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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2011 Sons of Eden "Kennedy" Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre Barossa Valley   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-6-2014
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The answer to many critics and even some winemakers who have written off the 2011 vintage in South Australia. The vintage was one of the coldest and wettest on record with weather more like Seattle than Adelaide! However Simon and Corey have crafted a wine that is a shinning representation their grape growing / wine making skills and the ability of Barossa to produce incredibly delicious wines that are fresh, vibrant and a million miles away stylistically from the jammy, sweet fruit bombs that people often associate with the region. Never ones to make over-the-top wines anyway, the cards that mother nature dealt Simon and Cory in 2011 made them focus on purity and balance over bulk and brawn. This wine has fantastic purity of fruit and lovely ripe berry flavors, bramble fruit, loganberry. It also has sweet spice, black pepper and hint of charred steak. The wine is so supple and silky on the palate with super fine tannins and bright but soft acidity. The old vine (50+ yrs) origins of this wine show up on the finish with a lovely rocky, soil driven complexity adding yet another element to this complex wine. This has all the purity of fruit I want from Barossa with the layers and complexity I seek in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A really great bottle I implore you to try.
Drink from 2014 to 2020

2010 Urlar Pinot Noir Wairarapa New Zealand (Biodynamic)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-6-2014
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A new property that we are excited to be working with. These guys have a beautiful estate in Wairarapa on NZ's North Island. The vines are farmed organically and with some biodynamic principles also applied. The wines are precise and vibrant. The Pinot shows a nice dark edge to the fruit from the excellent and concentrated 2010 vintage. Black cherry, plum and even some cocoa powder nuances. There are some savory things here too, pine bark and lichen...? A nice framing from the oak of toasted spices completes the wine. Medium bodied in extraction with good ripeness and balanced acidity. This is a steal in the sub-$20 Pinot category.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Urlar Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Gladstone New Zealand (Biodynamic)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-6-2014
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A new property that we are excited to be working with. These guys have a beautiful estate in Wairarapa on NZ's North Island. The vines are farmed organically and with some biodynamic principles also applied. The wines are precise and vibrant. The Savy has a lovely snap-pea and lime zest nose with some lees character underneath. The palate is fresh and zippy with lots of drive and freshness. Quite exuberant for the region which can sometimes be more restrained, but the hallmark mineral, crushed rock tinge is also present in the finish. Great value for the $15 price point.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Framingham "Classic" Riesling Marlborough   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-5-2014
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Ummmmm I am a sucker for this style of off-dry, juicy, concentrated, pure Riesling. Preserved lemon, fresh peeled tangerine, a drop of lime juice. It's a play on sweetness and acidity all underpinned by Framingham's characteristic racy acidity that lends freshness and drive to the wine. Many believe these guys to be at the top of New Zealand's Riesling pecking order. They certainly know what they're doing and are making some stellar wines. In my top five for sure!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg" GrŁner Veltliner Wagram  
Review Date: 4-5-2014
Neither overly broad, nor enamel strippingly austere, the Am Berg has a generous mid-palate of sweet herb, yellow fruit, and tangerine that gets focus from lentil, pepper, and wet river cobbles notes. Better still, this charmer comes in at a very reasonable price.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Burn Cottage Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-5-2014
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To add to my notes and descriptors above...if you are seeking out the great Pinot Noirs of the world...you need to try this wine.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Framingham Pinot Noir Marlborough   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-5-2014
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A graceful style Pinot but with plenty of mid-palate concentration. Expressive nose of wild berries and forest floor, maybe even suggestion of smoke. The structure is supple with acidity playing the major role in elongating the wine on the palate. Quite moreish and easy to drink, showing purity and a nice level of restraint along side easy juicy red fruits and some leaf-litter savory components. Certainly more for the Burgundy lover than the big blockbuster Pinot folks. Pretty cool wine especially for this price point.
Top Value!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2013 Framingham Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-5-2014
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Lovely snappy, fresh, mineral driven Savy. Zesty citrus, crushed herbs, and some riper notes of lilikoi shine through. A nice lees contact component gives body and just a whisper of oak. Very balanced and precise with more complexity than most offerings in this price point.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

2010 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
A Napa Valley legend that continues to produce excellent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at a great price. Rich black fruit, cassis, cinnamon, clove and dark chocolate wrapped within lovely toasted cedar and vanilla. A nicely balanced wine with great length and structure. It will drink tonight but give it two or three years and it should be at it's best.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Dos Minas Torrontes Cafayate  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
This wine is exceptionally drinkable. Beautiful aromatics of orange blossoms, and dried apricots on the palate. Off dry, this is a very food friendly wine, a simple citrus salad with pistachios, or a yellow Thai curry with pork would make excellent pairings with this Torrontes.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Niepoort "Docil" Loureiro Vinho Verde  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Bright and refreshing, with great acidity, grapefruit pith, and lingering minerality.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2010 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Maybe I'm like most of you who, noting the name Freemark Abbey, believed this illustrious winery was founded by a bunch of industrious monks who, seeking to escape persecution, left some war-ravaged homeland in search of paradise and landed, miracle of miracles, in the heart of Napa Valley. But actually the winery took its name by combining those of the three owners- Charles Freeman, Markquand Foster and Abbey Ahern in 1939. Pretty clever huh? And seventy-five years later, this place is still making wondrous wines that shine like, well, the sunlight off a monk's pate. Just tasted the latest incarnation of their Cabernet Sauvignon, and it has all the classic, soulful components of a benchmark red wine created from premium Napa vineyards--Bosche, Potelle, Stage Coach and Round Pond. Aged for over 22 months in barrel, 40% new French oak, the lavish fruit expression of blackberry, black cherry and ripe plum on the palate is enhanced by notes of cedar, kitchen spice and sweet oak. Full-bodied, structured and elegant, this velvety Cab will deliver years of serious vinous pleasure, and just think, you won't have to work like a monk to enjoy it!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2012 Ch‚teau de Maligny Petit Chablis  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Right out of the bottle, this is a crisp little unoaked Chardonnay. But with a few minutes and some air, this wine becomes MUCH more interesting and really shows its limey, mineraly terroir. I enjoy Chablis as a sipping wine/aperitif, but it would also be wonderful with a spring risotto of leeks, asparagus, peas and Parmesan.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Freemark Abbey has been back on our radar for some time now and we are all fired up about their Cabernets. After a few years of less than stellar releases in the mid 90s/early 00s where they just seemed to be producing too much wine, they straightened up and have gotten back on the road to stardom. The 2010 Cabernet instantly reminded us of their classic wines of the 70s and 80s when Freemark Abbey were making slightly rustic, old-school wines with plenty of charm and varietal correctness. The nose is wonderfully reminiscent of Cabs of yesteryear with aromas of warm clay, black currant, olive and graphite, all the while remaining on the more savory side of the spectrum. Plush and inviting with rock solid black fruits this feels incredibly honest and real in a sea of Cabs that are just getting out of hand. Sure it has nice toasty oak, but it is fully integrated in the wine. Yes there are some great, structural tannins here but nothing that is going to make your teeth scream. The classic old leather, bay leaf, currant, black olive, cocoa powder flavors are like your favorite chair calling you in after a long work day. Get back to a true classic!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2010 Fanti Sant'Antimo Sassomagno  
Review Date: 4-4-2014
Man is this a great red wine for the price! Ripe fruit, but balanced, with a fresh finish. If you're accustomed to coming home from a long day at work and pouring yourself a glass of wine (with or without food) you will be stoked to find such a great deal. Seriously, the blend on this is nothing but friendly. The lack of tannins negate the need for food, and at 14% all you really need with this wine is a couch and prime time. Greg himself bought a case, and I won't be far behind him.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

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