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Staff Favorites - 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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2000 Terrey-Gros-Cailloux, St-Julien
Review Date: 10-9-2012
Bright aromas of blackberry, rhubarb and clay zoom from this substantial bargain. The fleshy middle holds ripe blackberry, incense and mineral complexity in a somewhat chewey texture with surprisingly little rusticity. This is hearty and deep with an intriguing touch of chalk on the long finish.
Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 9-4-2012
This is long and fine with red cherry fruit and a persistant limestone laced finish. There is an amazing amount of elegance and restraint showing here for only 13 bucks.
2009 La Chapelle de Calon, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 8-30-2012
This is essentially the second wine of the great Third Growth Calon Segur and the pedigree and intense stucture really shows. After an hour in a decanter the aromas of deep red fruit, earth and dried herb become quite intense. The high percentage of Cabernet really shines in this concentrated and classy effort where the layered middle is followed by a finish of fine, ripe tannins, mouth coating mineral and a touch of damp clay.
2009 Le Prieuré, St-Emilion
Review Date: 7-9-2012
This is grapey, voluptuous and ripe, but with enough finish and structure to hold things together. Opulent and concentrated, but with no hard edges whatsoever, this has the framework to stand up to the flamboyant fruit. Delicious already.
2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 1-17-2012
Here you have an over achieving Chateau coupled with the outstanding 2005 Bordeaux vintage resulting in amazing value. This is dark in color and deep in fruit with hints of earth, savory herb, spice and a touch of smoke. The wine is quite full bodied with a meaty texture and ripe, silky tannin. Decant now or age another 5 years.
2009 de Macard, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 8-17-2011
This is an example of the screaming bargains that the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux is going to offer up in spades. A jammy nose of cherry pie, potting soil and warm fig lead to a surprisingly fresh middle palate with earthy flavors of crunchy mixed berries, tart cherries and spice. Although this smells like a fruit bomb it has well defined structure and persistance with a lingering finish. Compare this to any $10.00 bottle in the world.
1998 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 7-7-2011
This is a deal in classic, aged Bordeaux for anyone with a "old world" palate. Firm and completely dry with flavors of dark cherry, oak and spice, this is just beginning to show mature hints of cedar and leather. This cabernet based wine still shows the structure of the vintage so decanting is recommended.
2003 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 7-21-2010
This affordable gem is from the warm and approachable 2003 Bordeaux and is already delicious. Sweet, lively and round with no hard edges, this is great with hearty foods or more sophisticated fare. From the much hyped "California" vintage in Bordeaux.
2003 Verdignan Rouge, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 2-10-2010
This is a great bargain from the much hyped and super fruity 2003 Bordeaux vintage. Rich and chewy, this full-bodied wine has ripe blackberry fruit, sweet toasty oak, touches of spice and earth and great structure. Drink this fruity super value now and over the next decade.
Drink from 2009 to 2019
Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-29-2009
Chardonnay from Brouillet makes a richer, creamier style of Blanc de Blanc than other areas of Champagne. This is an easy to like style that is perfect for less formal occasions like New Year's eve toasts and quiet sipping during parties. This generous, rich bubbly is an amazing deal to direct buy pricing.
2005 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 3-11-2009
The #4 wine on Spectator’s Top 100 with good reason. This is rich and complex, showing tropical fruit, spice, honey, citrus oils and more. Creamy, smooth and sweet, but not at all heavy, this maintains a sense of balance and freshness despite huge flavors.
2005 Puygueraud, Côtes de Francs
Review Date: 7-15-2008
Here is an amazing find with an expressive, grapey nose and a flashy body of rich, dark fruit. This is an intense wine with deep, blue fruits, coffee grounds, bitter chocolate and velvety tannins on the finish. Only a vintage like ’05 gives us this quality at this price!
2004 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 5-20-2008
Robert Parker calls this the “quintessential expression of finesse, power, and terroir” and I couldn’t agree more. This is powerful for the vintage, but wonderfully balanced and perfumed with flowers, black fruits and a touch of licorice. Decant now or cellar.
2004 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 5-20-2008
This stood out as an absolute star of the vintage at two events last month. It is complex and complete, showing impeccable balance between fruit and mineral, power and finesse, depth and freshness and an overall symmetry that is remarkable. OUTSTANDING!
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