Staff Favorites - Gary Westby

Gary Westby
Gary Westby  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I started at K&L in February of 2000, after 4 years of working down the street for another retailer, and although I take care of the Champagne buying here at K&L, I love to drink wine from all over the world. I prize authenticity in wine, and love representative examples of many different styles, whether it is a spicy dry creek zinfandel or a mineral driven Manzanilla. I almost always drink my wine with food, and am drawn to food wines rather than the softer styles that are good for drinking on their own. My wife Cinnamon and I cook a lot of Italian & French food at home, and my list of wines reflects those food choices. I also love value, at every price point, and can't stand "prestige" labels that under deliver in the bottle. I love honest wines for the table. If you love good wine to go with your good cooking too, I think that by joining my personal Sommelier list you will be treated to a wide variety of wines that represent a strong value for money at what ever price range you feel comfortable with. Give it a try!


Reviews

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Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-03-2017
This great bottle of gin comes across as a classic from the first sip, with poise, elegance and refreshment its main qualities. Even though it made out of a long list of exotic, only-in-Australia botanicals, the balance is still exquisite and exactly what I am looking for in my therapeutic gin and tonic. I am sure we will disappoint many customers looking for a second bottle of this after it all sells out. If you love it, make sure to get what you need quickly!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Hyot, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 09-29-2017
Clyde has done it again: found another incredible value in Bordeaux. I can't remember enjoying a Right Bank vintage as much as 2014 since at least 1998. This shares the virtues of many of the more expensive wines from 2014 that I have tasted. While the Hyot is dark, loaded with flashy coffee and plummy fruit on the nose, it is medium bodied, and has very good lift on the long finish. This Cotes De Castillon is ideal for mid-week meals!
Top Value!

2009 Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2009 Dom Perignon is one of the purest and most elegant that I have had of this famous tete de cuvee. I had an opportunity to taste a preview bottle back in March, and I was very impressed. The wine is much less yeasty than the 2006, and has rounder, riper fruit than the more mineral driven 2004. In an unusual move, but certainly a smart one, they decided to release this ahead of the 2008, which is still resting on its lees in Epernay!

2015 Albatreti Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2015 vintage is a special one in Tuscany, and this Albatreti Rosso Di Montalcino stands out even in such a strong field. This sangiovese has rich, beautiful rainier cherry fruit, clean earth and a perfect balance of brightness and tannin on the finish. I found it to be better than a lot of Brunello that I have tasted over the years!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2009 Pierre Mineral Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-26-2017
The Pierre Mineral is in strong contention to be the best value in Champagne at K&L. This 2009 vintage Champagne is made exclusively from Mesnil Grand Cru chardonnay. Champagne from this terroir almost always come at a much higher price, and vintage Champagne from Mesnil command even more of a premium. An incredible direct buy has enabled us to bring you a fantastic price on this clean, racy super long finishing Champagne. If you love Champagne with crystalline purity, vivacious energy and a finish that won't quit, this is a slam dunk. Will it keep in your good cellar? The 1973 that I drank recently was one of the best old Mesnil Champagnes that I have ever tasted!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2004 Krug Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-23-2017
Tasting the new 2004 Krug next to the 2002 was a revelation for me. This has the power and mid-palate presence that we all love from this great house, but it is married to the extraordinary freshness, minerality and purity of the 2004 vintage. As soon as I touched my lips to the glass I was transported back to the moment over a decade ago when I tasted the 1988 on release. The 2004s and 1988s are like peas in a pod, and I think this will be a vintage that collectors will be kicking themselves for not paying enough attention to. The finish on this bright, lively Krug is still with me the morning after drinking it. It is a Champagne for the ages.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

Ardbeg "An Oa" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 09-19-2017
This incredibly elegant and sophisticated Ardbeg retains the peaty personality of the distillery while showcasing a suaver side of Islay. I enjoyed my little taste of this immensly, and I can't wait to take it home and drink it my favorite way- after dinner. Any fan of Islay malts should have a bottle of this generous, textural Ardbeg!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WA 93

2014 Senejac, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-16-2017
This is a great addition to any cellar, the only problem with the wine is that it tastes too good now! The 2014's have a fresh lift to them that makes them almost irresistible young, but should prove to keep them drinking nicely for decades. I love the purity of the Cabernet cassis aromas and flavors in this Chateau Senejac, as well as the long, bright finish. Pair it now with grilled skirt steak or bury it in the cellar for decades to come- either way you will be very happy. At this price, why not do both?
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 Burgess "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-06-2017
This fantastic 2013 from the Burgess estate is a great bottle of full bodied, yet dry Napa Cabernet. If you are looking for a dark fruited, powerful mountain cab to go with some man sized rib eyes off the grill, look no further. While most Napa Cabernet in this price range is made from purchased valley floor fruit, this is entirely from the Burgess estate on Howell Mountain. Enjoy some now, and save some for a few years... I just drank a bottle of the 1993 a few months ago and it was still fresh at 24 years old!
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 92 VN 92

Timothy Taylor "Landlord" Strong Pale Ale, England (500ml)
Review Date: 08-29-2017
I love the taste of the old country in this Pale Ale! Don't let the "strong" scare you off on the label- this under 5% Abv beer is exactly the kind a person can drink plenty of without getting fuzzy in the head or tired of the flavors. This elegant ale from Timothy Taylor has lovely balance, both fruit from the top fermenting yeast and pleasant bitterness from the hops. I can't wait to sit down for a long session with a few of these!
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart

Mahr's Bräu "Mastodon" Lager, Germany (500ml)
Review Date: 08-29-2017
I don't always drink Märzen named after metal bands, but when I do it is always the Mahr's Brau Mastodon. This is classic German brown lager, with very nice texture and malty flavors, balanced by enough hoppiness to keep it refreshing enough to have another two or three.
Price: $6.99 Add To Cart

Professor Fritz Briem "1809" Berliner Weisse, Germany (16.9oz)
Review Date: 08-29-2017
Drinking the 1809 Berliner Weisse from Professor Fritz Briem brings takes me back to my first visit to Berilin, just before the wall came down. This refreshing, light, delicately fruity and subtly sour beer made me think of loud, smoky clubs in Kreuzberg. I might have to spin some Einstürzende Neubauten this weekend and drink a couple of these delicious brews!
Price: $6.49 Add To Cart

2012 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 08-22-2017
Tasting this today, I was floored by the breed and stateliness of this young claret. This third wine of Latour has the classic flavors of the first wine with lead pencil and cassis in perfect, classy balance. What it doesn't have recommends it even more- this is not a tannin bound wine like Latour proper would be at this age, but rather and open knit, delicious drinker. If you ever wondered what a first growth is all about, but didn't want to part with a grand, treat yourself to this!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
JS 90
Limit of 24 per customer

2014 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-22-2017
Langoa has made a fabulous wine for the cellar here, but you'll have to bury it at the bottom of a big stack... It tastes a little too good to hold onto right now! This great 2014 has an explosive nose of red fruit with bonbon ceris and extraordinary purity on the palate. The length is striking, as is the focussed acidity. This will prove to be one of the great Langoa's in time, if we can keep our hands off of it!
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-18-2017
We have a few house favorites when it comes to Bordeaux here at K&L, and the 2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc confirms why we love this property. For the Haut-Medoc, this wine has a huge proportion of Merlot at 85% and just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon at 15%. In its youth, the wine had a big, ripe, plumy nose, but was still very elegant in the mouth. It reminded me very much of old fashioned Pomerol; medium bodied, pure, racy Merlot without the extraneous sugar and oak. At the price, too much of this wine was probably consumed too young, but the patient will now be rewarded with a great experience at a very small price.

2013 Aleph Semillon Mendoza
Review Date: 08-01-2017
This semillon is one of the most inspiring Argentinian wines that I have ever tasted. The Aleph is loaded with waxy, complex, intriguing flavors, and has full body, not from oak, but from real concentration. It might seem expensive in context with other wines from the same country, but is an outstanding value as a wine. This would be a great ringer in a lineup of expensive white Bordeaux!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Matetic "EQ" Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 08-01-2017
This refreshing Sauvignon Blanc has very nice fruit without being sweet, a subtle pepper like note on the nose, and no grassiness to speak of. The folks at Matetic in the Casablanca Valley have come up with a great summer sipper with this 2016!

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 06-20-2017
This is one of K&L's best selling Champagnes for a very good reason. The Bonville family has some of the best terroir imaginable for growing Chardonnay--every acre that they own is super chalky, east-facing Grand Cru on the Cote des Blancs. They have been making their own Champagne here since the 1920s, and growing here for many generations before that. This is their entry level bottling, and what a way to start! It is made of at least half reserve wines, giving it not only the dry, chalky drive that makes this area famous, but also giving the wine toasty, creamy, delicious drinkability. A must-try for any Champagne lover.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 06-20-2017
This is our most popular half bottle of Champagne by far. The Bonville family has some of the best terroir imaginable for growing Chardonnay: every acre that they own is super chalky, east-facing Grand Cru on the Cote des Blancs. They have been making their own Champagne here since the 1920s, and growing here for many generations before that. This is their entry-level bottling, and what a way to start! It is made of at least half reserve wines, giving it not only the dry, chalky drive that makes this area famous, but also giving the wine toasty, creamy, delicious drinkability. A must try for any Champagne lover.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 06-20-2017
I always have to order extra of these magnums - Clyde & Trey always gobble up about half of what we get! All Champagne has an advantage in magnum, seeing more surface area for lees contact and half the amount of air exposure. The Bonville family doubles down by giving these an extra 2-4 years of ageing! This is one of K&L's best selling Champagnes for a very good reason. The Bonville family has some of the best terroir imaginable for growing Chardonnay- every acre that they own is super chalky, east facing Grand Cru on the Cote des Blancs. They have been making their own Champagne here since the 1920's, and growing here for many generations before that. This is their entry level bottling, and what a way to start! It is made of at least half reserve wines, giving it not only the dry, chalky drive that makes this area famous, but also giving the wine toasty, creamy, delicious drinkability. A must try for any Champagne lover. Already exceptional out of 750, the Bonville Selection picks up both richness and zip in the larger format bottle - making it the "smallest" big bottle that we have. It ends up empty far too soon!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-15-2017
I feel strongly that this Decades bottling from Wild Turkey is the best Bourbon in the store, and I haven't tasted anything this good in a long time. Instead of doing a series of single barrel releases to go after collectors money, Eddie Russell has put together a masterpiece by blending some of the best stuff in the vast Wild Turkey stocks. The synergy of these whiskeys is obvious at first sniff, and I have to pinch myself when I get to taste something this good at work! This has cream, caramel, and a hint of something savory that makes it beguiling to return to. If you want to treat yourself to an unforgettable bottle, look no further!
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
WA 94

Copper & Kings American Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-08-2017
Copper Kings nailed this fantastic batch of gin! Not only does it have great lift from intense juniper flavor and brightness from a great blend of botanicals, it also has texture. This is going to feature often in gin and tonic drinking in the future!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Marietta "Román" North Coast Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-31-2017
The Roman from Marietta is one of my favorite Zinfandels in the store. This bottle has what all zin should have, plenty of wild brambly fruit and excellent balancing acidity. I can't wait to pair this with a big rack of pork ribs smoked in the backyard or even sausages cooked over the campfire. If you love zin, but can do without monstrous alcohol and residual sugar, this is a must try!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 VN 90

2000 Dom Pérignon "P2" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-18-2017
This toasty, beautiful P2 is a big step from the 1998. I am very impressed by the generosity and balance of this Dom, as well as the incredible freshness given the extended ageing. I tasted this with Vincent Chaperon this March, one of the winemakers, at the Abbey of Hautvillers where Dom Perignon himself worked. I am very excited that it is now here for you!
Price: $399.00 Add To Cart
JS 97 VN 96

2010 Ariston Aspasie Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-11-2017
No Champagne producer is better loved by K&L customers than Paul-Vincent Ariston of Champagne Aspasie, and he has delivered another great vintage with his 2010 Ariston Aspasie Brut Champagne . This is a blend of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from his estate in Brouillet, and is in a drier, more focused style in 2010. I love this Champagne for the aperitif, and it also goes very well with summer vegetable quiche or even pate!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2007 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-04-2017
The 2007 Grande Annee is classic Bollinger, and reminds me very much of their great 2004. It is composed of 70% Pinot Noir, mostly from Ay and Verzenay and 30% Chardonnay primarily from Avize, Cramant and Oger. I tasted a preview bottle with Denis Bunner and found it lovely, nutty, generous, and toasty on the nose. In the mouth it was full of intense, savory creamy, even nougat like flavors, and the finish had the chalky cut to balance out all of the decadence! If you love great vintage Champagne, this is not to be missed.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2005 d'Yquem, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-22-2017
This is a fantastically elegant bottle of dessert wine from the producer that has the most right to call themselves the greatest wine in the world. Full of pure stone fruit on the nose, this wine is only now getting a slight hint of caramel after some time in the bottle. This is a perfect foie gras Sauternes, which is not so heavy as to slow down the rest of the meal, and with plenty of long, focussed acidity to cut through the richest of pate.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2015 d'Yquem "Y" Bordeaux Blanc
Review Date: 04-20-2017
This rich white wine is a powerhouse! It is composed of 75% semillon and 25% sauvignon blanc from d'Yquem's estate vineyards in Sauternes. It has the right amount of honey to set off the grassy notes of the sauvignon blanc, and an unbelievable amount of length and laser like focus. They use 80% one year old barrels that were used once for d'Yquem, and the balance brand new oak, and yet the oak is barely a feature in the wine. This is concentrated stuff!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 04-14-2017
This big, ripe powerful Cabernet will thrill fans of Napa wines. It is loaded with cassis fruit, and has plenty of tannic structure on the back end. This is excellent for drinking right now for fans of the big Cabernet style, and priced for any old night. Similar quality from Napa would cost a lot more than twice as much!

Trudon "Monochrome" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-13-2017
This all Meunier Champagne is made by Jerome Trudon, who used to make the wine at Roederer, both in Anderson Valley and in Reims. He returned to his family farm, and the Monochrome is his flagship. It is made entirely out of Meunier, aged for three years minimum on the lees and benefits from 1/3 reserve wines from older vintages. This is strikingly pure Meunier, with great white flowers and fresh bread on the nose and in the mouth. It is very fresh, as Jerome does not let the wine go through malolactic, and has very good length and quite a bit of minerality.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2015 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 04-12-2017
The balanced, clean 2015 A2 from Akitu is a skillful blend from across their Wanaka estate. This is the kind of Pinot Noir that has the lift and refreshment for many different kinds of food, but is easy and delicious enough to have on its own. I love the dark fruit and the new leather flavors in this perfect example of Central Otago Pinot!
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2014 Elephant Hill Hawke's Bay Syrah
Review Date: 04-12-2017
This Hawkes Bay Syrah from Elephant Hill was the red wine standout of our New Zealand staff tasting. If you love the classic Syrahs of the Northern Rhone, you owe it to yourself to try this beauty. It has a classic nose that explodes with white pepper, and medium to full body with excellent texture. Minty, eucalyptus like flavors last and last with good tannin and excellent acidity on the finish. Perfect for leg of lamb now, or the cellar for later!
Drink from 2017 to 2017

1990 Krug "Collection" Brut Champagne (direct from Krug 2018)
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Tasting this with the Krug team at the new Krug house in Reims is an experience I won't soon forget. Arnauld Lallement, the chef from L’Assiette Champenois cooked for us, and this was the vintage highlight of the evening. When a Champagne has the freshness of youth, combined with the savory, white truffle complexity of age you can say that it has it all. Words fall short with a great wine like this... The 1990 Krug Collection can stand on the table with anything.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $699.00 Add To Cart
VN 97 JD 95

Charles Ellner "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-08-2017
On my recent visit to Charles Ellner, I particularly loved the Grande Reserve, a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir from all estate-grown fruit. This non-vintage cuvée is based on 2009 with over a third from older reserves, and has that great balance of power and freshness that really excites me in Champagne. The green apple flavors of a blocked malo bottling were balanced by great brioche flavors—it it had it all!
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 91

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-08-2017
The Grand Siecle has long been my favorite tete de cuvee, but for many years now it has been out of reach. Since 2008, just a trickle has made it to the USA, and it was a fantastically expensive trickle. We managed to secure some at a very fair price and I can't say enough about what a great wine this is. Most big houses talk a big game about the "Blenders Art" and the synergy of Grand Cru terroirs when combined not just with balancing sites, but also across time. This is the embodiment of synergistic blending and monk’s patience. Nearly every Grand Cru in Champagne is represented; the wine is from three different vintages and aged over 10 years on the lees. I believe this is the most underrated of all the tête de cuvees in Champagne. First of all, it is real and honest tête de cuvee, representing only a sliver of their production and allowing them to select the cream of the crop for this bottling. Some of the most famous tête de cuvees are actually the second highest production wine from their respective houses! As one would expect from a Champagne that is aged this long from such excellent sources, it is very complex. This complexity is not a vinous, heavy complexity, however; in fact it is almost vanishingly subtle and elegant. I think it's necessary to spend time with the Grand Siècle to truly understand it. The wine is simply lovely with a fantastic bead of tiny bubbles to start and I always feel like a having second glass when I taste it. That is when I start to notice the complexity! That desire for more speaks volumes.

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-08-2017
Several years ago, Laurent Perrier was fortunate enough to acquire a small Champagne group that owned vineyards and had some very good contracts in the Côtes de Blancs. This is the first product to be released that includes fruit from these marvelous sites and it is a revelation. They have increased the proportion of chardonnay in the blend to 55% (the balance is 30% pinot noir and 15% meunier), and now only use the first and most delicate portion of the grape pressing, while increasing the aging minimum to over four years on the lees. The result is a Champagne with a near blanc de blancs character, singing with Puligny Montrachet-like lime and vibrant chalk.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 91

2013 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 02-15-2017
If you love super Tuscans and expensive Napa Cabernet, this La Massa is a must try for you. This Toscana has all of the dark color, flashy richness and power of its more expensive neighbors, but not the price.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 01-05-2017
If you haven't tasted the LP Rose lately, you should! This all Pinot Noir Champagne is entirely made from Grand Cru fruit and lighter than most that are made in this style- it is macerated with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. The LP Rose has set the standard for rose Champagne for many years, and for good reason.

2007 Michel Arnould "Cuvée B.50" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-03-2016
This ambitious all barrel-fermented Champagne is only available in tiny quantities—we received less than 10 cases and we are his US importer! If you are looking for a powerful, ultra-rare bottle, you have found it! Look for vanilla and hazelnut as well as brioche on the nose, and incisive, dry minerality on the back end.
Price: $99.00 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-03-2016
The value that Patrick Arnould delivers with this top-notch rosé is mind boggling. This is the only rosé Champagne that I have ever had that is exclusively Pinot Noir, but made by blending wines that are vinified white with wines that are vinified red. Patrick is very proud of his Burgundian clones in his best exposed vineyard plot that he uses to make the red wine that gives this Champagne its color and flavor. This rosé has dark cherry authority as well as complex savor from that high quality vineyard. It also has easy refreshment and a dry chalky finish from the rest of his Grand Cru estate vineyard that makes the white Pinot portion. A must try for every rosé fan!
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-03-2016
The Fleury rosé is made entirely of Pinot Noir from Courteron, in the southern part of Champagne. Locals proudly say that their town is closer to Chablis than Reims, and the style of wine owes as much to Burgundy as the stylish bottle does to the grand marques of Champagne. The vineyards, which are all owned by Fleury, are farmed 100% biodynamically, the strictest form of organic viticulture. This Champagne, composed of 100% Pinot Noir, is made by maceration, with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. Most rosés made in this style are very big, but this one is the exception; it is very elegant. Mr. Fleury contends that his organic methods allow him to get great skins, and thus a very clean rosé as a result. Anyone who loves the pink stuff must try this at least once. In the glass it has a wonderful, fresh Pinot Noir nose of strawberry fruit and forest air intrigue. On the palate it has a great small bubble texture with magnificent depth and terroir.
Price: $109.00 Add To Cart
VN 90

Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-25-2016
This is the best-selling Champagne in the USA.

Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne Jeroboam (3L)
Review Date: 09-25-2016
This is the best-selling Champagne in the USA.
Price: $399.00 Add To Cart
JS 92 WS 90

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Reserve" Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 09-24-2016
Of all the grand marques, no one offers a cleaner, purer example of Champagne fruit and refreshment than Billecart-Salmon. The Billecart family pick earlier than most, and run the coldest, longest fermentations in all of Champagne to deliver their inimitable, graceful house style. If you are looking for the ultimate in balance aperitif Champagne, you have found it!

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-20-2016
This bottling is a blend of 2007 through 2012 vintages with three years of ageing on the lees. It is a brassy gold color and has a generous nose of fresh forest aromas and brioche toast. In the mouth it has a round, rich, seamless texture and an amazing array of flavors… It is easily one of the most complex Champagnes that we have on the shelf. The truly amazing thing to me is the focus of the wine. It stays completely refreshing, vibrant and mineral on the long finish, which makes the 750ml format seem to small! This Champagne is produced out of one 8000 liter barrel and every year about 100 cases is bottled, and the barrel is refreshed with the best wine of the next harvest.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 90

2006 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 09-15-2016
Our final appointment of this year’s summit was with Taittinger, and the 2006 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne was the perfect bottle to perk up tired mouths. I found the limey, Puligny-like drive of this Champagne compelling and refreshing, and was happy to see this vintage living up to the legend of the Comtes de Champagne. This all Cote de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne is sourced from primarily estate vineyards in Avize, Chouilly, Oger and Mesnil. It is 95% fermented in stainless, but sees 5% small oak to add richness. The combination of toast from 8 years on the lees and lime zest from the top Chardonnay make for an exotic, yet elegant beauty of a Champagne.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

Gosset "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-15-2016
We were very lucky to have Gosset export director Bertrand Verduzier come from Epernay to present his Champagne at the summit this year, and we learned a ton about this very old grand marque. Their flag ship wine is the Gosset "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne, and it is an exceptional wine. The current batch is composed of 43% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir and 15% Meunier with 20% reserves that are blended in the solera style. They never do any malolactic fermentation for this wine, and as such need to age it for a minimum of 4 years on the lees before disgorgement. It has an almost green color in the glass, and has a great tension between opulent toast and chalky, nearly apple like crunch. If you like this Champagne, be sure to put some in the cellar, I have had them going back 30 years and they are spectacular with age as well as young!

Drappier "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-15-2016
The best non-vintage of our whole Champagne summit was the Drappier "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne. That is saying a lot, since we tasted so many greats! This combination of 75% Pinot Noir, 15% Meunier and 10% Chardonnay is made with the lowest sulfur counts of any grand marque Champagne. The fruit for this is all from the Aube and Kimmeridgian clay rather than the chalk of the Marne. It is also mostly estate grown. This gives Champagne not only with the lovely red fruit expression one would expect from so much Pinot, but also layers of nearly Chablis like minerality. If you like dry, yet full flavored Champagne, you it to yourself to try the Drappier!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 WE 90

2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-15-2016
For many years now, Champagne Louis Roederer has been leading the way in progressive practices in the vineyard in the region. This approach showed in the wines at this year’s staff summit, and in a quite spectacular way. The wines of Roederer really have a shine to them, and the soon to be released 2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne exemplifies this luminescent style. Roederer has been the largest organic vineyard owner in Champagne for many years, and this is the first year that Critstal has been made exclusively from these organic, mid slope, pure chalk sites. The ripe vintage of 2009 has made for a precocious wine that is already showing much more aroma and giving much more pleasure than Cristal normally does when first released. That being said, this is a chalky, complex, detailed Champagne that has decades and decades of time to shine!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2008 Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-14-2016
The 2008 vintage has rightly been hailed as a great one in Champagne, and this Veuve Clicquot Rose is a great example of this fantastic harvest. I drank this with Mr. DeMarville, chef de cave of Clicquot, paired with a long roasted chicken at Town in San Carlos- what an experience! The wine has incredible power and a nearly Burgundian savor to it which was very satisfying with the food. It also has the clarity and lift of the highest acid vintage since 1996. This is a wine for the ages... But it will be very difficult to keep my hands off of now!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

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