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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 Syrah (19)

Thursday
Feb242011

Winery to Watch: Black Sheep Finds (Hocus Pocus)

Peter Hunken and Amy Christine, the proprietors of Black Sheep Finds and the winemakers behind Hocus Pocus among other wines.Wine doesn’t have to be stodgy. Or expensive. And this month’s Winery to Watch, Black Sheep Finds, proves that over and again, with every new release. Started by former Stolpman assistant winemaker and hopeless Cubs fan Peter Hunken and his now-wife Amy Christine, a MW candidate, sommelier at L.A.’s AOC and a rep for the Burgundy and Bordeaux importer Veritas, who are both as approachable as they are knowledgeable. They make wines at the famous Central Coast industrial park amusingly referred to as the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, and have gained a loyal following among K&L’s staff because they make wines that are fresh, bright and food-friendly, with plenty of juicy California fruit.

"Peter and Amy have gained a loyal following even among K&L’s staff because they make wines that are fresh, bright and food-friendly, with plenty of juicy California fruit."

Of the five wines under the Black Sheep Finds umbrella, you can always find the Hocus Pocus Santa Barbara County Syrah (2008 $17.99), which Amy once told me actually sprang from a mispronunciation of the Holus Bolus Santa Ynez Valley Syrah (2008 $22.99) that Peter makes with Sashi Moorman (Stolpman, Evening Land, Piedrasassi), Chad Melville (Melville, Samsara) and Jim Knight (Jelly Roll) on our shelves. The Hocus Pocus blends Syrah from a number of different vineyards in Santa Barbara County. It is aged for 14 months in one-year-old barrels and is easy to drink with tannins so soft that it glides like a skater across your palate. I love this on a Tuesday night with griled lamb chops dusted with lavender salt or a bison steak. The Holus Bolus comes from four vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley and has a wonderful cool-climate character, with aromas of fresh-baked blueberry pie and hints of graphite, violets and spice that carry from the nose to the palate. Great as a cocktail wine or with food. I think this would be fabulous with the braciole my husband keeps begging me to make.

Leah Greenstein

Wednesday
Feb232011

Wine of the Week: Domaine la Garrigue "Cuvée Romaine" 

When the mercury drops, I want wine that will warm me up. Sometimes that means a heavy, tannic red to match with the hearty stews I have bubbling away on the stove, other times it's a wine that transports me to someplace I imagine to be warmer, where the sun's rays will bake me like I was a loaf of bread. Sometimes I want a little of both.

Enter the 2008 Domaine la Garrigue "Cuvée Romaine" Côtes du Rhône ($10.99), this week's Wine of the Week, grown and produced by six generations of the Bernard family, who have worked their estate's vineyards in the Southern Côtes du Rhône communes of Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Sarrians since the 1850s. The winery's name comes from the wild scrub that lends the Provençal landscape its distinctive look and, moreover, its characteristic scent, and the wine gets its moniker from the Roman artifacts excavated on the property back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The 2008 vintage is actually declassified Vacqueyras and is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah. It's a classic representation of that Provençal wine, with a bouquet of sun-baked scrub, plum and raspberry fruit that tickles your nose with an underlying blend of roasted game sprinkled with freshly-ground white pepper and cinnamon stick. Full and bright in the mouth, I actually preferred this to the 2007, which seemed a little blousy and overripe for my tastes. I like my Côtes du Rhône to be earthy and tense, and this fits the bill with plenty of tannin to keep the crunchy red fruits from seeming too frivolous. With some time (or air) the tannins resolve to reveal and complex palate with all of the aforementioned spice and fruit complemented by a thread of smoked bacon and violets.

What I love most about this wine, and there's a lot to love, is that it feels like a summer in Provence and while substantial enough to be drunk alongside braised shortribs while contemplating the rain and snow, it will also be lovely come summer when I'm grilling lamb burgers.

Leah Greenstein

Tuesday
Jan252011

Tasting This Weekend: The Rhône Valley

Attention all Rhône Valley wine fans (this means you, William): K&L's Rhône Valley and French Regional wine buyer (and author of the fantastic wine blog mumu les vignes), Mulan Chan-Randel, is putting together a list of red and white Rhône wines to pour at all three K&L stores this coming Saturday, January 29th (click for times). 

Quick lesson: The Rhône River actually begins high in the Swiss Alps, pouring into Lake Geneva and then tumbling through the Jura Mountains south through Lyon and Avignon, into Arles until it spills into the Mediterranean west of Marseille. In the wine world, however, the Rhône Valley refers to the growing region in Southeastern France along the river that begins near Vienne and ends near Tavel. Divided into two distinctive regions, the Northern Rhône is the source of some of the world's finest Syrahs, grown in famed appellations like Côte-Rôtie, Cornas and Hermitage, and Viogniers from Condrieu. The Southern Rhône produces exceptional Grenache-based reds like those from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as intriguing and complex white blends using Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. 

What this means to you: Mulan works hard to find the best-tasting deals from the Northern and Southern Rhône, both from the aforementioned appellations as well as more value-oriented wines from the Côte du Rhône and Côte du Rhône-Villages appellations. If you're already into these wines, then Saturday's tasting is the perfect opportunity to take some new arrivals for a test drive. If you've never tasted wines from the Rhône before or have had minimal experience, it's an affordable way to find out what suits your palate and your budget best. We hope to see you there!

What we'll be pouring:

Southern Rhône 

2009 Château de Montfaucon "Comtesse Madeleine" Côtes du Rhône Blanc

2008 La  Ferme Saint Martin "Saint Martin" Beaumes de Venise Rouge 

2008 Pierre Usseglio "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2008 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2008 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2009 Comte Louis de Clermont-Tonnerre "Hervé" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2009 Comte Louis de Clermont-Tonnerre "André Eleazar" Châteauneuf-du-Pape 

Nothern Rhône 

2007 J. Boutin "Bonnevaux" Côte-Rôtie (Stéphane Vedeau) 

2008 Domaine Vincent Paris "Granit 60" Cornas    

2009 A. Clape Côtes du Rhône

Leah Greenstein

 

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