Staff Favorites - Steve Bearden

Steve Bearden
Steve Bearden  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I’m the Bordeaux liason for the San Francisco store, starting my run there around 2000. Over the years I've gained a great respect for subtlety, finesse, elegance and terroir, or a sense of place, that I believe all great wine should have. I enjoy practically anything and everything but mostly French and Italian with heavy emphasis on Rhône and Bordeaux. Be adventurous. There is tremendous diversity in regions, varieties and styles, so don’t let your palate get pigeon-holed.


Reviews

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2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 9-5-2014
This vibrant, mineral-laced bargain has been a staff favorite for many years running and always seems to sell out far too quickly. This has more cut and verve than the rounder and richer Macon-Charnay (a non-stop customer favorite) but still has plenty of pear, apple and citrus flavors to temper the palate-cleansing acidity and mouthwatering minerality. Yes, there are still bargains in Burgundy.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Pisa Range Estate "Black Poplar Block" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 9-5-2014
This is a seriously good bottle of wine and I would put it up against any $40.00 Pinot Noir we carry. This has earthy aromas of dark fruits and wild berries touched by herb and spice nuances. The complex array of red and black fruit flavors is followed by a schist-like mineral finish showing fine grained tannins and great length. The impressive depth is tempered by balance and proportion.

2010 Scali "Kalkis Vineyard" Pinotage Paarl
Review Date: 8-19-2014
This is hands-down the finest expression of this varietal I have ever tasted. This smells like a clean, classy N. Rhone Syrah with its sweet, dark raspberry fruit, spice and iron minerality on the finish. This is sophisticated, perfectly proportioned and delicious. If you hate Pinotage or love Pinotage or have never tasted Pinotage, do yourself a favor and try this tonight.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 8-6-2014
This 50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Meunier blend, which is aged over four years on the lees, remains one of my all-time favorite Champagnes we stock here at K&L. This dry bubbly is rich and full with wonderful sweetness to the spiced apple fruit. The finish is so long, complex and persistent you will compare it to bottles costing three to four times as much. Super quality and super bang for the buck here.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 8-6-2014
If you are tired of soft, blowsy California Chardonnay and have almost given up on the category this will surprise and refresh you. This is firm and toasty with stone fruit and lemon oil flavors, a touch of honey and a complex leesy note on the finish. There is wonderful freshness and vibrancy to this rich and beautifully balanced wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 7-16-2014
I am a big fan of the entire TWR portfolio but my favorite is always this vibrant Sauvignon Blanc because of its pure flavors and rich texture. Herb, melon, crushed citrus and just a hint of musk add complexity to this weighty but very refreshing value.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-15-2014
This young wine is already showing enough complexity and elegance to pair with the finest fare. Sweet dusty cherry, soft earth and a touch of spice are present in this surprisingly sophisticated bottling. The finishing tannin is well integrated so decant tonight and enjoy.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

2009 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-15-2014
When we tasted this young wine recently I was surprised at how warm and approachable it was. This is ripe, broad and fleshy with sweet plum and baked earth aromas and flavors and gentle, ripe tannin. Decant this for an hour and enjoy tonight.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Nairac, Sauternes
Review Date: 7-14-2014
This sensational wine combines aromas and flavors of clover honey, saffron, pineapple, orange spice tea and sweet scented wildflowers. Full-bodied without being unctuous, an oily sleekness holds the mid-palate and a mineral/acid tension glides along the long finish. This really over-delivers for the price.

Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Cava Brut Rosé Penedes
Review Date: 7-5-2014
This is a bone dry and serious bottle of bubbly offered at a ridiculous price. With its sophisticated bead, laser like red fruit flavors of cherry and berry and steely finish, this would be right at home with the classiest of fare. Try this with surf & turf or sushi and don't be embarrassed by the price.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart W&S 91 BC 0

2013 Les Vignerons de Fontès "Prieuré Saint-Hippolyte" Languedoc Rosé
Review Date: 5-1-2014
This is just a tad fresher and cleaner than last year's version, but still retains the juicy and roly poly cascade of fruit you expect from this easy-drinking bargain. The warm days of summer are on their way, and for good reason this is one of our best selling pink wines year after year--so stock up.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Kirkham Peak Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 4-16-2014
This is a bargain from an appellation known for richer, fuller Pinot Noir, but at prices substantially higher than you see here. Bold and smooth with an array of red fruit flavors and a touch of tannin on the finish, this would stand up to hearty food and even summer BBQ. Although drinking well now, short term ageing should do wonders for this delicious value.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 4-16-2014
Vintage after vintage I am amazed at the quality of this massive production and fairly priced wine. The 2010 bottling shows the power of the vintage in a full and chewy style, showing ripe black cherry fruit, kirsch, spice, tapenade and a hint of earth with some food friendly tannin on the finish. For those of you who missed the fantastic 2010 Southern Rhones, here is last call.

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 3-20-2014
The Delon family of Leoville-Las-Cases fame has made great strides with Chateau Nenin in Pomerol and this second wine has become a consistant over achiever. This is elegant, clean, classy and sweet, offering an iron tinged mineral edge to the fine finish. Drinking perfectly right now, this offers the sophistication of the first wine at a fraction of the cost.
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

1991 Palmer, Margaux (1.5L)
Review Date: 3-19-2014
At a recent staff dinner this was silky smooth and simply stunning. The plush and velvety texture retains plenty of acidity for freshness and there is nothing awkward, angular or tannic, just creamy, dusty cherry fruit, earthy woodsy scents and a long satin textured body. There are aromas of ceder and leather present but there is nothing at all drying about the elegant finish. This is pure cashmere in a bottle.
Price: $449.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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