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 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-14-2018
This insane bargain is always delicious but the 2015 may be their best in a decade or so. This has impressive amounts of ripe, dark fruit and underlying structure in an elegant and savory package. The combination of fruit, finesse and balance is truly amazing at this price point.

2015 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-14-2018
This is sleek, powerful and filled with red fruit flavors-particularly cherries. This seems light on its feet for a 2015 due to the wonderful balance but don't be fooled as there is plenty of stuffing and tension buried in the mid-palate. Super value that will age well.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2017 Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
Review Date: 06-14-2018
This is juicy, brisk and just a touch earthy with snappy lime and gooseberry flavors. Hints of dried herbs round out the middle before the mouth watering citrus flavors jump out on the mineral infused finish. A great Summer refresher bargain.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
W&S 91 WS 90

2016 Planeta Etna Rosso
Review Date: 06-05-2018
This delicious, food friendly wine is a great introduction to the volcanic reds of Mount Etna. This is light in color with a fabulous middle of dried mixed berries and spice. The supple and fruity middle give way to a dry and elegant finish with fine tannins perfect for washing down a light lunch or a rich dinner.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2015 R de Rieussec, Bordeaux
Review Date: 06-05-2018
Tastes very much like a bone dry Sauternes with honeysuckle aromas and a tropical touch to the sweet crushed stone fruit flavors. This is weighty and deep but with precision and drive to the mineral laced finish.

2017 Pra Soave Classico "Otto"
Review Date: 06-05-2018
100% Garganega from volcanic soils done all in stainless and completely delicious. This is intensely aromatic with rich salty stone fruit and a flinty, green flecked finish usually found in a Grand Cru Chablis. The purity of fruit and mid-palate heft are wonderfully tempered by fresh acidity and long mineral nuance. Vines 30 to 60 years old give great intensity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 06-05-2018
This is bright, approachable, aromatic and a delicious bargain. The soft entry of red fruit flavors leads to a fresh and balanced middle hinting at darker fruit and a lively and lingering finish. A stylistic surprise for the appellation.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 RP 90

2016 Cantina Valle Isarco "Aristos" Pinot Grigio
Review Date: 06-05-2018
7 months on the lees results in a rich style of wine but with wonderful complexity and focus. This has slightly honeyed stone fruit, hints of spice and and loads of mineral tension on the long finish. In a world of neutral and boring Pinot Grigio this is a standout.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2001 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-23-2018
This hearty and husky wine has aged beautifully and is drinking perfectly right now. Plenty of deep blackberry fruit fills out the middle while the acidity of the vintage shines through with youthful freshness. The tannins on this Old School classic have resolved nicely and the long leathery finish begs for some hearty food.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 de Pez, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-19-2018
This is always a big, masculine wine but the gentle warmth of the 2015 vintage has softened the edges and fleshed out the middle. Aromas of toast, clay and flowers combine with scents of sweet, ripe cherries and dark plums as you ease into the firm, almost chewy middle. Old school wine making in a modern vintage has resulted in a deeply fruited, substantial yet approachable classic.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 JS 90

2015 de Chantegrive Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 05-17-2018
This is on the lusher side of what you expect from Graves but with classic, gravely aromas of fecund earth, dark cherries, black currants and tobacco. The rich and smooth middle plays into a somewhat raspy finish of mineral and firm but ripe tannins that beg for a quick decant and some hearty food.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 JD 91

2016 Lucien Lardy "Côte du Py" Morgon
Review Date: 05-15-2018
This full-bodied wine has a deep core of dark fruit that retains balance due to the fresh acidity the vintage imparts. A rather beefy and hearty mid-palate lends a chewy impression that lasts right through the long, fruity finish.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 RP 90

2015 Resolute (Aerena) Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-15-2018
The intensity of the Mayacamas Mountain fruit shows here and gives classic Cabernet aromas of cherry fruit, spice and herb. This is very pure and medium bodied with a middle of blackberry fruit and a long, lingering finish. If this balanced, delicious and super drinkable wine said Napa on the label it would sell for twice as much.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc
Review Date: 05-15-2018
This has intriguing musky aromas of dried apricots and ripe stone fruits along with hints of fresh white peach. The round rich middle leaves a full palate impression and the just off-dry finish is super food friendly.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Comte Malartic, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-12-2018
This is one of the 2nd wines of Malartic-Lagraviere and has the depth and structure of that great wine. This is rich, yet racy and exotic with earthy boysenberry and spicy mixed berry fruit along with potpourri, red licorice and Asian spice aromas and flavors. A substantial and complex bargain.
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 Frith Napa Valley Grenache
Review Date: 05-12-2018
This is spicy and very Rhone-like with lots of bramble to the deep, dark fruit profile. Here is a deep, husky version of Grenache with very earthy aromas and plenty of ripe, firm tannins to hold everything in place.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Carlisle "Carlisle Vineyard" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-12-2018
This big but balanced field blend is filled with ripe red fruits, spice, crunchy Raspberry and juicy Blueberry in a hearty style that completely hides the robust alcohol. There is plenty of jam and bramble to the ample middle but enough lively acidity to keep you reaching for another glass.

2015 Moulin Haut-Laroque, Fronsac
Review Date: 05-03-2018
Once known for making rustic bottlings, this property is turning out wines of much more sophistication and elegance. Lots of mulberry and dark plum fruit here with a soft but rich middle and a finish of bright, ripe and somewhat chalky tannins. There is plenty of weight and texture here but no hard edges so decant and enjoy.

2015 Saint-Paul, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 05-03-2018
The less expensive wines from the great 2015 Bordeaux vintage are starting to arrive and this hearty and fruity bottle is a great example. The alluring aromas of ripe raspberries lead to a deeply fruited and substantial body of dark fruit and mineral. The substantial grip on the finish suggests cellaring for a few years but the plush and sweet fruit make this difficult to resist with hearty food.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Picard, Lussac-St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-03-2018
Both red and dark fruit as well as a snap of licorice fill the middle of this crisp and easy bargain. Plenty of ripe fruit and no hard edges make this a perfect bottle to open most any night or even with a light lunch. Amazing value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Pallus "Messanges" Chinon
Review Date: 05-03-2018
Here is a screaming value in Chinon that is bio dynamic and far more complex than the price would suggest. This starts with earthy aromas of black cherry fruit, spice and curry-like hints of turmeric. The body is rich and smooth with more ripe dark red fruits and a touch of smoke on the finish.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2012 Baxter "Oppenlander Vineyard" Mendocino Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-03-2018
This is an absolutely wild Pinot Noir and one of the most interesting bottles I've tried lately. This small production hand crafted wine from a cool site starts with vivid aromas of bright red fruits and orange peel. There is a somewhat woodsy quality to the sweet and lively middle of dark fruits and fresh herbs and even a touch of sassafras and tree bark on the long, fine finish. Delicious and different.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos du Clocher, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Here is a big, beefy style of Pomerol filled with cherry cordial, chocolate and baked blueberry cobbler flavors matched to hints of vanilla, toast and loamy soil. There is a real sense of freshness and balance to the bold fruit profile and through the dry mineral laced finish of raspy tannin.

2016 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Villages
Review Date: 05-01-2018
This is very approachable with ripe apple and sweet citrus flavors shining through the vibrant acidity. The zippy finish tingles with mineral and acid tension in this tasty and lip smacking wine.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2014 Cap St. George, St.-Georges-St.-Emilion
Review Date: 05-01-2018
A modern and lush wine held crisply together due to the fresh acidity of the vintage. There is great weight and texture to the smooth dark fruit and a nice lift on the finish. A delicious and approachable success.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 de Birot, Côtes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 05-01-2018
This has plenty of hearty dark fruit and a husky profile that doesn't seem heavy thanks to the wonderful balancing acidity from the 2014 vintage. The middle shows layers of ripe, earthy blackberry and cherry and a crisp, sweet finish of fine tannin.
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Eric Kent "Cuveé Renee" Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 04-26-2018
This is floral and racy with aromas and flavors of muskmelon, fig, pear and citrus. The wine has wonderful texture and a round but lifted personality. Very interesting and delicious.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 90

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Review Date: 04-05-2018
This spicy and almost jammy wine will remind you of a well made Zinfandel with its bold flavors of spiced berries and ripe cherries. There is a touch of earth to go with all that juicy fruit and this never borders on heavy or over extracted. Here is a well priced and bold Old World wine with New World crossover appeal.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 89 - 91

2015 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-05-2018
Once again Domaine Drouhin hits the sweet spot with their "Arthur" bottling resulting in intense and complex flavors with a clean and focused frame. Apple, vanilla, citrus and a touch of baking spice are all embedded in a tight and steely frame of gun flint and mineral with just enough texture to showcase the fruit profile.

2014 Pilcrow "Pym Rae Vineyard" Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-05-2018
This is a beautiful "Old School" Cabernet that will appeal to many Bordeaux lovers. There are Margaux-like aromas of crushed flowers and dried herbs followed by a silky texture of impeccable balance and length. The finish has a powdered mineral component that adds tension and helps focus the suave fruit profile. Here is a delicious wine of precision, balance and finesse.
Price: $94.99 Add To Cart

2015 Turley "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-04-2018
This is concentrated with layers of blackberry jam in the deep middle. There is a touch of spice and a racy quality to the texture with lots of lively structure to balance all that richness. Fans of Turley Zin should love this.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 Precedent "Evangelho Vineyard" Contra Costa County Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-31-2018
Very bright, clean and juicy with tons of mixed berries and spice in the middle. this is pure, fresh and savory with meaty notes on the long, focused finish. This middleweight wine tastes the way Zin use to taste before the invasion of new oak barrels. Lip smacking, mouthwatering and palate cleansing.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-31-2018
This is ripe, sweet and spicy with great acidity to temper the old vine density. The wine is not done in a jammy style, rather it is lithe, lively and surprisingly complex for the price. Drink now or age a few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Les Sétilles"
Review Date: 03-31-2018
This is ripe and round with good sweetness to the stone fruit flavors and just a whisper of oak peaking through. There is good acidity but the warmth of the vintage makes its presence known in this great value.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Oncle Vincent"
Review Date: 03-31-2018
This has surprising depth and density for the price with a strong mineral presence poking through the rich fruit flavors. The middle is layered and textured with fine length on the finish. Think of this as a baby Puligny Montrachet.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2012 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 03-28-2018
Here is an easy to drink Brunello at a great price and perfect for tonight. This is plush and rounded with gentle depth to the flavors and aromas of ripe cherry fruit, wild flowers, damp soil and tar. The mineral laced finish is long, fruity and flavorful.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Les Freres Perroud "Vieilles Vignes" Brouilly
Review Date: 03-28-2018
The age of the vines (65 years) shows in the density of the middle yet the deep blue fruit flavors remain juicy and fresh. The finish hints at granite, iron and earth in this serious tasting super bargain that could handle just about any kind of cuisine from rustic to elegant.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2014 Franz Keller "Franz Anton" Spätburgunder Baden
Review Date: 03-28-2018
This is a delicious bottle of Pinot filled with ripe, vibrant red and dark fruit along with a touch of smoke and a hint of spice. There is wonderful depth of flavor and a balancing acidity that tempers the sweetness of the fruit and adds fine length, In today's high quality Pinot Noir market this is a bargain.

2014 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-28-2018
This flowery, lacy and sleek wine possesses intense flavors coupled to impeccable balance. The ripe peach and juicy nectarine flavored middle turns a touch tropical on the fine finish but never overwhelms the overall sense of finesse. This is beautifully crafted.

2015 Chateau de la Charriere Chassagne-Montrachet "Les Champs Morjot"
Review Date: 03-28-2018
Here is a great value in approachable and delicious White Burgundy. This is rich and toasty with an array of ripe apple and stone fruit flavors and a creamy texture. Despite the abundance of texture the wine displays good drive and focus and persistent minerality on the finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Ata Rangi "Crimson" Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 03-28-2018
This is utterly delicious, easy to drink and has more character than some Pinots costing twice as much. The body is deep and rich with lots of sweet fruit and a forward and flattering personality. This is a bargain for the quality.

2016 Les Freres Perroud Bourgogne Pinot Noir (organic)
Review Date: 02-27-2018
This opens with rustic aromas of earth, potpourri and dark fruit. The hearty middle is filled with juicy Pinot flavors, spice, dried flowers and a wild animal note that runs through the finish. This organic, "Old School" bottle really over delivers.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Jasse Castel "Bleu Velours" Languedoc-Montpeyroux
Review Date: 02-22-2018
The aromatics of this hearty wine are a complex swirl of cured meat, fresh game, violets and copious amounts of blue and black fruits. The middle is deep, brambly, very earthy and shows the dazzling richness and warmth of the 2015 vintage. The ripeness of the fruit and richness of the body are held in check by wonderfully firm tannins that allow for a dry finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Matthiasson Napa Valley White Wine Blend
Review Date: 02-16-2018
This has flowery aromas of honeysuckle and verbena and a middle of crushed orchard fruit. The finish is refreshing, very complex and hints at mandarin.
Price: $38.95 Add To Cart

2016 Matthiasson "Linda Vista Vineyard" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-16-2018
Stone fruit, crunchy golden raisen and crisp apple form the core of this steely and intense wine. The Chablis-like finish is palate cleansing and will have you reaching for another glass.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 02-16-2018
The latest version of this K&L favorite is deeply fruited, powerful and a classic bargain for the appellation. This earthy and gravely wine has a middle filled with cocoa laced dark fruit and a long stony finish showing sweet tannin. Decant this fruity and structured bargain tonight or lay a few bottles away for 5 to 10 years.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Le Cleméntin du Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-14-2018
The 2nd wine of Pape-Clement is warm, approachable and already showing good complexity. Ripe red fruits, surprising mid-palate roundness and a gravely finish show the pedigree of this great property. Delicious now.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 90

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This is a new producer for K&L and a great bottle for those who like their bubbly in a darker and richer style. 100% Pinot Meunier give this volumes of sweet red fruit flavors along with a touch of spice and hints of marzipan, maple, apricot and dark plum. A bottle of Champagne this flamboyant and exotic for only $25 is hard to believe.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Honda "Sequence" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This starts out rather husky, with earth tones, rhubarb and mushroom before brighter notes of red fruits fill the middle and finish. The wine is medium-bodied with lively texture and some intriguing hints of spice and forest. This is a satisfying and food-friendly bargain.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 01-31-2018
A baby "Super Tuscan" and a terrific everyday drinker. This is crammed with dark cherry fruit, earth and spice in a bold and ripe style that will appeal to wine drinkers off all stripes. Buy this easy to drink and food friendly wine by the case.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

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