When Word Gets Around Quicker Than I Can Blog

This week, we’re hosting Hélène Garcin-Lévêque in Hollywood for a special in-store tasting and then three-course pairing dinner at Michelin-starred Kali. But word got around! I’d planned to let readers know about the event in this post, so you could run out and buy tickets, but they’ve already sold out! So, instead, I’ll introduce you a bit to her and to her wines, and encourage you to bring home a few bottles for yourself so you can get to know her style. If you would still like the chance to meet her, you can get on the waiting list

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Kate Soto
Damien Hugot—New Grand Cru Direct Import!

It tickles me a little to write that Damien Hugot is our new producer from the Grand Crus of the Côtes de Blancs. His family has been growing grapes in Champagne since at least 1660, and probably before that. He has an incredible collection of vineyards, almost entirely in the Grand Crus of Chouilly and Cramant, the two northernmost villages of the Côtes de Blancs.

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Gary Westby
Visiting Sancerre

Sancerre is the quintessential paradise of country France. It is only two and a half hours from Paris by car, but it might as well be on another planet. This is a peaceful place that runs at French small-town pace. I can’t recommend a vacation here highly enough and wanted to share some of the highlights of my ten days there.

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Gary Westby
Newsletter, Italian Style

Italy! The food, the landscape, the films, the fashion—and the wine! There’s much for a wine lover to swoon over in this land that was once named Oenotria by the Greeks for its many vines. Our Italy newsletter showcases some of the best and brightest on our shelves. Join us this Saturday as we celebrate a festa d’Italia in all three stores. Cin Cin!

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Champagne Tasting with the Stars

I am extremely fortunate that our Champagne tastings attract a really fun and diverse group of people. All ages (you were born in 1998, what?!) and incomes, as well as localities. (“We came in from the wilds of Walnut Creek.”) I’ll be seeing a couple of hundred of you on October 20th at the Champagne Tent Event. (Remember to hydrate!)

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On the Trail
Kumeu River: A Wine Not to Forget

This past weekend, we tasted wines from Australia and New Zealand in all our stores. Although Kumeu River didn’t make the lineup this time around, I couldn’t help but add it to the current conversation. Gracing my table several times this summer, the Kumeu River Chardonnays have been some of my favorite whites to break out over dinner. These wines, which have often gone head to head with (and been victorious over) some very serious white Burgundies, are beautiful, vivacious wines that are fantastic with food, and a great value for the quality.

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Megan Greene
A Tête de Cuvée like No Other: Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle

Laurent-Perrier’s Grand Siècle is in a class of its own. A true tête de cuvée, it makes up a tiny proportion of Laurent-Perriers total production. The tank room for Grand Siècle, which I have been lucky enough to visit on many occasions, is less than half the size of our sales floor in Redwood City. It has always been composed of three years, all of which that have been selected to make vintage Champagne at Laurent Perrier. This process allows them not only to produce tête de cuvée of remarkably consistent high quality but also of remarkable maturity, given the abundance of reserve wines inside.

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Gary Westby
2016 Bordeaux: The Sweet Spot 

The 2016 vintage in Bordeaux is being heralded as one of the greats. Not only for the sheer quality of the wines - but for it’s breadth across tiers. In the upper ranges, you’ll find some truly stunning wines worthy of their expensive prices, but what is more exciting is how many mid-tier wines, in the $20 to $40 range, are equally as impressive. And, while you have to wait for some of these other wines, many of these mid-priced 2016s are arriving and ready to enjoy now.

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Megan Greene
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