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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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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.

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Entries in K&L (9)

Thursday
Apr082010

Trey's Blog: The Final Days of 2009 Bordeaux En Primeur

Friday, April 2nd  and Saturday, April 3rd

The last few days were loaded with négociant tastings and many, many wines. We did have three final appointments on Friday that are worth mentioning.

Haut-Brion

This is always a great tasting, not only to get a chance to taste Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion side by side, but it is also a rare opportunity to taste the Haut Brion Blanc. After it is bottled, few will get to try it at the price it fetches.

2009 La Mission Haut-Brion– Showed firm tannins, rich middle, seemed a bit disjointed but we could tell the wine is there.

2009 Haut-Brion – Alex loved this wine! Intense, concentrated and very powerful, this could be the most powerful wine of the trip. It had a firm edge to it. Fruit was a bit closed in the middle.

2009 La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc – Formerly Laville Haut-Brion Blanc. This was the first time I saw the new label. A very crisp, bright, high acid style—far less rich than Haut-Brion but still very clean and fresh.

2009 Haut Brion Blanc – Always an amazing wine.  It is hard to believe the depth, richness and density this white wine has. It shows layers and layers of complexity and fruit. It borders being over the top, but the acidity and structure keep it all together. Amazing wine!

The K&L Team with the beautiful Veronique Sanders of Haut-BaillyHaut-Bailly

The 2009 Haut-Bailly showed well. The fruit is ripe, rich and concentrated while the tannins are firm. Great mid palate fruit! Always a favorite at K&L, this will be a wine to buy if priced right.

Smith Haut Lafitte

Two of the most successful wines in Pessac were made here in 2009. Both the red and the white impressed us at the UGC tastings and at the Château.

2009 Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge – Dark, rich color, hints of chocolate, cedar and minerals, loads of fruit and big ripe tannins. Velvety mid texture with good acidity to hold it.

2009 Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc – Creamy, lush and juicy, this wine shows a voluptuous texture and a racy finish. Delicious!

Trey Beffa



Tuesday
Apr062010

Trey's Blog: Day Six in Bordeaux

Wednesday, March 31st

9 a.m. – Château d’Angludet

An early start this morning. We meet James Sichel to taste through about 25 samples before the d’Angludet wines. We tasted 2003 through 2006 as well as the 2009. All of the wines showed well, but the 2009 really showed the quality of the vintage. Its flavors were similar to the older vintages, but the fruit was ripe, clean and fresh. Like many 2009s the purity of fruit and balance was on another level.

The 2009 Malescot-St-Exupery

10 a.m. – Châteaux Malescot-St-Exupéry

We had already heard the buzz about this wine before we arrived. The Wine Spectator scored it very high, and many others have mentioned this wine as an outstanding effort. For us, the 2009 lived up to the hype. It is a blend of 55% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot. It showed a plush, rich, velvety texture, was thick and rich in the mouth and balanced by racy acidity, ripe ultra sweet-tannins and a spicy mineral driven finish. Killer wine!

10:30 a.m. – UGC Margaux

Here we tasted about 25 or so wines from the appellation. There were some outstanding wines, and then there were some wines that were just good. Overall the quality was high. We had our doubts as we heard from many that the Cabernet did better than the Merlot in 2009. But it seems that the wines from Margaux, even with high percentages of Merlot, showed great. Our favorites included the Cantenac Brown, Dufort-Vivens, Lascombes, Marquis de Terme and Rauzan-Segla. 

Noon – Camensac tasting and lunch

Along with the 2009 Camensac and the 2009 Chasse-Spleen, we tasted a vertical of Camensac starting with the 1999 and finishing with the 2008. The tasting was very interesting. For me, the best wines were the 2009, 2005 and the 2000, but that is probably obvious. The surprises were that the 1999 and the 2001 were both drinking very well. The 1999 had the most developed flavors and aromas. While the ’01 is probably a better wine, the 1999 would be the wine I would choose to drink now.

At lunch we were served the 2001 Camensac again. It was served blind and none of our wine professionals guessed it. The difference was that this bottle was decanted for about an hour beforehand. It was delicious and showed way more fruit than the earlier bottle. The next blind wine turned out to be the 1989 Chasse-Spleen. Both Ralph and Alex got this wine. It was very mature in the nose and showed very ripe, sweet fruit with hints of leather and tar. It was definitely from a hot vintage. The last wine served blind was not guessed by anyone. It was 1971 Chasse-Spleen. It was the third 1971 we tasted this trip—a new record! It was still alive and showed surprisingly well.

3 p.m. – UGC Graves/Pessac

It was a long drive from Camensac down to Pessac, and both the drive and the tasting proved to be among the toughest. The wines in this region showed more rough tannins than in the Médoc. That said, the weather was not good, and many people said that the low pressure was firming up the wines, which are very sensitive when they are this young. There were however a few wines that shined! These included the Smith Haut Lafitte (it may be their best wine ever), Marlartic-Lagravière, Carbonnieux and Haut-Bailly.

5 p.m. – Tasting at a négociants office

7 p.m. Dinner and tasting at Château Lascombes

We finally hit the wall! We were definitely on the quiet side at this dinner. Not even the the 1959 Lascombes out of Magnum could liven us up. We went back to our hotel early (10:30 p.m.). We’ve got the Right Bank tomorrow!

Trey Beffa

Wednesday
Mar312010

Trey's Blog: Days Three & Four in Bordeaux

Sunday, March 28th

The easiest day of the trip – the K&L/Alias/Joanne cup is today and guess who backed out. Me. After living in LA for 3 years I don’t handle wet, cold and windy weather very well.

Alex, Kerri, Sanford, Jeff and myself did muster up the energy for a lunch at noon at L’Avenal—our home away from home. We lucked out as Jean Michael-Cazes and Jean Charles Cazes were in the private room in the back with a large group. They opened a 6L of 1985 Lynch-Bages and sent us a couple glasses. Wine was outstanding. If I had some bottles I would open them up and enjoy them now. I think the wine is at its peak.

Foie Gras and Chocolate at Cordeillan-BagesDinner was at Cordeillan-Bages, a Michelin two-star restaurant.  The meal was outstanding. We ordered the three-course menu, which means that we ended up with about 12 courses if you include all the amouse bouche and desserts. My favorite dish was the foie gras and chocolate served at the start of the meal. Jeff G’s favorite dish was the turbot with a tube d’algue et esperge! Pigeon was the main and we had four dessert courses. The meal was great— lots of foam, which isn’t our group’s thing but it worked.

Wines included 1997 Malartic-Lagravière Blanc, 2001 Belgrave, 2000 Siran and a bottle of 1990 Climens.

 

Monday, March 29th

Now the real work begins. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the 2009s will be the best vintage I will have tasted out of barrel. The only other vintage that could come close would be 1995, and I missed that vintage. The wines have an amazing combination of ripe fruit, balance, finesse, power and length. The tannins are ripe, sweet and integrated.

8:30 a.m. – Breakfast with Jean Michel-Cazes of Lynch-Bages

No wine. Perrier to settle the stomach

9:15 a.m. – Lynch-Bages

The 2009 Lynch shows excellent. Super rich, lead pencil, clean and focused. This is one of the best Lynch-Bages I have tasted out of barrel.

10 a.m. – Léoville-Las Cases

Wow! If this is an example of what is to come, we are in for a treat. The 2009 Léoville-Las Cases is intense, concentrated, layered, dark and focused. This will be one of the best of the vintage for sure!

Jeff G, Clyde, Trey, Alex and Ralph at Duhart-Milon

10:30 a.m. – Duhart-Milon

I have never been to this Château, but Lafite was under construction so we tasted here.

We tasted ’09 Carruades, Duhart and Lafite. The ’09 Lafite was loaded with cola, mocha, minerals, sweet raspberry, spice, mint and big firm but ripe tannins. This is one of the best Lafites I have tasted young and this is usually a difficult wine for me to taste.

11 a.m. – Calon-Ségur

Never my favorite wine, but the Calon-Ségur showed racy acidity, red raspberry fruit, sandlewood and good freshness. This wine shows well!

Jeff, Alfred, Clyde, Melanie, Trey, Alex and Ralph at Pontet-Canet

11:30 a.m. – Pontet-Canet

The ’09 Pontet-Canet will be one to buy. Super sweet, ripe and fleshy, this wine is forward and ripe. This will be a wine that will show well upon release and should drink well for awhile.

12 p.m. – Montrose

We tasted four great offerings. The first two were from Tronqouy-Lalande, an unheralded winery making very affordable wines that deliver great quality for your dollar. The star of this tasting, however, was the 2009 Montrose, which may very well be the star of the St- Estèphe appellation. The wine showed powerful fruit balanced by good acidity, all with a streak of mineral and earth. Tasting this wine I thought of the famed 2000 and 1990 vintages of Montrose. (Notes by Alex Pross)

12:30 p.m. – Château Cos d’Estournel and Lunch

This was our first chance to taste in Cos’s new tasting room, which was very elegant and classy, the wine was even better. The 2009 Cos d’Estournel was spectacular, with powerful fruit and sweet elegant oak that had exotic spice notes including toffee and spice cake. Any fan of Cos will be thrilled to add this offering to their cellar. (Notes by Alex Pross)

After the tasting we had a nice light lunch with Mr. Prats. He poured the 1985 Cos d’Estournel, which was drinking very well. Soft, round, forward and lush, this is another wine that I would be drinking now if I had it in my cellar.

2:30 p.m. – Coufran

If you need any further proof of how great 2009 is shaping up, one only had to taste both the 2009 Verdignan and Coufran wines to see how evident this was. Both wines will sell for less than $20 and are sumptuous, full-bodied offerings. I can’t think of a better way to spend $20 on a wine than these. (Notes by Alex Pross)

Alex, Jeff and Ralph at Pichon-Lalande

4 p.m. – Pichon-Lalande

Wines tated here included the Bernadotte, Reserve de Comtesse, Pichon-Lalande, de Pez and Haut-Beausejour. The Pichon-Lalande showed spicy black licorice, red currants, lush, silky tannins, bright fruit and a long finish. This will be one to buy for sure.

5 p.m. – Latour

All the talk in Bordeaux has been that this and another first growth (Mouton) are the wines of the vintage. While we have not tasted Mouton yet, it would be hard to disagree with the Latour comments. It is a powerful wine that shows amazing finesse and a silky texture. 

6 p.m. – Champagne Break

7:30 p.m. – Dinner with Frederic Engerer at Château Latour

We have had some great wines on our trips to Bordeaux, wines that stand out each trip, wines that you can’t forget, wines that overshadow everything else and, many times, will be the one thing you can remember years later. Many of them have been from Château Latour. We had a pleasant dinner that started with a bottle of 1985 Salon. Our palates were fresh and ready to go. But Frederic likes to play with our minds, so he serves the wines blind and enjoys making us guess. Alex came very close on the first round. Our hint was that they were consecutive vintages.  He guessed 1970 and 1971 Latour. Close. They were 1970 and 1971 Les Forts de Latour. Tonight the ’71 was showing better than the ’70. It was fresh, powerful and rich. Both were very much alive but the ’70 showed a tad flat. Round two was 1970 and 1971 Latour. Wow! The ’70 is a great wine that is still fresh and vibrant. The ’71 is very much alive. The fact that we were drinking this wine at Latour I think played a big role. This wine never left the town of Paulliac. Ship this wine to the west coast and put it in a cellar for a years and who knows.

1945 LatourThe final wine was guessed by my father. 1945 Latour! A big-time treat, this wine was amazing. It was so sweet and fresh that it was a shock to me that it was ’45. Most of us guessed ’61. It was a very nice surprise and one we will not forget.

Trey Beffa