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 Domaine de l'Espigouette Vacqueyras
Review Date: 02-21-2017
This is deep, dark and slick with a tight core of black and blue fruits, licorice and violets all showing refinement and great tension. There is plenty of energy encased in the dark, fruity middle with great complexity fanning out along the finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 89 - 91

2014 Domaine Baud Chardonnay l'Etoile Blanc
Review Date: 02-21-2017
This delicious Chardonnay is clean and smooth with a slightly salty tang and wonderful limestone and damp clay mineral tones. The finish has hints of savory wild herbs like tarragon and fennel and ends with a juicy citrus rind splash.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 de France Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-18-2017
Here is a great introduction to the very good wines of the 2014 vintage from the folks at Malartic-Lagraviere. This is rich and flashy with black cherry and ripe plum fruit and dark cocoa accents throughout. The finish is quite complex with earth, gravel and fine grip. Decant now or lay away for several years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2010 Tronquoy de St-Anne, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 02-18-2017
Chateau Montrose is on a roll with this property and the 2010 version is even better than the outstanding 2009. This starts out dark and rich with blackberry, cassis and cocoa flavors that are rich but stay focused due to the fine tannic grip on the finish. The tight core of ripe Merlot is deeper and the aromatics somewhat less earthy than last vintage , but overall this is a more serious and complete bottling.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2001 Labegorce, Margaux
Review Date: 02-18-2017
This very traditional wine is silky, elegant, dry and oh so subtle. Dried cherries, soft smoky plums and cedar are burnished by notes of leather, sandalwood, tobacco and a long, satin textured finish. Old school Bordeaux but without the rusticity.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-18-2017
An overachieving property of Carbonnieux fame that scores big in the price/quality ratio year after year. This gravely wine has hints of spice, mineral and milk chocolate to go along with the crunchy dark currant fruit and sweet, rocky finish. Fairly deep and rich for the appellation but satisfying and super food-friendly.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 02-14-2017
A great introduction to the whites of the Northern Rhone and a super value. This is fat, layered and waxy, but with vibrant acidity to showcase the abundance of ripe stone fruit. White peach, dried apricot and hints of nectarine lead to a mouthwatering, mineral-laced finish that shows just the faintest whiff of ginger.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Kaiken "Ultra" Cabernet Sauvignon Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 02-14-2017
This lushly textured wine with its intense structure is a big step above what you would expect at this modest price point. A solid core of dark cocoa, cassis, sweet cherry and spice give way to a powerful finish of very fine and grippy tannins. Here the New World ripeness is tempered by the sheer scale of the wine.

2014 Seigneurs d'Aiguilhe, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 02-14-2017
This is the 2nd wine of the star of the appellation Chateau d'Aiguilhe. Proprietor Stephan Neipperg is also responsible for the great wines of Canon-la-Gaffeliere, Clor l'Oratoire and the super luxury "Garage wine" La Mondotte. Drinkable now, this elegant Merlot based blend is supple, rich, inviting and one of the best values in Bordeaux.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2015 Pencarrow Sauvignon Blanc (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 02-14-2017
Here is a killer value in a full-bodied and rich yet bone dry wine with plenty of complexity. This is floral with crushed melon and kiwi fruit and hints of nectarine on the sweet and snappy mineral tinged finish. An unbelievable price for this level of quality.

2014 Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Saint-Amour
Review Date: 02-14-2017
This is balanced, sweet, clean and very floral with faint touches of iron and earth to the lacy finish. The complexity and elegance at this price is truly amazing.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 RP 91

2014 Domaine Damien Coquelet Chiroubles Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 02-14-2017
Here is a deeply fruited, almost dense Beaujolais with an iron core and an animal dig into the earthier aspects of the region. This hearty and very mineral bottling would stand up to any fare including game or cassoulet.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2015 Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Cote de Brouilly
Review Date: 02-14-2017
This shows off the vintage with its deep and jammy middle of cassis and ripe cherry fruit. There is wonderful tension here with the tightly wound structure of ripe tannins and fine mineral holding all that dark and rich fruit together.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

1990 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 02-01-2017
Tasted at a recent Bordeaux dinner, this was a standout among a slew of venerable properties from great vintages. Blind I might have guessed this to be from the 2000 or 2003 vintage due to the volume of youthful plump fruit, freshness and underlying power. At 26 years of age this is amazingly plush and seamless with a silky texture to the dense middle and effortless length to the finish. This is a very special bottle deserving of a place in every serious collector's cellar.
Price: $499.99 Add To Cart
RP 100

2013 Bava "Gionson" Nebbiolo
Review Date: 01-31-2017
This aromatic, sweet and refreshing bottling is the most easy drinking Nebbiolo that we carry, Sure, you could think of it as a Nebbiolo with training wheels for those not yet ready for Barolo or Barbaresco, but to me it is just a delicious bottle of wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pencarrow Pinot Noir (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 01-31-2017
Bright red cherry fruit, spice, savory herb and dark plum are all found in this super bargain. This is surprisingly firm and structured for the price with a sweet and dark middle tempered by spicy complexity.

2010 L'Argenteyre, Medoc
Review Date: 01-18-2017
This is dark and earthy with flavors and aromas of blackberry, spice and cherry. The middle is firm and toasty with traces of iron showing on the long, sweet finish. Another bargain from one of the greatest Bordeaux vintages of all time.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2012 Domaine du Grand Ormeau, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 01-18-2017
This is opulent and modern with new oak, jammy raspberries, smoky dark plums and a middle that is rich, creamy and layered. There is impressive concentration and sweetness to this ripe, mouth-filling wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 RP 90

2015 Loyasson, Bordeaux
Review Date: 01-05-2017
Aromas of truffle and crushed flowers lead to a middle of sweet and jammy black raspberries. This is smooth and effortless with wonderful freshness throughout and a clean, fine finish. This early release from a spectacular vintage is one to buy by the case.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2007 d'Escurac, Medoc
Review Date: 01-04-2017
A ten year old wine for under 15 bucks is always a rare find but this would be a bargain at twice the price. This is dark, plush and sensual with good volume to the dusty cherry fruit, scents of cedar and hints of leather that fill the mid-palate. Faintly drying tannins carry the day and add much needed grip to the persistent finish. Here is a middle aged bargain in traditional Bordeaux.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-04-2017
This is juicy and round with a fresh and mouth filling palate of peach, nectarine and lemon oil all in a rich but vibrant package. A touch of well integrated oak adds some toasty notes to the finish of crushed fruit. Another appealing and affordable bottle from our friends at Olema that is food friendly and easy to drink.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Baracchi "O'Lillo!" Toscana
Review Date: 12-28-2016
Here is a smooth and effortless blend displaying wild berry and dark cherry fruit along with faint hints of milk chocolate and a subtle pulverized minerality to the finish. This is well proportioned and integrated with each component of the blend adding to but not overpowering the whole. Overall a delicious drink.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 90

2014 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas
Review Date: 12-28-2016
Aromas of red licorice, white pepper, wildflowers, lavender, thyme and savory herb leap from the glass as soon as this is poured. This is fine, elegant and beautifully transparent with wild berries, cherries and freshly picked raspberries all displayed across the lingering finish. Here is a lacy, sophisticated bargain.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 - 92

2011 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 12-22-2016
Lots of depth here but no hard edges and a drink- me- now personality makes this a great go-to for current consumption. This big, chewy wine has dark fruit, earth, spice, herb, mineral and more in a rich but well balanced package. Drink tonight or age up to 10 years.

2014 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-22-2016
Fans of the great wines of Elk Cove will love this bargain priced bottle they source from estate and purchased fruit. This has the balance, complexity and finesse you expect from this overachieving property but at less than half the price of their single vineyard offerings. Serious bang for the buck here.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2012 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 11-15-2016
This has oodles of blackberry fruit, vanilla, oak and milk chocolate flavors and aromas that are rich, smooth and layered. The depth of fruit hides the structure underneath but this is balanced enough for current consumption for those unable to defer gratification. A success for the vintage.

2014 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 11-12-2016
Here is a killer value in a deeply fruited and complex wine that despite its heft and structure is balanced enough to drink tonight. The layers of ripe blackberry, huckleberry and black cherry are livened by hints of licorice, anise, pepper and wild flowers. There is a wonderful tension between the depth of the fruit and the intense chalky finish. This is compelling juice for a mere 20 bucks.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 de Pitray, Castillon
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Here is a super value with scents of loamy soil and filled with rich and ripe red and dark fruits. This has a soft, plush texture to the middle and a gentle finish of mineral and fine tannin. Delicious now and priced to buy by the case.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2010 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Here is a profound wine with earthy aromas of crushed flowers, dark fruit and a minty note that is huge but effortless and balanced. The open knight fruit profile, classy lines and fine grip on the finish almost hide the 20 plus years of ageing potential lurking underneath. A fantastic effort that is well worth the money.

2014 Château de Montfaucon Clairette "Vin de Mme la Comtesse" Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes Blanc
Review Date: 11-04-2016
This opens with compelling aromas of apple blossoms, freshly sliced peaches and subtle spice. The mid-palate shows depth and elegance with layers of sweet orchard fruit and a fine, lingering finish. Quite aristocratic.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Laubarit Rouge, Bordeaux
Review Date: 10-28-2016
There is wonderful sweetness to the raspberry and baked cherry fruit flavors on this low-priced, delicious and organic wine. This is lively, clean, bone dry and has great mineral lift throughout the mid-palate. The subtle pulverized tannins on the fine finish add length and a food-friendly snap.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 10-27-2016
This over-achieving wine has been a best seller at K&L for close to 15 years and it seems to get better every vintage. Asian spice, garrigue, nori, a touch of licorice and an array of red fruits and berries come alive in this snappy and clean value. This is amazingly complex for the money.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Cognizant Pinot Noir Marlborough (Te Whare Ra)
Review Date: 10-12-2016
Basically declassified TWR (Te Whare Ra) showing bright black cherry and dark plum fruit, anise, pepper and other spices and a full, layered mouth-feel. This is an amazing deal in a Pinot of depth, complexity and weight.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Treves Petite Arvine Val d'Aosta
Review Date: 10-12-2016
This is compelling and unique with flavors and aromas of ocean spray, spice, citrus and apple blossom. The rich and textured middle is lifted by fresh acidity and there is a palate cleansing salty tang on the finish. This is delicious and not like anything else in the store.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 10-06-2016
Here is a screaming deal for fans of the Northern Rhone and Syrah lovers in general. This starts out with lifted aromas of white pepper, violets and the faintest hint of game before a burst of crunchy blue and black fruits coat the palate. There is no heaviness or rusticity in this fresh and sweet wine, just a long, cool finish ending with a mineral lift.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 10-06-2016
Here we have a serious bottle of Syrah that drinks well above its not-so-serious price. This is a deep and chewy wine showing a dig into the earthy, animal aspect of the Northern Rhone underneath a coat of rich, ripe fruit. Hints of pepper and raw meat, wild blackberry and huckleberry fruit and a finish of iron and cold steel will allow this substantial wine to pair well with the heartiest of fare. Grilled meats and BBQ come to mind. This can be enjoyed tonight but one has to wonder where it will be in 5 years.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2012 Domaine de Fontbonau Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 09-30-2016
Although technically not a single village wine this has the elegance and finesse one usually associates with a wine from Gigondas. Both red and black fruit, spice, dusty earth and gentle tannins form the body and structure of this delicious and polished bottle which drinks well above its humble appellation.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Plantagenet Chardonnay Mount Barker Western Australia
Review Date: 09-29-2016
Here is a rich, nutty bargain showing the kind of concentration you would expect from a Burgundy costing 3 times as much. This is packed with snappy spiced apple and citrus fruit and a lip smackingly fresh finish that will have you reaching for another glass.

2012 Les Griffons de Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 09-27-2016
This is another 2nd wine from Pichon Baron and while is shows all the deep, dark fruit and pencil lead mineral notes of the Les Tourelles it has a much more plush and creamy texture somewhat obscuring the structure underneath. The much higher percentage of Merlot is evident in its bittersweet chocolate flavors and flattering personality.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 WE 91

2012 Marsac Séguineau, Margaux
Review Date: 09-23-2016
If you thought it was impossible to find Margaux for less than 20 bucks then you owe it to yourself to try this little gem. This is elegant and clean but with tons of rich fruit and an inviting, supple texture that drinks well above it's humble price point. Flowery aromas and crunchy black currant fruit are the hallmarks of this delicious bargain.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 WE 90

2009 Ormes De Pez, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-08-2016
There is an upfront gush of rich and toasty blackberry fruit that deftly counterbalances the powerful finish on this big, bold wine. Although this has the telltale baked in ripeness of the vintage there is classic St-Estephe dryness on this firm, structured success.

2007 Labegorce Zede, Margaux
Review Date: 08-23-2016
This is dark and refined with black cherry fruit, mineral, a touch of spice and scents of dried, crushed flowers. The middle is smooth and subtle on this traditionally styled wine which has a mineral streak on the elegant finish of red fruits and berries. Old school and very easy to like.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2014 Domaine des Falaises "Angelliaume" Chinon
Review Date: 08-23-2016
This sweet little value is quite complex on the nose and palate with tobacco, mild spice, savory herb, wild raspberry fruit and a finish that reminds me of ice cold well water. Quite silky and fine for the for the price; this will remind you of the tasty, food friendly carafes that are ubiquitous at Parisian cafes.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Marc Colin St-Aubin 1er Cru "La Chateniere"
Review Date: 08-19-2016
Here is a great bargain in ready to drink white Burgundy from an appellation known to over deliver. This starts out toasty with hints of talc and wet stones before the sweetness of the ripe yellow fruit take over in the plush middle. There is depth, balance and a long mineral finish to this very drinkable bottle.
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
BH 92 RP 91

2014 Domaine Marc Colin St. Aubin 1er Cru "Les Charmois"
Review Date: 08-19-2016
This is finer, longer and has a more pronounced mineral strike than the "La Chateniere" bottling, but what it gives up in richness and weight it more than makes up for in intensity and complexity. This has the stature and elegance of a much more expensive bottle from a more prestigious appellation.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
BH 91 RP 90

2012 Les Brulières de Beychevelle, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 08-18-2016
The team at Chateau Beychevelle gives us this smooth, balanced and impeccably made wine. This has loads of rich, dark fruit, great texture and hints of cocoa and cola on the tasty finish. Another not to be missed exuberant and easy to drink bottle from the affordable 2012 vintage.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2011 Le Tertre du Bosquet Sauternes
Review Date: 07-26-2016
This is light to medium weight with a fresh, clean personality and a very mineral finish with a touch of bitter grapefruit pith. I taste tangerine, honey, soft peach, saffron, spice and hints of tarragon.. This is not particularly fat or tropical but is a very sweet and refreshing drink at a bargain price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-22-2016
This rich, smooth and creamy wine is classic Napa Valley floor through and through. Oodles of plush and sweet fruit smother the ripe tannins as this glides across your palate. Go ahead and decant but don't feel you need to wait on this in-your-face and approachable bottling. Lovers of Caymus take note.
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rosé
Review Date: 07-20-2016
Costieres de Nimes is directly across the river from Chateauneuf-du-Pape and the vineyards consist of large pebbles just like that famed appellation, yet the wines are far more affordable. This is crisp, very complex, super refreshing and amazingly food friendly. Here is a juicy, spicy easy to gulp summer bottle to buy by the case.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2012 L'Arrosée, St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-20-2016
This substantial wine is elegant, balanced and very easy to drink. Aromas of oak dark cherries and mixed berries mingle with muted, leafy and earthy tones in this complex bottling. There is a mouth watering and juicy quality to the finish which keeps you reaching for another sip.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 JS 90

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