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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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2016 l'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 08-15-2019
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: $17.99 Add To Cart

2009 Sociando-Mallet "Cuvee Jean Gautreau", Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-15-2019
There are some dark, meaty notes to this big, hearty wine which possesses plenty of ripe, sweet fruit and a deep, chewy texture. There is a beefy element that may remind some of the Northern Rhone but the 2009 weather gave this all the warm, roasted fruit you would expect from this great vintage. This is a big and approachable bottle to pair with substantial fare.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2016 Fleur Cardinale, St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-15-2019
There is a touch of smoke and exotic spice poking through all the creamy plum and boysenberry fruit fruit in this somewhat exotic and modern wine. The plush oak tinged middle is satin textured and leads to a silky finish. This is rich and very easy to drink.

2016 Meyney, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-15-2019
This is very dark with ripe tannins poking through the leather and tobacco laced boysenberry and blackberry fruit. The wine is substantial and firm and has a very polished finish of dark fruit, clay and mineral.

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-15-2019
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

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: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 JS 90

2016 Les Grands Chenes, Médoc
Review Date: 08-15-2019
Here is a toasty and broad wine that proudly struts its oak influence. This is husky and deep with the array of dark fruit keeping the vanilla and spice firmly in check on the full, satisfying finish.

2014 Tronquoy-Lalande Blanc, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-15-2019
This delicious and powerful white is filled with orchard fruit flavors, spiced apricot and almond paste in a round and deep style. Lots of mineral aromas and flavors show up on the long finish of concentrated dried grapefruit pith.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2008 Bellerose Figeac, St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-02-2019
A Grand Cru St-Emilion that is 10 years old and sells for less than $20.00 seems impossible yet here it is. This starts off with plump earthy mulberry and soft black cherry aromas and flavors that are mellow and alluring. The body is silky and the textured finish is long and gentle. Ready to go for tonight.
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

2013 Larrivet-Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-19-2019
This mature white from a good vintage and a great producer is honeyed, with a paraffin texture and flavors of apricot, golden delicious apple, and lemon curd. Although round and substantial, there is plenty of freshness to the mineral-laced finish.

2015 Siaurac, Lalande de Pomerol
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This easy to drink wine starts with a flowery expression that melds to a silky middle of black currant and dark cherry fruit. This is satin textured, savory and a fantastically smooth and delicious drink.

2001 Barde Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 07-18-2019
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.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$39.99
WS 90

2015 Marquis de Mons, Margaux
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This elegant wine is filled with red fruits and berries in a fine and clean style. The long classy lines give a classic expression of Margaux at an approachable price.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2015 Moulin de La Bridane, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This has classic St-Julien flavors at a no-brainer price and an approachable style. The wine is deep, rich and earthy with a chewy middle of dark fruit and a surprisingly gentle mineral filled finish. Lots going on here for not much money.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2016 Bellegrave, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-18-2019
Here is an affordable Pauillac that tastes like the appellation from which it hails and is delicious already. This is sleek and clean with glossy blackberry fruit and the telltale graphite peaking through. The finish is long, poised and has mineral streaks throughout. A bargain to decant tonight.

2012 Ormes de Pez, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This is firm and robust with intense blackberry fruit flavors and hints of damp clay in the deep middle. There is a mineral tug on the finish where the ripe tannins are buried in the deep fruit. Affordable and classic for the appellation.

2016 Baron de Malleret, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This screaming deal encapsulates everything that is great about the 2016 Bordeaux vintage. This is smooth, sweet and glossy with lush raspberry fruit accented by cocoa and vanilla shadings. There is plenty of freshness and length along with ideal ripeness in this easy drinking beauty.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Beausejour 'Cuvee Prestige', Fronsac
Review Date: 06-26-2019
Hearty, chewy and packed with earthy blackberry fruit, this is a monster mouth full of Merlot that drinks well above its price. Tannins that are thick, ripe and smooth hold down the finish and keep this from being more than just a fruit bomb. This is a substantial bargain to drink now or cellar for up to 5 years.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2016 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This is a surprisingly suave and sophisticated version of this wine, probably due to the impeccable balance of the 2016 vintage. The red fruit, berry and chocolate cherry flavors in the supple mid-palate flow effortlessly into a lingering finish of persistent herbal nuance and fine tannin. A wonderful marriage of weight, texture and elegance.

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.

2009 Priban, Haut-Medoc
Review Date: 06-26-2019
A few years of bottle age have done wonders for the sumptuous, plump 2009 Bordeaux and this wine has really benefited. This is earthy and fruity with generous cherry pie and warm fig flavors filling the middle and touches of spice bathing the gentle finish of ripe tannins. Rather opulent and a delicious drink for tonight.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-22-2019
A bit more flamboyant than many Barde-Haut offerings and showing the richness of the vintage but with plenty of tension and tell tail mineral on the finish. This shows off ripe raspberries, fig and dark plum fruit in the dense middle before the tannin and mineral buried underneath pull the finish along.

2014 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-22-2019
This is filled with ripe red fruits, cedar and milk chocolate in a rich but clean style that shows off the structure of the vintage. Hints of savory herb, light tobacco and subtle spice show up on the finish. Delicious now but with a long life ahead.

2012 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-22-2019
A few years of bottle age have softened the harder edges of this bargain. This is grapey and bright with firm dark plum fruit and hints of damp soil. Though noticeably resolved since release the finish remains clean and fresh. Drink tonight.

2009 Paloumey, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-22-2019
It’s easy to see why this somewhat flashy but well-proportioned wine has been such a huge seller here at K&L. This is rather lush, with aromas of damp earth, oak and tobacco mingling with oodles of baked plum fruit. A hint of warm cranberry cobbler on the finish keeps this lively and fresh tasting.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Chateau Simone Palette Rouge
Review Date: 06-14-2019
This delicious and unique wine is bold but super balanced and very sophisticated. Hints of oak along with dark currants, red and blue berries and violets fill the aromas and flavors of the sleek and substantial middle. The finish is long, dry and polished.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2017 Les Têtes "Tête" VDF Rouge
Review Date: 06-13-2019
Here is a great Summer sipper that will appeal to all lovers of the popular Bistro reds from the Loire Valley that populate every outdoor cafe in Paris. This "Natural Wine" has aromas of tobacco, earth and dark berries in abundance. The middle is filled with juicy raspberries and the finish is of clean, dark slate. Palate cleansing, food friendly and unique!
Price: $17.99 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: $19.99 Add To Cart

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 Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 06-06-2019
This is surprisingly structured for the price point but has a rich overlay of ripe cherry fruit and a clean and wonderfully dry finish. Another pure and delicious bargain to buy by the case and drink with pizza, pasta, burgers or any picnic fare.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

Deligeroy "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: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-31-2019
Our best selling "small producer" Rhone red is a shade richer and more substantial than in past vintages but retains all the lively dark fruit and crunchy berry flavors we expect from this bottling. Blackberries, potpourri, savory herb, licorice and an assortment of exotic spices fill the aromas and flavors of this amazing bargain.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2018 Château de Montfaucon Lirac Rosé
Review Date: 05-31-2019
Here is a great and affordable choice for lovers of the deep and powerful rose' coming from the Tavel region of the Southern Rhone. The substantial middle of wild raspberry, ripe black cherry and spice is full, focused and mouth filling. Is that a whisper of tannin on the firm, mineral laced finish? This is delicious on its own but would be a perfect match for grilled salmon or surf & turf.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Baron de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 05-30-2019
Fans of the Montfaucon whites will find this bottling a bit more forward and open knit than the other offerings. This has flowery aromas of citrus blossom and assorted ripe stone fruits-especially white peach. A touch of glycerin adds texture to the rich mid-palate of baked apricot and warm peach and the honeyed finish is stony, dry and refreshing. This is invigorating enough for Summer sipping but has the weight and texture to carry you straight through the Winter Holidays.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 RP 90

2018 Domaine la Colombe Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 05-01-2019
This is a fruity style of rose that finishes dry, clean and crisp. The aromas of fresh mixed berries and sparkling mineral water fairly jump from the glass when poured. The mouth watering middle is filled with juicy watermelon and ripe red fruits that persist on the lingering, palate teasing finish. Delicious and refreshing.
Price: $12.99 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.

2012 Albatreti Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-25-2019
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. The wine is becoming quite burnished with hints of leather poking through the dry finish of ripe tannin.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2017 Pessac-Léognan de Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 04-24-2019
The 3rd wine of Haut-Bailly is a bargain and one of the first 2017's to land on our shelves. This is red fruited with aromas of gravel and spice and a supple texture for early drinking. The body is lively and fresh with the fruit and spice ending in a finish of very faint tannin. Decant and enjoy.
Price: $21.99 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.

2016 Berliquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-24-2019
This is a firm and husky bottle that needs to be decanted to allow the fine grippy tannins on the finish to soften. As the wine opens a complex chorus of red fruits including ripe cherry and sweet raspberry take over the mid-palate along with hints of red licorice. This will evolve for many years to come.

2016 Roc de Cambes, Côtes de Bourg
Review Date: 04-24-2019
The 2016 version of this wine is big, dark and oaky but with a long, sweet finish of ripe tannin and a real sense of freshness. The middle of blackberry and plum fruit is accented by Asian spice and charred mesquite and seems to plump up as he wine takes on air. A winner from one of the best properties of the appellation.
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 94 JD 91

2016 Les Griffons de Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-24-2019
The 2nd wine of Pichon Baron is full of dark fruits, bakers chocolate, dark plums, a touch of iron and a plump, seamless texture. This big, masculine wine has everything in place and projects both power and finesse. Decant tonight or cellar 10 years.

2014 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-24-2019
One of only a handful of properties that can claim to have produced a wine as good (or better?) than their 2015. This starts with lively and complex aromas of spice and ripe berries. The mid-palate is smooth and filled with crunchy currant fruit and a tensile chalky finish. an over achieving bargain.

2014 Big Sky Te Muna Road Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 04-18-2019
This is somewhat big and beefy but with an overlay of oak laced creamy and sweet cherry fruit. A touch of savory umami and soy along with faint whiffs of smoke add interest and complexity to the finish. Interesting and well priced.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
BC 93 RP 91

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.

2016 Raul Perez La Vizcaína "Las Gundiñas" Bierzo
Review Date: 04-16-2019
This exciting and organic blend is bases primarily on the Mencia grape along with a host of other indigenous types. Aromas and flavors of both red and dark berries along with hints of licorice and iron are immediately present when poured. There is a meaty quality to this ripe and robust wine which ends with a fine tannic grip.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 DC 91

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