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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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.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2014 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-16-2017
I tasted this newly released 2014 two weeks ago at our weekly staff tasting and it was right up my alley....not a big, jammy style but, one with balancing acidity and spice and tobacco flavors. It does start off ripe and juicy on the palate, but, it is a flavorful, red fruit juiciness that has peppery spice and raspberry/boysenberry fruit. This makes it super versatile for both drinking on its own and enjoying with pretty much everything from grilled meats to barbecue. Having had experience with older bottlings from Limerick Lane, it will also age very, very well for at least 4-5 years.

2014 La Conseillante, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-13-2017
For some reason, I always feel just a little bit sorry for La Conseillante. It seems to get overlooked by our customers in the rush to the more glam Pauillac and Margaux. However, this brilliant effort from Pomerol is, in reality, always a pleasure. This 2014 has a bright, raspberry/bing cherry nose with gobs of minerals. A bit more dense, though still not heavy, on the tongue, with slightly darker cherry fruit, boysenberries, and red plums. Long, bright, finish. Very, very, elegant. I try to get older bottlings of this for the SF store "Jewel Rack" as it ages very well. This bridesmaid usually outshines the bride!

2014 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-13-2017
On of my faves from our Staff Tasting of the 9th of May. Granted, I am a fan of Leoville Barton for its quality and value, but, this 2014 is just great! A wonderful nose that is taut with minerality and dark, red fruits. Blackberries and red plums on the palate with firm but, not too intense tannin underneath. Though delicious now, it will also be a great one to put in the cellar. All this for under $70.00!

2014 Poesia, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-13-2017
Another winner from our Staff Tasting of 9 May. Initially on the palate, big, dark fruit, with black cherries. On the full side but, has a nice, balancing undertone of coffee and cola. A solid effort that does not disappoint.

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 Bedrock Wine Company "Old Vine" California Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-05-2017
I tasted this lively, old vine zinfandel at a staff tasting on 2 May. It has wonderful acidity and tannin to balance the lushness of the old vine fruit. Blackberries, cocoa, nutmeg and spice dominate, with the acidity coming up on the lingering finish. Add the Bedrock quality and attention to detail and you have an extremely memorable wine in this particular release. Fruit for this zin comes from 80 year old vines!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 RP 90

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

2016 Banshee Mendocino County Rosé
Review Date: 04-06-2017
Normally, I pretty much just drink Rose from Provence and Sancerre. I love the acidity and brightness there. However, Banshee has produced a GREAT, and affordable dry Rose for 2016. It has a very, very pretty nose of nectarine and watermelon. So pretty, that I thought it was going to be one of these borderline fruity Rose's. I could not have been more wrong! On the palate, orange, rhubarb and really nice acidity and chalkiness. Absolutely delicious! A must try!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-06-2017
At our staff tasting of 4/4/2017, this (and three other wines) were my favorites out of about 30 selections. Super big nose of black cherry and boysenberry. On the palate, however, super structured with fine tannin and oak. Black plum, dark red fruits and the (just right) amount of earth and tobacco make this one of the best vintages of this wine that I have ever tasted.
Price: $54.99 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

2015 Idlewild "The Bird-Flora & Fauna" Mendocino Red Blend
Review Date: 03-07-2017
What an interesting wine this is! Lighter, red fruited nose with a nice whiff of minerals to it. On the palate, dark red cherry and red plum flavors. A really nice, long finish of tart red fruits and minerals. This is a great food wine because of its versatility. A super, super bargain as well! Ding, ding, ding. Winner!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 89 - 91

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

2015 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-07-2017
This neutral/new barrel oaked release from Talley has tropical yellow fruits (pineapple dominates) with a little bit of mango and lemon peel. Pair this with the overall creamy texture and you have a winner. A very nice balance of citrus and oak kick in on the finish. The oak is very balanced and adds to, rather than takes away form, the very pretty character of this release. Super versatile by itself or with food.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2010 Cune Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-07-2017
I tasted this yesterday (3/6/2017) and it was the best of both worlds. It has the savory notes and earthy spice that I expect of traditional Rioja but, the overall character also has juicy, dark red fruits, supple tannin, and an unexpected smoothness. It was opened about two hours before I tasted it. At this price, a real bargain! Will also be super versatile at meals. Pair with pork, chicken, lighter beef and hearty vegetarian dishes.

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-04-2017
I just tasted this a few minutes and boy, what two added years on the lees will do! It still has that Franck Bonville snap of acidity but, it has a wonderful, white flower nose with an underscoring lushness of white and yellow fruits with vanilla, cream and brioche notes. One of the best vintage Franck Bonville's that I have ever had. Enjoy!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-28-2017
This delicious release from Bollinger reminds me of the Bollinger's of the past. Rich and round, with generous hazelnut flavors and a long, lingering finish. Honey ed, but balanced with a good amount of chalk and a slight oxidation, which, in this case, is a really good thing! Toasty and creamy, with generous caramel mid-palate. Last, but, not least, an excellent bargain at this price! Also, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming 2005 vintage Grande Annee Brut Rose. I tried that one last night and it was a stunner!
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 94

2014 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-06-2017
Today has been a benchmark day! I am writing up TWO California Chardonnays, something I have never actually done before. This release from Mayacamas is every bit as good as a fine white Burgundy. From the opening citrus flavors to the closing background of creme fraiche and Anjou pear. A lingering finish that hints at ripe apple and honey, but, keeps them in their place so as not to overwhelm. The acidity throughout keeps it clean, focused and lively. Simply put, just wow! This should also age exceedingly well for the next 10 years. Way to go, Mayacamas Vineyards!
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart
VN 96 JS 94

2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-06-2017
This is a brilliant follow up to the wonderful 2013 vintage of this wine. Slightly riper than the 2014 but, retains the excellent Olema acidity and cleanliness. White stone fruits with just a hint of honey and apple. Citrus background with a little bit of chalkiness and (very light) background oak. Those of you who love balanced and fresh California chardonnay will rejoice with this hugely affordable effort from Olema winery.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2015 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 11-19-2016
Yet another one in our lineup of bargain Chablis! Two words that often do not go together. A nice balance of the traditional Chablis elements of acidity, chalk and citrus with added old vine texture and fruit. This one should please those of you who appreciate the crispness of Chablis and also those of you who are looking to experiment away from bigger, buttery, chardonnay.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2012 Lyeth Sonoma County Meritage
Review Date: 11-19-2016
This wonderful bargain from Lyeth is extremely versatile. At once it has deep, dark, red and black fruits, silky tannins and generous mouthfeel but, it does not come across as heavy handed due to the red fruit character that peeks through. Subtle spice and wood nuances add extra layers of interest, as well. Extremely versatile!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay
Review Date: 11-19-2016
This is consistently one of our best selling Macon's. The Charnay from Renaud has golden apple and white stone fruit scents. On the palate, apple and pear flavors are compensated amply by the citrus and minerality that takes you by surprise. A very nice, lingering finish. This latest effort from Domaine Renaud is a definite winner!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2016
The Ariston family are some of my favorite winemakers who produce some of the best small-estate champagnes that we carry. This blanc de blancs is no exception. It carries their reputation for excellent quality at an affordable price. This is a creamy, rich style of blanc de blancs with a rich mousse and lemon meringue flavors. Fleshy, without being heavy, it has a long, subtle finish of apple and pear fruit. A great way to start a party or meal!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Drappier "Signature" Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-04-2016
This unusual blend of 95% chardonnay and 5% blanc vrai (pinot blanc) has white flower notes with some muted bread dough notes on the nose. In the mouth, it is fairly rich with creamy golden apple fruit and a long, rich finish of lemon meringue. Excellent acidity and brightness, as well. A low 8 grams per liter dosage and it spends 2-3 years on the lees. All stainless steel fermentation. Update: Retasted on October 4th, 2016. This wine gets even better! Chalk is coming through even more so now and the balance is just gorgeous and the finish is even longer. The only better champagnes that I have had lately are in the $300.00-$900.00 range! Nearly perfect!
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 91 WS 91

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-03-2016
On Monday, September 12, I had the rare opportunity to taste the wines of the “the Clos.” This is an interesting blend of the 1999 and 2002 vintages with 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. The wine had a very big nose of caramel, maple leaf and sweet oak. Rich and balanced, with stone fruits and yellow apples. It retained a nice, clean finish with some toastiniess. Kudos to Fallet-Dart to following up well after the Krug Mesnil. A very hard act to follow!
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2002 Krug "Clos du Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-03-2016
On Monday, September 12, I had the rare opportunity to taste the wines of the “the Clos.” This wine had a wonderful nose of lemon meringue, toasted nuts and freshly whipped cream. On the palate, it is extremely unique with lemony zest, mandarin orange, kiwi and a little nutmeg. The finish is super, super clean with lime fruit and chalky notes. Two hours later, it was all about toasted nuts and citrus! So, very, very Krug.

1999 Billecart-Salmon "Le Clos Saint-Hilaire" Brut Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Review Date: 10-03-2016
On Monday, September 12, I had the rare opportunity to taste the wines of the “the Clos.” The journey came to what could have been a sad end—because it was all over—with the 1999 Billecart-Salmon “Le Clos Saint-Hilaire.” Not so sad to end on this note! Amazing, amazing bead that goes on forever; dark and golden hued. Fine and frothy, with elements of smoke, exotic spice and anise. Once it opened up, it becomes even more intriguing with even more spices, praline, truffle and toast. Finishes softly and elegantly. One hundred percent Pinot Noir. It is named after the patron saint of Mareuil-sur-Ay and this bottling is indeed heavenly!
Price: $399.00 Add To Cart
VN 96

2010 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-22-2016
I was able to taste this lovely last week and it is just so pretty and enticing. The first striking thing is the bright nose of raspberries and orange. It fleshes out a bit on the palate with a nice, slightly richer style texture with bright cherry fruit and surprisingly crisp minerality. Very interesting and quite refreshing!

Jean Josselin "Audace" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-06-2016
I just re-tasted this on Labor Day and it was showing extremely well. In fact, our entire staff loved it! This is a main course Brut Rose in the league of Bruno Michel and Fleury. A big style, with full and lush red fruits and savory spices and blood orange. Some smokiness and a complex finish. Will hold up to red meat and smoked game meats.
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 Amici Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 09-02-2016
Another winner from Amici! I tried this for the first time on Tuesday, 30 August and just fell in love with it. My palate runs toward acidity and citrus flavors and this beauty has that in spades. Lemon/lime, grapefruit and an wonderful minerality make this a domestic version of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Although it is does see some oak, it is very light oak and well-integrated, at that. Some tropical notes on the finish. Do NOT wait to buy it! Minuscule production.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WE 91

2014 Olema Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-02-2016
This probably the best value Pinot Noir that we have, hands down. This is a bright, spicy effort that lends itself very, very well to nearly any meal. Bright red strawberry and raspberry fruit with a hint of minerality and a very nice finish that lingers for a bit. A great pairing for fish, chicken, pork or barbecue.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Amici Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-01-2016
Wow! I never thought that I would be writing up a domestic chardonnay. That being said, this Amici chardonnay bridges that gap between oaky/buttery (not my favorite) and lean/chalky (my favorite). It starts with riper fruit, white stone fruits and apples, and moves into light toast and oak and finishes with some really nice acidity and a touch of chalkiness. Really, really nice!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 90

2004 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-23-2016
I have always been a Tondonia (and Bosconia) fan and this latest release only confirms why I love it so. The earthy, spicy, tobacco nose has everything I expect from this wine...mushrooms, savory spices and a hint of tanned leather. On the palate, it starts off with bright, red cherries and follows up with round tannins, which is a wonderful surprise. Quite supple for this wine! It still has a lingering finish and bright acidity. A simply wonderful bargain for under 40 dollars.

2007 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-23-2016
Another fine, traditional Rioja that I was able to taste right after the 2004 Vina Tondonia, which was great. This (also) traditionally styled Rioja has a beef broth nose with dark cherries and dried leaves. On the palate, dried red plums and cherries, cocoa powder and baking spices. Simply wonderful! Traditionalists, rejoice in this under-$30 bargain!

2014 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipú
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This is one of best values, and best selling malbec's ever! Juicy, dark fruits, vanilla and a very light hint of baking spices. Soft and supple, with very mild tannins. It ever scores highly with the critics!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2013 Mercedes Eguren Cabernet Sauvignon Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This is a GREAT value in Cabernet! Dark red fruits, subtle spices and even a nice hint of clean, fresh oak. The fruit is from older vines, so it is of higher quality. Very balanced and very delicious!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Jean Josselin "Alliance" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
The Alliance has a very fine bead, with hints of cream and saline. Green apples, white stone fruits and just the right amount of spice keep things interesting and very refreshing!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2010 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja
Review Date: 05-26-2016
Dark red fruits, menthol and fresh oak on the nose. Nice and grippy on the palate with deep, dark, red boysenberry fruit. This wine beautifully shows off its lush fruit with traditional elements of tannins and earthiness, which peek out nicely from the background.
Price: Hidden View Price

2006 Veuve Clicquot "La Grande Dame" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
A big surprise! Much more minerality than expected. Cream, golden apples, smoke and almonds on the nose. Big, toasty and mouth filling, though not as big as many other 2006 vintage champagnes. Fleshy mid-palate with golden fruit and dark cherries. Very clean finish. The Chardonnay dominates on the nose, while the Pinot Noir dominates on the palate. More geared toward brightness than the past few vintages.

Launois "Veuve Clemence" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
Hello, my pretty! That's because this is just what this champagne is, very, very pretty. Loads of cream, with muted citrus fruits and white stone fruits. Hints of orange and blood orange. We do not get very much of this from Launois, so don't wait to buy it. In fact, NEVER wait to buy any Launois because it comes and goes so quickly. Sell a kidney and buy some!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2008 Veuve Clicquot "Gold Label Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2016
This vintage marks the first time that VC has used oak-aged wines for this blend. In this case, five percent. The clean nose leads to rich apple and creaminess. Freshness comes through on the palate with minerals and chalk. The mid-palate retains golden/yellow fruits and toasted almonds. Intriguingly long and bright finish. The final blend is 61% pinot noir, 34% chardonnay and 5% pinot meunier. Don't miss this one!

2008 Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2016
A lovely tangerine and raspberry nose with touches of chalkiness and smoke. On the palate, tart boysenberry fruit, black cherries and additional smokiness. Very, very fresh tasting with generous minerality. One of the best VC vintage Brut Rose's that I have ever tasted!
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart

Founders Brewing Co. Porter, Michigan (12oz)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
What an awesome porter at such an affordable price! A nose of unroasted coffee beans and maple. In the mouth, more coffee with toffee and chocolate notes. Not a summer sipper, this. I would even be tempted to serve it as an after dinner beer with something made with dark, bitter, chocolate. Or, just by itself.
Price: $1.89 Add To Cart
WE 93

Mikkeller "Nelson Sauvin Brut" Bière de Champagne, Denmark (750ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
As I specialize in Champagne, this Brut Biere had a natural attraction for me. It is simply lovely with a rich and creamy character that is at once soft and hoppy. It has a very nice finish that lingers for a bit to remind of just how good it is!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Prairie Artisan Ales "Bomb" Imperial Stout, Oklahoma (354ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
The name is very applicable here, as this is, indeed, "da bomb." Not "a bomb," but "da bomb." The main flavors here are dark chocolate and toffee. It is almost, but not quite sweet. My suggestion is to have it after a meal in place of liqueur or cognac. A great way to round off a meal!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Heater Allen "Pils" Pilsner, Oregon (22oz)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
This is a rich, slightly bitter, Pils with loads of character. I am not generally a Pils fan as I prefer more stuffing in my beers, but this one sets itself apart. Loads of malt and cereal grain make it more interesting, and well, just delicious!
Price: $6.49 Add To Cart

2015 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland
Review Date: 04-05-2016
The first striking thing that comes to mind for this wine is the bright acidity. Peach and stone fruit flavors with that long finish of solid acidity. Delicious and not sweet. Will pair well with Thai food.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2006 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-14-2016
This quite rich new release from Taittinger is a very worthy follow up to the 2005. It has a lovely white stone fruit character with lightly toasted nuttiness and subdued apple flavors. Creamy and floral, with a nice bit of citrus fruit on the finish.

Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 03-10-2016
Loire buyer Eric Story has been doing his best to provide us with relatively inexpensive bubblies and in this case, he has come through. This little winner has bright red fruits, zippy acidity and a touch of minerality. Bright and refreshing. An added bonus is the tiny, tiny bubbles. Tiny bubbles, in the wine, make me happy, make me feel fine. Thank you, Don Ho!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-10-2016
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.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

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