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Just add duck crepinettes!

Buying ready to drink 1er cru Burgundy is not easy. For a couple of years I did the Old and Rare wine buying here at K&L and found it easy to find California Cabernet and even Bordeaux from collectors. But Burgundy… Forget it. They had to die, get a divorce or have doctors orders to part with the king of all Pinot Noir! This bottle of 2007 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Nuits St-Georges 1er cru Les Boudots ($99) comes direct from the property from our friends at Atherton, and like most of the 2007’s, drinks fabulously right now. This wine showed excellent sweet beet fruit, savory depth, and incredible finesse and length. The tannins are completely resolved, and went perfectly with duck crepinettes from the fatted calf in San Francisco. This is the kind of Burgundy that gets people hooked- you have been warned!!!! –Gary Westby

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Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

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Wine Wednesday: Oh Mylord!

It's been months since New York Times' wine writer Eric Asimov publicly suggested that Bordeaux was becoming irrelevant among the next generation of wine drinkers. Pricing themselves into obsolescence, as it were. And while I don't entirely disagree -- I'll likely never be able to afford a first or second growth Bordeaux unless something catastrophic happens in the wine market -- I don't really care that much. And it's not because I think Bordeaux is irrelevant, it's that those pricey, classified wines represent just a small percentage of what's made in Bordeaux. To overlook the more affordable wines of the region, which Asimov acknowledged in a later article titled the "Soulful Side of Bordeaux," is just as much a sin as over-valuing the others.

Good Bordeaux, like the best Sancerre, Burgundy or, even, Central Coast Pinot Noir, speaks of the soils where it was grown, but it doesn't have to have a hefty price tag. Skilled viticulture and cellar practices are not as cost-prohibitive as some big-name wineries might have you believe, which means the quality of the wines from the fifth growths like Cantemerle (I love the 2007; at just $26.99 it offers incredible character, depth and some ageability) on down to the so-called petit châteaux is ever-improving.

Take, for example today's wine, the 2005 Mylord, Bordeaux ($10.99), a favorite of K&L's owner and Bordeaux buyer Clyde Beffa and much of the K&L staff. It's an unbelievable bargain from one of the top vintages of the past 20 years, with bold black currant and cherry fruit aromas and flavors backed by juicy acidity and soft tannins. But it's not cloying or jammy like most California Cabs/Merlot blends at this price point -- it's clearly defined and doubtlessly Bordeaux, just without the attitude. And it's drinkable now, a point that can't be overlooked for novice and experienced wine drinkers who just aren't that concerned with building a cellar.

There are many, many more great Bordeaux values on the market like this, from exceptional vintages like 2005, from more classic vintages like 2004 and 2006, and from some sorely undervalued vintages like 2007, it just takes a little more work to find them. And as long as there are champions of Bordeaux willing to seek them out, promote them and make them accessible, then the only thing in danger of becoming irrelevant is the mentality that only the most expensive wines are the ones worth drinking.

Leah Greenstein


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