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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2014 Le St-Estephe de Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 07-27-2017
Here we have the power of Chateau Montrose but at a more approachable price. Scents and flavors of bright Bing cherries, earth, leather , sweet dark fruits and flowers expand as this takes on air. The finish is long and fresh in this wine of impeccable pedigree. Decanting for at least an hour is highly recommended.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2001 Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande, Haut Medoc (1.5L)
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Here is a deep and husky bargain with earthy blackberry aromas. The deep middle is filled with black cherry and berry fruit that glides into the firm, crisp finish. This is a great bottle of 13 year old Bordeaux for dinner parties that won't break the bank.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-20-2017
This is elegant and complex with touches of earth and tobacco, plenty of sleek dark fruit and very classy lines. Intense, bubbling with potential and in need of a few years in bottle or a few hours in decanter; this is a fantastic wine.

2010 Poggio dell'Otto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 07-20-2017
A Brunello Riserva from a fantastic vintage selling for under thirty dollars is a rare find. One this approachable is a steal. This is filled with sun baked soil, dusty cherries and earthy darker fruit all in an elegant and gentle package. The power of the vintage seems completely in check until the fine tannic grip shows up on the finish.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2014 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 07-20-2017
An outrageous bargain for the Margaux appellation and showing surprising class and precision. This sophisticated wine has flowery aromas, wisps of oak, a middle of sweet blackberry fruit and a finish showing very fine grip. Great value here.

2010 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-20-2017
This is big, bold and balanced with a middle of sweet cherries, cola, spice and a long, ripe finish. With decanting this is delicious today but will only get better.

2014 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-20-2017
This is expressive and bright with violet aromas and spicy and crunchy berry fruit that is already gaining complexity. There is great balance and freshness to this big, dry wine that is already hard to resist.

2012 Reserve de Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-20-2017
The second wine of Leoville Barton is floral and fresh with the same sweet red and dark fruit as the first wine but none of the tannic scale. This has lots of Leoville character in an approachable style and price.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2014 Le Murmure de Larcis-Ducasse, St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-20-2017
The second wine of Larcis Ducasse is fat, sweet and plump with lots of cherry and raspberry fruit, hints of oak and limestone shadings on the finish. This young wine is precocious and already easy to drink.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clinet, Pomerol
Review Date: 07-11-2017
This is clean, crisp and tightly wound with lots of ripe red fruit and iron minerality. There is great depth and wonderful tension in this classy and balanced wine of great pedigree.

2009 La Fleur, St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-11-2017
This is ripe warm and filled with dusty blackberry fruit. The middle is sweet, fat and lush with a long, gentle and plush finish. Delicious now.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 RP 91

2014 La Chablisienne Chablis "La Sereine"
Review Date: 07-06-2017
This super value is green, flinty and saline with mild crushed melon fruit and hints of honeyed citrus. Affordable, delicious Chablis to drink tonight.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Ouzeloy" Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-06-2017
This is dark and sappy with some toasty notes poking through the dark and crunchy fruit. Although approachable now, this is a serious expression of the great 2015 Burgundy vintage.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Bart Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 07-06-2017
A delicious and approachable bargain from a fantastic vintage. This has bright hard candy aromas of raspy cherry and raspberry fruit, smoke and tar in an upfront and bright style.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2001 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-06-2017
This opens up with alluring aromas of cedar, sage and gently ripe cherry fruit. The middle is silky, elegant and mellow with hints of currants and mineral and a sweet, soft finish. Beautiful to drink today.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2009 Les Allées de Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-06-2017
A fantastic 2nd wine filled with warm, dusty baked cherry and milk chocolate character. This is floral and herbal with a long, gentle finish. A classy, drinkable bargain.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2013 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-29-2017
A mix of French and American oak adds some interesting notes of spice, vanilla and dill to the ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors in this big and bold wine. This is rich but very balanced with all that fruit tempered by hints of toast, savory herb and tobacco on the dark, dry finish. This is as good as many Napa Cabs that sell for twice as much.

2014 Tenuta San Guido "Guidalberto" Toscana
Review Date: 06-27-2017
The 2nd wine of Sassicaia is perfect for folks who appreciate the fine elegance of a classic Super Tuscan but without the lofty price tag. This has earthy cherry fruit, a woodsy middle of dried flowers and herb and an almost Chianti-like minerality on the fine finish. The dusty berry aromas and flavors are clean, linear and packed with nuance on this precise and focused wine.

2014 d'Hanteillan Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-27-2017
This starts out with earthy scents of blackberry and raspberry. The middle is supple and smooth with smoky cherry fruit, some spice and a touch of herb. The finish is crisp and polished showing ripe tannin and plenty of length. This is a great value.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2016 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-24-2017
This is almost ethereal in texture and despite the power and richness present, grace and balance are the hallmarks. The mid-palate is deep but clean and the dark fruit, Asian spice and touch of clay that poke through are finely tuned and perfectly integrated. The long, saline finish hides plenty of ripe tannin but glides smoothly and effortlessly. This was very easy to taste.

2015 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Review Date: 06-24-2017
This has some of the dried fruit flavors you get in Alsatian Pinot Gris but is less austere and has more textural richness. There is melon, crushed citrus and hints of peach and apricot in the juicy middle. The finish is fresh and palate cleansing. Perfect for Summer BBQs
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2014 Walter Hansel "Cuvee Alyce" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-23-2017
This is typical Russian River Chardonnay with its glycerin textured middle of ripe stone fruit and pebbly finish of mineral and glazed citrus. A tropical note shows up along with baked peach lending a sensation of fatness to the long, rich body. The quality to price ratio is amazing.
Price: $38.99 Add To Cart
RP 95 VN 93

2014 Domaine Aurélien Verdet Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru "Aux Boudots"
Review Date: 06-22-2017
All three Nuit St. Georges bottlings are packed with tremendous raw material but the "Aux Boudots" appears to be the most coiled and capable of exploding with complexity. Decanting today gives you a wine that is already layered and delicious but really just hinting at its full potential.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WS 94

2016 Turnbull Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 06-22-2017
I found this Sauvignon Blanc from Napa to be very Loir-like and surprisingly refreshing. This is only a touch grassy with a middle of crushed citrus fruit and melon rind and a super refreshing finish hinting at mineral. This is a real winner for folks who like their whites lively and crisp but with plenty of fruit.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 de Chambrun, Lalande de Pomerol
Review Date: 06-20-2017
This flashy and earthy wine is filled with cocoa accents, blackberry fruit and toasty oak. The middle is soft and rich and the finish is ripe and sweet with traces of mineral poking through. Delicious and ready to drink.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2009 Branas Grand Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Another delicious and over achieving 2009. This is juicy and lush with earthy black raspberry cream throughout the substantial middle. Typical of this vintage, this can be consumed now or aged for 10 or more years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2011 Ferrer Bobet "Vinyes Velles" Priorat
Review Date: 06-17-2017
The palate is very floral easing into a granite note. The middle is full of blackberry and blueberry fruit, sweet oak, bitter chocolate and a finish hinting at slate, This is a dark and serious wine with touches of spice and wonderful balance.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 WS 91

2016 La Conseillante, Pomerol
Review Date: 06-17-2017
Crushed flowers and potpourri jump from the glass when this is inhaled. Black slate, baking chocolate, sweet mixed berries and cream are all embedded in the glycerin textured middle. The finish is thick and long with the ripe tannin barely poking through all that richness and texture.

2016 Vieux-Château-Certan, Pomerol
Review Date: 06-17-2017
This starts with effusive aromas of wild flowers and raspberries. The body is clean, tight, classy and effortless with precise layers of black cherry fruit and fine, tightly grained tannin on the graceful finish. This was beautifully balanced and easy to taste.

2015 Framingham F-Series Gewürztraminer Marlborough
Review Date: 06-14-2017
Baking spice, lychee, creme brulee and ripe peach form the flavor profile of this complex and unique wine. There are some waxy tropical notes in the middle where just a hint of sweetness seems to poke through all that richness but the long finish of bitter pith maintains the intensity and focus.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Mission Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-14-2017
Dark chocolate, cherry, smoke, char and tons of mineral characterize this precise, fine powerhouse. This has everything in harmony from the beguiling aromatics, to the fresh and sweet middle and the finish of polished tannin. Exact and weightless.

2012 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-09-2017
The third wine of Chateau Latour is a classy, classic and affordable Pauillac to drink now or hide away for a few years. Blackberry and black currant fruit along with spice, menthol, cedar shavings and a touch of leather are present in the clean, crisp middle. This is quite approachable and already complex.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 24 per customer

2015 D'Archambeau, Graves
Review Date: 06-08-2017
2015 is a Bordeaux vintage where the quality goes right down to the most modestly priced wines. This little beauty is dark, rich, juicy and surprisingly gravely for such an affordable bottle. Easy to drink and very food friendly.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 88 - 90

2015 Domaine de Viranel "Trilogie" Cessenon Rouge
Review Date: 06-08-2017
Flowery aromas give way to flavors of dark plum and spicecake. this is ripe, lively and sweet with a fresh smooth texture and a dark and fruity finish.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château Viranel "Tradition" Saint-Chinian Rouge
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This is dark, juicy and mouth-filling with notes of spice, earth and raspberry and plum fruit. Here is a food friendly and easy to drink super bargain.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2012 Haras de Pirque "Hussonet" Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Maipo Valley
Review Date: 06-08-2017
Here is a fantastic follow up to the 2011 version of this overachiever and an amazing value. Once again this is a wine of balance with the sweet blackberry and currant fruit tempered by the fine tannins and fresh acidity. The husky aromatics give way to a firm , rich and earthy middle laced with savory herb and tobacco. The Antinori pedigree is obvious in the long, dry and detailed finish.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This is a full throttle Nenin; compact, dense and sleek with a depth of dark fruit and hints of spice trying to emerge from the solid middle. There is great raw material here but in a vintage built on precision this relative bargain steers more toward power.

2016 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This has that ethereal quality that the best Left Bank wines seem to posses in 2016. There is concentration, power and intense richness but an overall lifted and fresh character that leaves the wine feeling light and airy despite the massive raw material. The very long chalk infused finish is completely dry and refreshing. This is a masterpiece.

2016 Gloria, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-08-2017
Gloria is filled with possibility and should blossom into a beautiful super value for the appellation. Right now the wine is round, juicy and very fresh but solidly tannic on the finish.

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-08-2017
The Grand Siecle is a blend of 3 older vintages done in stainless to preserve freshness but with the older reserve wines adding great richness and complexity. This has mature but vibrant flavors of Brioche, baked apple, roasted nuts and a slight whiff of honey. The fine pin point bubbles are a result of the extended ageing before release. This is always one of the best wines in Champagne.

2015 Domaine de Viranel Alicante Bouschet "Arome Sauvage" Cessenon Rouge
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This is ripe and earthy with lots of brambly dark fruit and an array of Christmas spices on the finish (ie. clove, allspice, etc...). For those of you who have never tried 100% Alicante Bouschet, this is a great introduction.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This family owned and independent House still makes one of the best and most reliable oak aged Champagnes on the market. 3 to 4 years ageing on the lees has filled this with notes of caramel, toast, ripe apricot and touches of oak in a bold and chalky style. This is big, full bodied bubbly that is filled with richness and tension.

2010 Brillette, Moulis
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This is dark and generous with black cherry fruit, vanilla and toast layered through the firm middle. The sleek, sweet finish has hints of clay, touches of mineral and plenty of tannin. Shows the power of the vintage so decant.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2012 Plaisance "Cuvee Alix" Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This is soft, creamy and plush with a gentle warmth to the dark fruit, savory herb and tobacco filled middle. This soft and delicious value is ready to drink now.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This is clean and racy with a dark core of blackberry fruit, iron and cocoa. There is a hard candy punch to the sweet and primary fruit flavors before the intensity of the super mineral finish takes over. This is classic, steely and easily of 2nd Growth quality.

2016 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-06-2017
The most opulent of the First Growths in 2016 has an almost flamboyant fruit profile but stays firm, dry, powerful and super fresh on the finish. This has a strong middle of blackberry and raspberry cream, lots of mineral and a long, sweet finish of finely integrated tannin. This was easy to taste and already delicious.

2016 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 06-03-2017
This is clean and racy with a dark core of blackberry fruit, iron and cocoa. There is a hard candy punch to the sweet and primary fruit flavors before the intensity of the super mineral finish takes over. This is classic, steely and easily of 2nd Growth quality.

2016 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 06-02-2017
This is full, rich and almost extravagant but held in check by the integration of powerful structure, wonderful proportion and a finish of fine, ripe tannin. From an appellation that was a roaring success in 2016 this is a relative bargain.

2016 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-02-2017
Underneath the creamy core of red and black fruit there is a strong tannic presence and very good length. This seems a bit muscular for Phelan but the notes of savory herb, tobacco and flowers already add complexity to the rich mid-palate. This will be an excellent wine when released.

2016 Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-01-2017
The freshness and integrated acidity of the 2016 vintage keeps this huge wine from being over the top but there is nothing shy about the levels of fruit, extract and alcohol. This is a hugely rich and heady wine with mouth-filling volumes of buoyant fruit, a lavish texture and intense limestone minerality on the finish.

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