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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2012 Apaltagua "Envero" Carmenere Gran Reserva Colchagua Valley  
Review Date: 10-21-2014
90% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is another delicious bottling of Envero. If you love fuller bodied, richer California cabs, then this would be a terrific introduction to the Carmenere grape. Deeply pitched dark fruits combine with aromas and flavors of roasted coffee, grilled bread and a hint of homemade caramel, a nicely darkened and deeply flavored batch. For under $14, there is very little else out there that provides this intensity of flavor in this bigger style of red wine.

2012 Tenuta di Sesta Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 10-20-2014
Just by the color in the glass you know you are in for a treat! Beautiful rose and violet hues greet you like the warm Tuscan sun. Wonderful aromas of earth and candied red raspberry. Mouth feel of tart cherry and Christmas spice. And this awesome lingering acidity. Nice grip of tannins on the back end. With a super long finish just waiting for that braised meat to come out of the oven.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2013 Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 10-20-2014
Round and juicy, this Chardonnay is driven by clean, tropical flavors of sweet citrus and pineapple. Its easy-going style, with a price to match, should make it a hit with those looking for an everyday white that has a little more richness than a Sauvignon Blanc, say, but avoids the oak-and-butter side of the Chardonnay spectrum.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2002 C.H. Berres ‹rziger WŁrzgarten Riesling Kabinett   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-20-2014
This ideally matured Kabinett has realized an excellent harmony between the fruit, petrol, and slate. Shades of white peach, lime, and wild strawberry still reside with the spicy and minerally terroir of Wurzgarten. The sweetness has largely dried out, and there's stinging zip that would satisfy even the biggest acid freaks. This wine is in a great place, but would easily hold for several more years. I encourage anyone to discover how dynamic and versatile this would be as an everyday table wine. You would have to try pretty hard to come up with a lousy food pairing.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley Chardonnay   | Approved
Review Date: 10-20-2014
Fans of the rich and tropical school of chardonnay should take note. Here's a full flavored Napa offering with tinges of pineapple, ripe apples and oak -- a total palate coater, but with just enough lemon pie acidity to keep it fresh.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2010 Yalumba "The Guardian" Shiraz-Viognier Eden Valley   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-20-2014
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Great value Shiraz showing both richness and restraint. This exceptional wine for the price point shows bright, fresh aromatics, has a juicy, fleshy, med-full bodied mid-palate. It displays lots of bramble fruit, forest berries, spice and scorched earth. The cooler, higher elevation Eden Valley fruit source lends lovely mid-palate acidity to give lift and definition. Exotic spices and earth draw out on the finish. A great deal at the MSRP of $20...a steal at our Insider advantage price of substantially less!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018

2009 Puy-Marceau Bordeaux  
Review Date: 10-19-2014
A super 2009 value Bordeaux. Nose of blueberries, earth and dried herbs. A charming rusticity on the palate due to its tannins, which makes it all more interesting. Great pairing with charcuterie, sausages and chili beans.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
The 2011 Barnett Spring Mountain Cabernet is a solid effort for the vintage! It is a focused, balanced and study wine that shows a ton of complexity and minerality. Plenty of fruit fills out the mid-palate while the tannins give the finish a good grip and structure. A Cab drinker's Cab and a great buy for under $40!
Price: Hidden View Price AG 91 BC 0

2013 Blason Cabernet Franc Isonzo  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
Itís back! And as long as I can keep my coworkers at bay, you may be able to buy some for yourself. There is nothing simple about this Cab Franc, it has the classic blueberry, herbaceous plum, and a hint of cola; also a little white pepper on the finish. A staff and consumer favorite for many years now, this is a wine you will want to stock up on.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
It's back--but for how long?. When K&L introduced this producer to you last year, everyone who bought a bottle came back for quantities and it sold out quickly. This 2009 will be no exception. This wine is full of ripe Sangiovese fruit, plum, spicy blackberry, and cassis with cocoa powder, coating the palate with a little Tuscan dust on the finish of this full-bodied wine that is showing great acidity and very well-balanced tannins.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Scarbolo Sauvignon Friuli  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
Citrus aromas. Full on the palate. Tasty, bright fruit: peach, citrus, and even a hint of melon. The touch of grassy flavors and pure Sauvignon fruit will give you a great idea of what the Friuli appellation is all about.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2012 Tenuta di Sesta Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
This Rosso was aged for one year in 20hl Slovenian oak barrels and unites the imposing structure of Brunello with the freshness and vivacity of a young wine; classic ripe strawberries, cherry-cola, and cranberry with a hint of leather and spice on the finish. This can be drunk young, but will evolve over the next couple of years. WARNING! This is one of those wines that will make you think: how did that bottle empty itself?
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2012 Pessagno "Central Avenue" Monterey County Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
During a recent visit to the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation we discovered this outstanding value at tiny Pessagno Winery and bought it on the spot. This family-run boutique has a small portfolio of distinctive wines and this refreshing Pinot is one of the most elegant we encountered in the region. This is medium-bodied with aromas of spice, cherry and rhubarb that tingle the senses. The persistent cherry-vanilla fruit is enhanced by hints of tree bark, tea and a surprising minerality that lends a refreshing note to the finish. This is rare quality/price ratio for Pinot Noir.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo (1L)  
Review Date: 10-16-2014
This is a mouthful of Pinot Grigio and a wine that has body and is perfectly balanced with zippy acidity and very aromatic, good complexity, length and that subtle elegance that shows muscle and long and flowing finish. It is a little spicy with red apple and melon, and LOTS of minerals on the aftertaste. The Best P/G they made ( so far) and a liter bottle ( Woohoo ) made for two!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Pewsey Vale "Contours" Museum Reserve Riesling Eden Valley South Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-14-2014
This dry Riesling is just getting started at six years after the vintage. So crisp and refreshing, yet it has also gained bottle characteristics and weight: a floral aroma with honeycomb, lemon pith and lemon oil, and a mouthfeel that's silky and light and has a certain sumptuousness at the same time that swaths and tames the searing, dry finish. This is a great example of South Australian Riesling, and I am sure that I will order more now that the bottle's empty!

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