White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Bernardus Monterey County Chardonnay 2005
Bernardus Monterey County Chardonnay 2005
(search item no. 91207)
The Wine News rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 24 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

One of the best values in California Chardonnay that we've seen in a long time.

"Bright yellow hue. Shy scents of peach, brown butter and dusty gravel. Rich, quite ripe, though very taut, flavors of buttery banana, lime and oak spice. Very long close positively gushes with stone fruit and apple notes."
-The Wine News 95 Points

The beautiful weather throughout the critical months of September and October of 2005 provided us with ripe and perfectly balanced fruit. At Bernardus, all our grapes our hand picked and very gently pressed in order to retain their best characteristics.

The resulting wine is a perfect expression of Monterey Chardonnay, with bright citrus and tropical fruit aromas married with mineral notes and subtle toasty oak nuances. The lush, opulent palate is intense and focused with complex flavors of ripe pineapple, lime, mineral notes, and crème brulèe lingering on a long, creamy finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Bernardus:

About Bernardus:

The focus of Bernardus is to create wines that flatter the palate and stimulate the imagination. Our Marinus Estate Bordeaux-style red wine is the centerpiece of owner Ben Pon's dream. It is complemented by Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc from cool coastal climate vineyards. We also offer limited bottlings of small production and vineyard designate wines, which are available exclusively through the tasting room and wine club... taste a dream.

Pon appreciates wine as an art-- a form of art that transcends the ordinary. His dream with Bernardus is to make a red wine equal to the finest from Bordeaux. To achieve this purpose, Ben, a Dutchman who could have planted vineyards anywhere in the world, has chosen the Carmel Valley for his estate vineyards and winery. Since the early 1970's, there has been a growing awareness of the outstanding potential for Bordeaux varieties from this new viticultural appellation. The Bernardus estate vineyards of Marinus and Featherbow Ranch are located in the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley. We have been told that Cachagua is the Spanish word Native Americans used for deep or hidden water. It has been said that Native Americans believed that all things in nature were sacred and interrelated. Their respect for balance in nature is carried on in the vineyards of Bernardus. More than 300 live oaks have been preserved to thrive among carefully planted vines.



White Wines    Rhone White Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Treana Mer Soleil Vineyard Viognier-Marsanne 2006
Treana Mer Soleil Vineyard Viognier-Marsanne 2006
(search item no. 94700)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $27.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2006 Treana White displays the elegant varietal characteristics of Viognier and Marsanne; vibrant floral aromas of honeysuckle, citrus blossom and jasmine are followed by ripe stone fruit flavors with hints of pear, pineapple, and citrus and honey overtones.

Solid minerality lends complexity and structure. The mouthfeel is full, while bright acidity cleans the palate and offers ease and versatility to food-pairing. A wine of excellent balance and complexity, the 2006 Treana White will age beautifully over the next decade.

"There's fantastic depth and richness to the apricot, peach and almond flavors. Intense as syrup, but with a good acidity that keeps it light on its feet. The richness persists on the finish. Viognier and Marsanne. Drink now."
-Wine Spectator

"Treana has enjoyed great success with this blend of Viognier and Marsanne, which is one of the best Rhone-style white wines in California. The main reason is the source of the grapes. The '06 is as rich and crisply acidic as ever, with fantastically complex, honeyed tropical fruit, apricot and floral flavors that taste like they have a touch of botrytis."
-Wine Enthusiast

My Notes:

About Treana Winery:

Treana symbolizes a trinity of natural elements - the sun, the soil, and the ocean - the elements that make Paso Robles and the rest of the Central Coast a prime area for premium wine grapes.

The Hope family began planting vineyards in the area in 1978. Two decades of experience has taught them not only how to grow the finest quality wine grapes, but has also shown them the tremendous potential of the region.

Formerly, the Hopes sold wine under the Hope Family label directly from the winery's tasting room. Beginning with the 1990 vintage, the Hope ranches became the sole source of fruit for Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1996, they founded Treana Winery after years of hands-on experience in viticulture and winemaking. Today, the Hopes cultivate mature vineyards of the varietals best suited to their area; Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and Merlot.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 94108)
The Wine News rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep, dark ruby red. Concentrated blackberry and black cherry aromas with well-integrated oak. Juicy red and black fruit highlighted with earthy notes and elegant oak that lend a creamy mouth feel. Plush with soft, rich tannins, this wine is concentrated, round and luxurious with a long finish.

A great vintage! The Colchagua Valley experienced an optimum growing season with excellent ripening throughout March and April. The extended hang time resulted in ripe flavors and very soft tannins.

"Inky black hue. Powerful scents of black cherry, rum cake and allspice. Velvety tannins and creamy flavors of blueberry and blackberry with hints of cinnamon and mocha. Plush tannins with cherry, chocolate and vanilla in the close."
-Wine News
Tasters Choice Selection 92/100

My Notes:

About Veramonte:

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.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Yangarra Estate Shiraz 2005
Yangarra Estate Shiraz 2005
(search item no. 90641)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $25.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2009 Decanter rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 71 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

"Our vineyard is in the coolest part of McLaren Vale, giving our low yields time to slowly accumulate concentrated powerful flavors of blackberry and plums, with hints of spice. The open fermenters and wild yeast allow maximum extraction and complexity with soft silky tannins."
-Peter Fraser, Winemaker

My Notes:

About Yangarra Estate:

Yangarra Estate is as true to its Australian roots as the soil from which its unparalleled flavors are born. Yangarra Estate only selects fruit from the top appellations of Australia, then uses both Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates and Australian innovative winemaking approach to produce varietal wines of inimitable quality.

Australian winemaker, Peter Fraser, teamed up with KJWE's Winemaster Randy Ullon to blend and bottle Yangarra Park wines in the famous Barossa Valley of South Australia. Peter brings his widely regarded depth and breadth of knowledge of each of Australia's finest winemaking regions. Peter's deft and cosmopolitan wine style results from more than eight years experience in the Australian wine industry.



Rosé Wine    Rose    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle Neillie's Garden Dry Rose 2006
Chateau Ste. Michelle Neillie's Garden Dry Rose 2006
(search item no. 91621)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $12.49

Winemaker's Notes:

"96% Syrah. Its darkish rose color signals a deeper wine to follow, and this fairly rich, fresh and slightly juicy bottling comes through right on key. Its medium-full weight is balanced by vital acidity, and its bare hint of sweetness extends its fruit without reducing its desirability as a lightly vinous, thoroughly delightful partner to summertime meals."
-Connoisseurs' Guide

Pink is hot! Our Dry Rose was a big hit when we offered it exclusively to our Vintage Reserve Club members last year. Based on their feedback, we decided to release it nationally with this 2006 vintage. The name, Nellie's Garden, honors Nellie Stimson whose passion for gardening created the beautiful estate gardens at our Chateau in Woodinville. The wine is a special collaboration between our red winemaking team at Canoe Ridge Estate in eastern Washington and the white winemaking team at our Woodinville Chateau, located outside of Seattle. We receive the red fruit at Canoe Ridge Estate where Joshua Maloney, our red winemaker, gives it just enough skin contact for the perfect color. Then he drains the juice off the skins and turns it over to Brennon Leighton, our white winemaker, who then cold ferments most of the juice to keep all those fresh fruit and floral aromas. What a team effort and what a wonderfully refreshing dry rose! It shows beautiful fruit aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, raspberry with subtle spice notes. Enjoy this during your spring and summer parties and BBQ's. It's the perfect "deck" wine... versatile and fun!

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.