White Wines    Other White Wine    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello 2010
Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello 2010
(search item no. 119098)
green wine
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The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Spicy scents of citrus peel, green apple and anise, with a salty mineral overlay. Fresh and taut, with the wine's minerality dominating fresh apple and pear fruit and notes of fresh herbs adding complexity Exceptionally concentrated and focused. Finishes brisk and persistent.

The Godello grapes that go into it make Papa a jewel of a wine. Able to age similar to Chardonnay in white Burgundy, Godello is rapidly becoming the most popular white grape in Spain ahead of Albariño and Verdejo. Many top Spanish winemakers and Spanish wine writers believe Godello will be the grape that will put Spanish white wines "on the map." A grape that can communicate more than fruit, Godello conveys the geography of its place of origin, the aromas and flavors that the soil imparts to the wine.

This fresh, mineral-inflected Godello will pair well with swordfish sautéed in butter and wild herbs, grilled or pan-fried sweet veal or pork sausage, and a host of casual foods like tapas, pasta with white clam sauce or fried oyster sandwiches.

My Notes:

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About Ladera Sagrada:

Ladera Sagrada has the largest holdings of vineyard land in the Valdeorras appellation, and the bodega makes wine using only the best 20% of its grapes. The rest of the given year’s harvest is sold in bulk to other neighboring producers. Ladera Sagrada can source the best quality of grapes in Valdeorras and it has the ability to make the best wine values because it doesn’t need to buy grapes from other growers. The mineral character of Papa gives the wine a special identity. Godello has a rare ability to age well compared to other Spanish white wines.


White Wines    Pinot Blanc    Alsace    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2008
Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2008
(search item no. 120693)
has fluid
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International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale straw with green reflections. Rich and concentrated, with white flower and apricot notes. Smooth, medium-bodied with good fruit acidity.

Delicious with light meals such as salads, poultry, chicken, veal, roast pork, and seafood. The Pinot Blanc has beautiful fruitiness and makes an excellent all-occasion drinking wine.

My Notes:

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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    Other Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Buena Vista The Count Red Blend 2008
Buena Vista The Count Red Blend 2008
(search item no. 117326)
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PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $22.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The winery's colorful founder, The Count of Buena Vista, pioneered premium winemaking in California. A tireless and passionate devotee of California wine, The Count imported hundreds of premium vines from Europe, dug Sonoma's first wine caves, introduced innovative viticulture techniques, and wrote the first treatise on California wine. Buena Vista Winery honors his legacy, bold vision, and commiment to excellence through this red wine – the Founder's Red Wine.

The wine's bouquet opens beautifully with rich aromas of black currant, cherries and just a hint of espresso. Smooth on the palate, the wine offers flavors of plum and blackberry that give way to cardamom on the long, silky finish.

My Notes:

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About Buena Vista Winery:

Founded in 1857 as California's first premium winery, Buena Vista, under the direction of winemaker Jeff Stewart, is a leader in cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Straddling Sonoma County in the southern end of the Carneros appellation, the 523-acre Ramal Vineyard Estate is broken up into 167 small blocks, with 21 different clones of Chardonnay and 13 different clones of Pinot Noir, and is set along rolling south-facing hillsides overlooking the San Pablo Bay. The Ramal Vineyard is the crown jewel of all Carneros.

Most winemakers will agree that cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir are the most difficult to produce. And most will agree that Jeff Stewart does so with unparalleled success. Jeff comes to Buena Vista with over 15 years of achievement in cool-climate viticulture and his focus on gentle handling of the grapes and temperature moderation produces wines with complexity, character and depth.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard 2010
Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard 2010
(search item no. 118237)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A core intesity of red fruit flavors and lifted violet aromas remain the signature of Malbec from our Remolinos Vineyard. This is exquisitely balanced by freshness of acidity and an elegant integration of French oak which adds complexity to the rich mid palate of this vintage.
My Notes:

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About Finca Decero:

Decero, meaning 'from scratch,' was born of a bare patch of land and a family's love affair with wine. Winemaking in Thomas Schmidheiny's family goes back to his grandparents in Switzerland and, just as Napa had inspired his mother Adda in the 1970s, so too did the Agrelo sub-appellation in Mendoza capture the heart and mind of Thomas when traveling over the Andes into Argentina 20 years later. In Agrelo, perhaps now considered the source of Argentina's finest red wines, Thomas instinctively knew that he had found the place to continue the family legacy and to handcraft wines whose allure would lie in being true to their origin. Once a desolate piece of land in the foothills of the Andes, absent of everything but shrubs, Finca Decero is now a one-of-a-kind vineyard where each vine is nurtured by hand and the winemaking is without compromise.

The estate has followed an 'amano,' or 'by hand,' approach that is sensitive to natural differences, sustainable, and human. Their philosophy is to tread lightly in an environment they have come to know intimately, almost inch-by-inch, and allow the unique natural attributes of the Remolinos vineyard and of Agrelo shine to through in the wines. The vineyard at the estate is named "Remolinos" after the tiny whirlwinds in the area that thread their way along the vines, keeping the grapes dry and in perfect condition. The 110 hectare estate was planted in 2000 to Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot (unusual for Argentine producers) and Tannat. All the Decero wines come from this single vineyard, all from hand-picked fruit.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Punto Nino Reserva Chardonnay 2011
Punto Nino Reserva Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 122183)
screw cap wine
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PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Clear and bright, with a pale straw hue. Exuberant but elegant aromas of lime, white peach and melon. Intense tropical fruit and zesty freshness, with an elegant fruity finish.
My Notes:

About Punto Nino:

In 2002, the ambitions of Michel Laroche and his partners led them to Viña Punto Alto in Chile, as they sought to take on the challenge of introducing their French style of wine to the New World. Three years later, Michel Laroche bought 53 hectares of slopes ideally situated in Casablanca Valley, to the west of Santiago, towards Valparaiso, at the foot of the mountain El Mahuco which separates the valleys of Casablanca and Maïpo. In 2006 he acquired a 23-hectare estate and a well-appointed cellar in the Casablanca Valley. Laroche's vineyards are situated on gentle slopes covered with a layer of granite that offer remarkable conditions for vine growing: good drainage, favorable exposure and plenty of minerals available to feed the vines.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Quinta do Vallado Reserva Red 2009
Quinta do Vallado Reserva Red 2009
(search item no. 121688)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This blend is very dark red, with crimson highlights with balsamic oak aromas, as well as fig and black plum and hints of tobacco. The palate shows great structure and a full-bodied firmness, with mature, silky tannins. Mineral notes mix with the aforementioned fruit, leading to a very elegant, complex and persistent finish.
My Notes:

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About Quinta do Vallado:

In the heart of Portugal’s most famous wine region – the Douro Valley – near the historical center of Regua, the Quinta do Vallado vineyards, winery and guest house spread across both banks of the Corgo River at the very point where it meets the Douro. With winemaking references that date back to 1716, the Quinta belonged to the legendary Portuguese vintner D. Antonia Adelaide Ferreira, and has remained in the family through modern times.

The current owners, Joao Ferreria Alvares Ribeiro, Francisco Ferreira and Francisco Olazabal, are the sixth generation of this remarkable family, and the family’s mission to produce some of the best still wines of this fertile valley continues with the red blends and varietals that are exported worldwide. Of the 38-hectare Estate, 26 hectares are filled with vines 60 years and older. It is from these vines that Quinta do Vallado’s Red Reserve and Touriga Nacional wines are made, so it is no wonder that the wines are often found to be rated and reviewed among the best wines from the Douro.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Alderbrook Chardonnay 2009
Alderbrook Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 121687)
has fluid
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Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Straw yellow. Lychee and citrus with stone fruit and undertones of minerality. Citrus, stone fruits with a creamy, rich mouthfeel and long finish.
My Notes:

About Alderbrook Vineyards:

Situated on the outskirts of the city of Healdsburg in California's Sonoma County, the Alderbrook estate is located at the southernmost tip of the Dry Creek Valley, within a stone's throw of the Russian River. On a road map this might not seem significant, but in the world of fine wine, this location is considered one of the best in the region. While technically located in the Dry Creek Valley appellation, the official border of the Russian River Valley appellation begins close to Alderbrook's 65-acre estate, giving the winery a unique position at the confluence of these two valleys.

Not only does the estate vineyard receive the afternoon heat that is typical of Dry Creek Valley weather patterns, but the cool night air creeping up the Russian River Valley from the Pacific Ocean produces evening and early morning fog, cooling the vines. Alderbrook's vineyard enjoys the luxury of extended "hang time." This produces more mature fruit resulting in rich, full-bodied flavor characteristics: qualities which are ultimately apparent in the wines.

"The blend of climates is a gift, and our estate vines benefit tremendously from the unique weather conditions," says general manager, George Christie. Our incredible location at the junction of these two appellations gives us the perfect raw materials for wine making."



Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2008
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2008
(search item no. 114976)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $42.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A bright, balanced wine with notes of black cherry, spice, and coconut leading to a long, smoky finish. Based on this winemaker's extensive research, this wine pairs well with just about anything but especially grilled steak and lamb.

Blend: 78% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot

My Notes:

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About Northstar:

Northstar, located in Walla Walla, Washington, aims to make Merlots that can be considered among the world's best, using fruit sourced from one of the world's best regions for the variety: Washington state. Winemaker, David "Merf" Merfeld, blends New World fruit with an old world winemaking style, influenced by Bordeaux's "right bank," to create his highly-acclaimed wines. Northstar produces two Merlot-based wines from the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla AVAs, as well as the Stella Maris red blend and extremely limited production bottlings of the blending component varieties that Merf uses as his "spice box" in creating Northstar's Merlots.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 7/29/2014
Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2009
Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2009
(search item no. 119483)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/29/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine has a vivid ruby red color and good concentration. Intense fragrant aroma with evident fruity notes among which wild black cherry, violet and vanilla. Full balanced flavor with noticeable but discreet tannic component.

This wine can be served with appetizing first courses with meat and mushroom sauces, grilled meats and roasted white meats and medium aged cheese.

My Notes:

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About Fattoria del Cerro:

Fattoria del Cerro is not only Montepulciano's largest private estate, it is also the one with the finest and most complete line of wines, fruit of years of work on the part of its directors, first Guido Guardigli and now Guido Sodano, and most of all to the inspired winemaking of Lorenzo Landi, who first revealed his formidable talent with their wines.