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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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

1997 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 8-1-2012
This wine is beautifully aromatic, filled with forest floor and potpourri. The palate still shows lovely raspberry and blackberry, along with toasted spices and more potpourri. Again, please decant this wine for two-plus hours so the acidity, so prominent on the first pour, becomes a background note. This wine is up there with the 1997 Langoa-Barton.
Price: $26.99 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.

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

2005 Elisabeth Goutorbe Brut Champagne
Review Date: 3-2-2012
After the Big Tent event in Hollywood customers were crowed around trying to get the last of this Champagne it was like stock traders in the pit. HA! This seemed to be the hit of the annual Champagne tasting and it is back. I loved this Champagne for its richness and elegance. Beautiful black cherry nose and flavors on the palate with an underlying spice and brioche. The finish is very long with an underlying savory note.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 3-1-2012
This was one of my favorites of the 09 tasting. The nose was layered with red berry fruit, mineral and a slight damp earth in the background. The polished palate was red and black fruit and graphite with a long long finish. Elegant and rich at the same time. Beautiful.

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

1995 Grand Mayne, St-Emilion
Review Date: 9-6-2011
This was my favorite of the tasting and I enjoyed it that evening with dinner. The nose still showed oak spice, cola, and ripe plum. The elegant mouth feel was fully integrated with rich ripe plum, cola, mocha and spice leading to a long finish filled with mocha and ripe fruit. This is a lovely wine.

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

1998 Clos du Marquis, St-Julien
Review Date: 8-2-2011
Here is another wine that is ready to go. I like this more than the ’94, which is still showing a lot of tannin. The tannins and acidity in this wine, however, are resolved, giving it an elegant mouthfeel. The nose shows savory herbs and cassis, which continue on through the palate and finish along with spice. The beautiful nose and the long, long finish make this wine.

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

2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 7-5-2011
This was by far the biggest hit of the tasting judging by how much we sold (people were grabbing full cases). By now our customers know how much we like this property, and this is drinking well right now. The nose is cedar, spice, anise and black fruit with a bit of damp earth/mushroom in the back. The palate is integrated with cassis, blackberry, spice and earth. The wine has a long finish with bright acidity at the end. Lovely.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 7-5-2011
Fantastic. This vintage is the first year they are certified biodynamic. They also are using a horse to farm about 60 acres, and Alfred Tesseron wants to add one horse a year. This attention to detail in the vineyard is paying off in the finished wine. Very expressive on the nose, it has lovely floral qualities, blackberry and spice. There’s pure black fruit on the palate finishing with some astringency, but the fresh fruit balances the tannins. Buy this as soon as you can!

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