Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Burgundy    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Meo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot 2008
Meo-Camuzet Clos de Vougeot 2008
(search item no. 116258)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
Burghound.com rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $129.00

Winemaker's Notes:

Is this a wine which expresses the Cistercian rigour which gave birth to it? No, its image is rather that of a refined gentleman: the grapes mature early here, but still give wines of great finesse, with a lace-like texture, which lines the palate, with superb length.
My Notes:

About Meo-Camuzet:

Méo-Camuzet is one of the most celebrated domaines of the Côte d’Or, located in the heart of prestigious Vosne-Romanée. The domaine boasts fourteen hectares of land in some of the most spectacular appellations and crus of Burgundy. The vineyard land in Burgundy is highly parceled out among families, which makes it rare for anyone to have enough vines to be able to bottle one grand cru, let alone the four that the Méos have. The early beginnings of the domaine left it in the hands of métayeurs, or share-croppers. The last twenty years have brought substantial changes that have fostered a new chapter for the Méo family.

Founder Étienne Camuzet was not only a passionate vigneron, but a full-time politician, and spent most of his time in Paris, representing the Côte d’Or. In order to keep his land in use, he offered it to capable share-croppers to farm. By the time his daughter had inherited the estate, she found herself with no successors, so the estate was passed down to her closest relative, Jean Méo. Jean was also deeply involved in national politics—he served as a member of Charles DeGaulle’s cabinet. Consequently, he, too, had to direct the domaine from afar. In the early 1980s, as many of the métayeurs were starting to retire, it became clear that the domaine needed a new direction. Jean’s son, Jean-Nicolas had also spent most of his life in Paris. By 1985, it was his turn to take the helm. In lieu of continuing to rent out their highly-pedigreed vineyards, he made the bold decision to slowly start reclaiming the land for the domaine’s own bottlings. He called upon the resident expert, one of Burgundy’s greatest winemakers of all time, Henri Jayer, for guidance. Henri had spent over forty years farming parcels from Méo-Camuzet under his own label, while enjoying celebrity status in the Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant portfolio. For three years, he mentored Jean-Nicolas during the transition and finally decided to retire in 1988. Though Jayer passed away in 2006, his legacy endures to this day.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Decoy San Francisco Giants Napa Valley Red 2010
Decoy San Francisco Giants Napa Valley Red 2010
(search item no. 111750)

PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $31.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Hit a Home Run with Decoy by Duckhorn San Francisco Giants 2010 World Champions commemorative Wine!

This is a bottle every baseball super fan should have. From the renowned Napa Valley Decoy by Duckhorn Winery, this wine possesses alluring aromas of blackberry, blueberry and raspberry, supported by notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. On the palate, this wine is lush and juicy, with soft, velvety tannins. Subtle oak-inspired elements of cedar and walnut accentuate the dark fruit flavors, giving them an enticing berry cobbler quality.
Merlot 52%, Cabernet Sauvignon 46%, Petit Verdot 2%.

My Notes:

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About Decoy:

Since the inaugural vintage of Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than 20 years ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. Building on this foundation, Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyards brand to being a supporting brand for the entire Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio.

Today, in addition to the Decoy Red, the Decoy lineup includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc—all of which are appellation-designated, and highlight Decoy’s commitment to producing attractively priced wines made from exceptional vineyard sources.

Because of Duckhorn Wine Company’s unique structure, Decoy benefits from the talent, experience and expertise of all four Duckhorn Wine Company winemakers, each of whom has a unique area of specialization. Like all the grapes used to make wines in the Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio, fruit for the Decoy program comes from a mix of Estate vineyards and top growers. Decisions about which lots are used in Decoy are not made until well into the winemaking process. As a result, Decoy’s grapes receive the same meticulous care in the vineyard, and the same small-lot attention to detail in the winery.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Inglenook CASK Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Inglenook CASK Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 113089)
collectible wine
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $79.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

For the 2008 vintage, very ripe fruit was picked in selective areas throughout the Estate to express a brighter ripe Cabernet style for CASK. Dark, ripe cherry is the predominant characteristic, along with vanilla and hints of floral and spice notes. The mouthfeel is very rich and round with some sweet creaminess on the palate and a fresh fruit finish.

Try one of these wonderful pairings of grilled lamb chops, beef tenderloin, braised lamb shanks, a hearty stew, or a beef burger with all the fixings.

My Notes:

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About Inglenook:

In 1879, Finnish explorer and adventurer Gustave Niebaum searched the Napa Valley with the goal of establishing a wine estate to rival the finest chateau of France. For decades his wines won acclaim and remain some of the most admired in American wine history's classic period. By the mid-1960's, his property was divided, and estate-wine production ceased.

A decade later, Francis Ford Coppola purchased 1,500 acres of this historic property and revived Captain Niebaum's fine winemaking tradition. In 1995, Niebaum-Coppola acquired the remainder of the property and restored the Inglenook Estate to its original dimensions.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Chateauneuf-du-Pape    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007
Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007
(search item no. 104809)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep crimson. Ripe dark berries, turning to spices. Smooth and persistent with aromatic fullness.
My Notes:

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About Domaine du Vieux Lazaret:

The vineyards of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret are spread over 90 hectares, split into 35 different parcels of vines throughout Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is today amongst the largest domains in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with 80 hectares planted in red grape varieties and 10 planted with white grapes. The number of parcels enables the Domaine du Vieux Lazaret to give greater complexity to its wines due to the diversity of soils, grape types and differing ages of vines.

Harvesting of the grapes is done entirely by hand, with very strict selection of the best grapes to enhance the quality of the Domaine du Vieux Lazaret wine. This limits the maximum production, under the A.O.C laws, to 35 hectoliters per hectare.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Hungary    Other Europe   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Pinot Evil Pinot Noir (3 Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar)
Pinot Evil Pinot Noir (3 Liter Octavin Home Wine Bar)
(search item no. 103412)

PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $22.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Hungary's wine regions tend to be in cooler climates, therefore it's a perfect place for Pinot. Its best growing regions are situated with southern exposures to maximize ripening potential. Our inaugural Octavin Pinot Noir is crafted from grapes grown in Sopron, in the foothills of the Alps, next to Austria's Burgenland wine region, and from Balatonboglari, a popular local wine region also referred to as Hungary's "Riviera". These up-and-coming wine regions have a long viticulture heritage that is still being rediscovered following Hugary's emergence from Communist rule in the late 1980s. Utilizing traditional techniques like cold fermentation that maximize color and and barrel aging in Hungary's unique Aszok Hungarian oak barrels to optimize fruit intensity, the wines present with earthy red current and black cherry aromas. It's a medium-bodied red wine with notes of cranberry and rhubarb, with a lingering, creamy finish.

About the Octavin
Octavin Home Wine Bar's patent-pending package design prevents oxidation. Every glass tastes as fresh and flavorful as if the wine was just opened, even up to six weeks after your first sip. It's the perfect choice for those interested in just one glass with dinner.

Octavin Home Wine Bar's innovative design allows us to invest in making great wine, not expensive packaging. By eliminating heavy glass and expensive cork and closures, we reduce the cost of packaging and shipping, and pass on those savings to you. While each Octavin contains the equivalent of four standard bottles of distinctive artisan wine, you often end up paying the price of just three bottles.

So go ahead and break the glass habit--and mother nature just might thank you for it. By choosing Octavin Home Wine Bar over four carbon-inefficient heavy glass bottles, you reduce packaging waste by at least 85% and carbon emissions by 55%.

My Notes:

About Pinot Evil:

Pinot Evil's artisan winemaking team shares a passion for Pinot in all forms. Julian Halasz has a distinctive advantage in making these Hungarian wines having been born and raised in Budapest, a descendent of a Hungarian winemaking family. He officially came to California to study enology after working at his uncle's and other smaller Hungarian wineries learning all about Hungary's microclimates and the old world winemaking practices still widely employed there. He interned at several Livermore, CA wineries as well to learn the best of New World techniques. Heis now one of the lead winemakers for Concannon, and he also partners with Mario to craft Pinot Evil. Now a veteran California winemaker, Mario Pulido, was first inspired to become a winemaker after an extended trip throughout Europe in the 1970s. Inspired by its old world wine and food culture, Mario loves to craft both Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir given their food-friendly natures. "I enjoy Pinot Grigio's versatility and the challenges that Pinot Noir present a winemaker, especially with finding the balance between the wine's texture and fruit components." Julian shares this sentiment about his two favorite Pinots. He feels fortunate that with Pinot Evil's Hungarian ties, he can return so closely to his roots, "Winemaking is in my blood. I have grown up around wine, and one day I just realized how much I loved the artistic aspects of it."


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 100060)

PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Opaque crimson center with a garnet edge appearance. Its aroma is dense, concentrated, evolving scents of plum with black cherry, blackberry and cassis, layered with cocoa, toasty oak, sweet herbs and a hint of violets. Intriguing dark flavors of plum, cassis and black cherry are layered with toffee, cocoa and vanilla lifted with fresh herbs. Concentrated, structured and full on the palate from start to finish, ending with ripe, yet age worthy tannins.
My Notes:

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About Simi:

In 1876, brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi began making wine in San Francisco from Sonoma County grapes and eventually planted vineyards near Healdsburg. Simi's historic stone cellars were built in 1890 and are still used to age the wines. Today, Simi is recognized as a leader in innovation and experimentation with a history of over 125 years of cutting-edge winemaking.

Their Alexander Valley vineyards possess some of the most diverse soils of any wine-growing region. Years of geologic activity – from an ancient mudflow to the meandering Russian River and Mayacama Creek – has created numerous distinct soil types and a range of microclimates. Here they grow the red Bordeaux varietals for their Reserve Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for their Sendal.

Their Russian River Goldfields vineyard is planted to field selections chosen from the oldest and best Chardonnay vineyards in California. The combination of diverse clones and the cool, Russian River Valley climate produce Simi’s distinct Reserve Chardonnay.

Simi's winemakers focus on site-specific winemaking and use the most modern advances in vineyard management, fermentation and blending to best express the personality and flavors of each vineyard site.



White Wines    Gruner Veltliner    Austria    Other Europe   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner 2010
Domane Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner 2010
(search item no. 109320)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright straw yellow, inviting and open on the nose with aromas of white pepper, gooseberry and hints of yellow apple. Medium bodied with a crisp acidity, very balanced and spicy finish. A typical Grüner Veltliner at Federspiel level, subtle and very racy.

Serve chilled, directly from the fridge at 8°C. Drink young or store to mature for 2-3 years. A very versatile food wine! Perfectly accompanies poultry, fish, sea foods and a variety of cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Domane Wachau:

2005 brought a new, young, enthusiastic team to this historic property on the banks of the Danube river. Headed by general manager Roman Horvath and enologist Heinz Frischengruber, this team brings fresh ideas, personality and a new energy to the historic cooperative formerly known as Freie Weingartner Wachau. This dynamic duo produces wines which showcase the fruit character and mineral finesse provided by the Wachau valley's unique diversity. Domäne Wachau is the largest cooperative in the Wachau valley, and is made up of 600 contributing members farming slightly less than 500 hectares, or a full one third of the total region's vineyards. Each individual member is challenged to produce the best wines possible, and paid for the quality of their production first, the quantity second. The showplace of the winery is the baroque cellar palace depicted on the label.


White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Conundrum White Blend 2009
Conundrum White Blend 2009
(search item no. 107270)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Conundrum is a true California wine, with grapes sourced from Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties. We often hear the phrase "exotic" when described. It's a fitting portrayal; there is no other wine quite like it.

Each lot of wine is treated separately to respect its unique flavor profile. This approach starts in our vineyards and continues in the cellar. We keep some lots in cool-temperature stainless steel to maintain fresh, crisp aromas and fruit flavors; and age some lots in a combination of French barrels.

Floral bouquet nose with a dominance of honeysuckle. Muscat is the defining/alluring factor in the aroma of this wine. Enters round with a Chardonnay weight to it then quickly lightens up to reveal the additional varietals. Sauvignon Blanc adds an herbal element while the Viognier adds a spicy character. The Chardonnay brings weight mid palate and Muscat adds an undeniable honey character to finish things off.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Conundrum:

About Conundrum:

This unique, non-traditional white wine blend was created to offer full-flavored fruit and enough complexity to match the creative dishes being offered by today’s generation of chefs. Conundrum can be served with every course from appetizer to dessert, and pairs beautifully with spicy foods and full-flavored Asian cuisine.

The "conundrum", or puzzle, of this wine is in guessing which grapes make up the blend; a combination that includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, Semillon and Viognier. Conundrum is a true California wine, with grapes sourced from Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties. Winemaker Jon Bolta began to craft the style for Conundrum in 1988.

The twist cap closure protects the fine aromas and flavors of this distinctive blend, allowing the bottle to be easily re-closed and refrigerated. The airtight cap also eliminates the possibility of cork taint.

Conundrum is owned by the Wagner family of Caymus Vineyards, but stands on its own as a separate brand. The Conundrum winery in Monterey County is close to the sources for most of the grape varietals that make up the wine.



White Wines    Riesling    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 9/17/2014
Brass Tacks Riesling 2008
Brass Tacks Riesling 2008
(search item no. 102304)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/17/2014: $7.99

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."