Staff Favorites - Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith
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Growing from a Redwood City sales position in 2009, to the company sake buyer in 2011, and then to the Head Sommelier in 2013 my love of wine spreads the gamut from mineral laden Sancerres to California Zinfandels aged over 20 years, Urban wines to classic Bordeaux, and 99% of the spirits that we carry. As a CIA trained chef I spent 15 years in some of the top kitchens in the country until my love of wine won out and I transitioned to the wine industry in 2004 where I began utilizing my skills as an instructor, a writer, and a restaurant consultant after passing the introductory level exam of The Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2010, I developed the first iPhone app for wine pronunciation, the Enotria Guide. In 2011, I became one of the few certified Sake Sommeliers in the country through the Sake Education Council. Outside of K&L I run private and corporate wine and spirits events around the Bay Area, consult on private cellars, and attempt to write professionally.


Reviews

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2010 Amisfield Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 4-18-2014
This is a powerhouse of a Pinot! Almost portraying the nose of a Syrah, there is black fruit, pepper, chocolate-dipped cherries, pencil lead and fresh tar. Substantial acid and tannin that will allow this to age for a few years. I would serve this with charcoal grilled ribs, with a coffee dry rub or a cherry reduction based barbecue sauce.
Price: Hidden View Price BC 93 RP 90

2013 Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc Central Otago
Review Date: 4-18-2014
This reminds me of the wines that originally turned us all onto New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Intensely aromatic, rich in texture, peach candy, and lemon rind, and a touch of mint. Certainly a crowd pleaser, and as it has a screwtop, no opener needed.
Price: Hidden View Price BC 93

2011 Cameron "Abbey Ridge" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 4-15-2014
I'm proud to be the only retailer in California to carry this bottling. Delicious black plums are followed by cracked black pepper, and vegetal and herbal notes that add to the intrigue.

2013 Cep (Peay Vineyards) "Hopkins Ranch" Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 4-15-2014
Nice Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, layered with pomello, river rocks, and coastal sea breeze.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Armas de Guerra Mencía Rosado Bierzo
Review Date: 4-14-2014
The texture of this is almost indulgent! Creamy, with ripe lush fruit, intense minerality, and bright, refreshing acidity. 100% Mencia from Bierzo. This is completely coming camping with me this weekend. Whipped feta dip with grilled asparagus, hot dogs with my friends homemade pepper relish, even just the fresh air will go great with this wine!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 4-10-2014
There is not questioning whether or not this is a Pinot! Beautiful light structure, forest floor, olives, crushed currents, stoney, this is much closer to a Burgundy than a typical New World Pinot. Textbook and honestly made.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Giuliano Pecorino Terre di Chieti
Review Date: 4-7-2014
Oh Pecorino! It's a wonder I haven't tasted this varietal (knowingly) until this year. This wine has an explosive aroma. This wine smells like the trays of cut samples of peaches and nectarines, and at the farmer's market at the beginning of Summer, sprinkled with orange blossoms! This is one of those wines that you will want to nose over and over because it is pure bliss. On the palate it is richer and rounder than I would expect it to be. Greg hits the nail on the head in his description and comparing it to a French Viognier (which I also can't get my nose out of). I would serve this with something as simple and enjoyable as a squash blossom flatbread with fresh local ricotta, and a drizzle of walnut oil.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Blason Malvasia Friuli-Venezia-Giulia
Review Date: 4-7-2014
This has a really intriguing nose, and is just as dynamic on the palate. Layers of river rock, white flowers, peach, and almost the suggestion of nuttiness.I would pair this with a caramelized spring onion and Parmesan quiche with a delicate side salad containing castelvetrano olives and avocados for richness. But don't over think the wine, just enjoy it.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Palazzone Terre Vinate Orvieto
Review Date: 4-7-2014
a lovely straw yellow, this blend of hand picked field blend is the perfect refreshing accompaniment to a Spring salad with grilled prawns and a citrus vinaigrette. Packed up in a picnic, or served on the deck to friends, this is a great wine to have on hand as the temperatures rise. (no corkscrew needed)
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Tio Pepe (Gonzalez Byass) Fino Sherry
Review Date: 4-7-2014
A perfect entry level Fino Sherry. The lightest of the sherries, this can be highly enjoyable with an assortment of delicious, simple nibbles. Prosciutto, olives, fried smelt, marcona almonds, etc.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1989 D'Oliveira Malvasia Madeira
Review Date: 4-7-2014
I originally tasted this in November 2011, and even then it came across as rich, and viscous, with aromas of kumquat marmalade, toasted walnuts, and Fall leaves. Delicious with hard cheeses and nut cakes. Founded in 1820, D’Oliveira one of the few to Madeira shippers to survive from the pre-phylloxera era. Still owned an operated by the same family, who were once also highly important growers on the island.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

2013 Dos Minas Torrontes Cafayate
Review Date: 4-4-2014
This wine is exceptionally drinkable. Beautiful aromatics of orange blossoms, and dried apricots on the palate. Off dry, this is a very food friendly wine, a simple citrus salad with pistachios, or a yellow Thai curry with pork would make excellent pairings with this Torrontes.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Niepoort "Docil" Loureiro Vinho Verde
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Bright and refreshing, with great acidity, grapefruit pith, and lingering minerality.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2010 Fanti Sant'Antimo Sassomagno
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Man is this a great red wine for the price! Ripe fruit, but balanced, with a fresh finish. If you're accustomed to coming home from a long day at work and pouring yourself a glass of wine (with or without food) you will be stoked to find such a great deal. Seriously, the blend on this is nothing but friendly. The lack of tannins negate the need for food, and at 14% all you really need with this wine is a couch and prime time. Greg himself bought a case, and I won't be far behind him.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

2009 Georg Albrecht Schneider Dornfelder
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Very dynamic, spicy, light, mild tannins, and loads of minerality. Bonus points for serving a Dornfelder to your wine nerd friends.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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2011 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate" Dundee Hills Chardonnay ($23.99)

2013 Bedrock Wine Company Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($23.99)

2010 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Syrah Marlborough New Zealand ($29.99)

2011 Spreitzer Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese (end of vintage) ($23.99)

2011 Stein "Blauschiefer" Riesling Trocken ($16.99)

2011 Hirsch Lamm Grüner Veltliner Kamptal ($54.99)

2011 Hirsch Heiligenstein Grüner Veltliner Kamptal ($23.99)

2011 Umathum Zweigelt Burgenland ($19.99)

2010 Moorooduc "Robinson Vineyard" Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula Victoria ($54.99)

2010 Moorooduc "Devil Bend Creek" Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula Victoria ($24.99)

2011 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($21.99)

Moet & Chandon "Impérial" Brut Champagne ($37.99)

2011 La Gatta Moscato d'Asti ($10.99)

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne ($39.99)

Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99)

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol ($29.99)

Bulleit Rye Whiskey 750ml ($21.99)

2011 Les Clos Perdus "Le Rouge" Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes ($13.99)

George Dickel No. 8 Tennessee Whiskey 750ml ($14.99)

Zwack Unicum Liqueur 1L [cannot ship] ($26.99)

Campeòn K&L Exclusive Blanco Tequila 750ml ($29.99)

2011 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana ($7.99)

2012 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli ($15.99)

2011 Casa Ferreirinha "Papa Figos" Douro ($14.99)

2011 El Libre Malbec Mendoza ($9.99)

2012 Viña Cobos "Felino" Merlot Mendoza ($16.99)

2011 Alto los Romeros Pinot Noir Reserva Valle Central ($11.99)

2010 Seven Hills Columbia Valley Merlot ($21.99)

2011 Rieflé "Bonheur Convivial" Pinot Noir ($17.99)

Mount Gilboa Barbados Aged Pot Still Rum 750ml ($30.99)

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne ($29.99)

2006 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne ($59.99)

Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Champagne ($49.99)

Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne ($49.99)

Charles Heidsieck "Rosé Reserve" Brut Champagne ($69.99)

2000 Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne ($89.99)

2013 Fabre Montmayou Rosé Mendoza ($7.99)

2011 Conte di Gropello Brachetto d'Acqui ($13.99)

2010 Correggia "Marun" Barbera d'Alba ($32.99)

2012 Unti Vineyards "Cuvée Blanc" Dry Creek Rhône Blend ($24.99)

2011 Dragonette Cellars Central Coast Grenache ($36.99)

2011 Dragonette Cellars "Seven" Central Coast Syrah ($37.99)

2013 Dragonette Cellars Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Rosé ($19.99)

2004 Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($169.99)

2010 Adega Pena Das Donas "Almalarga" Godello Ribeira Sacra ($17.99)

2011 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon ($16.99)

2012 Lafond Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay ($18.99)

2011 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Chardonnay ($19.99)

2012 Tablas Creek "Côtes de Tablas Blanc" Paso Robles White Rhône Blend ($24.99)

2012 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99)

1997 Potensac, Médoc ($26.99)

2009 Brown Rouge, Pessac-Léognan ($39.99)

2010 de Gironville, Haut-Médoc ($14.99)

2009 Mylord "Cuvée Milady" Bordeaux ($12.99)

2010 Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion ($179.99)

2010 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac ($224.99)

2011 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc ($34.99)

2011 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($99.99)

2011 Alain Voge "Vieilles Vignes" Cornas Pre-Arrival ($69.99)

2011 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($32.99)

2008 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "Incognito H" Côtes du Rhône ($39.99)

2012 Mas del Périé "Les Escures" Cahors ($16.99)

2010 Jean-Louis Denois Grande Cuvée Limoux ($14.99)

2009 Bodegas Sierra Salinas "Puerto Salinas" Alicante ($14.99)

2011 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay ($54.99)

2011 Shafer "One Point Five" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.99)

2011 Foxglove Central Coast Chardonnay ($11.99)

2010 Dashe "Florence Vineyard" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($31.99)

2010 Guardian "Gun Metal-Connor Lee Vineyard" Columbia Valley Red Wine ($42.99)

2010 Veedercrest North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99)

2012 Hobo "Branham Vineyard" Rockpile Zinfandel ($24.99)

2011 Corvidae "Rook" Columbia Valley Red Blend ($13.99)

2011 Calder Wine Company Napa Valley Charbono ($19.99)

2012 Waxwing "Spring Hill Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($34.99)

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon ($25.99)

2012 Sarapo "Donato Lot 4" Sonoma County Pinot Noir ($19.99)

2012 Kalinda "Cuvée Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($24.99)

2006 Launois Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($49.99)

2011 Torbreck "Juveniles" Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre Barossa Valley South Australia ($18.99)

2011 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($29.99)

2011 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Syrah/Grenache ($31.99)

2009 Aldo Conterno "Colonnello" Barolo ($129.99)

2008 Bruna Grimaldi "Camilla" Barolo (damaged labels) ($29.99)

2009 Cantine Ascheri Barolo ($29.99)

2009 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana ($69.99)

2011 Bibi Graetz "Soffocone di Natale" Toscana ($34.99)

2010 TorCalvano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ($18.99)

2011 Riecine Chianti Classico ($23.99)

2008 Masi Brolo di Campofiorin Oro ($19.99)

2011 Jacques Bavard Saint-Romain Blanc "Sous le Château" ($32.99)

2011 Jacques Bavard Monthelie Blanc ($29.95)

2002 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Reserva Rioja ($41.99)

2012 Kalinda Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($12.99)

2009 Clarke (Baron Edmond de Rothschild), Listrac ($24.99)

2011 Château de la Charrière Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc "Vermots Dessus" Domaine Yves Girardin ($23.99)

2011 Domaine Champy Beaune 1er Cru "Aux Cras" ($34.99)

2011 Château de la Charrière Santenay 1er Cru "Clos Rousseau" Domaine Yves Girardin ($24.99)

2011 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Yves Girardin ($15.99)

2009 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe ($24.99)

1991 Cambus 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml ($109.99)

BenRiach 12 year old Single Malt Whisky 750ml ($44.99)

Mezcalero Release #7 San Juan del Rio 750ml ($75.99)

Tequila Tapatio 110 Proof Blanco 1L ($39.99)

2006 Marguet Pere et Fils Grand Cru Brut Champagne ($49.99)

2005 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L) ($59.99)

2007 Viader Napa Valley Proprietary Red ($114.99)

2012 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay ($34.99)

2011 Green & Red "Chiles Canyon Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel ($19.99)

2010 Amici "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99)

2010 Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99)

2011 Alexander Valley Vineyards "Wetzel Family Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon ($16.99)

2011 Tablas Creek "Esprit de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blend ($54.99)

2011 Tablas Creek "Esprit Blanc de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blend ($36.99)

2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($37.99)

2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($32.99)

2011 Raventos i Blanc "de Nit" Rosé Conca del Riu Anoia ($22.99)

2011 Algueira Merenzao Ribeira Sacra ($39.99)

2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra ($14.99)

1982 Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja (slightly torn capsules) ($199.99)

1982 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva ($119.99)

1964 Faustino I Gran Reserva Rioja ($199.99)

2012 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand ($26.99)

Ferreira "Duque de Braganca" 20-year-old Tawny Port ($54.99)

2009 Vrai Canon Bouche, Canon Fronsac ($26.99)

2010 Beychevelle, St-Julien ($99.99)

2011 Margerum "M5" Santa Barbara County Rhône Blend ($22.99)

2012 Melville "Estate-Verna's" Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($23.99)

2011 Hendry "HRW" Napa Valley Zinfandel ($16.99)

2011 Ponzi "Tavola" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($23.99)

2012 Chehalem "3 Vineyards" Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($18.99)

2010 Cédric Parpette "Montmain" Côte-Rôtie ($49.99)

2010 Bosquet des Papes "À la Gloire de Mon Grand-Père" Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($99.99)

2006 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($79.99)

2012 Domaine de Pouy Côtes de Gascogne Blanc ($9.99)

2011 Fort Ross "Fort Ross Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay ($34.99)

2012 Baker & Brain "Paragon Vineyard" Edna Valley Grenache Blanc ($21.99)

2011 Arterberry Maresh Dundee Hills Oregon Chardonnay ($24.99)

2012 Envolve Winery Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($16.99)

2011 Tatomer "Vandenberg" Santa Barbara County Riesling ($22.99)

2012 Truchard Carneros Chardonnay ($26.99)

2011 Joseph Swan "Hawk Hill Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($39.99)

2010 Wynn's "Black Label" Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia ($39.99)

2010 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Shiraz Pyrenees Victoria ($49.99)

2011 Oakridge Local Vineyard Series "Denton Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley ($24.99)

2011 The Winery of Good Hope "Vinum" Bush Vine Chenin Blanc ($15.99)

Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne ($49.99)

2007 Michel Arnould Vintage "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne ($49.99)

Collard-Picard "Prestige" Brut Champagne ($39.99)

2010 Domaine Galévan "Esprit Devin" Côtes du Rhône-Villages ($19.99)

2012 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($19.99)

2011 Columbia Crest "H3" Horse Heaven Hills Washington Cabernet Sauvignon ($10.99)

2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc ($12.99)

2007 La Lecciaia "Manapetra" Brunello di Montalcino ($39.99)

2012 Viñedos Culturales "Ramblis Arco" Alicante ($24.99)

2012 Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho "Contacto" Minho ($19.99)

2010 Correggia "Val dei Preti" Nebbiolo Roero ($32.99)

2011 Cyprus Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($21.99)

2010 Robert Mondavi "To Kalon Vineyard - Monastery Block" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($199.99)

2011 L'Aventure "Côte a Côte Estate" Paso Robles Rhône Blend ($79.99)

2010 Knez Winery "Demuth Vineyard" Anderson Valley Chardonnay ($34.99)

2010 Porter-Bass Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($32.99)

2010 NXNW Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99)

2011 Chehalem "INOX" Wilamette Valley Chardonnay ($15.99)

2012 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel ($19.99)

1989 Uitvlugt 23 Year Old Duncan Taylor Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum 750ml ($159.99)

2011 Vinos Ambiz Malvar Sobremadre ($24.99)

2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt "Pais de Quenehuao" Maule Valley ($19.99)

2005 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Reserva Rioja ($26.99)

Osocalis Rare Alambic Brandy 750ml ($42.99)

Osocalis XO Alambic Brandy 750ml ($105.99)

2005 Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($54.99)

Pierre Moncuit "Cuvée Pierre Moncuit-Delos Grand Cru" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99)

2004 Pierre Moncuit "Cuvée Nicole Moncuit Vieilles Vignes" Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($74.99)

2010 Montrose, St-Estèphe ($249.99)

2010 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien ($139.99)

2009 Angélus, St-Emilion ($349.99)

2009 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac ($269.99)

2010 Sandro Fay Valtellina Superiore Valgella Carteria ($29.99)

2010 Sandro Fay Valtellina Superiore Valgella Ca' Morei ($29.99)

2012 Bethel Heights "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Blanc ($16.99)

2011 Martinelli "Moonshine Ranch" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($69.99)

2004 Heitz Cellar "Martha's Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($149.99)

1991 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($109.99)

2011 Francois Villard "De Poncins" Condrieu ($74.99)

2011 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos "Cuarteto" Rioja ($9.99)

2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc ($21.99)

2010 Potensac, Médoc ($29.99)

2010 Haut de Poujeaux, Haut-Médoc ($18.99)

2010 D'Anice Blanc, Bordeaux ($14.99)

2012 Waterkloof "Circumstance" Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch ($16.99)

2011 Waterkloof "Circumstance" Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch ($16.99)

2010 Waterkloof "Circumstance" Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch South Africa ($24.99)

Campo de Encanto Pisco de Peru 750ml ($35.99)

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum 750ml ($35.99)