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 Chateau de la Font Loup Chateauneuf du Pape   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-31-2014
This Chateauneuf is beautiful. Itís done in a more restrained style, moving more towards traditional Chateauneuf. Its perfumed nose is extremely complex with notes of rose petals, lavender, ripe plums and spices like black pepper and cloves. The complexities follow through on the palate with violets, chocolate, coffee grounds, forest floor and anise. Perfectly balanced structure, plush fine tannins, ready to drink now or has the capacity to age.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica  
Review Date: 10-31-2014
I have been drinking Italian wines for more than 30 years. I had my first Verdicchio Classico dei Castelli di Jesi perhaps 10 years ago, and my first Verdicchio di Matelica three years ago. I first encountered the wines of Agricola La Monacesca one year ago. They are regarded by many as the finest producer of Verdicchio di Matelica in the Marche, and after tasting first the 2010 and now the 2011 vintage I am inclined to believe it. The wine shows all of the wonderful minerality I have come to associate with the DOC, but in addition displays better than average ripeness of fruit with more concentration and depth than I have encountered in other wines from the region. Really superb, and available for under $20.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Cantine Ascheri Barolo  
Review Date: 10-30-2014
Very approachable Barolo. At a very approachable price! Classic tar, leather and rose petals on the nose. Wonderful mineral and fruit on the palate. Which gives way to a persistent acidity just calling for a prime rib in a porcini mushrooms sauces!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ch‚teau de Maligny Chablis  
Review Date: 10-30-2014
A great $20 Chablis is the "black cocktail dress", the "two-button navy blazer" of your wine collection. Great as an aperitif, superb with seafood, delicious year round. The 2012 Chateau de Maligny Chablis from Jean Durup is 100% unoaked Chardonnay with textbook appeal - classic "oyster shell" minerality with lively fresh citrus notes. Pick up a couple of bottles or a case. This is one you will always want to have on hand.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 10-30-2014
Our best buy in 100% Sangiovese from the hill town of Montalcino. Ripe morello cherries explode from the glass. The wine shows enviable concentration and depth, finishing with firm tannins. Works well with your preferred choice of pizza and/or pasta, but will stand up nicely even to more substantial dishes like Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Regular customers will welcome the return of the now famous "Catzilla" label, although that's a matter of perspective, surely.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1963 Glenfarclas Family Casks Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-29-2014
A very fine dram. Lovely served neat at room temperature. On the nose, caramel and dark maple syrup are intertwined with a malt and Crème brûlée. On the palate a fine, lithely textured spirit expresses vanilla, spice cake and cinnamon finishing with agreeable warmth and a long note of baking spices and malt. The addition of a dab of water really highlights the depth of spices, and blooms the malty caramel finish. What a treat!
Price: $849.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Fuenteseca Reserva "2014 Edition" K&L Exclusive Extra AŮejo Tequila 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-29-2014
Mouthwatering Tequila, pure, expressive, complex and very tasty. The nose really jumps, with agave nectar, freshly squeezed lime juice and toasty oak. In the mouth, this graceful, nimble spirit delivers generous and intense flavors of vanilla and freshly crushed piña. The long rewarding finish maintains the remarkable purity and intensity of this wonderfully made spirit. Finishing with the floral notes of a sweet white blossom, vanilla and toasted baking spices; this tequila comes across as curiously complex and captivating.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Montechiara Amarone  
Review Date: 10-29-2014
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If you're a fan of Amarone you might be balking at the price of this wine and think that it is nothing, but it is really a great value, and yes it does taste like Amarone. OK, maybe a mid-week Amarone but you're not paying the Weekend prices either. This wine has a lush palate presence, and a ripe but focused center, not raisiny just dense fruit, if you're a Zin lover this wine will rock your boat!
Drink from 2014 to 2017
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo  
Review Date: 10-29-2014
This wine has a vibrant, ruby red hue, with super intense notes of bing cherry, red licorice, exotic Asian spice and black tea. The oak is present, but very well integrated. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with soft tannin's but no astringency. The streak of acidity pulls it all together into a seamless, utterly gorgeous wine. Could easily hold it's own against Barolos twice it's price. The only draw back to this wine is also an attribute, that being that the tannin structure that makes the wine so appealing now means it's one for the short to mid term, not a 20 year wine. So practice that risotto recipe or score yourself some lamb shank and enjoy al fresco with loved ones.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Castello di Verduno "Basadone" Pelaverga  
Review Date: 10-29-2014
I first tried this grape varietal with the 2008 vintage, when I met Mario Andrion (Oenologist) and I soon planed a trip to visit the winery in May of 2010 (www.castellodiverduno.it) they have a great hotel ! Pelaverga has a DOC, in the region of Piedmont in Italy. The small zone has a vineyard area of only eight hectares, and includes the commune of Verduno, as well as parts of the communes of La Morra and Roddi d´Alba in the province of Cuneo. Itís an amazing medium-bodied red, intense fragrant nose, showing spicy overtones with lots of black pepper, as well as fruity sensations reminiscent of black cherries and strawberries. Truly a taste sensation, (I give this a slight chill) and a must try.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Russell's Reserve K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #18 Kentucky Bourbon 750ml  
Review Date: 10-29-2014
Another wonderful single barrel selection from Wild Turkey. The #18 has almost elegant aromas that are subtle and inviting. In the mouth that are carmel and other flavors that round out this exceptional bourbon.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

High West K&L Single Barrel Rendezvous Rye Whiskey 750ml  
Review Date: 10-29-2014
Sweet and pretty aromas lead to a generous and delicous rye. For those who are familar with the regular Rendezvous, the K&L selection is more concentrated and a touch richer.The K&L selection has a little spice and alot of flavor and is very good.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cadenhead's Classic Green Label Rum 750ml  
Review Date: 10-29-2014
A drier style rum. It is medium bodied with a nice rum richness that is balanced and delicious. Another great product from Cadenhead.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 The Three Foxes Clairette Blanche Coastal Region   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-29-2014
This is one of the reasons I love South Africa, they aren't afraid to try things like this, oh and just so happen to perfectly execute it as well. Clairette partially macerated on its skins for 3 months, the outcome, quasi-orange wine. It shows notes of fresh pressed apples, chalky minerality, white flowers, and hops. The more I let the wine open, the more it unveiled itself, continuously opening and changing. Organically farmed and unfined and unfiltered. Delicious.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 FRAM Pinotage Citrusdal Mountain   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 10-29-2014
Never have I experienced such an elegant Pinotage in my life. None of those unwanted burnt rubber aromas. If youíre not an admirer of Pinotage, this wine will certainly convert you. This is (hopefully) the new movement in Pinotage. It provides aromas of purple flowers, blackberries and cocoa, a palate of plush, fine tannins, juicy black fruits, plums and figs, with violets and spice to round it out. A Pinotage full of complexity and class.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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