocolate. Very "mountainy."

Richard & Craig said the HBR "has a finish a mile long; it will last forever." 

Gary Morisoli

Bright nose, black cherry, woody. Definitely shows "Rutherford dust." Very structured, elegant, a bit firm. Nice balanced dark fruits and vanilla woodiness.

Dr. Crane 

Spicy plum "chutney" on the nose. Black fruits, chocolate covered cherry. Long finish. More chocolatey than the others.
To Kalon

Very floral and perfumey sweet nose, plush. Rich and "slutty." Very bold and dense dark fruits. Definitely needs time to spread out. Most opulent of the four.


Mike also suggests waiting at least 5 years before opening any of these four. So patience, friends. 

The three of them, as well as Ric, agreed the Henry Brothers' Ranch definitely stands out from the three Valley wines.

To finish up this KL update, here's some recent photos:

Kirsten Modrich from the Marin swung by the office with her mother, Margaret, and her two children, Johann, and Sophia:

Afshin Arya from Rocklin, CA also came by to pick up a case:

Finally, Cycle Team Karl Lawrence had to make another appearance. Here's the crew "training" near Los Alamos: