Staff Favorites - Steve Greer

Steve Greer
Steve Greer  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
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.

2006 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 03-11-2014
Shows dried cherry, floral notes, cedar, peppery spice and red currant fruit. It has fleshed out since we last tried it in 2009, but there is still plenty of structure, with finer tannins and bright acidity.

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 "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: $49.99 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

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 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 12-12-2013
Mint and cocoa, with cassis and spice on the palate and 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 Cart
RP 91 WS 91

2009 Canon, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-27-2012
This is a powerful with huge tannins and very concentrated. Age worthy is an understatement easily capable of 20 years. Bright heady red and black fruit on the nose along with chocolate and macerated plums. The ripe dense fruit is layered with an plenty of baking spices and dark chocolate with the long finish showing an underlying almost chalky minerality.

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

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 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.

2001 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 08-17-2011
For those of you wishing for the days when Pontet-Canet was selling for less than $100, this is your wine. I decanted it for two hours, and the wine was still tight but starting to express itself. By the end of the tasting the wine was showing fantastically. The nose is beautiful, with licorice, cassis, mineral and some lingering oak spice. The ripe cassis and blackberry dominate the palate along with graphite and resin. This ripe black fruit and spice continue through onto the long finish. The fleshy mouthfeel is fairly integrated with some tannins evident on the finish.

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

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 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

2010 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux (3L)
Review Date: 05-16-2011
Mint and cocoa, with cassis and spice on the palate and finish.

2007 Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes
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.

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

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

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: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

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
WE 91

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 "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

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 Quinquina (750ml) ($32.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila (750ml) ($54.99)

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila (750ml) ($74.99)

Ocho Plata Tequila (750ml) ($42.99)

St. George "Terroir" Mt. Tam Gin (750ml) ($30.99)

Citadelle French Gin (750ml) ($19.99)

Camut Aperitif Normand Pommeau (750ml) ($44.99)

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) ($49.99)

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

Pierre Paillard "Les Terres Roses" Grand Cru Extra Brut Rosé Champagne ($57.99)

Franck Bonville Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($49.99)

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)