Without a doubt, Germany is the king of riesling. But, there are so many other exciting things happening here. When I say these are well worth considering as they will tempt your palate and your mind. 2004 Schloss Saarstein Pinot Blanc ($15.99) Yet another stunning example from Christian and Andrea Ebert. This 100% pinot blanc, also known as weiss burgunder, is a beautiful expression of pure, clean fruit treated with minimal cellar manipulation and maximum love. Fresh flowers and summer time fruits jump from the glass and its subtle, slate minerality make this wine a translucent beauty! 2003 Weingut Bürgerspital Würzbürger Stein-Harfe Scheurebe Kabinett ($13.99) Quite possibly the oldest wine estate in all of Germany, founded in 1319, there is just a bit of tradition and knowledge floating around. Yes, sheurebe, a crossbreeding of riesling and silvaner. If you were to smell this blind folded I bet you would think it is a red wine. Rich pears and dark cassis are intertwined with a soft, juicy acid to give us a wine that would be fantastic with some of those sausages just off the grill and a few of those richer cheeses sitting in the fridge. 2003 Bercher Burkheimer Feuerberg Spatburgunder Spätlese trocken ($22.99) A spatburgunder, or pinot noir, showing a plum nose with a sexy edge of dusty earth, sends you into a lighter style of pinot which has a finish of sweet cranberry and zippy acidity. This is not your Central Coast Pinot! 2003 was a fantastic vintage for reds in this area. Just because it is a red from Germany, this should not be overlooked or ignored. Roll the dice, you might get lucky! —Eric Story
There are some exciting things happening on the Direct Import side. I found out to my delight that the Boulays of Chavignol inherited some vines in the famed Monte Damnés vineyard, one of the best sites in all of Sancerre. The 1.2ha parcel is exposed fully to the south with vines between 25- to 45-years old, of course completely hand harvested, vinification taking place in 300L barrels with natural yeast fermentation. The 2004 Boulay Sancerre Montes Damnés ($26.99) is the first release, and our allocation is only 300 bottles. Compared to the Clos du Beaujeu, this wine is overtly more aromatic with spicy aromas hinting at pepper. Where the Beaujeu is subtle and fine, this wine is powerful and concentrated. This is a steal at the price. Hopefully here by now is another favorite, the 2005 Château Soucherie Rosé de Loire ($10.99). We get only one shot to order this wine each year, and last time our supply didn’t last long. We will get a few more cases this year, but it won’t be around much past mid June. Made from 100% cabernet franc, this is pale in color yet packed with bright fruit, a slight earthiness and loads of minerality. On the Alsace front, I had the pleasure of visiting with Martine Becker of Zellenberg when she was in San Francisco. Her wines are clean and vibrant, precise and mineral. I am very excited about the Becker Cremant d’Alsace ($14.99) a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay made in the traditional method. We should have it by now (fingers crossed), and you will love this for the summer months. This is a sparkler of real depth that is refreshing, lively and invigorating with a fine bead, soft creamy texture and dry mineral finish. --Jeff Vierra
It has begun. The native varietal of the Rhone region is coming on strong. It began conquering the new world in Australia, and it is seeing more acreage in California and Washington planted every year. It didn’t have a movie made about it, and it will never be as successful as the Cabernet grape…. but watch out. Syrah is coming on strong, and California has many styles and flavors that will keep everyone happy. Here are three Syrahs not to be missed: 2002 Clos Saron “Heart of Stone” Syrah ($32.99) Big, juicy, spicy and built to last. This wine is neither over-ripe, over-alcoholic nor over-oaked. For those of you (like me) who prefer pure fruit and balance, this Syrah has it all. Just 139 cases made! 2003 Unti Dry Creek Syrah ($21.99) Another gem from the Unti family, this is probably their best Syrah to date. A very pretty wine with great length, richness and beautiful balance. The 15% grenache adds depth and character. 1,500 cases produced. 2001 Steele “Parmelee-Hill” Sonoma Syrah ($15.99) This wine is a great every-day syrah with cola and cherry notes. Fabulous fruit in the mid palate and a long balanced finish. 500 cases made. See you in the City… —Mike Jordan
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...