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In December, we drink Champagne at closing at K&L- and we prefer to drink it out of magnum when possible. The highlight this year was the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (1.5L) magnum ($74.99) that we had on Christmas eve. This single vineyard beauty comes from the Gouttes d’Or, a very steep east facing parcel in the little village of Brouillet. It was creamy, delicate and perfectly refreshing! We all say to cheers to you, and hope your holiday is filled with fun and friends!

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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

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Entries in sparkling wine (39)

Monday
Nov232015

The History of Bubbles

You may be suprised to learn the first sparkling wine was not found in Champagne, but rather discovered in Limoux, France. Limoux is the sparkling wine hub of southern France and home to our direct import producer Antech. To tell us about both the history and legend of sparkling wines we have the charming Francoise Antech-Gazeau, the 6th generation winemaker at Antech. 

 

Discover Cremant de Limoux and Blanquette de Limoux this holiday season. 

You can find all of her beautiful sparkling wines at our stores and online.

-Olivia Ragni

 

Wednesday
Aug272014

Super Sparkling Wine from Santa Lucia Highlands

Nicely positioned in upscale Carmel-by-the-Sea in Monterey County is the tasting bar for Caraccioli Cellars. This family-run company has been making fantastic sparkling wines since 2006. One of the things that really sets them apart from other domestic sparkling wine houses is their commitment to vintage bottling everything bubbly, and releasing the newest vintage six years after bottling. For example, their current release is their 2008 Brut Cuvée. Their approach is admirable, if not somewhat daring and ambitious for a brand new enterprise. The Caraccioli family has a long history in the agriculture industry, but only lately has jumped into winemaking. With the help of winemaker Michel Salgues, who was long tenured at Roederer Estate, they are getting off to a great start. 
Scott Caraccioli was kind enough to meet with us for a tasting of his family's wines. They currently offer two still wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with everything coming from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Those wines were well made and sold at a good price, but where Caraccioli Cellars really shines is in sparkling wine. We were fortunate to try all three existing vintages for their Brut Cuvée. Each vintage consists of 60% Chardonny and 40% Pinot Noir that also comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands. There are 2,500 cases of these vintage-dated bubblies made a year, and they are held for a minimum of six years before being released for sale. 
The 2008 Brut had a nice richness to it, with brioche, nectarine, peach and ripe stone fruit notes. It was a little more yeasty than the older bottlings, and a little drier than the 2007. The 2007 Brut had higher acid and deeper, more integrated flavors. The 2006 was a real treat for me. It was more honeyed and fine than the other two vintages. Very expressive and nuanced. It truly made us believers in Caracciolis ability to make age-worthy wines. They pretty much nailed it in their first official bottling. We're all eager to see how these bottles develop over time. We're even more eager to see Caraccioli on our shelves again. Keep your eyes peeled for a couple of their bottlings to arrive in the shops soon. 
Patrick Cu

 

Tuesday
Feb252014

“Méthode Champenoise” or “English Method”?

Many people believe that a monk called Dom Perignon invented the method of producing sparkling wines in Champagne. However historical evidence shows the technique was actually invented in England. Some 30+ years before sparkling wine even appears in French history, English scholar Christopher Merret presented a paper on the topic to the Royal Society in 1662. That was 8 years before Dom Perignon travelled to Champagne, 20 years before the French made their first Sparkling wine and 60+ years before the first Champagne House was created.

In fact English playwrights of the era were including references about the popularity of these wines in London decades before the word for sparkling wines (Mousseux) was even used in the French language.  The English also possessed the skills to create superior strength glass than the French thanks to their coal-fired kilns. This allowed them to contain the high pressures created during bottle fermentation. Another factor essential to the deliberate bottling of sparkling wines is that the English re-discovered the cork earlier than the French after the Romans use of cork was lost in the Dark Ages. 

Wiston wines resting on thier lees

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