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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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Entries in Lopez de Heredia (8)


K&L Electronic Newsletter 2nd Edition: Spain!

K&L Wine News: May 20, 2013: Spain. Click to read!  

K&L Wine News

Electronic Newsletter Second Edition!

May 20 2013: Spain

This edition features one of our favorite regions for value: Spain! Our buyers and experts give you recommendations that span the spectrum from traditional modern. From old-school Rioja to new-school Garnacha, there's something in here to please all palates. Saludos!


Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Pedro Lopez de Heredia, rest in peace

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

Greetings all,

Sad news this week. Pedro Lopez de Heredia, grandson of founder Rafael Lopez de Heredia y Landeta, passed away on this past weekend at the age of 85. I never met Pedro, though I feel like through stories I hear from his daughter María José, those of others, and drinking lots (LOTS) of bottles of his Riojas over the years, I can and should piece something together.

Lopez de Heredia wines, as I'm sure anyone who knows them will attest, are unapologetically old school. Their style has never changed with the times. Even at the height of the trend towards rich, extracted, purple colored new fancy cooperage French oak influenced wines in Spain, Lopez de Heredia carried on making the same wines as only they knew how: using estate grown fruit, very old oak fermentation vats, and well used barrels. No "vinos de autor," no modern cuvees, no new product launches. Despite the multiple veiled critiques from colleagues accusing traditional Riojas such as theirs as lacking color, complexity, a sense of place, Lopez de Heredia stuck to their guns and continued on their path. This was before the gushing New York Times reviews, pieces on NPR, and mandatory placements on wine lists of dozens of American Michelin starred restaurants that have all brought so much acclaim to this winery over the past decade or so. If nothing else, it proves that in wine as in fashion, pop culture and the arts, all things do eventually come back around. I would be hard pressed to think of a Spanish winery that is more deserving of their recent success than Lopez de Heredia.


Of the current generation at Lopez de Heredia (Mercedes, Julio and María José), it is María José, the incredibly energetic, tireless spokesperson and public face of the winery, who I have come to know over the past several years. And this is where the story gets a little personal. My last visit to the winery, my wife, another couple and I joined María José for a walk through Viña Tondonia and an impromptu picnic in the center of this beautiful place, framed as it is by a centuries old village, mountains, a winding river in the distance. Pedro had recently suffered a stroke, and María José was going to be the primary caretaker, making frequent trips to Madrid (at least four hours from her home base of Haro) in order to be with her father and insure that he receive the best care possible. She was in a talking mood, so we let her talk and listened. To hear María José speak about her father, about her love as well as the huge amount of respect and love that others in the industry had for Pedro, it reminded me not only of  the strength of family and community, but also brought to mind a very similar situation I had experienced not even a year earlier. Another very well respected, strongly opinionated older man, someone who had set up a successful family business, and who had given back as best he could to the community that fostered his success, was ailing. That man was my grandfather, and his primary caretaker was my dad.

 I cannot overstate the influence my grandfather has had on me, and I cannot think of a single winery in Spain or anywhere else for that matter, that I feel as personally connected to as Lopez de Heredia. Pedro Lopez de Heredia, rest in peace. I hope you all will join me in toasting the man this weekend with your favorite bottle of wine from the winery he helped to usher into the modern era -- without losing sight of history and tradition.

Un saludo,


Joe Manekin
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 10/31/12: Rioja Tastings This Week!

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

TASTINGS, we got 'em! If you're curious to see how well great Rioja ages, please join us for our final Vibrant Rioja in-store tastings of the year in San Francisco and Redwood City.

 Vibrant Rioja Part III: San Francisco - Thursday 11/1 (5-6:30pm) $5

Vibrant Rioja Part III: Redwood City - Friday 11/2 (5-6:30pm) $5

We've got a fistful of Lopez de Heredia Tondonia for both of these...the whites. See how the 1996 Blanco Reserva and the 1991 Blanco Gran Reserva are showing.  We will also be featuring the lovely 1995's from Ontañon, a reserva and gran reserva. I won't overemphasize the point, but for anyone who has tasted any of these will tell you, $5 to try these four wines is a steal.

Also, for all of you who live and/or work in SF, please join us for what promises to be a fun Rioja tasting with our friends at 18 Reasons (3674 18th St) on Friday 11/9 from 6-8pm. There will be some cheese and other Spanish nibbles while you enjoy wines from Peciña, Remelluri (yes, including the vaunted white!) and others. Twelve great wines and snacks for $15. All killer no filler, as they say. Spanish wine importer/local celebrity José Pastor may even make an appeance. It's going to be fun.

Alright, gotta go, too much going on!  Hope to see you at one or more of these tastings.




Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748