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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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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.

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Entries in Big Basin Vineyards (3)

Monday
Sep152014

Big Basin Vineyard

Most of the K&L crew tasting with our host, Matt Ryan

It is difficult to hop from winery to winery e in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but those willing to brave steep dirt roads, 2,500 foot elevation climbs and winding mountainous terrain will find themselves in a fascinating appellation filled with high quality wines. The soil types here are some of the most diverse in California, with the San Andreas fault cutting right through the middle of the mountain appellation (you can see the fault rift right below Ridge’s Monte Bello Vineyard). The grinding of the tectonic plates is what created this area and gives Santa Cruz’s steep mountain vineyard slopes a rocky soil diversity filled with decomposed granite, limestone, schist and shale. The soil produces grapes of unique spice and intensity, and the vineyards’ high elevation keeps the grapes cool. It's the perfect recipe for world class viticulture, and this AVA has some of the most renowned Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir around.  Thanks to Big Basin vineyards, Santa Cruz is also home to some of California's best Syrah.

As we were driving through this AVA (our cars covered in dust, our tires squeeling around tight turns and on large rocks, our traction slipping as we climbed steep mountain roads) I couldn't help but think about the insanity/tenacity of the people who first planted vines here about 150 years ago. Lincoln's homestead act of 1862 gave settlers the ability to own land in the west if they cultivated it for use. This inspired French pioneers to haul everything they needed up to the tops of these mountains, painstakingly clear away sloped fields of ancient trees, and plant the first vines of Santa Cruz.  Big Basin’s vineyard is a six-acre lot surrounded by redwoods and thick forest right next to Big Basin State Park.  First cleared and planted in the late 1800s, it was purchased by owner Bradley Brown in 1998 and planted entirely to Rhone varietals. 

A fantastic lineup of wines from Big Basin Vineyards

Thankfully, we didn't have to drive all the way down into Big Basin to taste these wines. They have a great tasting room in downtown Saratoga, along with several other wineries, and I suggest stopping by their room as a great start to your Santa Cruz Mountains tasting experience. While the Pinots they make from various vineyards are bright and delicious, including the Big Basin Vineyards "Alfaro Family Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir ($44.99),  their real success is their Syrahs. Brad learned winemaking from Alban, and he took budwood from Alban to plant his vineyard: the only one in Santa Cruz planted 100% to Rhone varietals.  Their 2010 "Old Corral Block" Estate Syrah ($49.99) is dark and brooding, dominating the palate with dark earth and pepper.  This is real deal, big, structured Syrah with loads of tobacco, blackberry and beef stew flavors. The 2010 "Rattlesnake Ridge Block" Estate Syrah  is my personal favorite and a little more user friendly: with those gamey and peppery flavors softened by lush flavors of cassis and cherry.  Their 2009 "Frenchie's Ranch" Syrah is probably one of the best Syrahs in the country: a four barrel vineyard selection packed with dense cassis, strawberry, cedar, pepper and leather, with a big finish of mole and chili. Sadly, you can't get it from us; this wine is tasting room only!

The 2011 Big Basin Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($38.99) is a one-time bottling and worth a taste.

Michael Barber

Tuesday
Jun252013

Pinot Days Tastings This Saturday at K&L Nor Cal Locations!

Join us this Saturday 6/29 for Pinot Days tastings at K&L Redwood City and San Francisco, and a special honorary Pinot Noir Tasting in Hollywood!

This Saturday June 29th it's all about Pinot Noir at K&L!

To kick off the annual Pinot Days San Francisco Festival taking place at Fort Mason in San Francisco Sunday June 30th, we're hosting special Pinot Days tastings in our Northern California locations and an honorary Pinot Noir tasting in Hollywood on Saturday.

During the three hour Pinot Days tasting at K&L SF and RWC, attendees will have the opportunity to taste wines from a selection of our favorite Pinot producers while rubbing elbows with the winery owners and winemakers who craft the wines. In addition, if you purchase $300 of four attending producers' Pinots from K&L, Pinot Days will provide you two complimentary tickets to the Grand Festival on Sunday (a $150 value!). Join us for this unique opportunity to taste and meet with winemakers in an intimate setting.

Purchase your advance tickets for the Nor Cal tastings now!

 

K&L San Francisco Pinot Days Tasting 

Featuring: Banshee, Freeman, Domaine Serene, & Siduri 

Saturday 6/29 from 12pm-3pm | $20

Advance Tix: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1131274

 

K&L Redwood City Pinot Days Tasting

Featuring: La Fenêtre, Testarossa, Big Basin, Bailiwick 

Saturday 6/29 from 1pm-4pm | $20

Advance Tix: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1131276

 

We will also be hosting a Pinot Noir Tasting at K&L Hollywood.  No advance purchase required - come stop by and taste! http://www.klwines.com/local_events.asp#5

 

Tuesday
Jan292013

Behind the Wine: Big Basin Vineyards Tasting this Friday!

Join us in Redwood City this Friday, February 1st from 5pm-6:30pm, for a special tasting featuring the wines of local family owned and operated Santa Cruz Mountain producer Big Basin Vineyards. We've been a fan of these hand-crafted, expressive wines for some time, and are excited to invite you down to our tasting room to taste and meet the folks behind the wine. Even if you can't make the tasting, you can still go behind the scenes and check out this short video with winemaker and proprietor Bradley Brown, above.

Excited to taste the wines? We are! Here's a sneak peak at Friday's lineup:

2009 Big Basin Vineyards "Alfaro Family Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir ($39.99)

2009 Big Basin Vineyards "Lester Family Vineyard" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir ($42.99)

2010 Big Basin Vineyards "Paderewski Vineyard " Paso Robles Rhone Blend $64.99

2010 Big Basin Vineyards "Homestead" Santa Cruz/Monterey Red Blend ($35.99)

2008 Big Basin Vineyards "Coastview Vineyard" Monterey Syrah ($47.99)

Cost to taste: $10  details 

More About Big Basin Vineyards 

A bird's eye view of the Big Basin Estate Vineyard.

Big Basin Vineyards is located at the geographic center of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Their Estate Vineyard is Certified Organic, and is the only vineyard in the AVA planted entirely to Rhone varietals (Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne and Viognier).

Their second largest vineyard source, the Coastview Vineyard (below), is located 6 miles due south of Calera’s Mount Harlan at the same elevation (2,200 -2,400 ft), with nearly identical soils (decomposed granite and limestone). They also source fruit for their three single vineyard Pinots from the cool Corralitos region at the southern tip of the Santa Cruz Mountains, 3-4 miles from Monterey Bay. Lastly, they also source fruit for their single vineyard GSM blend from Epoch Estate’s Paderewski Vineyard (a Justin Smith project) on the Westside of Paso Robles.

Coastview Vineyard Big Basin specializes in Syrahs, Rhone inspired blends and single vineyard Pinot Noirs that have consistently garnered high praise from some of the most notable wine critics. In the August 2012 issue of Robert Parker Jr’s Wine Advocate, Antonio Galloni had this to say: “I tasted a bevy of gorgeous wines with proprietor Bradley Brown this year. These new and upcoming releases are impeccable and strongly suggest Brown is one of the up and coming stars of the region.” 

Rattlesnake Rock Vineyard.From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: “From the famed Bordeaux influenced reds produced at Ridge and other nearby estates to the extraordinary, age worthy Chardonnays and Pinots of Mount Eden, to the younger wineries like Rhys, Varner and Big Basin, there is no doubt in my mind the Santa Cruz Mountains is the single most exciting place to visit in California. No other region offers the same mix of history, innovation and what appears to be virtually unlimited potential. To be sure, these hillside sites are capricious and hard to work with. But they are also capable of producing riveting, emotional, world-class wines." – Antonio Galloni

We hope to see you at Friday's tasting! And if you're ever in downtown Saratoga, be sure to stop in and visit Big Basin's tasting room, on Big Basin Way.  Cheers!