Staff Favorites - Ralph Sands

Ralph Sands
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Ralph is the senior Bordeaux specialist on the sales staff. In between trying to break into professional baseball, Ralph was picking up hours at a K&L store in Millbrae. Back then it was more about kegs and cheap booze, and both Ralph and K&L have evolved since that time. Since those long ago days in 1978, Ralph has visited his beloved Bordeaux 37 times, evaluated 19 straight vintages and has escorted over 200 customers to Bordeaux on his "Taste and Golf the Greats Tours of Bordeaux". Ralph has also conducted tasting seminars in 9 different states as well as in France, Spain and Hong Kong. Ralph's passion for wine reaches far beyond Bordeaux; to the fine wine regions of Burgundy, Loire, Rhone, Germany, Oregon and of course his home state of California.


2020 de Sales, Pomerol (375ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2023
Very floral, notes of sweet red fruits with herbal tones abound. Fresh and elegant! This is a lovely, easy drinking Pomerol in a perfect size to load up on for lunch, picnic's or that one more glass of red in the evening. From the De Lambert Family, who have owned the estate since the 16th century and also own the first growth estate of Sigalas-Rabaud in Sauternes.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2015 l'Orme de Rauzan Gassies, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-08-2023
Very nice Margaux wine; ready to drink and a great value! Attractive, silky round fruit with lovely balance, so Textbook Margaux! 9 years old and clearly show's the greatness of the 2015 vintage, one of the best vintages in the history of the commune. A no brainer! Ralph Sands
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2020 Dalem, Fronsac
Review Date: 11-08-2023
A serious young Fronsac ! Firm black fruits with a touch of middle roundness from this warm vintage. Could certainly cellar a few years, or decant for an hour to open up. Ralph Sands

2022 Sheild (Middle-Earth) Sauvignon Blanc Nelson
Review Date: 02-14-2023
In the "super value" spot for me, fresh elements of little grass and herbs with mouthwatering acidity! Love it!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 08-19-2021
The 2015 was a 3-Star beauty, and the 2016 is again a fabulous 3-Star wine. Perfectly extracted, ripe grapes and great tasting, fine balance, tannins, and long finish. 3 Stars and also by FAR the greatest value for great Margaux wine.

2018 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien
Review Date: 03-16-2021
In my opinion, St-Julien is the sweet spot in 2018. Léoville Poyferré is composed of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. This is a candidate for the best wine of the vintage at the top level. Big wine, loaded with freshness and layers of silky, blood red fruit. The layers, along with the middle fruit texture and the rounded tannins, are the key here, leading to a very long aftertaste. Outstanding! Three Stars.

2018 Canon, St-Émilion
Review Date: 05-02-2019
Deep old vine Merlot flavors, but not a hint of over ripeness and lifted up by great freshness! Flavorful tasty wine with great finesse and elegance. Just Superb 2.5 Stars. Ralph Sands

2017 Canon, St-Émilion
Review Date: 06-08-2018
Classic Canon! Perfectly ripe and pure without a hint of over ripeness, dry, persistently long finish and as always, incredibly elegant. Love it! Ralph Sands

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-23-2017
This is absolutely incredible Champagne for the money! Deeply flavored, intense and powerful it is in the style of Bollinger and Krug at nowhere near the price and I love that!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-10-2017
2016 Haut Bailly represents 55% of the crop and is 53% CS 40 M 4PV and 3CF “A deep attack of dark raspberry fruit, very, very strong and concentrated, full of structure and drive, serious wine. Firm tannins and loaded with minerals. Reminds me a lot of the great 2010, 3 stars” Ralph Sands

2016 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-10-2017
The Grand Vin Pichon Comtesse 75%CS 21M 4CF is a delicious wine full of bright, sweet and super fresh, very elegant seamless fruit with rounded tannins. Delicious and polished with hints of toasty oak. 3 Stars!

2016 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-01-2017
Mouton Rothschild reveals an incredible nose that screams greatness! Sweet, pure and persistent old vine fruit with strong structure, a lovely touch of middle fruit richness but still very bold and long finishing. A great tasting wine and a Mouton for the ages! 3 Stars! Ralph Sands

2016 Calon Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-31-2017
2016 Ch. Calon Segur 60% CS 20M 18CF and 2PV is full of strong zesty red-black fruit with hints of black licorice and tart bing cherries. Firm, pure, classic claret that will reward time in the cellar. 2 Stars! 2016 is another 2014 in St-Estephe producing outstanding wines. Ralph Sands

2016 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-25-2017
2016 Cos d'Estournel is a great wine! Loaded with exotic black fruits, powerful but in perfect focus. Lovely middle fruit texture and style, super long finishing wine. Better than Mouton and Lafite! 3 Star Wine and candidate for wine of the vintage.

2009 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 01-15-2017
We at K&L certainly respect the great second growth Château Montrose, the masculine, stoic pillar of a wine that never wavers. But the huge buzz coming from Montrose these days is all about the other wine they make there, located about 100 yards away: Château Tronquoy-Lalande. Very few wines in my 38 years here have had such a meteoric rise in popularity— and it’s all about great taste! The 2009 Tronquoy-Lalande is just loaded with delicious, deep, purple-blue fruit—I wish I could have this wine in stock forever! Hundreds of cases already sold and it’s our last shot at this beauty.

2015 Angélus, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-20-2016
Angelus- This wine shows you exactly why Angelus was elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classe A. This is a great wine that is just loaded with deep, round exotic fruit that screams of raspberries! A big wine with lovely rounded tannins you can barely feel! While the wine is big it features great freshness from the superb Cabernet Franc in 2015 and the exquisite balance that will insure a long life. 3 Stars!

2009 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien
Review Date: 10-15-2013
Deep blood red, with thick mid-palate fruit. It will be one of the great values of the vintage!

Canard-Duchêne Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-27-2013
Lovely Chamapagne! Super clean and elegant with a very nice dry finish; a real crowd pleaser and fine value.
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart

2010 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge, Pessac-Léognan (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-05-2013
The high-toned dark fruit and tight zippy structure really stand out. At UGC: Round, tasty, but serious. Best ever to me. **

2010 Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-05-2013
The high-toned dark fruit and tight zippy structure really stand out. At UGC: Round, tasty, but serious. Best ever to me. **

2010 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-05-2013
Superb, concentrated and precise. **

2010 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-05-2013
Powerful. Seriously good!

2010 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 02-05-2013
Pure, bright and spicy.

2010 Durfort-Vivens, Margaux
Review Date: 02-04-2013
On a great roll. A value!
Top Value!

2006 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 01-02-2013
A damn serious Lynch. Black fruit with red tinges. The high-toned fruit is round and viscous, textbook Lynch aromas of cigar/wood. A real winner, better than '05.

2010 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 10-25-2012
Deep, earthen, silky, fresh, long and round.

2010 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
Review Date: 10-25-2012
Exotic, layers of sweet raspberry fruit, stern but with viscosity. A great wine, but you have to be young so you can enjoy this wine in 30 years.

2009 Saint-Pierre, St-Julien
Review Date: 03-12-2012
Deep, tasty dark purple fruit; a touch rustic but long on the finish.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

2009 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 03-07-2012
Deep ripe Bing cherry fruit, an excellent middle and a powerful finish. This will be a classic!

2009 Giscours, Margaux
Review Date: 03-06-2012
Masculine and firm, tight. Needs time.

2009 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 03-05-2012
Spicy and lively black fruit with an elegant and very long finish.

2009 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 03-05-2012
Deep, grapey, masculine wine. It was really good the second time we tasted it.

2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-31-2011
A strong and complex wine with very deep, blood red fruit. Spicy wit hints of earth and heavily toasted oak. This is a masculine style of wine that could use a few more years to soften up.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2010 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 06-16-2011
This has a great perfume and middle fruit. Elegant and pure. Lovely tannins. A top pick.

2010 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-16-2011
Sweet nose. Loaded with dark chocolate and sweet fruit. Very structured and powerful.

2010 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-16-2011
Great concentration. Hints of orange peel on the strong finish.

More Favorites

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1994 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien ($124.99)