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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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Entries in Pinot Noir (79)

Thursday
Aug162012

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: 2009 Beaune 1er Cru for a Super Price

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

As most of you know, 2009 was an extraordinary year in the Cote d’Or, with perfect growing conditions, lovely ripeness and a bright, fresh fruit character for the reds. One of the villages where the vintage was particularly charming was Beaune.  The best of the premier cru Beaunes are rich, concentrated and lovely on the palate.  They will age beautifully, but the fruit is rich enough to make them immediately enjoyable.  What I particularly like about my favorites from the southern end of Beaune (Vignes Franches, Clos des Mouches, Epenottes, etc.) is the bright red, almost crunchy fruit, accompanied by a rich mid-palate.  Well, I have one of these, at a great price, while it lasts.

We just made a terrific purchase, and I wanted to let you know about it. It’s a delightful wine that I enjoyed at home with a roast chicken, and then (with some agony) left 1/3 bottle for evaluation the second day and was again very impressed with the wine with some wild salmon.

But it got those kissing your sister sort of scores, with 89 points, so the importer could not sell it and gave us a very special price on the wine, which we are passing along to you. Don't miss this, as it is a terrific value from one of the best vintages in Burgundy. 

It’s not Clos des Mouches, but at about 1/3 the price, it’s pretty darned compelling! I bought some for myself, and am struggling to avoid drinking it all immediately, although I know it will be better in a few years…

2009 Domaine Moillard Beaune 1er Cru "Epenottes" $29.95

89 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

Here the nose is both elegant and fresh and seems to be composed of essence of red pinot fruit and discreet earth notes where the latter element progresses to the delicious, round, generous and fleshy middle weight flavors that culminate in a satisfying, detailed and reasonably persistent finish. Consistent with almost all of the offering in the range, this is fashioned in an distinctly understated style where the individual aspects are beautifully proportioned. This could easily be enjoyed now or cellared for 5 to 7 years first. (1/ 2012)

89 points Wine Spectator

Rich and spicy, this red fills the palate with cherry, raspberry and a touch of earth notes. The texture is smooth and it shows moderate length. Best from 2013 through 2018. (1/ 2011)

K&L Notes

This comes from the well-regarded vineyard on the border with Pommard Epenots, just below Clos des Mouches. It has weight and will age well, although the exuberant fruit will make you want to drink it sooner rather than later. Only a special purchase makes this retail price a possibility. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 08/12)

 

Á Santé,

-Keith

Keith Wollenberg
Wine Consultant/Burgundy Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
http://www.klwines.com
650-556-2724 Direct Line
800-247-5987
 
"In the universe of quality assessment, appreciating what is at the top is only possible by contrast with what is at the bottom" - Remington Norman

Wednesday
Aug152012

K&L Wine News: August 2012 Online Newsletter and Staff Picks

We've posted the latest electronic copy of our printed newsletter in PDF format online, available for view or dowload at http://www.klwines.com/staff/3005pdf/August12.pdf -- here are some of our highlighted recommendations this month:

2011 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc Rosé ($12.99) This elegant and crisp Pinot Rosé hails from Domaine Begude, a small family -owned property located high in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Limoux region of the Languedoc.

Chiara Shannon: What's not to love here? With fresh watermelon and strawberry aromas and flavors lifted by hints of tomato leaf and chalky minerals, this 100% Pinot Noir rose is fruity and refreshing without skimping on complexity. Served chilled, this is delightful on its own or accompanied by a fresh nicoise salad. It would also make a cleansing counter pairing to a more substantial dish, such as a provencal chicken or sausage stew with tomato and fresh rosemary.

2010 Eyrie Vineyards Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Gris ($13.99) 93 WE A blend of grapes from all four of their Dundee Hills vineyards, Eyrie's estate Pinot Gris was a trailblazer for the varietal in Oregon with its first bottling in 1970.

Bryan Brick: On a recent week long trip to Oregon scouting out wines with my counterpart in San Francisco Mike Jordan we found tons of great stuff. We met with something like 30 wineries and were impressed by pretty much everyone; however few of our visits rivaled the one we had with Jason Lett at Eyrie Vineyards...From what may be some of the oldest Pinot Gris vines in the Willamette Valley this Pinot Gris is head and shoulders above all that we tasted on our trip...more

 

2009 Bodegas Norton "Privada" Mendoza ($17.99) 93 WE | 91 RP | 91 WS Bodegas Norton is back in a big way with their Privada bottling from the very solid 2009 vintage made of nearly equal parts Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Joe Manekin: Though I'm not a "brand hater"...the larger guys need to continually prove themselves and earn a spot here. And this year, Norton really earned it. Their 2009 privada bottling is all pure, fresh, focused red fruits, with a satisfying texture and persistent finish. For the price, you could not ask for a tastier new world Malbec Cab blend.

 

 2010 Sarno Fiano di Avellino ($24.99) Tenuta Sarno's organically farmed vineyards are situated on 4.5 hectares and are planted on rich soil deposits of calcareous clay and limestone characteristic of the region- a phenomenon attributable to the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1944.

Chris Miller: Citrus, foral notes and minerals blossom on the mid-palate of this rich, textured white. The long , elegant fnish gives way to notes of honey and toasted hazelnuts. Hands down, one of the best Fiano d'Avellino I've ever tasted.

2002 Domaine Moillard Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru "Malconsorts" ($74.99) *Outstanding* 89-94 BH With Pascal Marchand consulting and a movement to biodynamic growing, the estate wines from this negociant are getting better and better. 

Susan Thornett: We don't often get beautiful, direct-from-France, well-aged Burgundies so it is a real pleasure to have this 02 Malconsorts available to sell. It needs some time to open in a decanter as it is still a little young. Lots of forest-floor and rich mushroomy goodness on the nose, the structure is quite firm and well balanced, do enjoy this one with food!

 

Bestsellers

Want to see which wines are most popular with our customers? We constantly update our lists of bestselling wines, online at: http://www.klwines.com/bestsellers.asp  

 

We offer five excellent wine clubs and a new exclusive Personal Sommelier Service, that allow you to sample outstanding wines from all over the world. Due to our bulk purchase power and longstanding relationships, the quality and value offered by these clubs are tremendous. Unlike winery clubs where you typically taste the same wines year after year, our clubs offer phenomenal variety that is strictly selected by our panel of buyers. See for yourself.

 

Friday
Aug032012

Champagne Friday: Pinot Power

Patrick Arnould at his forklift during bottling

By: Gary Westby| K&L Champagne Buyer

Michel Arnould: Pinot Power Champagne

Champagne Michel Arnould is our top producers of dry, powerful Pinot based Champagnes. Located on the Mountain of Reims, Verzenay is one of the most exciting and unique terroirs in all of Champagne. The furthest north of all of the Grand Crus, it faces north away from the sun and still manages to produce some of the most powerful Pinot Noir in the region. Some of the locals say that a mysterious warm air current is the explanation for this ripening anomaly; others will say that it is impossible to explain, like the flight of the bumblebee. I love the distinct, hazelnut quality that this special village stamps on its wines, and I feel very lucky to have convinced Mr. Patrick Arnould to sell us some of his great wines.

Patrick is the fifth generation of Champagne Michel Arnould. They own 27 acres in the village of Verzenay, a quite sizable holding in this high rent area. It is planted to 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, which reflects the average plantation for the village. The black Pinot is king here. The Arnould’s have quite a few plots of vines that are very old and positioned in the golden band of the mid slope, where the sun exposure is best. They have a high proportion of old vines (40 to 50 years old) and all of the wines undergo complete malolactic fermentation in stainless steel and enamel vats.

If you have enjoyed the wines of Lallement, Bollinger and Krug in the past, I think you will very much enjoy Michel Arnould. Here is what we have from Arnould:

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Reserve Champagne $32.99 750ml/ $64.99 magnum: This is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, entirely from estate vineyards in the grand cru of Verzenay. This is a great party Champagne, since it is full of flavor yet refreshing and moreish. The hazelnut Pinot character so unique to the village of Verzenay is pronounced in this wine, and many good tasters have mistaken it for barrel fermented (it is actually all stainless and enamel fermented) when presented the wine blinds. The texture is full and the bead is refined- a Champagne that you will be proud to serve to your guests, or perhaps not too proud to save for yourself!

 

Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne $34.99: Exclusively from the 2002 harvest, although not labeled as such, this Champagne is composed of two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay. The color is gorgeous gold studded with tiny bubbles. The aroma is amazing. The Champagne has a graceful, delicate balance that Verzenay wines sometimes lack but with the signature hazelnut Pinot core. I found it to have creaminess to complement its racy cherry fruit on the palate, and an extraordinarily long, dry finish. It is dosed at 9 grams per liter: very dry! It will age very well.

 

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne $34.99 750ml/ $74.99 magnum:  100% Pinot Noir Grand Cru, acquired by assembling different vintages and red Coteaux Champenoises coming from old vines. This lovely Rosé Champagne offers hints of raspberry, strawberry and redcurrant. Very refined on the palate where more berries and finally grenadine notes emerge.

 

 

Michel Arnould Verzenay Extra Brut Champagne $39.99: Although not labeled as a vintage, this is based entirely on 2005 juice. It is 100% pinot noir from Verzenay, the northernmost of all the Grand Crus in this northernmost of French wine regions. The whole village faces north, the wrong way, away from the sun, and yet miraculously ripens pinot noir, the most difficult Champagne variety to ripen perfectly. Some say it’s because of a meteor that in prehistoric times hit the area that is now the village, creating the faux de Verzenay, a forest where the trees bend and fold in on themselves like a dark wood in The Lord of the Rings. Pair this wine with salmon, smoked as an appetizer or even served as sashimi.

Happy Champagne Friday!

-Gary

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 Shop our complete Champagne selection on KLWines.com!