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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2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough  
Review Date: 3-31-2015
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While I loved prior versions of this favorite Pinot, this new expression from a near perfect vintage took a different qualitative turn with the inspired interplay of fruit from another site, creating a generous, complex, elegant rendering, the epitome of depth, sophistication and grace— perfumed aromas of dried flowers, forest mushrooms intermixed with wild strawberry, red plum and raspberry fruit on the palate. Well-defined acidity and a fine, harmonious finish, winemakers Jason and Anna Flowerday have surpassed their own uncompromising standards with this wonderful Pinot Noir. Not to be missed!
Top Value!

2012 Ellero "Pisa Terrace" Pinot Noir Central Otago  
Review Date: 3-31-2015
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Central Otago has, over the last decade, become the hot spot in New Zealand for Pinot Noir, and there are so many super producers and bottlings that it can be impossibly hard to keep up, but luckily we have Ryan Woodhouse, our inspired explorer and savvy spelunker of all things Kiwi-driven. Ok, maybe not spelunker, unless we’re talking wine caves. The Ellero comes from ‘Pisa Terrace’, a precious parcel of organic vines that may or may not grow on a badly tilted hillside …. anyway, this is a serious, well-wrought wine, combining both fine concentration and clarity, with a brilliant array of silky black and red fruits, savory tea spice, structured tannins and earthy, textural notes on the persistent finish. A masterful stroke of winemaking, likely to evolve beautifully for several more years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2013 Domaine de Begrolles Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine sur Lie  
Review Date: 3-31-2015
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Diving into a chilled platter of locally-harvested Hog Island oysters accompanied by a crisp bottle of Domaine de Begrolles white is about as good as it gets— the marriage of mollusk and Muscadet is made in heaven, or as close as one can get while sitting by the bay on a warm summer day. This delightfully dry wine hails from Sevre et Maine not far from where the Loire River empties itself into the Atlantic, imbuing the wine with welcome marine influences— whispered salinity, seashell and iodine notes to complement the white flower, citrus and leesy elements. A great little wine to clean your palate without cleaning out your wallet.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 GRÜNER by Etz Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (1L)   | Approved
Review Date: 3-31-2015
This Gruner took me completely by surprise. Not only does it embody all that I love in a Gruner: racy acidity, great lime, grapefruit, green apple aromatics, and fresh, light body, but it is far more complex than I look for in this price range. The Etz brothers have a stunning attention to detail in their wine making, that shows in this incredible bargain Gruner. Truly impressed by this wine!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1985 Hospices de Beaune (Leroy) Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru "Cuvée Madeleine Collignon"  
Review Date: 3-31-2015
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This legendary wine was the first Burgundy to which Robert Parker ever awarded a perfcet 100 point score. It comes from the rich and legendary vintage of 1985, teh best of which are fully mature and drinking fabulously. This was acquired directly from a noted local collector, who bought it on release and has kept it in hi sperfectly controlled extensive cellar. If you are looking for somehting truly exceptional look no further!
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $3,450.00 Add To Cart RP 100 WS 91 BC 0

1998 Tamdhu 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml  
Review Date: 3-30-2015
In my tasting notes for the Tamdhu 16 I wrote: very good, refreshing with round malt flavors.Pretty. Easy to drink and enjoy. Nice long finsh. The Tamdhu has all of these qualities and should please most single malt drinkers.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Domaine Fontsainte "Gris de Gris" Corbières Rosé   | Approved
Review Date: 3-30-2015
Delightful rose at a great price! This wine is light, with bright acidity, great strawberry/cherry and floral aromas, and a delightful hint of minerality. Because of its light body, it drinks more like a white wine, and is perfect for warm weather. I could drink this all day...
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli  
Review Date: 3-30-2015
Aromas of lemon and wet sand start this Pinot Bianco off in a precise and steely vein. The first impression is belied, however, by the mid-palate, which does have a little roundness to it, with flavors of tangerine, a hint of just-ripe pineapple, and raw almond, with mineral backing. An excellent choice for a vibrant, refreshing, everyday white wine that’ll blend seamlessly into a wide variety of circumstances.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Venus Spirits Batch #2 Gin 750ml   | Approved
Review Date: 3-30-2015
Being a gin lover, I was excited to try this new Batch 2 gin from Sean Venus. Though I'm not a big fan of barrel-aged gins generally, this one changed my perspective. Though it certainly inherits some of the toasty vanilla feel from the barrel, this gin retains all the herbal, aromatic character and brilliance of the Batch 1, but with an added richness from the barrel, and more of a tangy orange character. This would be perfect for a negroni or anything with a sweet vermouth. Love it!
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-30-2015
Jake and Scot Bilbro have re-launched their father's historic winery into the future. The Marietta Old Vine Red is still an amazing value and really, really good stuff. I love that they are carrying on the tradition of deliciously drinkable, affordable, well-made juice with this wine. Always a blend of old vine Zinfandel (and a few other reds they won't tell you!). Blackberry, black currant, cassis, and spice with medium plus acidity and medium tannin. Throwing a BBQ? Hosting a graduation party? Having a wedding reception? Kicking off the summer with a block party? This is one wine that needs to be on your list!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2014 Patton Valley Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-30-2015
My friend Derek, the winemaker at Patton Valley, has made us such a fun rose to kick off the rose season! All Pinot Noir, this puppy is brimming with cranberry, red cherry, strawberry and red currant with zesty, fresh acidity. Pull up a chair on a sunny patio, pour a glass of this delightful rose, and let your cares fall away! But you better hurry- I might just buy it all first!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Anchor Old Tom Gin 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-30-2015
This year is the first year that I have played around with the Old Tom sweeter style of Gin, and the Anchor Old Tom now has a permanent position on my home bar shelf. Slightly sweet, with notes of lemon and orange zest, and spicy juniper, this Gin is absolutely fabulous mixed with blood orange juice and a bit of soda water! Or, try it with grapefruit juice! Such a fun and festive gin for springtime!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Willowbrook "Altes Vineyard" Sonoma County Syrah  
Review Date: 3-30-2015
We don't receive the Willowbrook wines too often, but when we do they never fail to over-deliver! For $10, you are getting pure, delicious Syrah from a great Sonoma Valley site. Bacon fat, cracked black pepper, and a touch of smoke as soon as the cork is pulled. Pure black fruit, rich but not at all sweet, and savory notes with great balance. Dollar for dollar, this may be the best deal in the store right now!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Venus Spirits Batch #2 Gin 750ml   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-30-2015
I've got a new favorite barrel aged Gin, and its name is Venus Batch 2! Sean Venus hits it out of the park with each bottling of his carefully crafted, local Santa Cruz spirits. Not just another bottling of the same darn gin just thrown into a barrel, Venus actually created this spirit independent of his Batch 1 gin. Batch 2 winks at you from the shelf with a bright amber sparkle, with dried orange peel, nutmeg, star anise and gingerbread teasing you to make yourself a Negroni, for goodness sake! This puppy will be a mainstay on my bar from today forward!
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 3-30-2015
The Akitu 1 Pinot Noir Black Label is a stunning, undeniably elegant wine. With clonal material from DRC in Burgundy, it shows all of the grace and poise of its genetic roots, with the vibrancy and purity of fruit I love about Central Otago Pinot Noir. Black currant, plum, red cherry, sandalwood, spice, red roses, and mineral, with medium plus acidity and medium tannin. Described by the winemaker as "The Chanel Suit" of his two Pinots (the Akitu 2 is his flashier "Dolce & Gabbana"), like classic Chanel, this wine is stunning now, and no doubt will continue to age with understated elegance. Buy as much as you can.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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