Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Fetish The Watcher Shiraz 2008
Fetish The Watcher Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 105204)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#61 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The Watcher. It is an image steeped in legend and mystery. It implies transcendence and authority. The Watcher is a being of knowledge, of understanding, of concern, of influence.

At Fetish Wines, we value this level of attention to every step of the winemaking process, from the soil to the bottle. We do not want to manipulate wine, but to craft it by the subtle direction that can only be achieved through an intimate relationship with the land.

For this wine, Rolf Binder is The Watcher

My Notes:

About Fetish:

Fetish Wine was introduced with the release of the 2004 vintage "The Watcher," a Barossa Valley Shiraz made by Rolf Binder at his acclaimed Veritas Winery. The brand combined high-quality wine, a prestigious appellation and a celebrity winemaker all wrapped up in cutting edge packaging.

Shortly after this initial release a new project came together, this time partnering with Wayne Dutschke to produce the "Field of Dreams" Barossa Moscato. This wine brought a new, and very different, facet of Australian winemaking into the Fetish portfolio. The distinctive blue bottle and colorful label contributed to the Fetish Wines theme of being consistently different.

2007 saw the second release of "The Watcher" Shiraz, which received an even greater reception in the USA marketplace than its initial release, and the introduction of "Playmates." An additional wine made for Fetish by Rolf Binder, "Playmates" is a Barossa Valley blend of Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro with eye-catching black-and-white artwork. The second release of "Field of Dreams" Moscato will be available before the end of the year.



Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
LaPlaya Axel Carmenere 2007
LaPlaya Axel Carmenere 2007
(search item no. 108194)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $19.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Carmenère is a Bordeaux variety that was considered long-lost until it was rediscovered in Chile a decade ago. Today, the vines flourish at Viña La Playa, nurtured by the exceptional soil conditions and unique microclimate of the Colchagua Valley.
My Notes:

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About LaPlaya:

In 1952, patriarch Søren Axelsen left his native Copenhagen to travel the world. Eventually, he settled in California to grow his own grapes. But he never forgot the remarkable growing regions he had seen in Chile, in particular Colchagua Valley, which showed such great potential to produce world-class wines.

By 1989, he had realized his dream, founding Viña La Playa alongside his sons Peter and Eric. Viña La Playa of Chile is a partnership between the Axelsens and two promient Chilean winemaking legends: the Sutil and Errázuriz families. The winery encompasses 597 acres of prime property in the Colchagua Valley, where its vineyards enjoy a unique microclimate that fosters the growth of premium wine grapes.

With near-perfect growing conditions, Colchagua Valley has been described as "The Next Napa" (Wine Enthusiast, March 2002) as "arguably Chile's premier opportunity for world-class wine production" (Wine Spectator, April 30, 2002), and as "2005 Wine Region of the Year," yeilding "some of the most compelling wines in the world" (Wine Enthusiast, 2005).



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Yalumba The Scribbler 2007
Yalumba The Scribbler 2007
(search item no. 103340)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $14.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Yalumba 'The Scribbler' is a wine with excellent depth of color, richness and complexity, displaying an aroma of riper style Barossa Cabernet Shiraz. It shows dark plum fruits, black cherry, dark tobacco and hints of leafiness all with the dark undertones of mocha oak. It is a well structured wine with a full and robust palate, displaying the classic red berry fruit flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon and the sweet mid-palate of Shiraz. ‘The Scribbler' finishes with tannins that have a black olive and red spice tone. This wine is perfect to enjoy now, but will certainly cellar over the next 5-10 years.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Yalumba:

About Yalumba:

Yalumba is one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith. From modest beginnings, the Yalumba Wine Company has grown to become one of Australia's most successful medium-sized wineries, owned by 6th generation Robert Hill Smith. Yalumba regularly receives accolateds for its distinctive wines, as well as for its leadership role in the Australian wine industry in the areas of viti-innovation and environmental policy. The Yalumba premium wine portfolio commences with the fresh and flavorsome varietal wines of the Y Series, then moves up to capture the essence of the Barossa Eden Valleys, explores old world varieties through innovated, modern wines in the Hand Picked line, and culminates with the coveted, collectible Yalumba Rare & Fine wines.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 102482)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Let's get down to brass tacks. This Cabernet Sauvignon is about the purity of the varietal flavors and California terroir. Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon offers classic rich layers of currant, cherry and blackberry fruit that is framed by nicely integrated oak, which adds a touch of spice. This small lot Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from California's Central Coast that is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. This maritime influence creates an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance.

Food Pairings: Pair Cabernet Sauvignon with steak and other red meats, pastas with red sauce, lamb, strong cheeses and chocolate.

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    Tempranillo    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Bodegas Fernandez Rivera Dehesa La Granja 2004
Bodegas Fernandez Rivera Dehesa La Granja 2004
(search item no. 105272)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

One hundred percent Tempranillo from the Pesquera clones planted in 1998. Purity of fruit accompanies concentrated texture and weight, with excellent balance and expression enhanced by two years in bottle prior to release.
My Notes:

About Bodegas Fernandez Rivera:

Alejandro Fernández and his wife Esperanza Rivera, having created Tinto Pesquera and Condado de Haza in their native Ribera del Duero, looked farther afield in the Spring of 1998. Offered the opportunity to acquire one of Spain's grandest agricultural estates, they purchased the rundown estate bordering the Guareña River in the province of Zamora, in the heart of one of Spain's earliest-recognized wine regions. Known during the entire 20th-century as "La Granja Valdeguareña de los Moleros" the 1800-acre ranch had been devoted to the breeding of highly regarded fighting bulls, still in operation at the time of purchase. From the 18th through 19th centuries the estate had been a regionally-dominant producer of wine, evidenced by 40,000 square feet of cellars hand-carved by 125 laborers over 17 years. During that time the local wine producing area was known throughout Spain and Europe as Tierra del Vino (Land of Wine). House and ranch compound were renovated and a modern winemaking facility installed, directly over the 17th-century cellars. Alejandro rapidly set to work reconverting the estate to wine production, with 325 acres of old-clone Tempranillo from his vineyards in Ribera del Duero planted by late 2000. As with Fernández wines in Ribera del Duero, the fully-extracted must undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak, and a meticulous racking and aging program achieves natural clarification. The wines are bottled after two years in the barrel.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Peter Lehmann Shiraz 2008
Peter Lehmann Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 102693)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A wine of great depth of color reflecting the splendid 2008 red wine vintage. The bouquet has tantalizing aromas of dark plums and black fruits with just a hint of oak in the background. It is a seamless wine with an excellent structure, its rich fruit reined in by firm tannins. A beautiful expression of Barossa Shiraz, it will continue to develop in the bottle for five plus years.

This wine is a perfect accompaniment with steak, roast beef and lamb and excellent with pizza and meat based pasta dishes. It is delightful with aged cheddar or pecorino cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Peter Lehmann:

About Peter Lehmann:

The history of Peter Lehmann Wines is intrinsically linked to the events that made the Barossa famous. Formed in 1979 by Peter Lehmann to assist the grape growers of the region who at the time were facing financial ruin, they now enjoy the rewards of longstanding friendships and loyalty. Each vintage, over 160 grape growers supply Peter Lehmann with the best fruit from over 900 of the best vineyards located throughout the Barossa. These amazing resources enable them to craft wines for every occasion, including their flagship, Stonewall. Peter Lehmann Wines has developed a reputation as one of Australia's most respected, energetic and innovative premium wine producers and today, the team continues to create wines that delight wine lovers around the globe.


Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Freemark Abbey Merlot 2008
Freemark Abbey Merlot 2008
(search item no. 109373)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is a deep and rich ruby-garnet. With integrated spicy sweet oak, there are layers of flavor composed of black cherry, black currant, plum, mincemeat, juniper berry, mushroom, vanilla and dark chocolate, with an underlining complexity of leather and tobacco. The entry and finish are very smooth with integrated fruit resembling black cherry and a rich dark currant syrup. With an extended length of flavor that is very pleasant, this wine is very inviting... you can't stop with just one glass!

Blend: 79.3% Merlot, 8.6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4% Petit Verdot, 3.3% Malbec, 2.6% Petite Sirah, 1.8% Cabernet Franc.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Freemark Abbey:

About Freemark Abbey:

The history of Freemark Abbey began in 1886, when Josephine Marlin Tychson became the first woman to build and operate a winery in California. The historic site where Josephine's winery, Tychson Cellars, once stood is now known as Freemark Abbey.

Josephine, a native of San Lorenzo, California and her husband, John Tychson, a Danish immigrant, moved to St. Helena in 1881. For $8,500, they purchased 147 acres north of St. Helena, which later became known as "Tychson Hill".

Shortly after her husband's untimely death, Josephine began construction of a fifty square foot redwood winery which would grow to hold a capacity of about 30,000 gallons. In addition, she hired Nils Larsen, an experienced vintner, as her foreman. Josephine successfully produced wine for the next eight years and then sold the winery to Larsen in 1894. In turn, Larsen leased the winery to Antonio Forni, a good friend of Josephine's. Forni later purchased the property in 1898. Forni is responsible for building a new winery on the old site of the Tychson structure.

In the years that followed, Freemark Abbey went through a period of several different owners until 1966, when a group of partners purchased the winery. In 1993, Winemaker Ted Edwards became a partner. Edwards assumed the role of managing partner in addition to maintaining the responsibilities he has held as winemaker since 1985.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Victoria    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Passing Clouds Reserve Shiraz 2005
Passing Clouds Reserve Shiraz 2005
(search item no. 107655)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Great balance, with plum, blackberry flavours followed by chocolaty vanilla oak. Best enjoyed with big rich meat dishes or simple cheeses.
My Notes:

About Passing Clouds:

It is often said that great wine is made in the vineyard, and this is a principle Passing Clouds adhere to. The intensity and individuality of the fruit is born from the locations it comes from, the absence (where possible) of irrigation and total care and attention to detail, this is an impossibility when machines are used for pruning and picking.

Several passes of each vine are made every year, ensuring there is no shading of fruit, the correct number of canes are selected and it is ensured that they are in the most beneficial position.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Yalumba Barossa Patchwork Shiraz 2008
Yalumba Barossa Patchwork Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 101903)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dense black purpley red in color with an aroma exhibiting a mix of fresh briary almost blackcurrant tones, balanced with violets and dark plums, finishing with an earthy, savory complexity. The palate is full bodied demonstrating Barossa Valley hallmarks of richness, density and concentration. Silky fruit complexity is the key here with both red and dark jubey flavors. The palate finishes with fine, earthy tannins. Try with a rare rib eye steak.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Yalumba:

About Yalumba:

Yalumba is one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith. From modest beginnings, the Yalumba Wine Company has grown to become one of Australia's most successful medium-sized wineries, owned by 6th generation Robert Hill Smith. Yalumba regularly receives accolateds for its distinctive wines, as well as for its leadership role in the Australian wine industry in the areas of viti-innovation and environmental policy. The Yalumba premium wine portfolio commences with the fresh and flavorsome varietal wines of the Y Series, then moves up to capture the essence of the Barossa Eden Valleys, explores old world varieties through innovated, modern wines in the Hand Picked line, and culminates with the coveted, collectible Yalumba Rare & Fine wines.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Michel Torino Don David Malbec Reserve 2008
Michel Torino Don David Malbec Reserve 2008
(search item no. 107292)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $15.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The flagship red varietal of Argentina. This wine shows plum, red fruits, spicy black cherries and cassis with toasted oak notes on the nose and palate. Ripe fruit and linear acidity balance strong but soft, ripe tannins.

Displaying expressive plum jam, raisin and pipe tobacco aromas, with toasty vanilla notes, the wine has balanced, spicy dark fruits and cassis, almond and nutty notes on the long finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Michel Torino:

About Michel Torino:

With over 1500 acres of vineyards standing at 5500-6600 feet above sea level, Michel Torino is the most important winery in the Cafayate Valley of Argentina. All of the Michel Torino wines are hand-harvested in the estate's own vineyards. Additionally, Andrés Höy, Torino's production manager, practices sustainable, environmentally- friendly farming by minimizing the use of fertilizers and chemicals in the vineyard. The unique Cafayete climate manifests itself in the elegant, focused profile of Michel Torino's wines. These are wines with an indelible sense of place, wines which complement food rather than overpower, wines which are true to their origin.