Saturday September 9 is the date. Come and join co-owner James Sichel and K&L for a great dinner featuring the wines of Château d’Angludet. Wines from 1983, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003 will be poured. This dinner will be held at Spago Restaurant in Palo Alto. Reception at 6:30 and dinner at 7:15. Casual elegance is the dress code. $150 per person. Following is the menu: 2 passed appetizers-with Launois Brut Reserve 1st Course: Seared Sonoma duck breast with Chinese spices and summer peach glaze-with 1999 and 2001 Angludet 2nd Course: Duo of Colorado lamb with black olive sauce, shelling beans and gremolata-with 2000 Angludet- 3rd Course: Roasted New Zealand loin of Venison with sun choke puree and wild huckleberries -with 1988 and 1983 Angludet 4th Course: Roblechon and Brie with grilled black mission figs and toasted walnut bread-with 2003 and 2005 Angludet
I would like to start with Ch. Léoville-Poyferre, St.-Julien, which was created from the division of the largest property (Lord Léovilles) in the Médoc at the time, early 1800s. You might know its more famous siblings: Léoville-Las-Cases and Léoville-Barton. They might be more famous but Léoville-Poyferre definitely has the quality that goes with its second growth title. 1993 Ch. Léoville-Poyferre, St-Julien 1.5L ($89.99) is one of the best steals we have in the store. The nose offers bright cherry as well as tobacco. There is certain dustiness to this wine, but what you remember is the elegance and length, and the acidity just carries this wine for ever. Speaking of Léovilles, let’s move to Léoville-Barton’s second wine: The 1998 Reserve de Léoville-Barton, St-Julien 1.5L ($64.99) is just perfect to pair with a nice fillet mignon, no sauce please. With no hard tannins, elegant red fruit, notes of pencil lead and still very youthful, it is waiting for you to grill that piece of beef with just salt and pepper. Voila! Perfect match. The 1996 Benjamin de Pontet, Pauillac ($21.99) is another fine example of a beautiful second wine (Pontet Canet’s). Opened for one hour, it reveals sweet berries and a nice mineral finish. This is a smart buy for consumption over the next five years. If you still don’t know what to get from the outstanding 2003 vintage, may I suggest the 2003 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac ($36.99). This estate has stepped up to the plate and delivered. Sweet dark berries, smoke, oak, One of their best ever. Cellar for 5-20 years. —Alexandre Brisoux
Finesse, elegance, subtlety, refinement. You hear that about cars, but never burger joints. We say that about clothing, but not about monster trucks. Lemonade can’t have class, but wine can. Wine achieves class when it manages to balance contrasts; strength with grace, purity with complexity, richness with focus, as found in the following: Oregon wine country would not be what it is today without the influence of David Lett, owner and founder of Eyrie vineyard. Nicknamed Papa Pinot because of his trailblazing decision to plant pinot varietals in the mid 1960s, David’s wines are all superlative examples of refinement and elegance. The 2004 Eyrie Oregon Pinot Blanc ($15.99) shows freshness and purity, with stone fruit and a finely polished finish that reminds me why it’s good to taste wine for a living. I want to remind you of the 2002 Mount Eden “Cuvee Saratoga” Santa Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon ($22.99). I know Shaun wrote it up last month, but I just wanted to tickle your procrastination muscle for a minute. From a super-fine, local producer who has old-world spirit running through its veins, this is sure to please the refined soul in all of us. Try it soon! It’s not often that while tasting a new Napa Cab we nod vehemently and say, “Sixty dollars?? Wow, now that is a knockout bottle, and well worth every penny. Sold!” Yet that is indeed what the entire staff said when they tried the 2003 Meander Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99). Wonderfully created by soon-to-not-be-obscure Amy Aiken, whose passion for winemaking is clear. Without its chemistry-set quest for fancy slabs of oak and points, this Cabernet is a rare, stunning breed. It shows just how powerful, graceful and complex the pure expression of fermented grape juice can be. Go ahead and splurge, you’ve spent more for lesser wine. Enjoy! —Martin Reyes
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