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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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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 Spain (42)

Wednesday
Nov092011

Spanish and Portuguese News 11/9/11: It's All About Jerez

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

Greetings all,

It's all about Jerez (sherry) and Rioja this week.

1.) SHERRY

Last March, I visited one of my favorite young Spanish winemakers.  We were talking restaurants, and he mentioned a well known seafood spot in a town named Sant Feliu de Guixols, along the Costa Brava north of Barcelona.  This is not a Michelin starred restaurant; it is the type of spot with amazing, simple, local ingredient focused cuisine, likely frequented by owners of other Michelin starred restaurants, winemakers, locals, and food savvy tourists.  This restaurant, he said, is owned by a crazy guy who is known to regularly throw fish back at his fishmongers in the unfortuante event that it is not what he is looking for.  The owner is similarly passionate about wine and his list features two types of wine:  Burgundy and Sherry.

Hearing this caused me to think more about these two styles of wine, both so endlessly fascinating yet only one (Burgundy) taken seriously by collectors and a majority of oenophiles.  If Burgundy is often cited as the ultimate wine of terroir (of course one could make the argument for others, but Burgundy is the most popular), then I would offer that Sherry is the ultimate wine of method in the cellar, where so many variables come into play and decisions are made by master blenders with years of acquired knowledge.  In a region where the amount of time to produce the younger, fresher style of wine, fino, still takes four years, most amontillados take at least 8 years, and there are many soleras featuring wine over 50 years old, there is not surprisingly a sizeable talent base of winemakers who know and understand how wines develop in barrel over many years.  Given the amount of time it takes to make these wines, their originality and impossible to replicate flavors, sherries continue to be real bargains in the world of fine and collectible wine.

Yesterday, the staff tasted some sherry, here are two highlights with staff commentary:

Herederos de Argueso Amontillado Sanlucar de Barrameda - $24.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1061689

"I am a fan of the dryer Amontillados, and this just sings.  The salty character reminds one of a Manzanilla, but the nutty, citrus, burnt sugar notes can only be Amontillado.  Fully dry, but complex, long ans simply lovely.  Don’t miss this.  For under $25 it is a steal." (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy buyer)

"This ultra dry, penetrating Amontillado is exactly the right wine to have on hand for an elegant aperitif. With a bright rancio nose and flavor to spare, this is one great example of the fantastic value that Sherry provides to fans of older, complex wine. It has a finish that one cannot get any other way than with patience, it is so long and full of nuance. I recently added a few ounces to chicken stock for some leeks that I was braising and the leeks stole the show away from my fancy wild salmon! Great Amontillado!" (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne Buyer)

1979 Gonzalez Byass Palo Cortado Añada Jerez - $129.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1070645

"Again, one gets the salty notes I find so appealing, but this time combined with amazing length.  This has complexity, and a finish that simply goes on forever.  Elegant, wonderful, and oxidized but fresh at the same time.  This is simply incredibly impressive sherry." (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

"30 years of tasting sherry did not prepare me for the experience this wine provided!  Wow, so complex, such richness, but for me it was the length and balance that set this wine apart, it is really special" (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)

 

2.) RIOJA tastings

Thursday November 17th: Vibrant Rioja III

Vibrant Rioja tasting (all reservas and gran reservas!) in Redwood City store (5-6:30pm). $5 Details

 

Friday December 2nd: Bodegas Riojanas

Join us in Redwood City at 5pm on Friday December 2nd for a closer look (and taste) of one of Rioja’s most well respected traditional bodegas:  Bodegas Riojanas.  As with the best of traditionally made Riojas, these are wines which drink terrifically upon release, and then continue to improve and age for decades. 

To illustrate this, we will be pouring most of the winery’s range of Reserva and Gran Reserva wines.  For those who get there early enough, we will even be offering tastes of their terrific 1978 Viña Albina Gran Reserva and the legendary 1964 Monte Real Gran Reserva (both for educational purposes only; we do not have these wines for sale).  We will have some Spanish themed snacks to accompany the wines.  This should be a real treat – get there early for a taste of the old wines and a prime spot in the bar! 

5pm-6:30pm. $8. This is a walk-in tasting, but you can RSVP here to let me know you're coming.

 

Back with more good stuff next week, until then take care.

 

Joe

---

Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

 

Thursday
Sep222011

Iberian Wine News: Miguel Merino and Bodegas Puelles 

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member

 

Exciting week, let's get to it.... 

 

1)  DI's! Direct Imports!  Direct from the farm to our stores to your cellar!

Well, the unthinkable is happening this week:  we are actually receiving a container from Europe on time in 2011!  And not just any container.  We are introducing our first two purely direct (unbrokered, visit the folks, shake hands, agree to be partners) wines which we have worked with in Spain.  They are both Rioja producers  and I'd love to introduce you to them.

 

Miguel Merino is a bodega, the man behind the bodega, as well as his son Miguel who - you guessed it - also helps out at the bodega.  Located in the beautiful town of Briones in Rioja Alta, Miguel Merino describes his wines as "updated classics."  The classic component would include very well situated, mature vines planted in calcareous clay in a cool part of the D.O.  These roughly eight hectares of vines are cultivated organically, still plowed by horse, and owned both by Miguel and a close friend of his.  "Updated" likely refers to Miguel's penchant for used barrels (used meaning 2-4 years old, not 2-4 decades old), coopered from a blend of French and American oak.  The wines taste like Rioja but are less marked by wood than many examples of both the traditional and more modern styles.  All of the Miguel Merino wines should age quite nicely.  I really look forward to turning people on to these wonderful wines.

 

Bodegas Puelles is a winery located in Abalos, another small Rioja Alta town, and it is run by Jesús Puelles and his brother.  Jesús works the vineyards, his brother handles the cellar.  Their vines are also farmed primarily organically, with a minimum use of treatments and naturally growing cover crops utliized between the rows.  They face north towards the majestic Sierra Cantabria mountains - they are very, very close affording the visitor quite a view.  Though we currently only carry a wonderfully bright and satisfying 07 crianza along with what is perhaps my favorite unoaked white rioja, we hope to bring in a few more wines from these folks; these wines are seriously good values.  And, if you are ever visiting in Rioja, the Puelles family runs a lovely inn with a few rooms offering beautiful views of their vines.  I hear that Jesús is quite the host, and having spent a brief amount of time with him, I do not doubt it.

 

2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Rioja Alta - $19.99 

 

2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja Alta - $29.99 

 

2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja Alta - $39.99  

  

 2009 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja Alta - $24.99 

 

2009 Bodegas Puelles Blanco Rioja - $11.99 

 

2007 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja - $15.99

 

 
2) Txakoli Tasting this Friday!
 
Cold Basque white wine - does it get any better on a Friday??  There will be some fresh 2010 Isastegi cider as well.  Apples never tasted so good.
 
Friday, 9/23/2011 5pm-6:30pm $5

 

TXOX! (if that's a new expression for you, you'll learn all about it on Friday)

 

3) Non-DI Spanish Wine of the Week

In a world where commodity wines with goopy textures and sweet oak flavors tend to garner much of the attention, it provides some level of comfort that affordable, rustic wines of character such as this one still exist.

 

 

 

 

 

Hasta la proxima semana....

-Joe

*** 

Joe Manekin is the K&L Buyer for the wines of Spain, Portugal, and South America. He is committed to supporting the hard-working folks out there making honest wines that show a sense of place. When he is not at K&L, Joe enjoys cooking, traveling, supporting his friends at Terroir, doing occasional PR, booking and recording work for reggae band JohnStone, and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (www.oldworldoldschool.blogspot.com).

Thursday
Aug252011

Wine of the Week: 2009 Burgo Viejo Rioja ($9.99)

The 2009 Burgo Viejo Rioja ($9.99) is one of our favorite young Riojas we have yet to taste this year -in stock now at the K&L near you and available online at KLWines.com!

We love Rioja. The wines are so versatile: they are generally sufficiently fruit forward to drink upon release, often times structured and serious enough to age, and amongst the most food friendly reds around. But the unoaked wines are not without merit as well. Especially for summer drinking, where fresh fruit expression often trumps oak derived nuances.

Based in the Rioja Baja town of Alfaro, Burgo Viejo consists of six families pooling together their vineyards and resources to produce very good wine. In the 2009 Burgo Viejo Rioja, Tempranillo forms the backbone, bolstered by Garnacha and Mazuelo (Carignane). This wine is all red macerated cherries, with excellent purity, texture and character, no doubt due in part to the malolactic fermentation and ageing taking place the old fashioned way, in concrete vats. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite young Riojas I have yet to taste this year. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer, 8/22/2011) 

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