Staff Favorites - Steve Greer

Steve Greer
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I think I started down the path into the wine world with my first job, at 16, bussing tables in a Chinese restaurant. Blue Nun Riesling was the big seller (this in 1985, so don't laugh). While the Blue Nun Riesling was not an "epiphany" wine, I drank a lot of it. It was a magnum of Robert Sinskey Claret that I shared with friends while watching the 1994 World Cup that got me started reading about wine (Brazil won). My first "wow" wine was that same year, when a customer gave me a glass of 1982 Haut Brion. It was amazing. Next I found pinot noir, specifically a 1994 Whitcraft Bien Nacido, and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to sell wine so I moved from restaurants to wholesale wine sales, working for Metamora in Ohio and Kentucky. But after continued consolidation of distributors and the realization, that in wholesale you wear blinders, tasting only the wines you sell, I knew I wanted to move to the retail side. I would like to say I moved from Cincinnati just for K&L but I left the "Red" state for Los Angeles (a Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals fan in San Francisco just would not do) and I was very lucky to find the K&L store in Hollywood. The rest is history.


Reviews

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2009 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 8-20-2013
This was a late addition to the tasting so we could try the third label of Chateau Latour against the 2010 Les Forts de Latour. The nose showed a slight funk at first sweet tobacco, iron, meat and graphite which gave way to plum and blackberries with a softer rounder mouth feel than its bigger brother. Everything you would expect in the Latour but fleshier and softer and drinking right now.

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 3-5-2013
This was the one wine that really opened up after two to three hours of decanting to wake up the fruit. Right out of the bottle the nose was mushroomy and dusty, and the wine had a rustic mouthfeel, but after decanting the pretty red berry fruit became expressive and an earthy spice poked through.

2009 de Birot, Côtes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 3-5-2013
Without a doubt this was the overall value winner of the tasting. The aromatic nose was full of dark plum with a touch of spice, while the lush palate was filled with more dark, dense plum along with an earthy funk on the finish. For fun I took this home to see how long it would stay alive, and two days later it still drank well. This wine is great for shortto mid-term drinking.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Noble Ale Works "Breakaway" Pale Ale, California 22 oz.
Review Date: 1-8-2013
A great example of American Pale Ale with nice citrus aromas and a sweet malt palate. Just enough bitterness without overwhelming the malty goodness.
Price: $5.49 Add To Cart BC 0

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-10-2012
For anyone that loved the 2000 Haut Ferrand you will love this wine. Lovely tobacco and plums and prunes with a bit of cedar and potpourri. On the palate is a lush ripe plum with more cedar and a lovely roasted spice that I can't quite pinpoint. The long finish has more of the dried plums (prunes) with earthy aromatic and a savory meaty flavor. I really like this better than the Haut Ferrand and it's cheaper!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

2009 Lamothe Bergeron, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 10-2-2012
This is the wine that spurred me to call up Ralph Sands. This is a big, big wine and unlike previous vintages the tannins don’t overwhelm the fruit. It’s also one of the 2009s that you should buy by the case. Ripe blackberry fruit on the nose, heady and rich. Slightly monolithic right now, with the ripe black fruit dominating the palate, but there is plenty of structure here for a long haul journey in the cellar.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 6-1-2012
A perennial favorite. I expected darker fruit, but there is lovely bright red cherry, red currants and a background of spice. The tart red fruits dominate, but some nice roasted herbs, wood spice and a saline minerality are in the background and show through on the long finish. Refreshingly bright and fresh.

2001 Sarget de Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien
Review Date: 4-3-2012
Yet another hit of the tasting! I hope that it lasts until this newsletter comes out. The nose was muted at first, but it had been double decanted and opened three hours before the tasting. When the nose opened it had plenty of black fruit, and the palate still showed plenty of concentrated ripe fruit with cedar and spice. The finish had a freshness to it from the acidity along with some heady, ripe fruit.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 4-3-2012
Speaking of elegant and old school, the ’04 from Lanessan has arrived. Secondary aromas dominated the wine for the first couple of hours, so please decant this to wake up the fruit. Mushroom dust, earth and gamey aromas preceed cedar and cherry. The elegant texture still showed some acidity, but the tannins are integrated. The past vintages of Lanessan (’97, ’99, ’01) have always been a hit, so don’t miss out on this.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 3-1-2012
The nose is filled with perfume, floral notes, incense and cassis. The layered palate is rich cassis, spice, cedar and mineral. The richness of the wine keeps the tannins in check while the acidity brightens the wine on the finish. This wine is stunning!

2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-4-2011
This was my favorite of the three vintages. The nose is fragrant, with bright red fruit, spice and coffee. The tannins are still evident with plenty of red fruit on the palate, finishing with mineral and spice.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 11-4-2011
I’ve always been a fan of this château for its value and quality. The 2007 is no different except this is the last vintage before the owner of Clos Fourtet, Philippe Cuvelier, purchased it in 2008. This shows pretty berry fruit, cedar, spice and herbs on the nose and palate. The tannins are soft with a long finish of herbs and spice.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2001 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 8-17-2011
For those of you wishing for the days when Pontet-Canet was selling for less than $100, this is your wine. I decanted it for two hours, and the wine was still tight but starting to express itself. By the end of the tasting the wine was showing fantastically. The nose is beautiful, with licorice, cassis, mineral and some lingering oak spice. The ripe cassis and blackberry dominate the palate along with graphite and resin. This ripe black fruit and spice continue through onto the long finish. The fleshy mouthfeel is fairly integrated with some tannins evident on the finish.

Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 8-4-2011
It is always a pleasure when Gary Westby the Champagne Buyer comes down to lead the staff tasting since there is always something I didn't know about our grower producer Champagnes. The Bruno Michel Blanc de Blanc is from grapes produced in Epernay which is the coldest place in Champagne so the Chardonnay is planted on the steepest slopes to prevent frost. This was also one of my favorites from the tasting. This goes through full malolatic fermentation and sits on the lees for 4 years giving a creamy mouth-feel. Apple and spice on the nose and palate with a long mineral finish. This is a gorgeous Champagne.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 7-19-2011
I think this is turning out to be the company's favorite under $15 sparkling. It is finally back. There is a great balance between mineral, citrus, fruit with a nice mouth-feel.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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More Favorites

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Tempus Fugit Kina L'Avion D'Or Aperitif 750ml ($32.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila 750ml ($54.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila 750ml ($74.99)

Ocho Plata Tequila 750ml ($44.99)

Cana Brava Panama Rum 1L ($24.99)

St. George Terroir Mt. Tam Gin 750ml ($30.99)

Citadelle French Gin 750ml ($19.99)

Camut Aperitif Normand Pommeau 750ml ($39.99)

Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge 750ml ($42.99)

Maurin Quina Aperitif 750ml ($34.99)

El Dorado 15 year old Demerara Guyana Rum 750ml (ships in a 1.5 box) ($39.99)

Russell's Reserve 6 Year Old Small Batch Rye 90 Proof 750ml (3 bottle limit per customer) ($34.99)

Michel Dervin Brut Champagne ($32.99)

Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne ($44.99)

Franck Bonville Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99)

Berry Bros & Rudd No. 3 London Dry Gin 750ml ($34.99)

Chokaisan Junmai Daiginjo Sake (720ml) ($49.99)

Seikyo "Omachi" Junmai Ginjo Sake 720ml ($29.99)

2008 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Angel Flower" Pinot Noir North Canterbury New Zealand ($39.99)

2008 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic) ($39.99)

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99)

2002 Bruno Michel "Cuvee Millésime" Brut Champagne ($59.99)