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Just add duck crepinettes!

Buying ready to drink 1er cru Burgundy is not easy. For a couple of years I did the Old and Rare wine buying here at K&L and found it easy to find California Cabernet and even Bordeaux from collectors. But Burgundy… Forget it. They had to die, get a divorce or have doctors orders to part with the king of all Pinot Noir! This bottle of 2007 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Nuits St-Georges 1er cru Les Boudots ($99) comes direct from the property from our friends at Atherton, and like most of the 2007’s, drinks fabulously right now. This wine showed excellent sweet beet fruit, savory depth, and incredible finesse and length. The tannins are completely resolved, and went perfectly with duck crepinettes from the fatted calf in San Francisco. This is the kind of Burgundy that gets people hooked- you have been warned!!!! –Gary Westby

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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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*NEW* 2010 Brunello Producer - Albatreti

Thank you Ryan for posting this for me...I’ll get my own login soon! - Greg St.Clair

The moment I put my nose in this wine I knew it was extraordinary, effortless, graceful, and classic, everything you’d want in a Brunello and more…and well…without being “More”. My colleague Mike “Guido” Parres and I tasted the wine simultaneously and both had the same reaction “WOW” who is this? We’ve been travelling to Montalcino together for more than 20 years and have tasted a veritable ocean of Brunello. We’d never even heard of this producer, the first vintage was the 2009 and we hadn’t seen it in the market at all. We re-tasted another bottle just to make sure we didn’t get mis-poured, and the second time we had a “Double Wow”!

So we went out to meet the producer, Gaetano Salvioni and found a self proclaimed “Hobbyist”. He makes 5300 bottles of Brunello, that’s not cases that’s bottles. He ages the wine for 12 months in barrels not bigger than 5HL then 2 years in botte, that’s a really big barrel. His vineyards are about 30 years old and just southwest of the town of Montalcino in a rocky outcrop in some of the highest elevations in Montalcino.

The nose on this wine is scintillating, so pure it is hard to put into words to, yet it seems like waves of aromas of wild cherry, Tuscan brush, leather, rosemary and Middle Eastern spices. On the palate the wine is so graceful, respectful and calm it reminded me of Gaetano himself.

Sangiovese’s long core of acidic structure gives this wine just incredible length and around this foundation the wild cherry flavors seem to wrap themselves around this center and then peel back into the flow of the wine.

On the palate the wine has real body, weight and a richness that is so texturally pleasing it’s hard to believe it seems so delicate at the same time. In the mouth the wine has so much flavor or so many flavors it would seem to be a Bulldozer but this wine’s great charm and character is its delicacy, it’s no Bulldozer it’s a Symphony.

The fruit is so well integrated into the wine it doesn’t seem to have layers or waves it is just one very complex flavor that includes wild cherry, leather, porcini, earth, oyster shells, smoke, rosemary, dried meats, spice and that wild Tuscan brush. Great balance as well, you can drink this wine now or age for another decade plus, it is a real steal!


2010 Albatreti Brunello di Montalcino (Pre-Arrival) $34.99

Ciao, Greg St.Clair K&L Italian Wine Buyer




Paillard Rose and Grilled Trout!

The potential for Champagne and food pairing is nearly limitless. That being said, sometimes I am struck by particularly synergistic pairings. Last week, Cinnamon bought a McFarland’s Spring Trout and prepared some mesquite for our Lodge Hibachi and I brought home a bottle of the Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Rosé Champagne ($57.99). It turned out to be one of my top wine and food experiences so far this year.

The Paillard rose is very special Champagne. It is made entirely from estate fruit from the grand cru of Bouzy, which is the most famous village in all of Champagne for the red wine that is used in rose production. In Bouzy, Pinot Noir is the king, but the Paillard family has been plated more Chardonnay than any of their neighbors- it makes up about 40% of their vineyard. This rose is composed of 70% Chardonnay, and this gives the Champagne its dry, refined character as well as its fine minerality. Pinot Noir that is vinified without skin contact, and thus without any color represents 23% of the blend. The color and rose flavor comes from 7% Pinot Noir that is made into “Bouzy Rouge” and added to the blend. This Bouzy Rouge is very special wine indeed.

The courtyard of the Paillard family home and winery is in fact a walled vineyard or clos. This tiny parcel of less than one acre cannot be accessed by any farm equipment, so all the work is done by hand. It is this magic piece of grand cru that gives this rose its completely unique ability to have near red Burgundy power when called upon by food, yet show restrained elegance and only subtle haunting fruit on its own. It is unusual to find wines that have this chameleon attribute, and more unusual when all the different guises are so incredibly good.

When I returned home from work, I headed to our little hibachi to cook the fish. Cinnamon has fired a half load of lump mesquite in our coal chimney, and this turned out to be the perfect amount. After I had heated the grill top and given it a little oil, I put the fish which had been rubbed with Dijon salt and pepper on skin side down. A little less heat allowed us to keep the fish on the grill for nearly 10 minutes, adding smoky intrigue to the almost salmon flavor. I separated the fillet from its skin (leaving the skin on the grill) with our fish spatula and flipped it over, back onto the skin. This skin ended up being unbelievably delicious after crisping and picking up the mesquite flavors.

Cinnamon also prepared some top of the season artichokes and mayonnaise for our meal, and I grilled up some good sourdough for our starch. Artichokes are famous wine wreckers, and while I wouldn’t say that the rose went with them, it did not have the trouble that most wines do sharing a table with them. The meal turned out very nicely. After a bite of bread, the Champagne was as dry and subtle as any you could imagine, and was only haunted by the most subtle of black cherry fruit. With the trout, the power of the Bouzy rouge showed itself; this is authoritative and loaded with savory bass notes.

Cinnamon was moved to say that this was her favorite Champagne in a long time, and I am sure this bottle will end up on my list of top experiences for 2015. Looking back, I see that it made my list in 2012 with oysters… It is nothing if not flexible! If you haven’t yet tried this, it is a must for rose fans and anyone that loves a great pairing!

A toast to you!

Gary Westby



Sauv Blanc Day 2015 - April 24th! (Kiwi Style)

Yep it's that time of year again when we celebrate the wondrous grape of Sauvignon Blanc! April 24th is officially World Sauvignon Blanc Day! #sauvblanc

This grape is so crisp, fresh and easy to things start warming up this Spring / Summer I certainly plan on keeping my fridge stocked with plenty of Savvy to keep thirst at bay!

Being the New Zealand Wine Buyer at K&L I am obviously partial to the world class Savvy that NZ produces. After exploding on the world stage in the 1980s, New Zealand has truly cemented its place amongst the world’s leading producers of Sauvignon Blanc. One thing I like to highlight is the variety of styles that come from NZ...the country is often incorrectly stereotyped as a producer of "gooseberry / grassy styles" when in reality, there are many diverse and eclectic styles coming from the plethora of sub-regions and experimental winemakers that call NZ home. It is very hard to "pigeon hole" NZ savvy these days when styles include, wild fermented, barrel fermented, additions of Semillon, Sauvignon Gris...not to mention many wines coming from beyond the region of Marlborough that has for a long time dominated the category; Central Otago, Hawke’s Bay and more offer different flavors and textures to enjoy.

If you love Sauv Blanc (as much as I do!) and are interested in checking out these incredibly diverse wines...I have a treat for you! On Saturday April 25th, the New Zealand Winegrowers Association is hosting a great event at the fantastic Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco. The tasting includes at least two dozen wineries pouring their Savvy and a tantalizing array of hors d'oeuvres from the chefs at Farallon! This is a 3 hour walk-around tasting where you are free to explore as many wines as you wish. Tickets are available here...and more information about the event here on the NZWG website.

Many of these delicious wines are available in-store and online at

Here are a couple of my favorite picks that will be on my short list this summer:

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

2013 Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

2014 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc Waihopai Valley Marlborough

2013 Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 

2014 Craggy Range "Te Muna Road" Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough

Wishing you all a cool, crisp and refreshing Sauv Blanc Day!

Cheers - Ryan Woodhouse (K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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