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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2000 Gruaud Larose, St-Julien
Review Date: 2-26-2015
This bottle was a generous contribution from Sean Fernandez in our old and rare department at our 2000 Bordeaux wine dinner, and was a contender for wine of the night. It is composed of about 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petite Verdot. The Gruaud was the earthiest, most savory bottle of the whole tasting, and had a little bit of bret that in no way detracted from my appreciation of the wine. It had dark fruit and leather flavors and one of the best supple, medium bodied textures of the whole evening. It was seamless and beautiful wine that drank great now with balance for the ages.
Drink from 2015 to 2050

2000 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 2-26-2015
From our great staff 2000 Bordeaux dinner. A very large scale Margaux composed of about 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petite Verdot. This wine had generous aromatics, with everything from dark cassis to green peppers on the nose. In the mouth it was the sweetest of the Medoc wines, and among the sweetest of the whole tasting, with lots of rich fruit, full body and big texture. This also has a big backbone of tannin, and drinks well right now with richer dishes like the short ribs that we had with it.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2000 La Gaffelière, St-Emilion
Review Date: 2-26-2015
The Gaffeliere is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. This dark wine had a giant, oaky, vanillan nose, thick texture and strong tannins. It wasn't pruney or hard however, and many at the dinner found it their favorite of the right bank flight. I would call this an extracted style, but it doesn't go so far as to be over extracted. I would love to check in on this a few years from now. We tasted this at our 2000 Bordeaux dinner.
Drink to 2035

2000 Certan de May, Pomerol
Review Date: 2-26-2015
From our 2000 Bordeaux dinner. This wine is composed of about 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was an exotic, spicy wine that had dark fruit and chocolate both on the nose and in the mouth. While it was big, it didn't come across as heavy, which was a surprise to me. The finish was long and detailed. It is great to taste Pomerol that can be a pleasure as well as impressive!
Drink from 2015 to 2035
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2000 Laville Haut Brion Blanc, Pessac-Leognan
Review Date: 2-26-2015
This note is from the K&L 2000 retrospective tasting. This soft, round, honeyed wine seemed kissed with botrytis. It had a dark straw color, a plush texture and plenty of length and detail. The wood was well integrated at this point and it did not seem overly heavy. Strangely enough, the scallop that was paired with it lightened the wine considerably. What a treat!
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 2-24-2015
Our allocation of Cristal Rose is so tiny that we can never guarantee a consistency of supply. It is so well guarded by the house of Roederer that I have only tasted one vintage of this in my 15 years of Champagne buying for K&L. Nearly the entire production goes to the best restaurants in the world, and we feel lucky to have some to offer.
Price: $499.00 Add To Cart WS 95 BC 0

Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-24-2015
This is the best selling Champagne in the USA.

Armand de Brignac "Ace of Spades" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-24-2015
This Champagne is a sensation in clubs all around the world, and is now owned by Jay Z.
Price: $249.00 Add To Cart BC 0

Macallan 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
This bottle delivers! If you are looking for the ultimate in silky, mature, Sherry wood heaven, look no further. While the Mac 21 distillery bottling is often woody and hollow, this Old Particular is sweet and decadent. If you love Macallan and want a real treat, you have found it.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Tobermory 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
After 20 years in the booze business, our spirits team can still surprise me! This 18 year old Tobermory is unlike any other single malt that I have had. The nose is so expressive and sweet, with exotic Chinese herbs along with classic malty aromas. In the mouth the whisky is round and plump, clearly mature but without obvious wood flavors. The best thing about this Old Particular bottling is the finish- it is a real peacocks tail, it swells up and goes on for as long as you care to pay attention. Top notch!!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
This Mortlach is the perfect refreshment for the jaded malt whisky lover. It is elegant, laid back, light bodied and fun to drink. With a few drops of water and a little bit of attention this Hepburn's bottling shows layers of subtle complexity.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
This is one of the purest, most charming single malt's that I have ever had. If you are looking for something to contrast the big sherry wood and super peaty whisky in your collection, this unique dram will be perfect. The last offering that I tasted that was as effortless as this Miltonduff was the Bruichladdich Bere Barley, but this has more complexity and persistence. A very fine dram indeed!
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
I usually only like blended Scotch that costs more than the single malts I drink, so this was a revelation. I don't know if it is the hint of high quality peat, the extra concentration and kick from the higher proof, or the lovely sweet malty character of this blend that make it so satisfying. My father has often said that he "likes to drink expensive booze like it was cheap"- if you do too, this is a great scotch for you. It is not expensive- it just tastes like it is! For me it is the best value in Scotch in the store.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-18-2015
If I were to pick one Grand Marque Champagne house as most improved over the last 10 years, it would certainly be Piper Heidsieck. This clean, refreshing Champagne is sourced from 100 different villages in Champagne and aged for two years on the lees.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 2-18-2015
If you haven't tasted the LP Rose lately, you should! This all Pinot Noir Champagne is lighter than most that are made in this style- it is macerated with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. It has improved over the years, and is now clean and precise with lovely red cherry Pinot fruit. Yum!

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More Favorites

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