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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it 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.  

 

Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. 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

Archives
Wednesday
Aug272014

Super Sparkling Wine from Santa Lucia Highlands

Nicely positioned in upscale Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County is the tasting bar for Caraccioli Cellars. This family-run company has been making fantastic sparkling wines since 2006. One of the things that really sets them apart from other domestic sparkling wine houses is their commitment to vintage bottling everything bubbly, and releasing the newest vintage six years after bottling. For example, their current release is their 2008 Brut Cuvée. Their approach is admirable, if not somewhat daring and ambitious for a brand new enterprise. The Caraccioli family has a long history in the agriculture industry, but only lately has jumped into winemaking. With the help of winemaker Michel Salgues, who was long tenured at Roederer Estate, they are getting off to a great start. 
Scott Caraccioli was kind enough to meet with us for a tasting of his family's wines. They currently offer two still wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with everything coming from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Those wines were well made and sold at a good price, but where Caraccioli Cellars really shines is in sparkling wine. We were fortunate to try all three existing vintages for their Brut Cuvée. Each vintage consists of 60% Chardonny and 40% Pinot Noir that also comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands. There are 2,500 cases of these vintage-dated bubblies made a year, and they are held for a minimum of six years before being released for sale. 
The 2008 Brut had a nice richness to it, with brioche, nectarine, peach and ripe stone fruit notes. It was a little more yeasty than the older bottlings, and a little drier than the 2007. The 2007 Brut had higher acid and deeper, more integrated flavors. The 2006 was a real treat for me. It was more honeyed and fine than the other two vintages. Very expressive and nuanced. It truly made us believers in Caracciolis ability to make age-worthy wines. They pretty much nailed it in their first official bottling. We're all eager to see how these bottles develop over time. We're even more eager to see Caraccioli on our shelves again. Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of their bottlings to arrive in the shops soon. 
Patrick Cu

 

Wednesday
Aug272014

A Great Lunch with Surprising Wines

 

Before retiring after a long day tasting wine all across the Carmel Valley, I want to take a moment to highlight a couple standouts.  During the course of a great lunch at the Bernardus Lodge, we started off with the cool, juicy and refreshing 2013 Bernardus rosé saignée of Pinot Noir.  With flavors and aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry, watermelon, mixed berries and a touch of spice, this was a perfect warm weather refresher. This was definitely one of the best domestic rosés I've had in recent memory.

Completely different and even better was the outstanding 2009 Bernardus "Marinus" Carmel Valley Bordeaux Blend, which we drank toward the end of our meal. This serious wine blended blackberry fruit flavors, hints of oak, spice and savory herb in a smooth, elegant and richly balanced package.  Look for this big, powerful but approachable wine as well as the refreshing and thirst quenching rosé in our domestic section soon.

Steve Bearden

Tuesday
Aug262014

1989 Lanessan, Haut-Medoc: An Exotic Beauty

Steak and claret- a daring pairing.

Last night, Cinnamon and I stuck to our once a week tradition of steak and claret. I had asked Clyde for a recommendation on the Bordeaux, and he suggested the 1989 & 1990 Lanessan, and I bought both. We decided to try the 1989 first, and Cinnamon decanted it about an hour before we sat down to dinner. Since we are adventurous, she prepared a dry aged ribeye, baked potatoes and peas to go with the wine. So cutting edge!

Our Bordeaux buyer and owner Clyde managed to talk the folks at Lannesan out of quite the cache of old wines, and over the next weeks I hope to try at least all of the ones from the 80’s. More potatoes will have to be baked! Here is what we got:

2011 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $14.99

2010 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99

2009 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99

2004 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99

2003 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99

1999 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99

1998 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $19.99

1990 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $69.99

1989 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $69.99- this is the one we drank last night!

1985 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $69.99

1970 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc (1.5L) $199.99

1964 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $79.99

1952 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc $169.99

 

The meat was fresh and the wine was old- heaven!

The 1989 was in fantastic shape, even though we rushed it. Older bottles generally like some time to settle after shipping, and we didn’t wait. In general, even if they have been in the country for years and come out of a good private cellar, we will wait a couple of months to open a wine of this age. The sediment is easily disturbed by moving the bottles from the store to home, and this bottle was no exception. We lost about a glass to soupy sediment, and ran this part through a coffee filter and set it aside, saving the “free decanted” portion for our dinner.

I am glad that I wasn’t given this wine blind, because I would have missed it entirely. It was an impressive dark color and looked quite young in the glass. The bouquet had an amazing aroma of lavender in it, and that combined with a warm earthiness made it a dead ringer for old fashioned Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Since my experience has taught me that first impression is always the most accurate when tasting blind, I would have blurted out Châteauneuf-du-Pape… And been dead wrong! The seamless, medium bodied texture of the wine was all claret, and it lead into a mineral strewn, lively, long finish.

I have often heard the term “exotic” applied to the very warm and ripe 1989 vintage, and now I know why. This is a truly exotic Bordeaux, but without the excess baggage of alcohol, wood and clumsy thickness that one usually has to endure to get that exoticism. If you have occasion to drink an a special bottle of claret, this is a great candidate!  More Lanessan notes to come!

Gary Westby