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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Entries in Champagne (75)


Champagne Friday: Champagne in All Sizes!

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

One of the most frequent requests I get from customers here at K&L is for Champagne in non-standard sizes. This month in the newsletter, I wrote about the virtues of magnums, especially during the holidays when there are plenty of friends and family to share a glass with together. I thought it was time to do a feature on bottle sizes, and have a good presentation for you today, including all the crazy names and (much more importantly) the rules regarding whether they are fermented in the bottle or not.

Additionally, I have made a chart for you here on the various sizes:



Equivalent (in bottles)




1/4 bottle

Can be decanted



1/2 bottle

Must be bottle fermented




Must be bottle fermented


1.5 l


Must be bottle fermented


3 l


Must be bottle fermented


4.5 l


Can be decanted


6 l


Can be decanted


9 l


Can be decanted


12 l


Can be decanted


15 l


Can be decanted


Here is a smattering of bottles we have in-stock in the various sizes:

 Pommery "Pop" Rosé Champagne (187ml) at $12.99 makes a great stocking stuffer!In split, we have the Pommery "Pop" Rosé Champagne (187ml) at $12.99. This was designed to be drunk from a straw in nightclubs, and is all the rage with Parisian models. I have been trying to get more of them to shop here, but so far I have been happy that our regular customers have been buying them.

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne is available in 750ml, 1.5 L (Magnum), 6L (Methuselah), and 9L (Salmanazar)! In half bottles, the Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml) $27.99 is just the right size for a glass each before dinner. It is composed of 100% pinot noir, is made by maceration, with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. Most rosés made in this style are very big, but this one is the exception; it is very elegant.

For a regular bottle, it is hard to beat the great value of the Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne at $27.99. It is all estate fruit and aged for five years on the lees! If you have never had this, try it!

When it comes to magnums, I recommend them all. This is the way to drink Champagne and there is something truly magical about this particular size. I love the new 2007 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 1.5L at $84.99 for its fantastic Chablis like tension between richness and minerality. This could go with crab tonight, or be buried for decades in your cellar.

For Jeroboam, the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne (3L) at $369 will make quite an impression at your next party. It is the benchmark big house rose for a reason and four bottles in one goes around more than once at a holiday party!

For bigger sizes, we have very few as we prefer just to deal with bottle fermented Champagne. Luckily, Pierre Paillard bottle ferments their big bottles and we have both methuselah (Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne 6L at $599) and salmanazar (Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne 9L at $899) available in very small quantities.

A toast to you!




Champagne Friday: Champagne in Depth on Community Radio

Click for Gary's interview on KWMR's "The Place We Live"  By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Happy Champagne Friday!

This past weekend after Thanksgiving gave me pause to think of how thankful I am for community radio. Cinnamon and I listen to college, community and public radio almost constantly at home and cherish the independent programming, both music and information that these stations bring. Last month, I was lucky enough to get invited by Marc Matheson (who is a K&L customer!) for an interview on KWMR radio (90.5 FM Point Reyes, 89.9 FM Bolinas and everywhere online) on his great weekly show The Place We Live. This was extra special to me, since I spent a lot of time as a DJ and volunteer at KZSU, the Stanford University radio station.

We spoke for a full hour, and in the process covered a tremendous amount of ground on the specifics of what makes Champagne such a special place and such a unique wine. We covered everything from the grape varietals (including the rare ones that are making a comeback), to the soil (which allows for not only the special flavor of the wines but also the ageing of them), to travel in the region. I hope that you will find some time to listen to the archive here. I promise you it will put you in a Champagne drinking mood, and I hope that it will be informative. In this age of sound bites and talking points, I really appreciate the focused, in depth interview style that Marc has mastered!

A toast to you!



Champagne Friday: Larmat Atlas of Champagne

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Larmat Atlas of Champagne

Good maps of the vineyards in Champagne are almost impossible to come by. While almost every other great wine region of the world actively promotes the distribution of maps, Champagne, by contrast, is downright secretive. Some of the best vineyard-specific cartography of the region was printed in tiny runs in 1944 by the Larmat Company in Paris. They were commissioned by a number of the big houses (I have also seen the Roederer and Mumm versions) and I was able to acquire one of the Moet editions.

Benoit Marguet searched auctions in the Champagne region for 10 years on my behalf in order to find this copy. The Larmat Atlas that he found is one of only 500 printed by Moet and is in the best shape of any that I have seen. After receiving it, I contacted Moet for permission to post them here. They agreed, but asked me to explain that the vineyards marked as owned by them on these maps from 1944 do not reflect the current state of affairs. Over the last 68 years new plots have been bought, some old ones sold and other traded.

And finally, here are links to the seven maps and one sales chart from the original Larmat. These are very large PDF’s, so it might take a little while to load them. As I showed in the video, I had theses printed out in full size on laminated Styrofoam board. I hope some of you will also print them out, mine turned out great!


Click here for the full map of Champagne

Click here for the Montagne de Reims including vineyard sites

Click here for the Grand Valley of the Marne including vineyard sites

Click here for the Cote des Blancs including vineyard sites

Click here for the Western part of the Mountain of Reims

Click here for the Western part of the Marne and the Aisne

Click here for the Aube

Click here for the 1844-1944 sales chart


Enjoy the maps! A toast to you!



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