Red Wines    Mourvedre    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 7/22/2014
Bodegas Castano Hecula 2004
Bodegas Castano Hecula 2004
(search item no. 86656)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/22/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 29 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

100% Monastrell.
Bodegas Castano has long been an advocate of the Monastrell varietal in the zone and its use has increased in other bodegas as a result. Known as Mourvedre in France and other parts of the world, the varietal is perhaps best known for its influence on the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape where the terroir and climate is not dissimilar to that of Yecla with both benefiting from a very warm, Mediterranean climate with warm days and nights.

"The 2004 Hecula is a single vineyard selection of 100% Monastrell, 50% tank aged and 50% aged in French oak. It is slightly less ebullient but more serious than its younger sibling. Exhibiting aromas of toasty black fruits with milk chocolate in the background, this is a super-rich effort with terrific depth and concentration for its humble price. It is a remarkable value for drinking over the next few years."
-The Wine Advocate

My Notes:

About Bodegas Castano:

There are only a handful of wineries remaining in Yecla since the phyloxera plague, and they are led by the forward-thinking Bodegas Castano, which has helped to reinvigorate the winemaking in the region.

Created by Ramon Castano Santa and his 3 sons, Bodegas Castano is not nearly as old as the vines it owns. Starting quite small, the family has nurtured these old plantings and re-planted other parcels and now owns 350 hectares of some of the prime vineyard land in Yecla. Today, Daniel Castano, one of Ramon's sons, runs the winery with the help of other members of the family.

The extremely talented Mariano Lopez has taken over the winemaker reins at the Bodega, and has turned the focus toward more balanced bottlings of older vine Monastrell. Both traditional and carbonic maceration techniques are used and all wines pass through malolactic fermentation. Daniel believes that the fruit and tannin structure of the Monastrell varietal stands up well to the use of oak, and as such, many of the wines pass (in varying degrees) through a barrel regime.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 7/22/2014
Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards 2006
Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards 2006
(search item no. 100320)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/22/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Pickberry Vineyard is located on the slopes of Sonoma Mountain on the western side of the Sonoma Valley. Pickberry Vineyard got its name many years ago by then two-year-old Kristin Strotz, daughter of owners Cris and Lorna Strotz, due to the irresistible blackberry vines that grow on the property. Pickberry fruit (in this case grapes, as opposed to blackberries) has traditionally produced opulent, berry-saturated, Bordeaux-style wines and with the 2006 vintage, these indisputable virtues are even more dramatic.

Deep ruby color, expressive aromas of smoky cherry, blackcurrant and baking spices. Suave dark berry flavors show liqueur-like depth and intensity, with dusty tannins adding shape and grip and carrying through the finish.

Blend: 74% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ravenswood:

About Ravenswood:

Fueled initially by the inspiration and winemaking skills of Joel Peterson, aided and abetted by his business partner W. Reed Foster, Ravenswood winery has been dedicated to top quality, hand-crafted wine since the first crush in 1976. Every Ravenswood wine carries a unique vintage and vineyard identity in addition to the intense powerful – gothic – character with which the winery has come to be associated.

A key to Ravenswood’s success is our long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, we are devoted to working with growers who share our philosophy about high quality.

Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what winemaker Joel Peterson refers to as “stubborn and impractical” Old World enological practices. Wines are fermented in small wooden tanks using wild, natural yeasts and punched down by hand three to five times per day. The wines are characterized by intense, spicy aromas supported by rich, berry flavors and long, clean finishes.



Rosé Wine    Rose    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/22/2014
Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rose 2006
Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rose 2006
(search item no. 89890)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/22/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

With a fine ruby color, Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rosé has exotic aromas of raspberries, strawberries and cream with notes of lilac and violets, all with a minerally edge. A succulent mouth feel is enhanced by flavors of strawberry, rhubarb and cinnamon. It opens to a fine dense body of wine with a soft texture that is long and beautifully balanced.
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.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/22/2014
Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz 2006
Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 99276)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/22/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep, dense crimson with a black core. A glaceed, ethereal layer hovering above - Asian sauces (not spices) - dark sweet soy, Hoisin plum sauce - over a diverse pool of traditional South Australian Shiraz plummy fruits. Immediately measured and poised, arguably with no aromatic requirement to 'wait for the oak to settle!' Spiced, dark licorice & chocolate and liberally fruited with appealing cranberry acidity on finish. Generous and multi-layered and enriched by ripe, solid tannins brazenly reaching out from the back palate. A dry-grown, low-yielded Shiraz assertiveness - with balance, vivacity.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Penfolds Wines:

About Penfolds Wines:

Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.