René Collard is a cult Champagne producer in France who is becoming increasingly popular here in the U.S. He is also immensely popular in the U.K. Hence, his sparkling wines have been referred to as English in style. Composed almost entirely of pinot meunier, they are aged in oak and are reminiscent of a Champagne style popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Collard is quite literally the banner holder for history in a bottle. He also produces his wines ONLY in the finest vintages. The Collard wines are getting very popular here at K&L for both their unique style and quality. The 1990 Cuvée Reservee Millesime ($49.99) is the only cuvée that Collard produced in the 1990s. Made of 90% pinot meunier and 10% chardonnay, with no malolactic fermentation used and fermentation done entirely in oak. The classic Collard nose is there. Mushrooms, a slight hint of sherry and spicebox aromas distinguish this wine from any other that we sell. On the palate, truffles, melons, cognac and a touch of vanilla, which will come out more as this wine ages. These Champagnes do age magnificently! I was fortunate to have the marvelous 1969 with Gary. Our newest arrival from Collard (one that has been out of stock for some time) is the 1985 Cuvée Speciale Brut Rosé ($69.99). The Rosé is composed entirely of pinot meunier with 88% of it vinified as a white wine and 12% vinified as a still red. It is the only Rosé that Collard produced in the 1980s (along with his 1985 Cuvée Reservée Millesime). One of the most striking things is the color of the wine: a deep blood orange. It has a marvelous nose of cherries, yeast, toasted nuts and bread dough. In the mouth, strawberry liqueur, light yeast, sherry and mandarin orange notes. Simply unique and delicious! A perfect match with duck or roasted game hen. Although this Champagne is outstanding now, it should cellar quite well for the next four years or so. —Scott Beckerley
K&L Wine Merchants hosts regular wine tastings in both of its Bay Area locations. At the San Francisco store wine tasting are held each Saturday from Noon to 3 p.m. and on Thursday evenings. In Redwood City tastings are held on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Wine tastings provide a wonderful opportunity to discover a new wine region or variety, or rediscover some old favorites—without having to commit to the purchase of an entire bottle! No need to reserve a space, just come on in and pull up a glass! Tasting for Saturday, 22nd April, 2006 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. $20.00 2004 Grand Enlos du Cerons Blanc-$13.99 (55% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sauvignon Gris) 2003 Haut Beausejour, St. Estephe-$19.99 (39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 54% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec) 2003 La Fleur, St. Emilion- $26.99 ( 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc) 2003 Beausejour Duffau, St. Emilion- $49.99 ( 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) 2003 Carbonnieux Rouge, Pessac-Leognan- $23.99 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot) 2003 Gloria, St. Julien- $29.99 ( 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot ) 2003 Fonbadet, Pauillac- $23.99 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and Malbec) 2003 Clerc Milon, Pauillac- $49.95 (55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot) 1994 Pichon Lalande 1.5, Pauillac- $159.00 (45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot) 1994 D’Yquem, Sauternes- $99.00 (Sale! Was $160.00!) (80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc )
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