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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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Entries in Sherry (16)

Monday
Apr232012

On the Sherry Side of the Street: Bodegas Hidalgo - La Gitana

By: Chiara Shannon | Head Sommelier - K&L Personal Sommelier Service

 

A small but dedicated crowd attended last week's Sherry tasting in the Redwood City store. Together we explored a sampling of Sherries produced by the "king" of Sherry: Javier Hidalgo. Bodegas Hidalgo - La Gitana is one of the oldest producers in the Sherry district of Jerez (in production since 1792) as well as one of the few bodegas that remains 100% family-owned and managed, under a 6th generation direct descendant of the founder.

It didn't take long for any prejudices folks might have brought to the bar ("Aren't all Sherries sweet?", "Isn't Sherry more of a winter drink, like Port?") to evaporate once we kicked things off with the crisp salty tang of the La Gitana Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda ($13.99), a classic bone dry Fino and one of world's most refreshing aperitifs. As we made our way up the age and complexity scale, progressing through nutty Amontillo, and perfumed Oloroso to end with a rich and smokey Palo Cortado VORS (Very Old Rare Sherry), it became clear that these Sherries represent some of the best values in wine money can buy, bar none.

Indeed, life's pretty good on the Sherry side of the street.

Here is what we tasted along with some of my impressions. You can shop and learn more about these Sherries by clicking the links below:

Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda (500ml) ($13.99)

Saline, nutty aromas and flavors with accents of savory herbs (celery salt). The palate is clean and fresh, with tangy acidity and floral/hay accents to nutty flavors. Pure, focused, refreshing, and long on the finish with salty aftertaste.  Try with: Marcona almonds, fresh seafood, Manchego cheese.


Hidalgo Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada Sanlucar de Barrameda ($26.99)

A single-vineyard Manzanilla, with extended ageing (twice as old as the regular La Gitana Manzanilla Fino) for a richer, fuller, more "old-fashioned" but still bone dry style. This has pronounced nutty and leesey aromas and flavors, a rich, creamy mouthfeel, full body matched by vibrant acidity, and subtle hints of honeyed wood spices on the finish.  A serious Manzanilla with a lot of substance. Enjoy with salted and/or smoked nuts, cured pork, savory dumplings, fried calamari.


Hidalgo "Napoleon" Amontillado Sanlucar de Barrameda (500ml) ($17.99)

Here we start to see a little sweetness introduced, but only in the aromas, with more complex caramel/toffee/toasted nut aromas followed by delicate sweet cream and candied notes on the palate. This smells sweeter than it is however, as high acidity provides intensity and focus, and cleanses the palate for a dry finish. Try a classic Amontillado like this with lobster bisque and you're in for a real treat.  This was named for--you guessed it -- Napoleon Bonaparte.


Hidalgo Oloroso "Faraon" Sanlucar de Barrameda (500ml) $18.99

Aromas of salted caramel and yeasty flor present, followed by smokey and mineral undertones. Oloroso is a more oxidized version of Amontillado, and in this Sherry the extra oxidation brings in layers of added complexity. More savory flavors counter to the slightly sweeter nut and honey profile for a Sherry that has a lot of that "umami" thing going on. Try it with sushi.  


Hidalgo Wellington Palo Cortado VORS (500ml) $79.99

Named for the Duke of Wellington, this is the sweetest in the lineup, but it is as racy and fresh as it is sweet. It offers a rich and complex nose of sweet baking dough, raisin, and cinnamon, salted caramel, and toasted nuts. It's intense, rich, and mouthfilling, with a distinctive smokiness to its profile. The layers of depth to this wine seems to go on and on. VORS stands for Very Old Rare Sherry, a designation that requires a minimum of average 30 years in age, but this Sherry comes from Hidalgo's original solera (late 1800s) and thus is much, much older than that. A fascinating wine to contemplate, and surely one to convert you to the Sherry side of things...if you haven't crossed over already.

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Imagine having the world's best wines, tailored to your exact preferences, delivered to your door each month for one surprisingly low price. Check out the benefits of K&L's Personal Sommelier Service...

Saturday
Apr072012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 4/5/12: Save the Date! Cool Northern Spanish Wine Tasting in all Three Stores, Saturday 4/14

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

Greetings all,

Let's get right back into it after an uncharacteristic buy week last week.  Your inbox will not be spared this week!  All good things, though, so here we go.

1.) Northern Spain Tasting next Saturday 4/14 - Are the oldest albariño vines in the world really 180 years old (and is wine still made from them?) What the heck is the difference between Guimaro's two Ribeira Sacra bottlings, B2M and B1P?  What does 30+ year old CRIANZA Rioja taste like?  Don't they only made cider in Asturias? For answers to these questions (and likely, many more) please join us for our Northern Spain tasting in Redwood City, SF, and Hollywood on Saturday 4/14. Yours truly will be in RWC, while incredibly knowledgeable guides for the day are likely to pose some of their own questions based on their in-store line-ups in the other locations.  As Kurt Loder used to say alongside Tabitha Soren every week, do try to catch it.

2.) Bottle of red, bottle of white, from Dali-Land - Last spring, my fiance and I spent a lovely afternoon in Cadaques, a picturesque and justly famous town right on the Mediterranean Sea.  On the way there, you drive through some fairly steep, granitic vineyard land planted to indigenous varieties such as garnacha, cariñena and macabeo.  With non-wine related tourism on our minds (ok, I wanted to do wine stuff but the fiance threatened to smack me on the head with an empty cava bottle if we did any more wine stuff) we bypassed the vineyards, opting instead to walk the town and then visit Salvador Dali's former house in Port Lligat.  A shame, but I'm attempting to make up for it by offering these terrific, Catalan government "integrated farming" certified wines.  Simple, fun, Mediterranean in a bottle deliciousness.

2010 La Vinyeta "Heus" Blanc Empordá - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1088808

2010 La Vinyeta "Heus" Negre Empordá - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1088809

3.)  Jerez en Rama or, Sherry (unfiltered)

Just a quick teaser for the Sherry fanatics.  Within the next 6 weeks or so, we will have not one, but two "en rama" (unfiltered) bottlings, drawn from the cask specifically for us in April, when the layer of flor is at its thickest.  There is nothing closer to enjoying these wine in situ than drinking good quality, en rama fino or manzanilla.  Coming soon....

Along the Sherry tip - you Sherry fanatics will be sure not to miss the Javier Hidalgo Sherry Tasting Friday 4/20 in RWC. For only $5, you will be able to taste the Hidalgo Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada Sanlucar de Barrameda ($26.99), the "Napoleon" Amontillado SdB ($17.99) the Oloroso "Faraon" SdB ($18.99), and the Wellington Palo Cortado VORS ($79.99). Sweet deal, if you ask me.

Un saludo,

Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

Thursday
Jan192012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 1/19/12: Equipo Navazos

By: Joe Manekin

K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings all,  

Short and to the point offer today for some extremely limited wines.....  

Most anyone who has an open mind and a knowledge of fine wine has some familiarity with Equipo Navazos.  What can be said about these Sherries that hasn't already been mentioned in the press and by wine lovers of all types?  From professional Champagne writers to leading Spanish journalists, younger restaurant wine buyers to more seasoned collectors, Equipo Navazos has earned praise for days and extra days. These are not only some of Spain's best wines, but the best bottlings are paradigm shifting examples of their style, and make ideal, cerebral introductions to the delicious, if complicated and challenging, world of Sherry.

Equipo Navazos consists of a partnership between Jesús Barquin and Eduardo Ojeda.  The proprietors use their connections in the Sherry trade to pick some of their favorite barrels from a small group of top bodegas.  These barrels are then bottled with the lightest of filtrations, and the resulting wines are truly outstanding and distinctive versions of their respective style.  They are also capable of improving with bottle age.  I love both of these wines, though it's the manzanilla pasada (in its earlier #10 iteration) which has been amongst my favorite wines of all time.  Both of these, though, are awesome and have my highest recommendation.  

Equipo Navazos La Bota de Fino #18  Macharnudo Alta Jerez - $39.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1079246

  

Equipo Navazos La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada #30 Sanlucar de Barrameda  - $59.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1049734  

 

Saludos,

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