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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.

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Entries in Rioja (28)

Tuesday
Jun192012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 6/19/12: Rioja DI's Have Landed, Miguel Merino Comes to Town

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Hola, Iberiophiles,

It's been a few weeks of silencio on the emails, so now that the honeymoon is over (I mean that literally as I'm just returning from Kaua'i), let's get down to business and continue to put together a strong foundation built upon ongoing communication. Communication about about delicious, honestly made Spanish and Portuguese wines. Baby, together we can do this. 

OK, enough of the bad jokes.  Lots of new wine and events.

1.) Our Direct imports have landed  More terrific, unusually terroir expressive, soulful Riojas have come in from Puelles (Abalos, Rioja Alta) and Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos (Laguardia, Rioja Alavesa).  These wines are spectacular, traditionally styled Riojas.  Some of the best values out there (that's why we asked them to sell us wine directly, and thankfully they shook my hand and agreed to do so). 

Bodegas Puelles: Jesús and Felix Puelles farm nearly 30 hectares spread across various plots in the village of Abalos, a part of Rioja Alta rich in winemaking history (one of the Puelles vineyards still has an example of a 14th century lagar for foot trodding grapes and decanting the juice right in the vineyard).  Distinctive for the fact that these are wines all from Abalos fruit (single village wine is still a rarity in Rioja) and with brightness and a wonderfully chalky mineral bite, Bodegas Puelles has a lineage of grape growers dating back a few hundred years; the farming know-how shows in the quality of these wines.

2008 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja ($15.99)

2004 Bodegas Puelles Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos: Where to start?  You can learn more about them on our website (search: 'lesmos') and in an upcoming July newsletter article. For now let me simply say that these are breathtaking, traditional, artisanal wines made by Angel Escudero de Gravalos with some help from his family. Delicious wines that truly speak to the place of their origin. They also come primarily from one village, Laguardia, though there is some fruit from vineyards in Villalba as well (both villages are in Rioja Alavesa). Very little known, even in Rioja, I suspect that this will change as people become more familiar with these spectacular wines.  These are some of the best value reds in our entire inventory right now.

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja ($12.99)

2004 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja  ($19.99)

2.) Miguel Merino is Here! By way of reminder we have a very special guest here this week, Sr. Miguel Merino.  In-store tastings are walk-in and open to the public. For a nominal fee you will meet this very interesting man and taste the entire range of Miguel Merino wines we carry in our stores. 

If you live in the Bay Area, please note that we have a handful of spots open for a very special dinner we are having with Miguel at Contigo, a superb Catalan restaurant in Noe Valley (SF). Due to the intimate nature of the dinner (15 person limit), the promotion has been very light, and I'm probably going to under-sell this, but... know that if you attend you will drink some damn fine, single village Rioja, including a few older vintages and Miguel's wonderful company. See below for details and info on how to order tickets.

In-store tasting with Miguel Merino in Redwood City, Tuesday June 19th (5-6:30pm)

Event listing on KLWines.com

Invite friends & share: http://www.facebook.com/klwines#!/events/473883769295261/

Come and taste our full line-up of Miguel Merino wines with the owner himself.  Learn about the various terroirs of Briones, the origin of Merino's graciano plants, Miguel's very thorough, three tiered selection process, where to find the best foie gras tapa in Haro, amongst many other topics to be sure.

 

Very intimate wine dinner with Miguel Merino at Contigo in SF, Wednesday June 20th at 8:30pm

Join Miguel and me and enjoy his wines with Brett Emerson's wonderful Catalan inspired cuisine at Contigo in Noe Valley.  We will be pouring the following wines (as well as a few special surprises): 

2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja

2009 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja

2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja

2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja

2008 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja

Only 15 spots are available, first come, first served.  We have reserved the outdoor (heated) patio, which is perfect for this amount of people.  There will be five courses served. Cost is $100 (wine, gratuity and tax all included).  Purchase your ticket using the link below or email me with questions, joemanekin@klwines.com.

Purchase Tickets: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1093719 

 

3.)  Actually, there is no 'three'

There was going to be more, but I think that is plenty for now.  Will try to catch you early next week for a round-up of more new stuff and tasting events to look forward to.

Un saludo,

Joe

 

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Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

Wednesday
May302012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 5/29/12: Miguel Merino is Coming to Town! 

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings Iberiophiles,

Very exciting news:  On Tuesday June 19th and Wednesday June 20th, we will be hosting Mr. Miguel Merino, of the eponymously named bodega in Briones, La Rioja, Spain.  Many of you may know that Miguel Merino represents our first official foray into directly imported wines from Spain.  If you have tried these wines, then you should know that they are absolutely a reflection of the man:  gregarious and loads of fun, yet well informed and just old school enough to know that you are certainly dealing with The Real Deal.  Whether you want to enhance your knowledge of Rioja, discuss the minutiae of converting a 15th century farmhouse into a functioning bodega, or simply would like to sample some first rate wines with one of the friendliest and most entertaining folks I've ever met in the business, you really ought to come  to one (or both) of these events.  We will be hosting an in-store tasting in Redwood City and a very small, intimate dinner at Contigo in San Francisco.  Details below:

In-store tasting with Miguel Merino in Redwood City, Tuesday June 19th (5-6:30pm) Come and taste our full line-up of Miguel Merino wines with the owner himself.  Learn about the various terroirs of Briones, the origin of Merino's graciano plants, Miguel's very thorough, three tiered selection process, where to find the best foie gras tapa in Haro, amongst many other topics to be sure. $5 to taste.

http://www.facebook.com/events/473883769295261/?context=create  invite friends!

Very intimate wine dinner with Miguel Merino at Contigo in SF, Wednesday June 20th at 8:30pm Join Miguel and me and enjoy his wines with Brett Emerson's wonderful Catalan inspired cuisine at Contigo in Noe Valley.  We will be pouring the following wines (as well as a few special surprises): 

2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja

2009 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja

2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja

2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja

2008 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja

When I say intimate, I do mean intimate. Only 15 spots are available, first come, first served. We have reserved the outdoor (heated) patio, which is perfect for this amount of people.  There will be five courses served.  Please respond to this email if you are interested, or feel free to call us at 650.364-8544 to order your ticket.  Cost is $100 (wine, gratuity and tax all included)

Un saludo,

Joe

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Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

Wednesday
May022012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 5/2/12: Back from Spain!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings everyone,

Let's go with the classic 1, 2, 3 bullet point format for today:

1.) Back from Spain!

My K&L Hollywood colleague Keith Mabry and I just returned from our trip to Spain (primarily spent in Rioja, with a little time in Penedes) and we are very much looking forward to some new wines coming in as a result.  New direct imports to expect some time in the next few months include:

- An often overlooked, historic bodega in Rioja (dates back to the 14th c) with a lovely traditional range of wines. 

- A new bodega who produces terrific, expressive, judiciously oaked wine in Rioja (and, interestingly, also distributes wines from Paul Pernot, Michel Lafarge, and other Burgundy producers in Spain)

- A killer 1999 gran reserva from Bodegas Puelles (don't worry, we will surely email you when it arrives in a few months)

- Two fantastic, smaller cava producers from Penedes.  More details on those later as we finalize our orders.

For any of you planning trips to Spain, I encourage you to contact me for suggestions on places to stay, eat, and of course winery visit recommendations.

2.) Miguel Merino:  He's once again carrying a bag

"Carrying a bag" is industry speak for working "on the street," which is slang for selling wine wholesale to retail and restaurant accounts.  If you know the Merino story, you know that he used to carry a bag selling Riojas for $2 a bottle at a time when 1st growth Bordeaux probably cost $30 per bottle.  Well, we convinced him to dust off his old wine bag, head back to the States and tell his story (as well as the story of his delicious Rioja wines made all from Briones fruit in Rioja Alta).  We will likely have an in-store tasting in Redwood City on Tuesday June 19th and a dinner in San Francisco on Wednesday June 20th. Final dates still TBD, but please mark your calendars as both of these events should be lots of fun (especially dinner).  Miguel tells great stories and the best stories invariably are told over good food and drink.  Hope that you can join us.

3.) On third party reviews and TWA's new Spain critic

While all things third party and 100 point scale are typically verboten on my email list (not to criticize, just that I prefer this to be a more personal, subjective format) I do think it's worth a quick mention that I read the recent Wine Advocate Catalunya round-up from new Spanish critic Neal Martin, and found it quite interesting.  Neal's take on wines, the evident seriousness with which he approaches his work, the journalistic and academic rigor he seems to apply should all be good things for Spanish wine.  His more conservative scoring may not turn farmers into ferrari drivers, but his intellectual curiosity, wit and writing will certainly result in some more lively reading.

Alright, that's it for this week.  We'll be selling stuff again next week.

Un saludo,

Joe

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Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

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