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K&L Staff Recommendations
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* From one of the top estates in Cahors, this complex, dense wine is both structured and packed with great fruit. At the moment, the tannins are in charge, big, bold and dense. Over the next few years the opulent black fruits will come out strongly, bringing richness along with impressive concentration. Drink from 2019." (8/2015) K&L Notes: These days, when you think of Malbec you often think of Argentina. But the Cahors appellation in South West France is the ancestral home of this black grape, situated in the high country (Haut Pays), equidistant f... Read More »
Cotes de Gascogne is primarily known for the production of Armagnac; it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that producers began to take table wine production seriously. Traditionally, these wines would have been distilled into Armagnac. Producers found that by fermenting at lower temperatures in stainless steel, they could develop and preserve more powerful aromatics. Though yields are high, costs have stayed low and the wines are consequently some of the best bargain whites in France. Domaine de Millet is first and foremost an Armagnac producer. They ... Read More »
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Tirecul’s sweet and decadent 2004 Cuvee Chateau exhibits apricot/peach marmalade, creme brulee and maple syrup aromas and flavors in a full-bodied, unctuous, but well-balanced, pure style. This dessert wine is already remarkably evolved, and should drink well for another 10-15 years - good luck deferring your gratification! As always, this wine is a sensational value. (RP)" (6/2014)
The Côtes du Frontonnais winemaking region is located on the left bank of the Tarn River about 20 miles north of Toulouse. The area is generally flat, with occasional hills that create small slopes. The subsoil is composed of ice age deposits, topped by alluvial soil and rouget, a material very rich in iron that evokes parallels to the character of the wines. The typical climate of the region is similar to that of Bordeaux: warm and dry in the summer, and mild and wet in the winter. The grape that sets Fronton apart from other winemaking regions in Franc... Read More »
Domaine Berthoumieu is owned by Didier Barre, who took over for his father Louis in the mid-eighties. Inspired by Alain Brumont of Domaine Bouscasse/Chateau Montus fame (regarded as the founder of modern Madiran), Didier produced a style of Madiran that is meant to be more approachable when young, with riper fruit and less brutal tannins. His top red wine is the cuvée Charles de Batz, which was the original name of d'Artignan. It is composed of 90% Tannat with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines that are at least 50 years old. To make this wine more access... Read More »
One of the most overlooked spirits in the world is France's light and slightly-sweet aperitif - Pineau des Charantes. Made from sweetened grape must and a bit of young Cognac, the Raymond Ragnaud is perhaps the best expression of the style we carry. Imported directly for K&L by Charles Neal, the Ragnaud is best served slightly chilled either before a meal or after. A great substitute for sherry or port when the months turn warmer and you want something more refreshing.
Inventory: Redwood City
Wine Spectator: "Has a lightly roasted edge, with plum, fig and steeped raspberry fruit, mixed with singed wood spice, raisin and incense notes. Lightly leathery grip underscores the finish. For fans of rustic wines; serve lightly chilled to keep this tamed. Nielluccio and Sciacarello. Drink now through 2016. 500 cases imported. (Web Only - 2015)"
From French Basque country comes this gorgeous red from Irouleguy! Composed of 70% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in older bariques. Forthcoming nose hints at black fruit and rose hip tea. Medium to full-body. Notes of currant and red fruit in the mouth. A hint of licorice, a touch of smoke and well-integrated tannins on the finish. Enjoy with a tranche of Bayonne ham or Poulet Basque! (Certified Organic) Irouleguy is a small wine region located 125 miles (200km) south of Bordeaux in Le Pays Basque – the French Basque Country. ... Read More »
Inventory: San Francisco
From the winery: "The wine is very fresh with exotic fruit aromas. The palate is tonic and fruity."
A blend of 97% Malbec with 3% Tannat, this Cahors is sourced from 30-50 year old vines planted in calcareous clay. The vineyard yields a modest and concentrated crop of grapes which are sorted before pressing and given an extended, temperature-controlled maceration to extract the best of what the fruit has to offer. The wine then spent 12 months in 50% new oak barrels before being bottled.
Inventory: San Francisco
The region of Marcillac, located in the Southwest part of France, is largely overlooked. The vines were devastated by phylloxera at the turn of the 20th century and the local mining began to dry up not shortly thereafter. The region had shrunk dramatically but is now poised for a comeback. The grape Mansois (also called Fer Servadou or Braucol) is planted on the local red soils called rougiers (a clay soil rich in iron). The story of Domaine des Costes Rouges begins when Claudine Vinas and her husband Eric took over her parents farm in the early 1990... Read More »
Made from old vine Gros Manseng, harvested in three passes from the end of October to the end of November. The wine has notes of tropical fruits and white flowers with rich sweetness and a delicate finish. Ideal with foie gras or a variety of desserts.