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.


2010 des Annereaux, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 08-13-2014
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: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92

Bigallet Viriana China China Amer 750ml
Review Date: 07-14-2014
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 Waiting List

Ramazzotti Amaro 750ml
Review Date: 07-14-2014
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 Waiting List
WE 94

Nonino Quintessentia Amaro 750ml
Review Date: 07-14-2014
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 Waiting List
WE 96

Amaro Montenegro Di Bologna 750ml
Review Date: 07-14-2014
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 Waiting List
WE 97

Lucano Amaro 750ml
Review Date: 07-14-2014
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 Waiting List

2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-18-2013
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: 09-11-2013
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 Waiting List

2001 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 09-10-2013
Tasted blind, I might have confused this gorgeous Bordeaux for Barolo, with its rose petal, cherry and spice box aromatics. In the mouth the cherry flavors just sing--they're fresh and clean--with just the right amount of weight and secondary characteristics poking through. Drinking great now; it gets better with a little air.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Grand Mayne, St-Emilion
Review Date: 01-14-2013
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: 01-14-2013
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

2006 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-25-2009
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.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90 ST 89

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 07-09-2008
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 Waiting List