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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2006 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
This is one of our sexiest Riojas. The classic richness and spice of the best Reservas but with a riper fleshier fruit component. More effusive aromatics and a lush palate make this a hard red to pass up for $20.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
One of K&L's all time best sellers. A mixture of dark and red fruits, pleasant oaky spice and a touch of earthiness all on a medium weight palate with just the right amount of tannins to give it a hint of grip. A great every day dinner red.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Fourcas Dupré, Listrac   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 2-17-2015
I love the coffee note that usually comes from the wines from this Chateau. This is an excellent, aged Bordeaux for $20. One that is ready to drink and better to have sooner than later! Great to have with a burger.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine du Tariquet "Classic" Cotes de Gascogne Blanc  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
This is a classic apertif; bright, light and crisp. Citrus dominated with just a wisp of something green and a touch of spice.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
Supple, juicy, cherry fruited Pinot Noir for those who like their Pinot Noir on the fruit forward side of things. Think Russian River valley, perhaps even Santa María Valley on this wine. Cambria Julia's vineyard PN in Coastal Chile....
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart JS 94 BC 0

2010 Mercedes Eguren Cabernet Sauvignon Vino de la Tierra de Castilla  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
Produced from a 25+ year-old Cabernet vineyard in La Mancha, there is a lot to like with this Cab, especially the fact that for under $10 you are getting tasty fruit but some honest tannins providing backbone and real structure. Somewhere between California and the Medoc lies this beauty.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva Mendoza  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
I remember when this was available to sell for $15 per bottle, a pretty good wine for the price, but at $10 we simply could not pass it up! This is a beautiful Malbec from a very strong vintage in 2012. Fruit is sourced from vineyards located in the villages of Agrelo and Las Compuertas, in the Lujan de Cuyo district, the classic zone for high quality, older vine fruit, as well as from parts of the Uco Valley. The wine is generous but bright, medium-plus in body and ready to crack open for a weeknight supper. Muy tasty!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2012 Plumpjack "Estate" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
Rich and concentrated with intense black and blue fruits surrounded by layers of cedar, vanilla,chocolate and a touch of raspberry. This is a great effort from one of Oakville's finest. I would drink young but it will hold for 4-6 years.

1981 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Gran Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
A classic wine from the uber classic 1981 Rioja vintage (perhaps the dark horse for vintage of the decade), this is wonderful, traditional, long aged Gran Reserva Rioja. Lopez de Heredia owns a wonderful, old, sizable vineyard in Viña Tondonia, harvests the fruit by hand, ferments in huge oak vats, and then racks their wine to very old oak barrels for a deep slumber. For their gran reservas, the wines are bottled by hand, finished with a very high quality Catalan cork, hard sealing wax, and allowed to rest for years in their perfectly stable, cool, humid, riverside cellar. Their '81s are a rare treat, and will likely become increasingly difficult to find these days.

2010 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
The well priced Alexander Valley from silver oak is a bright velvety wine with generous notes of tobacco,coffee and cassis. Enjoy now to 2020.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
Many folks are very much aware of the La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" bottling. In contrast to the Ardanza, the "904" contains Tempranillo and Graciano (no Garnacha) and is every bit as traditional with aging in used American oak barrels for 48 months, racking twice a year, and then further aging in bottle. The wine always has a sumptuous, velvety texture, with more bass notes in place of Ardanza's higher toned, red fruited profile, and a lovely, meaty savor to the wine. In a vintage as strong as 2004, La Rioja Alta's "904" will surely make for old bones, and only get better and better for those disciplined few who have the will power to lay off their bottles for a while!

2005 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
This is another strong vintage of Ardanza to follow their very good 2004 and classic 2001 bottlings. What is the bottle I most often recommend to those looking for a classic Rioja? The wine I am most likely to order at a restaurant upon touching down in Madrid, heading in the rental car and hitting the wine road? The wine that should you see older vintages is most likely to impress you with it's gorgeous aromatics and fruit? Yes, Viña Ardanza. Very tough to go wrong with this one!

2010 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
The 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. The wine goes to 100% new American oak barrels for aging. The wine is ready to drink but will hold for 3-8 years. Silver Oak fans will not be disappointed.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Maipo Valley  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
This is impressive juice! Santa Ema, long known for producing a satisfying, slightly toasty, American oak driven style of value Cab, appears to have changed tack. Here we have an elegant Cabernet, with lovely aromas of currants, wild blueberries, both just on the point of ripeness, similar to that piece of fruit that is just ripe enough to have not lost its delicious, bright, tanginess. A fresh, juicy palate shows a surprisingly light touch, with silky tannins and loads of drinkability. 13.5% ABV. What an impressive Cabernet from this venerable producer!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2005 Marques de Murrieta "Castillo Ygay" Gran Reserva Especial Rioja  
Review Date: 2-17-2015
The 2005 Ygay gran reserva, same as the 2004 bottling, is great. This gran reserva is marked by a healthy proportion of Mazuelo (around 7%) which thrives in this slightly warmer, drier, more Mediterranean influenced area just outside of Logroño. Ygay is a proven ager, with its rich red fruited profile often outshining other top bodegas' gran reservas (their 1978 comes to mind....)

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