Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 99279)

PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $9.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Shiraz and 2% Petit Verdot.

This delicious, crowd pleasing Cabernet is packed with lip smacking flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry, and plum with subtle hints of dark chocolate and smoke. Perfect for parties and for everyday sipping, this tasty bargain is a home run with grilled meats, pizza, and hearty pasta dishes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Excelsior:

About Excelsior:

The picturesque Robertson Valley is nestled between two rugged mountain ranges near the Breede ("Broad") River. It was here that the De Wet family purchased a large tract of land in 1859, subsequently channeling the river and planting the region’s first vineyards. Today the estate is owned by Freddie and Peter De Wet, the fourth and fifth generation of De Wets to farm the property.

Robertson’s limestone-rich clay soils are ideal for quality wine production, and Excelsior boasts over 200 hectares planted to noble grape varietals, with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz. The wines consistently receive "Best Buy"/ "Best Value" accolades, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently noted that Excelsior "represents another of those South African instances where one wonders how the wines can possibly be well-made, distinctively-packaged, exported to the States, and still sell for a mere ten dollars."

The De Wets have always embraced innovation, and in 1969, Excelsior became the first wine estate in South Africa to install drip irrigation. In 1981, a modern, state-of-the-art winery was constructed with capacity to allow for future expansion. In addition to producing a series of delicious and approachable value wines, Excelsior also has a long history of horse breeding. The estate’s longstanding horse breeding tradition is reflected in the equine theme on the Excelsior labels.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Shoofly Aussie Salute 2006
Shoofly Aussie Salute 2006
(search item no. 92272)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 70% Shiraz, 25% Grenache, 5% Viognier

Big, bold and beautiful! The Aussie Salute is a blend of succulent Shiraz, spicy Grenache and a whiff of aromatic Viognier - a feisty combination that works wonders on the palate. Rich, fragrant and inviting, this wine expresses blackberry, plum, currant and black pepper notes.

Made with structure and grip, the vibrant, juicy length lingers with a "have another glass" finish. Drink now or hide in the cellar for 3 years.

Food pairings: Spinach salad with goat cheese and dried cherries; penne pasta with feta, peppers and sausage; soy-ginger flank steak with grilled eggplant.

"A blend of Shiraz (70%), Grenache (25%) and Viognier (5%), this is a lush, weighty red imbued with earhty flavors of espresso, olives and dark-skinned plums that linger on the finish. The creamy texture makes it go down easy; pair it with grilled or roasted meats." 89 Points,
Wine Enthusiast

My Notes:

Additional wines from Shoofly:

About Shoofly:

Shoofly's winemaker Ben Riggs is a native of McLaren Vale and has been crafting some of the region's finest for two decades. Ben knows his stuff and where to get it – his roster of grape growers is one of the most sought after contact lists in the country. Premium regions produce the best fruit and the grapes come from a "who's who" of Australian growers and viticultural neighborhoods – Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, Adelaide Hills and Heathcote.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sierra Foothills    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2007
Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel 2007
(search item no. 98548)

PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Head-trained, dry farmed old vines continue to be the source for Bogle's Old Vine Zinfandel. These gnarly old vines produce concentrated fruit of unsurpassed quality and intensity. This supple and full-bodied vintage begins with brambleberries and raspberry jam. Summertime ripeness and richness integrate with hints of black pepper and a touch of dark chocolate. The finish of toasty oak, tobacco and spicy cloves creates a wine of both structure and sumptuousness.

This is the perfect wine to pair with everything from rich sauces and unique dishes, to your favorite weeknight take-out.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Bogle Vineyards:

About Bogle Vineyards:

Although the Bogle family has been farming since the 1800's, it wasn't until 1968 that the father and son team of Warren and Chris Bogle planted their first 20 acres of wine grapes in Clarksburg, California. Clarksburg is a small farming community nestled in the Sacramento Delta. Today Bogle Vineyards farms over 1,000 acres of wine grapes in the Delta region. While the winery was established ten years after the first grapes were planted, it has grown tremendously along with the vineyards. Bogle Winery is currently producing 100,000 cases of wine. Winemaker Christopher Smith joined the winery in 1992. He sources fruit from some of the best vineyards throughout the State of California and blends that fruit with the best grapes from our Estate Vineyards in Clarksburg.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
R Wines Evil Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
R Wines Evil Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 94168)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $13.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Langhorne Creek, Riverland, Barossa Valley. 25% aged in French oak for 12 months. Dan Phillips of the importer, The Grateful Palate, and Evil Cab winemaker, Chris Ringland, are fond of saying that all wines that are really good are "evil" because you can't put the bottle down!

Dark rich red, with bright crimson hues. Fresh, yet rich classic varietal nose, consisting of black olive, fresh blackberries and raspberries. The soft palate displays complexity of fruit and oak, with blackcurrant and spicy clove characters, balanced with a fine tannin finish.

My Notes:

About R Wines:

Based in Australia, R Wines produces wine from vineyards all over Australia including Riesling from Western Australia, Pinot Noir from Victoria, Shiraz from McLaren Vale and the Barossa just to name a few. R Wines was founded in 2005 by partners Dan Philips, and Chris Ringland. Chris is one of world's leading and most gifted winemakers. He leads teams of winemakers and viticulturalists managing vineyards Australia wide. R Wines that make it to the shelf are not merely sound and well-made, but are stylish, compelling, hand-crafted and peerlessly delicious. We believe that what goes on the bottle is as important as what goes in the bottle and work with world-class designers to create innovative, loud, brilliant labels that speak to consumers in ways unique to the wine world. The best Grenache in the world is in Australia. The Chateau Chateau project is a study of the effects of soil and place. Five icon vineyards and one blend with distinct expressions, soils and locations in the Barossa and McLaren Vale. There is no illusion, this project includes the world's best Grenache.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Goats do Roam Red 2008
Goats do Roam Red 2008
(search item no. 101434)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $10.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Vibrant ruby red colour. Cedar, anise and fleshy fruit on the nose. Medium bodied palate, but good length and structure carrying to a long finish. Blackberry fruit and supple tannins.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Goats do Roam:

About Goats do Roam:

Respected South African winery Fairview owner/vintner Charles Back has built what started as a single red blend named Goats do Roam into a full-fledged wine company offering a range of top-quality, blended wines widely available throughout the wine-drinking world. The Goats do Roam brand is, in fact, the single-biggest selling South African wine label in the United States. Fruit for the wines is sourced from vineyards in the Paarl, Malmesbury and Stellenbosch areas, where Back owns farms or buys fruit from selected wine growers. No matter what their origins, grapes are selected based on the basis of inherent fruit quality and flavor characteristics required for each respective blend in the range.

The grapes are vinified in Fairview’s cellar in Paarl by Charles Back and resident winemaker Anthony de Jager, also responsible for the Fairview range. For all the light-hearted sense of fun evident in the labelling and branding of the Goats do Roam range, the wines themselves take a serious approach to quality. The style is modern, fruit-rich, with intelligent use of wood for either fermentation and/or maturation in small French and American oak barrels. The range is predominantly red, complemented by selected whites and a rosé and covering tastes from those that call for a wine with complexity and cellaring potential to those that require early drinking.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 89129)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $7.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This delicious, crowd-pleasing Cabernet offers tremendous bang for the buck! It's packed with lip smacking flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry, and plum with subtle hints of dark chocolate and smoke. Perfect for parties and for everyday sipping, this tasty bargain is a home run with grilled meats, pizza, and hearty pasta dishes.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Excelsior:

About Excelsior:

The picturesque Robertson Valley is nestled between two rugged mountain ranges near the Breede ("Broad") River. It was here that the De Wet family purchased a large tract of land in 1859, subsequently channeling the river and planting the region’s first vineyards. Today the estate is owned by Freddie and Peter De Wet, the fourth and fifth generation of De Wets to farm the property.

Robertson’s limestone-rich clay soils are ideal for quality wine production, and Excelsior boasts over 200 hectares planted to noble grape varietals, with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Shiraz. The wines consistently receive "Best Buy"/ "Best Value" accolades, and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate recently noted that Excelsior "represents another of those South African instances where one wonders how the wines can possibly be well-made, distinctively-packaged, exported to the States, and still sell for a mere ten dollars."

The De Wets have always embraced innovation, and in 1969, Excelsior became the first wine estate in South Africa to install drip irrigation. In 1981, a modern, state-of-the-art winery was constructed with capacity to allow for future expansion. In addition to producing a series of delicious and approachable value wines, Excelsior also has a long history of horse breeding. The estate’s longstanding horse breeding tradition is reflected in the equine theme on the Excelsior labels.



Red Wines    Other Red Wine    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Castello Monaci Liante Salice Salentino 2007
Castello Monaci Liante Salice Salentino 2007
(search item no. 97351)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $15.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Liante or "Wind of the Levant", the icy wind of winter and the hot one of the summer which blows strongly over much of the Adriatic and particuarly Puglia, is the name chosen for the Salice Salentino, from Negromaro and Malvasia nera di Lecce grapes, vinified separately. Part of the wine matures in French barriques, while the remainder stays in stainless steel.

It is a deep ruby-red wine with a warm and velvety taste.

"A ripe, darkly concentrated blend of Negroamaro (80%) and Malvasia Nera (20%), this balances flavors of dark plum and black cherry with a savory mushroom earthiness. It's a big wine, for braised brisket." 90 Points
Wine & Spirits
"Wine & Spirits Top 100 Values"

June 2009

My Notes:

About Castello Monaci:

Castello Monaci has a big “M,” as a symbol. It is a new brand which stands for the union of the work of man with that of the sun. More than the sum of two parts, Castello Monaci is a unique, new whole. Not far from the town and the sea, on the road from Lecce to Taranto, at the gates of Salice Salentino surrounded by centuries-old vegetation, are located 150 hectares: the vineyards of Castello Monaci. It is a place where modernity and tradition meet.

The choice of grape varieties is a combination of local viticultural tradition–indigenous Negroamaro, Primitivo and Malvasia Nera–with scientific vineyard management through a careful selection of clones and root stocks. The tufa (‘rocks’) of local soils contribute structure to the wine, aid in drainage for the vines, and reflect the light, helping the sun’s work for the vines. Dug out of subterranean rock, the geometric-shaped cellar houses 1,000 barriques and modern temperature-controlled systems that allow small parcels of grapes to be vinified separately.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Victoria    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Four Sisters Shiraz 2006
Four Sisters Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 97978)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $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:

Additional wines from Four Sisters:

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    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 99737)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#82 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The name 'Stump Jump' relates to the significant South Australian invention – the Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for ploughing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps and gnarled "mallee" Eucalypt roots and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse.

Inviting fresh plum aromas leap out of the glass with raspberry and pretty pot-pourri notes providing more complexity. The palate is juicy and spicy with an abundance of red fruits that are fresh and vibrant. Licorice and rose petals come through on the mid palate and an under-lying earthy complexity is evident all the way through. The tannins are powdery and subtle on this juicy ready to drink red.

My Notes:

Additional wines from d'Arenberg:

About d'Arenberg:

One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Paringa Shiraz 2007
Paringa Shiraz 2007
(search item no. 95724)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $10.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep maroon color verging on purple to black with great depth of color. Notes of sweet plums and blackberries on the nose, complimented by an apparent but subtle aroma of chocolate and roasted coffee bean. The palate displays a broad array of flavor, highlighted by intense dark berry fruits aligned with a suggestion of white pepper. This 'fruit bomb' is balanced by soft acidity and a hint of mocha with velvety tannins adding complexity and body, resulting in an attractive long finish.
My Notes:

About Paringa:

Alan Robb Hickinbotham (David's grandfather) became a founder of the Australian wine industry almost by accident. In May of 1936, Hickinbotham established the Roseworthy Oenology course with the intent of furthering winemaking by instructing viticulturalists to use scientific research to produce better wine.

David eventually purchased 300 acres of prime vineyard land in McLaren Vale early in the 70's. There was no irrigation at that time so the vines were dry grown. This produced grapes of intense flavor that captured the distinctive character of McLaren Vale fruit.

The Paringa vineyard is set on about 1700 acres of prime Riverlands property about 150 miles northeast of Adelaide in South Australia. The rainfall in the region is quite low but the Paringa property abuts the historic River Murray so they have a convenient source of water for the vineyard's drip irrigation system. The vineyard has been planted to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, plus small sections of Chardonnay, Columbard, and Ruby Cabernet.

Yields are maintained at approximately 6 tons per acre and careful attention is paid to canopy management and irrigation technique. David Hickinbotham and winemaker Mike Farmilo both agree that the quality of the wine improves with lower yields and have made the decision to go for quality over quantity.