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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 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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Friday
Nov182016

Krug Grand Cuvee- Past Editions

Olivier Krug says Krug is OK... We think it is a little better than that!

I have a small amount (only 60 bottles each) of some exciting Krug Grand Cuvee. This is a preview of how Krug will be selling the Grand Cuvee in the future, with each new batch of Krug featuring not only the ID on the back, but also the edition on the front, counting up from the foundation of the house in the 1800's. These first three were dated posthumously as most of the bottles were simply sold as Grand Cuvee. These early editions are bound to become collector’s items... That being said, I hope these will only be collected to be drunk!

Sixty bottles each of edition 160,161 and 162 is all there is!

They originally came as six packs with two each of the three editions below. After a little over a month in stock, I decided to split them up to make them more accessible to Krug lovers. I don’t expect that they will last long now that they are available by the bottle. This is what I have:

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 160 Ème Édition Brut Champagne $159.99: Based on 2004, this Grand Cuvee is assembled from 121 lots from 12 different vintages. The oldest wine is from 1990. The varietal composition is not available.

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 161 Ème Édition Brut Champagne $159.99: Based on 2005, this Grand Cuvee is assembled from 134 lots from 12 different vintages, the oldest being 1990. It is composed of 44% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 19% Meunier.

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 162 Ème Édition Brut Champagne $159.99: Based on 2006, this Grand Cuvee is assembled from 142 lots from 11 different vintages, the oldest being 1990. It is composed of 44% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 21% Meunier.

Additionally, I saved three of the Krug "Three Editions Wooden Case" Gift Case (6pk=1 Unit) with two each of all three. They are $959 for the six bottle case.

I am not sure when the first batch of regular Grand Cuvee with an Edition on it will arrive in the US, or what that edition will be. I know that it won’t be before our distributor sells out of the Grand Cuvee with the regular front label however! I know that Olivier is very excited to move forward with this project, he was very enthusiastic when I talked to him about it in March. You can see the article here if you are interested.

If you are interested in the bottles above, I suggest acting fast. They will sell quickly.

A toast to you!

Gary Westby

Friday
Nov112016

Chateau Climens with Bérénice Lurton

Clyde pours Climens while Bérénice Lurton tells the story of vineyard.

Today at K&L in Redwood City, we were very lucky to receive Bérénice Lurton, the owner and director of Chateau Climens in Barsac, the filet piece of Sauternes. This great property in Bordeaux makes some of the most consistently outstanding wine in the world, and has been in the Lurton family since 1971. With history going all the way back to 1547 and 1er cru status from the 1855 classification, this property has earned its fame over many, many years.

The vineyard is 74 fossil rich, limestone acres, and has been farmed biodynamically since 2010. They only grow Semillon here and the texture and honey like flavor from that variety showed consistently in all of the vintages that we tasted.  It was a gigantic treat for our staff.

Bérénice Lurton poured her 1988 vintage in today's lineup- Lilia's birth year vintage!

We started the tasting with the yet to be released 2014 Climens, Barsac ($64.99 pre-arrival) which we are expecting to receive in spring of 2018. It was one of my favorites of the tasting. This had extraordinary purity and fabulous acidity, as well as the honeyed richness and power one would expect from a young wine of this class. It was unbelievably long and detailed on the finish.

Clyde’s favorite was the 2013 Climens, Barsac ($69.99) and it was fantastically rich, dense and marked by lots of extremely clean botrytis. This would be such a great partner for a tourchon of foie gras! It would also make an excellent candidate for long term ageing.

The 2007 Climens, Barsac (375ml) ($99) showed how much difference a little bit of time could make. This was an open, complex wine with dried white peach and even jasmine like aromas and flavors. The texture and bracing acidity made this hard to turn away from! The 2005 Climens, Barsac (375ml) ($49.99) showed the grapier, concentrated style of the property, and was very approachable right now.

The 1988 Climens, Barsac (375ml) ($119.99) was a reference point for great Sauternes for me. It was an extra joy to taste since it was K&L’s own Lilia’s birth year! At 28 years old, it was drinking perfectly, but I am sure this will last for generations to come. I drank a bottle of the 1943 when it was sixty years old, and it had time in hand! This had a touch of nuttiness as well as gorgeous dried apricot fruit, perfect medium to full texture and refreshing lift that one could never tire of. Wow.

What a treat! Thank you Bérénice Lurton!

 

Gary Westby

Friday
Nov112016

Ruinart in Redwood City!

The crayeres of Ruinart are undoubtedly the most beautiful cellars in all of Champagne, and many of the galleries date back to the middle ages.

Today in Redwood City we will taste Champagne Ruinart for the final Champagne Friday of 2016. The house of Ruinart is the oldest of all Champagne producers, and shipped their first bottle in 1728. I have visited them twice, and it is a must see for anyone traveling in the area. Ruinart is built on top of the oldest cellars in Reims, the famed crayeres (chalk pits) that were excavated by hand over 1000 years ago. The Ruinart family was originally in the textile business, but switched over completely to the Champagne business by 1735. This house was purchased by Moet in 1963, and is currently owned by their umbrella company, LVMH, the largest luxury goods conglomerate in the world.

Ruinart is very famous in France but still just getting recognized here in the US. They were out of our market for a long time, and when they first came back, we carried them immediately. At first, almost all of our sales were to French ex-pats, and many of our French customers come specifically for Ruinart still. The wines are exceptionally clean and fresh as a group, with wonderful fruit expression as well as great acidity and texture.

Fredéric Panaîotis is the current cellarmaster of Ruinart and continues a tradition dating back to 1728!

The current celarmaster at Ruinart, Fredéric Panaîotis is one of the great characters of Champagne. He likes to be called Fred, and is very outspoken and free, the opposite of most of the top negociant executives I have met. His wines are very elegant none the less!

His Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($64.99) is a wonderfully different style of Chardonnay based Champagne than any other that we have. While almost all of the others that we carry rely on the laser precision of Cote de Blanc fruit exclusively, this wine balances this electricity with the rich, nearly grapey Chardonnay of the Mountain of Reims. The result is magic; a full bodied blanc de blancs that still finishes dry and long!These crus; Trepail and Villers Marmery on the Mountain of Reims round out the mineraly focus of the Cotes de Blancs fruit. This is a creamy, subtly toasty bottle of Champagne with a little bit of lychee exoticism. It has class to spare and is exceptionally easy to drink.

The Ruinart Brut Rosé Champagne ($74.99) is a rich, well balanced rose will delight fans of great pink Champagne with a great contrast between pure Pinot fruit and pure Champagne chalk. It is a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay, with 18% of the Pinot vinified red and blended in for color and flavor. It has a little more color than most rose Champagne and a soft, full bodied texture. It is rich and satisfying, despite the deceptively high proportion of Chardonnay.

The flagship of the house is the 2004 Ruinart "Dom Ruinart" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($139.99). It is composed of all Grand Cru Chardonnay with 69% sourced from the Cotes de Blancs and the balance sourced from Sillery and Puisieulx, two sites on the north face of the Mountain of Reims. With ten years of ageing on the lees, the wine has wonderful vanilla cake dough richness, but is still vibrant and fresh. The characteristic chalky drive of the classic 2004 vintage makes for a long, bright finish, and this wine should continue to improve for decades. I recently had a bottle of the 1966 that still had time in hand! Unlike many big names, their vintage program, which this Blanc de Blanc is just one part of, represents only 1% of their production. The high degree of selection really shows!

We will taste all three of these today with Megan Gordon from Champagne Ruinart in our Redwood City store from 5pm to 6:30pm. I hope to see you there!

A toast to you!

Gary Westby