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One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

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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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Tuesday
Jan282014

Fabulous Taittinger!

Hamachi shots and Champagne- outdoor dining in January!

We have been having quite the summer this winter in California. This past Sunday, with half of the country under freezing snow, Cinnamon and I were enjoying our aperitif and appetizer dans le jardin in short sleeves. While it has been very nice for bike riding and grilling, this unseasonable weather has been playing havoc with our water supply. It is the driest winter in 500 years, and some of the wine growers are reporting premature budbreak… In January! If the state is going to dry up and blow away, the least we can do is give it a Champagne send off. You might be seeing more Champagne Friday from the backyard this year!

The week before, K&L’s new super star sales associate Angie An came over for dinner and made us hamachi shots to go with our Champagne before we sat down for leg of lamb and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This appetizer was so good that we asked for the recipe and made it again for our Sunday starter. These are a home run with Champagne… As good as anything in the world to go with bubbles!

The sunny 2006 vintage went well with the California sun!

The 2006 Taittinger Brut Champagne ($69.99) is composed of half and half Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that is vinified in stainless steel.  All of the Chardonnay is grand cru and sourced from the Cotes de Blancs, while the Pinot Noir comes from grand cru sites on the Mountain of Reims and the Grand Valley of the Marne. The Taittinger shows off the sunny personality of the 2006 vintage, and has a nice golden straw color and lazy bead of miniscule bubbles. The texture reminded me of many of the 1990’s that I drank young, and I think these two vintages have a lot in common. This wine has a little bit of high quality toast, classy white fruit and very good chalky minerality on the back end. The hamachi shots made the wine come alive, and showed the chalky terroir in the Taittinger in its best light. I love it when a pairing brings out the best in a bottle, and this was certainly one of those occasions!

A toast to you! -Gary Westby

Friday
Jan242014

Thoughts From ZAP: Surprisingly Fresh!

"The 2011 Zins are much better than I thought they were going to be," reports K&L's Bryan Brick after this week's marathon Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) tasting in Alameda, CA.

By: Bryan Brick | K&L Domestic Wine Buyer

Yesterday marked one of the most physically difficult wine tastings in the business: The ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) tasting. Just think about tasting dozens of Zinfandels, some dry and others not so much, some with superb balance and some with blaring alcohol levels, and I think you’ll sympathize with the way my mouth feels today. The tasting was held at Rock Wall Winery in Alameda, a wonderful location for a tasting of this size and scope. This year the powers that be separated the trade portion of ZAP from the public tasting, which really helped myself and my co-worker Jim Boyce to get a lot done in a short period of time. With many fewer tasters, we were able to taste much more wine this year than in years past and speak more to the principals of the wineries about their respective wines. Plus, there were a lot fewer drunk people falling down and breaking glasses, or themselves--which was nice.

What I very quickly learned is that the 2011 Zins are much better than I thought they were going to be. Most of you know, or maybe have heard rumblings that 2011 is already a bit maligned. It was cold, sugar levels never hit the numbers that California has become accustomed to, yields were small if not downright scary, with people running numbers around 30-60% down from an average vintage. So I was a bit hesitant. That went away quickly when I started tasting the wines. I found the vintage to be energetic, drinkable and full of personality. ABV levels are down; flavor, balance and structure are up. The sad part is that there just isn’t going to be a lot of this wine to go around. But as these wines begin to roll out, I’d highly recommend adding some to your cellar or everyday drinking rotations.

Here are some highlights of our fave 2011s, as well as wines from other vintages, with brief descriptions from the tasting yesterday. I’ve added hyperlinks to the wines we currently have in stock. The others probably won’t be far behind.

2011 Ancient Peaks Zin: Top Value!2011 Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Zinfandel ($13.99) A refresher course, as we've had this wine in stock for a month or so, but it really held up in the context of all these Zins. It's truly one of the best values out there in the world of Zin.

2011 ANDIS “Estate” Amador County An intriguing new winery that is making a bigger style of Zin but with rarely seen balance from the area.

The 2012 Bedrock "Old Vine" Zin is from some of the oldest and most interesting vineyards in the Sonoma Valley.2012 Bedrock Wine Company "Old Vine" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel ($24.99) This wine is from some of the oldest and most interesting vineyards in Sonoma Valley. Tcomplex nature and concentration of that fruit shows through here in spades. Another tremendous value in Zin.

2012 Bedrock "Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Wine" Contra Costa Red Blend ($32.99) These vines are planted in river delta sands on their own roots and were planted in the 1890s. A field blend of Carignane, Mourvedre, Zinfandel, Palomino, Alicante and Mission, this was one of my personal faves of the tasting. Electric, vivacious fruit with zingy acid and great old vine spice this is not to be missed

2012 Bedrock "Lorenzo's Heirloom" Sonoma Valley Red Blend ($41.99) Just the fact that Bedrock has three wines on this list should tell you everything you need to know. This is  Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Cinsualt, Valdigue and a few “odds and ends.” Powerful, brooding, dark and spicy, this inky beast has all the elements to be a masterpiece in a decade or more.

2011 Bella “Hills and Benches” Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel A lovely interplay between the spicy/peppery side of Zin and the more confectionery/cocoa-driven side of the varietal.

2011 Bella “Lily Hill Estate” Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel The 2010 version of this wine was one of my top wines from last year’s tasting, so I was excited to taste the 2011. There is something about this site that adds a super charming floral lace to the wine. It’s something akin to lavender or lilac. Add a bunch of cocoa powder and dried blueberry and this is delicious.

2011 Dashe “Florence Vineyard” Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Maybe the biggest surprise of the tasting. Not because I don’t generally like the wines--I usually love them--but this just floored me with its energy, sexiness, bursting aromatics and strawberry fruit. I wanted to drink this by the bottle.

2009 D Cubed Howell Mountain Zinfandel ($32.99) This wine was out for a while but in no way does that diminish its deliciousness. In fact, the extra bottle time may add to it. Super tangy with tons of blueberry and crushed stone, this shows the tannic structure of Howell Mountain.

2012 Easton Amador County Zinfandel ($14.99) Another front runner for the value of the tasting. Pitchy red fruits with a touch more ripeness than usual and the mineral-driven undercurrent I’ve come to expect from this inexpensive stunner.

2010 Easton “E” Fiddletown Zinfandel Certainly the best “E” bottling I’ve seen from them. I loved the unflinching iron/bloody aspect of this Zin. A true old-school Gold Country Zin.

2011 Hendry “Blocks 7&22” Napa Valley Zinfandel This just garnered a huge score by a respected wine mag and I can see why. Like a melted wild berry cobbler with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, but somehow never coming off close to sweet.

2011 Mike & Molly Hendry “R.W. Moore Vineyard” Napa Valley Zinfandel We loved the 2010 last year at ZAP and this year may be even better. Deep and earthy with warm, sunny earth and perfectly ripe, briary black fruits. Some may know this as a vineyard that Biale works with but Mike Hendry farms the vineyard for them.

2011 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($29.99) We love what the Bilbro brothers have been doing since they purchased this winery a couple of years back. Now that we are in the 2011s, the wines are the first they’ve made from beginning to end. Big, boisterous Zins with more soul than James Brown.

2011 Limerick Lane “1910 Block” Russian River Valley Zinfandel From the oldest block planted at their estate, this Zin may have won the award for the most intense Zin of the day. Long, drawn out and powerful this is still a baby but it floored us. “Amazing” is one of the descriptors I wrote in my notes.

2011 Sobon Estate “Cougar Hill” Amador County Zinfandel ($13.99) Value city! Every year Sobon Estate rocks something that just wildly over-delivers on its asking price. This year it is the Cougar Hill with its unabashed ripeness, cherry cola fruit and a lifting sensation. I don’t remember the Coug being this good.

2011 Troon “Estate” Applegate Valley Zinfandel Maybe the most eye-opening wine of the day. This southern Oregon Zin held its own with classiness and elegance. From vines planted in 1972, this wine is all about balance. Very open and engaging

Friday
Jan172014

Champagne Friday: Upcoming Tasting Events!

Quentin Paillard will pour his wines in SF and RWC

Starting Friday January 31st, the fourth Friday of every month for the next four months will feature Champagne in the Redwood City tasting bar. I will be pouring and hope to use this series to cover a number of subjects that I hope will be of interest to K&L’s Champagne lovers. Also, Quentin Paillard of Champagne Pierre Paillard is coming to town and will be pouring in SF on Tuesday February the 4th and in Redwood City on the 6th. I hope that you will join us for some (or all!) of these events- they are all walk in with no need to purchase tickets in advance.

Friday January 31st, 5:00-6:30 PM $10 Redwood City: Chardonnay in Champagne. Come taste the least planted and most wanted of Champagne’s big three grape varieties and see the giant effect that terroir has on this most transparent of grapes. We will taste Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99), 2004 Daniel Ginsburg "Cuvée Rene Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($49.99), Pierre Paillard "Acte 1" Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (2008) ($49.99), Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99) and 2004 Michel Loriot "Les Sources du Flagot" Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($49.99).

Tuesday February 4th, 5:00-6:30 PM $10 San Francisco: An intimate tasting with Quentin Paillard of Champagne Pierre Paillard. Please join us for a very special tasting of the renowned champagnes of Pierre Paillard. Winemaker Quentin Paillard will be on hand to discuss his latest releases, which we have been lucky enough to secure. Fantastic Brut, Brut Rose and some special cuvee's. Perhaps even Bouzy Rouge! This is one tasting not to be missed!

Thursday February 6th, 5:00-6:30 PM $10 Redwood City: Quentin Paillard comes to Redwood City, where we will taste his Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne ($39.99), Pierre Paillard "Acte 1" Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (2008) ($49.99), Pierre Paillard "Acte 1" Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne (2008) ($49.99), 2004 Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Vintage Champagne ($59.99) and 2008 Pierre Paillard Bouzy Rouge Coteaux Champenois ($34.99). This is a rare opportunity to hear about Champagne from the man who grew the grapes and made the wine.

Saturday February 15th, Valentines Day Rose Champagne in all three stores (12-3 in SF with Scott Beckerley, 1-4 in Redwood City with Gary Westby and 2-5pm in LA with Mari Keilman) $20: We will feature some of the most famous names in rose, such as Billecart and Laurent Perrier, next to some of our favorite small production growers. We’ll put the full list up as soon as we have finalized the selections!

Friday February 28th, 5:00-6:30 $10 Redwood City: Misunderstood Meunier. Gary will pour Meunier in the Redwood City tasting bar and explore the most planted and least understood grape variety in Champagne. Lineup will be posted to the website soon, but will include rose as well as brut versions of Meunier, vintage and non-vintage.

A toast to you- and hopefully with you at one of these events! -Gary Westby

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