Staff Favorites - Ralph Sands

Ralph Sands
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Ralph is the senior Bordeaux specialist on the sales staff. In between trying to break into professional baseball, Ralph was picking up hours at a K&L store in Millbrae. Back then it was more about kegs and cheap booze, and both Ralph and K&L have evolved since that time. Since those long ago days in 1978, Ralph has visited his beloved Bordeaux 37 times, evaluated 19 straight vintages and has escorted over 200 customers to Bordeaux on his "Taste and Golf the Greats Tours of Bordeaux". Ralph has also conducted tasting seminars in 9 different states as well as in France, Spain and Hong Kong. Ralph's passion for wine reaches far beyond Bordeaux; to the fine wine regions of Burgundy, Loire, Rhone, Germany, Oregon and of course his home state of California.


Reviews

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2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
Review Date: 11-14-2014
A lovely, expressive nose with a nice hint of development. A stylish and elegant Pinot drinking beautifully right now!

2005 Valandraud, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-6-2014
A great vintage of Valandraud at this price; I am all in! As always, this wine exhibits deep, saturated purple fruit, sweet blackberry fruit on nose with toasty oak. On the palate exotic flavors of chocolate and blackcherry lead to a dry finish. This wine features the hallmark qualities of the outstanding 2005 vintage; purity of fruit, with great acidity and fantastic freshness! Ralph Sands
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "d'Aloisio Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 9-16-2014
One of the most exciting Chardonnays I have tasted in many years. If you love big, buttery and rich Chardonnays this wine is NOT for you. But... if you love great Chablis and Puligny Montrachet you will love this wine as it comes off as a combination of both of those famous wine regions in the glass. Both of those regions have gone crazy price-wise, which makes this wine even more unbelievable for $22.99! Loaded with intense green apple fruit, great freshness a touch of flintyness and lazer beam focus. Just incredible and always in my vacation box of wine!. Enjoy! -Ralph
Top Value!

2013 Domaine Renaud Pouilly-Fuissé "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes"
Review Date: 9-5-2014
The Renaud Macons have been a staple at my home for weekday enjoyment for quite a few years now. The Charnay is always a bit more forward and rounder while the Solutre shows more rocky minerality. I also love the old vine Pouilly-Fuisse and have served it to many of my friends and relatives at more serious dinner parties. The Renaud wines always show great freshness, laser-beam focus and drive. Great values!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 9-5-2014
The Renaud Macons have been a staple at my home for weekday enjoyment for quite a few years now. The Charnay is always a bit more forward and rounder while the Solutre shows more rocky minerality. I also love the old vine Pouilly-Fuisse and have served it to many of my friends and relatives at more serious dinner parties. The Renaud wines always show great freshness, laser-beam focus and drive. Great values!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-24-2014
**V One of the hottest wines in Bordeaux today and for good reason: Cantemerle is a lovely blend.

2012 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc (3L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-24-2014
**V One of the hottest wines in Bordeaux today and for good reason: Cantemerle is a lovely blend.

2012 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 6-24-2014
**V One of the hottest wines in Bordeaux today and for good reason: Cantemerle is a lovely blend.

2011 Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 5-22-2014
Solid and serious Bourgogne for well under 20 bucks! Strong Nuits style wine; zesty and mineral driven, spicy red fruit with hints of black licorice.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 5-19-2014
Very elegant cherry fruit from front to back.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2013 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
Huge layers of silky, ripe black fruits and the fact that it smells like Zinfandel define this wine! Behind all of this fruit is brisk acidity and a long finish. This wine will be controversial, but it is undeniably super tasty! *½

2013 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-14-2014
Striking aromas of strong Cabernet Sauvignon (82%) jump out of the glass followed by dark, bold, powerful fruit. This wine is classic claret: firm, honest and perfectly balanced. No question, it is one of the top wines of the vintage and one of the best cellar candidates. *½

2013 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
Braniare Durcu- Honest as they come! Bright, fresh, elegant wine with tart cherry fruit. This tasty wine will be a lovely early drink.*

2013 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-13-2014
Big wine with loads of soft, sweet ripe fruit in layers. Good round tannins and lovely finish. Very impressive, tasty, lush wine that will drink well young.**

2013 Labégorce, Margaux Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-12-2014
Everyone should be aware that Delphine Colasa and winemaker Marjolaine Maurice-de-Coninck have turned this estate (and sister Ch. Marquis D'Alesme) around in just a few years; the wines are so much better now! Hats off! Labegorce has attractive-plump Merlot (53%) fruit with cassis, spice and earth. (Marquis d'Alseme is very bright and has more sparkling blue fruits and distinct minerality.) Both are star wines. *

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More Favorites

Ralph Sands is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Ralph Sands, click here to join Ralph Sands's Personal Sommelier Service.
2005 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($229.99)

2003 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($174.99)

1999 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($169.99)

2006 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe ($49.99)

2005 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac ($169.99)