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We have a little cult here at K&L of steak and claret on Friday nights. If you drop by the store near closing, you will no doubt over hear many of us discussing cuts of beef, potato preperations and the Bordeaux to pair with the beef. One of our favorites for current drinking is the 1999 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($49.99) which is drinking perfectly at 16 years old. The composition is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 8% Petite Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. This is a plummy wine from the high percentage of Merlot and I loved the minty focus on the back end. This is long finishing stuff, and has the good acid on the back cut the richness of a big steak. What a treat! 

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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 or follow us on Facebook.  


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


The Mayor – Live From Tuscany: Part II

Greg St. Clair woke up this morning at Il Borro—a medieval-era villa deep within the hills of Tuscany, owned by (get this) the Ferragamo family. Yes, as in Salvatore Ferragamo, the luxury Italian fashion house famous for making shoes worn by Audrey Hepburn. The estate is more than 1700 acres of lush vineyards and olive trees surrounded by forest. Greg thought he might take a quick dip before getting down to business with the Ferragamo family, who continue to make wine on the estate.

No proper Italian lunch should start without a cold, refreshing glass of prosecco. Greg made sure to have a few bottles of our K&L exclusive Follador and San Venanzio proseccos on hand for the occasion. I think I personally drank about two cases of the Venanzio myself this past summer, so I'm hoping the Ferragamos enjoyed it as much as I did.

As if having lunch with the Ferragamo brothers wasn't cool enough, Greg informed me that he'd be having dinner tonight with Antonio Moretti from Sette Ponti, who also happens to be part owner of Prada. I told Greg that I needed to come with him on his next trip over to handle all of his media. He sent me an email saying, "Send your wife instead, she'll be appreciated more!"

Ain't that the truth. My wife loves Ferragamo shoes.

-David Driscoll


Catching Up With the Mayor: Live From Tuscany

Caper vines growing along castle walls

If you don't know who "the Mayor" is at K&L, that's the name we use for Greg St. Clair—our iconic Italian wine buyer—who is so famous in Tuscany he's called "the Mayor of Montalcino". Greg's been going to Italy for decades, building relationships with local growers, and importing unique and interesting wines back to K&L for longer than I've been allowed to legally drink, and he's currently back in Tuscany working on securing more wine from what's being called a legendary 2010 vintage for the region. I asked Greg to keep in touch with me from the road so that we could update our Italian wine customers about his progress here on the blog. He most graciously agreed to do so. 

"For the first five days I'm there I'll be at (James) Suckling's house tasting all the new releases," Greg told me when I asked. "We'll just be sitting outside, eating dinner, and taking notes to start. It's no big deal." Then he sent me this photo of the scenery. The jealousy began to bubble in my veins.

"Just keep your iPhone handy and send me some updates from each day," I said politely. "Even if they're no big deal."

"David, you wouldn't believe the food this woman made for us!" Greg texted me later in the afternoon. "What a meal!"

"Oh! And then we opened up a 1958 Aldo Conterno Barolo." 

Jesus. No big deal, Greg?

Just a few guys, hanging out in Tuscany, eating great food, taking in the romantic scenery, and tasting the best Italian wines in the world. 

That's just a normal day for Greg St. Clair. Check back in throughout September as I'll be posting all of Greg's updates from the Italian road. "The Mayor" is back in office.

-David Driscoll


Monsieur Villaine

I suffer from incredible jet lag when I travel overseas, so I always make sure I bring a good book (or three) when I go abroad. While traveling to Paris with my wife last week I brought along Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter, the story about a plot to poison the world's most famous vineyard: Romanée-Conti. While I was interested in the plot to blackmail the Domaine in charge of Romanée-Conti—makers of the most expensive and coveted wines on the planet—I wasn't expecting to learn as much as I did about Aubert de Villaine: the famed proprietor of DRC who, despite his position, comes across as the most humble, down-to-earth person. You might expect someone whose wines sell for thousands of dollars per bottle to be quite sure of himself, but Villaine's humility and respect for the earth had me downright inspired by the time I finished the book (which was about 4 AM on Thursday). Villaine subscribes to the principles passed down by his father, and his grandfather before him, based upon the belief that they are simply stewards of these majestic and heralded vineyards, like the historic figures before them. It's a duty; a commitment to care-taking, rather than a marketing opportunity. I was completely taken by his character.

In the 1970s, after a stressful period managing the Domaine, Monsieur Villaine decided to invest in a piece of property about an hour's drive south of Beaune in the village of Bouzeron, without any of the pomp or prestige of Vosne-Romanee. It was a place where he and his wife could escape from the politics of DRC and create a life outside of the prized estate. Monsieur Villaine would plant vineyards on the quaint piece of land, name it Domaine A&P de Villaine after his wife and himself, and in 1973 harvest his first crop of aligoté grapes. Over forty years later, Villaine's Domaine A&P continues to create modest and robust wines that are the perfect counterweight to the refined and renowned wines of DRC; wines that are much more affordable, simple, and made for everyday drinking. I have always enjoyed the wines from Domaine A&P, but until last week I was completely ignorant to the story behind it, about how the love bestowed onto its vines and the care and quality put into its products. Reading Shadows in the Vineyard completely renewed my interest in the wines and I immediately bought a few bottles upon my return from Paris.

One of the heartbreaking aspects of Villaine's story deals with the inability for he and his wife Pamela to have children, so in a sense the vines—les enfants, as they're referred to—become their offspring, and are cared for as if they were their own flesh and blood. I thought about that as I popped a bottle of the 2013 "La Fortune" last night and took my first sip, the peppery notes instantly jumping out before the flavors morphed into bright cranberry and tart cherry. I thought about how Villaine and other producers in the region believe in a completely hands-off approach, choosing instead to let the land speak for itself. I thought about how such an approach dates back 1000 years to the times of the monks who planted many of the original vineyards in Burgundy, believing that God had made the land and the grapes, so to interfere with the simple fermentation of the wine would be to interfere with the work of God. The commitment to single expressions of land and terroir comes from a very spiritual place. Had I not just read about the property and about Monsieur Villaine's commitment to his vineyards, I probably still would have enjoyed the "La Fortune". But knowing what I did made all the difference.

Sometimes a great story can make a great wine taste all that much better. The story of Monsieur Villaine and his journey from DRC to A&P is definitely a great story, one that will only endear you to the wines and Burgundy and the incredible people who make them. I'd definitely recommend picking up a copy of the book.

-David Driscoll

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