Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere 2010
Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere 2010
(search item no. 108721)
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 86 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

85% Carmenere, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah.

The color is a dark and deep crimson red, while the bouquet displays notes of dark plums and chocolate with hints of coffee and toasty American oak. On th the palate are flavors of dark plums and spice, generously framed by toasty American oak with a soft and well structured mouthfilling texture.

Enjoy Casillero del Diablo Carmenere with meats, ripe cheese and pasta.

My Notes:

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About Vina Concha y Toro:

Founded in 1883, Viña Concha y Toro is Latin America’s leading producer and occupies an outstanding position among the world’s most important wine companies, currently exporting to 135 countries worldwide. Uniquely, it owns around 9,500 hectares of prime vineyards, which allows the company to secure the highest quality grapes for its wine production. Concha y Toro’s portfolio includes a wide range of successful brands at every price point, from the top of the range Don Melchor and Almaviva to the flagship brand Casillero del Diablo and innovative stand-alone brands such as Palo Alto and Maycas del Limarí. The company has 3,162 employees and is headquartered in Santiago, Chile.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Cotes du Rhone    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone 2009
Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone 2009
(search item no. 106009)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Cherry red color with concentrated berries and cherries on the nose. Ample and fruity with a gentle hint of oak.

Food Pairing: pasta, white meats, fish and barbecue

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About Louis Bernard:

Since 1976, Louis Bernard has united winemakers of the Rhone Valley in a common project: to devote the best of their wine and savoir-faire to producing great wines. With production throughout the Cotes du Rhone region, Louis Bernard remains dedicated to showcasing the unique characteristics of each terroir while producing exquisite, world-class wines.

La Chartreuse de Bonpas is a medieval fortified convent located near Avignon in the Provence region of France, on the Durance River. According to legend, the area was originally called "Maupas" (bad passage) because it was dominated by dangerous bandits. In the 12th century, a holy man named Sibertius arrived with soldiers, built a convent, and chased away the evil bandits. Thus, the name was changed from "Maupas" to "Bonpas" (good passage) and became known as a safe haven allowing travelers a secure crossing of the Durance River .

Today, this historic monument is surrounded by 45 acres of A.O.C. Cotes du Rhone vineyards and is home to Louis Bernard. Visitors can tour the chapel, stroll in the beautiful French-style gardens, and enjoy wine tasting in the ancient cellar.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 108691)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $10.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

85.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Shiraz.

This delicious, crowd pleasing Cabernet- consistently named a Wine Enthusiast "Best Buy"- delivers serious bang for the buck! It's packed with lip smacking flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry, and plum, with subtle hints of dark chocolate and spice.

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About Excelsior:

The picturesque Robertson Valley is nestled between two rugged mountain ranges near the Breede ("Broad") River. It was here that the De Wet family purchased a large tract of land in 1859, subsequently channeling the river and planting the region’s first vineyards. Today the estate is owned by Freddie and Peter De Wet, the fourth and fifth generation of De Wets to farm the property.

Robertson’s limestone-rich clay soils are ideal for quality wine production, and Excelsior boasts over 200 hectares planted to noble grape varietals, with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz. The wines consistently receive "Best Buy"/ "Best Value" accolades, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently noted that Excelsior "represents another of those South African instances where one wonders how the wines can possibly be well-made, distinctively-packaged, exported to the States, and still sell for a mere ten dollars."

The De Wets have always embraced innovation, and in 1969, Excelsior became the first wine estate in South Africa to install drip irrigation. In 1981, a modern, state-of-the-art winery was constructed with capacity to allow for future expansion. In addition to producing a series of delicious and approachable value wines, Excelsior also has a long history of horse breeding. The estate’s longstanding horse breeding tradition is reflected in the equine theme on the Excelsior labels.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 109754)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is a lustrous ruby red. On the nose you'll find ripe red and black fruit aromas mingle with leather and spice, exquisitely balanced by wood notes evoking vanilla and toast. On the palate are supple tannins and a majestic structure conclude in a complex and persistent finish.

Delicious with steaks, wild game, hearty stews, casseroles and ripe, semi-creamy cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Vina Santa Rita:

Heritage and enterprise are hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile's premier wine estates. Founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez in Chile's Maipo Valley, this historic property was among the first to pioneer plantings of European grape varieties in Chile.

In 1980, it was acquired by its present owner, Ricardo Claro, under whom Santa Rita has reaped the rewards of continuous investment, resulting in a period of impressive growth, during which the winery has consolidated its position in the vanguard of Chile's most successful and innovative estates. Initiatives include the highly successful launch of Santa Rita’s 120 Series of wines and a range of ultra-premium wines, notably the highly acclaimed Casa Real and Triple C. Wide-ranging enhancements embrace the purchase of choice new vineyards, plantings with top quality clones, improved trellising and irrigation, balanced viticulture, restricted yields, later harvesting, individual block farming, small-lot vinification, and an increased emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

Today Santa Rita exports to more than 70 countries worldwide. The property accounts for outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important appellations - the Maipo Valley; Casablanca; Rapel; Apalta; Leyda and Curico - enabling access to diverse climates and terrain.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Ruffino Chianti 2009
Ruffino Chianti 2009
(search item no. 105456)
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $12.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A minimum of 75% Sangiovese plus other varieties admitted by code production, such as Canaiolo and Colorino are included in this wine.

Ruby red in color. As always this Chianti features a deliciously vinous bouquet, where the floral and fruity notes lead towards a finish of slightly spicy scents of wild cherry and hazelnuts. Medium-bodied, Chianti Ruffino is pleasantly fruity, harmonious and persistent.

A young Sangiovese which can be perfectly matched with a wide variety of traditional Italian dishes.

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About Ruffino:

In 1877, Illario and Leopoldo Ruffino laid the foundations of their dream to make the most known and loved Italian wines in the world from the heart of Tuscany. At their winery in Pontassieve, just outside of Florence, they began producing wines according to a strict quality standard and a rigorous technical research. Soon, Ruffino became an international symbol of the Chianti region, and won numerous awards, including the prestigious gold medal at the Bordeaux Wine Fair in 1895, affirming the quality of its wine.

In 1913, the Folonari family purchased Ruffino and brought new talent, energy and enthusiasm into the company. They started on a nearly century-long pursuit to develop a collection of estates in Tuscany, all of which matched the standard of quality and uniqueness which was the trademark of Ruffino wine.

Over the last sixty years, Ruffino has established seven prominent estates in Tuscany, all situated within the major DOCG production regions including Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico. Today, Ruffino continues to meld century-long Tuscan traditions with new state-of-the-art cellar technology and modern winemaking for an ideal symbiosis with the energy of the contemporary Italian lifestyle.



White Wines    Riesling    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Penfolds Thomas Hyland Riesling 2008
Penfolds Thomas Hyland Riesling 2008
(search item no. 99390)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $11.95

Winemaker's Notes:

Thomas Hyland Riesling is made in an off-dry style and was sourced from the Adelaide region. The wine has spent a small amount of time on yeast lees, which has given the wine greater fruit concentration and a softer mouth-feel whilst maintaining freshness and natural acidity.
My Notes:

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About Penfolds Wines:

Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Ricasoli Guicciarda Riserva Chianti Classico 2007
Ricasoli Guicciarda Riserva Chianti Classico 2007
(search item no. 108982)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $27.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Wine that has confirmed its elegance and harmony over the years. Always clean and fruity on the nose, full and substantial on the palate, with remarkable persistence and excellent end. Intense and deep ruby red hue with garnet highlights, indicative of a perfectly ripe fruit.
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About Ricasoli:

The House of Ricasoli has had an indelible impact on the history and quality of Chianti. According to Burton Anderson, "it is the world's oldest winery," having produced wines since 1141. Not only did an early Baron help create the appellation system, but in 1874, Baron Bettino Ricasoli (The "Iron Baron") developed the Sangiovese-based formula that came to be known as the official blend for Chianti.

After a few years of foreign ownership in the 60s and 70s, the Ricasoli winery is back in Italian hands -in fact, Francesco Ricasoli, the 32nd Baron of the original family, gained control in 1993. He has replanted several vineyards with improved clones, has improved the vinification technology, and has invested in new cooperage.

Barone Ricasoli is a commercial group that owns several estates throughout Tuscany. At its winery, it vinifies its own and other estates' wines, including those of Castello di Brolio. The Ricasoli family continues to show its commitment to quality and innovation. It was a leader of the Super Tuscan movement, with the production of its award-winning Casalferro. It produces a full range of Tuscan wines, ranging from Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG to the newest addition to the line, Formulae, a 100% Sangiovese aged in American oak casks.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2009
Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 108827)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $19.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 Decanter rating: 90 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Delectable tropical fruit intertwines with grapefruit, lemon and candied lime peel. Elegantly layered, this wine exhibits a creamy, lush texture with vanilla accents and a hint of cinnamon spice to round out the long, lingering finish. The grapes are from 51% Santa Barbara County and 49% Monterey County.
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About Kendall-Jackson:

Back in 1974, Jess Jackson saw in the fine vineyards of California's cool coastal regions fruit with a variety of outstanding flavors. What if there was a way to produce from this abundance, a single outstanding "cuvée" that offered both quality and value? The result, first released in 1983, was Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, a rich, round and flavorful wine, made with hand-crafted methods. That same year, Grand Reserve was introduced, a line of ultra-premium wines that represented the full potential of California's finest vineyards and winemaking. Today, over 5,000 acres of vineyard in California's coastal regions are farmed by Kendall-Jackson. Four separate wineries house what is possibly the single largest barrel-fermentation project in the world. But perhaps most important, is that Kendall-Jackson remains a family-owned winery.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Decoy Zinfandel 2008
Decoy Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 102664)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Paraduxx winemaking team has been crafting a world-class red blend using Napa Valley Zinfandel since 1994. Decoy Zinfandel allows us to explore this robust and appealing grape as a stand-alone wine. It offers the concentration and complexity that has made the Napa Valley famous, while highlighting classic Zinfandel elements of raspberry, strawberry jam, white pepper, cedar and spice.
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About Decoy:

Since the inaugural vintage of Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than 20 years ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. Building on this foundation, Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyards brand to being a supporting brand for the entire Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio.

Today, in addition to the Decoy Red, the Decoy lineup includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc—all of which are appellation-designated, and highlight Decoy’s commitment to producing attractively priced wines made from exceptional vineyard sources.

Because of Duckhorn Wine Company’s unique structure, Decoy benefits from the talent, experience and expertise of all four Duckhorn Wine Company winemakers, each of whom has a unique area of specialization. Like all the grapes used to make wines in the Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio, fruit for the Decoy program comes from a mix of Estate vineyards and top growers. Decisions about which lots are used in Decoy are not made until well into the winemaking process. As a result, Decoy’s grapes receive the same meticulous care in the vineyard, and the same small-lot attention to detail in the winery.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/27/2014
Primus The Blend 2007
Primus The Blend 2007
(search item no. 99604)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/27/2014: $17.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator 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:

The 2007 growing season was characterized by its great fruit concentration, a mild summer slowed the ripening process and reduced the yields naturally, which resulted in greater concentration, with slowly ripenening and delicate fruit, healthy grapes and elegant yet powerful tannins.

The Winemaking Team
Primus wines are crafted by a team of expert viticulturists and winemakers led by winemaker, Cristian Aliaga, who has over 10 years' experience at Veramonte. Alvaro Espinoza, one of the world's most respected winemakers, widely known as an innovator and champion of some of Chile's best red wines, joined the team to craft the Primus wines. Alvaro works closely with the team to continually refine vineyard and winery practices that deliver rich ripe fruit with complexity, intensity and distinctiveness.

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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.