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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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

Michel Loriot "Palmyre" Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 11-13-2013
Out here on the West Coast, we celebrate winter with Dungeness crab, and the best thing that I tasted on my last trip to Champagne for any shellfish was the brand new Michel Loriot "Palmyre" Brut Nature Champagne. I can’t wait to get one iced down and on the table with the crustacean. With crab, scallops, mussels, clams or oysters this lovely bottle richens up, all the while cutting the richness of the meat. Open crab season, open, open!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
BC 0

Pierre Paillard "Acte 1" Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne (2008)
Review Date: 11-9-2013
Last night, Cinnamon and I had such a great experinece with our sushi and Chamapgne that I had to write about it. I found that this wine brought out the sweetness in the hamachi and the ahi highlighted the deep savor in the wine. I loved every sip of this wine, and might have hogged it a little. I was worried that the wine would be to rich to go with the vinegary Julie roll, but it had no problem with it, and brought out even more of the umami in this delicious treat. What a good bottle!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

Michel Arnould Verzenay Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-9-2013
Last night, Cinnamon and I had such a great experinece with our sushi and Chamapgne that I had to write about it. The Arnould started off on the austere side before the first bite of food, but with the sushi it was magic. It did particularly well with the ultra rich Akasaka roll, providing a clean foil to the deep fried tempura shrimp, eel and avocado bonanza. The fish brought out the hazelnut character that makes Champagne from this north facing cru so special and the completely dry finish refreshed the palate with every sip. This is going to be a repeat bottle with sushi for sure!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

1973 Bodegas Olarra Cerro Añon Crianza Rioja (slightly torn labels, some corroded capsules)
Review Date: 11-7-2013
The 1973 Cerro Anon Reserva Rioja made my day- it is the best red I have ever had from my birth year. Cinnamon was kind enough to buy a bottle for my birthday immediately after tasting it, and I might treat myself to one more for another occasion! With a solid ruby color, and a dark fruit and new leather bouquet, this wine is showing its age less than I am. In the mouth it still has plenty of lively, tangy tempranillo fruit as well as a kaleidoscope of complexity from all of the patient ageing it has received. The wine has a super long, detailed finish, and made an impression that I won't soon forget!
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1982 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva
Review Date: 11-7-2013
The brick colored 1982 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva impressed me with its woodsy, red cherry tempranillo bouquet and purity on the palate. This is fabulous mature wine for graduates of aged Rioja, as the tannins are completely resolved without sacrificing focus on the finish. This would be a very special bottle for a leg of lamb!
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 11-5-2013
The precocious 2011 Croix Mouton has all the virtues of the best Bordeaux Superieur and made me feel like I was in a Paris bistro eating steak frites as soon as I tasted it. This plummy, soft wine is so approachable and fun without being flabby or weak in any way. Bordeaux isn't all expensive, and this bottle is far superior to domestic Merlot blends at this price or even the $20 mark. Yum!

2003 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-5-2013
This lovely claret has none of the excesses that some of the 2003 vintage wines have, but instead shows great freshness and minerality. Old school Bordeaux fans love Chateau Lanessan for its earthiness and restraint, and this bottle comes through with both. If you are looking for something ready to drink that is under $20, look no further! I can't wait to sear off a juicy top sirloin and drink one of these wonderful bottles of claret!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-5-2013
Nothing works better with the wide range of flavors on the Thanksgiving table than rose Champagne. For me, no rose in our stock is better suited for this holiday than the Aspasie. It has plenty of friendly refreshment for the aperitif, but the depth of Pinot Noir flavor to go with the turkey, stuffing and all the fixings. I can't remember a Thanksgiving that we did not have the Ariston Aspasie Brut Rose at our table, and wouldn't want to imagine one!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Russell's Reserve 10 year old Small Batch Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 10-29-2013
My Bourbon of choice for sipping after dinner, the 10 Year Old Small Batch from Jimmy Russell is one of the great values in our extensive collection. The high toned savory rye flavors balance the sweetness of the corn to make this one of the most grown up, focused Bourbon's that we have at any price. I am never without a bottle in my liquor cabinet!
Top Value!
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 10-29-2013
Wow! This cask strength masterpiece has everything I could want in Bourbon. Jimmy Russell has done it again, producing a spirit of balance and complexity without losing the wildness that makes these drinks so exciting. This is packed, concentrated stuff with plenty of sweet corn and savory rye flavors and a finish that goes on forever. What great Bourbon!
Price: $53.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

Wild Turkey Forgiven Kentucky Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 10-29-2013
This intricate Kentucky Whisky has what all the "craft" distillers wish they had: originality and top notch quality. This was my favorite spirit in our big staff tasting, and I can't wait to get it home and drink it in front of the fireplace. This has a rich, deep bass texture with layers of clove and sweet corn complexity. This has more than I thought I could ask for out of Kentucky!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon 750ml
Review Date: 10-29-2013
The best value in Bourbon might be the best value in any spirit! If you haven't had this in a while, you owe it to yourself to pick up a bottle, you will not be disappointed. This spicy whiskey has plenty of sweet corn bread aromatics and flavors and a full rich texture. This is my go-to Bourbon for all of my drinks, and great neat as well. Don't count out the kick'n chicken!
Top Value!
Price: $20.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1989 Couly Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon
Review Date: 10-29-2013
I love having mature wine on the shelf at reasonable prices. This special Baronnie Madeleine bottling from Couly Dutheil made a huge impression on Cinnamon and I. She had prepared a white bean soup with a smoked ham hock, along with some Gruyere gougers for our Saturday night meal and requested a Chinon to go with it. When I saw this on the shelf, I couldn't resist! It turned out to be the best Loire red that either of us has ever had, with incredible sweet rosemary and black olive aromatics, completely resolved tannin and light, elegant, lifted body. The finish went on and on, and this Chinon went perfectly with the dinner. Wow!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Basilio Izquierdo "Acodo" Blanco Rioja
Review Date: 10-25-2013
Wow- I have never had white Rioja like this before! On a scale similar to the best white Bordeaux, this complex white is full of lanolin in the mouth and has one of the longest finishes of any wine that I have tasted this year. The Basilio Izquierdo Acodo has persistence that one wouldn't even hope for in a $100 bottle of wine, so if you want something adventurous and exotic, it will not disappoint! What a bottle!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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