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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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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.
Ariston Aspasie "Brut Prestige" Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 9-23-2011
One of my favorites among our direct import Champagnes. The ONLY way to enjoy this wine more is to drink it out of magnum. Rich, ripe fruit, classic "toasty" brioche character. I took a bottle this weekend to a large party with many wonderful bottles of wine open for the sampling. My only regret is that I didn't bring TWO magnums; this was one of the first bottles emptied.
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!
1988 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis
Review Date: 1-31-2011
One of the top wines from Moulis, which lies between Margaux and St. Julien. Fully mature, it offers aromatic cedar notes on the nose. On the palate dried currant and truffle notes. Savory, with lively acidity this is a classic claret at the peak of maturity. Enjoy with your favorite cut of lamb or beef. If there is a drop or two left in the decanter you can enjoy it with the cheese course. A Bordeaux lovers wine at a great price.
Collard-Picard "Cuvée 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!
2003 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 7-29-2010
I have long been a fan of the wines of Chateau Lanessan. As a Cru Bourgeois they are always attractively priced, even while the chateau occupies an advantageous position immediately south of Chateau Beychevelle, just outside the St. Julien appellation in the commune of Cussac-Fort Medoc. I have enjoyed the 1996, the 1999, and even the 2000 vintage but had never before tasted the 2003. I was a bit nervous considering the extreme heat of the vintage that the wine would be too soft or overripe but nothing could be further from the truth. The wine shows perhaps a bit more fruit than in other years, but there is ample structure to support it. The estate produced a remarkably balanced wine with very reasonable 13% alcohol. Ripe red fruits – red currant and plum – and a hint of pepper. Delicious, and ready to drink now. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot.
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 2-9-2010
This may be the best deal in Champagne that K&L offers. 100% Chardonnay. 100% Grand Cru fruit from some of the best vineyards in the Côte des Blancs. Don't write this wine off because you didn't pay more for it! This is an outstanding Champagne at an unbelievable price. It will delight you with its rich, creamy texture. Ripe pear and chalky mineral notes give way to toasty, fresh baked apple tart on the mid palate. The wine finishes with a crisp, zingy citrus note of Meyer lemon. Enjoy this wine alone, as a refreshing aperitif or together with chilled, cracked Dungeness crab.
1999 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 1-10-2010
I have long been a fan of this over performing Haut-Médoc estate. Château Lanessan has as storied a history as many classified growths. The current owners, the Delbos-Bouteiller family, can date their ownership of the property back to 1793, and the property itself to 1310. The wines were not included in the Classification of 1855 since the owner at the time, Louis Delbos, neglected to send in samples to the committee. However, it was considered to be the equal of many fifth growths. The property lies just to the south of Château Beychevelle in the commune of Cussac-Fort-Médoc, and has a very St. Julien-like character. This 1999 vintage is surprisingly ripe with firm tannins and impressive dark fruit. With some time in a decanter notes of black currants and cedar emerge on the nose. In the mouth, the fruit is rich and concentrated - blackberry compote and damson plum. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. For Bordeaux lovers this wine represents a tremendous value at less than $20. Drink now or enjoy over the next 3 to 5 years.
Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-26-2009
Lovely toast on the nose. Classic pain grille, bright cherry, and hazelnut in the mouth. The ripeness of the fruit is offset by bracing acidity and an intense mineral character. A big, bold wine, this champagne will be the center of attention at any party.
1981 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 5-24-2009
The wines from this estate are famously tannic in their youth and long-lived. This was one of the last vintages overseen by Ronald Barton before he turned the property over to his nephew, Anthony. The 1981 Leoville Barton is a classic, medium-bodied claret from a good vintage spoiled somewhat by late season rains. Garnet-hued and remarkably youthful. The perfumed, truffle nose makes its presence known as soon as the wine is poured into the glass. In the mouth, the wine exhibits tart red currant notes with firm tannins still very much in evidence. A great value for lovers of older Bordeaux wines. Decant and enjoy with traditional roast beef or a nice Stilton cheese.
2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 6-18-2008
A dense, brooding, broad-shouldered wine packed with blackberry and cassis and a hint of licorice on the finish. Astonishing character at this price and a joy to drink.
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