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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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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 Cabernet Sauvignon (27)

Monday
Oct152012

Introducing the Champions of the Blind Chardonnay & Cabernet Tasting Challenge!

The candidates were chosen, running mates too. Opinion polls are silent, votes are in and counted. Two unlikely winners have emerged...


By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

In the world of wine, if Cab is King, Chardonnay must be his Queen. When putting together the recent flights of blind tastings we tried to include a variety of styles and price points from all over the globe to represent the truly international dominance of these grapes. We had some obscure dark horses and some out and out favorites. But when the old brown bag comes into the picture the playing field is leveled and reputations dashed.

We started with ten Chardonnays the Blind Chardonnay Tasting last Friday night in Redwood City, followed by eleven Cabernets on Saturday afternoon. Attendants to each tasting were asked to taste through the blind lineup and cast a single vote for their favorite wine. After voting, they received the wine legend.  

Queue a lot of swirling, slurping and head scratching! Some people confidently scribbled down notes, country, region even producer, while others professed themselves completely baffled, taking only random stabs at price point and nation.

When all was said and done I was pleasantly surprised by the results, as were many of the participants.

Your 2012 blind Chardonnay Tasting Champion (drum roll please….)

2010 Craggy Range “Kidnapper's Vineyard” Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand $16.99

And your King of Cabernet :

2009 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia $29.99

Back to back wins for NZ and Oz!

 

These two wines triumphed over some prestigious Napa wines, Premier Cru Burgundy and everything the rest of the world could muster, with some challengers at three times the price! Scroll down to check out the complete lineups for both tastings at the end of this article and you will see that the competition was serious.

Here is some info on our winners:

 

2011 Craggy Range "Kidnapper's Vineyard Chardonnay, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand ($16.99)

Craggy Range is one of New Zealand's leading producers that focuses on highly prestigious single vineyard wines that illustrate remarkble micro-climates around these spectacular islands. The Kidnapper's Vineyard is situated in Hawkes Bay, right up against the pacific ocean, on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island. The vineyard is named after the nearby Cape Kidnapper's, a headland that takes it's name from a dramatic abduction of one of Captain Cook's crew by indigenous Māori in 1792.

The vines grow literally a stones throw from the surf. This situe has a notable impact on the wines aromatics and flavor as this coastal proximity has imparted a distinct saline quality upon the wine. Most importantly the vineyard is cooled by brisk sea breezes keeping this wine bright and crisp with a nice zippy acidity. The grapes have a long hang time and this slow ripening allows excellent flavor develoment.

 
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In the winemaking process the Kidnapper's Chardonnay is lightly whole bunch pressed into neutral oak tanks for fermentation. 10% goes to new French Oak Puncheons (double size barrels that impart much less flavor). This chablis-like style of production compliments the vineyards cool, crisp, mineral and saline flavor profile. The restraint, balance and complexity of this wine really surpasses it's very modest price point. Here is a link to Craggy Range’s website for more info about this spectacular vineyard site and the winemaking process. Craggy Range's Kidnapper's Vineyard.

 

King of Cabs: 2009 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia $29.99

 The Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly historic wine. Vasse Felix was the first winery established in the now renowned Margaret River region of Western Australia. Planting vines in 1967 Vasse Felix has made this estate Cabernet every vintage since 1972 and continues as a leading family owned estate today. The fruit for this wine comes from the Wilyabrup sub-region known for producing world class cabernet. Vasse's neighbors include Cullen Estate and Moss Wood who make prolific Cab based wines themselves. You can see from the map below again the ocean plays a huge role in tempering the climate in Margaret River. This region gets pretty warm during the summer months but the frigid southern ocean is a constant factor cooling the winds and allowing greater flavor development and acid retention in the grapes.

 

 

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The 2009 Vasse Felix Cab shows archetypal Margaret River Cabernet characters. Concentrated black and blue fruits (think fresh blackberries and blueberries combined) with aromatic minty and subtle eucalyptus hints. With air the wine shows some thyme and cedar notes with dusty soil qualities. The wine is concentrated and powerful but without being over saturated or extracted. It has impeccable balance and a fine but persistent tannin structure.

Vasse Felix's Wilyabrup Vineyard

We hope you get a chance to try some of these winning wines, available now in our stores and on KLWines.com. Our blind tasting series has been a great success with lots of positive feedback from our customers, which means you can look forward to more blind tastings in the future! We invite you to come on down and attend the next one, or perhaps be inspired to stage a blind tasting of your own at home! You can follow us on Uncorked for updates and on Facebook and K&L Local Events for future listings and details.  

Cheers,

-Ryan

Blind Chardonnay Line Up:

1: 2010 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Blanc Dom. Yves Girardin, Burgundy, France $14.99

2: 2010 Craggy Range “Kidnappers Vineyard” Chardonnay, Hawkes bay, New Zealand $16.99

3: 2011 “Heggies” Chardonnay, Eden Valley, Australia $19.99

4: 2009 Dom. Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "Champs Gain" Burgundy, France $59.99

5: 2010 Clos Pepe “Barrel Fermented” Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, California $22.99

6: 2009 Brick House "Cascadia" Ribbon Ridge Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Oregon $32.99

7: 2010 Te Whare Ra Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand $24.99

8: 2010 Cakebread Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $34.99

9: 2008 Monteviejo "Lindaflor" Chardonnay Valle de Uco Mendoza $19.99 (was $30)

10: 2010 Daniel De Wet "Limestone Hill" Chardonnay Robertson, South Africa $15.99

 

Blind Cabernet Line Up:

1: 2009 Sapaio "Volpolo"Bolgheri, Italy $32.99

2: 2009 La Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien, Bordeaux, France $49.99

3: 2009 Fabre Montmayou Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina  $15.99

4: 2009 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia $29.99

5: 2010 Reyneke "Capstone" Red Bordeaux Blend, Stellenbosch, South Africa   $24.99

6: 2008 Attila Gere Cabernet Sauvignon, Villany, Hungary $21.99

7: 2001 Jean Leon Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva, Penedes, Spain $39.99

8: 2008 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington, USA $21.99

9: 2009 Kathryn Kennedy "Small Lot Cabernet", Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, USA $32.99

10: 2010 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, USA $69.99

11: 2009 Amici Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, USA $37.99 

 

 

 

Thursday
Oct112012

Take the K&L Blind Tasting Challenge This Weekend! 

Put your Palate to the Test!

Join us for our first-ever 2-day Blind Tasting Challenge, hosted by the expert staff at K&L in Redwood City. The Challenge includes the Blind Chardonnay Tasting on Friday 10/12 (5pm-6:30pm) and the Blind Cabernet Tasting on Saturday 10/13 (1pm-4pm). Attend both tastings and vote on your favorites! The lineups will be revealed after the tasting, and the most popular duo of Chardonnay and Cabernet will be featured the following week on Uncorked.

This is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of these two important varietals and their potential for incredible diversity in expression based on factors of terroir, climate, viticulture, and winemaking technique as you sharpen your blind tasting skills and learn from the pros. If you think you know Chard and Cab, think again...

All palates welcome! The main goal is to learn, taste, and have fun, and anyone is welcome to attend and share in these tastings, voting is optional. No RSVP required. Come on down!

 
K&L Redwood City Blind Chardonnay Tasting Friday October 12th (5pm-6:30pm) | $10  Details

K&L Redwood City Blind Cabernet Tasting Saturday October 13th (1pm-4pm) | $20  Details

May the best wine win!

Tuesday
Oct092012

Behind the Wine: 2009 Opus One Video with Winemaker Michael Silacci 

If Napa Valley had an Official Wine Classification of 1985 (a century after the famous 1885 Classification in Bordeaux), Opus One, the legendary joint venture between Robert Mondavi and the Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Bordeaux's Mouton-Rothschild, would most certainly have ranked among the elite. Launched in 1984 with the dual release of the 1979 and 1980 vintages, Opus One has been the standard-bearer of American ultra-premium wine for more than 30 years and continues to be highly sought after by wine collectors and enthusiasts around the world. Modeled on the tradition of its famous First Growth parent, it is always a proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec.

In this video, winemaker Michael Silacci tastes and comments on the 2009 Opus One. Watch the video and read on for links and information about the wine, in stock now at K&L!  

2009 Opus One Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine ($199) is now available at K&L.The 2009 Opus One Napa Valley ($199) is composed of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 1% Malbec.  The fruit comes from three meticulously managed vineyards in Napa Valley; it is all hand-sorted and moved gently, by gravity, from the destemmer to stainless steel fermenting tanks. And since there is only one Opus One, each fermentation tank is dedicated to a single lot, allowing the wine to develop at its own pace, drawing color and extracting beautiful flavor.

Notes on the 2009 Vintage from Opus One

After two consecutive rainless springs, Opus One's vineyards received almost six inches of rain in the spring of 2009. Cultivation and irrigation were adjusted to increase vine vigor and yield, striking a delicate balance in growing leaves adequate for photosynthesis but not so numerous as to mask fruit and over-emphasize herbal characters.  The vintage saw cool temperatures during bloom and maturation with two short heat spells in September. The harvest began on September 21st under clear blue skies and concluded on October 20th after a record rainfall for October—obliging round-the-clock work to an exhilarating finish.  

Bid on older vintages of Opus One online at K&L Auctions! Aromas of black olive and minerals underlie more traditional notes of dark chocolate, cola and espresso in the 2009 Opus One. The wine’s sleek, creamy entry is supported by crisp acidity and a polished, supple mouthfeel. Flavors of ripe blueberry, cassis and licorice emerge on the palate. This tautly elegant and age-worthy wine simultaneously offers a smooth finish and a slight grip of tannin at the close.

During fermentation and maceration, component lots received an average of 20 days of skin contact prior to 17 months of barrel aging in new French oak.  Judicious care and perfect growing conditions for Cabernet Franc resulted in a blend with the highest percentage of that varietal in the winery’s history. Bottled a year and a half prior to its release, the 2009 Opus One is comprised of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, and 1% Malbec."

Shop Opus One now on KLWines.com 

Look for the QR code on the back label of each bottle of Opus One and scan with a smart phone to view 2009 Opus One videos and tasting notes.

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