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 Lewis Cellars "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
Big, bright and intense Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with plenty of cedar, vanilla and clove. This is a giant of a wine that can drink early or hold for 3-5 years.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Glenfiddich 12 year old Signature Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
A Classic Malt in every aspect of the term. Clean and bright, a touch of honeysuckle, a kiss of vanilla sweetness, this malt has a little bit of something for everyone. A soft entry gives an easy going feel, on the palate dried fruits, honey and heather give added complexity, the finish is composed and not harsh in any way. A staple.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera Rum, Venezuela 750ml  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
A demandingly decadent Rum, full of dark hued flavors of maple and brown sugar. The Santa Teresa is a wonderfully balanced rum with years of solera aging to create a spirit that is past the complexity of a single age statement. A nose of maple cake and burnt sugar. Vanilla cream runs throughout adding a beautifully sweet crescendo to a long and lush finish.

2011 Raymond Fabre Crozes-Hermitage  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
It's Wednesday night, right, so maybe you're in the mood for a big juicy bacon, mushroom and swiss burger to go along with that latest big juicy action flick, Spiderman vs. Speedoman or Ironman Finally Rusts 7, but what wine do you pour? Something with rich, mouthwatering flavor and just enough sinew to compete with the endless earth-shattering explosions onscreen. Since I track the Northern Rhone like a drone and just opened this Crozes-Hermitage, well....it's a medium-built, savory Syrah with impressive aromas and notes of bright cherry-red fruit, garrigue and licorice, with a welcome tinge of pepper and minerality on the solid finish. So bring on the monster cheeseburger and silly spandex superheroes, this supertasty red wine can handle 'em, and with no special effects needed.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1976 Couly Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
I can’t believe how well this wine is holding up! Unlike me, this 1976er is aging gracefully and with class. Such sweet fruit on the nose with touches of tobacco, strawberry and earth.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Château Musar Rouge Bekaa Valley  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
The wines from Musar continue to fascinate me again and again. I find this wine absolutely intriguing. It truly has the ability to make you think and ponder about how much we don’t know. Young now with lots of life ahead of it.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2013 Bernier Chardonnay Val de Loire  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
If you’re looking for the perfect party white, look no further. Very inexpensive and easy to drink. Light, crispy, refreshing with just a kiss of Chardonnay richness...
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Josef Leitz "Dragonstone" Riesling  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
My favorite vintage of “Draggy” yet! This shows all of the textural power and drive that came along with the 2013 vintage while retaining freshness and vibrancy - a really nice example of the vintage. But, most importantly this is a quintessential porch slammer.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Vincent & Sophie Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "les Baudines"  
Review Date: 3-24-2015
This 1er Cru vineyard is located on the border with Santenay, high on the hill. It can also be labeled as Bois de Chassagne. As it is a high and rocky site, it was not replanted for many years after the phylloxera blight struck. But it is an interesting site. Although it is high on the hill, it has a substantial amount of clay in the soil. But it is white clay rather than the darker soil found lower on the slope. The result is a wine with lots of high-energy, high tension drive and lovely fruit notes. Delicious!

2014 Château les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clémentine" Côtes de Provence Rosé   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
From the Provence just a few miles away from St. Tropez comes a refreshing, light and elegant rose. Made from 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault, this rosé fills the glass with the lovely fragrance of strawberries and raspberries, and follows up with a stimulating dose of zesty acidity. This is a quality wine that would fit in nicely with any sunny outdoor gathering. Get a bottle while they last!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Newton "Unfiltered" Napa Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-23-2015
This legendary Napa Chardonnay keeps it going with tropical and stone fruit wrapped with creamy oak and rich butter. Best to drink in the near future.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2012 La Monacesca "Ecclesia" Chardonnay   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
WOW! So, for those just joining the party here, it's fairly well known that I have long considered a balanced oak treatment an integral part of my favorite wines. Well, the-times-they-are-a-changing! Aged for over one year in all stainless steel, this is a beautifully complex Chardonnay that has everything one might want. A soft and round structure, vibrant apple and pear creaminess, and a long finish. Crisp acidity and lingering minerality make this, surprisingly, one of the best Old World Chardonnays this young wine professional has tried lately.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $16.99
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2013 Jean-Paul Brun "Terres Dorees" Chardonnay Beaujolais Blanc   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
If you appreciate great-value Chardonnays like those from the Maconnais and are 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 your wine repertoire.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart DC 95 BC 0

2012 Joseph Faiveley Bouzeron Aligoté   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
This a a great summertime fun wine and a delicious example of aligote from Bouzeron -- lively, light bodied and with a smooth mouthfeel. Here you get a pale hued refresher with a bouquet of white flowers, the zip of fresh citrus notes reminiscent of pomelo and lime, and wet stone, flinty finish. Pick up a bottle to sip or serve with your favorite shellfish dish, you won't be disappointed.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Rare Wine Company Historic Series New York Malmsey Madeira   | Approved
Review Date: 3-23-2015
Here's an absolutely delicious treat and a lovely example of a classic sweet Madeira made from the Malvasia grape. Rich in color and luscious in body with notes of toasted hazelnuts, toffee and dates. This would make an excellent pairing with any nutty dessert.

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