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 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
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This wine gives a supple, lush entry onto the palate and then bursts into racing acidity, forming a vibrant and balanced wine. The flavors are smoky, brooding and savory while leaving an intense, mouth-coating aftertaste. A wine that really shows flash, sizzle and will make you start looking for your fork! Try this with prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin, or a classic guanciale-laden spaghetti carbonara and this wine's depth and flavor spectrum will be completed!
Drink from 2014 to 2018

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Vineyard pedigree and tremendous winemaking are on full display in this delicious Pinot Noir! There is plenty of sappy sweet fruit to balance the bright acidity and fine tannin. Notes of exotic spice, sandalwood and earthy savor make this yet another example of fine Pinot Noir hailing from the Central Otago region.

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 9-20-2014
It is wines like these that are putting New Zealand on the map! This Pinot Noir from Black Quail is so elegant, so complex, and so luxurious that the bottle will be gone before you know it. The aromas of dark fruit and spice carry on to the palate, and then wild herbs, underbrush, and spicy mineral notes carry on long after the wine has left your tongue. The mouth feel is silky smooth and balanced out with lively acidity. This wine will pair with many foods, but I am planning on serving this during the holidays when I make my mushroom, apple and herb dressing. Grab this before itís gone!

Chateau de Laballe K&L Exclusive VS Armagnac 750ml  
Review Date: 9-20-2014
A classic beauty. The Laballe VS is expressive with aromas that are floral and inviting. It has a light to medium body and a nice long finish. An excellent Armagnac.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 9-19-2014
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Beautiful rich Pinot Noir with a striking balance of pure dark fruit, exotic Asian spices, wild herbs and warm earth. An exquisite combination of power and precision with layers of soft fruit underlain with mineral and savory complexities. Silky smooth tannins and excellent length on the palate. This is primo Central Otago Pinot and a very attractive price!
Top Value!

2012 Honig Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-18-2014
Plush, yet structured, integrated oak and tannins, a great bottle to pop and serve this year, or cellar for up to 12 years from now. Incredible balance and class. This is classic Napa Cab at an even more classic price!
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-18-2014
This has the weight and texture you expect of Pinot from the Russian River Valley yet remains pure, bright and dry. An array of ripe red fruits, touches of earth and hints of spice evolve and expand as this opens up in the glass and the palate cleansing finish is clean and snappy.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml  
Review Date: 9-17-2014
Last time we were in Scotland, I full on freaked out in a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this diminutive bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for all the knowledgeable and gin soaked. Driscoll and Kurani had not yet experienced this legendary gin, but thanks to the UKs reasonable tasting regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule- we were soon dunking our noses in a few drops of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. Itís quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. Iíve got to stop trying to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true rollercoaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £40s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Spring Vale Estate "Melrose Vineyard" Pinot Noir Tasmania  
Review Date: 9-17-2014
From the cool region of Tasmania, the Spring Vale Pinot delivers a classic pretty, elegant Pinot Noir. The bouquet has lifted notes of plum, raspberry, strawberry and spice. This all sits on a delicate frame of a medium-bodied wine that offers the more feminine side of Pinot if not a version of a Fleurie or St. Amour from Beaujolais. Enjoy this with a favorite chicken or salmon dish, and even with a slight chill for an afternoon picnic.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 York Creek "Track" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-17-2014
After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of past vintages and the first Single Block offering, the 2005 Sunny Hill which we sold out in a matter of days, we thought weíd back up the truck again and offer you the 2004 ďTrackĒ. Another Single Block wine, again from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Track is a wine that is incredibly charming 10 years after vintage. Wildly aromatic and showing off the lovely forest driven, mushroom, sage and black currants that are synonymous with Spring Mountain this is every bit as expressive as any of the previous York Creek wines weíve sold. A bit more feminine in its approach however this combines dusty blue and black fruits with layers of bay leaf, olive tapenade, wild mountain berries and a long finish that alternates back and forth between savory and fruity. I truly thought this wine was one of the best I tasted from York Creek recently and is an insane value for $29.99. However like the 2005 Sunny Hill before it there are only 60 cases and we donít expect them to be around for very long. Act quick!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley  
Review Date: 9-16-2014
I love deliciously delicate red Burgundy. LOVE it. However, I cannot get deliciously delicate red Burgundy that really showcases incredible fruit these days for $23. I'll likely have to pay between $50-$100 for that experience. That's why K&L's new Australian import, Oakridge, is one of the most exciting new finds from our Southern Hemisphere buyers. The Guerin Vineyard Pinot Noir, with its colder climate and lighter body, is exactly what I want from Burgundy. It's soft, haunting, intricate, and nuanced. It just so happens that it comes from Australia instead of France. Magical wine that really forces you to re-examine your perception concerning the wines from Down Under. This is NOT your typical big-fruited, 90 point Shiraz-type fruit bomb. This is real deal stuff.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 95 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley  
Review Date: 9-16-2014
If you like big, high-alcohol, fruit-bomb Shiraz, then DO NOT get this wine. This Shiraz from Oakridge is for Northern Rhone lovers, people who crave Cote Rotie, and love that hint of black pepper underneath a delicate layer of dark red fruit. If I had tasted this blind, I would have guessed Northern Rhone and been entirely confident in that wager. AUSTRALIA? Jeez, I'm going to have to re-examine my feelings about Australian wine. This is amazing stuff.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "d'Aloisio Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley  
Review Date: 9-16-2014
One of the most exciting Chardonnays I have tasted in many years. If you love big, buttery and rich Chardonnays this wine is NOT for you. But... if you love great Chablis and Puligny Montrachet you will love this wine as it comes off as a combination of both of those famous wine regions in the glass. Both of those regions have gone crazy price-wise, which makes this wine even more unbelievable for $22.99! Loaded with intense green apple fruit, great freshness a touch of flintyness and lazer beam focus. Just incredible and always in my vacation box of wine!. Enjoy! -Ralph
Top Value!

2010 Atalon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 9-16-2014
With a brooding, dark berry aroma hinting at wild grape, and a concentrated palate of reduced plums made juicier with a malic tang, this seems a well-priced table Cab for roasts with port sauce, and fall-winter root vegetables.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-15-2014
From out of a lineup of domestic Pinot Noirs recently, this one really stole the show for me. Funny thing is, it isnít a show stopper: it is commendable for the restraint it displays. The fruit is very pure and natural, dialing back the ripeness quotient you often contend with in California Pinot Noirs, the flavors have intensity without heaviness, and the body is trim, taut, and focused; in other words, it shows all the gracefulness you might hope for in a Pinot, but which is often sadly lacking for one reason or another.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

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