Sake    Junmai    Kyoto    Japan   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
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 11/24/2014: $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    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Hahn Estates California Pinot Noir 2011
Hahn Estates California Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 117507)
has fluid
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PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Hahn 2011 Pinot Noir comes out of the gate with aromas of fresh mixed berries and dark cherries leading to hints of lavender, violets and a touch of cassis. This is an exceptionally balanced wine with good acidity whose flavors are given structure by a light touch of caramelized oak.

This versatile wine stands alone well but would be a perfect partner to a variety of fish, poultry or pasta dishes. Try it with risotto with shellfish, wild mushrooms and pancetta, roast five-spice duck with mango chutney or a traditional pairing of grilled salmon with Pinot Noir pan sauce and garlic mashed potatoes.

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About Hahn Estates:

The spectacular beauty of California's Central Coast is probably the best-known region in all of California for its unique lifestyle. Monterey County's dramatic ocean scenery, historic communities, artistic culture, verdant pine forests, and bountiful agriculture have beckoned adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers for over 100 years. And the 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline is something no other California county can boast.

The wind and fog interact with solar radiation to slow grapes' ripening, producing up to two months longer growing season than in warmer grape growing regions. These conditions create fruit with more varietal intensity, flavor, depth and structure, and thus, exceptional wines. In German, "Hahn" means "Rooster" and for this reason a rooster embellishes the Hahn Estates label, honoring the Hahn Family’s European Heritage. With an inspiration to raise Monterey wines to the highest level, the wines of Hahn Estates are created with a philosophy that all great wines are special – akin to the region they were grown in. The Hahn wines celebrate everything that is Monterey – unique in thought, style and setting.



Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Schramsberg J. Schram 2005
Schramsberg J. Schram 2005
(search item no. 117308)
collectible wine
has fluid
has fluid 360
older vintages

Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 97 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $89.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 97 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2003 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2000 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1999 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 94 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1993 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 J. Schram shows classic characteristics of a very cool vintage. The aroma is fresh and bright with green apple, ripe grapefruit and pineapple followed by nuances of lemon custard, creme brûlée and toasted hazelnut. White peach and crisp citrus flavors are carried with accents of tart pear and apple. The palate is further layered with sweet, spicy flavors of candied ginger and lemon curd. The texture is both viscous and mouthwatering, and the wine finishes with a long, lingering acidity.
My Notes:

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About Schramsberg Vineyards:

Focused on Schramsberg's top Chardonnay barrel and tank lots, and aged for seven years prior to release, J. Schram is the winery's signature Brut sparkling wine. Jack and Jamie Davies revived the historic vineyards and cellars in 1965, with a mission to produce California's first world-class sparkling wines. Today, led by their son Hugh, Schramsberg's team continues with this commitment to quality and innovation. Schramsberg also produces the J. Schram Rose, Reserve, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose, Cremant Demi-Sec and J. Davies Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Avalon California Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Avalon California Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 120661)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 vintage of the California Cabernet shows aromas of plums, cranberries, allspice and dried ginger with barrel notes of cedar cigar box. The blend of 88% Cabernet, 9% Merlot and a splash of Sangiovese and Zinfandel truly is reflective of its flavors. The dark, jammy core drinks of boysenberry pie, black cherry preserves and currants. Medium in weight, the wine shows silky tannins and just a touch of barrel spice.

Pair this versatile Cabernet Sauvignon with everything from burgers, ribs, lasagne, or chicken Parmesan to smoked Gouda of cheddar cheese.

My Notes:

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About Avalon:

Like the Indie films that inspired Avalon, our wines are original and uncut. We focus on the essence of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. We differentiate ourselves by producing flavorful wines at a decent price. We specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon and just recently branched out with our first release of Merlot from the 2009 vintage.

Avalon - AKA Paradise. According to Arthurian legend, the town of Glastonbury in the U.K. was once known as Avalon. Avalon has long been associated with paradise. It is a land of souls. Many believe that King Arthur's soul rests there and will some day rise again to defend England.

Our wines don't cost a king's ransom, but that's exactly what our Winemaker Alex Cose used to make. We joke with him and say, "Make us a wine that tastes like $75, and then let's sell it for about $15".



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 119549)
collectible wine
green wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $115.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 vintage of this wine was ranked #2 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2011

The 2009 Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon hits the mark brilliantly. Deep, rich and concentrated, the wine boasts black jammy fruits, cassis, freshly plowed earth and dark chocolate. The opulence and massive texture is undeniable while the glycerol-like body and silky tannins glide through an expansive, delectable finish. The wine will reward 10-15 years of cellaring, but it would be regrettable not to try a bottle at release.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec

My Notes:

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About Hall:

Hall Wines is located in Napa Valley and employs organic small-vine viticulture, precision winemaking, wild-yeast fermentation and micro-block blending to fully extract the purity and quintessence of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Their estate vineyards encompass more than 300 acres of classic Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. The Halls have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting edge technology to yield the highest quality grapes. Through meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards, Hall wines are able to express the unique and diverse character of Napa Valley's soils and climate.


Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Codorniu Anna de Codorniu Cava Brut
Codorniu Anna de Codorniu Cava Brut
(search item no. 109415)
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PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Anna de Codorniu Cava Brut begins with pale straw yellow color in the glass, clean and brilliant. Fine bubbles with continuous beads and a persistent mousse. On the nose, it displays delicate aromas of tropical fruit such as pineapple as well as citrus, grapefruit and lime. On the palate it is soft with elegant citrus notes. Well balanced and refreshing.

Its freshness and delicacy makes it ideal as an apéritif. It also goes well with shellfish and white fish. Suitable accompaniment for sushi and sashimi or lightly spiced carpaccio.

70% Chardonnay, 30% Parellada

My Notes:

About Codorniu:

This prestige of Codorniu has been forged throughout five centuries. The history of the house begins in the mid-sixteenth century, with Jaume Codorniu, farmer and wine maker, proprietor of an estate and cellar in the Penedes region. Codorniu established a new tradition in the Penedes region with the creation of cava, which was destined to change the viniculture of the region and establish its name and wines throughout the world. Codorniu experienced its first expansion between the end of the last century, and the beginning of this one. At first, production of sparkling wine stood at about three thousand bottles, but very shortly afterwards, just before the First World War, this was increased to three hundred thousand. This development was mainly due to the constancy of the Codorniu family, and to the new elaboration methods and technology applied in the caves, on many occasions created by the family; low temperature fermentation, taking advantage of sugars present, conservation of the musts in adequate refrigeration systems, or clonal selection of the vines, ancestors of those which are cultivated today in the Codorniu vineyards.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Robert Oatley Mudgee Chardonnay 2009
Robert Oatley Mudgee Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 114546)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Chardonnay, grown on Mudgee's high altitude climate and ancient red-brown earth, was produced in our modern winery with the best of traditional winemaking techniques – giving an aromatic and fruit-driven wine with structure and minerality at the core.
My Notes:

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About Robert Oatley:

Famed Australian Vintners, Bob and Sandy Oatley, founders of Rosemount Estate, began their next wine venture to pay homage to the many terrific regions of Australia and the grapes most suited to the terroir.

Wherever he makes wine, Bob Oatley's underlying philosophy is to find the right vineyard with the right soil and match it to the right variety.

With the guidance of winemaker, Larry Cherubino, Robert Oatley Vineyards shares the expression of regions, such as Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Yarra Valley, Great Southern and Central Ranges.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
Prelius Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Prelius Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 118301)
green wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Cabernet Sauvignon has a vivid ruby color with a dark purple tinge. The nose is rich, displaying aromas of blackberry and blueberry with hints of oak and cinnamon. This is a smooth wine with good structure and a long finish tasting of red fruit.
My Notes:

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About Prelius:

Prelius is the name given by the Romans to the ancient costal lake of Prile. Already with the Etruscans the land surrounding the lake was a flourishing community dedicated to fishing and to the commerce of salt. The coastal lake used to lay from the Argentario peninsula to Castiglione della Pescaia, separated from the sea by a sandy strip that is now the marvelous pine-wood of Grosseto. Prile, where our vineyards are located, is 2 miles away from Castiglione della Pescaia along the slopes of the hilly amphitheater surrounding the ancient lake.

In this hilly amphitheater called Prelius, the vineyard is organically farmed by the Stianti Mascheroni family flourishes. This vineyard, also called Prelius, is the first venture outside of Chianti Classico for the Stianti Mascheroni family, leaders in Tuscany's organic viticultural movement.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 11/24/2014
The Show Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
The Show Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 117129)
has fluid
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PRICE ON 11/24/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

What you have here is a pure, unapologetic expression of California Cabernet Sauvignon. Sourced from the hit list of premiere California wine regions - it's a Show stopper. Aromas of cassis, toasty oak, sweet fruit and chocolate continue into a chewy palate and long finish.
My Notes:

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About The Show:

In their stirring departure from the main stream, the Three Thieves and Nashville's Hatch Show Print have joined forces to express their creative flair to bring us the big, bold, Cabernet Sauvignon and its perfect complement: The Show Malbec. These show-stopping varietals are sure to grab your attention as they were inspired by the Hatch Show Print's dynamic and distinctive posters.