Stay Connected
What We're Drinking



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!

Recent Videos

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

See all K&L Local Events

« Joe's 2014 Spain travelogue (part 2): wi-fi woes & travel tips | Main | Rose for Valentine's Day! »

2014 Fete du Bordeaux


javascript:noop();Sunday, February 9th was the annual Fete du Bordeaux at One Market in San Francisco, the Bordeaux dinner event of the year. Over a hundred guests and the heads of both Langoa/Leoville Barton and Lynch Bages convened for a champagne reception, tasting the 2011’s from the three chateaus as well as those from Tronquoy-Lalande, and Chateau Montrose, and then sat down to a four-course dinner accompanied by eight incredible wines.

Having just tasted the 2011’s at UGC, I was blown away by how much they had evolved. Could it be the two weeks safe on land, the extra two weeks in bottle, or the perfectly seasoned duck liver mousse on cristini that was being passed? Either way, it was noted that the wines had gained flesh and sweetness since being tasted just weeks before. The Langoa was sweet fruit up front with distinct minerality on the finish, the Leoville was exceptional, and everything that I’ve come to expect from the Bartons. This year Damien Barton-Sartorius, part of the seventh generation to be involved with the Chateaus, accompanied his grandmother Eva Barton, and was every bit as charming as his grandfather.

The 2011 Ormes de Pez was bright, and tasted of rainier cherries, cocoa, and crushed rock. The Lynch Bages showed a lot of structure, although it was leaner than I’ve come to expect from the Chateau.

The wines served with dinner were all enjoyable and were kicked off by the exquisite 2012 Blanc de Lynch Bages. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle, fermented and aged in a blend of neutral and new oak, this wine is the definition of delicious. Served with slow cooked Steelhead with celery root “risotto” and blood oranges, I felt that the celery root overpowered the wine, which would have been better served over a simpler arborio risotto, so that the nuances of tropical fruits, grapefruit, jasmine, honeysuckle, and wisps of vanilla could have come through.

The first flight accompanied a slow braised beef short rib over polenta with broccoli rabe and roasted garlic. The three paired wines were: 2000 Langoa Barton, tasting of blackberries and Fall leaves with plenty of acid to keep it going in your cellar for quite some time; the 2005 Lynch Bages, which was a sexy wine with solid tannic grip; and the 2005 Montrose which was soft, inky, and had traces of pencil lead and cherry blossoms.

The primarily hard-cheese course was paired with: 1990 Leoville Barton, charming and plummy with hints of menthol; 1990 Lynch Bages, which threw a touch of sediment, but was otherwise a perfect wine; and the 1998 Montrose, which was earthy, with nice ripe fruit, but had substantial tannins that took hold of the glass.  

The evening was concluded with a glass of 2003 Suduiraut with an apple tart and cinnamon ice cream that was nothing short of delicious.

Clyde Beffa’s Impressions:

The Ormes was quite nice that night. All the wines needed air and finally came around.  The Leoville and Lynch were still tight and needed double decanting.  The Montrose was surprisingly softer than the first two-toasty and full bodied with long finish-new style for Montrose? Tronquoy good but we did not buy-have the great 2009 coming in at only a bit higher price. Langoa was black cherry cola on nose. Elegant.

My fave on the dinner was 1990 Leoville-will go ten more years easy.

 Melissa Lavrinc Smith is K&L's Head Sommelier in charge of the Personal Sommelier Wine Club and hosts private and corporate wine and spirit events


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.