Last month Martin and I took a trip down south for a quick tour of a few wineries. This was our first day on our two-day trip. Our first stop was at Garretson Wine Company in Paso Robles. Working in a very industrial looking building, winemaker Matt Garretson is focusing on Rhône-inspired blends from Paso Robles. Our favorite pick from this stop was the 2003 Garretson Red Central Coast Red Blend ($19.99). This would be considered their user-friendly red, which is a blend of 70% syrah, 12% grenache, 10% mourvèdre and 8% viognier. Continuing down south, our next stop was at Domaine Alfred. People were friendly, and the wines were well made. Our favorites included the 2003 Domaine Alfred Edna Valley Chardonnay ($18.99) and the 2002 Domaine Alfred “Califa” Edna Valley Pinot Noir ($39.99). The Chardonnay shows great acidity, freshness and pure fruit, and the Pinot Noir is rich, balanced and pure as well. Both are clean and fresh. No heavy-handed winemaking here. Our next visit was with John Alban at Alban Cellars in Arroyo Grande. Great guy and great visit! Unfortunately the wines are next to impossible to get. We then had a quick visit at Talley and then made our way to Laetitia. Our two picks from Laetitia were the 2004 Laetitia Arroyo Grande Chardonnay ($14.99) and the 2003 Laetitia Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir ($17.99). The Chardonnay is rich, ripe and full in the mouth with hints of sweet pear, honey and lime. The Pinot Noir shows a nice balance between fruit and earth with hints of spicy minerals and red strawberry fruit. After Laetitia our next appointment was with John Nivin of Baileyana. Our favorites included the Chardonnay and Pinot releases under their Grand Firepeak Cuvee label. Located just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Firepeak Vineyard is the first to benefit from the cool maritime breezes funneling in from the Morro Bay. The warm days and cool nights are perfect for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Currently we have the 2002 Baileyana Grand Firepeak Pinot Noir ($29.99) and the 2003 Baileyana Grand Firepeak Chardonnay ($19.99). Both are delicious! —Trey Beffa
This month K&L is proud to offer a Domaine de Monpertuis wine for Rhône lovers in every price range. This venerable Southern Rhône estate has been in the hands of the Jeune family for several generations. Each successor has added bits and pieces so that the current owner, Paul Jeune, is now the proprietor of the 10 acres of vines that are scattered amongst 32 separate parcels throughout the confines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Jeune has the remarkable good fortune of having a majority of his vineyards planted to vines between 60 and 110 years of age. The multiplicity of parcels spread across Châteauneuf imparts a classic character to the wines of Monpertuis, absorbing the nuances of each soil type of the appellation. The heart and soul of the domaine lies within three primary parcels: La Croze, Le Clos de la Cerise and Monpertuis. Although Châteauneuf-du-Pape may be composed of 13 individual varietals, the Domaine de Monpertuis relies most heavily on the grenache grape. The 2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de Monpertuis “Classique” ($31.99) is a more approachable, albeit powerful Châteauneuf from this warm vintage. Decant and serve with heartier fare. The 2003 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de Monpertuis “Cuvee Tradition” ($62.99), produced solely from old vines at least 60 years old, is supported by at least 85% grenache. This is hands down one of THE BEST Châteauneufs I have tasted from this vintage. This wine is laden with a core of black fruit and chiseled mineral drive. Do not, I repeat do not, even think about touching this wine for at least 5 years, preferably 10. I promise you, your patience will be generously rewarded. This is an outstanding wine with enormous potential. As of 1995, the Domaine de Monpertuis has vinified a Côtes du Rhône and Vin de Pays du Gard. Both of these wines come from a recently acquired parcel known as vignoble de la Ramiere. The 2003 Côtes du Rhône “Vignoble de la Ramiere,” Domaine de Monpertuis ($13.99) is made almost exclusively from grenache. Both wines are lovely with cranberry, roasted sage and lavender. And both wines are Monpertuis reds to drink up while you wait for the big boys to grow up. —Mulan Chan
2005 Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand ($7.99) and the 2004 Vasse Felix “Adams Road” Chardonnay, Margaret River Western Australia ($13.99) These are two screaming deals! The Matua, now with bolder color and in a Bordeaux bottle, serves up a bouquet of lime, cantaloupe and fresh cut red peppers. On the palate there is good acidity to support the more tropical mango-papaya fruit that lead to a refreshing clean finish. The Adams Road chardonnay is 50% tank fermented. The nose offers aromas of light toast, pear, pineapple, honey, hazelnut and cinnamon spice. The wine has superb acidity bringing all these components together. 2004 Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Syrah, Coastal Region South Africa ($10.99) The 2004 shows smoky, meaty notes with lovely ripe boysenberry fruit and a hint of lavender in the aromatics. In the mouth, the wine is full bodied and juicy with soft lush tannins and a fine finish. 2004 Hewitson “Miss Harry” GSM, McLaren Vale South Australia ($17.99) Dean Hewitson brings another super edition of Miss Harry with his 2004 blend of 44% grenache, 43% shiraz and 13% mourvèdre sourced from 50 and 80 year old vines. The bouquet sings with notes of black raspberry, cassis, white pepper, smoked meats and a hint of mocha. On the palate there is fine balance and length, with more structure and weight than last years 91-point wine. The 2003 d’Arenberg “Footbolt” Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia ($13.99) shows how good the vintage was in McLaren Vale. This wine is richer and shows more depth than the fine 2002, with notes of dark plum, blackberry, blueberry, chocolate and earth. Very well balanced with fine length and polish for the money. —Jimmy C
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...