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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

2019 de Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan Rosé
Review Date: 07-30-2020
This delicious refresher from some of the finest terroir in all of Bordeaux opens with faint scents of rose petal and well water. The mid-palate is filled with ripe watermelon and dusty cherry flavors that feel a bit creamy despite the bracing acidity. The impeccable balance and precise finish make this an absolute delight to taste.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2002 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-30-2020
This wine from a good vintage for Merlot starts out quite earthy with aromas of dark plums, damp soil and herb. The middle is filled with black cherry fruit that has balancing acidity which keeps the medium-bodied wine fresh and lively. The clean finish has an intriguing hint of clay and mineral.
Price: $20.99 Add To Cart

1999 Meyney, St. Estephe
Review Date: 02-21-2020
This opens with aromas of damp soil, dark plums, black cherries and a touch of smoke. The wine is plump and juicy with nice mid-palate weight and no hard edges. There is a surprisingly crisp edge to the sweet and lingering finish of this soft and delicious middle aged Bordeaux that is ready right now.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2016 Palais Cardinale, St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-14-2020
Here is a very pretty and seductive wine that is fruity and fresh. This has lively red fruits in a smooth and elegant style that really hides the tanins. Well priced for a St-Emilion.

2014 Prieurs de la Commanderie, Pomerol
Review Date: 02-14-2020
This clean and elegant Pomerol from a good vintage is drinking well right now and represents great value. The middle is filled with sleek and glossy fruit and the crisp finish shows barely a trace of tannin.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2018 Laventura Viura Rioja
Review Date: 02-14-2020
This delicious white opens with alluring aromas of flowers, stone fruits and citronella. The bracing middle is clean and filled with sweet white peach flavors that flow into a steely and refreshing finish. A different and very satisfying take on this grape variety.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

2006 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 12-16-2019
Drinking beautifully now but with a long life ahead, the '06 is currently a dark and chewy wine with a dense mid-palate and a firm, dry finish. Lively aromas of violets and black fruits are poised and refined yet the body is round and meaty with substantial tannins and a persistent finish. A huge success for the vintage.

2019 La Playa Sauvignon Blanc Curicó Valley
Review Date: 11-30-2019
A bright, crisp slightly grassy style with a touch of verbena. This is perfectly crush-able sitting on a deck or patio or just after work. Priced to buy by the case.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2017 Carlisle "Papera Ranch" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-22-2019
Here is a powerhouse with ample fruit and plenty of structure working in perfect harmony and deft balance. The dark, glossy fruit is not jammy or overripe, but rather, clean and extraordinarily deep. This is fresh and tensile with a long, dry finish showing no heat whatsoever. A master class in Zin.

2018 Bonny Doon Vineyard "Le Cigare Volant - Cuvee Oumuamua" Monterey County Rhône Blend
Review Date: 11-16-2019
The new iteration of Le Cigare Volant replaces the Mourvedre with Cinsault and five years aging with only one year. The result is a fresher, and more lively wine with brighter aromatics of potpourri and crunchier mixed berry fruit. This is delicious, refreshing and about half the price of previous offerings. BRAVO. At this price you can now buy by the case.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-08-2019
The 2016 is a sleek style with crunchy mixed berries and dark boysenberry fruit filling the dark, cool middle. This is fresh and lifted, showing the precision of the vintage but still holding back on the richness that is buried in the middle

2017 Stolpman "Estate" Ballard Canyon Syrah
Review Date: 10-25-2019
Once again an outstanding wine and an outstanding value. This is fruity, dense, and very deftly balanced between the dark fruit flavors, iron minerality and hints of beef blood on the intense finish. Folks who love northern Rhone Syrahs need to know how well these Stolpman wines over-perform.

2016 l'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 09-19-2019
This is surprisingly rich for the appellation but clearly shows the freshness and precision this amazing vintage delivers. This is fruity and gravely with lush mid-palate flavors of ripe cherry and blackberry and a touch of mineral on the smooth finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1997 Gaudin, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-31-2019
It's almost impossible to find a Pauillac for under 30 bucks these days so finding one that is 20 years old and drinking beautifully is a real coup. This is dark and firm with iron minerality and good sweetness to the blackberry fruit. No hard edges here just a substantial and satisfying mouthful that really tastes like the appellation it hails from. Enjoy this tonight.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Fort Lignac, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 07-20-2019
This well proportioned wine is gravely and chewy with a deep middle of sweet plum and black currant fruit. The aromas are toasty and lifted lending this a real sense of elegance despite the tannic structure. This punches well above its weight class and is best decanted.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2009 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 06-26-2019
Here is a substantial wine that impresses more with richness than sweetness. This fat and waxy wine is crammed with honey, orange oil, papaya, saffron, ginger and tarragon in a creamy and mouth filling style. Opulent and exotic.

2016 d'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 06-12-2019
This is only the third vintage of this wine and since we have carried all three I can safely say it has quickly become one of the most elegant wines of the Cotes de Castillon appellation, an area known more for richness than finesse. Although this has a slightly darker profile than other vintages it is still primarily red fruited with hints of spice and toast. This shows amazing poise and pedigree for an under $20 bottle and is delicious to drink right now. These wines keep getting better and better.

Miquel Pons Cava Brut Penedes
Review Date: 06-12-2019
Here is a sophisticated and elegant sparkler that sells for less than $10.00. This is dry and bracing with a middle filled with stone fruit and melon flavors and a long finish of talc and mineral. This is fine enough for fancy dinners but priced for picnics and parties.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-24-2019
This deep purple 100% Merlot from vineyards near Fleur Petrus and Clinet is thick and creamy with a middle of deep blue fruit and aromas of chiseled granite. The wine is substantial but effortless with the tannisn taking on an almost plush texture as they poke through all the glossy fruit. A modern monster just waiting to be uncoiled.

2015 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 04-18-2019
This is filled with smoky black fruit, a touch of earth and hints of spice in a nicely ripe and dense package that stays very fresh and clean on the finish. A touch heavier than many New Zealand Pinots but with lots of finesse and absolutely lovely flavors.

2000 Joël Taluau Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 04-11-2019
Here is an amazing deal in well aged and ready to drink Cabernet Franc direct from the cool cellars of the Chateau. This is filled with earthy black cherry fruit, tapenade and savory tobacco in a sweet and husky style that remains fresh and fruity. This is deep, hearty, beautifully mature and drinking perfectly right now.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 02-07-2019
Lovers of Pinot Gris will like this for the bright pit fruit and crushed melon flavors but the body is pure Champagne through and through. This is bold, aristocratic and classically dry with a long austere finish of mineral and talc. A touch exotic but filled with power and grace.
Price: Hidden View Price

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.

1999 Tour du Haut-Moulin, Haut-Médoc (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-14-2018
A magnum of mature Bordeaux from a very good vintage for under 40 bucks is insane so drag this to your next party and watch it empty surprisingly quickly. This soft, silky wine has caressing red fruit flavors and a touch of earth in the plump middle and a long, soft finish. Here is an absolute bargain in perfectly stored ready to drink Claret.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2006 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-06-2018
This 10+ year old wine represents fantastic value with its sweet fruit profile, earthy aromas and gravely finish. Big but well rounded flavors of plum, dark currant and cherry are layered against a finish of firm, ripe tannin and mineral. There is a lot going on in this under the radar bottle.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 07-24-2018
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.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

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

1998 Fontesteau, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 09-26-2017
This is a soft, gentle and earthy Old School bargain for lovers of mature, classic Medoc. Aromas of ripe Cherry fruit, potting clay and hints of truffle ease in to a long finish of forest floor and mineral. 17 years old and under $20.00!
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-15-2017
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.

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-08-2017
This family owned and independent House still makes one of the best and most reliable oak aged Champagnes on the market. 3 to 4 years ageing 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.

2010 Brillette, Moulis
Review Date: 06-06-2017
This is dark and generous with black cherry fruit, vanilla and toast layered through the firm middle. The sleek, sweet finish has hints of clay, touches of mineral and plenty of tannin. Shows the power of the vintage so decant.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-30-2017
This is the picture of grace yet with plenty of power behind the smoke, gravel, menthol and dark fruit that packs the mid-palate. This seems brawnier than La Mission and exudes potential with the strength held in check by balance and equilibrium.

2010 Bel-Orme Tronquoy de Lalande, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-21-2017
This easy to like bottle shows the quality of the vintage at an easy to digest price. Husky black cherry fruit, earth, mineral and light smoke fill the slightly rustic middle yet there is good freshness and a fine chalky grip to the finish. Decant and enjoy.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 07-07-2011
When it comes to Champagne this is probably our all time staff favorite. The fact that it is a direct import and sells for less than half what it would if it went through the same distribution system as the big name brands doesn't hurt either. Fresh and ripe Chardonnay flavors, intense mineral notes and hints of earth leap from this vibrant and full-textured bubbly.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-29-2009
Chardonnay from Brouillet makes a richer, creamier style of Blanc de Blanc than other areas of Champagne. This is an easy to like style that is perfect for less formal occasions like New Year's eve toasts and quiet sipping during parties. This generous, rich bubbly is an amazing deal to direct buy pricing.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart