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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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« Bearden’s Bordeaux: Direct from the Châteaux | Main | Kirk's November Bordeaux Picks! »

Highlights from the Bordeaux Tour of a Lifetime-Part One

After over a year of planning and plenty of stress, our tour of Bordeaux went off as smooth as silk. The thank you cards have been sent off already, but the memories and education will last a lifetime. Even for a cagey veteran like myself, the excitement from an experience like this is hard to come down from; the reflections of the great wines and times keep come back to mind. Here are some of my favorite recollections: We tasted the new baby/vintage of 2004 at numerous estates, and they are showing much better than on our April tasting. More middle fruit and richness really coming thru now from wines like Mouton-Rothschild, Léoville-Barton, Léoville-Las-Cases, Lynch Bages, Palmer, both Pichons, Phelan-Segur, Haut-Bergey, Barde-Haut and Ferriere. We also tasted many 2002s, which are arriving in America now. These are much better than billed, classic firm wines with good shoulders on the best wines. Just as is the case with 2004, the 2002s are excellent values. I tell customers everyday that 1999 is a supple and tasty vintage that is providing great drinking pleasure. The 1999 from Margaux, Haut-Brion ($124.99), Branaire-Ducru ($29.99) and Cantemerle ($42.99 1.5L) are fine examples of that. The 1987 Pavie was just delicious, the great vineyard shining brightly in an incredibly rough vintage as was 1983 Canon. Lunch at Palmer inlcuded a lovely 1997, a young 1996 with great potential and 1990 that’s just starting to sing. After tasting 2000, 2001 and 2002 at Pichon-Baron, the dinner wines were mind blowing. The dry new white of Ch. Suduiraut (S de Suduiraut, coming to K&L in December) for aperitif, 1998 Petite Village and 1996 Cantenac Brown. 1995 Baron (K&L just got magnums and 5Ls), 1990 out of 3L, 1962 Quinta do Noval National, Yikes! 1997 and 1975 Suduiraut, and we were party fresh! The fastest two star lunch in the history of the wine business was briskly loved at Lynch Bages where the 1995 was very fine. At Cos d’Estournel the 2003 was so amazing, huge sweetness, thick layers of fruit and incredible length that the famous 2000 had no chance at this point in time! The 1988 Léoville-Barton, with Lilian, Anthony and Michel was so good I bought some upon returning. The 1988 Pichon-Lalande out of double magnum in the company of Thomas Do-Chi-Nam and May Eliane de Lenquesaing was just outstanding. The tour of Latour’s new facility and tasting the 2001 and 2004 was quite a treat. As was Thierry Gardiner and his warm hospitality as well as the elegant, spicy wines of Phelan-Ségur, which can be enjoyed young. A very good seminar on right bank viticulture and tasting at Canon La Gaffeliere started a new day. A marvelous lunch with Corinne De Bouard at Angelus featuring the 1998 and 1995 Angelus ($159.99). Now we know why these wines are so pure. The merlot grapes were being sorted under close supervision by 30 or more college students, and the fruit was so perfect, not a stem to be seen near the fruit, only in the baskets below. To be continued in next month’s newsletter... A special thanks to all the great customers who made the trek, all our gracious friends in Bordeaux, as well as Cecile Levin and Magda Johnson who made it all happen. Cheers to all of you! —Ralph Sands

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