Staff Favorites - Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith
Growing from a Redwood City sales position in 2009, to the company sake buyer in 2011, and then to the Head Sommelier in 2013 my love of wine spreads the gamut from mineral laden Sancerres to California Zinfandels aged over 20 years, Urban wines to classic Bordeaux, and 99% of the spirits that we carry. As a CIA trained chef I spent 15 years in some of the top kitchens in the country until my love of wine won out and I transitioned to the wine industry in 2004 where I began utilizing my skills as an instructor, a writer, and a restaurant consultant after passing the introductory level exam of The Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2010, I developed the first iPhone app for wine pronunciation, the Enotria Guide. In 2011, I became one of the few certified Sake Sommeliers in the country through the Sake Education Council. Outside of K&L I run private and corporate wine and spirits events around the Bay Area, consult on private cellars, and attempt to write professionally.

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Bushmills 21 Year Irish Whiskey 750ml  
Review Date: 1-25-2015
Elegant, soft and too easy to drink. The Bushmills 21 has layers of flavors with a hint of dried fruits. A long finish completes the flavor probile.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2013 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo (1L)  
Review Date: 1-25-2015
This is a clean and refreshing Pinot Grigio that goes well alone or with lighter foods. It is dry, with nice fruit and a wonderful crisp finish. Don't let the price fool you, this is a delicious and enjoyable wine.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1975 Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
What an incredible treat this beautiful wine was. Deep golden colored. Pungent nose of celery salt, sweet dried quince, persimons, and honey. Vibrant and clean on the palate with a laser beam of acid to cut through the sweetness. Cannot believe this wine is 40 years old. Feels like it might last another 40 ; ) if you can keep your hands off it.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Having cut his chops working under the famous Peter Keller -one of the Rheinhessen's most celebrated dry wine producers- you'd figure Jochen Dreissigacker had picked up a few tricks. Should we call it a Keller Killer? I might not going that far, but this is my new favorite Trocken riesling under $20 (at least until we get the new Weingut Keller stuff back). Everything is perfectly in place. Very pale yellow color. Absolutely stunning minerality. A magnicifent value by any measure.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Dr. Wehrheim Muschelkalk Weisser Burgunder (Pinot Blanc)  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
I absolutely love a white wine with tons a floral qualitities without seeming perfumed. Few wines achieve this without going over the edge to artificial or overly pungent extracted floral elements. This wine is like taking a wish a of the most freshly picked white wild flowers, honeysuckles, and blooming chaparral (NO GARDINIAS!). As with all Pinot Blanc we worry about acidity, but this one has all it needs and more. Great little bottle that should continue to develope nicely over the next few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Not surprised that I loved Rebholz' new Pinot Blanc. They're one of the most exciting producers of dry white wine in Germany. Nearly crystal clear in color. Incredible purity and fabulous structure. Clean Pinot Blanc with great acidity, incredible intensity and a fabulous price point. You gotta get into it. Serve it with some rilette or grilled fish.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Skouras "Salto" Moscofilero Péloponnèse  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
This wine totally surprised me! Straw colored. The nose is ALL green veggies (not bell pepper, more like fresh artichoke). Massively complex, yet not austere. Could this be the perfect pair for asparagus? Loving that wild greek yeast!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Soldaat" Grenache Noir Piekenierskloof  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Well when people say this is the DRC of such and such I usually glaze over, but when I heard what these guys were doing down in Swartland, they got my attention. This is one of the most impressive offerings in out store today. Every single wine from Sadie Family makes me shiver. Their is so much depth, yet so much hidden still. Buy this. Hold it. Drink it to remind you why you fell in love with wine. Weep silent happy tears to yourself.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Orgo Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Medium Gold Color. You can see the weight and power in the glass. Incredible nose of confit citrus, funky dried fruit, and almond butter. Massively tannic (for a white), pithy and focused. Needs something greasy and grilled, but one of the best I've had in this traditional Georgian style.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Château Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
FREAKING LOVE THIS STUFF. Who can argue with native Lebanese varietals? Besides of course stodgy wine critics! Ok I'll admit this isn't for everyone, but if it doesn't fit your palate you might want to consider changing your tastes ; ) Clearly I'm smitten and you will be too if you like any of the Lopez de Heredia white. A triumph in my opinion!
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Musar "Jeune" White Bekaa Valley  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Very balanced wine. Light straw colored. Showing only a hint of the viognier aromatics on the nose, but with the mineral and fruit taking front seat. On the palate, more viognier flowers and stone fruit, but with great acidity to keep it lively. The cleanest white I've had yet from the magnicifent property in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Château Musar "Hochar Père et Fils" Red Bekaa Valley  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
I've always been a fan of the controversial wines from this historic producer and we've just opened the new releases in honor of the untimely passing of the family patriache, Serge Hochar. This, his namesake wine, is designed to be slightly more drinkable in it's youth than it's older more expensive siblings, but it nonetheless delivers all the wonderful estoteric qualities that we love (some hate) about Musar. This 2009 is developing perfectly and could last for years in the cellar, but is definitely delicious today. Tannins have softened and the acidity is in balance. No trace of VA and only a slightly bretty under note. SPLENDID stuff for geeks, but not so challenging that you'll lose friends over it.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 92 BC 0

2011 Musar "Jeune" Rouge Bekaa Valley  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
This is by far the cleanest most open "Jeune" we've tasted. Fun but familiar, it still has some nice gravelly earth underlying the tart red fruit and wonderful acidity. Not altogether what you'd expect from this fabulous estate, but still with tons of character.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Musar "Jeune" White Bekaa Valley   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-22-2015
Such an incredible blend from an incredible producer. Aromatics that continually open up with yellow flowers, yellow apples, and nectar. The palate is complex, with notes of pineapple, peach, bitter almonds, nectarines and a pithy, tannic finish that is fantastic.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Westerly Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc  
Review Date: 1-22-2015
Sometimes in the profession of Wine Buying you really have to work hard, whether it is tasting and assessing a hundred plus wines in a day, dealing with testy winemakers/winery owners, long boring conversations with marketing people about pricing or a whole myriad of other things, you can really get beat up. Then there are times when everything is simple and just kind of clicks into place. The latter is what happened with this Westerly Sauvignon Blanc. It really just sort of fell into my lap, or my e-mail box, specifically. The winery reached out to see if we were interested in the wine and being that we were they sent us bottles to check out. We tasted the wine and immediately took the rest that they had. This Sauvignon Blanc impressed us with its fresh, persistent orange flesh-like acidity and pretty notes of alfalfa, tangerine and lemon curd on the palate. When we figured out we could sell it to you for a paltry $7.99 we jumped at the opportunity. What we have in stock currently is all we can get; I don’t expect this to be around for more that 24-48 hours. Act fast.
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

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