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 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

2012 Baxter "Oppenlander Vineyard" Mendocino Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-05-2018
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

2016 Eric Kent "Cuveé Renee" Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 04-05-2018
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 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.

2015 Resolute (Aerena) Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-05-2018
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

2015 Carlisle "Carlisle Vineyard" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 04-05-2018
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.

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

2014 Frith Napa Valley Grenache
Review Date: 04-04-2018
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 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 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Villages
Review Date: 03-02-2018
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

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: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Picard, Lussac-St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-14-2018
Both red and dark fruit as well as a snap if 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

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

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Eugénie" Brut Rose Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This 100% Pinot Meunier wine sees some skin contact resulting in a vivid pink color and even a touch of structure on the back end. Dried cherry and ripe raspberry aromas and flavors jump from this bracing wine and there is a savory note on the long, dry finish. There is the faintest tannic tug on the end allowing this to stand up to hearty fare. Surf and turf anyone?
Price: $29.99 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

2014 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Compared to the warm, layered 2009 this seems compact, tense and elegant. The 2014 may be a bit coiled for Poujeaux but it is vibrant, packed and will age beautifully into a sumptuous and complex bargain. Its unlikely you will pull a better $30.00 bottle of Bordeaux out of you cellar in 5 or 10 years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 VN 90

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

2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Petite Gardette" Gigondas
Review Date: 01-31-2018
I have been a loyal fan of Gardette Gigondas since the great 1998 vintage yet had never tried this bargain price cuvee fashioned from their younger vines. Simply put: WOW. Perhaps this lacks the density of the more expensive bottlings but all of the ripe cherry, berry and spiced raspberry fruit is there in spades along with aromas of earth, potpourri and roasted herb. This is just as complex and delicious as its bigger brothers just a bit more user friendly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-31-2018
This easy to like super value is a wonderful introduction to the great wines of the Barbaresco region in Northern Italy. This is gentle and fruity with rose petal aromas to go with the liberal dusting of dried cherry fruit. Very fine tannins on the elegant finish add precise grip for matching to a wide variety of food.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 JS 90

2016 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 01-18-2018
This delicious bargain Syrah seems to be getting a bit richer with each new vintage yet retains the white pepper and violet aromas as well as the palate coating but fresh blue and black fruits. This is an all around great N. Rhone red that over delivers.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2016 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 01-18-2018
This super value N. Rhone white is a bit more vibrant and focused than the last vintage. Aromas of dried fruit, wet stone, ginger and lanolin are followed by a middle filled with ripe stone fruit.. The peach, apricot and nectarine flavors are all infused with palate cleansing minerals.

2010 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 01-17-2018
This dark and punchy wine has a deep core of purple fruit that shows off the power of the vintage. The firm and intense middle of blackberry leads to a finish of very ripe tannins that will allow further ageing although those with a decanter need wait no further.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Tessendey, Fronsac
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This starts with muted aromas of clay and raspberry in a fresh and clean style. This is a great easy going and gulpable bargain for any Tuesday night.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 91

2014 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 01-16-2018
The rich and brawny style of Chante Cigale is slightly toned down in the lively 2014 vintage allowing for a bit more up front complexity to emerge even at this early stage. There are undertones of darker fruit to go with the brighter flavors of red fruits, licorice, nori, Asian spice and roasted herb. There is fantastic energy in this approachable and value priced CNP from a small family producer. Drink tonight or lay a few bottles away.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine du Vieil Orme Malbec-Cabernet Franc Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 01-16-2018
Equal parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc and delightfully delicious. The middle is round, dark and juicy from the Malbec but the soaring raspberry aromatics and savory herb and tobacco laced finish screams Cabernet Franc through and through. This is exactly the kind of inexpensive bottle you always want to have handy to pop open on a whim or to match to practically any Tuesday night cuisine. A case purchase for sure.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2015 Comartin Cellars "R-Bar-R Ranch" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This starts with concentrated aromas of smoky black cherries, ripe plums, roasted herbs and charred oak. The fruity middle is fine and detailed and leads to a long, sweet finish. This is very well made.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2016 Pala "I Fiori" Cannonau di Sardegna
Review Date: 01-04-2018
This is warm, sweet and fresh with a middle of juicy berries and aromas of ripe plums and ash. Here is a delightful super drinkable bottle to go with any kind of food and that is priced to purchase by the case.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Gagliole "Rubiolo" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-02-2018
This is bright, sweet and clean with plenty of plump Sangiovese fruit and spice rounding out the middle. There is more complexity here than the price would suggest and the fine, ripe tannins on the finish will let this handle even rich food. This is exactly the type of affordable and food friendly bottle I like to pop open on any Tuesday or lazy Sunday.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (Black Label)
Review Date: 01-02-2018
This is yet another example of the restrained, polished and classy Cabernets being produced in the Margartet River. There in an effortless flow between the ripe dark fruit profile, savory and spicy notes and the persistent and classy finish. This execution of balance and precision for under $30.00 is rare.
Price: Hidden View Price
DC 95 JH 95

2015 Moulin du Sud Bordeaux Superieur
Review Date: 12-29-2017
This is a fresh and gentle bargain showing a touch of earth and red fruits galore. The finish is soft and sweet making this perfect for a Tuesday night burger or any casual get together.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-29-2017
This is bright, earthy and very floral with an upfront array of crunchy dark fruit and a sappy middle usually found in much more expensive Classified Growth Burgundies. A Pinot at this price rarely has this much finesse or complexity. Absolutely delicious!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 12-13-2017
This is phenomenal wine for the price-so sweet, warm and fresh with plenty of ripe, fine tannin on the finish. Decant this tonight or lay some away for 10+ years.

2009 Latour-Martillac, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-08-2017
This was released 5 years ago and what I once considered "modern" in style has evolved into a classic with aromas of hot asphalt, toast and intense mixed berries. There is great concentration here with a middle of ripe and roasted black fruits followed by rocky soil and mineral undertones. Delicious and almost decadent for the appellation.

2010 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-08-2017
Sweet red and black currants and roasted earth fill the middle of this toasty and fresh wine. This is dark and substantial with a wonderful mineral expression. Maybe even better than their spectacular 2009.

2009 Larrivet Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-07-2017
This lively, sweet and complex wine starts with smoky and crunchy dark currant fruit, spiced berries and raspberry liqueur. This is thick and deep with a touch of tar and ash complimenting the rolls of fruit on the long mineral finish. outstanding for the money.

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