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

2005 Labégorce-Zédé, Margaux
Review Date: 03-11-2014
Wow! That's Bordeaux! (those were my notes written next to the wine). Very elegant and balanced and drinking well right now. Floral, potpourri, spice, cassis, mineral with coffee and cedar on finish. This has lots of life in it but it won't last because you will want to drink it and we don't have much of it.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WS 89 - 91

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

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.

2007 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 02-05-2013
This wine is normally more than $50, and it is drinking right now. The nose is open and expressive, with cassis, cherry and spices. The palate is concentrated but elegant, with lots of cassis and juicy cherry fruit. The wine is a balanced, elegantly-styled ’07 with plenty of soft, juicy fruit for early drinking.

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.

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 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.

1997 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-06-2011
This wine as with most of the 1997’s really came to life after being open for a couple hours. It seems the fruit needs time to wake up so it can stand up to the bright acidity that is still evident. This was one of the hits of the tasting with the staff for it’s elegance. The layered nose showed leather, herb, red fruit and tobacco. The rich mid-palate came to life with currant, mineral, tobacco and roasted herbs. This is one of the wines that really benefited from decanting so please do.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

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 Cart
WS 90

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

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.

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.

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

2007 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 09-07-2010
Bright raspberry and a touch herbal on the nose. The ’07 Langoa’s palate is polished with spice, herb, raspberry and cassis flavors. The wine has a soft polished finish with lots of raspberry aromas. This is a solid wine!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 RP 90

2007 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 07-30-2010
This wine was the tightest of the ’07s despite being decanted two hours before the tasting. Dark berry and currant fruit dominated the nose, with cedar hiding behind. The mouthfeel was a bit astringent, with slightly gritty tannins, but there was plenty of dark fruit, cedar and oak spice. The finish was long, with spice notes dominating and black fruit taking a backseat. There is a lot to this wine, it is just needs more time in the cellar.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2007 Les Forts de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-30-2010
I am still amazed how refined this wine showed. Rich cassis fruit and mineral aromas jumped from the glass. The tannins were polished, with a refined but rich mouthfeel lush with cassis, pencil lead, mineral and cedar. The finish was long and full of cassis and oak spice. Excellent for the vintage.

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

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

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

2005 Benjamin de Sansonnet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-20-2009
I think this might be my favorite Right Bank Bordeaux from the '05 vintage, especially when you take value and quality into consideration. This wine delivers rich layered black fruit and lots of chocolate. The tannins are polished giving the wine a beautiful mouthfeel, ripe and powerful and all for under $30. This a 2005 that you should buy in bulk.
Price: $24.99 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

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)

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

Citadelle French Gin (750ml) ($19.99)

Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge (750ml) ($42.99)

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) ($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)

2007 Anderson's Conn Valley "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($79.99)

2007 Kathryn Kennedy "Lateral" Bordeaux Blend ($34.99)

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99)

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

2008 Maison Champy Pommard 1er Cru "Grand Épenots" ($29.99)