Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Tikal Natural Organic Malbec 2010
Tikal Natural Organic Malbec 2010
(search item no. 114013)
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is Malbec in its most natural expression of untouched grapes shining through and capturing the true essence of the Vista Flores vineyard where they were picked. It has a beautiful pomegranate color and aroma of fresh red cherries with light French oak undertones. The palate is fresh and lively with black raspberry and spiced mocha notes. A great companion to barbeque or burgers, and incredibly easy to drink on its own. A real crowd pleaser.
My Notes:

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About Tikal:

Tikal is owned by Ernesto Catena and is named after his son. Ernesto spent his childhood in the vineyards of Mendoza among wine-growers and local pundits. Since then, he has experienced a kaleidoscope of cultures, living in New York, Buenos Aires, Berkeley, Cambridge (MA), Milan and London. But his heart remains in his homeland of Argentina (where he now lives), with its natural beauty of mountains, streams and vineyards, its wines, and its people who hold a special passion for living.

There are few wine brands that reflect the sensibilities of their owner more than Tikal. A skilled horseman, fashion designer, software developer, and book editor, Ernesto pursues all that gives pleasure in life. This hedonism (in the best sense of the word) shows through in the wines. It is a style meant to provide enormous pleasure rather than provoke contemplation; an expression of emotion rather than intellect. He has named his wines with passion in mind: Patriota (Patriot), Corazon (Heart), Amorio (Love Affair), Jubilo (Rejoice).

Luis Reginato is the winemaker at Tikal as of the 2002 vintage. Luis is young, but is already a highly trained and respected vineyard consultant and winemaker with long experience at his family's winery in Mendoza. Truly an up and coming talent, Luis and his wines are already garnering high praise from U.S. wine critics. Definitely a winemaker to watch.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Rust en Vrede Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Rust en Vrede Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 115510)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright Ruby Red. Coffee and mocha aromas give way to cassis and subtle hints of spice. Dark berry and black forest cake flavors are supported by a well structured mid palate with fine grainy tannins. The wine shows beautiful elegance with soft lingering finish.
My Notes:

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About Rust en Vrede:

Nestled on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch wine region lies this beautiful estate of 55 hectares. Known for consistently producing wines of high quality, Rust en Vrede is now considered to be one of the finest estates in South Africa when it comes to the making of truly great red wines. Established in 1694, it is one of the oldest estates in the Stellenbosch area and displays exquisite examples of Cape Dutch architecture.

In 1991, President Nelson Mandela awarded the Merit award of export achievement to the estate. During this period, they tirelessly worked on building the Rust en Vrede brand into a world quality product. These efforts were rewarded in 1993 when President Mandela selected Rust en Vrede to be served at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize banquet.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 118770)
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collectible wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $59.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1992 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1991 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1991 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1990 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1988 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a dark, rich full-bodied wine with great tannic structure and mouth-feel. It has a garnet color and a nose of ripe boysenberries, cherry liqueur, dark chocolate, sandalwood and a hint of roasting meat. On the palate, it is mouth-coating and incredibly rich in umami. It has a very long, savory finish with the slight grip of fine-grained tannins. Given proper cellaring, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2030.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Silver Oak Alexander Valley:

About Silver Oak Alexander Valley:

Great wine is meant to be savored with family and friends. This belief is at the heart of Silver Oak Cellars, where we have crafted extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon for over 35 years. Designed to be deliciously drinkable from the day it is released, Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon grows more supple and luxurious over time.

Silver Oak's Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is produced at our picturesque Geyserville estate, set amid the rolling hills of northern Sonoma County.

The Tudor-style estate features a massive flagstone arch that leads to a central courtyard with a fountain. High, arched glass doors open on the tasting room with its rustic stone fireplace. Designed to resemble the American oak barrels that are a signature of Silver Oak, the oak tasting bar is accented with steel barrel hoops. Beautifully etched glass doors highlight the stone-lined wine library next door, which contains an enormous oak barrel carved with the Silver Oak logo.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Hidden Ridge 55% Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Hidden Ridge 55% Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 106994)
Tasting Panel rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wines from our vineyard this year show complex cassis, bramble, tea and tobacco notes buoyed by unusually rich and dense chocolate enrobed blackberry, dark cherry and black plum flavors laced with clove and nutmeg. As the wine finishes flavors turn to blackberry, mocha, anise, and a hint of mint carried on rich velvety mountain tannins. Beautiful now with decanting, the wine will continue to develop for a decade or more.
My Notes:

About Hidden Ridge:

Comprised of 55 acres of Cabernet and broken into 21 blocks, Hidden Ridge Vineyards is located in rugged terrain, between Mount Hood and Diamond Mountain on Mayacamas mountain range between Santa Rosa and St. Helena. At elevations ranging from 1200-1700 feet, their terraced vineyards fall between the range's saddles creating some of the most dramatic vineyard sites in Sonoma. Their closest neighbors are Pride & Paloma Vineyards.

"That's some good grape dirt up there," Oklahoma native and owner Lynn Hofacket points out eyeing his property. Adds winemaker Marco Di Giulio, "A vineyard so steep, so well developed, so interesting in its planning scheme and with so much vision behind it that I could not help but be blown away. I bring my other winemaker friends out there because I like to see the awed expressions on their faces. Yeah, it's really that amazing."



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 115258)
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PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $54.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Faust is a benchmark example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine opens with aromas of red and black cherries, ripe raspberry, hints of violets and a lovely perfume. A lush, full entry on the palate with blackberry, cassis, coffee and dark chocolate flavors leads to a rich, supple mouthfeel. A complex finish with dark fruit lingers in the mouth. The wine continually evolves in the glass, making it worthy of another taste.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Faust:

About Faust:

Faust, the wine, celebrates a legend which has inspired many great minds, among them the German poet Goethe, from whose masterpiece we draw our inspiration. In Goethe's most famous work, the aging scholar Dr. Faust barters his soul in the afterlife in exchange for another chance at youth. He gets his chance, yet ultimately his soul is saved by love.

Faust is the epitome of the style that has made Napa Cabernet Sauvignon world renowned: bold and powerful, yet elegant and concentrated. Top Cabernet Sauvignon lots are selected from vineyards Agustin Huneeus owns in Rutherford, a Napa Valley appellation synonymous with the best of Napa Valley Cabernet, as well as the up and coming, soon to be named Tulocay viticultural area south of Atlas Peak.

Both vineyards are carefully tended to produce low yields and great concentration. The grapes are double sorted and crushed at Quintessa, one of the Napa Valley's most technologically sophisticated wineries, featuring gravity-flow design, oak fermentation and naturally cooled caves.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 120839)
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Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $54.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This 2010 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon offers pleasing aromas of black cherries, red plums, violets, nutmeg and sandalwood along with a hint of dried herbs. The cherry and plum notes carry over onto the palate and combine with ripe, mixed berries. The wine has a smooth, supple entry with good mid-palate structure with fine-grained tannins that lead to a lingering berry-cherry finish.

Enjoy this wine with grilled tri-tip, braised short ribs or pasta with wild mushrooms and prosciutto.

Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot

My Notes:

Additional wines from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars:

About Stag's Leap Wine Cellars:

Considered one of the "first growths" of Napa Valley, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars produces renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards. Founded in 1970, the winery brought international recognition to California winemaking and the Napa Valley when the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won the now famout 1976 Paris Tasting, also known as the "Judgement of Paris." Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' three estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons - CASK 23, S.L.V. and Fay - are among the most highly regarded and collected Cabernet Sauvignons worldwide. The wines are fashioned to express richness balanced by elegant restraint, an approach often described as "an iron fist in a velvet glove."


Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Pessac-Leognan    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit 2009
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Le Petit 2009
(search item no. 116549)
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James Suckling rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $38.99

My Notes:

Additional wines from Château Smith Haut Lafitte:

  • 2001 (search item no. 96339)
  • 2003 (search item no. 89313)
  • 2008 (search item no. 130655)

About Château Smith Haut Lafitte:

Thanks to its 55 hectares of superb gravelly vineyards, Smith Haut Lafitte is often referred to as the "archetypical Graves." The estate's history goes back to the Crusades, and a Scottish navigator, George Smith, who became the owner of the estate in the 18th century. He was followed by M. Duffour-Dubergier, Mayor of Bordeaux, and then Louis Eschenauer, a famous wine shipper.

In 1990, Daniel and Florence Cathiard also fell under the spell of this beautiful estate. Since then, they have restored the 16th century tower, renovated the 18th century manor house, built two underground cellars, went back to traditional vine growing methods without chemical herbicides and set up their own cooperage. The perfect elegance, excellent balance and fine structure of Smith Haut Lafitte's red and white wines are the ultimate reflection of the current owners' total commitment to quality.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 116625)
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Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $59.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 89 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Fragrant boysenberry, blackberry, dark cherry, cassis and Mission fig aromas comprise the fresh, fruitful nose of the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The first sip of the wine reveals a big, boldly structured Cabernet with deeply concentrated black fruit flavors and intriguing dusty, loamy and mineral-y tones that add wonderful dimension and complexity. Boasting an undercurrent of soft, plush fruit that will emerge further with aging, this sophisticated, yet approachable Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will reward another 5-7 years' cellaring.

Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot

My Notes:

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About Cakebread:

Over 30 years ago, Jack Cakebread came to photograph the Napa Valley for a book and while there, he casually mentioned his interest in one day owning a vineyard to some family friends who had a ranch in Rutherford. When he returned home that afternoon, the phone rang and it was the family friends offering to sell their property. He headed back up to the valley that same afternoon to make his best offer, and Cakebread Cellars was born.

As the Cakebread family reflects upon the many profound changes in the wine industry over the last 33 years, such as innovative farming techniques and new methods of reaching out to consumers, they note that their key values have remained the same. Dedication to making the highest quality wines and a commitment to family has followed a continuum as their first small vineyard has grown into a thriving internationally distributed wine company.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Neyers Syrah Sonoma Coast Old Lakeville Road 2009
Neyers Syrah Sonoma Coast Old Lakeville Road 2009
(search item no. 111024)
boutique wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pigeage is the French word for crushing grapes by foot, a traditional practice in the northern Rhône Valley, and at Neyers Vineyards. Whole clusters of grapes are dumped directly into a fermentation tank, and a worker wearing flexible waders walks in circles on top of these whole berries for 30 minutes or so. The process is normally repeated twice daily, and after a week or so enough juice has been released by the process that the cap can be manually 'punched down', to stay in contact with the fermenting juice. With Syrah in particular, our traditional pigeage results in a wine with better color, less tannin and a more complex aroma. Over the past five vintages, every bottling of this wine has received a score of 92, 93 or 94 POINTS from The Wine Advocate, The Wine Spectator or The International Wine Cellar. The 2009 vintage of our Old Lakeville Syrah is easily our best one to date.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Neyers:

About Neyers:

Begun in 1992 by Bruce and Barbara Neyers and their winemaking partner, Ehren Jordan, Neyers Vineyards produces 15,000 cases of wine annually. They rely primarily on Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the Neyers' 50-acre Conn Valley ranch farmed by Hugo and Lupe Maldonado. Additioanl grapes are purchased from a select group of growers, several of which are identified on the labels of wines produced from grapes they have grown. In 1999 Neyers purchased the 30-acre Sage Canyon Winery in the foothills east of Rutherford and have developed that facility for their entire production that also includes Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel and Chardonnay.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/1/2014
Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 116321)
The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/1/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2012 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our fourth vintage of this appellation Cabernet, which represents a blend of hillside and valley floor vineyards. This year included the Somerston hillside vineyard, 40%; DeSantis on the valley floor just north of Zinfandel Lane, 30%; Lamoreaux in Oak Knoll, 15%; Snowden 5%; and 10% from four small parcels. Aging on the fine lees incorporates the oak so that the two years spent in 63% new barrels (a mixture of French and American) is barely noticeable. As with all of our wines, it was fermented with native yeasts and bacteria and bottled without filtration. This wine combines the harmony produced by traditional Bordelaise winemaking techniques with the voluptuousness of a great Napa Valley vintage. 94% Cabernet
My Notes:

Additional wines from Ramey:

About Ramey:

Following winemaking posts at Rudd, Dominus, Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek, David Ramey and his wife, Carla began their own label in 1996 - a Chardonnay from the Hyde Vineyard. Now situated in downtown Healdsburg, Ramey Wine Cellars draws on exceptional vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma to fashion classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay using traditional old world techniques.