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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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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 New Zealand (17)

Monday
Oct152012

Introducing the Champions of the Blind Chardonnay & Cabernet Tasting Challenge!

The candidates were chosen, running mates too. Opinion polls are silent, votes are in and counted. Two unlikely winners have emerged...


By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

In the world of wine, if Cab is King, Chardonnay must be his Queen. When putting together the recent flights of blind tastings we tried to include a variety of styles and price points from all over the globe to represent the truly international dominance of these grapes. We had some obscure dark horses and some out and out favorites. But when the old brown bag comes into the picture the playing field is leveled and reputations dashed.

We started with ten Chardonnays the Blind Chardonnay Tasting last Friday night in Redwood City, followed by eleven Cabernets on Saturday afternoon. Attendants to each tasting were asked to taste through the blind lineup and cast a single vote for their favorite wine. After voting, they received the wine legend.  

Queue a lot of swirling, slurping and head scratching! Some people confidently scribbled down notes, country, region even producer, while others professed themselves completely baffled, taking only random stabs at price point and nation.

When all was said and done I was pleasantly surprised by the results, as were many of the participants.

Your 2012 blind Chardonnay Tasting Champion (drum roll please….)

2010 Craggy Range “Kidnapper's Vineyard” Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand $16.99

And your King of Cabernet :

2009 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia $29.99

Back to back wins for NZ and Oz!

 

These two wines triumphed over some prestigious Napa wines, Premier Cru Burgundy and everything the rest of the world could muster, with some challengers at three times the price! Scroll down to check out the complete lineups for both tastings at the end of this article and you will see that the competition was serious.

Here is some info on our winners:

 

2011 Craggy Range "Kidnapper's Vineyard Chardonnay, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand ($16.99)

Craggy Range is one of New Zealand's leading producers that focuses on highly prestigious single vineyard wines that illustrate remarkble micro-climates around these spectacular islands. The Kidnapper's Vineyard is situated in Hawkes Bay, right up against the pacific ocean, on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island. The vineyard is named after the nearby Cape Kidnapper's, a headland that takes it's name from a dramatic abduction of one of Captain Cook's crew by indigenous Māori in 1792.

The vines grow literally a stones throw from the surf. This situe has a notable impact on the wines aromatics and flavor as this coastal proximity has imparted a distinct saline quality upon the wine. Most importantly the vineyard is cooled by brisk sea breezes keeping this wine bright and crisp with a nice zippy acidity. The grapes have a long hang time and this slow ripening allows excellent flavor develoment.

 
View Larger Map

In the winemaking process the Kidnapper's Chardonnay is lightly whole bunch pressed into neutral oak tanks for fermentation. 10% goes to new French Oak Puncheons (double size barrels that impart much less flavor). This chablis-like style of production compliments the vineyards cool, crisp, mineral and saline flavor profile. The restraint, balance and complexity of this wine really surpasses it's very modest price point. Here is a link to Craggy Range’s website for more info about this spectacular vineyard site and the winemaking process. Craggy Range's Kidnapper's Vineyard.

 

King of Cabs: 2009 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia $29.99

 The Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly historic wine. Vasse Felix was the first winery established in the now renowned Margaret River region of Western Australia. Planting vines in 1967 Vasse Felix has made this estate Cabernet every vintage since 1972 and continues as a leading family owned estate today. The fruit for this wine comes from the Wilyabrup sub-region known for producing world class cabernet. Vasse's neighbors include Cullen Estate and Moss Wood who make prolific Cab based wines themselves. You can see from the map below again the ocean plays a huge role in tempering the climate in Margaret River. This region gets pretty warm during the summer months but the frigid southern ocean is a constant factor cooling the winds and allowing greater flavor development and acid retention in the grapes.

 

 

View Larger Map

The 2009 Vasse Felix Cab shows archetypal Margaret River Cabernet characters. Concentrated black and blue fruits (think fresh blackberries and blueberries combined) with aromatic minty and subtle eucalyptus hints. With air the wine shows some thyme and cedar notes with dusty soil qualities. The wine is concentrated and powerful but without being over saturated or extracted. It has impeccable balance and a fine but persistent tannin structure.

Vasse Felix's Wilyabrup Vineyard

We hope you get a chance to try some of these winning wines, available now in our stores and on KLWines.com. Our blind tasting series has been a great success with lots of positive feedback from our customers, which means you can look forward to more blind tastings in the future! We invite you to come on down and attend the next one, or perhaps be inspired to stage a blind tasting of your own at home! You can follow us on Uncorked for updates and on Facebook and K&L Local Events for future listings and details.  

Cheers,

-Ryan

Blind Chardonnay Line Up:

1: 2010 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Blanc Dom. Yves Girardin, Burgundy, France $14.99

2: 2010 Craggy Range “Kidnappers Vineyard” Chardonnay, Hawkes bay, New Zealand $16.99

3: 2011 “Heggies” Chardonnay, Eden Valley, Australia $19.99

4: 2009 Dom. Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "Champs Gain" Burgundy, France $59.99

5: 2010 Clos Pepe “Barrel Fermented” Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, California $22.99

6: 2009 Brick House "Cascadia" Ribbon Ridge Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Oregon $32.99

7: 2010 Te Whare Ra Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand $24.99

8: 2010 Cakebread Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $34.99

9: 2008 Monteviejo "Lindaflor" Chardonnay Valle de Uco Mendoza $19.99 (was $30)

10: 2010 Daniel De Wet "Limestone Hill" Chardonnay Robertson, South Africa $15.99

 

Blind Cabernet Line Up:

1: 2009 Sapaio "Volpolo"Bolgheri, Italy $32.99

2: 2009 La Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien, Bordeaux, France $49.99

3: 2009 Fabre Montmayou Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina  $15.99

4: 2009 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia $29.99

5: 2010 Reyneke "Capstone" Red Bordeaux Blend, Stellenbosch, South Africa   $24.99

6: 2008 Attila Gere Cabernet Sauvignon, Villany, Hungary $21.99

7: 2001 Jean Leon Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva, Penedes, Spain $39.99

8: 2008 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington, USA $21.99

9: 2009 Kathryn Kennedy "Small Lot Cabernet", Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, USA $32.99

10: 2010 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, USA $69.99

11: 2009 Amici Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, CA, USA $37.99 

 

 

 

Thursday
Sep132012

{Terra Ignota} New Zealand Pinot Noir Showcase Tasting this Friday 9/14!

The Majestic Rippon Vineyard, Lake Wanaka, Central Otago.                 Join K&L's Kiwi & Aussie Wine Specialist Ryan Woodhouse in our Redwood City store for a special tasting of New Zealand Pinot Noir! We will be showcasing wines from the many different and diverse regions of New Zealand including wines from Marlborough, Central Otago, Nelson and Canterbury. We will taste releases from some of the very best producers in an effort to show how truly world class NZ Pinot can be.

 New Zealand Pinot Noir often represents a perfect balance between big, rich, ripe modern Pinot common in California and a more classic style of restrained, balanced, earthy, more terroir driven, even "Burgundian" style. If you haven't had Pinot from NZ before this will be a revelation. For those of you who have experienced how good these wines can be, we hope to introduce you to some new favorites. 

*UPDATE* 9.00am 9/14/12 WE WILL ALSO BE HOSTING A SURPRISE VISIT FROM WILLIAM HOARE, WINEMAKER AT NEWZEALAND'S FAMED FROMM VINEYARDS WHOSE WINES WE WILL BE CARRYING IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WILLIAM IS ONE OF NZ'S LEADING PINOT EXPERTS AND THE FROMM WINES WILL BE AN EXCELLENT ADDITION TO THE TASTING.

New Zealand Pinot Noir Showcase Tasting

Friday September 14th, 5pm-6:30pm @ K&L Redwood City

Quartz Reef Methode Traditional (it's 61% Pinot!) $21.99
2009 State Landt "Paladin" Pinot Noir, Marlborough $22.99
2010 Mt. Beautiful Pinot, Cheviot Hills, North Canterbury $21.99
2010 Momo (Seresin) Pinot, Marlborough $16.99
2007 Craggy Range "Zebra Vineyard", Central Otago $24.99
2010 Neudorf "Moutere Hills" Pinot, Nelson $36.99
2008 Rippon "Mature Vines" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) $49.99

Cost to taste: $10
Walk in only. Final lineup and cost subject to change.

Jump to K&L Local Events

Contact

 ***

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!

Thursday
Aug022012

{Terra Ignota} Pyramid Valley Vineyard Wines In Stock!

We now have a large range of these spectacular wines in stock

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

On very rare occasions do we find wines that truly inspire—the magic moment we all chase in a simple beverage made from crushed grapes. For this to happen I believe three things have to be in harmony: fruit, structure and terroir. I found these things intricately aligned in the wines of Pyramid Valley. Based in North Canterbury on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the wines made by Mike and Claudia Weersing are truly world class.

Pyramid Valley's Home Vineyard in North Canterbury under a blanket of snowTheir “Home Vineyard” is one of the most carefully cultivated sites anywhere, farmed using biodynamic principles and a whole lot of Claudia’s “blood, sweat and tears.” Beyond their estate they have also forged relationships with growers and small vineyards all over New Zealand. They choose sites of distinction and convert everything to the same stringent biodynamic principles they apply at home. The resulting wines are nothing short of spectacular, perfectly illustrating New Zealand’s plethora of microclimates and diverse terroirs. The winemaking at Pyramid Valley parallels the profound attention to detail in the field: They work with all wild yeasts, tread the grapes by foot and ferment in tiny clay vessels, with an unwavering focus on quality and authenticity.

We have just received a huge range of their spectacular wines into stock, in stores and online:

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyard “Angel Flower” Pinot Noir, North Canterbury ($59.99)

Opulently aromatic: soft berry fruits, exotic spice, hints of warm earth. On the palate: supple, elegant andenergetic. Fine polished tannins and relatively light extraction. The exuberance and depth of this wine suggests its longevity will belie its attractive, graceful structure.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards “Earth Smoke” Pinot Noir, North Canterbury ($59.99)

A powerful and brooding Pinot with darker black cherry, bramble fruit and charcoal, plus ground nutmeg and
clove and an intense, earthy or leaf-litter component. The tannins are more prominent, which perfectly matches the heavier palate weight. Cellaring will no doubt bring reward.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection “Cowley Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Marlborough ($29.99)

The Cowley Vineyard is in the hills and has a more complex soil composition than much of Marlborough, including clay, glacial deposits and granitic stone. This Pinot is dramatically floral, with crushed red berries and hints of anise. The palate is vibrant and concentrated, with spice and rich depth. A touch more forward in style.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection “Calvert Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Central Otago ($39.99)

From a Vineyard shared between some giants of NZ Pinot Noir. (Craggy Range, Felton Road and Pyramid Valley) All farmed Biodynamically. This is the warmest region PV work with and it is reflected in this wines powerful fruit core of Blackberries and dark cherry. Rich and unctuous on the palate, yet retaining freshness and drive. Some dark earthiness and ripe silky tannin. Probably the best cross-over wine for California Pinot drinkers interested in trying Pyramid Valleys offerings.

2007 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection “Howell Family” Cabernet Franc, Hawkes Bay ($35.99)

From the Bridge Pa district of Hawkes Bay, known for its iron- and mineral-rich red loam soils that impart a distinctive complexity into the wines. The winemaker’s notes are perfect here, “hugely perfumed fruit, violets and a tapenade-like mix of olive, black pepper and herbs, especially thyme. Black fruits turn redder with air: blackberry morphing to raspberry.”

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection "Rose Vineyard" Riesling, Marlborough ($21.99)

Intense mineral and lime zest aromatics with a hint of dry grass or straw. A really vivacious palate with tons of citrus notes, some mulling spice, bright floral notes of orange blossom. A lovely weight in the mouth, rich and persistent on the finish.

2007 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection "Kerner Estate" Pinot Blanc, Marlborough ($21.99)

Rich citrus preserve, sweet orange marmalade. Some roasted grains and lees character on the nose give an interesting savory component to an other wise fruit laden bouquet. On the palate this wine is beautifully viscous and mouth filling. A very fleshed out wine that has evolved fantastically in the bottle. All this richness is perfectly balanced by a brisk acidity and long lingering savory minerality on the finish. Very food friendly.

2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyard "Field Of Fire" Chardonnay, North Canterbury

A beautiful bright Chardonnay dominated by perfectly ripe orchard fruits and again those toasted grain notes I get from so many of the PV wines, I think it must be from the good healthy lees contact. A rich and engaging multidimensional wine with excellent fruit, a subtle touch of oak and limestone character running throughout the tail. Excellent depth and persistence.

Cheers!

-Ryan

Ryan Woodhouse

NZ & Aussie Wine Specialist

K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City

Contact

 ***

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!