Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2009
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 109313)
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $15.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of Premiere Coastal Grapes: Los Alamos, Rancho Vinedo, Garey, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat vineyards. This cuvee really reflects the 2009 vintage with balanced fruit flavors, structure, and surprising richness. Like all ABC Pinots in all price ranges there is sophistication to this wine.

This is an amazing wine for the price. With so many Pinots shooting up in price this is still a perfect by-the-glass wine. Drink this with any grilled meat; the smoky flavors really bring out the best in this wine. The structure of this wine will hold together for many years, it is drinking well right now and will improve and evolve for another 3 or 4 years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Au Bon Climat:

About Au Bon Climat:

Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009
La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 107568)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 vintage of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay opens with an intriguing interplay of lively citrus and subtle toasted oak, laced with just a kiss of butterscotch. The palate is round and nutty, with flavors of yellow apple and orange adding lushness, while well-balanced acidity creates a lovely vibrancy. Hints of vanilla and caramel add richness and texture to a long, fresh finish
My Notes:

Additional wines from La Crema:

About La Crema:

Since 1979, La Crema Winery has been a pioneer in producing Burgundian varietals from the cool Sonoma coast. They handcraft their wine, one barrel at a time, at their family-owned estate located in the Russian River Valley. Balance, finesse and great fruit intensity come through in every glass of La Crema wine.

La Crema's location in the Russian River Valley is ideal for producing wines of uncompromising elegance and balance. To achieve this goal, several unique steps take place in getting fruit from the vineyards to the bottle. It begins in the vineyard, where careful canopy management and hand harvesting assure fully ripe, undamaged grapes are brought to the winery. At the winery, Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse uses artisan winemaking techniques to handcraft wines of distinctive flavor, elegance and balance.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Santa Maria Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2006
Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2006
(search item no. 106378)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $27.98

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine comes from our two estate vineyards; Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. The wine combines old school Chardonnay from K Block at Bien Nacido and the newer planting at Le Bon Climat. Bien Nacido K block was planted in the early 70s with the UC Davis clone 4. This clone when grown in the cool Santa Maria Valley ripens with bracing acidity. The newer Chardonnay clones planted at Le Bon Climat in 1998 have riper flavors at lower sugars when compared to the UC Davis clones. 2006 was a cool vintage, the grapes for this wine were picked nearly two weeks later than normal. The final blend is 2/3 Bien Nacido and 1/3 Le Bon Climat. This is the richest and roundest of all the Au Bon Climat Chardonnays. Don't be fooled by the upfront flavors, the finish is bright with palette cleansing acidity.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Au Bon Climat:

About Au Bon Climat:

Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit.


Red Wines    Grenache    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2009
Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2009
(search item no. 108083)
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $11.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Evodia, sourcing fruit from high elevation vineyards in the village of Atea, from the Greek word for aroma.

100% old vine Garnacha

My Notes:

Additional wines from Evodia:

About Evodia:

Altovinum is a new project - a joint partnership between Eric Solomon, Jean Marc Lafage and Yolanda Diaz. Sourcing fruit from high elevation vineyards in the village of Atea, the debut wine is EVODIA, from the Greek word for aroma.


White Wines    Chardonnay    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
d'Arenberg Lucky Lizard Chardonnay 2007
d'Arenberg Lucky Lizard Chardonnay 2007
(search item no. 95881)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The aroma is very complex and tight. It is dominated by smoky oak and lees fermentation notes with fruit characters suggesting ripe red apples, grapefruit and cold river pebble mineral notes. The flavors are from the cool-climate spectrum dominated with ripe citrus and minerals mixes with nectarines, green melon rind, roasted pistachios and flower stems.

Background:During the summer, Bearded Dragon Lizards sun themselves in the vineyards and find their way into a load of grapes destined for the winery. Lucky for the lizards, d'Arenberg uses a very gentle Demoisy crusher which allows the lizards to pass through the ordeal unharmed and they are returned back to the bushland next to the winery.

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About d'Arenberg:

One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Fairview Shiraz 2007
Fairview Shiraz 2007
(search item no. 97915)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Vibrant, deep red colour. The wine shows characteristic aromas of deep black cherry fruit with cedar and clove spiciness. Mouthfeel is full, with vibrant fruit flavours following through from the nose. The wine shows a good structure, with an approachable balance of fruit acid and supple tannins with gentle oak influence.
My Notes:

About Fairview:

The home of Fairview wines is a 300 ha farm on the southwest-facing slopes of Paarl Mountain, a granite rock outcrop in the heart of the Paarl wine district, viticulturally among the most historic and influential areas of the Cape winelands. Winemaking on the farm can be traced back to 1699, not quite a half-century after the first European settlers arrived in southern Africa. But its wines entered the modern era with the first bottling under the Fairview label in 1974 by the Back family, owners since 1937.

Today, some three decades later, grandson Charles Back II has brought Fairview wines to world markets. One of South Africa's pre-eminent vintners, he has earned Fairview (and its ancillary brands Spice Route, Goats Do Roam and Agostinelli) a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties. And he has helped pioneer a modern culture of wine growing in South Africa that embraces typicity of terroir, unrestricted by "estate" appellation, by both developing his own vineyards to their full potential and seeking out new viticultural sites to grow fruit for wines to please popular tastes and discerning palates. Charles Back's philosophy is that wine is an integral and joyful part of everyday life.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 107221)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"Crisp and clean" are not often ascribed to a California Chardonnay but with a nod to the great white wines of the old world, the 2009 Frog's Leap Chardonnay is just that. Vivid flavors of green apple, citrus and peach are delicately touched with hints of vanilla and toast. The interplay of fresh fruit and bright acidity, marked by notes of wet stone and slate, offer fantastic complexity and drive the wine's clean, refreshing finish. A vibrant wine to sip on its own, the Chardonnay is also a fantastic companion to seafood dishes, freshly shucked oysters and even mild cheeses.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Frog's Leap:

About Frog's Leap:

Frog's Leap is an iconic California winery dedicated to organic farming, sustainable living and quality wines. Situated in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, Frog’s Leap produces wine under the leadership of John Williams, a former dairy farmer from New York who created the winery in 1981.

John Williams grew up in Western New York and originally attended Cornell University to extend his studies as a dairyman. A fortuitous work-study program at Taylor Wine Company and a few bottles of wine later, John entered the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC Davis. Following Davis, he returned to the Finger Lakes as the start-up winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars. Taking inspiration from his first Napa Valley winemaking post in the cellars of Stag's Leap, John began making wine commercially in 1981 and named the new operation "Frog's Leap."

Frog's Leap presents a relaxed approach to enjoying wine. An easy hospitality and warm sense of humor is juxtaposed with a more serious sensibility when making wine. Frog's Leap produces some of Napa Valley's finest wines and, undoubtedly, has one of the wine world's best mottos: "Time's Fun When You're Having Flies."

The wines produced range from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. We have quite the line up to offer so we hope you’ll try one of these delicious wines that harmoniously combine quality, sustainability and value.

First certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1988 Frog's Leap has been a leader in the industry for over two decades. The winery relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2009
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 106840)

PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Burgundian in sensibility but with California style is one way of describing Jim Clendenen's Chardonnays- Structure and restraint melded with bountiful opulence is another. In the glass, buttery brioche marries with tropical fruits in an irresistible elixir that will leave the bottle drained before you know it. Try it with turbot for a match of delicacy and richness.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Au Bon Climat:

About Au Bon Climat:

Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Spice Route Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Spice Route Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(search item no. 106674)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Explosion of fresh figs and gooseberries on the nose, with hints of green pepper. Palate is richly flavoured, with fruit following through and balanced by zesty acidity and flinty minerality. It has a long and full finish.
My Notes:

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About Spice Route:

Five centuries ago the ancient mariners braved uncharted seas to round the Cape in search of exotic spices. Their nerve and dash inspired Charles Back to found the Spice Route Winery in 1997. Charles had bought the farm Klein Amoskuil, and this Malmesbury based farm is now home to Spice Route's Swartland terroir styled wines. The Spice Route Winery has found its signature wine style in the warm rolling hills along the Cape West Coast. Matching traditional practices in the vineyards with modern, minimalist approaches in the cellar, they produce exceptionally ripe and deep-flavoured wines. The deep red soils sustain unirrigated bush vine through the long warm summers. These harsh conditions are tempered by cool Atlantic breezes rolling in overnight. In its few years since inception had a stratospheric climb into the top echelons of the South African wine industry.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2009
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 106656)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 vintage was particularly smooth from start to finish. Budbreak arrived on schedule in the spring, and we saw lower-than-average rainfall. Healthy flowering led to a very even set, with few heat spikes during the season. Timely veraison and cooler weather later in the season allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and spend additional time on the vine. Although the end of season was somewhat challenging due to earlier than usual rainfall, by all accounts, the 2009 wines show varietal integrity, depth and concentration.

This release shows vivid tropical aromas of pineapple, lemon zest and apricot. Bright acidity and lush citrus provide the backdrop for juicy tropical avors, while fresh, clean mineral notes punctuate the finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from La Crema:

About La Crema:

Since 1979, La Crema Winery has been a pioneer in producing Burgundian varietals from the cool Sonoma coast. They handcraft their wine, one barrel at a time, at their family-owned estate located in the Russian River Valley. Balance, finesse and great fruit intensity come through in every glass of La Crema wine.

La Crema's location in the Russian River Valley is ideal for producing wines of uncompromising elegance and balance. To achieve this goal, several unique steps take place in getting fruit from the vineyards to the bottle. It begins in the vineyard, where careful canopy management and hand harvesting assure fully ripe, undamaged grapes are brought to the winery. At the winery, Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse uses artisan winemaking techniques to handcraft wines of distinctive flavor, elegance and balance.