Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica 2008
Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica 2008
(search item no. 108968)
International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Medium ruby with flecks of violet; exotic aromas of liquor liked cherry, spicy cake; ripe and nicely concentrated; very Garnacha in caracter; a lot fruit; medium finish with ripe, sweet tannins and nicely fresh.
My Notes:

About Capcanes:

High up in the hill, roughly 30 miles inland from Tarragona and 100 miles to the south of Barcelona, lies the village of Capcanes, in the sub-zone of the Tarragona DO called Falset. Essentially, this sub-zone is continuous with the Priorat DO, and the wines from this area have more in common with the wines of Priorato than they do with those from the plains around Tarrragano itself.

Viticulture
At Capcanes, the altitude ranges from 300 meters to 700 meters, and natural rainfalls is low at around 450 mm. The average temperature in this Mediterranean region is around 15 C and rises to 35 C in the summer. Soil in the lower vineyards is deep, rich and fertile; the higher vineyards and all the terraces are on poor, mineral , stony soils with a granite or slate base. Under the guidance of the two winemakers, Angel Teixado and Antoni Alcover, owner/winemaker of Fra Fulco. Capcanes has progressed to a level of serious quality among Spanish reds, and offers tremendous value.

Vinification
New cellars were built to accommodate new temperature controlled stainless fermentation tanks and 600 new oak barrels, of which about 30% are French. Along with the introduction of a new bottling line, the packaging has been updated, reflecting the new breed of wine produced at Capcanes.



Red Wines    Other Red Wine    Other Italian    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Valle Reale Vigneto di Popoli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008
Valle Reale Vigneto di Popoli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008
(search item no. 114567)
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ruby-red in color, this wine is surprisingly concentrated. With silky tannins and layers of dark berry fruit and spices, this is a rich and aromatic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

Full-bodied and firm, yet supple, it is ready to be enjoyed with hearty pasta dishes, roasted poultry or lamb, and slow cooked ribs.

My Notes:

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About Valle Reale:

Valle Reale is a territory that seems predestined for wine. The geological characteristics and ambient beauty are unique in these vineyards that are set in one of Italy's most beautiful national parks.

Valle Reale possesses all of the natural elements conducive to the production of great wine. There is an abundance of water, proximity to the sea and the benefits of a maritime climate, ample sunshine and mineral rich soils.

The Pizzolo family together with Leonardo Valenti have striven to produce a model of central Italian wine: strength, exuberance, vitality, Mediterranean color, elegance, balance and depth. They are working exclusively with the Montepulciano varietal and seek to highlight the grape's intrinsic qualities in both the young, vibrant base wine as well as the cru San Calisto which they hope will offer critics and consumers alike a new benchmark for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Evans Wine Company Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008
Evans Wine Company Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 105806)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine is powerful with layers of ripe blackberries, dark cherries and luscious chocolate, mocha and macerated fruit characters.
My Notes:

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About Evans Wine Company:

Named for its founder Len Evans who emigrated to Australia in 1953 and has been a tireless owner, innovator, and promoter of Australian wines. Evans has had his hand in many Australian wineries including Rothbury Estate and Petaluma. Evans Wine Company was founded in 1980 and specializes in wines from the Hunter Valley for the Evans Family Wines label.

Hilltops is in the South-Western Slopes of the Great Dividing Range, situated around the rural towns of Young and Harden in Southern New South Wales. It is about four hours drive south of Sydney and about one and a half hours from Canberra the national capital. An historically important part of Australia, it has an established reputation as a producer of high quality stone fruit. The vineyards are mostly to the South East of Young, which is known as "The Cherry Capital of Australia" and there are about 1,000 acres under vine in the area. The region sits on a large granite rock, which over millions of years has weathered to produce deep topsoil, red coloured as it has mixed with ironstone sand blown in from the Red Centre of Australia.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 100258)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 86 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense, dark ruby color with enticing aromas of ripe, black plums and black currants. The richly textured plum and currant flavors are joined by accents of dark chocolate and some vanilla-scented oak. The ripe, vibrant tannins give the wine beautiful structure and an amazingly long finish. This is a big wine for just a little money. Drink it now or over the next few years to enjoy the fruit flavors at their best. It will pair well with traditional Cabernet-friendly foods like grilled or roasted meats.
My Notes:

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About Crios de Susana Balbo:

After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."

Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.

Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2010
Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2010
(search item no. 113930)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2012 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 91 points
2012 Decanter rating: 91 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 85 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Every year, we bring in approximately 35 lots of Zinfandel averaging 25-30 years in age. Each of these lots is produced under the careful eye of our winemaker, Ted Seghesio. The best of these lots are selected to make Sonoma Zinfandel. A small amount of Petite Sirah is blended in the wine for added complexity. The result is a tantalizing black raspberry and classic briary flavored wine with a balance of components for which Seghesio wines are known.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Seghesio Family Vineyards:

About Seghesio Family Vineyards:

Established in 1985, when Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in Sonoma County's Alexander Valley, Seghesio Family Vineyards produces wines that honor the history of Sonoma and the Seghesio family. Seghesio Family Vineyards' 300 acres in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys represent some of the oldest vineyards and proprietary clones. With a passionate belief that wine is made in the vineyard, Seghesio pairs a century of experience on these treasured sites with aggressive farming techniques. True to their oldest plantings, Seghesio concentrates on Zinfandel, Italian varietals and Pinot Noir. Ted Seghesio is the winemaker.


Dessert, Sherry & Port    Port    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Quady Batch 88 Starboard
Quady Batch 88 Starboard
(search item no. 17656)
has fluid
has fluid 360
not core in nc/ma

Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $26.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes in Batch 88 are primarily Tinta Roriz from the Madera area. The vineyard is managed to give loose bunches and a small crop. The blend is smooth and soft with a chocolate raisin character. Several different vintages are used in the blend which has an average age of about 5 years. In the port business this type of blend is called "Vintage Character."
My Notes:

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About Quady Winery:

Andrew Quady started making wine in the mid 1970's. Working for a major wine company he moonlighted to produce his own ports and in 1980 experimented with Orange Muscat, ultimately making an amazing floral fruit character wine that he called Essensia. In 1990, Quady decided to produce a new type of dessert wine, light, delicate and very refreshing. He tasted Orange Muscat juice as it was turning into wine. When the juice was just on the verge - halfway between wine and grape juice, he bottled a test batch. The wine tasted wonderful, but the alcohol was only 4% (most wines are at least 11%). Using sterile filtration to prevent refermentation, he bottled it anyway and named the new creation Electra.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2006
Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 102942)
green wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2006 Kunde Family Estate Zinfandel is one sneaky character. It starts out as a well-mannered and elegant claret-styled wine, but the spicy flavors seem to grow in your glass. The beautiful berry aromas follow up and keep on coming. Pork tenderloin with a spicy rub would be just the match for this beauty—well-mannered but a little bit wild. Watch out - you might find the bottle disappearing somehow!
My Notes:

About Kunde Estate Winery:

Since the early 1900s, five generations of the Kunde family have preserved the family tradition of farming their fertile, highly praised vineyards located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. Their picturesque 2000-acre estate has been planted with 800 acres of wine grapes, the vast majority of which are now used to create the Kunde's entire line of hand crafted, ultra-premium wines. Their 100% estate grown varietals include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Viognier.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Di Majo Norante Ramitello Rosso 2008
Di Majo Norante Ramitello Rosso 2008
(search item no. 108060)
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This cru is made mainly from a selection of the best Montepulciano and Aglianico grapes grown in the Ramitello vineyard of Campomarino.

Full, mellow and velvety wine; with a perfect blend of flavours such as plum, undergrowth and hints of leather and liquorice, deep ruby red in color with violet reflections

My Notes:

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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.



Dessert, Sherry & Port    Port    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port
Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port
(search item no. 5968)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $22.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Six Grapes has a seductive, rich aroma of ripe plums, cherries and dark chocolate notes. On the palate it's complex, with an excellent structure and a long, lingering finish. Six Grapes is one of Graham's original Port blends--it is a very full-bodied, luscious wine drawn from the same vineyards as Graham's Vintage Ports. Blended from two or three years' harvests, the wine is an average of five to six years old when it is lightly filtered and bottled.

Serving and pairing suggestions
Six Grapes is bottled ready to drink after about five years of cask aging. It has a t-cap closure, which means that you don't need a corkscrew to open it and that it should stay fresh for up to two months if stored in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator. Serve it in a glass with at least a six ounce capacity so that you may appreciate the wine's aromas. Six Grapes pairs particularly well with dark chocolate, but is also fantastic on its own as a luscious dessert in a glass.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Graham's:

About Graham's:

The firm of W & J Graham & Co has its roots in a Glasgow-based textile concern. In 1820 the brothers William and John Graham, who were then managing the company office in Oporto, accepted 27 pipes of Port wine in settlement of a bad debt.This Port was shipped to the parent company in Glasgow which initially reprimanded the brothers for not sending cash. Fortunately however, after it was sold the Port turned out to be very popular and soon William and John were being urged by their parent company to acquire and ship more of this finest of fortified wines. Within the next few years Graham's reputation grew as a shipper of fine Port, first to Scotland and gradually all over the Port-drinking world. In 1882 Andrew James Symington, a young Scot whose family was well known to the Grahams, took up a position with Graham's in Oporto. The firm of W & J Graham was acquired by the Symington family, his descendants, in 1970. Today James Symington, grandson of Andrew James, and other members of the family draw on their century of experience in the Port trade to ensure that the quality and reputation of Graham's is maintained.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 107549)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Sourced from Columbia Valley vineyards in eastern Washington including our Cold Creek, Canoe Ridge Estate and Indian Wells vineyards.

Our goal with the Columbia Valley Cabernet is to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit in an accessible style. This is our inviting Cab with plenty of complexity and structure with silky tannins. It's also very versatile with food-try it with beef, pork or pasta.

My Notes:

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About Chateau Ste. Michelle:

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington with some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including "American Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and "2005 Winery of the Year" by Restaurant Wine. In addition, the winery's Eroica Riesling, crafted from a partnership with German winemaker Ernst Loosen, has been named to Wine Spectator's prestigious "Top 100" wines list for five consecutive years.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one devoted to whites and another to reds. This dedicated approach to winemaking allows winemaker Bob Bertheau to build winemaking programs to the unique specifications of red and white wines. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle's vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the climate is dry and sunny, Bob Bertheau makes the award winning white wines in Woodinville, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The winery's expansive, 87-acre estate hosts more than 250,000 visitors annually for tours, tastings, dinners and outdoor summer concerts.