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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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Entries in Sauternes (6)


Wine of the Week: 2007 Guiraud Sauternes

Bordeaux has taken over. Between last weekend's Fête du Bordeaux at San Francisco's One Market, our in-store tastings last Saturday and the upcoming Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGC) tasting at the Palace Hotel on Sunday, January 21, it's all we can think and talk about. So it seems only fitting that our Wine of the Week would be from Bordeaux. That said, I did declare January to be "Digestivo" month, so we're looking to the sweeter side of Bordeaux for the week's featured wine: Sauternes.

 The $25 2007 Guiraud, Sauternes (375ml) comes from the most famous appellation in all the world for sweet wines, long ago eclipsing Hungarian Tokaji. It is ocated in the Graves district of Bordeaux, about 25 miles southeast of the region's namesake city. Made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon infected with the noble rot, botrytis cinera, which causes the grapes to shrivel and all the sugars and flavors to concentrate. 

The Grand Cru Guiraud quickly eliminates any question about the quality of the 2007 stickies, with its exuberant tangerine and summer peach-inflected nose, tropical fruit kissed palate and honeyed citrus finish. Balanced, refined and, according to K&L's Bordeaux buyer and co-owner Clyde Beffa Jr., better than their 2005. Vibrant now, this spectacular after-dinner drink, which would go exceptionally well with a cheese plate with some extra funky cheeses, it would benefit from another year or two in your cellar at least. 


Cheese Happens

K&L Personal Sommelier Online: September 2010

 "Un dessert sans fromage est une belle à qui il manque un oeil."  

 (A dessert without cheese is like a one-eyed beauty.)

 —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

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Food-Pairing Friday: Peach Galette

A summery peach galette with vanilla ice cream. Photo and recipe by Gaby from What's Gaby Cooking.

There's little that says summer to me more than the sticky sweet juice of a ripe peach running down my arm, leaving pale yellow streaks like tears from the sun. And there are so many varieties of peaches--and their fuzz-free cousins, nectarines--hundreds, in fact, that you could eat three a day all summer long and still not have tried them all. Their names ring like terms of endearment: August Pride, Honey Babe, Snow Beauty. And while a perfectly ripe peach enjoyed out of hand can easily transport the eater to some mental summer vacation, sometimes we crave something a little more sophisticated from our fruit.

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