Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Santa Maria Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 109741)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $33.00

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine at first has a light ruby color. It has aromas of black cherry/cherry and violets with the characteristic Bien Nacido dried herbs and light pepper spice balanced by the toasty oak spice and vanilla influence of French oak barrel aging. There are flavors of cherry and red berry with dried herbs followed by a light pepper spice. The sweet oak spice and vanilla is nicely balanced by the fruit flavors. The wine is concentrated and elegant with a rich mouthfeel and lingering finish.
My Notes:

About Sanctuary:

Dennis Martin shows a master’s touch as he selects lots from distinguished vineyards for Sanctuary wines. He considers Sanctuary a winemaker’s dream project that has been a lifetime in the making. With experience he has gained over decades, it takes him but a moment to size up potential for a Sanctuary wine.

He is a member of a storied group of winemakers that began changing the face of California wine in the 1970s. He graduated from California State University at Fresno with a master’s degree in oenology and food science, then went on to gain more experience as a winemaker. As his experience grew, some of his wines became favorites throughout America. The portfolio under his care continued to expand, and he began crafting special-reserve wines that were known only to a few.

Dennis appreciated the old-world focus of single-vineyard wines and true expressions of the terroir they represented. He also knew which vineyards were special, producing outstanding fruit, vintage after vintage. Given the chance to showcase what he had found over the previous three decades, the decision was easy, and Sanctuary wines came to life.

Working hand in hand with longtime colleague, friend and collaborator Christian LeSommer, who had tended the grapes at Chateau La Tour for more than a dozen years, for the initial offerings of Sanctuary, Martin identified grower partners who shared a special affinity for the land they farmed and the wines that were created from these unique vineyards.

On a mountaintop in Mendocino, Dennis found promise in a Zinfandel that was as distinctive as the Mariah Vineyard perched high above the clouds. From the famed Rutherford dust of Napa came a Cabernet Sauvignon from the historic Usibelli Vineyard, which has been for many years a source of great wines. And along the cool coastal range in Santa Barbara, a Pinot Noir that was born out of a 20-year partnership with the Miller family at Bien Nacido.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sierra Foothills    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 112509)
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Amador County yields a bold Old Vine Zinfandel with rich, bright raspberry and black cherry fruit complemented by hints of earth and spice that add to its complexity.

ZINFANDELIC is a tribute to the unique California wine varietal - Zinfandel. It is also a tribute the California movement & culture of the 1960s - Flower Power, Haight Ashbury, Summer of Love, Rock & Roll, etc. The label is reminiscent of rock posters of the sixties era.

Silver Medal - 2012 Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition

My Notes:

Additional wines from Zinfandelic:

About Zinfandelic:

ZINFANDELIC is a tribute to the unique California wine varietal, Zinfandel, and the California movement & culture of the 1960s.

Located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in central California, Amador County is renowned for producing California's finest Zinfandels, some of them crafted from 19th-century vines. This sustainably farmed old vine vineyard is planted on hillsides with soils of sandy clay loam derived from decomposed granite. Amador's warm days and cool evening breezes from the Sierras promote full ripening of the grapes and a balanced acidity, leading to robust, intensely flavored wines.

It's Zinfandelic

Zinfandel has always been the quintessential California wine. Taking on the characteristics of the regions where it's grown, the flavor of a California Zin is like the flavor of California itself. It's free love in a bottle, with a vibe all its own - at times mellow, others bold or even spicy. But it's always, dare we say, groovy.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Hanzell Sebella Chardonnay 2009
Hanzell Sebella Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 109939)
boutique wine
collectible wine


PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The fresh and youthful aromas of white flower, citrus blossom and chamomile are pleasantly wrapped in lovely Hanzell minerality. The rich, creamy entry is juxtaposed by bright acidity and vibrant flavors of lemon peel and crisp apple. The structure and textural mouth feel combining with fresh Chardonnay fruit and wet stone are reminiscent of great Chablis grown in warmer vintage years.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Hanzell Vineyards:

About Hanzell Vineyards:

Industrialist James D. Zellerbach acquired the 200 acre Hanzell estate on the Mayacamas slopes above the town of Sonoma in 1948, and in 1952 he planted 2 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 acres of Chardonnay on the site. The Ambassador's ambition was to create a small vineyard and winery dedicated to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Zellerbachs created the first vintage in 1957 and named their winery Hanzell, a contraction of Mrs. Hana Zellerbach's name.

Zellerbach hired Ralph Bradford Webb in 1956 to be his winemaker and Webb would be integral to the winemaking for the first two decades of Hanzell. Webb introduced four significant advances in enology that would subsequently be adopted by many other wineries, predicating consistency and quality for the entire industry -temperature-controlled fermentation, the use of French Oak barrels, the practice of "blanketing" young wines in tank with inert gas and the practice of induced malolactic fermentation.

The original 6 acre vineyard has grown to 42 acres today, allowing Hanzell to produce 6,000 cases annually: three-quarters Chardonnay and one-quarter Pinot Noir, retaining its identity as a very small winery dedicated to making the Burgundian varietals at the Grand Cru level. Through five decades, Hanzell has pursued empirical winemaking and established traditions on which great cellar-worthy winemaking is predicated.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sierra Foothills    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
Zinfandelic Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 104672)

PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $9.97

Winemaker's Notes:

Amador County yields a bold Old Vine Zinfandel with rich, bright raspberry and black cherry fruit complemented by hints of earth and spice that add to its complexity.

ZINFANDELIC is a tribute to the unique California wine varietal - Zinfandel. It is also a tribute the California movement & culture of the 1960s - Flower Power, Haight Ashbury, Summer of Love, Rock & Roll, etc. The label is reminiscent of rock posters of the sixties era.

The zinfandel vineyards are situated at a higher altitude in Amador County in California at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains – also known as Gold Country. The vineyards were sustainably farmed from old vines of approximately 40 years old.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Zinfandelic:

About Zinfandelic:

ZINFANDELIC is a tribute to the unique California wine varietal, Zinfandel, and the California movement & culture of the 1960s.

Located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in central California, Amador County is renowned for producing California's finest Zinfandels, some of them crafted from 19th-century vines. This sustainably farmed old vine vineyard is planted on hillsides with soils of sandy clay loam derived from decomposed granite. Amador's warm days and cool evening breezes from the Sierras promote full ripening of the grapes and a balanced acidity, leading to robust, intensely flavored wines.

It's Zinfandelic

Zinfandel has always been the quintessential California wine. Taking on the characteristics of the regions where it's grown, the flavor of a California Zin is like the flavor of California itself. It's free love in a bottle, with a vibe all its own - at times mellow, others bold or even spicy. But it's always, dare we say, groovy.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Geyser Peak Walking Tree Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Geyser Peak Walking Tree Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 104583)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A deep dense ruby color, this sumptuous Cabernet explodes with expressive aromas of black cherry and cassis complimented by notes of black pepper, mocha, and vanilla. The palate is a mouthful of juicy ripe berries and spice, seamlessly integrated into a long finish of fine grained tannins. The classic steakhouse wine, pair with well marbled rib eye, a New York steak or rack of lamb.
My Notes:

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About Geyser Peak:

One of California's oldest and most award-winning wineries, Geyser Peak was founded in 1880, a pioneer of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Perched on a hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain, this beautiful setting overlooks Geyserville, the Russian River and the northern end of Alexander Valley.

The winery consistently garners some of the most prestigious awards in winemaking, including Winery of the Year and Winemaker of the Year honors. Its outstanding team of winemakers and viticulturalists are noted for fruit-forward, food-friendly wines from prime vineyard sources in the Alexander Valley.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 93461)
The Wine News rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Known for luscious Cabernet Sauvignons, this wine is a classic example of Geyser Peak Winery's intense, lively style. Forward fruit characters of black cherry and blackberry dominate the aromas, with underlying grace notes of dark chocolate and spice.

In typical Geyser Peak style, the bright fruit is nicely supported by a restrained oak character. The palate is rich, round and lush, seamlessly pairing the cherry and berry fruit with a hint of spice and vanilla. The fine-grained tannins meld into a persistent, lingering finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Geyser Peak:

About Geyser Peak:

One of California's oldest and most award-winning wineries, Geyser Peak was founded in 1880, a pioneer of the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. Perched on a hillside across from Geyser Peak Mountain, this beautiful setting overlooks Geyserville, the Russian River and the northern end of Alexander Valley.

The winery consistently garners some of the most prestigious awards in winemaking, including Winery of the Year and Winemaker of the Year honors. Its outstanding team of winemakers and viticulturalists are noted for fruit-forward, food-friendly wines from prime vineyard sources in the Alexander Valley.



Red Wines    Petite Sirah    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Brass Tacks North Coast Petite Sirah 2008
Brass Tacks North Coast Petite Sirah 2008
(search item no. 102483)

PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Let's get down to brass tacks. This Petite Sirah is about the purity of the varietal flavors and California terroir. Brass Tacks Petite Sirah is an opulent wine with flavors of blackberry, plums, vanilla and hints of black pepper and well-integrated tannins lead to a smooth, balanced finish. This is a classic Petite Sirah with big fruit flavors and tannins that the variety is known for. The North Coast is defined by its cool maritime air, morning fog and high elevations and higher than average rainfall that leads to optimum growing conditions. Petite Sirah, also known as Durif in Europe, is a varietal initially developed in France. When introduced in California in the late 1800s, many winemakers mistook it for a clone of Syrah, which led to the name Petite Sirah.

The tannins in Petite Sirah make it a very food friendly wine. Try with grilled steak, barbeque, pork chops and strong cheeses.

Gold Medal - Brass Tacks Petite Sirah was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2011 International Winemaker Challenge competition after being reviewed by a panel of acclaimed winemakers.

My Notes:

About Brass Tacks:

Brass Tacks wines reflects the essence of California wine and the purity of the fruit. The winemaking starts in the vineyard, where the unique characteristics of each varietal and vineyard are cultivated. The result is a wine that isn't over-manipulated, allowing the personality of the fruit to shine through.

Brass Tacks produces wines that capture the unique essence of the varietal as well as the region in which it thrives. The fruit is sourced from regions and vineyards that are among the best suited for the varietal and wines are produced in small lots to ensure quality.

brass tacks (noun) - the most fundamental considerations; essentials; realities (usually used in the phrase "get down to brass tacks."



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 102482)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Let's get down to brass tacks. This Cabernet Sauvignon is about the purity of the varietal flavors and California terroir. Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon offers classic rich layers of currant, cherry and blackberry fruit that is framed by nicely integrated oak, which adds a touch of spice. This small lot Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from California's Central Coast that is influenced by the Pacific Ocean. This maritime influence creates an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance.

Food Pairings: Pair Cabernet Sauvignon with steak and other red meats, pastas with red sauce, lamb, strong cheeses and chocolate.

My Notes:

About Brass Tacks:

Brass Tacks wines reflects the essence of California wine and the purity of the fruit. The winemaking starts in the vineyard, where the unique characteristics of each varietal and vineyard are cultivated. The result is a wine that isn't over-manipulated, allowing the personality of the fruit to shine through.

Brass Tacks produces wines that capture the unique essence of the varietal as well as the region in which it thrives. The fruit is sourced from regions and vineyards that are among the best suited for the varietal and wines are produced in small lots to ensure quality.

brass tacks (noun) - the most fundamental considerations; essentials; realities (usually used in the phrase "get down to brass tacks."



White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Wine Spots Monterey Chardonnay 2008
Wine Spots Monterey Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 102485)

PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Wine Spots Monterey Chardonnay has crisp acidity and intense tropical fruit, hallmarks of Monterey. Clean toasty notes of sweet oak and vanilla lead to a lively finish. Barrel-fermented in small, French oak barrels and aged sur lie for 12 months.

Monterey, located along the central coast of California, benefits from the Pacific Ocean's morning fog and cool winds. The cool-climate marine influence creates one of the world's longest growing seasons, ideal for producing Chardonnay wines full of character and balanced acidity

My Notes:

Additional wines from Wine Spots:

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.