Staff Favorites - Steve Bearden

Steve Bearden
Steve Bearden  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I’m the Bordeaux liason for the San Francisco store, starting my run there around 2000. Over the years I've gained a great respect for subtlety, finesse, elegance and terroir, or a sense of place, that I believe all great wine should have. I enjoy practically anything and everything but mostly French and Italian with heavy emphasis on Rhône and Bordeaux. Be adventurous. There is tremendous diversity in regions, varieties and styles, so don’t let your palate get pigeon-holed.


Reviews

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2015 Matthiasson Napa Valley White Wine Blend
Review Date: 02-16-2018
This has flowery aromas of honeysuckle and verbena and a middle of crushed orchard fruit. The finish is refreshing, very complex and hints at mandarin.
Price: $38.95 Add To Cart

2016 Matthiasson "Linda Vista Vineyard" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-16-2018
Stone fruit, crunchy golden raisen and crisp apple form the core of this steely and intense wine. The Chablis-like finish is palate cleansing and will have you reaching for another glass.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 02-16-2018
The latest version of this K&L favorite is deeply fruited, powerful and a classic bargain for the appellation. This earthy and gravely wine has a middle filled with cocoa laced dark fruit and a long stony finish showing sweet tannin. Decant this fruity and structured bargain tonight or lay a few bottles away for 5 to 10 years.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Le Cleméntin du Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-14-2018
The 2nd wine of Pape-Clement is warm, approachable and already showing good complexity. Ripe red fruits, surprising mid-palate roundness and a gravely finish show the pedigree of this great property. Delicious now.

2015 Picard, Lussac-St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-14-2018
Both red and dark fruit as well as a snap if licorice fill the middle of this crisp and easy bargain. Plenty of ripe fruit and no hard edges make this a perfect bottle to open most any night or even with a light lunch. Amazing value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Tradition" Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This is a new producer for K&L and a great bottle for those who like their bubbly in a darker and richer style. 100% Pinot Meunier give this volumes of sweet red fruit flavors along with a touch of spice and hints of marzipan, maple, apricot and dark plum. A bottle of Champagne this flamboyant and exotic for only $25 is hard to believe.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Eugénie" Brut Rose Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This 100% Pinot Meunier wine sees some skin contact resulting in a vivid pink color and even a touch of structure on the back end. Dried cherry and ripe raspberry aromas and flavors jump from this bracing wine and there is a savory note on the long, dry finish. There is the faintest tannic tug on the end allowing this to stand up to hearty fare. Surf and turf anyone?
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This is ripe, sweet and spicy with great acidity to temper the old vine density. The wine is not done in a jammy style, rather it is lithe, lively and surprisingly complex for the price. Drink now or age a few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 La Honda "Sequence" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This starts out rather husky, with earth tones, rhubarb and mushroom before brighter notes of red fruits fill the middle and finish. The wine is medium-bodied with lively texture and some intriguing hints of spice and forest. This is a satisfying and food-friendly bargain.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Compared to the warm, layered 2009 this seems compact, tense and elegant. The 2014 may be a bit coiled for Poujeaux but it is vibrant, packed and will age beautifully into a sumptuous and complex bargain. Its unlikely you will pull a better $30.00 bottle of Bordeaux out of you cellar in 5 or 10 years.

2015 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 01-31-2018
A baby "Super Tuscan" and a terrific everyday drinker. This is crammed with dark cherry fruit, earth and spice in a bold and ripe style that will appeal to wine drinkers off all stripes. Buy this easy to drink and food friendly wine by the case.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2012 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Here is an easy to drink Brunello at a great price and perfect for tonight. This is plush and rounded with gentle depth to the flavors and aromas of ripe cherry fruit, wild flowers, damp soil and tar. The mineral laced finish is long, fruity and flavorful.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Petite Gardette" Gigondas
Review Date: 01-31-2018
I have been a loyal fan of Gardette Gigondas since the great 1998 vintage yet had never tried this bargain price cuvee fashioned from their younger vines. Simply put: WOW. Perhaps this lacks the density of the more expensive bottlings but all of the ripe cherry, berry and spiced raspberry fruit is there in spades along with aromas of earth, potpourri and roasted herb. This is just as complex and delicious as its bigger brothers just a bit more user friendly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-31-2018
This easy to like super value is a wonderful introduction to the great wines of the Barbaresco region in Northern Italy. This is gentle and fruity with rose petal aromas to go with the liberal dusting of dried cherry fruit. Very fine tannins on the elegant finish add precise grip for matching to a wide variety of food.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 JS 90

2015 Precedent "Evangelho Vineyard" Contra Costa County Zinfandel
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Very bright, clean and juicy with tons of mixed berries and spice in the middle. this is pure, fresh and savory with meaty notes on the long, focused finish. This middleweight wine tastes the way Zin use to taste before the invasion of new oak barrels. Lip smacking, mouthwatering and palate cleansing.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 01-18-2018
This delicious bargain Syrah seems to be getting a bit richer with each new vintage yet retains the white pepper and violet aromas as well as the palate coating but fresh blue and black fruits. This is an all around great N. Rhone red that over delivers.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2016 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 01-18-2018
This super value N. Rhone white is a bit more vibrant and focused than the last vintage. Aromas of dried fruit, wet stone, ginger and lanolin are followed by a middle filled with ripe stone fruit.. The peach, apricot and nectarine flavors are all infused with palate cleansing minerals.

2013 Domaine Dugois Savagnin Arbois Blanc (Sous Voile)
Review Date: 01-17-2018
A stellar example of this style of Jura white and a bargain to boot. This is rich, nutty and leesy with flavors of waxy stone fruit and hints of clarified butter. The sherry-like finish has a saline, mineral tang that begs for another sip.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2010 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 01-17-2018
This dark and punchy wine has a deep core of purple fruit that shows off the power of the vintage. The firm and intense middle of blackberry leads to a finish of very ripe tannins that will allow further ageing although those with a decanter need wait no further.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Tessendey, Fronsac
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This starts with muted aromas of clay and raspberry in a fresh and clean style. This is a great easy going and gulpable bargain for any Tuesday night.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2014 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 01-16-2018
The rich and brawny style of Chante Cigale is slightly toned down in the lively 2014 vintage allowing for a bit more up front complexity to emerge even at this early stage. There are undertones of darker fruit to go with the brighter flavors of red fruits, licorice, nori, Asian spice and roasted herb. There is fantastic energy in this approachable and value priced CNP from a small family producer. Drink tonight or lay a few bottles away.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine du Vieil Orme Malbec-Cabernet Franc Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 01-16-2018
Equal parts Malbec and Cabernet Franc and delightfully delicious. The middle is round, dark and juicy from the Malbec but the soaring raspberry aromatics and savory herb and tobacco laced finish screams Cabernet Franc through and through. This is exactly the kind of inexpensive bottle you always want to have handy to pop open on a whim or to match to practically any Tuesday night cuisine. A case purchase for sure.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2015 Comartin Cellars "R-Bar-R Ranch" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-16-2018
This starts with concentrated aromas of smoky black cherries, ripe plums, roasted herbs and charred oak. The fruity middle is fine and detailed and leads to a long, sweet finish. This is very well made.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2016 Pala "I Fiori" Cannonau di Sardegna
Review Date: 01-04-2018
This is warm, sweet and fresh with a middle of juicy berries and aromas of ripe plums and ash. Here is a delightful super drinkable bottle to go with any kind of food and that is priced to purchase by the case.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Gagliole "Rubiolo" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-02-2018
This is bright, sweet and clean with plenty of plump Sangiovese fruit and spice rounding out the middle. There is more complexity here than the price would suggest and the fine, ripe tannins on the finish will let this handle even rich food. This is exactly the type of affordable and food friendly bottle I like to pop open on any Tuesday or lazy Sunday.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (Black Label)
Review Date: 01-02-2018
This is yet another example of the restrained, polished and classy Cabernets being produced in the Margartet River. There in an effortless flow between the ripe dark fruit profile, savory and spicy notes and the persistent and classy finish. This execution of balance and precision for under $30.00 is rare.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JH 95

2015 Moulin du Sud Bordeaux Superieur
Review Date: 12-29-2017
This is a fresh and gentle bargain showing a touch of earth and red fruits galore. The finish is soft and sweet making this perfect for a Tuesday night burger or any casual get together.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-29-2017
This is bright, earthy and very floral with an upfront array of crunchy dark fruit and a sappy middle usually found in much more expensive Classified Growth Burgundies. A Pinot at this price rarely has this much finesse or complexity. Absolutely delicious!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 12-13-2017
This is phenomenal wine for the price-so sweet, warm and fresh with plenty of ripe, fine tannin on the finish. Decant this tonight or lay some away for 10+ years.

2009 Latour-Martillac, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-08-2017
This was released 5 years ago and what I once considered "modern" in style has evolved into a classic with aromas of hot asphalt, toast and intense mixed berries. There is great concentration here with a middle of ripe and roasted black fruits followed by rocky soil and mineral undertones. Delicious and almost decadent for the appellation.

2009 Valentons Canteloup "Cuvée Excentrique" Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 12-08-2017
Here is an unusual blend of 70% Petit Verdot and 30% Merlot that is a delicious wine in its own right. The middle of baked cherry compote eases into a fine lingering finish of great restraint. This is smooth, plush and ready for tonight.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2010 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-08-2017
Sweet red and black currants and roasted earth fill the middle of this toasty and fresh wine. This is dark and substantial with a wonderful mineral expression. Maybe even better than their spectacular 2009.

2009 Larrivet Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-07-2017
This lively, sweet and complex wine starts with smoky and crunchy dark currant fruit, spiced berries and raspberry liqueur. This is thick and deep with a touch of tar and ash complimenting the rolls of fruit on the long mineral finish. outstanding for the money.

2009 Lagrange, St-Julien
Review Date: 12-07-2017
Do not attempt to drink this wine without first decanting for an hour! But if you do decant you will get soaring aromas of raspberries, blackberries and earthy potting soil in a muscular but caressing mid-palate with a huge mineral core. There is a deep and enveloping warmth to the ripe fruit and a full-bodied but gentle mouth feel to the substantial middle. Decant a bottle tonight and lay another away for 10 or more years.

2013 Famille Perrin "Les Cornuds" Vinsobres
Review Date: 12-06-2017
Another fantastic deal from the Perrin family of Beaucastel fame. This has dark, meaty flavors of plums, cherries and spice but with great freshness due to the vintage. Hearty, but not heavy, this is a complex and food-friendly bottle that drinks well above its price.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 W&S 90

2011 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-06-2017
This beguiling wine is rich, smooth, wonderfully dry and crammed with cherry, raspberry and dark plum fruit. There are hints of cedar, leather, mineral and mushroom embedded in the fine grip of the long finish. A serious and complex wine that is delicious now and has a long life ahead of it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 W&S 92

2009 Sarget de Gruaud Larose, St-Julien
Review Date: 11-30-2017
The second wine of Gruaud-Larose is big and rather brooding at present with substantial red and dark fruits crammed into the chewy textured middle. This will be very long lived and decanting is recommended at present but the 2nd Growth pedigree in unmistakable.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2009 Branas Grand Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 11-30-2017
Another delicious and over achieving 2009. This is juicy and lush with earthy black raspberry cream and dark plum throughout the substantial middle. Oak shadings, a whiff of cocoa and hints of damp clay round out the the finish. Typical of this vintage, this can be consumed now or aged for 10 or more years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2009 Bel Orme Tronquoy de Lalande, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-29-2017
This earthy "Old School" bottle is surprisingly lively and crisp for a 2009 and will appeal to those looking for traditionally made bargain Bordeaux. The fruit profile is dark and compact with the faintest whiff of earth and leather on the steely finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Saint-Paul, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 11-29-2017
The less expensive wines from the great 2015 Bordeaux vintage are starting to arrive and this hearty and fruity bottle is a great example. The alluring aromas of ripe raspberries lead to a deeply fruited and substantial body of dark fruit and mineral. The substantial grip on the finish suggests cellaring for a few years but the plush and sweet fruit make this difficult to resist with hearty food.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
Review Date: 11-28-2017
This screaming value of a Super Tuscan impresses year after year and this is the best yet. This is bright, clean and savory with loads of sweet berries and ripe cherries and a dusting of roasted herb. Don't be fooled by the price-this blossoms with decanting.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 Gigault "Cuvée Viva," Premières Côtes de Blaye
Review Date: 11-28-2017
Super value here in a serious wine. This is ripe and juicy with so much cocoa infused cherry fruit that you won't notice the structure holding it all together. Drink this bargain now or lay a few bottles away for a few years and be impressed.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 11-28-2017
You need to dig deep into this deep and creamy wine to find the St-Estephe firmness buried underneath the plush blackberry and rich cherry fruit. Although opulent enough to enjoy tonight the serious structure holding this together will reward the patient collector.

2016 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 11-28-2017
This scintillating and racy wine gushes with Melon rind, Guava, Grapefruit pith, savory herb and mouth watering minerals. This manages to be both lip smacking and serious at the same time.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Fleur, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-16-2017
Great quality for the money in this big but balanced wine. There are still some oak notes to all the dark fruit in the middle and lots of tug on the finish to hold things together. This is big, rich and wonderfully proportioned.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2017 Cruse Wine Co. Napa Valley Valdiguié Nouveau
Review Date: 11-16-2017
Here is a bottle for those who like their Nouveau to be Domestic. This has a smoky edge to the Rhubarb and tart cherry flavors and a surprisingly long finish for such a young bottling.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart

2012 Albatreti Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-08-2017
An absolutely delicious wine from an elegant and balanced vintage to decant tonight or lay away. This is rich and ripe with an earthy nose of baked soil and an intense middle of ripe and savory cherry fruit in a round and approachable style.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2014 Medoc de Beychevelle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-08-2017
This red-fruited bargain is thick and smooth and will remind you of a baby Beycheville even though the fruit is not from St-Julien. This is fairly hearty and round, with tons of character but no hard edges.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fleur de Pedesclaux, Pauillac
Review Date: 11-08-2017
Fruity and rich for a young Pauillac but well developed and delicious to drink now. This is the 2nd wine of a property to watch closely.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

2014 Les Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac
Review Date: 11-02-2017
This is "one" of the 2nd wines of Pichon Baron and although done in a richer and more approachable style still has the qualitative stamp of that great property. Sweet blackberry fruit, pencil shavings and a savory hint all done up with the sense of balance and proportion you expect but with a touch more Merlot richness to round things out.

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