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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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2004 Krug Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-16-2017
Next to the legendary 2002 vintage Krug, this 2004 is also a star. Very, very, bright with generous acidity that combines with white stone fruit and almond flavors. It still retains the elegant mousse and brioche of classic vintage Krug, but, the acidity is the star player here. Super fresh, and clean, and bracing. This bottling has the potential of being the star of your cellar and may even overshadow the 2002 eventually. If you prefer to drink it without cellar time, give it a few minutes to air in your glass so that the glorious texture has a chance to come out and say "hi". The 2004 is a classic and will be remembered as being one of Krug's best!

Pol Roger "White Foil - Extra Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-30-2017
This little beauty has a base wine that is at least three years old and vintage reserve stock that is generally 8-10 years old. It has a creamy nose of ripe, yellow fruits and lemon meringue. Initially, rich on the palate, with golden apple, honeycomb and nectarine flavors. A nice, lingering finish that is clean and oak free. It spends 48 months on the lees and is composed of 1/3 each of the three primary Champagne varietals. Just lovely!

2016 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 11-17-2017
Classic Chablis at an great price! Who would have guessed you would see those tw words in a sentence? Classic, with bright acidity and lemon/lime flavors, minerals and a bit of chalk. From older vines, so there is a hint of riper fruit peeking out between start and finish. Green melon, limestone and apple dominate the overall character and there is also a soft, though lingering finish.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-17-2017
This little beauty is a side project of Talley vineyards, so you get that Talley quality at a great price! Bright, almost sour, nose of red fruits and baking spices. On the palate, dark strawberry and raspberry fruit with an overlay of spice and cinnamon. A nice, lingering finish that is bright with acidity. Pretty and pretty affordable!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2016 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 11-17-2017
This is a great, entry level white Burgundy that is appropriate both for those who are seeking to switch over from CA chardonnay and for those who appreciate good, affordable white Burgundy. At first classically clean, with bright minerality but, it fleshes out mid-palate with white stone fruits and a hint of green apple. Clean, lingering finish. Lovely.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena
Review Date: 11-17-2017
A super bargain from Spain with dark cherry flavors, supple tannin and just a hint of mocha. Nice acidity on the finish to brighten things up!
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 08-29-2017
This standard bearer of Champagne Michel Arnould is both high quality and a fine value. The Pinot Noir dominant blend is redolent with deep cherry fruit, toasted nuts and fine acidity. It could err on the side of big and bold but, it stops just short and offers up balance and interesting character. A great bubbly to drink on its own or to pair with fowl, pork or even lighter beef dishes.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2015 Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 08-15-2017
Very pretty rose petal and bright cherry nose. Starts out spicy on the palate and fleshes out with ripe strawberry and dark, black cherry fruit. Background notes of baking spices and white pepper with a nice, finely acidic finish. Really, just a lovely, lovely Pinot Noir!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JH 95 JS 95

2007 Shavnabada Monastery Rkatsiteli Kakheti Republic of Georgia (Qvevri)
Review Date: 08-15-2017
Searching for unusual? This should be your very first stop! It is aged in clay and buried for 9 years at the front of the Monastery! This wine is truly orange! It has a very viscous appearance, with a nose of pine resin, caraway seed and dried orange peel. On the palate, dry Fino sherry, roasted nuts and bitter orange. Loads of tannin! I am completely lost as to what to pair this with but, wine geeks rejoice over the uniqueness and oddity of this bottling! I guarantee that you will stand out at any function or tasting that you bring it to.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2006 Bollinger Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2017
This superb Rose from Bollinger will not be arriving until this Fall but, I had the opportunity to preview it today, 8 August. It has a super interesting nose of bright strawberry, orange peel and Fino sherry. On the palate, follow-up strawberry, blood orange and almond flavors. Very dry, with fine acidity and very elegant balance. Very bright for a 2006 vintage. Not to highlight the price too much but, this one is exceptional at this level of pricing!
Price: $119.00 Add To Cart
DC 94

2015 Achával Ferrer Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 08-04-2017
I have long been a fan of this vineyard and this newly released 2015 keeps that opinion running. A big, lush nose of dark red fruits and spice lead to a palate of blackberries, baking spices and balanced tannin. Super solid!

2015 Noemia de Patagonia "A Lisa" Malbec Rio Negro
Review Date: 08-04-2017
A wonderful Malbec with solid tannin and spice. Lush, juicy black cherry fruit, with notes of cola and spice. Nice, lingering finish.

2016 Gen del Alma "Ji Ji Ji" Malbec/Pinot Noir Gualtallary
Review Date: 08-04-2017
This killer little Pinot Noir has a bright red fruit nose with minerals and chalk. On the palate, dry and bright with raspberry and young boysenberry fruit. Very pretty and crunchy!
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 92

2016 Garage Wine Company Cinsault Itata Valley
Review Date: 08-04-2017
Another winner from Garage Wine Company! Red plum and celery root on the nose , with rhubarb and spice on the palate. Excellent structure with a lingering, almost salty, finish. A real pleasure!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Garage Wine Company Pais
Review Date: 08-04-2017
Wow! This is one of the most interesting, complex wines that I have had in a number of weeks. It has an intense nose of black licorice, red fruits and baked brown sugar. On the palate, a totally different game with tart chalkiness and tannin. An absolute delight that is affordable, as well!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2008 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (750ml - ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 06-27-2017
This top tier champagne from our beloved Launois is one of my very favorites of the last 10 years. While the 2006 had a quite rich and round character, the 2008 is more structured, with higher acidity and brightness. As per usual, the textbook Launois creaminess is present, with more chalk-driven minerality than previous, citrus fruit, green apple, white floral notes, and background nuts and toffee. This bottling should age extremely gracefully over the next decade plus. My previous favorite was the 2004, with its laser-like acidity, which I bought in the magnum. I may actually like this one a little bit more for its added richness! Please, please, please, ship those mags soon, Severine!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Sidonio de Sousa Rosé Brut Nature Bairrada
Review Date: 06-27-2017
A super interesting sparkler with a lively, red fruit nose. Slightly tannic, with oranges and cloves on the palate. A very lively and lingering finish. Love it!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Warwick "First Lady" Pinotage Rosé Stellenbosch
Review Date: 06-27-2017
As in Monty Python, "now for something completely different". This highly unusual rose has a raspberry and tarragon nose. Bright red fruits and capers on the palate with just a slight note of honey at the back of the palate. Definitely a food wine. Smoked salmon should be a natural for this selection. It is like Robert Smith of The Cure. A bit strange but, endearing nonetheless in its character.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Massaya "Le Colombier" Rouge Bekaa Valley Lebanon
Review Date: 06-27-2017
What a pleasant surprise this wine is! Nectarine and orange marmalade nose. Starts off a little fat on the palate and finishes clean with bright nectarine and juicy watermelon fruit. A super solid rose that is lush, yet clean.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Rosé Mendoza
Review Date: 06-27-2017
In two words, simply delicious! Pretty and bright with a grapefruit and jasmine nose. Clean and bright on the palate nectarine, grapefruit and lime. Wonderful finish with a touch of saline and peach. So perfect for hit summer days and either sipping alone or with salumi and hard cheeses. Yum!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de la Mordorée "La Reine des Bois" Tavel Rosé
Review Date: 06-27-2017
I just tasted this on Tuesday, 27 June, and it was my favorite out of 16 selections. It has a super juicy nose with ripe strawberry and red cherry fruit. On the palate, cherry dominates with dry minerality, orange peel and a bit of tannin. A lush juiciness adds to the character and makes this selection very memorable. A perfect food wine that should even hold up to a lighter steak dish.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart
JD 92 VN 92

2015 Sadie Family "Old Vine Series -Treinspoor" Tinta Barroca Swartland
Review Date: 06-13-2017
I tasted this (blind) at a staff tasting today (13 June) and although I got the country correct, I guessed it to be Nebbiolo. It is, in fact, Tinta Barroca, a variety from Portugal. It has an intense nose of pomegranate, cranberry, menthol and tobacco. On the palate, very dry, with chalky notes, clean clay, and bright, red fruits. Though unusual and not for everyone, this is one of my favorite wines of late. It is simply just super interesting, different and (I say) delicious! For those of you out there who like Arbois, orange wines and such, you simply MUST try it.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 96

2014 Kumeu River "Estate" Chardonnay Kumeu
Review Date: 06-13-2017
This stone fruit driven beauty has beautiful acidity and a medium to full texture with bright citrus to compliment the richer texture. Nice, long finish with lingering lemony notes, kiwi, and peachy undertones. Very balanced and superbly enjoyable!

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This probably my favorite of all of the Fallet-Dart Champagnes that we have been stocking. A more Chardonnay-driven release, this formidable 2008 is dry but, retains the houses' overall rich style. Minerals, green apple and a hint of anise on the nose. On the palate, hints of golden apple, cream and caramel with lively acidity and elegant balance. A 2008 vintage at this price and quality is like seeing a winged unicorn!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This Champagne is crazy good! Crazy because its primary fermentation is 1/2 done in barrel and crazy because the 1/2 of the wine is aged in magnum at 1/2 pressure (3 fathoms) and then disgorged and blended in. Two hundred and fifty-thousand magnums hand-disgorged and tested for cork taint as the mags are aged on the cork, not crown cap. Who does this?! The Special Cuvée is bright and lively on the initial taste but, fleshes out and the trademark Bollinger golden fruits and caramel come into play. Super, super long finish! Still a family-owned Champagne house!

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Laurent Perrier has long been a favorite of mine due to its clean, lovely character and combination of quality and value. This new (coming in September) La Cuvee replaces the previous NV Brut. It has a tad more chardonnay and an increased sur lie aging of six months. The result? Even BETTER quality than it previously had! Beautiful nose of saline, cream and lemon meringue. Increased weight on the mid-palate with stone fruits and peachy goodness. Long, lingering finish with key lime, chalk, minerals and nectarine. These is really not much more to ask from this champagne!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

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.

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!

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 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
VN 90

2014 Ridge Vineyards "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.

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

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
VN 92 JD 90

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-24-2017
Lovely lemon meringue nose with baked apples and caramel. Initially, a note of bright acidity in the mouth that segues into toasted nuts, ripe apples, yellow pears and butterscotch. The initial acidity brightens things up a bit and it finishes fleshy and rich and creamy. A great bargain at 35 dollars! Stand well alone or will work well with many main course dishes.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 WS 90

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

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

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
JS 98 VN 96

2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-09-2016
I just tasted a sample bottle of this last night (9/8/2016) and it is magnificent! It is clean and crisp with a long finish and a core of apples, cream and notes. Lemon meringue and nectarine on the finish. This is a SUPER bargain, so don't miss it. One of the BEST vintages since 1996. It is on its way folks, so please be patient! One of the benefits of tasting a preview bottle. It will sell out quickly!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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: $36.99 Add To Cart

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

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 "Cuvée des Jean" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This extraordinarily affordable release from Jean Josselin is simply delicious and very mineral driven for 100% Pinot Noir. Minerals, sea salt, white fruit and orange blossoms on the nose. Melons, spices, white fruit and Anjou pear on the palate with a lingering, mildly acidic finish. A really nice introductory bubbly to this line and one of my favorite bargains.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
This bargain champagne has a very bright character lemon/lime flavors followed by bright red fruits and pastry dough notes. Very, very pleasant and drinkable. Bargain hunters rejoice!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 VN 90

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.

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