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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Armand de Brignac "Ace of Spades" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-24-2015
This Champagne is a sensation in clubs all around the world, and is now owned by Jay Z.
Price: $249.00 Add To Cart BC 0

1993 Macallan 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
This bottle delivers! If you are looking for the ultimate in silky, mature, Sherry wood heaven, look no further. While the Mac 21 distillery bottling is often woody and hollow, this Old Particular is sweet and decadent. If you love Macallan and want a real treat, you have found it.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1996 Tobermory 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
After 20 years in the booze business, our spirits team can still surprise me! This 18 year old Tobermory is unlike any other single malt that I have had. The nose is so expressive and sweet, with exotic Chinese herbs along with classic malty aromas. In the mouth the whisky is round and plump, clearly mature but without obvious wood flavors. The best thing about this Old Particular bottling is the finish- it is a real peacocks tail, it swells up and goes on for as long as you care to pay attention. Top notch!!
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Mortlach 7 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
This Mortlach is the perfect refreshment for the jaded malt whisky lover. It is elegant, laid back, light bodied and fun to drink. With a few drops of water and a little bit of attention this Hepburn's bottling shows layers of subtle complexity.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Miltonduff 19 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
This is one of the purest, most charming single malt's that I have ever had. If you are looking for something to contrast the big sherry wood and super peaty whisky in your collection, this unique dram will be perfect. The last offering that I tasted that was as effortless as this Miltonduff was the Bruichladdich Bere Barley, but this has more complexity and persistence. A very fine dram indeed!
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Faultline Blended Scotch Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 2-20-2015
I usually only like blended Scotch that costs more than the single malts I drink, so this was a revelation. I don't know if it is the hint of high quality peat, the extra concentration and kick from the higher proof, or the lovely sweet malty character of this blend that make it so satisfying. My father has often said that he "likes to drink expensive booze like it was cheap"- if you do too, this is a great scotch for you. It is not expensive- it just tastes like it is! For me it is the best value in Scotch in the store.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-18-2015
If I were to pick one Grand Marque Champagne house as most improved over the last 10 years, it would certainly be Piper Heidsieck. This clean, refreshing Champagne is sourced from 100 different villages in Champagne and aged for two years on the lees.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 2-18-2015
If you haven't tasted the LP Rose lately, you should! This all Pinot Noir Champagne is lighter than most that are made in this style- it is macerated with all of the skins in contact with all of the juice. It has improved over the years, and is now clean and precise with lovely red cherry Pinot fruit. Yum!

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

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More Favorites

Gary Westby is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of Gary Westby, click here to join Gary Westby's Personal Sommelier Service.
2011 Ravenswood "Vintners Blend" California Shiraz ($10.99)

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