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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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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.

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Burgundy: Negociant Deal

The red wines of Burgundy are a labyrinth - a never-ending maze of communes, vineyards, grower/producers, and negotiants presenting their take on what the weather gods have dealt them. The commonly held belief concerning Burgundy is that you start with great fruit and try not to mess it up. What that actually means depends on the philosophy of the winemaker, but the results can range from juicy and light-bodied to tannic, course, and highly acidic. Many producers are not making wine for drinking in the short term. Much like a tough piece of meat needs to be tenderized with hours of marinating, the structured wines of Burgundy need to be put into the cellar, left to slowly integrate and soften over time. Some are ready to drink now, but it's hard to know which ones are ready and which are not.

For as much as I love Burgundy, I'm not anywhere near an expert.  I buy the few bottles I get to taste now and then in the store, but I'm always looking to branch out and grab a great deal when I see one. Pinot noir from Burgundy is not the same as what we see here in California.  The wines are far more rustic - full of earth and much less fruit-forward.  It's an acquired taste that gets into your soul and eventually causes one to crave it like no other flavor. Because red Burgundy is usually expensive, the values are few and far-between.

Nicolas Potel is a negociant that purchases both fruit and ready-made wine from his family connections. He is both a dedicated proponent of bio-dynamic winemaking and a man with a keen palate, capable of sourcing the best wines in the Beaune, as well as deciphering which are worth keeping. We've recently received his entry level 2010 release - the humble, yet delicious 2010 Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Rouge $11.99. The wine is made with fruit sourced from both the Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits, hand-harvested and cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks.

Whether the wine delivers or not depends entirely upon your expectations. I've been watching Anthony Bourdain in Burgundy all week, so I'm in a rather romantic state of mind.  I'd been craving a red Burgundy with typicity and an earthy backbone. This wine needs decanting, but the quality for the pricepoint is unmatched.  Nicolas Potel has a history of delivering fantastic wine for the price, so when I search for a glass to accompany my meek table fare for the occasional Tuesday night meal, it's nice to know I won't pay too much out of pocket.

For those interested in exploring the everyday values of Burgundy, wines meant for drinking young during the week, I can't think of a better choice. I'm in for a few bottles, no doubt.

-David Driscoll

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