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 Newton "Unfiltered" Napa Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
This legendary Napa Chardonnay keeps it going with tropical and stone fruit wrapped with creamy oak and rich butter. Best to drink in the near future.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2012 La Monacesca "Ecclesia" Chardonnay   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
WOW! So, for those just joining the party here, it's fairly well known that I have long considered a balanced oak treatment an integral part of my favorite wines. Well, the-times-they-are-a-changing! Aged for over one year in all stainless steel, this is a beautifully complex Chardonnay that has everything one might want. A soft and round structure, vibrant apple and pear creaminess, and a long finish. Crisp acidity and lingering minerality make this, surprisingly, one of the best Old World Chardonnays this young wine professional has tried lately.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $16.99
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2013 Jean-Paul Brun "Terres Dorees" Chardonnay Beaujolais Blanc   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
If you appreciate great-value Chardonnays like those from the Maconnais and are up for something new, here is its rarer cousin, Beaujolais blanc. Marked with the scent of lemon chiffon, strokes of lime zest and a good dose of richness this is a fresh, clean and easy sipper to be put into your wine repertoire.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart DC 95 BC 0

2012 Joseph Faiveley Bouzeron Aligoté   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
This a a great summertime fun wine and a delicious example of aligote from Bouzeron -- lively, light bodied and with a smooth mouthfeel. Here you get a pale hued refresher with a bouquet of white flowers, the zip of fresh citrus notes reminiscent of pomelo and lime, and wet stone, flinty finish. Pick up a bottle to sip or serve with your favorite shellfish dish, you won't be disappointed.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Rare Wine Company Historic Series New York Malmsey Madeira   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
Here's an absolutely delicious treat and a lovely example of a classic sweet Madeira made from the Malvasia grape. Rich in color and luscious in body with notes of toasted hazelnuts, toffee and dates. This would make an excellent pairing with any nutty dessert.

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
Interested in a food-friendly wine that plays the perfect companion to grilled meats? You many want to try Simone on for size, and experience bright notes of spiced ripe red berry and wild cherry on the nose. On the palate, the wine's juicy flavors of boysenberries and dried cranberry comes first and then nicely balances out with rounded tannins, medium acid, and finishes up with a seasoning of pink peppercorns.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
The Petite Sirah in this blend really makes a difference, even though it isn't the dominant partner, taking the Zinfandel well away from what you normally consider Paso Robles Zinfandel to be about. Black, tarry fruit, cocoa powder, and toasted coconut come out on the nose, leading into dusty, brooding, plummy fruit on the palate. Fine grained tannins make this easy to drink right now, and acidity keeps it lively.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2012 Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
I can't tell you how many times over the last 6 months I have been asked when this is going to be available. Well, it's finally here. The black fruit takes command of this wine with just hints of blue fruit. Vanilla and oak are very apparent but will integrate with a little time or a couple hours in a decanter. Hobbs fans rejoice.

2012 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-23-2015
In my opinion, Selvapiana is not only one of the top wineries in Chianti Rufina but also a benchmark within Tuscany. This storied estate captures the unique terroir of the zone and produces wines with ample fruit, substantial acidity and excellent aging potential. Those looking for an exceptional value-priced and classically styled Chianti will definitely not want to miss this outstanding 2012.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Shafer "One Point Five" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
This is a big, fruit forward wine with flavors of cedar, vanilla, tobacco and deep chocolate surrounding it all. This is a Napa Valley wine all the way. 2-5 years of aging possible.

2012 Philippe Tessier "Les Sables" Cour Cheverny  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
The fruit for this bottling comes from 60 year old vines, versus a vine age of 30 years for the standard Cour-Cheverny. Not too different than its younger sibling, the 2012 “Les Sables” simply offers more of everything: there’s resin, lemon juice, hazelnut, beeswax, and dried citrus peel and ginger, on this medium bodied white wine, along with bracing acidity. Anyone lamenting the scarcity of stellar white Burgundy at bargain prices could do worse than to give this wine a whirl!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
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Another fabulous buy from this great property-reminds me of the 1970.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
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What a delicious, fruit forward wine from a very famous property in Yountville. Some 2013s are quite tannic, but this is more elegant than most. Maybe it gets its regal stature from its very famous owner.
Drink from 2016 to 2030
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 d'Yquem "Y Blanc" Bordeaux Blanc  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
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Fabulous vintage for white Bordeaux, great name, and reasonable price. You can’t miss here. I bought big bottles for the home.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart WS 96 BC 0

2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
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A delicious wine that is perfect right now. Great cassis aromas follow to palate, which is soft, elegant and lingering.e. A steal for less than $20. This, and a rack of lamb would be heavenly.
Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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