Staff Favorites - Steve Bearden

Steve Bearden
Steve Bearden  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I’m the Bordeaux liason for the San Francisco store, starting my run there around 2000. Over the years I've gained a great respect for subtlety, finesse, elegance and terroir, or a sense of place, that I believe all great wine should have. I enjoy practically anything and everything but mostly French and Italian with heavy emphasis on Rhône and Bordeaux. Be adventurous. There is tremendous diversity in regions, varieties and styles, so don’t let your palate get pigeon-holed.


Reviews

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2013 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 1-29-2015
I love this affordable and fresh bottling for its value and consistency. Always juicy and full of character without resorting to the heavy, cloying tactics that push so many chards over the top. In a market of over priced and over manipulated wines this is a sigh of relief for your wallet and your palate.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 1-29-2015
This is silky, creamy and wonderfully balanced with no sense of heat on the long finish despite the substantial alcohol. I wish more Zinfandel bottlings showed this finesse and equilibrium. All the rich fruit you could want but no heaviness.

2000 Bel-Air, Pomerol
Review Date: 1-21-2015
The tiny appellation of Pomerol produced few bargains in the phenomenal 2000 vintage but here is one. This has an evolved nose of red fruit, earth and cedar. The body is plump, smooth, lushly sweet and shows beautiful balance and proportion from beginning to silky, seamless end.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Corbin Michotte, St-Emilion
Review Date: 1-21-2015
Lots of ripe, red fruits here with a funky dig into the terroir of the St-Emilion/Pomerol border. There are very fine tannins holding the array of cherries and berries together where hints of chalk add persistence to the finish. This is deep, lush and still fresh.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Moulin Haut Laroque, Fronsac
Review Date: 1-21-2015
This is darkly fruited and quite earthy but with a lush core of sweet, clean and fresh fruit. The tannins are well hidden and there is nice length to the lively finish. This is easy and forward even without decanting.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Raymond Lafon, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 1-21-2015
Surprisingly viscous, fat and waxy but with great balancing acidity to boot, this seems to hit the sweet spot between flamboyant richness and cool, electric freshness. The pineapple, coconut, honey, citrus and marmalade flavors would be an ideal match for veined cheeses, fruit tarts, pound cake, a plate of butter cookies or my favorite, as an aperitif. The powerful finish here actually leaves an impression of dryness on the palate.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

1998 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 1-21-2015
This earthy wine is surprisingly rich and hearty for a 1998 Left Bank Bordeaux. Tobacco, mineral and cherry and plum fruit are far more obvious than the slightly firm edge to the stony finish. Decant this tonight with hearty fare.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 1-14-2015
Here is yet another fantastic value from the great 2009 Bordeaux vintage. This is quite firm, very smooth and wonderfully warm with a nice chewy texture on the finish. There is great mid-palate sweetness to this substantial and overachieving wine so don't hesitate to decant tonight or cellar for a few years.

2001 Tertre Daugay, St-Emilion
Review Date: 1-8-2015
Here is yet another example of how fantastically the wines from the very good 2001 Bordeaux vintage are drinking at 10 years of age. This is a dark plum color with aromas of ripe cherry, savory herb and potting soil. The wine has lively acidity and as it opens up very fresh flavors and aromas of blackberry and dark cherry become even more evident. The smooth, creamy middle is substantial and is supported by dry, fine tannins on the intense, mineral finish. Decant one hour.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Elderton "Estate" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 10-22-2014
There is a fine sense of proportion and balance to this big, brash wine which offers a measure of restraint to the bold fruit. The flavors and aromas of blackberry, plum, pepper, mint, spice and smoke are lifted by fine grained tannins, moderate acid and a persistent limestone infused finish. In today's market for world class wines, this is a screaming value.

2012 Pessagno "Central Avenue" Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-16-2014
During a recent visit to the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation we discovered this outstanding value at tiny Pessagno Winery and bought it on the spot. This family-run boutique has a small portfolio of distinctive wines and this refreshing Pinot is one of the most elegant we encountered in the region. This is medium-bodied with aromas of spice, cherry and rhubarb that tingle the senses. The persistent cherry-vanilla fruit is enhanced by hints of tree bark, tea and a surprising minerality that lends a refreshing note to the finish. This is rare quality/price ratio for Pinot Noir.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Matelica is a north-south running valley with warm days and cool nights, resulting in some of the best Verdicchio in all of Italy. This richly textured wine has sweet pit fruit, stony minerality and a super intense finish. Don't miss this unique and delicious bargain.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 9-18-2014
This has the weight and texture you expect of Pinot from the Russian River Valley yet remains pure, bright and dry. An array of ripe red fruits, touches of earth and hints of spice evolve and expand as this opens up in the glass and the palate cleansing finish is clean and snappy.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 9-5-2014
This vibrant, mineral-laced bargain has been a staff favorite for many years running and always seems to sell out far too quickly. This has more cut and verve than the rounder and richer Macon-Charnay (a non-stop customer favorite) but still has plenty of pear, apple and citrus flavors to temper the palate-cleansing acidity and mouthwatering minerality. Yes, there are still bargains in Burgundy.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 8-6-2014
If you are tired of soft, blowsy California Chardonnay and have almost given up on the category this will surprise and refresh you. This is firm and toasty with stone fruit and lemon oil flavors, a touch of honey and a complex leesy note on the finish. There is wonderful freshness and vibrancy to this rich and beautifully balanced wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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