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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2011 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc (1.5L)  
Review Date: 4-14-2014
Sweet raspberries and black fruits, very floral, with herbal notes and earth all pulled together by round, firm tannins and a very long finish. Tasted twice. I'm 56 years old and Cantemerle is now my #1 favorite château, and I seriously doubt that will ever change. The reason is simple: great, complex wine, consistent quality and a fair price. A winner every time! **

2011 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc (1.5L)  
Review Date: 4-14-2014
Along with La Lagune, this property stands out for being a perennial value and a top producer from its commune.

2011 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc  
Review Date: 4-14-2014
*V Tons of ripe fruit. Super flavor. Great value! This is stunning wine for the vintage.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc  
Review Date: 4-14-2014
Dark fruit and a touch of pepper. Attractive front to back, with good grip and tannin control.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc  
Review Date: 4-14-2014
This is one of the great classics as far as values go-always good and dependable. It has a racy nose with hints of herbs, flowers and loads of red fruits. Nice creaminess. This is classic.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Armas de Guerra Mencía Rosado Bierzo  
Review Date: 4-14-2014
The texture of this is almost indulgent! Creamy, with ripe lush fruit, intense minerality, and bright, refreshing acidity. 100% Mencia from Bierzo. This is completely coming camping with me this weekend. Whipped feta dip with grilled asparagus, hot dogs with my friends homemade pepper relish, even just the fresh air will go great with this wine!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough  
Review Date: 4-10-2014
There is not questioning whether or not this is a Pinot! Beautiful light structure, forest floor, olives, crushed currents, stoney, this is much closer to a Burgundy than a typical New World Pinot. Textbook and honestly made.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Te Mata "Elston" Chardonnay Hawkes Bay  
Review Date: 4-10-2014
The Elston shows some tropical pineapple notes along with citrus highlights. While barrel fermented with full malo, the wine remains elegant and fresh with the oak serving to frame and not overwhelm the heart of the wine. There is excellent acidity and balance with a long finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay  
Review Date: 4-10-2014
Here's the "little brother" to the Coleraine and one that you can enjoy on the earlier side. Showing a similar core of fruit with plum, cherry and minerals, it is more medium bodied with a hint of savoury herbs as well. There is still fine grained tannins, but with a softer edge to the structure.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Te Mata "Bullnose" Syrah Hawkes Bay  
Review Date: 4-10-2014
Hawkes Bay and the Gimblett Gravels specifically, offer one of the worlds great expressions for Syrah. And, the Bullnose is one of the best. The bouquet is lifted with red and black fruits, a meaty game note, white pepper, cedar and a hint of tobacco. On the palate there is good acidity, a fine structure and great length. I'll be putting some away for sure!
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart BC 97 JS 90

2010 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay  
Review Date: 4-10-2014
The is one of the icons of the New Zealand wine industry...and deserves it! A gorgeous blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 6% Cabeenet Franc, the Coleraine offers notes of cedar, dark plum, black cherry and minerality. There is seamless balance with fine grained tannins and a long persistent finish. Buy it, put it away for a while and reap the rewards. You'll be glad you did.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 96 JS 93

2012 Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay New Zealand  
Review Date: 4-10-2014
This wine will give many a white Bordeaux a run for it's money! Beautifull integration of oak frames the notes of peach, nectarine, fig and hints of lanolin. There is great zesty acidity, texture and length. Here's the other side of New Zealnd Sauvignon Blanc.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1988 Littlemill 25 Year Old K&L "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Lowland Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 4-9-2014
Littlemill is not the shouting type. No one who knows their single malt is going to talk about any huge Sherry sweetness or impressive, antique Oloroso barrel notes. Nor will they mention huge peat smoke. A finish that lasts forever and ever and just won't quit? Nope. This is simply effortless, rock solid, fully mature, perfectly balanced, higher end whiskey for drinking. Old school like an antique fountain pen, as confident as Oscar Peterson's command on a Steinway, as reliable and skillfully crafted as a Pendleton flannel shirt. Hey Dave OG, Driscoll, pass me that Littlemill, would'ya?
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Te Mata "Estate" Cabernets/Merlot Hawkes Bay New Zealand   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 4-9-2014
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An exceptional value. This has a ton of real Bordeaux character for a very small price. The wine has soft supple fruit, a real silky texture and some lovely savory, tobacco and wood spice notes that give a lovely complexity and nuance for a wine of this price point. What a great everyday drinker thanks to our direct import pricing advantage!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1988 Littlemill 25 Year Old K&L "Exclusive Malts" Single Barrel Cask Strength Lowland Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 4-9-2014
Anyone who enjoys lighter whiskies like the Midleton Rare Irish or our classic Benriach 19 year cask will really appreciate the inner workings of this 25 year old Littlemill. It's a kiss of sweet barley on the initial sip with a delicate burst of vanilla and oak spice on the finish -- nothing more. But it's so integrated, in a way that young whisky simply cannot be. The full proof doesn't get in the way, either, which was surprising to me. You think 25 years, then cask strength, and single barrel, and already we should be talking about $150 or more. But then you throw in the Littlemill name -- a distillery demolished in the 1990s that will never make whisky again -- and now you're talking collector's item. Yet, we still brought it in for $140. That's also quite surprising. A good surprise, however.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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