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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2004 Le Clos du Château L'Oiselinière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Review Date: 8-27-2014
Holy deliciousness! This is like no other Muscadet I've ever had--it has more in common with an aged Savennieres or a delicate Sherry. Notes of bruised apple and melon, with a hearty, nutty character. Savory, rich and incredibly long. My favorite wine of the day.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 Guillaume Reynouard "K Sa Tête" Pineau d'Aunis
Review Date: 8-27-2014
I was enchanted by this wine's pretty cranberry/rose petal hue, and once the slight hint of sulfur blew off, equally enchanted with the wine's peppery, red fruited nose. It dances on the palate, with light, tart cherry and cranberry fruit, a squeeze of citrus, and a vein of taut acidity that ties everything together.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 des Annereaux, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 8-13-2014
Fresh, affordable Bordeaux that's made from organically grown grapes to boot? Sign me up! We tasted some pretty high-class wine today, but this $20 gem was one of my favorites. Its Cabernet Franc component shines through on the nose, which also displays incredibly pretty strawberry and raspberry fruit, chocolate and tobacco notes, which carry over to the palate and grow darker. Good acidity, well-integrated tannins. Really delightful.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1999 Canon-La Gaffelière, St-Emilion
Review Date: 7-15-2014
If you're looking for a bottle of Bordeaux to drink right now, this delivers with some decanting. Notes of fresh-roasted coffee, orange zest, spice and mesquite complement a palate packed with gamey black fruit, espresso and tobacco notes on the finish.

2011 Teutonic "Laurel Vineyard - Bergspitze Schwarz" Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 7-14-2014
There are plenty of people who will tell you that the 2011 vintage in Oregon was terrible. Horrible. Totally awful. Unfortunately for the winemakers in Oregon, that's all a lot of wine lovers ever hear. Unfortunate, I say, because so many of the wines made from the vintage are actually quite lovely--lean, aromatic and distinctive. Take this Pinot from the folks at Teutonic. It's the color of fire and ice roses, with a stunning, spicy and floral nose that makes me think of Chiavanesca. Taut fruit, this is not for people who like BIG Pinots, but if you like your wines like carefully crafted lace, this is for you.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Bethel Heights "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 7-14-2014
This comes from the underrated 2011 vintage, and from one of my favorite Oregon producers. Its nose offers a cascade of rose petals, spices, red fruit, mulch and white pepper. On the palate, it's integrated, lovely and spicy, with a subtly tannic foundation that just needs food or a little air to tame it.

Bigallet Viriana China China Amer 750ml
Review Date: 7-14-2014
This is a cane-based French bitter macerated with bitter oranges and distilled three times. The floral orange aromas are complemented by flavors of clove and anise, with added bitterness from China bark. Quite viscous and mouthwatering. Use in place of Aperol in a spritz!
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ramazzotti Amaro 750ml
Review Date: 7-14-2014
I wake up at dawn most days. Run around with a two-year-old and one-year-old getting them fed and off to daycare. Then I come home, work all day, and hustle to make dinner before my husband brings the kids home again. By the time they're off to bed at 7, I have NO interest in muddling and mixing a fancy cocktail. I want something fast, but not dull. A couple of cubes and a splash of soda take this Amaro from simple digestivo to ahhh. Like cola with lemon, ginger and black licorice.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart WE 94 BC 0

Nonino Quintessentia Amaro 750ml
Review Date: 7-14-2014
There's a reason this grape distillate-based Amaro from Friuli is one of our biggest sellers, it's the easiest-drinking Amaro I've every tried! Cocoa-dusted orange, cream, butterscotch, roasted nuts, lemon pitch and rosewater notes. Don't waste this in a cocktail, it sips smoothly on its own.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart WE 96 BC 0

Amaro Montenegro Di Bologna 750ml
Review Date: 7-14-2014
This is one of the most popular Amari in Italy. Packed with notes of nutmeg and bitter orange, it's very pretty and soft on the palate. It has a creamy, not-too-bitter creamsicle character. Medium-sweet.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 97 BC 0

Lucano Amaro 750ml
Review Date: 7-14-2014
The last time I ordered an Averna at the end of a meal, I sat considering its medicinal, bitter qualities, and lamenting its syrupy sweetness. The Lucano has the best of Averna's herbaceousness, with earthy, bitter citrus flavors and a light, balanced texture.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 9-18-2013
This was one of my favorite wines in our staff Bordeaux tasting in Hollywood, with black fruit, spice and coffee peeking through, with just the faintest hint of eucalyptus. The fruit, acid and tannins were all completely in balance. This is going to be a showstopper in a decade, and for the price it's a no-brainer.

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

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: Hidden View Price BC 0

2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 9-23-2011
Wow! What a value. This was my favorite of the recently arrived Coufran vintages, but then I also prefer my Bordeaux with some age on it. The 2000 was very pretty, with aromas of graphite, smoke, spice, black raspberry and coffee. There was plenty of fleshy red fruit on the palate and, most importantly, good balancing acidity. It's drinkable now, but still has plenty of life to continue to cellar it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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