White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 113939)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale straw in color with intense amalgam of limes, grapefruit, and underlying rich tropical fruit aromas. It has an inviting and fine texture that brings out the citrus and currant flavors of the wine. Pure fruit and vibrant acidity leave a sustained, dry finish.
My Notes:

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About Spy Valley:

The brand name Spy Valley is derived from the presence of a satellite communications monitoring station within a few kilometers of the winery. Situated on the sunny southern side of Marlborough's Wairau Valley, nestled on the terraces of the Omaka River are the vineyards of Johnson Estate. Established in 1993 by the Johnson family, Johnson Estate was one of the pioneering vineyard companies in the Marlborough sub-region and remains family-owned. Eight varieties of grapes grow over 380 acres of free-draining, stony soils producing exceptional fruit for Spy Valley Wines. In ten years, production has risen to place Spy Valley as one of Marlborough's leading family-owned companies. Youthful and exuberant wines are crafted using modern winemaking techniques by winemaker Paul Bougeois and his team.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Llai Llai Pinot Noir 2009
Llai Llai Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 112204)
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $12.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep, brillitant red color. Ripe and aromatic, this wine has an explosive nose with intense red fruit expression. On the palate, it is fine and elegant, with a good balance of alcohol and acidity. Black and red cherry flavors, surround sweet earthy notes. A long, rich and smooth finish due to the very ripe and soft tannins.
My Notes:

About Llai Llai:

We do not think of who we are and what we do in terms of Old World or New World. We think of ourselves as passionate people who want to make a difference in wine, with wine and around wine.

Exploring South America is our passion. Not content to continue growing grapes in the same regions we always have, we set out more than two decades ago to explore new lands, curious to see how different soils and climates would affect our favorite wine varietals.



White Wines    Other White Blends    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Marques de Caceres Rioja Blanco 2010
Marques de Caceres Rioja Blanco 2010
(search item no. 110382)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $9.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Luminous, pale straw color with metallic highlights. Lively bouquet combining pears and mineral notes with a discreet depth of grapefruit. Well-integrated fruit flavors awaken the palate with their refreshing vivacity and persist in the mouth to give good length.
My Notes:

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About Marques de Caceres:

Founded in 1970, with its first release in 1975, Marqués de Cáceres the Rioja bodega was established by Henri Forner, whose family has been active in the wine business for generations. The winery is named for a Spanish peer who was also an investor in the winery and a friend of Henri Forner.

The Forner family fled Spain during the Spanish Civil War and settled in France. In the early 1960s, Henri Forner and his brother Elysée bought and restored two abandoned châteaux, Château Camensac and Château Larose-Trintaudon. These châteaux are now recognized as two of the finest properties in Bordeaux. When Henri decided to establish a bodega in his homeland, he selected what he considered the finest viticultural area in Spain: Cenicero in Rioja Alta.

Emile Peynaud, former professor and chief wine researcher at the University of Bordeaux, was initial consultant to the winery. Today, Michel Rolland is wine consultant at Marqués de Cáceres and Henri and his daughter, Christine, are at the helm. The vinification methods at Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres are similar to those used in Bordeaux. Thus, French winemaking techniques and expertise have been applied to native Spanish grapes to produce one of the finest modern Riojas.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Mionetto Il Prosecco
Mionetto Il Prosecco
(search item no. 58519)
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PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Straw-colored wine with brilliant reflections. The aroma is fruity; reminiscent of pear and citrus with a slightly floral bouquet. The wine is fresh and crisp with apparent apple and peach flavors. This gentle-sparkling wine typifies the traditional wine-maker's Prosecco, fermented in the Charmat method to maintain the fresh fruity quality of the Prosecco grape.

Perfect with brunch, lunch, dinner or potato chips. Enjoy in everyday social situations.

My Notes:

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About Mionetto:

Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. In the heart of the Prosecco region, Mionetto produces exceptional wines with consistent national and international acclaim.


Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Languedoc-Roussillon    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Toad Hollow Risque French Sparkling Wine
Toad Hollow Risque French Sparkling Wine
(search item no. 112552)
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PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Risqué is a crisp and fruity sparkling wine with low alcohol (6%) and a delicate sweetness made from 100% Mauzac. The taste is crisp and fruity with nice acidity and a touch of natural sweetness.
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About Toad Hollow:

Toad Hollow Vineyards began operation in 1994, with 3000 cases of 1993 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Our Chardonnay is 100% Stainless Steel fermented, using no oak at all. Since then we have added additional wines, a Russian River Merlot (Richard McDowell Vineyard), a Russian River Pinot Noir (Goldies Vines) a Zinfandel from Paso Robles and a Rose of Pinot Noir from Carneros. In 1995 we started to import wines made by our French friends at Sieur D'Arques and now have two sparklings and three still wines in our portfolio. Our mission is to produce quality wines that are interesting at a reasonable price. Our labels are whimsical, supporting another element of our philosophy - we believe drinking wine should be FUN!

Toad Hollow is a collaboration of two old friends who, more or less, retired to an existence of peace and quiet in the Hollow, after a life of whirlwind world travel. Neither of these two gentlemen believed in self-denial, and over the years had probably wined and dined at every major eatery and watering hole in the universe. They began to discuss the fun times they had experienced over many years, remembering all the wonderful people they had met. During their conversation they decided they wanted to find a way to repay the warmth and friendship shown them along the way.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red 2009
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red 2009
(search item no. 99603)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The nose features plum and bright red fruits with a hint of roasted meats, earth, pepper and exotic spices. The palate has some wonderful delicate fruit with blackberry joining the party. A touch of dried herbs adds a savory edge with fine, lifted tannins providing a long finish. It's cracking wine with sophistication—but don't worry it's still a lot of fun.

Varietal Blend: Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre

My Notes:

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About d'Arenberg:

One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.


White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Biodynamic Riesling 2008
Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Biodynamic Riesling 2008
(search item no. 105012)
green wine
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Adhering to the strictest Demeter Certified Biodynamic farming and viticulture standards, this wine is a pure expression of Riesling. People often ask, "What do you do at the winery to make the winemaking Biodynamic?" Well that's easy, we do nothing.absolutely nothing. If we would list the ingredients on the label, they would read: Biodynamic grapes, Sulfites below 100ppm, yeast hulls and bentonite (used for protein stability). The resulting wine is a piece of art and the truest form of Riesling.

2007 was well suited for Biodynamic wines because the acidity in the grapes was high. The wine aromas are fairly ripe with some guava and grapefruit notes. The wine was aged on lees for a few months and displays wonderful yeastiness, jasmine on the palate and great minerality with a dry, bright finish.

Because of the final alcohol content (13.5%), we would recommend something with subtle richness, such as a chicken with a creamy sauce or a fish with a beurre blanc.

My Notes:

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About Pacific Rim:

Riesling, simply, is the most versatile, complex and food-friendly of all the noble grapes. if you enjoy inspiring your palate, then Riesling is your ideal wine. No other varietal so purely expresses terroir. Washington's Columbia Valley - home of Pacific Rim - provies the ideal soils and climate for growing Riesling. Purity is at the core of Pacific Rim's winemaking philosophy. They exclusively use stainless steel tanks, allowing the true character of Riesling to speak for itself, they do not use malolactic fermentation and their wines are fermented only with native yeasts. Pacific Rim produces 10 different Rieslings from bone dry to sticky sweet, and Riesling represents 95% of all the wines they produce. Pacific Rim is an Organic and Biodynamic certified winery.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 111056)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Strawberry, cherry and cola aromas and flavors harmoniously flow into the silky and soft palate that culminates into a long velvety finish.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 2% Merlot

My Notes:

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About Columbia Crest:

Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. In 2009, the winery reached a milestone when Wine Spectator named their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon "Wine of the Year," the first time a wine from Washington state has received the ranking. This accolade was not only a historic moment for Columbia Crest, but for all wineries in Washington and reinforced the belief that the region is among the best wine-producing areas in the world.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Don Nicanor Blend 2007
Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Don Nicanor Blend 2007
(search item no. 104807)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $16.29

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Malbec and 33% Merlot aged for one year in oak barrels. It's a wine with a very neat profile.

Purple red in color with violet and bluish hues. Red fruits and prunes are the dominant aromas that complement the smoky scents delivered by the French oak barrels and add complexity to the wine. In the mouth there is great personality, good body and structure.

My Notes:

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About Bodegas Nieto Senetiner:

The history of Bodegas Nieto Senetiner dates back to 1888, when Italian immigrants founded the winery and planted the first vineyards in Vistalba, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza. The company was managed by different families during the first decades of the past century. These families gave the winery an architectural style of the Italian countryside that still remains today.

Nieto Senetiner is one of the oldest wineries in Mendoza’s esteemed Lujan de Cuyo, with estate vineyards in the districts of Vistalba & Agrelo, located at 3,000 – 3,500’ elevation. These areas are some of the oldest and most traditional winemaking regions of Mendoza and were the birthplace of the Malbec quality revolution. Nieto Senetiner's wines, including its signature Nieto Malbec, are expressed via the tradition and vision of its three unique estate vineyard sites, each with distinct characteristics. The soft, supple texture of Vistalba, which is over 100 years old and one of the great heritage vineyards in Argentina, the power and elegance of Agrelo, featuring a unique cool climate Bonarda plantation and the unique concentration and structure of extreme high altitude Alto Agrelo.

In addition to showcasing the particular characteristics of each terroir, Nieto also engages in a creative blending process to to showcase the complexity to which Malbec can aspire.



Dessert, Sherry & Port    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/20/2014
Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto 2011
Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto 2011
(search item no. 115752)
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PRICE ON 11/20/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Festive cranberry in color with an aromatic bouquet with hints of raspberries, strawberries and rose. A fresh raspberry taste, with crisp acidity, enticing the palate with an initial softness, graduating to a round and luscious finish.
My Notes:

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About Castello Banfi:

In 1978 John and Harry Mariani, owners of the U.S. wine importer Banfi Vintners, established the award winning vineyard estate and winery Castello Banfi in the Brunello region of Tuscany. A constellation of single vineyards located on ideal sites cover about one third of the 7,100 acre (2,830 hectares) estate. The remaining land consists of bucolic meadows, olive and plum groves, and woodland. Central to the property is a medieval castle that functions as a hospitality center, hosting visitors at a full service restaurant, enoteca and museum dedicated to the history of glass and its relation to wine.