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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2013 Domaine Lafage "Novellum" Chardonnay Pays d'Oc   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-20-2014
This is a killer Chardonnay for $10.99. It's unconventional and delicious! This is full of ripe stone fruit, fresh tropical notes and is wonderfully dry. It's a fantastic choice for your holiday gatherings!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 Mount Edward "Estate" Pinot Noir Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-20-2014
This Estate Pinot Noir from Mount Eden 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

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago  
Review Date: 11-20-2014
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If any one Pinot Noir makes a statement that New Zealand has joined the ranks of great Pinot producers of the world, this incredible Gem from Ostler is it! Deeply colored, the high profiled, profound aromatics of dried rose petals, raspberry, black cherry, and spices fruit characteristics with distinctive undertones of slate-like minerality, and meaty notes, all of which carries over nicely in the mouth. It is deeply complex, broad and viscous, well-integrated and wonderfully balanced, has great structure, acid backbone and excellent mid-range, yet is lush, rich, and beautifully focused with a finish that seems to go on and on. This is an amazing Gem, and Rusty has told me that we need at least a case of this in our collection. This lovely Pinot should easily age and get better for the next five to ten years, although I think once you taste it, you will find it very difficult to keep your hands off of it. In any case, you should not miss this Gem and need to buy it in quantity. Also, Matt Kramer recently wrote glowingly about this great Pinot in one of his columns, equating it to a single vineyard production from a great vintage from Chambolle-Musigny, but he did not give it a score. So, I'll do that for him - 96 points! 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-20-2014
I LOVE this Clayvin Vineyard Pinot! This wine is loaded with juicy dark cherry and currant, earthy forrest floor notes, backing spice and purple flowers. The fresh acidity balances out this wine and has enough structure to age well. It is delicious now, but I hope I will practice discipline and save some for about 5 years from now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96

2013 Brewer-Clifton/K&L Wine Merchants "B-C. Kessler-Haak Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 11-20-2014
Fans of Santa Rita Pinot Noir will love this wine. This unique blend from the Kessler Haak vineyard is loaded with red fruits, Asian spice and cola notes. The texture is lush and round in the mouth while the finish is supple and smooth. Even though this Pinot Noir is still very young it is drinking great right now and should develop even more complexity with some extra time in the bottle. A very cool wine to serve friends as it is a unique item that can only be found at K&L!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago  
Review Date: 11-20-2014
The 2010 Ostler shows a darker edge and more body than any other Pinot in this cool, limestone laced Northern region of Otago that I have ever had. The nose is lifted with notes of violets , herbs, dark plum, black cherry and a mineral note. On the palate the wine is rich with medium to full bodied weight supported by good acidity and structure with a rewarding long finish. Yet another reason the Pinot Noirs from Otago are gaining deserved recognition.

1988 Blair Athol 25 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 11-20-2014
This is an obvious contender for most valuable malt of 2014. A massive cask of first fill sherry from this beautiful and renowned distillery is exactly what all the sherry heads are craving. While Blair Athol is not well known here, in Scotland it's well regarded as the under the radar work horse for Diageo. Deep, oily complex and long. I'm not going to over sell it anymore cause it doesn't need the help.
Price: $154.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Blason Friulano Isonzo  
Review Date: 11-20-2014
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Giovanni Blason is a dynamo. His small winery on the extreme eastern edge of Italy produces about 3,000 cases annually and Giovanni, with the help of his consulting enologist Andrea Rossi, is producing wines of outstanding quality for bargain prices. His wines have received high marks from Italian critics. I Friulano, this is the Friulian national drink I love the freshness this wine has, the crisp minerality, the hint of tarragon in the finish, lively and fresh on the palate. Sprightly and nicely acidic, it is also somehow creamy with peach and apricot notes and a hint of clover honey on the end. No oak here, thank you. It is so refreshing and sensationally balanced, crisp and refreshing. Enjoy it with sautéed red snapper, grilled vegetables or with some Frico! Frico is fried Montasio cheese that crisps up and is absolutely delicious! (Greg St Clair, K&L Italian buyer):
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2004 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc  
Review Date: 11-19-2014
After almost 10 years in the bottle, this classic Bordeaux is starting to show some color development. Beautiful notes of cedar wood, currants and a touch of vanilla. The acidity is high (always a blessing in my book) and the tannins are still quite apparent. This wine is not about the fruit, rather about the intense peppery spices, and how good a pairing it would be with a nice cut of meat! Very good indeed.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Filippi "Castelcerino" Soave Classico  
Review Date: 11-19-2014
WOW! That's what several of us were saying at a staff tasting where this Soave was the first wine we tasted. Pure and fresh, this is a delicious dry white wine. Soave is one of Italy's most popular white wines, probably because the good ones like this are so smooth, light, and easy to drink. This wine comes from an area just east of Valpolicella and the grape is Garganega. A great sipper for your holiday brunches.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Cabal / Smith Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-19-2014
If you like Pinot Noirs with more restrained fruit, then this Cabal/Smith Vineyard is a must try! The nose on this wine is very aromatic with pretty floral notes. There is a lot of pepper, herbs and minerality on the palate with soft fruits such as dark cherry and raspberry. The tannins are very polished and the long finish will have you reaching for more.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 95 JS 95

2012 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-19-2014
This Tongue and Groove Riesling is a fun wine at a great price! It is a medium dry style Riesling brimming with stone fruits, honeysuckle, chalky acidity and zesty minerality. Enjoy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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One of my go-to Chateauneuf-du-Papes, Guigal has been fashioning one of the most dependable and value-oriented Chateaneuf-du-Papes for as long as I can remember. The 2009 vintage in the Rhone Valley was a hot vintage and the 2009 Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape displays all the character of a warmer vintage with intense aromatics of marzipan, clove, grilled meat and cherry kirsch explode from the glass while the palate blends spicy cherry fruit, cranberry, red licorice and spice into a tightly-wound package. Dense and chewy this large-scaled offering is just beginning to open up and show all that it has to offer. This is shaping up to be one of the better Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Papes I have had.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2030

2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
Guigal is synonymous with the Rhone Valley. Consistently producing some of the region's best wines, their Chateauneuf is no exception. The 2009 CdP is decidedly old school, which is a very welcome expression. The nose has beautiful notes of Turkish coffee, roasted plums and spiced blackberries. The palate is loaded with even more exotic spices, marzipan and confiture of raspberries. This is finely balanced and expressive. This 2009 has that extra something that a lot of Chateauneuf has been lacking as of late - finesse! Ready to drink now with its polished tannins or worthy of laying away for a few years. Either way this is a terrific drink worthy of stocking up on.

2012 Mount Edward "Estate" Pinot Noir Central Otago  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
I've completely curbed my Burgundy spending in favor of our newest direct imports from New Zealand; specifically the Mount Edward wines. The cherry fruit is soft and pretty, the mixture of floral notes and baking spices in the estate selection enticing. Perfect balance of acidity. A fabulous Pinot Noir.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

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