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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

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2014 Domaine du Vieil Orme Malbec-Cabernet Franc Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 12-15-2017
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 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

2014 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 12-06-2017
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

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

2016 Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley Marlborough
Review Date: 12-05-2017
Rich and focused with an array of yellow fruit flavors and citrus blossom and verbena aromas. As this warms up tropical notes emerge leaning toward mango, lychee, guava with a pronounced note of earthy musk melon. This is very complex and compelling for the price.
Price: Hidden View Price
BC 96 DC 96

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-Méedoc
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 89 - 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

2016 Au Bon Climat/K&L Wine Merchants "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-28-2017
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

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 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau
Review Date: 11-16-2017
This is cool and restrained for a Nouveau with a middle of dusty plum, a graphite-like core and a finish of sweet raspberries and dried flowers. Our most "sophisticated" Nouveau.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

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

2017 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau
Review Date: 11-16-2017
Always the juiciest and most bubble gum like of the nouveau but with a solid core of deep black cherry fruit and a granite edge that adds a food friendly finish. This is an absolute mindless delight to glug down and a must have at your Thanksgiving table.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2010 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 11-08-2017
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

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: $29.99 Add To Cart
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.

2014 Bellegrave, Pauillac
Review Date: 11-02-2017
Traditional and Old School in nature yet possessing good weigh and texture with enough fruit to carry the day. Blackberrys and dark currants float over a core of iron and graphite in this deep,dark and rustic wine. Give this an hour in a decanter and enjoy with a hearty meal.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2014 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-02-2017
This has earthy cherry fruit with a dark edge underneath the elegant exterior. This solid wine is a consistent over achiever and drinks well above the modest price.

2014 Fleur de Clinet, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-05-2017
The Second wine of Chateau Clinet is deep. slick and dark with a slightly savory edge to the plum and black current fruit. This is an approachable classically styled Pomerol for not much money.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Senejac, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-30-2017
Senejac is THE one super bargain that should be in the wine cellar of every serious collector of fine Bordeaux. Closed and powerful in youth, this amazing value always seems to blossom into a rich chewy wine of wonderful depth and flavor. Although this sub $20.00 bottle has the ability to develop for another 5+ years in a cool cellar decanting tonight will give you a hint of what to expect.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2002 Croix de L'Espérance, Lussac St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-29-2017
This delicious 12 year old from the folks at Ch. Pape-Clement is dark and deep but with no edges showing from start to finish. This darkly colored, bright and fresh wine is sweet, smooth and layered with aromas of cedar, tea and even some high quality oak peaking through the rich middle. This is a steal in mature St-Emilion from a great producer.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau de L'Ou Chardonnay "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 09-29-2017
If you lined up every $20 Chardonnay in the store this would knock the socks off of them all. This is substantial and rich but pure and refined, with slight whiffs of toast and honey before the vibrant, crisp apple flavors spread across your palate. Hints of citrus blossom and wet mineral coast along the mouthwatering finish begging for another sip. This is great stuff.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Maison Henri Boillot Meursault
Review Date: 09-29-2017
This is earthy, nutty and rich with aromas that hint at musk melon and slight toast. There is ample weight and fruity texture to the stony mid-palate and the mineral flecked finish is long and bracing.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
BH 90

2015 Domaine Huguenot "Champs Perdrix" Marsannay
Review Date: 09-29-2017
This is bright and forward with vivid raspberry fruit and spice gushing through the rich middle. The dark color and ripe flavors really showcase the warmth of the vintage.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Motte Maucourt, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This is filled with sweet and gentle baked red fruit in a soft, caressing style. The subtle finish of warm cherry seems to linger and expand on this Super Bargain.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Latour-Giraud Meursault 1er Cru "Genevrières"
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The aromas here are of toast, wet stone and flowers followed by a sweet glycerin textured middle of ripe fruit. Lots of fat and depth here tempered by a long, dry mineral dusted finish.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
BH 92 VN 92

2015 Domaine Huguenot Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This opens with a very pretty and floral nose of violet and dark berry cherry. There is good richness to the dark and sweet middle and the finish is substantial and long. This is easy to drink and delicious.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Hyot, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 09-28-2017
There is an overlay of toast to this spicy and juicy gem which delivers way above its price point. There is a modern touch to the gobs of dark fruit but the balancing acidity and fine tannic structure lend length and a touch of precision and proportion. This is a great food or cocktail wine to buy by the case.

2010 Gulfi "Nerosanlorè" Nero d'Avola Sicilia
Review Date: 09-28-2017
A very serious wine here: almost brooding in character but with plenty of acidity for freshness. This is an intense dark ruby with baked plum, ripe berry, soy, smoke and a volcanic mineral finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 95

2014 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin
Review Date: 09-27-2017
This masculine wine has a nose of slight barnyard followed by dark plum and wild berry fruit. This is deep, hearty and rich with with ripe tannins and a somewhat rustic character which should soften with some cellar time. There is a lot of wine here so an hour in a decanter would allow this to pare with a hearty meal tonight.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fombrauge, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Here is a flashy, rich but balanced bargain filled with flavors and aromas of cocoa, espresso, black raspberry, vanilla and oak in a big, modern style. The structure here is blanketed by masses of creamy, toasty fruit in this hard to resist youngster. From the folks at Chateau Pape Clement.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 JS 92

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Beaune 1er Cru "Clos du Roi"
Review Date: 09-27-2017
This is a substantial yet balanced wine with hearty aromas of sweet dark fruit and just a slight whiff of oak. The middle is layered with rich fruit, spice and a hint of game where the chewy texture is lifted by fresh acidity.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Phélan-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-26-2017
This dark purple colored wine is filled with ripe blackberries, crunchy dark currants and hints of sweet tobacco in a bold style. From the flowery aromas through the cocoa infused tannins on the finish, this is a wine that will cellar very well.

2009 Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-26-2017
This is ripe and earthy with an almost sappy quality to the warm red fruit flavors. This rich and approachable wine showcases the Pessac Leognan appellation at its gravely best.

2015 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-21-2017
This is fruity, fresh and clean with a touch of char to the bright red fruit flavors. The tannins turn a touch gravely on the structured and mineral toned finish.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 - 92

2015 D'Alix, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 09-21-2017
This is plush and earthy with a touch of spice to the creamy, dark fruited middle. There is a gravely edge to the finish adding length and texture. This young and serious wine already drinks beautifully.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Folie de Chauvin, Saint-Emilion
Review Date: 09-21-2017
The 2nd wine of Chateau Chauvin is filled with berries and other red fruits and has a clean and sleek middle showing touches of limestone minerality. Subtle oak shadings add complexity to the finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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