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2000 Labégorce, Margaux $39.99

A great value in Bordeaux! This bottle is mature enough to drink now, but has time in hand if you want to keep it in the cellar for the future. We love it for its laid back elegance and classic balance. A must try for your next nice steak dinner.

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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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Entries in Burgundy (39)

Monday
Jun212010

What We're Drinking

It was a busy drinking weekend for the staff at K&L. Here's just a smattering of what we imbibed and where.

Keith Wollenberg, K&L's Burgundy buyer just wound up a trip to Chablis on Saturday, and it sounds like the visit ended on a high note:

Saturday, June 19th at Hostellerie des Clos, Chablis

1996 Domaine René & Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons" Initially very square on the palate, it opend up to show classic wet stone and oyster shell notes with crisp acidity and just a touch of honey. Still very youthful, and a terrific match with shellfish and then some seared white fish and baby spring vegetables.

2000 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 1er Cru "Clos des Chenes" Lovely and very "Pinot" in character, with a bit of minerality and very fine tannins. Open and lovely with Charolais beef rib steak in a Pinot Noir reduction. Terrific Volnay, perfumed aromatic and long on the palate.

Sunday, June 20th at home on the patio in California

2007 Domaine Ramonet Bourgogne Aligoté ($23.99) This wine's lovely acidity is counterbalanced by a bit of Cote d'Or richness and a hint of oak. A refreshing and rich white Burgundy that I drank to accompany a big tossed green salad with scampi grilled with pepper and lemon, while sitting in the sun trying to figure out what time of day it really was after 17 hours in transit by car and plane.

 

Trey Beffa, K&L's VP and domestic wine buyer in Los Angeles, had a fun-filled weekend starting with a closing bash at Grace in Los Angeles on Saturday night. (The restaurant will reopen next year downtown). He started with the 1996 Arnauld Ente 1er Cru Volnay "Les Santenots de Milieu" "The wine was okay, with ripe upfront fruit. Earthy in the back, but a bit simple. I've been opening a few '96 Burgundies lately and have not been happy. I might get rid of them all. I wish I bought more '99s.

1995 Clerico "Arte" "This wine was delicious, with sweet black fruit and a spicy, long finish. The Arte is a blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera that's barrel aged. All in all, Italy beat France on Friday.

On Sunday, it was Stella Artois and Don Julio Silver Tequila at the House of Blues with Ozzy Osbourne. It was pretty cool seeing him perform in a 1,000-person venue. More Advil needed this morning than on Sunday morning."

 

I had a pretty mellow weekend overall, heading to down to visit some friends in Orange County on Friday night with my hubby. I brought along a bottle of the 2008 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Bourgogne Côte d'Auxerre Rosé ($11.99), which matched nicely with the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus apetizers my friend served, as well as the sumptuous salmon with dried cranberries and pistachios. I could have drank this all night. 

For Father's Day we opened the bottle of 1991 Palmer, Margaux ($189.99) that we gave my dad for his birthday last week. We served it with grilled lamb chops dusted with herbs d'Provence, asparagus and baby red, purple and sweet potatoes. The wine was phenomenal, darkening in color with air. It started off with a a meaty, curranty nose, which gave way to plummy fruit, blackberries, smoke and graphite. The tannins were totally resolved and the wine was just seamless! Oh, and my dad liked it too.

 

David Othenin-Girard, L.A.'s spirits buyer, drank one of my favorite beers over the weekend, the Jolly Pumpkin "Bam Biere" Farmhouse Ale (750ml $9.99). David says, "This brew from the boys in Michigan tasted like tangerine soda. The sour element goes really citrusy, it's very easy to drink but full flavored. This is definitely for the adventurous. Loved it."

 

Keith Mabry, Assistant Manager at K&L Hollywood: 

Friday night was Oyster night.  A friend picked up oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.  Local oysters from down near San Diego that are bright and plump with a slight grassy note.  After shucking them, he prepared them two ways.  We had raw oysters with a light squeeze of lemon and a slight dusting of fresh cracked pepper.  Then Oysters Rockefeller.  A sliver of fried bacon in the bottom of the shell, the oyster on top of that, a drizzle of hollandaise and fresh buttermilk bread crumbs then under the broiler for 3 minutes.  Pure heaven. I opened two wines that night.  First we drank the 2008 Domaine Gerard Tremblay Chablis "Vieilles Vignes" ($18.99), which was showing beautifully.  It had pear fruit and wonderful mineral notes.  This is the third time I have had this wine and I want to keep going back for more.  The second wine was the 2003 Brokenwood "ILR" Semillon from Hunter Valley ($37.99).  If you have never had aged Semillon from Hunter, you must try it.  It has a vibrant lemongrass quality and as they age they pick up richer nuances. This wine was still youthful and needed about 20 minutes to start showing its best stuff.  This is what the Aussies drink with their oysters and we should too.

I was at another friend’s house on Sunday for a HUGE start of summer rosé party.  We had about 25 different rosés, including bubbles.  Standouts include: 

2009 Adegas Cooperativos de Moncao "Muralhas" Rosé Vinho Verde ($11.99) Slightly bubbly, sweet fruit, like fresh cut cantaloupe with a soft breeze of raspberry.  Hot weather here we come! 

2009 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé ($29.99) One of the stars of summer.  A richly flavored wine of great complexity.  Still deftly balanced and not cloying.  Can’t wait to see how this develops over the year.

2008 Chateau Simone Palette Rosé  Dense texture and vibrant notes of anise, cinnamon, cherries and wet stones.  Longest finish and highest price.  A stunner in my book.

Bruno Michel "Les Rose" Brut Rosé Champagne ($49.99) Like drinking a Gevrey-Chambertin with bubbles.  Not your average Champagne, but fascinating.

Food was provided by the World Fare bustaurant.  Curried chicken and the braised short ribs were stars, but no one will ever forget the truffled macaroni and cheese balls.  Be on the lookout for one of the best food trucks I have yet visited in LA.

Hollywood's Chris Miller was also at the rosé party. Here's what he remembered: 

Went to a rosé party last night where there were dozens of still and sparkling rosés to try.  Despite my best efforts, probably only got to about 15 or so (remember, this is a party, not a "tasting." Spitting be damned!)  Two standouts were the very lovely Domaine de la Petite Marie Bourgueil Rosé ($15.99), which was spicy, balanced and super delicious.  And our own Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé (32.99).  Super fruity, but lots of lip-smacking, refreshing acidity.  Both wines are steals at $14 and $33 respectively.  Then a shot of Averna, as there was no Fernet.  You know you're in L.A. and not SF when THAT'S the case.

 

Leah Greenstein

Friday
Jun112010

Getting to Know: Shaun Green

Shaun Green: K&L's Master of EverythingWhat’s your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?

I work in our customer service department, wine sales, accounting, IT, you name it I've probably been asked to do it.  It keeps my day exciting.

What did you do before K&L?

I started carrying out boxes in High School for K&L, so I’ve always been connected to the company.

What do you do in your spare time?

Outside the wine world, I love gardening and we regularly attend the magnificent SF Symphony, Opera and Ballet.

What was your "epiphany wine"—the bottle or glass that got you interested in wine? Is there a current wine that you consider the equivalent?

I would say it was more of an epiphany vintage... I tasted the young wines of the 1981 Bordeaux vintage and was completely perplexed. It sparked my imagination wondering how these brash wines could ever taste good. And it started my asking questions, lots and lots of questions of Ralph, Clyde, and Kevin (my then manager). It's a credit to their character that they still talk to me!

Describe your perfect meal. What wine(s) would you pair with it?

Starts with Champagne, Comtes de Champagne would be fine, and smoked fish…followed by a White Burgundy and a mature Red Burgundy (Keith would pick them for me) and a ’61 Chateau Latour with grilled lamb and roast vegetables. Most importantly it should be a huge dinner with plenty of friends and last way too long into the night. 

How do you think your palate’s changed over the years?

I've become more and more fascinated with the fine evolution of older wines, and less excited by exaggerated and massive wines. Elegance and finesse have become much more important to me.  I want my wines to be poetic and thought provoking.

What do you like to drink?

Champagne (lots of Gary's finds from Europe) and whatever is my current obsession. At the moment it's Burgundy and Sauvignon Blanc. 

What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

Taste all you can, ask questions, and listen to all those who have been around a while.

Tuesday
Feb092010

Trey's Blog: 2007 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC)

The 2007 DRC Line-Up...There is something quite nice about being handed a glass of Champagne at 8:30 in the morning. It really helps get the palate going and wakes up the senses (at least for a little while). That’s how I started my day on Monday (February 8th) at the Pennisula Hotel in Beverly Hills when Aubert de Villaine was in town to present the 2007 vintage of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. I have been to several of these tastings and I have to admit, for me it is a nice change of pace. Literally. Usually I run though wines quickly, trying to get as much as I can out of them in as little time as possible. At this tasting, the seven wines were tasted side-by-side, and slowly over the course of an hour, with Mr. Villaine discussing the characteristics of the vintage and each wine in detail. Rather than drinking to decide whether we would take our allocation—that is kind of a given—the tasting gave me an overall impression of these wines and of the vintage in Burgundy as a whole.

The 2007s showed exceptionally well. It is a forward, elegant vintage that should not be described as “classic;” that term seems to be used for harder, more rustic wines such as 1996. The wines will show well upon release and should develop nicely over the next 10-15 years. Picking began on September 1st—very early. Usually when a harvest begins this early the wines are very high in alcohol, as in 2003. Monsieur Villaine said he had never seen a vintage picked so early where the wines showed so much elegance. Alcohol levels all remain in the 12.5 -13% range. This is partially because the flowering started in the extremely warm month of April. The most successful wines in 2007 will be the wines where winemakers recognized the elegance of the vintage and did not try to over-extract.

2007 DRC “Echezeaux” – Seemed a bit disjointed; a bit closed; this is a very good wine, but it has yet to come together.

2007 DRC “Grands Echezeaux” – More together than the first wine; silky fruit in the mid-palate but a bit short on the finish. Wonderful aromas.

2007 DRC “Romanée St-Vivant” – Bright red fruits, spicy, very delicate and sweet. Straightforward and balanced. Lovely wine.

2007 DRC “Richebourg” – Exotic nose, fresh, bright, silky texture, tons of sweet red fruits, spice and a hint of sweet herbs on the finish, which should develop with bottle age. Always one of my favorites.

2007 DRC “La Tache” – The La Tache is always my favorite of the bunch. Much more powerful and darker then the rest, this wine shows hints of tobacco, spice, earthy undertones and exceptional concentration. If I was to buy one wine to drink within 10 years this would be it.

2007 DRC “Romanée-Conti” – A more difficult wine to understand young. Delicate, sweet and slightly green, this wine is the most complex of the bunch. It is elegant and understated. Mr. Villaine says that that green characteristic is usually present when young, but with age those flavors develop into the wine. He says that when the La Tache is at its best, this wine will just be beginning to show its potential.

2007 DRC “Montrachet” – Hard not to love this wine young! Layered, creamy and concentrated, it has wonderful acidity and focus. It will age very well. Very different from the 2003, which was a fatter, richer style.

Mr. Villaine did talk a bit about the upcoming Corton project from vines they have recently acquired. The first vintage will be 2009, though he is still not sure if the wines will fall into the Romanée-Conti label or not. Still too early to tell; the quality of the wine will determine that. As for the progress, he is very happy.

Trey Beffa

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