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!

Page: 1  2  3  4  5  next  >>
2013 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
A California legend, the Red Shoulder Ranch has been wowing Chardonnay fans since 1994. No malolactic fermentation but the lees help add depth and creaminess. Stone fruit, citrus and a cornucopia of other flavors nicely integrated together with a touch of acid and cedar.

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Perhaps our greatest triumph to date because making good whisky cheap (or should that read “cheap whisky good”) is DANG hard work. I don't know if there is a product that we sell that I've spent more time or energy on getting right. We literally went through hundreds of samples of blended whisky from multiple suppliers. I worked meticulously with the artist to create the perfect label to exemplify this special blend. Ultimately, what we chose to blend wasn't necessarily the most powerful or intense option, but instead the goddamned most drinkable thing we could find at any price. We insisted it not be colored and bottled at 100 proof because while it was tasty at 80 proof, a whole lot of this stuff was going to go into long drinks and over rocks. Nothing else on the market stands up so well in a drink -long, short, classic whatever! The added proof does wonders to improve the flavor not to mention add texture. The inclusion of the beautiful bevy of Islay, Island, and Highland single malt give it depth, but the lack of caramel coloring might be the real reason this worked so well. The color will undoubtedly scare some old school whisky drinkers–it’s really really light in color. We’ve been conditioned by the industry to think, darker is better. Producers believe (and not without reason) that consumers will taste with their eyes first and therefore the negative flavor effects of the chemical coloring are vastly outweighed by the psychological effects of the dark color – it should be noted that some believe the addition of caramel color might enhance flavor of blended whisky, I am not one of those people. It is indeed true that consumers prefer darker colored whisky even if it’s the exact same stuff. Conditioning is a powerful thing. If the light color is a problem for you, please close your eyes (figuratively) because we are indeed incredibly influenced by our visual perceptions and this whisky deserves a fair shake. Needless to say, I was personally very happy with the final product before it shipped, but we knew the true test would always be when the real whisky geeks got hold of it. You know the guys who NEVER hold their tongue, no matter how obviously important or irritating something might be to you. Love those guys. While some diehards thought it was "pretty darn good for the price,” as expected, other whisky heads just about fell out of their chairs when they tasted it. "How much of this stuff do you have? I'm gonna bunker at least 2 cases…no 3 cases. Do you have enough?" Music to my ears. For now, yes we have enough, for now…
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Raymond Fabre Crozes-Hermitage  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
It's Wednesday night, right, so maybe you're in the mood for a big juicy bacon, mushroom and swiss burger to go along with that latest big juicy action flick, Spiderman vs. Speedoman or Ironman Finally Rusts 7, but what wine do you pour? Something with rich, mouthwatering flavor and just enough sinew to compete with the endless earth-shattering explosions onscreen. Since I track the Northern Rhone like an insect and just opened this Crozes-Hermitage, well....it's a medium-built, savory Syrah with impressive aromas and notes of bright cherry-red fruit, garrigue and licorice, with a welcome tinge of pepper and minerality on the solid finish. So bring on the monster cheeseburger and silly spandex superheroes, this supertasty red wine can handle 'em, and with no special effects needed.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image
I absolutely love this wine, the best thing they've done... that I can remember. The nose is full of earth, spice, leather, dried wild cherries and is a powerful statement from the nose. On the palate a classic, long, slightly leathery character is in the middle of a broad, rich and luxurious follow through. Layers of spice, plum, wild cherry, wild herbs in a long procession of flavors marching to the finish. In the finish a long, persistent and so satisfying end, Super wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2035

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
The Aspasie Blanc de Blancs is a bottle I reach for time and time again. Perfect for almost any occasion that I can think of, from parties to picnics there is something here for everyone. From the immediate aesthetics of the clear glass holding in the beautiful straw gold elixir, to the beautiful breadth and depth that comes from single vineyard Chardonnay. Sun ripe stone fruits greet you, followed by lemon curd and a hit of toasty baguette. The textures is opulent, a kiss of minerality, and a long beautiful finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
There is not another bottle of Pink Champagne that offers this value in the store, end of story. This perfectly crafted bottle of bubbles is sensational wine, and at a price that I can afford to drink more than just one special occasions. A pretty coral pink greets you in the glass, alongside a nose vibrant cherry, sweetened dried cranberry, and anise spice. Elegant red fruits burst on the scene out of the glass, kissing your palate with lifted notes rose petal and wild cherry. So good!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Meli Carignane Maule Valley  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Our Chilean wine buyer Joe smashed so many of my prejudices yesterday that I woke up confused this morning. His biggest triumph over my closed mindedness was this triumphant selection... A Carignane that is a contender for the best red wine in the store at under $15. This is a perfect BBQ wine, spicy, smoky, black fruited. Think of it like Zin, but with more structure and less heat and find some brisket to have with it!
Top Value!

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Alex Le Brun is one of our newest and most exciting producers we are lucky enough to import here at K&L. Getting to know the style of a new producer means some painstaking, grueling work, having to taste Champagne is pretty tough after all. It was a joy to discover his wines, made in a style that is serious, but not fussy, and absolutely delicious. The Tradition is a joy, toasty on the nose, baked core fruit, with intriguing spice. Bubbly and fresh on the palate with a pleasantly round mouth feel and texture, ending up lengthy and clean.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $34.99
BC 0

2014 Pipeño Pais "Coronel de Maule" Maule Valley (1.0L)  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
After 20+ years in the wine business it is great to find a bottle that is singing a song that I have never heard before... And enjoying it! This old vine Mission wine has the dark, granite infused fruit of a Morgon, the acid and tannic spine of a Roero Nebbiolo and a fun personality that is completely unique. Where are the beef empanadas? I am ready to do some liter drinking!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Familia Zuccardi "Q" Cabernet Sauvignon Gualtallary and La Consulta Valle de Uco  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
Our South American buyer Joe blew the staff away yesterday with his stereotype breaking selections! This wonderful Cabernet from Familia Zuccardi is full bodied, but has the magic lift that one rarely finds outside of the Medoc in Bordeaux. It is a powerful, dry wine with excellent cassis flavors and best of all a long, bright, mineral driven finish. The only thing missing is a big Gaucho steak!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva Mendoza  
Review Date: 3-4-2015
I love wines that prove my prejudices wrong. This generous, spicy, dark fruit style Malbec is soft and easy to drink, but still has enough spine and structure to encourage me to come back for more. At this price, it is an absolute steal... Real wine for a song!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
We bottled this cask for those folks who like light, fruity-style whiskies and for those super geeks out there who want to see what young Highland whisky tastes like before the wood has completely taken over. It's bright, fresh, floral, and entirely reliant upon the inherent flavors within the Mortlach spirit itself. If you want to know what Mortlach tastes like before all the sherry maturation has sunk in, this one's for you.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1990 Girvan 24 Year Old Sovereign K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
Of the three grain whiskies we just brought in, this is the most definitive. This is the light, fruity, somewhat grainy (who would've thought?) profile that we've come to love in whiskies like the Nikka Coffey. Loves to love, and over ice it's an absolute dream.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Poggio al Tufo "Rompicollo" Toscana  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image Reviewer image
This is an outstanding wine for this price, a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet from Coastal Tuscany. 2012 was an excellent vintage in Tuscany and the long growing season has given the wine a little more structure and focus than the previous vintage. Lots of easy to drink up front fruit flavors and a long finish, a lot of wine for the price.
Drink from 2015 to 2018

Enmore 25 Year Old Faultline K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Rum 750ml  
Review Date: 3-3-2015
25 year old wooden Coffey still-distilled rum from the old Enmore distillery in Guyana. Dark, rich, decadent stuff, but not really all that sweet. It's more about the inherent flavor of the molasses and therefore the rum. Good stuff from a lost distillery.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Page: 1  2  3  4  5  next  >>