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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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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 (74)

Friday
Jun152012

Champagne Friday: Champagne & Foie Gras… 15 days left!

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Champagne & Foie Gras… 15 days left!

Foie Gras is one of my favorite pairings with Champagne, and sadly here in California, we only have 15 days left to enjoy it. After that, it will be illegal to sell in this state and fans of the noble liver will have to travel to enjoy it. The incredible richness of foie gras is the perfect partner for the refreshing high acidity of Champagne. Traveling to the Champagne region, it is a pairing that every restaurant and host suggests, and I have been lucky enough to have it prepared and paired in many different ways over the years. In the today's video, I visit with Jean-Baptiste Su of Fabrique Délice artisanal charcuterie and later share my favorite preparation, which is very simple: thick slices on toasted brioche, with fresh cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of Fleur de Sel.

My favorite Champagnes with foie gras are rich and powerful wines. The indigenous grape Meunier, with its hint of exotic fruit has a particular affinity for it. Older Champagne, with its developed, often chanterelle like bouquet is also a spectacular partner for it. The best pairings I have ever had are when all three of these elements come together. If you have any old Rene Collard in your cellar, nothing tops it with foie gras!

Here are my favorite foie gras partners from our current stock:

Michel Loriot "Marie-Leopold" Sec Champagne ($34.99): This bottle is the best foie gras pairing if you like to serve the liver with compote. This is composed of 80% Meunier and 20% Chardonnay and aged for four years before being released.  The liqueur that is used for the dosage is made in house and based on pure cane sugar. It has a nose that reminds me of tarte tatin, a pastry smell that carries through onto the palate. It has such a nice, lazy bead and polished texture and the sweetness does not seem at all out of place.

 

Baron Fuente "Esprit" Brut Champagne ($39.99): This mature Champagne will go perfectly with seared foie gras. It is super well balanced and gets an astoundingly luxurious seven years of aging on the lees. It is very rare to find something so reasonably priced that is kept for so long. Composed of even parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier it is fermented in stainless steel. The "Esprit" has a very high quality sourdough toastiness arrived at honestly from the long aging on the lees. It is round and easy to drink, with flavors of hazelnuts contrasting its nice citrus zip.

Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne ($49.99): I have a bottle of this in my refrigerator right now to go with foie gras prepared exactly like I did it in the video. Like the Loriot above, this Champagne is a tribute to the old methods, and in this case also one of the ancient grape varieties of Champagne. It is a barrel-fermented blend of one-third each Chardonnay, Pinot Banc and Pinot Noir. Pinot Blanc is a real rarity in Champagne, and only exists in a few spots in the Aube.

 

Krug "Grande Cuvée" Brut Champagne ($139.99): Eating foie gras and drinking Krug makes me feel like king for the day. This great house is the outspoken champion of Meunier among the grand marques. Based on 2004 with six years on the lees and reserve wines dating back to 1990, this decadent treat will go perfectly with all manner of preparations.

Cheers!

–Gary Westby

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 Check out more educational wine and spirits videos from the experts at K&L on YouTube!

Friday
Jun082012

Champagne Friday: Michel Loriot

 

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Michel Loriot and his family cultivate 17.5 acres in the village of Festigny in the western part of the valley of the Marne. He produces 60,000 bottles per year from this estate which is planted 85% to Meunier, 16% to Chardonnay and 4% to Pinot Noir. His family has been cultivating here for five generations and made their first wine in 1931.

Michel is so well respected in the area that he was elected as the president of the Independent Vignerons of Champagne. Although Michel has invested extensively in the latest, most expensive computer cotrolled diaganol Coquard presses, he has chosen to stay with enamel lined iron for his fermentations. He blocks the malolactic for freshness, and ages his wines for a long time- 3 years on the lees for his entry level, with 50% reserve wines from the two previous harvests.

His wines have great natural richness and texture, and are very clean. I cannot overstate the value that these wines represent! 

Michel Loriot "Cuvee Reserve" Brut Champagne ($29.99; $65.99 magnum

"This is medium- to full-bodied Champagne and makes great drinking on its own as well as being fantastic with patés of all sorts."

 

 

 

Michel Loriot "Marie-Leopold" Sec Champagne ($34.99)

"This has a nose that reminds me of tarte tatin, a pastry smell that carries through onto the palate. It has such a nice, lazy bead and polished texture and the sweetness does not seem at all out of place. This is a must for every Champagne lover--don't knock it because it is sweet!"

 

 

2005 Michel Loriot Vintage Brut Champagne ($44.99)

"This Loriot is medium bodied and fine and the nutty palate gives way to a fresh, lifted finish. Michel Loriot makes great wine, and this 2005 vintage is another great example. I find it to be the most effortless, elegant Meunier based Champagne that I have ever tasted, and a real contrast to the powerful style of his great Meunier Old Vine."

 

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Browse our complete Champagne offering on KLWines.com and check out more educational wine and spirits videos from the experts at K&L on YouTube!

 

Friday
Jun012012

Champagne Friday: Visiting Champagne Louis Roederer & Cellar Master Interview

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Champagne Louis Roederer Visit & Cellar Master Interview

I met with Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon the cellar master of Champagne Louis Roederer (makers of the celebrated Cristal) last month in Reims. I had been hearing from many growers in the area about the serious work this house was doing in their vineyards, but unaware of the scope of their projects.

The quality of this great house has long been established, but if you haven't tasted the wines in a while, get ready to be impressed. They have not been resting on their laurels and the Champagne is better than ever. I was very surprised to learn that the only wine with purchased fruit in it that we carry from Roederer is the excellent Brut Premier. Every other wine is estate- and starts off as a selection of vineyards- not tanks. It is better to let Jean-Baptiste tell the story in today's video.

We currently have a range of Roederer Champagnes in stock. Shop and learn more about them by clicking the links:

Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne ($39.99)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The NV Brut Premier is a gorgeous wine that stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of wines in its price range. Apparently, it is quite possible to make great Champagne that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Ripe pears, smoke, spices, dried flowers and herbs are some of the many nuances that emerge from the glass. The Brut Premier shows lovely mid-palate depth and fabulous overall balance. Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon has done it again. This is a fabulous Brut Premier...Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015." (11/11)

2004 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne ($189.00)

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 97 points Wine & Spirits, and 97 points and a *Cellar Selection* Wine Enthusiast: "Exceptionally rich and dense, an exceptional wine that reveals itself in layers, from the first fruit attack to the mineral texture and the way it gradually fills the mouth. Selected from old vines, there is a great flavor in this wine, with the promise of many years' aging." (12/12)

2004 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne Limited Edition Gift Box ($189.00)

2004 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne ($64.99)

2005 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne ($64.99)

2006 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne ($59.99)

2004 Louis Roederer Vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($64.99)

2005 Louis Roederer Vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($64.99)

 

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Check out more educational wine and spirits videos from the experts at K&L on YouTube!