Staff Favorites - Gary Westby

Gary Westby
Gary Westby  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I started at K&L in February of 2000, after 4 years of working down the street for another retailer, and although I take care of the Champagne buying here at K&L, I love to drink wine from all over the world. I prize authenticity in wine, and love representative examples of many different styles, whether it is a spicy dry creek zinfandel or a mineral driven Manzanilla. I almost always drink my wine with food, and am drawn to food wines rather than the softer styles that are good for drinking on their own. My wife Cinnamon and I cook a lot of Italian & French food at home, and my list of wines reflects those food choices. I also love value, at every price point, and can't stand "prestige" labels that under deliver in the bottle. I love honest wines for the table. If you love good wine to go with your good cooking too, I think that by joining my personal Sommelier list you will be treated to a wide variety of wines that represent a strong value for money at what ever price range you feel comfortable with. Give it a try!


Reviews

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2012 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 1-17-2015
I was worried that the freshness might have left St. Emilion- trampled by points and pundits. Luckily, this very well balanced Barde Haut is proof that refreshing purity can still be found on the right bank of the river. This sweet fruited, pure, plummy Bordeaux will drink well with an hour in the decanter and a skirt steak now, or for many years into the future.
Drink from 2015 to 2027

2011 d'Yquem, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 1-17-2015
It is very hard for any wine as venerated as Chateau d'Yquem to live up to the expectations that its fame creates. This 2011 delivers on all promises- it is great wine. While it is only a light straw color now, it has authoritative viscosity, full, clean botrytis sweetness and a kaleidoscope of complexity that is impossible to duplicate. Put this in your cellar and forget it for many years and it will be even better than it is now. Wow!
Drink from 2015 to 2061

2011 d'Yquem, Sauternes
Review Date: 1-17-2015
It is very hard for any wine as venerated as Chateau d'Yquem to live up to the expectations that its fame creates. This 2011 delivers on all promises- it is great wine. While it is only a light straw color now, it has authoritative viscosity, full, clean botrytis sweetness and a kaleidoscope of complexity that is impossible to duplicate. Put this in your cellar and forget it for many years and it will be even better than it is now. Wow!
Drink from 2015 to 2111

2012 Carbonnieux Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 1-15-2015
The great white Bordeaux of the world are some of the finest values in wine. Wines like this 2012 Carbonnieux Blanc have great aging potential and offer character, finesse and balance that is inimitable. If we had a white Burgundy of this quality for $100, it would be a great deal! This has plenty of great sweaty Sauvignon Blanc aroma as well as complexity from honeyed, gravely flavors.
Drink from 2015 to 2027

2009 Tronquoy de St-Anne, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Six years after a legendary harvest in Bordeaux, our owner Clyde is still finding unbelievable deals on 2009s. This property, which is adjacent to Montrose, has had a flood of investment, and the De St Anne, their second label, has profited from that. I think it would be hard to find a Cabernet lover that could find fault with this big, dark-fruited, rich wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2024
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2011 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Looking for a Cabernet-based wine with a little bit of flash for not a lot of money? You found it! This generous, attractive St. Estephe has a smoky oak nose, plenty of dark fruit flavor and a good finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

Lagavulin 12 Year Old 2014 Edition Natural Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Why is the 12-year-old more expensive than the 16? There is a simple answer: selection. This is Lagavulin the way I remember it, bursting with oily, peaty personality and power. The peat becomes more layered and intriguing with a few drops of water. If you are looking for a full-throttle, manly Islay, this is very impressive.
Price: $105.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Raymond Lafon, Sauternes (375ml)
Review Date: 1-14-2015
Sauternes is the most expensive wine to make in Bordeaux, and many would say the best value for the wine lover. They are nearly eternal wines which develop effortlessly across generations, yet they are very charming young. The 2010 Raymond Lafon has it all, beautiful honey and dried apricot flavors and aromas, luscious sweetness and fantastic focus and acidity on the endless finish. If you haven't had Sauternes in a while, this is a great one to try!
Drink from 2015 to 2040
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2010 Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes
Review Date: 1-14-2015
Sauternes is the most expensive wine to make in Bordeaux, and many would say the best value for the wine lover. They are nearly eternal wines which develop effortlessly across generations, yet they are very charming young. The 2010 Raymond Lafon has it all, beautiful honey and dried apricot flavors and aromas, luscious sweetness and fantastic focus and acidity on the endless finish. If you haven't had Sauternes in a while, this is a great one to try!
Drink from 2015 to 2060
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2009 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 1-14-2015
The real story of the great 2009 vintage is wines like this La Cardonne. A Cabernet blend with this sort of balance is a rarity at any price in California. At the price we have now, this Medoc is simply a steal. The aromatics have opened up beautifully after six years and the texture has developed perfectly. Have this dark, curranty wine tonight with a steak and put down 11 more for the future!
Drink from 2015 to 2024

2008 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvee Dilection" Brut Rose Champagne
Review Date: 1-3-2015
If you love fine, subtle, elegant rose, the Dilection is not to be missed. The base wine is composed of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir from vines of 40 years or older. To give it the rose color, flavor and aroma Alexandre adds 15% red Meunier from the vignes d’etoges, a plot in Monthelon that was planted in 1902… Easily the oldest vines I have ever seen in Champagne. All of the vinification is done in wood. I found it to have incredibly pure, Burgundian cherry fruit and a seamless, medium to light body. This wine has so many layers that it will reward those who taste it quietly, but it is so delicious that one does not have to ponder it to enjoy it. The finish is, like all of the Le Brun wines, the best part- a true peacock’s tail!
Drink from 2015 to 2028
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 1-3-2015
If you are a fan of Meunier based Champagne, trying this is a must. The Revelation is composed entirely of Meunier from vineyards of fifty years or older, only 1200 bottles of this incredible wine were made. The vines for this Champagne are in the very cool micro-climate of Monthelon, just south of Epernay, and thus have a far racier character than any of our other Meunier’s that come from the Western Valley of the Marne. With quince like fruit, subtle brioche and ample mineral drive, this serious wine has a finish that lasts like a blanc de blancs. It is dry at only four grams per liter of dosage, but not austere. A classic!
Drink from 2015 to 2039
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Passion" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 1-3-2015
Although labeled as non-vintage, this is in fact all 2005, and has been given eight years of ageing time o the lees. This Champagne is composed of half and half Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and tastes much more expensive that it is. If you like creamy, toasty Champagne with depth and richness, this is one of the best that we carry.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 1-3-2015
This is composed of a third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from Mr. Le Brun’s estate, and nearly every wine in this blend has gone through malolactic. This Champagne has a rich bready nose from the over 20 months it has aged on the lees and some very nice savory qualities as well. In the mouth the high quality Meunier gives this wine great roundness as well as some tasty baked apple flavors. The cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir show their stuff on the dry, long finish. It is dosed at 6g/l.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
BC 0

The Original Grand Crus of Burgundy by Charles Curtis MW
Review Date: 12-10-2014
Anyone who loves Burgundy needs a copy of this book. Mr. Curtis puts these great wines into historical context… And what a rich context there is! It is humbling to know that the greatest sites in the world were identified hundreds of years ago, and this book brings that story to light. While the price for this paperback book is low, be warned, it will end up being expensive after you buy all of the “secret sites” forgotten by the current system of crus!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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More Favorites

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2009 Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez "Pesquera" Reserva Ribera del Duero ($49.99)

2012 Bernabeleva "Arroyo del Tortolas" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid ($39.99)

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2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal ($14.99)

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2012 Neumayer Engelberg Grüner Veltliner Triasental ($18.99)

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2013 Philippe Tessier "Le Point du Jour" Cheverny Rouge ($22.99)

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2012 Nicolas Joly Les Vieux Clos Savennières ($36.99)

2013 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spätlese ($21.99)

2007 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese ($34.99)

2001 Tertre Daugay, St-Emilion ($24.99)

2009 Grand Corbin Manuel, St-Emilion ($24.99)

2001 Moulin Haut Laroque, Fronsac ($29.99)

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2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva ($19.99)

1999 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

2013 Bodegas Puelles Blanco Rioja ($9.99)

2013 Blason Friulano Isonzo ($9.99)

2009 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino ($29.99)

2001 Arnauld, Haut-Médoc ($18.99)

2013 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99)

2012 Abtei Muri Sudtirol "Weiss" (Super Bianco) ($29.99)

2013 Abbaye Saint Hilaire Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé ($13.99)