Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Vinos Pinol Portal Crianza 2004
Vinos Pinol Portal Crianza 2004
(search item no. 86892)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

20% cabernet, 20% garnacha, 20% merlot, 20% tempranillo, 20% syrah. Portal is elegant and intense on the nose, with hints of ripe berry fruits and aromas recalling ripe peach, plum, apricot, balsamic, smoky and spicy tones.

"The 2004 Portal Roble is composed of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Syrah aged for 6 months in French, American, and Hungarian oak before being bottled unfiltered. It is purple-colored, with an impressive array of aromas including vanilla, spice box, pepper, cassis, black cherry, and blackberry. Cutting a broad swath on the palate, this opulent wine has tons of flavor, ripe flavors, light tannin, and a pure, lengthy finish. Drink it over the next several years."
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

Additional wines from Vinos Pinol:

About Vinos Pinol:

The winery Vinos Piñol is located in the town of Batea. This town is 45 miles south of Barcelona in the high mountains of Tarragona. 1300 ft above the Mediterranean Sea, the Terra Alta region is located next to Priorat, enjoying the same climate conditions and altitude as the Priorat wine region.

Vinos Piñol enjoys a high Mediterranean, with very hot days and cold nights with moderate rains. This climate allows the grapes to ripen very well during the day and slowly during the night, allowing the acidity and the skin-to-juice ratio to build up to the necessary level to have a well-balanced wine. The vineyards are well-protected by the high mountains surrounding Batea.

Limestone on the surface layer and clay on the inside layer, the soils of Vinos Piñol are poor in organic matter. This causes the vines produce lower yields, creating more concentrated grapes. With old family-owned vineyards, small production, organic farming, and the same climate conditions as Priorat, Vinos Piñol has become known for a beautiful selection of wines.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Yarra Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Sticks Chardonnay 2004
Sticks Chardonnay 2004
(search item no. 82776)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 2 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

The color is a brilliant light straw with vibrant green hues. The bouquet possesses nectarine, peach and savory oak characters. The palate is clean and dry with tropical fruit flavors and a crisp zesty finish.

"Former Aussie rules footballer-turned-winemaker Rob (Sticks) Dolan, brought the wheel full circle when he (and others) bought, and renamed Sticks, the Yarra Ridge winery where he was once the winemaker. This is a great example of unpretentious Yarra Valley chardonnay style, fruit-driven with nectarine, honeydew and citrus, line and length its foundation."
-James Halliday

My Notes:

About Sticks:

Winemaker Rob "Sticks" Dolan crafts these wines from fruit grown on premium vineyards in Victoria's Yarra Valley. Rob Dolan's career began in South Australia, where he learned the art of making wine from the ground up. He developed and refined his skills under the instruction of two of Australia's most distinguished teachers. It was during this time that the budding winemaker and towering sportsman, known as "Sticks", was also a dual premiership player for the Port Adelaide Football Club.

In 1991, Rob Dolan became the winemaker at Yarra Ridge. The small family winery provided Rob with the opportunity to experiment, which enabled him to hone his winemaking skills. His efforts were immediately recognized on the international show circuit. Rob proceeded to plant his first "Sticks" grapes in the mid 1980's. The goal at Sticks is to provide today's drinker with immensely satisfying wines at affordable prices.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
R Wines Strong Arms Shiraz 2006
R Wines Strong Arms Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 94622)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $9.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"The 2006 Shiraz is composed of 46% McLaren Vale, 44% Riverland, and 10% Barossa Valley fruit. It was aged in seasoned French and American oak for 12 months. Opaque purple-colored, it has a nose of cedar, spice box, and blueberry. Fruit-driven, supple-textured, rich, and easygoing, the wine has remarkable class for its giveaway price. It actually has 2-3 years of aging potential but no one that I know is going to defer their gratification. Strong Arms has been bottled with 6 different but similarly themed labels."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
My Notes:

About R Wines:

Based in Australia, R Wines produces wine from vineyards all over Australia including Riesling from Western Australia, Pinot Noir from Victoria, Shiraz from McLaren Vale and the Barossa just to name a few. R Wines was founded in 2005 by partners Dan Philips, and Chris Ringland. Chris is one of world's leading and most gifted winemakers. He leads teams of winemakers and viticulturalists managing vineyards Australia wide. R Wines that make it to the shelf are not merely sound and well-made, but are stylish, compelling, hand-crafted and peerlessly delicious. We believe that what goes on the bottle is as important as what goes in the bottle and work with world-class designers to create innovative, loud, brilliant labels that speak to consumers in ways unique to the wine world. The best Grenache in the world is in Australia. The Chateau Chateau project is a study of the effects of soil and place. Five icon vineyards and one blend with distinct expressions, soils and locations in the Barossa and McLaren Vale. There is no illusion, this project includes the world's best Grenache.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Yellow Tail The Reserve Shiraz 2006
Yellow Tail The Reserve Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 92653)
Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $15.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

An intensely concentrated wine, this Shiraz initially reveals aromas of ripe cherries, blackberries, chocolate and mocha. Delving deeper into this complex wine, cracked pepper and spice fragrance are apparent with sweet French oak aromas always present. The vanilla softness on the nose leads into a full palate crammed with ripe fruits reminiscent of a basket of sweet summer berries. Seamless and well structured tannins complete this full bodied red wine.

Cellaring potential: Drink now or with correct cellaring will mature for up to four years.

Suggested food: A perfect accompaniment to this wine would be rich rare char-grilled beef and asparagus or a rich confit de canard to bring out its juicy palate.

My Notes:

About Yellow Tail:

It all began way back in 1820s when the first Casellas began crafting wine in Italy. Over a century later, in 1951, Filippo Casella and his wife Maria decided to leave their homeland to pursue their hopes and dreams of a better life in Australia. Recognizing the potential of his new surroundings, Filippo purchased a farm in the small town of Yenda, New South Wales, and did what came naturally. He began selling grapes to local wineries, and by 1969 decided it was time to put his own winemaking skills to use and the Casella winery was born.

Filippo's son, John, entered the family business in 1994 and embarked on an ambitious expansion to build a new winery with a vision of blending old world heritage with new world technology. Today, Casella Wines, including Yellow Tail, is run by Filippo's three sons - John, Managing Director and Winemaker; Joe, Australian Sales Director; and Marcello, Director and Vineyard Manager. Filippo's grandchildren - Phillip and Rachelle - are the sixth generation to join the business.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Rolling Shiraz 2005
Rolling Shiraz 2005
(search item no. 91355)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $7.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Medium red with a deep hue

Aroma: Shows strong vanillin and chocolate characters with a touch of spice

Palate: The mid palate has good weight and softness and the soft berry characters carry through to the finish. Deliberately light on tannins or oak, the wine shows lovely balance and bright fruit flavors.

Food pairings: Tomato-based pasta sauces, roast lamb, venison

"Attractive palate; clear, cool-grown but supple fruit with spice, licorice, pepper and blackberry flavours all intermingling."
-James Halliday

My Notes:

About Rolling:

The passion behind Rolling is driven by winemaker Philip Shaw. With over 40 years experience in Australian wine, including 15 in Orange, Philip understands that great wines can only come from nurturing vineyards which have natural raw talent. We created Rolling wines to reflect the personality of the region and celebrate the people who love the land and work in union with its seasons.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 2006
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 2006
(search item no. 93669)
The Wine News rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

An intense purple-red color, Valentin Bianchi's Famiglia Bianchi Malbec has a luscious, intense fruit aroma, with hints of ripe plums, cherries and berries. The flavors mimic the aromas, with a massive, yet soft and silky, mouthfeel and a lush, long finish. It is the perfect expression of the highly-praised Malbec grape.

This wine is ideal to serve with a large variety of foods, especially with meat and hard cheeses.

"Purple to the rim. Forward aromas of blueberry, mint, tea, tobacco and smoky oak. Well-extracted black cherry fruit laced with graphite. Lengthy, sweet tannins close with a mix of lush black fruit, dusty wood tannins and drying minerals."
-Wine News

My Notes:

About Valentin Bianchi:

Bodega Valentin Bianchi is one of the oldest and most important wineries in South America. It is a symbol of tradition, nobility and quality in Argentine wines. Started in 1928 by Don Valentin Bianchi, they have won world attention and acclaim since 1934 starting with the "Maximum Quality" honor in Mendoza. On August 12, 1968, Don Valentin Bianchi passed away. However, the tradition that he firmly established continues to live on in his successors.

Today, Valentin Eduardo Bianchi and Ricardo Stradella Bianchi have brought the winery into the modern era. Valentin is the President of the winery while Ricardo is the Chief Financial Officer. Recently, they enlisted the aid of California winemaker, Robert Pepi. He has helped them refine some of their techniques and the new wines show the style that this new breed of management exemplifies. Pepi believes that Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are the future of this winery.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Concannon Selected Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Concannon Selected Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 94567)

PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $10.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Concannon Selected Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is a well-balanced and approachable Central Coast Cabernet. It exhibits a rich nose of violets and cassis, with additional hints of chocolate and vanilla oak characteristics. The flavorful palate shows mulberry fruit, anise, and more oak flavor overtones. The finish is full and jammy, with hints of sweet tobacco and freshly roasted espresso beans.

Enjoy with tri-tips of beef, rosemary-rubbed filet mignon, or other favorite red meat dishes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Concannon:

About Concannon:

A historic and once-famous Livermore winery, Concannon was bought and sold several times in the 1980's by large conglomerates that were purchasing each other. Each sale resulted in a loss of focus, and the brand suffered. In 1992 Eric Wente of Wente Vineyards saved it from the jaws of destruction by assembling a group of eight investors to buy the winery. However, Concannon Vineyard is a totally separate company in both ownership and operation from Wente Vineyards.

Nestled amidst the vineyards and rolling hills along the Livermore Valley, Concannon has been widely recognized for crafting full-flavored, complex and award-winning wines. Ocean air pours through the Golden Gate each afternoon cooling the influence of the sun, and enabling the grapes to develop both the ripe sugars and firm acids that fine wine demands.

Concannon is perfectly positioned geologically, atop a 600-foot-deep bed of gravelly soil. These rocks require the vines to drive their roots deep into mineral-rich deposits, and it also keeps the grape and cluster size in moderation.

More than 140 of Concannon's 200 Livermore estate acres are Petite Sirah plantings grafted onto improved rootstocks. Over the decades, they have carefully tuned their planting and trellising to take full advantage of the unique terroir. The result: intensely flavored, memorable wines vintage after vintage.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 94108)
The Wine News rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep, dark ruby red. Concentrated blackberry and black cherry aromas with well-integrated oak. Juicy red and black fruit highlighted with earthy notes and elegant oak that lend a creamy mouth feel. Plush with soft, rich tannins, this wine is concentrated, round and luxurious with a long finish.

A great vintage! The Colchagua Valley experienced an optimum growing season with excellent ripening throughout March and April. The extended hang time resulted in ripe flavors and very soft tannins.

"Inky black hue. Powerful scents of black cherry, rum cake and allspice. Velvety tannins and creamy flavors of blueberry and blackberry with hints of cinnamon and mocha. Plush tannins with cherry, chocolate and vanilla in the close."
-Wine News
Tasters Choice Selection 92/100

My Notes:

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.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz 2005
Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz 2005
(search item no. 91837)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $16.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2001 The Wine News rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Shiraz is vibrant deep red in color with purple hues. The aromas exhibit blueberries, blackberries and dark plums overlaid with anise and smoky oak. Full, round and soft, this wine shows excellent depth across palate balanced by good acidity and fine long tannins.

Pair this Shiraz with slow roasted lamb shanks with tomato relish and creamy pepper mashed potatoes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Wolf Blass:

About Wolf Blass:

Wolf Blass arrived in Australia's Barossa Valley at the age of 27, and has since developed one of Australia's premier wineries. Wolf Blass has been producing some of Australia's very best wines for over 30 years, receiving over 3,000 awards at international wine shows since 1966.

Produced from fruit grown in vineyards across southeast Australia, Wolf Blass winemakers produce wines of outstanding quality, character and consistency every year.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/11/2014
Yalumba Y Series Shiraz + Viognier 2005
Yalumba Y Series Shiraz + Viognier 2005
(search item no. 88647)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/11/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of blackberry and flowers. Juicy berry flavors with hints of tobacco and violets. Soft and approachable. The perfect red to entertain a group with a wide range of tastes.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Yalumba:

About Yalumba:

Yalumba is one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and was founded in 1949 by Samuel Smith. From modest beginnings, the Yalumba Wine Company has grown to become one of Australia's most successful medium-sized wineries, owned by 6th generation Robert Hill Smith. Yalumba regularly receives accolateds for its distinctive wines, as well as for its leadership role in the Australian wine industry in the areas of viti-innovation and environmental policy. The Yalumba premium wine portfolio commences with the fresh and flavorsome varietal wines of the Y Series, then moves up to capture the essence of the Barossa Eden Valleys, explores old world varieties through innovated, modern wines in the Hand Picked line, and culminates with the coveted, collectible Yalumba Rare & Fine wines.