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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2013 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc Rosé
Review Date: 3-24-2014
Can you hear me smiling? Come closer. Forget "Add to Cart"--add to everything! Mulan has done us all a great service by introducing us to the lovely and affordable wines of Domaine Begude. It is with asparagus-bated breath I wait for these exceptional roses every spring. Do as those in the know do and pick up this rose by the case. No corkscrew needed.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Begude Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 3-24-2014
A consistently delicious and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from the south of France. No corkscrew necessary for this crowd pleaser.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Château Pesquié "Le Paradou" Grenache Vin de France
Review Date: 3-19-2014
Incredible brightness, ripe fruit mingles with dried sage and pencil lead, lively acidity throughout, and a light to medium body. This is going to be an extremely versatile wine, and a crowd pleaser. Great to have on hand for impromptu parties, or with a light dinner.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

1999 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart" NFB Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-18-2014
This tastes so young and lively for a 15-year-old wine! Billecart once again hits it out of the park with this 1999 NFB. All Grand Cru; 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.

1998 Cornaleto Franciacorta Pas Dose
Review Date: 3-18-2014
Wow! 14 years on the lees! Such a cool and quirky wine. A flor like finish that makes this a very fun wine to pair. My first thought is to serve this with the gamier Spanish tapas or Italian antipasti. Prosciutto, hard cheeses, bitter greens...
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $26.99
BC 0

2008 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 3-10-2014
The Rosso's big brother. Strawberries, dried black cherries, and underbrush. I'd give it a couple more years to really come together, and at this price it is a great investment in a wine that can only get better.

2007 Quinta Cruz "Rabelo-Pierce Ranch" San Antonio Valley LBV (375ml)
Review Date: 3-10-2014
This is an exceptional "port". The wine that is used as the base comes from the same region in which the added brandy is made. This wine is absolutely sexy and has more to offer than any other domestic port that I have tasted. The added bonus of having Osocalis brandy as a main ingredient makes this an incredibly high quality, delicious LBV.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Poseidon Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Formerly known as Molnar, this Carneros Chard is balanced with great ripe fruit, and southern Carneros captured acidity. Hungarian oak barrels provide soft oak on the nose and palate.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Swan "Côtes du Rosa" Russian River Valley Carignane
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Sadly the last vintage of this to be produced, the Carignane has great dark fruit, with a touch of black licorice, and a prickly acid finish.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Darker fruit, with a beautiful perfume. An exceptional vintage for them, and the perfect example of a Burgundy being produced in Oregon.
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Teutonic "Laurel Vineyard - Bergspitze Weisse" Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Very light in color in addition to being an overall very light wine. At only 11.5% alcohol, with bright acid, this is a very refreshing Pinot that would be well served with a little chill on it.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Cristom "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Viognier
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Ahh, this is Viognier!And a great one at that, beautiful nose, great texture, and the telltale canned apricot (in a good way)flavor I have always associated with California Viognier's.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Hermann J. Wiemer Finger Lakes Dry Gewürztraminer
Review Date: 3-10-2014
Who knew a New York Gewurz would make it into the Personal Sommelier selections? Not I. This wine has such a lovely nose, and the palate is dry and bursting with rose blossoms. While I'm still figuring out the appropriate food pairing for Gewurztraminers in general (I plan to get to the bottom of it in April while I'm in Alsace), there is no denying that this is a fully enjoyable, thought provoking wine.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Copain "Tous Ensemble" Anderson Valley Rosé
Review Date: 3-10-2014
It's the second week of March and the forecast for Redwood City has 72 degrees or above listed throughout the week...which means that creek time will commence any day now, and with this 2013 bright, expressive, steely,Pinot Noir rose in hand, Spring has officially arrived at Chez Lavrinc Smith.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2002 Daniel Ginsburg "Cuvee Prestige Louis XVII" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-10-2014
I remember tasting this when it was bottled under the De Meric label and mourning the impending loss, so the opportunity to enjoy this incredible, powerhouse of a champagne was almost a resurrection of sorts. This time, when it's gone, it's gone.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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More Favorites

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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)

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne ($34.99)

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)