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.


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: $69.99 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 Curaçao (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

2010 Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-13-2013
This was a standout for me in Bordeaux and again at the UGC tasting. From barrel.... graphite and cassis on nose. Spice, mineral and cassis palate with heady minerality and cassis on finish. At UGC a more fragrant nose, spice graphite cassis with great structure. I really love this wine and terrific candidate for the cellar.

2010 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-11-2013
Dark blackberry nose. Spice and minerals on the palate.

2010 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 02-05-2013
At UGC-Cassis, coffee tart red fruit and spice. Balanced and seamless elegance.

2010 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
Review Date: 02-05-2013
One of my top five wines of the vintage. The nose had this piercing purity with cassis and mineral along with with spice. Tons of structure and astringency balanced by the fruit.

2010 Talbot, St-Julien
Review Date: 02-05-2013
Roasted herbs, bright cherry. Seamless finish. Very balanced.

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: $64.99 Add To Cart

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: $49.99 Add To Cart

1995 Grand Mayne, St-Émilion
Review Date: 09-06-2011
This was my favorite of the tasting and I enjoyed it that evening with dinner. The nose still showed oak spice, cola, and ripe plum. The elegant mouth feel was fully integrated with rich ripe plum, cola, mocha and spice leading to a long finish filled with mocha and ripe fruit. This is a lovely wine.

La Petite Marquise Crémant 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: $14.99 Add To Cart

2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-05-2011
Fantastic. This vintage is the first year they are certified biodynamic. They also are using a horse to farm about 60 acres, and Alfred Tesseron wants to add one horse a year. This attention to detail in the vineyard is paying off in the finished wine. Very expressive on the nose, it has lovely floral qualities, blackberry and spice. There’s pure black fruit on the palate finishing with some astringency, but the fresh fruit balances the tannins. Buy this as soon as you can!

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" 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: $34.99 Add To Cart

2010 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-16-2011
Spice and currant with big, lush fruit and spice on the palate. Polished with balanced tannins.

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: $14.99 Add To Cart

2001 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 08-07-2010
Here is another wine that is drinking right now. On the nose is cedar, earth, spice and cassis fruit in the background. The dark fruit is more evident on the palate with more earth, mushroom and spice. The texture is soft with polished tannins and just a bit of astringency on the finish.

2007 Haut Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 07-30-2010
Both of the Pessac wines were a hit (the other was the 2005 Haut Vigneau). The Haut-Bergey’s nose was dominated by blackberry and cedar, but on the palate these elements were backed by tobacco, dried herbs and spice, all around a supple mouthfeel. The blackberry finish also showed more herbal notes.
Price: $24.99 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

2007 Kirwan, Margaux
Review Date: 03-25-2010
Lots of dark cassis fruit on the nose and the palate, with some herb and mineral aromas. This wine was showing more chewy tannins than the other wines, with an astringent mouthfeel.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

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.

Michel Arnould "Réserve" Grand Cru Verzenay 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: $34.99 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: $29.99 Add To Cart

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El Dorado 15 Year Old Demerara Guyana Rum (750ml) ($69.99)

Russell's Reserve 6 Year Old "Small Batch" 90 Proof Kentucky Rye Whiskey (750ml) ($39.99)

Rock Hill Farms Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml) ($49.99)

Lini "Labrusca" Lambrusco Emilia Bianco ($15.99)

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($39.99)