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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2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Rosado Rioja   | Approved
Review Date: 3-21-2015
From the Rioja Alta comes a totally affordable, fun and vibrant rosado. Brightly colored pink with the scent of strawberries, the palate is tangy with flavors of red berries, and a refreshing acidity. This is a total slam dunk to pair with your favorite taco truck fare especially tacos al pastor! Think of this as your dry, adult version of Jarritos -- not too serious just totally enjoyable. Salud!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
If you haven't already heard, the 2013 vintage is even more exciting to Napa winemakers than 2012! Hard to believe I know, but wait to you taste our new release of the 2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet you will need to sit down for this! It's coming from one of my favorite producers in Napa Valley making balanced age-wothy Bordeaux style Cabernet. All the fruit used is second from this powerhouse estate and it is stupid-good for the money. I can't wait to put a case away and see how it develops over the next few years!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
A new Direct Import for us and I'm in love! This is the perfect Champagne to start out the night with! Although dry, it has a ripeness to the fruit that makes it a great aperitif or sipping Champagne on its own. This will be great for anyone that wants to dive right into our grower Champagne program and see what it has to offer! Great Champagnes for less than you'll find anywhere!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
BC 0

2013 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
This Pinot is full of cool, brooding black cherry fruit and framed by high quality savory flavors. It is great to see a wine of such depth and character at this price in the current Pinot Noir market. Calera has delivered richness, power and length for a fair price with this excellent wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Chehalem "INOX" Willamette Valley Chardonnay   | Approved
Review Date: 3-20-2015
I'm always on the look out for unoaked, Chablis-style Chardonnays, and this one really impressed me in our most recent staff tasting. With great floral and orchard fruit aromatics, this lighter bodied Chardonnay has all the pure, extracted fruit you look for from Chehalem, but a great balance of fresh minerality and acidity to keep it in check. Truly lovely.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Paicines Pinot Noir   | Approved
Review Date: 3-20-2015
We see a number of California Pinots in this price range at K&L, and several from prestigious wineries like this Von Strasser, but this wine stood out to me. The Rudy Pinot is neither overly extracted, or big bodied. Rather it has a medium to light body, with fresh, bright cherry fruit, fine, integrated tannins, and lovely, crisp acidity. Quite a find at this price!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Mercer Canyons Columbia Valley Chardonnay   | Approved
Review Date: 3-20-2015
This is a lovely wine, and a no-brainer at this price. Surprisingly great aromatics for a Chardonnay, this wine has crisp, tropical fruit and good refreshing acidity. This may well become your summer stand-by.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2011 Ravenswood "Big River" Alexander Valley Zinfandel  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
If you like Zinfandel, you have to take advantage of this incredible deal. The single vineyard selections from Ravenswood are blue chip California soul wines, and all the more interesting in a cool vintage like 2011. This big, serious, manly wine has all of the brambly blackberry fruit and tannic structure that one could wish for in a Zin. It is also free of any jammy, overripe flavors or aromas. This bottle is crying out for a smoky pork shoulder tonight with a few hours of decanting, but should develop for a good number of years in your cellar as well!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2013 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
It is hard to believe how much wine the folks from Calera have delivered here for under $20. This robust Chardonnay is kissed with oak, but not dominated by it. It is rich and full bodied, but not flabby or heavy. The most impressive feature of this wine is the long finish- dry, mineral and serious!
Top Value!

2013 Mercer Canyons Columbia Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
This light, clean, soft and easy Chardonnay is a real crowd pleaser. The folks at Mercer Canyons have delivered a real value with this- it has enough flavor for Chard fans to hang onto, but is dry enough not to weigh a drinker down.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2013 Mercer Canyons Columbia Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-20-2015
The Mercer winery was first put on my radar a couple of years back on a field trip to Washington State. We met with the folks behind this large farming operation; they are one of the largest producers of carrots and potatoes in the state, to check out their impressive amount of vineyards. Long one of the main growers for the largest wineries in Washington a number of years ago they decided to start making their own wine off of the better parcels of their sprawling acreage. The “Canyons” series was debuted in 2012 and already has turned heads nationally with its tremendous quality for value ratio. I was shocked on just how pure and clean these wines were. The Chardonnay is a perfect example of this. Pulpy apple aromas fill the nose with a broad streak of vanilla/butterscotch that meld into a rich golden fruited base. Broad and rich but still with a nice airy feel this has all the toasty flavors and yeasty richness that the classic Domestic Chard fans are going to want but also has a pretty floral component and some mellow citrus tones to keep the wine from being bogged down in excess. The best thing here is that this is only $11.99 a bottle which is a paltry sum for a wine that has this much going for it. I think we just found our best “cheap” Chardonnay.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

1993 Schloss Schönborn Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Auslese   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-20-2015
The color of this wine is so majestic with a gorgeous burnt orange, honey color that seems to tell you immediately this wine is special. The nose is full of petrol, wet stones, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Flavors of honeycomb, hazelnuts, apricot and burnt orange fill the palate. It’s sweet and full bodied but still so well balanced with acidity. A perfect after dinner drink!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-20-2015
The Dreissigacker trocken is so beautifully balanced, like it’s been practicing yoga for years. The nose expresses peach, white flower, basil and chalk. Stone fruits like nectarine and peach certainly come through on the palate with a touch of lemon oil and orange zest. All that elegant silky and rich Rheinhessen body shows through with a great backbone of acidity and very little sugar all work together in perfect harmony. Namaste.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Banshee "Rice-Spivak Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 3-19-2015
This is one racy, tangy Pinot Noir, sourced from the Rice Spivak vineyard in Sebastopol. Plenty of acidity and sufficient cut. California Pinot for fans of a lighter, brighter, firmer style. Delicious.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart AG 90 BC 0

2012 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-19-2015
When you talk about a wine that is sleek, polished, elegant, with classic Napa Valley hedonism at its core, then you must be talking about the new 2012 Larkmead Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon! My only complaint here is; I want more! I can't get enough of this wine, I want to drink it now, and I want to cellar it! It's 100% perfect in its depth of fruit and structure. Love.

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