Staff Favorites - Gary Westby

Gary Westby
Gary Westby  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I started at K&L in February of 2000, after 4 years of working down the street for another retailer, and although I take care of the Champagne buying here at K&L, I love to drink wine from all over the world. I prize authenticity in wine, and love representative examples of many different styles, whether it is a spicy dry creek zinfandel or a mineral driven Manzanilla. I almost always drink my wine with food, and am drawn to food wines rather than the softer styles that are good for drinking on their own. My wife Cinnamon and I cook a lot of Italian & French food at home, and my list of wines reflects those food choices. I also love value, at every price point, and can't stand "prestige" labels that under deliver in the bottle. I love honest wines for the table. If you love good wine to go with your good cooking too, I think that by joining my personal Sommelier list you will be treated to a wide variety of wines that represent a strong value for money at what ever price range you feel comfortable with. Give it a try!


Reviews

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Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-18-2015
A great value in Grand Marque Brut Champagne! This is a blend of 45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 15% Meunier that has a nice nose of fresh baguette and a clean, racy impression in the mouth. A very good aperitif!

2009 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 2-18-2015
This great value Bordeaux has more than a little of the character and flavor of neighboring Pauillac. It is a dense, cassis laden claret with some pencil lead complexity, rich texture and plenty of power. If you like big wines, you can drink it now, but make sure to save some for later, this is going to be very fine at 10 or 15 years old!
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Guiraud, Sauternes
Review Date: 2-18-2015
The best vintages for Sauternes are often not famous for red wine, and the 2011's are a great example of this. The best harvests from this region have bountiful, clean botrytis, concentrated sweetness and high, lifted acidity, and the 2011 has it all. The Guiraud is a complex young Sauternes, with layers of coconut, honey and fresh apricot flavors. It is also a very pure wine, with incredible lift to balance out its giant richness. Fabulous stuff!
Drink from 2016 to 2061

2011 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 2-18-2015
Show stopping magnums like the 2011 Pontet Canet defy the vintage chart mentality with greatness. If you have a good cellar and time to leave it alone, this wine will reward you with a truly special experience. We tasted it blind (out of 750ml), and I guessed it was 2009 Leoville Las Cases because of the tremendous breed and giant scale of this exotic beauty of a wine. I found it opaque, smoky, powerful and yet finely focused and pleasantly long. What a wine!
Drink from 2026 to 2061

2011 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 2-18-2015
Show stopping bottles like the 2011 Pontet Canet defy the vintage chart mentality with greatness. If you have a good cellar and time to leave it alone, this wine will reward you with a truly special experience. We tasted it blind, and I guessed it was 2009 Leoville Las Cases because of the tremendous breed and giant scale of this exotic beauty of a wine. I found it opaque, smoky, powerful and yet finely focused and pleasantly long. What a wine!
Drink from 2021 to 2051

1993 Sarget de Gruaud Larose, St-Julien (1.5L)
Review Date: 2-18-2015
The 1993 Sarget De Gruaud Larose is a fine luncheon claret for those of us who appreciate a lighter, mature style of Bordeaux. This Bordeaux has a minty, redwoody, generous nose, supple texture and completely resolved tannins. If you like big scoring 15% alcohol wine, this won't be for you, but if you have an appreciation for delicacy in Cabernet, this is quite a good value.
Drink from 2015 to 2018
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac
Review Date: 2-18-2015
Latour is on my short list of best properties in the world, and it is rare to see anything from them under $100. I loved this wine for its very forthright, nearly California strong currant nose, stuffed palate, and stern dry finish. This should develop very fine texture and elegance by its tenth birthday in 2018, and improve for many years for the patient Bordeaux lover.
Drink from 2018 to 2028
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Arnaud, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 2-18-2015
Tuesday night Bordeaux at its finest! Why pay a higher price for a manipulated 2013 red from the new world when you can drink this five year old claret for just $10.99? This has great ripe plummy fruit and a soft, easy going texture without the flab and excess alcohol all to common at this price point. The Arnaud finishes dry and concise and is perfect for a Tuesday dinner wine!
Top Value! Drink from 2005 to 2020
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Marguet Père et Fils "Amboniacus" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-16-2015
Benoit Marguet is making wine on the cutting edge of the whole Champagne appellation. In the vineyard he is now working biodynamically with a full time horse tilling team. In the cellar, the vintage wines are done entirely in used white Bordeaux barrels. The 2008 is a super dry, concentrated, long distance runner with impeccable purity and a top class chalk finish that lasts for as long as I can pay attention. If you want a great Champagne for a special shellfish dish now, or for the cellar for later, you have found it!
Drink from 2015 to 2048
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Nanclares Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 2-12-2015
Wow- the Nanclares Albarino has richness and snap on the level of the best Cote d'Or whites. I was very impressed with this aromatic, driven white!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Haut-Bergey Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 2-4-2015
High class white Bordeaux like this is always in short supply. At Haut-Bergey only five of their seventy one acres are planted to white varieties, yielding only 8000 bottles a year on average. This wine is composed of approximately 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon from vines of 35 years of age. Surprisingly, they use 30% new French oak, and while the barrel spice is certainly there in this wine, it is framed rather than dominated by wood. This wine is bright, fresh and very satisfying, with classic high toned grassy aromas balanced by high class catnip-like oak. White Burgundy of this class sells for twice as much!
Drink from 2015 to 2023

1998 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 2-4-2015
I bought a case of this on pre-arrival back in 1999. It ran out last year... Am I ever in luck- it is back at a great price. The 1998 vintage was not famous in the Medoc, but produced outstanding wines in Pessac and on the right bank. This full bodied, supple Bordeaux has resolved tannins and has developed excellent texture as well as a long gravelly finish. I love wines like this with skirt steak on the grill.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Western Cape
Review Date: 2-4-2015
This is a real wine for under $10- not just a bottle that is "good for the price". With sweet fruit in the mouth and a nice dose of South African smoke on the nose, this wine is bright enough on the finish to go with a variety of foods. Cheers to Boekenhoutskloof- their Wolftrap Red lets us all drink well for less!
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Quarter Acre Bordeaux Blend Havelock Hills Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 2-4-2015
This bottle reminds me of good quality, pure fruited right bank Bordeaux... But without the extra alcohol that is so hard to escape these days. This is a full bodied, plummy, wine with chocolate notes, but it does not go over the top into being ponderous. What a nice wine!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Elephant Hill Syrah Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 2-4-2015
This was my top wine from our excellent Kiwi wine tasting yesterday. Gimblett Gravels is a very special place for Bordeaux grapes, and famous for them, but this is the first world-class Syrah that I have had from the region. Smokey, earthy aromas give off an almost grilled sausage impression on the nose. The wine is open knit in the mouth, with great dark fruit flavors, excellent refreshing acidity, and good round tannin. Top notch!!!!
Drink from 2015 to 2023
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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More Favorites

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2011 Ravenswood "Vintners Blend" California Shiraz ($10.99)

2013 Charles & Charles Washington Chardonnay ($9.99)

2010 Stonestreet "Estate" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($34.99)

2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($31.99)

2012 Colonias de Galeon "Ocnos" Roble VdT Sierra Norte de Sevilla ($14.99)

2013 Colonias de Galeon "Petit Ocnos" Tinto Vino de la Tierra de Sierra Norte de Sevilla ($12.99)

2012 Bernabeleva "Arroyo del Tortolas" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid ($39.99)

2011 'B' de Basilio Blanco Rioja ($49.99)

2011 Clos des Fous "Grillos Cantores" Cabernet Sauvignon Alto Cachapoal ($14.99)

2009 Bodega Weinert "Carrascal" Red Lujan de Cuyo ($14.99)

2013 Tinhof Neuburger Burgenland ($22.99)

2012 Neumayer Engelberg Grüner Veltliner Traisental ($18.99)

2013 Ebner Ebenauer Birthal Grüner Veltliner Weinviertal ($15.99)

2013 Philippe Tessier "Le Point du Jour" Cheverny Rouge ($22.99)

2013 Philippe Tessier Cheverny Blanc ($18.99)

2012 Nicolas Joly Les Vieux Clos Savennières ($36.99)

2013 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spätlese ($21.99)

2007 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese ($34.99)

2001 Tertre Daugay, St-Emilion ($24.99)

2009 Grand Corbin Manuel, St-Emilion ($24.99)

2001 Moulin Haut-Laroque, Fronsac ($29.99)

2001 Corbin Michotte, St-Emilion ($39.99)

2013 Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay ($14.99)

2011 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas ($24.99)

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne ($39.99)

2008 Ariston Aspasie Brut Champagne ($39.99)

Amaury Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne ($39.99)

2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre ($18.99)

2012 Ellero "Pisa Terrace" Pinot Noir Central Otago ($29.99)

2012 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago ($24.99)

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($14.99)

2013 Château Font-Mars Picpoul de Pinet ($11.99)

2013 Château de Montfaucon "Comtesse Madeleine" Côtes du Rhône Blanc ($16.99)

2013 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc ($29.99)

2012 Champy Bourgogne Chardonnay "Signature" ($19.99)

2012 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($29.99)

2013 Cakebread Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($25.99)

2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva ($19.99)

1999 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja ($19.99)

2012 Bodega Mendel "Estate" Malbec Mendoza ($24.99)

2013 Blason Friulano Isonzo ($9.99)

2012 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir ($22.99)

2009 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino ($29.99)

2013 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon ($24.99)

2012 Abtei Muri Sudtirol "Weiss" (Super Bianco) ($29.99)