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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Nonino Quintessentia Amaro 750ml  
Review Date: 8-18-2014
A ton of orange peel in this one, with beautiful nuances of cocoa, vanilla, and baking spices. Gorgeous packaging makes this a candidate for leaving out for nightly consumption.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart WE 96 BC 0

Amaro Montenegro Di Bologna 750ml  
Review Date: 8-18-2014
One of my favorite Amaros! if you are new to the category I suggest you start with this one, not too bitter, not too sweet, and a great way to end a wonderful filling meal.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 97 BC 0

2005 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône  
Review Date: 8-18-2014
Incredible bargain for such a well made wine with nine years of cellar age! A great choice to have with lamb stewed until tender, over a pillow of polenta with a reduced pan sauce.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 JP & JF Quénard "Les Damoiselles" Vin de Savoie-Chignin Bergeron  
Review Date: 8-18-2014
A great discovery! Pretty with great depth and structure. Try this with a triple cream like St Andre or Cowgirl Creamery's Mt Tam, with a tomato jam or a pear, ginger, vanilla spread on crusty bread.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Blanc  
Review Date: 8-18-2014
I love the wines of Cassis, so bright and rich with minerality. Great food wines, I would serve this well chilled along side a big bowl of mussels in white wine with garlic and small pieces of preserved lemons, garnished with a generous amount of chopped parsley.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Pisa Range Estate "Black Poplar Block" Pinot Noir Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-17-2014
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Profound Pinot. Very deep and layered. Starts out with its quite beautiful bright purple / red color and vivid hues. The nose is haunting with spiced violets, thyme, black cherry compote and crushed slate. On the palate the wine is rich and energetic. Layers of dark berries, black cherry, damson plum, and toasted spices. Under all of these flavors is a fascinating vein of raw minerality and slightly wild bramble character. Plenty metamorphic soil qualities showing here in flavor and texture. Despite being quite concentrated and powerful there is nothing heavy or highly extracted about the wines, it is not viscous on the palate but rather lithe and dynamic. This wine again shows the incredible quality to be found in the 2012 Central Otago Pinots. Many believe it is the best vintage ever for the region and after glass of wine like this I can see why!
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2012 Mount Trio Estate Riesling Porongurup Western Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-16-2014
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Limey, juicy, floral and fresh. Lovely pure, dry Riesling. Tons of citrus flavors, preserved lemon, marmalade laced with stoney minerals and white blossom. Real drive and presence on the palate with med+ acidity and a mouthwatering finish. Exceptional value in Riesling. This wine just makes me wonder more than ever why Riesling isn't very popular...I could drink this every night! It also shows how this region is producing some of Australia's most exciting aromatic whites.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2011 Mount Trio Estate Shiraz Porongurup Western Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-16-2014
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Rich, ripe, juicy Shiraz with wonderfully bright aromatics and tons of soft fleshy mid palate weight. Quite a fruit driven style but with lovely savory / earthy nuances to keep it varietally correct and not moving into "fruit bomb" territory. Big, bold flavors but with ample balance and freshness. Asian spices show on the finish that is long and silky. This is sure to be a hit and won't last long.
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2013 Mount Trio Sauvignon Blanc Great Southern   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 8-16-2014
Fresh, juicy, crisp Sauvignon Blanc at a stunning price. Citrus, white florals, lemon grass and fresh crushed herbs. Super refreshing, crisp and dry. A great everyday white that is perfect with seafood, spicy cuisine or just by itself! Exceptional value.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart JH 92 BC 0

2013 Maimai Chardonnay Hawkes Bay  
Review Date: 8-15-2014
I was given a bottle of this to taste, and ended up building a dish around it that ended up working really well--a very simple garden zucchini soup that was blended and finished with a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of creme fraiche. The rich textures were great together, the chill of the Chardonnay against the warm soup; the pureness of the ingredients really brought out the minerality in the wine as well. So good, I went back for seconds of both.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cut Spike Nebraska Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 8-15-2014
Here is our latest entrant in American craft whiskey, a very tasty, skillfully made whiskey from Nebraska. Nebraska? Yes, Nebraska! As mentioned earlier, this is stylistically a Bourbon-meets Sherry-barrel-aged Single Malt. Lovely richness, lots of sweetness and spice from new American oak barrels, but most importantly, the balance, drinkability and elegance of a well made single malt Scotch. These folks clearly studied how things are done in Scotland, and it shows. Very cool new whiskey that is well worth a try!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Lambuena Roble "4 Meses en Barrica" Ribera del Duero  
Review Date: 8-15-2014
I've been saying it for the past seven years: red wine value is centered in Spain. Obviously, there is more to wine than just the flavor. There's intrigue, history, legendary vineyard sites, etc. But there's something to be said for just a great wine at a great price, and with the Lambuena, you're not sacrificing any of the above mentioned characteristics. Lambuena's fruit is grown in one of the best terroir locations in the Ribera del Duero, they add a touch of Merlot, a al Vega Sicilia, and the fruit is bio-dynamically grown. And, again, it's juicy, delicious, deep, and engrossing, and it's $12.99.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cut Spike Nebraska Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 8-15-2014
This rich, layered whisky shows just how good young craft malt can be. I am not a believer in paying a high price for young stuff just because it comes from a small hands-on distillery. It has to be in the bottle, and the Cut Spike has the stuffing to justify the price. It is rich and textural without being over the top, and has layers of complexity that caught me by surprise. If you are interested in seeing how good a new distiller can be, check it out!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cut Spike Nebraska Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 8-14-2014
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Fantastic! This didn't really take too long to grow on me, I was hooked at the first waft of the wonderful vanilla and malty aromatics. Long and rich with a great touch of sweetness--who knew the Nebraskans had been hiding this gem? It's definitely Scotch-like, but with a wonderful, smooth, rich twist that more than hints at its American roots.
Top Value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 8-14-2014
The Louis Roederer Cristal is a famous Champagne, and deserves to be an even more famous wine. This all estate grown Champagne comes from fifty hectares of the chalkiest, oldest vine sites on Roederer's 240 hectare estate. They farm these vineyards especially for Cristal, restricting the yields, and for many of the plots farming organically. This 2006 reminds me very much of the 2002 when it was this age; creamy and very mineral at once. It manages to have a full body and retain an extraordinary chalky freshness--I think this will be one of the greats.
Drink from 2014 to 2056

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