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With the James Bond movie Spectre being released today, no time could be better to drink Bollinger. The most suave spy in the world has been sipping on Bollinger since Moonraker in 1979. While we can’t all drive a fully loaded, customized machine gun having Aston Martin, we certainly can chill down a bottle of Bolli! The 2004 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne ($109) is as good as Champagne gets; all barrel fermented and full of masculine, Pinot Noir power and high class elegance. We even have a few bottles of the limited 2009 Bollinger "James Bond 007" Brut Champagne ($195) in stock for the diehard fan of Bond & Champagne!

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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

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Entries in Pinot Noir (80)


Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Direct Import Bessin Chablis & Chateau de Charriere (Yves Girardin) Arrival!

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Our Direct Imports of Bessin Chablis and Chateau de Charriere (Yves Girardin) have arrived! 

These wines are mentioned in my column in the October newsletter (inserted below for your quick reference), which should have reached many of your doors by now. Jean-Claude Bessin had a very small crop in this vintage, so supplies are extremely limited on his Chablis. The wines are currently in our San Carlos warehouse, after which will make their way to all three K&L stores. If you have any questions about these wines or to inquire about placing an order, please contact me or purchase online at once they become available. I have already gotten many inquiries about these wines and advise you to act fast if you are interested! 

K&L Wine News: October 2012 

Pour Votre Plaisir By Keith Wollenberg

We have a number of exciting wines that recently arrived from Château de la Charrière. In 2003, Yves Girardin, a 10th generation grower in Santenay (and brother of Vincent Girardin) acquired this property and built a new winemaking facility. More recently, after completing technical training, Yves’s son Benoit has joined him, bringing to 11 the consecutive generations of the family to grow wine in Santenay. Working in their new cellars, they have really improved quality a tremendous amount in the last few years, and we are excited to present their wines to you.

We are bringing in three whites from the domaine. The 2010 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Blanc* ($14.99) is rich and charming, with an open and easy elegance about it. Their 2010 Château de la Charriere Savigny-lès-Beaune “Vermots Dessus”* ($23.99) comes from a site on the slopes just above the village of Savigny, enroute to Bouilland. It is always a vineyard with terrific minerality, since it has the cooler air descending from the Rhoin Valley, as well as shallower topsoils. Charming and elegant, with bright minerality, attractive citrus and lemon notes, lots of complexity and a long and elegant finish, this is simply terrific. Their 2010 Château de la Charrière Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Clos St. Jean”* ($44.99) is a terrific value in Chassagne-Montrachet. What attracted me to this wine instantly was the white flower notes on the nose. On the palate it is fine and rich in structure. It is poised and elegant, with nice minerality and a most attractive finish.

We also have a number of red wines from this domaine to offer you. We’ll start by tempting you with two wines to help you understand that you can afford to drink Burgundy on a regular basis. I like to, so why shouldn’t you? The 2010 Château de la Charriere Bourgogne Rouge* ($14.99) comes from estate vineyards just south of Chielly-lès-Maranges. It has a very pretty nose, with notes of red cherries and raspberries. On the palate it shows a bit more weight and structure, but remains open, charming and most attractive in character. If your favorites are a bit more exuberant and you love open character, try this.

“After completing technical training, Yves Girardin’s son Benoit has joined him, bringing to 11 the consecutive generations of the family to grow wine in Santenay. Working in their new cellars, they have really improved quality a tremendous amount in the last few years, and we are excited to present their wines to you.”

Their 2009 Château de la Charriere Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge* ($16.99) is also very charming in nature, with fine and elegant fruit. It is less overt and richer on the palate than the Bourgogne Rouge. There is a core of terrific energy here, and a very pretty finish. If you like your Burgundies a bit subtler and brighter, this is for you. We also have the 2010 Château de la Charriere Santenay 1er Cru “Clos Rousseau”* ($23.99), from one of the best vineyards in the commune. It is rich and attractive in character, with lovely fruit on the entry, followed by more structure on the finish. This is attractive, clean, honest Pinot, with a real sense of place. Finally, we have the 2009 Château de la Charriere Beaune 1er Cru “Vignes Franches”* ($24.99), from one of my favorite Premier Cru vineyards in Beaune, Les Vignes Franche. It is located adjacent to and north of the famous Beaune Clos des Mouches. The topsoil is shallow and the potential very high here. This is flat-out superb wine. It has lovely cherry fruit, and a more charming, transparent and less earthy character than the Santenay.

Our extremely limited supplies of Domaine Jean-Claude Bessin Chablis* have also just arrived. From the first taste of his first wine there was no doubt that this was a producer I was excited to work with. Make no mistake about it, these are absolutely world-class Chablis, with the sort of laser-like focus, precision and crystalline quality that I so often look for, and so often do not find. Jean-Claude’s work in the vineyards is mostly what he does, working organically, in the style of Raveneau or Dauvissat, harvesting entirely by hand in all of his vineyards, and using cover crops and plowing, not herbicides. We have six different Chablis, each brilliantly revelatory of its place. To see how good these are, all you need to do is try the 2010 Domaine J-C Bessin Chablis “Vieilles Vignes”* ($19.99). But I strongly recommend all of his wines to you; we have four different Premier Crus and one Grand Cru as well. For a complete list of these, and of all of our Burgundies, go to

A Sante,




Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line


Sonoma Road Trip Stories Part III: Chasseur & Unti

 Lavender fields at Unti Vineyards.

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member

A Walk Through Sonoma: Visiting Chasseur & Unti

Last month I was lucky enough to accompany one of our Domestic Wine Buyer Bryan Brick and a pair of colleagues on a trip through the Sonoma Valley. This was my first professional trip to Wine Country and I couldn’t wait to go and learn more about the wines that we have on the shelf. I was excited for the trip for the obvious meet winemakers, taste new wines, learn about the different regions in Sonoma, and get out of the wine shop for a little while to enjoy the country...but I was even more excited when I got back!

I returned brimming with enthusiasm from the walks through the vineyards, from feeling how warm they are in the morning to just how cold they get at night. It was interesting to hear how the different winemakers fared in each vintage depending merely upon what day they decided to pick and to learn what makes each individual winery unique in its little corner of the world. Seeing and experiencing everything that goes into a bottle of wine--the history, the effort, the land--is what truly brings the wine to life.

I hope my words can aptly paint a picture of the wines and the people, who are behind them, but I urge you to try the wines that seem interesting, talk to us about them, but then go and see where they come from - it's a trip you won't forget!

Here are a few of the places we visited with links to learn more about some of the wines we enjoyed:

Unti Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley

2009 Unti Vineyards "Petit Frere" Dry Creek Rhône Blend In the hubbub and glitz of modernized tasting rooms, complete with tasting flights and member exclusives, it is so refreshing to walk into a winery that cares more about talking about their wine than mesmerizing you with shiny objects.  Unti Vineyards is a family-run winery nestled just off of Dry Creek Road. Their tasting bar consists of unvarnished wooden boards on top of wine barrels, in the temperature same controlled room where they store their wine. No frills, just the wine and a cool escape from the midday heat.  The winery is run by Mother, Father, and Son, with a winemaker from France that loved California so much he just stayed.

Unti follows a hands-off winemaking philosophy, in which they seek to let the unique terroir of the vineyards shine through. This gives their wines a sense a place that cannot be duplicated. We tasted many stunning wines, but the 2009 "Petite Frere" Dry Creek Rhone Blend and the 2009 Dry Creek Grenache (both in stock now at K&L) stood out to me. In addition to growing Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache, they have also planted some Mediterranean varietals. They believe that the warm climate of Dry Creek offers an environment where  grapes  like Segromigno, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano, can thrive. They have the potential to make some very interesting wines - keep an eye out for these wines when the vines have matured.

Chasseur's tasting "office".Chasseur Wines, Western Sonoma

2008 Chasseur "Blank Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Chasseur is a far cry from the traditional winery, with no vineyards, no  tasting bar, not even the usual winery dog to greet you at the door - just a warehouse that used to process apples. But don’t let the humble surroundings fool you! Bill Hunter, the winemaker at Chasseur, is one of the most talented winemakers we met on the trip. His no-nonsense attitude and up front way of speaking hide neither his passion for the wines he makes nor the quality that is the end product of that passion. Chasseur is such a small winery that K&L is lucky to have any of Bil's wines to sell at all. We are indeed very grateful to have the opportunity to share these wines with you.

Pinot and Chardonnay are the focus at Chassuer (though a Syrah or two sneaks in once in a while) and attention to detail is the order of the day. Fruit is selected from vineyards with the highest pedigree, carefully maintained and farmed to his specs. Pinot is fermented in tiny one ton fermenters so that each block can show off its unique characteristics. All of the Chardonnay is barrel fermented to give the wines depth and texture. These wines are rich and lush, but never overwrought, and always beautifully pure.

For Burgundy and California drinkers alike, there is simply no arguing with good wine. We tasted wines out of barrel that showed great potential, but the 2008 Chasseur "Blank Vineyard" Russian River Pinot Noir and the 2008 Chasseur "Durrell Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay impressed me for their immediate drinkability. Luckily, both are in stock now at K&L and available for you to take home and enjoy tonight.





{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. 


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



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!