Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Pennywise Pinot Noir 2009
Pennywise Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 111988)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $12.79

Winemaker's Notes:

Light brick red in color with hints of emerald, the 2009 Pinot Noir blend boasts aromas of cherries jubilee, root beer, rose petal, and cotton candy. In the mouth, flavors of delicate plum, freeze dried strawberry, watermelon rind, cream caramel, and vanilla bean. This blend finishes with delicate notes of fresh summer sweet strawberries that seem to linger endlessly.

Pair this wine with salads to pork chops to burgers with ease. Try this wine with rolled pork tenderloin stuffed with dried cherries and Brie cheese or a mushroom and sausage pizza. The possibilities are endless.

Blend: 94% Pinot Noir and 6% Syrah

My Notes:

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About Pennywise:

Smart wine. Old world traditions and values are the essence of what makes Pennywise wine memorable. Reflecting a time when folks worked hard to make a better life for their families... we reclaim this time-honored philosophy.


White Wines    Riesling    Alsace    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Trimbach Reserve Riesling 2008
Trimbach Reserve Riesling 2008
(search item no. 107360)
has fluid
has fluid 360
older vintages

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $31.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#62 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

White flowers, lemon notes and minerality touch on the nose. Fresh and vibrant, grapefruit and citrus, white peach, this wine has a long finish which is a sign of a beautiful future for the wine.

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About Trimbach:

Maison Trimbach began in 1626 when Jean Trimbach settled in Riquewihr and established the family wine trade.

Jean-Frédéric Trimbach, born in 1811, was appointed Gourmet of Hunawihr, a position designed to protect the quality of wine exports. He transferred the Maison Trimbach business to Hunawihr, where he served as mayor for many years.

Jean-Frédéric and his son, Frédéric-Emile continued the family tradition, and Frédéric-Emile traveled extensively to promote the wines. In 1898 he received the Certificate of Highest Quality at the Brussels International Show. With Frédéric-Emile at the helm, Maison Trimbach began bottling its wines in Alsace rather than selling in bulk, providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity. The contribution of Frédéric-Emile Trimbach was recognized when the family adopted his initials in the firm's official name: Maison F.E. Trimbach.

Today, the tradition of quality continues with the 11th and 12th generations of the Trimbach family. Hubert and his older brother Bernard, along with Bernard's sons, Pierre and Jean, have continued operations and currently produce approximately 80,000 cases of wines annually. Over one-third of their production is exported to the United States. While one of the smallest of the many producers in Alsace, they are nonetheless the largest, most widely recognized Alsace brand in the United States.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Ministry of Vinterior Pinot Noir 2009
Ministry of Vinterior Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 110998)

PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Ministry of the Vinterior has spared no expense or effort in farming what it feels is a paradigm of this variety. But individual taste is subjective and the general population will decide the flavors and qualities it finds in the wine. As one of the world's most versatile food wines, Pinot Noir plays well with poultry, beef, fish, lamb and pork; with creamy sauces and spicy foods; with bare thighs and a rubber duck. It's the only wine the populace ever needs.
My Notes:

About Ministry of Vinterior:

The Ministry’s pledge to supply to the general population wines of superior value is not the typical example of WineSpeak to which Ministry subjects have been here-to-for conditioned. Rather, The Ministry will work tirelessly on behalf of our loyal Ministry subjects, scrutinizing wine regions and vineyards world-wide, selecting only those which meet the Ministry's rigorous demands for quality, value and regional authenticity, and allegiance to the Party of the Vinterior in that vintage year. Henceforth, Ministry subjects are assured of complete satisfaction with superior quality wine rations which may come from Argentina, Sonoma, Bordeaux or beyond.


Sake    Junmai    Kyoto    Japan   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (720ML)
Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (720ML)
(search item no. 92158)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This is fairly thick and chewy nigorizake (cloudy sake), but it is still surprisingly dry. The aromas are bright and fresh and they show a lovely ricey and fruity combination. In the mouth, this sake has solid weight and gives the same flavors of fresh fruit and creamy fresh rice that your nose told you about. The finish has a pleasant astringency and is nicely mellow, beckoning you for another mouthful. You will rarely taste a classier Nigori at this price, and this may be the ultimate food-friendly Nigori.

About Snow Maiden
The image on the label is a koi, or Japanese carp. Ornamental domesticated carp have been bred for their bright colors for centuries in Japan. Perhaps the most famous koi is one named Hanako which reportedly lived for 226 years! Hanako translates to "Flower Maiden", but in homage to the long-lived Hanako which lived in the icy waters at the foot of Japan's Mt. Ontake, we have named this sake "Snow Maiden".

My Notes:

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About Tozai:

Daimon Shuzo, founded in 1826, is located at the foot of the scenic Ikoma mountain range in Katano City (near Osaka).

Katano occupies a well-known spot in Japanese history. During the Heian era (over 1000 years ago), the aristocracy of Western Japan flocked to Katano to enjoy the very beautiful scenery that abounded there including lovely cherry blossoms in the spring and the verdant surrounding mountains.

Hunting was the main sport of the gentry and cotton seed oil and silk production were the usual industries of the residents.

Sake production began during the Edo period, but of the many sake-producing firms originally present, only Daimon Shuzo and one other remain.

About Tozai
Tozai represents a unique collaboration between a fifth-generation Japanese sake brewery—Daimon Shuzo, a British-born Master Sake Brewer—Philip Harper, a prominent Kyoto-based American artist—Daniel Kelly, and America's leading importer of chilled, premium, artisanal Japanese sake—Vine Connections. Tozai means "East-West" in Japanese and evokes the spirit of the alliance that created this special sake. We have combined our vast experience, skills, and passions to create a boutique sake that will thrill your senses of smell, taste, and sight.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Churchill's Estates Duoro 2008
Churchill's Estates Duoro 2008
(search item no. 110357)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A deep but lively and youthful colour. On the nose, distinctive ripe fruit and floral characters combining with discreet wood flavours contribute towards a fine and complex aroma.

In the mouth an elegant wine with a rich flavour and well integrated tannins to give a very long and well balanced finish to the palate.

My Notes:

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About Churchill's Estates:

With the objective of producing Douro wines with more character and finesse, a decision was made on the definitive sourcing for Churchill table wines from our own estates: Quinta da Gricha, our principal vineyard, has a microclimate and special terroir that produces distinctively elegant wines with excellent natural acidity and purity of fruit.

These now provide the basis for our single estate “Quinta da Gricha,” and our “Churchill Estates” red wines. As of 2003 we have decided to increase the percentage of Touriga Nacional in these wines to give them greater aromatic elegance and identity.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Wine Spots Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Wine Spots Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 106930)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of grape sourced from acclaimed sub-regions including Rutherford and Oakville, Wine Spots Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is supple and elegant, offering a rich array of cherry, currant, blackberry, cedar and chocolate notes. Aged in French oak to bring out balanced, silky tannins.

Enjoy with grilled steak, hearty red meat dishes, lamb chops, and strong cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Wine Spots:

Wine Spots offers an exploration into the finest wine regions around the world and the varietals they are known for. By working with some of the best vineyards and top winemakers, we are able to capture the distinctive qualities and terroir that make the regions unique. The wines offer a unique journey through all of our favorite wine spots, and invites others to do the same. Explore California through our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Coast Syrah and Monterey Chardonnay. Then journey to New Zealand, Australia, Chile, France and beyond.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Argento Argento Reserva Malbec 2009
Argento Argento Reserva Malbec 2009
(search item no. 109457)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This superb Malbec has a deep purple color and offers concentrated aromas of plums, black cherries and notes of violet. The jammy plum and red fruit flavors are rounded off perfectly by soft, supple tannins.
My Notes:

About Argento:

Established in the famous wine region of Mendoza in 1998, Argento set out to unlock the vibrant and velvety character of the Malbec grape and the intense flavors of the fruit grown in our vineyards at the foothills of the majestic Andes.

The word ‘Argento’, which is Latin for silver, embodies the unique spirit of Argentina and all that is quintessentially Argentine. ‘Argento’ relates to the strong silver thread of tradition that runs through the veins of the country and pays homage to Argentina’s long history of crafting precious wines.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Charles Krug St. Helena-Napa Valley Zinfandel 2007
Charles Krug St. Helena-Napa Valley Zinfandel 2007
(search item no. 107605)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 season began dry, about 60% of normal precipitation with some very cold days and single-digit nighttime temperatures around the New Year holiday. Temperatures were warmer than normal as winter continued into spring with resulting earlier budding, bloom and set in the vineyards across all varieties. The summer months continued on the mild to cool side, with few days topping 100 degrees. There was a brief period of heat that spiked around Labor Day, but the temperatures cooled after several days. This year clusters, as well as individual berries on the clusters – though set at a normal quantity – were notably smaller in all varieties due to the dry season.

A medley of blackberry, raspberry, cherry and prunes open up the ripe aromas and flavors of our Zinfandel. Reminiscent of cedar wood and pepper spice, this luscious wine is rich and dense with supple tannins and a long finish.

My Notes:

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About Charles Krug:

The Charles Krug Winery was established in 1861 as the first winery in the Napa Valley by Prussian-born visionary and revolutionary Charles Krug. Today the winery focuses on handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties grown within with Napa Valley appellations and sub-appellations. The winery remains under the stewardship of the Peter Mondavi Sr Family, who purchased the historic winery in 1943. Peter Mondavi Sr remains at the helm of the winery, with day-to-day operations handled by his two sons Marc and Peter Jr.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Robert Mondavi Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Robert Mondavi Oakville District Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 109037)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $35.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 vintage was excellent for Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. Responding to a cold, dry winter with 40 to 50% less rainfall than average, the vines' vigor was diminished from the outset, producing minimal foliage. Spring temperatures were warm, starting the growing season quickly with early bloom and fruit set. With mild temperatures prevailing through August, the grapes ripened slowly and evenly in ideal conditions of sunny days and foggy evenings. A temperate fall allowed the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit to hang longer, giving us concentrated and spectacular flavors.

Opulence defines this rich bouquet of black cherries, blackberries and spice. Lush aromatics of wild thyme and French lavender meet traces of mocha and roasted coffee, balanced with silky tannins that augment a long finish. This wine demonstrates why Cabernet Sauvignon from the legendary Oakville AVA is some of the most sought-after in the world.

Blend: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc

My Notes:

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About Robert Mondavi Winery:

For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the symbol of Napa Valley. Founded in 1966, it was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition (1933), and went on to establish the foundation for modern California winemaking. Robert Mondavi Winery's mission-styled architecture, with the expansive archway and bell tower designed by Cliff May, has become an enduring landmark that honors California's history. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards: the historic To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stags Leap Vineyard AVA.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/30/2014
Felipe Rutini Malbec 2008
Felipe Rutini Malbec 2008
(search item no. 108321)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/30/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Rutini Malbec has a concentrated nose with elements of wild berries, tobacco and vanilla. The palate is full, with rich black fruit flavors and a long, lingering finish with a touch of black pepper spice.
My Notes:

About Felipe Rutini:

Don Felipe Rutini, an Italian immigrant from the winemaking region of Le Marche, founded bodegas La Rural in 1885. Don Felipe, who came to Argentina with a degree in agriculture from the Real Scuola de Ascoli Pisceno, had his eye on quality from the start. One of the first varietals he planted was Cabernet Sauvignon, in the Maipu vineyard, where La Rural grows Cabernet Sauvignon for Trumpeter today.

Don Felipe sent his six children to study in Italy. The new generation brought back to Argentina the European concept of ‘terroir’. They set out to find the best sites for vine cultivation in Mendoza. In 1925, the Rutinis planted their first vines in Tupungato. But it wasn't until the 80’s and 90’s that the Tupungato Valley would become the "Napa Valley" of Mendoza, with every Argentine and foreign winery investing in Argentina trying to buy land there for vineyards.

For decades, the wines of La Rural have been harbingers of quality in Argentina. Six years ago, Nicolás Catena, the pioneering owner of Bodegas Esmeralda, became a partner at La Rural with Don Rodolfo Reina Rutini, the grandson of Don Felipe Rutini. The winery has undergone substantial modernization and the vineyards have benefited from Catena's outstanding vineyard management team. The goal, as with every other Nicolás Catena project: to produce world-class wines that can stand with the best of the world.