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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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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.  

 

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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Archives

Entries from February 1, 2007 - February 28, 2007

Wednesday
Feb282007

Pure Wine: On the Way to Angers

I write this on the eve of a trip to Champagne and the Loire Valley. Here in California it’s easy to take for granted the opportunity to visit wineries and see vineyards. But the value of firsthand contact can’t be understated. The history of France has left the country pock-marked with contradictions, and vignerons straddle the pull of history and the realities of the modern age. At Domaine J.B. Michel in Champagne, the vineyards are farmed using the philosophy of Biodynamics, a way of thinking that ironically harkens back to times before the Great War. From vineyards a couple miles from the Western Front on the Marne River, comes the Bruno Michel Blanche Brut ($29.99). The land speaks to us through the vines, and these fields tell the story of the tumultuous beginning of the modern age, thanks to the “alchemy” of Biodynamic farming. There’s a similar contradiction outside the city of Nantes, occupied by Germany in 1940 and liberated by the U.S. in 1944. Today Nantes is a French tech center; the encroaching sprawl of the city threatens the outlying vineyards of Muscadet, where growers are being paid to rip out their vines in order to make room for new subdivisions. Muscadet is viewed as a simple wine appropriate for oysters and little else, but the 2005 Domaine de la Pépière “Vieilles Vignes” Clos des Briords ($12.99) flies in the face of that thinking. It’s the product of naturally farmed fruit from old vines grown on granite-based soil. The wine is lively and full of intense mineral flavors. One wonders if the encroaching city is really “progress” or a threat to something pure and unique. Both of these wines give us the opportunity to experience the complex blend of the past and the future that make up our present day reality. —Paul Courtright

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Wednesday
Feb282007

Great Values from “el mundo latino”

2005 Bodegas Olivares Altos de la Hoya, Jumilla ($8.99) 91 points Stephen Tanzer: “Deep ruby. Ripe, powerful scents of blackberry, cassis and candied plum, with a bit of garnacha in the blend seeming to brighten the darker fruit character. Fat and lush, with deep, sweet blackcurrant and blackberry flavors and no rough edges. Finishes dense, fresh and long, with a repeating blackberry note...” 2004 Chryseia, Portugal ($49.99) The considerable winemaking talents of Bruno Prats (Cos d’Estournel) and Charles Symington (Warre, Dow, Grahams) are contained in this beautiful bottle of Douro red. This is a marriage of big “new world” type fruit and refined Bordeaux elegance. Those of you who liked the 2001 will love the 2004. Packed and compact, keep this wine in your cellar for a while. 2003 Escudo Rojo, Chile ($12.99) Baby Almaviva? This Rothschild venture shows all the power of the fine 2003 vintage. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, syrah, and cabernet franc, this has plenty of ripe new world fruit tempered with old world elegance. I like this wine with grilled meats like lamb or beef. 2004 Dominio del Plata, Crios Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina ($12.99) 88 points and a Smart Buy designation from the Wine Spectator: “Forward and juicy, with lots of raspberry and boysenberry flavor backed by toast and mineral hints. Fruit-filled finish. Drink now.” 2004 Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Mendoza, Argentina ($15.99) 90 points trom the Wine Spectator: “Great aromas of crushed blueberry and raspberry, with a juicy texture and well-integrated toast and mineral notes. Drink now through 2009.” Buen Provecho! —Anne Pickett

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Wednesday
Feb282007

Fit For a King

Close your eyes, imagine yourself in little village that goes by the name of Lhomme. Never heard of it? O.K. open your eyes, get a map of the Loire Valley. Find the city of Tours and head north about 40 miles. In this village resides the family of Eric Nicolas and his little organic winery known as Domaine de Belliviere. Two varietals are grown: chenin blanc and the grape that gave birth to chenin, pineau d’aunis. Pineau d’aunis, in case your forgot, is the ancient, indigenous red grape that tragically forgotten by so many. It is a tender little grape that gives unreliable yields but can make unique and intriguing wines. Unique and intriguing enough, in fact, that it was King Henry III of England’s favorite wine. Thanks to Domaine de Belliviere, it’s making a beautiful resurgence. A lighter style of red, it is full of peppery spice, finesse and a character that will open your mind. Planted in soils (clayey and siliceous clay with flint on tuffeau a.k.a. limestone) that are optimal for pineau d’anuis, The 2004 Domaine de Belliviere “Le Rouge-Gorge ($18.99) is meant to be enjoyed with food. I’ve had this wine going back many vintages and with an array of foods from sweet potato gnocchi in a rabbit ragu to a simple roast of pork and vegetables to the famous shaking beef from Slanted Door here in San Francisco. It works every single time! Maybe because this little red is not trying to be something it isn’t (like those pinot noirs trying to be syrahs). —Eric Story

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