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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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Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

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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« Bordeaux Bargains! | Main | Year 2006-K&L Buyers on the Road Again »

Ch. Pontet-Canet: A Ride Back to the Top of Wine!

I remember it like it was yesterday: a very cold and crisp morning in the first days of April 1995, and we were just getting warmed up after tasting at Lynch Bages at 8:30 a.m. and then Mouton-Rothschild at 9 a.m. As our leader Bill Blatch drove slightly uphill past vines and white gravel less than a minute from Mouton I could not see the château hidden behind the large trees. I asked Bill where are we going next, and he said Pontet-Canet. I was very excited. I had never been to the historic 5th growth. I then asked Bill why we were going there for the first time. His answer was that the 1994 Pontet-Canet was the finest wine made there in a long time and warranted the visit. Of course, he was right; the 1994 Pontet is one of the great successes of the difficult vintage, and the estate has improved every year since. The name of Pontet-Canet is well known as vines have been in the ground there since before 1725. The estate had a fine reputation before dropping in quality in the years just prior to the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. The classification itself was based solely upon the track record of quality and price, hence Pontet was placed as a 5th growth. The quality rose to the point where the wine was selling at 2nd growth prices. The 1929 was a legendary wine. Unfortunately, as for most of Bordeaux, tough times were ahead. Ponet-Canet did in fact become very well known as a “brand” but for all the wrong reasons—for being the non-vintage, barely drinkable wine served in the French railroad cars. In 1975 the estate was sold to the Tesseron family, and today the wines are outstanding under the direction of Alfred Tesseron. Alfred’s quiet revolution started in the winery with a more strict selection in the ’80s and in the last 15 years in the vineyard. The style of Pontet-Canet is masculine, loaded with dark purple fruit, and in today’s wines it is very pure, long and elegant. Many customers are newcomers to Pontet and can feel the conviction in my voice when I recommend it in orders along with the greats like Cos, the Pichons and the Léovilles. For me, Pontet-Canet’s style is like Léoville-Barton: dark serious wines of longevity, quality and value personified. And now you can add consistency! The proof of Pontet-Canet’s great success of late is easily seen and expected in the famous vintages of 2000 Ch. Pontet-Canet ($49.99) and 2003 Ch. Pontet-Canet ($59.99). But the real proof is in the stunning 2002 Ch. Pontet-Canet ($29.99), 2004 Ch. Pontet-Canet ($39.99) and 1998 Ch. Pontet-Canet ($26.99), from years when mother nature made it difficult to make a fine wine. Please feel free to call me anytime with questions or advice on the wines of Bordeaux at ex 2723 or Cheers and Toujours Bordeaux! —Ralph Sands

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