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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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.

1998 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 3-20-2014
This earthy wine is surprisingly rich and hearty for a 1998 Left Bank Bordeaux. Tobacco, mineral and cherry and plum fruit are far more obvious than the slightly firm edge to the stony finish. Decant this tonight with hearty fare.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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: $29.99 Add To Cart 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: $399.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Barde Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 3-19-2014
This is round, smooth, softly textured and displays a very caressing personality for 2001 vintage Bordeaux. Limestone rich soils and good acidity provide freshness and lift to the rich and plush mid-palate fruit in this inviting and easy to drink wine.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 3-19-2014
This screaming value is one of the riper and sweeter wines I have tasted from this very good vintage. This is earthy and plumy with oodles of dark, husky fruit in the deep middle yet good freshness throughout. Great depth of fruit and a tannin free finish are the hallmark of this delicious bargain.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 Larrivet Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 3-8-2014
Aromas of gravely earth, hot rocks, baked cherries and a whiff of smoke jump from the glass when this is poured. Ripe currant fruit, minerals and spice are present in the middle which is surprisingly rich for the vintage and appellation. OK, maybe not a baby Haut-Brion, but you get the idea.

2010 Fombrauge, St-Emilion
Review Date: 2-21-2014
The person responsible for the great wines from Chateau Pape-Clement also brings you this over-achieving St-Emilion bargain. There are plenty of toasty espresso roast aromas and flavors to go with the copious dark fruit buried in the velvety body of this serious wine. The tannins are almost buried under fruit and the dark and brooding nature is lifted by a wonderful sense or elegance and balance.

2007 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 2-21-2014
Already ready to drink and showing great complexity and textural roundness. This is deep and fleshy with earthy and toasty aromas of damp soil and lots of rich cherry fruit. The ample weight and absence of any hard edges make this very satisfying.

2012 Sharp Zombie Rioja
Review Date: 2-20-2014
This starts out with flowery aromas of ripe black cherry fruit, oak shadings, spice, a hint of vanilla and a touch of earth. Medium-weight and smooth, this lithe and agile wine has a creamy finish and an easy charm making it perfect for the table or cocktail parties. This versatile and food-friendly value might just become your new favorite bargain Rioja.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Château Thénac Bergerac Blanc
Review Date: 2-20-2014
Aromas of lanolin, crushed citrus and honey notes jump from this delicious and affordable wine. The surprisingly rich body suggests lemon custard and creme brule until a gush of wet, juicy minerals clamp down on the long, refreshing finish. The label says Bergerac but the flavors say Bordeaux. Super value here.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Château Thénac Bergerac Rouge
Review Date: 2-20-2014
This Bordeaux wannabe has a warm, rich entry of sweet, roasted dark fruits and a nice hint of earth. This is plush, gentle and somewhat modern in style although plenty of fine, ripe tannin on the finish holds everything in check. This inviting wine is perfect for decanting tonight.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2001 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 2-20-2014
This is a great choice for those seeking a rich, flamboyant style of Sauternes coupled with mature flavors and texture. Deep golden color and a viscous texture compliment the mature flavors of Apricot, toasted marshmallow, baking spice and clover honey. A slight hint of paraffin adds aromatic complexity to the thick, smooth finish.

2009 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 2-20-2014
This lush, warm and gentle wine will surprise anyone expecting classic St-Estephe firmness. Smooth, sweet, ripe chocolate cherry Merlot flavors fan out across the satin textured mid-palate before the faintest hint of fine, gentle tannins carry the long finish. Almost opulent and very easy to drink.

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