A Summer BBQ for the Redwood City Team

This past Sunday evening, the K&L Redwood City team got together for our annual summer barbeque and bottle share party. We were using this occasion to bid farewell to our dear colleague Cameron Price, who is returning to Paris with his wife. In the past year, he has made a big impact around here, and we are all going to miss him a lot. So we toasted him, again and again with every type of wine imaginable. I was barely strong enough to wheel out our recycling bin the next morning!

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Gary Westby
An Enlightening Seminar on the Incomparable Champagne Krug

Last night, we were treated to an incredible after-hours staff seminar on the Champagne of Krug. Mr. Roberto Loppi, the new Krug ambassador for the US, presented the history, the savoir-faire and the wines of this top Champagne house to our Redwood City crew. We packed the tasting bar with our team and learned a lot about what I consider to be one of the greatest producers of wine in the entire world.

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Gary Westby
An Elegant Blanc de Blanc Experience

Last night, we drank a bottle of the fantastic 2007 Thiénot "Black Ball" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne and I have to say that I was very, very impressed with it. This Champagne, which is sourced entirely from Thiènots' own estate in the Grand Cru's of the Cotes de Blancs, is fermented all in stainless steel at their ultra-modern facility just outside of Reims in Taissy. I had tasted this several times before, but this Champagne is for drinking, and sure enough, the 2nd glass was better than the first.

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Gary Westby
An Interview with Jason Driscoll, Winemaker of Tilth Wines

This week, I was able to catch up with Jason Driscoll, Winemaker of Tilth Wines, before his tasting in our Redwood City Store on Friday. With his positive energy and charismatic nature, he has been able to make a name for himself in an elite world of fine winemaking, in one of the world’s most recognized and revered growing regions. His background is based purely on passion and following his taste buds. I was curious about his journey and his wines. Graciously, he gave me his time and explained his story.

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Megan Greene
Three Vintages of Pol Roger

It is a rare thing for us to have three vintages of the same great Champagne in stock. I am proud to say that we have a little vertical available now of the exceptional Pol Roger Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne and they are all special in their own way. The export director of Champagne Pol Roger, Mr. Pierre-Samuel Reyne came and visited me in Redwood City recently and shared a wealth of information on the wines, and last Friday we did an instore tasting with Pol Roger that broke the record for Champagne Fridays with 77 tasters.

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Gary Westby
Staff Tasting—“Little Sister/Little Brother” Champagne Varietals

Other than customer tastings, one of my favorite projects here at K&L is conducting themed staff tastings. It can be a challenge to come up with a theme that is interesting and informative and...fun—the last tasting I held was based around one of our small estate producers, Launois, that was inspired solely by the questions posed to me by a newer employee who had not tasted any of their Champagnes. So, actually, credit belongs to Andrew Tobin for giving me the idea. 

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On the Trail
A Visit with Franck Millet—A True Loire Valley Gem

For our 15th wedding anniversary, Cinnamon and I decided to vacation in Sancerre, a region who’s wines we have always loved, but a place we had never visited. Located at the eastern end of the Loire Valley, this is the true couer de France, and we found it even more beautiful than the pictures we had seen and the descriptions that we had heard. I promised Cinnamon that we would not spend a lot of time working on our vacation, so we kept the appointments to a minimum. One producer that we could not miss however, was Franck Millet, who we have been importing directly here at K&L for 25 years.

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Gary Westby
The 2018 Winner of Jimmy Watson Award: Xanadu

This week we’re getting a pretty exciting wine into our stores - the 2016 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon, recent winner of The Jimmy Watson Trophy. If you’re not familiar with “The Jimmy,” it is pretty much the most prestigious and sought after wine award in Australia. Each year, hundreds of wineries vie for this award. In 2018, Xanadu claimed the title. Although they are no stranger to awards and accolades, this amazing recognition solidified their reputation as a World Class winery.

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Megan Greene