Stay Connected
What We're Drinking

 

One of the most serious English Sparkling producers. This historic estate has been in the Goring family since 1743. The tiny 16-acre vineyard is close-planted on a steep south-facing chalk escarpment described as 'similar to the Côte des Blancs' in Champagne. The fruit is picked very selectively with quality being the absolute focus. The grapes are pressed gently using a traditional Coquard press. After three years on the lees this wine, composed of 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay & 22% Pinot Meunier, is hand disgorged and balanced with a minimal dosage of just 4g/L. It has a fine counterbalance between toasty richness and power from the wines élevage in Burgundian French Oak barrels, with racy acidity, tension and a focused chalky minerality.

Recent Videos

Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

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

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

 

Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

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.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

See all K&L Local Events

Archives

Entries in Riesling (13)

Friday
May132011

Do glasses really matter?

I’m going to come out with it, we were all skeptics going into this tasting. I especially was because just a week earlier a good friend of mine had asked me about the importance of proper wines glasses, and I essentially told her to buy something nice but multifunctional in a Bordeaux style, tumbler, and flute. And while those will be fine for everyday use, I am now retracting my response that those are all that you need, especially if you are drinking exceptional wines and spirits on a regular basis (as I’m sure you are).

Through Wine Warehouse, Riedel conducted a wine tasting highlighting six of their glasses versus a standard restaurant wine glass, nicknamed the “Joker” glass. Through a series of four wines and two spirits we were to swirl, sniff, taste and then rotate through the series (ie the first wine then went into the Joker for comparison and so on). Me and nine of my cohorts sat and tried our best to follow directions.

 Riedel Tasting Setup

The first wine to taste was a 2007 Georg Breuer Rheingau Riesling out of the Vinum Extreme Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling glass. Riedel’s commitment to form and function was apparent immediately in the weight and size of the glass as well as the laser cut lip that results in the finest and thinnest rim. In the Riedel glass the Riesling came across voluptuous and nuanced with white peaches and granite instantly apparent on the nose. Tasting it the wine was at once sweet then followed by a balancing acidity and incredible texture. Pouring some of the wine into the “Joker” glass you had to burry your nose in it to get anything. When the wine hit our mouths it became flabby and unbalanced as a result of going straight to the side of the tongue where the concentration of the “tart” taste buds are. It sincerely does not taste like the same wine. Okay, I can see where we’re going with this, but I’m not convinced.

Next up was a 2008 Fernand & Laurent Pillot Chassagne –Montrachet out of a Chardonay “O” tumbler. According to our Riedel spokesman oaked Chardonnay are best drunk out of a wide mouthed glass, and unoaked Chardonnay are best drunk out of a closed mouth glass. While he explained that there is no need for concern about transferring heat with the tumbler style glass because, A: the natural tendency is to set down a tumbler, and B: you are only holding the glass with three fingers. Ha! Not with my little hands. And it felt like I was staring into a fish bowl. Again we repeated the swirl, sniff, and sip. The wine was beautiful, nuanced, and classic Montrachet. In the “Joker” glass it was completely muted and bitter. You could feel the wine being delivered directly under the tongue. To switch things up we pored the Riesling into the Montrachet glass and the Montrachet into the Riesling glass. The results were astounding. The Montrachet now became all about the minerality and the Riesling became soft and without peaks of flavor.

RWC Manager Jason evaluating the wineOnto the Reds. The Riedel Pinot Noir XL, a wide bowl with a curved out rim, was filled with an unbelievable 2007 Alex Gambal Chambolle-Musigny “Les Charmes”. This started out at the tip of the tongue with ripe cranberry followed by a chain of flavors, violets, smoke, a touch of oak, and distinctive minerality. Simply, a stunning wine. In the “Joker” the wine was absolutely ruined. It was stemmy, bitter, and you really had to work to detect anything on the nose. It was absolutely shocking that this was the same wine I’d moments ago fallen in love with.

The last wine was a 2006 Monbousquet, the relative of Chateau Pavie, in the Bordeaux Vinum Extreme, a line designed specifically for New World Wines. Primarily Merlot from the Right Bank, the fruit and oak were perfectly married with deep dark red fruit, pencil shavings, and “unresolved tannins.” In the “Joker” It was all tannin and alcohol, nothing else. What a disappointment.

 Dale Payne from Wine Warehouse

We finished with a surprise spirits tasting. Come on, really? These fancy glasses are supposed to make my fancy hooch taste that much better? I’ve tasted these spirits on several occasions, and out of really good glasses. But the Le Reviseur XO Petite Champagne Cognac ABSOLUTELY sung in this cognac glass! For me the jury has always been out about Cognacs and Armagnacs. Yes, they were good, and I could appreciate and recognize a great one, but really, were they worth all of the money? This tasting, out of this glass, proved that they were worth the hype. Next we tried a 10 year Benromach from Speyside. The whiskey bloomed out of the single malt glass and coated the palate with a caramel richness mingled with smoke. Both spirits in the “Joker” glass were hotter, higher in acid, and completely different! I was so excited about this particular revelation I called my husband, told him to get our best Single Malt and Armagnac out of the bar and be ready to have his mind blown. I set it up the same way, one Cognac glass, one Single Malt glass, and the closest thing to a restaurant glass that I could find. He was honest. He told me he thought I was crazy, that this was something only a wine geek could pick up on. But, wait for it, he said that “I was completely right!” Score! Now to convince him that we’ll need an entire new set of glassware.

 Conclusively I’ve learned that it is nearly impossible to give a full assessment of a wine or spirit out of an improper glass, it is also nearly impossible to fully appreciate the wine or spirit out of an improper glass. And now I would readily give up every other bottle of indulgent wine or spirit in order to afford and properly enjoy them in the correct glasses and to take my time truly savoring every nuance that they have to offer. I implore you to try this for yourself, find a varietal or spirit that you are truly in love with and buy its matching glass. Compare it to the glass that you’ve been using at home and draw your own conclusions. As for me I’ve gotten my hands on the ones that I will be using for special bottles, and might even consider bringing them to restaurants with me…

Tuesday
Feb222011

Behind the Wine: Harry Peterson-Nedry of Chehalem

There's a rustic old house on Chehalem's Corral Creek Vineyard, just north of 99W in Newberg, Oregon, tucked behind the crush pad and perched on the edge of Riesling and Pinot Gris vines, where I stayed on my visit to the Pacific Northwest last fall. It's the house where owner and winemaker Harry Peterson-Nedry has lived for the last 13 years, though now it's also home to harvest interns from as far away as New Zealand through crush, and it's full of its owner's warmth and hospitality, a wide collection of wine glasses and a big, long wood dining table perfect for big meals and tasting parties.

I was a fan of Chehalem's wines (pronounced shu-hay-lem) long before I visited the winery, always impressed with the sheer verve and complexity from the range, from their entry-level Pinot Noir on up through the single vineyard wines. But it wasn't until I met Harry, a quick-to-smile North Carolina native who still speaks with a gentle southern twang, that I realized the wines were not just Oregonian in style, but very Harry, too--thoughtful and generous, but not in your face.

Watch our video interview with Harry Peterson-Nedry, then read on to learn more about the man, the winery and which wines we currently have in stock.

A special thank you to my friend Karen Petersen, who helped me film this and a number of other videos while I was in Oregon.

Harry is one of the linchpins of Oregon wine, planting the 55-acre Ridgecrest Vineyard back in 1980, the first vineyard developed in the newly-designated Ribbon Ridge AVA. Partnering with Bill and Cathy Stoller in 1990, he started Chehalem and began expanding his vineyard holdings not long after, adding Corral Creek and Bill and Cathy's 175-acre Stoller Vineyards in the Dundee Hills to the portfolio. The different soils and microclimates at each vineyard create Pinot Noirs with distinctive characterisitics--from the big, briary, black-fruited style of the Willakenzie soils found at Ridgecrest to the softer, rounder red-fruited wines from the Jory and Nekia soils at Stoller to the brighter, red-fruited, more tannic wines from the Laurelwood soils at Corral Creek. 

But Pinot Noir isn't Chehalem's only game. In fact, Harry has represented Oregon in the International Pinot Gris Symposium in Germany, is one of the founders of the Oregon Chardonnay Alliance (ORCA) and is a passionate advocate for Oregon Riesling. He says he gets bored easily, which is why you'll also find Pinot Blanc, Grüner Veltliner and Gamay Noir wines from Chehalem properties, to keep it interesting. (The winery's 2007 "Cerise" a Burgundian passetoutgrains blend of Gamay Noir and Pinot Noir,which is sold out here, was easy-drinking and fun, filled with tangy cranberry and sweet strawberry aromas and flavors.) As a consumer, one of the best things about Chehalem's wines is that they are affordable AND good, allowing you to try a wide variety from the winery without breaking the bank.

SHOP

K&L currently has the following Chehalem wines in stock:

2008 Chehalem "3 Vineyards" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (375ml $14.99; 750ml $24.99) From the region's defining vintage so far, this has lovely aromas of ripe red and black fruit, forest floor, bacon and violet, and a polished, fresh palate with plenty of secondary notes underneath, if you can hold onto it long enough to let it evolve.

2009 Chehalem "3 Vineyards" Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($16.99) No innocuous, flavorless white wine, this. Chehalem's Pinot Gris has honeysuckle, mango and passion fruit character galore, built on a bed of slate-y minerality. Juicy, bold and broad.

2009 Chehalem "Reserve" Willamette Valley Dry Riesling ($19.99) The great unsung varietal of the Pacific Northwest, this dry Riesling has lovely lemon marmalade qualities with surprising hints of Ranier cherry to complement the stone fruit and spice. Great acidity and weight. As one of my favorite varietals when aged, I'm looking forward to seeing how this evolves.

2008 Chehalem "Inox" Willamette Valley Chardonnay ($15.99) A figgy, flinty, crisp Chardonnay that easily demonstrates the varietal's potential in the Northwest, now that earlier-ripening Dijon clones have made their way there. I'd easily drink this in place of Chablis.

2007 Chehalem "Ian's Reserve" Stoller Vineyards Dundee Hills Chardonnay ($29.99) A more unctuous, pear and apple-flavored style of Chardonnay, spiked with baking spice and creamy at the core, the Ian's still has the acid backbone that so many wines in this style lack. 

2009 Chehalem "Wind Ridge Vineyard" Ribbon Ridge Grüner Veltliner ($18.99) Staving off boredom for Harry is awfully tasty for the rest of us. This is the second vintage of Grüner from Chehalem and it's spicy, dry, minerally and fun. I love all the white pepper and ginger notes, which complement quince and muskmelon character like a pillbox hat complements a Chanel suit.

LEARN

Read our Q&A with Harry Peterson-Nedry from last March.

Visit the winery's website.

Visit the winery's tasting room in downtown Newberg, Oregon. 

Leah Greenstein

Tuesday
Oct192010

Winemaker Interview: Peter Rosback of Sineann

Spend 15 minutes talking to Peter Rosback, and you won't be surprised to learn the thin, red-headed Sineann Winery owner and winemaker is also a hockey player. He peppers his conversation with good-natured, witty crosschecks and self-deprecating barbs, every now and then turning the tables to make you wonder whom, exactly, is interviewing whom.

Click to read more ...