All tastings are from 12 noon to 3 p.m. in San Francisco and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Redwood City. For information about special monthly tastings and dinners, please see our website at www.klwines.com and click on the “local events” bar. Prices TBA. Saturday, October 7: Italian in San Francisco. Burgundy in Redwood Ciry. Kirk picks his favorite wines in S.F. from various regions in Italy. Come in and try new arrivals and hot cellar selections. While Keith will open the outstanding Burgundies of Maison Champy. Saturday, October 14: Syrah in San Francisco. Wines of Spain in Redwood City. Mike Jordan will take us on a tour around the world with his favorite Syrah. Wines from North America, Australia, France while Anne’s favorites are poured in Redwood City. Saturday, October 21: Champagne Celebration in San Francisco. Bordeaux in Redwood City. The San Francisco store will close off its parking lot for our big tent tasting of small-estate Champagnes. Join us for over 40 Champagnes and finger food (Call for tickets). Redwood City hosts a tasting of Bordeaux. Ralph and Bryan will pour from the 2003 vintage with one white, one Sauternes and eight reds. Saturday, October 28: Wines of Germany and Austria in San Francisco. Wines of the Rhone in Redwood City. In S.F., Eric Story picks his favorites from Germany and Austria. He’ll highlight excellent buys and fabulous cellar selections! In R.C., Nadia will open great wines from the Rhone. Join us in welcoming the cooler weather with these magnificent reds and whites. —Scott Beckerley, Jeff Garneau
This estate has quietly built a reputation for pure, age worthy chenin blanc from hillside vineyards of limestone and chalk in the village of Reugny. Today, the estate is in the very capable winemaking hands of Lionel Gauthier. Lionel is a bit of a misfit in the area. With a shocking patch of blond hair, massive build, and in-your-face intensity, he seems more Scandinavian than Loire. That is what his friends thought when they started calling him the “the Viking” years ago. After a while the name stuck, so in 1989, Lionel renamed the property. All grapes here are hand harvested, sorted, de-stemmed, crushed, and fermented in Lionel’s tiny garage cellar, and left to age in 500-liter barrels made from local chestnut. Enjoy! The 1990 Gauthier-Lhomme Domaine du Viking Vouvray Tendre ($22.99) got 93 points from the Wine Spectator: “Great aromas of lemon zest and fresh flowers, this has the mature, burnished feel you’d expect from a 1990, with excellent cut to its candied citrus, chamomile and dried pineapple flavors. Long, stony finish has an alluring smoky hint. Drink now through 2010. 2,000 cases made.” The 1999 Gauthier-Lhomme Domaine du Viking Vouvray Tendre ($16.99) is a bit dryer and firmer than the others. So pure and expressive of the soil, with the right amount of age to start showing hints of smokiness and honeyed aromas. The 2002 Gauthier-Lhomme Domaine du Viking Vouvray Tendre ($16.99) received 92 points from the Wine Spectator: “Off-dry at first impression, with green almond, fig and pear flavors, this gives way to a more cut on the back end, with floral and candied ginger notes. Long, minerally finish. An absolute steal at this price. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.” —Jeff Vierra
Generally speaking, there are two ways of making inexpensive wine. One way is to collect “left-over” gallons of mediocre wines into big tanks, adds some chemicals then slap on a label (often with some kind of animal on it), and thus, make a killing on murderously bad wine-making. The other, more difficult way to produce low-price wine, is to hit the dirt, so to speak, methodically seeking out quality vineyards, making contacts, and buying smart, all the while making a determined effort by tasting and comparing efforts vs. the competition, until a wine is made that’s actually great and economical at the same time. Esser Vineyards is one such rare producer. In the three vintages during which K&L has carried Esser, this label remains one of our top choices in the under $10 category in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Once again, their new vintages are outstanding values in the ocean of alcoholic mediocrity. The 2005 Esser California Pinot Noir ($11.99) has got to be one of the best under $15 Pinots to hit our store. Lovely, delicate, piercingly aromatic and surprisingly refined, what a bargain stroke of genius! The 2005 Esser California Cabernet Sauvignon ($7.99) is also drinking remarkably well. Yes, it’s 2005. And, no, it’s not too young to drink. In fact, it is spot-on delicious, giving you all that distinct cabernet character without being too ripe or tannic. Finally, the newest addition to the Esser Family is here! The 2004 Esser California Zinfandel ($9.99) is not hot or burdened or too sweet. This Zin displays terrific ripe berry flavors with just enough wiggle in the hips to keep things more than interesting. I don’t know how they manage to make money, but I sure know how they’ll save you some. If you have resisted the under $10 wine category for fear of being disappointed, now’s your chance to knock one home, flinch-free. Enjoy Esser and Happy Holloween! —Martin Reyes
Bid on this...we're pleased to be conducting fine wine auctions in addition to our retail selection of thousands of the world's best wines.
Bid, buy, sell, and browse the hundreds of auction lots live on K&L Auctions.
Back in the 1970's we went by the name "K&L Liquors" and our dedication to bringing you the finest spirits remains the same.
View our Spirits Journal to find out what our buyers are getting into next...