Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Gigondas    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Dom. Du Cayron Gigondas 2007
Dom. Du Cayron Gigondas 2007
(search item no. 104619)
International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $32.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Considered by many to be the benchmark producer in the appellation, Cayron produces a Gigondas (cepage = roughly 70% Grenache; 15% each Syrah and Mourvedre) of phenomenal richness and incredible longevity. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more terroir-expressive wine anywhere in the Southern Rhone; bold, explosive, stunningly evocative garrigues flavors careen from the glass, blaring their stamp of origin like a neon sign. These are old-styled, powerful wines of enormous fruit amplitude and irresistible personality. Furthermore, Cayron is among the most age-worthy of Gigondas, delicious upon release, but improving for well over a decade and holding strong for a long time thereafter. This 15-hectare domaine, run by the Faraud family, is a classic and truly top-flight estate.
My Notes:

About Domaine Du Cayron Michel Faraud :

There is a sense of focus and implicity at Domaine du Cayron. "I make one wine," says Michel Faraud. There are no cuvees reserves, no declassified Cotes du Rhone, only Gigondas. Happily, Faraud's years of conservatism have paid off. His wine is one of the most loved Gigondas on the market. When frosts in 1956 destroyed many of Faraud's olive trees (Gigondas was once planted almost entirely to olives) the family decided to start from scratch and plant vines from which the Domaine takes its name. Today their vineyard plots are scattered throughout the Gigondas appellation, the best vines being in the Col du Cayron, 1500 feet above sea level, nestled into the spiky Dentelles mountains, a site which produces low yields and rich fruit.

Michel learned to make wine from his father, and he remains faithful to this old-world style, even if it means foregoing modern winery conveniences or ignoring trends of the market. "It's our wine, not theirs," says Michel. And the wines of the region are changing. "With all the new oak barrels, you can't even tell that it's Gigondas." One of his beliefs is to age his wine a couple of years in giant old oak foudres. So while other Gigondas producers are bottling and selling their current vintage, Faraud's wine still has another year to mature and develop.

After harvest, the must soaks 15 days on its skin to gain color and extract. Michel's wife and three daughters, one of whom has a degree in viticulture and enology, all help in the vineyards.



White Wines    Riesling    Clare Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Petaluma Hanlin Hill Clare Valley Riesling 2006
Petaluma Hanlin Hill Clare Valley Riesling 2006
(search item no. 90102)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Clare Valley arguably produces Australia's best Riesling and Petaluma's Hanlin Hill Vineyard provides the fruit for Petaluma Riesling, recognized in Australia as the best of this traditional dry style. Clare lies in a valley in the northern extension of the Adelaide Hills, 90 miles (145km) from Adelaide.

The geology of the Hanlin Hill Vineyard is Mintaro shale, deposited as shallow marine sediments between 550 and 600 million years ago, and metamorphosed into high quality grey slate, which has weathered to form well draining, brown to red-brown clay rich soils.

My Notes:

About Petaluma:

Petaluma, founded by world-famous winemaker Brian Croser, is widely regarded as Australia's pre-eminent small winery. Petaluma wines are made in various vineyard sites, each selected for specific characteristics.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Languedoc-Roussillon    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Domaine de Nizas Coteaux du Languedoc 2003
Domaine de Nizas Coteaux du Languedoc 2003
(search item no. 92659)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $15.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This AOC Coteaux du Languedoc is the Domaine's flagship wine and expresses the essence of the terroir of Caux-Nizas. The Syrah has floral expression and medium body on our types of soil, whilst the Mourvèdre tends to be fuller bodied with good structure and complexity, which has not ceased to add to the palate since its introduction into the blend in 2001.

As for the Grenache, it brings superb generosity and softness to the wine. The oak aging of part of the wine to be included in the final blend in large barrels, aims to enhance the Mediterranean character of our wines without dominating it. Thanks to its structure and balance, this fine wine from Languedoc can be cellared and aged for many years.

Blend: 60% Syrah, 35% Mourvédre, 5% Grenache Noir

My Notes:

Additional wines from Domaine de Nizas:

About Domaine de Nizas:

Domaine de Nizas is the new winemaking collaboration from John Goelet and Bernard Portet, co-founders in 1972 of Clos du Val in Napa Valley, California. John Goelet is also the owner of Taltarni Vineyards (Victoria, Australia) and Clover Hill (Tasmania).

On a manually tended 200 acre vineyard, they've created handcrafted limited-production wines since 1998. Their goal is to serve as a model in terms of elegance, complexity, balance and aging ability among Mediterranean wines.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Burgundy    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Domaine Faiveley Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2005
Domaine Faiveley Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2005
(search item no. 92578)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Burghound.com rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Glittering light yellow with green reflections. Aromas that are very agreeable and expressive present scents of white flowers, lime blossom, vanilla, and toffee. The attack is fresh and generous; balanced presentation of well-integrated wood in the mouth offers lovely fullness and an organoleptic persistence that is exceptional for a Bourgogne Blanc.

Serve with fish terrine, fish en papillotes or white meats.

"Astoundingly rich, ripe nose given the price; scents of luscious peach, baked banana and butter. Beautifully textured flavors of stone fruit and lots of butter. Caramel in the finish."
-Wine News

My Notes:

Additional wines from Domaine Faiveley:

About Domaine Faiveley:

Founded in 1825, Bourgognes Faiveley has been handed down from father to son for over 175 years. As the sixth generation to take the reins, François Faiveley manages, with equal amounts passion and competence, the largest family domaine in Burgundy. Methodically reconstructing vineyards fractured by French inheritance laws, Bourgognes Faiveley today owns more appellations in their entirety (monopoles) than any other domaine in Burgundy.

"Faiveley’s wines are... supremely clean and elegant: definitive examples of Pinot Noir... above all they have richness and breed, the thumbprint of a master winemaker."
-Clive Coates M.W.
Côte d’Or, A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy



White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Alsace    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Lucien Albrecht Reserve Pinot Gris Romanus 2005
Lucien Albrecht Reserve Pinot Gris Romanus 2005
(search item no. 87798)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Pinot Gris Cuvée Romanus is named for Romanus Albrecht, the first winegrower of the Albrecht wine family in 1425. It's 100% Pinot Gris and expresses the rich yet dry power and character of this exceptional varietal. Sweet floral flavors alongside crisp mineral notes make for an elegantly balanced wine. The clay/limestone soil gives the wine a creamy, velvety texture with a long finish.

Enjoy this wine with Cobb & shrimp salads, shellfish, poultry, and Asian inspired dishes. Semi-soft cheeses like Brie and Chevre will also complement it well. Alsatian whites characteristically age well due to their high acidity and lower percentage of alcohol. You can age this wine for another 2-4 years however it's fresh and delicious tasting now!

My Notes:

About Lucien Albrecht:

The history of the Albrecht family as winegrowers can be traced back to 1425 with Romanu Albrecht, who was established in the town of Thann.

The fifteenth century was golden era for the Alsace wines and it was during this period that the winegrowers guild of Alsace was founded. Each year, the most deserving vinegrower was elected by the guild of the winegrowers as Bangard, a highly respected positions. It was held by 8 generations of Albrecht's, between 1520 and 1698.

Domaine Albrecht experienced a major development under the guidance of Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean, to become one of the most important in Alsace with holdings in 9 villages surounding Orschwihr. Lucien Albrecht, extended the winery with new cellars and expanded the sales of his wines in bottles. In 1972, Lucien Albrecht was also a pioneer of Cremand d'Alsace. Today the Cremant is one of their specialities and a major part of the business.

150 years were needed to make up the Domaine Albrecht located in the very best Alsace terroirs. Jean Albrecht is now the ninth generation settled in Orschwihr, leading the Domaine.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava
(search item no. 6619)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This fine Spanish sparkling wine is made using the Traditional Method, in which the secondary fermentation producing a sparkling wine's bubbles occurs in the bottle. Its fresh, toasty nose, beautiful citrus, green apple and mineral flavors, supple, lively mouth-feel, and clean, crisp finish make it the ultimate celebratory wine. Enjoy it on its own and with caviar, sushi, seafood, fried foods and Asian dishes

Varietal Blend: 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, 15% Xarel-lo<

My Notes:

Additional wines from Jaume Serra Cristalino:

About Jaume Serra Cristalino:

The winery behind Cristalino, Jaume Serra, was founded in 1943 by distinguished enologist Jaume Serra Guell. It is located in the Garraf subdivision of the Denominacion de Origen Penedés, the largest wine growing area in Catalonia. Jaume Serra lies within the “El Padruel” estate in the Mediterranean Coastal town of Vilanova y la Geltru, some 50 kilometers south of Barcelona,. Wine making began on this property in 1947. The winery underwent renovations in 1984 and then again in 1997, after the J. García Carrión family purchased the property.

The white varietals of Parellada, Chardonnay, Macabeo and Xarel-lo are grown in Jaume Serra's vineyards situated in the Alt Penedés, a sub region of the Penedés, and are used to produce the area's famous sparkling wines, called "Cava". By law, Cava must be made in the Methode Champenois or Champagne Method. Due to European regulations prohibiting use of that term, Cava is now labeled as Methode Tradicional, which has the same requirements with an added stipulation that cava must age for a minimum of nine months on the lees before release. After researching local yeasts, the Jaume Serra winery has taken the extraordinary step of importing their yeast from Champagne, France in order to impart the finest quality to their Cavas.



White Wines    Other White Wine    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Clos de Briords Vielles Vignes 2006
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Clos de Briords Vielles Vignes 2006
(search item no. 92186)
green wine


PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The most complex, ageworthy white wine you will ever buy for under $20? Quite possibly. Minerally, complex, high-acid white wine. This wine is something of a legend among wine geeks - try and bottle and you'll see why.

Winemaker and grower Marc Ollivier takes his time to make his Muscadet. He hand harvests (a rarity in the region), uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish fermentation, and bottles with a very light filtration. His Muscadet has a bright color; a slightly bubbly, round and supple mouthfeel with sound structure; and a clean and fruity finish.

Clos des Briords is Marc's finest Muscadet. It comes from a single plot of 50-year old vines planted in schist (shale). Marc is the only grower in Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection vine (commonly used toincrease yield) in his vineyards. He propagates vines from the bud wood of the existing ones. His wines are kept on the yeast twice as long as those of his neighbors. The resulting wine is an extraordinary Muscadet. This wine has citrus-lime and wet stone aromas. On the palate it has bracing lemon mineral flavors that keep on going.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Domaine de la Pepiere:

About Domaine de la Pepiere:

Marc Ollivier’s Muscadet-sur-Lie is the authentic item — it has lees contact until the time of bottling. This extended contact gives it the crispness that makes Muscadet so refreshing. It is the traditional way to make Muscadet, but has become the exception as growers and shippers rush to bottle “technically correct” wines by early January.

Ollivier hand harvests, uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are in old vines (40 years and older) with a particularly good exposition on a plateau overlooking the river Sèvre. All the vineyards are from original stock: Ollivier is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards.

Ollivier also produces a very-old-vine cuvée of Muscadet from a single-plot vineyard in schist, the Clos des Briords. These are among the oldest vines in his estate (planted in 1930) and they enjoy a particularly good exposition. Also, when most of his estate’s vines are planted on poor, shallow soil with hard granite very close to the surface, the Clos des Briords has a much deeper top soil of clay and silica over a brittle granite subsoil: ensuring excellent drainage in wet years, and better moisture retention in dry summers.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 93805)
Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $7.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Spends an average of eight months in small French and American oak barrels, resulting in an exceptionally round, mouth-filling wine. Ripe cherry and currant flavors, with a velvety finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

"Surprisingly powerful and rich in fruit for its price, this offers black currant and cassis over youthfully rustic tannins. Give it some pork."
-Wines & Spirits "Value Picks"

My Notes:

Additional wines from Vina Santa Rita:

About Vina Santa Rita:

Heritage and enterprise are hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile's premier wine estates. Founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez in Chile's Maipo Valley, this historic property was among the first to pioneer plantings of European grape varieties in Chile.

In 1980, it was acquired by its present owner, Ricardo Claro, under whom Santa Rita has reaped the rewards of continuous investment, resulting in a period of impressive growth, during which the winery has consolidated its position in the vanguard of Chile's most successful and innovative estates. Initiatives include the highly successful launch of Santa Rita’s 120 Series of wines and a range of ultra-premium wines, notably the highly acclaimed Casa Real and Triple C. Wide-ranging enhancements embrace the purchase of choice new vineyards, plantings with top quality clones, improved trellising and irrigation, balanced viticulture, restricted yields, later harvesting, individual block farming, small-lot vinification, and an increased emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

Today Santa Rita exports to more than 70 countries worldwide. The property accounts for outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important appellations - the Maipo Valley; Casablanca; Rapel; Apalta; Leyda and Curico - enabling access to diverse climates and terrain.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Cotes du Rhone    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Delas St. Esprit Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2007
Delas St. Esprit Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2007
(search item no. 95751)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $14.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Côtes-du-Rhône Saint Esprit is made from a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan grapes, which come from a small village in the Ardeche region. The vineyard's southern exposure on steep granite hillsides provides the best growing conditions for the vines.

The Cuvée Saint Esprit shows the strength and a pepper taste typical of the Syrah grape. The color is deep garnet red and has intense red berry aromas. It is an exceptional full-bodied wine with fine tannins.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Delas Freres:

About Delas Freres:

Founded over 160 years ago, Delas Frères was acquired by Champagne Deutz in 1977.

Delas Frères cultivates vineyards on the steep granite slopes of the northern Rhône, in some of the region's most prestigious appellations. Additional grapes are supplied through long-term agreements with southern Rhone growers dedicated to providing only top quality grapes.

Crafted by winemaker Jacques Grange to epitomize finesse and elegance, recent Delas Frères vintages from the vineyards of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Ventoux have won renewed praise for their intensity of flavor and excellent value.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Pauillac    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Chateau Lynch Moussas  2006
Chateau Lynch Moussas 2006
(search item no. 99618)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Château Lynch-Moussas, situated on a lovely gravel outcrop very close to the village of Artigues and of châteaux Grand Puy and Batailley, forms part of the magnificent classified growth region surrounding the town of Pauillac which extends from Lafite and Duhart-Milon in the north, to Batailley, Pichon and Latour in the south. The property belongs to the Castéja family who have owned grand crus in the commune of Pauillac, Gironde, without a break for more than three hundred years.

Chateau Lynch-Moussas' wine originates from the estate's 57 hectares of vineyards morcellated through the commune of Pauillac. The soil for these vineyards is typical of the Pauillac consisting mostly of gravel over a limestone subsoil. The vines are divided between Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Merlot (30%).

My Notes:

About Chateau. Lynch Moussas:

The Irishman John Lynch acquired the estate together with the vineyards of what is today the neighbouring Château Lynch-Bages and had the chateau built in the 18th century. The Castéja family, proprietor in Pauillac since the 16th century,acquired Château Lynch-Moussas in the beginning of the 20th century. From the 1970's onwards until today, major investments have been made at the Chateau and in the vineyard, significantly improving quality. Chateau Lynch-Moussas is the only Castéja-Chateau on the left bank not exclusively distributed through Borie-Manoux but through the "place de Bordeaux".