Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni 2006
Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni 2006
(search item no. 99149)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $28.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 92 points
2010 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2009 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Crisp minty essences emerge first, followed by a spicy mélange of clove, cinnamon, and vanilla, which concludes with a prominent vein of slaty mineral. Solid structure shows through in the mouth, with juicy tannins and a judicious acidity developing through the palate; it tapers off nicely in a perfect balance of elements.

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot and Petit Verdot

My Notes:

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About Frescobaldi:

The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of Italy's oldest wineries, with a history dating to the 1300s. The family has included medieval knights, bankers, lawyers and patrons of the arts. The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of the most significant wine producers in Italy, with nine estates—and roughly 2,500 acres—in Tuscany. The family has been growing wine since the late 19th century, when they became the first in Tuscany to import and plant French vine cuttings. Because they have been producing wines for more than 700 years, to experience Frescobaldi is to glimpse the history of Florence, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Wine Spectator has ranked many of their offerings in the 90s and their wines are consistently listed in the magazine's Top 100 Wines of the Year, encouraging wine enthusiasts from around the globe to become familiar with some of Italy's finest wines.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Simi Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Simi Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(search item no. 104695)

PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This brilliantly clear, light straw-colored wine smells of pineapple, passion fruit, guava and grapefruit, with a hint of minerality. The palate offers generous nectarine and grapefruit with some flinty notes and a clean, refreshing finish. Simi Sauvignon Blanc pairs wonderfully with gazpacho, raw oysters, and a beet, orange and goat cheese salad.
My Notes:

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About Simi:

In 1876, brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi began making wine in San Francisco from Sonoma County grapes and eventually planted vineyards near Healdsburg. Simi's historic stone cellars were built in 1890 and are still used to age the wines. Today, Simi is recognized as a leader in innovation and experimentation with a history of over 125 years of cutting-edge winemaking.

Their Alexander Valley vineyards possess some of the most diverse soils of any wine-growing region. Years of geologic activity – from an ancient mudflow to the meandering Russian River and Mayacama Creek – has created numerous distinct soil types and a range of microclimates. Here they grow the red Bordeaux varietals for their Reserve Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for their Sendal.

Their Russian River Goldfields vineyard is planted to field selections chosen from the oldest and best Chardonnay vineyards in California. The combination of diverse clones and the cool, Russian River Valley climate produce Simi’s distinct Reserve Chardonnay.

Simi's winemakers focus on site-specific winemaking and use the most modern advances in vineyard management, fermentation and blending to best express the personality and flavors of each vineyard site.



White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Snoqualmie Naked Riesling 2008
Snoqualmie Naked Riesling 2008
(search item no. 102651)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $13.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Snoqualmie's Naked wines are produced from 100% organically grown grapes from USDA certified organic vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills American Viticultural Area. Referred to as the "O" zone, these vineyard sites enjoy a green cover of beneficial native grasses and cereal grains, which helps reduce soil erosion and provides habitat to attract beneficial insects. Grapes sourced from these special vineyards create juicy, fruity white wines and red with bright, balanced finishes.

Organically farmed and produced, this Riesling offers bright aromas of spicy pear and apple, with a hint of mineral carried through on the palate. The off-dry finish is clean and soft and the pure elegance of the varietal is fully captured in this bottling. A perfect aperitif or wine pairing with assorted cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Snoqualmie:

Snoqualmie Vineyards embodies the spirit of the Northwest in personality and in its approach to winemaking. Snoqualmie's honest, yet eclectic style is largely a reflection of winemaker Joy Andersen, at the helm since 1990. Under Joy's leadership, Snoqualmie’s reputation for crafting approachable, food-friendly wines has been recognized across the country by critics and consumers alike.

Snoqualmie has been producing classic varietal wines from Columbia Valley vineyards for over two decades. Snoqualmie's vineyards lie within three distinct growing regions of the Columbia Valley: Wahluke Slope, Yakima Valley and Horse Haven Hills. Each area produces grapes with flavors unique to the area, and Joy considers the individuality of each growing region one of her strongest winemaking tools.

Styled for easy drinking and as a complement to food, the Columbia Valley tier wines are as welcome on a picnic table as they are on a linen tablecloth.

Rosebud Vineyard, on the Wahluke Slope, one of the warmest areas in the state, was planted in 1981 and is one of the original vineyards for Snoqualmie wines. As of 1991 Snoqualmie has an exclusive contract with Rosebud Vineyards. It is the source for their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Snoqualmie's reserve wines are made a barrel at a time using artisan winemaking techniques. Quantities are extremely limited.



White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Eroica Riesling 2008
Eroica Riesling 2008
(search item no. 100239)
Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 93 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Eroica shows the crisp acidity of the cooler 2008 vintage. The wine exudes mandarin orange and sweet lime aromas and flavors with subtle mineral notes. The mouth-watering acidity is beautifully balanced by flavorful Washington Riesling fruit. After a decade we have truly found our 'Eroica style,' striving for beautiful bright fruit with crisp acidity and enhanced minerarilty.
My Notes:

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About Eroica:

Launched in 1999, Eroica is a labor of love for two of the world's great Riesling producers. One from the Old World, Dr. Loosen estate of Germany, and the other from the New World, Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state. An intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and technique enables the crafting of an extraordinary Riesling from Washington state grapes. Named for Beethoven's Third Symphony, Eroica reflects not only its variety and site, but also its heritage: bold and forward from its Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration.

The first five vintages of Eroica Riesling (1999-2003) were named to Wine Spectator's "Top 100" list.

"I have long believed that a Riesling revival would have to start with a prominent New World winery like Chateau Ste. Michelle."
- Ernst Loosen, Dr. Loosen estate



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 95084)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Garnet red in color, this wine exhibits ripe cherry and spice accentuated with rich plum and savory highlights. It has a rich, sweet approach displaying ripe dark berry fruits, subtle oak spice, velvety tannins and a long, concentrated finish.

This wine's structure and concentration make it an ideal match for a wide range of foods. It will match well with field mushroom pasta or risotto. It also lends itself to rare, grilled red meats or a variety of slow cooked casseroles including game meats, such as rabbit or fowl.

My Notes:

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About Brancott:

The Brancott Winery opened in 1977, making it one of the oldest wineries in Marlborough. From producing one of the world's first grape tipping tanks, the winery has stayed true to its pioneering herigate and embraced innovation. It was one of the first to commercially plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1973, at the top of New Zealand's South Island and has been heavily instrumental in developing the region as one of the foremost viticultural regions for Sauvignon Blanc world-wide. At present, Brancott Estate continues to lead with its innovative winemaking approach and passionate commitment to excellence under the stewardship of chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.