Staff Favorites - Susan Thornett

Susan Thornett
Iíve been with K&L since summer 2007, moving to retail from a restaurant background. I love coming up with fun food and wine pairings! I tend to enjoy and review wines that convey something interesting about their region of origin, and I usually prefer subtle, savoury wines. That said, dessert wines are always a particular weakness of mine! Often my reviewed wines- aperitif, main course or pudding- will be from France, Germany, or Austria. You will also see me recommending heaps of beers- so if you always dreamed of having a personal beer sommelier you can sign up for that. My ideal beer is a crispy English session ale but I enjoy exploring many different styles, from Californian double IPAs to sour Belgian Gueuzes. Iím not a beer expert by any means but we have a great selection here at K&L and Iím having a great time working my way through - hope you can join me!

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2010 Mount Langi Ghiran "Billi Billi" Shiraz Grampians Victoria   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-21-2014
A wine of this quality for $10 is a crazy good deal! The Mounth Langi Ghiran Shiraz is brimming with juicy black and blue fruits, chocolate, forrest floor earthy notes, and herbs. The bright acidity juicy tannins make this wine a very delicious and easy drinker. This would be a great choice for a wedding or other party, as well as a weekday sipper!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart JH 93 BC 0

2012 Pisa Range Estate "Black Poplar Block" Pinot Noir Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-21-2014
This Pinot Noir from Pisa Range is so delicious! This wine is very complex with floral notes such as rose petal and violet, dark cherry and raspberry fruit, baking spices, and minerals. The palate is both elegant with refined tannins, and zesty with medium plus acidity. The tannins are well integrated, which allows for this wine to drink well now, but the lively acidity will help this wine age beautifully.

2012 Framingham Pinot Noir Marlborough   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-21-2014
Thanks to hard work of our buyers, this is another great value Pinot Noir! This concentrated wine offers dark berry fruit, earthy, spice, and a slight smoky note. There were two Framingham wines in our staff tasting the other day and they were both delicious. Itís only a matter of time before this winery takes off!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2009 Kerrigan + Berry Cabernet Sauvignon Western Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-21-2014
This is one sexy wine! Your experience begins with an amazing nose of bright fruit and floral notes. Black fruit and cranberry, lavender, apricot, spice, mint and a hint of smoke envelope your palate. The silky smooth tannins with a long finish complete this very decadent wine. This wine is so well balanced and elegant, it is one of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignons I have tasted in a long time!

2012 Mount Trio Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Great Southern   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-21-2014
Attention Cab lovers! This wine is loaded with ripe purple fruit, mint, eucalyptus and spice with well integrated tannins. All this equates to a great value wine! Whether you are looking to keep a delicious everyday drinking wine around the house, or to buy for a party (hello wedding wine!), I highly recommend stocking up on this gem.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Mount Langi Ghiran "Billi Billi" Shiraz Grampians Victoria  
Review Date: 8-21-2014
This big, rich, bold Shiraz over-delivers on every level! This beauty has wonderful dark fruits, a touch of spice and lively acidity. With such a smooth, satin textured finish, it's going to be easy to drink an entire bottle alone. If you're going to spend less than 15 dollars on a red wine to drink tonight, this should be on your list of contenders!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart JH 93 BC 0

2012 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 8-21-2014
I drank this very good Rosso Di Montalcino last night with Cinnamon's divine eggplant Parmesan. This wine is perfect for any dish that calls for something big and Italian, and has plenty of ripe, extroverted Sangiovese cherry fruit. The texture is lush, without going all the way over to the heavy side. The folks at Baricci have delivered again!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 York Creek "Estate" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 8-20-2014
After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of the 1999 Meritage, which we sold almost 900 cases of, we bring two new wines to you from the fantastic 2005 vintage in Napa Valley. The 2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was possibly my favorite wine in the most recent batch of wines tasted from this winery; I certainly thought it was the most crowd pleasing. With a nose packed full of red fruits, a pleasing minty/mountainous tone and a touch of Amaro-like herbal spice this is one complex and alluring nose. Supple, plush and broad on the palate, this Cab has worn its almost 10 years of age extremely well with little signs of oxidization or drying out in flavor. Perfectly ripe black currant, sweet-tinged pipe tobacco, sous bois and layers of super-fine tannin and a touch of vanilla from the oak are all wonderfully apparent in this long and completely drinkable wine. We donít have nearly as much of this as we did the 1999 so Iíd jump on this quick before it is never heard from again.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 York Creek "Sunny Hill" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 8-20-2014
After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers, Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of the 1999 Meritage, which we sold almost 900 cases of, we bring two new wines to you from the fantastic 2005 vintage in Napa Valley. The 2005 ďSunny HillĒ bottling is from one of the numerous single block sites on Fritzís property high above the valley floor in the famed Spring Mountain District. Fritz told me that the reason he started making all the single block wines was that he really wanted to understand the differences of the blocks of the vineyard. From 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine was easily my favorite of all the single block wines Fritz let us taste on this go-around; sadly, we only have about 50 cases of this. The good news is that there plenty of other single blocks as well and all of them are tremendous in their own way. I thought this wine had the most complex and meshed nose of any of the wines we tasted from York Creek, with a lovely, seamless, masculine array of dusty berry fruit, cocoa powder, stone and a touch of olive. Still incredibly youthful and full of vigor, this wine could easily go another 10-15 years, yet is wildly delicious now with its recently maturing black-fruited ripeness, powerful yet ingrained tannin structure and lovely background notes of foresty evergreen and mushroom. This will certainly not last long and once those 50 cases are gone, well, theyíll be gone for good.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 8-20-2014
Back in the late winter/early spring of this year I was really trying to identify a Chardonnay producer that we might be able to do a co-branded wine with. In looking at what we had and what was popular with our customers, I thought Talley would be a great fit for the project. We spoke and we both agreed that we really were excited to work with each other on this level. So at the end of June I drove down to Arroyo Grande to blend the wine with winemaker Eric Johnson out of barrel. There were 13 barrels for us to choose from, all of which were from one of Talleyís estate vineyards, Oliverís Vineyard, and I got to select five of those barrels for this blend. What I found that day is that if I could have taken all 13 barrels, I would have. The quality of all the barrels was just superb and really showed off the vineyard and all of the subtleties that Chardonnay can have, but rarely does, in California. The final blend was actually the first we put together and while we futzed with it a bit, we agreed that this blend was always the best blend of the bunch. The nose showed a really delicate interplay of white floral notes, baked apple, sandy soil and a richer core of peach flesh and a hit of tropical fruits. With good entering cut and resonating energy and intensity throughout, this richly weighted Chardonnay never felt bogged down in anything excessive like oak or manipulated buttery richness. Instead it traded on its richly textured mid-palate and wealth of stone fruit and cleansing earth aspects as well as a lifting citrus oil note. I honestly couldnít be happier with the way this wine came out. Thanks, Talley, for making us such an awesome wine!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Sherman & Hooker's Shebang! "Cuvee III" Sauvignon Blanc  
Review Date: 8-20-2014
You may already be familiar with the Shebang red, which has been a big hit for a California red blend. Well, it is time to get acquainted another good bargain bottle from the folks at Bedrock: their third Sauvignon Blanc cuvee. Flavors of tangerine, lemon, and cantaloupe, set against a green shiso note, mark this tasty, tart white. This isnít grassy, feline, or highly herbaceous, and should be a good all-arounder when a fresh, lighter bodied, inexpensive white is what you want.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 8-20-2014
Cristal is really serious Champagne. Yes it is famous, yes it has a lot of hype, but behind all of that, there is some of best Champagne in the bottle you will find anywhere. The 2006 is a beautiful combination of ripe summer fruit that is characteristic of the vintage, and a driving minerality that comes from the chalky soil from estate-grown grapes. I was well impressed with the golden apple and pear notes that were delivered alongside super-fine bubbles and a precise mineral presence. A hint of nutty richness at the back-end of the palate adds just the perfect balance of richness. This is a wine that will develop in the cellar for years to come and will undoubtedly reward your patience.

2012 ViŮa Robles "Estate" Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc  
Review Date: 8-19-2014
Vina Robles is regularly seen at K&L. A winery with quality wines at fantastic prices. Everything produced by Vina Robles is from their estate vineyards. The Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Jardine Vineyard, which is a 280-acre vineyard planted between 1997-2000. The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is a clean, crisp white with lovely acidity. Citrus, stone fruit a hint of richness in the mid-palate gives this wine a lovely mouthfeel.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2012 Mount Trio Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Great Southern  
Review Date: 8-19-2014
All the typical delicious fruit you'd expect from a great Cab blend, and a dash of mint. The fruit lingers on to the finish and ends with lively spice. A ridiculous value.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Springvale Vineyards "Melrose" Pinot Noir Tasmania  
Review Date: 8-19-2014
What a value!! The nose here has the lovely bright lifted fruit aroma I expect from a youthful new-age Pinot, while on the palate, a delicious crunchy fruit abounds. This wine is as easy sipping as they come. Three cheers for Tasmania!!!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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