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.


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2009 Gaudin, Pauillac
Review Date: 10-01-2021
This is big and closed at first but with air the ripe red fruits and classic pencil lead aromas really come to the fore. The wine remains firm and brooding but the warmth of the 2009 vintage can be felt in the sweetness of the fruit and richness of the mid-palate. This is Classified Growth quality Pauillac for less than $40.00!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


2010 d'Aiguilhe, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 09-30-2021
This is clean and classy with a sophisticated profile of mixed berries, spice and sleek, polished tannins. The fruit flavors intensify with air but he wine remains precise and balanced between richness and fine structure. Fantastic winemaking here.

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-30-2021
This shows the warm, baked character of the 2009 vintage to a tee and the wine is filled with ripe Merlot fruit flavors along with plenty of blackberry. The middle is firm, dark and deep but with no hard edges or aggressive tannin to get in the way of the pure drinking pleasure. Over 10 years bottle age and from a great vintage for less than 25 bucks!

2015 Valentons-Canteloup, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 08-27-2021
This warm and gentle wine is filled with earthy black cherry fruit as well as a woodsy character and a caressing texture. The wine is soft and velvety and has just a hint of ripe and gentle tannin on the finish. Delicious and so easy to drink.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2016 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 08-19-2021
This is full, rich, and almost extravagant but held in check by the integration of powerful structure, wonderful proportion, and a finish of fine, ripe tannin. From an appellation that was a roaring success in 2016, this is a relative bargain.

2001 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-05-2021
This is round, smooth, softly textured and displays a very caressing personality for 2001 vintage Bordeaux. Dark plum fruit, cedar and leather notes stay fresh, sweet, and pure on the gentle finish. Limestone-rich soils and good acidity provide freshness and lift to the rich and plush mid-palate in this inviting and easy-to-drink wine.

2016 Puygueraud, Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-04-2021
This is a classic example of the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux in that it is fruity, weighty and rich yet maintains freshness and precision. Dark plum, red berries and charcoal waft from the glass when this is poured and grow in intensity as the wine takes air. This is modern in a good way, showing plenty of fruit in the middle and a fine finish with a clean, tight grip.

2015 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 08-03-2021
Like all vintages of Bois Malot this wine tastes and smells of Raspberries and earth but with a gentle middle and a soft finish due to the extraordinary vintage. This is round, seductive and filled with easy drinking character. Perfect for picnics, BBQ's, simple meals or just by the glass.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-03-2021
This is so fresh and vibrant at first but as it warms and gets air lemon Brule`, cream, apricot and wet stone all emerge in the mid-palate and finish. The aromas and flavors stay bright, clean and focused even as the texture turns creamy and rich. Just amazing for the money.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Larmande, St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-16-2021
A lush and creamy wine with dark fruit in spades and a mid-palate that picks up volume as it sits in decanter. This is easy to like and has a mineral tinged and limestone laced finish that adds length and freshness. A classic 2015 Right Bank Bordeaux.

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-22-2021
This family owned and independent House still makes one of the best and most reliable oak aged Champagnes on the market. Three to four years aging on the lees has filled this with notes of caramel, toast, ripe apricot, and touches of oak in a bold and chalky style. This is big, full-bodied bubbly that is filled with richness and tension.

2007 des Annereaux, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 06-09-2021
This is delicious and filled with earthy black cherry fruit in an easy going and charming style. The red and black fruit filled mid-palate is soft and plump and the finish turns sweet and silky with a bit of air.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2018 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien
Review Date: 03-16-2021
This is fat, intense, and powerful but with an amazing undercurrent of energy and freshness. Spiced mulberry and smoky dark plum emerge from the coiled middle, and the finish is concentrated and beautifully textured. Huge but so easy to drink.

2016 Xavier Vignon Cairanne
Review Date: 11-27-2020
One of the creamier and richer offerings in this lineup and a great bargain in addition. Deep ripe aromas lead to a middle of plush dark fruits and almost chewy textured blueberry and black cherry fruit. The finish is heady and seems to add even more volume to this substantial wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Cruse Wine Co. "Tradition" California Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 11-06-2020
One of the most complex Domestic Sparklers I've tried lately and one of the most compelling. This is chock full of flavors and aromas of green apple, tangerine zest, ginger and citrus. The pinpoint mousse on the zesty body even has hints of green melon and kiwi. The clean and chalky finish seem to go on and on. Gorgeous stuff!
Price: $44.95 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-30-2020
To draw attention to the fact that they have greatly improved the already amazing quality of their standard Brut bottling Laurent Perrier has renamed it "La Cuvee". The bright "Wedding cake" aromas and flavors remain but the "La Cuvee" is toastier and has a much broader palate impression and a more layered texture. There is now a rich array of stone fruit flavors that add complexity which combined with the extra weight and length make this a more profound wine and one of the great values in Champagne. Delicious and priced for every day enjoyment.

Pierre Sparr Brut Rosé Crémant d'Alsace
Review Date: 10-23-2020
This amazing value starts with high toned aromas and flavors of Bing Cherry and sweet cranberry that carry right through the full, creamy and frothy middle. There is a wonderful sweet/tart counterpoint on the bracing finish. A well made over-achiever.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Pierre Sparr "Réserve" Crémant d'Alsace Brut
Review Date: 10-23-2020
This offers a full mousse filled with green apple, lilac and honeysuckle that is mouth filling and refreshing. There is a citric tug on the finish which hints at green tea, talc and limestone minerality. This is a great value and an overall delicious bottle of bubbly.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 09-11-2020
This seems bigger and more structured than the 2009 but equally full bodied, rich and fruity. The oodles of plush, creamy blackberry fruit, pencil lead aromas and hints of dried flowers are all there but in a tighter, cleaner and more classic style. Here the acid is a bit fresher, the tannins a touch crisper and the overall brute strength of the wine shines through more obviously. This sits at the absolute pinnacle of what can be achieved in Bordeaux and could rest in a cool cellar for 50 years.

2009 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 12-16-2019
A colossal wine that is warm, smooth and thick with massive texture and structure in perfect balance. This is full throttle with roasted blackberry, blueberry and dark cherry fruit, graphite, crushed flowers and ripe tannins balanced in perfect harmony. An absolutely delicious wine to decant tonight or cellar many decades.

2016 Le Thil, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 08-15-2019
This has brambly blackberry and huckleberry fruit flavors along with toasty aromas and a touch of wild black cherry. Scorched earth, dried herb and well integrated ripe tannins round out the mineral laced finish.

2016 de Chantegrive Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 08-15-2019
Here is a softer, gentler style of Graves with a milky sweetness adding complexity to the earthy blackberry and dark currant fruit. There is a fresh streak of mineral in the rich Merlot dominated finish. This is easy to drink and delicious now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2007 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-12-2019
This "Old School" claret is a gentle, approachable bargain to pop open any time you get the urge for a glass of classic Bordeaux that won't break the bank. There are both red and dark fruit flavors here in a easy drinking package that will have you reaching for another glass. Over 10 years of age and under $20!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

La Petite Marquise Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 06-06-2019
This is long and fine with red cherry fruit and a persistent limestone laced finish. There is an amazing amount of elegance and restraint showing here for only 13 bucks. A remarkable value that is as easy on the palate as the wallet.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clos Fourtet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-25-2019
A wine of impressive raw material that is put together so seamlessly you will be tempted to drink it too young. Scents of violets, lavender and licorice lead to a glycerin textured middle of brambly raspberry and ripe black cherry fruit that resonate with hints of creosote and limestone. This big, sexy wine finishes quite elegantly with sweet, fine tannin. Decant tonight if you dare but it will only get better with time.

2016 La Tour Léognan (Carbonnieux), Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-21-2019
The 2nd wine of Chateau Carbonnieux gives all the class and sophistication you would expect from that Great Growth but really over delivers on the price/quality ratio. The wine is clean, sleek and focused with blackberry fruit, gravel and unsweetened baking chocolate flavors and scents all in wonderful equilibrium. The stony middle is fruit filled, rich,poised and elegant but unfolds into a strong finish laced with pure mineral. Class in a glass for only $20.00.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Dérot-Delugny Blanc de Noirs Brut
Review Date: 02-07-2019
This Blanc de Noirs is round, fleshy, figgy and dry to the taste. The 100% Meunier results in a classically structured wine with a plump middle and a long, clean palate cleansing finish. This is both fruity and refreshing.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 01-03-2019
If there could ever be such a thing as an approachable young Lynch Bages this would be it. This is full of blackberry fruit and graphite aromas along with a savory touch and a long mineral laced finish. Although big and powerful there is an overlay of plush, elegant and sweet fruit that already lends a generous note. Needless to say this will age gracefully.

1990 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 12-29-2018
The only way to get this taste experience is through a perfectly stored, mature bottle from a great vintage and a fantastic producer-there is simply no other way to replicate it. This wine hits all those parameters and more. This is long, gentle, elegant and wonderfully dry with hints of ceder and leather to go with the burnished dark fruit flavors and smoke tinged mineral on the fine finish. A sophisticated wine for discerning connoisseurs.
Price: $229.99 Add To Cart

2009 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-24-2018
This is a firm and chewy wine that proudly shows off the caressing warmth of the flawless 2009 growing season. Dark plums, baked blackberry and warm cobbler flavors are roasted into the dark, brooding but delicious middle and almost hide the strong, ripe tannins on the powerful finish.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-29-2018
This is sleek, powerful and filled with red fruit flavors-particularly cherries. This seems light on its feet for a 2015 due to the wonderful balance but don't be fooled as there is plenty of stuffing and tension buried in the mid-palate. Super value that will age well.
Price: $21.99 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 Rosé 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 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 07-28-2017
The 2014 Montrose is refined, classy and substantial with balanced structure and a depth of fruit. This is one of the best Left Bank wines of the vintage and is just beginning to reveal the complexity of red and black fruits embedded in the taut and poised body. The gloriously warm Indian summer and ideal harvest conditions are evident in every sip of this sophisticated powerhouse.

2004 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-28-2017
At 10 years old the 2004 vintage Bordeaux have finally turned a corner and are becoming the delicious values we always thought they would. This is lively, fresh and expressive with bright flavors of ripe cherries, baked rhubarb and red licorice crammed into the rich middle. On the finish there is earth, spice box and faint hints of leather. This is a delicious decade old bargain to drink tonight.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-24-2017
This is almost ethereal in texture and despite the power and richness present, grace and balance are the hallmarks. The mid-palate is deep but clean and the dark fruit, Asian spice and touch of clay that poke through are finely tuned and perfectly integrated. The long, saline finish hides plenty of ripe tannin but glides smoothly and effortlessly. This was very easy to taste.

2016 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This has that ethereal quality that the best Left Bank wines seem to posses in 2016. There is concentration, power and intense richness but an overall lifted and fresh character that leaves the wine feeling light and airy despite the massive raw material. The very long chalk infused finish is completely dry and refreshing. This is a masterpiece.

2016 Gloria, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-08-2017
Gloria is filled with possibility and should blossom into a beautiful super value for the appellation. Right now the wine is round, juicy and very fresh but solidly tannic on the finish.

2016 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This is clean and racy with a dark core of blackberry fruit, iron and cocoa. There is a hard candy punch to the sweet and primary fruit flavors before the intensity of the super mineral finish takes over. This is classic, steely and easily of 2nd Growth quality.

2016 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-06-2017
The most opulent of the First Growths in 2016 has an almost flamboyant fruit profile but stays firm, dry, powerful and super fresh on the finish. This has a strong middle of blackberry and raspberry cream, lots of mineral and a long, sweet finish of finely integrated tannin. This was easy to taste and already delicious.

2016 Calon Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-02-2017
This is very rich and sweet yet focused and powerful. The blackberry fruit just keeps coming but is layered with mint, herb, tobacco, eucalyptus and very sweet tannin. In 2016 Calon is filled with power and tension and the persistence is amazing. Maybe the best ever from this property.

2016 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-01-2017
A beautiful wine of poise and stature and along with Mouton and Pontet-Canet one of the most opulent wines of the appellation. This is concentrated with a nose of wild huckleberry and a creamy middle of satin textured dark fruit that glides from beginning to end. There is an iron core and the mineral laced finish is tight, silky, seamless and very long. The tannins are a touch chalky but this is the best from this property in a long time.

2016 Margaux, Margaux
Review Date: 05-19-2017
This is tight, clean, classy and weightless with a glassy, polished texture. There is obvious strength to the intense and steely middle but the seamless integration of elements allows this to glide effortlessly from beginning to end. This is pitch-perfect and will only blossom with age.

2016 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 05-19-2017
Rich and creamy though a tad less fruity than the Malescot, a touch more elegant and of equal quality. This is sweet and sappy with potpourri, ripe red fruit, velvety texture and a long, precise finish.

2016 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-19-2017
All the brooding potential and massive power you expect from this wine but tempered by a roundness of the edges and a fresh lift to the middle. This is dark and dense looking with a chewy blackberry middle of surprising finesse and a super sweet finish of grainy tannin showing ample tug. This will need time but it screams potential.

2016 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-19-2017
Once again the top property in the appellation turns out a classic iron fist in a velvet glove. This silky, elegant wine is deeply concentrated, impeccably balanced and the picture of finesse. A sleek, classy and intense wine poised on the cusp of perfection.

2009 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-23-2016
This lush, warm and gentle wine will surprise anyone expecting classic St-Estephe firmness. Smooth, sweet, ripe chocolate cherry Merlot flavors fan out across the satin textured mid-palate before the faintest hint of fine, gentle tannins carry the long finish. Almost opulent and very easy to drink.

2009 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 03-17-2016
Owned by Calon Segur and a superb value, this has striking aromas of potting soil, dark cherries, herbs and dried flowers. The firm and husky middle is filled with warm, dark fruit and a damp clay mineral edge that supports the ripe tannin. This is classic St-Estephe.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2010 Lewis Cellars "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-01-2013
The blackberry fruit, pencil lead shavings, spicy oak and mineral laced finish strikes me as a Napa version of a Pauillac. This is concentrated and silky sleek with a loamy, ash quality and super integrated tannins. The obvious restraint on the 2010 version of this fantastic wine only highlights the sense of equilibrium on this blockbuster. This is unusually approachable for a young Lewis Reserve probably due to the impeccable balance.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 01-17-2012
Here you have an over achieving Chateau coupled with the outstanding 2005 Bordeaux vintage resulting in amazing value. This is dark in color and deep in fruit with hints of earth, savory herb, spice and a touch of smoke. The wine is quite full bodied with a meaty texture and ripe, silky tannin. Decant now or age another 5 years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

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