This month I would like share with you two wines from Bergerac. Like its famous neighbor, Bordeaux, red wines here rely on merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon while the white wines are typically comprised of semillon and sauvignon blanc (Perhaps more famously, Bergerac is also home to the famous Cyrano de Bergerac). The 2004 Château de Calabre Bergerac Rouge ($10.99) is a lovely example of a merlot-based red from the appellation that is both inexpensive and extremely versatile at the table. Comprised of 80% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon and 20% cabernet franc, and vinified in stainless steel, the Calabre exhibits hints of black cherry, blueberry and violets. This would be just the thing with meatloaf! In 1994 Englishman Charles Martin purchased the Château de la Colline and immediately began restoring and re-planting the vineyards with semillon, sauvignon blanc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Carminé is the estate’s top red wine and is made from 95% merlot and 50% cabernet sauvignon aged in new oak barriques for 18 months. The 2001 Château de la Colline Bergerac Carminé ($17.99) is a rich and elegant southwestern red with crushed red raspberries and rich mocha notes. Enjoy with a gorgeous piece of filet mignon or braised beef shortribs. A bientot! —Mulan Chan
Yesterday, Mr. Jim Barr, one of K&L’s best wine guys, showed me an extraordinary piece of history. A customer had given him a wine list from a restaurant in Bremen Germany, circa 1935. The most interesting thing to me about this lovely old menu was the pricing, particularly the comparative pricing of the wines. While one could enjoy a bottle of 1911 Cheval Blanc (about 25-years old at the time) for 15 marks, and the legendary 1921 d’Yquem for 20 marks, even the least expensive non-vintage Champagne on the list was 25 marks. The contrast to present times is striking. Many of our customers will request a “decent” bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in the $30 price range while almost all of our most exciting Champagnes are under $30! One of the most striking values we have in Champagne is the De Meric Grande Reserve Sous Bois Brut Champagne ($27.99). Composed of 75% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay and 5% meunier from Grand and Premier Cru vineyards, this wine was aged for four years on the lees before release. It is a combination of the 2000, 1999 and 1998 harvests, and half of the juice was fermented and aged in neutral barrels and foudres without malolactic fermentation. The other half of the juice was fermented and kept in stainless steel and allowed to go through malolactic. This Champagne has a great core of black cherry pinot noir fruit and ample yeasty, toasty flavor. The texture and length of this wine are exceptional as well, and it makes anytime that I am drinking it feel like a special occasion or when shared with just one special person over a great dinner at home. —Gary Westby
I am high. I am high above the Earth. I am high above the Earth in this tin can they call a spaceship. My name is Jim Barr. I am a professional clodsmonaut searching for the legendary Apes That Dance Around A Granite Slab. I drink wine. Lots of wine. If you think this story is slow, try the movie. One big bathroom break. The crew consists of myself, Dave and our on board calculator, the H.A.L. 3.14159. We call him Pi, and he hates it. So this is the future: everyone wears white outfits, speaks in drugged dulcet tones and seems capable of enduring searing cattle prods of boredom. The future… space is riddled with junk. Ritalin is a food group. And symphonic versions of Ted Nugent classics are pumped into the black holes of the thoughts of humankind. So. It has come to this. “Dave,” drones Hal, in a liquid sneer. “Please don’t call me Pi. I really hate it.” “Maybe you ought to lube your attitude, Hal,” Dave retorts. “Oh? I understand, Dave. Please watch yourself when you are outside the ship, fixing the turn indicators.” So far, I’ve said nothing, and so have not said anything stupid. I am on this voyage for one reason: to study the effects of red wine in space. I have extensive notes on pouring wine onto a ceiling. Hal calls me Jackson Pollack, but I am not Polish. I am drinking 1992 Pichon-Lalande ($89.99 1.5L) through a straw. Not the best way, but not a bad way either. Lovely herbal character, still fairly firm. A classically styled wine with elegance and restraint. I toast Dave as he floats outside the ship. “Oh dear,” drones Hal. “Looks like Dave’s safety cord has malfunctioned. Goodbye Dave.” Dave looks a bit like Kenny on Southpark as he gets smaller and smaller. I admire his sense of adventure. The next year is uneventful. I lose 5300 straight chess matches to Hal. Stanley Kubrick seems completely stumped by his inability to craft a screenplay that is worth filming. Or writing poorly about. In addition, Hal’s attitude has worsened, and I am reduced to calling him Master. A bright spot for me is another vintage of Pichon, this time the 1993 Pichon-Lalande ($134.99 1.5L). A fine ripeness is balanced by firm structure and notes of cedar. Really tasty stuff, a wonderful value. Pairs well with Marmite and toast. Hal is drinking wine now, and I pull another cork for him. He is getting chattier, too. “Jim, I should show you the monkeys. Would you like to see the monkeys, Jim? Right after you go outside and change the turn indicators.” “Oh boy! Thank you Pi,” I say. I like monkeys. My safety cord seems to have snapped. Hal’s metallic lips move in the window of the ship. He is saying something about hating pie. A Soylent Green container floats by. Conductorless classical music is playing. My head is getting light, even more than usual. A giant baby looms before me. David Bowie is singing now… I see the Jetsons in the distance… goodbye Hal… I’m sorry that I called you Pi… —Joe Zugelder
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...