Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Gascon Malbec 2010
Gascon Malbec 2010
(search item no. 109454)
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 growing season in Mendoza was characterized by a slight delay in ripening, lower alcohol potential and higher acidity, compared to the previous one. A late-season frost in 2009 prevented normal bud formation in the spring, resulting in lower yields. January and February saw unseasonably warm weather throughout the region, and consequently, veraison occurred earlier than normal in most areas. Sugar accumulation arrest in the berry was delayed and led to lower potential alcohol levels in the fruit than in 2009. Throughout the summer, the weather remained both hot and dry, resulting in generally thick skinned fruit with very concentrated flavors. The fruit also maintained excellent levels of natural acidity, lending freshness and vibrancy to the grapes. Overall, the dry season combined with lower yields resulted in fruit with intense color, exceptional levels of concentration and complexity.

A pure expression of the fruit, Don Miguel Gascón Malbec is a full bodied wine with a deep violet color, showcasing flavors and aromas of blackberry, blueberry, plum, dark cherry, and a hint of mocha. The wine is elegant and rich in texture, with plush, round tannins and finely integrated oak characteristics. Final flavors of black spice and maple combine to create a long, velvety finish. Gascón Malbec pairs well with grilled red meats, wild game, pasta dishes and chocolate molten dessert.

My Notes:

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About Gascon:

Tradition and innovation blended harmoniously when a spirited Don Miguel Escorihuela sailed penniless from Spain to Argentina in 1880. Four years later, he purchased 42 acres of land that would become the cornerstone of an exceptional wine making history.

Don Miguel Escorihuela Gascón and his descendants became known in Argentina for their consistently outstanding wines and for their unconventional undertakings.



Red Wines    Mourvedre    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2008
Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2008
(search item no. 101112)

PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Monastrell from three 30 year old non-irrigated vineyard sites in Campo Arriba.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Bodegas Castano:

About Bodegas Castano:

There are only a handful of wineries remaining in Yecla since the phyloxera plague, and they are led by the forward-thinking Bodegas Castano, which has helped to reinvigorate the winemaking in the region.

Created by Ramon Castano Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castano is not nearly as old as the vines it owns. Starting quite small, the family has nurtured these old plantings and re-planted other parcels and now owns 350 hectares of some of the prime vineyard land in Yecla. Today, Daniel Castano, one of Ramon's sons, runs the winery with the help of other members of the family.

The extremely talented Mariano Lopez has taken over the winemaker reins at the Bodega, and has turned the focus toward more balanced bottlings of older vine Monastrell. Both traditional and carbonic maceration techniques are used and all wines pass through malolactic fermentation. Daniel believes that the fruit and tannin structure of the Monastrell varietal stands up well to the use of oak, and as such, many of the wines pass (in varying degrees) through a barrel regime.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 99279)

PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $9.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
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:

A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Shiraz and 2% Petit Verdot.

This delicious, crowd pleasing Cabernet is packed with lip smacking flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry, and plum with subtle hints of dark chocolate and smoke. Perfect for parties and for everyday sipping, this tasty bargain is a home run with grilled meats, pizza, and hearty pasta dishes.

My Notes:

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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    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Monte Antico Rosso 2006
Monte Antico Rosso 2006
(search item no. 100357)
green wine
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2007 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#61 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The blend, albeit varying slightly depending on vintage conditions, is 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The best selections are blended and aged 1 year in oak (80% in Slavonian barrels, 20% in barrique) + at least 6 months in the bottle, achieving a graceful balance of voluptuous berry tones and flexible yet sturdy backbone. Dark ruby in color, its bouquet of leather, earth, herbs, black cherries, licorice and plums is confirmed on the medium to full-bodied palate – round, spicy, elegant, attractively fruity and extremely versatile with any fare from pasta or risotto, to meat, fowl and cheese. Moreover, the Empsons' judicious pricing policy makes it "consistently one of Italy's better values". Food-friendly, pocket-friendly, all-around simpatico.

My Notes:

About Castello di Monte Antico:

Neil Empson and renowned oenologist Franco Bernabei conjunctly orchestrate this all-Sangiovese varietal from Tuscany's very finest vineyard sites. Having access to the region's top crus and ideal microclimates means they can pick and choose according to harvest conditions, achieving consistent excellence with each vintage.

The superlative characteristics of chosen locations and strict quality parameters make for the wine's depth, structure, character and longevity.

Terrain includes compact, very fine-textured limestone, at an altitude of 400-450 meters above sea level; rocky, clayey/calcareous areas, also at altitudes around 400 meters; and clayey/siliceous/calcareous soil, at an altitude of 250-300 meters: a cross-section of Tuscany's best.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Dona Paula Estate Malbec-Syrah 2006
Dona Paula Estate Malbec-Syrah 2006
(search item no. 95711)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $13.99

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Deep red violet color. Aroma: Dark chocolate, blackberry and plum flavors that are integrated with spice, mint and a hint of licorice. Palate: Concentrated, with fine balance and harmony and a long finish.

"The 2006 Shiraz (60%)-Malbec (40%) raises the bar considerably. It has an enticing nose of spice, chocolate, wood smoke, earth notes, blueberry, and black cherry. Ripe and layered, this rich effort will evolve for 1-2 years and provide pleasure from 2010 to 2018. It is an outstanding value."
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

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About Dona Paula:

Located in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Argentina, Dona Paula is an estate winery, producing wines from Dona Paula's own vineyards in the winegrowing regions of Mendoza. Dona Paula's history began in 1990, when a period of exhaustive research on the different Argentinean terroirs and their potential to fully express each varietal began. Dona Paula acquired its first vineyard in 1997 in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, a region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains that is famous for its Malbec. In 2002, Dona Paula began exporting into the US, UK and the Netherlands, and is now one of the leading Argentinean wineries that exports premium wines; with 97% of the winery's production exported to more than 60 countries.


Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Bodega Norton Privada 2006
Bodega Norton Privada 2006
(search item no. 97428)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $25.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Significantly rich ruby red in color. Excellently complex aroma with hints of ripe fruit, spice and coffee aromas. Very good attack on the palate, unctuous and of excellent concentration
My Notes:

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About Bodega Norton:

Astonished at the features of the place, and pushed by his visionary spirit, in 1895, an English Engineer, Mr. Edmund J. P. Norton planted the first vines importing them from France, thereby giving origin to what was the first winery in the area.

Almost 100 years later, Austrian businessman, Mr. Gernot Langes–Swarovski, travelled to Mendoza and experienced the same fascination for the region beauty, the warmth of its people, and the excellent conditions for vine growing. Supporting his decision in his intuition and in the fact that he was convinced of the high potential the vitiniculture represented in Argentina, in 1989, he acquired the Winery with the following firm aim: to make wines recognized worldwide for their quality. While executing this project, he appointed his son Michael as the person responsible for the management of the company, who, jointly with a team of local professionals started a new phase of investment, revamping and growth.

In that way, the incorporation of top-notch technology together with the knowledge and passion of people, have caused Norton to be the leading brand in exports and one of the country´s most important Wineries.

Our 5 farms have over 1200 ha fit for growing vine, 680 ha out of which are currently cultivated. Over 150 families of vineyard workers live and work there, sharing secrets and experiences from generation to generation. This knowledge and passion for the work, combined with the professionalism of our team of agricultural engineers result in products with excellence.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Catena Malbec 2006
Catena Malbec 2006
(search item no. 93947)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Decanter rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The nose offers ripes, concentrated dark fruit aromas with delicate floral notes and traces of vanilla and mocha. The mouthfeel is rich and lush, with concentrated black cherry and red currant fruit flavors layered with sweet spices, tobacco and a touch of leather. The finish presents soft, supple tannins with bright, crisp acidity and a flinty minerality which gives the wine exceptional length.

My Notes:

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About Catena:

Bodega Catena Zapata is one of Argentina's high altitude Malbec pioneers. The Catena family began making wine in Mendoza in 1902. Nicolas Catena, third generation family vintner, was one of the first to see the potential of Mendoza's mountain vineyards for producing high quality Malbec. In 1994, he became the first Argentine to exprot a world-class bottling of Malbec under the Catena label. Nicolas is joined by his daughter, Dr. Laura Catena, in their relentless pursuit of world-class quality from the family's high altitude vineyards. Laura has done extensive work in introducing Malbec and other varietal plant selections, soil and climate analysis, and sustainable practices throughout Mendoza. Head winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, has been at Catena Zapata since 2002 and works with Laura and Nicolas to make wines that express the family's vineyards and palate.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Punto Final Malbec Classico 2008
Punto Final Malbec Classico 2008
(search item no. 98525)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $12.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Malbec grapes are sourced from two mountain vineyards, both planted more than 50 years ago. The grapes are hand-harvested into small lugs, hand-sorted, crushed and cold-macerated at the winery for four days. The wine is then fermented at controlled temperatures with native yeasts in stainless steel for 15 days and inoculated with the winery's own malolactic organisms. After this it is aged for eight months, partly in French barriques and partly in stainless steel. The end result is a wine with a rich bouquet, lively mouth-feel, lingering flavors of red and black berries with undertones of black pepper and vanilla, and a velvety texture throughout.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Punto Final:

About Punto Final:

From Bodegas Renacer. Mendoza, Argentina is a privileged place in the world because of its winegrowing and winemaking conditions. These excellent conditions are bottled into the great wines that have been reaching the world's markets in recent years. Robert Parker has proclaimed that Malbec, the region's emblematic variety, has a very auspicious future.

The winery, located at Perdriel, at the foot of Los Andes Mountains, combines a medieval tower built of rocks with state of the art technical equipment. In the limey soils surrounding the winery grow the best Malbec grapes of the world. Punto Final Clásico and Reserva are modern, fruity, elegant wines with a distinctive personality. Their labels show a unique style focused in the typical aromas of Argentina's emblematic variety.

The philosophy is to attain the highest quality within the highest international standards. This goal is achieved through scrupulous care of the vineyards and devotion to wine and the winemaking process.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2008
Di Majo Norante Sangiovese 2008
(search item no. 101184)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $12.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Sangiovese exhibits a fresh bouquet of violets, woodland berries, spices and leather. Deliciously smooth, plush and juicy on the palate with loads of ripe fruit, Di Majo Sangiovese is recommended with pasta, pizza, sausages, parmigiana and grilled meats. A tremendous value!
My Notes:

Additional wines from Di Majo Norante:

About Di Majo Norante:

The Di Majo Norante winery is located to the north of the Gargano in Molise on the estate of the Marquis Norante of Santa Cristina. This estate has been dedicated to the cultivation of vines since the 1800's.

In the 1960's a modern cantina was constructed and vines were replanted. Optimal exposure, constant breezes during the summer, excellent soil composition and a slope toward the Sciabolone and Madonna Grande valleys, blend together to create a particularly favorable environment for the production of wine.

Alessio Di Majo has hired renowned enologist, Riccardo Cotarella, as a consultant in order to ensure consistent, high quality production for all their wines. The Di Majo family is dedicated to producing quality wine at an outstanding value and practicing environmentally sound agriculture.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Medoc    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Chateau Cambon La Pelouse Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois Superieur 2005
Chateau Cambon La Pelouse Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois Superieur 2005
(search item no. 92782)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $33.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"An exceptional, up-and-coming performer in the southern Medoc (just outside the Margaux appellation), this sensual blend of 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot possesses a dark ruby/purple color, sweet fruit, and tremendous purity, definition, and nuances (a hallmark of the top 2005s). With medium to full body, velvety but noticeable tannin, and abundant glycerin (no doubt because of the 13+% natural alcohol), it should drink well for 7-8 years."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Barrel Sample: 88-90 Points
My Notes:

About Château Cambon La Pelouse:

The property of Cambon La Pelouse is situated between Cantemerle and Giscours at one of the highest points of Macau. It borders the property of Labarde, from which it is separated by only a small country path.

Cambon La Pelouse is known for uniting aroma and delicacy with stability and fullness and, as it is one of the oldest vineyards in the region, it has largely contributed to giving Medoc wines their reputation.

In June 2003, it was elevated to a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur.