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2000 Labégorce, Margaux $39.99

A great value in Bordeaux! This bottle is mature enough to drink now, but has time in hand if you want to keep it in the cellar for the future. We love it for its laid back elegance and classic balance. A must try for your next nice steak dinner.

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Free Spirits Tastings at K&L! Now that we have our license for spirits tastings in Redwood City and San Francisco, we’re excited to host regular free spirits tastings in those locations.  Check the Spirits Journal for an updated tasting schedule.

All tastings will feature different products from the Spirits Department and take place on Wednesdays in Redwood City and San Francisco. Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

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Entries in Sonoma County (6)

Tuesday
Nov062012

Sonoma Road Trip Stories, Part V: Dehlinger

 

Quad Lyre Trained Vines

By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member

Dehlinger Winery, founded in 1975 by UC Davis trained oenologist Tom Dehlinger and his wife Carole, is located in the heart of 90 acres on a ridge of red gravelly soil in Sonoma County's cool Russian River Valley.  Dehlinger planted the initial 14 acres of the vineyard himself, continuing the planting through 1989; the first vintages were made from purchased Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel grapes from other Sonoma County vineyards.

The Altamont and Gold Ridge soils here are very special. From the start, Dehlinger has focused on producing small amounts of hand-worked, barrel-aged wines in a manner that extracts, develops, and preserves the maximum flavor from the grapes in order to best express these unique soils. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon are the primary grapes planted on 45 acres today; Eva Dehlinger, one of the two Dehlinger daughters involved in the family business who works alongside her father in winery operations, would like to see their own Zinfandel planted in the near future.

We had a lovely tour with Eva Dehlinger at the end of a long day. She took us out into the red soil of the vineyards and talked with us about how she became involved in the family business. Eva told us that she joined the family business in part because of her deep love of Sonoma County and also because of her appreciation for the winemaking heritage of her family. The work she does suits her, she says, as it requires diverse skills, working with a broad range of people, and gives her constant puzzles to solve. Dehlinger is a family-operated business, and it has been an honor for her to take part in a project that spans almost four decades. Tom has been a great inspiration for Eva in his unending commitment to the quality of their wine, his insatiable curiosity, his attention to detail, and his ability to have a personal relationship with each and every small lot of wine they make. Eva has tried to incorporate those values into all aspects of her own work at the winery and in the vineyard.

When asked what Eva sees as the future for the business and her role in shaping that future, she shared that even in an established company with the advantages of experience and reputation that Dehlinger has, there is always more to do. She and her sister Carmen have many dreams for leading the company into the future. They are in the process of replanting their vineyard, improving services for the many people who have followed their wines over the years, and making important infrastructural improvements to the property. Her hope for now and for the future is that people appreciate the amount of thought and care that goes into the entire process of making their wines; she assures us their work is truly a labor of love.

                                 Dehlinger Pinot Noir grapes.    Eva tasted us on several vintages from barrel, as well as an interesting recent project- a brandy made in conjunction with distiller Germain Robin! After one harvest where there was plentiful Pinot Noir, they decided to make the wine, and then experiment and see what distillation would do to their Pinot Noir- a one-time bottling of Dehlinger-Germain Robin Brandy. Fun! 

There will be a test on this later... We tasted the upcoming 2011 Chardonnay vintage from barrel, and we were delighted by it! It went through 100% malolactic fermentation, and has an apple, butter, pretty citrus, almost botrytised nose. Gorgeous! Try the 2009 Dehlinger Estate Russian River Chardonnay which we have in stock now to get an idea of how much attention is paid to small lots of wine they produce. Keep your eyes out, too for some of our Old & Rare single bottles that come into stock with us, as well as Auction Lots of Dehlinger wines.

As Eva Dehlinger expressed so passionately, the care they take to hand-craft each wine is apparent in every bottle.

Cheers!

-Sarah 

 

Sarah C. Covey, WSET Certified

Wine Sales Professional

Tuesday
Sep182012

Sonoma Road Trip Stories Part III: Chasseur & Unti

 Lavender fields at Unti Vineyards.

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member

A Walk Through Sonoma: Visiting Chasseur & Unti

Last month I was lucky enough to accompany one of our Domestic Wine Buyer Bryan Brick and a pair of colleagues on a trip through the Sonoma Valley. This was my first professional trip to Wine Country and I couldn’t wait to go and learn more about the wines that we have on the shelf. I was excited for the trip for the obvious reasons...to meet winemakers, taste new wines, learn about the different regions in Sonoma, and get out of the wine shop for a little while to enjoy the country...but I was even more excited when I got back!

I returned brimming with enthusiasm from the walks through the vineyards, from feeling how warm they are in the morning to just how cold they get at night. It was interesting to hear how the different winemakers fared in each vintage depending merely upon what day they decided to pick and to learn what makes each individual winery unique in its little corner of the world. Seeing and experiencing everything that goes into a bottle of wine--the history, the effort, the land--is what truly brings the wine to life.

I hope my words can aptly paint a picture of the wines and the people, who are behind them, but I urge you to try the wines that seem interesting, talk to us about them, but then go and see where they come from - it's a trip you won't forget!

Here are a few of the places we visited with links to learn more about some of the wines we enjoyed:

Unti Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley

2009 Unti Vineyards "Petit Frere" Dry Creek Rhône Blend In the hubbub and glitz of modernized tasting rooms, complete with tasting flights and member exclusives, it is so refreshing to walk into a winery that cares more about talking about their wine than mesmerizing you with shiny objects.  Unti Vineyards is a family-run winery nestled just off of Dry Creek Road. Their tasting bar consists of unvarnished wooden boards on top of wine barrels, in the temperature same controlled room where they store their wine. No frills, just the wine and a cool escape from the midday heat.  The winery is run by Mother, Father, and Son, with a winemaker from France that loved California so much he just stayed.

Unti follows a hands-off winemaking philosophy, in which they seek to let the unique terroir of the vineyards shine through. This gives their wines a sense a place that cannot be duplicated. We tasted many stunning wines, but the 2009 "Petite Frere" Dry Creek Rhone Blend and the 2009 Dry Creek Grenache (both in stock now at K&L) stood out to me. In addition to growing Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache, they have also planted some Mediterranean varietals. They believe that the warm climate of Dry Creek offers an environment where  grapes  like Segromigno, Sangiovese, and Montepulciano, can thrive. They have the potential to make some very interesting wines - keep an eye out for these wines when the vines have matured.

Chasseur's tasting "office".Chasseur Wines, Western Sonoma

2008 Chasseur "Blank Vineyard" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Chasseur is a far cry from the traditional winery, with no vineyards, no  tasting bar, not even the usual winery dog to greet you at the door - just a warehouse that used to process apples. But don’t let the humble surroundings fool you! Bill Hunter, the winemaker at Chasseur, is one of the most talented winemakers we met on the trip. His no-nonsense attitude and up front way of speaking hide neither his passion for the wines he makes nor the quality that is the end product of that passion. Chasseur is such a small winery that K&L is lucky to have any of Bil's wines to sell at all. We are indeed very grateful to have the opportunity to share these wines with you.

Pinot and Chardonnay are the focus at Chassuer (though a Syrah or two sneaks in once in a while) and attention to detail is the order of the day. Fruit is selected from vineyards with the highest pedigree, carefully maintained and farmed to his specs. Pinot is fermented in tiny one ton fermenters so that each block can show off its unique characteristics. All of the Chardonnay is barrel fermented to give the wines depth and texture. These wines are rich and lush, but never overwrought, and always beautifully pure.

For Burgundy and California drinkers alike, there is simply no arguing with good wine. We tasted wines out of barrel that showed great potential, but the 2008 Chasseur "Blank Vineyard" Russian River Pinot Noir and the 2008 Chasseur "Durrell Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay impressed me for their immediate drinkability. Luckily, both are in stock now at K&L and available for you to take home and enjoy tonight.

Cheers,

-Kyle

 

Monday
Dec062010

Sonoma County Front and Center

You're going to be seeing a lot more wine labeled Sonoma County over the next few years. Back in late-August the California State legislature approved AB 1798 requiring that wines from the 13  American Viticultural Areas) AVAs in Sonoma County also include that designation on their label. The bill was signed into law by Arnold Schwarzenegger in late September. While a handful of wineries like Alexander Valley's Chateau Souverain already list "Sonoma County" on their labels (see photo), many producers only list the most specific AVA. 

Click to read more ...

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