White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 120230)
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Tasting Panel rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Predominant flavors of the Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc are those of tropical fruit with herbaceous overtones, whilst the overall impression is of elegance and delicacy with a long flavorsome finish.
My Notes:

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About Neil Ellis Wines:

In 1986, Neil Ellis took a calculated leap of faith into the wine negociant arena, buying and vinifying grapes from selected vineyards and marketing these hand-reared wines under his own label. Mindful that exceptional terroir and assiduous vineyard cultivation form the bedrock of great wine, Neil forged long-term supply partnerships with top grape-growers in premium areas.

In the very year Neil Ellis set out as a negociant, his future partner Hans Peter Schroder purchased the Stellenbosch wine estate, Oude Nektar, in the spectacular, viticulturally-ideal Jonkershoek Valley. This coincidence gained fresh resonance some years later when Neil and Hans finally met. Neil, recipient of many accolades since flying solo, had outgrown his leased cellar; Hans, in search of a like-minded partner for a quality-focused winery, had extensive cellar facilities. From this synergy emerged a unique joint venture: Neil Ellis Wines.

Neil Ellis Wines differs from most South African wineries in that instead of owning vineyards they have focused on producing the best wine possible and sourcing the grapes from top quality growers. Recognizing that different grape varieties thrive under different soil and climate conditions, from the company's start their philosophy has been to locate those areas that produce a distinctive grape quality and work closely with quality-minded growers in those areas.



White Wines    Chenin Blanc    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Guy Saget Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2011
Guy Saget Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2011
(search item no. 121999)
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Le Vouvray Marie de Beauregard is very appreciated for its balance acidity-sugar. This semi dry wine with delicate wooded overtones comes from the Pineau de la Loire varietal. Those linden and honeysuckle fragrances are finely shaded by a mineral point. A good balance mouth highlights at the end wonderful smells of white fruits.
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About Guy Saget:

Guy Saget, the leading premium Loire Valley winery, is 9th Generation Family owned and managed. They are continuously exploring the best expression of Sauvignon Blanc both Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. Quality and respect of nature have always been the philosophy of Vignobles Guy Saget. Brought up in the vineyards, the Saget brothers; Jean-Louis and Christian, learned from a very young age to love and respect the soil. Vignobles Guy Saget sources two-thirds of the production in the Loire Valley from their estates with the remainder from long-term relationships with families of vine growers.


White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Other Oregon    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
King Estate Signature Collection Pinot Gris 2011
King Estate Signature Collection Pinot Gris 2011
(search item no. 116609)
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Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Light straw with emerald green hue. Aromas of green apple, citrus, honeysuckle, white peach, apricot and floral notes. Flavors of pear, melon, lemon and lime, wet stone, kiwi and honey. The palate has a soft, rich entry, nice texture, good weight and a long, lively crisp finish.
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About King Estate:

King Estate is a sustainably-farmed 1033-acre certified organic vineyard complex and state of the art winery situated atop the rolling slopes in the Coast Range foothills, near the southern end of Oregon's Willamette Valley. In addition to world-class vineyards, their estate is home to organic orchards, vegetable gardens, and a host of native wildlife; including cougar and black bear. Organically-farmed and managed as a fully-integrated ecosystem, King Estate is also home to an innovative culinary program whose focus is the synergy of local, organically produced food and wine created just outside the winery doors. King Estate's critically-acclaimed Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are available through fine restaurants and retailers around the world.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012
(search item no. 120318)
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Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2012 Sauvignon Blanc shows lifted notes of elderflower, green lime zest, and stone fruit. The palate is ripe, fine and succulent, offering zesty ripe citrus flavors coupled with an edge of minerality and sweet herbs. A small barrel ferment component gives balancing flesh to the wine's crisp refreshing acidity. A classic wine from an outstanding season.
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About Cloudy Bay:

Cloudy Bay Vineyards, established in 1985, is today a partnership between champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and co-founder of Cape Mentelle Vineyards in Western Australia, David Hohnen. The Cloudy Bay team is committed to producing 'wines of region' and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavors naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough. The winery and vineyards are situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island. This unique and cool wine region enjoys a maritime climate with the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay has estate vineyards located at prime sites within the Wairau Valley and long-term supply agreements with five Wairau Valley growers. The main varieties grown are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


White Wines    Other White Wine    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca 2009
Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca 2009
(search item no. 113592)
boutique wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $31.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca is a brilliant straw yellow color with greenish hints. The delicate nose is reminiscent of almond blossoms and marzipan. The wine has good depth of fruit on the palate, nicely balanced by a zingy acidity that enhances its long length.

It makes an excellent partner for soups, starters, especially vegetable based such as asparagus, peas, courgette, egg-based dishes or seafood and fresh water fish dishes. It is also an excellent aperitif, especially when served with simple canapés.

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About Pieropan:

Enclosed by the original town walls and dominated by its medieval fortress, Soave has a peaceful, timeless quality about it. In the heart of the old town is the winery of Leonildo and Teresita Pieropan, which goes back to 1860. The present Leonildo ("Nino")'s grandfather, Leonildo Senior, founded the estate and 'invented' Recioto di Soave, a concentrated dessert wine applying a system similar to Tuscany's governo to the indigenous, white Garganega grape.

Today, the estate's 74 acres under vine include three single vineyards, all within the historical backbone of the Soave appellation (Soave Classico): Calvarino, La Rocca and Le Colombare. Terrain is respectively clayey/basaltic, calcareous/clayey, and clayey/marly/tuffaceous, yielding small crops of highly concentrated Garganega and Trebbiano grapes. The range is crafted by Leonildo himself, whose wine-making genius, constant research and innovative methods have carved a unique niche for these exceptional, extract-full and long-living whites that go far, far beyond their own appellation.



White Wines    Other White Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Peter Lehmann Layers White 2010
Peter Lehmann Layers White 2010
(search item no. 109283)
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PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Barossa grown Semillon 36%, South Australian Muscat 20%, Barossa & Adelaide Hills Gewürztraminer 20%, Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris 20% and Barossa Chardonnay 4%.

Layers is crafted to illustrate our belief that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A blend of 5 white grape varieties picked from different vineyards throughout the Adelaide GI. These grapes combine together to create a white wine that is perfectly suited to a broad range of modern cuisines throughout the world.

Semillon, Muscat, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, each add character to the final blend. An attractive pale yellow with green tints, it has aromas of citrus, hints of peach and aromatic lifted spiciness. It has excellent structure and a soft creamy mouth-feel, delightful depth on the middle palate and finishes wonderfully fresh with a mouthful of crunchy fruit.

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About Peter Lehmann:

The history of Peter Lehmann Wines is intrinsically linked to the events that made the Barossa famous. Formed in 1979 by Peter Lehmann to assist the grape growers of the region who at the time were facing financial ruin, they now enjoy the rewards of longstanding friendships and loyalty. Each vintage, over 160 grape growers supply Peter Lehmann with the best fruit from over 900 of the best vineyards located throughout the Barossa. These amazing resources enable them to craft wines for every occasion, including their flagship, Stonewall. Peter Lehmann Wines has developed a reputation as one of Australia's most respected, energetic and innovative premium wine producers and today, the team continues to create wines that delight wine lovers around the globe.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Carneros    California   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Rombauer Chardonnay 2010
Rombauer Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 111492)
has video

Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $36.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2002 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1993 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Golden yellow color with a pale hue. Seductive aromas of peach, melon, and citrus are balanced with honeysuckle and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of pears, peaches and melons are backed with lively acidity. A nice touch of vanilla-scented oak provides an added flavor dimension. The creamy palate has a lingering finish of melon and citrus fruit with a satisfying buttery complexity.

Our favorite pairing for this wine includes scallops in a cream sauce, pasta carbonara, chicken risotto and Cornish game hen.

My Notes:

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About Rombauer Vineyards:

Rombauer Vineyards was founded in 1982 by Koerner and Joan Rombauer and sits on a tree covered knoll overlooking the Napa Valley. The winery features caves that extend for over a mile into the hillside. The caves provide a constant temperature and humidity which result in optimum conditions for aging our wines.

Rombauer wines are consistently ranked high in the wine trade journals. Many of the finest restaurants throughout the country include Rombauer wines on their list and feature them by the glass. The joy of wine is something that's important to Rombauer. Whether you are a collector of fine wines or like to have wine with food, wine is something that truly should be enjoyed. Rombauer Vineyards puts a lot of hard work and tender care into making drinkable wines. And because wine is a simple product to enjoy, emphasis is given to taking the mystique out of enjoying fine wines.

Our emphasis on the joy of wine comes from the heritage of the Rombauer family. Koerner's ancestors made wine in the famous Rheingau region in Germany and his great aunt, Irma Rombauer, wrote the book The Joy of Cooking. Hence our focus on wine as complements to good food and good friends. Every family member is actively involved in the day to day operation of the winery from selecting grapes for the winemaking process and getting the wine to market.



White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2011
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio 2011
(search item no. 116206)
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PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is pale yellow in color with green reflections. It has the pleasant aroma that characterizes the variety, with exotic fruit notes and a trace of meadow flowers. Slightly spicy, well-structured and full in the mouth, it has a lingering finish on the palate.
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About Tiefenbrunner:

Founded in 1848, the Tiefenbrunner Castel Turmhof Winery owes its name to the ancient castle that hosts the Tiefenbrunner family. The winery is located in Entiklar, a hamlet belonging to the town of Kurtatsch in the South Tyrolean province of Bozen, embedded in the Italian Alps.

Herbert Tiefenbrunner and his son, Christof, are expert winemakers: maintaining complete control over all operations, from the harvest through the winemaking process. The estate produces about 700,000 bottles per year, 70% of them contain zesty whites, the remaining 30% are elegant reds. Tiefenbrunner's vineyards are located along the Südtyroler Weinstrasse, the Wine Route of South Tyrol, in one of the most beautiful wine growing areas in Alto Adige.

The vines are grown mostly on the mountain slopes around the Turmhof Castle, but some are also located in the flatter areas of the valley. The southward-facing slopes and their loamy, chalk rich soils represent the best environment for producing high quality wines. The Mediterranean climate, characterized by a moderate rainfall, and the cooling evening winds, allow for a substantial difference between day and night temperatures, providing the ideal conditions for perfect grape ripening.

The philosophy of the Tiefenbrunner family is to relentlessly improve the grape quality and to highlight the varietal character of each wine.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2010
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 116016)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Burgundian in sensibility but with California style is one way of describing Jim Clendenen's Chardonnays- Structure and restraint melded with bountiful opulence is another. Citrus, stone fruit, smooth and integrated flavors, creamy and tense, with apricot, apple, and lemon nuances. An irresistible elixir that will leave the bottle drained before you know it
My Notes:

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About Au Bon Climat:

Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit.


White Wines    Semillon    Hunter Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Brokenwood Semillon 2010
Brokenwood Semillon 2010
(search item no. 107903)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2013 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2013 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2012 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

As always, a beautiful color with luminous greens. Distinctive Hunter lemongrass/straw aromas as a young wine. Sweet fruit flavors initially on the palate indicating perfect ripeness at harvest and in fact a bit riper than usual. Excellent acid structure, long flavors of lime and apple blossom. Perfect in its youth and a wine that will bottle age gracefully.
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About Brokenwood:

Although based in Hunter Valley, Brokenwood’s practice of multi-district blending has been a major part of the company's philosophy since fruit from other regions was first sought in 1978. This unique approach and the resulting quality wines have cemented Brokenwood's place as one of Australia's most revered and consistent labels.

Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia's most reputable wine labels. Brokenwood was established by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors who then paid a record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. The original block, initially planned as a cricket round for the local community, was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and later Shiraz. The first vintage picked in 1973 yielded plenty of praise and a loyal following that eventually led to increased production and the creation of a new winery just two years later.

Growth was steady until 1978 when six new partners joined allowing for the purchase of the Graveyard Vineyard the vineyard that produces the winery's flagship wine. When in 1982 Brokenwood decided to diversify into white wines, they appointed Iain Riggs as winemaker and managing director. Just a year after diversifying into white wine production, Brokenwood's output was 70 percent white.