Staff Favorites - Jeff Garneau

Jeff Garneau
Jeff Garneau  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Jeff has been a member of the sales staff in our Redwood City store for the past four years. His first introduction to wine was as a waiter in an upscale Italian restaurant in Hanover, NH more years ago than he likes to admit. He slowly made his way west to wine country, working his way across the US as a graduate student in geography, a public sector researcher in regional economic development, and briefly, in the wake of the Anderson-Enron scandal, a records management coordinator for one of the remaining Big Five accounting firms. Finally, surrendering to the inevitable, he accepted a position in the wine business here at K&L. His goals for the next four years include drinking more wines from Italy and France and trying to limit the number of open bottles on the dinner table on any given night to fewer than six.


Reviews

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1995 Calon-Ségur, St Estèphe
Review Date: 1-27-2015
It's hard to believe this vintage is now 20 years old. '95 and '96 were the two top vintages of the decade and as they reach their twentieth birthday no doubt many of the wines will receive renewed scrutiny. 20 to 30 years old is prime maturity for most Bordeaux wines and many will be reaching their peak over the next decade. That being said, the 1995 Calon Segur, St-Estephe still seems very youthful with still firm tannins and just a hint of aged character emerging. The oak is nicely integrated at this point with lovely spice notes. Plenty of sweet, ripe fruit and classic Cabernet character of blackberry and cassis. As my colleague Ralph Sands notes, all the reasons we drink Bordeaux can be found in this bottle. I love this wine.

2004 Meyney, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 1-27-2015
What is it about St-Estephe? There are so many great properties that are able to offer top notch Bordeaux at a reasonable price - Ormes de Pez, Phelan Segur, and of course, Meyney, among others. I have a soft spot for Chateau Meyney because I have enjoyed so many great bottles over the years. My nephew, an '89, loves the wine from his birth year. I added a case of the 2009 to the cellar immediately after tasting it. What a find then this 2004 Chateau Meyney, St-Estephe was. While '04 was not one of the great vintages of that decade it was solidly good, in my opinion, and produced some very good wines. At just over 10 years old, the '04 Meyney is still coming together. The oak will no doubt become better integrated with time and the already very fine tannins will no doubt soften a bit. Still, even now the wine has a remarkable freshness, a positively silky texture, and a ripeness of fruit that tempts one to consume it earlier.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2000 La Gaffelière, St-Emilion
Review Date: 1-27-2015
I drink a lot of Bordeaux, but, I am ashamed to say, not nearly enough Right Bank wines. So, last Friday for our weekly "steak & claret" night I opted for the 2000 Chateau La Gaffeliere, St-Emilion. I have a few cases of Bordeaux from the 2000 vintage in my cellar, mostly wines from the Medoc that are too young to drink, but this Right Bank beauty was raring to go at 15 years of age. A classic 2000. Rich, ripe, and round with good acidity, admirable weight, and fine tannins framing the finish. The wine was beginning to show some age - the color has shifted towards a lovely garnet and the nose showed hints of truffle emerging - but while it's drinking beautifully now it easily has another decade or more ahead of it. A perfect St-Emilion and a superb value for the money.

2010 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Cowley" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 1-27-2015
At $30 one of the best overall values in Pinot Noir in the store, bar none. This vineyard shows a side of Pinot Noir I simply love - bright red fruits like cranberry and sour cherry, rhubarb and pomegranate with plenty of spice and a hint of something a bit more exotically floral. I fell in love with the 2009 vintage due to its exceptional ripeness. I am working my way through the last few bottles of my third case of that wine. I was eager to try the 2010 version, from a vintage I knew to be more typically cooler. Less overt ripeness here but a lot more concentration and complexity. A more serious wine in every way. Approachable now with some time in the decanter but will doubtless reward a few years in the cellar. An extraordinary wine at this price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

Tozai "Typhoon" Futsu Sake 720ml
Review Date: 12-31-2014
Our best value futsu-shu. Soft, round and fruity. Delicious either chilled or gently warmed.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ichishima Tokubetsu Honjozo Sake 720ml
Review Date: 12-31-2014
Hands down, one of the best values in our sake selection, and an excellent example of the Niigata style. So pure, so clean. Quite dry. It would do well paired with traditional sushi or any type of fresh seafood. I enjoyed it with our local Dungeness crab, and it really showed off the sweetness of the meat. Superb.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2014
The current disgorgement of the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne is perhaps a little firmer, a little less open knit than previous bottlings. But the tradeoff is more focus, more purity, and more length. Quite dry, but with remarkable sweetness of fruit and a light toast that adds depth and character. The ideal New Year's Eve companion - complex enough to be interesting but not so serious as to dominate the conversation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai Sake 720ml
Review Date: 12-29-2014
This exceptional Junmai (no added alcohol and a seimaibuai of 65%) is made in the original, or "kimoto" style. It is more painstaking, labor-intensive, and time-consuming than using more modern techniques, but the result is a creamier, more complex, more savory style of sake that pairs well with robust dishes like fried foods, grilled meats, or aged cheeses. This semi-dry sake is nutty and creamy with hints of oyster mushroom and roasted chestnut. If you have never tried the kimoto or yamahai style, this is a superb introduction.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 11-29-2014
Kudos to Joe Manekin, our Spanish buyer, for the work he has done to develop our Spanish direct import program. It has yielded astonishing results in just a few short years with some truly amazing wines available to our customers at incredible prices. Case in point? The 2010 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja at a mere $12.99. 100% Tempranillo lightly accented with oak. (Bodegas Puelles neatly bridges the traditional vs modern divide in Rioja and uses a 50/50 mix of American and French oak.) This 2010 vintage is by far the best we have offered, and really over delivers at this price point. A great introduction to the wines of Spain or to the Rioja region, and a superb value.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2013 Rickshaw California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-29-2014
Good California Pinot Noir under $20 is increasingly rare. Finding good California Pinot Noir for under $15 is like winning the lottery. And this 2013 Rickshaw California Pinot Noir is just the ticket. Ripe, sweet, almost candied red fruits – bright cherry and raspberry with just a hint of spice. Unbeatable quality at this price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2014
Always my favorite rosé champagne here at K&L. Drank it with Thanksgiving dinner this year. Quite dry with a pronounced red fruit character - crisp red apple and tart cherry. For die hard Pinot fans - 50/50 Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 Valandraud, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-6-2014
The flagship wine of garagiste Jean-Luc Thunevin, this 2005 Chateau Valandraud, St-Emilion is a superb example of both the vintage and the "modern" style of Bordeaux winemaking. It offers loads of dense, dark fruit, black fig and damson plum, with a bit of spicecake thrown in for good measure. Rich, almost silky in texture, finishing with fine tannins. A very well made wine, generous in every way but with excellent balance. Needs another five to ten years in the cellar but will more than reward the patient connoisseur.

2012 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 10-4-2014
While the Mâconnais district is well known as a great source of value-priced white Burgundy, the 2012 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes may very well be one of the best Chardonnays under $15 in the store right now regardless of region of origin. While 2012 was a challenging vintage for red wines in Burgundy, the white wines are quite good, and this wine is no exception. Wonderfully mineral in character with hints of wet stone and earth. Bright, fresh citrus notes. Round and smooth textured with surprising concentration and persistence. The old vine character really makes itself felt here. An extraordinary value at a mere $12.99.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-2-2014
If you have not had this wine recently this is the perfect vintage to renew your acquaintance with this unparalleled Napa value. Since 2009 Phelps has shifted entirely to estate grown fruit, reducing their overall production and improving quality. They now consider their estate wine something of a "second wine to Insignia" at one third of the price. This 2012 vintage is stunning, with loads of dark fruit and fine tannins. If you are a fan of Napa Cabernet, this is a "must try." Do not miss out.
Top Value!

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 10-2-2014
Our third vintage of this NZ classic and still one of our best values in a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. The slightly cooler 2014 vintage produced a more aromatic wine with tart gooseberry notes, a more pronounced mineral character, and a peppery finish.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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