Red Wines    Pinot Noir    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Heron Mendocino Pinot Noir 2010
Heron Mendocino Pinot Noir 2010
(search item no. 114773)
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Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Brilliant medium garnet color. This wine shows bright, assertive aromas of plum and black cherry with solid Pinot Noir character. Notes of violets, anise, and allspice are as harmonious in the wine's flavor profile as its light overlay of fine French oak.
My Notes:

About Heron:

We at Heron Wines believe that delicious wines should be an unalienable right. Yes, an overstatement, but we really think that high-quality, approachable wine should not come at a huge price. For years, we have heard from wine lovers from around the globe that we consistently exceed their expectations for quality, style, and balance.

Our wines come from some of the greatest growing regions in the world. Our original wine was a groundbreaking Merlot from St. Chinian in southwest France. Today we make wine in California, France and Spain; and our focus is on the purity of fruit. We go where the best grapes are grown in order to maximize the natural characteristics of the wines we make.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Domaine Chandon Brut Classic
Domaine Chandon Brut Classic
(search item no. 273)
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Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $16.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine offers the balance and elegance that has become Chandon's hallmark style. When you taste Brut Classic, look for nutty flavors with hints of brioche that build to a refreshing dry finish. The wine delivers complex apple and pear characteristics accented by citrus spice over notes of almond and caramel in the bouquet.
My Notes:

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About Domaine Chandon:

As the first American sparking wine venture by a French Champagne house (Moet & Chandon), Domaine Chandon has been a leader in sparkling wine production since 1973. Bringing hundreds of years of winemaking tradition and experience to the Napa Valley, Chandon's principal achievement has been to craft a range of sparkling wines that reflect California's vibrant regional character, yet remain true to the practices of methode traditionnelle. In 1990, the winery parlayed its experience with the classic Champagne varieties into an exciting varietal wine collection. Domaine Chandon continually strives to seek new ways to heighten its reputation as the fullest hospitality experience in Napa Valley, and to provide its guests with inspiration to entertain with Chandon at home.


Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Margaux    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Chateau Labegorce  2005
Chateau Labegorce 2005
(search item no. 99615)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $51.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

In this vintage, which is now the benchmark, the Chateau Lebergorce is marked by aromas of black fruit, light toasted notes and a rich palate with weight. The tannins are very present and the fruitiness is particularly expressed. An untamed style that is not without a certain charm. A vin de garde (for keeping) par excellence.

Reaches its prime between 2020 and 2025.

My Notes:

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About Chateau Labegorce:

The origins of Labégorce lie in a large estate in the northern parts of the commune of Margaux which belonged to the Gorce (or Gorsse) family, perhaps as long ago as the 14th Century. The family were originally merchants, gradually climbing the social ladder in Bordeaux, assuming a more aristocratic standing in the community as they did so. They were still the proprietors here in the 18th Century, and documents from that time indicate that there was viticulture on the estate, the vineyards dotted between fields of wheat and pasture where cattle grazed. This was the situation at the time of the French Revolution, when like so many other estates in Bordeaux, Labégorce was divided and sold off, giving rise to three estates that still estate today. The first, that which concerns us here, is Chateau Labégorce and the second is Labégorce-Zédé, named for Pierre Zédé who acquired the estate in 1840. The third is the curiously named L'Abbé Gorsse de Gorsse, an estate long defunct as far as viticulture is concerned, but which is still clearly visible on the currently available maps of the commune. Following the break-up of the original estate the modern-day Labégorce first passed to a gentleman named Capelle, and subsequently changed hands a number of times, most recently coming into the ownership of Hubert Perrodo in 1989.

The Labégorce vineyards include three main plots, totalling 70 hectares in all, although only approximately 40 hectares are fully planted up. All three plots lie in the northernmost part of the commune. The largest plot, accounting for about two-thirds, lies just northeast of the fine chateau, which was constructed by the renowned architect Courcelles. There is a second plot around the chateau itself, accounting for about a quarter of all the Labégorce vines, while the smallest plot lies a little further north around the church in Soussans. The vines average 30 years of age, with the oldest vines, of which there are just four hectares, dating from between 1902 and 1950. More date from 1951 to 1985, whereas a quarter date from 1989 when extensive replanting took place. Vineyard practices involve careful use of chemicals, with no herbicide used at all, and yields are typically 50 hl/ha. Harvesting is by hand, and fermentation begins with a short, cold maceration followed by a temperature controlled process. Each parcel of vines, of which there are many, is vinified separately. The blend is 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak, 30% of which is new, where the wine spends up to fifteen months. It is fined using egg whites before bottling. The grand vin is Chateau Labégorce, and the second wine is Chateau Tour de Laroze. There is also a third wine, produced from a 4 hectare plot entitled to the Haut-Médoc appellation, called La Mouline de Labégorce



White Wines    Chardonnay    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Vega Sindoa Chardonnay 2010
Vega Sindoa Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 116067)
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Yellow-gold. Leesy lemon, quince and pear aromas are brightened by dusty minerality and white flowers. Broad and smoky on the palate, offering sweet orchard fruit and fresh butter qualities along with anise and baking spices. Becomes nervier on the long, sappy finish.
My Notes:

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About Vega Sindoa:

Although the Valley of Valdizarbe has always been considered one of the best areas of production in Navarra and viticulture there is centuries-old, it almost disappeared due to the depressed prices of grapes and extreme weather conditions. This winery is one of the first to bring the vineyards back to the valley by the hands of an energetic winemaker, Concha Vecino, and an innovative vineyard manager, Jose Manuel Urricelqui.


Red Wines    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera 2010
Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera 2010
(search item no. 113205)
The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is a ruby-red wine with purple highlights. The nose is packed with black fruit, especially blackberries and plumps, with slight spicy overstones hinting at black pepper and cinnamon. Sweet, soft tannins come together in a closely-woven texture that merges with the fruit, while a crisp freshness provides a long, tasty finish.

A perfect match for starters, cured meats and fresh and medium mature cheeses.

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About Fontanafredda:

Since 1878 Fontanafredda Estate & Winery, located in the heart of Piedmont's Langhe region, has been a benchmark for Barolo and Barbera wines that deftly balance deep aromas and concentration of fruit with elegance. Among the prized vineyard sites belonging to Fontanafredda are those in the commune of Serralunga d'Alba, a source of some of today's most distinctive and intriguing Barolo wines.

The history of Fontanafredda is a noble one. It began in 1858, when Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy, purchased the Fontanafredda estate -a former hunting preserve- as a country home. Soon thereafter, he began to produce fine red wines from indigenous grape varieties dolcetto, barbera and nebbiolo. In 1878 King Vittorio II died and his firstborn son, Count Emanuele Alberto di Mirafiori, inherited Fontanafredda. Count Mirafiori created the commercial business of wine from the estate and released the estate's first nebbiolo labeled as Barolo with the vintage 1878. Beginning in 1932, the estate transferred to Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest bank, who retained ownership of Fontanafredda for 76 years.



Red Wines    Primitivo    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2008
A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2008
(search item no. 108670)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The flavors of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and plums are all carried by a subtle, sweet, toasted oak flavor. The finish is soft and long with very graceful tannins and a beautiful body.
My Notes:

About A. Mano:

"How does an American end up in Apulia (and why does he stay?)", asks Mark Shannon as he begins to tell his story. Meeting this brilliant wine-maker from California, you are struck by professional and personality alike: Mark's drive, enthusiasm, creativity and expertise are hard to come by in a single individual! Needless to say, the impact of his sensational Apulian red reflects the impact of the man.

Called AMano ("hand-made"), and entirely hand-crafted from indigenous Primitivo grapes (the original source of Zinfandel, by the way...), this fruit-packed, food-friendly red expresses the region's quality potential, and the reasons for Mark's Apulian connection. These are best told by Mark himself: "Apulia (or Puglia, as it is known in Italian) is so easy to fall in love with: old, head-trained vineyards, a history of grape-growing in harmony with nature. Everything necessary for top-quality wines. I was compelled to stay. I have not seen another region of the world where the quality potential is so high.

After so many years of technical wine-making, I had almost forgotten that the right way to make wine is with love. In fact, Puglia reminded me this is the way to do everything."



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Columbia Crest Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 111056)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Strawberry, cherry and cola aromas and flavors harmoniously flow into the silky and soft palate that culminates into a long velvety finish.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 2% Merlot

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About Columbia Crest:

Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. In 2009, the winery reached a milestone when Wine Spectator named their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon "Wine of the Year," the first time a wine from Washington state has received the ranking. This accolade was not only a historic moment for Columbia Crest, but for all wineries in Washington and reinforced the belief that the region is among the best wine-producing areas in the world.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Razor's Edge Shiraz 2008
Razor's Edge Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 106898)
screw cap wine
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Razor's Edge Shiraz is dark purple in color, yet bright and appealing in its clarity of fruit flavors, persisting on the finish against firm tannins.
My Notes:

About Razor's Edge:

Razor's Edge was launched with a 2004 vintage Shiraz from the McLaren Vale in South Australia. Priced to retail between $10 and $15, it brought an unparalleled pedigree and value to the American marketplace. This wine went on to receive numerous trade and press recognitions, most notably being labeled a "Best Value Wine" by Wine Spectator and as one of the "Best Buys from Australia" by Robert Parker.

In 2007, the 2005 vintage of the McLaren Vale Shiraz was released and a new wine, a 2006 Unwooded Chardonnay, was introduced. Both were very well received and demand soared after rave reviews from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines. Before the end of 2007, two new wines were introduced by Razor’s Edge: a McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon and a McLaren Vale Shiraz Grenache.

The South Australian wine industry is responsible for more than half the production of all Australian wine. The state of South Australia has a vast diversity in geography and climate which allows the state to be able to successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties, from cool climate Rieslings in the Clare Valley, to big and full-bodied Shiraz in the Barossa. Like with most agriculture in Australia, irrigation is a vital component to the success of the South Australian wine industry. Some of Australia's most well known wines are produced here.

Vines are grown at all types of altitudes in South Australia from the low valley regions of the Barossa up to the 1,970ft vineyards in the Eden Valley. The soil type is also varied across the region from the well known terra rosa of Coonawarra, the limestone-marl based soils of the Adelaide, to the sandy, clay loam based soils of the Barossa.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 112049)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of red fruit, sweet spice and a touch of fresh mint. It is full and soft with layers of red currant and cassis, note of cigar box, leather and ripe black fruit. The wine finishes with finely grained tannins that add structure and length.
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About Tilia:

Named after the Tilia (Linden) tree commonly found throughout Argentina’s wine country, Tilia wines possess true varietal character and embody the rural Mendozean lifestyle. For years vineyard workers have used the flowers of the Tilia to make an herbal tea for enjoyment after a hard day’s work. The name Tilia is chosen in honor of this wine country tradition.

The Tilia wines are made at Bodegas Esmeralda, a Catena family winery in the Eastern region of Mendoza that is dedicated to making value wines for the Argentine domestic market. Tilia wines offer a unique combination of fruit sourced from the traditional Eastern region and the dynamic Southern region of Mendoza. The Eastern region of Mendoza enjoys warm, sunny days and cool desert nights. The grapes have very ripe, rich fruit flavors and excellent mid-palate depth and concentration. Bright sunshine and low temperatures of the Southern region lend a cool freshness. The fruit from this area shows clean acid balance and soft, supple tannins.

Tilia is dedicated to responsible use of the environment. The winemaking and viticultural team actively engage in many practices and programs throughout the community to implement sustainability. Water conservation and reuse, minimal use of pesticides and organic fertilization are several examples of the team’s dedication. Furthermore, the entire Tilia viticultural team attends regular sustainability training sessions at the National University of Cuyo and National Agricultural Research Institute. They take this training into the field to share and implement with their grower partners.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 113431)
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PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $11.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Cupcake vineyard works hard to craft the richest, smoothest and elegantly-textured wines. This full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon shows soft tannins, with primary fruit flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and cassis. These levels of dark fruits melt with the tastes of cocoa and toasty oak and ends with a long, smooth and silky finish.
My Notes:

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About Cupcake Vineyards:

At Cupcake Vineyards, our goal is to craft the richest, smoothest and most elegantly textured wines. To ensure this, we select our grapes from vineyards that are truly expressive of the varietals that we grow. Our Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot come from California’s sun-drenched Central Coast, where the distinctive topography and climate moderated by the Pacific Ocean yields some of California's best world-class wines. Our Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Marlborough valley of New Zealand, where the long days and cool climate allow the grapes to mature slowly over a longer period of time.