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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2004 Moet & Chandon "Dom Pérignon" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-31-2014
Such a huge bounce back from the awkward 2003 vintage. Pear orchard, with white flowers, and hints of toasted almonds. We enjoyed this in the sun with a plate of salty prosciutto, sliced apples, and local cheese. My only complaint was that we didn't have another bottle!

2010 Königschaffhausen Steingrüble Spätburgunder Trocken  
Review Date: 3-31-2014
A product of the sun drenched, volcanic soil vineyards of Baden, this is one of the richest, and most lush Spatburgunders that I have ever experienced. The grapes are hand picked from a single vineyard where the vines are at least thirty years old, are then macerated on their skins for two weeks before spending eleven months in a large neutral oak barrel. I happily enjoyed this with Dijon and herbed panko crusted rack of lamb with an enriched red wine and rosemary demi glace.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Spellbound California Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-31-2014
A great price and easy to drink and enjoy. The Spellbound Chardonnay is juicy with a little hint of oak and butter that does not dominate the wine. It is clean and refreshing and should go well alone or with fish or chicken.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 True Myth Edna Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-30-2014
Let’s begin at the finish this time, because that’s my favorite part of this wine. What this has over a lot of other California Chardonnays, of this (or any) price range, is enviably clean, crisp fruit. If you don’t like them too tropical, or highly oaked, then this one is for you. While the wine does see some new cooperage, it is far from its dominant feature, only imparting a little vanilla to the medium bodied, candied citrus flavors. This squeezes a number of virtues into a value priced, domestic Chardonnay bottle: nicely done.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2008 Bodegas Muriel Reserva Rioja  
Review Date: 3-30-2014
Ever so often I come across a wine that's text book classic of where it comes from. And in the case of the Muriel, it is not only classic but also a pleasure to be had. Beautiful coffee notes, along with plums, nuts, and coconut, perhaps due to slight oxidation and maturity in barrels. Complex and yet affordable, this will pair easily with say, a pork roast, Greek food especially moussaka, and of course... Lamb!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart DC 95 BC 0

2012 True Myth Edna Valley Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-30-2014
The label on this Edna Valley Chardonnay depicts a gossamer-clad maiden with arms that twist into tree limbs, releasing a spectrum of colorful butterflies instead of leaves. OK, I thought, just open the wine and give it a swirl, hoping no bewinged painted ladies, blues or swallowtails fly up from the glass. Instead, the wine delivers a cascade of lilting flowers and citrus aromas, hints of lime, white pear, cut pineapple and a kiss of vanilla on the supple, expansive palate. And to be honest, when I first saw the name "True Myth" on this wine I thought, hm, oxymoron... a myth or a fact, but not both. Now I'm a believer, and for the incredible price of $12.99, you will be too!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2012 Poet's Leap (Long Shadows Vintners) Columbia Valley Riesling  
Review Date: 3-29-2014
Off-dry, bright, clean, and mouthwatering acidity. Delicious with Thai food.

2012 Erik Banti Morellino di Scansano  
Review Date: 3-29-2014
The ultimate Wednesday night pizza/pasta wine? Perhaps. Affordable? Direct import pricing at $12.99. Check. Food friendly? Bright and lively with a moderate 13% alcohol. Check. Tasty and delicious? This blend of mostly Sangiovese with a little Merlot and a dollop of Ciliegiolo explodes from the glass with ripe, fresh raspberry notes and finishes smoothly with soft tannins. Check and check. Pick up a few bottles to have on hand for those nights when "preparing dinner" means a phone call to your favorite local pizzeria. You can enjoy a glass while you wait.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Truchard Carneros Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 3-29-2014
One of the most successful wines from the difficult 2011 vintage I have yet tasted. Very pretty with bright cranberry and rhubarb notes. Very well done.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra  
Review Date: 3-29-2014
Kudos to the buyer of our Spanish wines, Joe Manekin, for launching a direct import program. So far his hard work has yielded a great lineup of delicious, affordable wines. The 2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra is one of the latest. Mostly Mencia, unoaked, and just amazingly good for under $20. A little earthy, a little floral, a little spicy. Bright and lively with good grip. What a find!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine Paul Pernot Bourgogne Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-29-2014
As a fan of Puligny Montrachet, I always look forward to the arrival of the Paul Pernot wines. Made entirely of declassified Puligny fruit, the Bourgogne blanc at $21.99 is consistently one of the best Chardonnay values in the store. This 2012 vintage is similar in style to the 2011 - forward and approachable but with more richness and weight. Classic Puligny with superb minerality and fresh citrus notes. My new house white.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Dragonette Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 3-28-2014
Bright, California style Pinot. On the richer side, but great spice that comes through. A very well made wine.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Torbreck "Juveniles" Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre Barossa Valley South Australia   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-28-2014
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I am normally a fan of this release from Torbreck, In fact I often like it over some of their much more expensive bottlings that can be a bit excessively brawny for my tastes. However this 2011 release is something really special. The vintage was exceptionally cold in Barossa and due to this the wine has a very elegant structure and more restraint than one might expect from these varietals and region. The wine is aromatic with floral spice notes and a touch of cracked peppercorns. On the palate the wine is decidedly medium bodied with incredibly silky soft tannins and supple mouth feel. It is vibrant and soft with balanced, gentle acidity and plenty of length on the palate despite the wines elegant form. A lovely reflection of what can result from a tricky cool vintage.
Top Value!

2005 Poggio il Castellare Brunello di Montalcino  
Review Date: 3-27-2014
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I was really impressed and truthfully surprised at how well this wine has developed. Layers of complex aromas couched in a supple and rich fruit center. Great balance and length and a surprisingly (once again) finish. I really enjoyed this wine and it is drinking now through the next 6-8 years. Try it with your favorite pork roast! Nothing like Sangiovese and Pork…
Drink from 2014 to 2022

2011 Lustig Grüner Veltliner (1L)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-27-2014
Apple, citrus, pear and zippy acidity make this liter of Gruner a no-brainer for parties! At this price, how could you not buy this by the case?!?
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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