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

2009 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-12-2014
This year’s blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc. The nose is sexy, filled with floral, dark fruit and cedar. The polished palate has more of a currant flavor along with raspberry.

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

Guillaumette L'Authentique Génépi (375ml)
Review Date: 01-23-2014
This is a wonderful addition to any bar and a perfect addition for Manhattans. Rosemary, thyme and jasmine with an oily texture a touch of sweetness and a mint finish.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

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 Reserve de la Comtesse Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-05-2013
2/1/13 I think it would be difficult to find a better Bordeaux for $50 than this. It’s starting to tighten up right now, but with air it expresses graphite, spice and bright red fruit on the nose, followed by a more restrained mid-palate of red and black fruit. There’s more graphite, mineral and tons of spice on the finish, along with astringent tannins and bright acidity that turns the fruit tart. Time in the cellar and the lush palate will return. 10/24/12....This was the overwhelming favorite of the tasting. The nose is layered, showing lovely graphite, chocolate, bright red plum and cherry fruit. The palate is soft and lush, with plenty of underlying spices and minerality to complement the rich plum. The acidity braces up the rich fruit on the finish, which goes on and on.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 91

2009 Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-27-2012
Here is another example of a fantastic 09 Bordeaux at $50 and under. This a layered wine with fragrant spices, graphite, cassis and blackberry on the nose. Ripe cassis and black fruit on the palate along with an underlying minerality, spice and a bit of earthy and garrigue notes. This is still Sociando in style with big astringent tannins built for the long hall.

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée 1809" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-01-2012
Like an aged Meursault or a fino sherry this Champagne shows bruised apple, olive brine, salinity and chalky minerality with lots of acidity with a great mouthfeel. Damn.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
BH 92

2009 Cantenac Brown, Margaux
Review Date: 10-02-2012
In the last big Bordeaux tasting, this was my favorite wine. It is also the consensus of K&L’s Bordeaux buyers that this is probably the best wine Cantenac has ever made, both heady and elegant at the same time. Coffee, black raspberry, cassis, vanilla and licorice on the nose. The palate is very elegant and seamless, with the rich fruit taking center stage, balanced by licorice and coffee along with rocky minerality and cedar, all of which carry on through the long, lingering finish. Damn, I really love this wine.

2008 Le Thil Comte Clary, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-04-2012
The 2008 returns after selling out the end of last year. It is still a beautiful Pessac for a great price made from almost 100% Merlot. Bright red fruit, potpourri and cedar dominate the nose. The elegant palate shows raspberry, anise and fresh tobacco. The long finish has lots of tart red fruit and more anise.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 RP 89

2000 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 08-01-2012
Amazingly, I haven’t written about this wine yet. Direct from the château, the wine has been stored and shipped in perfect condition and is showing very well. The nose starts off with some mushroom and barnyard and moves to black tea, spice and mineral. On the palate the fruit takes the stage, showing ripe, dark character along with more spice. The tannins are still evident, but it shows a lovely texture, with lifted acidity on the finish. Lots of life.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2009 Bellevue, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-03-2012
This was my favorite, and it only got better the next day. This is the second vintage for Hubert de Bouard since buying the property. A big wine but it showed a ton of layers. Rich, ripe red and black fruit on the nose along with dusty cedar, spice and minerality filled the palate. The tannins were polished but grippy with vivid acidity on the finish. This shows power and elegance, or as Clyde put it: “semi old-school” notes.

2009 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 03-01-2012
The nose is filled with perfume, floral notes, incense and cassis. The layered palate is rich cassis, spice, cedar and mineral. The richness of the wine keeps the tannins in check while the acidity brightens the wine on the finish. This wine is stunning!

1996 Corbin Michotte, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-06-2011
This small property is located at the Pomerol border with less than 20 acres and production just over 3000 cases. Again please decant. When it was first opened earth and mushroom dominated the nose but after an hour the ripe plum and mineral, and herbaceous aromas stood out. The palate was soft and lush with plenty of roasted herbs, mushroom, plum and spice flavors. The long lovely finish of herbs and delicate red fruit stole the show.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2008 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-02-2011
This wine showed fantastically at the tasting, but it was a bit tight at our staff seminar. This is a dense wine with Asian spice, mineral and dark berry fruit filling the nose. Dense black fruit and currant flavors fill the palate along with Asian and oak spice. The fine tannins are evident, with bright acidity and a long finish of mineral and spice. Expensive compared to the other wines on this list, but a bargain compared to the ’09 and ’10.

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" 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: $12.99 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 (375ml)
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.

2005 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 03-30-2011
The Poggiarellino Brunello is back but with less earthy/horse blanket funk and had more toasty oak and astringency which can be attributed to the new large barrels the winery purchased. The nose was layered with earth, savory herb, spice and dried plum. The palated was a bit richer on the mid-palate with ripe plum and herbs but with an astringent finish of spice. I loved this wine.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" 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

2007 Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 08-07-2010
Fat and rich are the first two words I wrote about this wine. Peach, pineapple and apricot fill the nose. The palate is fat with enough acidity to keep the richness in check with all of the apricot and pineapple along with a bit of spice. This is a great price for an 2007 Sauternes.

2006 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 01-05-2010
This was a big hit in the Best of Bordeaux tasting in November. Beautiful cassis nose with a bit of cedar. The palate was all cassis and raspberry with polished tannins and a long cassis finish. At this price (only $49.99), this is the perfect case wine for cellaring.

2005 Ducluzeau, Listrac-Medoc
Review Date: 12-01-2009
I must admit I have a soft spot for the wines from the Borie family (Ducru-Beaucaillou), who I think produce some of the most balanced wines from the Medoc - both rich and elegant. This is from their estate in the Listrac that use to produce the highest Merlot-based wines in the Medoc. The nose is all bright red and black fruit. The texture of the wine shows tannic structure, but the wine is accessible now. Lots of black fruit, chocolate and spice. The long, rich and heady finish is wonderful. This is my pick for a great Thanksgiving wine. At only $18.99 you can afford to have a few bottles for your guests.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2005 Clos des Jacobins, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-20-2009
This is the second time I have tried this wine, and I love the depth and structure so much I wish I could purchase a couple cases. Rich fruit fills the nose and palate. Plum, spice, floral notes and herbs are surrounded by a rich mouthfeel and chewy tannins with a long, spiced-filled finish. Treat yourself to this fantastic rich wine and you will want more.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 94

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay 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
DC 90

2006 Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-13-2009
I wish I had a few thousand dollars to buy up a few cases of this wonderfully rich wine, which displays lots of depth. Ripe fruit and chocolate fill the nose. The depth comes through on the palate with lush fruit, mineral and spice all wrapped by a rich texture, polished but persistent tannins and good acidity. The heady finish is filled with fruit and mineral. This is a big wine that will age wonderfully.

2005 Gigault "Cuvee 'Viva," Côtes de Blaye
Review Date: 02-20-2009
This Merlot-dominated wine provides lots of ripe black fruit aromas and even more richness on the palate with oak flavors in the background. This richness is balanced with good acidity, nice astringency and a good tannic backbone. A nice Right Bank wine for only $20.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2005 Quinault L'Enclos, St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-20-2009
If you open this wine for a party watching basketball make sure you open it a few hours ahead of time or just buy a bunch and lay it down. This is a beautiful layered wine. The layered nose is filled with fruit and floral notes and than more layers on the palate. Big ripe fruit balanced with mineral and spice flavors. This wine has a lot to give with patience either in decanting or cellaring.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
ST 93 WS 92

2005 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis en Médoc
Review Date: 06-18-2008
This wine is a steal though I feel guilty drinking it so early. All the classic Bordeaux aromas are here: cassis, cedar, spice, earth and smoke. Give this wine a few years; the tannins and acid dominate, but the sweet fruit in the background tells of great things to come.

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.
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)

Ocho Plata Tequila (750ml) ($38.99)

The 86 Co. Cana Brava 3 Year Old Panama White Rum (750ml) ($24.99)

St. George "Terroir" Mt. Tam Gin (750ml) ($27.99)

Citadelle French Gin (750ml) ($19.99)

Camut Aperitif Normand Pommeau (750ml) ($49.99)

Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge (750ml) ($44.99)

Averna Amaro Siciliano (750ml) ($29.99)

Adrien Camut Réserve de Semainville "Assemblage de 25 ans" Pays d'Auge Calvados (750ml) ($299.99)

El Dorado 15 Year Old Demerara Guyana Rum (750ml) ($49.99)

Russell's Reserve "Small Batch" 6 Year Old Rye 90 Proof (750ml) (3 bottle limit per customer) ($34.99)

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)

2002 Bruno Michel "Cuvee Millésime" Brut Champagne ($89.99)