White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 109256)
screw cap wine
green wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

To the eye, the wine is bright and clear with subtle green hues. This Sauvignon Blanc has juicy lemon and lime fruit aromas with hints of crisp green apple.

On the palate the wine is medium-bodied with tropical and citrus fruit flavors of white grapefruit and lime with a long crisp finish and some minerality.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Veramonte:

About Veramonte:

Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.



White Wines    Riesling    Other New Zealand    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Pegasus Bay Riesling 2008
Pegasus Bay Riesling 2008
(search item no. 116711)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is an off-dry style Riesling with purity and focus.

Fantastic aperitif. Sweet fleshed crustaceans such as prawn and crab. A wide variety of Asian-influenced cuisine.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Pegasus Bay :

About Pegasus Bay :

Wine-making philosophy: Our aim is to grow grapes of the highest quality which fully express the features of the vineyard, and to handle these with the utmost respect. Natural methods and as little intervention as possible at all stages from vine to bottle typify our approach. We believe in sustainable viticultural management, organic techniques, low crop levels, minimal handling of fruit during processing, gentle pressing and slow fermentation. We allow wines to go through natural malolactic fermentation and clarify by settling. Our red wines are bottled without filtration. We aspire to capture the unique flavours of the vineyard in our wine.

The Family: The Donaldson family have been seriously involved in wine since the early 1970's and were pioneers of local grape growing and wine making. Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, Ivan Donaldson, is a wine writer and wine judge. He also oversees viticulture and wine styles. His wife, Christine, is business manager and as a passionate opera lover, organises annual operatic concerts in Pegasus Bay's natural amphitheatre. Their eldest son, Matthew, did an oenology degree and a postgraduate diploma in viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. He and his partner Lynnette Hudson, who graduated with distinction from Lincoln University with a postgraduate diploma in oenology and viticulture, are the winemakers. Matthew supervises the reds and Lynnette oversees the whites. Another son, Edward Donaldson, is marketing manager and, as a trained chef, supervises the Pegasus Bay Vineyard restaurant. Pegasus Bay is an entirely family-owned and operated enterprise.



White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Other New Zealand    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Omaka Springs Pinot Gris 2009
Omaka Springs Pinot Gris 2009
(search item no. 119869)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $9.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This 2009 Pinot Gris has aromas of subtle pear, stone fruit and honey. The sliver of sweetness on the palate is in harmony with the clean finish.
My Notes:

About Omaka Springs Estates:

Omaka Springs Estates, comprising of Omaka Springs Estates Limited (the winery), and Omaka Springs Estates (the vineyards), is a family business owned solely by Geoff and Robina Jensen.

Omaka Springs Estates produces cool climate varietal grapes from the 92 acres of vineyards located on the Estates’ 146 acres of land in the Omaka Valley. These grapes are used to make medal-winning wines in the Omaka Springs Estates Limited winery where the aim -- and indeed policy -- is to make only "high quality wines at affordable prices."

Geoff and Robina were amongst the pioneers of the New Zealand olive industry and included on the land is one of New Zealand’s largest commercial olive groves consisting of approximately 3,000 trees including 23 different varieties. These trees produce high quality olives which are processed on the Estate, the result being fine extra virgin olive oil.



White Wines    Pinot Blanc    Alsace    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Pierre Sparr Pinot Blanc 2008
Pierre Sparr Pinot Blanc 2008
(search item no. 114566)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Light yellow with green highlights. This easygoing thirst quenching wine which reveals green apple and white flowers aromas; concentrated, dry, with a fresh citric acidity which balanced so well with all this fruit.
My Notes:

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About Pierre Sparr:

The Pierre Sparr estate was created by one of the oldest and most prestigious wine producing families in France's Alsace region, established since 1680. It produces an award-winning and diverse range of 32 different red, white, still, sparkling, dry and sweet wines and owns 80 acres of vineyards spread across five different Grand Crus – Brand, Mambourg, Schlossberg, Schoenenbourg and Sporen. Any additional grapes are purchased under strict quality control with other growers, for which Sparr pays a premium. In July 2007, passionate Alsatian winemaker Vincent Laillier was brought in to revolutionize winemaking at Sparr from vineyard practices through to bottling processes. Typical of the region, Sparr wines are rich in fruit and firmly structured. With a belief that mature wines are more exciting, the winery will regularly hold back top wines from the market until they are at their optimal drinking window.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 114475)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon offers up-front aromas of ripe red fruit, followed by similar vibrant and rich berry flavors. Silky but firm tannins lend excellent structure, while maintaining a soft approachability reflective of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a ripe finish with good length. Its fruit-driven style lends ease to food-pairing.
My Notes:

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About Liberty School:

Varietally on target, reliable year after year, Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Cuvee consistently over-deliver value wines of outstanding quality. The Hope family has been making Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon since 1990. In 1996, when the Hopes established Treana Winery, the Liberty School brand officially became part of Hope Family Wines. Liberty School wines are made in a traditional style. Fruit driven, they are crafted to reflect true varietal character. The wines are barrel-aged, employing very little new oak. Oak is used as a building component rather than a flavoring agent.

A big brand, made by a small, close family, Liberty School is the home of delicious wines that are easy to enjoy.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 111824)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This delightful wine is made from fruit from the cool Casablanca Valley and demonstrates the promise of Chile's celebrated grape. It owes its complexity to the purity of the 100% Sauvignon Blanc fruit and skillful winemaking rather than external influences, such as oak. The aromas of mandarin orange and lemon zest, with an underpinning of ginger, harmonize nicely with ripe tropical and citrus flavors. The succulent ripeness coupled with brisk acidity ensure a refreshing and lasting finish, making this wine a classic partner with food.
My Notes:

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About Vina Penalolen:

This winery was founded by the superstar winemaker of Chile, Ignacio Recabarren, and vineyard owner Ricardo Peña. The wine is estate grown and bottled with all the fruit harvested from the winery's own two vineyards. Viña Peñalolén is dedicated to producing the best expression of fruit and soil from the Maipo and Casablanca Valley's, resulting in wines of pedigree and complexity.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Montes Alpha Series Syrah 2007
Montes Alpha Series Syrah 2007
(search item no. 98013)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 90% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Viognier.

The up front nose is fruity, black cherries, hints of strawberries, and all well combined with a smoky spiciness, that adds elegance and complexity. The 7% of Cabernet Sauvignon is adding structure and hints of cassis and berries while the 3% of Viognier adds a nice and delicate floral touch. The oak is well assembled and combined with this strong, soft, velvety wine.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Montes:

About Montes:

With the release of the first Montes Alpha wine back in 1988, Montes became one of the first premium wineries of Chile. Their premise, a clear belief that Chile had an untapped potential as a producer of quality wines, made them a benchmark for other wineries to follow. Its original four partners' total involvement and the continuous help of the angels that decorate their labels was key to their success. Two decades later, Montes is the fifth most important winery of Chile where Aurelio Montes continues leading the winemaking area with the same passion as the first day. Hard work and total focus on quality has led Montes to be one of the most successful and respected quality-driven wineries in Chile as they continue pioneering and breaking new grounds in wine.


White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2011
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2011
(search item no. 118632)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine is crisp, dry and lush with flavors of citrus, jasmine and minerals. Our Dry Riesling is endlessly versatile and harmoniously complements the world's most vibrant and flavorful cuisine.

Pair with anything from Asian to European to a wide variety of seafood, cheeses and cold meats.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Pacific Rim:

About Pacific Rim:

Riesling, simply, is the most versatile, complex and food-friendly of all the noble grapes. if you enjoy inspiring your palate, then Riesling is your ideal wine. No other varietal so purely expresses terroir. Washington's Columbia Valley - home of Pacific Rim - provies the ideal soils and climate for growing Riesling. Purity is at the core of Pacific Rim's winemaking philosophy. They exclusively use stainless steel tanks, allowing the true character of Riesling to speak for itself, they do not use malolactic fermentation and their wines are fermented only with native yeasts. Pacific Rim produces 10 different Rieslings from bone dry to sticky sweet, and Riesling represents 95% of all the wines they produce. Pacific Rim is an Organic and Biodynamic certified winery.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 115179)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This delicious, crowd pleasing Cabernet – consistently named a Wine Enthusiast "Best Buy" – delivers serious bang for the buck! It's packed with lip smacking flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry and plum, with subtle hints of dark chocolate and spice.

Blend: 89% Cabernet, 7.5% Merlot, 3.5% Petit Verdot

My Notes:

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About Excelsior:

The picturesque Robertson Valley is nestled between two rugged mountain ranges near the Breede ("Broad") River. It was here that the De Wet family purchased a large tract of land in 1859, subsequently channeling the river and planting the region’s first vineyards. Today the estate is owned by Freddie and Peter De Wet, the fourth and fifth generation of De Wets to farm the property.

Robertson’s limestone-rich clay soils are ideal for quality wine production, and Excelsior boasts over 200 hectares planted to noble grape varietals, with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz. The wines consistently receive "Best Buy"/ "Best Value" accolades, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently noted that Excelsior "represents another of those South African instances where one wonders how the wines can possibly be well-made, distinctively-packaged, exported to the States, and still sell for a mere ten dollars."

The De Wets have always embraced innovation, and in 1969, Excelsior became the first wine estate in South Africa to install drip irrigation. In 1981, a modern, state-of-the-art winery was constructed with capacity to allow for future expansion. In addition to producing a series of delicious and approachable value wines, Excelsior also has a long history of horse breeding. The estate’s longstanding horse breeding tradition is reflected in the equine theme on the Excelsior labels.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 120452)
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $24.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Produced to be lush and enjoyable upon release, the 2010 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon has a seamless tannin structure, refreshing acidity and great length. In the nose, rich red and black fruit aromas are underscored by enticing oak-inspired notes of caramel, mocha and baking spices. These elements continue on the palate, which spotlights a rich core of blackberry and plum flavors.
My Notes:

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About Decoy:

Since the inaugural vintage of Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than 20 years ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. Building on this foundation, Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyards brand to being a supporting brand for the entire Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio.

Today, in addition to the Decoy Red, the Decoy lineup includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc—all of which are appellation-designated, and highlight Decoy’s commitment to producing attractively priced wines made from exceptional vineyard sources.

Because of Duckhorn Wine Company’s unique structure, Decoy benefits from the talent, experience and expertise of all four Duckhorn Wine Company winemakers, each of whom has a unique area of specialization. Like all the grapes used to make wines in the Duckhorn Wine Company portfolio, fruit for the Decoy program comes from a mix of Estate vineyards and top growers. Decisions about which lots are used in Decoy are not made until well into the winemaking process. As a result, Decoy’s grapes receive the same meticulous care in the vineyard, and the same small-lot attention to detail in the winery.