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2000 Labégorce, Margaux $39.99

A great value in Bordeaux! This bottle is mature enough to drink now, but has time in hand if you want to keep it in the cellar for the future. We love it for its laid back elegance and classic balance. A must try for your next nice steak dinner.

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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

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.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Entries in Food and Wine (11)

Wednesday
Jun122013

New Wonders from the Central Coast: Saarloos & Sons 

 Left to right: K&L Domestic Buyer Bryan Brick, staff members Jeff Garneau, Jim Boyce and Sarah Covey, with Rarig Ross and Keith Saarloos.Featured in the June 03 2013 Edition of the K&L Electronic Newletter! Click to read

New Wonders from the Central Coast: Saarloos & Sons 

By: Jeff Garneau, K&L Staff Member

When I walked into the Saarloos & Sons tasting room in Los Olivos a couple of months ago, I wasn't sure quite what to expect. Which, in hindsight, is just as well, since Keith and Brad Saarloos are pretty good at defying expectations, challenging preconceptions, and gleefully poking with a stick anything that smacks of convention and pretense.

We tasted a lot of great wines, most of which I don’t remember well because Keith insisted I stop taking notes. At some point he also insisted I stop spitting, so tasting became drinking.

So we drank and we talked. About wine, about grapes, about music, art, and life.

 

It is worth noting at this point that Saarloos & Sons are farmers first and foremost. They grow grapes of exceptional quality, most of which they sell to other winemakers. A small amount they hold back every year to make their own wine. They sell exclusively direct to consumer, not through retail wine shops. But at the end of that evening they paid us the ultimate compliment. They offered us a couple of wines to make available to our K&L customers: the 2009 Saarloos & Sons "His" Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.99) and the 2010 Saarloos & Sons "Hers" Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blanc ($26.99). I absolutely recommend a visit to their tasting room in Los Olivos to taste their full selection, but until your next trip we are honored to share these two wines with you.

Saarloos & Sons is a very special find for us here at K&L. Family owned & operated since its inception, the focus stays on family & quality grape growing. Keith Saarloos says, "We pay homage to those that have gone before and honor those that are to come". Each wine created honors a family member, and are named accordingly. Try the 2009 Saarloos & Sons "His" Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.99) with a juicy grilled steak - in stock now at K&L! I enjoyed the  2009 Saarloos & Sons "His" Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.99) at dinner the other night with my nephew. We grilled a 2 lb “Fred Steak” from Schaub’s in Palo Alto, serving it with roasted baby Yukon potatoes and fresh local asparagus. The Cab was a perfect companion to the spicy, smoky meaty deliciousness that is Fred steak. A hint of violets and new wood on the nose. On the palate the wine has a rich, silky texture with notes of blackberry jam and cassis. Imagine the blackberry jam your grandmother used to make, heading out before dawn to her secret spot to pick fresh wild blackberries, then spending the rest of the day canning blackberry preserves. There is a sweetness of fruit, a ripeness perfectly offset by a liveliness and a freshness that keeps the wine in perfect balance. The finish is framed by fine tannins that lie lightly on the tongue, caressing the palate like a finely woven cotton blanket on a cool summer night. If there is a perfect California Cabernet Sauvignon, this is it. Expertly crafted, and a pure joy to drink. 

 

 

Saarloos & Sons are farmers first and foremost. They grow grapes of exceptional quality, most of which they sell to other winemakers. A small amount they hold back every year to make their own wine. They sell exclusively direct to consumer, not through retail wine shops, but they have offered us two special wines to make available to our K&L customers!

This STUNNING Grenache Blanc, "Hers" is made in honor of Keith Saarloos's grandmother.

2010 Saarloos & Sons “Hers” Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blanc ($26.99) K&L Notes: "Each wine created honors a family member, and are named accordingly. This is 100% Grenache Blanc from the Saarloos estate. It is deep and rich, perfectly pitched in its offering of ripe pear and lemony citrus aromas and flavors. Breadth on the palate is balanced by fresh acidity that drives toward a textured, mineral-laced finish. Rhone-like in elegance, with California approachability, this makes a statement about the potential for Grenache Blanc in California."

Saarloos & Sons has some great videos about their wines and winemaking on their website, too. To check them out and learn more about this great family producer, click here.

Cheers,

-Jeff

Friday
May312013

Champagne Friday: A Perfect Champagne and Cheese Pairing

Michel Loriot in the L'Arpent Vineyard that produces the Loriot Meunier Vieilles Vignes.By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member

Food and wine is something of a regular topic here at the K&L, as it ought to be really at any wine shop, but the topic comes up especially often with Gary and Cindy Westby and me. I am forever asking them what they had for dinner, what they drank with it, and how the paring worked.

Champagne is one of my favorite wines to drink with (and before) dinner, and so when Gary returms from his annual trip to Champagne, it is my habit to interrogate him about what he ate and drank. After returning the last time, one particular thing stuck firmly in my head: he mentioned that for the first time he could remember, he had been served a non-French cheese with a bottle of bubbles. To say cheese is a big deal in France is an understatement. I was surprised that this took place in front of a guest. It must have been a nearly perfect pairing.

Let me tell you, it is.

The Champagne is the 2006 Michel Loriot "Pinot Meunier Vieilles Vignes" Brut Champagne ($49.99) The cheese is Parmesan.

With this in mind, I set out to create a dish that would compliment this natural pairing, as well as highlight the savory components of the wine. This bottle of Champagne has both driving minerality contrasted with a beautifully creamy mouthfeel. Pinot Meunier always has this umami quality that tantalizes me the way that truffles and mushrooms can when incorporated perfectly into a dish. In order to find the right dish I found myself flipping through the French Laundry cook book.

Eventually I stumbled on the perfect dish: White Truffle Risotto with Shitake Mushrooms and Parmesan.

This risotto is constructed in the usual manor: soften shallots, toast the rice, add white wine, and then carefully ladle in stock until the rice has absorbed enough liquid to be cooked through but firm. After the risotto was cooked properly, I folded in a cup quartered Shitakes that I had sautéed in butter and a splash of Cognac separately (flambé carefully please), stirred in a touch of heavy cream, and a few drops of white truffle oil (a few drops really do go a long way, it is completely worth it to spend a bit more of high quality oil, the difference is truly amazing), and a half cup of grated Parmesan. I topped the risotto with a baked Parmesan cracker, grated the cheese on to a silicon pad, and popped it in the oven until lightly golden brown and crispy.

I poured a glass of the Champagne and proceeded to enjoy truly a great pairing. The interplay of the savory aspect of both wine and the dish were truly stunning. The richness of the Risotto was countered with the driving minerality and fresh acidity of the wine, and everything was in harmony. I encourage all of you to think about Champagne as a great wine to have before dinner, but also as a very capable pairing to many dishes.

Cheers!

-Kyle

Loriot's ancestors watch over the L'Arpent day and night.

Friday
May242013

Champagne Friday: Previewing 2004 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne

2004 Dom Perignon Brut ChampagneBy: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

I was lucky enough to get a pre-release bottle of 2004 Dom Perignon to taste this week, even though the wine will not be available for sale until late this fall. I have been very happy with this vintage in Champagne (which has run almost completely under the radar in the press) ever since tasting it as vin clair (the still wine that is destined to become Champagne before it is bottled) in the spring of 2005. This cool, even vintage produced a healthy yield, three times that of the short 2003 and had more than normal sun shine despite a very wet August. The harvest was late in September, and great weather in the final three weeks produced nice quality.

When Champagne lovers ask me about what vintage they should think about collecting, I always bring up 2004 first. While many other vintages such as 2002, 2006 and 2007 have produced fabulous wines, they have all been crazy in one way or another. Because of climate change, the only two harvests that could be counted as typical, “classic” Champagne vintages in the last 25 years are 1988 and 2004. Of course, many vintages in the past 25 years have been great; 1989, 1990, 1996, 2002 and almost certainly 2008 and 2012. All of these vintages have a story, and all of them are odd. Even vintages with plenty of water and slow ripening, which over the last 200 years would be considered typical and classic, are an endangered species.

The character of the 2004’s is very transparent, revealing of terroir (especially in single vineyard wines), long and light on its feet. The wines do not have the weight and authority of the 2002’s or the crazy concentration of the 1996’s. What they have is deft, elegant balance and I believe that they will, like the 1988’s, prove to be great. The Dom is a great indicator and example of the strength of this vintage. I can’t remember liking a vintage of Dom when it was first released as much as this since the 1990, or finding one of such good potential since the 1996.

I wanted to make the most out of this chance to drink the 2004 as a preview and decided to prepare a special dinner for Cinnamon and I. I picked up an ounce of Osetra and we started out enjoying the bottle with blini and creme fraiche. For the main course I cooked some local wild king salmon on an alder plank on the grill after giving it a light brine. I topped it with some fleur de sel, pepper and paddlefish roe.

The 2004 is certainly the driest non-Oenotheque release I have ever tasted from DP and the white gold color has a real flash of green to it. On the nose, the signature Dom Perignon yeastiness is front and center framed by some delicate Chardonnay fruit. The Osetra blini brought out the nuttiness of the Pinot Noir very nicely on the palate. It was too bad that there was only one ounce! One of the things that I learned from the DP seminar that I wrote about in April was that the wine is always close to 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, and this 2004 certainly tasted that way. When we had the salmon, which was very rich, the Dom showed more of its cutting, mineral driven Chardonnay side.

This elegant bottle of Champagne went down very easily, and showed the strength of Moet’s massive vineyard resources and incredible store of knowledge. These wines age very well, and the 2004 has the balance to go the distance. I was very impressed! It should be on the shelf sometime late this fall.

-Gary Westby