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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

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.

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: $29.99 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 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
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 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-12-2013
In barrel. 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.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 RP 94

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

Boulevard Brewing Co. "Tank 7" Farmhouse Ale, Missouri (750ml)
Review Date: 01-08-2013
This is a maltier Farmhouse ale with plenty of citrus aromas and a nice, spicy, clean, crisp palate.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

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.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

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
BH 92

2009 Roûmieu-Lacoste, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 09-04-2012
This property lies next to Climens and is owned by Hervé Dubourdieu, who also owns Château Ducasse. A wonderful, layered wine for the price. The nose is honey, butterscotch and a touch of celery seed. The palate is tons of mango and papaya with a lush mouthfeel and a long, long, almost crème brûléed finish.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

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!

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

2001 Larmande, St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-17-2011
The ’01 Larmande’s nose is layered with sage, plum and some lingering oak spice. The tannins are integrated on the palate with a soft, lush mouthfeel. The ripe plum and spice dominate the palate, but herbal, mineral and spice notes linger on the finish. This is a lovely wine that is drinking well right now.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

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: $12.99 Add To Cart

2010 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 06-16-2011
Elegant nose, with spice, cassis and lovely texture.

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: $29.99 Add To Cart

2010 Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 05-16-2011
Black fruit and spice on the nose. Cassis and spice on the palate. An astringent finish, with minerals and floral spice. Bright acidity. A top pick!

2010 Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-16-2011
Perfumy nose with black fruit, spice and minerals.

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.

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 Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes
Review Date: 08-07-2010
Fat and rich are the first two words I wrote about this wine. Peach, pineapple and apricot fill the nose. The palate is fat with enough acidity to keep the richness in check with all of the apricot and pineapple along with a bit of spice. This is a great price for an 2007 Sauternes.

2007 Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 08-07-2010
Fat and rich are the first two words I wrote about this wine. Peach, pineapple and apricot fill the nose. The palate is fat with enough acidity to keep the richness in check with all of the apricot and pineapple along with a bit of spice. This is a great price for an 2007 Sauternes.

2005 De Pez, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-26-2010
This is a really good price for this popular Cru Bourgeois. Black fruit and toasty oak dominate the nose. Plenty of dense currant and blackberry fruit on the palate with only a slightly astringent mouth-feel and polished tannins. The wine finishes well with good length and all toasty oak.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 W&S 90

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.

2006 Anderson's Conn Valley "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-01-2009
This has been my favorite California Cabernet producer in the store for the last few vintages and the 2006 is fantastic. A surprising open nose of black currants, toasty oak and a bit of spice. The rich mouth-feel is all black fruit almost liqueur-like with more toasty oak, spice and coffee flavors with a long finish that shows some mineral notes at the end. Lots of tannic structure but the wine is accessible now although a few years of cellaring and it will be even better. I think it is a bit more elegant than the 2005.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

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
DC 90

2005 Quinault L'Enclos, St-Emilion
Review Date: 02-20-2009
If you open this wine for a party watching basketball make sure you open it a few hours ahead of time or just buy a bunch and lay it down. This is a beautiful layered wine. The layered nose is filled with fruit and floral notes and than more layers on the palate. Big ripe fruit balanced with mineral and spice flavors. This wine has a lot to give with patience either in decanting or cellaring.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
ST 93 WS 92

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 Vin Aperitif Du Quinquina Aperitif Wine (750ml) ($32.99)

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

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

Ocho Plata Tequila (750ml) ($39.99)

The 86 Co. Cana Brava 3 Year Old Panama White Rum (750ml) ($14.99)

St. George "Terroir" Mt. Tam Gin (750ml) ($27.99)

Citadelle French Gin (750ml) ($19.99)

Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge (750ml) ($44.99)

Averna Amaro Siciliano (750ml) ($29.99)

Adrien Camut Réserve de Semainville "Assemblage de 25 ans" Pays d'Auge Calvados (750ml) ($299.99)

Russell's Reserve "Small Batch" 6 Year Old Rye 90 Proof (750ml) ($37.99)

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)

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne ($34.99)