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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 Sherry (21)

Saturday
Jun202015

Hollywood's Sherry Thursday: Flor Edition

Sherryfest, the biggest Sherry festival in the world, begins next week. Unfortunately, it's in NYC.  But don't worry, we won't let NYC have all the fun.  K&L will be holding satellite tastings both here in Hollywood and in Northern California to celebrate Sherryfest on the West Coast. This time, we will focus on styles that are biologically aged, otherwise known as being aged under "flor," the surface yeast that thrives in the Sherry triangle and give these wines their unique flavor. 

Join us for a killer line up of rare and extraordinary Sherry, such as:  (*Line up is not finalized*)

Equipo Navazos Flor Power #44, a very rare non-fortified Palomino Fino from Sanlucar. 
 
The line up of Lustau's Fino & Manzanilla which showcases the three main cities that produce Sherry in the Sherry Triangle, and gives you a unique glimpse into how drastically the wines can differ from city to city. 
 
Colosia Fino, one of the most raw and rich finos around, this producer is one of only 5 remaining bodgeas in El Puerto de Santa Maria.
 

And maybe even some Valdespino 'Inocente,' one of the only finos aged for an average of 10 years under flor. 

Leave work a little early on Thursday to get flor'ed! Tasting starts at 5:30, tickets are only 5 bucks and can be bought at the register. 

 I can't wait to see you all at the Hollywood store on Thursday!​

Wednesday
May202015

Rey Fernando de Castilla: A Palo Cortado to Remember

 

Palo Cortado pairs with a variety of foods; in this case it happened to pair great with Italian food.

Rey Fernando de Castilla is a sherry bodega with passion for providing wines of the highest quality. Started by an important family in Jerez, the Andrada-Vanderwilde family, that has been involved in the wine industry here for over 200 years.  This family took over some very old sherry and brandy cellars to focus on Brandy production in the 1960s.  It wasn’t until 1999 that a Norwegian who had fallen in love with Sherry, Jan Pettersen, purchased the bodega, and shifted the company's focus to Sherry. He expanded the bodega’s sherry production with the purchase of many old soleras from the neighboring and esteemed almacenista Jose Bustamante, turning Rey Fernando de Castilla into one of the best independent sherry houses. While most of Pettersen’s wines qualify for the age dated VOS or VORS status, he does not believe in this system. Instead, his line of high-end sherry is called the “Antique Collection.”  He has an Antique Fino (a bottling I highly recommend trying) that’s an average of 8-9 years old and resembles the traditional style richer finos that existed back in the early 1980’s when Petterson first came to the Sherry triangle.  The Antique collection is always bottled unfined and often minimally filtered and see extended aging in the cellar showing incredible maturity, expression and skill.


I recently had the pleasure of drinking a bottle of the Antique Palo Cortado that my boyfriend bought me for my birthday...he knows me so well!  Palo Cortado, the unicorn of Sherry styles, is always a mystery.  Maybe that is why it is the rarest of Sherry styles, and perhaps the most celebrated. There are a couple of things we can surmise about a Palo Cortado, it was once aged biologically, like a fino, and for some reason or another refortified and sent to spend the rest of it life aging oxidatively. For what reason, why or how this decision is made, is often unknown and unregulated.  In fact the Consejo Regulador says it only to be “the existence of certain very specific characteristic,” but that characteristic is never mentioned.  Another commonly offered definition is that it has the aromas of an Amontillado and the palate of an Oloroso.  However it has come about, I’m happy it did, especially this one. The Rey Fernando de Castilla Palo Cortado $59.99 is over 30 years of average age with both tremendous aromatics and flavors.  Aromas of cocoa, roasted chestnuts, tiramisu, and nutmeg beam from the glass. The palate is bright at first, showing it’s years aged under flor with a beautifully tangy acidity, lemon rind and burnt orange peel.  The palate turns to flavors of almonds, mocha and espresso on the finish.  Potentially, the finest example of Palo Cortado that exists. Sherry lovers, if you haven't tried this bottle yet, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday
Mar252015

"Sherry" style wines from Córdoba

Gabriel Gómez walking through his 8 hectare estate. -Image from Jose Pastor Selections

Perched in the Sierra Morena Mountains, about an hour north of Córdoba, sits Bodega Gomez Nevado on the hillsides of a town called Villaviciosa de Córdoba. While the family’s winemaking history goes back to the 1700’s, the bodega has been making sherry-style wines since 1870 and became the first winegrower in Spain to have their vineyards certified organic in 1988.  With the Bodega situated more than 200km from Jerez, their vineyards do not fall under any of the three D.O. permitted to make Sherry, thus can not benefit from using the term Sherry.  And to be fair, it is different from sherry; the soils are different, the grapes are different, the climate and the winemaking certainly differ.  In the Sierra Morena you won’t find palomino dominating the vineyards, nor will you find the chalky, white albariza soil it grows best in.  Rather you will find a grape called Airén, with Pedro Ximenez as the runner up, heavily planted in clay and slate soils.  The grapes and the soil combined with the harsh continental mediterranean climate means their wines usually get to 15-16% abv without fortification.  Bodega Gomez Nevado takes pride in never having to fortify their wines.  The result is a richer style “sherry” then we are used to in Jerez. The Gomez Navado 'Palido' which means pale, is their "fino” style wine. The grapes are harvested from 40+ year old Airen, Pedro Ximenez and Palomino vines sitting 300-500 meters in elevation, with Airén making up 60% of the blend. The first press juice is fermented dry and aged in a solera system for an average of 5 years before it’s bottled ‘en rama’ meaning it comes straight from the barrel, with very minimal fining or filtration. The first thing that struck me about the Gomez Nevado Palido En Rama Sierra Morena (375ml) is its color, much more walnut in color than the pale finos of Jerez.  The nose is beautiful with notes of roasted hazelnuts and chestnuts, white flowers, rosemary, and a hint of sea salt.  As to be expected it is rich and full-bodied but it still has that bright tang from the flor, only its a more roasted tang rather than salty.  The flavors are much different than traditional finos, full of umami with flavors of extra virgin olive oil, asparagus and raw mushrooms.  A unique wine indeed. It seems they need their own word to describe these wines; while sherry in style, they are certainly different.  


I always stress having food with Sherry or sherry-style wines, because they offer so many potential pairings, especially with those classically hard to pair umami foods.  Considering this wine is from Andalucía, I decided to make Gazpacho de Andaluz, a classic in the region, to go with the Palido.  The key to this simple and delicious tomato based Gazpacho is having exceptional Sherry Vinegar.  I suggest the Sanchez Romate Vinagre de Jerez Reserva (375ml) $14.99 that we get from Alexander Jules. Some Sherry Vinegars tend to be too sweet and thick, almost like balsamic, whereas the Sanchez Romate had beautiful acid and intense flavor.  The richness of the Palido complimented the acidity of the Gazpacho perfectly, while the acidity brightened up the wine. Seafood also pairs really well with the fino style so I added some sweet big shrimp on the side. Both quite brilliant pairings. I’m always looking for local products to work with sherry styles so I couldn’t resist buying some fresh Armenian cheese from the little Armenian shop on my block to see how it paired. Of course the name of the cheese eludes me, but it reminded me of a cross between a feta and a ricotta salata and it went great with the Palido. LA residents, definitely something to try!!

 

-Olivia Ragni