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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2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana (1.5L)  
Review Date: 9-24-2014
I just opened this for our staff tasting recently and this little “Tuscan blend” stopped the show, with lots of oohs and ahhs from my coworkers. This wine has lots of bang for the buck (or EURO, very tough to beat these days). Medium–bodied with dark fruit, good acidity and a really long finish. A mag for $15 bucks! Grab these while you can!!!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Clot de l'Origine Macabeu "l'Original" Blanc  
Review Date: 9-24-2014
I am loving the wines of Marc Barriot. They are pure, fresh and expressive of their varietal character. They also have a distinctive edge. This white sees skin contact for two weeks, making it an "orange wine." It has lovely aromatics of peach pit, persimmon, honey and flowers. The skin contact gives it a distinctive texture adding body and complexity to the wine. If you have never tried this style before this is the perfect one to start with. Serve it with fresh cheeses, herb salad and maybe a walnut and eggplant spread.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 9-23-2014
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Once again delivering amazing quality for a very reasonable price. This is CLASSY Chard that is a real benchmark for the Margaret River region if not Australia as a whole. The wine has a beautiful balance of golden baked orchard fruits and some riper stone fruit aromas and flavors. Subtle toasty oak notes and some lovely nutty, brioche lees characters add complexity and texture. Very long and persistent on the finish. That classic Margaret River stoney minerality and saline quality coming through in spades. I think this is one of the most serious and well-made Chardonnays in the world at this price point. Super versatile with the holiday season quickly approaching, this has a bit of something for everyone!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020

2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia  
Review Date: 9-23-2014
The 2012 Vasse Felix "regular" Chardonnay is simply a beautifully crafted wine. Aromas of pear, Fuji apple, lemon blossom, jasmine, lightly toasted hazelnut and a flinty mineral note leap from the glass. On the palate, there is a perfect integration of fruit and the nine months in French oak the wine sees along with a focused juicy acid line through the wine that delivers a long finish that just makes you want more. No wonder winemaker Virgina Willcock and Vasse Felix were named winemaker and winery of the year in 2012 by Wine & Spirits magazine!

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 9-23-2014
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Amazing wine. Hard to fathom this combination of soft, rich, ripe texture, stunning purity, defined structure and piercing minerality all rolled into one. This wine is so unique and multidimensional. Very versatile and crowd-friendly and yet interesting enough for the "wine geek" inside all of us! Nice work Greg!
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Mount Trio Sauvignon Blanc Great Southern  
Review Date: 9-23-2014
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If you're looking for an alternative to the grassy Kiwi styled SVB this is your wine. Very clean, bright but more fig aromas than grass, it has nice balance and a compelling, fresh finish.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart JH 92 BC 0

2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia  
Review Date: 9-23-2014
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For lovers of California Chardonnay, this is an excellent wine with subtle toasty oak aromatics and a pliant texture on your palate, however it has so much more than that, the wine is fresh, has vibrant apple skin and leesy flavors and superb acidic structure. A real bargain at this price, and one of Western Australia's finest producers.
Drink from 2014 to 2017

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
I first brought in the Joseph Jewell wines back in the 2009 vintage. I always thought the wine was well made and our customers have always enjoyed them. The 2012 Russian River has reached new heights for the winery. A very feminine style of Russian River Pinot Noir with lovely cherry fruit, baking spice and just a hint of vanilla and cedar. Earthy notes show nicely throughout the mouth and the generous acidity weaves well through the lovely ripe fruit. Adrian and Micah have added another notch on their belt with this one.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2010 Von Strasser "Estate" Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 4% Merlot, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain is a gem. A blend of five vineyards from Diamond Mountain which Rudy has complete control of. Dark black and blue fruit with touches of cedar and spice with soft tannin and a lovely mineral backbone. Decant for an hour or hold for 3-5 years.

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
This is one of my top five white wines! Late harvest, low yields and a mineral-laden soil produces such a amazing wine. I know it is great when I can sit for a half an hour with one glass. Wonderful with food or on its own. No oak involved and none needed. Did I mention superb natural acidity? Give it a good decanting and watch the magic unfold. Intense, dry and fruity! What more could you want from a bottle under $20?
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
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Very pretty nose of red cassis, dark cherry, cream and light earth. Unfined and unfiltered, yet, not blocky or chunky. Bright cherries on the palate, with notes of spice and earth. Excellent acidity on the finish that adds grace and balance. A very substantial, and delicious, effort.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2011 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
If I had to pick a Napa mountain that I love the wine from, Howell Mountain would be at the top of my list. Dunn, Ladera, Neal Family, O'Shaugnessey and of course Robert Craig. Bright blue fruit combined with chocolate, menthol, pepper and cedar. The wine is deep and powerful with incredible length. A cellar candidate for sure.

2012 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
How does a winery make a wine of such beauty and balance for only $ 19.99? Rudy Von Strasser can. A nice balance of Diamond Mountain structure and acidity with valley floor ripeness just kissed with a touch of wood. One of my favorite wines on our California shelf.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
The Black Quail is a new find for us and a continuation of great Pinot Noir coming from Central Otago. The bouquet shows opulent dark plum, black cherry, boysenberry, some Asian spice, damp earth and a hint of dried orange peel. On the palate, the wine is rich and full bodied with good acidity and refined tannins that are superbly balanced and lead to a long persistent finish. This is the first time for us bringing this wine to the States, but it won't be the last! If you haven't discovered the joys of New Zealand Pinot Noir, it's time to get in the game.

Cain "Cuvée NV10" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Wow! I have always loved the Cain NV releases, and this NV10 did not disappoint. Instead of manipulating young wine to make it drinkable early, they blended two vintages to make a Cabernet blend that is naturally ready to go. The deft combination of even parts 2010 and 2009 has made for a curranty, fresh, medium bodied, fabulous drink!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

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