Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Santa Maria Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 94513)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 PinotReport rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Cambria 2006 Julia's Pinot Noir offers fresh cherry, blueberry, strawberry and cranberry fruit flavors accented with cinnamon and vanilla oak spice characters. The mid-palate has a silky texture and balanced tannins that lead into a fruity and earthy finish.
My Notes:

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About Cambria Winery:

Cambria is a private, family-owned estate winery that has carved out a reputation for producing lush, tropical Chardonnay, velvety-textured Pinot noir and rich, spicy Syrah since its inception in 1987. Cambria's proximity to the ocean and east-west orientation gives this 1,400-acre property the diversity it needs to grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah under perfectly suited conditions. As an estate property, Cambria's Vineyard Manager and Winemaker work in tandem to perfect the winegrowing process. Together, they select only the finest grapes from the estate to bear the Cambria name. Every grape is hand-harvested and crafted into wine with the utmost care and respect foe the varietal.

In recent years, Cambria has concentrated its vineyard and winemaking resources into amplifying different aspects of the Cambria estate. This effort launched an in-depth exploration of the vineyard and varieties on this cool-climate property. The result has elevated the quality of Cambria's core wines, created new site-focused and distinct winemaking styles, and dramatically highlighted the bold flavors of each variety. Today, the flagship wines, making up 90% of the production, include Katherine's Chardonnay, Julia's Pinot Noir and Tepusquet Syrah. Each wine represents the broad definition of flavor, for that variety, on the estate.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 99737)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#82 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The name 'Stump Jump' relates to the significant South Australian invention – the Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for ploughing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps and gnarled "mallee" Eucalypt roots and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse.

Inviting fresh plum aromas leap out of the glass with raspberry and pretty pot-pourri notes providing more complexity. The palate is juicy and spicy with an abundance of red fruits that are fresh and vibrant. Licorice and rose petals come through on the mid palate and an under-lying earthy complexity is evident all the way through. The tannins are powdery and subtle on this juicy ready to drink red.

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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.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2008
Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2008
(search item no. 101184)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $12.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Sangiovese exhibits a fresh bouquet of violets, woodland berries, spices and leather. Deliciously smooth, plush and juicy on the palate with loads of ripe fruit, Di Majo Sangiovese is recommended with pasta, pizza, sausages, parmigiana and grilled meats. A tremendous value!
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About Di Majo Norante:

The Di Majo Norante winery is located to the north of the Gargano in Molise on the estate of the Marquis Norante of Santa Cristina. This estate has been dedicated to the cultivation of vines since the 1800's.

In the 1960's a modern cantina was constructed and vines were replanted. Optimal exposure, constant breezes during the summer, excellent soil composition and a slope toward the Sciabolone and Madonna Grande valleys, blend together to create a particularly favorable environment for the production of wine.

Alessio Di Majo has hired renowned enologist, Riccardo Cotarella, as a consultant in order to ensure consistent, high quality production for all their wines. The Di Majo family is dedicated to producing quality wine at an outstanding value and practicing environmentally sound agriculture.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2008
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2008
(search item no. 98070)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $12.75

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine has a beautiful reddish/purple color as most good Malbecs do. The aromas are a mix of fresh crushed cherries and toasty/smoky oak—just enough to frame the exuberant fruit. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and spice are obvious, and the jammy fruit quality just keeps coming on strong, with hints of spice lurking in the background. This is a wine that you'll want to buy by the case because it can be consumed at almost any occasion, whether at a fancy dinner party, or just curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Fun and delicious—what more can you ask for?!
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About Crios de Susana Balbo:

After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."

Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.

Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Rosenblum Cellars Snows Lake Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
Rosenblum Cellars Snows Lake Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 102094)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine has a heritage and pedigree second to none in the Zinfandel world. Our only question was would the terroir of high mountain Lake County carry it forward? Well the answer is a resounding "Yes!" The wine exhibits wild black cherries, and violets in the bouquet which reflects its red soil and mountain roots. And dark smoky blackberries with hints of Asian spice in the flavors which are true to the St. Peter's clone of fruit.
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About Rosenblum Cellars:

Rosenblum Cellars Winery is located in the historic Todd Shipyard Building in the City of Alameda. The picturesque building constructed around 1910 sits right at the edge of San Francisco Bay. Our view is spectacular, and the cooling bay breezes give us natural air conditioning. The grapes for our wines come from over 30 different vineyards located in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Contra Costa County. Many of the vineyards are over 75 years old, head-pruned and dry farmed. The old plow on our labels symbolizes our down-to-earth and natural style of winemaking.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 95084)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Garnet red in color, this wine exhibits ripe cherry and spice accentuated with rich plum and savory highlights. It has a rich, sweet approach displaying ripe dark berry fruits, subtle oak spice, velvety tannins and a long, concentrated finish.

This wine's structure and concentration make it an ideal match for a wide range of foods. It will match well with field mushroom pasta or risotto. It also lends itself to rare, grilled red meats or a variety of slow cooked casseroles including game meats, such as rabbit or fowl.

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About Brancott:

The Brancott Winery opened in 1977, making it one of the oldest wineries in Marlborough. From producing one of the world's first grape tipping tanks, the winery has stayed true to its pioneering herigate and embraced innovation. It was one of the first to commercially plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1973, at the top of New Zealand's South Island and has been heavily instrumental in developing the region as one of the foremost viticultural regions for Sauvignon Blanc world-wide. At present, Brancott Estate continues to lead with its innovative winemaking approach and passionate commitment to excellence under the stewardship of chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2006
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 96380)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $19.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of dark red fruits, black olive and beef stock open into notes of blueberries and licorice with a savory dried herb edge. The palate shows great balance with blueberry and mulberry fruits, spices and a hint of white pepper on the finish. As always The Footbolt is a very approachable wine in its youth but has the capacity to age for many years.
My Notes:

Additional wines from d'Arenberg:

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.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 2006
Bonterra Organically Grown Syrah 2006
(search item no. 99185)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $19.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Maintained through an organic growing process, our Syrah vineyards are entering their prime, reflected in the wine's brilliant color and intense aromas. Bonterra Syrah blends a touch of Rhone varietals like Grenache, Mouvedre and Viognier for a powerful floral note. Concentrated berry flavors come to the fore with notes of vanilla and toasty oak spice from aging in French oak.

You can see youth well served in the wine's brilliant crimson color and intense, heady aromas of black cherry and wild mountain blackberries before giving way to bitter-sweet, vanilla chocolate. The tannins are velvety smooth and supple. The oak is wonderfully integrated, with complementary flavors of cedar oak spice.

My Notes:

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About Bonterra:

Bonterra wines are a natural expression of the unique climate and soil of the Mendocino coast. The name "Bonterra" means good earth. All of their wines are nurtured from organically grown grapes. Bonterra relishes the re-discovery of age-old traditions of viticulture, working in harmony with Nature, to create wines with pure, concentrated flavors.

THE BONTERRA PHILOSOPHY
We honor the land by farming organically, creating rich soils that provide healthy vines the opportunity to deliver wonderfully flavorful fruit. With every sip of Bonterra wine, you can taste our natural commitment. There's no other way to fully capture the expression of our Mendocino terroir.
David Koball, Vineyard Manager



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Innocent Bystander Shiraz Viognier 2006
Innocent Bystander Shiraz Viognier 2006
(search item no. 95614)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Not your blockbuster warm-climate Aussie Shiraz, this is a more elegant example reminiscent of violets, pink peppercorns, nutmaeg and caramelized quince and mulberries. The palate is likewise restrained, offering fruit compote with slightly meaty undertones.
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About Innocent Bystander:

The idea behind Innocent Bystander is to produce great value, food friendly wines that are not your run of the mill varietal blends. Taking fruit from various sources in Central Victoria (in particular Sangiovese, Shiraz, Pinot Gris and Viognier) the team at Innocent Bystander is inspired to utilize and showcase the natural qualities of each region in their unique blends.

As a group of winemakers and viticulturalists who eschew the bland direction and market dominance increasingly exerted by the large corporate winemaking groups, the folks behind these wines see themselves as innocent bystanders. They remain accountable to their craft, not shareholders.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 2006
Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 2006
(search item no. 97652)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $26.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1997 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Located 17 miles northwest of the winery, this vineyard has volcanic, well-drained soils that are perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. By 1983, this area had won official recognition as a premier wine growing region in the form of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation. Today, Winemaker Laurie Hook uses these wonderful grapes to craft our renowned Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Alluvium Blanc and Alluvium Red.

As has become tradition, Laurie kept all of the lots separate during vinification and aging so that the subtle differences of each individual lot of the vineyard are exhibited. She tasted the lots frequently, closely monitoring fermentations and ensuring a rich, garnet color and silky tannins. The wines were then aged in small French oak barrels (53% new) for 14 months to soften the tannins and add layers of toasty oak, cedar, vanilla and sweet spice. Laurie's careful monitoring and then blending of each of these lots and varietals results in a seamless and utterly unique wine. The final blend is 79% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, and small portions of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot.

"Blending the Alluvium is as rewarding as it is challenging, with a commitment to create an expression of the best red Bordeaux varietals with each vintage. The proprietary Alluvium name pays homage to the alluvial soils of Knights Valley, a vineyard that Beringer has a rich history with, and one that consistently rewards me with wonderful fruit to work with. The 2006 Alluvium is ripe with cassis and cedar aromas, along with hints of cardamom and cocoa. Flavors of sun-ripened cherries, vanilla bean and a lip-smacking blackberry finish make this an instantly enthralling wine." - Laurie Hook, Beringer Vineyards Winemaker

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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.