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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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2008 Maison Jacques Bavard Rully Blanc
Review Date: 3-31-2012
While it's only the second year we have carried the wines of Jacques Bavard here at K&L, its no secret that they have quickly become some of our favorite Burgundies, both white and red. This extraordinary Chardonnay is one of the reasons why. This 2008 Rully makes the most of what turned out to be the finest vintage in recent memory for white Burgundy. Lightly floral with fresh citrus notes and a finely etched minerality, this is one of the best Chardonnays you will find anywhere for under $20.
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.
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.
Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 12-9-2011
I am embarrassed to admit that before I met Gary Westby, our Champagne buyer, I was not a drinker of Champagne. I probably had had one or two bottles of mediocre, bulk-produced sparkling wine (not Champagne) and dismissed all sparkling wines on that basis. Then Gary introduced me to grower-producer Champagnes like the Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The quality--the authenticity--of the wines was a revelation. And the great prices made possible through our direct import program made it impossible not to try as many as I could. If you want to learn about the Côte des Blancs--the home of the finest Chardonnay in Champagne--about Grand Cru sites like Mesnil and Oger, then this is a tutorial in a glass. Fine bead. Clean. Crisp. Wonderfully mineral in its expression, while still rich in texture. Try it on its own as an aperitif or, better yet, with our local Dungeness crab.
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.
2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 10-25-2011
I was tremendously excited when Joe Manekin, who buys our Spanish wines, announced the arrival of some of our newest direct imports - the wines of Miguel Merino. Senor Merino's wines are made with enormous respect for tradition and a modern sensibility. His 2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja is a dexterous amalgam of fruit and oak, with spice and coconut, tart berry, and rich plum notes. Delicious from the first sip, the wine nevertheless put on additional weight and richness of texture with a bit of air. Decant for best results.
2001 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-12-2011
I think in perhaps 5 or 10 years we will be talking about the 2001 vintage as one of the best of the decade for Cabernet Sauvignon in California. The 2001 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon represents a unique opportunity to purchase a great 10 year old Napa Cab, perfect to drink now or cellar for another decade. These few cases were purchased directly from the winery, and are available at only a slight premium above the price of the current release, 2007. As much as I love the Corison wines (even the Gewürztraminer - I know, right?) I couldn’t resist bringing a bottle home to try. When I pulled the cork the wine’s aroma immediately filled the room, wonderfully floral like freshly picked violets. On the palate bright blackberry and cherry notes with a little hint of cocoa and spice; the oak is subtly applied and beautifully integrated. Tannins were quite firm when the wine was first decanted but softened a bit with air. The wine is really quite lovely now but can only get better with age. Patience will be rewarded.
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!
1985 Soutard, St-Emilion
Review Date: 9-23-2011
What a delightful surprise this wine was! A bit firm at first, but with half an hour in the decanter it opened up beautifully. Aromatic notes of cedar and truffle on the nose. Ripe plum and cherry notes on the palate. Wonderfully silky texture. A classically styled, perfectly aged St-Emilion at its peak. Try this one with grilled duck breast.
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!
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 d'Angludet, Margaux
Review Date: 9-30-2010
I must admit I have been a bit ambivalent about the 2003 Bordeaux vintage in general (sorry, Ralph). Historically hot weather yielded wines of impressive size and ripeness. For me, though, they do not say "Bordeaux". The 2003 Chateau D'Angludet is an exception. Perfumed, floral nose of crushed violets. Fresh-picked blackberry fruit. Smooth-textured and ripe but without the excesses of many 2003's. Fleshy, with still tooth coating tannins. A well-made, balanced wine. Cellar for another year or two and drink over the next decade.
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