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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1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 12-17-2014
Sultry only begins to describe this exquisite wine from Lesmos. Showing mulled raspberry and strawberry fruit on the nose, it quickly evolves into notes of leather (like really good expensive leather) and grilled chorizo. Beautiful spice and chalky notes round out the flavors. I've tasted the '98 several times and it has always impressed. This should continue to evolve for years to come but what an impressive wine it is right now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-17-2014
Stunning. Has some similarities to the "Faultline Casks" bottling but with more refined flavors and more developed, savory rancio characters. The texture is supple and elegant. Whilst this doesn't seem to have the chewy texture and raw "youthful" exuberance of the 9-10 year old bottling, it oozes subtle flavor intensity, focus, and purity. The sherry quality shows a little drier and more nutty rather than sweet and fruity. A beautiful bottle and crazy good for the age / money in today's climate!
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma Coast Chardonnay  
Review Date: 12-16-2014
Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? I don’t really know but I think that some old dogs are smart enough to pick some new things up as they go along. That is exactly what Chateau St. Jean did with this brand, spanking new Sonoma Coast bottling. (By the way please don’t confuse this with the Sonoma County bottling that is everywhere and is completely different.) To say that I was taken by surprise by this new wine would be an understatement. I was blown away by the amount of power and richness it had, all the while keeping true, cool weather Sonoma Coast acidity throughout. With a nose laced with apricots, crème brulee and persimmons, while having an underlying citrus backbone, this was completely appealing and felt really natural. On the palate comes waves of vanilla, baked apples, some crushed stone and a lovely white floral highlight. For the under $20 arena of Chardonnay it certainly does not get much better than this. I’d scoop this up before the powers that be at CSJ realize just how good this wine really is!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne   | Approved
Review Date: 12-16-2014
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Tasted this at the San Francisco store and promptly took one home for dinner. This is a great, and versatile, food wine. About 15% of the blend is vinified red, which gives it the stuffing to stand up to a variety of foods, but it is still elegant with persistent bubbles carrying the berry fruits along. Duck confit salad with cherries would be a perfect match. 100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir for $35? Yes, please!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape   | Approved
Review Date: 12-15-2014
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This is a very enjoyable wine. It has a savory game flavored richness, which I love. For those who like to drink Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines young, this should be right up your alley.

2013 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc   | Approved
Review Date: 12-15-2014
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This is a very delicious Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc! Rich, crisp and well layered. The combination of grapes work perfectly together. Enjoy this wine with a variety of fish or chicken dishes. This is also very easy to enjoy on its own.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 York Creek "Lake Block" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 12-15-2014
After the rousing success of past vintages and the first couple of Single Block offerings, the 2005 “Sunny Hill” and 2004 “Track,” both of which sold out in a matter of weeks if not days, we have another great wine in the pipeline. The 2007 “Lake Block” is the youngest wine we’ve worked with to date from York Creek. But don’t let that youth fool you, this is one amazing wine. Powerful and completely reminiscent of some of the great wines from Spring Mountain, this is a superstar Cabernet. Full of the minty, sage, chaparral, black currant and licorice aromas so often found on the upper echelon Cabernets from the region. This is unmistakably “mountain” Cab. With its adolescent, grainy tannins and a tight core of black fruit, spice box and pipe tobacco flavors on the mid-palate, this is certainly a wine that can age for another 10-15 years without issue. Just look at some of the other wines we’ve already sold from YC if you need a track record. However with a perfect rare steak or other hearty/braised meat dishes this is about as close to a wide open Steph Curry 3 pointer as you can get in the wine world. Automatic!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 York Creek Spring Mountain District Meritage  
Review Date: 12-15-2014
After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers, Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of past vintages we just keep reloading because the wines are that good and you keep asking us for more. We’ve found an extra special treat to roll out this time: The 1995 Meritage. That’s right... we are wildly excited to sell this wine, which was made when Clinton was president, people went to see Waterworld just because of Costner, and somehow Hootie and the Blowfish sold like seven million copies of a record. Luckily this wine has aged much better than at least those last couple things. Still vibrant and with a lovely bouquet of dried rose petals, new leather and red currants, this is a wine that is a testament to just how well California wines can age over long periods of time. With a solid entry of sweet black tea, fresh tobacco, cocoa powder, spearmint and dried blackberries, this is one complex and likeable wine that is just about perfect for folks that are fans of more mature wines. Fully meshed and with little to no desiccation of fruit, this is just great old wine for a silly price. Think Toy Story rather than Jumanji and Radiohead’s The Bends over anything from Silverchair.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Lafage "Grande Cuvée" Côtes du Roussillon Rosé   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-14-2014
What a gorgeous rose. Bright strawberry, blood orange, & lemon dance across your palate. The texture is creamy yet finishes with a tangy, vibrant acidity. Brilliant!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2012 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé   | Approved
Review Date: 12-13-2014
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This is a very elegant, easy to drink rose. Crisp and refreshing...perfect for Christmas and New Year's Eve holiday parties!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-12-2014
The Faust is rich and decadent. Ripe cherries, raspberries, mocha and soft cedar envelop your palate and warm your heart.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 12-12-2014
Sophisticated and supple. Yes, the second label from Quintessa has done it yet again. The Faust Cabernet is pure and straightforward. Black currant, cassis and blackberry fruit on the nose, with just a wisp of toast. Fresh minerals and finely integrated tannins make this Napa classic very drinkable now or easily cellarable for the next 5+ years or so.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-12-2014
This Estate Pinot Noir from Mount Edward is a very pretty and elegant style, and is a steal at this price. The red fruits in this wine are very soft, and have a pretty floral note. It is balanced out with baking spice and vanilla flavors with soft tannins. This is a great style of Pinot Noir for salmon.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2013 FRAM Shiraz Swartland   | Approved
Review Date: 12-12-2014
If I'd have tasted this blind I'd have guessed Languedoc, but no matter. It's old-vine Shiraz grown in rocky soils and it is flat out delicious. Rich and powerful yet structured and even elegant, with plenty of dark fruit and a hint of smoke and game, this would make a great pairing with a wide range of roasted or braised meats. Writing this reminds me that I should get some before everyone figures out how good it is.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart DC 90 BC 0

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-12-2014
An enticing nose of blueberries, blackberries, cloves and nutmeg will get you in the holiday spirit! The palate is full of black cherry, cassis, vanilla and cracked black pepper with plush tannins, great high acidity and a dry grippy finish. Drink now or allow a few years for integration.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

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