White Wines    Other White Wine    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Luneau-Papin Muscadet Clos des Alees 2009
Luneau-Papin Muscadet Clos des Alees 2009
(search item no. 115018)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Made with 100% Melon de Bourgogne grapes from fines more than 45 years old, this fruity and smooth wine is excellent an aperitif, with shellfish, ocean and river fish, fresh cheese (soft goats' cheese) and those with a rind such as Emmental and Beaufort.
My Notes:

About Domaine Luneau-Papin:

Pierre et Monique Luneau-Papin head this 30-hectare estate in Le Landreau, in the heart of Muscadet country, where small hamlets dot a landscape of vineyards on low hills. Their estate, also known as Domaine Pierre de la Grange, has been in existence since the early 18th century when it was already planted with Melon de Bourgogne, the Muscadet varietal. Pierre and Monique are the eighth generation of winemakers in the family. Pierre is a genial, low-key, distracted professor type. He is technically retired and has passed the torch to his son Pierre-Marie (who is officially heading the estate as of the 2011 vintage), but still very active in everyday aspects of cellar and vine work. His wife Monique, lively, energetic and equally genial, is the business manager.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
McCrea Boushey Grande Cote Vineyard Syrah (375ml) 2006
McCrea Boushey Grande Cote Vineyard Syrah (375ml) 2006
(search item no. 113259)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Dick Boushey's vineyard sits well above the valley floor in the central Yakima Valley north of Grandview. The steep, south-facing hillside of calcified vesicular basalt captures the sun's intensity and provides for excellent, gradual ripening; long growing conditions; and heightened complexity. It has been described as, "the best syrah vineyard in the state, if not the country" (Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast). Since we began bottling the two single vineyard Syrahs in 1997 – a wonderful contrast we liken to "black and blue" -- the Grande Côte has consistently produced a wine classically Northern Rhône in character. It has aromas of earthiness, leather, cedar, and mushrooms with high-tones of violets, cassis and blueberry (the "blue"); followed by dense flavors of cherry, plum, licorice, smoked meats, pencil lead, toasted nuts and truffle. It finishes with great acidity – an assurance of its excellent cellaring potential. We expect this wine to drink well for ten to twenty years.
My Notes:



White Wines    Other White Blends    Friuli-Venezia Giulia    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Radikon Ribolla Gialla (500ml) 2005
Radikon Ribolla Gialla (500ml) 2005
(search item no. 113090)
boutique wine
collectible wine


PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $44.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense yellow with gold nuances. Full aromas, with undernotes of fruits, flowers and field spices. Freshness and complexity of smell, strong and mineral with a light tannic note. In the aftertaste a sensation of spices and fruits.

All whites are vinified the same way. After destemming, the grapes are put in oak vats, where they macerate on the skins without temperature control. Maceration continues until the sugars are exhausted (typically more than 30 days). The juice is then racked and left on the lees in 25 to 35 hl casks for about 36 months. Additional rackings occur if necessary.

My Notes:



Red Wines    Gamay    Beaujolais    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Damien Coquelet Chiroubles 2010
Damien Coquelet Chiroubles 2010
(search item no. 112917)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $19.99

My Notes:

About Damien Coquelet:

Though Damien Coquelet is the youngest vigneron we work with (he bottled his first vintage-2007-at just 20 years old), his wines have already reached striking levels of maturity and complexity.

Damien is Georges Descombes' step-son, and has worked alongside his step-father since early childhood. Learning everything from Descombes-both in the vines and in their now shared cellar-has instilled the same values in Damien's work ethic: organic viticulture, hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero intervention in the cellar and little if any sulfuring at bottling.

Two major differences distinguish Coquelet's wines from Descombes'. Damien, who cannot yet afford his own vines, currently rents various parcels in Morgon and Chiroubles, all of which are in their third year conversion to organic viticulture (he plans on purchasing vines in the future). Furthermore, he bottles quite early (the 2010's were available in January), unlike Descombes who ages his wines a year before releasing them.



Red Wines    Gamay    Beaujolais    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Damien Coquelet Beaujolais Villages 2009
Damien Coquelet Beaujolais Villages 2009
(search item no. 112916)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $17.79

My Notes:

About Damien Coquelet:

Though Damien Coquelet is the youngest vigneron we work with (he bottled his first vintage-2007-at just 20 years old), his wines have already reached striking levels of maturity and complexity.

Damien is Georges Descombes' step-son, and has worked alongside his step-father since early childhood. Learning everything from Descombes-both in the vines and in their now shared cellar-has instilled the same values in Damien's work ethic: organic viticulture, hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero intervention in the cellar and little if any sulfuring at bottling.

Two major differences distinguish Coquelet's wines from Descombes'. Damien, who cannot yet afford his own vines, currently rents various parcels in Morgon and Chiroubles, all of which are in their third year conversion to organic viticulture (he plans on purchasing vines in the future). Furthermore, he bottles quite early (the 2010's were available in January), unlike Descombes who ages his wines a year before releasing them.



White Wines    Albarino    Rias Baixas    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Benito Santos Albarino Pago de Bemil 2006
Benito Santos Albarino Pago de Bemil 2006
(search item no. 113084)
boutique wine
green wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $16.99

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Albarino grown in limestone and chalky soils.
My Notes:

About Benito Santos:

Benito Santos is a central figure in the modern history of Albariño and the Rías Baixas D.O. He began working in his grandfather’s vineyards in the 1930s and made wine for serving in his bar – wines that repeatedly won prizes in the annual Fiesta de Albariño in Cambados. He was instrumental in the creation of the Rías Baixas D.O. in the 1980s.

San Franciscan Todd Blomberg worked with Benito Santos and took over after the latter’s death. Todd now farms three vineyards in the Val do Salnés subzone of Rías Baixas, each of which is next to and named after an ancient church: Saiar, Bemil, and Xoan. Todd bottles each of the three vineyards separately in order to preserve the distinctive terruños of each. Benito Santos is among the few producers in the D.O. who’s making, real, unconfected wines - wines that taste like Albariño and express their terroir. As Albariño has become fashionable, many producers have taken the path of making highly commercial, heavily manipulated wines. In particular, many producers use specific yeasts to get more tropical, fruity aromas and flavors. Benito Santos wines are salty, mineral, and structured. All of the vineyards are now certified organic – a rarity in rainy, mildew-prone Rías Baixas – and winemaking uses only native yeasts and minimal sulfur.



White Wines    Albarino    Rias Baixas    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Benito Santos Albarino Pago de Xoan 2007
Benito Santos Albarino Pago de Xoan 2007
(search item no. 113083)
boutique wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Old vine Albarino - 80-100 yrs, planted on ungrafted vines in pure granite soils.
My Notes:

About Benito Santos:

Benito Santos is a central figure in the modern history of Albariño and the Rías Baixas D.O. He began working in his grandfather’s vineyards in the 1930s and made wine for serving in his bar – wines that repeatedly won prizes in the annual Fiesta de Albariño in Cambados. He was instrumental in the creation of the Rías Baixas D.O. in the 1980s.

San Franciscan Todd Blomberg worked with Benito Santos and took over after the latter’s death. Todd now farms three vineyards in the Val do Salnés subzone of Rías Baixas, each of which is next to and named after an ancient church: Saiar, Bemil, and Xoan. Todd bottles each of the three vineyards separately in order to preserve the distinctive terruños of each. Benito Santos is among the few producers in the D.O. who’s making, real, unconfected wines - wines that taste like Albariño and express their terroir. As Albariño has become fashionable, many producers have taken the path of making highly commercial, heavily manipulated wines. In particular, many producers use specific yeasts to get more tropical, fruity aromas and flavors. Benito Santos wines are salty, mineral, and structured. All of the vineyards are now certified organic – a rarity in rainy, mildew-prone Rías Baixas – and winemaking uses only native yeasts and minimal sulfur.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other French    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Franck Peillot Mondeuse 2009
Franck Peillot Mondeuse 2009
(search item no. 112918)
boutique wine


PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $18.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Peillot, who took over his family estate five years ago, carries on the work of 4 generations before him. Although he makes a sparkling Montagnieu from Chardonnay, Altesse, and Mondeuse, he vinifies all of his Altesse old vines as a still wine. With low yields and high ripeness, he is set to revive the wine that Jules Chauvet (a Beaujolais négociant, eminent taster and writer who has inspired a whole school of "natural winemaking", notably in Morgon) put on a par with Château Chalon, Château Grillet and Yquem. Exaggeration aside, the varietal is thought to be a cousin of the Hungarian Furmint of Tokay fame, and, even when vinified dry, it retains a fair amount of residual sugar. Peillot is also a believer in the quality of his Mondeuse grapes, and is the lone vigneron in the village who obtained the appellation Montagnieu Mondeuse with his red wine in the 1997 vintage. Mondeuse is a distant relative of Syrah.
My Notes:

About Franck Peillot:

The Bugey is small viticultural area whose fame doesn’t extend much farther than the city of Lyons, where its sparkling Cerdon and Montagnieu have long been staples in bistros.

Located in the eastern part of the Ain department, which is better known for its poulet de Bresse (the only French poultry with its own AOC) and its freshwater fish, the Bugey is a series of low altitude hills forming the most southern tip of the Jura range. In distance, it is closer to Savoie than to viticultural Jura, so, if mentioned at all, it is often considered a part of Savoie.

Winemakers in the Bugey beg to differ. They feel that their region has a soil and a climate all its own, which produce wines found nowhere else in France (Cerdon being the less obscure example of Bugey’s originality).

Montagnieu is a village south of Cerdon, with premières côtes overlooking the Rhône valley, and most of its production is a white sparkling wine made from Chardonnay, Roussette de Savoie, Gamay and Jacquère. The grape Roussette is called Altesse locally, and it survives in the Bugey in a few patches of old vines, for it is not as hardy, reliable and productive as others. Only two young winemakers in Montagnieu, Franck Peillot and Benoît Dumont, produce still wines exclusively from this grape. By law, the wine, Roussette du Bugey, can contain any white varietal, in any proportion. That’s why Peillot’s is labelled 100% Altesse.

Peillot, who took over his family estate five years ago, carries on the work of 4 generations before him. Although he makes a sparkling Montagnieu from Chardonnay, Altesse, and Mondeuse, he vinifies all of his Altesse old vines as a still wine. With low yields and high ripeness, he is set to revive the wine that Jules Chauvet (a Beaujolais négociant, eminent taster and writer who has inspired a whole school of “natural winemaking”, notably in Morgon) put on a par with Château Chalon, Château Grillet and Yquem. Exaggeration aside, the varietal is thought to be a cousin of the Hungarian Furmint of Tokay fame, and, even when vinified dry, it retains a fair amount of residual sugar. Peillot is also a believer in the quality of his Mondeuse grapes, and is the lone vigneron in the village who obtained the appellation Montagnieu Mondeuse with his red wine in the 1997 vintage.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001
(search item no. 112875)
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $29.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Medium-high cherry red robe, with orange tinted tones on the edge of the glass, clear and brilliant. Intense and complex to the nose. Wild berry aromas predominate, blended with hints of coconut, cinnamon, tobacco and leather. Full-bodied and well structured to the palate, with silky and enveloping tannins. Long after-taste acquired from its lengthy time in bottle, where its elegant bouquet gains in intensity. This Viña Ardanza continues to evolve without losing its traditional qualities.
My Notes:

Additional wines from La Rioja Alta:

About La Rioja Alta:

On the 10th of July 1890, five families shared their passion for wine and founded La Rioja Alta, S.A. That day was the start of an ongoing searching for excellence that their descendants still pursue nowadays. Since then we have managed to get the best from the marriage of our tradition in wine ageing and the state-of-the-art technology in grape fermentation. Nowadays we are an international reference of great Rioja wines. Our wines are the result of an exhaustive selection of our most exclusive grapes and a slow ageing process that provides them with elegance, complexity and sophistication. They are patiently settle in more than 30,000 American oak casks fashioned by our own coopers. We take great responsibility in making our wines using our own grapes. Wines with personality and wines with soul.


Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/24/2014
Croser Petaluma Sparkling Wine 2004
Croser Petaluma Sparkling Wine 2004
(search item no. 112531)
Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/24/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills allows for full ripening of the grapes even in cooler vintages. As a result Croser Vintage is always the product of a single vintage ensuring an elegant, aperitif style sparkling wine.
My Notes: