Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Louis Roederer Carte Blanche Champagne
Louis Roederer Carte Blanche Champagne
(search item no. 13929)
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $44.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Carte Blanche possesses a fine but very regular stream of persistent bubbles. It has a golden color shimmering with old-gold reflections and has sweet, ripe fruit on the nose with intensely floral, honeyed notes and hints of warm, sugared almonds (frangipane). The attack is rich and creamy, filling the mouth with flavor but without a trace of heaviness. The warmth and sweetness of the nose follows through on the palate, now dominated by notes of crystallized citrus. This adds a freshness that balances the wine's volume and creates a sense of lasting harmony.

Blend: 56% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier.

The color is pale golden. The inclusion of oak-aged reserve wines from four to 10 years is more apparent than in the "Brut" quality champagnes. The reserve wines give complexity and roundness characteristic of Louis Roederer champagnes. Carte Blanche is slightly sweet, smooth and creamy; an ideal dessert wine. A sugar dosage gives the wine a pleasant sweetness without masking its complexity and elegance.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Louis Roederer:

About Louis Roederer:

Uncompromising Quality
Champagne Louis Roederer was founded in 1776 in Reims, France and is one of the rare family owned companies, which is still managed by the Roederer family. In 1833, Louis Roederer inherited the company from his uncle and renamed the company under his namesake. Under his leadership, the company rapidly grew while remaining true to their philosophy of uncompromising quality. Today, the company is under the helm of Jean-Claude Rouzaud and his son Frédéric who continue to place quality before quantity.

First-Rate Vineyards
Champagne Louis Roederer is one of the only French champagne producers to own nearly 75 percent of the grapes in the most desirable vineyards in the Champagne. The property is located on 450 acres in the finest villages of Montagne de Reims, Côtes des Blancs, and Valleé de la Marne. Each region is selected to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the elegance needed for perfectly balanced champagne. The Louis Roederer vineyards rate an average 98 percent based on France’s statutory 100-point classification scale.

The reserve wine is then tasted and graded by a team of Roederer specialists. They choose as many as 40 different wines from several lots for the blend. For the final touch, the wine is then added in order to enhance the cuvee and guarantee consistency while retaining the champagne's characteristics.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2008
Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 106559)
green wine


PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Hawks circle above ridge top vineyards whose red soil produces the unique fruit for this Zinfandel. The older site offers a distinctive spice and leanness needed to keep the younger, bold vines in check. Together these opposites into a perfect marriage of jammy berry, pepper, and orange marmalade.

This wine is the unique expression of a carefully nurtured piece of land, made manifest in each bottle. We do without conventional pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, treating the soil as a living, life-giving system. Our winegrowing practices create special wines, while sustaining our environment, the place where we live, and the people who live here.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Paul Dolan Vineyards:

About Paul Dolan Vineyards:

Paul Dolan Vineyards wines are unique expressions of carefully nurtured vineyard sites made manifest in each bottle. In organic farming, we do without synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, treating the soil as a living, life-giving system.

Our winegrowing practices create small lots of elegant wines, while sustaining our environment, the place where we live, and the people who live here.

Paul Dolan Vineyards – Premium Organic & Biodynamic Wine from Mendocino County.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Gosset Brut Excellence
Gosset Brut Excellence
(search item no. 24273)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $39.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of pear and honeysuckle perfume the bouquet. This is a beautifully balanced champagne with a long, expressive finish.

Gosset only uses juice from the first and best pressing of grapes, and unlike most other producers, initial fermentation is still carried out in small oak barrels. Riddling and disgorgement are performed by hand. Significantly, and in contrast to virtually all other houses, Gosset Champagnes do not undergo a malolactic fermentation, resulting in a heightened acidity, slower maturing wines and that inimitable Gosset style – powerful and full-bodied, of unrivaled richness and staying power – in other words, some of the world's most legendary Champagne.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Gosset:

About Gosset:

Founded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. It also remains one of the most prestigious, considered by many collectors and connoisseurs as the world’s preeminent name in luxury champagne. In 2009, this storied winemaker celebrated a landmark 425-year anniversary.

Gosset's reputation for excellence starts on the vines. Its champagnes are composed almost entirely of grapes from Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards. Unlike most champagne producers, this illustrious wine house purposely avoids malolactic fermentation and always performs riddling and disgorging of prestige cuvées and large-format bottles by hand. Gosset champagnes are made with infinite care and kept in dark cellars for at least three years – and up to five for vintage and prestige cuvées – before release.

Gosset's inimitable style – powerful and full-bodied, of unrivaled richness and staying power – has changed little over the centuries. Once a favorite of the kings and queens of France, it is now a fixture on the wine lists of some of the most lauded restaurants in the world, recognized by expert sommeliers for its exceptional capacity to enhance a wide range of cuisine.

Gosset's legacy is today in the safekeeping of the Cointreau family, who also owns and manages the highly regarded Cognac Frapin. While other champagne houses are handing over the reigns to large corporations, the members of this family are personally involved in the winemaking practices that have, over 425 years, made Gosset the ultimate name in champagne. In 2009, the family announced the acquisition of a new property in the heart of Epernay, which, with space for up to 2.5 million bottles, will serve as an extension to its production facilities in Aÿ.



White Wines    Muscat    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Marco Negri Marsilio Moscato d'Asti 2003
Marco Negri Marsilio Moscato d'Asti 2003
(search item no. 79866)

PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $16.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A wine of soft yellow color and a rich, fruity bouquet with aromatic herbal flavors. Well balanced between sweet and acidity. Remarkable size and admirable aromatic length.
My Notes:

About Marco Negri:

Located in the heart of the Asti region of Piedmont, this Estate was purchased by Marco Negri, producing its first sparkling wine in 1993. There are 15 hectares total, and 11 hectares are planted with the Moscato grape, known for its grapey, musky aroma. Although trained as a medical doctor, Marco Negri gave up his practice in order to devote himself full-time to enology. With the help of Winemaker Donato Lanati, he has succeeded in creating a superb example of Moscato d'Asti


Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2002
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2002
(search item no. 95156)
collectible wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 100 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 98 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $199.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 97 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 97 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 97 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 98 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1997 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
1996 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1995 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1995 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1994 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1993 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
1989 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1988 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Cristal, the jewel and tête de cuvée of Champagne Louis Roederer, was created in 1876 for the Tsar Alexander II of Russia. It remains faithful to its origin, inspired by elegance and purity. Cristal is produced with regimented standards of winemaking that require a rigorous selection of crus, vintages, grapes, and wine.

Cristal is produced using only the finest vintages from crus guaranteed to originate from the Louis Roederer vineyard. All the exceptional characteristics of the 2002 vintage have literally been captured in this Cristal 2002, which is generous and lush, revealing perfect balance between concentration and finesse, freshness and vinosity, intensity and refinement. In three words: proud, rich and luxurious.

Cristal 2002 is brilliant yellow with light amber highlights and has a beautiful mousse with fine cordon of persistent and regular bubbles. The nose is intense and delicate, revealing a clean and well-blended mixture of flavors of honey, cocoa, lightly toasted hazelnuts, candied citrus fruit. A savory explosion of ripe fruit on the attack, the wine reveals red fruit, white chocolate, caramel and Danish pastry, typical of Cristal. Its silky, concentrated texture relies on its intense, powerful and vinous structure, but maintains refinement. The palate builds up to attain a delicious sensation of well-blended harmony of flavors. A fresh finish with a hint of bitterness makes it almost crunchy.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Louis Roederer:

About Louis Roederer:

Uncompromising Quality
Champagne Louis Roederer was founded in 1776 in Reims, France and is one of the rare family owned companies, which is still managed by the Roederer family. In 1833, Louis Roederer inherited the company from his uncle and renamed the company under his namesake. Under his leadership, the company rapidly grew while remaining true to their philosophy of uncompromising quality. Today, the company is under the helm of Jean-Claude Rouzaud and his son Frédéric who continue to place quality before quantity.

First-Rate Vineyards
Champagne Louis Roederer is one of the only French champagne producers to own nearly 75 percent of the grapes in the most desirable vineyards in the Champagne. The property is located on 450 acres in the finest villages of Montagne de Reims, Côtes des Blancs, and Valleé de la Marne. Each region is selected to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the elegance needed for perfectly balanced champagne. The Louis Roederer vineyards rate an average 98 percent based on France’s statutory 100-point classification scale.

The reserve wine is then tasted and graded by a team of Roederer specialists. They choose as many as 40 different wines from several lots for the blend. For the final touch, the wine is then added in order to enhance the cuvee and guarantee consistency while retaining the champagne's characteristics.