Sunday, December 2, 2012

Library Sale Tasting Notes

Maybe it's been a couple years since you had that killer dinner party and finished off the last of your '04 cab. Or maybe you can't quite remember just how tasty the '03 Aldin was you drank for New Years 2010. Or, hey, perhaps you missed a couple years.

No matter the case, here's your chance to get the scoop behind the juice.

Below are updated tasting notes for our first library sale assembled by none other than our winemaker, Michael Trujillo.

Sale begins Monday December 3rd at 11:00 AM. Order online at First come, first served. All sales are final. Email with any questions.

2008 Karl Lawrence Cabernet – Drinking rich, lush, and plush. Big and forward dark chocolate, currants, and black fruits rush up in the nose and pallet. 2008 was a riper vintage that gave way to more decadence rather than firm structure. Well assembled with acid and fine tannin but more of a fat, richer style wine to be enjoyed sooner rather than later.

Drink – Drinking great now! Will hold for another 5 -8 years but likely shed some of its decadence over time.

2007 Karl Lawrence Cabernet – Drinking well now but time will only improve this 2007. Still showing its youthfulness but lots of promise ahead. Upon opening, it expresses black fruits, ripe plum, and spice. Shy on the aromas at first but opens up nicely. The initial flavors are a bit reserved and a bit wound but defiantly has the stuffing. Dense, firm structure with a complexity open gently to the Cabernet Karl Lawrence is known for.

Drink – Hold off if possible. Can drink now with generous decanting. Will hold in cellar for another decade.

2006 Karl Lawrence Cabernet – Evolving into a beautiful wine. Time in the bottle has done well with this 2006 Cabernet and even more time will be more rewarding. Today, this wine is just rounding the corner to its fineness and complexity. Showing abundant black fruits, mocha, and a sweetness in the nose. On the pallet the firmness and structure are apparent but quickly give way to a beautiful, well-rounded wine. Bright, fresh, and expressive. Great food wine.

Drink – Now with decanting. Will hold in cellar through 2017 at least.

2005 Karl Lawrence Cabernet – Drinking smooth with complexity and balance. The abundant harvest in this vintage has 2005 wines being more subtle and complex rather than big and bold. This 2005 Karl Lawrence is showing clean bright red fruits of red cherry, hints of cocoa and the infamous Rutherford dustiness. Medium plus weight to the overall wine but well balance with acidity and fine tannin to carry this wine forward. Good food wine.

Drink – Now or over next 3 to 5 years

 2004 Karl Lawrence Cabernet – Wow, beyond expectations. Big, dense, rich, bold, complex, and fun. 2004 gave us a very hot harvest and wines that were a bit clumsy and tannic at bottling. However, time has done well for this 2004 Karl Lawrence Cab. Pretty and rich wine. Forward and aromatic notes of black fruits, coffee, tobacco and cedar. A slight mineralality shows a bit too. The balance on this wine is great and the expressions are generous throughout the journey on the pallet. A great wine through and through.

Drink – Drinking great now. Has at least 5 years ahead.

2008 Aldin Red Wine – Drinking great now.  Forward and pretty is a good way to express this 2008 Aldin Red Wine. Very aromatic with hints of red fruits, caramel, vanilla and sweet cinnamon all come forward. The flavors burst forward with lush and abundant offerings. A mellow yet complex red wine with a silky texture. Tannins and acid are well integrated to give a long and lingering finish.

Drink – Enjoy now and over the next few years.

2004 Aldin Red Wine  - Drinking great now and still has life ahead. A pleasant showing for a hot harvest. When bottled, this was a big and chewy Aldin Red but has carried well over the years. Defiantly has weight and structure. Takes some time to open up but gives way to big, forward, dense and rich aromas and flavors. Rich black fruits of black cherry and currants pave the way for an exceptional rich and complex wine on the pallet. This wine has plenty to offer up and enjoy.  

Drink- Now or can be held for a few more years. A solid wine.

2003 Aldin Red Wine  - Pretty and sexy. 2003 was a sleeper vintage and no exception for this Aldin Red. This wine is drinking like silk and fun to drink now. Aromas, flavors and balance are in full stride making this wine fun to drink NOW. Still showing fruit, complexity and has not swayed to being tired at all. Easy drinking.

Drink – Enjoy now! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Well, folks, we're sure you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats, waiting for the final installment of Team Karl Lawrence's 2010 century ride.

This episode features some more rest stop banter, funky tunes, and shots of the valley that should have everyone getting on their bikes come August 2013 (hopefully a few months earlier if you plan on being in shape enough to finish).

Once again, if you'd like to join us next year, email Thanks for watching. Here is the final chapter of Wine Guys in Spandex:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wine Guys in Spandex: Part 5 of 6

In this leg of the Tour of Napa Valley 2010, Team Karl Lawrence listens to violins, rides Lake Hennessey to Star Wars tunes, and even reconnects with a long lost friend.

It's almost over, and it's sad. But, no worries, people. All you need to do is join us in real life in 2013:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby Jack and Part 4 of 6

Before the unveiling of the newest installment of Wine Guys in Spandex, we have some other, much more important, news. Our general manager, Jefferson Henry and his lovely wife Alisa, just gave birth to a new Henry boy.

So without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, here is John "Jack" Solo Henry:

Born Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Congrats, Jeff and Alisa!

Well... Li'l Jack's going to be a hard act to follow. But here goes nothing. 

In this episode of Wine Guys in Spandex, non-cyclists (or just cyclists who've never had the privilege of riding on the Tour of Napa Valley) will get to see the mysterious bag-piper of Mt. Veeder. He's an old soul who volunteers to stand atop the first serious climb of the ride in order to give bicycling folks a Braveheart type of courage.

You'll also get your first glimpse of what the Napa Valley looks like as the rising sun burns through the early morning fog... But enough of the flowery language, here's episode 4 of Wine Guys in Spandex:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wine Guys in Spandex: Part 3 of 6

In the episode, Team Karl Lawrence finally hits the road. Who would of thought these nerds would ever stop talking and actually ride?

Well, there's still a bit of lolly-gagging and trash talk, but you guys know the deal, so let's cut to the chase. Here's the third installment of Wine Guys in Spandex:

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Office Gets Bottle Shocked

With harvest nearing full throttle, the tasters keep on coming. On a few occasions, we've even had some famous faces swing by for a visit.

Here's famous Napa Valley wine guy, Jim Barrett, holding a tennis painting of himself done by St. Helena artist Greg De Lucca.

Yes, this is the Jim Barrett from the movie Bottle Shock. But contrary to popular belief, Ric is not one of Jim's boxing partners. However, he and Jim are regular tennis partners. 

Here's Jim and his whole tennis crew, Ric included:

And here's a picture of Alice and Norm Farley. Norm was Ric's 10th and 11th grade Bible teacher at Sacramento Adventist Academy. They're the ones responsible for giving Ric his job after college (at their group home for wayward girls, in Riverside, CA). And to show you how progressive they've become, they did leave with some Karl Lawrence.

In other news, the offering letter for our '08 Reserve goes out via email. So keep your eyes peeled!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wine Guys in Spandex: Part 2 of 6

We're sure seeing Ric's Pasta Pig-Out kept you on the edge of your seats, but instead of lamenting over missing out in 2012 (or 2010), you can join our cycling team and attend the Pig-Out yourself in 2013. 

But ye be warned! This episode does include Ric in a hot tub... 

So, regardless of your feelings toward the situation, you can admire his dedication to the sport by getting up at 5:15 AM to "loosen up."

Okay, we're getting side-tracked. Here's episode 2:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wine Guys in Spandex: Part 1 of 6

A little over two years ago, Ric set out on an endeavor to make a documentary film chronicling the epic journey of Cycling Team Karl Lawrence on the storied Tour of Napa Valley.

Despite a talented and on-top-of-it cinematographer, Aaron Doyle (one of Lissa's students), the post-production crew was... well, not as punctual.

So let's fast-forward over the two years of procrastination, tears, and hardship and show y'all the video. In it's entirety it's around 20 minutes, so we're premiering it in installments over the next week or two. 

So, sit back. Relax. And enjoy some Wine Guys in Spandex:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Staglin's Show 2012

It's amazing how the years fly by. Yep, another great Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health has already came and gone. And to prove it, here's a blurry cell phone photo of Germain Jackson, of the Jackson 5:

But Germain wasn't the only ol' star showing his face around Staglin. Rusty Staub, who you might know from 23 seasons in Major League Baseball, volunteers every year as the festival doorman. Each year, he tastes each and every wine and picks out the best of the bunch. 

This year he picked the '07 Karl Lawrence Herb Lamb Single Vineyard Reserve. After deeming it worthy, he sent most everyone he talked to at the event back to Ric's table to try some. Thanks, Rusty!

And here's Ric with Bill James. He's from Chicago, a big fan of Karl Lawrence, and tasted a truck load of wines at the Staglin event.

On Sunday, Silverado Orchards (the retirement home around the corner from Ric's house), held a classic car show. Ric showed the '36 Buick and poured wine, while his cousin, Ed Stump showed his '94 Morgan. Here's Ed having a swell time:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A rare view of KL in 2012

Well, folks, blog-posts have been few and far between in 2012 but we got a few photo-updates for you guys so, enjoy:

Here's longtime Karl Lawrence people, Hans and Inger about to take a '36 Buick ride to Henry Brothers' Ranch:

Again, keep in mind that if you decide to come visit us in St. Helena, you might get lucky enough to score a ride with Ric in one of his throw-back hot-rods... He'll probably just try to get you to ride a bike but like the great Wayne Gretzky said: "You miss %100 of the shots you don't take." So come give it your best shot.

And here's Thi-Nga with Doug Gallagher, and Tom and Kirsten Minasian from Newport Beach. They're a very KL savvy crew who've made Napa Valley a frequent stomping grounds.

And lastly, here's Frank Reich, Kathy Bollinger, Elizabeth Reich, and Tom Bollinger, all of Scottsdale, AZ at their first stop of the day, Outpost Winery:  

They bought the day with Ric at the Make A Wish charity auction. Yes, they got to cruise around visiting our friends' wineries in the '36 Buick. With Ric as their sober driver...

So if you want to take the Buick or the Dodge further than just around the block, make it an official ride by attending one of the many charity events we're involved in and start bidding! 

More pics of these lucky tasters to come! We just wanted to clue you in on the epic view you guys are missing at Outpost!

Thanks for tuning in!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


At 5:30 AM before a 93-mile cycle-thon down the Pacific Coast Highway, there's nothing better than chowing down on Nora Raffetto's famous cumin-oregano scrambled eggs. They're such a hit, they've become an annual tradition for the Karl Lawrence cycling team.

Here's long time KL customers and friends Mike and Nora Raffetto with Cheryl at Little Napoli in Carmel the night before the ride:

Just before the gun, KL cycle teammate Mark Jensen clips in and contemplates the staggering journey ahead of him:

Here, the irrepressible Jack McGlynn, the organizer of the ride, thanks his urologist for making it possible for him to lead out in the ride earlier in the day. Jack's ridden 35 of the 40 PCH annual rides.

The ride was, as always, a great one, and we'd love to have any of you cycle heads join our crew next year.

In other Karl Lawrence news, Ric is currently contacting each KL customer who hasn't responded to the emailed Offering Letter as quite a number of the letters went to people's spam file.  Also, a hard copy of the Offering Letter will be snail-mailed to people with no emails and bad emails.

See y'all on the road!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Jon Bon Jones

While Ric was on his Sip 'N Cycle tour guide training run, for Get Away Adventures, he visited Lava Vines, where low and behold, our erstwhile sometimes Karl Lawrence host, Jon Jones, was hanging out. Well... working actually. Between wine flights, Jon disregarded the room's lack of ladies and serenaded the crowd with some original songs anyway.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Afterglow of a Great Trip

Lee Stapleton hails from Miami and visits the Valley every so often to maintain her veteran status with Karl Lawrence. This trip, Ric spent the day chauffeuring Lee and David Riggs around to show them his favorite spots.

The first stop was at Hollywood and Vine, where they met a longtime friend of ours and partner at H & V, Doug Barr.

Here, David, Lee, and Doug pose with the winemaker at Hollywood and Vine, Celia Welch.

Next, the crew followed the path frequented by many Karl Lawrence aficionados, and journeyed to our favorite son-in-law's place of work, Staglin Family Vineyard.

On a rainy day, Chris Pratt crawled out of the caves to greet them at the entrance.

Chris gave 'em the rundown and some juice from the barrels.

Then they hunkered down in the kitchen, tasted some more wine, and talked with proprietor, Shannon Staglin.

The kitchen table chat continued at Crocker & Starr Winery where Lee and David met with host Mark and the co-proprietor and winemaker, Pam Starr.

The crew also visited Outpost Wines, but because Ric was so juiced by his company, he forgot to snap a photo. But never-the-less, Lee, who's an experienced Napa Valley traveler, proclaimed this trip to be "the best Napa day ever." A few days later, she sent Ric an email saying she was "still in the afterglow of a great trip."

So if you're sitting at home, trying to think of what do on a rainy day, head up to the Valley, where Ric can introduce you to his friends and their most excellent wine.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another Excellent Party

This past Saturday, we were lucky enough to bring a couple bottles of Karl Lawrence to Lisa Drinkward's birthday extravaganza at the Native Sons' Hall. Nicholas worked harvest for Lisa and Les last fall up at Behrens Family Winery, and needless to say, we were well aware of their outstanding party throwing skills.

The legendary Wrist Rocket kicked out the jams and had the dance floor going all night:

And yes, believe your eyes. That's Les up there shredding on blues guitar. Here's a photo where Ric took a little more artistic freedom:

Possible album cover?

So to keep it short and sweet, we'd like to thank Les and Lisa for keeping the local St. Helena spirit alive and throwing a most excellent party. You guys rock.

Months after harvest, Nicholas somehow still stands in Les and Lisa's good graces. Oh, and Angie's too.

And, if you haven't done so already, check out Behrens Family Winery, here. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Wine Hath Shippeth!

Well, folks, it's that time of year again. Today, Mike "The Shipping King" Henry teamed up with Jefferson to get bottles out of our warehouse and moving east. Every southerner's order went out today (who ordered before yesterday via ground service) and we even got to many of you in the northeast.

All customers who's order has shipped should receive an email from UPS with tracking info. Those orders have all been updated on our website, as well.

The southwest ships Monday and we hope to get out to Illinois, too. And to celebrate the spirit of shipping, we'll repost our video from last year showing you how Mike Henry gets it done.

As always, if you have any questions, direct your emails to

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2009 Vintage Release

Yesterday, we released the the 2009 vintage, our first "all-electronic" release. It was a bruising day with many trials and tribulations. However, we had a terrific response and we'd like to thank everybody who rushed to get their orders in and helped us put our new website and ordering system through the paces. Remember that shipping commences on Friday the 9th, with the southern hot spots going out first.

So thank you guys. We couldn't do any of this without you.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Wynns Return

Greetings all!

The Wynns recently contacted us and announced that they've finished their video from their Napa Valley trip. We'll let the video speak for itself, but with our cameo on House Hunters RV and now an endorsement from the Wynns, we can't help but feel as if we're skyrocketing toward stardom.

Here 'tis:

In other news, you guys should expect to receive the 2009 vintage Offering Letter next week via email.

Also, if you haven't checked out their story yet, do it:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yes, more cycling

Here's the Karl Lawrence Cycling Team during our 4th annual Tour of Napa Valley. Yes, the rumors you've heard are most definitely true: the team's looking to expand and anyone is welcome to join us next August. You can choose routes of 30, 60, or 100 miles, and with the "Pasta Pig Out" in Ric's back yard the night before, you'll be sure to have the energy to finish whichever circle you choose.

Also, for another great "ride with Ric," consider coming to California on May 18 for the PCH ride from Carmel to San Simeon. It's 93 miles of shear beauty and excellent camaraderie. If you're interested, email for details.

Photo by Kerry Chambers.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Missourians Know Their Wine

Glen Johnson's from Kirkwood, Missouri and brought an entire Midwestern gang out to see us in Napa Valley. Both Glen and his wife, Debbie, are cyclists and were pretty jazzed to get a hold of KL cycle jersey.

Not only do they fit in with us from a cycling perspective, but let's just say they've been down with our wine since day one. They've been with us since the '94 vintage, which means they're only missing three years. They've collected so much of our wine that "The Karl Lawrence Corner" is the official title of a corner in their cellar.

Well, it feels pretty great to have a corner have named after us. Thanks, Glen and Debbie. See you next trip.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Soroptimist Crab Feed

Karl Lawrence has had a long running relationship with the St. Helena Soroptimist Club and its annual "Crab Feed." We're there every year because so many of our friends are loyal attendees... and the fact that it's long been known as the best party in town. Northern California rockers, Twice as Good, have kept the dance floor jumping for the last few years, and really know how set the mood for St. Helena's best seafood feast and charity auction.

Four years ago, Bob and Stacey Bressler set the all time highest bid at $6,200, for a Karl Lawrence party (which was, needless to say, most excellent). As this may be the last year that the combined Soroptimist Clubs host the Crab Feed, Karl Lawrence went all out.

So, this past saturday, long time friend and Karl Lawrence customer, Rodney Friedrich, purchased the Karl Lawrence lot of a nineteen bottle vertical of every vintage we've made, from 1991 to 2009. The lot also included a five year vertical of mags from 2001 to 2005.

All smiles, Rodney strikes a true collector's pose.

Karl Lawrence and the St. Helena Soroptimist have had many good times over the years. We're so sorry to see this good thing come to an end. We trust that what follows will be equally as fun.

You can know, that whatever it is, we'll be there.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sold Out!

Yes, it's true... We've sold out of the Beckstoffer-Dr. Crane Reserves. But not to worry, you can still keep it flowing. We have a few bottles of Beckstoffer-To Kalon left. So you better hurry.

Also, the Gary Morisoli and Herb Lamb reserves are still available in two-packs.

You can order these online or e-mail

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Blues, and a Birthday in Burbank

Inger, Albert Lee, and Ric break it down in The Icehouse.

In Burbank, Ric celebrated long time KL customer and Blues Cruise buddy, Dr. Inger Jensen's birthday, while dancing to the tunes of legendary English guitarist, Albert Lee.

Most of the partiers hailed from the tinsel-town area and some claimed to be familiar with Karl Lawrence. Rumor has it that our cabernet might have a cameo in a Hollywood flick in the future. We'll keep you updated.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Ride

Long time KL customer, buddy, and college roommate (at colleges in the Napa Valley, England, and Beirut), Dave Jamieson and Ric prepared for the New Year's Eve party by riding through San Francisco's Presidio, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Boulevard, and Crissy Field.

Happy 2012!