Staff Favorites - Susan Thornett

Susan Thornett
I’ve been with K&L since summer 2007, moving to retail from a restaurant background. I love coming up with fun food and wine pairings! I tend to enjoy and review wines that convey something interesting about their region of origin, and I usually prefer subtle, savoury wines. That said, dessert wines are always a particular weakness of mine! Often my reviewed wines- aperitif, main course or pudding- will be from France, Germany, or Austria. You will also see me recommending heaps of beers- so if you always dreamed of having a personal beer sommelier you can sign up for that. My ideal beer is a crispy English session ale but I enjoy exploring many different styles, from Californian double IPAs to sour Belgian Gueuzes. I’m not a beer expert by any means but we have a great selection here at K&L and I’m having a great time working my way through - hope you can join me!

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2004 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino Riserva  
Review Date: 11-6-2014
Fans of Italian wines know how difficult it is to find older selections of ready to drink (and still reasonably affordable) and serious wines from Italy. Lament no further! This is a good-to-go sangiovese wonder from a great producer and a fantastic vintage- something you're likely not to see for a long time! Despite being in the hotter/richer southern part of Montalcino, Tenuta di Sesta always makes wines with much more finesse and elegance than their neighbors. This wine is elegant and complex- with long layers of dust, light cherry, earth, cedar, and a hint of crushed tomato. Perfectly aged and ready for action - Decant this and drink in awe!
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2005 Valandraud, St-Emilion  
Review Date: 11-6-2014
The flagship wine of garagiste Jean-Luc Thunevin, this 2005 Chateau Valandraud, St-Emilion is a superb example of both the vintage and the "modern" style of Bordeaux winemaking. It offers loads of dense, dark fruit, black fig and damson plum, with a bit of spicecake thrown in for good measure. Rich, almost silky in texture, finishing with fine tannins. A very well made wine, generous in every way but with excellent balance. Needs another five to ten years in the cellar but will more than reward the patient connoisseur.

2006 Castello di Monsanto "Nemo" Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 11-6-2014
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If you’re a fan of the Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva then you owe it to yourself to try the 2006 Castello di Monsanto Nemo Toscana. I was excited to taste this wine and I was immediately rewarded with aromas of bitter chocolate, volcanic rock, saline and cherry kirsch aromas. The palate was a supple blend of black cherry fruit, licorice, spice and subtle oak accents. The wine is in a perfect place for drinking right now, with a touch of age the tannins have softened and the fruit has perfectly integrated with the oak to produce a flat out deliciously drinking wine. At $40 this is one of my favorite super Tuscans that we currently have in stock.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018

2012 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha Cariñena   | Approved
Review Date: 11-6-2014
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This wine has an expressive nose with loads of dark fruit carrying over into a soft palate with plums and wild strawberries and a hint of wild herbs. Very enjoyable, and at just 12.5% ABV feel free to pour yourself another glass!
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-6-2014
Patience will be very rewarding with this Barolo. It’s big and has the potential to live a very long life. Decant to drink now. It’s full of bright cherries, cedar, leather and tobacco with hints of those classic Barolo characteristics of tar and roses. A powerful wine will all the right elements for ageing. Definitely one to add to the cellar.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 Valandraud, St-Emilion  
Review Date: 11-6-2014
A great vintage of Valandraud at this price; I am all in! As always, this wine exhibits deep, saturated purple fruit, sweet blackberry fruit on nose with toasty oak. On the palate exotic flavors of chocolate and blackcherry lead to a dry finish. This wine features the hallmark qualities of the outstanding 2005 vintage; purity of fruit, with great acidity and fantastic freshness! Ralph Sands
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2012 Byron Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir   | Approved
Review Date: 11-6-2014
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Tasted this recently in the San Francisco store and was truly impressed. Plenty of ripe red fruit here but also an elegance that suggests the fruit was picked at the perfect moment. Tastes way above its league!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart W&S 91 BC 0

2012 Remo Farina Valpolicella Ripasso   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-6-2014
Red cherry, dried cranberry, leather, dried meat notes, mineral, spice with medium plus acidity and fine, easy tannin. Absolutely gorgeously balanced, this wine is perfect for the complicated assortment of flavors of your Thanksgiving table! Cin cin!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica  
Review Date: 11-6-2014
I have been drinking Italian wines for more than 30 years. I had my first Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi perhaps 10 years ago, and my first Verdicchio di Matelica three years ago. I initially encountered the wines of Agricola La Monacesca late last year. They are regarded by many as the finest producer of Verdicchio di Matelica in the Marche, and after tasting first the 2010 and now the 2011 vintage I am inclined to believe it. The wine has all of the intense minerality I have come to associate with the appellation, but displays better than average ripeness of fruit with more concentration and depth than I have encountered in other wines from the region. Really superb, and available for under $20.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Napa Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 11-5-2014
The best Kalinda Chardonnay to date! I'm not typically a Cali-Chard drinker but this hits all the high notes! This is filled with richness but not in the buttery-oaky way. It has depth and minerality with pure citrus and stone fruit and perfectly integrated acidity that gives it just the right amount of lip-puckering lift! This is my Thanksgiving Chard for sure:)
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-5-2014
Textbook consistently produces great value wines, and this 2012 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. Aromas of mocha, toasty oak, and blackberry emerge from the glass. Cinnamon, raspberry, and dark chocolate are pronounced on the palate. There is a fullness in body and richness in texture that make this wine a fantastic deal for just $20.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Lewis Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-5-2014
When we visited Lewis Cellars on our Napa Trip and I tasted the 2012 Napa Cabernet, the first descriptor I wrote was “polished”. This wine is very young with a big backbone, but since it is so polished it is already a pleasure to taste. This wine is full of lush dark fruits, exotic spices, tobacco leaf and earthy qualities with a long, chocolate liquor finish. While this wine is delicious now, it will definitely improve with some cellar aging. Get this wine before it’s gone!
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart WS 94 BC 0

2013 Saracco Moscato d'Asti  
Review Date: 11-5-2014
Mr. Saracco is the toast of the US rappers who sip his Moscato d’Asti at parties and name-check it in their lyrics. Indeed, hip hoppers’ vocal endorsement is credited as being one of the reasons why producers are popping their corks at the growing popularity of this sparkling wine. Since Kanye West’s mention of Moscato d’Asti in the song “Make Her Feel Good” sales have been spiralling upwards. Moscato d’Asti is, like Champagne, from a controlled appellation of origin. Made from Muscat Blanc grapes grown exclusively in Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo, it proudly traces its heritage back to Roman times when it was called Moscatellum. The alcohol content remains low, typically at 5% ABV. This is a great wine to serve for all your spring parties.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Montefresco Montepulciano d'Abruzzo  
Review Date: 11-4-2014
This is the best little find for Italian Bistro style vino! Juicy, nicely textured, medium to full bodied with lots of red and purple fruit and spice, and very food friendly. Weather it's for pizza night or any holiday fiesta, this wine is so versatile you could even pair it with your holiday turkey or roast! Amazing value for $8.99! This will keep your palate happy and pockets full.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Approved
Review Date: 11-4-2014
Textbook has all the qualities one expects from a lush Napa Cabernet, but at a price point that makes for an extremely smart buy. Perfumed with hints of blackberry, plum and dark chocolate, this wine is rich in texture, balanced and a joy to drink. Excellent when paired with a Gruyere cheeseburger, braised ribs or simply with a bit of aged Gouda.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

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