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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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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 what we're drinking (11)

Friday
May242013

Champagne Friday: Previewing 2004 Dom Perignon Brut Champagne

2004 Dom Perignon Brut ChampagneBy: Gary Westby | K&L Champagne Buyer

I was lucky enough to get a pre-release bottle of 2004 Dom Perignon to taste this week, even though the wine will not be available for sale until late this fall. I have been very happy with this vintage in Champagne (which has run almost completely under the radar in the press) ever since tasting it as vin clair (the still wine that is destined to become Champagne before it is bottled) in the spring of 2005. This cool, even vintage produced a healthy yield, three times that of the short 2003 and had more than normal sun shine despite a very wet August. The harvest was late in September, and great weather in the final three weeks produced nice quality.

When Champagne lovers ask me about what vintage they should think about collecting, I always bring up 2004 first. While many other vintages such as 2002, 2006 and 2007 have produced fabulous wines, they have all been crazy in one way or another. Because of climate change, the only two harvests that could be counted as typical, “classic” Champagne vintages in the last 25 years are 1988 and 2004. Of course, many vintages in the past 25 years have been great; 1989, 1990, 1996, 2002 and almost certainly 2008 and 2012. All of these vintages have a story, and all of them are odd. Even vintages with plenty of water and slow ripening, which over the last 200 years would be considered typical and classic, are an endangered species.

The character of the 2004’s is very transparent, revealing of terroir (especially in single vineyard wines), long and light on its feet. The wines do not have the weight and authority of the 2002’s or the crazy concentration of the 1996’s. What they have is deft, elegant balance and I believe that they will, like the 1988’s, prove to be great. The Dom is a great indicator and example of the strength of this vintage. I can’t remember liking a vintage of Dom when it was first released as much as this since the 1990, or finding one of such good potential since the 1996.

I wanted to make the most out of this chance to drink the 2004 as a preview and decided to prepare a special dinner for Cinnamon and I. I picked up an ounce of Osetra and we started out enjoying the bottle with blini and creme fraiche. For the main course I cooked some local wild king salmon on an alder plank on the grill after giving it a light brine. I topped it with some fleur de sel, pepper and paddlefish roe.

The 2004 is certainly the driest non-Oenotheque release I have ever tasted from DP and the white gold color has a real flash of green to it. On the nose, the signature Dom Perignon yeastiness is front and center framed by some delicate Chardonnay fruit. The Osetra blini brought out the nuttiness of the Pinot Noir very nicely on the palate. It was too bad that there was only one ounce! One of the things that I learned from the DP seminar that I wrote about in April was that the wine is always close to 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay, and this 2004 certainly tasted that way. When we had the salmon, which was very rich, the Dom showed more of its cutting, mineral driven Chardonnay side.

This elegant bottle of Champagne went down very easily, and showed the strength of Moet’s massive vineyard resources and incredible store of knowledge. These wines age very well, and the 2004 has the balance to go the distance. I was very impressed! It should be on the shelf sometime late this fall.

-Gary Westby

Thursday
Sep292011

Wine of the Week: 2010 Cave de Tavel "Lauzeraies" Tavel  ($13.99)

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member

The 2010 Cave de Tavel "Lauzeraies" Tavel at $13.99 is our best price on this unique wine. It is composed of 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. It is quite crisp and dry, with lovely, tart red fruits. Excellent on its own but best paired with everything from summer salads to heartier fare.

Tavel is one of the world’s great rosé wines. It comes from the Rhône Valley of France from the sole appellation devoted exclusively to the production of rosé. Tavel is a blend of several grapes, principally Grenache and Cinsault, though Syrah and Mourvèdre may be included as well. Tavel is deeply colored and often more robustly flavored than other rosés. Tavel is made using the saignée method, which allows for extended skin contact with the grapes in order to extract more color and flavor before the young wine is "bled" off to make a rosé.

 

Jeff Garneu is the resident Bordeaux expert at K&L Redwood City, but he isn't afraid to drink pink now and then, especially when the occasion calls for it. 

Want to learn more from Jeff? Sign up for the K&L Personal Sommelier Service and choose Jeff Garneau as your sommelier to receive customized monthly selections that are tailored to your tastes and interests. Or, visit K&L Staff Reviews on KLWines.com and browse additional wine recommendations from Jeff other members of the K&L staff.

Thursday
Sep222011

Wine of the Week: 2009 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre Pinot Noir ($12.99)

The Goisot Burgogne is back! I love the Goisot wines for their purity, and at such a great price their Côte d’Auxerre Pinot is a wine you should buy by the case. It opens up as soon as the cork is pulled. The nose is fragrant with cherry and strawberry aromas, and the palate is filled with beautiful cherry fruit. It has an elegant mouthfeel and finishes with some soft tannins. This is a lovely Pinot Noir for only $13! - Steve Greer, K&L Staff Member | 9-16-2011

Côtes d'Auxerre is the northerly region in Burgundy adjacent to Chablis where the cool climate and Jurassic limestone terroir combine forces to produce light-bodied, perfumed, low-alcohol (and thus very food-friendly) wines. Light, bright, and fresh, the 2009 Goisot Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre Pinot Noir ($12.99) -- a K&L Direct Import -- is an exceptional example of the quality and value that can be found there.

Made from 30+ year old vines, this unoaked Pinot Noir presents textbook Côtes d'Auxerre red berry and earth spice aromatics. The palate is lively and fresh but not austere, showing just-ripe fruit flavors with spicy licorice accents, thanks to the excellence of the 2009 vintage. While sometimes the red wines from this region can be quite high in tannin and lacking in fruit (after all, Auxerre is one of the most northerly sites for red wine production in the world!) there was enough sunshine in 2009 to produce the body to balance the tannins and acidity. Enjoy this charming light-bodied wine young with a variety of foods (coq au vin or bœuf bourguignon are recommended) or hold for up to 10 years and savor it with gamier dishes -- pheasant, wild duck, rabbit -- or with a creamy brie cheese.

 

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Step It Up!  K&L's Steve Greer  has come a long way since his days of drinking Blue Nun in the '80s.  Based in Hollywood, Steve specializes in Bordeaux, but has a soft spot for fun, food-friendly wines of all shades, especially when the price is right. Could your own collection or wine buying strategy use some improvements?  Join the K&L Personal Sommelier Service for customized monthly wine selections and service with Steve as chosen sommelier (did we mention it's free to join?) or visit the K&L Staff Review Page to browse recent wine reviews by Steve and the K&L staff.