Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2005
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel 2005
(search item no. 90617)
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $31.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 77% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane

This elegant, full-bodied wine, with its firm tannins and intense, complex fruit, is among the finest of recent vintages. Enjoyable now, it will develop further over the next ten years.

My Notes:

About Ridge Vineyards:

Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Moet & Chandon White Star
Moet & Chandon White Star
(search item no. 517)

PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $49.99

Winemaker's Notes:

White Star is a balanced blend of three wine varieties, revealing a harmonious succession of sensations, a soft maturity, and elegant lines. Soft and mature aroma of white fruits, like peaches and pears, and hints of nuts.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Moët & Chandon:

About Moët & Chandon:

The largest Champagne house in France, Moët et Chandon was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët. They produce large volumes of non-vintage wine under the White Star and Brut Imperial designations, however, are best known for their premium brand Dom Pérignon.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
(search item no. 91865)
collectible wine
older vintages


PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $99.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2006 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 92 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1992 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1991 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1991 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1990 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1988 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 28 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

The Silver Oak Cellars 2003 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant, highly expressive wine that displays great complexity due to the multifaceted climatic conditions of the harvest season. The wine is dark ruby with a purple to red edge. It displays bright aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate, black tea, allspice and ginger. In the mouth, it has a full-bodied attack, a round, balanced mid-palate redolent of cherry preserves, brown sugar and caramel and an extremely long finish of savory ripe fruit. Properly cellared, it should give drinking pleasure until 2026.

Our 2003 Alexander Valley, a blend of wine from several different vineyards, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. We blended the vineyard lots in early 2004 and transferred the wine to 50% new and 50% once-used American oak barrels for aging. Blending prior to barreling allows us to achieve a balance of the wine's natural elements, such as fruit and tannin, before they are influenced by oak. The wine is then aged in barrel for approximately 25 months and another 15 months in bottle to harmonize its components before release.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Silver Oak Alexander Valley:

About Silver Oak Alexander Valley:

Great wine is meant to be savored with family and friends. This belief is at the heart of Silver Oak Cellars, where we have crafted extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon for over 35 years. Designed to be deliciously drinkable from the day it is released, Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon grows more supple and luxurious over time.

Silver Oak's Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is produced at our picturesque Geyserville estate, set amid the rolling hills of northern Sonoma County.

The Tudor-style estate features a massive flagstone arch that leads to a central courtyard with a fountain. High, arched glass doors open on the tasting room with its rustic stone fireplace. Designed to resemble the American oak barrels that are a signature of Silver Oak, the oak tasting bar is accented with steel barrel hoops. Beautifully etched glass doors highlight the stone-lined wine library next door, which contains an enormous oak barrel carved with the Silver Oak logo.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2000
Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2000
(search item no. 81555)
collectible wine


PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bancroft Ranch Merlot has a quality I can only describe as all-around richness. Unlike some Merlots I've tasted, the wine from Bancroft has no hole in the middle. It delivers a consistent message from the first waft of its characteristic aromas through its long finish. I think this richness comes mostly from the concentrated blackberry and blueberry flavors but also partly from a kind of earthy quality typical of the vineyard. Underlying these flavors are more subtle notes of anise, tobacco and leather. Ive found that these flavors become more pronounced as the wine ages and evolves, which makes me eager to monitor this vintage well into the next century.
-Ed Sbragia, Winemaster

"Aromas of currant, chocolate, coffee and truffle. Lush, sweet and deep for the vintage, with chocolate and smoke flavors dominating."
-International Wine Cellar

My Notes:

Additional wines from Beringer Vineyards:

About Beringer Vineyards:

No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.

Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of the rich heritage of the Beringer Vineyard, while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance. The exquisite wines crafted at the Beringer Vineyards display a single minded dedication and pursuit of excellence instilled by its founder, Jacob Beringer.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Hess 19 Block Cuvee Mt Veeder 2005
Hess 19 Block Cuvee Mt Veeder 2005
(search item no. 94252)
Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $38.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 9% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

The aroma first expresses sage and black licorice combined with cherry and milk chocolate, followed by complex notes of cedar and pepper. The palate is concentrated and shows some of its mountain Cabernet backbone with generous tannins. Cherry flavors resonate through the mid palate leading to a firm finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from The Hess Collection:

About The Hess Collection:

The Hess Collection was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess, who first purchased vineyards on Mount Veeder in 1978 and began making wine under The Hess Collection label in 1983. In 1986, he began renovation of the historic winery, originally constructed in 1903 by Colonel Theodore Gier. The winery opened to the public in 1989. The Hess Collection has vineyards on Mount Veeder, along with their Napa Valley estate vineyards - Su'skol and Allomi in Napa Valley, and Shirtail Creek Vineyard in Monterey. Each of these vineyards is sustainably farmed in accordance with Donald's philosophy: "Nurture the land, return what you take."


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2007
Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2007
(search item no. 96119)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $24.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2012 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 91 points
2012 Decanter rating: 91 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 85 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#10 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008

Scents of raspberries and blueberries intertwined with briar patch spices. Ripe raspberry and blueberry flavors persist. A hint of creamy oak and a silky and refined texture with a juicy character. Juicy acidity and integrated tannins smooth the finish.

Excellent paired with red sauces, pizza, BBQ, and a variety of meats and spicy cuisine.

"A seductive and vigorous Zinfandel, with smoky black cherry and blueberry aromas and youthful wild berry, sage and cracked pepper flavors that have a lingering finish and zesty tannins. Drink now through 2012." 93 Points
Wine Spectator

My Notes:

Additional wines from Seghesio Family Vineyards:

About Seghesio Family Vineyards:

Established in 1985, when Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley, Seghesio Family Vineyards produces wines that honor the history of Sonoma and the Seghesio family. Seghesio Family Vineyards' 300 acres in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys represent some of the oldest vineyards and proprietary clones. With a passionate belief that wine is made in the vineyard, Seghesio pairs a century of experience on these treasured sites with aggressive farming techniques. True to their oldest plantings, Seghesio concentrates on Zinfandel, Italian varietals and Pinot Noir. Ted Seghesio is the winemaker.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Chateauneuf-du-Pape    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003
Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003
(search item no. 88591)
collectible wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $39.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 20 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre and others from 45 year-old vines. A deep dark red in the glass with aromas of spices and mature red fruits. In the mouth, round tannins with powerful complexity. A rich unctuous wine with notes of mature plums, hazelnuts and red fruits. A very rich wine full of harmony and balance.

Serve with: Red meat, game bird and cheese.

"...the 2003 Chateauneuf-du-Pape fully deserves a place alongside its more renowned siblings, with elegant refinement and subtle, soil-driven intensity. Its dark, pungent flavors of black cherry and spiced plum are richly prominent..."
-Wine & Spirits

"...a deep ruby/purple color as well as a sweet nose of new saddle leather, garrigue, pepper, kirsch, and blackberries. Dense, full-bodied, and tasty..."
-Wine Advocate

"Very rich and deep, with powerful, jammy raspberry and cherry flavors, dusty tannins and a long, chocolatey finish...
-International Wine Cellar

My Notes:

Additional wines from E. Guigal:

About E. Guigal:

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards that are over 2400 years old, you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine for over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment.

Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel's hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis Grippat estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage, as well as the Domaine de Vallouit in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.

In the cellars of the Guigal estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Yalumba Hand Picked Barossa Shiraz/Viognier 2005
Yalumba Hand Picked Barossa Shiraz/Viognier 2005
(search item no. 92278)
Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $39.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2003 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The concept of blending Shiraz and Viognier is not new. It is derived from the great French wine region of Northern Rhone, in particular the Côte Rôtie area.

Distinctive cherry and red briary fruits are followed by the spices of cinnamon and black pepper with a subtle floral overtone. On the palate, mouth filling flavors of coffee, cedar, chocolate and touches of licorice and black fruits. This is a wine of silky class that finishes with a melt of finely tailored tannins.

"Seamless, polished and remarkably expressive. A wine of uncommon balance that plays its ripe cherry, plum and mulberry flavors against wisps of cream, clove and white pepper, all of it mingling harmoniously on the long, refined finish. Best from 2009 through 2020. 225 cases imported. –HS" - Wine Spectator

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    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Yalumba Barossa Shiraz and Viognier 2005
Yalumba Barossa Shiraz and Viognier 2005
(search item no. 91088)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $17.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 95% Shiraz, 5% Viognier.

Color: Deep, dark and dense reds.

Aroma: Smooth, silken and flooded with plums, cedar, vanilla and sweet jubey raspberries with just subtle whiffs of the florals of Viognier.

Palate: The wine shows rich black fruits with peppery spices, cloves and cardamon seeds, finishing with a lingering jubey coffee anise texture.

Cellar: Great now, but will also reward 5-7 years in the cellar.

Food: Perfect with a creamy veal pasta.

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.


Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/21/2014
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
(search item no. 528)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 92 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/21/2014: $49.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A Champagne House is eventually judged on the quality of its Brut Non Vintage. It is in the making of such a wine that the true Art of Champagne blending reveals itself.

This is an art in which the House of Veuve Clicquot excels. Our Brut Yellow Label reflects the superb vineyards we own and the consistent nature of our House style.

The predominance of Pinot Noir provides the structure that is so typically Clicquot, while a touch of Pinot Meunier rounds out the blend. Chardonnay adds the elegance and finesse essential in a perfectly balanced wine.

My Notes:

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About Veuve Clicquot:

The House was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772. Since its inception, Veuve Clicquot has been a specialist in Champagnes based on Pinot Noir, especially Rosé. In 1803, François Clicquot was married to Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. Madame Clicquot was widowed just two years later. Veuve Clicquot (Veuve means widow in French) took over her husband's business. In 1810, the house took the name Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. The way that she ran her company, from risky overseas ventures to startling technological innovations, changed Champagne forever. Her motto is still the guiding principle of our company – "Only one quality – the finest."

In 1816, Mme. Clicquot invented the process, called rémuage or riddling, that removes the yeast from the bottle. She used holes cut in her kitchen table to perfect the method of slowly tilting and turning the bottles to gather the spent yeast in the neck of the bottle. Once settled it could be removed by freezing the neck in a brine of salt and water, removing it, and recorking.

The company was taken public in 1963, and merged with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey in 1986. Today, Jacques Peters is the chief winemaker at Veuve Clicquot, and was appointed cellar master in 1985. He has undertaken an ambitious program since this time to upgrade the grape sources, improve the vineyards, and improve the cellars and production facilities.