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

  
Talisker "Storm" Limited Edition Isle of Skye Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-24-2014
It's funny--I am not sure what an "un-storm-like" whisky is but I think what that's referring to is the expectation that this new release from Talisker would be all about Big Peat. Instead, I think that this new release stays in the Talisker realm of balance. There is more power and more smokiness than salinity, but with the signature sweet malt and peppery spice along with more vanilla (recharred Bourbon barrels?)
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Banks 5 Island White Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-24-2014
I love this rum..... this is a great mixing rum with both sweet cane flavors and a bit of pot-still funk giving this a lot more layers than most inexpensive white mixing rums.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

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

2005 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis (5L)
Review Date: 01-06-2014
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.

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 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.

1997 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 08-01-2012
This wine is beautifully aromatic, filled with forest floor and potpourri. The palate still shows lovely raspberry and blackberry, along with toasted spices and more potpourri. Again, please decant this wine for two-plus hours so the acidity, so prominent on the first pour, becomes a background note. This wine is up there with the 1997 Langoa-Barton.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

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 Les Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-01-2012
My favorite of the tasting, but then I’m partial to the 2009 Pichon-Baron so it’s no surprise that their second label didn’t disappoint. The nose is beautiful, with graphite and oak spice dominating and dark cassis coming through after 30 minutes in the decanter. The cassis takes center stage on the palate, with the mineral and spice in the background. The lovely rich texture really comes alive with time. Fantastic!

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

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!

2009 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-01-2012
This was one of my favorites of the 09 tasting. The nose was layered with red berry fruit, mineral and a slight damp earth in the background. The polished palate was red and black fruit and graphite with a long long finish. Elegant and rich at the same time. Beautiful.

2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-04-2011
This was my favorite of the three vintages. The nose is fragrant, with bright red fruit, spice and coffee. The tannins are still evident with plenty of red fruit on the palate, finishing with mineral and spice.
Price: $24.99 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

2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 07-05-2011
This was by far the biggest hit of the tasting judging by how much we sold (people were grabbing full cases). By now our customers know how much we like this property, and this is drinking well right now. The nose is cedar, spice, anise and black fruit with a bit of damp earth/mushroom in the back. The palate is integrated with cassis, blackberry, spice and earth. The wine has a long finish with bright acidity at the end. Lovely.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

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

2005 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 04-02-2011
I would say this was the unofficial winner of the tasting. This is a great price for this wine and it showed very well. The layered nose is almost floral, with spice, raspberry and plum. It needs some time open (two hours), and then the fruit comes through on the palate with plenty of plum and blackberry that lingers on the long finish. The tannins are more polished than two years ago, but it still finishes astringent. At this price, this is a great case buy that will have plenty of life coming out of the cellar.

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

2006 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien
Review Date: 02-11-2010
I wasn’t expecting this to show anything right now, especially since I didn’t have to time to decant it for any length of time before the tasting. But it had lots of black fruit on the nose. On the palate, the tannins were astringent with lots of black fruit and coffee, all of which carried over to the finish. This wine will be rewarding if you can wait a few years before you drink it.

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

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

2005 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-18-2008
Coufran is north of St-Estèphe, where heavier soils are wellsuited to merlot. The château is planted with 85% merlot and 15% cabernet sauvignon.With a bit of decanting this wine really opened up and with each sip I enjoyed it even more. Very dark in color, the nose provides both rich fruit and some oak. It opens with a mix of rich cassis and nice acidity, but its tannins are still astringent. Give this beauty some time to age.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 - 93

1996 Labegorce, Margaux
Review Date: 05-20-2008
This might be my favorite of the three older vintages from Labegorce, at least it was while having all three with lamb kabobs. Dried black fruit takes a back seat to the spice, earth, tobacco and almost truffle-like aromas and flavors. While the acidity has mellowed it is still alive. The finish is the star here as it kept delivering the aromas long after the wine was gone.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

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)

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

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)

Nardini Acqua di Cedro 375ml ($17.99)

Averna Amaro Siciliano (750ml) ($29.99)

Adrien Camut Réserve de Semainville "Assemblage de 25 ans" Pays d'Auge Calvados (750ml) ($249.99)

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)

Michel Dervin Brut Champagne ($32.99)

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

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

Philippe Gonet Brut Rosé Champagne ($44.99)