Greeting once again from the world’s smallest tasting bar, where it is perfectly clear that in the kingdom of wine, size just doesn’t matter! On a rainy Saturday in March, an all-time-record number of customers showed up for our monthly in-store Bordeaux tasting. Everyone was lured by multiple vintages from the great super-second growth Ch. Cos d’Estournel from St-Estèphe, and the chance to taste them, along side the newly hired assistant to the director of Cos. The Cos wines showed well indeed; the new assistant did not show up at all! Rumor has it that she decided to leave the company car at the Bordeaux airport and head to some of the finest resorts in the south of France. As always, the wines of Cos stood tall. Pagodes de Cos 2001 and 2002 (the second wine of Cos) both showed very well, the 2001 Pagodes de Cos ($26.99) was much more elegant, lightly spiced with berries and earth, perfect for drinking now, while the 2002 Pagodes de Cos ($22.99) was much darker, firmer and a couple of years away from its best drinking. With anxious eyes sneaking a peak at the famous 2000 Cos d’Estournel ($114.99) awaiting at the end of the tasting, people were blown away by the complexity and quality of the 2002 Cos d’Estournel (Inquire). The perfect example of why you should throw your vintage charts out with the trash. It tasted almost exactly as it did the first time I tasted the wine at the estate on April 3rd, 2003…a big attack and strike of spicy ripe grapes on the nose, almost thick, very rich and long in the mouth, hitting every area perfectly and finishing very long. This is a great wine, even tastes good now. *** 3 stars (the most I give a barrel sample), reflecting the fact that I believe it will truly be a classic wine of greatness. No joke, this could be the wine of the vintage bar none! The pressure was on the 2000 to perform and the reality is that its prime time is a long, long way down the road. Tightly wound dark fruit that is strong like a bull, unyielding at this young stage. The nose shows great promise. This is Englishmen’s claret. Stay away for at least 10 more years. As a special treat to our attendees, the director of Cos, Jean-Guillaume Prats, invited us to pour the most famous wine his father, Bruno Prats, ever made: 1982 Cos d’Estournel. Right out of the bottle it was delicious and fragrant, so beautifully developed, soft spice, cheese, and earth all perfectly integrated into the wine and the reason you age the great wines of Bordeaux. Our K&L wine dinners are without question some of the greatest culinary and wine deals you will ever experience, and many of our customers travel across the country to attend. Our good friend, the director of Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Mr. Gildas d’Ollone, was recently our guest of honor at the fine Cetrella Bistro in Half Moon Bay. The highlight wines from the five-course meal included the 2003 Ch. Bernadotte ($20.99). This Médoc estate has nice ripeness, elegance as well as firmness—a complete wine and great price. The 1995 and 1996 Pichon-Lalandes served out of magnums are truly great wines, but, much like 2000 Cos d’Estournel, they need time in the cellar, up to 10-plus years to be in their prime. This point was made even clearer when Clyde and I tasted the 1994 out of magnum. The wine is still vibrantly fresh, young and delicious. We both smiled at each other almost laughingly; it was fantastic. I hope you can join us at a tasting or dinner sometime in the upcoming future. Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or advice on the wines of Bordeaux at ex 2723 or Ralph@klwines.com. Cheers and Go Giants! —Ralph Sands
2003 Bordeaux and a few late release 2002s are arriving here at K&L daily, and now is a great time to stock up on some of these bargains. 2002 de Sales, Pomerol ($24.99) The stars of the 2002 Bordeaux vintage are disappearing from our shelves, so this phenomenal bargain has arrived just in time. This is approachable, affordable Pomerol with sweet cherry flavors and berry aromas on a long elegant frame with very fine tannin. We just love it when an underachiever steps up to make a great wine that sells for a song. Good Pomerol usually costs three times as much! 2003 de Pez, St-Estèphe ($27.99) This amazing wine has been a standout at two events already this year: at a large dinner at the University Club in San Francisco, and at my Bordeaux tasting at the store here in the city. Tons of upfront ripe fruit mesh beautifully with earthy aromas and a rich, sweet palate impression. The ripe aspects of the vintage blend well with the brute strength style of this property resulting in the most delicious wine they have made in years. Not to be missed! 2003 Serilhan, St-Estèphe ($19.99) This 40-year-old property has made considerable improvements in the last decades, and you can taste them and more in this fleshy yet forceful bargain. Wine Spectator gave it 89 points and this review: “Aromas of currant, berry and light spice follow through to a full-bodied palate. Thick, jammy texture and a medium finish.” This will age nicely for eight years or so, but we think it is drinking well right now. 2003 Perron, Lalande de Pomerol ($19.99) This tiny estate makes wonderful, ripe and lush wine from 80% merlot and 10% each cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. Soils here are sandy and gravelly, ideal for making soft Right Bank Bordeaux. This sweet, round value has very fine tannin and is perfect for tonight or whenever you need a great glass of wine that won’t break the bank. —Steve
Last month I mentioned the super-hyped 2005 Bordeaux vintage and that if you wanted some of these wines to get your name on our waiting lists for these wines. More and more we are hearing about the greatness of the vintage, and the severe allocations of the top wines. If you love Bordeaux and want 2005s, PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME (OR HAVE ONE OF OUR STAFF DO IT) TO THE WAITING LISTS OF YOUR FAVORITE WINES. When the wines are released we will let you know the price and you can then decide if and what to buy. Also look for our blog on our trip to Bordeaux. It may provide some very useful insight into the great value wines of the vintage. As I write this on April 1st, I do not know what to expect when we arrive in Bordeaux on Monday, April 3rd, but I have an idea that we will be greeted with very high prices. —Clyde Beffa Jr
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...