March 25 we will be hosting an event in S.F. featuring at least ten artisan growers from France, all from under the loving umbrella that is Louis/Dressner Selections. Confirmed so far are Marc Ollivier from Pépière, Cathérine Roussell from Clos Roche Blanche, François Pinon, Isaure de Pontbriand of Domaine Closel, Eric Nicolas of Bellivière, Jean-Paul Brun from Beaujolais, Claude Maréchal from Burgundy, Franck Peillot of the Jura, André Iché of Chateau Oupia in the South and more. For info go to www.klwines.com. Now on to the wines… Recent arrivals include a much better supply of the wildly popular Sancerre of Gerard Boulay in Chavignol. The 2004 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol ($18.99), a hand-harvested, tank-fermented stunner that is brilliant and racy with intensity and length to match,. The flavors unfold like improvisational Jazz. There are small amounts of 2004 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Rouge ($18.99), which is luscious, supple and, dare I say, a great find for pinot noir. There are also limited quantities of 2004 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Clos du Beaujeu ($24.99), the old-vine cuvee, vinified in neutral wood, and to me one of the great wines of the region. If you tasted or bought the 2002 you will know what I mean. Then, and please act fast if you want them, we have direct from the domaine some Clos du Beaujeu ’96, ’97, ’99 and a bit more 2002. I asked for these specifically to show to you how this wine improves with age, so please only a bottle or two per person so we can all enjoy these gems. Also, finally in stock again is the 2004 La Tour St. Martin Menetou Salon Blanc ($14.99), which is fresh, vibrant and bright with great cut and minerality and a zesty tanginess that invites another sip. There is hardly a better sauvignon in the store right now for this price. The 2004 La Tour St. Martin Menetou Salon Rouge ($14.99) is elegant with delicate flavors of earth and tea leaves, hints of sweet plums and woodruff. Drink over the next 7-8 years. Live in the Light! —Jeff Vierra
While you are looking for the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, consider the following two Champagnes for enjoying a romantic dinner or for presenting as a memorable gift. For those of you on a budget (hey, you’re giving diamonds as well), the Launois “Cuvee Reserve” Brut Blanc de Blancs ($25.99) is a perfect choice. This bubbly comes from Mesnil, the home of Krug’s Clos de Mesnil and the world-renowned house of Salon. So, obviously, quality is the trademark of this southernmost Grand Cru village. The Launois is made entirely of chardonnay with 90% of the juice from the 2000 vintage and 10% from the 1998 reserve. Stainless steel vinification makes for clean fruit with a hint of minerality. A nose of pastry dough and wet stones. Rich pear fruit with a touch of key lime are the principal flavors with a finish of crème brulee and toasted almonds. Four years ageing on the lees brings richness and length. The Franck Bonville Cuvee Les Belles Voyes ($59.99) is a top of the line bubbly from Olivier Bonville. The Belles Voyes vineyard is in Oger and is miniscule, at 1 3/4 acres. Like the Launois, this wine is all chardonnay (in this case, from the 1997 harvest). All fermentation and ageing is done in old oak casks. A wonderful nose of vanilla and subtle yeast. Flavors of golden pears, cream, brioche and pine nuts. Creamy and full-bodied with a slight, elegant hint of toasted oak on the finish. One of the most lush and rich Champagnes that we currently have in stock A great effort of winemaking, and tough competition for wines selling at three times the price! —Scott Beckerley
I am extraordinarily excited to report that my favorite 1996 vintage Champagne yet has arrived at K&L. From Leclerc-Briant, the producer that brought us the (now sold out) single vineyard Champagnes Clos des Champions, Les Crayères and Les Chêvres Pierreuses is finally releasing their tete de cuvee. The Leclerc-Briant Cuvee Divine ($39.99) is being released at ten years old, a properly luxurious time in the family’s 90 foot-deep cellar for a luxury cuvee. This Champagne is the color of straw, with just the right amount of compact, streaming bubbles. It is composed of 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir, blended from estate vineyards in the prime valley of the Marne villages Dizy (home of Jacquesson), Cumieres (where their single vineyard offerings are from), Damery (where Mr. Rene Collard has vines) and Hautvillers (home of the monk Dom Perignon). Aromatically, the pinot noir is at the forefront, with plenty of black cherry, a very high quality, pure nose indeed! After spending nine years on the lees it is surprising how little toast is evident, and I think this is a testament to the organic farming of Mr. Pascal Leclerc-Briant. Because of the lower yields and greater concentration, there is just lots of wine in front of the yeast! In the mouth, the wine is rich and full bodied, with all the flavors present that the nose promised. The finish is where the chardonnay takes over, with zippy, subtly citric refreshment and a very persistent minerality. The Divine is dosed at only six grams per liter, making it quite dry. After having the 1988 at dinner with Scott Beckerley, I am convinced that this will provide fantastic drinking until at least 2021—starting today! Please don’t miss this fantastic Champagne; I am sure it won’t last long. We also received a very small amount of the Leclerc-Briant “La Croisette” Brut ($29.99) from a less-than-one-acre vineyard in Epernay directly above the winery! This blanc de blancs shows the cantaloupe style fruit of a valley of the Marne blanc de blancs and finishes very, very dry. Quantity is limited. Feel free to contact me at 1-800-247-5987 ex 2728. A toast to you! —Gary Westby
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...