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 Fleur de Clinet, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-05-2017
The Second wine of Chateau Clinet is deep. slick and dark with a slightly savory edge to the plum and black current fruit. This is an approachable classically styled Pomerol for not much money.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Fleur, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-05-2017
Great quality for the money in this big but balanced wine. There are still some oak notes to all the dark fruit in the middle and lots of tug on the finish to hold things together. This is big, rich and wonderfully proportioned.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2014 Medoc de Beychevelle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 10-05-2017
This red-fruited bargain is thick and smooth and will remind you of a baby Beycheville even though the fruit is not from St-Julien. This is fairly hearty and round, with tons of character but no hard edges.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 Albatreti Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 09-30-2017
An absolutely delicious wine from an elegant and balanced vintage to decant tonight or lay away. This is rich and ripe with an earthy nose of baked soil and an intense middle of ripe and savory cherry fruit in a round and approachable style.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Senejac, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-30-2017
Senejac is THE one super bargain that should be in the wine cellar of every serious collector of fine Bordeaux. Closed and powerful in youth, this amazing value always seems to blossom into a rich chewy wine of wonderful depth and flavor. Although this sub $20.00 bottle has the ability to develop for another 5+ years in a cool cellar decanting tonight will give you a hint of what to expect.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2002 Croix de L'Espérance, Lussac St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-29-2017
This delicious 12 year old from the folks at Ch. Pape-Clement is dark and deep but with no edges showing from start to finish. This darkly colored, bright and fresh wine is sweet, smooth and layered with aromas of cedar, tea and even some high quality oak peaking through the rich middle. This is a steal in mature St-Emilion from a great producer.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau de L'Ou Chardonnay "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 09-29-2017
If you lined up every $20 Chardonnay in the store this would knock the socks off of them all. This is substantial and rich but pure and refined, with slight whiffs of toast and honey before the vibrant, crisp apple flavors spread across your palate. Hints of citrus blossom and wet mineral coast along the mouthwatering finish begging for another sip. This is great stuff.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Maison Henri Boillot Meursault
Review Date: 09-29-2017
This is earthy, nutty and rich with aromas that hint at musk melon and slight toast. There is ample weight and fruity texture to the stony mid-palate and the mineral flecked finish is long and bracing.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
BH 90

2015 Domaine Huguenot "Champs Perdrix" Marsannay
Review Date: 09-29-2017
This is bright and forward with vivid raspberry fruit and spice gushing through the rich middle. The dark color and ripe flavors really showcase the warmth of the vintage.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Motte Maucourt, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This is filled with sweet and gentle baked red fruit in a soft, caressing style. The subtle finish of warm cherry seems to linger and expand on this Super Bargain.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

1999 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This soft, round and plump wine is drinking beautifully right now. The middle is gentle and plush showing hints of leather and cedar along with burnished dark fruit and the finish is soft and lingering.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Latour-Giraud Meursault 1er Cru "Genevrières"
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The aromas here are of toast, wet stone and flowers followed by a sweet glycerin textured middle of ripe fruit. Lots of fat and depth here tempered by a long, dry mineral dusted finish.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
BH 92 VN 92

2015 Domaine Huguenot Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This opens with a very pretty and floral nose of violet and dark berry cherry. There is good richness to the dark and sweet middle and the finish is substantial and long. This is easy to drink and delicious.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Hyot, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 09-28-2017
There is an overlay of toast to this spicy and juicy gem which delivers way above its price point. There is a modern touch to the gobs of dark fruit but the balancing acidity and fine tannic structure lend length and a touch of precision and proportion. This is a great food or cocktail wine to buy by the case.

2010 Gulfi "Nerosanlorè" Nero d'Avola Sicilia
Review Date: 09-28-2017
A very serious wine here: almost brooding in character but with plenty of acidity for freshness. This is an intense dark ruby with baked plum, ripe berry, soy, smoke and a volcanic mineral finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 95

2014 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin
Review Date: 09-27-2017
This masculine wine has a nose of slight barnyard followed by dark plum and wild berry fruit. This is deep, hearty and rich with with ripe tannins and a somewhat rustic character which should soften with some cellar time. There is a lot of wine here so an hour in a decanter would allow this to pare with a hearty meal tonight.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fombrauge, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Here is a flashy, rich but balanced bargain filled with flavors and aromas of cocoa, espresso, black raspberry, vanilla and oak in a big, modern style. The structure here is blanketed by masses of creamy, toasty fruit in this hard to resist youngster. From the folks at Chateau Pape Clement.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Beaune 1er Cru "Clos du Roi"
Review Date: 09-27-2017
This is a substantial yet balanced wine with hearty aromas of sweet dark fruit and just a slight whiff of oak. The middle is layered with rich fruit, spice and a hint of game where the chewy texture is lifted by fresh acidity.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-26-2017
This dark purple colored wine is filled with ripe blackberries, crunchy dark currants and hints of sweet tobacco in a bold style. From the flowery aromas through the cocoa infused tannins on the finish, this is a wine that will cellar very well.

1998 Fontesteau, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 09-26-2017
This is a soft, gentle and earthy Old School bargain for lovers of mature, classic Medoc. Aromas of ripe Cherry fruit, potting clay and hints of truffle ease in to a long finish of forest floor and mineral. 17 years old and under $20.00!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2010 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-26-2017
Sweet red and black currants and roasted earth fill the middle of this toasty and fresh wine. This is dark and substantial with a wonderful mineral expression.

2009 Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-26-2017
This is ripe and earthy with an almost sappy quality to the warm red fruit flavors. This rich and approachable wine showcases the Pessac Leognan appellation at its gravely best.

2015 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-21-2017
This is fruity, fresh and clean with a touch of char to the bright red fruit flavors. The tannins turn a touch gravely on the structured and mineral toned finish.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 - 92

2015 D'Alix, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 09-21-2017
This is plush and earthy with a touch of spice to the creamy, dark fruited middle. There is a gravely edge to the finish adding length and texture. This young and serious wine already drinks beautifully.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Folie de Chauvin, Saint-Emilion
Review Date: 09-21-2017
The 2nd wine of Chateau Chauvin is filled with berries and other red fruits and has a clean and sleek middle showing touches of limestone minerality. Subtle oak shadings add complexity to the finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2010 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 09-21-2017
This dark and punchy wine has a deep core of purple fruit that show the power of the vintage. The firm and intense middle of blackberry fruit leads to a finish of very ripe tannins that will allow further ageing although those with a decanter need wait no further.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Haut Charmes, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 09-21-2017
One of the best deals in all of Bordeaux and a Sauternes of Classified Growth quality. This is lush and lively with tons of tropical fruit and creme brulee. The mouth watering flavors of Pineapple are over the top on this outstanding value.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2016 Loyasson, Bordeaux
Review Date: 09-15-2017
This early release 2016 is filled with ripe and creamy cocoa infused cherry fruit in a smooth and enjoyable style. This is fresh, lifted and ample for easy quaffing.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bellefont-Belcier, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-14-2017
This is deep and toasty with ripe black currant fruit, espresso roast and licorice snap flavors melding together gloriously. The mid-palate is fat and textured and there is a long, mineral infused finish of roasted herb and ripe, sweet tannin. This is an outstanding bottle to drink or age.

2014 Tessendey, Fronsac
Review Date: 09-14-2017
This starts with muted aromas of clay and raspberry in a fresh and clean style. This is a great easy going and gulpable bargain for any Tuesday night.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2014 Poitevin, Médoc
Review Date: 09-14-2017
This is smooth, creamy and earthy with aromas of milk chocolate and spice to compliment all the bright dark berry fruit. Delicious now but might be better in a year.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2004 Croix de L'Esperance, Lussac St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-14-2017
This 10 year old from the folks at Ch.Pape-Clement sets a new standard for quality vs. price. This is toasty and fruity with hints of spice, leather and limestone on the finish and a burnished quality to the ample mid-palate. Drinking beautifully right now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2001 Citran, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 09-05-2017
This is fresh and delicious with wonderful lift to the array of cherry, plum and red licorice flavors. With aeration this becomes a bit burnished and darker in flavor but stays focused and bright right to the end of the mineral kissed finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Fossil Point Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-05-2017
Once again this value bottling rises well above its humble price point and provides a delicious and affordable choice for Pinot Noir lovers. This starts out with gentle earthy notes, bright cherry fruit, spice and a generous texture from the neutral oak. This is sweet and lively with very fine tannins on the finish and a lot of personality.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2014 du Retout, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-24-2017
This is dark and hearty with flavors and aromas of oak and blackberry in the earthy and substantial middle. This is a deep and flavorful wine with substantial structure and firm grip that drinks well above its price point.

2015 Busquet, Lussac St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-24-2017
Alluring aromas of ripe red plums and mineral waft from the glass when this seductive wine is poured. This is warm and caressing with delicious baked cherry fruit and a fine finish. A super value from a great vintage.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2016 Roquefort Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-24-2017
This screaming value is back in stock and better than ever. Citrus blossom, lemon verbena, melon rind and crushed grapefruit jump out of the glass as you taste. The juicy and lip smacking mineral laced finish goes on and on.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2012 Plaisance "Cuvee Alix" Côtes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-08-2017
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. Another superb winner from the folks at Chateau Pape Clement.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux 12-pack in OWC
Review Date: 08-05-2017
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 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux (1.5L)
Review Date: 08-05-2017
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.

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Ouzeloy" Marsannay
Review Date: 07-28-2017
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
BH 87 - 90

2014 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 07-28-2017
The 2014 Montrose is refined, classy and substantial with balanced structure and a depth of fruit. This is one of the best Left Bank wines of the vintage and is just beginning to reveal the complexity of red and black fruits embedded in the taut and poised body. The gloriously warm Indian summer and ideal harvest conditions are evident in every sip of this sophisticated powerhouse.

2014 Le Murmure de Larcis-Ducasse, St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-28-2017
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
VN 91

2015 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Blend Western Cape
Review Date: 07-28-2017
Syrah adds a spicy note. Mourvedre lends a meaty and brambly element and voignier lifts the whole thing up and adds some aromatic freshness. Its impossible not to like this delicious wine that is priced for any occasion.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2016 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Review Date: 07-28-2017
Even in a classic vintage like 2016 this bottling always seems a bit more generous and open than most other Sancerres. This is filled with lemon blossom, honeyed citrus, crushed melon and a mouth watering finish of talc-like mineral. A best buy for sure.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2014 Le St-Estèphe de Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 07-28-2017
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

2014 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-28-2017
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.

2004 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-28-2017
At 10 years old the 2004 vintage Bordeaux have finally turned a corner and are becoming the delicious values we always thought they would. This is lively, fresh and expressive with bright flavors of ripe cherries, baked rhubarb and red licorice crammed into the rich middle. On the finish there is earth, spice box and faint hints of leather. This is a delicious decade old bargain to drink tonight.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Reserve de Malartic, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-27-2017
The 2nd wine of Malartic Lagraviere is a flattering wine to drink while you age the Grand Vin. This is toasty and ripe with an array of red fruits in a delicious and forward style. There is lots of complexity and pedigree here for not much money.

2014 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-27-2017
This property has really stepped up their game and this might be their best release to date. The 2014 is a wine of richness and depth showing off sweet currant and black raspberry fruit, flowers, spice and a dark edge to the persistent mineral finish. This big, lively and balanced wine will age beautifully but is delicious already.

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