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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 Chenin Blanc (7)

Wednesday
Mar022011

Wine of the Week: St. Nicolas "Les Clous" Fief Vendéens

Just south of Muscadet, near the mouth of the Loire River, is a tiny, nascent growing region that few people, other than then the geekiest of Loire fans, have ever heard of: Fief Vendéens. Now you can count yourself among the fortunate few. This VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure, testing ground for new appellations) includes small villages like Bretignolles-sur-Mer, Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, and Brem-sur-Mer, where today's Wine of the Week, made by Domaine Saint Nicolas, comes from. 

Domaine Saint Nicolas's estate, which was has been cultivated organically since 1995, is spread out over 32 hectares on the Ile d'Olonne, edging up against that region's famed salt marshes. Its soils are clay and schist, and its vineyard composition is reflective of the region: Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Grolleau Gris (also spelled Groslot). Owner Thierry Michon now farms his grapes biodynamically, harvests by hand, and vinifies his wines to allow the nearby sea, woodland and salt marshes to speak through his wines. While the exact cépage for his 2009 Domaine Saint Nicolas "Les Clous" Fief Vendéens ($16.99) seems to be up for debate, the bottle, our buyer, the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate can all agree that it's predominantly Chenin Blanc. Whether the rest is 10% Grolleau, 15% Chardonnay and 5% Grolleau, or some other combination doesn't really matter though, the point is the wine is 100% delicious, and on that everyone can seem to agree.

The wine is a bit geeky, and a touch oxidative, but not so much so that it would be off-putting to those new to the style. The nose is a seductive blend of baked Comice pear and petrol. Tangy and filigreed on the palate, it tastes like a mouthful of Murcot tangerine, its blossoms, quince, animal crackers and pineapple eaten out in the fresh sea air. Its acidic lift and stony finish will help it at the table, where it's a natural pairing with langoustines, oysters and other sea creatures. I think it also has enough acidity to stand up to a summery gazpacho and enough texture to meld with grilled pork or chicken. 

Leah Greenstein

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

Tuesday
Oct122010

Cheese & Wine Pairing with Paige the Cheese Handler

If you've ever gotten into a conversation with someone on K&L's staff about cheese, you'd know we're more than a little nuts about it. Its complexity and diversity parallels wine, and its ability to showcase the place where its from makes it a natural interest for those of us passionate about terroir. That's why we decided to invite Paige Handler, the Cheese Handler, over to K&L Hollywood one afternoon to explore cheese and wine's natural affinity for one another, and to try our hand at coming up with some of our own pairings.

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