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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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Entries in Chablis (6)

Tuesday
Jan032012

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Fabulous Chablis in Stock!

By: Keith Wollenberg

K&L Burgundy Buyer

 

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

Happy New Year to you all! 

Lots of folks think of red wines and port this time of year.  But oysters are in season and delicious, and Dungeness Crab is on everyone’s mind on the West Coast.  And for both of these delicacies, my preference is a crisp Chablis, with that bracing acidity and minerality that is the hallmark of this cool-climate, Kimmeridgian soil based terroir.

And one of the masters in Chablis is Christian Moreau.  We have a number of his wines to offer, but all in limited quantities, as always. 

These wines are in-stock and available on the web at www.klwines.com or by calling 800-247-5987. 

2009 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis $22.99 

Outstanding Top value from Allen Meadows: "A green fruit and tidal pool nose also evidences a hint of grassiness that can also be found on the fresh, intense and punchy middle weight flavors that display a hint of minerality on the saline and tension suffused finish. This is excellent and while a bit riper than the '08 version, is still very much Chablis in character." (Burghound 10/10) 


2009 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis 1er Cru "Vaillons"   $34.99

92 Points in Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chablis Vaillons is a round, textured wine that impresses for its harmony and sense of proportion. Sweet, open aromatics meld into a generous core of yellow stone fruits. Hints of smoke and crushed rocks add further nuance on the pliant mid-palate and finish. This is quite suave and elegant throughout. It should drink well right out of the gate. Approximately 35% of the wine was aged in oak. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019." Allen Meadows writes: "A typical Vaillons nose of spice, floral and citrus aromas l... Read More »  RP 92 BH 88-  91 ST 89


2009 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru "Valmur"   : $61.99

91-93 points and a "Don't Miss!" from Allen Meadows: "A less forthcoming but similar nose marries into richer yet more detailed middle weight flavors that are admirably fresh and pure before culminating in a palate staining, balanced and driving finish of striking length. This should make for a really lovely wine in a few years." (Burghound, 10/10) 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chablis Valmur emerges from the glass with tiny bursts of energy and vibrancy. This is a minimalist, understated wine graced with tremendous classiness from s... Read More »  BH 91-  93 RP 92 ST 92


2009 Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Grand Cru "Les Clos"   : $64.99

91-94 points and "Don't Miss!" from Allen Meadows: " Moderate wood influence that should integrate quickly still allows the white flower, spiced pear and citrus-infused aromas to shine. The rich, full and serious flavors possess excellent concentration as well as ample amounts of the hallmark minerality on the detailed, energetic and explosive finish." (Burghound 10/10) 93 points Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chablis Les Clos is fabulous. This seamless wine caresses the palate from start to finish, with fine, silky tannins that support layers of se... Read More »  92 Points Tanzer

A santé,

-Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com

 

Friday
Nov112011

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Dungeness Crab, Chablis, the world is good.

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

Another container just landed, with some wines I have been waiting impatiently for.  They are a range of superb Chablis from Jean-Claude Bessin.  He has not had a West Coast Importer, until I talked him into selling us a few cases.  Before he would sell me any wine he wanted to know who I worked with in Chablis, about our stores, what I knew about Chablis, etc. etc.  It was a challenging and rewarding visit.

Our supplies are limited, and these should go quickly, once people taste the wines.  You know I am not prone to hyperbole, but tasting in his cellar last summer was a highpoint of my trip. These are wines of Raveneau or Dauvissat quality.  He works by hand, with no machine harvesting, no herbicides, no pesticides and  use of cover crops. 

Let me make 2 bold predictions:

1)      You WILL NOT be sorry to have these brilliant wines in  your cellar and on hand when crab season starts.

2)      You WILL be sorry later if you miss these wines.  I bought some bottles for my own cellar before I sent out this email.  ‘Nuff said.

Here is what Jean-Claude has to say about his domaine (From an interview in our November newsletter, translated from the French by yours truly)

 

How would you describe your winemaking philosophy?

“The Art of the Vines”:  To be guided by nature.

“The art of Winemaking”: Simplicity.

 

What wines or winemakers helped influence your philosophy?

No one particular wine or winemaker.  We apply all the traditional methods, which we adapt and change according to our sensibilities, staying in tune with nature.

 

How involved in grape-growing are you? Is there a particular vineyard site that excites you year after year?

I am 100% involved in grape-growing, as wine is made in the vineyard.  Each of my vineyard sites reveals its secrets over the years as I work with it in successive vintages.

 

How do you think your palate has evolved over the years? How do you think that has influenced your wines?

The purity of our wines has always been a priority.  When I was younger, I liked wines which were perfumed, with richness and roundness, but today I prefer elegance, finesse and personality in wine.  I leave it to you to taste my wines and tell me how this change has influenced my winemaking!

 

What kinds of food do you like to pair your wines with?

Sashimi of Scallops, Wild Sea Bass ...

 

What changes are planned for coming vintages? Any new (top secret) varietals, blends or proprietary wines on the horizon?

We intend no grand changes, just to continue to work with, and listen to, each vineyard site.

 

Is there a style of wine that you think appeals to critics that might not represent your personal favorite style? How do you deal with it?

No comment.

 

What do you drink when you are not drinking your own wine?

All the good wines!

 

Do you collect wine? If so, what’s in your cellar?

Burgundies, of course, but also the wines of the Loire Valley, Rhone Valley and other regions.

 

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing the wine industry today?

I will not venture an opinion on this subject.  I consider myself a craftsman, and feel that the greatest challenge facing small growers (such as I am) is to remain artisanal.

 

These wines are in stock in all locations, and available on  the web  or by phone, while they last. 

 

2009 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis "Vieilles Vignes"   $19.99

100% Hand-harvested, all wild yeast fermentations, and a full 18 months of élevage. Reserved with lots of concentration. Made from 45-55 year old vines. Nice minerality, with a bit of floral notes on the nose. Very nice weight on the mid-palate from the old-vine concentration. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/11) Allen Meadows writes: "A pretty nose of modest Chablis character also features notes of pear, white peach and apricot that lead to rich, generous and relatively full-bodied flavors that possess a seductive texture on the delicious... Read More » 


2009 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis 1er Cu "Montmains" $24.99

Very lovely character, with clean, focused fruit and nice minerality threaded behind it. This is very good. It sees some (not much) neutral wood in its élevage. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/11) Allen Meadows scores this 90 points and writes:"A fresh, elegant and floral nose is nuanced by hints of stone, spice and green fruit that merges into middle weight flavors that possess good richness but also good detail, all wrapped in a delicious, balanced and solidly complex finish." (Burghound, 10/11) 


2009 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis 1er Cu "La Fôret"    $26.99

This I thought was truly terrific Chablis, with very, very pretty fruit and wonderful concentration on the palate. Absolutely singing at this juncture. Notes of honey combine beautifully with the minerality here. Has that characteristic of the acidity that makes you r mouth water, quite literally. As Jean-Claude told me: "This terroir typically has lots of freshness and tension, from the limestone rocks in the soil here." " (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/11) Allen Meadows calls this "Outstanding", scores it 91, and writes:"This is a bit f... Read More » 


2009 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis 1er Cu "Fourchaume"   $26.99

From several parcels, in the heart of Fourchaume and one in Homme Mort. Open and pretty in character, with lovely floral notes and a rather round character on the palate for a young Chablis. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/11) Allen Meadows Scores it 91 and writes: "(from a 2 ha parcel in Fourchaume with a small portion in L'Homme Mort). This also displays white orchard fruit aromas with hints of exoticism but here there is more of a floral influence that slides gracefully into rich and big-bodied flavors that possess fine depth and length, ... Read More » 


2009 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis 1er Cu "Fourchaume" "La Pièce au Comte"   $31.99

This is Jean-Claude's oldest vines, aged 58-78 years old. It is very, very elegant on the palate with more extract and focus. It also shows terrific poise and energy. Lots of little tine white flowers on the nose, with pronounced minerality and a more powerful finish. Terrific! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/11) Allen Meadows calls this Outstanding!, scores it 92 and writes: "(Bessin explains that this is essentially the old vines Fourchaume). This appears to have better integration of the wood than is typical at this early stage with a s... Read More » 


2009 Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis Grand Cru "Valmur"   $49.95

Ok, folks, hold your hats. This is the most concentrated, high-energy 2009 I tasted on my March trip. It comes from the Domaine's oldest vines (more than 80 years, but no one knows how old they actually are!) Lots of energy, lots of tension, more size than any of the 1er Crus, terrific concentration. In a word, superb! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer) Allen Meadows scores this 93, awards a "Sweet Spot" and notes: "A visible if discreet touch of wood allows free rein to the green fruit and spiced pear aromas that complement the rich, serious and... Read More » 

 

A Santé, and enjoy Dungeness crab season, if you are in the right part of the country. 

-Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com

 

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

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