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

  
2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-12-2014
52% Cabernet, 35% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Nice pure bright red fruit, good structure with big tannins and high acidity. This is a good wine for under $40 that is built to cellar.

2001 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 02-21-2014
This is drinking nicely now and shows lots of life for the future, with a zing of bright acidity still keeping the richness in check. Heady beautiful nose with botrytis and apricots dominating. The palate is layered with pineapple upside down cake coming to mind, burnt sugar, graham cracker, baking spices and lemon curd and a finish that doesn't quit. Wow.

Talisker 10 Year Old Isle of Skye Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-24-2014
I am guilty of chasing the golden goose and forgetting about the standards or classics within a certain category be it wine, whiskey, beer etc. I was reminded of this when we went through a line-up of Scotch whiskey and I tried the Talisker 10. This is the balanced side of peated whiskey with pure sea-side air, creosote and just a hint of iodine balanced by the sweet malt. The finish is beautiful with saline and spice and only $50! A standard for everyone's bar.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WA 90

Cherry Heering Liqueur 48 Proof (750ml)
Review Date: 01-23-2014
The bottle itself looks like something that has been sitting on a back bar of a restaurant for 10 years... untouched! But it is easy to fall in love with this drink that has been produced since 1818. Dr. Pepper, ginger, Xmas cake spice and cherry pie! The most well known drink is Singapore Slings.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao (750ml)
Review Date: 01-23-2014
This is a drier version of Grand Mariner. Tastes like orange marmalade and fresh oranges with dry finish. Excellent!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Tequila Fortaleza Blanco Tequila 750ml
Review Date: 01-23-2014
The Forteleza line-up is fantastic but the Bianco shows the purity of the spirit with tons of depth. Vegetative, roasted herbs, spice, orange peel and coriander shows this is a sipper to be enjoy.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2010 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 12-12-2013
Tight and tannic with rich blackberry fruit. Long spice and black fruit on the finish.

2009 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 01-22-2013
This was the hit of the in-store tasting. Heady dark fruit nose with a background of coffee and chocolate. The palate was rich and dense packed with blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate and coffee. The tannins were evident but very supple and a long long finish.

2009 Roc de Cambes, Côtes de Bourg
Review Date: 11-27-2012
This is a big modern Bordeaux with heady ripe blueberry, baking spices, dark chocolate and almost caramel on the nose. The palate is more ripe blue fruit as well as black raspberry wood spice and coffee. Very soft and smooth with a long finish mainly of ripe fruit. If you like modern wine this is it!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
ST 91

2010 Malmaison, Moulis
Review Date: 11-03-2012
This was very nice at the UGC in Bordeaux, and we just poured it for the staff and it has settled into itself very well. In Bordeaux the oak spice was dominant, and it was showing more red raspberry. Now the wine on the nose is showing floral, spice and ripe red fruit. The palate is more layered, with rich, ripe raspberry, finishing with lifted brightness.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2009 Lamothe Bergeron, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 10-02-2012
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
JS 90

2009 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-03-2012
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
RP 91

2008 Bruno Michel Premier Cru Brut 'Les Brousses' Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-04-2011
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: $59.99 Add To Cart

Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 07-19-2011
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

1996 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-05-2011
The nose was a heady mix of cedar, burnt wood and liqueur. The palate is cassis, dried cranberry and beef bouillon. The finish has some sherry like flavors with some tartness. I really liked this wine.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2011
Every year this is one of my favorite Champagnes. Green apple and mineral on the nose and palate and the 3 years on the lees provides a fantastic mouth feel with plenty of acidity keeping it very crisp and clean. 100% Grand Cru fruit for only $34.99. Crazy.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2011
This is our best value Champagne in the store. Comprised of all three grapes this Champagne shows you can have both good value and great taste. Nutty, brioche and apple fill the nose and palate with a mouth filling mousse. Only $24.99 and I promise everyone you poured this for would enjoy it.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2007 Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-02-2011
This was a fantastic Doisy with a beautifully aromatic, heady nose of peach, apricot and spice. The rich mouthfeel contains more of the apricot and peach flavors, with bright acidity on the finish. An excellent 2007.

Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-28-2010
This is a perfect New Year's Eve Rose. On the nose bright cherry and strawberry aromas that carry through on the palate. The bright fresh red fruit flavors are surrounded by a more refined mouth feel. The price makes it affordable for a party.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-27-2010
This could be one of the best deals in our Champagne section. If you like Billecart then you will like this as a alternative in price. Nice strawberry and cherry flavors and aromas with a nice rich texture and a long finish of strawberry. Great value and a great Champagne.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-28-2010
So the wines from Verdignan have become popular with customers for price to quality. The 2005 is a bit tight so needs some decanting. Dark fruit on the nose and palate is surrounded by toasty oak aromas. Decant and have with dinner or cellar for a few more years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

1999 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-11-2010
This could be our best value in the store when you consider overall quality and straight-from-the-winery’s-cellar aging. That’s 10-year-old Bordeaux in great condition for only 20 bucks. On the nose: mushroom and earth, which also comes through on the palate with dried black fruit and tobacco. The finish is flush with cassis followed by more tobacco and earth. If you haven’t had an aged Bordeaux and want to experience it without spending too much coin, treat yourself to this wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2003 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 01-06-2010
This was a hit at the Hollywood Bordeaux Tasting in November. More elegant than ripe this wine was more medium bodied with spice and herbs on the nose. On the palate lots of ripe red fruit with cedar and oak in the background. The elegant finish of herbal flavors and cherry will make you open a second bottle. This is a lovely wine from a classified 3rd growth is really a steal at $40.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WE 90

2005 Carignan Prima, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 09-01-2009
This is a Modern-style, Merlot-based Bordeaux from the banks for the Garonne river facing the Graves. It has lots of ripe black fruit on the nose with toasty oak in the background. The palate is full of rich black fruit and more toasty oak (this wine see 100% new oak). If you are a fan of ripe California ripe fruit and wanting to try wines from Bordeaux, you should start here.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Michel Arnould Verzenay "Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-13-2009
What a beautiful Champagne. The elegant texture with great depth of flavor is what stood out for me. Loads of nuts and fruits (apricots) all wrapped by a great mouthfeel and a toasty finish. This has become my favorite under $30 Champagne.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2003 Reserve de la Comtesse Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-09-2008
This is a date night wine. Rich and heady fruit fills the nose with a background of spice and floral notes. That same rich fruit covers the palate followed by a long finish of spice and chocolate. Buy a case of this wine to have for each anniversary because it's seductive and has the structure to last.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

More Favorites

Steve Greer is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Steve Greer, click here to join Steve Greer's Personal Sommelier Service.
Suze Gentian Liqueur 1L ($27.99)

Tempus Fugit Kina L'Aero D'Or Aperitif Du Quinquina (750ml) ($32.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila (750ml) ($54.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila 750ml ($74.99)

The 86 Co. Cana Brava Panama Rum (750ml) ($24.99)

Pithon-Paille "Grololo" Vin de Pays ($18.99)

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)

Averna Amaro Siciliano (750ml) ($29.99)

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)

Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Rosé Champagne ($57.99)

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

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

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

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99)