Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2008
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2008
(search item no. 98070)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $12.75

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine has a beautiful reddish/purple color as most good Malbecs do. The aromas are a mix of fresh crushed cherries and toasty/smoky oak—just enough to frame the exuberant fruit. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and spice are obvious, and the jammy fruit quality just keeps coming on strong, with hints of spice lurking in the background. This is a wine that you'll want to buy by the case because it can be consumed at almost any occasion, whether at a fancy dinner party, or just curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Fun and delicious—what more can you ask for?!
My Notes:

Additional wines from Crios de Susana Balbo:

About Crios de Susana Balbo:

After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."

Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.

Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives.



Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Montes Alpha Series Carmenere 2007
Montes Alpha Series Carmenere 2007
(search item no. 101565)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep and live ruby red color. The wine has a very elegant and evident Carmenère tipicity, showing lovely black pepper aromas with hints of red berries, chocolate, a bit of vanilla and black plums. In the mouth is distinctively smooth, with rounded and soft tannins. Long finish. The oak is beautifully integrated and balanced.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Montes:

About Montes:

With the release of the first Montes Alpha wine back in 1988, Montes became one of the first premium wineries of Chile. Their premise, a clear belief that Chile had an untapped potential as a producer of quality wines, made them a benchmark for other wineries to follow. Its original four partners' total involvement and the continuous help of the angels that decorate their labels was key to their success. Two decades later, Montes is the fifth most important winery of Chile where Aurelio Montes continues leading the winemaking area with the same passion as the first day. Hard work and total focus on quality has led Montes to be one of the most successful and respected quality-driven wineries in Chile as they continue pioneering and breaking new grounds in wine.


Red Wines    Tempranillo    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos Prima 2008
Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos Prima 2008
(search item no. 105242)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Grapes: 95% Tinta de Toro, 5% Garnacha

In a continental vintage of slow maturation and marked contrasts in temperatures, Prima has an impenetrable deep colour, intense and powerful in aromas with a suggestive minerality, fine tannins and bright red fruit.

My Notes:

About Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos:

Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos owns 55 hectares in the villages of Villaester and San Roman de Hornija, planted mainly with Tinta de Toro, which come from the same family as Tempranillo, but adapted to Toro over centuries. This adaptation has lead to smaller berries which in turn lead to deeper color and more intense aroma and structure than typical of Tempranillo from other regions. It is possible to separate two different soil areas, in Villaester the soil has sand and clay with some gravels, while in San Roman the soil is more stony. Grapes mature sooner in San Roman than Villaester. The vines range in age up to 70 years old and are pruned to grow as bushes rather than on vertical trellises. On the vines the grapes hang low under a rounded canopy of leaves that protects them from scorching summer temperatures. This type of pruning concentrates the flavor of the grapes as it naturally limits the yield of grapes for each vine.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Castello di Monastero Chianti Classico 2006
Castello di Monastero Chianti Classico 2006
(search item no. 102158)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Ruby red with delicate purple inflections.

Aroma: Intense, with hints of wild fruit and leather.

Taste: Dry, intense, complex and harmonious.

Pair with cured meats, pasta and rice dishes, grilled beef, cheese.

My Notes:

About Castello di Monastero:

Over the last 15 years, Lionello Marchesi has garnered worldwide acclaim for his Tuscan wines. Marchesi's achievements in viticulture, enology and agro-tourism began in 1984 with the purchase of a medieval village in the noble Montepulciano region.
Today, Marchesi brings knowledge and anthusiasm to all of his current Tuscan properties: Castello do Monastero, Coldsole, and Poggio alle Sughere.
Castello di Monastero produces wines from the classified areas of Chianti and Chianti Classico, as well as the acclaimed Super-Tuscan offering, Infinito.


Red Wines    Other Red Wine    Sardinia    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Santadi Carignano del Sulcis Grotta Rossa 2007
Santadi Carignano del Sulcis Grotta Rossa 2007
(search item no. 103311)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $14.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Santadi's 2007 Carignano del Sulcis Tre Torri is a beguiling wine imbued with the essence of sweet candied fruit, herbs, mint and spices. It offers notable expressiveness and complexity at this level, along with the weight to stand up to richly flavored foods.
My Notes:

About Cantina Santadi:

Founded in 1960 in Sardinia and counting 988 acres of prime, gently rolling soil reaching out to the sea, Cantina Santadi is run under the strictest, most quality-based criteria.

The arenaceous terrain of Sulcis’ coastline is unique in that pre-phylloxera rootstock survives and thrives: the finely textured, wind-swept sand naturally prevents phylloxera from depositing its eggs!

Add to this one of Italy's legendary and brilliant oenologists, Piero Cella... and what you have can only be a range of true Sardinian gems.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 2007
Valentin Bianchi Malbec 2007
(search item no. 100001)
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A deep purple-red color, Valentin Bianchi's Famiglia Bianchi Malbec has a luscious, intense fruit aroma, with hints of ripe plums, cherries and berries. The flavors mimic the aromas, with a massive, yet soft and silky, mouthfeel, and a lush, long finish. It is the perfect expression of the highly-praised Malbec grape.

This wine is ideal to serve with a large variety of foods, especially with meat and hard cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Valentin Bianchi:

About Valentin Bianchi:

Bodega Valentin Bianchi is one of the oldest and most important wineries in South America. It is a symbol of tradition, nobility and quality in Argentine wines. Started in 1928 by Don Valentin Bianchi, they have won world attention and acclaim since 1934 starting with the "Maximum Quality" honor in Mendoza. On August 12, 1968, Don Valentin Bianchi passed away. However, the tradition that he firmly established continues to live on in his successors.

Today, Valentin Eduardo Bianchi and Ricardo Stradella Bianchi have brought the winery into the modern era. Valentin is the President of the winery while Ricardo is the Chief Financial Officer. Recently, they enlisted the aid of California winemaker, Robert Pepi. He has helped them refine some of their techniques and the new wines show the style that this new breed of management exemplifies. Pepi believes that Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are the future of this winery.