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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.

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Entries in Champagne (75)

Friday
Oct122012

Champagne Friday: The “New” Charles Reserve

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

The “New” Charles Reserve

It is not often that I get as excited as this by "big house" Champagne. Comparing the "new" Charles Heidsieck Reserve (which premiers today) to the "old" Charles Heidsieck Reserve made a huge impression on me. These are great wines- both of them- and the new Charles is the most exciting new release from a big house in many years. The new Charles is a must try, and it is a great opportunity to compare the new to the old while we still have the last batch in stock.

On August 27th I had the pleasure of meeting with and interviewing Cecile Bonnefond, the CEO of Charles and Piper Heidsick. Cecile is not new to running Champagne houses- she ran Veuve Clicquot for eight years before moving over to Charles and Piper Heidsieck. Her first great piece of work is the release of a new Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne. It has gone up in price, but instead of citing “increased global demand” or “increasing grape prices from greedy growers” or “a weak dollar” this Champagne has costly improvements to the wine itself. First of all, the number of vineyard sites for the Reserve has been cut in half, leaving only what they feel is the very best going into the blend. Also, the average age of the reserve wines has gone up significantly. You can hear Cecile explain it in her own words here in this clip from the interview.

The old label Charles Heidsieck has always been great, and we still have some in stock at the "old" price of $34.99! The old label Charles Heidsieck has always been great, and we still have some left. This is a fantastic opportunity for any Champagne lover to compare the two cuvee’s side by side and see the difference that this great house has made. Once the old cuvee that we have is gone, it is gone for good.

Charles Heidsieck NEW "Brut Reserve" Champagne ($44.99) It is funny to call this the “new” Charles when it actually has more old wine in it! The first difference between this wine and the old label is that is made from just 60 vineyard sites in Champagne rather than the previous 120. It is still composed of a third each Chardonnay, Meunier and Pinot Noir and includes 40% reserve wines that average 10 years of age, up from the 8 year average previously. This Charles has more of the depth and power that fans of the Charles have come to love, but also much more freshness and elegance- a coup for a wine that is actually older. This is a great bottle multi-vintage Champagne for the price and a testament to the blenders art.

Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne ($34.99) Warning- this is the last of the old cuvee of Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne . This bottle is made 40% of reserve wine and these reserve wines are what really sets Charles Heidsieck apart, they average 8 years old and have elements going back as far as 15 years. The patience to curate this solera of old wines gives the wine texture and complexity rarely encountered in grand marque Champagne, especially at this price. The wine is composed of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier and is all vinified in stainless steel tanks with full malolactic fermentation. When I visited we tasted vin clair from all over Champagne- they own 150 acres and contract many more. If you love a toasty, rich style of Champagne with lots of complexity this is a very good choice. I expect it will sell for just under $50 when this batch runs out.

A toast to you,

Gary 

 To watch the rest of the interview click here.

Friday
Oct052012

Champagne Friday: Veuve Clicquot Cave Privee is Here!

Kyle Kurani of K&L with 1990 Veuve Clicquot "Cave Privee" Brut Vintage Champagne in magnum. By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Veuve Clicquot Cave Privee Is Here!

When it comes to great wine, there is no substitute for age. A young wine, as fabulous as it may be, can only be graded on its potential. Of all the cellars in the world, none can compete with the Crayeres of Reims; 90 foot deep galleries dug into pure chalk in the Roman era. It is in one of these, named the Cave Privee at Clicquot where these incredibly special Champagnes sit untouched until now. I have been lucky enough to taste them both on multiple occasions, and better yet to drink them with food- they are both spectacular. The magnums are particularly attractive (if you have an extra person to help your drink them!) since Champagne is always best from this format.

With a smaller crop than usual because of spring frosts and a huge amount of sunshine without excessive heat, 1990 was a truly special year. The 1990 Cave Privee is composed of 56% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 11% Meunier from 17 different villages, all Grand or Premier Cru. This wine is incredibly rich and toasty, as one would expect from Champagne aged in excess of 15 years on its lees. It has aromas of chantrelle mushrooms and fresh butter and flavors that I can only compare to the nutty glory of Corton-Charlemagne.

We received a very limited amount today, but more is on the way in the coming weeks, so I have opened them up for special ordering against the quantity that we have confirmed. Here they are:

1990 Veuve Clicquot "Cave Privee" Brut Vintage Champagne $199

1990 Veuve Clicquot "Cave Privee" Brut Vintage Champagne 1.5L $425

You may also inquire about the 1989s:

1989 Veuve Clicquot "Cave Privée" Brut Rosé Champagne $239

1989 Veuve Clicquot "Cave Privée" Brut Rosé Champagne $499

 A toast to you!

-Gary

Friday
Sep212012

Champagne Friday: Special Louis Roederer Tasting Tuesday 9/25

Champagne Louis Roederer

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Champagne Friday on a Tuesday?

This Tuesday (September 25th) we are hosting Charles Fournier of Champagne Louis Roederer in Redwood City for a very special tasting. Charles is flying in from Reims, and will be able to answer any question that you might have about these world class wines. Champagne Louis Roederer only uses purchased fruit for their non-vintage wines, all the vintage wines are entirely estate, and each has vineyard land designated to it, and farmed specifically with the finished wine in mind. This is the opposite of other grand marques, who make selections for their Champagne much later in the game- usually after the alcoholic fermentation.

Charles will present the following wines:

Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne $39.99

Louis Roederer "Carte Blanche" Extra Dry Champagne $44.99

2006 Louis Roederer Vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne $74.99

2005 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne $64.99

2007 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne $64.99

The tasting will be from 5pm until 6:30 PM, but might end early if we run out of wine. I would recommend coming at 5pm. The cost will be $5. If you are a fan of Champagne, and can get away to make it to this event, I highly recommend it. Learning from the Champenois is a rare treat, especially from the big houses. If you are interested in learning more about the estate wines program at Champagne Louis Roederer, please check out my interview with Jean Baptiste Lecaillon from this spring:

 

I hope to see you here- and we can toast together then!

–Gary

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