White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Dom. Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Cuvee Silice 2007
Dom. Francis Blanchet Pouilly Fume Cuvee Silice 2007
(search item no. 98483)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Winemaker Francis Blanchet's vineyard is 100% flint stone—crack two rocks together and it's as if you've shot a cap gun—sweet, mineral smoke. The mouth is incredibly juicy, with suggestions of lychee gelato and Meyer lemon, a touch of herbs and metal shavings. Organically raised; low sulfur.

"The 2007 Pouilly-Fume Silice smells of fresh lime, cassis, and fennel. Luscious and loaded with generous, juicy citrus fruit, it plays the typical role for this Blanchet cuvee: more charming, and generous earlier than the Vieilles Vignes. All the brightness and intensity of this grower's other 2007s are here though – in spades, and its chalky, saline, citric, tartly black-fruited finish literally tugs at your salivary glands."
Wine Advocate

My Notes:

About Dom. Francis Blanchet:

You may never have heard of "scratch and sniff" terroir before, but the vineyards in Pouilly-Fumé offer an aromatic, unforgettable lesson on Sauvignon Blanc’s flinty soul.

We stood in the center of the "Silice" vineyard during a recent visit when winemaker Francis Blanchet grabbed two rocks from the ground, smashed them together—and then held them up for us to smell. Now the whole terroir concept is interesting, but sniffing rocks is weird. But Blanchet insisted—and right there we got a good whiff of what makes "Cuvée Silice" so firecracker-fresh.

The unmistakable smell of an exploding cap gun, memories of childhood Fourth of July fun. These rocks, and the "Silice" vineyard, are 100% flint stone. The smoky energy in every one of these rocks is absorbed by each, perfect Sauvignon Blanc grape. It's what puts the smoke in "Fumé" and the bracing, enervating minerality in classic Sauvignon Blanc from this excellent estate. For more than a decade we’ve been lucky enough to sample Blanchet's crystalline Sauvignon Blanc and have been knocked off our feet each time. Here is white wine with both bite and body, sweet white fruit wrapped in a refreshingly light, citrus lining. Exactly what Pouilly-Fumé is supposed to be—balanced, fresh and fruity, and at its heart a stony, flint-inspired soul.

North Berkeley Imports



White Wines    Chardonnay    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2008
Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 97903)
screw cap wine
green wine


PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Light straw with green hues the 2008 Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay has fresh aromas of pineapple, quince and paw paw with floral spices. A rich, yet mineral palate complemented by fresh tropical fruit that finishes with fresh grapefruit acidity.

Serve with lemon chicken or sweet and sour pork.

Our unwooded Chardonnay style is captured by picking the grapes when the flavors are fresh and lively, and the vineyards chosen for making this wine are those possessing lifted tropical flavours. For 2008 we have again picked the grapes early in the ripeness spectrum to create a crisp and "food friendly" wine. Cool processing and fermentation were used to retain the freshness of the grapes, and the wine was allowed some time on its yeast lees and blending to build some richness of flavor.

My Notes:

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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    Victoria    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Four Sisters Shiraz 2006
Four Sisters Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 97978)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Classic Australian shiraz with blackberry, plum,& spice on both the nose & palate but with soft tannins for a balanced wine which is ideal with a wide range of food but particularly great with red meats & risotto.
My Notes:

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About Four Sisters:

Four Sisters is the creation of Trevor Mast, owner and winemaker at Mount Langi Ghiran, world famous for its Langi Shiraz. One year his four daughters created the wine label design as a birthday surprise. Produced with the help of the eldest daughter Daliah, a graphic designer, the label depicts each one of the sisters – from the left they are Sophie, Anja, Daliah and Ineke.

Delighted with the label mock up and his daughters' plans for a wine aptly named Four Sisters, Trevor initially crafted a small production wine from the vineyard growing behind the family home. However, with the positive response from all who tried the wine and heard the original story behind it, Four Sisters is now a successful brand with a range of four classic Australian varieties.



Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Apaltagua Reserva Carmenere 2008
Apaltagua Reserva Carmenere 2008
(search item no. 102868)

PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Carmenère is considered the "lost Bordeaux" variety, as it was originally planted in Bordeaux, but was abandoned there because it was too late ripening for the Bordeaux climate. Thankfully, the Carmenère variety was imported to Chile where it not only survives (because of a longer growing season), but makes exceptionally good wines.

Made from 100% Carmenere grapes.

My Notes:

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About Apaltagua:

Apaltagua is a winery that specializes in one distinguished, but lesser known, grape varietal - carmenère. Carmenère is the "lost Bordeaux" variety, as it was originally planted in Bordeaux, but was abandoned there because it was too late ripening for their climate, but was known for producing very high quality and elegant wines. Thankfully, the carmenère variety was imported to Chile where it not only survives, but makes exceptionally good wines in the hands of wineries like Apaltagua.

Apaltagua, owned by the seven Donoso Silva brothers, has a missionary-like zeal in its dedication to, and excitement about, the carmenère grape. The winery produces three levels of carmenère-based wines: Apaltagua Estate Carmenère, Apaltagua Envero Carmenère, and Apaltagua Grial Carmenère. Much of the fruit comes from ungrafted, 60-year old carmenère vines all located on the family estate in the prestigious Apalta district of Chile. The resulting wines are exceptionally good, with a chocolately richness and a peppery edge, combining the best attributes of merlot and cabernet sauvignon in one grape.



Dessert, Sherry & Port    Victoria    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Campbells Tokay Rutherglen (375ML half-bottle)
Campbells Tokay Rutherglen (375ML half-bottle)
(search item no. 3820)
Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep brilliant, burnished gold with a nose displaying toffee, honey and cold tea characters. The toffee and tea leaf characters predominate in the front palate with a bracing hint of spirit and mellowed oak on the finish.
My Notes:

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About Campbells:

Campbells produces some of the world's finest dessert wines. This family-owned vineyard and winery uses the "solera" method of blending and maturing new and old wines over a period of years. (Some of the material used for blending is 70, 80, even 90 years old.) The solera, originally made famous by the Spanish and Portuguese, is a series of up to seven casks, each containing wine at successive stages of maturation. The result is a uniformity of quality, age and character that elevates the Campbells brand into a class of its own. Today, when you see the Rutherglen symbol on a bottle of wine, you have a virtual seal-of-authority that it will be very special.

With a 130-year history of winemaking, the fourth generation of Campbells own and manage the vineyards and winery at Rutherglen. The founder of the winery was a Scottish immigrant, John Campbell, who arrived in 1860. A decade later, he began making fortified wines that rivaled the best Europe had to offer. The family still uses the same winemaking methods handed down over successive generations, while incorporating modern viticultural technology. The vineyard now consists of 157 acres, and many of the vines are a century old. Malcolm Campbell is in charge of the family vineyards and farmlands, and his brother Colin is responsible for making the wines



White Wines    Riesling    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Drylands Dry Riesling 2006
Drylands Dry Riesling 2006
(search item no. 90284)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $11.19

Winemaker's Notes:

Drylands Dry Riesling is a direct reflection of the terroir where the grapes are grown. The fruit for this wine is grown in dry, deep, fine alluvium soils in Marlborough's Golden Triangle that encourage a long, cool ripening period.

Appearance: Pale lemon in color, with brilliant clarity

Aroma: A bouquet of ripe citrus fruit characters accompanied by floral aromas

Flavor: Bright notes of grapefruit and lime are accented by touches of honeysuckle. The palate shows good weight and balance with a crisp lingering finish. A structure of elegant, lively acidity is offset by a hint of residual sugar.

My Notes:

About Drylands Estates:

Originally a small winery, recent significant improvements have grown Drylands to an impressive 14,000 ton state-of-the-art winery capable of handling large volumes as well as "boutique" parcels.

Drylands Vineyard is situated near the middle of the Wairau Valley Region, 30m above sea level, surrounding the Drylands Winery in Hammerichs Road, Blenheim. The current Winery Block comprises 43ha Sauvignon Blanc, 1.5ha Semillon, and 1.5ha Chardonnay. The region immediately adjacent to the winery buildings has some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines, going back to 1980.

This vineyard produces Sauvignon Blanc with intensely herbal and some sweaty characters. Fruit from the alluvial silts produce aroma and racy characters while fruit from the stonier sites has a textural character. Fruit from this vineyard shows traditional, typical Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc characters. This vineyard now has Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand Accreditation.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2007
(search item no. 93802)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Winemaker, Mike Dobrovic is known as South Africa's Mr. Sauvignon Blanc, and for good reason. Pale straw with a green tinge. Packed with flinty gooseberry and a touch of citrus – yet maintaining its complex character of grassiness and nettle. This powerful and concentrated wine has become a trademark of Mulderbosch. Serve at 12-15ºC. Serve with fresh asparagus; char-grilled artichokes; oysters; grilled line fish and shellfish; calamari; smoked salmon; seafood paella; chicken à la king; and oven baked goat's milk cheese.
My Notes:

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About Mulderbosch:

Widely recognized as one of South Africa's most iconic producers, Mulderbosch is well-known for its Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rose and its Bordeaux blend - The Faithful Hound - and is located east of Cape Town in the Stellenbosch Hills. Stellenboxch has a Mediterranean climate that is largely impacted by the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with long, warm summers and cool windy afternoons. Recently acquired by Charles Banks, an American, Mulderbosch has entered an exciting new era of quality. A newly-assembled team promises to re-introduce wine lovers to the many charms of this approachable, easy-drinking, collection of affordable, fun wines. South Africa provokes an unbelieveable platform for making some of the best white wine values in the world.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Chateau de Sancerre Sancerre 2007
Chateau de Sancerre Sancerre 2007
(search item no. 96921)

PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $25.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale straw color with green highlights. Typical Sauvignon Blanc nose with floral accents and smokey, flinty nuances. Fresh, crisp flavors with distinctive, subtle fruit.
My Notes:

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About Chateau de Sancerre:

The history of the Sancerre vineyards goes back almost a thousand years, for it was in 11th and 12th centuries that monks in the surrounding districts began to cultivate vines. From the reign of Philippe-Augustus to the reign of Louis XVI, the Kings of France delighted in Sancerre wine - "one of the most exquisite of the Kingdom", as one described it - and a 19th century devoté, Honoré de Balzac, famously paid tribute to the "generous wines" of Sancerre.

The Chateau de Sancerre stands in the heart of the Sancerre vineyards. In 1874, the castle was rebuilt on its old site in the style of Louis XII. In 1919 it was purchased, along with part of the vineyards, by Louis Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle. It was he who restored the vaults and the spiral staircase which flanked the "Feudal Tower" - the only remaining vestige of the medieval castle. He also set up a private museum in Sancerre and was instrumental in building the reputation of Sancerre wines.

Today The Château de Sancerre is still owned by the Société des Produits Marnier-Lapostolle, also producers of Grand Marnier liqueurs and owners of the Château de Bourg Charente. It is here, in the heart of its historic birthplace, that an exclusive estate-bottled Sancerre wine is made and matured - the only wine which can be sold under the exclusive name Château de Sancerre.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Owen Roe Abbot's Table 2008
Owen Roe Abbot's Table 2008
(search item no. 100636)

PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $21.97

Winemaker's Notes:

Always a favorite! The 2008 Abbots Table is very reflective of the beautiful long growing season in Washington during 2008. With long warm days and cooler evenings, the fruit developed fabulous aromatics and deep rich flavors. The 2008 Abbot's Table shows darker fruit notes than the previous two vintages. This very balanced and smooth Abbot's Table has the signature velvety mouth feel with enough structure to support generous ripe flavors of sweet red and black fruit, plums, and dark cherries. Every varietal works in harmony to create this gorgeously layered wine.

24% Zinfandel, 22% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Blaufrankish, 4% Malbec

My Notes:

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About Owen Roe:

Owen Roe O'Neill was a seventeenth century Irish Patriot, who dedicated his life to upholding the highest principles of political equality and freedom. His commitment to great things makes him an ideal model for us at Owen Roe, for we share his dedication to principle in our work to produce the wines of Owen Roe. At Owen Roe we do not compromise: only the best is good enough.

Jerry Owen, on the the vineyard side, and David O'Reilly, who makes the wine, have formed Owen Roe with a simple purpose: to produce excellent wines from grapes grown and cultivated in the best vineyards in the Pacific Northwest. We have selected top quality grapes from vineyards chosen because they are in areas that ripen fruit fully, and the fruit has excellent acidity and ph balance. These vineyards are in the Willamette, Mid-Columbia, Yakima, and Walla Walla valleys. Each vineyard is contracted by the acre, with strict controls on yields and vine development. The same high principles are found in the winery. We allow only minimal handling, racking by gravity, and excellent cooperage. From the fruit to the bottle, cork, and label, Owen Roe aims for the very best.

Each of the sites we work with are tendered by true craftsmen of the viticultural trade. The principle of good earth stewardship is very important to everyone we work with, so no herbicides or pesticides are used in our vineyards.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/27/2014
Jansz Premium Cuvee
Jansz Premium Cuvee
(search item no. 90756)
has fluid
has fluid 360
not core in nc/ma

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 8/27/2014: $23.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Jansz Premium NV Cuvée is based upon Jansz wines of several vintages. Specially selected and crafted individual batches from cool climate locations in Tasmania form this wine. Every site used to source grapes is specifically designated to growing fruit for sparkling wine.
My Notes:

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About Jansz:

Jansz vineyards lie in the Tamar Valley along the Northern Tasmanian route at the heart of Tasmania's Pipers River region, an area known worldwide as "Sparkling Tasmania." With a mantle of red basalt soils and a cool climate moderated by its close proximity to the ocean, it is ideal for the slow ripening of fruit and lingering acidity so essential to the production of premium sparkling wine. In fact, the area's climate so resembled Champagne and Burgundy that several leading French Champagne houses considered basing new operations there.