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.

2009 Tronquoy-Lalande, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 03-11-2014
Layered, ripe and polished, with red and black berry fruit, Asian spice, iron minerality, cedar, fig paste, chewy tannins and a long finish. Wow.

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 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 Waiting List
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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List
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 Waiting List

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 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-05-2013
This was the one wine that really opened up after two to three hours of decanting to wake up the fruit. Right out of the bottle the nose was mushroomy and dusty, and the wine had a rustic mouthfeel, but after decanting the pretty red berry fruit became expressive and an earthy spice poked through.

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 Waiting List
RP 91 WS 91

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.

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 10-10-2012
For anyone that loved the 2000 Haut Ferrand you will love this wine. Lovely tobacco and plums and prunes with a bit of cedar and potpourri. On the palate is a lush ripe plum with more cedar and a lovely roasted spice that I can't quite pinpoint. The long finish has more of the dried plums (prunes) with earthy aromatic and a savory meaty flavor. I really like this better than the Haut Ferrand and it's cheaper!
Price: Hidden View Price

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 Waiting List

2009 Pédesclaux, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-03-2012
This classified Fifth Growth seems to fly under the radar of many Bordeaux buyers, but the ’09 is not to be passed up. Coffee, graphite, spice and ripe black fruit on the nose. The black fruit dominates the palate, but all the lovely layers of mineral, spice and coffee are evident all the way through the finish. This wine shows seamless power along with lovely layers and bright acidity.

2009 Marquis de Terme, Margaux
Review Date: 07-03-2012
This is the classified Fourth Growth from Margaux that everyone seems to forget about. It’s a great wine for California Cabernet fans to migrate towards, with its big wood spice on the nose and slight coffee aroma. The fruit is big and rich on the palate—dark plum and heady blackberry—with more flavors of oak spice and coffee. The wine is very astringent on the finish, so it will need some time in the cellar to soften.

2009 La Tour de Mons, Margaux
Review Date: 07-03-2012
This is always a great value Margaux, and the ’09 is one of their best. The nose shows plenty of bright red fruit, spice and an almost graphite minerality. The elegant palate is more red currant and cherry centric, with toasty spice, lovely acidity and texture.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91

1995 Les Ormes de Pez, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-01-2012
Right out of the bottle the wine is aromatic, showing red fruit and an earthy herbacousness. The currant still shows sursprisingly vibrant and integrated on the palate. Lovely.
Price: $37.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-01-2012
A perennial favorite. I expected darker fruit, but there is lovely bright red cherry, red currants and a background of spice. The tart red fruits dominate, but some nice roasted herbs, wood spice and a saline minerality are in the background and show through on the long finish. Refreshingly bright and fresh.

2004 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-03-2012
Speaking of elegant and old school, the ’04 from Lanessan has arrived. Secondary aromas dominated the wine for the first couple of hours, so please decant this to wake up the fruit. Mushroom dust, earth and gamey aromas preceed cedar and cherry. The elegant texture still showed some acidity, but the tannins are integrated. The past vintages of Lanessan (’97, ’99, ’01) have always been a hit, so don’t miss out on this.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

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.

2007 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 11-04-2011
I’ve always been a fan of this château for its value and quality. The 2007 is no different except this is the last vintage before the owner of Clos Fourtet, Philippe Cuvelier, purchased it in 2008. This shows pretty berry fruit, cedar, spice and herbs on the nose and palate. The tannins are soft with a long finish of herbs and spice.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

2000 Saint-Pierre, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-17-2011
Most of my customers said this was their favorite of the tasting. The nose is very expressive with bitter chocolate, smoke, resin and blackberry. The palate shows rich cassis, chocolate and blackberry with plenty of oak spice. The finish is all black fruit with lots of spice and plenty of astringency still, so lay this down or have with a nice rack of lamb.
Price: $89.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 90 RP 89

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 Waiting List

2004 Hosanna, Pomerol
Review Date: 07-05-2011
I think this wine still needs some time to settle into itself, but the nose alone should give Pomerol fans what they are looking for. Plus, the wine is more than half the price of Hosanna in the “great” vintages. The nose is beautiful and fragrant, with floral, spice, wood, resin and dark plum fruit. The palate was more restrained, but the rich, dark plum fruit comes through. Give this wine some time.

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 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 Waiting List

1996 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-04-2011
Both ’96s showed very well. The nose of the Langoa showed dark cherry cola. The mouthfeel was fleshed out with dark fruit, cola and spice all the way through to the long, soft finish dominated by spice. The tannins were polished but still evident.
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 04-02-2011
This wine was one of my favorites because I was expecting it to still show some tannins, but they were polished and supple. Pure on the nose, the wine shows cedar, spice, raspberry and blackberry aromas. The black and red fruit dominate the palate with a supple mouthfeel and a long finish of cedar, spice and very aromatic black fruit.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90 WS 90

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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List

1997 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 09-07-2010
I have to say I really like the 1997s from both châteaux. On the nose of the ’97 Léoville there is dried plum and cassis, spice and tobacco, with a bit of dried herbs and minerality. The palate is just a bit astringent still, but filled with lovely dark fruit, more herbaceousness, earth and mushroom notes. The finish lingers with dried mushroom and minerals.
Price: $109.99 Add To Waiting List

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 Waiting List

2006 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 03-30-2009
This is always a popular wine and this tasting was no different with lots of ripe fruit and toasty oak on the nose, this is a great California convert wine. On the palate more ripe fruit plus chocolate, spice and toasty oak with polished tannins and a long lingering finish. Plus with the pedigree of Hubert de Bouard (Chateau Angelus) it is a great price at $34.99

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 Quinquina750ml ($32.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila 750ml ($54.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila 750ml ($74.99)

Ocho Plata Tequila 750ml ($44.99)

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)

1973 Chateau Pellehaut 40 Year Old K&L Exclusive Tenareze Vintage Armagnac 750ml ($149.99)

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)

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)

Rock Hill Farms Kentucky Straight Bourbon 750ml (ships as 3L - 1 bottle limit) ($44.99)

Michel Dervin Brut Champagne ($32.99)

Franck Bonville Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($39.99)

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

2009 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru "Taillepieds" (1.5L) ($259.99)

2009 Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru "Les Taillepieds" ($129.99)

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

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99)