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With the James Bond movie Spectre being released today, no time could be better to drink Bollinger. The most suave spy in the world has been sipping on Bollinger since Moonraker in 1979. While we can’t all drive a fully loaded, customized machine gun having Aston Martin, we certainly can chill down a bottle of Bolli! The 2004 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne ($109) is as good as Champagne gets; all barrel fermented and full of masculine, Pinot Noir power and high class elegance. We even have a few bottles of the limited 2009 Bollinger "James Bond 007" Brut Champagne ($195) in stock for the diehard fan of Bond & Champagne!

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Tasting with Oliver Krug

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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.  


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Parent: Our Best from the Cote de Beaune

Anne Parent with Gary and a basket of fantastic Burgundy.

I have loved the wines of Domaine Parent for a very long time, and I am proud to say that they are now a direct import for us. I first became acquainted with these wines in Champagne as they are prominent on the lists of some of my favorite places to dine in Epernay; Les Berceaux and Chez Max. Anne Parent, who runs the domain has a sister that lives in Champagne and sells her Burgundy in the region. They are 12th generation growers, and even list Thomas Jefferson as a former client! Trey, Alex and I were lucky enough to meet Anne over lunch last month in Burgundy and her wines were spectacular. We are so excited about them that we are offering them as pre-arrivals. They should arrive in April of 2016.

Domaine Parent is a 25 acre estate with vines across the Cote de Beaune, almost all red. They are certified organic, and have been working biodynamically with a certification for that on the way. All of the grapes are handpicked, and they de-stem most everything. In 2013 they used no stems at all. The wines are very well balanced and reflect their place of origin very well. Anne does not use a lot of new oak, and even the wines with a higher proportion of new barrels do not show it. A lot of this will be going in my cellar! Here is what we have on offer:

2013 Domaine Parent Ladoix 1er Cru "La Corvée" ($39.99 Pre-Arrival- scheduled to arrive in April 2016): This wine comes from 42 year old vines in the mid-slope of Ladoix. It has a very generous, cool, pure Pinot Noir nose and is medium bodied and supple in the mouth. This refreshing red went very well with the pate en croute that we enjoyed with Anne. It should improve for five years in the cellar, but is drinking great right now.

2013 Domaine Parent Beaune1er Cru "Les Epenottes" ($49.99 Pre-Arrival- scheduled to arrive in April 2016): This plot of vines is just under Clos des Mouches and adjacent to Pommard. Anne selected the 75 year old and 45 year old vines from within this plot for the 2013, but the domain also has some 7 year old vines in this vineyard. The wine went into 25% new oak. I loved this wine for its cool, black fruit on the nose and explosive purity on the palate. As it developed in the glass, it became more and more perfumed. It was a long, bright finishing wine that I enjoyed immensely.

2010 Domaine Parent Pommard ($49.99 Pre-Arrival- scheduled to arrive in April 2016): When we saw that Anne had some of the great 2010 vintage left, we jumped at the chance to secure a small allocation. This wine is made from 50 year old vines from Les Noizons near the border with Beaune. It sees 30% new oak.

2013 Domaine Parent Pommard 1er Cru "Les Chanlins" ($67.99 Pre-Arrival- scheduled to arrive in April 2016): My favorite wine of our tasting with Anne, this Pommard was loaded with lovely perfume… This is the type of wine that you don’t want to move on from, but rather keep drinking! It comes from the Volnay side of Pommard from 15 year old vines and sees about 30% new oak. I could not get enough of the delicate, savory cherry fruit and ethereal minerality. This is one of those rare wines that integrates primary fruit flavors with clean earth seamlessly… It was definitely my style of Burgundy!

2013 Domaine Parent Corton-Les Renardes Grand Cru ($99.99 Pre-Arrival- scheduled to arrive in April 2016): The Domaine Parent plot of Les Renardes is 42 years old and sees half new oak in the cellar in most vintages, but the 2013 got 80%. Only six barrels were produced in 2013. This catnip and maraschino powerhouse is wine for the long haul, with great texture and a very long finish. If you have the patience, this will develop into a bottle that will stand on the table with anything.

Gary Westby


Domaine Gabriel Billard- Ancient Vine Pinot Noir

Burgundy is the most magical of all wines for the table.

Claudie Jobard, the owner and winemaker of Domaine Gabriel Billard is blessed with ancient Pinot Noir vineyards. Her vines in and around Pommard are almost all ancient massal selected granddaddies, and the wine that she makes out of them have the concentration and depth that one would expect from such a noble source. While she studied oenology, her father was a nurseryman, and her love of her vines is clear from the moment you first speak to her in her cellar.

Claudie Jobard, owner and winemaker at Billard with K&L's own Gary Westby in her cellar.

I bought a bottle of her 2012 Domaine Gabriel Billard Bourgogne Rouge "Cuvée Milliane" ($19.99) first thing when I got back from Burgundy, and served it with homemade chicken-pot-pie. This bottle comes from 60-80 year old vines just below the village of Pommard and has enough mid pallet texture to be confused for village level stuff. I love the crunchy, high energy, red fruit drive of this refreshing bottle, as well as the long finish. If you like your Burgundy for the table, this is one not to miss. It should keep very well, and I can’t wait to check in on the rest of my bottles over the next five or so years.

A great bottle at a fair price!

We were very lucky to be able to get an allocation of some older magnums from this Domaine as well. All of these come from 100+ year old vines in her parcel of Charmots. This parcel is so steep and off camber that everything must be done by hand in it. She makes about three barrels a year of this gem. Here is what we have:

2010 Domaine Gabriel Billard Pommard 1er Cru "Les Charmots" (1.5L) $109.99

2007 Domaine Gabriel Billard Pommard 1er Cru "Les Charmots" (1.5L) $94.99

1996 Domaine Gabriel Billard Pommard 1er Cru "Les Charmots" (1.5L) $149.99

Gary Westby, K&L


The Complexity and Elegance of Champagne Coutelas

Angelique Coutelas personally hand ties every bottle of the Cuvée 1809.

Damien and Angelique Coutelas are eighth generation growers with seventeen and one half acres spread from Villers-Sous-Chantillon to Trepail in Champagne. While their heritage goes back to 1809 and the family has been making Champagne since the 1920’s, they are not traditionalists at all and each year I see them pushing the boundaries in the cellar further. This year they purchased some amphora, clay vessels used in antiquity to ferment and age wine.  Amphora have been steadily making their way back into the most progressive cellars in the region. They are believers in old wood, and have a fine collection of barriques, foudres and demi-muids in their cellars in Dizy and Villers-Sous-Chantillon.

The new label for the Victor- the picture on our website is old... And I am working on it!

I think the most exciting work they are doing is with fractional blending. They have a 7500 liter Foudre that they first filled in 2007, and every year they pull 2500 bottles (one quarter) for a bottling that they call the Louis Victor. I have been following these blends as vin-clair for many years now, and I have to say that the Krug like richness that they are achieving from this novel method is astounding. This is a Champagne that anyone with enough interest to be reading this should follow… Especially given the very fair price that the Coutelas offer this wine for!

The wine from this foudre is called the Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne ($34.99) and I had a bottle of it on Halloween with Cinnamon’s gougers. This bottling is a blend of 2007 through 2011 vintages with three years of ageing on the lees. It is a brassy gold color and has a generous nose of fresh forest aromas and brioche toast. In the mouth it has a round, rich, seamless texture and an amazing array of flavors… It is easily one of the most complex Champagnes that we have on the shelf. The truly amazing thing to me is the focus of the wine. It stays completely refreshing, vibrant and mineral on the long finish, which makes the 750ml format seem to small! With only 2500 bottles being produced a year, this is a very limited item. We only received ten cases on the past shipment, but I am angling to get more for the next one!

Damien and Angelique Coutelas in their tasting room.

Their 2006 Amaury Coutelas Vintage Brut Champagne $34.99 is a blend of even parts Meunier and Pinot Noir from 70 year old vines. This is mostly  stainless steel fermented Champagne and shows the power and ripeness of the vintage. It is a very full-bodied wine, with super power in the middle, yet refreshing on the finish- a characteristic that runs through their range of Champagnes. We only received five cases of this, and it is dosed at just six grams per liter.

If you like dark, nearly red, full powered roses, you have to try the Amaury Coutelas "Elixr" Brut Rosé Champagne ($34.99). This is composed of 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay but assembled in a completely unique way. Half of the Pinot Noir, sourced from very old vines is macerated into red wine, giving this Champagne strong vinous power and a tremendous amount of savory black cherry fruit. This is a great choice for game birds or turkey. A real powerhouse!

The solera for the Louis Victor continues!

We have already sold 1/3 of their top of the line wine, the Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée 1809" Brut Champagne ($59.99) from the waiting lists that the last batch generated. This stunning all barrel fermented blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir is all 2008 and has the length and finesse to compete with the finest Champagne in the store. Angelique Coutelas ties the top of every one of the 3000 bottles they produce of this with twine- a rewind to the methods of 200 years ago in Champagne. She is one of only three of four people left in the region that knows the technique and has one of the ancient machines for this process! The Champagne is subtle, compelling and loaded with the long mineral driven drive that the great 2008 harvest is famous for.

The Coutelas’ are making great Champagne, and from the vin clair that I have tasted with them it is only getting better. This is a producer that you will want to know if you like richness and complexity in your Champagne.

A toast to you!


Gary Westby