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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.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Entries in Central Coast (9)

Tuesday
Sep022014

The New Talbott

Dan Karlsen and Mark Cutino of Talbott Vineyards

Things have changed at the well-known Talbott winery. You have probably tasted their wines and know the label, but the truth is that the most recognizable name in the Santa Lucia Highlands had been in financial decline for a while. Even though the family owned one of the most legendary vineyards in the appellation, their wines had developed a reputation for being over oaked and over done, with confusing labels and no sense of style, appellation, or direction. For years bad bookkeeping and a bad reputation kept this winery from consistently gaining market share.

Enter Dan Karlsen, Talbott's new winemaker, whose job today was to present us the new Talbott: a winery dedicated to the finest estate wines their esteemed "Sleepy Hollow" vineyard could produce.  If it's been a while since you tried a Talbott Chardonnay, you should give them a second glance.  Everything has changed, and their new wines are bright and nuanced--quintessential cool weather wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands.

Karlsen, whose resumé includes winemaking for such legendary brands as Chalone, Joseph Swan, Domaine Carneros and Dehlinger, is dedicated to showcasing the potential of his appellation and revitalizing the Talbott name. As GM and winemaker, he has been given complete authority to take Talbott in a different and better direction. All of their wines are now estate and labeled as such, with the ‘Talbott’ name proudly displayed on every bottle. They no longer sell any fruit from the sought after Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, instead using all of its fruit for their own wines. Staunchly opposed to the problems inherent with cork, he bottles all Talbott wines with screwtops. New and better presses, new and better tanks, new and better vineyard practices, everything at Talbott is new and better! Long time fans of Talbott need not despair: he still believes in the lush and vibrant fruit Talbott has always been known for. These new wines, however, are not afraid of the natural acid and crisp edge of the cooler Santa Lucia Highlands, and he does not want to hide the balance and finesse of these estate wines behind too much new oak.

While we enjoyed the spicy and bright new style of their single vineyard Pinots, I still think it's the Chardonnays that set this winery apart. Their 2012 "Kali Hart" Chardonnay ($15.99), named after the owner's daughter, is now all estate and mostly stainless steel with a little barrel contact. It is refreshingly lean and delicious, with bright pear and lychee flavors and a long lasting finesse that is almost unrivaled in the $15 domestic Chardonnay category. Their 2013 "Logan" Chardonnay ($16.99) is one of the best deals out there: 100% Sleepy Hollow Vineyard fruit for less than $20, with more fig and vanilla spice under its acidic backbone.  The 2012 "Estate" ($32.99) is the king of them all, the best that the vineyard has to offer, with lush apple, white flower, lychee and almond flavors that leave a long impression on the palate. These are serious white wines from a serious vineyard--exactly what this property always deserved.  An allegory for domestic Chardonnay in general--they have moved from a flabby and outdated expression of this popular grape to a style that better expresses the full potential of their vineyard and their AVA.  If you love Chardonnay, you owe it to yourself to give these wines another try and fall in love all over again.

 Mike Barber

Wednesday
Aug272014

Home Away From Home

Our home away from home. Thank you Talbott Vineyards.

Wednesday
Aug272014

Super Sparkling Wine from Santa Lucia Highlands

Nicely positioned in upscale Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County is the tasting bar for Caraccioli Cellars. This family-run company has been making fantastic sparkling wines since 2006. One of the things that really sets them apart from other domestic sparkling wine houses is their commitment to vintage bottling everything bubbly, and releasing the newest vintage six years after bottling. For example, their current release is their 2008 Brut Cuvée. Their approach is admirable, if not somewhat daring and ambitious for a brand new enterprise. The Caraccioli family has a long history in the agriculture industry, but only lately has jumped into winemaking. With the help of winemaker Michel Salgues, who was long tenured at Roederer Estate, they are getting off to a great start. 
Scott Caraccioli was kind enough to meet with us for a tasting of his family's wines. They currently offer two still wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with everything coming from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Those wines were well made and sold at a good price, but where Caraccioli Cellars really shines is in sparkling wine. We were fortunate to try all three existing vintages for their Brut Cuvée. Each vintage consists of 60% Chardonny and 40% Pinot Noir that also comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands. There are 2,500 cases of these vintage-dated bubblies made a year, and they are held for a minimum of six years before being released for sale. 
The 2008 Brut had a nice richness to it, with brioche, nectarine, peach and ripe stone fruit notes. It was a little more yeasty than the older bottlings, and a little drier than the 2007. The 2007 Brut had higher acid and deeper, more integrated flavors. The 2006 was a real treat for me. It was more honeyed and fine than the other two vintages. Very expressive and nuanced. It truly made us believers in Caracciolis ability to make age-worthy wines. They pretty much nailed it in their first official bottling. We're all eager to see how these bottles develop over time. We're even more eager to see Caraccioli on our shelves again. Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of their bottlings to arrive in the shops soon. 
Patrick Cu