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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer too!

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For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


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Entries in refreshing white wine (3)


Personal Sommelier Online: Not Your Grandma's Pinot Grigio [May 2012]

By: Chiara Shannon | K&L Head Sommelier - Personal Sommelier Service 

I love crisp, mineral-driven and complex white wines. This is because I enjoy white wine as an apéritif, as well as with most foods, and I have no problem drinking white wine throughout an entire evening, as long as the context is appropriate. If you were to examine my personal shopping habits, you would see a bias towards “Old World” white wines—wines from Spain, France, Germany, Austria and Italy, with the occasional South African or Greek bottle tossed in—and the reason is simple: greatest variety for greatest value. 

Thus, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the 2010 vintage in Italy, which, thanks to a perfect storm of climatological factors yielded incredibly fresh, pure, expressive wines across the boot, but particularly in the northeast, where white wine is king. If you regularly enjoy wines from the cool, mountainous regions of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia like I do, then you will not want to miss out on this vintage. The wines exhibit that characteristic raciness of the north, but it is a raciness matched by profound richness, texture, and complexity.

You almost can't go wrong with the abundance of fabulous 2010s available, but here's a duo that captures the beauty and harmony of the vintage with exceptional precision. Not your Grandma's Pinot Grigio, these are chiseled, high-caliber whites that must not be missed by any serious connoisseur:

2010 Pacherhof Kerner Valle Isarco ($22.99) Never heard of Kerner? A cross of Riesling and Trollinger, Kerner is an aromatic white grape varietal cultivated primarily in the mountainous regions on the Austria/Swiss-Italian border. Under the careful management of owner/winemaker Andreas Huber, Pacherhof produces some of the region’s most exciting white wines from varietals most people don’t normally associate with Italy, like this. In the 2010, aromas of lemon-lime and delicate peach, with sweetgrass and spice undertones, are followed by round and unctuous flavors that expand on the palate along a firm backbone of acidity. Despite it's floral qualities, this is no wallflower; enjoy this elegant, volumous white paired with a dish like poached white fish with caper sauce.

2010 Edi Keber Collio Bianco ($24.99). In the foothills of the Alps, in the southeastern corner of Italy’s Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region, Collio is a unique district in that some of its vineyards stretch over into Slovenia but are permitted to bear the Collio designation. Local winemaking legend Edi Keber produces one wine, a white, from vineyards situated just meters from the Brda region of Slovenia. Always a of blend Friulano, Malvasia and Ribolla Gialla, the 2010 is a brilliant effort. Intense, full and round, its distinctive mineral character is matched by ripe, fleshy layers.  Earthy floral aromas are accompanied by orchard fruits and lead to a palate that is rich, creamy and lush, with continuing mineral accents and hints of savory herb. Impeccably balanced and incredibly long, this easily takes the place of Burgundy at the table.   

-Chiara Shannon


Explore the World of Wine! Design your own customized wine club through the K&L Personal Sommelier Service today!


Wine of the Week: 2009 Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape, South Africa ($18.99)

Relax with a bottle of this stunning South African Sauvignon Blanc, the 2009 Ataraxia Western Cape ($18.99) - in stock now at'Ataraxia' (Greek for 'tranquility'), is a term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a "lucid state, characterized by freedom from worry or any other preoccupation."* The next time you find yourself seeking a wine to complement your moment of relaxation - be it watching the sun set at the beach, walking through the garden, sunning by the pool, or cocktails on the dock, you will find this invigorating and complex Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa - the 2009 Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc ($14.99) - to be a worthy sipping companion. No pungent herbaceous notes here; this wine smells of meyer lemons and apples, with accents of flint and white pepper. The palate is round and deep, with juicy acids that lead to a persistent and mouthwatering finish. Fans of Sancerre take note. 

"Situated on 125 acres of some of the most stunning elevations in Walker Bay, these vineyards are planted in billion year old granite and weathered shale soils exposed to the cooling breezes of the nearby South Atlantic. The result is a Sauvignon Blanc of terrific purity and finesse, with subtle flavors of grapefruit, lemon zest, melon and fleshy gooseberry interwoven upon the palate, finishing with a fine thread of green tea and minerality." -John Majeski, K&L Staff Member

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Mar/Apr 11

90 points Wine Spectator, Sept 11


More From Down Under: K&L San Francsico-based John Majeski specializes in wines from South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Check out John's latest wine reviews as well as hundreds of recent reviews by other K&L staff members on the K&L Staff Review Page.    



*Source for definition of 'ataraxia': Wikipedia


Winery to Watch: Quinta de Cabriz

This  “Winery to Watch” comes from one of the wine world’s up-and-coming regions—Portugal’s Dão DOC. Tucked among granitic mountains in north-central Portugal, the Dão’s location limits the Atlantic influence on the vineyards, but also protects them from the harsh continental climate to the east. Instead, the vineyards in the Dão benefit from altitude (most vineyards are at 200-900 meters above sea level), well-drained sandy soils, and a consistently hot and dry growing season that allows the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. Rather than ride the international varietal wave to world renown, the Dão still focuses on making wines from indigenous varietals—the dominant red grape is Touriga Nacional, but there are smaller plantings of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Jaen and Alfrocheiro Preto. The region is also gaining a repuation from white wines made from grapes like Branco, Cerceal, Encruzado and Verdhelo. With only about 5% of the DOC planted to vine right now, there’s plenty of potential, and Dão Sul, the owners of Quinta de Cabriz, are at the forefront of capturing and marketing that ability.

Established 20 years ago, Dão Sul is a four-person partnership devoted to making wines across the spectrum—from limited quantity reserve wines to more affordable everyday wines—without ever compromising on quality. Their winemaker, Carlos Lucas (Portugal’s “Winemaker of the Year” in 2007), works to ensure that the wines of Quinta de Cabriz showcase the Dão’s terroir in a modern, accessible style. You won’t need to “learn to appreicate” the wines of Quinta de Cabriz, they’re appealing now, and they’re priced for drinking often.

We currently have one wine left from this up-and-coming producer:

2008 Quinta de Cabriz Branco, Dão, Portugal ($11.99) This may very well be my white wine for the summer. Dominated by Encruzado— the Dão’s best white varietal—with 20% each Cerceal, Bical and Malvasia-Fina finishing the blend, this is a tropical breeze of a white that makes you want to go looking for your grass skirt and coconut bra. Aromas of papaya, guava and plantain lead to a palate kissed with stone fruit and leesy, creamy richness on the mid-palate that makes me think of peach pie with whipped cream. There’s plenty of acidity here to counter the wine’s richness. This would be a great match for halibut with dill and garlic, fish chowder or salt-roasted Santa Barbara spot prawns.