Red Wines    Other Red Blends    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Lucky Proprietary Red Blend
Lucky Proprietary Red Blend
(search item no. 128618)
charitable wine
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $9.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Lucky has a vibrant, dark red hue and aromas of cherry, mocha, leather and vanilla, with intriguing spice notes. This North Coast wine's entry is powerful and expansive with sweet flavors of bing cherry, mocha, and cinammon spice that persist on the lengthy, smooth and complex finish. Lucky is approachable now and drinks great on its own and with a wide range of foods especially BBQ, pizza, Italian food, and all meat dishes.
My Notes:

About Lucky:

Bravium translates from Latin as "reward, prize, or gift" and sums up Proprietor and Winemaker Derek Rohlffs’ feelings about wine – namely that it is a reward for their labors, a prized part of mealtime, and a gift to be shared. Derek's winemaking philosophy is an extension of his Environmental Studies background and belief that great wine begins in the vineyard. Bravium utilizes minimalist winemaking practices and its wines are balanced and food-friendly. One of Derek's music heroes, Jack White, has said: "Technology is the disease you have to fight in any creative field…ease of use [is the enemy]." And while winemaking is part art and part science, Bravium emphasizes traditional methods whenever possible. Bravium was created to give back to charitable organizations by way of its Sip&Give donation platform.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Water Wheel Shiraz + 2012
Water Wheel Shiraz + 2012
(search item no. 130277)
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $11.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A deep, vivid, violet colour. On the nose there are berry, blackcurrant and liquorice aromas. The palate is full and rich with spice, berry and some black pepper flavours obvious. The wine is well balanced, with a persistent finish that is complimented by some fine tannin. It is ready for immediate consumption and would be an ideal match for rich pasta dishes, BBQs and game.
My Notes:

About Water Wheel:

The present Water Wheel operation is the brainchild of Peter Cumming whose family have long been established as successful growers of tomatoes and cherries around Bridgewater-on-Loddon to the north-west of Bendigo in central Victoria. Peter studied winemaking at Roseworthy, and after a few excellent years as winemaker for Hickinbotham at the old Anakie vineyard near Geelong, threw himself boots and all into the Water Wheel business. His driving ambition as a relatively inexperienced winemaker was to capture as much flavor on the palate of his wines as he possibly could, precisely the edge that Water Wheel still retains over so many of its competitors.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Vignavecchia Chianti Classico Riserva Vigneto Odoardo Beccari 2008
Vignavecchia Chianti Classico Riserva Vigneto Odoardo Beccari 2008
(search item no. 113547)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $27.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense ruby red in color, with typical, extremely complex notes of ripe fruit and smooth, spicy hints of oak. This is a well-balanced and full-bodied wine with an intense and ripe tannic structure. It has a pleasent after taste and long finish.
My Notes:

About Vignavecchia:

Vignavecchia estate is located at about one kilometer from Radda in Chianti. The cellar, completely surrounded by the vineyards, is an old country farmhouse which was completely restored and enlarged in 1997. In this modern cellar take place the complete vinification process and bottling of the whole production; one part of the building is destined to the aging of the wine in oak barrels.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2012
(search item no. 127270)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Without wanting to overplay things, we reckon this is our best vintage of Pinot yet. With a great growing season the fruit is truly ripe and full, with the predominant f lavor of cherry, ref lecting the wine's vivid cherry color. We also get blackberry notes and some lovely sweet smoky oak. Mouthfeel is initially soft and luscious, held up nicely by the supple tannins for a savory lingering finish.
My Notes:

About Matua Valley:

While Bill and Ross Spence were the sons of a winemaking father, but decided not to follow his winemaking path. They began in a ragged tin shed in West Auckland, in 1974. The wines they released from that first vintage immediately placed them amongst the leading group of innovative winemakers. Chardonnay and Gamay Teinturier were not common varieties in New Zealand at that time, and it was the first time Sauvignon Blanc had ever been produced, but they were committed to a new way.

Within a year the success of these wines was being noted. In 1975, the "Burgundy" won the first competition trophy for Matua Valley at the Royal Easter Show. A less publicized triumph was the impression the Sauvignon Blanc had made amongst the other winemakers, leading to the decision to include large quantities of this variety in the first vineyards to be planted in the now famous Marlborough region. In 1976 a new company, Matua Valley Wines Ltd was formed in partnership with another Auckland family, the Margans.

The new foundation allowed Matua Valley to put down more substantial roots, and in 1977, 25 hectares of land was purchased in the beautiful green Waikoukou Valley, 35 kilometers west of Auckland. A new winery was built on the crest of a low ridge overlooking the valley, and the first steps made towards landscaping gardens and establishing a visitors’ center were made.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Antinori Villa Toscana 2010
Antinori Villa Toscana 2010
(search item no. 117626)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Antinori Villa Toscana IGT is intense ruby red in color. The aromas are also intense and complex with notes of spices, mint, and chocolate, which are particularly felt along with light aromas of rip cherries. On the palate the wine, savory and long, is full-bodied and round with supple and velvety tannins.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Antinori:

About Antinori:

The Antinori family of Florence, one of the world's oldest and most distinguished wine producers, has lived in Tuscany since the 14th century and celebrated its 625th anniversary as wine makers in 2010. The current company president, Marchese Piero Antinori, believes in the tradition that the primary role of wine is to accompany food and enhance the dining experience. In Florence, the Antinori family has led a "Renaissance" in Italian wine making by combining long traditions, a love of authenticity and a dynamic innovative spirit.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Brancaia Ilatraia 2005
Brancaia Ilatraia 2005
(search item no. 110301)
has fluid
has fluid 360
older vintages

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $71.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2010 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Tasting Panel rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2007 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Concentrated flavors of currant, herb and blackberry pair well with meat and game, and roasted or braised poultry such as chicken or duck.

Ilatraia is the first wine from our new estate in the Maremma: Brancaia in Maremma. Only 62 miles from Brancaia (Chianti Classico) we find a completely different climate – winters are milder and summers are much hotter and very dry. This allows us to produce a wine with distinct varietal character with the same high quality standards. Ilatraia is an intense, elegant and terroir-typical blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Petit Verdot. It ages for 18 months in barriques. The name Ilatraia has been the name of a hill on our estate for centuries – today it is a Petit Verdot vineyard.

Blend:
60% Cabernet Sauvignon
30% Sangiovese
10% Petit Verdot

My Notes:

Additional wines from Brancaia:

About Brancaia:

La Brancaia, encompassing the two estates Brancaia and Poppi, has been owned by the Swiss couple Brigitte and Bruno Widmer since 1981. It is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico area and saw a vertical take-off when it's vintage 1983 won first place at a major Chianti Classico tasting. Since then, through uncompromising dedication to quality and a strong own identity, the continuous recognition of BRANCAIA was built up - spearheaded by the estates top-wine Brancaia IL BLU, being already a classic for many wine lovers all over the world. The wines come from a state-of-the-art cellar. The estate is managed by the oenologist and daughter of the owners, Barbara Kronenberg-Widmer, together with her husband Martin Kronenberg. They enjoy consulting support by the brilliant oenologist Dr. Carlo Ferrini. La Brancaia is one of Tuscany's top wine-growing estates, winning national and international awards every year. Its wines are sold - and bought - all over the world.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Ventana Arroyo Seco Estate Pinot Noir 2011
Ventana Arroyo Seco Estate Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 130612)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $18.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Ventana's 2011 Pinot Noir has an explosion of vibrant cherry, rasberry and cranberry flavors with a delicous hint of chocolate. Ten months of barrel aging rounds out the flavor complexities with a touch of smokiness and vanilla. The wine is medium bodies with a bright berry red color.

This food friendly Pinot Noir is a pleasing accompaniment to almost any entre from almond encrusted salmon to duck in cherry reduction sauce.

My Notes:

About Vantana:

Great wines are made in the vineyard, and the Ventana Vineyard has the perfect combination of water, soil, climate, art and science to create superb, world-class wines. Ventana is known for its unique planting style and phenomenal Estate wines. This sought after vineyard is owned by a small group of local growers who have lived and worked in the region for generations. It is tended by Steve McIntyre of Monterey Pacific, who has brought innovative sustainable farming practices to the vineyard.Great wines are made in the vineyard, and the Ventana Vineyard has the perfect combination of water, soil, climate, art and science to create superb, world-class wines. Ventana is known for its unique planting style and phenomenal Estate wines. This sought after vineyard is owned by a small group of local growers who have lived and worked in the region for generations. It is tended by Steve McIntyre of Monterey Pacific, who has brought innovative sustainable farming practices to the vineyard.

The Ventana Vineyard was planted in 1974. The vineyard was named "Ventana," Spanish for "window," because the vineyard lies up against the Ventana Wilderness in Monterey County, but also because it symbolized a "window to the future" in California viticulture. At the time, there were very few vineyards in the area, but today, Monterey has taken its rightful place beside Napa and Sonoma as one of the great wine regions of California.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Markham Cellar 1879 Napa Valley Red Blend 2012
Markham Cellar 1879 Napa Valley Red Blend 2012
(search item no. 130555)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend born from our two favorite things, food and wine! Seriously fun to drink, this is quite possibly the most intriguing wine to make here at Markham, as the blend is about creating ultimate drinking pleasure. Dark blackberry and smoky oak aromas weave seamlessly around a core of cola, black pepper and floral blueberry flavors. Sexy from the start with loads of vanilla and graham cracker character, a rich, juicy entry finishes with toasty oak and grippy tannins in this young wine.

Enjoy with updated comfort foods like pulled pork sliders or anything from the taco truck.

Blend: Merlot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot

My Notes:

Additional wines from Markham Vineyards:

About Markham Vineyards:

In 1972, Bruce Markham arrived in Napa Valley with the dream of starting a winery. Intent on crafting world-class wines for years to come, he purchased the "little jewels" that are still the Markham vineyards today. He was a pioneer in what is now the very heart of Napa, buying premium vineyard land before many understood the tremendous potential the valley offered for producing fine wines. He also purchased a winery. Originally established by Jean Laurent, the Markham winery dates back to 1879. As one of the founders of Napa winemaking and viticulture, Markham Vineyards takes great pride in its legacy of exceptional mountains and magnificent vineyards, Markham's winery has the distinction of being the fourth oldest continuously operated winery in Napa County.

Today, Markham Vineyards owns 350 acres of vineyards strategically located in several of Napa Valley's best growing regions. From its Calistoga vineyards in the north to Oak knoll in the south, Markham has the luxury of hand-selecting grapes from several diverse microclimates to achieve its balanced and rich wines. Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls sums up the benefits offered by this extraordinary palette of vineyards: "The expressions of terroir from each unique location create a greater whole; each vineyard complements and elevates the next. The result is endless blending options to weave together the rich fruit flavors, elegant acid structure, broad texture and velvety tannins we want in our wines."



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Vina San Pedro '1865' Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2012
Vina San Pedro '1865' Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2012
(search item no. 130897)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense ruby red color with purplish tones. This wine demonstrates a strong bouquet, marked by elegant and intense aromas of ripe red fruit like cherries, plums and blueberries, in addition to cassis blended with notes of chocolate, mocha and cedar. Very dense and concentrated, with mature and noticeable tannins. In addition, the wine displays a very good balance between the tannins, acidity and oak.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Vina San Pedro:

About Vina San Pedro:

Founded in 1865 by the Correa Albano brothers, Viña San Pedro is today the second largest Chilean wine exporter and the country's third biggest winery. The winery is located in Curicó Valley, where San Pedro owns one of the largest continuous area of vineyards in South America, with 1,200 hectares. In total San Pedro has over 2,500 hectares planted all along the Central Valley. Since 1990 the company has long term contracts and has been acquiring vineyards in Chile's other main viticulture valleys, such as Leyda, Colchagua, Maipo, San Antonio, Casablanca, Elqui and Limarí. Today these vineyards provide perfect conditions for several varieties.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Bedrock Wine Company Sherman & Hooker's Shebang Sixth Cuvee-Old Vine Cuvee 2012
Bedrock Wine Company Sherman & Hooker's Shebang Sixth Cuvee-Old Vine Cuvee 2012
(search item no. 130793)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $13.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This is a delicious blend that is spicy and full bodied. It's a fun wine that is perfect for everyday drinking but also has some serious pedigree. The base for Shebang! comes 100+ year old vines from the Bedrock Vineyard.
My Notes:

About Bedrock Wine Company:

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded in 2007 by Morgan Twain-Peterson in a 550 square-foot, former chicken coop with 8 foot ceilings and no fermentation space. After six years of Bedrock being a one-man-show, Morgan was able to talk his best friend, Chris Cottrell, into moving to California from New York to join him. They now happily have a little more space to move around in but share the same objectives that guided the winery at the start.

The winery’s objectives are:

To channel the fruit of ancient vines into powerful, elegant, and distinctly Californian wines.
To spread the gospel of Syrah in California by sourcing fruit from great terroirs throughout the North Coast.
To proclaim the greatness of Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon by sparing no expense on wines of uniqueness and personality.
To reclaim rose’ from the excesses of saignee and focus on precision, delicacy, aromatics, and food friendliness.
To make fascinating and quixotic white wines from unique sites and interesting varietals.
To dream big but keep production low!