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Staff Favorites - 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.
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Fluteau Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 6-24-2012
Yes, this is a rosé Champagne, and yes, it is so deeply colored that its appearance in the glass will shock you. This is a saignée style bottling very typical of the southernmost part of Champagne, the Côte des Bar, or Aube. The extra skin contact adds both color and flavor, enabling the wine to express more clearly the character of the Pinot Noir grape. Ripe, red cherry fruits, lightly floral with just a hint of licorice, this excellent grower producer Champagne is a rare treat that can be enjoyed on its own or with food.
Fleury "Carte Rouge" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-18-2012
This extraordinary 100% Pinot Noir sparkling wine comes to us from the Aube, the southernmost part of the Champagne region. In the early 1900s, when the boundaries of the Champagne appellation were being formally drawn, it seemed for a time that producers in the Aube would be excluded by their brother growers to the north. They took to the streets in protest and French troops had to be called in to quell the riots. Because we are buying these wines directly in France you can enjoy them today at a price that won't provoke civil unrest. Why would you drink anything else?
2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 4-28-2012
Long time customers of K&L will recognize this producer. We have carried many different vintages over the years. I was privileged to taste the 2009 out of barrel when we visited the chateau a couple of years ago. The proprietor, Eric Miailhe, confided that he considered it the finest wine he had ever made, possibly the finest he would ever make at this property. This is a big wine! Tons of sweet fruit backed by fine tannins. Needs perhaps five years to pull itself together and can then be enjoyed for many years to come. 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Marguet Pere et Fils "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-31-2012
I have enjoyed the wines of Benoit Marguet in the past but I think this may be his finest effort yet. An incomparably rich style with toasty, brioche character. Gorgeously ripe fruit that puts one in mind of a freshly baked apple tart still warm from the oven. A hedonist's delight, and, like all of our direct import Champagnes, shockingly well-priced.
2009 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 3-6-2012
Deeply colored, aromatic, floral and spicy. Loads of dark, sweet fruit. Unbelievably bright and fresh. A superb effort.
1989 Meyney, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 2-29-2012
From a warm vintage with wonderfully ripe fruit. Classic black currant and cassis. Notes of black licorice and coffee. Beautifully made. Richly textured. Nicely mature but with many years ahead of it. Great value from one of the best vintages of the '80s if you are looking for something to drink tonight, or to set aside for the next time you feel the need to grill up a nice,dry-aged ribeye.
2006 Michel Loriot "Pinot Meunier Vieilles Vignes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-30-2011
In the typical Champagne blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, it is Pinot Meunier that is the odd man out, the perennial third wheel. Many of the largest Champagne houses don't even include it in their blends. However, when yields are kept low, particularly in the case of older vines, it can produce wines of stunning complexity. The wines of Michel Loriot, one of our newest grower producers, are all 100% Pinot Meunier. This is his very best wine, wonderfully rich, dense and complex, with a signature spiciness that is the hallmark of great Pinot Meunier. A rare treat, and a tremendous value.
2002 Bruno Michel "Cuvee Millésime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-15-2011
2002 may very well be the finest all around vintage in Champagne since the trio of great vintages in the late 1980’s – 1988,1989,1990. Combining lively acidity with dense, powerfully concentrated fruit, the 2002 vintage invites comparisons with the fabled 1990 vintage. The 2002 Bruno Michel "Cuvee Millésime" Brut Champagne is a great example of the best of what the vintage has to offer. Tightly wound and complex yet richly textured, this wine is the epitome of restrained opulence. Lightly floral notes of acacia and wet stone give way to sweet, baked apple and cinnamon spice. A hint of brioche graces the very dry finish. While this wine can be enjoyed on its own (if you are in a particularly pensive mood), it will be at its best when paired with food. Try it with roast chicken or sole meunière, or, for a real treat, a bowl of lightly salted, freshly popped popcorn.
2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 10-12-2011
Newly arrived and purchased directly from the chateau. We currently have several vintages of this moderately priced Haut Medoc in stock. This 2005 is one of my favorites. The nose has some lovely floral and spice notes, and a little bit of old school Bordeaux funk no doubt originating from some of the older barrels in the cellar. When first opened some of that character is evident on the palate but quickly dissipates. An hour or so in the decanter brings out the characteristic ’05 fruit – dark, rich and ripe with classic black currant and cassis notes. Great structure here with good acidity and tannins that are initially quite firm. Drinkable now but ought to even better with another 3 to 5 years in the cellar.
Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 9-23-2011
The Limoux area of the Languedoc in southern France is the oldest sparkling wine producing region in the world, predating even Champagne. Blanquette is made mostly from the local variety Mauzac, which adds a delightfully crisp, fresh apple quality. The remainder is Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. Antech's Brut Nature is produced with no added dosage, creating a wine that is super dry, crisp and clean, and bracingly refreshing. Delicious, and a terrific value!
2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 7-7-2011
For lovers of Bordeaux looking for a guilt free, everyday claret. Drinking beautifully at 10 years of age. Value priced at under $20. Lovely ripe red fruits - tart currant and sweet cherry. Wonderfully savory. Enticingly spicy. Good concentration, persistence and length. Spot on.
Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 5-20-2011
The region of Saumur in the Loire Valley of France is the largest producer of sparkling wines outside of Champagne. This blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc is an astonishing value at $11.99. Dry and crisp in style with a rich, creamy texture. Affordable by the case for a special event. Inexpensive enough to enjoy guilt-free any night of the week. Sante!
Collard-Picard "Cuvee Selection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 1-31-2011
This champagne is a real family enterprise, with the Picard family contributing Grand Cru Chardonnay to the blend and the Collard family its famous Pinot Meunier. With 80% of the latter, its the Meunier that really defines the wine. Lightly toasted brioche and cinnamon spice combine with crisp red apple notes. A very dry style but with extraordinary richness.
Charles Baur Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-31-2010
Gorgeous salmon color! Fresh, ripe strawberry nose. Crisp, dry style. Superb Pinot Noir character. Imported directly from the producer in Alsace, this is one of our best values in sparkling wine under $20.
Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-26-2010
Always my favorite rosé champagne here at K&L. Enjoyed a bottle with friends this past weekend. Quite dry with notable cherry fruit. A fine expression of the grape for pinot lovers!
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