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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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Entries in Chateau Gigault Cuvee Viva (2)

Thursday
Feb212013

The BDX Files: Tasting with the Greats at K&L

 The Greats: K&L Co-Founder Clyde Beffa Jr (center) with visiting Bordeaux negociant and special guest Christophe Reboul (left), and Ralph Sands, K&L Senior Bordeaux Specialist (right).

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer (& Bordeaux lover)

This past Saturday at the Redwood City K&L we hosted a special Bordeaux tasting. As usual, K&L Senior Bordeaux Specialist Ralph Sands was behind the bar to talk about the wines, but in addition we had the added wisdom of K&L owner and principal Bordeaux buyer Clyde Beffa Jr on hand. As if that wasn't enough, Mr. Christophe Reboul, owner of both Chateau Gigault in Blaye and the negociant house the Wine Merchant was the guest star. We had a fantastic line up of Bordeaux to taste, mostly from the outstanding 2009 vintage. Everyone left the tasting with a smile on their face!

2011 l'Avocat Blanc, Graves ($14.99) is delicious and ready to drink now.We started the tasting with the 2011 l'Avocat Blanc, Graves ($14.99) from the Allison family. This wine is composed of 50% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Sauvignon Gris. It had one of the most unique noses that I have encountered tasting white Bordeaux. The racy Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine a smoky aroma that reminded me of Islay peat! On the palate this wine is very bright and light, and would make a great aperitif or partner for goat cheese crostini.

My favorite wine of the tasting was the 2010 de Fieuzal Blanc, Pessac-Léognan ($58.99 pre-arrival) and it reminded me just how good top white Bordeaux can be. White Burgundy on this level is more than twice the price, and tasting this inspired me to pull out a bottle of 2001 from my cellar the next day. I was surprised to find that it would be very difficult to tell which was the older wine, since these great whites age so slowly! The 2010 will certainly have a very long drinking window, and I would bet on it making a great 20 year old in 2030. It had an intense honey, lanolin and barrel spice nose, and was rich, broad and powerful on the palate. The finish was packed with complexity and went on forever- the tasting could have ended here and I would have been happy! Luckily, we had a bunch of great reds to taste...

Clyde & Ralph pose for the paparazzi.Our first red was the 2009 de Birot, Côtes de Bordeaux ($14.99) and it showed just how deep the 2009 vintage is. Most collectors will clamor for the top wines in this vintage, but the real excitement for me with a vintage like 2009 comes from the everyday priced wines like this. Composed of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, this dark wine has lots of herbal intrigue on the nose and excellent, grain free texture. If you are looking for good, dry red for the table that won’t knock you out with too much alcohol, try out the Birot!

I love the Graves region for value priced Bordeaux and the 2009 l'Avocat Rouge ($17.99) is a great example. Composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc it has classic proportions for this area. The powerful nose is full of plum fruit backed up by gravelly earth. In the mouth it has a full, rich texture and a hint of chocolate on the palate. This is a great 2009 to drink while you are waiting for your classified growths to mature. That being said, I think this wine has plenty of stuffing to develop nicely for at least 10 years.

Futures Alert! The 2010 Gigault "Cuvée Viva" Premières Côtes de Blaye (93 JS, 90 WS) is available on Prearrival ($18.99; $39.99 1.5L). By far one of the best deals from the 2010 vintage, this opportunity will not last long. Click to buy now!It is a rare treat to have the owner of a Chateau in Bordeaux pouring his wines for you in Redwood City, and we enjoyed every minute of our time with Mr. Christophe Rebaul and every sip of his 2009 Gigault "Cuvée Viva" Premières Côtes de Blaye ($21.99, due in April). This cheerful, easy to drink blend of 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon was plump and full of cinnamon and carob flavors. Rich, sweet fruited wines like this are fantastic to drink now and blow the notion of all Bordeaux being expensive out of the water.

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc ($24.99) is in stock now.We have a few house favorites when it comes to Bordeaux here at K&L, and the 2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc ($24.99) confirms why we love this property. For the Haut-Medoc, this wine has a huge proportion of Merlot at 85% and just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon at 15%. The wine has a big, ripe, plumy nose, but is very elegant in the mouth. It reminded me very much of old fashioned Pomerol; medium bodied, pure, racy Merlot without the extraneous sugar and oak. At the price, too much of this wine will be consumed to young, but the patient will be rewarded with a great experience at a very small price. If you want to see how they age, we also have the 2003 in stock!

Moving over to the right bank we tasted the 2009 Montviel, Pomerol ($39.99). This flashy right bank wine is composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Montviel is a dark wine with a toasty oak nose and plenty of dried plum fruit on the palate. While modern, big and tannic, it still has Pomerol soul and no residual sugar to ruin it for the table. I am sure the extroverted oak will win over lots of folks who like a big wine.

Staying with the right bank, we tasted the 2009 Monbousquet, St-Emilion ($49.99). The Perse family makes wines that the critics love, and this blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon has won all kinds of accolades. The color is nearly black, and the aromatics are dominated by fancy, expensive oak. This very rich, heavy St. Emilion has plenty of sweet dried fruit on the palate and a big tannic finish. I think it would be a serious contender in a flight of $100+ Napa proprietary reds.

2009 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux ($84.99) is in stock now.Switching back to the Medoc, we tasted Ralph’s number one wine of the 2009 vintage (and our top seller of the day), the Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux ($84.99). Palmer makes the most sensual of all Bordeaux, and this blend of 51% Merlot and 49% Cabernet Sauvignon will add to their legend. This has so much class and balance that it could easily pass for the first wine! The Alter Ego has sexy, bright Margaux aromatics of tense currant dusted with chocolate. On the palate it has a velvety texture that is almost perfect now, but will no doubt get even better with time. This great bottle shows incredible focus on the finish- I can’t wait to taste it again when it turns 10!

Moving up the Medoc, we tasted the 2009 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac ($89.99) next, and the contrast between the two great Medoc communes could not have been starker. This blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc is brooding, backward Pauillac for the long haul. The nose is extraordinary: lead pencil, black currant and high-class gravelly earth are all in harmony. On the palate the wine is tense, packed and unyielding. The finish is powerfully tannic but also powerfully complex, hinting at the bright future that this wine has. This wine is from the old school--not a 2009 to open early--but the patient will be rewarded, as this Grand-Puy-Lacoste has the structure to unfold like the 1982 has. I am happy to see that wines like this are still being made in Bordeaux.

Ralph Sands hosts monthly Bordeaux tastings at K&L's Redwood City headquarters.

Get the 2010 Poujeaux, Moulis ($34.99 on pre-arrival) before it sells out!Bordeaux insiders usually snap up our allocation of Chateau Poujeaux before it touches the shelf. It is a property that makes serious wine every year and is a great property to collect vertically. The 2010 Poujeaux, Moulis ($34.99 pre-arrival) is true to form, and a great cellar candidate. It is composed of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petite Verdot. When I first tasted this wine in Bordeaux during the enpremieur campaign in 2011, I found it very elegant and laid back next to its peers. Tasting it again among 2009’s showed me just how much structure these 2010’s have- it is a powerhouse! It has an opaque, black-purple color and strong currant and cola Cabernet flavor wrapped tightly to its high acid and high tannin spine. If you have room in your cellar, this is a spectacular deal. If you are looking for something to drink in the next couple of years, keep looking!

No Bordeaux tasting should end on a tannic note, and luckily Clyde and Ralph had the 2010 Petit Guiraud, Sauternes (375ml) ($13.99) to finish out the afternoon. This very open knit Sauternes is composed of 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc. I loved the honey and white flower that were present both on the nose and the palate. While this is not concentrated or profound, it tastes great and has the balance for current drinking. Like all good dessert wine, the Petit Guiraud is sweet without being cloying.

Ending on a sweet note: Clyde tastes the 2010 Petite Guiraud Sauternes.

I hope that you can join us for our next tasting. If you are interested, please check out K&L Local Events on KLWines.com for upcoming Bordeaux tastings and other events. They are always a lot of fun!

Gary

 

 

Wednesday
Feb132013

Special Bordeaux Tasting this Saturday with Christophe Reboul Salze & K&L Founder Clyde Beffa! 

By: Ralph Sands | Senior Bordeaux Specialist

In the Redwood City from 1-4pm with yours truly, cost is $20.00!

We are thrilled to welcome one of our best friends from Bordeaux, Mr. Christophe Reboul Salze. Christophe is the owner of the negociant firm “The Wine Merchant” in Bordeaux as well as the owner of one of Bordeaux greatest value wines, Ch. Gigault “Cuvee Viva” located in the Premiere Cotes de Blaye. Christophe also has the lofty reputation of being one of the Bordelais' most knowledgeable people on the old and rare wines of Bordeaux. Christophe will be pouring his lovely 2009 and 2010.

K&L owner and MWB (Main Wine Buyer) Mr. Clyde Beffa will also be in attendance!

Christophe Reboul Salze, Bordeaux negociant and owner of Chateau Gigault 'Cuvee Viva' will be here in Redwood City for this Saturday's Bordeaux tasting, pouring his 2009 and 2010 vintages!

Special Bordeaux Tasting Saturday February 16th

K&L Redwood City, 1pm-4pm | Cost: $20

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View listing on K&L Local Events

In the Redwood City from 1-4pm, our monthly Bordeaux tasting hosted by Yours Truly is featuring two very special guests this Saturday!

First, we are thrilled to welcome one of our best friends from Bordeaux, Mr. Christophe Reboul Salze. Christophe is the owner of Negociant firm 'The Wine Merchant' in Bordeaux as well as the owner of one of Bordeaux greatest value wines, Ch. Gigault 'Cuvee Viva' located in the Premiere Cotes de Blaye. Christophe also has the lofty reputation of being one of Bordelais' most knowledgeable people on the old and rare wines of Bordeaux. Christophe will be pouring his lovely 2009 and 2010.

And second, K&L owner and MWB--Main Wine Buyer--Mr. Clyde Beffa will also be in attendance!

Cost to taste is $20. Here's the lineup:

2009 Ch. Gigault 'Cuvee Viva', Premieres Cotes de Blaye

2010 Ch. Gigault 'Cuvee Viva', Premieres Cotes de Blaye


2011 Ch. L'Avocat Blanc, Cerons
2010 Ch de Fieuzal Blanc, Pessac-Leognan
2009 Ch. de Briot, Cotes de Bordeaux
2009 Ch. L'Avocat Rouge, Cerons
2009 Ch. Coufran, Haut Medoc
2009 Ch. Montviel, Pomerol
2009 Ch. Monbusquet, St-Emilion
2009 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux (2nd wine of Ch. Palmer)
2009 Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac
2010 Ch. Poujeaux, Moulis

For desert... 2010 Petite Guiraud, Sauternes (2nd wine of Ch. Guiraud)

Walk-in only. Final lineup and pricing subject to change. 

 

I hope to see you there. Cheers!

-Ralph

 

Ralph Sands

Bordeaux Expert

Senior Wine Specialist

K&L Wine Merchants

Redwood City and San Francisco Ca.

1-800 247-5987 Ext# 2723

Direct Line 650-556-2723

Email- Ralph@klwines.com

Company Website- klwines.com