White Wines    Albarino    Rias Baixas    Spain   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
O Rei Albarino 2011
O Rei Albarino 2011
(search item no. 122590)
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PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $21.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Golden yellow-green color, with hints of lemon, clean and shiny. Typical aromas of albariño variety. Well-assembled between the ripe fruit (pineapple, apple) and floral accents on a pleasant balsamic herbaceous freshness power. Dry, tasty, with a light mouth feel, with a strong and lively acidity that becomes the hub of the wine in the mouth and ending at its back as fruity notes on the nose.
My Notes:

About O Rei:

O Rei de Campoverde is the result of Jose Carlos Quintas' desires: to make wines like his family has done during centuries. He is a Galician guy with a long familiar tradition making wines. This familiar tradition is so ancient that he has a testament that dates from 1850 of one of his ancestors in which you can read that he bequeathed his winery to one of his nephews.

When he made up his mind to make a wine with the vines that his family had harvested during years, he determined that the name of the wine should be the name of the small village where his wife's family have its roots. And, as it happens, this small village was where this old ancestor had his winery. A double reason to call the wine O Rei de Campoverde.



White Wines    Pinot Blanc    Alsace    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2008
Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2008
(search item no. 120693)
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International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale straw with green reflections. Rich and concentrated, with white flower and apricot notes. Smooth, medium-bodied with good fruit acidity.

Delicious with light meals such as salads, poultry, chicken, veal, roast pork, and seafood. The Pinot Blanc has beautiful fruitiness and makes an excellent all-occasion drinking wine.

My Notes:

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About Trimbach:

Maison Trimbach began in 1626 when Jean Trimbach settled in Riquewihr and established the family wine trade.

Jean-Frédéric Trimbach, born in 1811, was appointed Gourmet of Hunawihr, a position designed to protect the quality of wine exports. He transferred the Maison Trimbach business to Hunawihr, where he served as mayor for many years.

Jean-Frédéric and his son, Frédéric-Emile continued the family tradition, and Frédéric-Emile traveled extensively to promote the wines. In 1898 he received the Certificate of Highest Quality at the Brussels International Show. With Frédéric-Emile at the helm, Maison Trimbach began bottling its wines in Alsace rather than selling in bulk, providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity. The contribution of Frédéric-Emile Trimbach was recognized when the family adopted his initials in the firm's official name: Maison F.E. Trimbach.

Today, the tradition of quality continues with the 11th and 12th generations of the Trimbach family. Hubert and his older brother Bernard, along with Bernard's sons, Pierre and Jean, have continued operations and currently produce approximately 80,000 cases of wines annually. Over one-third of their production is exported to the United States. While one of the smallest of the many producers in Alsace, they are nonetheless the largest, most widely recognized Alsace brand in the United States.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Buena Vista The Count Red Blend 2008
Buena Vista The Count Red Blend 2008
(search item no. 117326)
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PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The winery's colorful founder, The Count of Buena Vista, pioneered premium winemaking in California. A tireless and passionate devotee of California wine, The Count imported hundreds of premium vines from Europe, dug Sonoma's first wine caves, introduced innovative viticulture techniques, and wrote the first treatise on California wine. Buena Vista Winery honors his legacy, bold vision, and commiment to excellence through this red wine – the Founder's Red Wine.

The wine's bouquet opens beautifully with rich aromas of black currant, cherries and just a hint of espresso. Smooth on the palate, the wine offers flavors of plum and blackberry that give way to cardamom on the long, silky finish.

My Notes:

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About Buena Vista Winery:

Founded in 1857 as California's first premium winery, Buena Vista, under the direction of winemaker Jeff Stewart, is a leader in cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Straddling Sonoma County in the southern end of the Carneros appellation, the 523-acre Ramal Vineyard Estate is broken up into 167 small blocks, with 21 different clones of Chardonnay and 13 different clones of Pinot Noir, and is set along rolling south-facing hillsides overlooking the San Pablo Bay. The Ramal Vineyard is the crown jewel of all Carneros.

Most winemakers will agree that cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir are the most difficult to produce. And most will agree that Jeff Stewart does so with unparalleled success. Jeff comes to Buena Vista with over 15 years of achievement in cool-climate viticulture and his focus on gentle handling of the grapes and temperature moderation produces wines with complexity, character and depth.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Punto Nino Reserva Chardonnay 2011
Punto Nino Reserva Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 122183)
screw cap wine
has fluid
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PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Clear and bright, with a pale straw hue. Exuberant but elegant aromas of lime, white peach and melon. Intense tropical fruit and zesty freshness, with an elegant fruity finish.
My Notes:

About Punto Nino:

In 2002, the ambitions of Michel Laroche and his partners led them to Viña Punto Alto in Chile, as they sought to take on the challenge of introducing their French style of wine to the New World. Three years later, Michel Laroche bought 53 hectares of slopes ideally situated in Casablanca Valley, to the west of Santiago, towards Valparaiso, at the foot of the mountain El Mahuco which separates the valleys of Casablanca and Maïpo. In 2006 he acquired a 23-hectare estate and a well-appointed cellar in the Casablanca Valley. Laroche's vineyards are situated on gentle slopes covered with a layer of granite that offer remarkable conditions for vine growing: good drainage, favorable exposure and plenty of minerals available to feed the vines.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Alderbrook Chardonnay 2009
Alderbrook Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 121687)
has fluid
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Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Straw yellow. Lychee and citrus with stone fruit and undertones of minerality. Citrus, stone fruits with a creamy, rich mouthfeel and long finish.
My Notes:

About Alderbrook Vineyards:

Situated on the outskirts of the city of Healdsburg in California's Sonoma County, the Alderbrook estate is located at the southernmost tip of the Dry Creek Valley, within a stone's throw of the Russian River. On a road map this might not seem significant, but in the world of fine wine, this location is considered one of the best in the region. While technically located in the Dry Creek Valley appellation, the official border of the Russian River Valley appellation begins close to Alderbrook's 65-acre estate, giving the winery a unique position at the confluence of these two valleys.

Not only does the estate vineyard receive the afternoon heat that is typical of Dry Creek Valley weather patterns, but the cool night air creeping up the Russian River Valley from the Pacific Ocean produces evening and early morning fog, cooling the vines. Alderbrook's vineyard enjoys the luxury of extended "hang time." This produces more mature fruit resulting in rich, full-bodied flavor characteristics: qualities which are ultimately apparent in the wines.

"The blend of climates is a gift, and our estate vines benefit tremendously from the unique weather conditions," says general manager, George Christie. Our incredible location at the junction of these two appellations gives us the perfect raw materials for wine making."



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Quinta do Vallado Reserva Red 2009
Quinta do Vallado Reserva Red 2009
(search item no. 121688)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This blend is very dark red, with crimson highlights with balsamic oak aromas, as well as fig and black plum and hints of tobacco. The palate shows great structure and a full-bodied firmness, with mature, silky tannins. Mineral notes mix with the aforementioned fruit, leading to a very elegant, complex and persistent finish.
My Notes:

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About Quinta do Vallado:

In the heart of Portugal’s most famous wine region – the Douro Valley – near the historical center of Regua, the Quinta do Vallado vineyards, winery and guest house spread across both banks of the Corgo River at the very point where it meets the Douro. With winemaking references that date back to 1716, the Quinta belonged to the legendary Portuguese vintner D. Antonia Adelaide Ferreira, and has remained in the family through modern times.

The current owners, Joao Ferreria Alvares Ribeiro, Francisco Ferreira and Francisco Olazabal, are the sixth generation of this remarkable family, and the family’s mission to produce some of the best still wines of this fertile valley continues with the red blends and varietals that are exported worldwide. Of the 38-hectare Estate, 26 hectares are filled with vines 60 years and older. It is from these vines that Quinta do Vallado’s Red Reserve and Touriga Nacional wines are made, so it is no wonder that the wines are often found to be rated and reviewed among the best wines from the Douro.



White Wines    Rhone White Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Treana White 2010
Treana White 2010
(search item no. 121576)
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PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This white Rhone blend displays varietal characteristics of Marsanne and Viognier; vibrant floral aromas of citrus blossom and jasmine are followed by elegant flavors of ripe stone fruit, hints of pear, pineapple and honey overtones. A wine of excellent balance and complexity, the 2010 Treana White will age beautifully over the next decade.
My Notes:

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About Treana Winery:

Treana symbolizes a trinity of natural elements - the sun, the soil, and the ocean - the elements that make Paso Robles and the rest of the Central Coast a prime area for premium wine grapes.

The Hope family began planting vineyards in the area in 1978. Two decades of experience has taught them not only how to grow the finest quality wine grapes, but has also shown them the tremendous potential of the region.

Formerly, the Hopes sold wine under the Hope Family label directly from the winery's tasting room. Beginning with the 1990 vintage, the Hope ranches became the sole source of fruit for Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1996, they founded Treana Winery after years of hands-on experience in viticulture and winemaking. Today, the Hopes cultivate mature vineyards of the varietals best suited to their area; Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and Merlot.



Red Wines    Merlot    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Wente Sandstone Merlot 2010
Wente Sandstone Merlot 2010
(search item no. 119668)
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PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 Sandstone Merlot exhibits aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum with hints of toasted oak. A smooth mouthfeel and inviting tannins lead to a long, fruity finish.
My Notes:

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About Wente Vineyards:

Wente Vineyards is California's oldest family owned and continuously operated winery. Founded in 1883 by C. H. Wente, the winery is now managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. The winery farms nearly 3,000 acres of estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations, two premier Central Coast winegrowing regions.

Family owned and operated for over 120 years, the fourth and fifth generations are committed to producing wines of distinguished character and excellence at an affordable price.



Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Dom Perignon  2003
Dom Perignon 2003
(search item no. 114639)
collectible wine
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older vintages

The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $159.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
2004 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2002 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 98 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2000 Australian Wine Companion rating: 97 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2000 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 98 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1995 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1995 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1993 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1993 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1993 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1992 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1990 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
1990 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1985 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1982 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
1982 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The bouquet spirals through a light-filled, floral softness to the gritty minerality that epitomises Dom Perignon, evocative of candied fruit, plant life and exquisite camphor leaf freshness, and finally plunges into darkness, spices and licorice root. On the palate, the wine still has a physical presence. It is striking and demading, tactile and vibrant rather than aromatic. It is built on rhythm and rupture more than harmony. After an initial cloud of stofness, we hit a mineralised verticality that gradually opens out to suggest a bitter, iodised and saline nobility.
My Notes:

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About Dom Perignon:

Dom Pérignon, a seventeeth-century cellarmaster of the Abbey of Hautvillers, is revered as the spiritual father of winemaking in the Champagne region. Keen observation, respect for nature, pragmatic creativity, technical innovation, the courage of his convictions, and patience were the instruments serving his vision. He constantly mastered and incorporated all its components and the stages of its production, from the vineyards themselves to the pressing and clarification of the wines and their preservation.

Dom Pérignon was the originator of new techniques for cultivating vines and making wine. These innovations spread rapidly throughout the region.

Today, Dom Pérignon is produced by France's largest Champagne house, Moët et Chandon. Dom Pérignon’s principle contribution in the 20th century has been its commitment to vintage years. In addition to the exclusive use of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from only the finest growths and vineyards, Dom Pérignon strictly limits itself to wines of the very best years, which have undergone long ageing.

The Dom Pérignon style is constructed by the Chef de Cave to create a range of sensations on the palate that reflect all the complexity of the structure, and the aromas and characteristics of the vintage.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Languedoc-Roussillon    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Toad Hollow Risque French Sparkling Wine
Toad Hollow Risque French Sparkling Wine
(search item no. 112552)
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PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Risqué is a crisp and fruity sparkling wine with low alcohol (6%) and a delicate sweetness made from 100% Mauzac. The taste is crisp and fruity with nice acidity and a touch of natural sweetness.
My Notes:

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About Toad Hollow:

Toad Hollow Vineyards began operation in 1994, with 3000 cases of 1993 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Our Chardonnay is 100% Stainless Steel fermented, using no oak at all. Since then we have added additional wines, a Russian River Merlot (Richard McDowell Vineyard), a Russian River Pinot Noir (Goldies Vines) a Zinfandel from Paso Robles and a Rose of Pinot Noir from Carneros. In 1995 we started to import wines made by our French friends at Sieur D'Arques and now have two sparklings and three still wines in our portfolio. Our mission is to produce quality wines that are interesting at a reasonable price. Our labels are whimsical, supporting another element of our philosophy - we believe drinking wine should be FUN!

Toad Hollow is a collaboration of two old friends who, more or less, retired to an existence of peace and quiet in the Hollow, after a life of whirlwind world travel. Neither of these two gentlemen believed in self-denial, and over the years had probably wined and dined at every major eatery and watering hole in the universe. They began to discuss the fun times they had experienced over many years, remembering all the wonderful people they had met. During their conversation they decided they wanted to find a way to repay the warmth and friendship shown them along the way.