Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2005
Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2005
(search item no. 103145)
collectible wine

Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Oozing elegance from the outset, with rich toasted aromas telling of elegant wood, accompanied by black- and red-berried fruit, abounding in ripeness and finesse. A warm attack and a dense, supple mouth-feel which overflows with plenitude.
My Notes:

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About Bodegas Muga:

The Muga wine cellars were founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga Martínez who originated from a family with strong ties to the winemaking industry. On the death of the founder in 1969, his children Manuel, Isabel and Isaac Muga Caño took over the reins.

Two years later in 1971, they moved their headquarters to their present location in the traditional Station District on the outskirts of Haro. Bodegas Muga has continued to grow as the years have passed but it has never lost the spirit or aptitude of a family-run company.

The winery controls every step of the viticultural and vinification process from the vineyards to making their own barrels and fermenting and aging the wine entirely in oak. Muga is one of only six estates in the world that owns its own cooperage and they import the oak directly from the United States and France. Bodegas Muga is one of the oldest, most elegant and traditional Rioja producers.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Buehler Russian River Chardonnay 2010
Buehler Russian River Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 113950)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 Russian River Chardonnay displays abundant floral/ stone fruit aromas lightly accented by toasty, graham cracker sur-lie qualities. The mouthfeel is creamy and full but the natural acidity of the Russian River fruit carries this velvet textured package to a long, clean finish.
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About Buehler Vineyards:

John Buehler, Sr. and his son, John, began the renovation of the property that would become Buehler Vineyards in 1971. Located six miles east of St. Helena and nestled in the mountains above Conn Valley, Buehler Vineyards encompasses some 300 acres of Napa Valley hillside terrain. After a quarter of a century of growing grapes and over 20 years of winemaking from those vines, their focus remains on varietals that are best suited to this site: Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2008
Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 106764)
green wine

Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $39.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Frequent stirring of the lees during barrel aging added a creamy texture to an already full-bodied wine, making for a rich, plush mouth feel, balanced with vibrant acidity. Powerful aromas of spiced apple, pear, and pie crust join minerally lemon-cream and toasty oak on the palate, adding up to a compelling and thoroughly satisfying experience for true chardonnay lovers.
My Notes:

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About Rodney Strong Vineyards:

Founded by wine industry pioneer, Rod Strong, in 1959, Rodney Strong Vineyards is now owned by the Kleins, a farming-based family that prides itself on land stewardship and a relentless push for superior wine quality from Sonoma County. After purchasing the company in 1989, Tom Klein began the endeavor that today brings together excellent vineyards, the industry's finest winemaking equipment, and exceptional talent. The winery farms and sources grapes from vineyards throughout Sonoma County, focusing on Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill. Rodney Strong Vineyards is best known for its estate-bottled and vinyeard-designated wines, and is also recognized for their sustainable and Fish Friendly Farming, dedication to solar energy production and coming carbon neutral in 2009.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 117483)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Decanter rating: 91 points
2013 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2012 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#53 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Imagine a refreshing sorbet-like medley of fresh lychee, grapefruit and honeydew melon laced with flinty minerality and finished with an infusion of mandarin and lime zest. A lively, invigorating wine with persistent grapefruit flavours and a steely blackcurrant tang – crisp but succulent with a long enduring finish.

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About Greywacke:

The Greywacke portfolio is based on the Marlborough region's signature varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc is crafted in two distinctive styles: classically pure Marlborough Sauvignon, and an alternative wild yeast-fermented, oak-aged Sauvignon. In addition, Kevin indulges his creative drive with small parcels of Chardonnay, along with aromatic varieties Pinot Gris and Riesling. When the season graces this idyllic region with ideal conditions, limited releases of late harvest wines from the aromatic varieties are produced.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Martinborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 116797)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Decanter rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale straw color streaked with vibrant green hues. Aromatic, lime and nectarine fruit combine with flint, jasmine and dried herbs for an intense and complex bouquet. The palate's sweet fruited core is framed by citrus like acidity and gains textural interest via a chalky finish.

This wine pairs well with seafood.

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About Craggy Range Winery:

From the beginning, Craggy Range Winery has some great land and vineyards and a wonderful home in which to weave the strands together. The first wines made in the 1999 vintage are from small parcels of mature vineyards in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The wines show the character of the vineyards and the Craggy Range philosophy of wine both inside and outside the bottle. In time, as the vines mature on their own estates, the wines of Craggy Range Winery will without doubt express their origin and the commitment and skill of their people.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2009
Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 113542)
has video

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A rich, buttery, barrel fermented Chardonnay with a sunny California profile. This wine has a citrus driven nose with hints of pineapple, banana and coconut cream pie. Soft and round entry. The oak is apparent, but not defining. The mid-palate goes on to reveal other layers of flavors of vanilla, lemon meringue pie and again coconut. The finish is rich with viscosity that coats the mouth for minutes after your last sip. Enjoy slightly chilled.
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About Mer Soleil:

The Mer Soleil Vineyard is named for two natural forces that create its growing conditions: sea (mer) and sun (soleil). With plantings at two separate locations in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, Mer Soleil’s Chardonnay vines are nestled on east-facing lower slopes of the Sierra de Salinas range in what is one of the coolest, driest grape growing areas in California. During the growing season, warmer inland temperatures at the southern end of the Salinas Valley pull cooling morning and evening fogs into the vineyards. The afternoons, in contrast, are evenly warm and sunny. The absence of rain throughout the long growing season—harvest typically continues into November—and a pattern of brisk afternoon breezes keeps the grapes dry and pristine.

Charlie Wagner II is the winemaker and directs vineyard operations at Mer Soleil



White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2009
Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 109437)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

On the nose the wine displays vanilla and spice, ripe red apple and a touch of lees on the finish.
On the palate the wine is savory, complex and satisfying, a touch of minerality, tarragon and vanilla. Definitely a food wine.
Pair this wine with roast chicken, crab cakes, salmon, halibut, lobster, grilled mushrooms, fava beans and buttered corn.
My Notes:

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About Iron Horse:

A pioneer in the Green Valley appellation within the Russian River area of Sonoma County, the Iron Horse family is building a legacy of prestige sparkling wines and elegant estate-bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir within a "holistic" environment of natural balance, cultivation and love of the land.

Iron Horse is best known for its Sparkling Wines, which have been served at the White House since 1985, beginning with the historic U.S.-Russian Summit Meetings ending the Cold War, at the White House Millennium celebrations ushering in the new century, and at the White House dinner honoring the Pope.

Their Chardonnay is considered a signature wine for the cool, foggy Green Valley region. Pinot Noir is the winery's rising star wine.

Iron Horse has been named an American icon in a reference book published by Random House called "Icons of the American Market Place". Listed in alphabetical order, Iron Horse takes its place between iPod and Jack Daniel’s, validating Iron Horse’s reputation as a brand backed by pride, passion and quality.

The Iron Horse name came from a train that cut across the property in the 1890s. The logo, the rampant horse on a weather vane, came from a 19th century weathervane found while clearing away the rubble to build the winery.



White Wines    Viognier    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Wild Horse Viognier 2011
Wild Horse Viognier 2011
(search item no. 116274)

PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $14.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Historically, Viognier (vee-OHN-yea) has been an extremely rare grape variety, producing wines originally destined for fortunate members of European royalty. Prized for its alluring aromatics and hedonistic flavors, Viognier is now available to wine lovers everywhere. Using grapes grown on both our estate vineyard and in San Benito County, Wild Horse Viognier is a beautiful expression of this rare Northern Rhône variety.
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About Wild Horse:

Located south of Paso Robles in Templeton, California, Wild Horse Winery was founded in 1983 by Ken Volk. Wild Horse Winery was named for the wild mustangs that roamed the hills east of the vineyard estate. These mavericks suggest a free, noble spirit and are the ideal symbol for the Wild Horse Winery commitment to spirited winemaking. The vineyard and winery location was selected for its low vigor soils, proven ground water table, proximity to Estero Bay and rural atmosphere. Wild Horse Winery creates compelling wines from 16 diverse appellations and more than 40 vineyards from the Central Coast. Wild Horse Winery is committed to sustainable viticultural and business practices and creating fine wines that express the best of the region’s diversity. "Live Naturally, Enjoy Wildly" reflects the attitude and personalities of the people who have been creating these wines for over 25 years.


Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2005
Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2005
(search item no. 103887)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1995 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1994 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1992 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#75 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Attractive, vivid ruby red color. Intense, fragrant bouquet with a depth of blackberries, blackcurants, blueberries and vanilla. Deliciously full and complex in the mouth with silky smooth tannins. This reserva highlights the character of a unique vintage that is rich and structured, whilst combining the elegance of a splendid wine that promises to develop superbly over the next few years.

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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.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 10/22/2014
Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2009
Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 112370)
boutique wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/22/2014: $59.97

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Sigrid Chardonnay is white-gold in color with a chlorophyll-green laced tint. The aromas are serious and complex starting out with brioche, saffron and hazelnuts and giving way to ripe white peach, pear, citrus and vanilla infused crème fraiche. The oak influence is present but elegant and gracefully paints a background wash to help frame the primary aromas.

The mouth feel is generous and yet young and energetic with bound up power like a spring. There are intense flavors of lemon, apple and pear with a solid structure of juicy acidity and a definite mineral impression that reminds me of wet stone and hazelnut skin. This wine is outrageously balanced for having come from Oregon's ripest year in history and deftly flirts between structure and ripe sweetness, giving an impression of great concentration wrapped in an elegant veil.

The 2009 Sigrid Chardonnay will pair excellently with an empty glass and an inspired thirst. And if food is in your plans: try Sigrid with small briny oysters, mussels and clam dishes, Dungeness Crab or Lobster, cheese plates, pate and charcuterie.

My Notes:

About Bergstrom:

Bergstrom Wines is a family-owned and operated artisan producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which was started in 1999 by Dr. John and Karen Bergstrom, with the help of their son Josh Bergstrom and his wife Caroline. Josh is general manager, vineyard manager and winemaker and pulls his expertise from his education in Burgundy, France and his 14 years experience making wines in Oregon's Northern Willamette Valley. Bergstrom focuses on hand-crafting small lots of wines from their fice estate vineyards carefully chosen from fice of Oregon's six wine-growing appellations. All estate acreage is farmed biodynamically and all wines express the wonderful diversity of Oregon's many great terroirs.