White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Buehler Russian River Chardonnay 2009
Buehler Russian River Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 106460)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 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 2009 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.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Buehler Vineyards:

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    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2009
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 106656)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 vintage was particularly smooth from start to finish. Budbreak arrived on schedule in the spring, and we saw lower-than-average rainfall. Healthy flowering led to a very even set, with few heat spikes during the season. Timely veraison and cooler weather later in the season allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and spend additional time on the vine. Although the end of season was somewhat challenging due to earlier than usual rainfall, by all accounts, the 2009 wines show varietal integrity, depth and concentration.

This release shows vivid tropical aromas of pineapple, lemon zest and apricot. Bright acidity and lush citrus provide the backdrop for juicy tropical avors, while fresh, clean mineral notes punctuate the finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from La Crema:

About La Crema:

Since 1979, La Crema Winery has been a pioneer in producing Burgundian varietals from the cool Sonoma coast. They handcraft their wine, one barrel at a time, at their family-owned estate located in the Russian River Valley. Balance, finesse and great fruit intensity come through in every glass of La Crema wine.

La Crema's location in the Russian River Valley is ideal for producing wines of uncompromising elegance and balance. To achieve this goal, several unique steps take place in getting fruit from the vineyards to the bottle. It begins in the vineyard, where careful canopy management and hand harvesting assure fully ripe, undamaged grapes are brought to the winery. At the winery, Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse uses artisan winemaking techniques to handcraft wines of distinctive flavor, elegance and balance.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Dancing Bull Chardonnay 2010
Dancing Bull Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 110795)

PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $7.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

At Dancing Bull, we are proud to offer award winning wines selected from the best vineyards throughout California. Our chardonnay is refreshingly juicy, showcasing peaches, nectarines and tropical fruit layered with citrus and vanilla. The perfect pairing for chicken and seafood.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Dancing Bull:

About Dancing Bull:

We make wines that are bold and full of flavor. Wines that belong next to good food and great friends. Share your contact info with us, and be the first to discover why it's better with the bull. We'll let you know when we've fired up our new website with awesome wine and grilling tips.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 107568)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 vintage of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay opens with an intriguing interplay of lively citrus and subtle toasted oak, laced with just a kiss of butterscotch. The palate is round and nutty, with flavors of yellow apple and orange adding lushness, while well-balanced acidity creates a lovely vibrancy. Hints of vanilla and caramel add richness and texture to a long, fresh finish
My Notes:

Additional wines from La Crema:

About La Crema:

Since 1979, La Crema Winery has been a pioneer in producing Burgundian varietals from the cool Sonoma coast. They handcraft their wine, one barrel at a time, at their family-owned estate located in the Russian River Valley. Balance, finesse and great fruit intensity come through in every glass of La Crema wine.

La Crema's location in the Russian River Valley is ideal for producing wines of uncompromising elegance and balance. To achieve this goal, several unique steps take place in getting fruit from the vineyards to the bottle. It begins in the vineyard, where careful canopy management and hand harvesting assure fully ripe, undamaged grapes are brought to the winery. At the winery, Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse uses artisan winemaking techniques to handcraft wines of distinctive flavor, elegance and balance.



Red Wines    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera di Monferrato 2008
Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera di Monferrato 2008
(search item no. 105091)

PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $10.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ruby-red color with cherry reflections; intense fragrance of rose, wildflowers and raspberries. Elegant full flavor, lively and spirited.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Marchesi di Barolo:

About Marchesi di Barolo:

Setting precedents is a characteristic of Piedmontese winemaking and Marchesi di Barolo, one of the region's premier producers of Barolo, is no exception. In the mid-1800s, Marchesi di Barolo became the first estate in Italy to vinify its red wines in a dry style, a revolutionary concept at the time, but one with enduring and immensely beneficial consequences for the entire Italian wine industry.

In contrast to its noble French counterparts, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, which flourish in various corners of the world, Nebbiolo rarely thrives outside its native Piedmontese habitat. While relatively resistant to frost, damp and mist, it is highly sensitive to terrain, faring best in the Langhe district's chalky, marly soil of maritime origin.

Producing majestic red wines of phenomenal depth, complexity and longevity, Nebbiolo is the earliest red grape variety in Piedmont to bud and the last to ripen. Its name derives from the early morning mists, or "nebbia," that shroud the lower slopes of the Langhe hillsides during the fall harvest period.

The Marchesi di Barolo estate takes pride in the international reputation it has established for its fine Barolo DOCG and two superb single-vineyard crus, Barolo Cannubi DOCG and Barolo Sarmassa DOCG, all made from 100% estate-grown Nebbiolo grapes.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Hermitage    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2006
Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2006
(search item no. 103166)
International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Dark and deep color. Nose: Red fruits, cherry and strawberry with delicate oak aromas.

Palate: A structured tannic wine. Aromas of blackcurrant buds and vanilla.

Overall: Remarkable freshness with notable and refined tannins to due long oak ageing.

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    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Marchesi di Barolo Barbera d'Alba Ruvei 2008
Marchesi di Barolo Barbera d'Alba Ruvei 2008
(search item no. 109651)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is a dark ruby-red with crimson shades. The aroma is fresh and intense with clean scents of wild berries and spices. Clear but perfectly blended the wooden note. The flavor is warm and robust, pleasant , good body and harmonic.

This Barbera's sensory attributes make it an outstanding accompaniment for imposing first courses and main-course, meats boiled or roasted.

85% Barbera, 15% Nebbiolo

My Notes:

Additional wines from Marchesi di Barolo:

About Marchesi di Barolo:

Setting precedents is a characteristic of Piedmontese winemaking and Marchesi di Barolo, one of the region's premier producers of Barolo, is no exception. In the mid-1800s, Marchesi di Barolo became the first estate in Italy to vinify its red wines in a dry style, a revolutionary concept at the time, but one with enduring and immensely beneficial consequences for the entire Italian wine industry.

In contrast to its noble French counterparts, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, which flourish in various corners of the world, Nebbiolo rarely thrives outside its native Piedmontese habitat. While relatively resistant to frost, damp and mist, it is highly sensitive to terrain, faring best in the Langhe district's chalky, marly soil of maritime origin.

Producing majestic red wines of phenomenal depth, complexity and longevity, Nebbiolo is the earliest red grape variety in Piedmont to bud and the last to ripen. Its name derives from the early morning mists, or "nebbia," that shroud the lower slopes of the Langhe hillsides during the fall harvest period.

The Marchesi di Barolo estate takes pride in the international reputation it has established for its fine Barolo DOCG and two superb single-vineyard crus, Barolo Cannubi DOCG and Barolo Sarmassa DOCG, all made from 100% estate-grown Nebbiolo grapes.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2006
Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Merlot 2006
(search item no. 95915)

PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $10.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 95% Merlot and 5% Petite Syrah.

Dark plum and cherry aromas are edged with notes of licorice, and unfold gradually to subtle, smoky oak. Soft and luscious on entry, with bright, almost sweet flavors of ripe stone fruit. The medium weight and stylish finish are typical of Napa Valley's finest Merlot.

This wine is well suited for spicy casseroles with beef or chicken and will complement subtle wild rice and lightly seasoned pasta dishes.

My Notes:

About Hayman & Hill:

With this brand, David Hayman and Dennis Hill have utilized their collective experience, working with growers to craft wine from the most prestigious California wine regions. Convinced that they could source grapes from the best California appellations, David and Dennis have utilized resources at their disposal to make top notch, single varietal, appellation designated wines.

This portfolio of fine wines speaks to their passion of making wines for a label worthy of their respective surnames, Hayman & Hill. David Hayman enjoys seventeen years of strong international winemaking experience. He spent five years overseeing production across eleven Hardys wineries throughout Australia, and currently serves as Blackstone Winery’s Senior Vice President of Operations, overseeing all California winemaking operations. Dennis Hill has over twenty five years of winemaking experience with many leading Sonoma wineries. In 1994, Dennis joined the Blackstone Winery and for the past nine years, has delivered a wine profile that strikes a chord with consumers. Dennis is the Chief Winemaker for the Blackstone Winery and works in Sonoma County.

The Hayman & Hill Winemaker’s Collection was released in October, 2003. It is comprised of a selection of reserve wines from best known appellations with individual selection numbers.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
Banfi Centine Toscana 2008
Banfi Centine Toscana 2008
(search item no. 107011)
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2011 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ruby-red with intense with notes of cherries, plums, and violets. Rich flavors of cherry and leather. Supple tannins and good acidity.
My Notes:

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About Castello Banfi:

In 1978 John and Harry Mariani, owners of the U.S. wine importer Banfi Vintners, established the award winning vineyard estate and winery Castello Banfi in the Brunello region of Tuscany. A constellation of single vineyards located on ideal sites cover about one third of the 7,100 acre (2,830 hectares) estate. The remaining land consists of bucolic meadows, olive and plum groves, and woodland. Central to the property is a medieval castle that functions as a hospitality center, hosting visitors at a full service restaurant, enoteca and museum dedicated to the history of glass and its relation to wine.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/30/2014
La Gerla Brunello de Montalcino (375ML half-bottle) 2006
La Gerla Brunello de Montalcino (375ML half-bottle) 2006
(search item no. 110225)
The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/30/2014: $27.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Decanter rating: 95 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2007 James Suckling rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1995 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino presents an alluring, seductive bouquet of sweet herbs, licorice, crushed flowers, mint and minerals. This mid-weight, graceful Brunello needs time in the glass to show off its pedigree, but it is a classic, understated wine graced with exquisite finesse. The wine puts on weight with air, filling out its frame very nicely, with waves of fruit that caress the palate all the way through to the harmonious, resonant finish. This substantial, firm Brunello will require patience, but its potential is amply evident, even today.
My Notes:

About La Gerla:

The La Gerla property is situated at 320 metres above sea level, on the gentle slopes below Montalcino. This small wine estate has established itself as one of the great crùs in this territory in the heart of Tuscany, delineated by the Orcia and Ombrone valleys. The owner, Sergio Rossi, was formerly involved in advertising. He was the director of three European offices of a famous agency and was used to travelling for work and to losing sleep over lay-outs and jingles. These days he is almost an "ilcinese," and he loves his vineyards as if they were children.

This gentleman, with his vivacious character, has succeeded in his goal of creating a small cru in Montalcino where the most modern technology is combined with the know-how of local men and one winemaker. At La Gerla, human intervention plays an important role is extracting excellent Tuscan products from the land.

The farmhouse, with the characteristic name "Colombaia" was once the property of the Biondi Santi family. They used it to make one of the best Brunellos in the area. Sergio Rossi purchased the property in 1976 and restructured it with care and attention to detail. Not long afterwards, in 1978, he created the trademark La Gerla.