Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
The Prisoner Wine Company Prisoner 2007
The Prisoner Wine Company Prisoner 2007
(search item no. 102009)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#47 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The 2007 blends the lush berry flavors of Zinfandel, the power and concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon, the dark black fruit of Syrah, the intensity and structure of Petite Sirah, the flesh of Charbono, and a hint of Grenache - all combined for a decadent wine with great complexity.

We continue to receive an overwhelming amount of inquiries about "The Prisoner". Not just the wine, but the image on the label. The image is inspired by an original etching depicting a prisoner in chains Dave Phinney received as a gift from his mother and father (Orin and Swift).

My Notes:

About The Prisoner Wine Company:

The Prisoner Founder and Winemaker Dave Phinney’s deep respect for the vineyards is rooted in an early attempt to make a sophisticated wine from a difficult site. Although he was frustrated by a situation that had him using every tool at his disposal and still coming up short, he learned lessons that inform his vineyard selection process now.

"I came away from that experience with the unshakable belief that if you put your emphasis on the vineyard, what follows is much easier," he says. "The vineyard is everything."

Most of Phinney’s time is spent exploring vineyard sites, meeting with growers and selecting the fruit that will be vinified and blended into The Prisoner. His method for vineyard selection includes assessing the site, soil, varietal, grower and provenance, or the history, of the vineyard.

"Sometimes one of these aspects is enough, other times it's a combination of a few of these elements," he says. "With provenance, looks can be deceiving, so you have to trust in the track record of a vineyard as opposed to what you see. Occasionally you step into a vineyard and can't get to your phone fast enough to call the grower and lock up the grapes. Those experiences are one of a kind."



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 101495)
collectible wine
has fluid
has fluid 360
older vintages

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $84.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1997 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1992 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1991 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
1991 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1990 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1989 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a nuanced wine that illustrates the results of cool, gradual ripening and a deft balance of varietal components. It has a dark garnet color and a complex nose of boysenberry, truffles, wild game, soy and black pepper. On the palate, the wine has a silky mouthfeel and an elegant, long finish with a slight tannic grip. With proper cellaring it should give drinking pleasure through 2032.

Our 2005 Napa Valley, a blend of wine from several selected vineyards in the appellation, is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. We blended the vineyard lots in early 2006 and transferred the wine to 100% new American oak barrels for aging. Blending prior to barreling allows us to achieve a balance of the wine's primary elements, such as fruit and tannin, before they are influenced by oak. The wine was then aged in barrel for approximately 25 months and another 20 months in bottle to harmonize its components before release.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Silver Oak Napa Valley:

About Silver Oak Napa Valley:

Silver Oak Cellars was started in 1972 with a simple driving philosphy - to focus production on only one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. What's more, they resolved to create a wine with a style all its own: not another hard, tannic red wine requiring years of aging to enjoy, but a wine of fully developed flavors and a velvety soft texture on the day it is released for sale.

Silver Oak Cellars produces Cabernet Sauvignon from two appellations. Their Napa Valley derives its fruit from both owned and contracted vineyards, and is produced entirely at their Oakville winery. Beginning in 1994, small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot have been included in their Napa blend to add complexity and softness.

Silver Oak also produces stellar Cabernet from their Alexander Valley vineyards. A critical reason for the success of this wine, and every wine they make, has always been that they create the final blend before aging it in American oak barrels and then bottles. Over the course of four-and-a-half years, the wine’s flavors, aromas, and textures have an opportunity to meld with one another and the wood’s delicate qualities to create the kind of graceful cohesion found only in the world's most elegant wines.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
(search item no. 105031)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $429.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2011 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2011 Decanter rating: 93 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2010 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2009 James Suckling rating: 98 points
2009 Decanter rating: 98 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 97 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 97 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 97 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 97 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 97 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1990 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Sassicaia is a unique interpretation of the Cabernet variety, a wine of great breadth, complexity and longevity. The intense blackberry and cassis aromas, offset by notes of smoke and spice, are confirmed on a palate of lush concentration underscored by firm, ripe tannins carrying into a long, elegant finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Tenuta San Guido:

About Tenuta San Guido:

The Tenuta San Guido is a 7,500-acre estate located in the province of Livorno on the western coastal outskirts of Tuscany near the village of Bolgheri. Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta acquired it through his marriage to Clarice della Gherardesca in 1940.

The legacy of Sassicaia began in 1944, when Mario Incisa acquired a number of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc vine cuttings and planted them on a sloping hillside of the San Guido estate, called Castiglioncello after the 11th-century castle at the vineyard's upper edge. This tiny, 3.75-acre vineyard stood alone until 1965, when a second Cabernet vineyard was planted with cuttings from the Castiglioncello parcel; the gravelly, 30-acre plot would give the wine its name: Sassicaia, "the place of many stones".

With the radical changes in the D.O.C. system of regulations as of the 1994 vintage, Sassicaia's extraordinary reputation was acknowledged through the Italian government's granting the wine its own appellation.

Sassicaia is today considered to be the new plus ultra of Italy's great red wines for its consistent excellence and its intuitive spirit. Acclaimed by the wine world's most respected voices, Sassicaia remains the legacy of its creator, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, and his son, Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2006
Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2006
(search item no. 101294)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $36.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 1996 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1999

This is a classic Cinq Cepages with signature notes of blackberry jam, red raspberry, milk chocolate and violet. The palate offers a rich, dark fruit density surrounded by well-structured tannins. Layers of generous black plum and fresh-picked blackberries combine with notes of black tea and mocha. This wine has beautiful oak integration and a lushness throughout that leads to a lingering finish with hints of blackberry and clove.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Chateau St. Jean:

About Chateau St. Jean:

Chateau St. Jean is a winemaking estate located at the foot of the Sugarloaf Ridge in Sonoma Valley near Kenwood, California. Founded in 1973, Chateau St. Jean has long been recognized as a leader in Vineyard Designated wines. Winemaker Steve Reeder has built a reputation for making wines of power and elegance. With over 20 years of vineyard and winemaking experience, his knowledge of Sonoma makes him a master in highlighting the best of each vineyard. Chateau St. Jean was the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious "Wine of the Year" award from Wine Spectator for its 1996 Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux-style blend of "five varieties."