Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel 2009
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel 2009
(search item no. 108926)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is our fourth vintage from vines on the benchland overlooking Dry Creek Valley from the north east. The soils are identical across the bench as are the climatic conditions giving the wines the chance to demonstrate consistent character as they mature. The original vineyards were abandoned around 1920, but the blocks have been gradually replanted over the last thirty years. This wine is from vines replanted in 2000, using several selections of budwood from our own old-vine vineyards. The East Bench zinfandel is classic Dry Creek – rich and structured with brambly dark fruit and chalky yet balanced tannins.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

About Ridge Vineyards:

Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel 2008
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 106426)
Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blackberry/pepper/vanilla nose. Big, dark zinfandel with flavors of briary fruit, minerals, cocoa. Well-incorporated tannins, ample acidity, long finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

About Ridge Vineyards:

Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
John Duval Entity Shiraz 2007
John Duval Entity Shiraz 2007
(search item no. 99713)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $27.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 vintage of Entity is a well structured wine comprised of good concentration of pureBarossa dark fruit. A true reflection of Barossa's soil and climate, Entity displays youthful dark fruits of blackberry, plum and savory French oak aromas. Entity's palate is rich and generous, with concentrated dark fruit and fine, ripe tannins. The finish is elegant and carries through with excellent fruit intensity. Traditional winemaking practices and seventeen months in French oak barriques will ensure the age worthiness of this third release.
My Notes:

About John Duval:

John Duval began his self-titled label in 2003. Duval graduated from Adelaide University in 1973 with a degree in agriculture and winemaking before becoming a winemaker for Penfolds for the next 29 years. Duval was appointed Chief Winemaker at Penfolds in 1986 and was lucky enough to oversee one of the most dynamic periods of change in the Australian wine industry. He received Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London in 1989; Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London in 1991 and again in 2000; and saw the 1990 Penfolds Grange named the Wine of the Year by the prestigious US magazine Wine Spectator in 1995.

Duval focuses on fruit that comes from older vines in Barossa, including Rhone varietals, leading to one of his stellar ones, "Plexus."



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Hewitson Ned and Henrys Shiraz 2007
Hewitson Ned and Henrys Shiraz 2007
(search item no. 100057)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 vintage was characterized by the drought affecting much of Australia, delivering a very small crop with tiny, concentrated berries. The end result is a wine of immense quality, very similar to the fabulous 2006.The color of 2007 Ned & Henry's is deep red with a purple hue. The aroma is distinctively Barossa Valley: black and red, ripe fruits with a solid, concentrated core. Matured in only French oak, the fruit is interwoven with pepper, nutmeg and clove. The seamless class of perfectly ripe fruit and French oak is a stand-out here. The palate structure of Ned & Henry's delivers in every aspect of the brief. The fruit flavors are full and concentrated yet soft and supple. The tannins are gentle yet persistent and completely mold into the wine. Ned & Henry's is most definitely full-bodied: chocolate, blackberry and dark-earth characters. Yet the wine has great balance and poise and carries that signature called 'drinkability'.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Hewitson:

About Hewitson:

Dean Hewitson is driven by passion. His creation of individual, exquisite wines from the ancient vineyards of South Australia is for your indulgence.

Dean Hewitson has been indeed very fortunate to be tutored by some of the best wine makers and wine scientists in the world. Having completed his degree at Roseworthy, he worked at one of Australia's best wineries, visited some of the world's best wineries experiencing fifteen vintages worldwide, and spent two years at UC Davis, California, where he completed his Masters. Through all of this, to be guided through wine evaluations and wine making techniques of the great wines by the masters themselves has certainly been a privilege and a wonderful opportunity for him. He therefore is able to draw on a very wide spectrum of ideas, practices, philosophies and experiments. These are encapsulated in his wines.

Hunting down the right varieties in the right vineyard in the right region was the next step. Each variety has been selected on the basis of being able to produce a wine of world class that, in particular, the old vineyards of South Australia are able to produce. Geographical isolation and in part a fluke of human non-intervention have preserved pre-phylloxera vineyards that are more closely linked to the original clones from Europe than anywhere on earth.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Howell Mountain Vineyards Bear & Lion Zinfandel 2006
Howell Mountain Vineyards Bear & Lion Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 98124)
Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $25.00

Winemaker's Notes:

This year Howell Mountain Vineyards, in response to consumer demand, sought out mature Zinfandel vineyards in Napa Valley to blend with its Beatty Ranch and Black Sears Vineyard fruit. Renamed Bear & Lion, after the black bear and mountain lion that appear on the label (and sometimes in the vineyards), this Old Vine bottling combines the best characteristics of mountain fruit and grapes from lowland terraces.

The wine itself is a brilliant medium ruby. Ripe, meaty and dark, it is the most intense Old Vine in years. Scents of cherry, spiced plum and clarified butter are supported by a deeper core of jammy fruit. On the palate, the wine is rich and concentrated, with chocolate and chestnut flavors and a long, smooth textured finish. It's wonderful now, but will continue to gain complexity in the bottle.

My Notes:

About Howell Mountain Vineyards:

Howell Mountain Vineyards is owned by Mike Beatty of Beatty Ranch, and Joyce Black Sears & Jerre Sears of Black Sears Vineyard. It was established in 1988 to hand craft limited releases of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon from their two vineyards. The vineyards are located in the Howell Mountain appellation of Napa Valley, California.

The Wines Howell Mountain Vineyards produces Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, with various designations of the Zinfandel released on two occasions a year. March 1 is the release date of our Old Vine Zinfandel and October 1 is the release date of our Beatty Ranch Zinfandel and Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel, as well as our Cabernet Sauvignon.

Zinfandel - There are three bottled-designated Zinfandels from Howell Mountain Vineyards: "Old Vine," "Beatty Ranch" and "Black Sears Vineyard." The "Old Vine" is typically a blend of 25- to 80-year-old vines from Beatty Ranch Zinfandel and Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel. All are classically structured Zinfandels with softer tannins than most mountain vineyards, and reveal intense, dark fruit, fresh truffle and cocoa flavors. Drinkable upon release, they will age for 5+ years.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Howell Mountain Vineyards Bear & Lion Zinfandel 2006
Howell Mountain Vineyards Bear & Lion Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 98124)
Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $25.00

Winemaker's Notes:

This year Howell Mountain Vineyards, in response to consumer demand, sought out mature Zinfandel vineyards in Napa Valley to blend with its Beatty Ranch and Black Sears Vineyard fruit. Renamed Bear & Lion, after the black bear and mountain lion that appear on the label (and sometimes in the vineyards), this Old Vine bottling combines the best characteristics of mountain fruit and grapes from lowland terraces.

The wine itself is a brilliant medium ruby. Ripe, meaty and dark, it is the most intense Old Vine in years. Scents of cherry, spiced plum and clarified butter are supported by a deeper core of jammy fruit. On the palate, the wine is rich and concentrated, with chocolate and chestnut flavors and a long, smooth textured finish. It's wonderful now, but will continue to gain complexity in the bottle.

My Notes:

About Howell Mountain Vineyards:

Howell Mountain Vineyards is owned by Mike Beatty of Beatty Ranch, and Joyce Black Sears & Jerre Sears of Black Sears Vineyard. It was established in 1988 to hand craft limited releases of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon from their two vineyards. The vineyards are located in the Howell Mountain appellation of Napa Valley, California.

The Wines Howell Mountain Vineyards produces Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, with various designations of the Zinfandel released on two occasions a year. March 1 is the release date of our Old Vine Zinfandel and October 1 is the release date of our Beatty Ranch Zinfandel and Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel, as well as our Cabernet Sauvignon.

Zinfandel - There are three bottled-designated Zinfandels from Howell Mountain Vineyards: "Old Vine," "Beatty Ranch" and "Black Sears Vineyard." The "Old Vine" is typically a blend of 25- to 80-year-old vines from Beatty Ranch Zinfandel and Black Sears Vineyard Zinfandel. All are classically structured Zinfandels with softer tannins than most mountain vineyards, and reveal intense, dark fruit, fresh truffle and cocoa flavors. Drinkable upon release, they will age for 5+ years.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sierra Foothills    California   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Renwood Winery Fiddletown Zinfandel 2005
Renwood Winery Fiddletown Zinfandel 2005
(search item no. 97365)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $8.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 Fiddletown Zinfandel offers aromas and flavors that best express the appellation. These wines always have a characteristic note of pine and cedar. The red fruit aromas are distinct and the lush and vibrant flavors linger on the palate. The aging in small oak barrels helps mellow the wine, and gives a finish with holiday spice, toasted hazelnut and vanilla notes.

The Fiddletown appellation is the oldest AVA (American Viticultural Appellation) in Amador County, California. The vineyards have a higher elevation (up to 1,800 feet) and enjoy the perfect combination of hot days and cooler nights – more so than most Amador County vineyards. These growing conditions allow for maximum ripeness and balance in the fruit. Many feel that these are the best grapes in Amador County.

"A genuine Zinfandel, intense and appealingly rustic. Wild berry, dusty clay and fresh licorice aromas, with tart, minerally boysenberry and smoky pepper flavors. The tannins suggest there's no hurry. Best from 2009 through 2012."
-Wine Spectaotr

My Notes:

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About Renwood Winery:

Surrounded by some of America's oldest Zinfandel vineyards, Renwood Winery is located in the picturesque California foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Renwood produces world-class award winning wines from Amador County and the Sierra Foothills. Boston native Robert Smerling founded Renwood in 1993. Mr. Smerling fell in love with Amador County’s rich history and magnificent vineyards. A plan was set in place to build one of America's premier Zinfandel wineries.

Wine production has grown from 2,500 cases in 1993 to over 100,000 cases today. The critics all agree Renwood produces consistently exceptional wines that cover the spectrum from big, bold, jammy Zins to wonderfully balanced Syrahs and Barberas.

Renwood's Grandpere Zinfandel which comes from their Grandpere Vineyards is the oldest known clone of Zinfandel in America. All grapes are handpicked and fermented in small lots, then aged in oak barrels to preserve the unique character of each vineyard.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Santa Maria Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/12/2014
Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 94513)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
The Wine News rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/12/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 PinotReport rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Cambria 2006 Julia's Pinot Noir offers fresh cherry, blueberry, strawberry and cranberry fruit flavors accented with cinnamon and vanilla oak spice characters. The mid-palate has a silky texture and balanced tannins that lead into a fruity and earthy finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Cambria Winery:

About Cambria Winery:

Cambria is a private, family-owned estate winery that has carved out a reputation for producing lush, tropical Chardonnay, velvety-textured Pinot noir and rich, spicy Syrah since its inception in 1987. Cambria's proximity to the ocean and east-west orientation gives this 1,400-acre property the diversity it needs to grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah under perfectly suited conditions. As an estate property, Cambria's Vineyard Manager and Winemaker work in tandem to perfect the winegrowing process. Together, they select only the finest grapes from the estate to bear the Cambria name. Every grape is hand-harvested and crafted into wine with the utmost care and respect foe the varietal.

In recent years, Cambria has concentrated its vineyard and winemaking resources into amplifying different aspects of the Cambria estate. This effort launched an in-depth exploration of the vineyard and varieties on this cool-climate property. The result has elevated the quality of Cambria's core wines, created new site-focused and distinct winemaking styles, and dramatically highlighted the bold flavors of each variety. Today, the flagship wines, making up 90% of the production, include Katherine's Chardonnay, Julia's Pinot Noir and Tepusquet Syrah. Each wine represents the broad definition of flavor, for that variety, on the estate.