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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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

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

2012 Foxglove Central Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-6-2014
The Foxglove is simply the best under-$15 California Chardonnay in the store! While rich and full-flavored enough to give fans of the big, buttery style something to hang on to, this wine has the balance for those who are tired of the over-the-top style. Excellent quality wine at a very low price!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Foxglove Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-6-2014
One of the top values on our shelves for Cabernet, the Foxglove has easygoing dark fruit, round tannins and plenty of body. This is perfect for folks looking for Cabernet to drink on its own, but that isn't manipulated like most of the others in this price range and style.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cain "Cuvée NV10" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Wow! I have always loved the Cain NV releases, and this NV10 did not disappoint. Instead of manipulating young wine to make it drinkable early, they blended two vintages to make a Cabernet blend that is naturally ready to go. The deft combination of even parts 2010 and 2009 has made for a curranty, fresh, medium bodied, fabulous drink!
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2013 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 9-10-2014
This was one of the big stars from our comprehensive California staff tasting yesterday. This Chardonnay from Talley has a smoky, high toned nose and great richness that doesn't go over the top into heaviness. It is medium bodied, concentrated, dry and long finishing. I was very impressed by how much it reminded me of Chassagne-Montrachet and I think it is one of the best California Chardonnays in the store. Don't miss it!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Bedrock "Old Vine" California Zinfandel
Review Date: 9-10-2014
This is California soul wine, and just the sort of thing that I like to bring with me to France as a gift for wine producers there. Zinfandel is our heritage vine here in California, and the Bedrock folks have made a classic in this 2012 Old Vine. It has tons of big, spicy, dark, wild berry fruit, and the acidic and tannic structure to back it up. This is not sweet, but it sure is rich, with plenty of texture and flavor. I can't wait to have it with some BBQ!
Drink from 2014 to 2023

2011 Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 9-10-2014
What a value! The folks at Ancient Peaks know how to manage the Paso Robles heat, and have come up with a Cabernet that tastes like a Napa bottling at double the price. It is rich, ripe and powerful, but also polished and seamless in the mouth. I think that anyone looking for mid-week Cabernet will be very impressed with this tasty wine!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2019
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2002 Ruinart "Dom Ruinart" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 8-28-2014
This Champagne is beautiful to look at and has a pale pink color and the kind of streamers that you only get with very long aging on the lees. When we first opened the bottle it was very yeasty and leesy, so much so that it put me off. The bouquet developed really nicely over the course of the meal, offering up chalk and Rainier cherry fruit as well as toast. In the mouth, this wine is so elegant and subtle that it wouldn’t be hard to miss its depth in a quick tasting. Like Cristal and Salon, it is a treat for the jaded palate, with lots of depth to offer, but no obvious, showy flash. It is ethereal, weightless and haunting stuff--and I would guess that the Sillery rouge has a lot to do with its delicacy. The Dom Ruinart Rose is the most elegant Champagne that I have drunk this year, and will no doubt prove to be one of my top Champagne experiences this year. If you have an occasion to spoil yourself with a very special bottle, this would be a great choice.

2013 Peter Lauer "Barrel X" Riesling
Review Date: 8-27-2014
Peter Lauer is part of a new breed of German wine producers who are trying to escape the confusing labels of the past. I like to joke that old fashioned German wine labels are the original "over sharing" since they contain so much information they become illegible. This producer keeps it simple, offering a wonderful example of the Saar's delicate, mineral driven, high electricity style of Riesling with his Barrel X. It has a touch of residual sugar, but just enough to bring out the fruit in this very refreshing wine!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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More Favorites

Gary Westby is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Gary Westby, click here to join Gary Westby's Personal Sommelier Service.
2011 Ravenswood "Vintners Blend" California Shiraz ($10.99)

2013 Charles & Charles Washington Chardonnay ($9.99)

2010 Stonestreet "Estate" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.99)

2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($31.99)

2012 Colonias de Galeon "Ocnos" Roble VdT Sierra Norte de Sevilla ($14.99)

2013 Colonias de Galeon "Petit Ocnos" Tinto Vino de la Tierra de Sierra Norte de Sevilla ($12.99)

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

2011 'B' de Basilio Blanco Rioja ($49.99)

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

2009 Bodega Weinert "Carrascal" Red Lujan de Cuyo ($14.99)

2013 Tinhof Neuburger Burgenland ($22.99)

2012 Neumayer Engelberg Grüner Veltliner Traisental ($18.99)

2013 Ebner Ebenauer Birthal Grüner Veltliner Weinviertal ($15.99)

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

2013 Philippe Tessier Cheverny Blanc ($18.99)

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)

2001 Moulin Haut-Laroque, Fronsac ($29.99)

2001 Corbin Michotte, St-Emilion ($39.99)

2013 Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay ($14.99)

2011 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas ($24.99)

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne ($39.99)

2008 Ariston Aspasie Brut Champagne ($39.99)

Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne ($39.99)

2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre ($18.99)

2012 Ellero "Pisa Terrace" Pinot Noir Central Otago ($29.99)

2012 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago ($24.99)

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($14.99)

2013 Château Font-Mars Picpoul de Pinet ($11.99)

2013 Château de Montfaucon "Comtesse Madeleine" Côtes du Rhône Blanc ($16.99)

2013 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc ($29.99)

2012 Champy Bourgogne Chardonnay "Signature" ($19.99)

2012 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($29.99)

2013 Cakebread Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($25.99)

2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva ($19.99)

1999 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

2012 Bodega Mendel "Estate" Malbec Mendoza ($24.99)

2013 Blason Friulano Isonzo ($9.99)

2012 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir ($22.99)

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

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

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