White Wines    Riesling    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Brass Tacks Riesling 2008
Brass Tacks Riesling 2008
(search item no. 102304)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Let's get down to brass tacks. This Riesling is about the purity of the varietal flavors and California terroir. Brass Tacks Riesling offers crisp clean notes of fresh peach, honey and apricot with mineral qualities and bright acidity with a brisk, dry finish. This Riesling is sourced from Monterey County, where the cooling influence from the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay leads to one of the longest growing seasons in California. The cool climate allows for a longer hang time that leads to full, concentrated flavors and ideal acidity.

Food Pairings: Refreshing and food-friendly, Brass Tacks Riesling pairs well with seafood, salads, spicy and Asian foods.

My Notes:

About Brass Tacks:

Brass Tacks wines reflects the essence of California wine and the purity of the fruit. The winemaking starts in the vineyard, where the unique characteristics of each varietal and vineyard are cultivated. The result is a wine that isn't over-manipulated, allowing the personality of the fruit to shine through.

Brass Tacks produces wines that capture the unique essence of the varietal as well as the region in which it thrives. The fruit is sourced from regions and vineyards that are among the best suited for the varietal and wines are produced in small lots to ensure quality.

brass tacks (noun) - the most fundamental considerations; essentials; realities (usually used in the phrase "get down to brass tacks."



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Matchbook Tinto Rey 2007
Matchbook Tinto Rey 2007
(search item no. 114379)
The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Tinto Rey means Red King. Tempranillo is the king of Spanish red wines and one of the most important varietals in our Matchbook Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills. The Spanish varietals Tempranillo and Graciano contribute spicy red berry fruit flavors; Syrah adds rich flavors of black cherry and blueberry; the spicy cedar and tobacco notes are from the cool weather Cabernet Sauvignon; a touch of Petite Sirah pumps up the tannins, the rich color, and adds a little pepper spice.

44% Tempranillo, 36% Syrah, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Graciano, 2% Petite Sirah

My Notes:

Additional wines from Matchbook:

About Matchbook:

Why Matchbook? As a farm kid growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Matchbook's owner, John Giguiere, was a confirmed pyromaniac starting various things on fire such as his father's wheat field. At one point, fearing total ruin from his kids burning him out of the house and farm, his father took them to the city jail for an hour stay to impress upon his brother and him the futility of their fascination with fire. John and his brother answered at a later date by graduating from random fires to the launching of rockets which often blew up at some stage of their journey resulting in more random fires and a call to the local fire department for help. They eventually grew out of this fascination with the "Matchbook" but still have fond memories of the power they possessed.

Matchbook has four products, all focusing on varietals that perform well in the warm Dunnigan Hills climate. A percentage of coastal fruit is blended into the Dunnigan Hills wines to add structure and intensify flavors.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Bodega Calle Ca de Calle Reserva 2010
Bodega Calle Ca de Calle Reserva 2010
(search item no. 114769)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dark purple color. Forward nose of toasty plums, black cherry, and lilac flowers. On the palate the wine is rich and full, with layers of berry flavors and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Finishes soft with balancing acidity.

Ca' de Calle, (Calle's Place), is named in honor of the lady that shared our vision and helped turn it into reality. In 2001, we sought to recondition a historic winery in the heart of Mendoza's acclaimed wine district, Luján de Cuyo. This is a small-lot, gravity flow, red wine production studio where we strive to achieve perfection with every successive year. This is just our fourth effort at a Reserva wine and is a delicious blend of the best wines under our roof.

70% Malbec, 16% Tempranillo, 12% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot

My Notes:

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About Bodega Calle:

Bodega Calle is a restored boutique winery dating from the late 19th century. It specializes in producing fine red wines through the use of its exclusive gravity-flow method, where Ca' de Calle is made to conquer your palate.

Bodega Calle's mission is to produce high quality wines in a sustainable manner for customers in select markets across the world. The winery also aims to apply the highest international quality standards, helping to develop the prestige of Mendoza's wine and Argentina. Bodega Calle takes strides to preserve the environment and the culture of the region, while maintaining concern and social commitment for the winery’s workers, producers and surrounding community.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Penfolds Thomas Hyland Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Penfolds Thomas Hyland Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 107201)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $17.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A deep dark red core with crimson edges. Ripe dark berry fruits of blackberry and mulberry, with creme de cassis notes are well balanced on the nose with spicy coffee / mocha oak. Dark fruits continue on the palate with dark cherries also covering the palate. Lovely intensity and depth of fruit flavour sits equally well with subtle oak influence and dusty Cabernet tannins creating excellent length on the back of the palate.
My Notes:

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About Penfolds Wines:

Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Razor's Edge Shiraz 2008
Razor's Edge Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 106898)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Razor's Edge Shiraz is dark purple in color, yet bright and appealing in its clarity of fruit flavors, persisting on the finish against firm tannins.
My Notes:

About Razor's Edge:

Razor's Edge was launched with a 2004 vintage Shiraz from the McLaren Vale in South Australia. Priced to retail between $10 and $15, it brought an unparalleled pedigree and value to the American marketplace. This wine went on to receive numerous trade and press recognitions, most notably being labeled a "Best Value Wine" by Wine Spectator and as one of the "Best Buys from Australia" by Robert Parker.

In 2007, the 2005 vintage of the McLaren Vale Shiraz was released and a new wine, a 2006 Unwooded Chardonnay, was introduced. Both were very well received and demand soared after rave reviews from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines. Before the end of 2007, two new wines were introduced by Razor’s Edge: a McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon and a McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache.

The South Australian wine industry is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. The state of South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the state to be able to successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties, from cool climate Rieslings in the Clare Valley, to big and full-bodied Shiraz in the Barossa. Like with most agriculture in Australia, irrigation is a vital component to the success of the South Australian wine industry. Some of Australia's most well known wines are produced here.

Vines are grown at all types of altitudes in South Australia from the low valley regions of the Barossa up to the 1,970ft vineyards in the Eden Valley. The soil type is also varied across the region from the well known terra rosa of Coonawarra, the limestone-marl based soils of the Adelaide, to the sandy, clay loam based soils of the Barossa.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Martino Old Vine Malbec 2009
Martino Old Vine Malbec 2009
(search item no. 111616)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is without question one of our favorite Malbec bottlings in terms of authenticity, character, and depth. If you ever wanted to know what "Agrelo" Malbec tastes like at its best, let this be your lesson. Rarely do we come across a wine that communicates "place" as this does. Brilliant color, wild aromatics, rich mid-palate, incredible texture, this has it all. Its thick, almost neon purple sediment is unlike anything we have ever seen! Impenetrably dark. Aromas of plum, chocolate, baking spices, and hints of vanilla. On the palate it is rich and viscous, with more dark fruit flavors and round tannins.
My Notes:

About Fincas Don Martino:

Fincas Don Martino is a creation of famed agronomist Mauricio Parodi and Buenos Aires Businessman Hugo Martino. The project began in 2002 when Parodi fell in love with the quality of fruit from "Viña Violeta", a small 18.5 acre vineyard in Agrelo, a sub-district within the Luján de Cuyo appellation of Mendoza. The vines, planted in 1926, are ungrafted Malbec clones originally brought to Argentina from France. The vineyard's high elevation (3,850 feet) allows the grapes to develop tremendous complexity via an extended growing season and large daily temperature fluctuations.

In addition to the two Malbec wines they produce out of the "Vina Violeta" site, the winery has recently begun producing small quantities of old vine Semillon from a heritage vineyard in Perdriel. As production is limited by the small size of these two vineyards, each of these wines have become "cult" items in their native Mendoza. All are produced organically and bottled unfined and unfiltered.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
High Note Elevated Malbec 2009
High Note Elevated Malbec 2009
(search item no. 107173)

PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $12.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dark violet in color. Flowers and spice on the nose with intense blackberry aromas. Exceptional levels of concentrated fruit and complexity with flavors of cassis, ripe red cherries, hints of black pepper, mocha and persistent vanilla. Smooth, round tannins highlight the creamy texture and lengthy finish.

A highly heralded match with grilled meats, complementing rich smoky flavors with the wine's ripe juicy profile. Also pairs well with grilled or roasted vegetables, pasta dishes and rich sauces.

My Notes:

Additional wines from High Note:

About High Note:

The grapes for High Note are sourced from four vineyards with sandy loam soils, ranging in elevation from 3,700 feet to 5,000 feet above sea level. Vistaflores vineyard has flavors of spices, red fruits, and minerality. La Consulta vineyard adds black fruit and mid-palate weight, while Altamira vineyard's fruit has notes of violets. The Gualtallary vineyard, at the highest altitude, brings deep purple color, additional floral and black fruit notes balanced with acidity. High Note's varietal blend is 83% Malbec, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The Cabernet Sauvignon from the Gualtallary region balances the wine's tannic structure and gives a hint of spice in the nose. The Cabernet Franc from the Altamira region adds sweet spice notes, and the Petit Verdot provides aromas of red currants and berries.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Innocent Bystander Shiraz Viognier 2007
Innocent Bystander Shiraz Viognier 2007
(search item no. 104869)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Not your blockbuster warm-climate Aussie Shiraz, this is a more elegant example reminiscent of violets, pink peppercorns, nutmeg and caramelized quince and mulberries. The palate is likewise restrained, offering fruit compote with slightly meaty undertones. 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier. Viognier rounds out the Shiraz and adds lovely aromatics and floral characteristics.
My Notes:

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About Innocent Bystander:

The idea behind Innocent Bystander is to produce great value, food friendly wines that are not your run of the mill varietal blends. Taking fruit from various sources in Central Victoria (in particular Sangiovese, Shiraz, Pinot Gris and Viognier) the team at Innocent Bystander is inspired to utilize and showcase the natural qualities of each region in their unique blends.

As a group of winemakers and viticulturalists who eschew the bland direction and market dominance increasingly exerted by the large corporate winemaking groups, the folks behind these wines see themselves as innocent bystanders. They remain accountable to their craft, not shareholders.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Prode Cavaliere Chianti Colli Fiorentini 2008
Prode Cavaliere Chianti Colli Fiorentini 2008
(search item no. 113169)

PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $9.97

Winemaker's Notes:

This Chianti shows bright red fruit flavors from the start with a hint of dried leaves. It's soft, smooth and a great everyday Chianti. Not too dry like some can be. Ruby red in color, balanced on the palate with good acidity and a smooth finish. Enjoy with your typical Italian fare of pizza, pasta and lighter entrees.
My Notes:

About Prode Cavaliere :

Along with Campi Salti, Prode Cavaliere is part of the Fratelli Nistri winery. This is one of the oldest wineries in Tuscany, dating back to 1865, when Francesco Nistri set up a wine trading business in Mezzana, on the outskirts of Prato. Today, Fratelli Nistri is run by Mario and Piero Nistri (fourth generation) and Massimo and Fabrizio Nistri (fifth generation). The winery’s central office remained in Prato, near the original establishment founded by Francesco Nistri until 2006, when it was moved to new premises in Greve in Chianti, in the Chianti Classico production zone.

Radical changes have been made at the winery in recent years with investments in new technology and machines, as well as intensified focus on the production and bottling of fine quality wines. Today, the winery makes some of the leading Tuscan wines.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2005
Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2005
(search item no. 97715)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

55% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo

Named after the hillside vineyard located on the northeastern slope of the Yerga mountains in eastern Rioja, La Montesa is a blend of the red grape varieties on the Palacios Remondo estate. Renowned winemaker Alvaro Palacios describes this wine as having complex, profound and mysterious aromas that include notes of wild red berries, candied fruit, jasmine and sweet spice. On the palate the wine is unctuous and voluminous with soft tannins and a foundation of dark fruit shrouded by hints of shaved orange peel, white pepper and clove. Meant to enjoy now or age up to 10 years, this wine is very versatile and pairs well with almost any type of cuisine.

My Notes:

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About Palacios Remondo:

Bodegas Palacios Remondo is based in Alfaro in the Rioja Baja. This old family firm has been revitalized by the arrival of Alvaro Palacios who has already made his name, starting from scratch, with his extraordinary Priorato wines. He is now intent on bringing the family Rioja company into the front line. The wines are made from their own vineyards, a rarity in the Rioja region.

Palacios is deeply committed to organic viticulture and natural winemaking practices, such as use of organic fertilizers in the stone-covered, clay soils. All wines are unfiltered and clarified only with egg whites, no exogenous yeasts or commercial compounds are added to the wines and sulfites are kept to minimum levels. Total respect for his vineyard and its surrounding environment results in wines – La Montesa, Propiedad, Plácet Valtomelloso and La Vendimia – that express the true nature of the estate’s soils.