Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico 2007
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico 2007
(search item no. 106564)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $17.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#47 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The wine offers a brilliant ruby red color. As time passes, the hue is enriched with garnet tones that, as the years go by, lighten further toward orange with an ochre tint typical of Tuscan wines. The aroma is satisfyingly intense, fine and elegant, with light scents of ripe fruits and violets. As it evolves, the wine develops an appealing bouquet that is full and complex. It possesses a pleasant fullness and an outstanding balance of body and structure. Somewhat austere in its youth, the wine softens with age, becoming velvety and developing prolonged and appealing aromatic persistence.

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About Castello D'Albola:

The Castello d'Albola estate is situated above the town of Radda, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in the province of Siena, Tuscany. Established in the 11th century, Castello d'Albola was initially owned by the Monterinaldi family. Over the centuries it was transferred to the Samminiati, Pazzi and Ginori-Conti families, and finally to the Zonin family.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Warwick Estate Three Cape Ladies 2008
Warwick Estate Three Cape Ladies 2008
(search item no. 110111)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Each component brings its own unique qualities to this classically styled blend. This unique vintage displays lots of prune and berry compote aromas as well as peppermint chocolate and Sandalwood in the background. The Pinotage is soft and sweet while the Merlot and Shiraz offers a subtle spicieness. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the backbone of the blend with well balanced and focused tannins that will do well with cellaring. This blend brings the best of Pinotage to the classic French varieties in a complex and approachable style.

Serve with a spicy tomato stew made with sun-ripened tomatoes or a black mushroom risotto.

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About Warwick Estate:

Warwick Estate lies in a valley enclosed by the Simonsberg, Kanonkop and Klapmutskop. Originally part of a vast piece of land known as "Good Success", this eighteenth century farm belonged to Colonel Alexander Gordon who renamed his portion in honour of the Warwickshire regiment which he commanded during the Boer War.

Years later in 1964, Stan Ratcliffe bought Warwick, where, with considerable foresight he began planting the precious Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which are still a major part of the production today. These vines produced high quality grapes and became highly sought after by wholesalers and other wineries. However, it took the arrival of Norma Ratcliffe, Stan's beautiful and energetic wife, in 1971 for the family to begin making a few experimental wines from Cabernet Sauvignon. The early results were very encouraging and served to extol the virtues of what is surely some of the best terroir in South Africa.

Michael Ratcliffe, Norma's son, has now taken over as proprietor in Stan's retirement and has wasted no time in stamping his personality on the Estate. A host of new innovative techniques, learnt during his postgraduate wine studies in Australia, are being implemented aimed at maximizing the potential of the Warwick terroir. Under Michael's leadership, the Warwick team is striving to take the next step in quality.



Rosé Wine    Rosé    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Las Rocas Rosado 2008
Las Rocas Rosado 2008
(search item no. 99525)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $10.29

Winemaker's Notes:

The perfect summer sipping wine made from Grenache. Chill down and drink up!
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About Las Rocas de San Alejandro:

Las Rocas de San Alejandro is located in the region of Calatayud, about 150 miles northeast of Madrid, and is centered around the rivers of Jiloca and Jalon. Although there are still few wineries in the zone, the ones which are beginning to show with their wines why this region is so special.

Although the D.O. is quite young, vines have been grown in the zone for some time. About one eighth of the vineyard land’s production has been bottled at one of Spain’s best and most progressive cooperatives, San Alejandro. With an abundance of amazing raw material, Eric Solomon was able to commission several bottlings of very old vine fruit into what has become one of the most sought-after estates in the portfolio. Calatayud benefits from a continental climate with vast temperature differences between night and day. Harvests are much later than in other parts of Aragon, and the acidity/maturity/alcohol ratios tend to be more balanced.

As most of the vineyards lie on what was (thousands of years ago) an old river basin, the soil is comprised of brown limestone and loam over slate and gypsum. This particular soil is also ideal for production of olives, cherries, and other fruits. Jean-Marc Lafage (of Domaine Lafage in France’s Roussillon) is responsible for the Las Rocas cuvees.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red 2009
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Red 2009
(search item no. 99603)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The nose features plum and bright red fruits with a hint of roasted meats, earth, pepper and exotic spices. The palate has some wonderful delicate fruit with blackberry joining the party. A touch of dried herbs adds a savory edge with fine, lifted tannins providing a long finish. It's cracking wine with sophistication—but don't worry it's still a lot of fun.

Varietal Blend: Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre

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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.


White Wines    Other White Blends    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Falesco Vitiano Bianco 2009
Falesco Vitiano Bianco 2009
(search item no. 106828)
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $10.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Vitiano Bianco is a balanced, delightful and fresh wine with captivating aromas of herbs, citrus lime and ripe Anjou pears. Vitiano Bianco is the perfect accompaniment to pasta with shellfish, summer casseroles and garden salads.
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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!



Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Milbrandt Traditions Merlot 2008
Milbrandt Traditions Merlot 2008
(search item no. 106250)
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Traditions Merlot features grapes from a number of our estate vineyards in Eastern Washington's Wahluke Slope. Established in 2006, the Wahluke Slope is a sub-region within the Columbia Valley appellation. Located midway between Seattle and Spokane it is bordered by the Columbia River to the southwest and Hanford Reach National Monument to the east. The climate here is warm enough during the day to fully ripen grapes, yet cool enough at night to ensure bright acids and firm tannins.

The 2008 Traditions Merlot is elegant, balanced and approachable. The nose is bright and forward with cherries, berries and plums wrapped in crème brulée and brown sugar. The flavors are a seamless blend of fruit, oak and acidity.

Blend: 78% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec & 1% Barbera.

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About Milbrandt:

Butch and Jerry Milbrandt planted their first vineyard in 1997. In the ensuing decade, Milbrandt Vineyards earned a reputation for growing some of Washington State's finest grapes. These grapes have found their way into many of Washington's most sought-after wines and the Milbrandt name and vineyards are featured on many prestigious labels.

In 2006, under the talented direction of winemaker Gordon Hill, they began crafting signature wines using selected grapes from their reputable vineyards. Milbrandt's first wines were released in June 2007. The tradition for excellence established in their vineyards is inherent in every bottle of Milbrandt Vineyards wine.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
The Magnificent Wine Company Syrah 2007
The Magnificent Wine Company Syrah 2007
(search item no. 104972)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pure elixir, viscous and rich, saturated with blueberry, raspberry fruit. Deep with game and spice. Full in the mouth and long on pleasure!
My Notes:

About The Magnificent Wine Company:

The Magnificent Wine Company was founded in 2004 by Walla Walla winemaker, Charles Smith, of K Vintners. The Magnificent Wine Company sources its grapes from only the (most) magnificent vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley which provides the freedom to tailor grape selection exactly to Charles' winemaking needs ensuring that each bottle of wine is equally Magnificent from vintage to vintage.

Washington State is the nation's second largest producer of premium wines. Recently recognized by Wine Enthusiast magazine as "Wine Region of the Year", the high-quality, premium wines have earned the state international recognition, critical acclaim and legions of loyal consumers. It's a winning combination that translates into success in the marketplace.

Washington's success with vinifera grapes is due in large measure to the state's unique geography. The vineyards are planted on the east side of the Cascade Mountains which serve to protect the region from marine weather off the Pacific coast and limit rainfall to just 6-8 inches annually. Low rainfall and free-draining soils allow vineyard managers to control vine vigor in order to promote flavor development. Warm daytime temperatures ripen fruit to perfection, while cool autumn nights protect the grapes' natural acidity.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sierra Foothills    California   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Four Vines The Maverick Zinfandel 2008
Four Vines The Maverick Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 108176)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Devious mischief abounds from these dry-farmed, head pruned, old vine vineyards in the Shenendoah Valley. This Sierra Foothill Valley is renowned for its old vine Zin vineyards which produce a wine that is chewy and spicy, rich with blackberry fruit and a hint of velvet vanilla oak. Blended with a touch of Syrah from the Bailey Vineyard. Maverick...The Jam Bomb...mischievous fun!
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About Four Vines:

In 1994 Four Vines Winery kicked into gear featuring eclectic, appellation-specific Zins, and one kick-ass no-oak "Naked" Chardonnay. They named their Zins Biker, The Sophisticate and Maverick. Rich, succulent, fruit-generous wines that pair incredibly well with food. The winery relocated to Paso Robles where they began experimenting with Rhone varietals; bigger, headier wines that are positively explosive in flavor and form. No matter the wine, Four Vines has always brought a refreshing, irreverent attitude to the industry. Today, the winery sources fruit from all over the state of California and crushes mainly on the Central Coast and in Sonoma County. This allows grapes to arrive at their peak of cool morning temperatures to the crush pad. It all starts in the vineyard…don't let anyone tell you anything else. In late 2010, Derek Benham acquired Four Vines from its founders and moved the winery operations back up north to Sonoma County where it originally started. Four Vines is now in a position to reach its full potential as a category leader in Unoaked Chardonnay and Zinfandel. The story continues...


White Wines    Gewurztraminer    Other Washington    Washington   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Pacific Rim Gewurztraminer 2009
Pacific Rim Gewurztraminer 2009
(search item no. 105043)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Gewürztraminer is crafted from Washington grapes. The fruit from these two regions possesses different yet complimentary characteristics, producing a balanced, more expressive and complex wine. We often put the juice and the grape skins in contact to extract and unleash the exquisite Gewürztraminer aromas locked in the skin. The juice is then cold temperature fermented over 20 days. We do not use any oak and do not put the wine through malolactic fermentation.

The wine is crisp with a slight residual sugar of 1.7% with flavors of lychee, melon and tangerine. Our Gewürztraminer is an exceptional match with spicy Indian food, lemon chicken and blue cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Pacific Rim:

Riesling, simply, is the most versatile, complex and food-friendly of all the noble grapes. if you enjoy inspiring your palate, then Riesling is your ideal wine. No other varietal so purely expresses terroir. Washington's Columbia Valley - home of Pacific Rim - provies the ideal soils and climate for growing Riesling. Purity is at the core of Pacific Rim's winemaking philosophy. They exclusively use stainless steel tanks, allowing the true character of Riesling to speak for itself, they do not use malolactic fermentation and their wines are fermented only with native yeasts. Pacific Rim produces 10 different Rieslings from bone dry to sticky sweet, and Riesling represents 95% of all the wines they produce. Pacific Rim is an Organic and Biodynamic certified winery.


White Wines    Torrontes    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/28/2014
Don Rodolfo Torrontes 2009
Don Rodolfo Torrontes 2009
(search item no. 108096)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/28/2014: $11.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Light yellow-gold color with hues of green. A very fruity, floral nose with white peach and hints of citrus. Good volume in the mouth with complexity and balance, and an excellent fresh finish.
My Notes:

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About Don Rodolfo:

Cafayate Valley is home to but a handful of wineries, producing only about 4% — but some of the very best — of Argentina's wines. Don Rodolfo is one such winery.

The Valley's isolation and high altitude make it ideally suited for winemakers dedicated to the limited production of premium wines. Cafayate Valley enjoys wider temperature ranges than any other part of Argentina, with warm summer days offset by cool nights plunging by as much as 45°F. This extraordinary variance is key to Don Rodolfo wines, preserving acidity, enhancing richness of aroma/flavor, and increasing superior varietal expression.