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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2003 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 8-31-2011
This has the same profile of deep black/blue fruits as the 2005, but with a hint of black olive. The heat of the 2003 vintages sets it apart and gives the wine much more open, forward middle fruit, texture and opulence. It drinks well now, but is still young. Decant two hours if you want to drink it now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 89 BC 0

2003 Verdignan Rouge, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 8-31-2011
This wine literally flew out the door when we last had it in stock. Ripe and expansive on the nose and palate, with a good fat middle and a long mineral-driven finish. A big hit in my neighborhood!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 7-16-2009
The 2006 Ch.?Malartic-Lagravière is a wine of great elegance, and it shows great freshness in its bright red fruit as well as ripeness throughout, which is the key to the wine’s lasting finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2006 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 6-13-2009
At our tasting bar last month, the topic of the powerful Ch. Léoville-Barton, the great second growth from St-Julien, was in the air even though the wine wasn’t being poured. Many agreed it was one of, if not the, most popular Bordeaux at K&L. Last month we poured their second wine, the 2006 Reserve de Léoville ($29.99) and the grand vin, the 2006 Léoville-Barton ($69.99). Both wines exhibited the classic qualities of the 2006 vintage in general—lots of brisk, high-toned fruit with zesty acidity and firm tannins. The ’06s offer great freshness and most will turn out to be classic clarets, and the 2006 Bartons are, without a doubt, the very best examples of this vintage, as the wines just have flat out more dark purple fruit and depth than almost any other wine. People adore them. I overheard comments like, “these wines are both great,” and, “this is why I buy this wine every year!” The grand vin ages until at least its 15th birthday; I drink the best vintages at 15- to 30-years-old.

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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.
1999 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($169.99)

2005 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac ($199.99)