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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2013 GRÜNER by Etz Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (1L)  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
I've lost track of the number of times I have taken this bargain bottle to a picnic, BBQ or party and had people gush over how delicious it is. Honestly, I usually grab it because $14.00 for a litre of wine with a screw cap is exactly what I need on my days off-easy and cheap. White pepper, crunchy lentil, snappy apple and green pear fruit and a touch of trapped CO2 make this one perfect party sipper.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Domaine Maestracci "E Prove" Corse Calvi Rouge  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
This is a fantastic bottle of wine for less than 20 bucks. This is earthy and dark with a sleek structure and polished tannins on the long finish, Along with the black and blue fruit there are some animal notes and a funky and savory dig into the Corsican terroir of ocean spray and mineral. Amazing complexity for the money.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Combier "Purple Label" Crozes-Hermitage  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
This bottle with the bright purple label is a great introduction to the wines of the Northern Rhone. Cracked pepper, smoke, bacon and a cool iron finish show off great wine making5. This is a great value in Syrah.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
It is almost too easy to overlook this wine when we have the 1999 Gran Reserva on the shelf at the same time. That would be a huge mistake. This wine offer a freshness and power that the other does not have. While the red and dark fruits of the wine are starting to dry, there is still freshness that gives it some pop. It also posses the classic leather and spice of Rioja. Drink it now or hold for a while, this is another great deal from Bodegas Puelles.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
Always one of our best deals in bubbles. On the lighter side, with citrus and apple flavors, a touch of yeasty breadiness and clean finish. Something to have in your fridge at all times.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
TWR is one of our favorite producers from New Zealand, and their SB is one of the best that we have in my opinion. They have such a wonderful and delicate hand with their white wines, they practically float across your palate while offering an amazingly complex and delicious wine. Layers of stone fruit, zippy lime pith, a hint of crushed rock intertwine. The finish is tense and clean, leaving notes of green apple and quince.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Olema Sonoma County Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
Olema Pinot has been one of our favorite Pinot for the last few vintages. Containing fruit sourced from both Sonoma Coast and Russian River, this wine is the perfect combination of both regions. Dark and dense fruit from the rugged coast give this wine a back bone of black cherry and wile blackberry, paired perfectly with the seductive and silky texture you find in some of the great Russian River Pinots.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
This Red Blend from Marietta truly over delivers year after year. Pure, fresh, and wild berry fruit with a hint of earth and spice. Rich and juicy, but never sweet, this wine can please a crowd or your pickiest friend! With the quality of fruit going into the blend, it is almost impossible to beat at the under $15 price tag.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Masia Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Brut Nature Rosat Penedes  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
I love Rose, and I love it even more if it has bubbles in it and only takes $12.99 out of your pocket. This sparkling Cava has quickly cemented itself as one of our everyday bottle of bubbles in our house. Super dry, with no dosage to hide behind, the palate is crisp and clean, notes of raspberry and dried cranberry. Pure, almost crystalline, delicious wine.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart W&S 91 BC 0

2013 Kistler "Sonoma Mountain" Chardonnay  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
What’s in a name, you might ask? The name ‘Kistler’ comes from the ancient Germanic-Swiss guild of Kistermacher, or ’makers of chests’, derived originally from the Latin ‘custos’, guardian or keeper. Of course in the wine world it has come to be known as ‘maker of iconic wines’, and Steve Kistler has, like, a fine cabinet maker, continued to burnish his craft by creating some of the most elegant Chardonnays and Pinots in the New World. Like every great artisan, he sought the finest wood, or in this case, budwood, for his wines, and found it over forty years ago in a low-yielding Chardonnay strain discovered at Mount Eden and originally believed to have come from Corton in 1896. From this single heritage Burgundian clone Kistler has fashioned ten different expressions of Chardonnay, each wine the definition of a specific terroir, and each remarkable. The Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, planted on an elevated, well-drained site of mostly volcanic soils, showed a prismatic quality to the fruit, as if every nuance reflected another in a dancing kaleidoscope of citrus, apple, stone fruit, chalk, ginger and almond flavors, all harmoniously held together by superb, crisp acidity and a breathtakingly long finish. A truly prodigious feat of winemaking!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Lewis Cellars "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 2-25-2015
Nearly black in color, this concentrated Cabernet is loaded with dark black cherry fruit, licorice, and graphite, with hints of smoke and mocha flavors that linger on the finish. Despite this wine’s size and depth; it is remarkably round, supple and fresh. Tannins are big but ripe and integrated. Patience will be rewarded for those who can put this bottle away for 5-10 years but I doubt many bottles will make it that long, as this wine shows so well even at this young age. One of the best 2012 Cabernets we have had in the store so far!
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Felton Road Chardonnay Bannockburn   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-24-2015
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One of NZ's best Chardonnay producers. Felton's "Bannockburn" Chardonnay is from their vineyards dotted around the small village of Bannockburn at the southern end of the Cromwell Basin in Central Otago. The village has a perfect north facing aspect and a mixture of schist and heavier clay and silt soils. Much of this wine comes from the Elms Vineyard...home to the famous "Block 2" Chardonnay and in many ways this wine shares a lot of the same characteristics. Crunchy orchard fruit, spiced pear, mineral, a touch of flint or struck match...and just a lick of citrus acidity to make the mouth water. This bottling is not as keenly focused at the Block 2, but that actually makes it more expressive in its youth and perhaps even more enjoyable upon release than its prestigious stablemate. If you haven't explored NZ Chardonnay...this would be a very good place to start!
Top Value!

2005 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)  
Review Date: 2-24-2015
This is one serious Champagne. Vintage "Special Club" of this caliber for only $60? Absolutely amazing! In complete opposition to the 2004, the 2005 Launois "Special Club" is a full-bodied, voluptuous cuvee packed to the brim with ripe apples, toasted vanilla and melted buttered on brioche. Drink this beauty now!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Rosé Champagne  
Review Date: 2-24-2015
Our allocation of Cristal Rose is so tiny that we can never guarantee a consistency of supply. It is so well guarded by the house of Roederer that I have only tasted one vintage of this in my 15 years of Champagne buying for K&L. Nearly the entire production goes to the best restaurants in the world, and we feel lucky to have some to offer.
Price: $499.00 Add To Cart WS 95 BC 0

2012 Domaine Faiveley Bouzeron Aligoté  
Review Date: 2-24-2015
Bouzeron is a special place. Thanks to Aubert de Villaine, proprietor of the world famous Domaine de la Romanee Conti, it is an all-Aligote appellation. These vines are leased by Faiveley from de Villaine, and produce a wine that is bright and crisp, with a fascinating nuttiness. Delightful!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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