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.

Page:  prev  1 2  3  4  5  next  >>
2012 Storybook Mountain "Mayacamas Range" Napa Valley Zinfandel   | Approved
Review Date: 3-30-2015
This awesome Zinfandel is rich, ripe and structured. It has the length and grip on the finish that I look for in reds. I would drink this bottle any day of the week, and that says something because zinfandel is not normally my go-to varietal. All around a greatly executed wine through and through.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Elk Cove Willamette Valley Rosé   | Approved
Review Date: 3-30-2015
Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image
Generous fruit, berry jams, great acidity and finish. Not to mention this rose of pinot noir is simply perfect for all of this beautiful hot weather. Try this with some Atlantic salmon and vegetables...Bam!
Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Casanova di Neri "Tenuta Nuova" Brunello di Montalcino  
Review Date: 3-30-2015
There is something to be said about less thinking, more drinking. Opinions and scores be damned! This my friends, is just a fantastic glass of wine! Aromatics on this wine are stunning. Picking up just a hint of vanilla. Then comes the dark cherry and violets. Luscious fruit, and a rich refined spice pop in your mouth. What a treat to drink. Food or not, this wine does not disappoint. This is one wine that is not easy to share. So choice your friends wisely.

2011 Ornellaia "Le Serre Nuove"  
Review Date: 3-30-2015
This is the second label for Ornellaia. Younger vines go into the wine. Pour it in the glass and you can see you are in for a wonderful experience. Deep, dark ruby red greets the eyes. Burst of berry fruits and crushed floral on the nose. This is a full body wine. Great weight on the mid palate. The tannins and acidity are all there for a seamless finish. Great with grilled meat or a heavier cheese. Elegance and power have never paired so well!

2014 Château les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clémentine" Côtes de Provence Rosé  
Review Date: 3-30-2015
One of my favorite Rosés, year in and year out! When people ask me for Provence Rosé, it does not get much better than this. All organic methods of farming are gathered in this beautiful little part of Cotes de Provence. When people ask for that light salmon color, this wine has that. Delicate, with a fresh acidity for a truly magical experience. Got that too. As we used to say back home, this is a true porch sipper!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne   | Approved
Review Date: 3-29-2015
Decadence on a budget! Here's a delightfully rich Champagne with an aroma of a freshly baked baguette, lemons and herbs. It's taste is plush and broad at one end and then fresh and lemony, grapefruity at the other leaving a well balanced round finish. This would be a top pick for an indulgent Champagne breakfast or a simple brunch time toast! Santé
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
BC 0

2013 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Western Cape   | Approved
Review Date: 3-29-2015
Great spice, a soft richness, and generous fruit makes this Mataro blend an easy to enjoy blend. Perfect for entertaining and everyday wine.
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Krutz Family Cellars "Magnolia Series" Napa Valley Zinfandel  
Review Date: 3-29-2015
Oh my Heart of Darkness, Mister Krutz! If you can read Conrad or enjoy a Coppola bad puns, you'll get it. This brazen beauty is one of the most arrestingly delicious, emblematic Zinfandels I've tasted recently, bursting with a veritable cornucopia of perfectly-picked, brambly black fruit....dark cherries, plums, and blackberries that project their rich aromatic personalities on the palate with both balance, generosity and power, all fitfully framed by finely-polished tannins and finishing smooth and dry and pure. Serve this Zinfandel with nicely grilled sausages or a spicy Moroccan tagine for a memorable meal.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-28-2015
Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image
I'll keep this very simple. This is one of the (if not THE) best value Pinot in the store. Pinot Noir is notoriously hard to grow and make, thus many inexpensive / mass produced versions are very lacking in depth, complexity and balance. This wine is not. It smells and tastes like classic Pinot of a much higher price point. It's grown on a small, organic, family owned estate. Hand-crafted in small open fermenters and matured in quality French oak. In addition, 2013 was an exceptional vintage in New Zealand elevating the quality even further than in previous renditions. If you are a Pinot fanatic searching for a great everyday bottle that delivers without breaking the bank you can't miss this!
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2018
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2012 Bench Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-28-2015
This has been a SF favorite for years, and this is the best vintage we have tried yet. Full of dark fruits with oak spice and chocolate tones. It rich and polished with enough tannin to give it heft but no so big that you cannot serve as a cocktail.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)  
Review Date: 3-28-2015
Serious, interesting and delicious Pinot for about $20? It doesn't seem to happen often enough so when we tried this I had to stop and do a double take. The wine is driven with a solid core of mineral laced acidity that has gorgeous layers of dark fruit and subtle earthy spice wrapped around it. It is has depth and a unique sense of place, and this is the entry level wine for this estate!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Antaño Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 3-28-2015
Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image
Deeply colored, this exceptionally produced Rioja Reserva is loaded with curranty to cassis-like fruit qualities with a creamy, mocha undertone on the nose. All of these excellent qualities carry over well across a broad, lush, bright, flashy palate impression with expansive and deep flavors. The finish is long and warm. You can consume this Gem near-term if you want, but it will age another five to ten years easily. Tons depth and complexity! Rusty has ordered me bring several cases of this Gem home for our enjoyment for the next three to ten years. Exceptional vintage, exceptional value! 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2015 to 2025
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-28-2015
An inviting noise that is expressive, floral and maltly. In the mouth this Miltonduff is pure, round and refreshing. Michale Jackson, the great whiskey writer, used to describe single malts sometimes as resorative, and I think that that is what this single malt is.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-28-2015
This young Mortlach has a lot to offer. It has a pretty aromas that are sweet and floral.It is pure, lively, and soft with a sweet core of maltly flavors. This is one single malt that is hard to put down.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Caol Ila 5 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-28-2015
This is a lovely Caol Ila. It has some nice smoke in the noise but not too much. It is light bodied and very easy to drink. There is a pretty fruity finish. I think that this a single malt to drink and enjoy anytime.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Page:  prev  1 2  3  4  5  next  >>