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Just add duck crepinettes!

Buying ready to drink 1er cru Burgundy is not easy. For a couple of years I did the Old and Rare wine buying here at K&L and found it easy to find California Cabernet and even Bordeaux from collectors. But Burgundy… Forget it. They had to die, get a divorce or have doctors orders to part with the king of all Pinot Noir! This bottle of 2007 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Nuits St-Georges 1er cru Les Boudots ($99) comes direct from the property from our friends at Atherton, and like most of the 2007’s, drinks fabulously right now. This wine showed excellent sweet beet fruit, savory depth, and incredible finesse and length. The tannins are completely resolved, and went perfectly with duck crepinettes from the fatted calf in San Francisco. This is the kind of Burgundy that gets people hooked- you have been warned!!!! –Gary Westby

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Entries in Pinot Noir (80)

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!

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

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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
Jul032012

Monthly Wine News [July 2012] Monthly Newsletter & Highlighted Recommendations

We've posted the latest electronic copy of our printed newsletter in PDF format online at http://www.klwines.com/pdf-news.asp -- here are some of our highlighted recommendations this month: 2009 Bodegas Vinae Mureri

2009 Bodegas Vinae Mureri "Xiloca" Garnacha Vino de la tierra Ribera del Jiloca ($9.99)

K&L Notes: Located just outside of the Calatayud D.O. (famous for Las Rocas, amongst other inexpensive Garnachas), Xiloca actually reminds me of the incredible value these wines presented about 10 or so years ago: big, juicy, spicy, plump berry fruit, without the sense of overt fruitiness nor dumbed down to simplicity, which unfortunately has become very common in many Spanish (and French) Garnachas of late. Produced from vines averaging 80 years, yielding only 1/3 ton per acre (!), in arguably one of the world's best suited terroirs for Garnacha, this wine offers a whole lot for the money. Highly recommended. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Xiloca is 100% Garnacha with a very fragrant perfume of earthy minerality and black cherries. This tasty, friendly, value-priced offering has ample fruit as well as a sense of elegance. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. Bodegas Vinae Mureri is located just a few miles outside of the demarcation line of the more prestigious DO of Calatayud in the province of Aragon, hence the Vino de la Tierra designation. Like Calatayud, the region is known for its high altitude, old-vine, low-yielding Garnacha vines." (06/2011)

2009 D'Alessandro Cortona Syrah (Elsewhere $16)2009 D'Alessandro Cortona Syrah (Elsewhere $16) ($11.99)

K&L Notes: The climate and soils in Cortona are unlike better known parts of Tuscany, such as Chianti to the northwest and Montepulciano and Montalcino to the southwest. So when Massimo d'Alessandro decided he wanted to make serious wine from his family's land in the 1980s, he planted 12 acres of vineyards to different varietals. What seemed most suited to his vineyards wasn't Sangiovese but Syrah, which now makes up 90% of the plantings. This comes from the vineyard's younger vines and is prized for its freshness and immediate drinkability. And in the hands of winemaker Luca Currado (Vietti), you know it's going to be good. 

90 points James Suckling: "This is very good value in Syrah. Interesting aromas of raspberries, pepper and dried meats, follow through to a full body, and silky tannins with a fresh finish. Polished and pretty. Made from Syrah. Best after 2012." (09/2011)

2009 Bouchard Ainé & Fils Bourgogne Rouge2009 Bouchard Ainé & Fils Bourgogne Rouge ($13.99)

K&L Notes: This delicious Pinot Noir comes the negociant firm of Bouchard Ainé, established in 1750 and now owned by Boisset, but run independently. It is evidence of the quality of the 2009 vintage. In the glass the wine is rich and complex, with a lovely note of rose petals on the nose and a satisfying mid-palate. This is a remarkable amount of wine for the money! As the British would say, it's more-ish, as in "More Please!". And the good news is that you can afford more given our attractive price. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

2010 Ceretto Arneis 2010 Ceretto Arneis "Blangè" ($14.99)

K&L Notes: Forget for a moment that Piedmont is the home of one of the world's most noble grapes, Nebbiolo, and imagine a warm summer's day, sitting under magnificent trees and eating simple egg pappardelle with sage and butter. You don't really want a heavy red wine with your meal, you want something white and clean, so as not to bury the simple deliciousness of it. Enter Piedmont's white wine--Arneis--and this version from one of its most respected producers, Ceretto. Fruit-filled, with notes of pear and apple that would perfectly complement the sage in your pasta, it's made in a vivace style, with just a slight spritz that leaves it dancing on your palate, whisking away the buttery richness.

93 points Wine & Spirits: "Fresh scents of apple blossom honey and beeswax add to the almond richness of this arneis. It’s as smooth as a round riverstone, clean and fragrant. The finish is distinctly Piedmontese in its earthiness; to match braised chicken or a rich fish stew. " (12/2011)

2010 Morgan  

2010 Morgan "Twelve Clones" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($25.99)

K&L Notes: Morgan's 'Twelve Clones' Pinot is composed of fruit from some of the Santa Lucia Highlands best sites, including Tondre Grapefield, Lucia Highlands, Garys', and Morgan's own organically farmed Double L Estate vineyard (55% of the final cuvée). The cool, long, and wetter than average 2010 growing season yielded fine results across the board, enabling Morgan to render craft an exceptional cuvee that shows off the lush fruit character of the region while maintaining balanced natural acidity and a moderate 13.9% alcohol. Aged for ten months 36% new French oak, this Pinot exhibits black raspberry, black cherry, plum, and hibiscus tea aromas and flavors, with accents of vanilla and clove. On the palate, hints of savory herbs fold into the baking spices and fruit flavors, for a complex, layered Pinot that can pair with a variety of foods. Try it with grilled salmon, smoked duck breast, or roast leg of lamb.

92 points Wine Spectator: "Well-crafted, tight and structured, with firm, gripping tannins keeping the zesty, tart wild berry, blackberry and date-nut bread flavors in check. Drink now through 2020." (06/2012)

 

2007 Bennett Lane

2007 Bennett Lane "Maximus" Napa Valley Red Blend ($29.99)

 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tastes dramatic and youthfully vital, with fat, fleshy flavors of blackberries, cassis, mocha and sweet cedar, as well as a mineral tang that grounds them. Very upscale and refined, a pure product of superior terroir and winemaking." (05/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Enticingly complex, rich and layered, showing fresh, vibrant blackberry, wild berry, cedar and spice flavors, with a texture that's both supple and firm. Full-bodied, with a long, lingering finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2020." (07/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Maximus Red Feasting Wine (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 6% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color along with notions of cedar, licorice, black currants, chocolate and coffee. This medium to full-bodied 2007 should drink nicely for a decade or more. " (12/2010)

 

2007 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino  2007 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino "Tradizione" ($29.99)

 93 points James Suckling: "Rose petals and plums on the nose. Full body, with round and chewy tannins and a ripe finish. Tannic, yet polished texture. Give it two to three years of bottle age. This wine is clearly better in 2007 than 2006." (01/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Thick and dark, with generous fruit, spice, leather and tobacco. This is a wine that does not hold back from an aromatic point of view. Mouthfeel is tight, firm and ends with polished tannins." (05/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A sinewy, muscular red, hinting at mint and licorice, with a core of cherry and plum flavors. Stiff tannins corral everything on the moderately long finish. Best from 2014 through 2026. B.S." (06/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Tradizione saturates the palate with layers of dark red cherries, rose petals, spices and licorice. It shows gorgeous mid-palate pliancy and depth all the way through to the finish. The Vitanza wines always have an element of rusticity, but the 2007 Brunello is especially polished. This will always be a fairly full-bodied wine marked by firm, incisive tannins. The 2007 spent 36 months in Slavonian oak. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025." (04/2012)

 

 >> See All Recently Recommended Wines

 

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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