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Saber Madness at K&L!

We have been chopping off the tops of Champagne bottles as fast as we can drink them- who needs a stopper when you are ready to commit to finishing the bottle! One of our favorites was this magnum ($84.99) of Franck Bonville Brut Rosé that Mellyn expertly decapitated on Christmas Eve. It also comes in regular 750ml ($39.99) and half bottles ($21.99). Olivier Bonville adds 8% Pinot Noir Rouge from Ambonnay superstar Paul Dethune to his top class assembelage of grand cru, estate Chardonnay to create this fabulous rose. This is one of the most elegant, bright, refreshing rose Champagnes that we carry, yet it does not lack red cherry Pinot Noir authority. We can’t get enough- bring another to the block!

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Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

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 KLWines.com 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

See all K&L Local Events

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Monday
Mar092015

Anderson Valley Trip

March 17th - 20th.  Eric Story, Shaun Green and Angie An will be joining Mike Jordan (Domestic Buyer - SF) on a buying trip to the Anderson Valley. We will be visiting some of our oldest partners such as Handley, Roederer, Scharffenberger , Golden Eye and Husch along with some our newer partners such as Knez, Lichen and Drew. We hope the trip will open up some new relationships with some of the great up and coming wineries of the area. Follow us on this Blog and our Facebook pages to keep up with all the goings on.

 

 

Friday
Mar062015

A Tale of Two Amantillados

 

Herederos de Argüeso was established in 1822 by León de Argüeso in Sanlucar de Barrameda only two years after his move to the city. He quickly prospered as a grocer and used his money to purchase the cellar of San Jose in the barrio bajo containing some very old soleras. Today, a team of bodegas belonging to Argüeso are situated in the same area, on the same street and have some stunning buildings that hold soleras with the original coffered ceilings from the 16th century convent that used to lie there. The barrio bajo is said to be unique due to its position that traps the humidity and salty sea air into the neighborhood thanks to the barrier created by the higher barrio alto. All of the Argüeso wines have a beautiful salinic and tangy character to them which can be attributed to the barrio bajo and proximity to the sea. León de Argüeso did not marry or have children, so he left his fortunes to his niece and nephew, thus the names Herederos (heirs) de Argüeso. The coolest part of it all.. the original solera systems León purchased (which were already fairly old) are still in production today, and said to be up to 250 years old. The wines of Argüeso are difficult to get on the export markets.


I know what you’re thinking, 'why would you tell me that story about this fantastic producer if I can’t even get their sherry?'.....That’s exactly how Joe Manekin, our sherry buyer, and Alexander Russan of Alexander Jules felt, so they sought out to remedy this problem.


K&L and Alexander Jules (a local Sherry importer and bottler) teamed up to get Argüeso to California. Together they went to Sanlucar and were tasked with the difficult, and simply agonizing chore of tasting 27 barrels of very old and rare (VORS) Argüeso Amontillado in order to determine which bota was their favorite. Very old and rare indeed, this 27 barrel solera is an average of 50-60 years old!! Ultimately Joe and Alex chose two bota (barrels), bottling each as single barrel Amontillados. There is a very limited amount of this stuff considering you are only legally allowed to remove a bit less than 10% of the wine from each bota. After days and days of tasting and eating copious amounts of jamon, they finally returned with two gorgeous and rare Amontillados:


The Alexander Jules Amontillado "Singular" K&L Single Barrel 4/27 Sanlucar de Barrameda, which is the more feminine expression of the two with notes of fresh ground espresso, cocoa and dark chocolate, white flowers and old books. The palate certainly shows its fino roots with fresh, high-toned brightness, apple skins and tons of salinity. Finishing with roasted hazelnuts, toffee, apricots and a full yet elegant round body. On the other hand, the Alexander Jules Amontillado "Singular" K&L Single Barrel 19/27 Sanlucar de Barrameda is more masculine with an intense nose of smoked almonds, deep dark roasted coffee, salted caramel, dried figs and prunes. The palate is bit chubbier and meatier with even more intense notes of salinity, espresso beans, toffee and caramel.


There were only about 65 bottlings of each the 4/27 and the 19/17 and there are very few bottles left to be had. A rare chance to taste not only Argüeso but single barrel bottlings of a very old solera.


For more information on the collaboration visit Joe’s original post about his trip.

-Olivia Ragni

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Mar062015

Charles & Piper Greats at Tamarine

Offering a 20 year old tete de cuvee as current release... That is a statement!

The Champagne buying job at K&L is a good one and I am so happy to being back to fit enough to do it properly. Cinnamon and I were invited to a great dinner at Tamarine Restaurant in Palo Alto by Romain Pianet who manages the US market for Charles and Piper Heidsieck last week, and once again I was blown away by the wines. Romain was in town for the Oscars, as Piper Heidsieck was selected as the official Champagne this year, and made it up North to check on the San Francisco market with brand ambassador Kyle Kaplan and salesman extraordinaire Mr. Scott Winkler.

The high end Vietnamese cuisine of Tamarine is magic with Champagne, and I have been lucky enough to be invited to several dinners there including a very memorable meal with Moet winemaker Elise Losfelt. We started off the evening with the Charles Heidsieck "Rosé Reserve" Brut Champagne ($69.99) and got caught up. One of the best pieces of news that I heard from Romain is that prices will not be going up on Piper and Charles. The rose reserve was in a round and charming style, but had the chalky spine to balance out the extra richness. The Champagne had ripe dark cherry flavors and a supple texture… I need to drink this more often.

For appetizers we had the Tamarine Taste and some of the crab and garlic noodles and Romain poured the 2002 Piper-Heidsieck "Cuvée Rare" Brut Champagne ($144.99) to go with them. This wine showed even fresher than the last time I had it in August, and this new disgorgement must be at a lower dosage than past releases. It went very well with the variety of flavors on the table, showing as well with the spring rolls as it did with the beef and papaya salad. I found it graceful, bright and airy with more vivacious youth than one would expect for a 13 year old wine, but still filled with complexity when studied.

I had a very good pork dish (it was its last night on the menu!) for my main course, while everyone else went with fish. Romain served up the 1995 Charles Heidsieck "Blanc des Millénaires" Brut Champagne ($169.99) which is still in current release at 20 years old. This bottle had it all- it would be impossible to ask for more out of Champagne. It is a blend of special plots in the Grand Crus of the Cote des Blancs, but also has some of the top 1er cru of Vertus in the blend. It was a creamy, integrated, round, nutty tour de force that has arrived at a point of beautiful mellow maturity. I think this has the balance to go for many years to come, but they won’t have it forever. Although he has been sworn to secrecy on the vintage that will be released next, he said that it will be a very big jump- more than 10 years- so get this 1995 while you can!

A toast to you!

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