Red Wines    Petite Sirah    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Foppiano Estate Petite Sirah 2004
Foppiano Estate Petite Sirah 2004
(search item no. 87868)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2004 Foppiano Vineyards Estate Petite Sirah was made entirely from estate Petite Sirah grapes, grown on the family's Russian River Valley Estate. It is full-bodied and deeply colored. In the nose, the Petite offers black fruit aromas, which are well met on the palate with black and blue berry flavors, as well as toasty vanilla, exotic spices, and hints of cocoa on the finish.

Best served with red meat dishes, hearty pastas, full-flavored cheeses, roasted pork, or roasted wild boar.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Foppiano:

About Foppiano:

Foppiano Vineyards was founded in 1896 by Giovanni Foppiano, a native of Genoa, Italy. Giovanni emigrated from Italy to San Francisco in 1864, walking across the isthmus of Panama en route. He hoped to find his riches in the gold fields of California.

It was Giovanni who founded Foppiano Vineyards after moving to Healdsburg, California when his search for gold was unrewarding. He purchased a working winery called "Riverside Farm" on the same land where today's Foppiano Vineyards still stands and operates.

Petite Sirah, the family's favorite wine, has become the winery's signature wine, and is known nationwide as one of the country's top Petites year-in and year-out.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2007
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 2007
(search item no. 95120)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $9.49

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 60% Syrah, 39% Mourvèdre, 1% Viognier

Opulent floral nose even seems perfumed from Viognier component. Spicy aromatics are supported with fleshy berry fruit aromas. The wine is generous in length.

Although the cultivars making up the Wolftrap blend now remains the same from vintage to vintage, the percentages of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier might differ. The 2007 blend has a dominant 60% Syrah of which a part was co-fermented on Viognier skins, but also for the first time on lignified Viognier stalks. After separating the Viognier juice from the skins to make white wine, we use part of those skins to co-ferment with the Syrah. The added Viognier stalks to the Syrah ferment, not only extracts structural tannins but also adds a pepper spice character to the wine. The fleshiness of the Mourvèdre adds richness to the blend.

My Notes:

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About Boekenhoutskloof:

The name "Boekenhoutskloof" comes from the Cape beech, or Kaapse boekenhout, a tree indigenous to Franschhoek and once used by the Cape Dutch for furniture making. It is pronounced, not easily, bok-un-hoatscloof. The winery's white-washed, Dutch-style farmhouse, dated 1771, once stood in an orchard; pears still plump up in the trees around it. Kent and his partners, including South Africa's consummate ad-men John Hunt and Reg Lascaris, have never advertised the wine. And still the bottles - each with a sleek hand-torn label picturing seven different Capestyle chairs, one for each partner - keep selling out.

Kent is now studying to be a master of wine, one of three in South Africa taking the seriously competitive international course rather than the regional one. He's not got hubris enough to presume the post himself; he's already saturated in the business of making Boekenhoutskloof, as well as the winery's second label, Porcupine Ridge.

While he sounds casual about his craft ("It's a series of decisions, and when you make them"), small details give away his obsessive streak. His dogs are called Petrus and Gaja.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2007
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2007
(search item no. 95629)
green wine


PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 85 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 Ancient Vines Zinfandel shows wonderful dusty raspberry, blackberry, white pepper and spice, with coffee and chocolate characters. Ripe fruit and soft tannins make this a mouth-coating rich vintage. Aging in new and used wood has lent this wine a subtle vanilla quality that nicely complements the explosive fruit notes.
My Notes:

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About Cline:

Fred Cline founded Cline Cellars in 1982, in Oakley, California. In 1991, the winery facilities relocated to the Sonoma Valley on a 350 acre estate in the Carneros District. The Cline Brothers, Fred and Matt, are Zinfandel and Rhone varietal specialists. Their holdings include some of the oldest and rarest vines in California. They are best known for the one hundred year old plantings of Carignane, Mourvedre and Zinfandel grapes they farm in Oakley, California. The Mourvedre represent approximately 85% of the state's total supply of this fascinating and versatile varietal. This treasure is the inspiration for Cline Cellars many "Rhone style" bottlings.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2005
Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2005
(search item no. 92331)
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $19.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of strawberry jam and blackberry bramble with hints of vanilla caramel. Complex plum and berry flavors are enhanced by black pepper and light toasty oak. The finish is lush; full of soft tannins and balanced acidity.

This versatile Zinfandel is especially suited to Mediterranean and spicy ethnic dishes as well as barbecued meats and hearty pastas.

My Notes:

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About Valley of the Moon Winery:

Valley of the Moon Winery encompasses both the rich history and the innovative spirit of California wine.

Situated in the Sonoma Valley on land first planted to grapes in 1863, Valley of the Moon Winery is housed in a beautifully restored stone and redwood winery built in 1887. Blessed with rich volcanic soils and a distinctive “banana belt” microclimate, the estate vineyard has been a revered source of grapes for well over a century. A block of “old vine” Zinfandel planted in the 1940s is complemented by more recent plantings of Barbera, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah; all farmed sustainably with natural soil amendments and natural pest controls.

Yet Valley of the Moon Winery is a thoroughly modern - even cutting-edge - producer. The state-of-the-art production facility features a full complement of temperature-controlled stainless steel fermenters, and small French and American oak barrels; ideal for Valley of the Moon’s artisan winemaking. In addition to making superb Sonoma County Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, Valley of the Moon Winery is a leader among California wineries in the production of several exciting up-and-coming wines: Syrah, Sangiovese, Pinot Blanc, Rosato di Sangiovese and Cuvée de la Luna, a proprietary Bordeaux-inspired blend. Sometimes hard to find, Valley of the Moon wines are definitely worth the search.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Ravenswood Napa Zinfandel 2005
Ravenswood Napa Zinfandel 2005
(search item no. 91685)

PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $11.89

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pleasing bright, ripe plum flavors with mouth-watering acidity and fine tannin structure followed by a racy, lingering finish that tastes of raspberries, cloves, cardamom and vanilla.
My Notes:

About Ravenswood:

Fueled initially by the inspiration and winemaking skills of Joel Peterson, aided and abetted by his business partner W. Reed Foster, Ravenswood winery has been dedicated to top quality, hand-crafted wine since the first crush in 1976. Every Ravenswood wine carries a unique vintage and vineyard identity in addition to the intense powerful – gothic – character with which the winery has come to be associated.

A key to Ravenswood’s success is our long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, we are devoted to working with growers who share our philosophy about high quality.

Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what winemaker Joel Peterson refers to as “stubborn and impractical” Old World enological practices. Wines are fermented in small wooden tanks using wild, natural yeasts and punched down by hand three to five times per day. The wines are characterized by intense, spicy aromas supported by rich, berry flavors and long, clean finishes.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Shiraz 2006
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 95129)

PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $10.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This opaque, reddish-purple wine contains expressive aromas of pepper, spice, blueberry, and violet. It makes a fresh entry on the palate with layers of fresh fruit and soft tannins that carry through the long silky finish.

Enjoy this wine with grilled dishes.

My Notes:

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About Columbia Crest:

Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. In 2009, the winery reached a milestone when Wine Spectator named their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon "Wine of the Year," the first time a wine from Washington state has received the ranking. This accolade was not only a historic moment for Columbia Crest, but for all wineries in Washington and reinforced the belief that the region is among the best wine-producing areas in the world.


White Wines    Riesling    Mosel-Saar-Ruwer    Germany   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
S.A. Prum Essence Riesling 2007
S.A. Prum Essence Riesling 2007
(search item no. 94775)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $16.49

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Pale gold

Bouquet: Aromatic, with scents of apricot and peach

Taste: Fresh fruit flavors perfectly balanced by a racy acidity and mineral character

Serving suggestions: Enjoy on its own or with a range of light appetizers and seafood dishes.

My Notes:

About S.A. Prum:

Founded in 1911 by Sebastian Alois Prüm, family-owned S.A. Prüm has been in the hands of Raimund Prüm, head winemaker and Sebastian's grandson, since 1971 when he assumed full management of the estate. The property has earned a reputation as one of Germany's most successful wineries, internationally acclaimed for its production of superb quality Riesling. The Prüm family has a rich and ancient history in the mid-Mosel, where they have owned vineyards in the towns of Bernkastel, Graach, Wehlen and Zeltingen.

Today, the estate comprises 40 acres of vineyards planted principally with Riesling. Over 15 acres of S.A. Prüm's holdings are located within the famed Wehlener Sonnenuhr ("sundial of Wehlen") domain. Named for the historic and well-recognized sundial painted on an outcrop of slate by a Prüm ancestor back in 1842, the incredibly steep Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard is a globally renowned source of what is arguably Germany's finest Riesling. As the name suggests, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, where vines average 80 years and older, benefits from plentiful sunshine – a critical factor in the world's northernmost wine producing country. The soil is comprised of layers of finely decomposed, mineral-rich blue slate that date back approximately 400 million years. Underneath, deep-lying aquifers provide the vines with adequate water during dry periods.



White Wines    Torrontes    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2007
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2007
(search item no. 93538)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $15.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Enticing aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach pit, white pear, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate, it has beautiful structure and acidity similar to Sauvignon Blanc along with enticing fruit flavors that keep you coming back for another sip and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors.

Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed. Best enjoyed in its youth either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood (especially crab).

91 Points

"Susana Balbo consistently delivers refined, clean Torrontes like this 2007, a white filled with ripe melon and honey scents. The deep flavors surround sweet peach with spice in a creamy texture. The finish is refreshing."
Wine Advocate

90 Points

"The 2007 Torrontes is about as good as teh varietal gets. Super fragrant, smelling of a spring flower garden, honey, and exotic spices from the nose one expects to be sweet. On the palate, however, it is dry with a creamy texture, intense flavors, excellent acidity, and a lengthy finish. It is an ideal alternative for rich courses normally calling for Chardonnay. All Crios wines are outstanding values."
Wine Advocate

My Notes:

Additional wines from Crios de Susana Balbo:

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    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2006
Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2006
(search item no. 97248)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

"Reserva" is made from carefully selected grapes from vineyards more than 30 years old. The wine is aged in French oak barrels and then additionally in bottles before release.

Hand selection of berries.

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.