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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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.

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: 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

2007 Domaine Pradelle "Les Hirondelles" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 3-5-2013
If Hermitage doesn't fit in your budget, like me, this Crozes-Hermitage should be on your radar. Pure Syrah--spicy and peppery, with notes of violets, blackberry and lacquer box on the nose on palate, It's light on its feet, balanced and pretty.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart 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.

2000 Grand Mayne, St-Emilion
Review Date: 1-14-2013
If you've got a little room in your wine-buying budget, but don't have a large selection of aged wine in your cellar for drinking now, this St-Emilion should be on your shopping list. Minerally and rich, with plummy black fruit, pipe tobacco, cocoa powder and clove. Finesseful and balanced.

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

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 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 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

Caveau du Mont July Bugey Cerdon
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

2006 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 2-25-2009
If you're in the market for Bordeaux, you shouldn't miss the '06 Cantemerle. If someone was willing to subsidize my wine collection, I would by multiple cases of this gem. Remarkably affordable, this may very well be THE wine of the vintage. I love it's barnyard-y nose and melange of plum, cherry and coffee flavors on the palate, kissed by a healthy, but not overwhelming, dose of oak spice and vanilla. Amazing, long finish.

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 8-14-2008
Franck Bonville's exceptional cuvees come from the villages of Avize, Cremant and Oger and this, the Les Belles Voyes, is based entirely on the 2002 vintage. The nose on this wine was like a perfectly aged Corton Charlemagne, with hazelnut richness and a soft, balanced palate. Like a waltz for your senses: elegant and refined!

Jean-Louis Denois Brut "Tradition"
Review Date: 7-9-2008
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We tried this bubbly at a recent staff tasting and it blew me away. A blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir done in the traditional Champagne method, this sparkler from the Languedoc could easily pass itself off for Champagne. It was crisp on the nose and palate with limestone and slate minerality, apple fruit and a generous texture from attack to finish. A recent convert to bubbles, I’m going to keep plenty of this on-hand for impromptu celebrations.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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