Staff Favorites - Clyde Beffa Jr.

Clyde Beffa Jr.
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Had K&L co-owner and main wine buyer Clyde Beffa Jr. not read an article about the gentlemanly hobby of wine collecting in the February 1971 issue of Playboy, he might still be weighing the merits of Holsteins versus Jerseys instead of Château Margaux or Haut-Bailly. Beffa owned a dairy in Tracy, California, from 1967-1973, leaving the the business to co-found K&L Liquors, as it was known back then, in 1976. Clyde started traveling to Europe in 1982 and over the years, he has worked hard to build K&L into one of the nation's go-to sources for the world's diverse wines, developing relationships with winemakers and châteaux owners the world over. Clyde's passion is surely Bordeaux, especially the fabulous wines from Pauillac and St-Julien (like Pichon-Lalande and Léoville-Barton). When he's not drinking France's legendary reds, you'll likely find Clyde indulging in Sauvignon Blanc. A fan of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and white Bordeaux, he'll also tuck into a bottle of Kiwi Sauv Blanc if there's no corkscrew around. These days you'll likely find Clyde extolling the virtues of underrated Bordeaux vintages like 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2006, or playing with his German Shepherd Sadie. Or you may see him in his vegetable garden and, once in a great while, on the golf course.


Reviews

  
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2009 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
Review Date: 01-11-2016
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc. Sexy wine. Red currant flavors. Power and elegance together. Tons of lush, decadent fruit. K&L's Ralph Sands adds, "All of the above, with a powerful strike on the palate and great freshness!"

2012 Pavillon Beauregard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 01-08-2016
A lovely deep purople hue that reveals raspberry and blackberry aromas. Spicy oak and silky tannins. The Cathiards from SHL fame own this property now. The wines are good now and will get better. 70% Merlot and 30% Cab Franc. Serve with grilled meats.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2011 Le Thil Comte Clary Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-07-2016
This property was purchased in 2012 by the Cathiard’s of Smith Haut Lafitte. This is the last vintage of Le Thil white as they pulled up all the vines and planted cabernet. It has a melony aroma and flavor-some peaches too. A perfectly mature white that drinks great right now. 90-93 WS.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99
JS 90

2013 Cantelys Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-07-2016
This property is owned by the Cathiard’s of Smith Haut Lafitte and they are very close to that famous property. Cantely’s is next door to Smith and the 2013 is made in the style of Smith-without as much richness. It has a touch of oak on the nose and superb acid balance on the palate with some melon undertones. Spicy and lively.

2013 Carbonnieux Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-07-2016
Fabulous, complete wine with an elegant slightly oaky, melony ,and citric hints. Pure and mouthfilling white in perfect balance. So good—great depth of flavor and sweetness. I love it. 75% SBl/25% Semillon. 93-94 JS.

2013 Brown Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-07-2016
50% SBl and 50% Semillon. Slightly oaky aromas that follow to the palate with layers of citrus flavors. Some toasty oak nuamces also with fine acid balance. Extremely well-made. These guys make good value red and white.93WS.

2013 Clos Marsalette Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-07-2016
In the Stephan Von Neipperg stable of wines, this wine is quite exotic. Jacques thought it reminded him of a Meursault. Very perfumey oaky aromas and flavor-rich and round but with the great 2013 acidity. Lush wine but perfectly balanced. Perfect with a lobster dish. Great white Bordeaux intro to California Sauvignon drinkers. 91WS

2013 Mission St. Vincent Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 01-07-2016
Very delicate on the nose. Typical 2013 with very brisk citrus acidity and texture. Lemony and very well balanced. Easy to drink-party wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99
WE 90

2011 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 12-29-2015
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. In the running for wine of the vintage from the Médoc. Black color and aromas of blackberries and vanilla oak. Some orange peel undertones. Lots going on here. Seamless wine.

2003 Rayne Vigneau, Sauternes
Review Date: 12-29-2015
Tastes like licorice. Spicy and very well-made. This wine seems to have enough acidity to go with its sweet honeyed flavors.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

1945 La Mission Haut-Brion, Graves (1.5L) (High-Mid Shoulder)
Review Date: 12-22-2015
The greatest 20th century vintage? It is in my estimation. This magnum is from the Nicolas Cellars of France. At one time the best old Bordeaux cellar in the world. This bottle is in great shape with a high-mid shoulder fill. La Mission was known for big and tannic wines in those days. This is still a baby.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

1997 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien (5L)
Review Date: 12-21-2015
This wine in magnum is flat-0out delicious. I just drank two bottles and one 6 liter in May 2015. great party wine. Soft and elegant.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $499.99 Add To Cart

1997 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien (3L)
Review Date: 12-21-2015
This wine in magnum is flat-out delicious. I just drank two bottles and one 6 liter in May 2015. Great party wine. Soft and elegant.
Price: $329.99 Add To Cart

1953 Petrus, Pomerol (1.5L) (High Shoulder)
Review Date: 12-21-2015
A great gift for those who have everything. This bottle is in fabulous condition. High shoulder fill—perfect label and a Nicolas stamp—one of the best cellars in France (along with Mahler Besse). Extremely rare.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $5,500.00 Add To Cart
WS 92

2014 Kalinda "Cuvée KB" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-11-2015
The whole SF staff tasted this wine in October and gave it a thumbs up. It is so lush, while having great acidity and balance. Toasty, appley aromas and creamy on the palate. Amazing wine for the price, from one of the most famous properties in California. This wine was so good I named it after my wife of 45 years--Kay Beffa
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-04-2015
A perfect 5 for value vs quality. From the great 2013 vintage comes this delicious Napa Valley Cabernet. 75% Cabernet and 25% Petit Verdot. Heavenly aromas of blackberry and cassis and toasty oak. Big mouthful with plenty of rounded tannins and acidity for cellaring 15 years. Must decant two hours if you drink it now. Tons of underlying fruit here. From a very famous mountain winery in the eastern part of the Napa Valley.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

1998 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan (1.5L)
Review Date: 12-01-2015
I love this vintage for the Right Bank and Graves area wines. Especially the Graves wines with their earthy, stony aromas and flavors. One of my favorite properties in Bordeaux.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart
ST 90 WS 90

2010 Laroque, St-Emilion
Review Date: 12-01-2015
We bought this wine after we tasted it with James Suckling. I am a 91 on this. Sweet and sexy.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WS 91

2012 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 12-01-2015
Great value here-Cos is always great and I really love the 2012. Has structure, but also sweetness on the palate.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

1985 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 12-01-2015
One of my favorite properties-they always make great wines. This 30 year old wine is less expensive than the 2009 or 2010 and you can enjoy it right now.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2010 Léognan, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-01-2015
A new property for us and bought directly from the property. A fruit forward 2010 with classic Graves flavors. Deep color and plenty of structure for ten years.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 12-01-2015
For those who have everything, you must have a magnum of Lafite 2012. Lots of spice and plenty of rounded tannins to go with gobs of red currant fruit. Cellar it.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

1983 Clos Fourtet, St-Émilion
Review Date: 12-01-2015
Old school wine with lovely merlot aromas and blackberry fruit flavors. Try it now with cassoulet.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos Floridene, Graves Blanc
Review Date: 12-01-2015
One of the best values in Sauvignon Blanc in the world. 2014 was super vintage and this wine is laser sharp and focused. Some citrus aromas and flavors with a slight fig flavor. Delicious
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2005 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 12-01-2015
Fabulous wine. I have a case in my cellar. Will cellar well for many, many years. Cedar and pencil shaving aromas with cassis flavors. The finish lasts a minute.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2008 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 12-01-2015
One of the better wines from this vintage. A baby Latour for one quarter the price. Still full of tannin and not ready yet. Cellar it for 5 more years. Or decant two hours and serve with a big steak.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2005 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-01-2015
A small property very close to Haut Brion and on superb Pessac terroir. They are under the radar and this wine is a fine value 2005. Earthy and rich and still having years of life ahead.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2014 Guirauton, Graves Blanc
Review Date: 12-01-2015
2014 Dry white Bordeaux wines are fantastic and with the strong dollar this wine is a no-brainer. We tasted it on our last night in Bordeaux in April 2015. From Bill Blatch's old company Vintex, this wine has good richness and flavor with that great 2014 acidity.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2009 Tour Saint-Fort, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 12-01-2015
We tasted this wine on our April 2015 trip to Bordeaux and we loved it. 2009s are fantastic wines and this little beauty is round and fruity and totally palate pleasing.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

1989 Clos Fourtet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 12-01-2015
A perfect vintage and this wine is sublime--very fruity and ready right now.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2005 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien (6L)
Review Date: 12-01-2015
Barrel tasting notes: Absolutely stunning wine. Deep color. Sweet red licorice and cranberry nose. Very, very elegant. A lot of Merlot. More feminine style. Tasted four times with consistent notes.

2011 Coutet, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2015
Lovely balance and a super long finish.

1986 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 11-29-2015
A huge wine dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon. Tons of red fruit flavors and cassis aromas. Quite tannic, but decant two hours and enjoy with a steak dinner.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart
WS 95 RP 90

2014 Saint-Jean-des-Graves Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 11-29-2015
It's back and better than ever. 2014 white Bordeaux are rich and they also have superb acidity. This wine is citrus on nose and on palate with a light creaminess. Perfect with crab or lobster this holiday season. Also the price is lower than ever for this gem.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2005 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien (3L)
Review Date: 11-28-2015
Barrel tasting notes: Absolutely stunning wine. Deep color. Sweet red licorice and cranberry nose. Very, very elegant. A lot of Merlot. More feminine style. Tasted four times with consistent notes.

2013 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-24-2015
Most everyone at K&L knows I tend to love White Burgundy and am not a fan of big, fat California Chardonnays. Alex brought me a glass this week and said for me to try it.“Wow I said- seems like a fine White Burgundy-maybe meursault 1st cru? “ It was this beringer PR Chardonnay. Lovely intruging aromas of apples and earth with nuances of toasty oak. Full and semi rich on the palate, but finely balanced. Not like some of those overblown older Beringer PRs. This one is so well-balanced I would buy some for Kay. She loves Ramonet whites and she will like this—at a price much below Ramonet.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 WS 90

2006 Hine K&L Exclusive "Lignières-Sonneville" Single Barrel Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-14-2015
June 10, 1991- the third day of my Paris/Champagne/Bordeaux/Cognac/Armagnac tour with 20 clients/friends and Ralph Sands of K&L fame. After a wonderful lunch at Chateau Leoville Barton with Anthony Barton, we boarded the bus for a visit across the estuary to the Cognac region of France. We went to the Hine distillery and had a great visit, tasting several fine products. As we left they gave each of us a bottle of VSOP. Needless to say the trip back to Bordeaux was quite eventful as several bottles were consumed. Day four was tough for most of the group. Fast forward-November 12, 2015 and we have just received a product from Hine (two in fact) that were not available in 1991 or even 1891 or 1791. Yes this is the first time in 300 years of existence that Hine has produced a single cask/ single vineyard grand Champagne Cognac. And they are both amazing—I especially loved this 8 year old version. It was as smooth as glass going down--not a hard edge to find. The nose was perfumy and earthy with toasty oak nuances. Perfectly balanced on the palate and a lingering finish that lasted for 60 seconds. Absolutely delicious and I secured a bottle immediately-my first Hine purchase since 1991!
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

2012 Cap de Merle, Lussac-St-Emilion (375ml)
Review Date: 11-05-2015
A high score for fine value and convenient single serving size. Under ten dollars for so much flavor. Black-cherry abounds on the palate. No harsh edges. 80% Merlot, 10% each Cab Franc and Sauvignon. Great stocking stuffer.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2010 Lamouroux, Graves
Review Date: 11-05-2015
I tasted this beauty on my September France trip. Great vintage, great price, and a very nice new addition to the K&L portfolio. Has bright red berry fruit with earthy undertones. Quite approachable for 2010-decant and enjoy with a steak dinner.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2014 Lamouroux Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 11-05-2015
A new property for K&L. I tasted this wine in September when I was travelling in France. Lovely vintage and delicious wine. Crisp and clean with some 2014 richness on the palate. Try with Crab or lobster.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2005 Giscours, Margaux
Review Date: 10-29-2015
Vibrant, deep purple. Big wine and finely balanced. Tasted three times. This could be a super winner. Has balance and great structure.

1995 Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux
Review Date: 10-28-2015
A great vintage and one of my favorite Chateaux in Bordeaux. This wine has tons of sweetness from the perfectly ripe Merlot grapes and the backbone of Cabernet Sauvignon. At twenty years old, it is ready to enjoy after decanting one hour. Try with rack of lamb.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2010 St Paul, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 10-18-2015
This rich and layered Cru Bourgeois offers generous aromas of vanilla and dark fruit, which follow through to the palate along with a powerful dose of structure. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. We carried this wine in the 2003 vintage--this year it is a great bargain. Mr. Suckling gives it 90-91. I am a 92 on it.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 - 91

2012 Bourgneuf, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-16-2015
The 2012 vintage in Pomerol was very good-probably the best region for the 2012s. We tasted 15 wines this week (October 14) from the 2012 vintage and they ALL showed very well. This wine has rich, round blackberry fruit aromas and flavors with a splash of oak thrown in. Good tannin structure but lots of fruit to balance it. Great value.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2012 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 10-16-2015
My old time favorite Bordeaux Chateau has done it again with this excellent 2012. Cedar aromas and toasty oak mixed with blackcurrant flavors. Sweet and sexy-you must decant 2 hours before enjoying it in near time. Can't miss wine. DO NOT neglect the 2012 vintage.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2012 Certan de May, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-16-2015
Pomerol 2012s are fantastic and this property, with its great terroir, made a fabulous 2012. Blackcurrant aromas and flavors abound here. Very sweet and sexy but open and decant 2 hours if you want to try it this year.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 l'Avocat Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 10-12-2015
2013 was a GREAT white Bordeaux vintage and this wine is a superb value for the vintage. Tons of lemony nuances and citrus tones. Great acidity - try with cracked crab or clams or a piece of swordfish. Refreshing and good by itself as an aperitif.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2012 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 10-08-2015
Always a great buy from a fine property. 2012 is soft and mineral with enough tannin to cellar it a few years. Sean and Nikki Allison always make a value red at their beautiful property.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2014 Kalinda Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-08-2015
A full score for quality vs price. This delicious, easy to drink Chardonnay has wonderful floral, slightly oaky aromas with plenty of richness on the edges. On the palate, the wine starts full and round and mouth-coating and finishes with that superb Russian River acidity. The balance is perfect, and the wine has a lingering finish with some citrus notes. Superb with a rich fish course, lobster, chicken, or pork. Do not overchill.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2012 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-29-2015
57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, with a tiny amount of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Floral wine with some mineral and black fruit aromas. Lots of Merlot for this property. Well-balanced but cellar it a few years before drinking.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

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