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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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: $14.99 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.

2011 Dry Creek Vineyard "Heritage Vines" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 2-5-2014
This is a supple style of Zinfandel showing lively aromas of red berries, spice and earth. The middle is fresh and juicy with intense dark currant and sweet cherry fruit and no sense of heaviness weighing it down. Only very old vines from the Dry Creek Valley can give a finish this long, clean and dry. This charming and palate cleansing bottle is not for those looking for a heavy, jammy fruit bomb.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List WE 92 BC 0

2012 Rancho Zabaco "Heritage Vines" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 1-14-2014
This has a briary, earthy quality which adds intrigue and helps dampen down the overt fruity character of the wine. There is plenty of deep blackberry fruit and spice but good acidity from the cool Sonoma nights makes this more juicy than jammy. Although fairly high in alcohol, there is no noticeable heat on the finish of this screaming bargain.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2011 Evening Land "Spanish Springs" Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 1-14-2014
This is a full, rich Pinot that is not shy on flavor but stays light on its feet and clocks in at a very modest alcohol level. Black cherry and raspberry fruit mingle with subtle vanilla shadings, spice, a hint of wood smoke and sarsaparilla. Flowery aromas and a bold, creamy texture lead to a finish of rounded, firm tannins in this enjoyable and affordable bottle.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart ST 92 BC 0

2011 Soter "North Valley" Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-13-2013
This is firm, dark and deep with a dusty edge to the tannic finish. Despite the initial brooding nature a fresh cranberry edge lends an overall sense of balance and equilibrium that keeps you reaching for another taste. This interesting and well made Pinot should stand up to fairly hearty fare.

2010 Qupé "Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard - K&L Selection" Edna Valley Syrah
Review Date: 7-24-2013
This fresh and stylish wine is focused, pure and clean with just a slight earthy quality to the aromatics. A touch of spice peeks through the ripe cherry and deep huckelberry fruit and the faintest suggestion of raw meat juice reminds you that this is after all syrah. This is fantastic quality from one of the most consistant producers in California.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Le Bonnat, Graves
Review Date: 8-30-2012
This starts out clean and supple but with an hour in a decanter turns sweet, plump and generous. There are ripe red and dark frut aromas and delicous flavors of blackberry, licorice, earth, mineral and spice. This is complex and drinks above its price point.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 7-27-2012
This is a lush wine that retains a sense of proportion, balance and length. Aromas of flowers and ash add complexity to the rich raspberry and blueberry fruit which have a kirsch-like consistancy. The fruit is not bunched up in the middle but rather drawn out by a long, fine , sweet finish. Super value here.

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 7-7-2011
When it comes to Champagne this is probably our all time staff favorite. The fact that it is a direct import and sells for less than half what it would if it went through the same distribution system as the big name brands doesn't hurt either. Fresh and ripe Chardonnay flavors, intense mineral notes and hints of earth leap from this vibrant and full-textured bubbly.

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.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 3-31-2011
At a recent staff tasting in the San Francisco store this wine from the much maligned '07 vintage was fantastic. Not only did it show better than Langoas from much more hyped vintages, but it beat out several highly rated vintages of its big brother Leoville Barton. This is velvety,soft and earthy with very sweet fruit and a mineral edge right down the middle. Decant this and try it tonight.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

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