Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 113796)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This goal with the Columbia Valley Cabernet is to highlight concentrated Washington red fruit in an accessible style. This is our inviting Cab with plenty of complexity and structure with silky tannins. It's also very versatile with food--try it with beef, pork or pasta.
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About Chateau Ste. Michelle:

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington with some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including "American Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and "2005 Winery of the Year" by Restaurant Wine. In addition, the winery's Eroica Riesling, crafted from a partnership with German winemaker Ernst Loosen, has been named to Wine Spectator's prestigious "Top 100" wines list for five consecutive years.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one devoted to whites and another to reds. This dedicated approach to winemaking allows winemaker Bob Bertheau to build winemaking programs to the unique specifications of red and white wines. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle's vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the climate is dry and sunny, Bob Bertheau makes the award winning white wines in Woodinville, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The winery's expansive, 87-acre estate hosts more than 250,000 visitors annually for tours, tastings, dinners and outdoor summer concerts.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2008
Valley of the Moon Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 104461)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Jammy and briary berry aromas are accented with vanilla, cumin and baking spices. Ripe, rich blackberry jam with notes of black currant on the palate; complimented by cocoa, roasted coffee and black pepper spice notes. Soft tannins, balanced acidity and light toasty oak frame the finish.

This versatile Zinfandel is especially suited to Mediterranean and spicy ethnic dishes as well as barbecued meats and hearty pastas.

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About Valley of the Moon Winery:

Valley of the Moon Winery encompasses both the rich history and the innovative spirit of California wine.

Situated in the Sonoma Valley on land first planted to grapes in 1863, Valley of the Moon Winery is housed in a beautifully restored stone and redwood winery built in 1887. Blessed with rich volcanic soils and a distinctive “banana belt” microclimate, the estate vineyard has been a revered source of grapes for well over a century. A block of “old vine” Zinfandel planted in the 1940s is complemented by more recent plantings of Barbera, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah; all farmed sustainably with natural soil amendments and natural pest controls.

Yet Valley of the Moon Winery is a thoroughly modern - even cutting-edge - producer. The state-of-the-art production facility features a full complement of temperature-controlled stainless steel fermenters, and small French and American oak barrels; ideal for Valley of the Moon’s artisan winemaking. In addition to making superb Sonoma County Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir, Valley of the Moon Winery is a leader among California wineries in the production of several exciting up-and-coming wines: Syrah, Sangiovese, Pinot Blanc, Rosato di Sangiovese and Cuvée de la Luna, a proprietary Bordeaux-inspired blend. Sometimes hard to find, Valley of the Moon wines are definitely worth the search.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Avalon Napa Merlot 2009
Avalon Napa Merlot 2009
(search item no. 109114)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $13.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2009 Merlot shows its depth with a rich garnet color. Aromas of juicy boysenberries and cherry pie fill the glass. Crème brùlée and brown sugar notes from oak aging complement the ripe berry aromas. Mountain fruit characteristics show in the intensity of the fruit flavors. The entry enjoys sweet berry notes of raspberry and cherry with a finish of jammy boysenberry preserves. The oak notes of chocolate and wood smoke pair with and complement the rich fruit layers. Refined tannins support this balanced wine that doesn't show the typical alcohol component found in many Merlots. As the wine develops in the glass, one may enjoy ongoing berry notes, a touch of allspice evolving in the middle, while the wine continues to lengthen on the finish. Smooth, silky and profound berry flavors confirm this wine's birthplace as Napa Valley.

Blend: 88% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petite Verdot

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    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot 2007
Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot 2007
(search item no. 109052)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $24.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

We craft this wine to be our complex yet approachable Merlot. The wine off ers aromas of black cherry, leather and spice with layers of rich dark red fruit and cola flavors. Think of this inviting wine as a great "everyday red".

Serve with beef, lamb, grilled salmon, hearty pastas.

Varietal Blend: 89% Merlot, 8% Syrah, 3% Malbec.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle:

About Chateau Ste. Michelle:

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington with some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including "American Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and "2005 Winery of the Year" by Restaurant Wine. In addition, the winery's Eroica Riesling, crafted from a partnership with German winemaker Ernst Loosen, has been named to Wine Spectator's prestigious "Top 100" wines list for five consecutive years.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one devoted to whites and another to reds. This dedicated approach to winemaking allows winemaker Bob Bertheau to build winemaking programs to the unique specifications of red and white wines. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle's vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the climate is dry and sunny, Bob Bertheau makes the award winning white wines in Woodinville, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The winery's expansive, 87-acre estate hosts more than 250,000 visitors annually for tours, tastings, dinners and outdoor summer concerts.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Greg Norman Estates Limestone Coast Shiraz 2007
Greg Norman Estates Limestone Coast Shiraz 2007
(search item no. 105112)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 Greg Norman Estates Limestone Coast Shiraz is a bright crimson color with plum red hues. The delicate but distinctive nose opens up in the glass revealing lifted aromas of cinnamon spice, light cherry wood and cedar oak characters. A dditional notes of ripe cranberry, black cherry and dark plum notes on the nose lead to a medium bodied palate creating a flavor profile of rich cherry and blueberry fruit. Balanced acidity and supple tannins ensure a soft and evenly textured Shiraz.
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About Greg Norman Estates:

Greg Norman's passion for fine wine was the genesis of Greg Norman Estates - a collection of wines produced from some of the finest growing regions in Australia, California and Argentina. While his well-documented wins on the golf course have assured his place in golf history, off the course, Greg's passion and enthusiasm for wine and his zest and dedication for living well have combined to create a stunning collection of high-quality wines from some of his favorite parts of the world.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
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 4/18/2014: $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.

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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.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Neil Ellis Sincerely Shiraz 2007
Neil Ellis Sincerely Shiraz 2007
(search item no. 105128)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $8.49

Winemaker's Notes:

Medium purple/red. Fresh attractive blackberry, plumlike fruit. Medium bodied with Rhone-like plum and spice flavors. Palate is smooth in an early drinking style.
My Notes:

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About Neil Ellis Wines:

In 1986, Neil Ellis took a calculated leap of faith into the wine negociant arena, buying and vinifying grapes from selected vineyards and marketing these hand-reared wines under his own label. Mindful that exceptional terroir and assiduous vineyard cultivation form the bedrock of great wine, Neil forged long-term supply partnerships with top grape-growers in premium areas.

In the very year Neil Ellis set out as a negociant, his future partner Hans Peter Schroder purchased the Stellenbosch wine estate, Oude Nektar, in the spectacular, viticulturally-ideal Jonkershoek Valley. This coincidence gained fresh resonance some years later when Neil and Hans finally met. Neil, recipient of many accolades since flying solo, had outgrown his leased cellar; Hans, in search of a like-minded partner for a quality-focused winery, had extensive cellar facilities. From this synergy emerged a unique joint venture: Neil Ellis Wines.

Neil Ellis Wines differs from most South African wineries in that instead of owning vineyards they have focused on producing the best wine possible and sourcing the grapes from top quality growers. Recognizing that different grape varieties thrive under different soil and climate conditions, from the company's start their philosophy has been to locate those areas that produce a distinctive grape quality and work closely with quality-minded growers in those areas.



Red Wines    Merlot    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Mirassou Merlot 2008
Mirassou Merlot 2008
(search item no. 105606)

PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $10.29

Winemaker's Notes:

The Mirassou California Merlot displays luscious fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry. These primary flavors are augmented with secondary flavors of vanilla, toasty oak and brown spices. The addition of Zinfandel and Syrah varietals contribute to a full-bodied mouth feel and lingering, smooth finish. This wine is at its best if enjoyed within a year of release, but should be able to age in the bottle for up to three years if carefully cellared.

Finished wine offers fresh fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry, balanced with elegant toasty aromas and hints of spice, Mirassou California Merlot is a bright expression of California's most celebrated growing regions.

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About Mirassou Vineyards:

Since 1854 the Mirassou family has dedicated itself to mastering the art of winemaking. 150 years later, their passion and optimism are stronger than ever. In 2004 the 6th generation of this winemaking family celebrated the launch of a new line of crisp, fruit-focused wines honoring their 150th anniversary as a California winery.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 100042)

PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Cabernet Sauvignon benefits from the maritime influence of California's Central Coast, where the extended growing season yielded a wine that is full in flavor with wonderful balance.

Brass Tacks Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and concentrated, with layers of currant, plum and cherry fruit that is framed by integrated oak. A full-bodied, complex wine with firm tannins, enjoy this California Cab with a juicy steak or grilled pork chops.

Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? At Brass Tacks, we believe the essence of California wine is the fruit. So our winemaking starts in the vineyard, where we cultivate the unique characteristics of each varietal and vineyard. The result is a wine that isn't over-manipulated, allowing the personality of the fruit to shine through.

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

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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    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/18/2014
Sterling Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Sterling Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 99116)
green wine


PRICE ON 4/18/2014: $11.49

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec.

In its inaugural vintage, our 2007 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon matches straightforward, fruit-focused character with finesse and grace. The wine opens with a deep purple color and ripe black fruit lifted by toasty oak and vanilla. Well-integrated tannins carry the blackberry, currant and plum flavors through the middle and into a lengthy finish. Smooth and polished, the wine holds a fine balance of firm, ripe fruit and lively acidity, making a versatile pairing for a variety of foods, such as a rustic Italian torte or grilled steak dressed in fresh herbs. With this wine, we wanted to translate the purity of the vineyard into the glass, ushering the grapes from field to bottle with minimal intervention. We used simple, traditional techniques, extracting the maximum aromas and flavors with extended maceration and frequent pump-overs. For complexity and character, we aged the wine for 16 months in American and French oak barrels.

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About Sterling Vineyards:

Sterling Vineyards was born in the 1960s, a time when creativity and entrepreneurial spirit abounded, especially in California. In 1964, Peter Newton, once a paper broker in England, purchased 70 acres of land in Calistoga and became a Napa Valley winemaker. He planted grapes others did not, bottled varietals others did not, and built a dramatic winery with an aerial tramway. His innovations put Sterling Vineyards into the public eye and helped establish the Napa Valley as a premier travel destination.

When Newton began planting his estate, Cabernet Sauvignon was the preferred variety. He planted the esteemed Cabernet, but his decision to also plant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot was a bold move. His Merlot vines were the first significant planting of that variety in the Napa Valley. Newton saw potential in the soft, velvety Merlot fruit, and in 1969 he took a chance by releasing California's first vintage-dated Merlot. This decision flew in the face of traditional standards, which held that Merlot was merely a blending grape, and forever changed the perception of red wine. People started to enter a restaurant and ask for a glass of Merlot!