White Wines    Chardonnay    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
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 9/1/2014: $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.


Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Rioja 2003
Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Rioja 2003
(search item no. 96724)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $69.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pitch black in color and posseses by far the most interesting Spanish nose of tobacco and cigar. Very complex, with notes of truffles, black currant. The finish is very dry, but complex with blackberry and blueberry, nice long finish. Filled with purity and complexity. Pure silk, AMAZING wine.
My Notes:

About Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza:

This Fernando Remirez de Ganuza's almost 60 hectares of parcels that have been acquiring are distributed in four localities of Alava Rioja: Samaniego, Leza, Elciego, and Laguardia.

In Remirez de Ganuza, one works with fifty hectares of tempranillo (90%) and graciano (10%) located in privileged enclaves of the Alava vineyard.

The deciding factors to obtain a great wine are: the habitat, the microclimate, the direction of the parcels, the low productivity of the stocks and teh age of the vineyard.

The winery is located in the same center of the beautiful town of Samaniego. The splendid big rambling house includes an apple of buildings and is equipped with modern reinforced concrete structures covered with stone of ashlar masonry of between about two or three hundred years of antiquity.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Ribera del Duero    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2006
Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2006
(search item no. 97613)
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $30.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Beautiful, intense red color. Fragrances of currant, red rose and fragrances with pleasant subtlety. Notes of spices such as oregano, cocoa and nuances of toasted bread. Powerful attack in the mouth, this wine also has a light astringency. Notes of black fruit.

Consume with roasts of lamb and suckling pig, semi-hard cheeses and with baked poultry. Consume now or in two years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Condado de Haza:

About Condado de Haza:

In 1972, Alejandro Fernández and his wife Esperanza Rivera of Pesquera de Duero initiated the renaissance of Spain's Ribera del Duero appellation with the area's first modern wire-trained vineyard, their Viña Alta in Pesquera. In the mid-1980s as Tinto Pesquera was assuming its place among the most intriguing and powerful icons in the world of wine, Alejandro spied a neglected slope along the Duero River which had the appearance of being the most ideal vineyard site in the region, perhaps in all Spain: One full kilometer of southfacing mountain slope leading right to the river's edge. Ideal soils in the full range preferred by the Tempranillo variety, from gravel to clay with a chalky base, suggested the potential for a multitude of styles from this difficult grape, essential for creating the desired complexity and balance.

Abandoned for years, the slope consisted of hundreds of small parcels with separate and stubborn ownership. Three years of continuous negotiation beginning in late 1986 resulted in the first planting of just over 100 acres in 1989. Today the contiguous estate includes over 500 acres of prime Tempranillo vines. Encompassed within the historic county of the hilltop village Haza high above the opposite bank of the Duero, the estate was christened Condado de Haza.

Condado de Haza reflects the bold and brilliant winemaking style of Alejandro Fernández, unrivaled master of Spain's Tempranillo variety. Bottled after malolactic fermentation and 15 months in American oak, like Tinto Pesquera it can be enjoyed early yet will reward patient cellaring.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2008
(search item no. 107324)
boutique wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Sauvignon blanc expresses the intense and exotic fruit character of the variety and is ripe, complex and mouth filling on the palate. In the vineyards we carefully manage the vine canopy to expose the fruit to filtered sunlight. This is achieved by careful hand leaf removal in the fruit zone combined with cluster thinning. The result is both fully and evenly ripened grapes. This wine is a blend of nine different clones of Sauvignon blanc and two clones of Sauvignon gris grown on the Estate. Sauvignon gris' ripe stone fruit flavors plus its weight and texture provide a pleasing counterpoint to the more bright tropical and citrus aspects of the other Sauvignon blanc clones. f Throughout harvest and vinification exposure to air is minimized. One third of the lots are given skin contact before pressing. This increases the concentration of the aromatic compounds associated with the intense aromas of passion fruit and grapefruit. The wine is entirely barrel fermented in a combination of small French oak and stainless steel barrels. Although primarily fermented with native yeast, the skin-contact lots were inoculated with strains of yeast which assist in the release of the ripe aromatic compounds of this variety. f Bâtonnage, or lees stirring, continues regularly during and after fermentation to add a soft creamy element to the texture of the wine. After nine months in the barrel various lots were blended and then bottled without filtration. f This wine has an abundance of tropical and citrus elements on the nose and palate. It has a lush yet balanced texture and a hint of minerality which make it appropriate as an appetizer or as a versatile accompaniment to a wide variety of light appetizers or entrées.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Chalk Hill Winery:

About Chalk Hill Winery:

Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery was purchased recently by Bill Foley, proprietor of Foley Family Wines, who will continue the time-honored traditions that Fred Furth began. Founded in 1972 by Fred Furth, the Chalk Hill Estate encompasses 280 acres of carefully positioned vineyards, including the valley floor, hillsides, and ridge tops of a 1300 acre estate. Perpetuating the time-honored traditions of the first land grant pioneers, the Chalk Hill Estate operates as a family farm with the daily tasks of sustainable viticulture flowing seamlessly through the growing season and ultimately to estate bottled wines. Chalk Hill is the only 100% estate winery in the Chalk Hill AVA nestled within the Russian River Valley. The passion for meticulous viticulture has resulted in elegant, world-class wines.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Tikal Amorio Malbec 2008
Tikal Amorio Malbec 2008
(search item no. 104742)
The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of smoky oak and cherry. Mouthwatering, penetrating flavors of ripe red and black cherries, red berries. Quite rich and velvety on the palate, and finishes with just enough grip to make it a real winner with food. This is some seriously sexy Malbec. Pairs well with grilled or smoked meats such as beef, pork, and lamb. Also complements dishes prepared with cheese or cream sauces.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Tikal:

About Tikal:

Tikal is owned by Ernesto Catena and is named after his son. Ernesto spent his childhood in the vineyards of Mendoza among wine-growers and local pundits. Since then, he has experienced a kaleidoscope of cultures, living in New York, Buenos Aires, Berkeley, Cambridge (MA), Milan and London. But his heart remains in his homeland of Argentina (where he now lives), with its natural beauty of mountains, streams and vineyards, its wines, and its people who hold a special passion for living.

There are few wine brands that reflect the sensibilities of their owner more than Tikal. A skilled horseman, fashion designer, software developer, and book editor, Ernesto pursues all that gives pleasure in life. This hedonism (in the best sense of the word) shows through in the wines. It is a style meant to provide enormous pleasure rather than provoke contemplation; an expression of emotion rather than intellect. He has named his wines with passion in mind: Patriota (Patriot), Corazon (Heart), Amorio (Love Affair), Jubilo (Rejoice).

Luis Reginato is the winemaker at Tikal as of the 2002 vintage. Luis is young, but is already a highly trained and respected vineyard consultant and winemaker with long experience at his family's winery in Mendoza. Truly an up and coming talent, Luis and his wines are already garnering high praise from U.S. wine critics. Definitely a winemaker to watch.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 110896)

PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay shows aromas of honeysuckle, and follows with apple, pear and nectarine on the palate. The wine displays nice viscosity in the mid-palate, but remains defined by the cleansing acidity in the finish. Made with 100% Chardonnay.

Fresh citrus flavors in this wine pair well with poached or grilled seafood, shrimp or crab with spicy aioli, baby greens tossed in citrus honey vinaigrette, avocados, fruit salsa, shaved fennel, tangerines and triple cream cheeses.

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."


White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2008
Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 106764)
green wine

Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $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:

Additional wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards:

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    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 118271)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2009 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2011 growing season offered one of the finest vintages for this grape in recent memory, producing a classic expression of Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. The aromas are fresh and enticing with bright citrus layers supported by subtle undertones of papaya and green mango. On the palate, the tropical notes come to the forefront with rich, lush layers of guava, passion fruit and lychee, as well as hints of herbs and lemon zest.

Blend: 76% Sauvignon Blanc and 24% Semillon

My Notes:

Additional wines from Duckhorn Vineyards:

About Duckhorn Vineyards:

Founded in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has been crafting Bordeaux varietals from the Napa Valley for over 30 years. This winemaking tradition has grown to include seven estate vineyards, located throughout the various microclimates of the Napa Valley. Focused on quality and consistency, these estate vineyards are an essential element in making wines of distinction. One of the first wineries to pioneer Merlot as a premium varietal, Duckhorn Vineyards now makes several elegant Merlot and distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings to showcase the characteristics of its vineyard sites. In addition, the winery is known for its acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc. Beginning with the 2006 vintage, Duckhorn Vineyards unveiled The Discussion, a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that represents the pinnacle of Duckhorn's portfolio.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay 2010
Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 119820)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 85 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Golden straw in color. Aromas of Asian pear, butter crust apple tart tatin, juicy golden pineapple, guava, Meyer Lemon, orange blossom, honeysuckle, hints of toasted hazelnut. The palate has a sweet, focused entry that open into a fleshy, round and bright mid-palate, notes of citrus, cream filled profiteroles with spun sugar, and a clean mineral-driven finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Merryvale Vineyards:

About Merryvale Vineyards:

Merryvale Vineyards is a family-owned Napa Valley winery dedicated to passionate winemaking and the fine art of living well. For the past 25 years Merryvale has been turning exceptional Napa Valley grapes into world class wine. Merryvale is world renowned for rich, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the iconic Bordeaux-style red blend, Profile, and our everyday drinking, fruit driven brand, Starmont. Merryvale's historic building was the first winery built in the Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and has become a must see attraction for visitors to the valley.

Merryvale is committed to protecting and preserving the environment through conservation, renewable energy and sustainable farming practices at our three estate vineyards. Merryvale has received Napa Green Vineyard, Napa Green Winery and Bay Area Green Business certifications.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 9/1/2014
Justin Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Justin Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 117695)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 9/1/2014: $18.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Starbright, with a pale straw color with green highlights. An alluring mix of lime, grapefruit, green apple, pear, citrus flower and blackcurrant bud. Balanced and clean with lemon-lime and guava on the entry, a mid-palate of white peach and passionfruit, and a touch of minerality and green apple on an amazingly crisp and refreshing finish.

A perfect pairing with pear and goat cheese crostini, calamari fritti or on its own as a refreshing summer sipper.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Justin:

About Justin:

Justin and Deborah Baldwin acquired their land in 1981 and planted 72 acres in vineyards that same year. Initially they were wine growers, selling to other wineries. Then, in 1987, they harvested their first grapes bottled under the Justin label. Justin Winery concentrates on two Bordeaux styled red wines: Isoscleles, which is a 100% estate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and Justification, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Varietals are planted to specific soil types on their hillside vineyards 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean, on the Central Coast.