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Staff Favorites - Clyde Beffa Jr.

Clyde Beffa Jr.
Clyde Beffa Jr.  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Had K&L co-owner and main wine buyer Clyde Beffa Jr. not read an article about the gentlemanly hobby of wine collecting in the February 1971 issue of Playboy, he might still be weighing the merits of Holsteins versus Jerseys instead of Château Margaux or Haut-Bailly. Beffa owned a dairy in Tracy, California, from 1967-1973, leaving the the business to co-found K&L Liquors, as it was known back then, in 1976. Clyde started traveling to Europe in 1982 and over the years, he has worked hard to build K&L into one of the nation's go-to sources for the world's diverse wines, developing relationships with winemakers and châteaux owners the world over. Clyde's passion is surely Bordeaux, especially the fabulous wines from Pauillac and St-Julien (like Pichon-Lalande and Léoville-Barton). When he's not drinking France's legendary reds, you'll likely find Clyde indulging in Sauvignon Blanc. A fan of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and white Bordeaux, he'll also tuck into a bottle of Kiwi Sauv Blanc if there's no corkscrew around. These days you'll likely find Clyde extolling the virtues of underrated Bordeaux vintages like 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2006, or playing with his German Shepherd Sadie. Or you may see him in his vegetable garden and, once in a great while, on the golf course.


Reviews

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1989 Bel Air Lagrave, Moulis
Review Date: 03-20-2019
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A neighbor of Poujeaux, this property held back most of their production for many years and now that the younger generation has taken over, the wines have been released. Wow. This is a spectacular buy! Thirty-year-old Bordeaux direct from the property. Old school property from a very ripe vintage; soft and sweet. Elegant but not for the lovers of young California Cabernet. Red fruits and Asian spice aromas. Definitely old school. I love it.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

1997 Bel Air Lagrave, Moulis-en-Medoc (1.5L)
Review Date: 03-20-2019
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This little-known property makes super-value, old-school wines. Clive Coates sings its praises in the Wines of Bordeaux: "The vineyard, in the process of being enlarged, lies on the Grand Poujeaux plateau. The estate, which has belonged to the same family for 150 years, is run on biological lines, the wine being matured in one-third new oak." We sold the 1997 quickly and now we have magnums in--perfect for two persons. Very elegant wine--over 20 years old and less than $20. Red roses on the nose, some tarry, spicy nuances on the palate. Great for Tuesday night parties.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2018 Kalinda Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 03-15-2019
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For decades now (since 1984), our Kalinda private label has been providing K&L customers with awesome wines at a fraction of what they'd normally pay under the producers' mainstay labels. Our 2018 Sauvignon Blanc release was produced in Napa--Oakville, to be exact. This very famous winery is very near Opus One and Robert Mondavi. The result is a stunning wine--probably the best ever for our Sauvignon Blanc. It is loaded with fresh stone fruit and enticing acidity. Intense floral and earthy notes on the nose. Crisp acidity. Seamless wine with lingering finish. So good you will drink the whole bottle at one sitting.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Gazin Rocquencourt, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-12-2019
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The 2015 Gazin Rocquencourt is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot matured in 45% new oak. The property is owned by the Bonnie family of Malartic Lagraviere fame. Complex aromas of blackberries, blueberries and toasty oak-following through to a full body. Firm, chewy tannins that are polished and intense. Great mid term cellar candidate.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2015 Gazin Rocquencourt Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-12-2019
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The 2015 Gazin Rocquencourt, which comes from the Bonnie family at Malartic-Lagravière, is pure Sauvignon Blanc and matured in 40% new oak. The 2015 has a tremendously fresh bouquet with Granny Smith apples, fresh pear, and hints of white peach. Lovely wine and perfect with a nice piece of salmon grilled.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2016 Cap St-George, St-Georges-St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-12-2019
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The 2016 Cap St George, now owned by Jean-Philippe Janoueix, has a rich, sexy bouquet with small dark cherries, crème de cassis and dark plum fruit. JS says "A solid red with lots of ripe-fruit and stone character. Mineral. Medium body, juicy fruit and a savory finish. Shows potential." I think the wine, while being on the new-wave, modern side of winemaking, shows fine balance on the palate.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2016 La Tour Léognan, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-12-2019
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Coming from the same vineyards and the same careful cellar-work as Château Carbonnieux, the younger sibling Château Tour Leognan provides the young-vine version for earlier drinking pleasure, and is a joyful way to enjoy fresh Bordeaux while you wait for the big dogs to mature. From the winery: "Originally, Château Tour Léognan was the estate located right next to Château Carbonnieux. In 1956 Marc Perrin bought both properties; he reorganized all the planting-layout and Tour Léognan became the second wine of Carbonnieux." The heralded 2016 vintage is better than the very successful 2015 vintage. Vibrant, spicy, blackberry dominated wine. Can cellar well, but will be very good in a year or two. Drink tonight after decanting one hour.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1996 Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-04-2019
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Ralph and I love this wine-to me it is better than their 2000! We have been following the property for the last five years and we think it is on a great track with their new releases, but try this 20+ yr old beauty. It is elegant and has a long, lingering finish. Smokey, toasty aromas, tons of cassis fruit on the palate. In a blind tasting at K&L (January 2019), one of our top Bordeaux staff thought it was a first growth Pauillac from the 80s. A steal at this price.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine de Fontbonau Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 02-03-2019
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This property is making great strides in the last two years to making superb red Rhone wines. Spicy, full-flavored red -- great with cassoulet. Decant and enjoy in the next ten years. Keep you eye on this property -- a sure winner.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$20.99

2016 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 01-31-2019
A study in quiet power, confident and self-assured. “Perhaps the best we have ever made from a technical perspective,” noted owner Jean-Michel Cazes. A wine of extraordinary concentration—one of the wines of the vintage.

2017 Margaux, Margaux
Review Date: 01-31-2019
They lost only 10% from frost, etc. 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and only 13% alcohol. Red roses and violets on the nose and red currant flavors. Some earthy flavors; elegant wine to enjoy young. Some say it is similar to 1996 Margaux.

2017 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-31-2019
Intriguing nose of allspice and savory undertones. Lots of mineral on the nose and palate. Medium weight with lots of spices as the wine warms up. Red currant flavors and nice balance; tons of spice at the back end, too.

2017 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 01-31-2019
Boysenberry aromas mixed with minerals. Red fruit on the palate. Velvety on the palate with no hard edges—not expansive but nicely structured.

2017 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 01-31-2019
A fabulous first growth with a regal and elegant nose. Very precise and focused, 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, and it is all Cab on the palate with red fruits abounding and rose undertones. Long and lingering, medium weight and on the elegant side.

2016 Kalinda Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-05-2018
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We were lucky to get this gem from one of our favorite Sonoma wineries. We started selling their Cabernets in the early 1980s. Sorry we can't tell you the name of this very famous property, but their Cabernets were the talk of the valley in the 80s and 90s. This delicious wine is elegant, yet finely structured for cellar ageing. Boysenberry aromas with chocolate undertones. Some chocolate on the palate with bright, ripe cassis flavors. Very sweet, lingering finish. A superb value.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2005 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (1.5L) 1-pack in OWC
Review Date: 11-23-2018
For that super special person who is a Bordeaux collector, these magnums in a wooden box are the perfect gift. Fabulous wine. I have a case in my cellar. Will cellar well for many, many years. Cedar and pencil shaving aromas with cassis flavors. The finish lasts a minute.

2003 Clarke, Listrac
Review Date: 11-23-2018
This property used to make very rustic, tannic wines, but the quality has improved vastly since the early ’90s.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2015 de Landiras Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 11-23-2018
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As good as their 2014 was, this is better. Sweeter on the palate with soft tannins and a lingering finish. This property is located at the southern end of the Graves region, very close to Barsac and Sauternes. It is one of the oldest in Bordeaux, dating from the fourteenth century. John Statton built the original chateau in 1360 on the site of a Roman villa, while the land was still in English possession. In the 1500s, the property was purchased and run by the powerful Angol-Gascon family of Montferrand. At the time there were 14,000 acres of vineyards and property. This family, for a short while, also owned Chateau Margaux. The Landiras vineyards eventually were neglected and horses were raised on the property. In 1988, Peter Vinding-Diers became only the third owner of the property in 600 years. What he found was two acres of vineyards and 40 more suitable for planting.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Hyot, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 11-23-2018
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The daughters of owners Bernadette Faure and Alain Aubert oversee vineyards, winemaking and marketing of this fine value Bordeaux. This is a ripe, fruity wine with its black-currant fruit and balanced sweet tannins. It has a fine elegant texture and like other 2015s it is very forward with ripe tannins. The 2014 was a huge hit-this is as good.
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 11-21-2018
One of my old time favorites—I just drank a heavenly bottle of their 1997. You can never go wrong with Poujeaux.

2015 Petit Soutard, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-21-2018
What a delicious wine—the second wine of Soutard. Tons of blackberry jam on the nose with a touch of oak evident. So sweet and forward now, it is hard to resist.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos Renon, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 10-18-2018
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Great value! So spicy and lively-another superb value from the 2015 vintage. Hamburger wine at its finest.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

1990 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 10-12-2018
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This wine is right there with their magnificent 1989. Dark ruby color, with blackberry aromas. Full-bodied and very polished, with fine tannins and a long, rich, fruity finish. This wine can be enjoyed tonight with one hour decanting and a prime rib roast. Plenty of cellar life ahead for that 30 year birthday in 2020.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2016 Les Grands Chenes, Médoc (1.5L)
Review Date: 08-21-2018
For the low price you get a lot of wine here. I love this wine and we tasted it three times. Toasty, very fruity aromas of blackberry that follow to the palate. So sweet and juicy on the palate you want to drink it now. Good acidity and very round tannins-this wine is NOT overdone like some of the past vintages. Bravo!

2017 Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-16-2018
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76%CS, 13% M, 9%CF, 2%PV. Lovely red fruit and rose petal aromas meshed with some soft, toasty oak. Very sweet palate entry and a forward ripe mid palate. So elegant and refined. Long, lingering finish with a touch of tannin. Superb wine and better than their 2015. Do not miss these northern medoc 2017s.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Figeac, St-Émilion
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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47% CS and 43%M with 10%CF. One of the best of the right bank 2017s. So minty and spicy on the nose. Red berries and boysenberries on the palate. Soft and forward. So sweet. Lovely.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2017 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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90% CS-This wine is almost as good as their great 2015. Spicy, exotic Asian fruit aromas and flavors. Sexy wine, rip and lush. Tannic at back, but delightful in ten years.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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This might be the best for the money in 2017. Of course I am prejudiced, but Léoville sings in 2017. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon tells the story here—Merlot did not do well in the region. Very spicy on the palate. Suprisingly easy to drink. Not a huge wine, but a seamless, totally enjoyable 2017. Can be enjoyed in the next five years. Bravo to the Barton team and my best to Anthony and Eva Barton.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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76% CS and 24%M. Wonderful perfumeon the nose-red roses and toasty oak. Superb entry and great mid palate feel. Very long and sweet. Much better than the Carruades 2017. I love this powerful, yet sweet Pauillac.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 La Gaffelière, St. Emilion
Review Date: 08-15-2018
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So lush and lovely. It frosted on their lower vineyards and so only their hillside grapes were used in the blend! Precise and focused wine. Reminds me of the 1953 and 1962 that I recently drank ! This wine IS MUCH better than their 2015 or 2016. A must buy
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2015 Grand Moulin, Cotes de Blaye Rouge
Review Date: 08-08-2018
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A right bank wine that is very well priced and ready to enjoy young. Cuvee Viva from Chateau Gigault is a neighbor. Spicy and fruity aromas-a bit savoury too. Very ripe Merlot here gives it a pluminess. Decant and enjoy.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2015 Pomeys, Moulis
Review Date: 08-08-2018
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The property is in Moulis near Poujeaux and near the town of Castelnau. Slightly new wave in style, with toasty, tobacco nuanced aromas and some toasty flavors. Fine mid-palate richness and lingering finish. Try with rack of lamb. For those who like modern styled reds.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2014 Roland la Garde Tradition, Premières Côtes de Blaye
Review Date: 08-08-2018
This property makes solid, value-driven wines and this 2014 is just that. An opaque purple color is followed by copious mulberry and black cherry fruit, good freshness and elegance, and a heady finish. It should drink nicely for 4-5 years. Try it with a prime rib roast. Decant one hour.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Tour Cordouan, Médoc
Review Date: 08-08-2018
We tasted this delicious wine with our good friend and Bordeaux negociant-Eric Fourault. We bought it on the spot on our April Bordeaux tour. Very much red fruit and roses on the nose. Very sweet oaky finish. Enjoy it now with a rare steak.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Crabitey Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Tons of red fruit and earth on the nose. Rich and round on the palate-soft and forward. Very ripe tannins, well-balanced too. Priced correctly for enjoyment in the next few years.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Palmer Blanc, Vin de France
Review Date: 08-08-2018
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The rarest wine in the USA with only 120 bottles in the States. So lush and intriguing-Absolutely delicious. Bravo Thomas Duroux. The 2016 is crisp and clean and totally enjoyable. Not sure on cellaring it, but it could go easily 5 years.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Graside Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Le Blanc de la Graside is sourced from a vineyard three miles south of Libourne that is planted with 60-year-old Sauvignon Blanc vines. Grapes are harvested at full maturity and aged in casks to round out the wine's generous profile, while it retains a mineral-driven finish. The 2016 vintage was quite good for the Sauvignon Blanc grape--they wine will sell out quickly.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Cap St-George, St-Georges-St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-31-2018
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Wonderful wine-rich and round and lush. In the modern style, but with fine acidity and balance. Blackberry jam aromas with some toasty oak. Plenty of latent tannin, but the fruit overpowers the tannins.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2015 Laroze, St.-Emilion
Review Date: 07-31-2018
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Perfect value wine. big scores. We tasted this wine in April 2018 and here it is. Full-bodied red with chocolate, plums and oaky undertones. Round tannins-long, lingering finish. Clyde scores it 93.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2015 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 07-31-2018
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Wow-if you like Framboise you will adore this wine. Intense raspberry aromas that follow to the palate. Sweet and sexy-not as tannic as the 2010. A great party wine and ecpecially for those California Cabernet drinkers.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2017 Kalinda Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-26-2018
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A great Sonoma Chardonnay for under $15? What a value. Melon aromas and some vanilla oak nuances on the nose. This one goes down easily with some oaky notes on the palate. Fine acidity at the back palate. Clean and refreshing--perfect poolside sipper. If you love the Rombauer buttery style don't buy this one. We can't tell you who made it for us, but they are famous.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Reserve de la Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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One of the better 2nd wines we tasted in the North Medoc. 60% CS and36% M. Great year for Petit Verdot and 4% in this wine. Very fruity and aromatic nose-great texture on the palate and fine length— a fine value!
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2017 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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79%CS 21%M. Normal crop this year-no frost damage. Sweet, toasty oak aromas with cassis undertones. Red fruits dominate the palate. Lingering finish.
Drink from 2023 to 2023

2017 Canon-la-Gaffelière, St-Émilion
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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So lush and lovely. It frosted on their lower vineyards and so only their hillside grapes used in the blend ! Precise and focused wine. Reminds me of the 1953 and 1962 I recently drank ! MUCH better than their 2015 and 2016. The low lying weaker grapes frosted.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2017 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-07-2018
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7% loss here. 70%CS. Spicy, cedary aromas and flavors. Good weight on the palate. Lovely, spicy, lush wine-like they made in the 80s I love this wine—they are doing great at Pichon Lalande these days. Better than their 2015 for sure.
Drink from 2022 to 2022

2017 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-23-2018
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70%CS, 24%M, 2%CF. In my top twenty wines from this vintage. Fantastic aromas of red roses and cassis. Sweet and long on the palate. Great rounded tannins. Very balanced on palate. They lowered their price 21% from the 2016. One of the less expensive Lynch bages on the market. I recommend buying some.
Drink from 2025 to 2025

2017 Blanc de Lynch Bages, Bordeaux
Review Date: 05-23-2018
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This wine improves every year. 2017 may be their best yet. Clean and lemony but with a richness on the mid palate and great aromatics-like many of the 2017 white Bordeaux. Very focused wine.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2017 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 05-18-2018
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Another fine effort and fine value from Our friends at Siran. Some violets on the nose and red fruits on the palate. 46% M and 43% CS. quite full flavored and nice texture.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Clinet, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-18-2018
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Bravo on a reasonable price. The 2015 is about $150! Black fruit aromas and flavors. Exotic and a bit modern on the palate. Needs several years cellaring.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2017 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-16-2018
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Here they lost 10% due to frost and 20% more with tropical rains and rot. 52%CS and 48%M. Deep blackish color. Great aromatics of red rose and cassis. Very sweet entry on the palate-lots of red fruited flavors. Lush and seamless-three in a row here for top quality. Almost $30 less than the 2015.
Drink from 2021 to 2021

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