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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 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

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Wednesday
Apr012015

1989 Clos du Marquis

This bottle just arrived on a container direct from Bordeaux and went directly into the decanter!

Cinnamon and I really changed things up this week, and moved steak and claret night from Friday to Sunday. We had a bottle that was worthy of extra time, the now 26 year old 1989 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien ($79.99) that just arrived from Bordeaux. This bottle was from a different era in Bordeaux, an era when a ripe vintage did not mean a flabby one, and this taught, precise St. Julien showed just how much finesse a 1989 can have. We decanted it an hour and a half ahead and even the first sniff showed that we were in for a big treat.

The Clos du Marquis is often thought of as a second wine of Leoville-Las-Cases, but it is really a separate wine from a small walled vineyard within the property. This “Petit Clos” is right next to the Chateau itself, and boarders not only Leoville-Barton and Leoville-Poyefere, but also Pichon Lalande to the north. To say that it is in a good neighborhood would be an understatement. This clos is planted to about three quarters Cabernet Sauvignon, one fifth Merlot and a smattering of Cabernet Franc. 

Food always tastes good off of the little Lodge Hibachi.

Earlier in the afternoon, I had re-seasoned my trusty cast iron hibachi and I was excited to cook the very thick, prime one pound New York that I had bought from Dittmer’s earlier in the week on it. Generally Cinnamon and I like to get one big, thick steak to share rather than two thinner pieces. We get better flavor this way and I feel the results are even better with a thick cut piece over mesquite, as the meat has more of a chance to pick up some of the smoke. I cooked some spring onions and asparagus on the grill at the same time.

In the meantime, new crop Yukon Gold potatoes were roasting in a little bit of duck fat in the oven. I like to boil them until they are soft and cooked through first, as this yields a potato that is creamy on the inside as crisp on the outside when they come out of the oven. I also whipped up a little mayonnaise… Steak and claret on Sunday isn’t diet food!

 

On the plates and ready to be washed down with claret!

Sometimes Cinnamon will complain about having to have the same meal once a week, but never while we are actually eating it. The combination of Bordeaux and beef are classic for a reason, and this meal with this bottle stood out as one of the best we have had in a long while. This 1989 is still very dark and young, and I am glad that we gave it an hour and a half to air in the decanter. The nose shows off the purity and power of Cabernet Sauvignon from this hallowed area with some of the best dark cassis aromas that I have smelled. In the mouth, the wine is medium bodied, with great texture that has the potential to get even better with more time. The tannins are firm and the acidity fresh- I was very happy to have thick slices of marbled, prime New York steak to act as a foil to this big wine. Our bottle was also layered and complex with a nod to Pauillac showing through in pencil lead hints. Best of all it was super easy to drink despite its size and complexity; a virtue that only wines of great breed have.

-Gary Westby, K&L

 

 

Wednesday
Mar252015

"Sherry" style wines from Córdoba

Gabriel Gómez walking through his 8 hectare estate. -Image from Jose Pastor Selections

Perched in the Sierra Morena Mountains, about an hour north of Córdoba, sits Bodega Gomez Nevado on the hillsides of a town called Villaviciosa de Córdoba. While the family’s winemaking history goes back to the 1700’s, the bodega has been making sherry-style wines since 1870 and became the first winegrower in Spain to have their vineyards certified organic in 1988.  With the Bodega situated more than 200km from Jerez, their vineyards do not fall under any of the three D.O. permitted to make Sherry, thus can not benefit from using the term Sherry.  And to be fair, it is different from sherry; the soils are different, the grapes are different, the climate and the winemaking certainly differ.  In the Sierra Morena you won’t find palomino dominating the vineyards, nor will you find the chalky, white albariza soil it grows best in.  Rather you will find a grape called Airén, with Pedro Ximenez as the runner up, heavily planted in clay and slate soils.  The grapes and the soil combined with the harsh continental mediterranean climate means their wines usually get to 15-16% abv without fortification.  Bodega Gomez Nevado takes pride in never having to fortify their wines.  The result is a richer style “sherry” then we are used to in Jerez. The Gomez Navado 'Palido' which means pale, is their "fino” style wine. The grapes are harvested from 40+ year old Airen, Pedro Ximenez and Palomino vines sitting 300-500 meters in elevation, with Airén making up 60% of the blend. The first press juice is fermented dry and aged in a solera system for an average of 5 years before it’s bottled ‘en rama’ meaning it comes straight from the barrel, with very minimal fining or filtration. The first thing that struck me about the Gomez Nevado Palido En Rama Sierra Morena (375ml) is its color, much more walnut in color than the pale finos of Jerez.  The nose is beautiful with notes of roasted hazelnuts and chestnuts, white flowers, rosemary, and a hint of sea salt.  As to be expected it is rich and full-bodied but it still has that bright tang from the flor, only its a more roasted tang rather than salty.  The flavors are much different than traditional finos, full of umami with flavors of extra virgin olive oil, asparagus and raw mushrooms.  A unique wine indeed. It seems they need their own word to describe these wines; while sherry in style, they are certainly different.  


I always stress having food with Sherry or sherry-style wines, because they offer so many potential pairings, especially with those classically hard to pair umami foods.  Considering this wine is from Andalucía, I decided to make Gazpacho de Andaluz, a classic in the region, to go with the Palido.  The key to this simple and delicious tomato based Gazpacho is having exceptional Sherry Vinegar.  I suggest the Sanchez Romate Vinagre de Jerez Reserva (375ml) $14.99 that we get from Alexander Jules. Some Sherry Vinegars tend to be too sweet and thick, almost like balsamic, whereas the Sanchez Romate had beautiful acid and intense flavor.  The richness of the Palido complimented the acidity of the Gazpacho perfectly, while the acidity brightened up the wine. Seafood also pairs really well with the fino style so I added some sweet big shrimp on the side. Both quite brilliant pairings. I’m always looking for local products to work with sherry styles so I couldn’t resist buying some fresh Armenian cheese from the little Armenian shop on my block to see how it paired. Of course the name of the cheese eludes me, but it reminded me of a cross between a feta and a ricotta salata and it went great with the Palido. LA residents, definitely something to try!!

 

-Olivia Ragni

Tuesday
Mar102015

Araujo - Welcoming the present, respecting the past.

Araujo was established 23 years ago by Bart and Daphne Araujo when they bought the historic Eisele Vineyard. The Eisele Vineyard was first planted over 125 years ago ( to Zinfandel and Riesling) and for the last 50 years has been planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are farmed using  organic and Biodynamic methods, keeping this legendary vineyard in the best condition possible. Araujo produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and occasionally Viognier from the Eisele Vineyard. They also produce a second Cabernet Sauvignon based red wine,  Altagracia. The is a blend  of  Estate fruit and purchased fruit from Other Napa Valley Vineyards which Araujo has complete control over.The beautiful Vineyards at Araujo.In 2013, Bart and Daphne decided to sell. The property was bought the Pinault family and Groupe Artemis. The Pinault family own legendary Bordeaux First Growth Chateau Latour. There is no doubt that the 38 acres property is staying in good and capable hands. The future continues to look bright for this First Growth of California.

The incredible caves at Araujo. Patience is the key with the Araujo wines.

The Araujo wines are extremely limited but we do occasionally have both new and old vintages in stock.

The amazing 2012 Araujo "Altagracia" Napa Valley Red Wine $129.99 has just arrived and we couldn't be happier. The wine is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 4% Malbec. The wine is bold and vibrant with incredible purity of fruit. Black and blue fruit with hints of red berry, Cassis, graphite and a touch of menthol. Cedar and vanilla wrap itself around the wine with great fervor. Tannins are very apparent but soft enough to approach this wine in the next couple of years.

 2011 Araujo "Eisele Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  $ 495.00

"Araujo has long made some of the more restrained Cabernets in Napa Valley. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard is one of the more Left Bank inflected wines in the estate's distinguished history. Beautifully layered and expressive, the 2011 graces the palate with exquisite finesse and total harmony. The 2011 isn't a huge, explosive wine like the 2010 or 2009, but it stands out for its exceptional length and vibrancy. Readers should not expect an obvious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I imagine the 2011 will still be marvelous at age 30, and I won't be surprised if it is one day regarded as one of the great, iconic wines of the vintage. The 2011 has been truly special since I started tasting the single blocks in the Spring of 2012. The blend is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. (96+) Antonio Galloni

"Top 100 Wines of 2014* Compelling aromas of black fruits such as brambleberries, plus blueberries and fresh mushrooms. Asphalt, too. Forest fruits. The tannins just melt into the wine as you taste it. Aristocratic and regal in style and length. A powdery, fascinating texture. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink now, but better in 2017." James Suckling

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