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The Freewheel line with a couple of English friends.

It takes a lot of beer to keep the wine business running smoothly. Here in Redwood City, we are very fortunate to have a great English style ale producer right in our backyard: Freewheel Brewing Company. The staff of K&L are fictures at our local pub, and it is a rare moment when one of us isn't there having a pint and a bite of their excellent food. We are also lucky enough to be the first place to offer their bottled beer for sale. If you have never had it, the Freewheel Brewing "FSB" Freewheel Special Bitter, California (500ml) is the benchmark in fresh, balanced, smashable ale. We will do our best to keep some in stock for you, the customer 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 or follow us on Facebook.  


Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Entries in Terroir (3)


Champagne Friday: Champagne in Depth on Community Radio

Click for Gary's interview on KWMR's "The Place We Live"  By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Happy Champagne Friday!

This past weekend after Thanksgiving gave me pause to think of how thankful I am for community radio. Cinnamon and I listen to college, community and public radio almost constantly at home and cherish the independent programming, both music and information that these stations bring. Last month, I was lucky enough to get invited by Marc Matheson (who is a K&L customer!) for an interview on KWMR radio (90.5 FM Point Reyes, 89.9 FM Bolinas and everywhere online) on his great weekly show The Place We Live. This was extra special to me, since I spent a lot of time as a DJ and volunteer at KZSU, the Stanford University radio station.

We spoke for a full hour, and in the process covered a tremendous amount of ground on the specifics of what makes Champagne such a special place and such a unique wine. We covered everything from the grape varietals (including the rare ones that are making a comeback), to the soil (which allows for not only the special flavor of the wines but also the ageing of them), to travel in the region. I hope that you will find some time to listen to the archive here. I promise you it will put you in a Champagne drinking mood, and I hope that it will be informative. In this age of sound bites and talking points, I really appreciate the focused, in depth interview style that Marc has mastered!

A toast to you!



Champagne Friday: Larmat Atlas of Champagne

By: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

Larmat Atlas of Champagne

Good maps of the vineyards in Champagne are almost impossible to come by. While almost every other great wine region of the world actively promotes the distribution of maps, Champagne, by contrast, is downright secretive. Some of the best vineyard-specific cartography of the region was printed in tiny runs in 1944 by the Larmat Company in Paris. They were commissioned by a number of the big houses (I have also seen the Roederer and Mumm versions) and I was able to acquire one of the Moet editions.

Benoit Marguet searched auctions in the Champagne region for 10 years on my behalf in order to find this copy. The Larmat Atlas that he found is one of only 500 printed by Moet and is in the best shape of any that I have seen. After receiving it, I contacted Moet for permission to post them here. They agreed, but asked me to explain that the vineyards marked as owned by them on these maps from 1944 do not reflect the current state of affairs. Over the last 68 years new plots have been bought, some old ones sold and other traded.

And finally, here are links to the seven maps and one sales chart from the original Larmat. These are very large PDF’s, so it might take a little while to load them. As I showed in the video, I had theses printed out in full size on laminated Styrofoam board. I hope some of you will also print them out, mine turned out great!


Click here for the full map of Champagne

Click here for the Montagne de Reims including vineyard sites

Click here for the Grand Valley of the Marne including vineyard sites

Click here for the Cote des Blancs including vineyard sites

Click here for the Western part of the Mountain of Reims

Click here for the Western part of the Marne and the Aisne

Click here for the Aube

Click here for the 1844-1944 sales chart


Enjoy the maps! A toast to you!



  Check out more educational wine & spirits videos from the experts at K&L on YouTube!


Terra Ignota: Told You So!…NZ Pinot Noir Gets Deserved Recognition

Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member

Stunning View Over Rippon Estate to Lake Wanaka and Beyond

It was with mixed feelings that I turned to page 61 of this month’s Wine Spectator. I was looking for the article splashed on the front cover “New Zealand Pinot Noir Comes of Age.” In general I am not a fan of the 100 point system or large publications having such a rampant impact on the success or failure of wines, wineries, regions, even countries. However, when one of these industry “Super Powers” puts its considerable weight behind a wine by bestowing it with a 90+ point rating, or as in this case, many 90+ ratings, behind a whole category, New Zealand Pinot Noir, one can’t help but feel excited and somewhat gratified. For many years I have been preaching how great these wines are, telling customers and colleagues alike, that NZ has truly world class potential for many grapes beyond Sauvignon Blanc. Sure some listened and have been enjoying the rewards ever since. Others still believe that NZ makes “pretty good Sauvignon Blanc”, yet refuse to believe that any NZ wine above $15 is worth considering, yet at the same time spend $100’s of dollars on Pinot with less balance, finesse and complexity from other regions. So perhaps now the “powers that be” have spoken declaring the “coming of age” for NZ Pinot Noir, more people will listen and grab some before the prices skyrocket! Being consistently ahead of the game at K&L we are already in possession of many of these top rated wines and indeed many others that may not feature in this months WS article but are nonetheless worthy of your consideration.

Mt. Difficulty Templars Hill Vineyard

Before discussing the individual wines I would also like to point out the regional diversity within New Zealand. Pinot Noir from Marlborough, Nelson, Martinborough, Central Otago, Waipara etc, etc, will have very different flavor profiles. To stereotype hugely, for me Marlborough often shows a very crunchy, red berry acidity and some orange peel notes. Nelson (specifically the Moutere Hills,) has clay soil that gives a lifted brightness to then fruit, silky texture and often shows a dusty element on the finish. Martinborough, red fruited with gamey hints, more detail and layers to the wines seem to take more air / time to show their true qualities. Central Otago Pinot is generally the power house Pinot region of New Zealand, offering darker fruits with more weight and richness. Waipara / Canterbury, with lots of coastal influence and huge site diversity generally shows an elegant and often earthy, herbal style of wine. These are generalizations, and the beauty is that many sub-regional variations exist adding further intrigue to the category. If you don’t want to take my word for it, please read the WS article and explore some of these stunning wines!

2010 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, Martinborough

94 Points Wine Spectator: "Exotic aromatics of mahogany and sandalwood follow through to supple red licorice, cranberry, cherry and raspberry flavors that are elegant, precise and balanced. Baking spice details of clove and nutmeg persist on the finish. Drink now through 2020.”

2008 Rippon “Mature Vines” Pinot Noir, Central Otago

93 Points Wine Spectator (94Pts Wines & Spirits): “Delivers lovely aromatics, with sandalwood, Asian spice, white pepper, crushed stone and dried floral notes. The details continue on, offering strawberry, cherry and a terrific balance between tannins and acidity, keeping the flavors fresh and lively. Drink now through 2020.”

2009 Seresin Estate “Leah” Pinot Noir, Marlborough

92 Points Wine Spectator: "Wild strawberry and raspberry flavors are delicate and pretty in this stunning red, which shows spicy nutmeg, dried ginger, fresh herb and floral details, with a terrific supple texture. Drink now through 2016.”

2010 Craggy Range “Te Muna Road Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Martinborough

91 Points Wine Spectator: “Elegant and highly detailed, with plush, ripe red raspberry and cherry flavors that are fresh and juicy, joined by black tea, clove, sassafras and sage notes. Smooth and tasty, gaining momentum on the finish. Drink now through 2019.”

2009 Staete Landt Pinot Noir, Marlborough

91 Points Wine Spectator: “Light and velvety, with lovely detailed red cherry and cranberry aromas and flavors, hinting at citrus peel and white pepper as the finish lingers effortlessly. Drink now through 2015.”

2009 Momo Pinot Noir (Seresin Estate), Marlborough

90 Points Wine Spectator: "A wonderfully smooth and classy expression of ripe red fruit flavors, warm baking spices, vanillin and mineral accents. Very harmonious, with a long finish. Drink now through 2016.”

2008 Mountford "Estate" Pinot Noir, Waipara

92 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Pale ruby colored, the 2008 Pinot Noir gives pronounced notes of warm strawberries and cranberries going earthy/gamey with supporting aromas of underbrush, smoked duck, truffles and wet stones. Medium to full bodied, there is a lot of poise on the palate with a good backbone of high acid and a medium level of very fine, silt-like tannins. There's plenty of berry and earth flavors layering the long finish. It's good now and should continue to develop and drink to 2016.”

2009 Neudorf "Moutere" Pinot Noir Nelson

91 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: “Ruby colored, the 2009 Moutere Pinot Noir offers a good intensity of warm cranberry, pomegranate and red currant aromas with hints of violets, damp earth and Ceylon tea. Medium bodied, the concentration of red berry and earth flavors is well balanced with a medium level of finely grained tannins, and refreshing acidity. It finishes long and savory. Drinking nicely now, it should cellar to 2015+.”


-Ryan Woodhouse K&L Aussie / NZ Specialist



Terra Ignota is Latin for "Unknown Land". It was the name for the South Pacific region during intial mapping and exploration of Australia and New Zealand. As we are going to be exploring new and exciting wines from this region, we think this is a fitting title for our blog series on wines from this part of the world. Stay tuned for more!