Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
(search item no. 90892)

PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 98.33% Cabernet Sauvignon, .64% Cabernet Franc, .53% Merlot, .48% Syrah

Oberon sourced grapes throughout the Napa Valley appellation to accomplish the desired layering of flavors in their Cabernet Sauvignon. Blending fruit from classic and emerging appellations, including Rutherford, Oakville, Stags Leap, Atlas Peak and Wooden Valley, allowed them to take advantage of both the volcanic hillside soils and the deeper alluvial soils of the Valley floor. With the diversity of flavors, they were able to create a well-rounded mouthful of wine.

After hand-harvesting, gently de-stemming and crushing, and fermenting in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, the wonderful maturity of tannins in the grapes allowed an opportunity to extend the post fermentation maceration time (skin contact) to 22.6 days on average. Extended juice to skin contact marries flavor and structure in the Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon giving the wine a seamless feel. Malolactic fermentation, in barrel, combined with 18 months aging in French oak barrels concentrates the flavors and adds nuances of vanilla and toffee.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Oberon:

About Oberon:

As a third-generation winemaker and Napa Valley native, Rob Mondavi, Jr. has always understood that the region is uniquely suited for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. With the Oberon label - originally named for the eponymous king in Shakespeare's winsome comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream — he has created high-quality Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc to be enjoyed every day.

Rob and fellow winemaker, Tony Coltrin, select Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from some of Napa Valley's finest vineyards in Oakville, Rutherford, Stags Leap and other emerging sub-appellations. The climate of these regions — warm days and cool evenings — yields grapes with the perfect balance of ripe fruit flavors and natural acidity.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Hess Select Syrah 2002
Hess Select Syrah 2002
(search item no. 80870)

PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $15.79

Winemaker's Notes:

What you notice first about the Select Syrah is its color - a very dark purple hue in the glass. The aromas that follow are black cherry, sweet blackberry, and leather. The mouth feel carries the full texture of sweet, ripe tannin. Flavors of blueberry pie, maple, and smoky cedar linger well into the finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from The Hess Collection:

About The Hess Collection:

The Hess Collection was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess, who first purchased vineyards on Mount Veeder in 1978 and began making wine under The Hess Collection label in 1983. In 1986, he began renovation of the historic winery, originally constructed in 1903 by Colonel Theodore Gier. The winery opened to the public in 1989. The Hess Collection has vineyards on Mount Veeder, along with their Napa Valley estate vineyards - Su'skol and Allomi in Napa Valley, and Shirtail Creek Vineyard in Monterey. Each of these vineyards is sustainably farmed in accordance with Donald's philosophy: "Nurture the land, return what you take."


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Jumilla    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Finca Luzon Altos de Luzon 2004
Finca Luzon Altos de Luzon 2004
(search item no. 87890)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

50% Monastrell old vines, 25 Cabernet, 25 Tempranillo. Deep violet color. Aromas of cassis and blackcherry with smoky blackberry. Loads of black fruit with soft, chewy tannins. 
 

"The seriously endowed 2004 Altos de Luzon is a blend of 50% old vine Mourvedre (52 years) and equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, aged 12 months in a combination of French and American oak. A dense ruby/purple color is followed by beautiful aromas of smoky licorice, black currants, cherries, and earth. Offering wonderful ripeness, an alluring texture, sweet tannin, and adequate acidity, it certainly over-delivers for its price. Drink it over the next 2-4 years."  The Wine Advocate

My Notes:

About Finca Luzon:

The estate was founded by the Gil family in 1916. For almost a century now they have strived to create wines that not only reflect the terroir of Jumilla but have an intense expression of the fruit and represent a good value in the market. They have achieved this goal through meticulous vineyard management and by adopting the latest technologies of winemaking available. The winery is located west of the town of Jumilla.

The grapes are sourced from the family-owned estate of 216 acres. The estate is surrounded by small mountains, 60 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. The vineyards are at the altitude of 1,500-2,100 ft. The soils are a combination of sand and chalk covered with chalky gravel and stones. Jumilla has a continental climate due to the high altitude of the region, despite the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea; there are large fluctuations in temperature from day to night during the growing season and cold winters. Rainfall is scant.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Languedoc-Roussillon    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Domaine Famille Ligneres Aric 2002
Domaine Famille Ligneres Aric 2002
(search item no. 88679)

PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $18.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A nose of spicy blackberries and black cherries with a hint of menthol and allspice. Seamless, concentrated, single-vineyard blend of Carignane, Mourvedre, and Syrah with fruit flavors of dark, ripe black cherries, mineral and spice.

Blend: Carignan 60%, Mourvèdre 25%, Syrah 15%

Aric is local dialect for Alaric, King of the Visigoths who gave his name to the mountain whose slopes conceal the Lignères fabulous terroir. The surname of a grandmother, a direct descendant of those Barbarian warriors, was Amalric, and a question still haunts the family today: had Alaric known that his mountain possessed such wonderful wine, would he have plundered Rome in 410 AD?

My Notes:

About Domaine Famille Ligneres:

The story of Domaine Famille Ligneres is the story of a medical family with wine in their veins. André (a general practitioner) and Suzette (a pharmacist), are now able to take a back seat as their sons Jean (Doctor of the village of Moux like his father before him) and his wife Anne, Paul (a dentist) and Geneviève (a biologist) look after the estate.

The Ligneres family's ties to the wine world can be traced back to the sixteenth century, but it was in 1957 that André and Suzette Ligneres bought the domaine. André's parents were from Moux and Fontcouverte, the two villages on either side of the estate and already had vineyards in both villages as well as a négociant business in Moux. Since then they have gradually expanded the domaine, acquiring the most attractive terroirs bordering on the estate, particularly Las Vals. Throughout this period the assistance of Marc Dubernet was invaluable in helping develop the domaine's wines.

In 2002, Richard Marlowe, an incredible wine-specialist and a faithful "fan" of Domaine Ligneres, organized a meeting with the renowned Tuscan wine consultant Stefano Chioccioli. He knew Stefano could understand their concept of "terroir", i.e. trying to produce wines with more of everything – weight, aroma, dimension, focus, varietal definition, and most importantly, allowing the terroir to shine through in every cuvee.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Carneros    California   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Cuvaison Chardonnay 2004
Cuvaison Chardonnay 2004
(search item no. 87159)
The Wine News rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A big and bold Chardonnay with the ideal balance of fruit, oak and structure. Intense and full-bodied with vanilla wafer, pistachio and mineral overtones. Aromas of fig, date, honeysuckle, lemon cream with floral notes.

Cuvaison's Carneros Chardonnay comes from our 400-acre estate in the southern part of Napa Valley. This cool climate vineyard allows us nearly perfect conditions year after year to produce world class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Controlling all farming aspects within our own vineyard gives Cuvaison an advantage in producing the best quality fruit therefore minimizing over manipulation at the winery. Winemaker Steven Rogstad sums it up best, "My style and philosophy are based on expressing the unique character of our estate grapes and doing as little as possible to them. When one has such wonderful fruit to work with, that should be one's emphasis."

My Notes:

About Cuvaison Winery:

Established in 1969, Cuvaison produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown exclusively on its estate vineyard in the heart of the world-renown region of Carneros in Napa Valley. Cooled by fog from the San Pablo Bay, the rolling hills of this certied sustainable estate has produced distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for over 30 years. Dedicated to a philosophy of producing vineyard-driven wines, Cuvaison employs block by block farming methods and a hand-crafted vineyard-to-bottle winemaking approach. e resulting wines are balanced and complex, showcasing the distinctive characteristics of this cool climate estate. Cuvaison is part of Cuvaison Estate Wines, the family-owned Napa Valley vintner which also farms Brandlin Vineyard, a Napa Valley estate on Mt. Veeder.