Staff Favorites - Leah Greenstein

Leah Greenstein
Leah Greenstein  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
3 parts nerd. 1 part wordsmith. 1 part wine geek. A pinch of east coast sarcasm. Stir it up in a bright orange Mario Batali-branded bowl and you have K&L's other writer and editor, Leah Greenstein. A graduate of California's Sonoma State University, Leah skipped more than a few Friday nights at Red's Recovery Room in favor of Saturdays listening to Led Zeppelin and drinking gewürztraminer in the Kunde tasting room. After undergrad Leah continued her education in Oregon, making cabernet and merlot in her friend's garage while working on her master's in journalism. Over the years she's written on a variety of subjects—from snowboarding and rock climbing to politics and the arts—managing restaurants, juggling publishing jobs and learning about wine all the while. She joined K&L in June 2007 after working harvest at Pax Wine Cellars in Sonoma County and managing Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton's new Los Angeles hot spot, Pizzeria Mozza. These days she spends her time crafting tasting notes for K&L's website and working on the K&L newsletter and trying as many different wines as she can. Already a fan of Rhône reds and all things Italian Leah's been drinking her way through the German, Austrian and Loire Valley sections of K&L Hollywood. She spends most of her spare time cooking, pairing wine with her meals and writing about it for her blog, She also likes to hike, bike and watch Red Sox games.


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2012 Kalinda Rheingau Riesling Qba
Review Date: 9-18-2013
Everyone in my family likes spicy food, even my almost-two-year-old. And while Mexico City style street food like the Pambazos sold down the street from my house call for a creamy and refreshing glass of horchata, in my opinion both Vietnamese and Thai are always better with a tangy, fresh glass of Riesling. The Kalinda, with its sweet-tangy finger lime flavor, mouthwatering acidity and uber-friendly price tag is perfect for take-out pork bun or pad khi mao.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $8.99
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2012 Pichler-Krutzler Frauengärten Grüner Veltliner Wachau
Review Date: 9-18-2013
This was one of my favorite Gruners of our Austrian staff tasting today. It's a bit weightier than your average Gruner, due partly to the Smaragd style and partly to the riper 2012 vintage. Nonetheless, the wine had great acidity to support the honeyed citrus palate. Finishes with a touch of grapefruit pith.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Viñedos Culturales "Ramblis Arco" Alicante
Review Date: 9-11-2013
Another stunning wine from this producer, the Ramblis Arco is made from yet another grape that I've never heard of--Forcayat del Arco. Aged in French oak and acacia barrels,the wine has a floral, honeyed tone to complement its aromas and flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit. It's very pretty, with great acidity and just enough grip to keep it interesting.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Viñedos Culturales "La Viña de Simon" Alicante
Review Date: 9-11-2013
I'm a sucker for really well made, unique, natural wines, so it should come as no surprise that this one won me over. Made from a little known varietal called Mersecuera, harvested from 70-year-old vines in Alicante, this white is fermented on its skins and is aged in oak. It's incredibly interesting, smelling like orange juice concentrate spiked with allspice and clove, with wonderful texture, depth and freshness on the palate. A must try!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

Caves Messias Santola "Crab Wine" Vinho Verde
Review Date: 9-11-2013
This is my favorite Vinho Verde in the store right now. It has plenty of zesty minerality and lemon-lime freshness. Its dry and racy and, while I'm sure it's fabulous with crab, as the name implies, I think it would pair well with most white-fleshed fish or garlicky pork kabobs hot off the grill.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 La Graside Blanc, Bordeaux
Review Date: 9-10-2013
This crisp white has a touch of menthol and cinnamon to complement the apple and grapefruit pith qualities that carry from the nose to the palate. Fresh and totally classic.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 9-10-2013
Tasted blind, I might have confused this gorgeous Bordeaux for Barolo, with its rose petal, cherry and spice box aromatics. In the mouth the cherry flavors just sing--they're fresh and clean--with just the right amount of weight and secondary characteristics poking through. Drinking great now; it gets better with a little air.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart WS 89 BC 0

2010 Domaine Saint Damien "La Louisiane" Gigondas
Review Date: 3-5-2013
Meaty and spicy on the nose, with notes of menthol and blackberry. I expected this Grenache-based red to be bigger on the palate, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it had nice lift and tannins to balance out pretty black fruit.

2010 Philip Togni "Tanbark Hill" Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 1-16-2013
To be honest, I don't drink a lot of California Cab. I used to think I didn't like the varietal, but over the years I've learned that I just don't particularly like how the varietal is treated by most winemakers. Philip Togni is one of the exceptions. His Cabs always show depth and restraint, and this, his "second" label, is a great introduction to his wines. The 2010 has a softly herbaceous nose, with currant and cherry fruit. The palate is taut upfront, giving way to ripe, but not too ripe, currant fruit, mineral, savory herbs and spice. Wonderfully fresh, I wouldn't have ever guessed that this saw 40% new oak, it's so perfectly integrated into the wine. This will be even better in a year or two.

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 1-14-2013
If you're looking for a properly aged Bordeaux to drink right now that's not priced astronomically, this is it. Balanced, with dark fruit, subtle herb notes and freshly roasted coffee. Lovely.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Haut de Poujeaux, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 1-14-2013
I think I'm going to buy a case of this! From the folks at Poujeaux, this is made using grapes both from the Poujeaux property in Moulis and vineyards just outside the appellation's borders (hence the Haut-Medoc designation). There's just a touch of oak spice, and a hint of crushed vitamin on the nose to balance the currant and plum fruit. There's earth and tobacco underpinning, too. Tightly knit but incredibly fresh, give this five to seven years and it'll be incredible!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Gutierrez Colosia "Sangre y Trabajadero" Oloroso El Puerto de Santa Maria (375ml)
Review Date: 12-12-2012
With aromas redolent of a banana flambé, with zesty orange accents, this smells like dessert but is still completely dry on the palate. It has great acidity, sensuous viscosity, roasted nutty undertones and a spicy finish. Incredible and surprisingly inexpensive for the quality.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Marques de Legarda Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-12-2012
I still can't believe that this Rioja is only $14.99, but that's not to say that I'm complaining. These days, with another baby on the way, I'm looking for values to drink (when I can drink again--thank goodness I can still taste) more than ever. There's a lot packed into this bottle: spice, cherry fruit and leathery accents to name a few. This has a grippy, full texture and a savory, old school structure. Excellent.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

2008 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-12-2012
A lovely Crianza with cherry cola, tobacco and coffee aromas that carry over to the palate with a hint of fresh sasparilla. Nicely balanced and approachable now.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart RP 89 BC 0

Caveau du Mont July Bugey Cerdon Rosé
Review Date: 2-10-2010
I'm not sure I know anyone who loves Bugey Cerdon more than my friend Matt from the blog, but after drinking this beauty from Caveau du Mont July at today's staff tasting I'm going to say that I'm a close runner up. Its aromas of wild raspberries, apricots, Winesap apple and tart Granny Smiths has me drooling like one of Pavlov's dogs, and its mouthwatering acidity, super-fine bead, low alcohol and delightful palate presence made it difficult not to spit it out. So I didn't. Buy yours before Matt and I buy it all!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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