Staff Favorites - Scott Beckerley

Scott Beckerley
Scott Beckerley  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I wear a number of “hats,” so to speak (covers my bald head well). I am an assistant manager at the SF store. I also manage the SF tasting bar and work sales as well. Working the sales floor allows me to explore different vineyards and regions. Luckily, there are opportunities at K&L to bounce around a lot. I’ve developed a preference for wines that are drier, more tart and more complex. Fruit bombs are not my thing like they were when I was, ahem, younger. I definitely prefer more terrior and wines that are “earthy,” particularly with some age on them. My advice? Trust yourself and try to keep track of what you have had that you like. Don’t let anyone tell you what you are supposed to like. Everyone has a different palate and that’s what makes this business interesting.


Reviews

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2016 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 05-18-2018
The bargain White Burgundies just keep on coming! Though this Macon reflects the richness of the 2016 vintage, it still retains the bright green apple and limestone indicative of this producer. The old vine fruit also adds some golden apple/caramel richness and depth. Generous minerality on the finish keeps things bright!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2010 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
Rich and creamy nose! On the palate, lively acidity and an (overall) clean character with lemon curd, baked apple and citrus flavors.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

1999 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
This is a very unique bottling that is perfect both for the adventurous and also for those of you who love to pair bubbles with certain cuisine. It has a very intense truffle nose with roasted nuts. Very nutty on the palate with fino sherry flavors and mushroom earthiness. The surprise is the crisp and crunchy acidity on the finish. The bugger screams out for pate, Bleu cheese or a light steak done in brown butter and mushrooms. Unique and yummy!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne (2004)
Review Date: 05-08-2018
Although this is not labelled as vintage, it 100% 2004 juice. Citrus, almond and pine nut scents are dominant, followed by fragrant oak notes. On the palate, a touch of honey, more toasted nuts, apples and citrus. A great follow up to the previous 1999/2002 blend. Completely different than that one but, in my opinion, more lovable for the added elegance.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
This lovely Brut Rose has a rose petal and bright cherry nose. It is clean on the palate with bright raspberry and Bing cherry fruit. Very long finish with lingering acidity and minerality.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

Alfred Gratien "Cuvée Paradis" Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
Simply delicious! Orange marmalade on the nose with white flowers and bright raspberry fruit. Very nice acidity on the palate with oranges and a touch of bing cherry and quince. Very balanced and complex. A new favorite for me!

Alfred Gratien Brut Classique Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
I have not had the pleasure to taste the champagnes of Alfred Gratien in many, many, years and it is great to become reacquainted. This wonderful "Classique" has white stone fruits and fresh pastry dough on the nose. In the mouth, starts out rich, with pear and cream cake flavors, and finishes clean with light minerality. Very pleasing and delicious!

2008 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
For the second time within a year, I have tasted this great little bargain of a 2008 vintage Brut. It has a bright, clean, limestone and nectarine nose due to the high percentage of chardonnay. Granny Smith apple and Anjou pear on the palate, with a very long finish that has chalk and minerals. Clean and crisp!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2006 Ruinart "Dom Ruinart" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 04-27-2018
I had the great fortune to try this excellent Blanc de Blanc two nights ago. It has a beautiful stone fruit nose with subtle citrus and spice notes. On the palate, nectarine, lemon curd, cream and peach. The great surprise for this particular bottling is the bright acidity on the finish. Many other 2006 Blanc de Blanc that I have tried tend towards golden fruits and caramel. This very elegant edition of Dom Ruinart lovely and balanced. I daresay it is even a bargain!
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 04-26-2018
This is classic Laurent-Perrier style. Nutty notes on nose with chalky notes. On the palate,anjou pear and yellow apple fruit, lemon notes and clean, fresh minerality on the finish. A clean, classic stlye! A blend of 50% chardonnay, 15% pinot meunier and 35% pinot noir. A pleasing 10.7 grams per litre of dosage, though it tastes more like 7 or 8 grams.

2016 Covenant Wines "Mensch" Lodi Zinfandel (Kosher for Passover)
Review Date: 03-16-2018
This classic Lodi zinfandel is chock full of black cherries, cocoa and a hint of boysenberry fruit. Rich, without being too dense. Nice bit of rosemary and anise on the finish. Like our other "Mensch" selection, the Roussanne, this one will remind you that there are fine, quality crafted, Kosher wines out there!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2016 Covenant Wines "Mensch" Lodi Roussanne (Kosher for Passover)
Review Date: 03-16-2018
This is a lovely, classically styled Roussanne with white flowers, honey and almonds on the nose. On the palate, stone fruits and crisp acidity. Lush mid-palate. Simply delicious!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru "Les Pruliers"
Review Date: 03-03-2018
Another 2015 red Burgundy with a pretty nose, which seems to be the trademark of this vintage. Dark red fruited nose with cocoa and a hint of smokiness. Fleshier on the palate with boysenberry and black currant fruit. Generous minerality on the finish, which lingers. Tempting to drink now, with a bit of decanting, but, it will also shine over at least the next decade.

2015 Albert Bichot "Secret de Famille" Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 03-03-2018
A deep, earthy nose on this one! Add bright, spicy fruit and just a little pepper and you have a very memorable wine. On the palate, medium weight with more red than black fruit, and a long, lingering finish that has some clean clay notes. Another great one at a wonderful price!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Danjean-Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge "Chaume Ronde"
Review Date: 03-03-2018
Another little gem in our lineup of bargains this month. It starts with a deep, dark nose of rich fruit and tobacco. On the palate, medium to full weight, with dark cherry fruit and a clean finish that has a good amount of chalky acidity. Excellent!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Les Frères Perroud "Amethyste" Brouilly
Review Date: 03-03-2018
Such a pretty nose on this one! Fragrant, dark raspberries, violets and fresh turned earth. Richer on the palate, with boysenberry, black cherry and more earth. Plump and rich, but, not sweet. As noted in other reviews, it can be a good choice for cellaring and at this price point, why not buy some to enjoy now and some to enjoy later?
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 VN 90

2015 Domaine de Courcel Pommard "Les Vaumuriens"
Review Date: 03-02-2018
This dense beauty has a brambly nose of dark red and black fruits, graphite and tobacco. On the palate, bright boysenberry and currants with beautiful minerality and subtle tobacco notes. The finish is extremely long, dry and tannic. If you want to drink it now, decant it for a couple of hours. Otherwise, put it into your cellar and let it age, which it will do beautifully. One of the best red Burgundies that I have tasted in a while. Worth every penny!

2016 Kingston Family Vineyards "Tobiano" Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 02-13-2018
This lovely Pinot Noir stopped me in my tracks with its lovely, candied cherry nose and spice. Light to medium bodied, with bright cherry fruit, a small bit of cranberry and quite generous minerality. Super solid and a real pleasure!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Benmarco Malbec Uco Valley
Review Date: 02-13-2018
We have been carrying this label for quite a while now and it has always been one of those reliable "go to" wines that pretty much everyone likes. Lush nose of boysenberry and blackberry, with a slight herbal note. Also lush and full on the palate with dark berry and black cherry fruit. Nice, clean, mineral laden finish that is a surprise. I have come to expect nothing less from Susana Balbo. Both this series and her own "Susana Balbo" line have always been outstanding.

2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 02-13-2018
Our staff just tasting this little gem today and it is both classical and elegant. Classical in that it has that rich, quite extracted, deep red fruit that you expect from Argentinian Malbec and yet, there are some savory notes and a fairly good dose of minerality and spice on the finish. This rounds out the character better than most and at this price, it is an unexpected treat.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
DC 90 WS 90

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This earthy, leesy 100% Pinot Meunier is everything that I love about the varietal. Rich, yellow fruits, hint of mushroom and baked caramel. The difference between this one and most others is that it has a clean finish with a nice hint of minerality. Lovely! Vive la difference!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Charles de Cazanove Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Our newest Brut Nature is a classic, clean, citrus beauty with elements of cream and key lime. Refreshing and balanced with the acidity expected from a Brut Nature but, it is not overplayed. Clean, fresh, vibrant AND complex. A pleasure to have on our shelves!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2011 Charles de Cazanove Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
I tasted this new release from Charles de Cazanove this morning (1/26) and it is splendid! White fruits (particularly banana) and guava on the nose. On the palate, a bit deeper with dry, red fruits and oranges. It is quite dry, but, like the Brut Nature, not overly so. Very balanced and elegant and satisfying!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Charles de Cazanove "Pinot Sauvage" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
This is part of a trio of new releases from Charles de Cazanove and it is a standout in our Champagne selection. Deep, dark, strawberry fruit with integrated tannin, black cherry and orange marmalade on the extremely long and lingering finish. This bubbly is super interesting and is quite unique to the lineup. This can definitely be one of those champagnes that will work with a main course of roasted pork loin or even a lean grilled steak. Enjoy!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine Dugois Vin Jaune Arbois (620ml)
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This nutty, cheesy, yeasty masterpiece has that ever interesting oxidative edge with tart lemon, roasted nut, and mineral flavors. Underlying yellow fruits and spices give complexity and pleasant nuance to the overall character. This is the best wine that I have tried in the last two weeks, bar none!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Dugois Savagnin Arbois Blanc (Sous Voile)
Review Date: 01-16-2018
I am still bowled over from tasting this wine today. An impressive nose of white stone fruits, fino sherry, almonds and rhubarb. An interesting blend of oxidation, laser acidity and underlying, delicate fruit. One of the most pleasurable white wines that I have had in months.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage
Review Date: 01-16-2018
Another example of what Syrah should REALLY taste like! Deep, blackberry fruit, hints of chalk and licorice, lush, full and complex. The finish goes on and on and on. Simply put, just a wonderful release from this producer that gives immediate gratification and pleasure.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 WS 92

2015 Ferraton Père et Fils "Les Grands Muriers" Cornas
Review Date: 01-16-2018
Wow! What a stunner this is! A nose of wet gravel and dark boysenberries. Very dark (almost black) red fruits on the palate with schist, a touch of cola, and baking spices. It is just absolutely delicious and balanced and well, FUN! This is what Syrah is supposed to be!

2016 Domaine Huët "Le Haut-Lieu" Vouvray Demi-Sec
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This wine was a total shocker for me. I always prefer the Haut Lieu Sec but, this Demi-Sec is a stunner! Orange marmalade, peach, and the right hint of citrus make this wine elegantly balanced. The slight bit of honey on the finish is not cloying and actually makes it even more interesting. A perfect cellar candidate! It will be interesting to see where this one goes with some years under its belt. At this price, I daresay it is even a good value.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WS 96

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-16-2018
At first, I found this unique release to be chalky with spiced nuts (on the nose) and saline scents. Once the air hit it, yellow apple and guava came to the forefront and then, the chardonnay citrus definitely took over. Creamy, but, the lemon and spice flavors dominate in the end. To date, the most interesting release that we have had from this venerable producer and that includes the Meunier heavy releases that I love so much. Well worth the wait for us to acquire it!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2009 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-16-2018
In contrast to the zesty 2008, this newly released 2009 is essentially lush with (browned) apple butter, yellow fruits and caramel. While lush on the palate, it does have a nice, clean finish with fine acidity, Meyer lemon and nectarines. Another vintage gem from Baron Fuente!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-22-2017
Excellent bubbles at an excellent price! For those of you who like Veuve Clicquot, this effort from Ariston has ample yeast and toast but, not too much. Golden apple fruit and hints of caramel and vanilla. Great by itself or with chicken, salmon or pork. Update: 12/22/2017-As is standard with this gem, it still has that bread dough, yeast and toast quality but, this latest version has a nice hint of zippy acidity, minerals, and lemon curd. Also, still retains that caramel and vanilla bean background. Buy some to drink and some to lay down for a year or so. The caramel comes out even more as it ages!
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2004 Krug Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-16-2017
Next to the legendary 2002 vintage Krug, this 2004 is also a star. Very, very, bright with generous acidity that combines with white stone fruit and almond flavors. It still retains the elegant mousse and brioche of classic vintage Krug, but, the acidity is the star player here. Super fresh, and clean, and bracing. This bottling has the potential of being the star of your cellar and may even overshadow the 2002 eventually. If you prefer to drink it without cellar time, give it a few minutes to air in your glass so that the glorious texture has a chance to come out and say "hi". The 2004 is a classic and will be remembered as being one of Krug's best!

Pol Roger "White Foil - Extra Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-30-2017
This little beauty has a base wine that is at least three years old and vintage reserve stock that is generally 8-10 years old. It has a creamy nose of ripe, yellow fruits and lemon meringue. Initially, rich on the palate, with golden apple, honeycomb and nectarine flavors. A nice, lingering finish that is clean and oak free. It spends 48 months on the lees and is composed of 1/3 each of the three primary Champagne varietals. Just lovely!

2016 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 11-17-2017
Classic Chablis at an great price! Who would have guessed you would see those tw words in a sentence? Classic, with bright acidity and lemon/lime flavors, minerals and a bit of chalk. From older vines, so there is a hint of riper fruit peeking out between start and finish. Green melon, limestone and apple dominate the overall character and there is also a soft, though lingering finish.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena
Review Date: 11-17-2017
A super bargain from Spain with dark cherry flavors, supple tannin and just a hint of mocha. Nice acidity on the finish to brighten things up!
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 08-29-2017
This standard bearer of Champagne Michel Arnould is both high quality and a fine value. The Pinot Noir dominant blend is redolent with deep cherry fruit, toasted nuts and fine acidity. It could err on the side of big and bold but, it stops just short and offers up balance and interesting character. A great bubbly to drink on its own or to pair with fowl, pork or even lighter beef dishes.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2015 Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 08-15-2017
Very pretty rose petal and bright cherry nose. Starts out spicy on the palate and fleshes out with ripe strawberry and dark, black cherry fruit. Background notes of baking spices and white pepper with a nice, finely acidic finish. Really, just a lovely, lovely Pinot Noir!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JH 95 JS 95

2007 Shavnabada Monastery Rkatsiteli Kakheti Republic of Georgia (Qvevri)
Review Date: 08-15-2017
Searching for unusual? This should be your very first stop! It is aged in clay and buried for 9 years at the front of the Monastery! This wine is truly orange! It has a very viscous appearance, with a nose of pine resin, caraway seed and dried orange peel. On the palate, dry Fino sherry, roasted nuts and bitter orange. Loads of tannin! I am completely lost as to what to pair this with but, wine geeks rejoice over the uniqueness and oddity of this bottling! I guarantee that you will stand out at any function or tasting that you bring it to.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2006 Bollinger Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2017
This superb Rose from Bollinger will not be arriving until this Fall but, I had the opportunity to preview it today, 8 August. It has a super interesting nose of bright strawberry, orange peel and Fino sherry. On the palate, follow-up strawberry, blood orange and almond flavors. Very dry, with fine acidity and very elegant balance. Very bright for a 2006 vintage. Not to highlight the price too much but, this one is exceptional at this level of pricing!
Price: $119.00 Add To Cart
DC 94 JG 92

2016 Warwick "First Lady" Pinotage Rosé Stellenbosch
Review Date: 06-27-2017
As in Monty Python, "now for something completely different". This highly unusual rose has a raspberry and tarragon nose. Bright red fruits and capers on the palate with just a slight note of honey at the back of the palate. Definitely a food wine. Smoked salmon should be a natural for this selection. It is like Robert Smith of The Cure. A bit strange but, endearing nonetheless in its character.
Price: Hidden View Price

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This probably my favorite of all of the Fallet-Dart Champagnes that we have been stocking. A more Chardonnay-driven release, this formidable 2008 is dry but, retains the houses' overall rich style. Minerals, green apple and a hint of anise on the nose. On the palate, hints of golden apple, cream and caramel with lively acidity and elegant balance. A 2008 vintage at this price and quality is like seeing a winged unicorn!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This Champagne is crazy good! Crazy because its primary fermentation is 1/2 done in barrel and crazy because the 1/2 of the wine is aged in magnum at 1/2 pressure (3 fathoms) and then disgorged and blended in. Two hundred and fifty-thousand magnums hand-disgorged and tested for cork taint as the mags are aged on the cork, not crown cap. Who does this?! The Special Cuvée is bright and lively on the initial taste but, fleshes out and the trademark Bollinger golden fruits and caramel come into play. Super, super long finish! Still a family-owned Champagne house!

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Laurent Perrier has long been a favorite of mine due to its clean, lovely character and combination of quality and value. This new (coming in September) La Cuvee replaces the previous NV Brut. It has a tad more chardonnay and an increased sur lie aging of six months. The result? Even BETTER quality than it previously had! Beautiful nose of saline, cream and lemon meringue. Increased weight on the mid-palate with stone fruits and peachy goodness. Long, lingering finish with key lime, chalk, minerals and nectarine. These is really not much more to ask from this champagne!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 91

2007 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2017
As they said on Monty Python, "and now for something completely different!" This latest release of Grande Annee is as different from the 2005 vintage as can be. Whereas the 2005 is "classic" Bollinger with loads of creaminess, well-rounded oak and toasty notes, the 2007 is restrained with crystal clear acidity. Although dosed higher at 7g/l (the 2005 is 6g/l) this release comes off brighter. The 2007 has a peach and stone fruit character and white floral nose. A long finish with lemon/lime notes in the background and that Bollinger creme caramel. Bollinger has given us the best of two completely different styles with the 2005 and the 2007 siblings.

2013 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-13-2017
I tasted this at our weekly Staff Tasting on Tuesday, the 9th of May. I have always been a fan of Smith-Haut-Lafitte, both the red and the white but, this 2013 vintage Blanc is simply outstanding. It has the Smith-Haut-Lafitte cleanliness but, has a quite rich center palate with nectarine, melon and tart lime flavors. A very nice, lingering finish. This vintage for this wine is just lovely! Do not be afraid to stick it the cellar for a few years...it should age beautifully!

2015 Banshee Mendocino County Carignane
Review Date: 04-06-2017
California Carignane? Really? Unblended?! Well, this super affordable, mind blowing version is just the finest domestic example I have ever had. Beautiful depth, with red plum, cola, and clean spices. A great pairing for so many different foods from chicken to game bird to light beef. If you are looking for something unique and delicious, this is it!
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

2014 Provenance Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-06-2017
This wonderful newly released 2014 is all about the balance. Lovely, dark berry fruit with nicely done background spice and a touch of minerality. Lush, but very balanced with a lingering, spicy finish to keep everything interesting. A wonderful value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2013 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-07-2017
I love the fact that Joseph Swan, after all these years, still produces such textbook "Swan style" pinot noir. I have had vintages going back to the mid-80's and these newer releases or no less interesting or unique. The Trenton is darker and deeper than is usual for Swan and this offering has a deep, red fruit nose with cinnamon and spicebox. On the palate black cherry, cola and more cinnamon. Great fruit and balance! Love it.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Lovely lemon meringue nose with baked apples and caramel. Initially, a note of bright acidity in the mouth that segues into toasted nuts, ripe apples, yellow pears and butterscotch. The initial acidity brightens things up a bit and it finishes fleshy and rich and creamy. A great bargain at 35 dollars! Stand well alone or will work well with many main course dishes.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

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