White Wines    Riesling    Rheingau    Germany   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spatlese 2010
Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spatlese 2010
(search item no. 121154)
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 94 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#37 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Classic natural sweet Spatlese with nice acidity and elegant, natural residual sugar. This wine pairs perfectly with Asian cuisine due to the harmony of sweetness and acidity. Also interesting taste combinations can be achieved through the pairing of blue-veined cheese or a fruit desert.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Schloss Vollrads:

About Schloss Vollrads:

Schloss Vollrads can look back on centuries of wine-making tradition. According to an ancient deed, the Knights of Greiffenclau sold their wines to the convent of St. Victor in Mainz as long ago as 1211. Today, Schloss Vollrads combines 800 years of its tradition with the latest in wine-making engineering, environmental awareness in cultivation, and meticulous care of the wines. Some 126 acres of vineyards are solely devoted to the Riesling grape.

The distinctive quality of Schloss Vollrads wines is derived from the combination of well-thought out measures, not least the absolute consistency in continuing to grow Riesling grapes. Moreover, the stringency in limiting the harvest by pruning the vines, the careful tending of the vineyards working on the latest ecological know-how, the late selective hand-picking of the grapes, their pressing, the individual storage of the juices and the careful supervision of the maturing process of the wines are just some of the distinctive features involved.



White Wines    Riesling    Mosel-Saar-Ruwer    Germany   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Estate Kabinett 2012
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Estate Kabinett 2012
(search item no. 124097)
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Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine comes from parcels owned by Dr. Loosen in the blue slate villages of Bernkastel, Graach and Wehlen. It is bright and pure with the classic white peach fruit and floral, flinty minerality that is so typical from blue slate. A plush attack on the mid-palate leads to a deliciously firm, delicate finish.

This wine makes an elegant aperitif and is an excellent match for seafood, spicy Asian cuisine and lighter dishes.

My Notes:

About Dr Loosen:

The Dr. Loosen Estate has been in the same family for over 200 years. With ungrafted vines averaging 50 years old, some of the best vineyard sites in Germany (four rated grand cru and two premier cru by both the 1868 German classification and the more current Wine Atlas of Germany), Ernst Loosen has the raw materials for stunningly intense, world-class wines. With crop yields almost half of what is permitted by law, only moderate use of organic fertilizers, and old-fashioned cellar practices, Loosen strives to create wines that unmistakably say, "Riesling, Mosel, and Dr. Loosen." In his own words, "The great winemakers I have met invariably possess a clear concept in their mind of what their wine should be. It's a vision that places terrior over technology, and grape quality over quantity. This is the level of winemaking we pursue at Dr. Loosen. Our goal is to produce wines that are luscious, complex, and true to their roots."


White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2012
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2012
(search item no. 123487)
screw cap wine
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2013 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#51 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

So f***in' sexy! This wine kicks ass with tons of complexity, showing notes of white peach, Linden leaves and slate. Lovely focused acidity, finishing very long with mandarin orange and lots of minerality. Grab the chop sticks, crack a bottle....this will make you happy.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Charles Smith:

About Charles Smith:

First there was K Vintners, then the Magnificent Wine Company and now winemaker Charles Smith brings you his latest revelation. Charles Smith Wines: The Modernist Project is a response to how people generally consume wine today, that is immediately…as in immediately after being purchased at a market, restaurant or bar, to be drunk straight away. Wine in this category is typically either simple, or is a wine that would be much better a few years down the road. 'Modernist Project' wines are about putting as much into the bottle as possible. The intent is to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with typicity with regards to variety—that is merlot that tastes like merlot—and to the vineyard—wine that tastes like where it was grown. The wines are full of flavor, balanced, and true to their place of origin.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Primus The Blend 2010
Primus The Blend 2010
(search item no. 119886)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep, dark opaque garnet color. Aromas of ripe black berry fruit with a subtle hint of toasty oak. Red and black berry fruit flavors with hints of dried plums, fresh acidity and a long finish with fine, elegant tannins.

Blend: 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Carmenere, 23% Syrah, 10% Merlot

My Notes:

Additional wines from Primus:

About Primus:

Primus wines are produced by the Veramonte winery. Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 117261)
screw cap wine
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine offers generous aromas of ripe Bing cherries, blackberry, candied violets, cedar, and tobacco, plus hints of minerals and graphite. Sweet, densely packed and creamy in the mouth, but with firm, underlying structure that gives lift to the dark berry, chocolate, and coffee flavors. This is a very lush, soft, complex wine that coats the palate and spreads out on the long, lingering finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Layer Cake:

About Layer Cake:

Layer Cake is a wine that was inspired by my Grandfather and Grandmother. Every Sunday, my Grandmother would bake a huge layer cake for dessert. My Grandfather would pour me a little glass of wine and place it at the table for me. He explained wine in terms of that cake. 'The vines,' he would say, 'live in layers of soil just like the layers in Grandma’s cake; each layer bringing a different flavor.' My grandfather taught me that everything in life is about layers and complexity. I loved those words and when I was a cake-focused boy, it made perfect sense… in fact, it still does.

Since those early days I have been all over the wine world time and again. I have tasted thousands of different wines and there are only a few places that haunt me, always come back to mind, occupy my dreams and have drawn me back again to taste some more.

I started Layer Cake because I wanted to make a wine at a price that could be enjoyed everyday with abandon, yet made by hand (not in a giant factory) and made in some special places in the world that I have always loved. The mission was simply to shock people about how good wine could be at a very affordable price.

While the Layer Cake wines were not intended to be compared with Hundred Acre, they are rich and taste like they should simply cost a lot more. This is due to our rigorous fruit selection and small winemaking style. The same team of winemakers that work with me at Hundred Acre, work with me all over the world to craft a rich Shiraz in South Australia, fabulous Malbec in Argentina, spicy old vine Primitivo, aka Zinfandel, in Puglia, Italy, sleek Syrah in the Cote du Rhone, France and of course, some Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Each is very special in its own way and a phenomenal value.

With the making of each Layer Cake wine my Grandfather’s words and my Grandmother’s cakes come back to me. Layer Cake is a simple black and white label with, of course, my Grandmother’s giant layer cake on the front and my Grandfather’s words on the back…ENJOY!!



White Wines    Riesling    Clare Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Kilikanoon Mort's Block Riesling 2009
Kilikanoon Mort's Block Riesling 2009
(search item no. 105926)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2013 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2013 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2012 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

After an unexpected burst of hot weather in late January, the 2009 vintage settled down to provide one of the best ripening seasons of the last decade. The 2009 Mort's Block Riesling is an intense, racy wine that showcases the strength of Clare Valley with this varietal. Green apple, lemon blossom and bath salts dominate the nose. The taut palate shows grapefruit and lemon pith with a stony mineral edge and crisp, natural acidity. While irresistable now, this wine will age beautifully for 10+ years, developing toasty, honeyed characters.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Kilikanoon:

About Kilikanoon:

Founded in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell, Kilikanoon is a boutique Clare Valley winery with an international reputation for producing regionally expressive, terroir-driven wines. The Kilikanoon property, featuring a circa 1860s stone cottage housing Kilikanoon tasting room, was originally settled by early English migrants who named it after an historic old mansion in Cornwall. On purchasing the property in the 1990s, Kevin Mitchell inherited 30 year old Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Riesling vineyards, many of which were planted by his father, Mort, in the 1960s. Fifteen years on, with the addition of partners Nathan Waks, a principal cellist with the Sydney Symphony, and Bruce Baudinet, Managing Director of Oracle Estates, Kilikanoon is rated by US and Australian critics as one of the Clare Valley's outstanding wineries, producing bracingly intense and long-lived Rieslings, along with powerful, yet balanced, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.


White Wines    Riesling    Alsace    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Pierre Sparr Riesling 2011
Pierre Sparr Riesling 2011
(search item no. 119739)
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Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

In the glass, gleaming pale yellow with green reflections, the 2011 Riesling opens with aromas of lemon peel and green apple, followed by a touch of light yellow banana and delicate green granadilla (passion fruit). Upon aeration, notes of sweet cherry blossoms are framed by minerally firestone scents. On the palate, it is smooth, with soft acid, a well-balanced light body and softly spicy finish. Made with 100% Riesling.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Pierre Sparr:

About Pierre Sparr:

The Pierre Sparr estate was created by one of the oldest and most prestigious wine producing families in France's Alsace region, established since 1680. It produces an award-winning and diverse range of 32 different red, white, still, sparkling, dry and sweet wines and owns 80 acres of vineyards spread across five different Grand Crus – Brand, Mambourg, Schlossberg, Schoenenbourg and Sporen. Any additional grapes are purchased under strict quality control with other growers, for which Sparr pays a premium. In July 2007, passionate Alsatian winemaker Vincent Laillier was brought in to revolutionize winemaking at Sparr from vineyard practices through to bottling processes. Typical of the region, Sparr wines are rich in fruit and firmly structured. With a belief that mature wines are more exciting, the winery will regularly hold back top wines from the market until they are at their optimal drinking window.


White Wines    Riesling    Mosel-Saar-Ruwer    Germany   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Estate Kabinett 2011
Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Estate Kabinett 2011
(search item no. 116866)
has fluid
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Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine comes from parcels owned by Dr. Loosen in the blue slate villages of Bernkastel, Graach and Wehlen. It is bright and pure with the classic white peach fruit and floral, flinty minerality that is so typical from blue slate. A plush attack on the mid-palate leads to a deliciously firm, delicate finish.

This wine makes an elegant aperitif and is an excellent match for seafood, spicy Asian cuisine and lighter dishes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Dr Loosen:

About Dr Loosen:

The Dr. Loosen Estate has been in the same family for over 200 years. With ungrafted vines averaging 50 years old, some of the best vineyard sites in Germany (four rated grand cru and two premier cru by both the 1868 German classification and the more current Wine Atlas of Germany), Ernst Loosen has the raw materials for stunningly intense, world-class wines. With crop yields almost half of what is permitted by law, only moderate use of organic fertilizers, and old-fashioned cellar practices, Loosen strives to create wines that unmistakably say, "Riesling, Mosel, and Dr. Loosen." In his own words, "The great winemakers I have met invariably possess a clear concept in their mind of what their wine should be. It's a vision that places terrior over technology, and grape quality over quantity. This is the level of winemaking we pursue at Dr. Loosen. Our goal is to produce wines that are luscious, complex, and true to their roots."


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 115017)
screw cap wine
green wine
has fluid
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Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Good clarity with light straw color. Medium-bodied with tropical and citrus fruit flavors of white grapefruit and lime with a long crisp finish and some minerality.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Veramonte:

About Veramonte:

Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 105748)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark purple color with ruby red tones. The nose is full of ripe red fruits, sweet spice and a touch of tobacco. The mouthfeel shows red currant and cassis fruit layered with notes of cedar and espresso bean. The finish is soft and sweet, with finely grained tannins adding structure and length.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Tilia:

About Tilia:

Named after the Tilia (Linden) tree commonly found throughout Argentina’s wine country, Tilia wines possess true varietal character and embody the rural Mendozean lifestyle. For years vineyard workers have used the flowers of the Tilia to make an herbal tea for enjoyment after a hard day’s work. The name Tilia is chosen in honor of this wine country tradition.

The Tilia wines are made at Bodegas Esmeralda, a Catena family winery in the Eastern region of Mendoza that is dedicated to making value wines for the Argentine domestic market. Tilia wines offer a unique combination of fruit sourced from the traditional Eastern region and the dynamic Southern region of Mendoza. The Eastern region of Mendoza enjoys warm, sunny days and cool desert nights. The grapes have very ripe, rich fruit flavors and excellent mid-palate depth and concentration. Bright sunshine and low temperatures of the Southern region lend a cool freshness. The fruit from this area shows clean acid balance and soft, supple tannins.

Tilia is dedicated to responsible use of the environment. The winemaking and viticultural team actively engage in many practices and programs throughout the community to implement sustainability. Water conservation and reuse, minimal use of pesticides and organic fertilization are several examples of the team’s dedication. Furthermore, the entire Tilia viticultural team attends regular sustainability training sessions at the National University of Cuyo and National Agricultural Research Institute. They take this training into the field to share and implement with their grower partners.