Staff Favorites - Susan Thornett

Susan Thornett
Iíve 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. Iím not a beer expert by any means but we have a great selection here at K&L and Iím having a great time working my way through - hope you can join me!

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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

SMWS 36.82 Benrinnes 17 Year Old "Rare Release" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 12-12-2014
Our second cask from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a BIG winner. I love Benrinnes distillery. When we visited the site during the Spring of 2014, the staff couldn't have been nicer and whisky couldn't have been tastier. We're always poaching casks of Benrinnes from Signatory when we see them available because of its rich, vanilla-laden, cookie dough character. This SMWS bottling is a 59% jolt-in-the-arm version of that flavor profile. Big, chewy richness, tons of power through the mid-palate, and a dessert-like finish that really drives home the flavor. Great whisky from an underrated distillery. That's what we're all about!
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Glenfarclas "The Faultline Casks" K&L Exclusive First Fill Oloroso Sherry Casks Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-11-2014
This should come with some kind of warning..."Dangerously drinkable"..."Caution: contents will disappear quicker than intended"..."Drinking this bottle will impair your ability to judge other releases fairly". It's seriously that good. Rich, soft, full of flavor and texturally enticing and just an out-and-out "crowd pleaser." You can search high and low and you won't find a better holiday gift than this bottle. It has brand recognition, it's limited edition, it's cask strength(ish) at 57% alc...and it tastes great!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Pipeau, St-Emilion   | Approved
Review Date: 12-11-2014
A great gift for the holidays, this Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is a fantastic choice for those interested in Bordeaux, and yet desiring something a bit more approachable than bigger Cabernet-based wines. Medium to full-bodied and with very bright fruit, the wine is gorgeously balanced with a lot of spice towards the end. Lovely!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

SMWS 36.82 Benrinnes 17 Year Old "Rare Release" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 12-11-2014
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It is rare that I wax poetically about single malt Scotch but this extraordinary spirit was so unique and exciting that I had to put pen to paper. The nose struck me so much that I spent literally 10 minutes just nosing the glass--I usually find single malt to fall into either a peaty or fruity category but this was different, it was just magic. The nose was a twisting, flowing breadth of freshness. Never have I seen a minty sweetness in a malt nose, and this example was enchanting, and while it was so inviting there were hints of peat spice, not the simple camphorish version but saturated smoke, depth and persistence. So impressive on the palate but this malt needs water, it is cask strength and at 59.5% a little bit of water will open the malt up as well as your experience. Truly worth the price, a tremendous spirit.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Fujanera "Arrocco" Nero di Troia  
Review Date: 12-11-2014
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Medium-deep ruby in color, the exotic nose offers up truffles, forest floor, clove-like, leathery, mocha, and blueberry characteristics, which carry over to a distinctive, well-focused, round, rich, and viscous set of flavors and texture. The finish on this Gem is long and loaded. Rusty has informed me that we need to make this Gem one of our house reds for the next x-amount of months or for however long it is around. Donít miss this puppy! ............... 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Spellbound California Petite Sirah  
Review Date: 12-10-2014
Deep purple in the glass. Aromas of ripe and dried blueberries and mixed berry pie. Luscious and velvety on the palate with velvety smooth texture, a touch of vanilla bean toast, and a very supple finish.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

The Original Grand Crus of Burgundy by Charles Curtis MW  
Review Date: 12-10-2014
Anyone who loves Burgundy needs a copy of this book. Mr. Curtis puts these great wines into historical contextÖ And what a rich context there is! It is humbling to know that the greatest sites in the world were identified hundreds of years ago, and this book brings that story to light. While the price for this paperback book is low, be warned, it will end up being expensive after you buy all of the ďsecret sitesĒ forgotten by the current system of crus!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Wittmann Estate Riesling Trocken   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 12-10-2014
This has filled out nicely and is drinking very well. Firm minerality with a lavender-like overtone stands on equal ground with the bright tropical and stone fruit. Displays excellent terroir for an entry-level wine from Wittman's plots in and around Westhofen. I tasted this wine at the estate in 2011, but they didn't have any wine left to sell. The 2010 vintage saw extremely low yields and this is an excellent find. For their value and versatility, QbA trockens from top estates are the foundation of modern fine wine culture in Germany. This is a prime specimen.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Michael & David "6th Sense" Lodi Syrah  
Review Date: 12-9-2014
Incredibly surprising or surprisingly incredible, either way I think those two statements describe the new releases from the Michael & David winery. Always known for their amusing labels and marketing I think the most recent batch of wines will make people take notice for just how much quality is in the bottle for such little cash. The style of wine is still full throttle, fruit driven and bold, as the wines always have been but there is much better balance in the wines overall and most importantly I found there to be no discernible residual sugar in the wines. These are a must try for fans of exuberant Domestic Wines for reasonable prices. The 2012 6th Sense Syrah was really eye opening for me. Iíve tried this wine for years and itís always been a bit clumsy in regards to its ripeness levels, not so much this year! Now donít get me wrong this is not Northern Rhone Syrah but it is a wildly pleasurable fruit driven Syrah for a measly $12.99 and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Aromas of chocolate ganache, wet black top and white pepper are very alluring leading to a exuberant palate of raspberry coulis, sweet licorice, pipe tobacco and wild berry cobbler with fine tannins and a stealthy long finish of toasted coconut and black pepper. A complete steal for fans of ďbigĒ wines.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2012 Michael & David "Freakshow" Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 12-9-2014
Incredibly surprising or surprisingly incredible, either way I think those two statements describe the new releases from the Michael & David winery. Always known for their amusing labels and marketing I think the most recent batch of wines will make people take notice for just how much quality is in the bottle for such little cash. The style of wine is still full throttle, fruit driven and bold, as the wines always have been but there is much better balance in the wines overall and most importantly I found there to be no discernible residual sugar in the wines. These are a must try for fans of exuberant Domestic Wines for reasonable prices. Iím a big fan of party rock. Think Rick Springfieldís Working Class Dog album or any of the great Power Pop Albums of the late 70ís early 80ís like The Beatís Self Titled album. These are certainly not the most critically acclaimed albums but when you hear them, especially at a party they really make everyone feel good, loosen up and start moving around the room. I sort of felt this way about the Freakshow Cab. Not the most critically amazing wine but damn if it doesnít taste great and wonít please everyone in the room. Under $20 this is like a record that has 3 hits on it that youíll never get tired of and is in the dollar bin, pure magic. Deep, with silky black fruits and a nice waft of tobacco this is palate coating and intense wine that really brings some fun to the Cabernet game. Blackberry, spice cake, toffee and café con leche flavors are all apparent here and are meshed nicely. Itís going to be hard to beat this cab for this price.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Antech "Cuvťe Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux   | Approved
Review Date: 12-9-2014
'Tis the holidays, and that means one thing: SPARKLING WINE! Straight from the Limoux (the ORIGINAL producers of sparkling wine in France - yes, they beat Champagne) comes this gorgeous blend of Chardonnay, Meunier, and Mauzak. Vibrant apple and pear notes sit perfectly amongst a tight concentration of bubbles with a long finish. An awesome choice to toast the season of giving. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodega Mendel "Estate" Malbec Mendoza  
Review Date: 12-9-2014
This is great Malbec. Typically a very solidly built, well structured wine, the 2012 Mendel is no exception, with loads of black cherry and blackberry fruit, hints of dark chocolate and well balanced tannin structure. This is a wine made from great quality, older vine (85 year-old qualifies as old, right?) fruit in Lujan de Cuyo, and it is always one of the very best Malbecs we carry. Highly recommended.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart JS 94 BC 0

2013 Bethel Heights/K&L Wine Merchants Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 12-8-2014
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A little more reserved and should age well in the cellar. If drinking now decant one hour and serve with lamb shanks or cassoulet.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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