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 Cicada by Chante Cigale IGP Méditerranée  
Review Date: 2-23-2015
This little Cicada sings! A joyful expression of the great value to be found in the magnificent Southern Rhone, this red wine is fashioned in a versatile style for easy drinking. A lyrical blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan, it is guaranteed to serenade your guests at casual events, parties and picnics. Delicious enough to pair with both Mediterranean, Italian and Asian dishes, just pop the cork, pour and enjoy!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé  
Review Date: 2-23-2015
Before Champagne,there was sparkling wine in Limoux, France. Talk about getting it right! Antech Emotion Rose is the perfect accompaniment to any occasion. Fresh berries and lively bubbles jump out of the glass. Dry and medium bodied on the palate with a pretty warm and slightly creamy. Lovely red fruit and slight toast leading to a long lasting finish! All this for half the price of Champange. Buy it buy the case.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza  
Review Date: 2-23-2015
One of the top selling reds in the store year after year. Wonderful nose of dark fruit ( black cherry ) and spice ( dark mocha ). This is a big, rich, wine with a luscious mouth feel. The ultimate in silky smooth finish! Perfect party wine!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand  
Review Date: 2-22-2015
The Lake Chalice is an easy to drink and enjoy Sauvignon Blanc. It is dry with citrus and green fruit flavors. On the light side in body it is perfect for seafood and drinking alone.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-22-2015
I don’t like to compare Assyrtiko because it is such a unique grape, but as a point of reference if you like Sancerre with a little extra mid-palate weight, you would love the Santo. The nose is zesty, waxy and flinty, and the palate has mouthwatering acidity while still having a plusher texture with notes of lemon and lime zest, fresh fennel, rosemary and salinity. Just a quick warning, this wine may encourage you to buy a ticket to Santorini after a few glasses.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2011 Azelia "Bricco dell’Oriolo" Dolcetto d'Alba  
Review Date: 2-22-2015
This is one of the best examples of Dolcetto I have had in a while. This is what happens when you have a great vineyard site and minimal intervention in the wine cellar. The purity of the grape shines through. Wonderful aromas of blackberry, vanilla, black currant and an underlying minerality. Great deal of acidity and fruit. Super long finish and polish tannins. What a wine for the price! Have it with your next pork dish. You won't be disappointed.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-22-2015
I have always been a huge fan of this wine, it’s crisp and juicy and perfect for crustaceans, but this vintage somehow manages to be even more complex and serious. The nose is showing notes of roasted hazelnuts and honeysuckle while the palate is citrusy and juicy with a fantastic weight and texture and flavors of beeswax, lemon zest and sea salt. Pair with shellfish or grilled white fish.

2013 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini  
Review Date: 2-21-2015
The new vintage of the Sigalas is absolutely brilliant! More balanced and seamless than ever before. The oily viscosity is balanced with the bright citrus of fresh squeezed lemon and fluer de sel minerals, it is light-medium in weight and is so pure I can imagine myself on the Greek Coast with some fresh shellfish and crudites right now!

2009 Viña Eguía Reserva Rioja   | Approved
Review Date: 2-21-2015
Vina Equia carries that light spicy fruit flavor, and traces of berries and wood, that make this a prime example of a classic Rioja. With two years in American oak, the wine imparts structure and balance. The mid-palate is host to plenty of rich cherry and delicate strawberry notes and then finishes with a dry vanilla-like oaky pull. For $15 bucks, this is a bargain not to be missed. Pick it up for your next tapas and paella party you won't be disappointed. Ole.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Butternut Chardonnay   | Approved
Review Date: 2-21-2015
Here's a long time staff and customer fave! If you love that California style of wine and look for rich flavors of buttery brioche and baked apples, this is the chard for you! On the palate is a lush-bodied wine infused with toasty oak and notes of dulce de leche -- what a deal at only $15 bucks!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro Alvarinho Vinho Regional Minho   | Approved
Review Date: 2-21-2015
Here's the perfect sunny day party wine at a price point you just can't beat. It's zippy, crisp, dry and light with a slight fizz that exudes hints of grapefruit, lime, and white flowers. Plus The low alcohol makes this a great candidate to keep the party going all night long!

2013 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini   | Approved
Review Date: 2-21-2015
Leaner and less tropical than the previous vintage, the 2013 Santorini Assyrtiko by Sigalas is a more traditional version of this varietal, displaying a more mineral-driven character and dense texture. Flavors of lemon zest and orange wrapped in sea salt, sea shell, and slate show up right off the bat, followed by a more peachy mid-palate. The finish is dry and bright, with a subtle herbal note and waves of zesty acidity washing it all down. Looking for an alternative pairing with oysters or escargot? Look no further.

2012 Woodstock Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-21-2015
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This is a near perfect example of classic McLaren Vale Shiraz flavor profile. Plush, rich texture, power, exotic fruit, spice and that unmistakable lift and brightness that elevates the wine and balances all that perfectly ripe fruit. This is a full bodied wine that is sure to please folks who are looking for a rich saturated wines with tons of power and fruit. However, there is also and elegance and drive on the palate with ripe acidity and fine structural tannins, that draws out the wine long on into finish. An exceptional value thanks to our importer direct pricing. This wine will be a staple with me this summer when the grill comes out.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2013 Woodstock Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale South Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-21-2015
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Looking for killer value in Cabernet? Look no further! McLaren Vale is a regions known for world class Shiraz...but this wine proves they can do it with Cab too! Highly aromatic Blackberries, Blackcurrant and cassis are dominant on the nose and palate. Also some tobacco, cedar, dark chocolate...all the hallmarks I look for in great Cabernet based wines. Mouth filling texture, long, fine tannins wrapped in luscious fruit, with beautifully integrated french oak nuances. Unbelievable value...this could be $50 Napa Cab...don't take my work for it..try it for yourself. One of the best sub $20 cabs I have tasted in many years.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc  
Review Date: 2-20-2015
Delighted to see that the 2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc ($19.99) is now back in stock. Bordeaux veterans will recall this Haut-Médoc bargain is happily situated on the border with Pauillac near Château Bernadotte. The strength of the exceptional '09 vintage really shines through here. The wine is remarkably fresh, with textbook blackberry and cassis notes and fine tannins. While it may be difficult to resist drinking this wine immediately, it will only continue to improve over the next 3 to 5 years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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