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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1995 Craigellachie 18 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
A terrific buy for the money and one of my favorites in the new Hepburn line of malts. Indian spice notes dominate the palate, and there's a little funk and brine on the nose and the whisky's underbelly. All of this complements big flavors of tobacco, malt, and toasted almonds. The whiskey is a terrific sherried Speyside with just the right amount of rich texture.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Hampden 14 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Rum 750ml  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
I really liked this rum. It is medium bodied and packed with rich and round flavors and a long finish. It is, however, not too sweet, with just enough balance to make it interesting.The Hampden is a tasty rum to relish and enjoy.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Macallan 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Macallan fans will still love this, even though it might just open their minds a little. Not as sweet and sherried like many Macallans, it still has enough richness to keep the Macallan faithful happy. It is dense and floral, but dry, with thick flavors of caramel and coffee.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
You don't get much more quintessential Highland than this, and it's a little more restrained than Hepburn's Craigellachie. This malt is spicy and citrus laden, with subtle chocolate, chili, and cinnamon flavors and a touch of oak.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Enmore 25 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Rum 750ml  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
My favorite of the Faultline rums we just brought in. This beauty is rich and creamy, with loads of vanilla and spice and a long, sweet finish. Fans of dense, older rum will love this!
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2000 Gruaud Larose, St-Julien   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-27-2015
The people who know my palate and eating habits will say this: "there is nothing she wouldn't try once, and when it comes to wine, the dirtier the better." I had the honor to taste through 15 different vintages of 2000 Bordeaux earlier this week and I have to say the Gruaud Larose (very generously provided by our colleague Sean Fernandez) was right up my alley with the earthy, dusty, forest floor and mineral mouthfeel; it still has so much body and power and could lay down for another 10+ years, in my opinion.

2000 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-27-2015
I had the honor to join the 2000 Bordeaux wine dinner hosted for K&L employees earlier this week and taste through 16 amazing wines from many different regions and price points. I've always like the price-to-quality ratio for Malescot St-Exupery and their consistency through the years, and the 2000 vintage definitely did not disappoint. It was very approachable and showed a warm, rich and round mouthfeel and a touch of red clay mineral on the finish. Smooth, elegant and very well put-together, it's a great wine to drink now or keep in your cellar for a few more years!

2000 La Gaffelière, St-Emilion   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Wow, I was impressed by how much this wine stands up in a lineup of 16 great 2000 vintage Bordeaux we had earlier this week. A lot of Bordeaux collectors I know tend to shy away from the Right Bank because of the general conception that Merlot (which is used mostly in the Right Bank of Bordeaux) is "softer," not as age-worthy and such... Well, you must give this bottle a try. The wine shows firm tannins, powerful intensity, high complexity and a long finish. It hardly showed any sign of a 15-year old-wine. I would highly recommend aging for at least 5 more years before drinking.

2013 Sharp Zombie Rioja   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-27-2015
It's hard to beat the value that this wine brings for under $10. Succulent red fruits, peppery spice, and light floral notes are all present on the palate. This'll ease up those dreary weekday nights in a snap. Fun to have while watching the Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, or any of the plethora of zombie shows out there.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Masseria del Feudo "Il Giglio" Nero d'Avola  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Amazing palate full of juicy red fruit with hints of spice and sweet herbs. Perfect for an evening of family-style pasta or pizza.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $13.99
BC 0

2013 Cane & Fabel 373 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
This is an amazing $20 California Cab! The palate is loaded with tons of blue and purple fruit with hints of tobacco spice and sweet toast. This wine continues to please with a full bodied palate that can only be described as luscious.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Lewis Cellars "Barcaglia Lane" Russian River Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Rarely do I ever say this about a California Chardonnay, but the 2013 Lewis Cellars "Barcaglia Lane" RRV Chardonnay is beautiful. Over the top oaky, butter-bombs are at the bottom of my list and it's always a true pleasure when I find a Cali Chard that dares to veer away from that style. The Barcaglia Lane is elegant, sophisticated and in the best way possible, understated. Loaded with notes of tropical fruit and Asian spice, this Cali Chard is sure to please the adventurous Chardonnay drinker that is looking for something unique and special.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino   | Approved
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Surprisingly approachable right now, the 2009 Saporoia has a soft texture and comfortable acidity integration for an elegant but still substantial and well-structured Brunello. Deep, ripe strawberry and red cherry, hints of leather, minty spices, and a satisfyingly savory finish make for perfect pairing with lamb meatballs or a Bolognese ragu.

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon 375ml  
Review Date: 2-26-2015
I can promise you that every store from here to Bangor, Maine is sick and tired of the question, "Do you guys have any Pappy?" The only question even more frustrating that that one is: "What do you have that tastes like Pappy?" Not because it's a stupid question, but mainly because there isn't anything available that even remotely tastes like Pappy that isn't Pappy. Except the Maker's Mark Cask Strength Bourbon. Now HERE is a whiskey that DOES rather taste like Pappy. The only problem is getting your hands on some. Big power, creamy texture from the wheat, and bold spice on the finish. This is something you can hang your hat on if you're tired of the Pappy hunt. If you ask me, the MM cask strength is even better than many of the younger Van Winkle expressions.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ronco Blanchis Pinot Grigio Collio  
Review Date: 2-26-2015
This is what Pinot Grigio is all about. The Collio in northwest part of Italy, they are producing the most distinctive whites. This wine over delivers for the price! This has a great intensity of floral and stone fruit on the nose. Great acidity but with a surprising weight on the palate. Great freshness and tanginess with a very long finish.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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