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 La Dauphine, Fronsac (1.5L)
Review Date: 11-27-2012
This estate has become a favorite around K&L and the 09 is one of their best yet. Bitter chocolate and ripe blackberry on the nose and palate. There is an almost creamy texture to the wine with a long finish of black fruit. Drink now over the next 5 years.

2008 Magdelaine, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-15-2012
This is a great deal for the holidays at only $44.99. On the nose is lots of wood spice, anise, roasted herbs and a bit of earthy funk. The palate is black cherry and dark plum with more herbs as well as a bit of tobacco and bitter chocolate all of which is braced by bright acidity and some tannins. On a side note I had this bottle open for 3 days and it kept drinking.

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: $29.99 Add To Cart 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 Cap de Faugeres, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 9-4-2012
The first round of this wine sold out quickly after the tasting. Half the vineyards lie in St-Emilion and the other half in Côtes de Castillon. This is a big wine that needed three hours of decanting to take away a slight reductive note on the nose, which then showed ripe plums and dried berries along with chocolate, coffee and oak spice. The palate is ripe, with tons of black fruit, spice and candied plums. Plenty of tannins give structure.

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 La Tour de Mons, Margaux
Review Date: 7-3-2012
This is always a great value Margaux, and the ’09 is one of their best. The nose shows plenty of bright red fruit, spice and an almost graphite minerality. The elegant palate is more red currant and cherry centric, with toasty spice, lovely acidity and texture.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2009 Franc Mayne, St-Emilion
Review Date: 5-2-2012
The nose of this was tight when I first opened it, but after a couple hours it started to smell like fresh-baked blueberry muffins. There’s lots of blueberry on the palate with a touch of oak spice. The finish is lush with lots of spice. The fruit takes a few hours to open up, so please decant this if you are going to drink now.

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 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 4-3-2012
This wine has been under the ownership of the Gasqueton family (Calon-Ségur) for 10 generations, and the excellence of the management team shows. The vineyards lie between Montrose and Phelan-Ségur. It was aged in only 1/3 new oak, and only 10,000 cases were made. The nose is bright and fresh with lovely red currant and spice. The palate shows more ripeness to the red fruit with almost heady aromas and plenty of minerality. This is a lovely wine for only $23!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Moulin Haut Laroque, Fronsac
Review Date: 4-3-2012
Made by Michel Rolland, this displays some modern richness, but at $30 it is a value for its quality. Rich dark fruit dominates the nose with a bit of oak spice. The palate shows plenty of the black fruit, but there is an underlying rocky mineral flavor as well as more spice. The astringent finish is long, dominated by the oak spice. This is a big, modern Bordeaux.

2009 Maison Blanche, Médoc
Review Date: 3-27-2012
Here is another great value of the 2009 vintage. The nose shows cedar, spice and bright fragrant raspberry aromas. The palate is opulent with nice tannins showing lots of bright red fruits and held up with nice structure.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WS 91 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.

2003 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-4-2011
This soft, ripe version of Coufran drinks well now. Boasting ripe blackberry, chocolate and spice on the nose and palate, this wine is sweet and rich.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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