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

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

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 sparkling wine (38)

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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Friday
Aug092013

Champagne Friday: Cellar Candidate - 2004 Bollinger La Grande Annee

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Cellar Cantidate: 2004 Bollinger La Grand Annee

This Saturday Cinnamon and I drank a fabulous bottle of 2004 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne with an equally great piece of Salmon from local fisherman Pietro Parravano. As I have repeated as often as possible, to anyone who will listen, the 2004s are the vintage to collect right now and put in the cellar. While good and great vintages on either side of 2004 have many attributes to recommend them by, 2004 is alone in its classicism. The Bollinger is one of the strongest examples of this vintage that I have tasted.

This wine is composed of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, vinified entirely in barrels at Bollinger in Ay. It has been aged for more than six years on the lees in its bottle, and on cork rather than on crown cap. They selected 16 villages for this blend, all from their own estate and the final product is 88% Grand Cru and 12% Premier Cru.

2004 Bollinger La Grande Annee ($109) in currently available at K&L.This great Champagne has not yet reached its potential, but like many great young vintages it was all too easy to drink now- especially with a meal. Cinnamon had broiled the salmon fillet with a miso-mayonaise glaze and served it with perfectly fried rounds of rosa bianca eggplant. She cooked the ultra-fresh salmon perfectly and we were able to enjoy it as seared sashimi in the middle and fully cooked on the thinner sides. The salmon played well to the vinous, Pinot power of the Bollinger that on its own was quite light on its feet. It was quite a treat to come home to this after work!

I think that Cinnamon put it better than I could when she said this bottle had “the freshness of 2004 with the blue-blood classic richness of Bollinger.” I think this freshness will remain for many years to come and its well structured frame will fill out with both more weight and complexity. I prize the transparency of this vintage and the juxtaposition of the packed house style. I think this is a legend in the making. Now all I have to do is keep my hands off of what I buy!

A toast to you,

Gary