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.


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2013 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Western Cape
Review Date: 3-12-2015
This South African Cotes du Rhone wannabe is a screaming value and an excellent wine to boot. The Syrah component of the blend really shines through giving the wine weight, spice and a slightly meaty texture. The 32% Mourvedre adds brambly dark plums and minerality while the 2% voignier lifts the aromatics beautifully. Bargain hunters should not miss this.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Textbook "Mise en Place" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 3-12-2015
I hesitate to call this a blockbuster because tasting it is so effortless and all the raw material falls into place so beautifully. This is smooth and velvety with abundant black cherry and blackberry fruit in the satin textured middle building to an intense finish with fine grip. Wines that seem this incredibly well made are usually fashioned more in the vineyard than the wine cellar and I suspect this micro production beauty is no exception. Connoisseurs take note: this is delicious with decanting but will only get better and better.

2012 Penley Estate "Phoenix" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra
Review Date: 3-11-2015
Wow. What a super value in a Cabernet that is fresh, understated and well made. Plums, mint, sage and currants combined with great acid/tannin balance make this super food friendly and easy to sip on its own. This is great winemaking that sells for a song.

2013 Domaine Combier "Purple Label" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 3-11-2015
This bottle with the bright purple label is a great introduction to the wines of the Northern Rhone. Cracked pepper, smoke, bacon and a cool iron finish show off great wine making. This is a great value in Syrah.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Grand Bateau Rouge, Bordeaux
Review Date: 3-5-2015
Year after year this screaming value from the folks who produce the great Chateau Beychevelle over-performs and over-delivers in every way. This is always round and elegant with a smooth and creamy texture and surprising purity for this price level. The currant version is done in an easy to drink style showcasing blackberry fruit, spice and a touch of earth.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $9.99
BC 0

2013 L'Ecole No. 41 " Luminesce" Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla White Wine
Review Date: 3-3-2015
Hailing from Walla Walla comes a refreshing white Bordeaux-style sipper with a balanced blend of 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. The subtle citrus and kiwi fruit notes hit the tongue with just enough tartness to keep the succulent texture and mineral rich taste in line. It’s elegant enough alone or try pairing with basil pesto pasta or goat cheese stuffed chicken.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Brash Higgins 'NDV' Nero d'Avola - Amphora
Review Date: 3-3-2015
This is one of the most interesting and unusual wines I have tried in some time. Wine geeks will love the flamboyant aromas of beeswax, wild flowers and steeped fruit that seem to meld together effortlessly, yet in the most unusual way. The body of this wine is a bit more restrained in its smooth, sweet and fresh flavors of berry and plum. This is just the thing for jaded palates looking for something exciting and different. This was done 100% in amphorae.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JR 17 BC 0

2008 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 2-25-2015
In 2008 the Third wine of Chateau Latour is sleek, sophisticated and classy. The high percentage of Merlot makes this a little more approachable than the Second wine Forts Latour, but all the class and breeding you expect is still there. The crunchy cherry fruit and graphite minerality are poised, polished and open up beautifully with decanting.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 GRÜNER by Etz Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (1L)
Review Date: 2-25-2015
I've lost track of the number of times I have taken this bargain bottle to a picnic, BBQ or party and had people gush over how delicious it is. Honestly, I usually grab it because $14.00 for a litre of wine with a screw cap is exactly what I need on my days off-easy and cheap. White pepper, crunchy lentil, snappy apple and green pear fruit and a touch of trapped CO2 make this one perfect party sipper.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Domaine Maestracci "E Prove" Corse Calvi Rouge
Review Date: 2-25-2015
This is a fantastic bottle of wine for less than 20 bucks. This is earthy and dark with a sleek structure and polished tannins on the long finish, Along with the black and blue fruit there are some animal notes and a funky and savory dig into the Corsican terroir of ocean spray and mineral. Amazing complexity for the money.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Robert Craig "Affinity" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 2-19-2015
This is exactly what most people have in mind when they think of a classic big, bold Napa Cabernet from a great vintage. Here is a brawny, rich fruit-driven wine with a solid smack of oak, creamy blackberry fruit, spice and enough structure to hold it all together. This in-your-face bottling belongs in every steakhouse in the country.

2012 Yangarra Estate "Old Vine" Grenache McLaren Vale
Review Date: 2-10-2015
I absolutely love this funky, cool, electric version of Grenache from the McLaren Vale region of Australia. This has tightly wound dark fruit, spice, earth and plenty of food friendly fine tannin bound together in a dark and vibrant package. This is wild Aussie wine for lovers of Old School Southern Rhone reds.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2009 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-10-2015
Vintage after vintage this wine over delivers, but the beauty of the 2009 is you won't have to wait 10 years for it to be at its peak. This is delicious now and shows a real softness to the earthy and sweet cherry fruit flavors. The round, broad and rich middle lets you sink your teeth into the terroir and the ripeness and warmth of the vintage makes for early drinking.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay
Review Date: 2-10-2015
Year after year this little gem remains a best seller and its easy to see why. Aromas of citrus and flowers and flavors of spiced apple combine to hit the sweet spot of what folks are looking for in bargain White Burgundy. This is an intense, un-oaked, rich and warm screaming value not to be missed.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Trébiac, Graves
Review Date: 2-7-2015
The latest version of this best seller is a bit deeper and tighter than in the past which is not unexpected given the power of the 2010 Bordeaux vintage. What does surprise is the lushness of the fruit on what is usually a more restrained, old school bottling. At any rate this seems to hit the sweet spot with both dark and red fruits, overt minerality and touches of herb and tobacco combined with enough power that decanting is suggested.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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