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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1990 Bruichladdich 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
This, for me, is the quintessential 'Laddie. Often we compare Bruichladdich to it's smoky siblings on Islay. By describing it in this context, we are undoubtedly misrepresenting it's character. It is not a light fresh floral malt, but remains a rugged powerful ocean whisky. Despite it's lack of peat, this whisky shows power and depth. The nose draws the perfect line between the exotic wood and savory nuts of the refill sherry. IN the background, a fresh saline spray is apparent. Upon entry, what seemed dark and pensive is now expressive and free. Beautiful fresh fruit flavors mingle perfectly with deep flavors inherent. All along a slight salt nibble. It is indeed non slouch, but instead an Islay stunner of the truest sense.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1997 Glenrothes 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
Oh man, oh man this is a doozy. This whisky is going to make so many people happy. I don't remember this being quite so good back in Scotland and what this Glenrothes does right is exactly what lovers of Glenrothes will notice. The nose is powerfully sweet, dried figs, spiced cakes, chocolate frosting. Based on the nose the mouth was certain to keep this theme, but instead the earthy depth of the 'Rothes spirit pops its head up. Bringing earthy and leathery notes into the fold balances any fears of this being overly sweet. A fine Rothes to say the least.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Imperial 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 11-18-2014
Without a doubt the Imperial is the biggest surprise of the trip. When we found this cask is was among a host of similar Imperials. We painstakingly examined each one, but even in the cold warehouse this cask stood out. Aromatically unabashed, the nose is all dark spiced oranges coating freshly made almond brittle. The balance on the palate is impeccable staying focused and lifted for power. This is a real stunner.
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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The desire to call Sesta's 2012 Rosso a "baby" Brunello is really coursing through my veins, as much as I don't like to use the phrase, but man this wine is something. This wine so complete, with such depth of flavor, so much fruit and such perfect balance; it is stunningly good for the price and remarkably drinkable now, although I'll be aging a six-pack myself for another few years. If you're new to Brunello, this is a great wine to get familiar with the region at a really good price.
Drink from 2014 to 2022
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2013 Fujanera "Bellalma" Falanghina Puglia  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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This 100% Falanghina is delicious, it's fermented in stainless steel, and then kept on its lees for two months before being bottled. The nose is a complex perfume of elderflowers and white peach, with a bit of crushed stone that is couched in a med-full body, and it has a long and decidedly refreshing finish. Perfect with Crab or just by itself!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana (1.5L)  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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2012 Erik Banti Carato Toscana IGT $7.99 Erik Banti’s Carato is a Mini Super Tuscan! It’s a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo aged for 10 months in oak barrels and is just delicious. The wine tastes like it should cost much more, full, smooth, flavorful with excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying Wow!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo (1L)  
Review Date: 11-17-2014
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Giovanni Blason’s tiny winery is only 10 miles from Italy’s eastern border with Slovenia, and here he produces excellent wines for bargain prices! This 2013 vintage was Giovanni's best Pinot Grigio so far, the richness, complexity and balance. This wine recived 2 Glasses in Italy's #1 wine reviewer Gambero Rosso with an additional indication for its unbelievable price to quality ratio. This wine sees no oak treatment just some gentle lees stirring to add a bit of richness. Your holiday go to Pinot Grigio for sure!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Lestruelle, Médoc  
Review Date: 11-16-2014
Full bodied and concentrated, this Bordeaux displays an intense nose of dark chocolate, licorice, dark cherries and some beautiful notes of violets. On the palate the high acidity is noticed and very welcomed for the over all balance of this wine, along with a good amount of oak spices. The fairly high tannins need some resolving with a few years in the cellar, or a good decanting will do. The sustainable agriculture method used by this property make it even more enticing. As for pairing, I would suggest heavy dishes, like stews, or a fatty cut of meat.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre  
Review Date: 11-14-2014
We have carried this wine for a couple of years now and I have always enjoyed it. The 2013 just came in last week and...wow! The BEST yet! Three stars from Guido. Lots of limestone and flint on the palate; has wonderful length and is food friendly. This would be a great luncheon wine -- maybe baked goat cheese with fines herbs and baguette?
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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This is a highly fragrant wine. Purple flowers, a touch of lavender and anise on the nose. The palate is fresh and vibrant with lifted tones of fresh forest fruits, ground clove, star anise and some juicy raspberry as the mid-palate fleshes out with air. The wine is incredibly exotic and yet very focused and quite structured at the same time. It possesses a bright acidity and the unmistakable vibrancy that comes from deep limestone-rich soils. I can't wait to see how this wine ages; something tells me that it has a decade-plus ahead of it, and yet it is so expressive right now. This type of wine experience illustrates why people persist trying to make wine in very challenging places like the Waitaki Valley...because when things come together, vines on the edge of their existence produce the most exquisite and remarkable wines...just like this one!
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2013 Guy Saget "Marie de Beauregard" Vouvray   | Approved
Review Date: 11-14-2014
Guy Saget has crafted a perfect introductory Vouvray, striking all the hallmarks that define the region’s expression of Chenin Blanc. The nose is subtle, if not restrained, but the palate is where the wine reveals its abundance of fresh pear, orange blossom, fennel, and honey. Sea shell minerality and just a touch of residual sugar add welcome dimensions of complexity, while the lifted but comfortable acidity keeps everything afloat. If you’ve not yet experienced the perfection that is Vouvray paired with Thanksgiving dinner, do yourself a favor and give this crazy value a chance.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2013 Claude Riffault "Les Boucauds" Sancerre   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-14-2014
The ‘Les Boucauds’ is very racy and zippy. The nose shows notes of bright lemon peel, a hint of flint and minerality. The palate provides sharp, mouthwatering acidity and a very linear and focused backbone of minerality. Notes of limoncello, orange blossom and lime zest are perfect for seafood or simply sipping on those inevitably, unseasonably warm winter days in SoCal.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2013 Daou Vineyards Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 11-14-2014
This is the most bang for the buck you can get in California! Loaded with black licorice, mocha, black cherry, cola and Asian spices, the 2013 Daou really blew me away. The concentration of this wine is deep and intense, while still keeping a round, seamless mouth feel. When you taste this wine it is hard to believe it is under $25!

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are “hands-on” creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston “Carte Blanche’s” exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name “brands,” but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Our Wine Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 11-14-2014
I LOVE ORANGE WINE (In case you're unfamiliar with what Orange Wine is, basically, it's white grapes pressed and left in contact with the skins/lees for a super long time...like years instead of days or months...). This Georgian beauty is full of flavors of roasted citrus peel and a crazy wonderful herb garden. It's almost waxy in texture and so grippy tannic! This is so "new" to most Americans but so old school in Eastern Europe. This is my winter white.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

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