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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 Spain (42)

Wednesday
May302012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 5/29/12: Miguel Merino is Coming to Town! 

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

Greetings Iberiophiles,

Very exciting news:  On Tuesday June 19th and Wednesday June 20th, we will be hosting Mr. Miguel Merino, of the eponymously named bodega in Briones, La Rioja, Spain.  Many of you may know that Miguel Merino represents our first official foray into directly imported wines from Spain.  If you have tried these wines, then you should know that they are absolutely a reflection of the man:  gregarious and loads of fun, yet well informed and just old school enough to know that you are certainly dealing with The Real Deal.  Whether you want to enhance your knowledge of Rioja, discuss the minutiae of converting a 15th century farmhouse into a functioning bodega, or simply would like to sample some first rate wines with one of the friendliest and most entertaining folks I've ever met in the business, you really ought to come  to one (or both) of these events.  We will be hosting an in-store tasting in Redwood City and a very small, intimate dinner at Contigo in San Francisco.  Details below:

In-store tasting with Miguel Merino in Redwood City, Tuesday June 19th (5-6:30pm) Come and taste our full line-up of Miguel Merino wines with the owner himself.  Learn about the various terroirs of Briones, the origin of Merino's graciano plants, Miguel's very thorough, three tiered selection process, where to find the best foie gras tapa in Haro, amongst many other topics to be sure. $5 to taste.

http://www.facebook.com/events/473883769295261/?context=create  invite friends!

Very intimate wine dinner with Miguel Merino at Contigo in SF, Wednesday June 20th at 8:30pm Join Miguel and me and enjoy his wines with Brett Emerson's wonderful Catalan inspired cuisine at Contigo in Noe Valley.  We will be pouring the following wines (as well as a few special surprises): 

2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja

2009 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja

2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja

2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja

2008 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja

When I say intimate, I do mean intimate. Only 15 spots are available, first come, first served. We have reserved the outdoor (heated) patio, which is perfect for this amount of people.  There will be five courses served.  Please respond to this email if you are interested, or feel free to call us at 650.364-8544 to order your ticket.  Cost is $100 (wine, gratuity and tax all included)

Un saludo,

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

Thursday
May102012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 5/10/12: 

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

Happy Thursday everyone,

This week the focus is on delightfully fresh, mouth watering, thirst quenching, "crispy" wines. One of my esteemed colleagues has earned the moniker "crispy" for her cheerful invitation to go out for a "crispy pint." And these wines are in the same vein. They invite you to open them with friends, enjoy the sunshine, and drink them to quench thirst. Little sips will not be sufficient with these; they are for guzzling down. 

Flama Roja Cava Brut Tarragona- $11.99  A bright and dry, yet creamier, rounder cava than the normal stuff.  Lower dosage than usual for cava.  Riper and more vinous style.   A K&L "alum" brings this one in  and I think you'll find it to be one of our best value sparklers. 

2010 Seculo Godello y Doña Blanca Bierzo - $11.99 Godello and Doña Blanca are perfectly suited to blending together, as this wine attests. I poured this wine for our Spanish tasting three weeks ago and it was well received.  Also noticed that one of my personal sommelier customers received this in a shipment, and then ordered a full case.  Careful, this white is delicious and addictive.   

2011 Bodegas Muga Rosado Rioja (1.5L) - $24.99  Muga rosé in magnum?  That's crazy talk.  Rest assured, though, we have these and even though we do not have a lot left, I thought that anyone on this list should know about it and grab some if they so choose.  This will disappear very soon. 

2011 Ameztoi "Rubentis" Rosé Getariako Txakolina - $19.99 Our most popular cult Spanish rosé is back.  Interestingly, I actually saw this wine in a local shop in Getaria (the beautiful town at the bottom of those sloped, seaward facing Getariako Txakolina D.O. vineyards).  Thanks to Americans' enthusiasm for this wine, what started as more of an export phenomenon appears to have found acceptance amongst some of the world's most serious gourmands in Getaria.  Try this with Cantabrian sea anchovies, canned Spanish "Bonito del Norte" tuna  or a tomato and garlic rubbed piece of toasted bread with olive oil and sea salt.

 

Un Saludo,

-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

 

Wednesday
May022012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 5/2/12: Back from Spain!

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

Greetings everyone,

Let's go with the classic 1, 2, 3 bullet point format for today:

1.) Back from Spain!

My K&L Hollywood colleague Keith Mabry and I just returned from our trip to Spain (primarily spent in Rioja, with a little time in Penedes) and we are very much looking forward to some new wines coming in as a result.  New direct imports to expect some time in the next few months include:

- An often overlooked, historic bodega in Rioja (dates back to the 14th c) with a lovely traditional range of wines. 

- A new bodega who produces terrific, expressive, judiciously oaked wine in Rioja (and, interestingly, also distributes wines from Paul Pernot, Michel Lafarge, and other Burgundy producers in Spain)

- A killer 1999 gran reserva from Bodegas Puelles (don't worry, we will surely email you when it arrives in a few months)

- Two fantastic, smaller cava producers from Penedes.  More details on those later as we finalize our orders.

For any of you planning trips to Spain, I encourage you to contact me for suggestions on places to stay, eat, and of course winery visit recommendations.

2.) Miguel Merino:  He's once again carrying a bag

"Carrying a bag" is industry speak for working "on the street," which is slang for selling wine wholesale to retail and restaurant accounts.  If you know the Merino story, you know that he used to carry a bag selling Riojas for $2 a bottle at a time when 1st growth Bordeaux probably cost $30 per bottle.  Well, we convinced him to dust off his old wine bag, head back to the States and tell his story (as well as the story of his delicious Rioja wines made all from Briones fruit in Rioja Alta).  We will likely have an in-store tasting in Redwood City on Tuesday June 19th and a dinner in San Francisco on Wednesday June 20th. Final dates still TBD, but please mark your calendars as both of these events should be lots of fun (especially dinner).  Miguel tells great stories and the best stories invariably are told over good food and drink.  Hope that you can join us.

3.) On third party reviews and TWA's new Spain critic

While all things third party and 100 point scale are typically verboten on my email list (not to criticize, just that I prefer this to be a more personal, subjective format) I do think it's worth a quick mention that I read the recent Wine Advocate Catalunya round-up from new Spanish critic Neal Martin, and found it quite interesting.  Neal's take on wines, the evident seriousness with which he approaches his work, the journalistic and academic rigor he seems to apply should all be good things for Spanish wine.  His more conservative scoring may not turn farmers into ferrari drivers, but his intellectual curiosity, wit and writing will certainly result in some more lively reading.

Alright, that's it for this week.  We'll be selling stuff again next week.

Un saludo,

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

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