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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 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.

2016 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-20-2017
Here is a fantastic wine that shows the quality, freshness and precision of the vintage. This big wine is almost black in color with a deep chiseled nose of granite and endless red and black fruit. The middle is thick, full and completely effortless and fine, integrated tannins sneak in on the finish. This is a roaring success.

2016 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 05-10-2017
With many of the attributes of Chateau Palmer but in a more approachable style this is a fabulous 2nd wine for the vintage. There are flavors and aromas of black cherry, cocoa, spice and crushed flowers in the deep, sweet but elegant mid-palate. 12% Petit Verdot impart strong tannin to the finish but this fresh, fine wine is balanced and easy to taste.

2016 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Pontet Canet, Mouton and Pichon-Lalande were the 3 most voluptuous Pauillacs we tasted the first week of April and the Pontet comes in as #1. This is ripe, dark and concentrated with huckleberry jam, raspberry fruit, vanilla, spice oak and more on a powerful and creamy yet classy frame. The tannins are sweet, ripe and rounded on this ultra rich wine of almost exotic proportion that still manages to come off as bone dry. I suspect someone will score this 100 points.

2016 Tour St-Christophe, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-20-2017
Another success for this bargain priced property that is pushing quality to new levels vintage after vintage. There is wonderful purity to the vanilla laced blueberry fruited middle that is layered and expressive. Tons of mineral character here with just the right amount of tannin. This barrel sample was ready to take home and drink.

2014 La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Pauillac for 25 bucks has become almost non existent but this stays true to the appellation at a great entry level price. This is surprisingly red fruited with berries, plums and good mid-palate density and a creamy mouth feel. The smooth, mineral laced finish makes this very easy to drink young.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 VN 90

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-12-2015
This multivintage blend which includes harvests from 2007 through 2012 is a must try for those who like their bubbly on the rich side but without giving up any complexity. This is chock-full of red fruit and berry flavors and there is an additional layer of maturity provided by the inclusion of the older stocks. This is produced using the solera system (as in sherry) and there is nothing else quite like it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2001 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 07-28-2015
This is a great choice for those seeking a rich, flamboyant style of Sauternes coupled with mature flavors and texture. Deep golden color and a viscous texture compliment the mature flavors of Apricot, toasted marshmallow, baking spice and clover honey. A slight hint of paraffin adds aromatic complexity to the thick, smooth finish.

2010 Raymond Lafon, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 07-28-2015
Surprisingly viscous, fat and waxy but with great balancing acidity to boot, this seems to hit the sweet spot between flamboyant richness and cool, electric freshness. The pineapple, coconut, honey, citrus and marmalade flavors would be an ideal match for veined cheeses, fruit tarts, pound cake, a plate of butter cookies or my favorite, as an aperitif. The powerful finish here actually leaves an impression of dryness on the palate.

Bruno Michel "Assemblée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-06-2014
This 50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Meunier blend, which is aged over four years on the lees, remains one of my all-time favorite Champagnes we stock here at K&L. This dry bubbly is rich and full with wonderful sweetness to the spiced apple fruit. The finish is so long, complex and persistent you will compare it to bottles costing three to four times as much. Super quality and super bang for the buck here.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2009 Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-27-2012
Anyone looking for a bargain 2009 Bordeaux to cellar up to 2 decades should check this baby out. This husky, hearty wine starts with compelling aromas of ripe blackberries, dark,sweet plums and wet minerals. The middle is powerful and dense with a roasted fig meatiness and plenty of deep, dark fruit qwhich blends into a finish of cold steel. There is no grip to the rounded, fine and ripe tannins which are beautifully embedded in the copius fruit. Decant this for several hours tonight or cellar for retirement.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

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
WS 90

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

2005 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 03-11-2009
The #4 wine on Spectator’s Top 100 with good reason. This is rich and complex, showing tropical fruit, spice, honey, citrus oils and more. Creamy, smooth and sweet, but not at all heavy, this maintains a sense of balance and freshness despite huge flavors.

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