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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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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.  

 

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Entries in tastings (50)

Tuesday
Jun192012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 6/19/12: Rioja DI's Have Landed, Miguel Merino Comes to Town

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

Hola, Iberiophiles,

It's been a few weeks of silencio on the emails, so now that the honeymoon is over (I mean that literally as I'm just returning from Kaua'i), let's get down to business and continue to put together a strong foundation built upon ongoing communication. Communication about about delicious, honestly made Spanish and Portuguese wines. Baby, together we can do this. 

OK, enough of the bad jokes.  Lots of new wine and events.

1.) Our Direct imports have landed  More terrific, unusually terroir expressive, soulful Riojas have come in from Puelles (Abalos, Rioja Alta) and Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos (Laguardia, Rioja Alavesa).  These wines are spectacular, traditionally styled Riojas.  Some of the best values out there (that's why we asked them to sell us wine directly, and thankfully they shook my hand and agreed to do so). 

Bodegas Puelles: Jesús and Felix Puelles farm nearly 30 hectares spread across various plots in the village of Abalos, a part of Rioja Alta rich in winemaking history (one of the Puelles vineyards still has an example of a 14th century lagar for foot trodding grapes and decanting the juice right in the vineyard).  Distinctive for the fact that these are wines all from Abalos fruit (single village wine is still a rarity in Rioja) and with brightness and a wonderfully chalky mineral bite, Bodegas Puelles has a lineage of grape growers dating back a few hundred years; the farming know-how shows in the quality of these wines.

2008 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja ($15.99)

2004 Bodegas Puelles Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos: Where to start?  You can learn more about them on our website (search: 'lesmos') and in an upcoming July newsletter article. For now let me simply say that these are breathtaking, traditional, artisanal wines made by Angel Escudero de Gravalos with some help from his family. Delicious wines that truly speak to the place of their origin. They also come primarily from one village, Laguardia, though there is some fruit from vineyards in Villalba as well (both villages are in Rioja Alavesa). Very little known, even in Rioja, I suspect that this will change as people become more familiar with these spectacular wines.  These are some of the best value reds in our entire inventory right now.

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja ($12.99)

2004 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja  ($19.99)

2.) Miguel Merino is Here! By way of reminder we have a very special guest here this week, Sr. Miguel Merino.  In-store tastings are walk-in and open to the public. For a nominal fee you will meet this very interesting man and taste the entire range of Miguel Merino wines we carry in our stores. 

If you live in the Bay Area, please note that we have a handful of spots open for a very special dinner we are having with Miguel at Contigo, a superb Catalan restaurant in Noe Valley (SF). Due to the intimate nature of the dinner (15 person limit), the promotion has been very light, and I'm probably going to under-sell this, but... know that if you attend you will drink some damn fine, single village Rioja, including a few older vintages and Miguel's wonderful company. See below for details and info on how to order tickets.

In-store tasting with Miguel Merino in Redwood City, Tuesday June 19th (5-6:30pm)

Event listing on KLWines.com

Invite friends & share: http://www.facebook.com/klwines#!/events/473883769295261/

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.

 

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

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. Cost is $100 (wine, gratuity and tax all included).  Purchase your ticket using the link below or email me with questions, joemanekin@klwines.com.

Purchase Tickets: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1093719 

 

3.)  Actually, there is no 'three'

There was going to be more, but I think that is plenty for now.  Will try to catch you early next week for a round-up of more new stuff and tasting events to look forward to.

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
Jun072012

Brick's Picks: "Need to Know" Cabs from Washington and California 

Last Saturday, K&L Domestic Wine Buyer Bryan Brick took Redwood City's annual domestic Cabernet tasting in a new direction, eschewing the expected in order to highlight his personal top picks in domestic Cabernet right now. His lineup brings together Cabernets that are "big" in more ways than just oak and points.  

It's tough to pin Mr. Brick down for a chat, but we caught up with him right before the tasting (fortunately with the camara rolling!). Watch as Bryan shares the inside scoop on what makes these wines unique, and why you need to know about them. 

To learn more about the wines featured in Bryan's lineup, order online to try at home, or browse our selection of Domestic Cabernets, click on the links below. Many of these are small production wines that are limited in quantity and availabilty, so don't delay!

The Lineup:

2009 Guardian “The Wanted” Columbia Valley Red Wine ($39.99)

2009 Mark Ryan Winery “Dead Horse-Ciel du Cheval Vineyard” Red Mountain ($49.99)

2009 Von Strasser Winery “Rudy” Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99) 

"This is Von Strasser's second label, and it may be one of the most complete, Bordeaux-like Napa Valley Cabs for $20 that we've tasted this year. That's not too surprising, since ownder Rudy Von Strasser's first gig out of UC Davis's enology program was an internship at Lafite Rothschild, and the property the fruit comes from is one of the most remarkable sites on Diamond Mountain. But don't let the wine's mountain origins, or the very ripe 2009 vintage fool you into thinking it's a bruiser. The 2009 Rudy is exceptionally balanced, with good tension between the acid, tannins and fruit. It's 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 17% Merlot and 4% each Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah in supporting rolls. Drink now and over the next five years.

2007 York Creek Vineyards Spring Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99) "Recently I was sitting at my desk thinking about some of the wines I’ve had from what I believe to be truly great wineries in the fine state of California. One wine kept popping into my head which was the Estate Cab from York Creek. The saddest part is that I hadn’t carried the wine for a couple of years due to lack of distribution. So I picked up the phone and made a call, long story short James Beard Award winner, beer icon and an all around great man Fritz Maytag was at my desk a couple of weeks later showing me the lineup from his estate high upon Spring Mountain. There were a lot of great wines that day, some of which you will probably see at K&L in the not so distant future, but the wine that really resonated with the staff and me was the 2007 York Creek Vineyards Spring Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This is just tremendous wine at a truly ridiculously price, I used to sell this wine happily at $59.99 in past years. Deep set foresty aromas of pine needle, mushroom, muddled mint and redwood encapsulate a rich core of blackcurrant fruit and fennel on the nose. Instantly drinkable, but asking politely for some air, this cab is layered with meshed flavors of sandalwood, cassis, olive flesh and bay leaf. I truly believe that this wine is something club members should be re-ordering by the case and our non-club members may want to think about doing so as well. I bet many of you will thank me later."

2009 Ridge Vineyards “Estate” Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($38.99)

2008 Mount Eden Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon ($49.99)

2007 Heitz Cellar “Bella Oaks” Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99)

2009 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($71.99)

2001 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.99)

2009 Arnot-Roberts “Bugay Vineyard” Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon ($89.99) "We're really excited to finally have a line on the exceptional wines from Arnot-Roberts, the joint venture between childhood friends Duncan Arnot-Meyers and Nathan Roberts. The "Bugay Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a cool, low-yielding vineyard in the Mayacama Range known for its rocky volcanic soils. Structured and refined, this age-worthy beauty has a real sense of place that will win over Bordeaux and California wine fans alike."

 

 

 

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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

---

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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