“More than a job, simply a passion!” This is from Benoit Marguet of Champagne Marguet. Many of you will remember his wines from year’s past. They represent the zenith of quality and affordability. While it has been quite a while since we have obtained his sparkling wines, we are very pleased to announce that they are back in stock. Well, at least the Brut is! Benoit’s passion for Champagne has given him access to the most esteemed growers and quality fruit. Champagne Marguet is located in Ambonnay, in the middle of the Montagne de Reims. Benoit also has his hand in the winemaking at Champagne Launois. He is the son-in-law of Bernard Launois, the son of the founder of Launois, and husband to Severine Launois-Marguet. So, Benoit has a long history of producing high-quality sparkling wines! His latest release of Marguet Pere & Fils “Cuvee Reserve” Brut ($29.99) is his best ever. Composed of all grand cru fruit, it is a blend of 40% chardonnay and 60% pinot noir. Fruit sourcing is from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Mailly. Sixty percent is from the 2000 vintage and 40% comes from a blend of 1998 and 1999 stock. It is richer than the previous blend with a big, doughy nose. Apples, Bing cherries and a hint of lime waft out of the glass. In the mouth, yeast, toast, red cherry and quince fruit. Fleshy and full-bodied. Versatile enough to enjoy on its own or to be paired with food. —Scott Beckerley
Just before the start of the 2006 holiday season, K&L in San Francisco will offer champagne lovers the opportunity to taste dozens of champagnes from boutique producers and meet the proprietors behind some of the finest “grower” champagne houses at a tasting event held Saturday, October 21, in a special tent adjacent to the San Francisco store, 638 Fourth Street (near Brannan). Tickets are $55 per person and can be purchased from www.klwines.com or by calling 1 (877) KLWINES.
Heartland is a new project for winemaker Ben Glaetzer who has created quite a stir in the wine industry with his work with Glaetzer, Mitolo and Amon Ra. The 2005 Heartland Viognier-Pinot Gris Langhorne Creek ($13.99) shows the great acidity and mid-palate richness of the 2005 vintage. The nose has lifted floral notes along with peach and pear and a hint of minerals. On the palate the wine is rich but focused. The 2004 Heartland Shiraz ($14.99) is lovely with bright plum, black current, pepper, chocolate, spice and a light iron note. The wine sees 12 months in French hogsheads, and on the palate there are fine tannins with a silky texture and fine length. The 2004 Heartland “Directors Cut” Shiraz Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast ($28.99) was fermented and aged in 60% new Allier French oak and 40% new American oak for 14 months. This wine is dense with a dark purple color with great aromas of violets, cassis, black fruits, toffee, licorice and spice. These are terrific offerings and bargains. The 2003 Black Pearl “Oro” Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon Paarl South Africa ($16.99) is delicious! Made from low-yielding dry-land vines, the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered and spends one year in French oak. The bouquet offers notes of blackberry, current, toffee and a hint of licorice. On the palate the wine is juicy with good texture and fine length. —Jimmy C
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