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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 direct imports (29)

Thursday
Sep272012

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Direct Import Bessin Chablis & Chateau de Charriere (Yves Girardin) Arrival!

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Our Direct Imports of Bessin Chablis and Chateau de Charriere (Yves Girardin) have arrived! 

These wines are mentioned in my column in the October newsletter (inserted below for your quick reference), which should have reached many of your doors by now. Jean-Claude Bessin had a very small crop in this vintage, so supplies are extremely limited on his Chablis. The wines are currently in our San Carlos warehouse, after which will make their way to all three K&L stores. If you have any questions about these wines or to inquire about placing an order, please contact me or purchase online at KLWines.com once they become available. I have already gotten many inquiries about these wines and advise you to act fast if you are interested! 

K&L Wine News: October 2012 

Pour Votre Plaisir By Keith Wollenberg

We have a number of exciting wines that recently arrived from Château de la Charrière. In 2003, Yves Girardin, a 10th generation grower in Santenay (and brother of Vincent Girardin) acquired this property and built a new winemaking facility. More recently, after completing technical training, Yves’s son Benoit has joined him, bringing to 11 the consecutive generations of the family to grow wine in Santenay. Working in their new cellars, they have really improved quality a tremendous amount in the last few years, and we are excited to present their wines to you.

We are bringing in three whites from the domaine. The 2010 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Blanc* ($14.99) is rich and charming, with an open and easy elegance about it. Their 2010 Château de la Charriere Savigny-lès-Beaune “Vermots Dessus”* ($23.99) comes from a site on the slopes just above the village of Savigny, enroute to Bouilland. It is always a vineyard with terrific minerality, since it has the cooler air descending from the Rhoin Valley, as well as shallower topsoils. Charming and elegant, with bright minerality, attractive citrus and lemon notes, lots of complexity and a long and elegant finish, this is simply terrific. Their 2010 Château de la Charrière Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Clos St. Jean”* ($44.99) is a terrific value in Chassagne-Montrachet. What attracted me to this wine instantly was the white flower notes on the nose. On the palate it is fine and rich in structure. It is poised and elegant, with nice minerality and a most attractive finish.

We also have a number of red wines from this domaine to offer you. We’ll start by tempting you with two wines to help you understand that you can afford to drink Burgundy on a regular basis. I like to, so why shouldn’t you? The 2010 Château de la Charriere Bourgogne Rouge* ($14.99) comes from estate vineyards just south of Chielly-lès-Maranges. It has a very pretty nose, with notes of red cherries and raspberries. On the palate it shows a bit more weight and structure, but remains open, charming and most attractive in character. If your favorites are a bit more exuberant and you love open character, try this.

“After completing technical training, Yves Girardin’s son Benoit has joined him, bringing to 11 the consecutive generations of the family to grow wine in Santenay. Working in their new cellars, they have really improved quality a tremendous amount in the last few years, and we are excited to present their wines to you.”

Their 2009 Château de la Charriere Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge* ($16.99) is also very charming in nature, with fine and elegant fruit. It is less overt and richer on the palate than the Bourgogne Rouge. There is a core of terrific energy here, and a very pretty finish. If you like your Burgundies a bit subtler and brighter, this is for you. We also have the 2010 Château de la Charriere Santenay 1er Cru “Clos Rousseau”* ($23.99), from one of the best vineyards in the commune. It is rich and attractive in character, with lovely fruit on the entry, followed by more structure on the finish. This is attractive, clean, honest Pinot, with a real sense of place. Finally, we have the 2009 Château de la Charriere Beaune 1er Cru “Vignes Franches”* ($24.99), from one of my favorite Premier Cru vineyards in Beaune, Les Vignes Franche. It is located adjacent to and north of the famous Beaune Clos des Mouches. The topsoil is shallow and the potential very high here. This is flat-out superb wine. It has lovely cherry fruit, and a more charming, transparent and less earthy character than the Santenay.

Our extremely limited supplies of Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis* have also just arrived. From the first taste of his first wine there was no doubt that this was a producer I was excited to work with. Make no mistake about it, these are absolutely world-class Chablis, with the sort of laser-like focus, precision and crystalline quality that I so often look for, and so often do not find. Jean-Claude’s work in the vineyards is mostly what he does, working organically, in the style of Raveneau or Dauvissat, harvesting entirely by hand in all of his vineyards, and using cover crops and plowing, not herbicides. We have six different Chablis, each brilliantly revelatory of its place. To see how good these are, all you need to do is try the 2010 Domaine J-C Bessin Chablis “Vieilles Vignes”* ($19.99). But I strongly recommend all of his wines to you; we have four different Premier Crus and one Grand Cru as well. For a complete list of these, and of all of our Burgundies, go to KLWines.com.

A Sante,

Keith

***

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com

Tuesday
Jun192012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 6/19/12: Rioja DI's Have Landed, Miguel Merino Comes to Town

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Hola, Iberiophiles,

It's been a few weeks of silencio on the emails, so now that the honeymoon is over (I mean that literally as I'm just returning from Kaua'i), let's get down to business and continue to put together a strong foundation built upon ongoing communication. Communication about about delicious, honestly made Spanish and Portuguese wines. Baby, together we can do this. 

OK, enough of the bad jokes.  Lots of new wine and events.

1.) Our Direct imports have landed  More terrific, unusually terroir expressive, soulful Riojas have come in from Puelles (Abalos, Rioja Alta) and Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos (Laguardia, Rioja Alavesa).  These wines are spectacular, traditionally styled Riojas.  Some of the best values out there (that's why we asked them to sell us wine directly, and thankfully they shook my hand and agreed to do so). 

Bodegas Puelles: Jesús and Felix Puelles farm nearly 30 hectares spread across various plots in the village of Abalos, a part of Rioja Alta rich in winemaking history (one of the Puelles vineyards still has an example of a 14th century lagar for foot trodding grapes and decanting the juice right in the vineyard).  Distinctive for the fact that these are wines all from Abalos fruit (single village wine is still a rarity in Rioja) and with brightness and a wonderfully chalky mineral bite, Bodegas Puelles has a lineage of grape growers dating back a few hundred years; the farming know-how shows in the quality of these wines.

2008 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja ($15.99)

2004 Bodegas Puelles Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos: Where to start?  You can learn more about them on our website (search: 'lesmos') and in an upcoming July newsletter article. For now let me simply say that these are breathtaking, traditional, artisanal wines made by Angel Escudero de Gravalos with some help from his family. Delicious wines that truly speak to the place of their origin. They also come primarily from one village, Laguardia, though there is some fruit from vineyards in Villalba as well (both villages are in Rioja Alavesa). Very little known, even in Rioja, I suspect that this will change as people become more familiar with these spectacular wines.  These are some of the best value reds in our entire inventory right now.

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja ($12.99)

2004 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja  ($19.99)

2.) Miguel Merino is Here! By way of reminder we have a very special guest here this week, Sr. Miguel Merino.  In-store tastings are walk-in and open to the public. For a nominal fee you will meet this very interesting man and taste the entire range of Miguel Merino wines we carry in our stores. 

If you live in the Bay Area, please note that we have a handful of spots open for a very special dinner we are having with Miguel at Contigo, a superb Catalan restaurant in Noe Valley (SF). Due to the intimate nature of the dinner (15 person limit), the promotion has been very light, and I'm probably going to under-sell this, but... know that if you attend you will drink some damn fine, single village Rioja, including a few older vintages and Miguel's wonderful company. See below for details and info on how to order tickets.

In-store tasting with Miguel Merino in Redwood City, Tuesday June 19th (5-6:30pm)

Event listing on KLWines.com

Invite friends & share: http://www.facebook.com/klwines#!/events/473883769295261/

Come and taste our full line-up of Miguel Merino wines with the owner himself.  Learn about the various terroirs of Briones, the origin of Merino's graciano plants, Miguel's very thorough, three tiered selection process, where to find the best foie gras tapa in Haro, amongst many other topics to be sure.

 

Very intimate wine dinner with Miguel Merino at Contigo in SF, Wednesday June 20th at 8:30pm

Join Miguel and me and enjoy his wines with Brett Emerson's wonderful Catalan inspired cuisine at Contigo in Noe Valley.  We will be pouring the following wines (as well as a few special surprises): 

2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja

2009 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja

2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja

2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja

2008 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja

Only 15 spots are available, first come, first served.  We have reserved the outdoor (heated) patio, which is perfect for this amount of people.  There will be five courses served. Cost is $100 (wine, gratuity and tax all included).  Purchase your ticket using the link below or email me with questions, joemanekin@klwines.com.

Purchase Tickets: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1093719 

 

3.)  Actually, there is no 'three'

There was going to be more, but I think that is plenty for now.  Will try to catch you early next week for a round-up of more new stuff and tasting events to look forward to.

Un saludo,

Joe

 

---

Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

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."

 

***

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!

 

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