Staff Favorites - Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith
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.

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2012 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé  
Review Date: 3-2-2015
Cremant de Limoux lies farthest west in the vast vinous ‘laboratory’ that is the Languedoc-Rousillon, where some of France’s most distinctive varieties and dynamic wines are to be found. The Emotion is blended from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Mauzac, the latter an indigenous grape cultivated for both its lovely apple notes and variable color that can run from light green to pink to black! Displaying remarkable elegance and refinement for a wine of this modest price, with generous bubbles and crisply dry flavors of acacia, strawberry, cherry and toast. The perfect companion for lively catered parties, as it goes with virtually everything that lies prone on a plate. Also great with nothing, ha…..
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 St. Clement "Oroppas" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend  
Review Date: 3-2-2015
The 2011 vintage of the St. Clement Oroppas is a fantastic wine that makes me have a little hope for some of the 2011 Napa Cabernet. The wine is a blend of Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Rutherford and Spring Mountain fruit. They achieved some lovely extraction for such a cool vintage. Nice flavors of mocha, plum, cedar and vanilla harmonize well with the fruit and make a delicious wine for the next 5 years.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart AG 94 BC 0

2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Rouge   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-1-2015
Wow, this wine is so beautifully expressive and elegant in its youth, I can only imagine how elegantly it will develop over the next 5-10 years. The nose smells of cured meats, rosemary and sage and black currents while the palate has notes of dark cherry, leather, black pepper, organic earth, slate and graphite with elegant, polished tannins. Makes me want to fly to France and have this wine with a hearty cassoulet.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 La Velona Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-1-2015
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From the southern slope of Montalcino this wine’s nose is full of wild earth, spice, wild flowers and hints of leather. While in the mouth this wine has a bold, determined palate presence showing the richness of its location yet never feeling plump, always focused, directional yet lustrous, dense and layered flows of wild cherry, stone, smoke, leather, smoked meats and wild flowers. The powerful yet supple body forges a long and complete finish where freshly cut leather, herbs, hints of smoke and wild cherry continue on and on.
Drink from 2015 to 2035

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-28-2015
As you would expect from the people that brought us the Prisoner...this wine is full throttle, full bodied, big bold Cabernet. But...it also has class. Sourced from some of the same sites as it's big brother Quintessa and with good chunk of fruit from Coombesville (cooler climate), this wine also has nice acidity and brightness to balance all that raw Napa Valley power. Faust seriously gives some of the big prestigious names in the valley something to think about especially given it's sub-$50 price point!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-28-2015
A perennial value at K&L. Juicy, ripe, black and blue fruit, some chocolate notes. Fresh, soft and easy to enjoy. A classic party wine.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-28-2015
Sure there are cheaper Rossos to be found...but this is much more like a Brunello in disguise! The depth and power here is amazing. Lovely fruit weight, super fine but mouth coating tannins. The wine strikes a nice balance between a little more generosity of modern Brunello but retains the purity and elegance of more traditional techniques. Great wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart ST 90 BC 0

2012 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-28-2015
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Bright nose of crushed berries and dusty spices. The palate is perfectly weighted without to much extraction but ample concentration at the same time. Silky mouth-feel, great length on the palate. It finishes with just a hint of wild thyme and warm earth that takes me back to the hillsides of Central Otago. There is a lot of wine here for a very modest price point.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Rickshaw Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-28-2015
One the the best value CA cabs in the store. This wine shows the skill of Banshee to deliver serious wines at value price points. Dark and rich but with good Cabernet varietal characters, fine tannins and a juicy hit of Malbec in the blend that just makes this so drinkable.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-28-2015
This is how Pinot Grigio should taste! Not the watered down, lifeless, commercial version...this wine is rich in flavor, texture and complexity. It restored my faith in the varietal...check it out, it's a game changer.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 Smoky & Peaty Tobermory (Ledaig) 8 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 2-28-2015
This is one single malt that I think one would never be tired of drinking. It has nice smoke aromas but they are not too heavy. The smoke is followed by nice round and fruity (but not too sweet) malty flavors. It is a very pleasant everyday treat.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Enmore 25 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Rum 750ml  
Review Date: 2-28-2015
The Enmore has a beautiful deep dark color. The noise has complex caramel and fruit aromas. In the mouth it is rich, deep and round, with hints of dried fruit flavors. A special treat that is well worth the price.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 2-28-2015
Surely one of the best outcomes of adding a Direct Import program from Spain was the good fortune, indeed the honor, of being able to offer our customers the wines of Miguel Merino. A force of nature, Miguel's passion and energy are revealed through his meticulously crafted wines. The 2006 Miguel Merino Vitola Reserva Rioja is a great example. Polished, generous, elegant. True of the wine. And of the winemaker. Gracias, Miguel.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Meurgey-Croses Mâcon-Uchizy  
Review Date: 2-28-2015
A brand new addition to K&L's collection of great white Burgundy values. 100% Chardonnay from Uchizy in the Maconnais. Very floral on the nose with hints of acacia. Round and richly textured with plenty of weight in the mouth but with a firm, mineral core. Lovely ripe fruit leaning more towards stone fruits - peach and nectarine. Drank this alongside the 2013 Les Heritiers de Comte Lafon "Les Maranches" Macon-Uchizy $32.99. At half the price, the 2013 Meurgey-Croses compares very favorably. Flavor profile is identical, and the Meurgey-Croses is the more immediately accessible of the two. A real value.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Il Valentiano Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 2-28-2015
100% Sangiovese in the classic style from Montalcino. Medium to full-bodied, silky in texture, showing all the ripeness of the 2012 vintage. Bright, sweet, morello cherry notes with a slightly bitter "amaro" finish. For those looking for a traditional Tuscan red at a great price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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