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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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Entries in Chardonnay (57)

Thursday
Oct062011

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Pristine Older Burgundies from the Cellars of Comtes Lafon!

Keith Wollenberg

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

keithw@klwines.com

 

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

Today I am excited to offer you some older red and white Burgs acquired directly from the cellars of Domaine des Comtes Lafon.  If you love older Burgundy (and who doesn’t?), or want to know where the wine has been all its life (and who doesn’t?), then this offer should interest you.

These wines come directly from Dominique Lafon’s cellar, where they have rested quietly since bottling.  They were shipped over in a refrigerated container, and are arriving next week to K&L.

As you would expect, quantities are EXTREMELY limited on all of these wines.  In some cases, we have only a bottle (or magnum) or two to offer.

Please email me your request, and I’ll do the best I can, with what little wine we have.  There are a couple of cases of some of the Volnays and only a bottle or two of some others.

 

The Red Wines:

1990 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Clos des Chênes", $225.00

          Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in refrigerated containers, in perfect condition!  Parker writes: "The 1990 Volnay-Clos des Chênes is a wine with a thick, dark ruby color, as well as a huge nose of super-ripe, jammy cherries, spices, and minerals. It is long, rich, full-bodied, and brilliantly well-balanced. The finish exhibits considerable tannin, so be prepared to lay this wine away for 4-5 years. It should keep for several decades. Sadly, only 100 cases were produced. And you thought this man only made extraordinary Meursaults! I have long admired the red wines of Comte Lafon, but they are less renowned than the magnificent white burgundies that emerge from these cold cellars. The 1990 Lafon reds are the finest I have tasted from this domaine." (12/92)

 

1990 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Champans", $239.95

            Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in refrigerated containers, in perfect condition! 91 Points Robert Parker: "The 1990 Volnay-Champans, made from 69-year old vines (150 cases produced), reveals a saturated, opaque ruby/purple color. The sensational nose offers up aromas of over-ripe cherries and plums, as well as toasty, smoky oak and roasted herbs. Boldly flavored and super-concentrated, this rich, dense wine manages to retain an extraordinary degree of elegance despite its size and stature. The finish is long, moderately tannic, and pure. Anticipated maturity: 1997-2015. " (12/92)

 

1990 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots", $269.95

          Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in refrigerated containers, in perfect condition!  94 points from Parker "Comte Lafon's spectacular 1990 Volnay Les Santenots retains a dense dark ruby color as well as stunning aromatics of cherry liqueur, minerals, spice box, and vanillin. Fleshy, full-bodied, muscular, youthful, and vigorous, this exuberant, stunningly proportioned and concentrated red Burgundy can be drunk now, but it will benefit from another 1-2 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2015" (02/02)

 

Large Format Bottles :  All Large formats are limited to one per person, as we have only 2 Magnums of each!!

 

1993 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots-Du-Milieu" (1.5L), $350 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON

            Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in refrigerated containers, in perfect condition!  Allen Meadows scores this 92 and  writes: "Dominique Lafon is justifiably famous for his white wines but he has a deft touch with his reds as well and this is an excellent example. Wonderfully pure and spicy fruit and while not as primary as it was on release, it appears to have only barely budged. The flavors are deep, rich, concentrated and very long. An exceptionally fine effort that will require at least another 5 years in the cellar and perhaps more."(Burghound 10/01)

 

1995 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots-Du-Milieu" (1.5L), $330 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON

            Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in refrigerated containers, in perfect condition!  Allen Meadows writes: "This is by far the best of the three Lafon Volnay 1ers in 1995 with a stunningly gorgeous nose of elegance and purity that is mostly if not completely primary, offering seductive red and violet fruit aromas before introducing vibrant and rich medium weight flavors that possess very good phenolic ripeness for the vintage and excellent length. To be sure, this is not a truly great Lafon Santenots but in the context of a highly variable vintage, it's a very fine effort and one that could still use another two to three years of cellar time.|" (Burghound 07/08)

 

1996 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots-Du-Milieu" (1.5L), $399 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON

          Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in refrigerated containers, in perfect condition!  Allen Meadows writes: "Though this has always had a wonderfully sweet red and black fruit and still does, the aromas are beginning to take on subtle secondary notes. The middle weight flavors are delicious, pure, edgy and possess evident breed though the finish is a bit short as the acidity has begun to become much more evident. While this should be capable of living for years, I would be inclined to be drinking it over the next 5 years or so as the finish risks drying out as the acidity is no longer subtle if not actually intrusive or harsh. Consistent notes." (Burghound 02/08)

 

1999 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots-Du-Milieu" (1.5L), $499 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON

            Direct from Comte Lafon, in perfect condition! 94 Allen Meadows: While the Clos des Chênes performed as expected relative to the cask sample, the final Santenots was even better than the cask sample. Wonderfully expressive with massive amounts of spicy black fruit and seductive flavors; the wine has an enormous amount of underlying material and is incredibly complex. But it's the length that that defines this wine as it simply goes on and on. It's not hard to see why Lafon believes this is one of the finest wines ever produced at the Domaine. Simply magnificent" (04/02) 94 Tanzer,: "Saturated medium ruby. Explosive, profound aromas of redcurrant, cherry and dark chocolate, complicated by enticing oak tones of smoke and exotic spices. Superripe but not roasted; superrich but impeccably balanced and lively. Red fruit flavors nicely accented by chocolate and minerals. Finishes with terrific persistence. ... Perhaps the most complete red wine made to date by Lafon" (04/02)  Rovani: "This is Volnay as it should be, combining the ripeness and power of Pommard with the definition and elegance of a stony, hillside terroir. Violets, blueberries, and dark cherries make up this muscular yet refined wine's aromatic and flavor profiles. It is medium to full-bodied, has exceptional length, and will improve with age. I had it decanted each time I drank it and found it ameliorated with two hours of air, a sure sign that cellaring it for 10 years will pay huge dividends." (01/03)

 

2001 Domaine Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru "Santenots-Du-Milieu" (1.5L), $249 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON

            Direct from Comte Lafon, in perfect condition! Allen Meadows writes: " trace of oak frames a tighter and less expressive nose of earth, black cherry fruit and kirsch notes followed by complex, long and beautifully intense flavors that deliver impressive concentration. Delicious yet serious and this is most impressive by comparison to most of the examples from this vineyard in 2001. The harmony and balance should permit this to mature gracefully over the medium term." (04/04)  And in Parker's Wine Advocate: "Candied black cherries can be found in the nose of the 2001 Volnay Santenots du Milieu. Light to medium-bodied, it offers gorgeous purity of fruit, excellent depth, and a silky-textured core of cherries. Projected maturity: now-2009. Dominique Lafon is on fire, in a zone, on top of his game. He’s never made better wines, and he improves with each passing vintage." And Tanzer says: "Good full red. Deeper, riper aromas of plum, cherry and licorice, with hints of rose petal and leather; pure and nuanced for a Volnay from this difficult year. Fat, sweet and rich, with nicely integrated acidity and solid underlying structure. Finishes with firm, dusty tannins and lingering sweetness" (04/04)

 

White Wines :

2000 Domaine Comtes Lafon Meursault "'Désirée'", $149.95

            This comes from Volnay Santenots Dessous, from old vines before they were torn out in 2005.  Allen Meadows writes: "This has remained extremely fresh and pretty with the same spicy, fresh, clean and nicely complex nose leading to still tight, almost nervous and vibrant medium weight flavors that are underpinned by racy, ripe acidity and a beautifully persistent finish. This is really a lovely effort and I have marginally raised my rating. As to maturity, I would be inclined to give this one to two more years in the cellar first as it's still unfolding." (8/06)  Parker writes: "The medium to full-bodied 2000 Meursault Desiree has a sweet white fruit and candied lemon-scented nose. Citrus fruits, gravel, minerals, and stones can be found in this medium to full-bodied wine's well-defined personality"  And Tanzer writes: "Soft citrus fruits on the tangy nose. At once richer and less evolved than the regular village wine, with soft citrus flavors nicely framed by firm acid structure. Intensely flavored, tightly wound and quite stylish, with very good length. The pH here is in the rather low 3.15 to 3.2 range, according to Lafon." (09/02)

 

1998 Domaine Comtes Lafon Montrachet Grand Cru, $649 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON

          Steve Tanzer scores this 92-95, writing: "Roasted aromas of vanilla and iodine. Thick, sweet and minerally; not quite as round as the '97 but a wine of superb flavor intensity and texture. Already displays lovely inner-mouth fruit and floral perfume. Very densely packed, fresh and long. Will be a superb '98, and should offer early accessibility" (10/99)  Parker scores it 91-94, and writes: "Dominique Lafon's parcel of Montrachet produced his highest yields (30 hectoliters per hectare) in 1998. Four and a half barrels of this magnificent nectar were made. Harvested at 14% natural potential alcohol, it reveals pears, peaches, apricots, and flowers in its intense aromatic profile.  Medium to full-bodied, expansive, and palate-coating, this elegant, classy, and rich wine is crammed with spices, white fruits, and minerals. It has outstanding presence, detail, and focus. It is not a muscular wine, yet possesses extraordinary underlying power in its precise character. This tour de force has an extraordinarily long, delineated, and mineral-laden finish. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2012+."

 

2000 Domaine Comtes Lafon Montrachet Grand Cru, $1599 LIMIT 1 PER PERSON 

            Direct from the cellars of Comte Lafon, shipped in a refrigerated container, in perfect condition!  96 Points Burghound: "Moderately deep golden color. A fascinatingly complex nose offers up aromas of pear, peach, oriental spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary and a background note of dried sage that is followed by flavors that are concentrated, rich and muscular but not especially showy. This does a slow build from the mid-palate to an incredibly intense finish that literally lasts for minutes. This will need another 2 to 5 years to be at its best though it will drink well for at least another decade after it reaches its peak. Another recent bottle was drop-dead gorgeous and while this hasn't yet peaked, it has developed enough to be already quite enjoyable." (06/09)

 

A Santé

Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

keithw@klwines.com

KLWines.com 

Wednesday
Sep142011

Tasting "Legendary" New Releases from Ridge Vineyards

 

In stock and available now on KLWines.com!

Sure, nobody does it like Ridge Vineyards. Their wines have been a cornerstone of our selection (when we can get them) over the years.

Perhaps the most universally well-liked CA winery amongst our staff, Ridge just received a heaping dose of love from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

"I tasted a breathtaking array of wines during my recent visit with Paul Draper at Ridge," writes Antonio Galloni in the September 2011 issue,"...Heretical as it may sound, I think the wines Draper is making today will prove to be far superior to the wines of decades past, many of which are rightly considered legendary." 

Well, we popped open the wines at K&L Redwood City to taste for ourselves.

The verdict?

 

2009 Ridge Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($34.99)

"The 09 Ridge Estate Chardonnay is rich, mouthfilling, gorgeous Chardonnay with great length. Leesey complexity and a profound mineral component balance the deep and concentrated fruit. The oak is present but not overpowering, given the richness and purity of the fruit, which is 100% estate, from vines planted in the 40's on the Monte Bello Vineyard. This production spent fifteen months in predominantly air-dried American aak barrels, only 10% of which were new (with the rest 1-4 years old). It registers as Meursault-like to me at this time. Though drinkable now, it has the stuffing to age, and these wines from Ridge do age beautifully. This bottle merits inclusion in any serious Chardonnay collection." -By: Chiara Shannon | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2011

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Chardonnay Estate is an impeccable, classy wine layered with bright citrus, flowers and just a touch of sweetness from the oak. Crushed rocks and lime peel add complexity on the textured, long finish. In 2009 none of the blocks were designated for the Monte Bello bottling, all of the fruit went into the Estate. This is a stunningly pure wine from Ridge. I came back to the 2009 Estate after having tasted all of the reds and the wine showed beautifully. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019." (08/11) 


09 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Zinfandel ($31.99)

At the annual Zinfandel Advocates and Producers Tasting (ZAP) back in January there was really one Zinfandel that stood out from all the rest and that was the 2009 Lytton Springs. There was so much wine in the bottle there that so many else at the same even couldn’t even hope to have. Fast forward nine months later and the wine has grown even more into itself with wonderful aromatics of gingerbread, spice cake, muddle blackberries and a waft of cigar smoke. This hits the mouth brimming with size, generous with its ample fruit and spice, but yet never feels excessive. It is sort of like a perfect steak, marbled and rich, needing almost nothing but a pinch of salt and pepper to make it sing. Long, dry and spicy with great balance, add a pinch of braised meat and this will do you well for decades to come. - Review By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2011

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Lytton Springs is the biggest and most structured of these 2009 Zinfandel-based reds, largely owing to the earthier soils and the presence 23% Petite Sirah. Black fruit, plums, tar, licorice and smoke are some of the notes that flow from this generous, inviting red. The Lytton Springs is fairly structured, and can definitely benefit from another year or two (perhaps more) in bottle. The blend is 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignane. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2029." (08/11)


2009 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma Zinfandel ($29.99)

Geyserville has consistently been my favorite bottling from Ridge over time. There is something that just hits my palate right about this wine; I think it is the perfect combination of fruit, spice, oak and texture for a Zinfandel based wine. A touch brighter and higher toned than the Lytton Springs bottling this has powerful aromas of black raspberry, nutmeg, cedar and toasted marshmallow. More purely fruited this year than in the recent past this has bursting flavors of blueberry, ash, black tea and a touch of dill from the American Oak used in the aging of the wine. Clean, ripe, focused and complete with a wonderful sappiness this is delicious now and will only get better over the next decade. - Review By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 13, 2011

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Geyserville is a gorgeous wine. It shows expressive inner perfume, sweet black cherries, menthol and minerals. This is an understated, exceptionally elegant red endowed with considerable finesse and fabulous overall balance. A round, sensual finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. In 2009 the blend is 74% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 6% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Mourvedre. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2029." (08/11) 

 

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.99)

Sourced from the same vineyard that its big brother Monte Bello comes from, the Estate Cab from Ridge is one of best values in California Cabernet. The 2008 does not disappoint in the least, dark and brooding fruit is balanced against beautiful minerality and savory notes of leather and spice. A pleasure to drink now and will continue to be stunning for the next 10 years. - Review By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member (& Ridge Alum!) | Review Date: September 14, 2011

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is compelling. Where to start? An expressive bouquet redolent of sweet herbs, tobacco and incense leads to a gorgeous tapestry of dark red fruit. The Estate is drop-dead gorgeous, with the silkiest of tannins that frame an extraordinary finish. This has to be one of the most compelling values in California Cabernet. In 2008 the blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc..." (08/11) 


2008 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon($129.99)

Coming from an extraordinarily small vintage, the concentration and depth of this year's Monte Bello is astonishing. Drinking this over two days revealed layers upon layers of full, dark fruit, laced with sand stone, old leather, and minerality stemming from the limestone in the vineyard. A wine that will surely age with grace and style, something I can't wait to open with good friends and family in the next 10 to 20 years. - Review By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member (& Ridge Alum!) | Review Date: September 14, 2011

97+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2008 Monte Bello is striking. It is a decidedly muscular Monte Bello endowed with layers of dark fruit. Tobacco, mint, asphalt and crushed rocks develop in the glass, adding tons of complexity and finesse. A long, saline finish rounds things out beautifully. In 2008 the cold growing season stretched into October and the wine definitely has the feel of a cool vintage. The spring frost and the second year of drought conditions lowered yields significantly. Yields were just 1.25 tons per acre on average, but some of the older vineyards came in at less than 1 ton per acre. The balance of fruit, tannin and structure is simply extraordinary, but the wine needs time, most likely lots of it. In 2008 the blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038." (08/11)


Yes, we concur: "Legendary" sounds about right. 

***

What do you think? Stage your own Ridge tasting at home and share your tasting notes with us on KLWines.com>>My Wine List  

 Of course, you will need to grab these bottles before it's too late: 

2009 Ridge Vineyards Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($34.99)

09 Ridge Vineyards "Lytton Springs" Dry Creek Zinfandel ($31.99)

2009 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma Zinfandel ($29.99)

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($37.99)

2008 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon($129.99)

 

 

Tuesday
Jan042011

Top 10 White Wines Under $25 to Start the Year

While a large majority of us drink more red wine in the winter, it's still nice to have white wines on hand for when the weather warms up or the meal calls for it. Here are our top 10 best selling white wines under $25 to help you get started. Is it me, or do these deals seem even better in the "off-season?"

10. 2009 Kalinda Rheingau Riesling Qba ($10.99) A staff favorite (we're almost all sluts for Riesling). K&L's Chiara Shannon says it best: "With moderate alcohol, bright lime and floral aromatics and flavors, and unctuous acidity to balance the subtle residual sugar, this wine tastes great with just about anything. It is especially handy for take-out and leftover nights, or when you are feeling like having a little wine with lunch...at $10.99 this should be a kitchen staple."

9. 2006 Jo Pithon "Les Bergères" Anjou Blanc ($11.99) From K&L's David Othenin-Girard: "This is what I want to be drinking all the time...It begins with an intense nutty aromas, backed by spice and carmelized pear. As the bottle aerates, the nuttiness takes a back seat, and more vibrant citrus comes forward. Versatile and complex. At this new price (previously $26), this is one of my favorite wines int he store right now.

8. 2008 Patient Cottat "Le Grand Cailliou" Sauvignon Blanc ($10.99) I served the 2007 at my wedding and wowed quite a few people with this wine's freshness and versatility. Like a Sancerre for half the price!

7. 2007 Domaine André Auvigue Pouilly-Fuissé "Solutré" ($17.99) I bet you didn't expect to see a Pouilly-Fuissé on this list! Offered elsewhere at $45, this tasty white Burgundy is a steal at nearly half the price, with distinguishing hazelnut, mineral and floral notes to complement the Chardonnay fruit.

6. 2008 MaRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($19.99) If you prefer fuller-bodied, richer California Chardonnays, then this is up your alley. It's still balanced, with good minerality and acidity, and green apple rather than tropical fruit notes. 

5. Domaine Vocoret Chablis 1er Cru "La Forêt" ($19.99) The second white Burgundy on this list, and this time it's a Premier Cru. This wine sells for $30-35 elsewhere, and its character definitely belies even that more expensive price. Plenty of energy and richness, with classic Chablis limestone minerality.

4. 2009 Grüner by Etz Kamptal Grüner Veltliner (1L $11.99) Who doesn't love a big, juicy botlle of GrüVe? A staff favorite for lazy afternoons, this is lively, with white pepper, melon and ginger notes. Easily one of the best deals at K&L.

3. 2008 Talbott "Logan" Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay ($15.99) An wine under $20 with Parker points is a rare breed. This is a rich, fruit-driven California Chardonnay with tropical fruit and hints of oak spice.

2. 2008 Bernier Chardonnay Vins du Pays Jardin de la France ($6.99) This is NOT for the Rombauer fan, but instead for those who like their Chardonnays minerally, crisp, bright and quaffable. 

1. 2009 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay ($12.99) K&L's Mike Jordan says: "Tired of the oaky, buttery Chardonnay? This is the wine to try: unoaked, but with great mid-palate weight and acidity. This is the style of Chardonnay I love, and I think you will too."

Leah Greenstein