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One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

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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 Chardonnay (56)

Friday
Jul062012

Champagne Friday: Celebrate the Tour de France with Launois

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Hello All,

Today is a special Champagne Friday, because the Tour de France started in Epernay today. All of the Champenois have been out in the start village or lining the roads as the race goes through the Cotes de Blancs and the Grand Valley of the Marne. I thought that there would be no better way to celebrate than with one of our very best Cotes de Blancs producers, Launois!

For eight generations, the Launois family has been making some of the best estate-grown Champagne available from their sizeable estate. They have vines in the grand cru’s Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant, and all of the wines that we purchase from them come from these top villages.

Bernard Launois does things differently. He has invested in three top of the line, computer controlled Coquard diagonal pressed, but still uses enamel lined iron (think Le Creuset cookware!) vats for fermentation and ageing because he does not like the way stainless steel fermented wines taste. While many in the Cotes de Blancs pride themselves on pure steel in their wines, Bernard values richness to balance his Champagne's naturally intense minerality. He harvests about 10 days after everyone else in his are done, and instead of paying gypsies to pick, he has Dutch and Belgian business men pay him to work the fields.  

The best introduction to his style is the Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($34.99) which is made from the flatter vineyards on the estate. The current batch is based on the great 2008 harvest and the aromatics are like polished white Burgundy with a touch of pine nut and minerals. The flavors are broad and rich. This is serious wine, with small bubbles and a refreshing finish.

 

 

I might be making a mistake to mention the Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99) since its cult following wipes out the tiny amount that we get almost immediately. It is made entirely from the Les Chetillons parcel that Pierre Peters sells as single vineyard, and only brought up to 4.5 atmospheres of pressure instead of the traditional 6. This pure Champagne is one of the few to show off the flowery side of Chardonnay, and is a show stopper. If we are out, get on the email waiting list for next time…it always sells out, but we always get more later!

If you like to cellar Champagne, grab a few of the 2002 Launois "Special Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne( $59.99) before they are gone. This wine comes from the families two best plots, Les Corroies in Mesnil and La Justice in Cramant, both of which are over 60 years old. It is Bernard’s top wine- and certainly one of ours.

 

 

Coming in by the end of the month is the Launois "Veuve Clemence" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99), made from the top and bottom parts of the steeper vineyard sites, and gets 4 years on the lees, an extra year over the Reserve. It comes off as more vinous, elegant and developed than the reserve.

On the same container, the 2005 Launois Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($49.99) is made from mid slope parcels, and is the richest, creamiest, toastiest of the bunch. This decadent wine will go great with lobster, and given the freshness of the ’64 I tasted on my last visit, the wine should last a very long time. Stay tuned!

Happy Champagne Friday,

-Gary Westby

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

 

Wednesday
Jun202012

{Terra Ignota} Great Estate Chardonnay from Mt. Difficulty - 50% Off!

Yep New Zealand makes killer Chardonnay too! We've just secured an unbelievable 1/2 price deal ($9.99!) on some 2008 Mt. Difficulty Estate Chardonnay from this legendary Central Otago prodigy. Sourced entirely from their selection of estate vineyards in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago. The grapes are grown in very sparse soils made up of Bannockburn and Molyneux gravels with veins of clay.

Click Image For Larger Map

The growing season in 2008 was consistent and warm leading to perfect ripeness. The juice was pressed off and 100% barrel fermented with 75% going through malo. A very precise lees stirring regiment was utilized to give this wine its rich and textural mid palate. This wine checks so many boxes, it's balanced and bright enough for some, yet toasty and rich enough for others! If you’ve never had any Mt. Difficulty wines before this is a perfect and very economical introduction to one of the top producers in the region.

Templars Hill VineyardI visited the winery last year and got to check out a few of their vineyards also. They have some truly unique terroir and the wines reflect this. This wine is really quite ridiculous at $9.99! I don’t think there is another Chard in the store that can touch it for that price. There’s only 25 cases left so get it while you can!

Cheers!

-Ryan

 

Ryan Woodhouse

NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City

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Terra Ignota is Latin for "Unknown Land". It was the name for the South Pacific region during intial mapping and exploration of Australia and New Zealand. As we are going to be exploring new and exciting wines from this region, we think this is a fitting title for our blog series on wines from this part of the world. Stay tuned for more!

 

Wednesday
Apr182012

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: 2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon!

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

The 2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon wines have arrived.  We have very limited quantities of any single wine (by which I mean bottles not cases), and THEY ARE ON THE WEB, so they will go quickly.  You can go to www.klwines.com. Or call 800-247-5987 to place an order.

The Reds:

2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Monthelie 1er Cru "Les Duresses" $54.99

89 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Monthelie Les Duresses is, as expected, juicier and riper than the cooler 2008, yet every bit as compelling. Radiant fruit caresses the palate through to the finish. This is a great introduction to the wines of Dominique Lafon. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019." (5/2011)Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A ripe, fresh and attractively spiced nose of violets, plum and red berry fruit aromas leads to rich and relatively full-bodied flavors that possess fine volume and good if not special length. This could easily be drunk now." (5/2011) 


2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay $73.99 Limit of 4 per customer

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Volnay is made from young vines in Santenots. It shows terrific energy and vibrancy in a totally seductive expression of Volnay. The fruit builds beautifully through to the creamy, generous texture. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021." (5/2011)89 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Oustanding. This is also quite fresh and notably ripe with notes of blue and black berry, violets and warm earth hints that transfer over to the detailed and lightly mineral-suffused medium-weight flavors that possess good dry extract and a vibrant, focused, balanced and lingering finish. A lovely villages.... Read More » 


2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots du Milieu"  $129.95  Limit of 4 per customer

91-93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "This possesses the ripest nose of the group with cassis and pinot liqueur aromas dissolving into rich, mouth coating and relatively muscular flavors that possess an abundance of dry extract with lovely detail on the impressively complex and persistent finish. This should reward up to a decade of cellar time." (5/2011)92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(aged in 35% new oak): Good deep red-ruby. Black plum, black cherry and chocolate on the nose. Superrich and sweet; a real fruit bomb of dark cherry and raspberry, but a firm spine of acids and tannins keeps it lively on the palate. Compl... Read More » 


The Whites:

 2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault   : $99.95  Limit of 2 per customer

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium straw-yellow. Complex nose melds stone fruits, flowers, honey and hazelnut. Lush and sweet in the mouth, with a perfumed orange blossom quality giving the wine a light touch. Finishes suave, harmonious and persistent. Lovely village wine." (10/2011)Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A ripe and fresh mildly exotic nose speaks of pear, apricot and lemon nuances that lead to rich and naturally sweet medium-bodied flavors that display fine detail on the reasonably persistent finish." (2/2011)Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Meursault is a classy, understated wine laced with white peaches, pears and flowers.... Read More » 


2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault "Clos de la Barre"  $124.99  Limit of 3 per customer

91-93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "From a tank sample taken just prior to the fining: Bright, pale yellow-green. Grapefruit and lemon ice on the nose, plus a whiff of white truffle. Edgy lemony acidity gives shape to the palate and carries the finish. A second sample, taken after the fining: Bright pale yellow. Subtly perfumed nose hints at lemon ice. Juicy and pure but a bit sharper than the first sample, showing excellent precision to the lemon zest flavors. A very site-driven sample that finishes with a salty nuance and noteworthy cut and length. I like what the fining has ac... Read More » 


2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault 1er Cru "Goutte d'Or"   $195.00  Limit of 1 per customer

90-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "An overtly ripe nose speaks of hazelnut, white peach, pear and soft spice notes that merge seamlessly into rich, full-bodied and broad-scaled flavors that brim with an abundance of extract that confers a textured mouth feel onto the intense, powerful and muscular finish." (2/2011)91-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Sample taken before fining: Pale straw-yellow. Deeply pitched aromas of ripe peach and honey. Chewy and sweet but restrained on the palate, with excellent density and energy to the zippy stone fruit flavors. Finishes dry and classic, with palate-coating persistence. The same... Read More » 


2009 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault 1er Cru "Charmes"   $195.00  Limit of 1 per customer 

92-94 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Aromatically, this is almost a hypothetical blend of the Genevrières and the Goutte d'Or but here there is even more intensity to the mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that evidence really lovely purity of expression on the explosive and driving finish. This is clearly a Charmes from the upper part of the vineyard as there is none of the borderline excessive generosity of the lower portion." (2/2011)94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(bottled ten days before my visit): Very closed, slightly reduced nose offers citrus fruits, vanilla, hazelnut and white truffle. Rich, sweet, pliant ... Read More » 


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