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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2012 Nelles "Blue Label" Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) Ahr
Review Date: 05-25-2017
This is rich and ripe with smoky black cherry fruit, a touch of oak and slate like minerality on the long finish. The wine is very textural, warm and Burgundian in personality yet with clean and precise lines that are uniquely German. Highly recommended for any Pinot lover.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Puy-Blanquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-25-2017
At the Moueix tasting April 6th this super affordable wine went up against the big guns from this portfolio and absolutely held its own. This is sweet, fruity and oh so smooth with raspberry and cherry flavor in spades. The dark and creamy middle has wonderful freshness and the finish has the perfect amount of grip. This is one of the great values of the appellation.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2016 Croix de Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-24-2017
This is thick, rich and creamy with fat and ripe berry fruit flavors and a mouth coating texture. The same tension and sense of elegance present in the first wine is on display here imparting a wonderful freshness and balance.

2015 Rosi Schuster Rotberger (Zweigelt) Burgenland
Review Date: 05-24-2017
This is somewhat "meaty" and filled with sweet red fruits and ripe berries. Here is a dark and complex bottle that is easy to drink and super food friendly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Meinklang Zweigelt Burgenland (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
This has a brambly character that reminds me of Carignane from the Southern Rhone. The middle is ripe, crunchy and filled with smoky granite laced red and blue fruit. There is tons of personality in this dark, snappy and crisp wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-20-2017
Here is a fantastic wine that shows the quality, freshness and precision of the vintage. This big wine is almost black in color with a deep chiseled nose of granite and endless red and black fruit. The middle is thick, full and completely effortless and fine, integrated tannins sneak in on the finish. This is a roaring success.

2016 Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 05-20-2017
This is silky, sweet, seamless and pure with great balance between the opulent fruit, elegant middle and satin finish. Flowery scents give way to flavors and aromas of dark plum, blackberry, cherry liqueur and baking chocolate that stay precise and articulated. More voluptuous than Chateau Margaux and my favorite of the appellation

2014 Elephant Hill Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 05-19-2017
Here is a super complex yet elegant Syrah that sells for a song. This has spicy blue and black fruits along with hints of red meat, pepper, iron and traces of iodine. Despite the warm and generous mid-palate the long finish is sweet, clean and crisp showing more traces of iron and pepper.

2016 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-19-2017
This is surprisingly bright and balanced with crisp and effortless texture to the substantial body. Black cherry, dark plum, cola and damp clay are present in this structured, clean and fresh wine.

2016 Beychevelle, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-19-2017
**+ This huge wine has impressive heft and weight but stays light on its feet due to the finely tuned and fresh finish. Tons of smoky, spiced blackberries ooze through the thick middle but never overwhelm the classy lines.

2016 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 05-19-2017
This is dark, sleek and grapy with a clean, fresh body and a strong finish. Already complex and should flesh out nicely. A great value for the appellation.

2016 Marquis d'Alesme, Margaux
Review Date: 05-11-2017
The aromas are of sweet flowers and raspberry cream with cedar shavings. The middle is creamy, rich and very fresh with a long finish of very fine grip. This is an elegant bargain with wonderful depth of flavor, great texture and fantastic purity.

2016 Lalande-Borie, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-10-2017
This is a real winner with an aromatic profile of plumb, juicy fruit, a rich but supple texture and very sweet tannins. There is real richness to the blueberry, blackberry and currant fruit and great tension from beginning to end on this plush and balanced bargain.

2014 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-10-2017
This is supple, rich and red fruited with scents of cedar, forest floor, mint and oak. There is good weight and ripeness to the black cherry fruit in this elegant, gentle and round wine which finishes with a fresh walnut note. This is tasty and already complex.

2016 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-10-2017
This is very lively and clean with crunchy red fruit in spades and a touch of spice. There is a hard candy sweetness to the cherry and berry flavors and a high acid freshness right through the middle in to the somewhat strict finish of fine tannin.

2016 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-10-2017
This powerful yet polished and beguiling wine is the best from this property in a long time. Raspberry, cherry and currant fruit form a creamy texture that glides across the gentle, rounded tannins in this sleek dark and packed wine. Hints of tobacco, spice and cocoa poke through the middle of effortless balance. Here the muscle is wearing cashmere.

2016 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 05-10-2017
With many of the attributes of Chateau Palmer but in a more approachable style this is a fabulous 2nd wine for the vintage. There are flavors and aromas of black cherry, cocoa, spice and crushed flowers in the deep, sweet but elegant mid-palate. 12% Petit Verdot impart strong tannin to the finish but this fresh, fine wine is balanced and easy to taste.

2016 La Tour Carnet, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-05-2017
Big, dark and brooding yet with great tension and lift to the black currant and blackberry fruit. There is a touch of sweet, blue fruit in the middle and some intense minerality to the deep, chalky tannins on the finish. This is a powerful value for the cellar.

2016 Les Grands Chenes, Médoc
Review Date: 05-05-2017
One of the bargains of the vintage and an amazing value. This hearty wine has bold fruit and a chewy texture that deftly matches the richness to the strong tannins. Perhaps a bit brash today but should mellow nicely by the time its released. A " must buy" for all bargain hunters.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-04-2017
The 2016 Capbern is a big, firm wine with good sweetness to the crisp black fruit, mint and spice infused mid-palate. There is an ease in the way the middle depth flows into the finish of dry but ripe tannins. This is an amazing value and will cellar well.

2015 Bedrock Wine Company "Old Vine" California Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-04-2017
The 2015 version of the "Old Vines" is again, firm, dry and focused although a bit bigger and broader than the 2014. Cherries, raspberries, spice, licorice and dried flowers are spread through the mid-palate. A bit of brambly blackberry and subtle pepper shows up on the finish. This is a serious value fashioned from heritage vines.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 RP 90

2016 Fombrauge, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-04-2017
I expect this to once again be one of the great values in Saint Emilion. This is filled with toasty cocoa Merlot richness in the plush middle. There is a nice chalky tension to all the chocolate infused dark fruits and the overall freshness keeps this ample wine reserved and precise. The substantial tannins are buried for now but provide excellent grip.

2016 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 05-03-2017
The best this property has ever achieved and possibly THE value of the appellation. This is thick and full with a powerful presence and a long, fine structure. It is flowery, sweet, smooth and the picture of elegance with the violets, cherries and boysenberries blending effortlessly on the gentle finish.

2016 d'Armailhac, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-03-2017
We tasted this on 3 separate occasions the first week of April and it never failed to impress. This shares some of the opulence of the Mouton with its big, velvety and creamy middle of dark mineral laced fruit. Despite the richness the structure is bold and classy right down to the iron tinged finish of ripe and easy tannin. This is a great success.

2005 Three Dog Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-03-2017
Here is a delicious and well made Cabernet caught somewhere between youth and middle age that is drinking perfectly right now. This is gently earthy but with lots of dusty plum and baked cherry fruit along with a sprinkle of sage and anise on the leather tinged finish. There is good sweetness here and a gentle burnished quality to the plump, round middle. This is very easy to drink.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Coutet, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-29-2017
Tasted at the Sauternes U.G.C. at Chateau La Lagune. This has plenty of tropical as well as stone fruit flavors along with mandarin and crushed citrus. Tasted alongside its peers this showed a freshness and lift that made it stand out and in addition to the complexity the finish is oh so clean.

2016 Climens, Barsac
Review Date: 04-29-2017
The " d'Yquem of Barsac" was able to harvest under ideal conditions and may well produce the wine of the vintage. The final wine had yet to be assembled when we visited the first week in April but after tasting close to a dozen separate barrels the quality is obvious. Sample after sample showed a saline quality with aromas and flavors of acacia, honey chamomile, lavender, spice, limestone and bright fresh tropical fruit. This will be stunning.

2016 Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-29-2017
Tasted the first week in April this seemed cleaner and more precise than many of its peers with an acid freshness that lifts the finish. The tropical flavors are intense more than flamboyant and there is a linear quality that speaks of great potential.

2014 Deyrem Valentin, Margaux
Review Date: 04-27-2017
Here is an elegant value from an appellation not known for bargains. This fresh, clean and aromatic wine is red fruited and has a fine, persistent finish.

2015 Domaine de Begrolles Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine sur Lie
Review Date: 04-27-2017
None of us drink enough Muscadet. This is lively, fresh and has a saline finish that quenches your thirst like nothing else. This affordable bottle is perfect for washing down all sorts of fare but especially light cheeses and shellfish. it is also a perfect party sipper.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clarke (Baron de Rothschild), Listrac
Review Date: 04-27-2017
The Rothschilds of Lafite have been continually improving this property since 1973 and the quality has soared. This is tight, clean, dark and sweet with classy lines and good intensity. By the time this is released it should have "plumped up' and be its usual hearty and chewy self but I suspect this will always one of the raciest wines from this property.

2016 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 04-26-2017
This is more lifted and fresher than usual for this property with lively red fruit flavors along side the more expected chocolate and mocha. The middle is deep and rich with a creamy texture that runs straight into the big, grainy tannins on the powerful finish. This is a lot of wine for the money very much in the Angelus style.

2016 Mauvesin Barton, Moulis
Review Date: 04-26-2017
The folks at Leoville Barton are doing great things at this property. There is a hard candy brightness to the crisp red fruited entry in this surprisingly forward gem. The finish really tightens up with a firm tannic grip but overall there is more freshness than rusticity. By the time this is released it should have mellowed into a beauty.

2016 Clos de Bouard, Montagne St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-25-2017
This new venture from the folks at Chateau Angelus would put many Grand Cru Saint-Emilions to shame. This dark wine is rich and sweet with cocoa, black raspberry and dark cherry fruit and a powerful tannic strike on the finish. Lots of bang for the buck here.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Haut-Brisson, St-Émilion
Review Date: 04-25-2017
One of the great bargains for the appellation and a killer wine in its own right. This is dark and serious with layers of sweet blueberry fruit, limestone shadings and gravely grip on the finish, A complete and easy to like wine.

2016 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-25-2017
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.

2010 Lamothe-Bergeron, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-21-2017
4 years of bottle age have really mellowed this once big and hearty wine which is produced under the direction of Chateau Angelus. This is toasty with an array of black fruits and a smooth and mellow middle for easy drinking. This slightly modern but delicious wine will sell out quickly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

2010 Bel-Orme Tronquoy de Lalande, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-21-2017
This easy to like bottle shows the quality of the vintage at an easy to digest price. Husky black cherry fruit, earth, mineral and light smoke fill the slightly rustic middle yet there is good freshness and a fine chalky grip to the finish. Decant and enjoy.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2010 Joanin Bécot, Côtes de Castillon (special label)
Review Date: 04-21-2017
This killer value has creamy cherry, vanilla, cocoa and oak flavors and aromas in a silky and easy to drink style. The mid-palate is smooth and fresh and finishes with very fine tannins. The vanilla cream flavored 2016 is lush with plenty of structure and should be another super value.

2010 Clarke Rothschild, Listrac
Review Date: 04-21-2017
The folks at Lafite have been improving this property since 1973 and quality is soaring. This is dark and chewy with flavors of blackberry, huckleberry and touches of earth and mineral. The fat core of sweet dark fruit ends with ripe, integrated tannins in this hearty bottle. Also, do not miss the clean, sweet and structured 2016 vintage of this wine as it shows great potential.

2010 Siaurac, Lalande de Pomerol
Review Date: 04-21-2017
A new property for us here at K&L and what a find. This is quite elegant with ripe black cherry, espresso roast, cassis and dark plum in a satin textured middle that ends with a finish of mineral and talc. Here we have a marriage of fruit, structure and finesse. The rich, chocolaty 2016 with its huge fruit held in place by fine, chalky tannins may end up being even better.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

2016 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-21-2017
Tasted the first week of April. This has inviting aromas of flowers and oak that lead to a deep and sweet middle of crushed dark fruit. The richness is tempered by the long finish of fine tannin which lends a sense elegance to this fruity wine. This vintage of Beaumont is packed.

2016 Senejac, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-20-2017
Here is one of the great bargains of the fantastic 2016 Bordeaux vintage. This is tight, firm and classy with a strong core of sweet fruit and a very clean finish. there is amazing persistence to the finish of this seriously good bottle.

2016 Tour St-Christophe, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-20-2017
Another success for this bargain priced property that is pushing quality to new levels vintage after vintage. There is wonderful purity to the vanilla laced blueberry fruited middle that is layered and expressive. Tons of mineral character here with just the right amount of tannin. This barrel sample was ready to take home and drink.

2016 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Tasted the first week of April. This has lively and lifted aromas of ripe red fruits that are an interesting counterpoint to the deep and rich middle. The aromas are inviting and the middle fruit ripe and fresh but the tight finish of powerful tannins show this to be a serious wine and a great value.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Tasted from barrel the first week of April. This is big and rich with a wonderful dry finish that accents the firm tannins. This is an affordable Old School Bordeaux that packs a punch and over delivers.

2014 Château Viella Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Blanc Sec
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Here is a palate cleansing and gulpable white that is easy on the wallet. This has aromas and flavors of almond, apricot and orange rind that are smooth, lively and surprisingly layered and complex.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Côte de Nuits-Villages "Le Vaucrain"
Review Date: 04-13-2017
This is a very pretty wine with good length to the finish and nice lift to the aromatics. Quite earthy but wonderfully transparent and beautifully fresh.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Pauillac for 25 bucks has become almost non existent but this stays true to the appellation at a great entry level price. This is surprisingly red fruited with berries, plums and good mid-palate density and a creamy mouth feel. The smooth, mineral laced finish makes this very easy to drink young.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 VN 90

2015 Pessac-Léognan de Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 04-13-2017
This rarely seen third wine of Chateau Haut-Bailly will surprise you with its depth and power. Punching way above its third wine stature, this is dark, deep and, although a bit primary at this point still quite hearty. The crunchy and tongue staining black currant fruit barely hides the rough and tumble tannins so until this settles down best to match to grilled meats. Decanting suggested.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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