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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 KLWines.com 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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Archives
Saturday
Jun202015

Hollywood's Sherry Thursday: Flor Edition

Sherryfest, the biggest Sherry festival in the world, begins next week. Unfortunately, it's in NYC.  But don't worry, we won't let NYC have all the fun.  K&L will be holding satellite tastings both here in Hollywood and in Northern California to celebrate Sherryfest on the West Coast. This time, we will focus on styles that are biologically aged, otherwise known as being aged under "flor," the surface yeast that thrives in the Sherry triangle and give these wines their unique flavor. 

Join us for a killer line up of rare and extraordinary Sherry, such as:  (*Line up is not finalized*)

Equipo Navazos Flor Power #44, a very rare non-fortified Palomino Fino from Sanlucar. 
 
The line up of Lustau's Fino & Manzanilla which showcases the three main cities that produce Sherry in the Sherry Triangle, and gives you a unique glimpse into how drastically the wines can differ from city to city. 
 
Colosia Fino, one of the most raw and rich finos around, this producer is one of only 5 remaining bodgeas in El Puerto de Santa Maria.
 

And maybe even some Valdespino 'Inocente,' one of the only finos aged for an average of 10 years under flor. 

Leave work a little early on Thursday to get flor'ed! Tasting starts at 5:30, tickets are only 5 bucks and can be bought at the register. 

 I can't wait to see you all at the Hollywood store on Thursday!​

Friday
Jun192015

Classic Low Pressure Blanc de Blancs

The diversity of Champagne is one of its greatest strengths. Although many folks have a hard time seeing past the bubbles to appreciate the variety underneath, Champagne fans are truly blessed with a wide range of styles and flavors to choose from. The Mumm "Mumm de Cramant" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($59.99) stands out as one of the great examples of a unique style.

Mumm has been making this wine since 1882, and at first it wasn’t sold and used instead only as gifts. The “folded” edge of the label is homage to this history, and used to be a sign that the bottle and gift card were delivered personally by the giver. This Champagne is made at 4.5 atmospheres of pressure (about 65 psi) rather than the regular six (about 90 psi)- a style that used to be referred to as Cremant- in fact this wine was called “Cremant de Cramant” in the past. Now the term Cremant is used to describe sparkling wines made in France outside of the Champagne region that use traditional bottle fermentation and is not allowed for Champagne.

It is entirely Chardonnay from the grand cru village of Cramant at the north end of the Cotes des Blancs and this village gives the wine both great ripeness and fabulous chalky minerality. Although the dosage of the Mumm de Cramant is quite low at six grams per liter, this wine is loaded with fleshy white fruit from the top notch terroir. The back end it balanced by succulent acidity and great chalky presence, making this a very fine aperitif.

Cinnamon and I enjoyed this on its own before dinner, and loved the completeness, richness and refreshing character of the wine. If you have never had the Mumm de Cramant, it is worth checking out!

Gary Westby

Friday
Jun122015

At it's best just as it sells out...

 Always a favorite, the Aspasie Blanc de Blancs was firing on all cylinders last night.

It is hard for Californian’s to imagine Chardonnay as a variety for ageing. Our big Chard dogs tend to die young here in the Golden State, with the most overweight styles not even capable of lasting a few years in a good cellar. On the contrary in Champagne, Chardonnay is renowned for being the longest lived variety, and a high percentage in a blend is a sign of long term ambition. The greatest of them often aren’t released for more than a decade- Krug just released there 2003 Clos du Mesnil, Salon is current with their 2002, and Charles Heidsieck is still on their 1995 Blanc des Millénaires.

This has everything to do with acidity and alcohol. The most common number one see on the K&L shelves is 14.9%, and I can promise that nearly all of those would test out at over 15% as we are allowed to fudge by more than a percent legally in California. By contrast, a super ripe vintage in Champagne might reach close to 10% potential alcohol at harvest. This alcohol all comes from the sugar in the grapes, and as the sugar goes up, acid tends to go down. Acidity is a great preservative, and the higher acid in Champagne will allow it to keep a very long time.

I have long been an advocate of cellaring Champagne, and short term keeping can yield dramatic results. The bottle of Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99- due in August) I opened last night was an excellent example of that. It came from a batch that arrived at the beginning of January, and had rested for just six months in my cellar. While fabulous from the moment it arrived, with the extra time the cool white fruit, warm baguette toast, Chassagne-Montrachet like earth and pure Champenoise chalk had all come into perfect harmony. I couldn’t imagine enjoying a bottle more.

This is worth getting on the waiting list for. Last year we did a little three bottle vertical with the winemaker, Paul Vincent Ariston and the oldest had gained weight and complexity and sacrificed nothing in freshness. It is a rare thing in today’s wine market to find a bottle that delivers so much for $35.

I would also encourage any of my readers to try this with their favorite non-vintage Champagne. I can’t think of any that wouldn’t benefit- even the pure Meunier bottles just get better- but the Blanc de Blancs are particularly magic with a bit of time.

A toast to you!

Gary Westby