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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 Sherry (22)

Wednesday
Jul222015

New Kid On The Block in Jerez

Bodega Faustino González - Image from Faustino González website

Hold up, there’s a new Sherry producer coming out of Jerez? Well, they’re not exactly new, but they are new to us, considering they just began bottling and distributing their own label very recently. The sheer fact that almacenistas are willing to take the risk to bottle and distribute helps prove that there indeed is a sherry renaissance upon us! We are ecstatic to welcome this small artisanal producer to our stores and customers! 

A little history:

Bodega Faustino González may be the newest Sherry producer to come out of Jerez but their history is older than you may think.  They began bottling sherry under their own label called Cruz Vieja in 2014, but in reality this bodega has been producing Sherry for 45 years. In 1971 Dr. Faustino González Aparicio founded the bodega when he bought some very,very old soleras dating back to 1789 form the Alcazar and moved them to his wife's cellar in the Cruz Vieja area of Jerez. Like many others, they had been operating as an Almacenista for years, selling their sherry to bigger producers like the now defunct Domecq.  Faustino González is one of very few producers who still ferment their must in barrels, like Valdespino’s Inocente, and bottle everything ‘en rama’ or unfiltered. The bodega sources their grapes from their own 7 hectares of vines thus having the ability to control the process from start to finish. They are only able to bottle their Sherry in small 1,000 bottle batches, so snatch it up quick because when it’s gone, it’s gone.  The bodega bottles a Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado and Oloroso.  We carry all but the fino for the time being.  

Tasting notes: 

Cruz Vieja Viña Roble Amontillado Jerez $32.99

With my first sip of the Amontillado, I knew these wines were extraordinary. The Amontillado goes above and beyond, spending 5 years under flor and 7 years aging oxidatively in a solera that dates back to 1926.  It has beautiful notes of white flowers, bitter almonds, and honey, while the palate is salty and ethereal showing all its ‘flor’ power.  This wine exudes elegance.

 

Cruz Vieja Viña Roble Palo Cortado Jerez $39.99

I think the bodega must be trying to keep the mystery and elusiveness of Palo Cortado alive because they do not specify on their website what the average age is, luckily I have sources (you guessed it my source is our Sherry buyer, Joe Manekin).  The Palo Cortado spends less time under flor, biologically aged for one year and refortified to be aged oxidatively for 10 more years. While only aged biologically for one year, the bright tangy notes of biological aging really shine through providing a lighter style Palo Cortado.  Aromas of candied orange rind and salted caramel shine through while the palate still provides good weight and flavors of dried hazelnuts, coffee and cocoa.

Cruz Vieja Viña Roble Oloroso Jerez $32.99

The Oloroso of course spends no time biologically aged, instead ages for an average of 10 years in a solera system that dates back to 1900. I love Joe Manekin’s description of the Oloroso having aromas and flavors of walnuts, dark toffee, and mixed nuts roasted and brushed with butter, he’s spot on.

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bodega Faustino González and thier Cruz Vieja line to our Sherry line-up here at K&L.

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?