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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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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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The Return of Vergano

Most people would put vermouth and a number of other wine-based aperitivos into the "spirits" category, but the truth is these products are more wine than spirit. Sure, you might mix them into a cocktail, or add a few ice cubes with a dash of soda, but the fundamental building block of all vermouth is wine. One of our favorite and most-beloved vermouth producers is finally back at K&L after a year-long absence due to lack of inventory. Mauro Vergano was a student of oenology and viticulture, but soon began working as a flavor and fragrance expert as a chemist in Italy. It was there that he trained his nose to recognize and identify complex combinations of aromatics; the perfect training for creating flavor-enhanced versions of his initial passion: wine.

After more than fifteen years in the vermouth and aromatized wine business, Mauro is finally getting his due stateside, in the midst of a full-scale cocktail and spirits renaissance. His Moscato-based Chinato is the only one of its kind on the market, combining the inherent fruity and floral flavors of the muscat grape and combining it with the bitter amargo of quinine. The result is like Lillet on steroids; an explosion on your palate. He also has the divine Americano: a Grignolino-based red aperitif that takes a juicy, dark-fruited Italian red and adds bitter herbs and spices to create a Campari-like aperitivo that's all natural. Try it instead of the ubiquitous Italian liqueur in your next Negroni cocktail and watch your taste buds go into overdrive. His Bianco Vermouth is made from two white grapes—cortese and moscato—and is the gold standard for any soda-based, pre-meal cocktail. Add a splash of sparkling water and an orange twist, then put your feet up and embrace the good life because—let me tell you—if you're drinking Vergano products, you're living it.

Welcome back, Vergano. It's been too long.

Vergano "Luli" Moscato Chinato $42.99The wine used here is Moscato d’Asti with a higher alcohol content (more than 10%) compared to the ones that are commonly available. The Moscato comes from the prestigious winery of Vittorio Bera & Figli. Their Moscato’s fragrance and its full-bodiedness meld perfectly with the aromatic extract composed of citrus zest, cinnamon and vanilla. These fresh and sweet aromas are balanced by the bitter flavour of the China (Calisaya and Succirubra) which give it a persistent taste that is absolutely unique.

Vergano Americano Aperitif $36.99Think of the Vergano Americano as a traditional Vermouth/Bitter Piedmontese aperitif. It uses Grignolino as the base wine rather than Nebbiolo, and like most vermouths, it contains herbal and aromatic components. In order to transform a Vermouth into an Americano you have to integrate the herbs at its base with other more bitter ones like Gentianella, citrus zest like Bitter Orange and Chinotto.The result is like an Italian wine version of Campari or Cynar. Try using it in a Negroni or with soda and a twist. Absolutely lovely stuff.

Vergano Vermouth Bianco $42.99Vermouth is the only fortified and aromatized wine with a precise historical origin. It was first concocted 1786 in Turin by Benedetto Carpano. Since then the Vermouth has become one of the most famous drinks in the world both as aperitif or as an ingredient in cocktails. Its name derives from the German word "Vermuth" which means Absinthe, one of its main components. Originally, the base wine was Moscato, but different wines have been used over time. In the case of the Vergano Bianco, the base wine is a blend of dry Moscato and Cortese, another typical white grape of Piedmont. This mixture gives a correct balance between acidity and flavor.The mixture of herbs and spices is very complex, dominated by herbs such as thyme, marjoram, basil, oregano that provide fresh and aromatic notes. The Absinthe component mainly in the variety "Gentile" contributes to the bitter taste. As is the tradition Vermouth should be light yellow, clear, sweet. while also bitter and fragrant.

-David Driscoll


K&L Abroad

While traveling in Toyko this past year, I went for an early morning walk through the Ginzo district; hoping my to ease my jet-lag with a little window-shopping. While passing a wedding boutique, I noticed a celebratory display featuring a few empty wine bottles. Not just any wine bottles, mind you, but two very specific Bordeaux bottles from two very specific chateaux, from two very specific vintages. Two wines that we practically sold the entire vintage allotment of ourselves: the 1997 Potensac and the 1997 Lanessan. "There is no possibly way in hell that these two bottles didn't come from K&L," I said to myself. It was just too unlikely that these specifc selections were randomly purchased locally, and coincidentally placed together in a Tokyo storefront window. Unfortunately, the store was closed so I couldn't inspect the back labels to check the importer, so I snapped a picture and kept moving.

You can get your bottom dollar, however, that I was back at the store later in the afternoon to follow up on the investigation. Sure enough, the back labels told me exactly what I had suspected. These were our bottles. Someone had purchased them in California, stowed them away in their suitcase, enjoyed them in Japan, and used them as a wedding prop for a Ginzo retail location.

It's a small world.

-David Driscoll


Clean Lines

Sometimes you have to prove that you can handle the basics before taking a few risks. For example, if you're in the fashion industry, you need to show you can make a simple, classic design before moving on to couture. It's for that reason that we initially held back on importing the Te Whare Ra "Toru": a white field blend made mostly from gewürztraminer, riesling, and pinot gris. We needed to first establish TWR among our customers as a producer of world-class chardonnay, pinot noir, and sauvignon blanc before showcasing their incredible range of aromatic whites. And, believe me, they are indeed "incredible."

My wife and I hit the mall yesterday to check out the new Fall fashion releases slowly trickling into the many boutiques, and then returned home to cool out on the couch and search for a little inspiration. I cracked the bottle of "Toru" I had been saving in the fridge, grabbed two glasses, and handed one to my wife. "Wow, that's good," she said, her eyes wide with surprise. She had been expecting something more intense considering the cepage, but despite the heavy dosage of aromatic varietals, the "Toru" is not overly-expressive on the nose. It's not all that floral or perfumy, and there's only a hint of that gingery spice from the gewürz. It's much more mild and round on the palate, with the accents of stonefruit and exotic spice on the finish. It has all the crisp, refreshing acidity you'd expect from a pinot gris, but with a little dash of something on the backend. It's a classically-tailored wine with clean lines, perfect balance, and just a bit of flare. We immediately grabbed the telephone and ordered Chinese food for delivery after taking the first sip. We wanted something savory and delicious to pair along side it.

Now that we've established TWR as one of the premier producers at K&L, it's time to take a few risks. It's time to show you all how deep their talents truly run:

TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Blend Marlborough $18.99 - TWR's  "Toru" (meaning three in Maori) is a traditional field blend of Alsatian varietals Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris, as you might find in an Edelzwicker bottling. The fruit is entirely hand-selected from Jason and Anna's BioGro Certified organic vineyard. All the grapes are co-fermented, giving the blend its completely seamless nature and wonderful richness of flavor and texture along with vibrant freshness and minerality. The wine is almost completely dry with very little, if any perceivable sweetness. What certainly is perceivable is the wine's cacophony of floral notes, white peach, honeydew melon, and jasmine. The palate shows similar qualities, with broad, rich flavors and texture. The old vine Riesling (planted in 1979) adds great minerality and a steely, citric cut to balance the richness and exuberance of the other, more exotic varietals. The co-ferment and extended fine lees contact gives the wine incredible length and persistence on the palate. This just might be the ultimate summer sipper. So quaffable that just about anyone will fall for it... but also retaining enough complexity, depth and "nerd factor" that even the most jaded of wine geeks would have to be excited by this wine! (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L New Zealand Wine Buyer)

-David Driscoll