Staff Favorites - Ralph Sands

Ralph Sands
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Ralph is the senior Bordeaux specialist on the sales staff. In between trying to break into professional baseball, Ralph was picking up hours at a K&L store in Millbrae. Back then it was more about kegs and cheap booze, and both Ralph and K&L have evolved since that time. Since those long ago days in 1978, Ralph has visited his beloved Bordeaux 37 times, evaluated 19 straight vintages and has escorted over 200 customers to Bordeaux on his "Taste and Golf the Greats Tours of Bordeaux". Ralph has also conducted tasting seminars in 9 different states as well as in France, Spain and Hong Kong. Ralph's passion for wine reaches far beyond Bordeaux; to the fine wine regions of Burgundy, Loire, Rhone, Germany, Oregon and of course his home state of California.


Reviews

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2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "d'Aloisio Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 9-16-2014
One of the most exciting Chardonnays I have tasted in many years. If you love big, buttery and rich Chardonnays this wine is NOT for you. But... if you love great Chablis and Puligny Montrachet you will love this wine as it comes off as a combination of both of those famous wine regions in the glass. Both of those regions have gone crazy price-wise, which makes this wine even more unbelievable for $22.99! Loaded with intense green apple fruit, great freshness a touch of flintyness and lazer beam focus. Just incredible and always in my vacation box of wine!. Enjoy! -Ralph
Top Value!

2013 Domaine Renaud Pouilly-Fuissé "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes"
Review Date: 9-5-2014
The Renaud Macons have been a staple at my home for weekday enjoyment for quite a few years now. The Charnay is always a bit more forward and rounder while the Solutre shows more rocky minerality. I also love the old vine Pouilly-Fuisse and have served it to many of my friends and relatives at more serious dinner parties. The Renaud wines always show great freshness, laser-beam focus and drive. Great values!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay
Review Date: 9-5-2014
The Renaud Macons have been a staple at my home for weekday enjoyment for quite a few years now. The Charnay is always a bit more forward and rounder while the Solutre shows more rocky minerality. I also love the old vine Pouilly-Fuisse and have served it to many of my friends and relatives at more serious dinner parties. The Renaud wines always show great freshness, laser-beam focus and drive. Great values!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 9-5-2014
The Renaud Macons have been a staple at my home for weekday enjoyment for quite a few years now. The Charnay is always a bit more forward and rounder while the Solutre shows more rocky minerality. I also love the old vine Pouilly-Fuisse and have served it to many of my friends and relatives at more serious dinner parties. The Renaud wines always show great freshness, laser-beam focus and drive. Great values!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 8-4-2014
Lots of perfume, elegant ripe fruit, very attractive.

2012 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-24-2014
**V One of the hottest wines in Bordeaux today and for good reason: Cantemerle is a lovely blend.

2012 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc (3L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-24-2014
**V One of the hottest wines in Bordeaux today and for good reason: Cantemerle is a lovely blend.

2012 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-24-2014
**V One of the hottest wines in Bordeaux today and for good reason: Cantemerle is a lovely blend.

2012 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-13-2014
* Another winner! Rich wine with good, long tannins.

2011 Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 5-22-2014
Solid and serious Bourgogne for well under 20 bucks! Strong Nuits style wine; zesty and mineral driven, spicy red fruit with hints of black licorice.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 5-19-2014
Very elegant cherry fruit from front to back.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2013 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
Huge layers of silky, ripe black fruits and the fact that it smells like Zinfandel define this wine! Behind all of this fruit is brisk acidity and a long finish. This wine will be controversial, but it is undeniably super tasty! *½

2013 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
Striking aromas of strong Cabernet Sauvignon (82%) jump out of the glass followed by dark, bold, powerful fruit. This wine is classic claret: firm, honest and perfectly balanced. No question, it is one of the top wines of the vintage and one of the best cellar candidates. *½

2013 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
Braniare Durcu- Honest as they come! Bright, fresh, elegant wine with tart cherry fruit. This tasty wine will be a lovely early drink.*

2013 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
Tasted 3 times at the Chateau, the UGC tasting and at negociant Joanne with inconsistent notes. Those notes are a firm reminder to me that these tastings are just a quick snapshot of the wine at 5 months old, not a finished wine and can show differently from day to day as the wine is always changing. At the UGC and the chateau the wine had all of the right components, deep, crimson-blood red fruit but came off raw and short on the finish with is not usually the case. At negociant Joanne the wine was singing! The fruit was far silkier, the tannins were much rounder and the wine was delicious.*

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Ralph Sands is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Ralph Sands, click here to join Ralph Sands's Personal Sommelier Service.
2005 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien ($229.99)

2005 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($229.99)

2006 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe ($49.99)

2005 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac ($199.99)