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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Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
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The Ariston family are some of my favorite winemakers who produce some of the best small-estate champagnes that we carry. This blanc de blanc is no exception. It carries their reputation for excellent quality at an affordable price. This is a creamy, rich style of blanc de blanc with a rich mousse and lemon meringue flavors. Fleshy, without being heavy, it has a long, subtle finish of apple and pear fruit. A great way to start a party or meal!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
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I have long been a fan of this winery and the 2012 is no exception. In fact, it is one of the best releases in recent memory. Mostly sangiovese (90%) with 10% colorino, it is dominated by black cherry fruit, fresh herbs and chewy tannins. This is a wonderful chianti for those of you who prefer the traditional style.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
Grab this wine while it lasts!!! This 2010 Bordeaux benefits greatly from the magnificent 2010 vintage. Pure red fruit, mineral driven mid palate with medium tanin give this wine fantastic structure. Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tenuta di Sesta Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
These 2012 Rosso's are drinking incredibly well right now and the Tenuta Di Sesta is no exception! Fresh cherry/strawberry fruit, a bit of spice, and mellow, coating tanins round out this great wine. Pair with your favorite braised meats!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2009 Viña Eguía Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
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This surprisingly weighty release has gobs of black cherries and red plums with herbs and cedar. It also has nice, spicy undertones of pepper and minerals. Wonderful floral nose of crushed violets. A great value, as well!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
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Like the previous vintages of this wine, the 2014 is a fun, affordable and easy drinking wine without the raisins/prune character in similar wines. A little French oak for added flavors and low tannins make this a perfect party wine. Consistently listed as a "Best Buy" by the Wine Enthusiast.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Begude Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays d'Oc  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
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This is an excellent, fun sauvignon blanc that comes in at a very affordable price. It is a crisp, clean style with loads of minerality and fresh lime, grapefruit and meyer lemon fruit. No grassiness, just pure, clean sauvignon blanc that begs for shellfish or crab.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Moulin Haut Laroque, Fronsac  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
Owned by the same family for over two centuries, and now in the hands of Jean-Noël Hervé, this property has always been producing a high quality wine. Possessing higher than usual amount of Cabernet Franc in its vineyards (some of which are 70 years-old), certainly gives their wines a lot of structure when young, but when matured it holds the softness of the Merlot in check and imparts delicious spice notes. That’s the case with this 2001. Black currants, tobacco, classic forest floor, and absolutely ready to drink right now. I did not decant it before serving it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes  
Review Date: 1-26-2015
This property has a very interesting history, for starters it is not classified, because it was created "only" in 1850, however it has always been very well regarded and was included in an "unofficial" classification in 1867. The owner, Pierre Meslier, worked as a General Manager at d'Yquem, before dedicating all his efforts and applying the same rigorous techniques as d'Yquem's to his own chateau, which some of the vineyards touch d'Yquem's. The grapes are picked one-by-one in successive tries - between 3 to 10! The wine is aged for 3 years in 100% new barriques. As for tasting notes, it is full of honeyed nuances, with coconut, apricots and a deeper quince marmalade note. Possessing a perfect balance between the lushness of the Botrytised grapes and the high acidity. Marvelous wine!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

Bushmills 21 Year Irish Whiskey 750ml  
Review Date: 1-25-2015
Elegant, soft and too easy to drink. The Bushmills 21 has layers of flavors with a hint of dried fruits. A long finish completes the flavor probile.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2013 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo (1L)  
Review Date: 1-25-2015
This is a clean and refreshing Pinot Grigio that goes well alone or with lighter foods. It is dry, with nice fruit and a wonderful crisp finish. Don't let the price fool you, this is a delicious and enjoyable wine.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Having cut his chops working under the famous Peter Keller -one of the Rheinhessen's most celebrated dry wine producers- you'd figure Jochen Dreissigacker had picked up a few tricks. Should we call it a Keller Killer? I might not going that far, but this is my new favorite Trocken riesling under $20 (at least until we get the new Weingut Keller stuff back). Everything is perfectly in place. Very pale yellow color. Absolutely stunning minerality. A magnicifent value by any measure.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Dr. Wehrheim Muschelkalk Weisser Burgunder (Pinot Blanc)  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
I absolutely love a white wine with tons a floral qualitities without seeming perfumed. Few wines achieve this without going over the edge to artificial or overly pungent extracted floral elements. This wine is like taking a wish a of the most freshly picked white wild flowers, honeysuckles, and blooming chaparral (NO GARDINIAS!). As with all Pinot Blanc we worry about acidity, but this one has all it needs and more. Great little bottle that should continue to develope nicely over the next few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
Not surprised that I loved Rebholz' new Pinot Blanc. They're one of the most exciting producers of dry white wine in Germany. Nearly crystal clear in color. Incredible purity and fabulous structure. Clean Pinot Blanc with great acidity, incredible intensity and a fabulous price point. You gotta get into it. Serve it with some rilette or grilled fish.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Skouras "Salto" Moscofilero Péloponnèse  
Review Date: 1-23-2015
This wine totally surprised me! Straw colored. The nose is ALL green veggies (not bell pepper, more like fresh artichoke). Massively complex, yet not austere. Could this be the perfect pair for asparagus? Loving that wild greek yeast!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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