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

Page:  <<  prev  6  7  8  9 10  next  >>
2002 Thienot "La Vigne aux Gamins" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 4-27-2013
Last night at the Plumed Horse in Saratoga we drank a full 1% of the entire production of the single vineyard Thienot La Vigne Aux Gamins Blanc De Blancs Brut Champagne. The packed room was thrilled to get a chance to enjoy such a rarity with Garance Thienot and I am glad that there is still a little bit of the California allocation left to sell! This spectacular Avize Chardonnay has the exotic fruit that only a very old, well exposed vineyard can give and depth of chalky grip that comes from purest of Belmnita soils. It was a profound pairing with the Alaskan halibut course and it was worth feeling a little less than bright eyed today to drink my share of this great Champagne! Get it while you can- it won't take many more nights like last night to drain all the bottles in the state!
Drink from 2013 to 2042

1999 Thienot "Cuvée Alain Thiénot" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 4-27-2013
Maturity is a must for me in any wine that would be called great. If a wine hasn't had the time, it can only be potentially great! The 1999 Thienot Cuvee Alain Thienot has been given the time to develop, and last night at the Plumed Horse in Saratoga was a great moment to drink it. This Champagne had so much complexity and depth, but didn't become overwrought or heavy in any way. It was spectacular with the Berkshire pork belly with pickled red onion and spinach as the fatty richness of the pig brought out the mineral edge of this round wine. This is a great bottle for the most special of occasions!
Drink from 2013 to 2019

2009 Cambon La Pelouse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 4-23-2013
What a great value! It is a shame that so much of this super quality Bordeaux will be drunk to young. The 2009 Cambon La Pelouse Haut Medoc has the charm to make it accessible for early drinking and a super fair price, but its best days are ahead of it. This wine is classic, curranty Haut Medoc with plenty of minerality to balance the richness of the vintage. Put some in the cellar- you will thank me for it!
Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2029

2009 La Lagune, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 4-23-2013
If you are looking for great 2009 Bordeaux for your cellar, the 2009 La Lagune Haut Medoc should be at the top of your list. This property sits in the southern part of the Haut-Medoc and routinely out does its neighbors in Margaux with its generous, ethereal aromatics. This 2009 is concentrated, but the power is only part of the story. For me it is the overall balance and finesse of this classic claret that makes it so noteworthy- all it needs is time!
Drink from 2019 to 2049

1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 3-7-2013
This Gran Reserva Rioja is great wine, and an unbelievable value for the quality. Cinnamon and I had this Bodegas Casa Juan Senor De Lesmos last night with thick cut pork chops and Spanish rice and were blown away by its class and intensity. This Rioja was one of the most concentrated and intense old school wines I have ever had. Rather than being blown away by oak, we were treated to intense savory red fruit and a laser finish that flattered the meal to no end. It held up to the spice in the rice with no problem and is on my list to buy today!
Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2028
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda (375ml)
Review Date: 3-7-2013
Manzanilla Sherry delivers so much pleasure for so little money... With the La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sanlucar De Barrameda it might be too much! Cinnamon and I cracked this little half bottle last night for the aperitif and enjoyed some Marcona almonds with rosemary with it. Before we knew it, that half bottle was in the recycling bin! This bone dry, electric Manzanilla has a nose of marzipan and sea air that took my mind back to Andalusia. This light, delicate bottle was way too easy to drink!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Sandeman "Royal Corregidor" VOS Oloroso Jerez (500ml)
Review Date: 2-22-2013
I had this last night with an English cheese course at home of Stilton, Cheddar and Cotswald and narrowly escaped drinking the whole bottle with Cinnamon. Old Sherry is hands down the finest value in all of fine wine and this is a great example. The youngest wine in this blend it at least 20 years old and the oldest goes back to the foundation of the solera in 1894. This great amount of time in wood, and the added complexity of blending nearly 100 harvests has created a wine of outstanding depth. The Royal Corregidor is full of the rancio and walnut flavors that make me flip for old Oloroso, and has just enough sweetness from Pedro Ximmenez to make it an ideal night cap. Take advantage of the deal!
Top Value!

Glenlivet 15 year old French Oak Reserve Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2013
David Driscoll treated us to three flights of blind whisky in our last staff tasting. This was my favorite of the under $50 flight, and I was surprised to see it was the Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve that I had liked the best of the big producers. Nothing beats putting a brown bag over some bottles to make one more objective! The whisky had a light gold color, and a bright nose of lively malt and sweet vanilla. On the palate it was delicate, well balanced and super easy to drink. Don't count this out without trying it!
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 2-19-2013
We have a few house favorites when it comes to Bordeaux here at K&L, and the 2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc confirms why we love this property. For the Haut-Medoc, this wine has a huge proportion of Merlot at 85% and just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon at 15%. The wine has a big, ripe, plumy nose, but is very elegant in the mouth. It reminded me very much of old fashioned Pomerol; medium bodied, pure, racy Merlot without the extraneous sugar and oak. At the price, too much of this wine will be consumed to young, but the patient will be rewarded with a great experience at a very small price. If you want to see how they age, we also have the 2003 in stock!
Drink from 2015 to 2029

Fever Tree Tonic Water (6.8oz 4-pk)
Review Date: 2-16-2013
This tonic is expensive, but it is worth it if you love your gin. I find it to be less sweet and have a high quality quinine flavor than the other tonics available. I have had it with Anchor Junipero, Hendrick's, Royal Dock Navy Strength Gin, Faultline, St. George Terroir Mt. Tam Gin and many others, but my favorite with the Fever Tree is the Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin. This combination, with a nice slice of lime and a couple of giant ice cubes is the most elegant gin and tonic that I have ever had!
Price: $5.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Hennessy Paradis Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 2-14-2013
I count myself very lucky to have had a chance to taste this monument of Cognac on a number of occasions, and it has never failed to impress. The last time I tasted it we had it right next to the unbelievably expensive (as if $800 wasn't expensive!!!) Richard Hennessy- and I preferred the Paradis. Made with Cognac's dating all the way back to 1800's, this unbelievable brandy balanced pure grapey fruit with Amontillado like rancio effortlessly. There is no substitute for time and the patience of Hennessy delivers a product of both incredible pleasure and complexity.
Price: $899.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cocchi Aperitivo Americano Rosa 750ml
Review Date: 2-13-2013
If you are a fan of bitter aperitivo's, the Cocchi Americano Rosa can't be missed. This bottle was open in the K&L tasting bar at the same that I was doing the staff Champagne seminar, and between groups I could not resist making a little Champagne cocktail with it. It was spectacular mixed with half good quality blanc de blancs, and also quite tasty on its own. I am going to buy a bottle today and try it at home in a black (or shall I say Rosa?) Manhattan with Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon and a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 2-12-2013
I brought a bottle of this to Quattro restaurant in the Four Seasons for their "Friday Nights Uncorked" promotion, when they invite you to bring your own wine. My oldest friend and I enjoyed the wine with Quattro's 16oz bone-in Piedmont rib-eye, and went for the black truffles on top for good measure. This is the biggest, ripest, most opulent Monte Bello I have tasted, and since Cinnamon worked up there for years I have been fortunate enough to taste a lot. At 12 years old it is still young, but certainly into its drinking window. I can't recommend it highly enough for a steak night!

Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This was the most controversial (and also one of the best selling) Champagnes at our recent pre-Valentine's day tasting. One taster described it as tasting like shoe leather, and many others described it as savory and the best of the day. It might be my favorite rose Champagne in our stock and pairs perfectly with cedar plank salmon and no more than one other person... Unless you have extra bottles! Deep, intense and very red wine like in flavor you need to be ready for it before opening it!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Small Hand Foods Grenadine 8.5oz
Review Date: 2-9-2013
This is not your mothers Grenadine! This spectacular mixer is a must for any household interested in classic cocktails. At home Cinnamon and I use it to make a version of the Star Daisy from Charles Neal's excellent book Calvados, the Norman Spirit. We use a teaspoon of Grenadine, one ounce of Domaine du Manoir de Montreuil Calvados Pay d'Auge, one ounce of Anchor Junipero Gin, and one ounce of Meyer lemon juice from our tree. Shake it in cocktail shaker and serve it up... Yum!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Page:  <<  prev  6  7  8  9 10  next  >>

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 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)

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 ($17.99)

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