Red Wines    Nero d'Avola    Sicily    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
MandraRossa Nero d'Avola 2007
MandraRossa Nero d'Avola 2007
(search item no. 100361)

PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $11.29

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Nero d'Avola, a variety native to Sicily, sometimes referred to as the "Godfather of Sicilian red wines". The MandraRossa estate vineyards are near the town of Menfi in southwestern Sicily.

Ruby red with flashes of orange with a fine, penetrating bouquet. Layers of damson, black cherry and licorice abound in this smooth and supple wine.

Nero d'Avola demonstrates a notable capacity for aging and is a splendid match with rich, flavorful pasta dishes, grilled red meats and hard, spicy cheeses.

My Notes:

About MandraRossa:

The perfect Mediterranean climate and terroir of Sicily are ideally suited for making wine. Of course, the best winemaking requires more than natural gifts. Enter Settesoli, one of Europe’s largest and most respected wineries.

Led by Diego Planeta, president of Settesoli, in the early ‘90s, with single-minded focus, Planeta made an all-out commitment to the creation of top quality wines. He began by planting the best international and local grape varieties and invested extensively in innovative winemaking technology and state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, he formed a distinguished team of winemakers, led by internationally-renowned oenologist Carlo Corino.

The making of these wines began by mapping every parcel of vineyard for aspect, gradient and altitude, so that the ideal terroir for each varietal could be selected for planting. The wines resulting from these intensive efforts were proudly introduced under the MandraRossa name.

The intense Sicilian sun, offset by cooling sea breezes, permits reliable and extended ripening of the grapes. MandraRossa wines are hand-picked, and every harvested parcel is crushed and fermented separately to retain the grapes’ characteristics. Wines from individual parcels are carefully blended for nuanced complexity, yielding delicate scents and harmonious, fresh flavors.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2009
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2009
(search item no. 102668)
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $10.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz is packed with fresh, juicy flavors of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with dark chocolate undertones. Striking a perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, this refreshing and approachable wine is great to sip on its own and matches up equally well with meat dishes, cheeses, and desserts.
My Notes:

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About Jam Jar:

Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz was born out of the realization that there are not a lot of options available to consumers seeking quality sweet red wine. This fresh, fruity, semi-sweet Shiraz aims to fill that void. Most of the grapes are grown in Paarl, a region with Rhône-like climate that is ideal for Shiraz cultivation, and production is overseen by critically acclaimed winemaker Bruwer Raats. The brand’s packaging has a nostalgic, “retro” feel inspired by classic red and white checkered jam jar lids. Jam Jar is sweet perfection…Simple, pure, and honest.”


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Brancott Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Brancott Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008
(search item no. 97809)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $16.19

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 85 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#28 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The wine is light straw in color with green highlights. Aromas of ripe capsicum, gooseberry and grapefruit dominate with tropical fruit notes apparent. This wine displays full fruit intensity. The ripe capsicum flavors meld well with the gooseberry and supporting mango and passionfruit flavors. A well balanced wine showing the lively, crisp acidity associated with this style.

This wine can be matched with grilled oysters, barbecued prawns or salmon as well as poached white fi sh with fresh green salads containing parsley, pepper or lemon. Mediterranean and Turkish dishes with hummus, olives and feta will also match well. Though made to drink while it is young and vivacious, this wine may be cellared for up to three years to develop further complexity.

My Notes:

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About Brancott:

The Brancott Winery opened in 1977, making it one of the oldest wineries in Marlborough. From producing one of the world's first grape tipping tanks, the winery has stayed true to its pioneering herigate and embraced innovation. It was one of the first to commercially plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1973, at the top of New Zealand's South Island and has been heavily instrumental in developing the region as one of the foremost viticultural regions for Sauvignon Blanc world-wide. At present, Brancott Estate continues to lead with its innovative winemaking approach and passionate commitment to excellence under the stewardship of chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.


Dessert, Sherry & Port    Victoria    Australia   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Chambers Rosewood Rutherglen Muscat (375ML half-bottle)
Chambers Rosewood Rutherglen Muscat (375ML half-bottle)
(search item no. 36049)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $11.97

Winemaker's Notes:

Sourced from material aged between six and ten years old, this wine is the foundation of the style; displaying the fresh raisin aromas, rich fruit, clean spirit and great length of flavor on the palate which are the mark of all the Muscats of Rutherglen.

While these wines are seen as after dinner drinks, try serving them as an aperitif, particularly in winter. A small glass goes a very long way, warming the mind as well as the stomach. And remember that a bottle, once opened, will keep for some months without deteriorating, providing it is recorked after each serving.

My Notes:

About Chambers Rosewood:

The Chambers winery has been family owned since its establishment in 1858. The winemaking duties and care of the "old material" have been handed down from father to son through five generations and for the last 40 years has rested with Bill Chambers.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Other Rhône    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Delas Cotes du Ventoux 2007
Delas Cotes du Ventoux 2007
(search item no. 100581)
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $12.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is a dark ruby red. There is a dominace of red berries with a combination of power and freshness that carries over onto the palate.
My Notes:

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About Delas Freres:

Founded over 160 years ago, Delas Frères was acquired by Champagne Deutz in 1977.

Delas Frères cultivates vineyards on the steep granite slopes of the northern Rhône, in some of the region's most prestigious appellations. Additional grapes are supplied through long-term agreements with southern Rhone growers dedicated to providing only top quality grapes.

Crafted by winemaker Jacques Grange to epitomize finesse and elegance, recent Delas Frères vintages from the vineyards of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Ventoux have won renewed praise for their intensity of flavor and excellent value.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Belguardo Serrata Maremma 2005
Belguardo Serrata Maremma 2005
(search item no. 98213)
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The pioneering Mazzei family, owners of Chianti Classico's highly esteemed Castello di Fonterutoli, took the helm at the Belguardo estate in Maremma, Tuscany in the 1990s after recognizing the potential for superb quality winemaking in the local terroir. In the years since, the Mazzeis have established a name for Belguardo among the top producers in this exciting, fast emerging wine region.

Hand harvested grapes undergo temperature-controlled fermentation and maceration for 16-18 days. The resulting wine matures for 12 months in French and American barriques, 30% of which are new.

Ruby red in color, and aromatic, with scents of ripe cherries, raspberries and vanilla. Full-bodied, soft and well structured, with flavors of wild berries, spice and herbs.

"This edgy, almost sanguine blend is grown in a rocky mix of limestone and sandstone soils on the coast near Grosseto. While the wine's naturally brisk acidity shows the cooling influence of the coastal air, what's most striking is the savory, elegant feel of the tannins. At once powerfully mineral and smooth, they frame deep flavors of dried porcini, ripe cherry and fresh sage in a way that feels vibrant and firm. The complexity is here to age this for a decade, although it would be irresistible now with roast leg of lamb."
Wine & Spirits
Best Buy 94/100

My Notes:

About Belguardo:

The pioneering Mazzei family, owners of Chianti Classico’s highly esteemed Castello di Fonterutoli, took the helm at the Belguardo estate in Maremma, Tuscany in the 1990s after recognizing the potential for superb quality winemaking in the local terroir. In the years since, the Mazzeis have established a name for Belguardo among the top producers in this exciting, fast emerging wine region.

The Belguardo estate is located on the hills between Grosseto and Montiano, about six miles inland from Italy’s west coast. It comprises a total of 70 hectares (173 acres), including 32 hectares (79 acres) of specialized vineyards, making it one of the most important estates in Maremma.

Belguardo’s logo is fashioned after a geometrical symbol sketched by Leonardo da Vinci, which represents a union between precision and perspective. It is emblematic of the Mazzeis’ commitment to combining Maremma’s exceptional growing conditions with the family’s centuries of winemaking expertise to yield concentrated, complex wines that are extraordinarily elegant and aromatic.



White Wines    Chardonnay    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Angove Family Winemakers Red Belly Black Chardonnay 2006
Angove Family Winemakers Red Belly Black Chardonnay 2006
(search item no. 97675)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is bright pale straw in color with green hints, and shows abundant white peach and citrus on the nose. The palate is soft and luscious with nectarine and lemon flavors being supported by spicy vanillin oak.

My Notes:

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About Angove Family Winemakers:

The Angove family company, Angove's Pty. Ltd., ranks among Australia's largest privately owned wine companies and stands as one of the few with strong interests in distilling as well as grape growing and winemaking.

His early experimentation with vines, winemaking and distilling, led to the establishment of a proud family business. Dr. Angove's initial plantings at the township of Tea Tree Gully in the Adelaide foothills were the forerunner of one of the largest vineyards in the southern hemisphere - the magnificent Nanya Vineyard at Renmark in South Australia's Murray Valley.

Since World War II, the company has steadily expanded its operations and structure. Their Renmark facility has grown to become a major winemaking and distilling enterprise, with storage capacity for more than15 million litres of wine and spirit. In 1947, Thomas William Carlyon Angove, grandson of the founder, took the helm as Managing Director, beginning a new era in development.

In 1983, the fourth generation of the family took control, when John Carlyon Angove succeeded his father as Managing Director of the company.

The success of the Angove's identity owes a great deal to a pioneering spirit. The same urge that drove Dr. Angove to leave his home in Cornwall and emigrate to Australia is evident in many of the developments the company has taken since.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Falesco Vitiano Rosso 2007
Falesco Vitiano Rosso 2007
(search item no. 98838)
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $11.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

With Vitiano we have tried to achieve a young red wine with explosive, luscious aromatic fragrance. This wine has a wonderful, deep, intense ruby red colour with important, solid, and wide organoleptic qualities, but above all it exalts the food it is combined with. It is very rich in polyphenols which harmonize with its fresh, tasty acidity. It is versatile red, quite innovative in style which can be appreciated immediately. It adapts easily to various dishes and can be drunk litghtheartedly drawing great pleasure from the sharp fragrance of its perfumes and its straightforward character. It should be drunk in wide crystal chalices where it can best develop its bouquet.
My Notes:

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About Falesco:

In 2006, our customers purchased more bottles of wine from Falesco than from any other winery in the world! And it's no wonder, as this winery makes some of the top value wines in Italy, if not the world. Falesco's most popular wine is Vitiano, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese grown in Umbria. This is a perennial must-buy: It's lush and fruity, and always seems to garnish outstanding scores from the wine critics.

Falesco was founded in 1979 by Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, brothers that also happen to be two of Italy's most acclaimed winemakers. Their philosophy is to strike a balance between the uniqueness of native Italian varieties and the versatility of more "international" grapes. As evidenced by the enormous popularity of their wine and the countless worldwide accolades they have received, they have clearly succeeded in achieving their goal. Salute!



Dessert, Sherry & Port    Yakima Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Covey Run Reserve Semillon Ice Wine (375ML half-bottle) 2006
Covey Run Reserve Semillon Ice Wine (375ML half-bottle) 2006
(search item no. 97250)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Covey Run Semillon Ice wine shows intense aromas of ripe mango and pineapple, with floral notes of honeysuckle, and honey. These aromas are balanced with zippy acid (think lemon vanilla cream sandwich cookies) and a long, lingering finish.

Imagine a cool, crisp winter night. Fresh snow is on the ground and the grapes are frozen on the vines. That's when these grapes are harvested. Pressed while still frozen, the grapes grudgingly yield a rich, concentrated juice that is fermented both in-tank and in new barrels.

The Covey Run Reserve wines are an expression of winemaker Kate Michaud's passion for Washington State's best-loved wines – Chardonnay, Merlot and Ice Wine. Handcrafted from the best of the best grapes from top vineyard sites in Washington's famed Columbia and Yakima valleys, these limited-production wines are rich and elegant with great intensity of flavor.

My Notes:

About Covey Run:

Since the release of the 1982 vintage, Covey Run has crafted high quality, price worthy wines from Washington’s Columbia River Valley, wines that have been embraced by consumers and journalists alike earning over 20 Wine Spectator Best Values awards. Led by winemaker Kate Michaud, Covey Run's portfolio includes delicious wines for every occasion, from stylish entertaining, to casual gatherings and picnics with family and friends.

Covey Run wines benefit from the long, sunny days and cool nights of eastern Washington vineyards. The whites are distinguished by crisp acidity and fresh fruit flavors, while the reds are aged in oak that never masks, but rather complements, the bold fruit flavors.



White Wines    Other White Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/18/2014
Torres Sangre de Toro White 2008
Torres Sangre de Toro White 2008
(search item no. 98511)

PRICE ON 9/18/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Fruity aroma with hints of apple and pineapple. Smooth, balanced palate with a fine acidic edge. Best served chilled.Excellent as an aperitif and acompaniment for rice dishes, seafood and fish.

Winemaker's comments: In 1954 my father, Miguel Torres, was travelling extensively, through winding mountain tracks in the quest to find the most highly-prized grapes in the region. His intention was to create a different wine, one that was the authentic expression of the character of this land. This led to the birth of "Sangre de Toro", whose name was inspired by Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, known in ancient times as "The son of the Bull". Today Sangre de Toro continues to be wholly produced at the family's winery, with the care and attention to detail that have given this great wine its fame.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Torres:

About Torres:

In 1870, when the Torres family founded its wine-making and exporting company, they understood the importance of both respecting traditions and maintaining the utmost quality of their products. Today, thanks to this hundred year old commitment, Bodegas Torres is a strong leader in the Spanish wine and brandy industry.