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 Domaine des Pothiers "Clos du Puy" Côte Roannaise Rouge
Review Date: 03-25-2017
This delicious wine is juicy, very dark and smells like a bowl of freshly picked ripe raspberries. The deep middle of sweet mixed berry fruit with hints of granite minerality gives way to a long finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château Yvonne "L'Île Quatre Sous" Saumur-Champigny
Review Date: 03-25-2017
Here is an "Old School" bargain you won't want to miss. This is deep and hearty with oodles of dark fruit and earthy nuance in the muscular middle. This is dark, rich and structured with a rustic chew to the finish. Time to fire up the grill.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2011 Domaine du Bel Air "Clos Nouveau" Bourgueil
Review Date: 03-25-2017
Here is an outstanding expression of Cabernet Franc with several years of bottle age and a unique personality. There are generous and toasty aromas of ripe dark fruits, oak, iron, dried flowers and a touch of game. The middle is substantial and fleshy with almost jammy dark fruit and a plush texture. This full-bodied, rich and balanced wine should be tasted by all lovers of Loire Valley reds.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Côte de Nuits-Villages "Le Vaucrain"
Review Date: 03-25-2017
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

2014 Domaine Damien Coquelet Chiroubles Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 03-18-2017
Here is a deeply fruited, almost dense Beaujolais with an iron core and an animal dig into the earthier aspects of the region. This hearty and very mineral bottling would stand up to any fare including game or cassoulet.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2010 La Dauphine, Fronsac
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This roaring bargain has a toasty, spicy medley of juicy and sweet dark fruit flavors and very approachable tannins. A delicious and easy to drink value from a great vintage.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

2014 Gitton Père & Fils "Montachins" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This intense wine is steely with somewhat musky and flinty citrus flavors and a chiseled finish of vibrant mineral. This is serious stuff.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine André Vatan "Les Charmes" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This is super aromatic and rich with scents and flavors of muskmelon, guava, cantaloupe and earth. The somewhat tropical flavors in the mid-palate morph into vibrant minerality on the intense finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Dassault, St-Emilion
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This is hearty, deep and firm with dark fruit flavors and wonderfully dry tannins. A rather old school and brooding style that will likely soften up a bit with age but probably always remain masculine and somewhat chewy. This could stand up to a great piece of dry aged beef or even BBQ.

2013 La Chablisienne Chablis 1er Cru "Côte de Léchet"
Review Date: 03-16-2017
Killer value here in an easy to drink and delicious Chablis. This has rich flowery aromas of apple blossoms and ripe chardonnay fruit. The weighty mid-palate is filled with stone fruits and a lanolin texture that leads to a seamless finish of talc-like mineral.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
BH 90

2015 Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Cote de Brouilly
Review Date: 03-11-2017
This shows off the vintage with its deep and jammy middle of cassis and ripe cherry fruit. There is wonderful tension here with the tightly wound structure of ripe tannins and fine mineral holding all that dark and rich fruit together.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Domaine des Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) Saint-Amour
Review Date: 03-11-2017
This is balanced, sweet, clean and very floral with faint touches of iron and earth to the lacy finish. The complexity and elegance at this price is truly amazing.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 RP 91

2014 Maillet, Pomerol
Review Date: 03-04-2017
This has interesting toasty aromas and a sweet but lithe and supple body that maintains poise and elegance. There is an interesting caramel note on the soft, smooth finish. Easy to drink and very tasty.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 12 per customer

2010 Berliquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 03-02-2017
This is full-bodied and tightly packed with ripe dark fruits and hints of tar and mineral. The tannins are sweet and polished and there is a roasted charcoal note on the glossy finish. Is this a Saint-Emilion that thinks its a Pauillac?
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WS 91

2012 Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 03-02-2017
Still young, tight and in need of decanting, but harmonious and coming along quite nicely. This is quite elegant with the flavors and aromas of red fruits and mineral combining in a supple and clean style. Decant now or cellar 5 to 10 more years.

2014 Fonplégade, St-Émilion
Review Date: 03-02-2017
A somewhat oaky and very very fragrant bouquet leads to a rather lush middle of steeped dark plum and blackberry fruit. This is on the modern side but balanced with touches of spice, hints of mineral and some fine tannin.

2014 Tour St-Christophe, St-Émilion
Review Date: 03-02-2017
This modern and delicious Bordeaux has a plush and velvety texture with fine, ripe tannins holding everything together on the finish. The entry is toasty and earthy with a vanilla tinged blueberry and blackberry middle of sweet and layered fruit. So easy to drink that you wont have to wait. This property is doing great things.

2014 Poesia, St-Emilion
Review Date: 03-02-2017
This is smooth and floral with aromas and flavors of vanilla, spice, cherries and raspberries interwoven in a rich but gentle middle. The finish is sweet with oak shadings and an underpinning of limestone. Delicious and easy to drink.

2014 de France Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 03-02-2017
Here is a great introduction to the very good wines of the 2014 vintage from the folks at Malartic-Lagraviere. This is rich and flashy with black cherry and ripe plum fruit and dark cocoa accents throughout. The finish is quite complex with earth, gravel and fine grip. Decant now or lay away for several years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Domaine Baud Chardonnay l'Etoile Blanc
Review Date: 02-28-2017
This delicious Chardonnay is clean and smooth with a slightly salty tang and wonderful limestone and damp clay mineral tones. The finish has hints of savory wild herbs like tarragon and fennel and ends with a juicy citrus rind splash.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine de l'Espigouette Vacqueyras
Review Date: 02-28-2017
This is deep, dark and slick with a tight core of black and blue fruits, licorice and violets all showing refinement and great tension. There is plenty of energy encased in the dark, fruity middle with great complexity fanning out along the finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 89 - 91

2014 Domaine de Dauliac Cahors
Review Date: 02-28-2017
This is an earthy, lilac scented wine with crunchy black current fruit, dark cocoa and talc-like tannins on the crisp finish. The dark middle is sleekly textured and graceful in this food friendly and palate refreshing bottle.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château Viella Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Blanc Sec
Review Date: 02-28-2017
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 Farnetella Lucilla Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 02-28-2017
What a fantastic value on a food friendly and interesting wine. This is a touch earthy with intense flavors of dark cherry, spice, ripe blackberry and uplifting minerality on the rich finish. This drinks like a $25.00 bottle.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2011 E. Guigal Gigondas
Review Date: 02-28-2017
Surprisingly hearty and rustic given the vintage but a great value for a quality wine from this appellation boasting 4 years of bottle age. This is earthy, mellow and meaty with good sweetness and spice to the cherry berry fruit and tapenade flavors. Drink this tonight with hearty food.

2015 Loyasson, Bordeaux
Review Date: 02-21-2017
Aromas of truffle and crushed flowers lead to a middle of sweet and jammy black raspberries. This is smooth and effortless with wonderful freshness throughout and a clean, fine finish. This early release from a spectacular vintage is one to buy by the case.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2010 Tronquoy de St-Anne, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 02-18-2017
Chateau Montrose is on a roll with this property and the 2010 version is even better than the outstanding 2009. This starts out dark and rich with blackberry, cassis and cocoa flavors that are rich but stay focused due to the fine tannic grip on the finish. The tight core of ripe Merlot is deeper and the aromatics somewhat less earthy than last vintage , but overall this is a more serious and complete bottling.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2001 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 02-18-2017
This very traditional wine is silky, elegant, dry and oh so subtle. Dried cherries, soft smoky plums and cedar are burnished by notes of leather, sandalwood, tobacco and a long, satin textured finish. Old school Bordeaux but without the rusticity.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-18-2017
An overachieving property of Carbonnieux fame that scores big in the price/quality ratio year after year. This gravely wine has hints of spice, mineral and milk chocolate to go along with the crunchy dark currant fruit and sweet, rocky finish. Fairly deep and rich for the appellation but satisfying and super food-friendly.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 02-14-2017
A great introduction to the whites of the Northern Rhone and a super value. This is fat, layered and waxy, but with vibrant acidity to showcase the abundance of ripe stone fruit. White peach, dried apricot and hints of nectarine lead to a mouthwatering, mineral-laced finish that shows just the faintest whiff of ginger.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Kaiken "Ultra" Cabernet Sauvignon Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 02-14-2017
This lushly textured wine with its intense structure is a big step above what you would expect at this modest price point. A solid core of dark cocoa, cassis, sweet cherry and spice give way to a powerful finish of very fine and grippy tannins. Here the New World ripeness is tempered by the sheer scale of the wine.

2014 Seigneurs d'Aiguilhe, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 02-14-2017
This is the 2nd wine of the star of the appellation Chateau d'Aiguilhe. Proprietor Stephan Neipperg is also responsible for the great wines of Canon-la-Gaffeliere, Clor l'Oratoire and the super luxury "Garage wine" La Mondotte. Drinkable now, this elegant Merlot based blend is supple, rich, inviting and one of the best values in Bordeaux.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2015 Pencarrow Sauvignon Blanc (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 02-14-2017
Here is a killer value in a full-bodied and rich yet bone dry wine with plenty of complexity. This is floral with crushed melon and kiwi fruit and hints of nectarine on the sweet and snappy mineral tinged finish. An unbelievable price for this level of quality.

1990 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 02-01-2017
Tasted at a recent Bordeaux dinner, this was a standout among a slew of venerable properties from great vintages. Blind I might have guessed this to be from the 2000 or 2003 vintage due to the volume of youthful plump fruit, freshness and underlying power. At 26 years of age this is amazingly plush and seamless with a silky texture to the dense middle and effortless length to the finish. This is a very special bottle deserving of a place in every serious collector's cellar.
Price: $499.99 Add To Cart
RP 100

2013 Bava "Gionson" Nebbiolo
Review Date: 01-31-2017
This aromatic, sweet and refreshing bottling is the most easy drinking Nebbiolo that we carry, Sure, you could think of it as a Nebbiolo with training wheels for those not yet ready for Barolo or Barbaresco, but to me it is just a delicious bottle of wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pencarrow Pinot Noir (Palliser) Martinborough
Review Date: 01-31-2017
Bright red cherry fruit, spice, savory herb and dark plum are all found in this super bargain. This is surprisingly firm and structured for the price with a sweet and dark middle tempered by spicy complexity.

2010 L'Argenteyre, Medoc
Review Date: 01-18-2017
This is dark and earthy with flavors and aromas of blackberry, spice and cherry. The middle is firm and toasty with traces of iron showing on the long, sweet finish. Another bargain from one of the greatest Bordeaux vintages of all time.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2012 Domaine du Grand Ormeau, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 01-18-2017
This is opulent and modern with new oak, jammy raspberries, smoky dark plums and a middle that is rich, creamy and layered. There is impressive concentration and sweetness to this ripe, mouth-filling wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 RP 90

2007 d'Escurac, Medoc
Review Date: 01-04-2017
A ten year old wine for under 15 bucks is always a rare find but this would be a bargain at twice the price. This is dark, plush and sensual with good volume to the dusty cherry fruit, scents of cedar and hints of leather that fill the mid-palate. Faintly drying tannins carry the day and add much needed grip to the persistent finish. Here is a middle aged bargain in traditional Bordeaux.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-04-2017
This is juicy and round with a fresh and mouth filling palate of peach, nectarine and lemon oil all in a rich but vibrant package. A touch of well integrated oak adds some toasty notes to the finish of crushed fruit. Another appealing and affordable bottle from our friends at Olema that is food friendly and easy to drink.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Baracchi "O'Lillo!" Toscana
Review Date: 12-28-2016
Here is a smooth and effortless blend displaying wild berry and dark cherry fruit along with faint hints of milk chocolate and a subtle pulverized minerality to the finish. This is well proportioned and integrated with each component of the blend adding to but not overpowering the whole. Overall a delicious drink.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 90

2014 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas
Review Date: 12-28-2016
Aromas of red licorice, white pepper, wildflowers, lavender, thyme and savory herb leap from the glass as soon as this is poured. This is fine, elegant and beautifully transparent with wild berries, cherries and freshly picked raspberries all displayed across the lingering finish. Here is a lacy, sophisticated bargain.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 - 92

2011 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 12-22-2016
Lots of depth here but no hard edges and a drink- me- now personality makes this a great go-to for current consumption. This big, chewy wine has dark fruit, earth, spice, herb, mineral and more in a rich but well balanced package. Drink tonight or age up to 10 years.

2014 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-22-2016
Fans of the great wines of Elk Cove will love this bargain priced bottle they source from estate and purchased fruit. This has the balance, complexity and finesse you expect from this overachieving property but at less than half the price of their single vineyard offerings. Serious bang for the buck here.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2013 Domaine Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-15-2016
The amazingly complex aromas of this wine are always difficult for me to pin down, but mint, camphor, eucalyptus, wild flowers and savory herb all come to mind—I guess what the French would call garrigue. The rich and smooth middle is full of sweet cherries, dark plums and more savory notes that are layered and deep. I challenge you to find a more complex and interesting Cabernet in this price range.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2015 Domaine Renaud Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 11-18-2016
Easily the best version of this wine in the last 10 years and a great value. This is more forward than past vintages yet also shows greater depth with plenty of crushed citrus and spiced apple fruit and a stony finish. The overt ripeness here is held in check by persistent mineral drive and wonderful vibrancy.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2012 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 11-15-2016
This has oodles of blackberry fruit, vanilla, oak and milk chocolate flavors and aromas that are rich, smooth and layered. The depth of fruit hides the structure underneath but this is balanced enough for current consumption for those unable to defer gratification. A success for the vintage.

2014 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 11-12-2016
Here is a killer value in a deeply fruited and complex wine that despite its heft and structure is balanced enough to drink tonight. The layers of ripe blackberry, huckleberry and black cherry are livened by hints of licorice, anise, pepper and wild flowers. There is a wonderful tension between the depth of the fruit and the intense chalky finish. This is compelling juice for a mere 20 bucks.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Les Freres Perroud "Vieilles Vignes" Brouilly
Review Date: 11-12-2016
Baked cherry fruit, crushed flowers, granite minerality and a trace of iron form the personality of this bottle from a great vintage for Beaujolais. This "Old Vines" bottling is somewhat beefy and chewy, which enhances its hearty nature.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2010 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 11-11-2016
Here is a profound wine with earthy aromas of crushed flowers, dark fruit and a minty note that is huge but effortless and balanced. The open knight fruit profile, classy lines and fine grip on the finish almost hide the 20 plus years of ageing potential lurking underneath. A fantastic effort that is well worth the money.

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