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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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

2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-06-2017
This is a brilliant follow up to the wonderful 2013 vintage of this wine. Slightly riper than the 2014 but, retains the excellent Olema acidity and cleanliness. White stone fruits with just a hint of honey and apple. Citrus background with a little bit of chalkiness and (very light) background oak. Those of you who love balanced and fresh California chardonnay will rejoice with this hugely affordable effort from Olema winery.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena
Review Date: 11-19-2016
This great little bargain of a grenache has bright, red fruits, supple tannin and lovely balance. A really good go to as a party wine that will match up very well with most foods.
Top Value!
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 11-19-2016
Yet another one in our lineup of bargain Chablis! Two words that often do not go together. A nice balance of the traditional Chablis elements of acidity, chalk and citrus with added old vine texture and fruit. This one should please those of you who appreciate the crispness of Chablis and also those of you who are looking to experiment away from bigger, buttery, chardonnay.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2012 Lyeth Sonoma County Meritage
Review Date: 11-19-2016
This wonderful bargain from Lyeth is extremely versatile. At once it has deep, dark, red and black fruits, silky tannins and generous mouthfeel but, it does not come across as heavy handed due to the red fruit character that peeks through. Subtle spice and wood nuances add extra layers of interest, as well. Extremely versatile!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay
Review Date: 11-19-2016
This is consistently one of our best selling Macon's. The Charnay from Renaud has golden apple and white stone fruit scents. On the palate, apple and pear flavors are compensated amply by the citrus and minerality that takes you by surprise. A very nice, lingering finish. This latest effort from Domaine Renaud is a definite winner!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

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

Drappier "Signature" Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-04-2016
This unusual blend of 95% chardonnay and 5% blanc vrai (pinot blanc) has white flower notes with some muted bread dough notes on the nose. In the mouth, it is fairly rich with creamy golden apple fruit and a long, rich finish of lemon meringue. Excellent acidity and brightness, as well. A low 8 grams per liter dosage and it spends 2-3 years on the lees. All stainless steel fermentation. Update: Retasted on October 4th, 2016. This wine gets even better! Chalk is coming through even more so now and the balance is just gorgeous and the finish is even longer. The only better champagnes that I have had lately are in the $300.00-$900.00 range! Nearly perfect!
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 91 WS 91

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.

2010 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-22-2016
I was able to taste this lovely last week and it is just so pretty and enticing. The first striking thing is the bright nose of raspberries and orange. It fleshes out a bit on the palate with a nice, slightly richer style texture with bright cherry fruit and surprisingly crisp minerality. Very interesting and quite refreshing!

2008 Baron Fuente "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: $49.99 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

2013 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-02-2016
Like its sister wine, the wonderful Pinot Noir, this Chardonnay is zesty and refreshing with orange, apple and a nice touch of citrus. Not a big, buttery style, but one that lends itself to various foods or is very enjoyable on its own. A wonderful bargain!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 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

2015 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 08-27-2016
This bright and semi-fizzy white is a great way to start a meal or to have at a picnic or to just plain enjoy by itself! Dry, with white stone fruits and peach notes, it pairs up very well with spicy foods. I like mine with ceviche.

2013 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 08-27-2016
This project of Caroline Bonville, cousin to the much admired Olivier Bonville (creator of one my favorite lines of small-estate champagne) is putting out many excellent reds from the Roussillon area. This particular example is bright and spicy, with a overlay of ripe fruit that makes it a little too easy to drink. There is a purity of red fruits and soft, smooth tannins that make this little affordable beauty a real gem. Perfect with barbecue and smoked meats.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2004 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-23-2016
I have always been a Tondonia (and Bosconia) fan and this latest release only confirms why I love it so. The earthy, spicy, tobacco nose has everything I expect from this wine...mushrooms, savory spices and a hint of tanned leather. On the palate, it starts off with bright, red cherries and follows up with round tannins, which is a wonderful surprise. Quite supple for this wine! It still has a lingering finish and bright acidity. A simply wonderful bargain for under 40 dollars.

2007 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-23-2016
Another fine, traditional Rioja that I was able to taste right after the 2004 Vina Tondonia, which was great. This (also) traditionally styled Rioja has a beef broth nose with dark cherries and dried leaves. On the palate, dried red plums and cherries, cocoa powder and baking spices. Simply wonderful! Traditionalists, rejoice in this under-$30 bargain!

2014 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipú
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This is one of best values, and best selling malbec's ever! Juicy, dark fruits, vanilla and a very light hint of baking spices. Soft and supple, with very mild tannins. It ever scores highly with the critics!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château Vitallis Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This is a great alternative to California chardonnay or for those of you who are looking to switch to Burgundy. Generous, old vine fruit with yellow apple, white stone fruits, toasted nuts and a touch of oak.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 91 WE 91

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 "Alliance" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
The Alliance has a very fine bead, with hints of cream and saline. Green apples, white stone fruits and just the right amount of spice keep things interesting and very refreshing!
Price: $39.99 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: $29.99 Add To Cart

2008 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-26-2016
I absolutely LOVED this wine when we tasted it on May 24th. It has everything great that the traditional wines of Spain have to offer. Earthiness, tobacco, spices and savory notes. Fine tannins and fruit that starts out bright and then deepens mid-palate. Long finish with fresh minerals and bright red fruits. This is a classic and lovers of Tandonia and Bosconia should take note. This wine is simply too good to miss at this price!
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 92

2010 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja
Review Date: 05-26-2016
Dark red fruits, menthol and fresh oak on the nose. Nice and grippy on the palate with deep, dark, red boysenberry fruit. This wine beautifully shows off its lush fruit with traditional elements of tannins and earthiness, which peek out nicely from the background.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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 90

2006 Veuve Clicquot "La Grande Dame" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
HUGE surprise! As 2006 has produced champagnes that are largely very rich, this vintage Grande Dame Brut Rose is clean, muted and elegant. A nose of pomegranate, nectarine and black cherries, with a light hint of smoke. On the palate, bright red fruits, orange marmalade/orange peel and cream. Very fine character with a long finish of minerals. Should age very well.
Price: $299.00 Add To Cart

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.

Tarlant "Brut Tradition" Champagne
Review Date: 05-17-2016
I just tasted this again today, 17 May, 2016, and it is just stunning! Candied ginger, pears and pine nuts on the nose. Fleshes out on the palate with white and yellow fruits and a very nutty finish that lingers with minerality due to the low 6 grams of dosage. Clean. Don't miss it! It's a bargain at 40 dollars!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2008 Veuve Clicquot "Gold Label Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2016
This vintage marks the first time that VC has used oak-aged wines for this blend. In this case, five percent. The clean nose leads to rich apple and creaminess. Freshness comes through on the palate with minerals and chalk. The mid-palate retains golden/yellow fruits and toasted almonds. Intriguingly long and bright finish. The final blend is 61% pinot noir, 34% chardonnay and 5% pinot meunier. Don't miss this one!

2008 Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2016
A lovely tangerine and raspberry nose with touches of chalkiness and smoke. On the palate, tart boysenberry fruit, black cherries and additional smokiness. Very, very fresh tasting with generous minerality. One of the best VC vintage Brut Rose's that I have ever tasted!
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart

Founders Brewing Co. Porter, Michigan (12oz)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
What an awesome porter at such an affordable price! A nose of unroasted coffee beans and maple. In the mouth, more coffee with toffee and chocolate notes. Not a summer sipper, this. I would even be tempted to serve it as an after dinner beer with something made with dark, bitter, chocolate. Or, just by itself.
Price: $1.89 Add To Cart
WE 93

Mikkeller "Nelson Sauvin Brut" Bière de Champagne, Denmark (750ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
As I specialize in Champagne, this Brut Biere had a natural attraction for me. It is simply lovely with a rich and creamy character that is at once soft and hoppy. It has a very nice finish that lingers for a bit to remind of just how good it is!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2014 Cascade Brewing "Figaro" Ale Aged in Oak Barrels w/ Figs, Oregon (750ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
Absolutely yummy and right up my alley. I love sour things. Sour fruit, sour candy, Vin Clair and the like. This ale is very sour, with strawberry, lime and tart nectarine flavors. The figs take the background and add those flavors in, as well. Yes, it is on the upper echelon (price wise) for a beer but, the quality is there AND it comes in a standard wine bottle size.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Prairie Artisan Ales "Bomb" Imperial Stout, Oklahoma (354ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
The name is very applicable here, as this is, indeed, "da bomb." Not "a bomb," but "da bomb." The main flavors here are dark chocolate and toffee. It is almost, but not quite sweet. My suggestion is to have it after a meal in place of liqueur or cognac. A great way to round off a meal!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Heater Allen "Pils" Pilsner, Oregon (22oz)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
This is a rich, slightly bitter, Pils with loads of character. I am not generally a Pils fan as I prefer more stuffing in my beers, but this one sets itself apart. Loads of malt and cereal grain make it more interesting, and well, just delicious!
Price: $6.49 Add To Cart

2012 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Red Rhône Blend Swartland
Review Date: 04-05-2016
Tasted today. I am a fan of all of the Badenhorst wines as they are unusual, kind of funky and just plain delicious. The 2012 red Rhone blend starts out somewhat Pinot-esque with black cherry fruit and a little cranberry. As a bonus, there are lively mineral and citrus notes on the finish along with a hint of clay and tobacco. This wine pretty much has everything, including a low price.
Top Value!

2006 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-14-2016
This quite rich new release from Taittinger is a very worthy follow up to the 2005. It has a lovely white stone fruit character with lightly toasted nuttiness and subdued apple flavors. Creamy and floral, with a nice bit of citrus fruit on the finish.

Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 03-10-2016
Loire buyer Eric Story has been doing his best to provide us with relatively inexpensive bubblies and in this case, he has come through. This little winner has bright red fruits, zippy acidity and a touch of minerality. Bright and refreshing. An added bonus is the tiny, tiny bubbles. Tiny bubbles, in the wine, make me happy, make me feel fine. Thank you, Don Ho!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Baron Fuente "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-10-2016
Surprisingly, for such a blend of “dark” grapes, this is very light in color—almost a light straw. On the nose it starts out light and pretty with aspects of fresh-cut flowers and bread dough. In the mouth it has a tight bead with very well-balanced flavors of apples (both green and gold), lemon curd and white cake, in a lighter style that finishes very cleanly. Ten grams of dosage per liter make this a perfect aperitif bubbly.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-10-2016
Excellent bubbles at an excellent price! For those of you who like Veuve Clicquot, this effort from Ariston has ample yeast and toast but, not too much. Golden apple fruit and hints of caramel and vanilla. Great by itself or with chicken, salmon or pork.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Gosset "Excellence" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-10-2016
This lovely bubbly is excellent and is also a great value! Initially, it is rich with baked bread scents, vanilla and luscious yellow fruits. On the palate, it starts off rich and heady with rich mid-palate of Bartlett pears and fresh cream. The finish is a nice surprise, with bright acidity and just a hint of minerality. One of my favorite memories of this wine was having it with Caprese fare on a lovely warm night in Epernay. It was the perfect apertif!
Top Value!

2012 Chaman Malbec Reserva Mendoza
Review Date: 03-10-2016
This pretty and opulent Malbec has a lovely nose of crushed violets and Ludens cherries. On the palate, it is rich and smooth with dense cherry fruit, ripe raspberries and just a hint of anise and minerals. A wonderful vale and a wine that should please nearly everyone.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 03-10-2016
This very pretty, rich and creamy Prosecco has been a favorite here for a while now. It has a mouthwatering nose of peaches and nectarines with just a hint of Key lime. The palate follows the characteristics of the nose, but has the addition of cream with a citrus finish. Don't miss this one!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2012 Momo (Seresin) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 03-10-2016
This medium-bodied and juicy Pinot Noir pretty much has it all! Lush strawberry fruit combined with red berries, smoke and spice. Pretty much goes with everything from lighter beef dishes to smoked salmon and game bird. An excellent value!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Louise Brison "L'Impertinente" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 03-10-2016
100% pinot noir with no malolactic fermentation. Strawberry and raspberry nose with toasty notes and jammy scents. On the palate, Morello cherries, a touch of cranberry, ample structure, and a racy finish. Lovely as an aperttif or with white meats such as chicken or pork.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Von Strasser "Rudy" Paicines Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-10-2016
This lovely release from Von Stasser pretty much has it all. Nicely rich dark fruits, without being over extracted and a very nice, long finish with balancing acidity. A wonderful bargain!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2009 Louise Brison Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-18-2016
This new (to us) small estate producer had a HUGE success here with their 2008 vintage. The 2009 vintage release is of a similar quality but, with higher acidity. It has bracing acidity and chalkiness on the finish, which, for me, is a good thing. This is due to a much lower dosage than the 2008. Where the 2008 showed rich, golden apple fruit, this release shows white stone fruits and peach. This is a solid effort and a very pleasing release.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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