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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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

2015 Chateau de L'Ou Chardonnay "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 09-21-2017
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

2014 Senejac, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-20-2017
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

1998 Fontesteau, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 09-20-2017
This a soft, gentle and earthy Old School bargain for lovers of mature, classic Medocs. 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

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.

2015 Motte Maucourt, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 09-14-2017
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

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

2014 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-14-2017
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.

2014 Fombrauge, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-14-2017
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.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2002 Croix de L'Espérance, Lussac St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-14-2017
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.
Price: $19.99 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 de 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

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.

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

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: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

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.

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

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

Wine Club

$10.99
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

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

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