Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Frei Brothers Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 118017)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon displays aromas of cassis and crushed berries. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry, cedar and tobacco are framed by firm, velvety tannins and a long, elegant finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Frei Brothers:

About Frei Brothers:

In the late 1880s, an enterprising Swiss immigrant by the name of Andrew Frei gazed upon the rolling hills, gentle streams, and fertile soil of Sonoma County and saw a wine glass of opportunity. By 1890, he was the proud owner of a 344 acre vineyard in northern Sonoma, giving birth to a winemaking tradition that is very much alive today.

Frei didn't waste any precious time once he acquired the land. By 1895, he was producing 20,000 cases of high quality wine that was stored in huge redwood casks.

In spite of a devastating blight of phylloxera, by 1904 the winery had actually increased in size and production. Now in his seventies, Frei turned the business over to his two sons, Walter and Louis. In 1903, the winery was officially named Frei Bros.

The Frei Bros. Winery continued to grow over the years, in spite of disasters such as the one that occurred in 1919, when a curious piece of legislation that came to be known as Prohibition put many an American winery out of business.

Again, the Frei family persevered, and now you can taste the legacy of a great winemaking tradition in Frei Brothers Reserve, a new release that combines the spirit of old world winemaking techniques with grapes that are hand selected from some of Sonoma's finest vineyards.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 97408)
collectible wine
older vintages

Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $99.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 99 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 Tasting Panel rating: 95 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2009 Decanter rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 95 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2002 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1995 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
1992 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1987 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
1987 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1987 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1978 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1978 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1978 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intensely fragrant with aromas of crème de cassis, graphite and notes of lavender and bay. Rich flavors of blackberry and huckleberry merge with earthiness and minerality. Tannins are generous and well-developed, firm yet sweet. A powerful wine with elegance and grace.

Napa Valley's 2006 vintage began with a wet winter that extended into spring, delivering more than twice the average rainfall for March and nearly four times the April average. The precipitation delayed bloom, but once the skies cleared, the vines had good fruit set and progressed slowly and steadily through slightly warmer than usual June weather. In July, a brief hot spell of four consecutive days over 100-degrees had the effect of putting the vines "on hold" before ripening continued when mild weather returned in August. Lower temperatures extended through September and October, with some fog and cloudy days. Overall, the 2006 growing season was significantly cooler than average, and harvest began generally later. Grapes for this wine were picked October 12-27. All the fruit was in the winery before light rains fell in early November. Crop levels for 2006 were average and thanks to the long hang time, which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, quality was excellent.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Robert Mondavi Winery:

About Robert Mondavi Winery:

For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the symbol of Napa Valley. Founded in 1966, it was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition (1933), and went on to establish the foundation for modern California winemaking. Robert Mondavi Winery's mission-styled architecture, with the expansive archway and bell tower designed by Cliff May, has become an enduring landmark that honors California's history. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards: the historic To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stags Leap Vineyard AVA.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sicily    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Pietradolce Archineri Etna Rosso 2009
Pietradolce Archineri Etna Rosso 2009
(search item no. 119689)
James Suckling rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Perfumes explode from the glass - cherries and caramel char, cinnamon and cranberry - once the bottle is opened. The flavors are at once lush and precise, as every sip gives you the incredible, delectable sensation of biting through the skin and flesh of the ripest summer fruit. Plums, raspberries, orange rinds blend with rose petals, pomegranate jam, even hints of red apples. Nerello captures the harmony of fine Burgundy with the stately grace of Barolo, yet given its volcanic heart, is definitely its own experience.
My Notes:

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About Pietradolce:

Pietradolce was founded in 2005 and is set in Solicchiata, a village in the area of Castiglione di Sicilia on the North East slopes of Etna. They have chosen to plant only vines which are native to Etna, grown for the most part in the traditional form as bushes (alberello). This preference comes from the profound conviction that this is what is required by the land which offers them hospitality. Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante are and will continue to be the main players in their story.

At the heart of their philosophy lies a deep love and respect for the land on which we depend, getting the best from traditional methods while using with wisdom the latest developments in grape growing and wine making without compromising the environment that gives life to their passion.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2011
Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 116954)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine exhibits classic varietal characteristics with aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh Gala apples, pear and candied lemon. The palate has a weight that belies its unoaked status with a rich entry of fresh citrus fruit that leads into secondary aromas of fig and mineral. Finishing clean and crisp with lingering acidity, the wine is fresh and vivacious, with a dense mid-palate. This vintage proves that with the right grapes and winemaking, Chardonnay does not need oak or malolactic fermentation to shine.
My Notes:

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About Chamisal Vineyards:

The first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley appellation in 1973, Chamisal nestles five miles inland against the Santa Lucia Mountains, half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on the rugged California Coast. Part of an original Spanish land grant, this historic 80-acre property- formerly operating under the name of Domaine Alfred- is planted mostly to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a few acres of Syrah, Grenache, and Pinot Gris. The vines thrive in the dry rocky terrain, as does the fragrant Chamise, a native white-flowered shrub that inspired the name of the property. The Edna Valley appellation, with its unique geography, possesses a near perfect combination of soil type and climate for wine grapes. With the cooling Pacific Ocean nearby, the long temperate growing season extends the amount of time a grape stays on the vine to develop its flavors. This hang time paired with the calcerous, clay-rich soil on the property produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors, often showing a distinctive character that some fondly call "Chamisal Spice."


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Robert Mondavi Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Robert Mondavi Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 110400)
Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $51.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#20 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon opens with intense aromas of juicy ripe plums, black cherries and blackberries. The flavors expand to include black tea, licorice and fresh bay leaf. Broad, ample tannins remind us that this is an Oakville wine and the experience concludes with a lengthy, persistent dark cherry finish.

Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 1% Malbec and 1% Petite Verdot

My Notes:

Additional wines from Robert Mondavi Winery:

About Robert Mondavi Winery:

For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the symbol of Napa Valley. Founded in 1966, it was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition (1933), and went on to establish the foundation for modern California winemaking. Robert Mondavi Winery's mission-styled architecture, with the expansive archway and bell tower designed by Cliff May, has become an enduring landmark that honors California's history. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards: the historic To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stags Leap Vineyard AVA.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2007
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2007
(search item no. 102700)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

It appears a deep, purple-edged ruby red, of impressive brilliance. Solid fruit notes of wild blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and dark cherry emerge initially on the nose, gradually yielding to more pungent impressions of sage, rosemary, vanilla, and cinnamon. That spiciness segues onto the palate, and then into a finish that ends with a flourish of balsam, black pepper, and cocoa powder. The mid-palate shows alcoholic warmth and roundedness, while the tannins and acidity are noticeable, adding to the wine's overall harmony.
My Notes:

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About Frescobaldi:

The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of Italy's oldest wineries, with a history dating to the 1300s. The family has included medieval knights, bankers, lawyers and patrons of the arts. The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of the most significant wine producers in Italy, with nine estates—and roughly 2,500 acres—in Tuscany. The family has been growing wine since the late 19th century, when they became the first in Tuscany to import and plant French vine cuttings. Because they have been producing wines for more than 700 years, to experience Frescobaldi is to glimpse the history of Florence, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Wine Spectator has ranked many of their offerings in the 90s and their wines are consistently listed in the magazine's Top 100 Wines of the Year, encouraging wine enthusiasts from around the globe to become familiar with some of Italy's finest wines.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 110337)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $64.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1987 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1987 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 1994 vintage of this wine was ranked #9 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1997

Scarlet color and brackish edges. Nose is sweet fruit and smoked meats. This wine already has some bouquet- truffle mushrooms, vanilla style oak. The palate is creamy richness with nuances of leather and a cocoa-style fine grain tannin. The flavors and structure of this vintage are consistent with the Caymus style - spice, toast, cassis - fully rich, yet supple.

My Notes:

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About Caymus:

As the Wagner family celebrated the 40th anniversary of Caymus Vineyards in 2012, they thought back to 1972 which Charlie Wagner, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner and their son, Chuck, built their winery among the vines planted on the family's ranch in Rutherford, California - the center of the Napa Valley. In 1975, the Wagners produced their first Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, which remains the only wine to have twice been named Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" (1984 and 1990 vintage).


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Ruffino Modus 2007
Ruffino Modus 2007
(search item no. 106283)
Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $39.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 James Suckling rating: 95 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#25 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

In Modus the Sangiovese presents its solid structure and typical cherry and red berry aromas; the Merlot contributes with its characteristic smoothness, enriched by delicate notes of mint and small black berry fruits; the Cabernet Sauvignon seals the union between these 3 royal varieties with its austerity, with its sweet, herbaceous perfumes and its elegance.

Complex, yet simple at the same time, modern in style, yet with a distinct Tuscan character, Modus is a child of the union of Ruffino's century-long winemaking experience and the company's desire to renew itself by experimenting with new varietal expressions and new viticultural technologies. This has always been a Ruffino trademark.

My Notes:

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About Ruffino:

In 1877, Illario and Leopoldo Ruffino laid the foundations of their dream to make the most known and loved Italian wines in the world from the heart of Tuscany. At their winery in Pontassieve, just outside of Florence, they began producing wines according to a strict quality standard and a rigorous technical research. Soon, Ruffino became an international symbol of the Chianti region, and won numerous awards, including the prestigious gold medal at the Bordeaux Wine Fair in 1895, affirming the quality of its wine.

In 1913, the Folonari family purchased Ruffino and brought new talent, energy and enthusiasm into the company. They started on a nearly century-long pursuit to develop a collection of estates in Tuscany, all of which matched the standard of quality and uniqueness which was the trademark of Ruffino wine.

Over the last sixty years, Ruffino has established seven prominent estates in Tuscany, all situated within the major DOCG production regions including Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Chianti Classico. Today, Ruffino continues to meld century-long Tuscan traditions with new state-of-the-art cellar technology and modern winemaking for an ideal symbiosis with the energy of the contemporary Italian lifestyle.