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 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir Cheviot Hills
Review Date: 1-29-2014
Finding great value in Pinot Noir is never easy. This grape variety is famously difficult to grow, and can never be made to yield high enough to meet a price point without compromising quality. This Mount Beautiful is a great exception to that rule, and shows great aromatics of cranberry and beet; complexity that I never hope for at a wine that is so reasonably priced. In the mouth it is medium to light bodied and has great fruit as well as a certain amount of earthiness. Yum!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 1-22-2014
Mature Pomerol for $35? Thanks Clyde for finding us another great deal in aged Bordeaux! This wine has the plummy fruit and fancy mocha oak nose that seduces so many wine lovers. It is a ripe, full bodied wine that still keeps enough tension and balance to be good claret and not just another "international style" wine and will make a fine partner to an array of meat dishes.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 1-22-2014
I love my claret, and I am so pleased that I can have it often with fine values like this 2001 Malescasse. This quite nice vintage has been over looked by the critics has had the time to develop a real bouquet and the seamless texture that mature claret is famous for. I love the expressive leather and earth nose and the fully integrated black currant and oak flavors in this Haut Medoc. The long mineral finish had much more to offer than one should expect from a wine so reasonably priced. This is not a big wine, but it is a very well balanced one for your next steak dinner!
Drink from 2014 to 2021
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Ca'Viola "Vilot" Dolcetto D'Alba
Review Date: 1-22-2014
Nothing beats a good bottle of Dolcetto for Tuesday night pizza night! Cinnamon and I took a break from cooking and ordered up some pizza, and while we were waiting for the pizza man decanted the Ca Viola Vilot. This wine had great dark, ripe fruit and fine balance thanks to some good black tea tannin on the back end. It was a charming, open drink that came alive with the pancetta combo that we had ordered. I can't wait to have it again!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart RP 89 BC 0

2000 Kalin Cellars Livermore Valley Sémillon
Review Date: 1-16-2014
This Livermore Valley Semillon is a worthy challenger to many of the great white Bordeaux that we have on the shelf at much higher prices. I was stunned by freshness of this wine--it still has a green glint in the gold straw hue of the wine. While this wine is completely dry, the flavors remind me of honey and it has a full-bodied, rich mouthfeel. The finish is long with hints of caramel, but is still refreshing. Wow!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2011 Joseph Swan "Cuvée de Trois" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 1-16-2014
Joseph Swan is my favorite of all Sonoma Pinot Nois, and the wines from this small producer are great across the board. This 2011 Cuvee De Trois is light in color and alcohol and big on savory flavor. The nose reminded me of chocolate cherries and catnip, and the flavor was wonderfully dry, serious, earthy Pinot Noir. This will make a great partner from everything from roast chicken to rack of lamb, and older vintages have proven that this wine develops wonderfully in the cellar. Great stuff!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2031
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 1-16-2014
The top notch Hanzell Sebella would make a great ringer in a Puligny-Montrachet tasting. I found this medium to light bodied Chardonnay to have fantastic lime like raciness and excellent length. What a good bottle!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

Vino Noceto "Nutz!" Amador County Sangiovese Blend
Review Date: 1-16-2014
I have never had a domestic Sangiovese that I liked well enough to recommend before this, but I can't recommend this one highly enough! This great value bottle from Amador has a lot of extroverted wild raspberry fruit framed with a dollop of American oak, good medium body and a slightly earthy, driven Sangiovese finish. This is a great weeknight red!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Lot 40 Rye 2012 Release Canadian Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 1-15-2014
Great rye whiskey is not easy to come by at any price and great Canadian rye is even harder to find. This Lot 40 is clearly the best rye in the store and one of the best that I have tasted in a decade. With a wonderful bouquet of Christmas spice and a complex array of flavors, this Canadian will please the pickiest of whiskey fans. The fact that it still comes across as easy going and moreish even with the wild rye flavor and layers of complexity made a big impression on me. I will make room in my cabinet!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Domaine Courbis Saint-Joseph
Review Date: 1-14-2014
This is a magnificent, subtle Syrah that comes to life after an hour or so in the decanter. Cinnamon and I paired this with duck crepenets from the Fated Calf butcher shop and we were thrilled with the combination. I feel lucky to have experienced Syrah that is understated and doesn't slap the drinker across the face with power or bore the drinker with monotone, exaggerated flavors. This Saint Joseph had laid-back pepper and cool blue fruit on its medium-bodied frame and finished with fine grain tannin and good acid. I would love to keep a few of these for a few years and try it again!
Drink from 2014 to 2025

2011 Churchill's Vintage Port
Review Date: 1-14-2014
This wonderfully open-knit 2011 has aromas of blackberry jam and vanilla and is one of the cleanest young vintage ports I have ever tasted. This wine is bound to gain complexity over the decades, and will be a great asset to any cellar!
Drink from 2021 to 2041

2011 Graham's Vintage Port
Review Date: 1-8-2014
What a classic! This great vintage port is a must for anyone who has an anniversary or child born in 2011. It not only has the classic black fruit sweetness of Graham, but layers of Spanish root complexity. I found this 2011 to have both the richness of the vintage and the great vinous character of the very best of wines. This will be a great one for the future, with grip, acidity and length for the ages!
Drink from 2021 to 2061

2011 Domaine Faiveley Mercurey "Clos Rond"
Review Date: 1-7-2014
What a coup for our wine clubs! This is a delicious, open knit Pinot Noir with a ton of extroverted raspberry fruit and a bright finish. Cinnamon and I had it with roasted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, and loved the wine and the pairing. It is a thrill to be able to have a producer like Faiveley at such a reasonable price!
Drink from 2014 to 2021
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $24.99
BC 0

2011 Philippe Faury "Vieilles Vignes" Saint-Joseph
Review Date: 1-7-2014
Last night I made the "full English" feast; leg of lamb, Yorkshire Pudding, roast potatoes and mint peas. I decanted this old vine Saint Joseph an hour ahead, and it was a wonderful partner to the food. Unlike most Syrah, this is a medium to light bodied wine of considerable restraint. I enjoyed the mocha like nose and the crisp, bright finish- it was perfect for the rich meal!
Drink from 2014 to 2021

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-6-2013
I can't think of a single bottle of Champagne at K&L that has brought me such consistent pleasure as the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche. The Ariston family has worked very hard to deliver this great bottle to the Champagne lovers of the world. Most producers age their Champagne for less than three years in the bottle before shipping, but the Carte Blanche gets five years. It is entirely estate grown by one of the most careful growers in the business. On top of all that it is made in one of the most modern, temperature controlled wineries of any small producer that I have visited. The result is one of the best aperitif bottles that we sell; toasty and full, yet refreshing and crisp, a perfect balance between aged complexity and youthful vigor. And then there is the price--so fair that Cinnamon and I have had the opportunity to impact the world supply with our consumption! Don't miss it.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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