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 Remo Farina Bianco di Custoza  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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I love this wine's refreshing balance, of crispness and supple body. Fermented and aged in stainless steel to keep the wine's clean, fresh fruit character, and it is just a delight to drink.
Drink from 2015 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

St. George Green Chile Vodka 750ml  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
Love it. My Bloody Marys will never be the same. It smells like a big bowl of salsa and tastes like an explosion of Mexican cuisine. The applications are endless. It's basically gin made entirely with chiles.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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This bright and compelling Pinot from NZ is pretty hard to beat. Truly fantastic Pinots are nearly impossible to find under $20, but this one delivers. It's not a New World "thick" Pinot, rather it shows its varietal characteristics confidently and soundly while offering complex notes of spices, florals and earthy notes floating over a lovely array of red and blue fruits, and with fine tannins and a great acid balance. Bravo!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2010 Beausejour, Fronsac   | Approved
Review Date: 3-3-2015
Too often ignored due to its close proximity to the legendary right-bank appellations of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion, Fronsac has been producing top-notch wines for years, often at remarkable values, as evidenced here. A blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc, this is all about structure. Dark fruit, herbal mint, and toasty wood notes are held together in perfect order by supple tannins. From the amazing 2010 vintage, this is showing beautifully and will no doubt continue to age for decades. Enjoy!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Olivier Leflaive St-Aubin 1er Cru "Charmois"  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
In Burgundy, it is all about terroir, a sense of place. What this means is that it is location, location, location. And here we have it. Charmois sits right on the border with Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chaumees. But wine from the other side of the invisible dotted line will cost you about 50% more money. So if you are looking for a bargain, you will see why we got the U.S. exclusive for this wine from Olivier Leflaive. Bright and crisp, with focused minerality and length, this is a terrific accompaniment for some grilled shrimp. The 15% of new oak gives a gentle toastiness to this wine, without dominating the flavors.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Jean-Paul Brun "Terres Dorees" Chardonnay Beaujolais Blanc   | Approved
Review Date: 3-3-2015
If you appreciate great-value Chardonnays like those from the Maconnais and up for something new, here is its rarer cousin, Beaujolais blanc. Marked with the scent of lemon chiffon, strokes of lime zest and a good dose of richness this is a fresh, clean and easy sipper to be put into the repertoire.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart DC 95 BC 0

2012 Woodstock Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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Another Aussie wine pulls the strings of my wine loving heart! This wonderfully rich and powerful Shiraz from winemaker Ben Glaetzer (yep, think Amon Ra!)shows all the great deep notes of mocha, black licorice root and spicy blackberries, but not ever overwhelming or hot. It's amazing how this wine balances density and richness with complex aromatics, structure and bright highlights - all coming together with remarkable style and beauty. Maybe the best deal in Syrah in the store.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2009 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
On this full-bodied Sangiovese you will find plum, chocolate, and cherries dancing with smooth and silky tannins. This Brunello will age well for the next couple of years, but no need to wait. This is the prefect accompaniment to many pork dishes.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $24.99
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2010 San Carlo Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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The nose is full of spice and dried flowers. On the palate the wine is structured with dense, tannic shoulders, powerful, long tannins. The wine is a blockbuster on the palate then begins to narrow at the back of the palate with a long finish.
Drink from 2016 to 2035

2010 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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The nose is full of smoke, wild herbs, dried wild cherries, leather and a a seeming sweetness. On the palate the wine turns luxurious, and the flavors become more saline, crushed rock, dried flower, umami, wild herbs, dried meat, salted plums, soy, dried porcini that all arrive at a point of ultra savory. The finish is absolutely superb, long, lustrous with fine grain tannins. Tremendous wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2035

2002 Pol Roger "Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
A lot of tete-de-cuvee Champagne is little more than fancy packaging. The Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill from Pol Roger is the opposite; all substance for Champagne lovers in the know!

2013 L'Ecole No. 41 " Luminesce" Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla White Wine  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
Hailing from Walla Walla comes a refreshing white Bordeaux-style sipper with a balanced blend of 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc. The subtle citrus and kiwi fruit notes hit the tongue with just enough tartness to keep the succulent texture and mineral rich taste in line. It’s elegant enough alone or try pairing with basil pesto pasta or goat cheese stuffed chicken.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Brash Higgins 'NDV' Nero d'Avola - Amphora  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
This is one of the most interesting and unusual wines I have tried in some time. Wine geeks will love the flamboyant aromas of beeswax, wild flowers and steeped fruit that seem to meld together effortlessly, yet in the most unusual way. The body of this wine is a bit more restrained in its smooth, sweet and fresh flavors of berry and plum. This is just the thing for jaded palates looking for something exciting and different. This was done 100% in amphorae.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JR 17 BC 0

2010 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino (1.5L) Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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The nose is dense, brooding pools of plum, earth, smoke and hints of wood spice. On the palate the wine is powerful, broad, deep, a muscularly vibrant presence that brings the fruit to life. The wine finishes very long, with a great central focus with hints of wood spice in the finish.
Drink from 2015 to 2035

2010 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
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The nose is dense, brooding pools of plum, earth, smoke and hints of wood spice. On the palate the wine is powerful, broad, deep, a muscularly vibrant presence that brings the fruit to life. The wine finishes very long, with a great central focus with hints of wood spice in the finish.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

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