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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2011 Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 9-18-2013
* Concentrated dark fruit, very strong, serious wine.

2012 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac (3L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-3-2013
** Established in 1725!There is just no stopping the fantastic roll of quality here! The perfectly ripe blueberry and blackberry fruit is focused and is amazingly fresh! Firm but round tannins and new oak is the framework for this great tasting PC that is accessible and invigorating. Hats off to Alfred Tesseron for giving the world good reason to be excited about buying the best wines made in 2012 as he drops his price to 1/3 the price of his 2009 and 2010 now in the marketplace.
Top Value!

2012 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-3-2013
** Established in 1725!There is just no stopping the fantastic roll of quality here! The perfectly ripe blueberry and blackberry fruit is focused and is amazingly fresh! Firm but round tannins and new oak is the framework for this great tasting PC that is accessible and invigorating. Hats off to Alfred Tesseron for giving the world good reason to be excited about buying the best wines made in 2012 as he drops his price to 1/3 the price of his 2009 and 2010 now in the marketplace.
Top Value!

2012 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 5-3-2013
** Established in 1725! There is just no stopping the fantastic roll of quality here! The perfectly ripe blueberry and blackberry fruit is focused and is amazingly fresh. Firm but round tannins and new oak is the framework for this great tasting PC that is accessible and invigorating. Hats off to Alfred Tesseron for giving the world good reason to be excited about buying the best wines made in 2012 as he drops his price to 1/3 the price of his 2009 and 2010 now in the marketplace.
Top Value!

Canard-Duchêne "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-27-2013
Lovely Chamapagne! Super clean and elegant with a very nice dry finish; a real crowd pleaser and fine value.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 3-11-2013
Soft, elegant, easy-drinking wine.

2009 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 2-5-2013
Full of bright, just-ripe raspberries and cranberries, with great freshness, elegance and lovely balance.

2009 Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 10-29-2012
Fresh, bright, natural mouthfeel. Tasty. I loved it!

2009 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 10-24-2012
Strong and masculine, with lots of coffee flavors.

2009 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 10-24-2012
Good, firm, sweet fruit, with fine balance. A great value!

2009 Le Gay, Pomerol
Review Date: 3-8-2012
Super-sweet. Loaded with dark cherry fruit and lovely tannins. Superb!

2005 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 8-31-2011
Deep, firm blackberry and blueberry fruit with good minerality. Direct with very solid structure. Most people will drink wines in this price range young, but this 2005 will age fantastically, so put a few down for the long run. I would decant four hours before drinking now.

2007 Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 8-16-2010
Strong and crisp at front end. Elegant cranberry on palate. Spicy and fresh finish.

2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 6-13-2009
Tasting good now at 11 years old, this still enjoys much of the youthful vigor derived from this great and powerful vintage. Stick a few away for another five to 10 years. Decant between two and four hours if you want to drink it now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart 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.
2005 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($229.99)

1999 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac ($169.99)

2003 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (stained labels) ($174.99)

2005 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac ($199.99)