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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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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 Mourvedre (5)

Thursday
Oct102013

It's Back! 2012 Waterkloof Circumstance "Cape Coral" Mourvèdre Rosé $16.99!

The weather this time of year here in the Bay Area is perhaps the worst kept secret about Northern California. The dog days of summer have passed, fog is all but a distant memory, there's no need to even check the weather report, we know it's going to be 75-80 and clear until at least November! So...I say lets enjoy one last round of Rosé Season.

The 2012 Waterkloof "Cape Coral" Mourvèdre Rosé from Stellenbosch, South Africa was hands-down one of the most exciting Rosés of the year for me. Made from 100% Mourvèdre grapes from Biodynamically farmed 50-year-old dry farmed bush vines, this elegant, dry, complex rose did a fantastic impersonation of top quality Bandol Rosé and many of you (our customers) realized what a fantastic deal it was at $16.99! There are just a few cases left of this wine before it goes away for another vintage. I think it will also be a fantastic Rosé pick for Thanksgiving (the unofficial last hurrah of Rosé season) being a fantastic pairing with the old stuffed bird. So grab some while you can. Below are some notes on the wine for those of you who missed it the first time around, plus a link to the Blog about the producer Waterkloof Estate (which is a fantastic Biodynamic, world class producer that we secured a K&L Exclusive import from!) Please check it out.

2012 Waterkloof Circumstance "Cape Coral" Mourvèdre Rosé, Stellenbosch, South Africa $16.99

This wine is produced from Biodynamically farmed, 50 year old, Mourvèdre bush vines overlooking the ocean in the cool Helderberg sub-region of Stellenbosch. There is an old saying that notes "Mourvèdre loves a sea view" relating to it's tempramental qualities and the fact that it thrives looking out over the Mediterranean in the town of Bandol. Waterkloof follows time-honored traditional winemaking techniques in its state-of-the-art gravitational cellar and in their pursuit of more terroir driven wines. The team relied on natural, wild yeast fermentation which took five months to complete. The wine was left on the primary lees for another five months to add further complexity before bottling. The wine is incredibly elegant, crisp, dry, with orange peel and fresh Provencal herbs. This wine has tons of minerality and for what it deliberately eschews in fruitiness, it makes up for in complexity and persistence on the palate.

Waterkloof's Winery and Restaurant Over Looking False Bay

As with all of Waterkloof’s wines this Rosé is made very much with food in mind. Waterkloof is a fantastic estate that we have recently partnered with to bring some of their wines in to the USA exclusively for K&L. See a previous blog post about then HERE. Buy some of this incredible Rosé HERE, or come into any of our stores and pick some up in person!

Cheers!

-Ryan

Ryan Woodhouse

South Africa, New Zealand & Australia Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City

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Wednesday
Nov282012

{Terra Ignota}: A Special Import of Hewitson Wines Now In Stock!

I am pleased to say that we have just received a very special import of Dean Hewitson’s wines from the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

We have been waiting a long time for the wines to arrive, but they are definitely well worth the wait! As you may know some Australian wines (especially those from Barossa) have gained a (what I think is an unfair) bad reputation for being big, overripe "fruit bombs". Well, these offerings from Hewitson are wines that actively seek to breakdown that perception. The wines are an honest 12.5 - 14% alc.  All of the wines have great structure, and freshness that only balanced acidity can bring. Make no mistake, these are robust wines with rich layers of fruit but they also really highlight how old vine Australian reds can also show elegance, brightness and exceptional balance.

Perfect fruit from ancient vines

First up is a fantastic dry Rose that arrived off the truck just in time for Turkey Day! The 2011 Hewitson Rose (made from old vine Grenache, Cinsault and Carignane) is dry, fresh, spicy and a refreshing 12.5% alc. This is quite a unique wine. Dark ground spices, Cranberry and Raspberry. Very drinkable but at the same time there is enough intrigue here to keep you thinking. $14.99.

Next we have the 2010 Baby Bush Vine Mourvèdre. This vineyard was established with selection massale cuttings from Hewitson's Old Garden Block. The Old Garden Vineyard is home to the worlds oldest surviving Mourvèdre vines planted back in 1853.

Dean taking cuttings from the 1853 Old Garden Mourvedre Vines. These cuttings are now 10 years old and produce the fantastic Baby Bush Vine MourvedreThe "baby" vines are dry farmed, head trained vines, grown to mimick the conditions in the original Old Garden. This is beautiful brooding, meaty, earthy Mourvèdre. Dark red fruits and spice are freshened by some well-placed acidity. Polished, soft tannins mean this wine drinks well now but I suspect the precise balance of this wine will help it cellar well for another 5+ years. This is a nice, pure example of this seldom seen varietal that has acquired an underground following for all the right reasons. $19.99

Then we have the 2011 Ned & Henry's Shiraz. 10% Mourvèdre is added to this Barossa Shiraz. All fruit is from vines all grown in the classic Terra Rossa soils (red dusty clay soils with limestone beneath) Barossa is famous for. This is a powerful yet finessed wine with dry tannins and spice. The Limestone sub-soils add some intrigue and savory notes to this deep, viscous and richly fruited Shiraz. $19.99

 

Some of the 110 + year old vines that create Miss HarryPerhaps my favorite of the bunch, the 2010 Miss Harry's Blend, a stunning Rhone style red made from Grenache (44%), Shiraz (39%), Mourvèdre (8%), Carignan (4%) and Cinsault (4%). The fruit is all from 110+ yr old vines. Aged for 12 months in neutral French oak, no racking. A wine of richness, authenticity and complexity. Very very good! $19.99

The 2010 Mad Hatter Shiraz is Dean Hewitson’s expression of the ultimate McLaren Vale Shiraz. The fruit is from the Blewitt Springs sub-region famed for that bright, blue fruit, fresher style of Shiraz. This is a single vineyard, single varietal wine selected from the absolute best lots available. The chosen vineyard is situated on a prime northwest-facing slope; vines are planted in very low vigor sandy loam soils. A meticulous fruit selection process is followed by 21 months in the best French oak. This is a huge wine that will reward patience. Dean Hewitson notes "this wine exudes Old-World balance and elegance while striding easily into the New-World with the freshness of the concentrated cassis fruit." A very serious wine that defines how big blockbuster Aussie Shiraz should be styled. $49.99

All these wines deserve your consideration. They are all excellent and authentic examples of what Australia can produce. Thanks to a special import deal the pricing is also remarkably good considering the quality of these wines. As rain lashes against the window and another two storms are lined up in the North Pacific, I know what I’ll be putting in my glass to see me through the depths of winter!

Dean Hewitson CEO and Head Winemaker making his rigorous selections

Cheers!

-Ryan

Ryan Woodhouse

NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City

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Terra Ignota is Latin for "Unknown Land". It was the name for the South Pacific region during intial mapping and exploration of Australia and New Zealand. As we are going to be exploring new and exciting wines from this region, we think this is a fitting title for our blog series on wines from this part of the world. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday
Mar082011

Behind the Wine: Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards

Mick Unti at the sorting table during harvest.

George Unti of Unti Vineyards *looks* like a farmer. He's got a purposeful gait, weathered features and the firm handshake of someone who digs in the dirt. In the winery, he comes across quiet, like someone who prefers the silence of the vineyard, at least at first. Once you get him going, you quickly realize that this unassuming man, who spent 39 years managing Safeway supermarkets, is also whip smart and incredibly personable. His son, Mick, who handles all of the marketing and a large chunk of the winemaking (with Sebastien Pochan) will be pouring the winery's lineup, including a tank-sample of the winery's highly-anticipated 2010 rosé, at K&L San Francisco this Thursday night from 5-6:30 p.m. ($5), follows in his father's footsteps: always quick to smile, and wonderfully enthusiastic when he talks about his vines and his wines. 

We recently caught up with Mick to ask him a few questions in anticipation for this week's tasting. This is what he had to say:

K&L: How did you get into the wine business?

Mick Unti: Went wine tasting in Hecker Pass region, near Gilroy, one day when it was too cloudy to go to Santa Cruz. Watched Thomas Kruse get off his tractor to pour us some wines and was infatuated with small wineries. Then worked in wine departments in Safeway while I was attending University of Washington. I last worked for Jess Jackson doing National Sales for Artisan and Estates in 1996 before starting Unti Vineyards with my dad, George.

K&L: What’s your winemaking philosophy?

MU: Grow varietals that are well-suited to your climate. Use farming methods that encourage healthy vines naturally (organic, biodynamic, etc.). Maintain moderate to low-yields. Have a very good understanding of the world’s best versions of these wines (that means blowing a bunch of money at K & L on European wines). Study the various methods used by artisan wineries, and if financially possible, apply some of those methods when making your wine. Learn from your own experience to make the wines that are true to your sites. Stay true to your own ideals regarding wine.

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

Delfina in SF, Farmhouse in Forestville, Boulevard in SF

What did you drink last night? (Or the last time you had a glass of wine that wasn’t your own?)

Cascina Ca Rossa 2007 Barbera d’Alba Mulassa, Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg 2009 Kabinett.

What’s your position on wine-pairing and what do you like to pair your wines with?

I’m not that formal. Our wines are made from grapes that are native to the Mediterranean. As such they are moderate-to-low in tannin, fruity and have nice acidity. As such, they are versatile. You can serve our wine with simply seasoned grilled meats or spicy ethnic dishes. Amazing how easy this process is when you drink balanced wines.

What advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

As Al Davis might say, “Just drink a wide variety, baby.”

If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

Do they have to be dead? If so, John Lennon, Bill King (sportscaster) and Esther Peaker (my grandmother) or Dick Unti (my uncle).  Awesome micro-brew Champagne (Pierre Gimonnet) with oysters, Comte de Vogue Musigny with grilled Hawaiian fish. I’m sure we’d break out a few other great wines. Siro Pacenti Brunello, JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenurhr, you get the idea.

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Don't live in San Francisco? Can't make the tasting? Set up your own Unti tasting at home with these three in-stock beauties:

2007 Unti Vineyards Dry Creek Grenache ($26.99) This has intense raspberry, blackberry, tar, pepper, licorice, and dried herbs aromas that are evocative of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Full of fruit on the palate, with an earthy, licorice-tinged undercurrent, this captures the Dry Creek landscape and still maintains the balance we've grown to expect from Unti. An ager.

2007 Unti Vineyards Dry Creek Zinfandel ($24.99) It's no coincidence that the Dry Creek Valley has become synonymous with Zinfandel, and of the region's and varietal's best characteristics are packed into this bottle. Briar fruit and black pepper aromas and flavors are accented by subtle floral tones. There's plenty of structure, and the wine is completely dry, with the signature ripeness of the vintage and the balancing acidity that marks all of Unti's wines.

2008 Unti Vineyards "Petite Frere" Dry Creek Rhône Blend ($16.99) Unti's version of a Côte du Rhône, this is Grenache-dominated blend with small amounts of Syrah and Mourvedre. Full of ripe Dry Creek fruit with firmer tannins than previous vintages, this is like some of the CdR's from France in 2007, blessed with juicy red fruit, but needing a little time to integrate.