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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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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 Pinot Noir (78)

Friday
Mar012013

Champagne Friday: The Mountains of Reims and the Grand Valley of the Marne

Pinot Noir at Champagne Pierre Paillard in Bouzy.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Champagne Itinerary #3: The Mountain of Reims and Grand Valley of the Marne

This is my third installment on travel to the Champagne region, the first covered Epernay and the Cotes des Blancs and the second the Western Valley of the Marne. For this edition, I repeat the information on the hotel Ibis in Epernay, as it a great base for exploring the region. I strongly recommend picking up a picnic lunch to enjoy on the many roadside tables in the vineyards before leaving, as a sit down lunch will take up more than half of the day! I have some tips for great places to put together a picnic in Itinerary #1.

Hôtel Ibis, Epernay

This is a great hotel for folks who have come to Champagne as travelers to taste and learn about the wines instead of hanging out in your hotel room. The rooms are clean, simple and comfortable, and the friendly, professional, accommodating staff is available around the clock. Many of them I count as personal friends. The wifi always works, so it is easy to get back in touch with home, and the location could not be more central for visiting the vineyards. Epernay is a small city, and everything is in walking distance. Given how good the food and wine is, walking to and from dinner is a must!

19 rue Chocatelle
51200 Epernay

03 26 51 14 51

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-0852-ibis-epernay-centre-ville/index.shtml

 

Elisabeth Gourtorbe with K&L's Scott Beckerley.

Champagne Goutorbe, Ay

Try Elisabeth Goutorbe "Cuvée Eclatante" Brut Champagne ($34.99) Just fifteen minutes from Epernay, the village of Ay is the heart of the Champagne vineyards in the Marne. Parking is tight in this ancient village, so make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get to your appointments. This is the chalkiest of all the Pinot Noir terroir in the region, and also some of the steepest. Big names such as Bollinger and Deutz are here in this village as well as a roll call of great growers. Instead of visiting the big guys, going to see Goutorbe is a great plan, since it is a two for one: you can taste the wines of both Champagne Henri Goutorbe and Champagne Elisabeth Goutorbe. After more than 100 years of making Champagne, the Goutorbe family had never had a visit from an American importer. The week that I visited, I was the third! The family decided to go national with their main brand, Champagne Henri Goutorbe, and chose the great book of Mr. Terry Thiese.  Elisabeth, the youngest generation of vigneron in the family, suggested working with K&L, and we have been directly importing her wines ever since. These Pinot dominated power houses have minerality like no other Champange from this grape variety. The Goutorbe wines are great examples of this grand cru.

9bis, rue Jeanson

F. 51160 AY-CHAMPAGNE
03 26 55 21 70

info@champagne-henri-goutorbe.com

website

 

Champagne Philipponnat, Mareuil-sur-Aÿ

I have always felt that there is a real difference between the big houses in Epernay and Reims and the ones like Philipponnat that are in the vineyards. The people are prefer to tell you the story of the wines that they make rather than talking about their gift boxes or spinning tales of luxury. This house makes the great single vineyard Clos de Goisses, from a walled vineyard which is just up the road from the winery. When making your appointment, make sure to ask for a vineyard tour of this site, as it is one of the most spectacular vineyards in all of Champagne. It is so steep that they run stairs up it for the vineyard workers! This house is now owned by the Lanson-BCC group run by Bruno Paillard, cousins of the Pierre Paillard family who you will visit next. Everyone is connected in this region!

13, rue du Pont

51160 Mareuil-sur-Aÿ

03 26 56 93 00

commercial.export@philipponnat.com

website

Quentin PaillardChampagne Pierre Paillard, Bouzy

Try: Pierre Paillard "Acte 1" Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Champagne ($49.99) Just five minutes up the hill from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ is the village with the best name in the wine world, Bouzy. This is the number one village for making the red wine in Champagne, and a huge number of houses use this Pinot Noir for making their rose. It can also be found bottled alone as a still red wine, and the Paillards make one of the best. All of their wine comes from massale selected vineyards and they are unusual in this Pinot village for planting quite a bit of Chardonnay. The' Acte' series wines, which are single harvest, single varietal and single vineyard, are some of the best, pure terroir wines in Champagne. The two young brothers Quentin and Antoine now run the family firm with their father Benoit, and all of them are fascinating individuals. Talk to them - you will learn a lot!  

2 rue du XXe siècle

51150 Bouzy - France

0 3 26 57 08 04

contact@champagne-pierre-paillard.fr

website

Benoit MarguetChampagne Marguet Pere et Fils, Ambonnay

Try: 2007 Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rosé Champagne ($49.99) Minutes away from Bouzy, the neighboring village of Ambonnay is equally famous for the quality of its wines. The Marguet house is across an alley from Krug's "Clos d'Ambonnay" and is surrounded by producers like Billiot and Egly-Ouriet. Benoit Marguet is one of my oldest friends in Champagne, and no one in the region is more dedicated to the craft of Champagne than him. You can see his dedication and attention to detail in my video interview with him where he speaks about his custom made egg shaped barrels. His wines are some of the most streamlined, dry and multifaceted that we carry, and the 2007 Marguet Pere et Fils Brut Rosé Champagne ($49.99) is my favorite rose at K&L. He also has a great sense of humor, and speaks better English than I do, so you are bound to have a great time with him!


1 Place Barancourt
F - 51150 Ambonnay
(0)326 537 861
james@champagne-marguet.fr

website

 

Restaurant Patrick Michelon at Les Bercaux, Epernay

After a big day of tasting you will be ready for a great meal. Chef Patrick Michelon serves the most elegant dinner in Epernay. Park the car under the Ibis, drop off the Champagne that you bought in the room and walk across the square and around the corner to the restaurant. The wine list is exhaustive, with too many Champagne’s to even read through properly at the table. I usually show up ahead of my guests to have a ratafia and read ahead! They also have a very nice selection of Burgundy for their excellent meat courses, and the last time I dined there I enjoyed an excellent 2000 Pommard from Parent with my lamb course. As with any really great restaurant, I recommend the tasting menu as it offers the best of what the market has to offer and the best inspiration of Mr. Michelon. This is the sister restaurant to Bistro 7, and right in the same building.

Bon appétit!

-Gary

 

Tuesday
Feb122013

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Celebrating 150 Years at Louis Jadot

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Hello  Burgundy Lovers,

I am excited to let you know that we were able to acquire more of Louis Jadot’s Wonderful Beaune 1er Cru they made in the 2009 Vintage to celebrate their sesquicentennial. 

What is even better is that we were able to get it at pre-arrival pricing, a bargain we are passing along to you, of course. It is a blend of 19 different Beaune 1er Crus, and a spectacular value at less than $50!

Decant this and you will see the ripeness, power and balance of the fantastic 2009 vintage.  It is in stock and available on the web, or by calling 1-800-247-5987.

2009 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru "150th Anniversary Cuvee" $49.95

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2009 Beaune 150th Anniversary Cuvee is a commemorative wine created to celebrate Jadot’s 150th birthday. The 150th Anniversary Cuvee is a selection of the maison’s best parcels in the Cote de Beaune. It boasts extraordinary richness and length, not to mention fabulous overall balance. Seemingly endless layers of intensely fragrant dark red fruit build to the effortless, huge finish. This is a fabulous showing from Jadot. It is just as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel. I think it is safe to say Jadot hit it out the park with this effort. Readers will be tempted to drink the 2009 early, so immense is its appeal, but opening a bottle before its tenth birthday is likely to be nothing more than an academic exercise. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039. (4/ 2012)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

*Outstanding* This anniversary wine commemorating Jadot’s 150th year or operation is a much more interesting effort than the name would suggest. I say this because they have blended together some 19 different Beaune premiers crus. I would start by explaining that when I first opened the bottle it was very closed and reticent and this note is based on a decanted bottle that was kept at cellar temperature while seeing approximately 2 hours of air first so please calibrate your impressions accordingly. The natural ripeness of the 2009 vintage is less apparent with the air though at the same time it accentuates the underlying structure. While the nose is certainly ripe it is not over ripe and is actually quite pretty with attractive red berry fruit, earth and very subtle mineral hints. There is good volume and reasonable concentration to the fleshy and delicious medium-bodied flavors that possess fine intensity and detail, all wrapped in a moderately structured, dusty, mouth coating and firm finish that displays a touch of youthful austerity. This should reward 6 to 8 years of upside and need 2 to 3 before it could at least be drunk with pleasure as it’s a bit tight today even with air. (10/ 2012)

 

À santé,

-Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com

Friday
Feb082013

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: New Arrivals of Comte Armand Pommard 

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

The brilliant Pommard from Benjamin Leroux at Comte Armand has just arrived.  Benjamin is now fermenting by section of the vineyard, rather than by age of vines, as he feels it better expresses terroir, and most of their “young” vines are now 20 years old.  I tasted with Ben the wine from the Northwest corner of the property, which is actually located in Grands Epenots, while the rest of the vineyard is in Petite Epenots, and the two wines were remarkably different, reflecting the different geology of the two sections.  What he is doing with this property is quite remarkable, and I commend his wines as among the best of Burgundy today. 

We have tiny quantities of two wines, both of which are in-stock and available either on the web or by calling 1-800-247-5987.

2010 Domaine Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru "Clos des Epeneaux" , $169.95

92-95 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

Don't Miss! Outstanding! The combined cuvées revealed an exceptionally fresh combination of pure and quite elegant red cherry and raspberry aromas liberally laced with warm earth and iron nuances. There is really lovely purity to the gorgeously well-detailed, intense and muscular medium weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract and a caressing mouth feel before terminating in a mouth coating and explosively long finish. This is relentlessly persistent with outstanding depth on the palate staining finish. Terrific. (8/ 2012)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate  

I tasted the 2010 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux from three separate lots (corresponding to different vine ages and soils within the Clos) and then in an approximate blend. The 2010 is notable for its energy and sheer class. There is a weightless elegance to the 2010 that is quite striking. The 2010 isn’t as boisterous as it can be, but this is an approximate blend, so we will have to see what happens once the wine is in bottle. In some ways, the separate lots are more exciting than the approximate blend, so there is plenty of potential. Readers who appreciate the focused, taut side of Burgundy will find much to admire. AG (2/ 2012)

92-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

(I tasted the various elements of this wine, then an approximate blend; winemaker Benjamin Leroux now vinifies several cuvees by geology rather than age of vines): Good bright medium red. Captivating, highly complex aromas of redcurrant, raspberry, cherry, spices, orange zest, flowers, licorice, menthol and vanillin oak (40% new). Silky-sweet but with lovely energy and vinosity. Very suave in texture, expanding impressively on the back half and saturating the mouth with fruit and soil flavors. This classy, pliant wine shows superb balance and finishes with building, subtle length. The bottling won't take place until April, at the earliest. Incidentally, Leroux destems all of this fruit, as he believes vinification with a percentage of whole clusters makes more sense for delicate wines that need a bit more mid-palate oomph. Nor is he enamored with the idea of bottling the oldest vines bottled on their own, as he believes this wine would still be too tannic and hard when the tertiary aromas arrive after 10 or 15 years in bottle. (2/ 2012)

 

2010 Domaine Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru , $96.99

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2010 Pommard 1er Cru (from young vines in Clos des Epeneaux) is wonderfully cool and precise, very much in the style of the vintage. It is a beautiful, multi-dimensional wine in every way. Understated and gracious, the Pommard 1er Cru impresses for its balance and overall sense of harmony. Sweet floral notes add lift on the finish. Comte Armand’s Clos des Epeneaux remains one of the most fairly priced wines in the world considering quality that is equal or above that of many wines with much higher pedigrees on paper. Recent bottles of the 2002 and 2003 were stunning. (2/ 2012)

89-92 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

This is also exuberantly fresh and expressive with a pretty and ripe nose of primarily red currant and blue berries plus ample amounts of warm earth. There is a similar level of energy that gives a real sense of life to the detailed, pure and impressively intense flavors that possess solid phenolic ripeness and superb balance on the lasting finish. Fine quality here and worth considering. (4/ 2012)

 

À Santé,

-Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com