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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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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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Friday
Nov012013

Collecting Champagne #1: Getting Started

A peak into my wine locker- safely located away from home!

The hardest thing about collecting Champagne is getting started. Champagne almost always is aged long enough by the producer to be quite delicious on release- and thus a temptation to anyone starting a collection. For my own collection of Champagne, I used three strategies to help get my stash started:

1. I buy two more bottles a month than I drink. I know- that sounds so simple it is almost silly, but when you execute this plan, you will accumulate 24 bottles, or two cases of Champagne a year. In ten years that is 20 cases… This is all you need to do to create a space problem for yourself in your cellar. If you start this November, make sure you still have two bottles at the start of December, and four on New Year’s Day!

2. Most of the time, I buy those two extra bottles in the form of one magnum. Magnums, as I have discussed at length here, age even better than 750’s, and because they are bigger, require more of an occasion (like three Champagne lovers getting together) than regular bottles. Jeroboams are great on occasion as well, but be careful about buying anything over three liters for long term storage, they might not be bottle fermented!

3. I use off-site storage for the Champagne I want to age. I am only human, and this stuff tastes mighty good on release, so having a wine locker three and a half miles from my Champagne glasses helps me to keep the corks in them. I also make sure that I have plenty of Champagne around to drink!!!

Top vintage Champagne is nearly eternal when well stored.

Any good quality non-vintage Champagne will improve unambiguously for five years in good storage conditions. Just make sure to mark the bottles of non-vintage Champagne so that you know how long you have had it. This will help you keep your hands off in the short term, and remind you to drink up years from now. Top vintage Champagne is capable of outliving people, so it is a real good bet for your cellar. I’ll cover vintages to consider in another installment, or feel free to reach out to me at garywestby@klwines.com if you would like to get started! –A toast to you!

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