Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Melipal Malbec 2007
Melipal Malbec 2007
(search item no. 102102)
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 95 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Dark ruby red, with blue and red tinges.

Nose: Red fruits, particularly plums, strawberries and confitures, tying in very well with scents of coffee.

Mouth: Rich red and black fruit flavors with a round full-bodied mouth feel and juicy, soft tannins that give a very long and pleasant finish.

My Notes:

About Melipal:

Melipal, a family owned and run winery, is located 20 minutes from Mendoza in the exclusive area of Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina, at 958 meteres above sea level. Surrounded by willow trees, small canals and vineyards with a magnificent view of the Andes mountain range.

This state of 25 hectares out of its 51 date from 1900 and they turn this estate into a unique viticultural heritage. They are planted with Malbec and the area is watered by the traditional system of furrow irrigation.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Robert Keenan Merlot 2002
Robert Keenan Merlot 2002
(search item no. 86578)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Keenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Seventeen acres of Merlot vines were planted in the gravelly soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.

The 2002 Keenan Merlot is composed of seventy percent Keenan Estate Merlot. The remainder of this wine is made up of Merlot fruit harvested from the Napa Carneros region. In addition, three percent Estate Cabernet Franc has been added to the blend in order to add additional complexity. After hand harvesting, the grapes were de-stemmed and inoculated with Montrachet yeast. Fermentation ranged from seven to twelve days before pressing.

The'02 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for nineteen months. The resulting wine shows ripe plum, blackberry, cocoa and spice aromas that are enhanced by a toasty oak background. Consumers can expect this Merlot to open up to a rich, velvety, full-bodied wine.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Robert Keenan:

About Robert Keenan:

High in the Mayacamas Range, at an elevation of 1,700 feet above the Napa Valley floor, are Spring Mountain and the Robert Keenan Winery and vineyards. This area was first identified as prime vineyard land by Peter Conradi in the late 19th century when he planted 100 acres of terraced vineyard in Zinfandel and Syrah grapes. The Conradi Winery operated until Prohibition when the vineyards and winery fell out of use. In 1974, Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres of forest on the defunct Conradi Winery site. No vines remained. Only the crumbling walls of the former winery and a few old broken tanks told of its history, but Robert was certain the mountain top vineyards would be perfect for an estate winery. He replaced tree stumps and rocks with rows of Cabernet and Chardonnay, hired an engineer to redesign the original winery structure, and brought in a contractor to begin construction. The winery was made operational just in time for the harvest of 1977. From that time on, Keenan has earned a great reputation for producing wines of intense character and renowned acclaim.

While the beauty and history of the land are appealing, it is the richness of the soils that makes the hillside perfect for an estate winery. These soils are, in great measure, responsible for the dramatic intensity of the fruit associated with the ultra-premium wines produced at Robert Keenan Winery. The winery recently completed a solar power system on their property. The system will supply all of the winery's power needs. The estate wines will carry the "Solar Powered and Sustainably Farmed" phrase on the label.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2006
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 96380)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $19.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of dark red fruits, black olive and beef stock open into notes of blueberries and licorice with a savory dried herb edge. The palate shows great balance with blueberry and mulberry fruits, spices and a hint of white pepper on the finish. As always The Footbolt is a very approachable wine in its youth but has the capacity to age for many years.
My Notes:

Additional wines from d'Arenberg:

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    Pinot Noir    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Mirassou Pinot Noir 2008
Mirassou Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 98694)
PinotReport rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $9.49

Winemaker's Notes:

Displaying fresh fruit aromas and flavors of cherries, strawberries and red currants, our 2008 Mirassou California Pinot Noir is as bright reflection of our heritage as the pioneer of California Pinot Noir. This wine is at its best if enjoyed within a year of release, but can age in the bottle for up to three years if carefully cellared.   
My Notes:

Additional wines from Mirassou Vineyards:

About Mirassou Vineyards:

Since 1854 the Mirassou family has dedicated itself to mastering the art of winemaking. 150 years later, their passion and optimism are stronger than ever. In 2004 the 6th generation of this winemaking family celebrated the launch of a new line of crisp, fruit-focused wines honoring their 150th anniversary as a California winery.


Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Duckhorn Napa Merlot 2006
Duckhorn Napa Merlot 2006
(search item no. 96696)
The Wine News rating: 96 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2002 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 85 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex blend of several individual vineyard lots, incorporating fruit from our Estate Vineyards and from top independent growers throughout the Napa Valley. The final wine is a rich and cohesive expression of the entire Napa Valley, reflecting the varied microclimates and soils of this unique appellation.

Our Napa Valley Merlot captures the balanced character of a young wine, while embodying the diversity of the entire Napa Valley appellation. The product of a standout Merlot vintage, the Merlot in 2006 offered an excellent expression of the varietal and required very little blending with other grapes—with only small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot used to add subtle complexity. This Merlot offers a rich texture, ripe tannins and seamlessly integrated French oak. The bouquet displays lush layers of ripe plum and bright raspberry underscored by notes of sandalwood, walnut and spice. On the palate, polished flavors of red cherry and raspberry are accented by an enticing layer of graham cracker piecrust.

96% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot

My Notes:

Additional wines from Duckhorn Vineyards:

About Duckhorn Vineyards:

Founded in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has been crafting Bordeaux varietals from the Napa Valley for over 30 years. This winemaking tradition has grown to include seven estate vineyards, located throughout the various microclimates of the Napa Valley. Focused on quality and consistency, these estate vineyards are an essential element in making wines of distinction. One of the first wineries to pioneer Merlot as a premium varietal, Duckhorn Vineyards now makes several elegant Merlot and distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings to showcase the characteristics of its vineyard sites. In addition, the winery is known for its acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc. Beginning with the 2006 vintage, Duckhorn Vineyards unveiled The Discussion, a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that represents the pinnacle of Duckhorn's portfolio.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 99737)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#82 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The name 'Stump Jump' relates to the significant South Australian invention – the Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for ploughing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps and gnarled "mallee" Eucalypt roots and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse.

Inviting fresh plum aromas leap out of the glass with raspberry and pretty pot-pourri notes providing more complexity. The palate is juicy and spicy with an abundance of red fruits that are fresh and vibrant. Licorice and rose petals come through on the mid palate and an under-lying earthy complexity is evident all the way through. The tannins are powdery and subtle on this juicy ready to drink red.

My Notes:

Additional wines from d'Arenberg:

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    Bordeaux Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Inglenook Rubicon 2005
Inglenook Rubicon 2005
(search item no. 94689)
collectible wine
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $139.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 98 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1997 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1980 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2005 Rubicon reflects the extended growing conditions of the vintage, displaying a precocious depth of flavor as well as a long, intense finish. The classically ripe character delivers a sweet impression, supple tannins, a rich, luscious mouthfeel and a prolonged finish of mocha, dark berries and chocolate. Though this vintage seems ready to enjoy now, it is a monumental Rubicon that will also repay with cellaring.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Inglenook:

About Inglenook:

In 1879, Finnish explorer and adventurer Gustave Niebaum searched the Napa Valley with the goal of establishing a wine estate to rival the finest chateau of France. For decades his wines won acclaim and remain some of the most admired in American wine history's classic period. By the mid-1960's, his property was divided, and estate-wine production ceased.

A decade later, Francis Ford Coppola purchased 1,500 acres of this historic property and revived Captain Niebaum's fine winemaking tradition. In 1995, Niebaum-Coppola acquired the remainder of the property and restored the Inglenook Estate to its original dimensions.



Red Wines    Merlot    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2005
Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2005
(search item no. 90856)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 89 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Dark and deep red.

Bouquet: Flavors as black as night: dark cherries, dark berries and a lasting smoky, yet rich, black tar.

Taste: Complexity develops out of its firm, quiet, supple core.

The wine marries well with a variety of steaks, roasts, pastas with medium to hearty sauces, and cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Vina Concha y Toro:

About Vina Concha y Toro:

Founded in 1883, Viña Concha y Toro is Latin America’s leading producer and occupies an outstanding position among the world’s most important wine companies, currently exporting to 135 countries worldwide. Uniquely, it owns around 9,500 hectares of prime vineyards, which allows the company to secure the highest quality grapes for its wine production. Concha y Toro’s portfolio includes a wide range of successful brands at every price point, from the top of the range Don Melchor and Almaviva to the flagship brand Casillero del Diablo and innovative stand-alone brands such as Palo Alto and Maycas del Limarí. The company has 3,162 employees and is headquartered in Santiago, Chile.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Archetype Old Vine Reserve Shiraz 2005
Archetype Old Vine Reserve Shiraz 2005
(search item no. 96817)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $33.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ar-che-type = An ideal example of a type, the quintessence. Deeply concentrated, this Reserve Shiraz owes its richness and character to the old vines on the property. It comes from extremely low yielding vines that average over 50 years in age and produce only a few clusters of grapes each. The result is unbelievable intensity.

Deeply concentrated and rich, our Reserve Shiraz reveals great fruit intensity. The old vines produce the blackberry, boysenberry, and plum aromas and flavors characteristic of classic Shiraz from the Barossa. The toasty oak is not shy, but is well-integrated, offering notes of mocha and coffee. On the palate, the wine is full and round with a lingering finish. This wine may be enjoyed now with apropriate foods, yet will become even more alluring with time.

Hand-harvested in the early morning, most of the fruit for our Reserve Shiraz comes from the low-yielding (1-2 tons/acre) Chateau Yaldara estate vineyard in the famed Barossa Valley. Additional fruit comes from three neighboring families who have been supplying top-quality grapes to Yaldara from their vineyards since the 1940s and 1950s — from 70-year old vines.

My Notes:

About Archetype:

Archetype wines are made from exceptional vineyards in the Barossa – Australia's renowned winegrowing region. The wines are produced at Chateau Yaldara, a landmark winery in the heart of the Barossa that was originally founded in1867, then re-built in 1965, by the joint winemaking team of Napa Valley's Bob Masyczek and Australia's Thomas Jung.

Located just north of Adelaide in Sotheast Australia, the Barossa is a popular tourist destination. It was discovered a century and a half ago by German and English settlers as having excellent soil and climate conditions for growing wine grapes.

World-renowned for its big, blockbuster Shiraz wines, the Barossa is Australia's equivalent of the Napa Valley in terms of prestige and name recognition. It is also home to some of the highest-rated Australian wineries including Henshke, Penfolds, and Yalumba. A small area about the size of Napa Valley, its major towns are Lyndoch and Tanunda.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 94211)
The Wine News rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $26.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec

Appearance: Deep ruby red

Aroma: Cassis, ripe dark cherry and tobacco, with earthy notes of sage and peppercorn and sweet hints of vanilla.

Flavors: Mouth-filling, well structured palate of deep blackberry, coffee and spice. Rich and vibrant with supple tannins, finishing with notes of cassis, chocolate, and toasted oak.

88 Points

"Dense garnet hue. Powerful scents of black cherry, plum and cassis. Juicy flavors of raspberry and blackberry. Robust tannins and layers of red plum and espresso in the lingering close."
Wine News

My Notes:

Additional wines from Franciscan Oakville Estate:

About Franciscan Oakville Estate:

Franciscan is one of Napa Valley's most venerable wineries, reaching back more than three decades. Franciscan wines take their signature style - rich, vibrant flavors framed by supple tannins - from the ideal climate offered by Napa Valley's cool, southern half and from the time-honored tradition of small-lot winemaking, blending from hundreds of barrels to craft fine wines that fully express the classic Bordeaux varieties.

Franciscan was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and doctors from San Francisco who decided to try turning their passion for wine into a business. In 1985, Agustin Huneeus, a Chilean exile who had built Concha y Toro in his native country, took over the helm at Franciscan. Huneeus refocused the winery on using the superlative grapes growing in its own vineyards, rather than sourcing from outside.

Today, Franciscan's wines are crafted under the exacting eye of Janet Myers, who came to Franciscan in August 2003 as associate winemaker after working in the Margaret River region and Beaulieu Vineyard, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Louis Martini. The winery remains committed to its tradition of small-lot winemaking, with small batches averaging just 150 to 1,500 cases. The image of a hand-operated wine press on Franciscan's logo and wine labels reflects this small lot approach to winemaking.