Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Terrazas de los Andes Malbec 2005
Terrazas de los Andes Malbec 2005
(search item no. 88700)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
The Wine News rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $10.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 62 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

At 3,500 feet above sea level our vineyards in Mendoza are in the ideal location for growing the grapes that create Terrazas de los Andes Malbec. The regions particular microclimate allows us to obtain this intense and gentle Malbec.

My Notes:

About Terrazas de los Andes:

At the end of the 1950s, the famous French Champagne house, Moët & Chandon, realized there was an enormous potential for growth in South America. They sent their wine analyst, Renaud Poirier, to study the possibility of expansion. Monsieur Poirier finally proved that Luján de Cuyo, a region within the province of Mendoza, was the best place for the birth of fine wines. In 1960, Chandon Argentina was established, the first subsidiary of Moët & Chandon outside France.

To make the Terrazas de los Andes wines, Chandon Argentina took the initiative to restore this building, located in the heart of Perdriel and at the foot of the imposing Cordón del Plata (a section of the Andes Mountain Range).

In the past, Chandon Argentina made only sparkling and generic still wines, however at the beginning of the '90s fueled by a political system more orientated towards an international market, a varietal wines project was born, to which Terrazas has now become the reality. Situated in Perdriel there is an old Spanish style winery that was used by Pedro Domecq to create his brandy. Renaud Poirier asked Domecq if he could use his equipment to make the first experimental vintages, between 1957 and 1959. Thirty years later Terrazas de los Andes was born, a tributary of Chandon Argentina dedicated exclusively to the production of varietal wines.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Big House Red Blend 2005
Big House Red Blend 2005
(search item no. 90713)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $7.89

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 75 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

Lush tannins, bright fruit and criminally rich - a riot of blackberry, raspberry and black pepper.

A perfect match for pizza, pasta and barbecue.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Big House:

About Big House:

The Big House wines were born of the notion that the California climate is quite hospitable to the rollicking, sun loving grapes of Mediterranean France, Italy and Spain. Big House has found that by blending, rather than relying upon a single variety, they can create far more complex, rich wines that elegantly match a very wide variety of cuisine, from pizza, to BBQ ribs to roast chicken.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Gallo of Sonoma Reserve Zinfandel 2004
Gallo of Sonoma Reserve Zinfandel 2004
(search item no. 87603)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Varietal Content: 92% Zinfandel, 9.3% Petite Sirah

There is a lot of Russian River Valley fruit in the blend, which means fruit-driven Zinfandel. The Russian River is distinctive due to its cool maritime climate which gives the wine vibrant fruit aromas and flavors. This Sonoma County Zinfandel displays classic aromas and flavors of jammy raspberry, blackberry, dark plum and black cherry. These layers of rich fruit are balanced by hints of warm vanilla and spice resulting in a wine with depth and structure.

My Notes:

About Gallo of Sonoma:

The Gallo family tradition in Sonoma County began in the 1930's when Matt and Gina Gallo's grandfather, Julio, recognized the potential of winemaking in Sonoma. The Gallo family now owns eight vineyards in Sonoma County. These vineyards represent a cross-section of Sonoma's diverse micro-climates, thereby adding to the complexity and rich flavors of the award-winning Gallo of Sonoma wines.

Gallo of Sonoma wines represent the best of what Sonoma County has to offer. They are crafted with pride by Matt and Gina Gallo, Third Generation Family Winemakers in Sonoma County, California's premier winegrowing region.

50-50 Give-Back Plan
More than just a caretaker of the vines, Julio Gallo believed that his family had an obligation to protect the land by planting vineyards in a way that would preserve the local environment. His first step in accomplishing this task was to set aside as wildlife habitat one acre of property for every acre planted to vineyard in Sonoma County. Today, Julio's grandson, Matt, continues this 50-50 Give-Back Plan, managing a 6,000 acre property portfolio that balances 3,000 acres of planted vineyard with 3,000 acres of natural habitat.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 2005
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 2005
(search item no. 89243)
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $16.29

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
2006 The Wine News rating: 92 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.

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

My Notes:

Additional wines from Valentin Bianchi:

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    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2003
Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2003
(search item no. 88883)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $25.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006!

Vino Nobile is garnet red in colour; its bouquet is delicate and intense, with a slight scent of violet. The taste is dry with a hint of tannin.

Serving suggestions: roast and grilled meat, game and mature cheeses.

"A rich, round red, with lots of jammy berry and strawberry character. Full, round and caressing. Lots going on. Needs time. Best after 2007."
-Wine Spectator

My Notes:

About Avignonesi:

In 1309 pope Clement V transferred the papal residence from Rome to Avignon, France. In 1377, when pope Gregory XI moved the papal residence back to Rome, some noble families of Avignon left France to follow him. It was at that time, in Italy, that one of those families became known as Avignonesi - probably to simplify an otherwise difficult, foreign name. Soon the Avignonesi family separated into three branches which settled in Rome, Siena and Montepulciano.

It is not known exactly when Avignonesi's cellars were built, but they are doubtless among the most ancient in Italy. Palazzo Avignonesi was built according to a design by Jacopo Barozzi (called Vignola) in the second half of the XVI century and it has always been the cellars' seat.

In 1974 the Falvo brothers, owners of the vineyards in the municipality of Cortona, took over Avignonesi and refounded it investing greatly in viniculture, selecting the local varieties and introducing classical ones such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir. Nowadays, Avignonesi consists of four wine-producing estates: Le Capezzine, I Poggetti, La Selva and La Lombarda. In total they comprise 218 hectares of open ground, 103 ha of vineyards and 7 ha of olive groves.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2004
Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2004
(search item no. 85084)
Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2009 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 15 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

Color: intense red with blue shades.

Aroma: powerful and complex. Notes of red fruit can be perceived such as raspberry, red currant and sweet plum. Further hints of vanilla and caramel, stemming from its ageing in oak barrels, add a new level of complexity to this already full and exciting aroma.

Taste: a wine with a magnificent structure that offers a sensational mouth-feel and an intensely rich flavour. Its beautifully integrated tannins make it lively and strong. Its finish is smooth and perfectly harmonious.

Consumption suggestions: a perfect accompaniment to barbecued meats, game meats and pasta dishes. It can be drunk now or laid down for up to 10 years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Terrazas de los Andes:

About Terrazas de los Andes:

At the end of the 1950s, the famous French Champagne house, Moët & Chandon, realized there was an enormous potential for growth in South America. They sent their wine analyst, Renaud Poirier, to study the possibility of expansion. Monsieur Poirier finally proved that Luján de Cuyo, a region within the province of Mendoza, was the best place for the birth of fine wines. In 1960, Chandon Argentina was established, the first subsidiary of Moët & Chandon outside France.

To make the Terrazas de los Andes wines, Chandon Argentina took the initiative to restore this building, located in the heart of Perdriel and at the foot of the imposing Cordón del Plata (a section of the Andes Mountain Range).

In the past, Chandon Argentina made only sparkling and generic still wines, however at the beginning of the '90s fueled by a political system more orientated towards an international market, a varietal wines project was born, to which Terrazas has now become the reality. Situated in Perdriel there is an old Spanish style winery that was used by Pedro Domecq to create his brandy. Renaud Poirier asked Domecq if he could use his equipment to make the first experimental vintages, between 1957 and 1959. Thirty years later Terrazas de los Andes was born, a tributary of Chandon Argentina dedicated exclusively to the production of varietal wines.



White Wines    Pinot Blanc    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2005
Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2005
(search item no. 88944)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $12.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 84 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006!

Brilliant straw yellow colour with a green tint. Very fine, fruity (apples, peaches), forward varietal aroma. Pronounced, clean, elegant, grapey flavour, light to medium-bodied with a fresh mouthwatering finish.

When properly cellared, this wine may be kept for at least 3 - 5 years. As an aperitif, with starters, salads, asparagus, all kind of seafood and pasta dishes.

Vineyards in the Salorno and Buchholz area at 300 to 450 metres (990 - 1,480 feet) altitude. Sandy and stony soil. Quite cool mesoclimate. 70 hl / ha Fermentation in stainless steel tanks, followed by maturation on the fine lees or 4 months.

 

My Notes:

About Alois Lageder:

"We are not winemakers," says Alois Lageder, descendant of a family that has devoted itself to wine for four generations. "We see our role more accurately as midwives and educators. Our duty is to bring our grapes into the world in good health with the greatest possible care, and to encourage the successful development of our wines at all stages."

The Lageder family has been active in the wine trade for more than 150 years. In 1855, Alois Lageder winery was founded the on the edge of Bolzano's historic center. Over the years, through the untiring efforts of four generations, the Lageder family has succeeded in purchasing several vineyards and wine estates in some of Alto Adige's best wine-growing areas.

Today the company is managed by Alois Lageder (born in 1950) and he is actively assisted by his sister Wendelgard, who is responsible for administration and public relations and his brother-in-law Luis von Dellemann, the enologist. "Our strong connection with nature, with the soil and with the local people," adds Alois Lageder, "helps us in this arduous but rewarding work."



White Wines    Chenin Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Kanu Chenin Blanc 2005
Kanu Chenin Blanc 2005
(search item no. 88035)
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

87% Chenin Blanc; 13% Sauvignon Blanc.

The Kanu range of wines honors Kanu, the mythical bird of promise. Legend has it when the bird appeared in the Southern African skies, all who fell under its shadow would be blessed with a bountiful harvest. Kanu wines celebrates this legend.

Pale straw colour. A nose of tropical fruit and summer melon with a hint of spice. Crisp and full bodied, the papaya and pineapple flavours ensure a lingering aftertaste.

My Notes:

About Kanu:

The vineyards and cellar of Kanu wines are located on the Goedgeloof (HOOT-ha-loof) farm, nestled in the Polkadraai Hills of Stellenbosch. The property once formed a part of the original Spier Wine Estate, granted to a German soldier by Cape governor Simon van der Stel in 1692. According to a veteran farm hand on Goedgeloof, Kanu was a mythical bird of promise. The creature’s appearance in the African skies signaled the blessings of a bountiful harvest for all those who fell under its shadow. The wines of Kanu celebrate this traditional African legend.

Recognized globally as a producer of world class Chenin Blanc, Kanu was one of only three estates to be awarded inaugural "Super Chenin" status by the South African Chenin Blanc Association, an honor granted to producers who have demonstrated a track record of consistently outstanding bottlings. Kanu’s Chenins are crafted from the fruit of bush vines with an average age of 30 years, planted predominantly on decomposed Malmesbury shale soils.

Today the Kanu tradition of excellence continues under Cellarmaster Richard Kershaw. A proponent of minimal intervention winemaking, Kershaw employs natural "wild" fermentations. He seeks to craft balanced and approachable wines with moderate alcohol levels and minimal oak influence, allowing the true flavors of the wine to shine through. This winning formula has resulted in consistent critical praise and "Best Buy"/"Best Value" accolades.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Big House Red Blend 2004
Big House Red Blend 2004
(search item no. 86585)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $9.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 4 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

Another break-out hit for the recidivist partisans of this eclectic pan-Mediterranean blend. The varietal mix was altered just a tad this year and introduced a substantial amount of cabernet franc into the concoction. Big House Red is all about fragrance, spice and soft tannins. It has a fragrance of mint and garrigue, with insinuations of blackberry and the ubiquitous framboise. Not a wine that you would want to serve to the Queen (in virtue of its unregenerate rusticity), it is nevertheless a wine that is the perfect complement to barbecue, pasta, pizza and all of the major non-vegan groups.

"...It's really good, and proves that Randall Grahm continues to march to his own beat..."
-Wine Enthusiast

My Notes:

Additional wines from Big House:

About Big House:

The Big House wines were born of the notion that the California climate is quite hospitable to the rollicking, sun loving grapes of Mediterranean France, Italy and Spain. Big House has found that by blending, rather than relying upon a single variety, they can create far more complex, rich wines that elegantly match a very wide variety of cuisine, from pizza, to BBQ ribs to roast chicken.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Southern Italy    Italy   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Falesco Vitiano Rosso 2004
Falesco Vitiano Rosso 2004
(search item no. 86219)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $10.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 11 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

A blend of equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes grown in the region of Umbria. Vitiano is vinified in stainless steel tanks and aged in Nevers barrels for 3 months before being bottled. This is a young red wine with explosive, luscious aromas. The wine has a wonderful deep, ruby red color with a wide range of organoleptic qualities. It is rich in polyphenols and balanced acidity. This versatile red is at it's best in its youth when the fresh fruit character is most evident. Vitiano is a perennial value.
 
"A wine with lovely balance and clean plum, berry and chocolate character, medium body and polished tannins. The perfect house wine--a great value. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2010." Wine Spectator  May 15, 2006

"...This serious effort possesses a deep ruby/purple-tinged color as well as lovely aromas of black currants, licorice, dried herbs, and earth. An amazing value..."
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

Additional wines from Falesco:

About Falesco:

In 2006, our customers purchased more bottles of wine from Falesco than from any other winery in the world! And it's no wonder, as this winery makes some of the top value wines in Italy, if not the world. Falesco's most popular wine is Vitiano, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese grown in Umbria. This is a perennial must-buy: It's lush and fruity, and always seems to garnish outstanding scores from the wine critics.

Falesco was founded in 1979 by Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, brothers that also happen to be two of Italy's most acclaimed winemakers. Their philosophy is to strike a balance between the uniqueness of native Italian varieties and the versatility of more "international" grapes. As evidenced by the enormous popularity of their wine and the countless worldwide accolades they have received, they have clearly succeeded in achieving their goal. Salute!