Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Foley Estate Winery Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2010
Foley Estate Winery Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2010
(search item no. 119536)

PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $36.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Rich, concentrated, dark, black fruit opens to aromas of sandal wood and toasty oak. The palate displays blueberries, blackberries and spicebox. This is a rich, fleshy wine held together with a solid backbone of silky tannins and firm natural acidity.

It pairs beautifully with duck, turkey, grilled chicken and tuna or salmon.

My Notes:

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About Foley Estate Winery:

Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery at Rancho Santa Rosa is the realization of vintner Bill Foley's dream to produce world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. A historic parcel located in the Santa Rita Hills region of the Santa Ynez Valley, Rancho Santa Rosa was formerly a thoroughbred horse ranch. In 1998, Bill purchased the 460-acre property and planted to 230 acres of vineyard. Devoted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, the vineyard has been subdivided into 59 micro-blocks with each being farmed, harvested and vinified separately. The handsome stables have been refurbished to house the winery, with tremendous detail going into the planning of a modern facility, while honoring age-old winemaking tradition. Highly regarded by leading wine critics and sommeliers, Foley’s Burgundian-influenced portfolio has become a flagship property in the South Central Coast.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Roco Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009
Roco Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 114077)
green wine
screw cap wine
boutique wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Pinot is leap out the glass good. The wine has a beautiful rich nose of blackberry pie fresh from the oven with maybe an edge of blueberry. In the mouth there is a velvety richness with bright red fruit flavors and a nudge of black pepper and exotic spices. The sweet berry center has a tad of vanilla or honey that heightens that central sweet spot and escorts the wine through a valley of subtle complexities that add to the melding of berry, earth and graveliness as it dances across your palate.
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About Roco:

Rollin and Corby Soles planted their small Wits' End Vineyard, located on the southwest slope of the Chehalem Mountains, in 2001. Two years later they produced their first vintage, four barrels of the 2003 Private Stash Pinot Noir. They were so delighted with the wine that they decided to produce two separate ROCO Pinot Noirs each vintage: the Private Stash and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Rollin brings more than twenty years of Oregon winemaking experience, a passion for Pinot Noir and insistence on the highest winemaking standards to this private family venture.


Red Wines    Mourvedre    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Vinos Sin-Ley Monastrell 2011
Vinos Sin-Ley Monastrell 2011
(search item no. 121091)
green wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

VSL Monastrell is a bright, pure expression of Monastrell. Made in the high-elevation region of Yecla from 40+-year-old vines. The vines are head pruned in the traditional manner and the vineyards are dry farmed (no irrigation). Organic farming allows VSL Monastrell to reveal a greater sense of purity. Minimal oak aging allows VSL Monastrell to better emphasize the true identity of the Monastrell grape.

This wine has such a ripe, red berry, floral and spice character, with succulent and juicy flavors, it will pair with a wide range of cuisines and foods. VSL Monastrell's sweet fruit is well balanced and its acidity will help it pair well with Asian, Indian, Cajun and southwestern Tex-Mex spices.

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About Vinos Sin-Ley:

In translation, Vinos Sin-Ley means "Wines Without Law". The objective of Vinos Sin-Ley is to create "new wines" that are value oriented. The concept, driven by creative innovation using nonconventional methods of harvesting, fermenting, blending, aging and labeling, results in wines exhibiting new fresh fruit driven flavors that are different from those achieved in the past.

Composed of a group of young winemakers from different regions in Spain, the wines crafted at Vinos Sin-Ley are value oriented, driven by experimentation, innovative insight and the shared philosophy of the winemakers. They meet twice a year to put into effect new projects of mutual interest and shared knowledge of the winemaking techniques implemented.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2001
El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2001
(search item no. 123468)
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Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $27.99

Winemaker's Notes:

2001 is one of the top rated Rioja vintages in recent memory. Weather was hot and extremely dry throughout the growing season resulting in wines of great concentration and extraction. The 2001 is dark in color while showing the early stages of maturity around the edges. Polished and refined on the palate with notes of cherry, cedar, tobacco and leather.
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About El Coto:

The first wines of El Coto de Rioja were introduced to the Spanish market with the 1970 vintage in 1975. So great was their success that two years later, the decision to double the capacity of the wine maturing in their cellars was taken in order to export part of the production. Their growth has continued unabated for 25 years, and now El Coto has been launched in the United States market through Frederick Wildman and Sons. Today, the world is looking for wines with character and elegance; moderate in alcohol content, well balanced and harmonious with refined cuisine. El Coto is an excellent example of a new generation of quality Spanish wines, which conforms to prevailing tastes.


Red Wines    Grenache    Navarra    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Vega Sindoa El Chaparral Grenache 2010
Vega Sindoa El Chaparral Grenache 2010
(search item no. 115568)
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Decanter rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright red. Suave raspberry and cherry preserve aromas are compelling and sexy. Musky herbal and floral qualities add complexity to the nose but fade into the red berry aromas, which continue on the palate. Deep, sweet and pure, with strong raspberry and blackcurrant flavors repeating on the finish. This could easily pass for a serious southern Rhone wine and is one incredible value.
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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    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 120377)
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PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $39.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dense, dark garnet color. Aromas of juicy dark fruit, moist soil, vanilla and coco burst out of the glass. The palate is so rich that it can almost be chewed on. Flavors of pie filling, plum, cured meats and root beer enliven the senses. This wine has structural integrity with great depth. The balanced acidity leads to a provocatively supple finish.
My Notes:

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About Belle Glos:

Belle Glos showcases distinctive Pinot Noirs produced from top growing areas along the California coast: the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County; the Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County; and the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County. The climate differences are significant, depending on the amount of fog, wind, sunlight and soil type at each site.

Winemaker Joseph J. Wagner is a fourth-generation winemaker from a family with farming and winemaking roots in the Napa Valley since 1906. The name Belle Glos (pronounced BELL GLOSS), honors Joseph’s grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards.



Red Wines    Mourvedre    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2010
Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2010
(search item no. 111099)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $7.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This cuvée from Castaño is made from 100% Monastrell (Mourvèdre) from 30 year old vines. It is released young and is meant to be an easy drinking, everyday wine. It has a bright, fresh raspberry bouquet with dense, textured, cherry flavors on the palate. It is well structured with supple, integrated tannins.

This wine is a great match to simple, bistro-style fare but has enough body to hold up to hearty dishes including beef, game, and strong cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Bodegas Castano:

There are only a handful of wineries remaining in Yecla since the phyloxera plague, and they are led by the forward-thinking Bodegas Castano, which has helped to reinvigorate the winemaking in the region.

Created by Ramon Castano Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castano is not nearly as old as the vines it owns. Starting quite small, the family has nurtured these old plantings and re-planted other parcels and now owns 350 hectares of some of the prime vineyard land in Yecla. Today, Daniel Castano, one of Ramon's sons, runs the winery with the help of other members of the family.

The extremely talented Mariano Lopez has taken over the winemaker reins at the Bodega, and has turned the focus toward more balanced bottlings of older vine Monastrell. Both traditional and carbonic maceration techniques are used and all wines pass through malolactic fermentation. Daniel believes that the fruit and tannin structure of the Monastrell varietal stands up well to the use of oak, and as such, many of the wines pass (in varying degrees) through a barrel regime.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2005
Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2005
(search item no. 120363)
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $33.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense cherry red color. Complex and elegant on the nose with aromas of plum and sweet spices such as cinnamon and nutmed. Slight notes fo almonds with the oak very well integrated. Good structure on the mouth with notes of mature fruit and chocolate. An alive wine with good tannic concentration. Long and persistent.

Ideal with red meats, game, and cheese.

Blend: 90% Tempranillo, 8% Mazuelo, 2% Graciano

My Notes:

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About Bodegas Beronia:

Bodegas Beronia is found in the Rioja Alta area of the region which is situated to the west. In this area the soil is mainly calcareous clay soil and the vineyards are on average at an altitude of 600 metres. This area’s climatic infl uences are from the Atlantic however due to the Cantabria and Demanda mountain ranges it is sheltered from the worst Atlantic infl uences. It also boasts the Ebro river which creates a series of microclimates and provides much needed water for the vines. The situation of Bodegas beronia is considered to be a unique place for the creation of wines of high quality.

The grapes used at Beronia come from vineyards from within a tenmile radius of the cellars, ensuring that only the highest quality grapes enter the winery. A close relationship is maintained with the 150 vinegrowers who supply the grapes, guaranteeing that only the best quality grapes are selected and that the process is done so in the most natural way. Our technical experts frequently visit the estates to ensure that the use of fertilisers and chemicals are kept to a minimum. It is our priority to maintain healthy and high quality grapes.

Beronia, true to its tradition, produces a classic line of fi ne and well-balanced wines, crianza, reserva and gran reserva. In addition to these two white wines, a young Viura and a barrel fermented Viura. However they satisfy their innovative and avant-garde side with an interesting range of single variety wines, special production Tempranillo and Beronia Mazuelo reserva, making them the only winery in Rioja to produce a reserve wine from the Mazuelo grape.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Valentin Bianchi Elsa Malbec 2011
Valentin Bianchi Elsa Malbec 2011
(search item no. 117635)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The classic Malbec aromas of ripe plum and violets are evident in the nose, with hints of vanilla. The beauty of the Malbec in Argentina is its ability to combine a rich, weighty mouth feel with a soft silkiness normally associated with lighter wines. Elsa Malbec takes the promise of the nose through to the palate, with pleasing fruit that mimics the aroma. The soft, supple palate leads to a lingering finish.

Elsa Malbec is the perfect accompaniment to a wide range of foods, such as salmon or other flavorful fish, pork and beef.

My Notes:

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About Valentin Bianchi:

Bodega Valentin Bianchi is one of the oldest and most important wineries in South America. It is a symbol of tradition, nobility and quality in Argentine wines. Started in 1928 by Don Valentin Bianchi, they have won world attention and acclaim since 1934 starting with the "Maximum Quality" honor in Mendoza. On August 12, 1968, Don Valentin Bianchi passed away. However, the tradition that he firmly established continues to live on in his successors.

Today, Valentin Eduardo Bianchi and Ricardo Stradella Bianchi have brought the winery into the modern era. Valentin is the President of the winery while Ricardo is the Chief Financial Officer. Recently, they enlisted the aid of California winemaker, Robert Pepi. He has helped them refine some of their techniques and the new wines show the style that this new breed of management exemplifies. Pepi believes that Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are the future of this winery.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2009
Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2009
(search item no. 118955)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#52 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Alta Luna Phases represents the finest selection of grapes from prime vineyard sites in the foothills of Italy's breathtaking Dolomite Alps. This elegant yet robust fusion of Merlot and native varieties Lagrein and Teroldego combines flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and plum with distinctive spicy notes. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months, this vibrant red is smooth and beautifully balanced, with fine tannins and a lingering finish.

My Notes:

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About Cavit:

Founded in 1957, Cavit has earned an international reputation as an innovative leader in Trentino winemaking. Today it is responsible for approximately 70% of this northern Italian province's entire wine production.

The company is based on a partnership between 5,000 member growers, organized into 14 associated cellars located throughout Trentino in zones noted for the quality of their production. Grapes are crushed and vinified at each cellar and after selection sent to Cavit's central winery near Trento for finishing, bottling and aging.

Cavit is a capital example of cooperation and size on a human scale. Trentino winemaking families are able to tap into a pool of resources and attain levels of quality that might otherwise lie beyond their reach.

Strength in numbers has also enabled Cavit to develop its own showcase hospitality and research center (which works closely with Italy's most prestigious school of viticultural research at nearby San Michele all'Adige), at the beautiful Maso Torresella, a former archbishop's castle on the shores of Lake Toblino.

The rewards of cooperation between Cavit's growers are apparent at every level, not least among consumers, for whom Cavit produces consistently high quality, affordably priced premium wines that have captured literally hundreds of awards and medals to date and are in demand in over 20 countries worldwide.