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 Carbonnieux Blanc, Graves  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
The great white Bordeaux of the world are some of the finest values in wine. Wines like this 2012 Carbonnieux Blanc have great aging potential and offer character, finesse and balance that is inimitable. If we had a white Burgundy of this quality for $100, it would be a great deal! This has plenty of great sweaty Sauvignon Blanc aroma as well as complexity from honeyed, gravely flavors.
Drink from 2015 to 2027

2009 Tronquoy de St-Anne, St-Estèphe  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Six years after a legendary harvest in Bordeaux, our owner Clyde is still finding unbelievable deals on 2009s. This property, which is adjacent to Montrose, has had a flood of investment, and the De St Anne, their second label, has profited from that. I think it would be hard to find a Cabernet lover that could find fault with this big, dark-fruited, rich wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2024
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2011 Capbern Gasqueton, St-Estèphe  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Looking for a Cabernet-based wine with a little bit of flash for not a lot of money? You found it! This generous, attractive St. Estephe has a smoky oak nose, plenty of dark fruit flavor and a good finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

Lagavulin 12 Year Old 2014 Edition Natural Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Why is the 12-year-old more expensive than the 16? There is a simple answer: selection. This is Lagavulin the way I remember it, bursting with oily, peaty personality and power. The peat becomes more layered and intriguing with a few drops of water. If you are looking for a full-throttle, manly Islay, this is very impressive.
Price: $105.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Maison Blanche, Médoc  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
This is a fantastic, Merlot-based Bordeaux at a fantastic price. The wine is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from the fabulous 2010 vintage. Red and blue ripe fruit with healthy notes of chocolate, tobacco and cedar wrapped by brilliant acidity. Tannins are alive and on the harder side but an hour in a decanter and this baby will open up and taste great.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

2009 Columbia Crest "Reserve" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Dark purple-black color in the glass. Subtle aromas of chocolate, earth, truffles, cassis, and blackberry. Juicy and plush on the palate with fair acidity and integrated oak tannins. This is ready to drink now and is a lovely wine that expresses Washington terroir very well.

2013 Petit Clos (Henri Bourgeois) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Made by esteemed Sancerre producer, Henri Bourgois, it's no surprise that this wine has some of that character. Lemon and lime blossom aromas mix with notes of grapefruit, passion fruit, a hint of tarragon and a flinty mineral note. On the palate there is good texture due to some time on the lees supported by zesty acidity that leads to a long finish.

2013 Petit Clos (Henri Bourgeois) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-15-2015
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Fantastic Savvy! Grown on a close-planted, organically farmed estate in Marlborough's Southern Valley sub-region. Clos Henri is a project owned by master vigneron family Domaine Henri Bourgeois from Sancerre. The wine is a lovely combination of New Zealand's typically overt, bright fruit and Sancerre's more classic, restrained personality, with focus and minerality. We really liked this wine and took a serious position on it to bring you the best pricing around. This is a real bargain for lovers of dry, crisp, refreshing whites.
Top Value!

2011 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Off vintages? Cos d'Estournel doesn't have off vintages. That's why their 2011 (an "off vintage") is still loaded with soft, succulent fruit, an earthy core of integrated goodness, and pretty notes of flowers and spice on the finish. The price is right as well. A good Cos vintage to invest in considering the lower bottle cost and the outstanding quality here.

2012 Poujeaux, Moulis  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
There's nothing like shopping in an off vintage to really illustrate how meaningless terms like "good year" or "bad year" really are. 2012 isn't a "good year" for Bordeaux, but you wouldn't know it after drinking a glass of the 2012 Poujeaux. The fruit is soft and open on the initial sip, but slowly fades into mineral notes and more earthiness. This is a wine that will definitely reward a few years in the cellar, but with decanting can be enjoyed now with a steak (or two).

2009 La Cardonne, Médoc  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
Despite the ripe vintage, the 09 Cardonne doesn't stray from the classic Bordeaux flavor profile. It uses the fantastic ripeness as a strength, but it still maintains a leaner, more subdued, classically claret-style of palate with dusty tannins on the finish. A great grab to drink now for those that appreciate the most restrained French flavor.

2010 Maison Blanche, Médoc  
Review Date: 1-15-2015
If you're looking for a more fruit-forward style of Bordeaux to drink now (as in tonight) then look no further. It doesn't get much better than this. The aroma is just stunning: lush red fruits that linger long on the nose. The palate has more of that promising aroma, but with just enough tannic structure to balance out the ripeness. California drinkers could easily crossover with this one. No need to lay it down. It's drinking perfectly right now.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

Highland Park "Dark Origins" Single Malt Whisky 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-14-2015
Highland Park peat is like no other that I've encountered, so far, on my whisky journey. And this whisky's response to a heavy dose of sherry is singular, too. "Dark Origins" is a NAS (no age statement) single malt, and as I understand it, many people have reservations and/or criticisms of this genre of whisky. Certainly, the opaque black bottle, the price point, and the "outlaw" backstory may set off some alarms, for some. Caution--am I being marketed to? Yes, but here's what I found: Highland Park don't fool around. This is a medium-bronze hue, not luridly dark (the label says, a naturally dark hue but does not specifically say it's not colored; it does state non-chill filtered). The peat aroma is of a floral, gentle heather sort, not a hot, burning heather like some young Islay peaters; there's milk chocolate, too, accenting the perfumy sherry--no walnut or rancio character, here. Like an HP 21-year that I sampled last year, this retains its applejack character to the last, but it's so refined, it's like the champagne of whiskies--the warmth spreads slowly across the palate, instead of quickly burning a retronasal path out and up. Maybe, eventually, I'll appreciate the more subtle, ethereal whiskies for what they are, but for now, this is like my perfect fantasy of what Highland Park can be--the subtle grace, plus a wee bit more stuffing.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Georg Albrecht Schneider "vom Rotliegenden" Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese Trocken (dry)  
Review Date: 1-14-2015
The nose on the Schneider Red Slate offers spice, sweet pea blossom, honey, golden apple, and just the faintest whiff of mineral and petrol way in the background. On the palate it is graceful and elegant, sporting a lush mouth-feel and weight, without any heaviness. The flavors keep to the floral, delicate side, and it wears its mineral component lightly. While dry, it finishes more plush and supple than brisk or austere. All in all, this is a complex and charming white wine that’s yours for a pittance!

2001 Tertre Daugay, St-Emilion  
Review Date: 1-14-2015
Developed wine still showing beautiful fruit and elegance. Plums, sweet coffee, dark cherries and very enticing spices, along with soft tannins and bright acidity framing the palate. This wine will benefit with an hour or two of decanting. It is a delightful Bordeaux that is ready to drink right now.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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