Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Shirvington Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Shirvington Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 115559)
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $42.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A very lifted and attractive wine on the nose; it has aromas of blackcurrant intermingled with flowering thyme and hints of spearmint. The palate shows bright blackberry fruit and briar like characters as well as an attractive cigar box complexity. The oak plays a nice supporting role to the fruit and the wine is nicely structured; it has lovely mouth coating and velvety tannins. It is drinking well now and will cellar well for some years.
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About Shirvington:

Our story started in 1996 when we, the Shirvington Family (Lynne, Paul and sons Tony and Mark), purchased 16 hectares of prime land in Willunga, South Australia. After extensive researching and touring of Australia’s major wine regions, this area was chosen for its ability to consistently produce outstanding table wines of great character and quality. Willunga is just south of McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula, an area internationally renowned for its red wine, in particular Shiraz.

In the winter of 1996, work began on the development of our first vineyard, Redwind.

Further purchases in 1997 and 2001 saw the development of two new vineyards, Kurrawyba and Manjalda, in McLaren Flat and McLaren Vale.

Working closely with our viticulturist and winemakers, the quality of fruit was such that our first commercial release, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, was awarded Wine of the Year at the prestigious McLaren Vale Wine Show. This wine, coupled with our 2001 Shiraz, was the first to be selected by Dan Philips of The Grateful Palate, for distribution in the United States.

We will continue to produce wines that are testimony to McLaren Vale’s great reputation.

Enjoy.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Souverain Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Souverain Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 112852)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Cabernet Sauvignon has a plush entry and opens with classic aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, bittersweet chocolate. Hints of floral, roasted coffee and baking spice carry over to the palate and meld with the wild blackberry and cassis flavors for which Alexander Valley is known. Extended aging in superbly coopered new barrels has integrated the fine grained tannins and created layers of cedar, espresso, and tobacco. This well-structured Cabernet has incredible fruit density and balance and will age well over the next 10 years, but has plenty of accessible ripeness to enjoy upon release.
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About Souverain:

Winemaker Ed Killian has been making wine in California's Alexander Valley for 25 years. he knows the vineyards in the valley inside and out and understands which blocks will give him the fruit he is looking for to create Souverain's signature style. Souverain's 120-year-old estate in the Alexander Valley is the primary source for grapes for the illustrious portfolio of Souverain wines. Killian consistently produces outstanding wines that represent the best of Alexander Valley, including an Alexander Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the flagship Winemaker's Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Carpineta Fontalpino Chianti Classico 2009
Carpineta Fontalpino Chianti Classico 2009
(search item no. 116281)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is typical of the purity of the Sangiovese, a deep red with traces of violet. An interesting nose of plum, cherry, currant, rose, violet, cinnamon and cocoa. On the palate, this wine is elegant and persistent, with a tannic structure and high acidity. It is well-balanced with aromas of flowers and spices evolving on a long and round finish.
My Notes:

About Carpineta Fontalpino:

The Cresti family have been proprietors of Carpineta Fontalpino Vineyard since the 1960's and traces of the wine making traditions date as far back as the past century. The name Carpineta Fontalpino has never changed. It has its roots in two historical places of the area of Montaperti. We find Carpineta, a site where typical trees characteristic of this area, with silver back leaves, called "Carpini" grow and Fontalpino, the water source with the back drop of the pine trees of Montaperti - two noteworthy places of this important medieval historical site. The vineyard is located in the middle of Tuscany, very close to the splendid town of Siena and the historical village of Castelnuovo Berardenga. The surrounding territory is rich in history, legends and love that are experienced by all those who are fortunate to visit it. Its unforgettable atmosphere creates strong emotions. Locals strive to maintain the unaltered countryside and its traditions intact, proud to be part of such a generous area, which never ceases to surprise.

Gioia is the vineyard's oenologist and she is responsible for all the production phases, from the wine making to the aging. She literally “picks up” the best grapes so that the whole wine production is imprinted on her own personal style. Filippo is mainly involved in the organizational activities of the land working of the Winery. He is also the commercial and marketing development mind of Carpineta Fontalpino Estates. The property extends to about 80 hectares and presents various cultivars. The vine planted area extends to about 23 hectares in many varieties of specialized vines, sub-divided into grape types of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other experimental vines (Petit Verdot, Alicante, and many others). The production areas denominations are the one of the Chianti Classico and the one of the Colli Senesi.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2008
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2008
(search item no. 109773)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is Glen Carlou's signature red wine. Rich ruby red in color this wine has aromas of red cherry with hints of young black fruits and oak. Flavors of black cured cherries, with layers of dark chocolate and tobacco with spice. The tannins are beautifully proportioned with mild toasted almond.
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About Glen Carlou:

Glen Carlou was established in 1985, and since 2003, Glen Carlou has been solely owned and operated by Hess Family Estates. Glen Carlou is located in the picturesque Paarl Valley in the Cape Winelands in South Africa. They enjoy a Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. An exciting variety of slopes and the riches of their soils create unique winegrowing conditions, while judicious vineyard practices ensure the cultivation of healthy flavorsome grapes reflecting the inherent characteristics of their terroir.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 100060)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Opaque crimson center with a garnet edge appearance. Its aroma is dense, concentrated, evolving scents of plum with black cherry, blackberry and cassis, layered with cocoa, toasty oak, sweet herbs and a hint of violets. Intriguing dark flavors of plum, cassis and black cherry are layered with toffee, cocoa and vanilla lifted with fresh herbs. Concentrated, structured and full on the palate from start to finish, ending with ripe, yet age worthy tannins.
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About Simi:

In 1876, brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi began making wine in San Francisco from Sonoma County grapes and eventually planted vineyards near Healdsburg. Simi's historic stone cellars were built in 1890 and are still used to age the wines. Today, Simi is recognized as a leader in innovation and experimentation with a history of over 125 years of cutting-edge winemaking.

Their Alexander Valley vineyards possess some of the most diverse soils of any wine-growing region. Years of geologic activity – from an ancient mudflow to the meandering Russian River and Mayacama Creek – has created numerous distinct soil types and a range of microclimates. Here they grow the red Bordeaux varietals for their Reserve Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon for their Sendal.

Their Russian River Goldfields vineyard is planted to field selections chosen from the oldest and best Chardonnay vineyards in California. The combination of diverse clones and the cool, Russian River Valley climate produce Simi’s distinct Reserve Chardonnay.

Simi's winemakers focus on site-specific winemaking and use the most modern advances in vineyard management, fermentation and blending to best express the personality and flavors of each vineyard site.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Sterling Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Sterling Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 110862)
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Berry-like fruit aromas with cedar overtones highlight the dense, ripe fruit flavors and elegant finish of this wine. Aged in small oak barrels, this Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with small amounts of other Bordeaux-style varietals that help to accentuate its complexity. This wine complements most cheeses and strongly flavored foods, such as roast lamb and chicken.
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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!



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Odfjell Armador Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 99959)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $10.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This deep red-purple colored wine has a rich nose with aromas of black fruits such as blackberries. Additional notes of cloves, dried plums, almonds, tobacco leaves, a touch of vanilla and liquorice, traditional to Odfjell's terroir, add complexity. Full bodied, juicy, with firm, ripe, velvety tannins and a long finish.
My Notes:

About Odfjell:

Our unique gravity flow winery, designed by Laurence Odfjell, the son of the founder, allows for extremely gentle handling of the grapes and the fine wines. The winery is situated on a slope above the vineyards. Carved into the slope, over 60% of the winery is under ground.

This subterranean environment achieves naturally low and stable temperatures for storage. The design incorporates a number of passive cooling strategies such as, optimizing solar orientation and using 30cm thick concrete walls as thermal mass.

Gravitational wineries ensure that during the winemaking pumping is reduced to an absolute minimum, thus avoiding unnecessary agitation of the wine. This gentle handling allows us to preserve all the subtle fruit characteristics from our vineyards to the final bottle.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos Prima 2008
Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos Prima 2008
(search item no. 105242)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $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    Bordeaux Red Blends    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
CARO Amancaya 2008
CARO Amancaya 2008
(search item no. 102309)
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $13.98

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep purple-red color. Fruit driven wine, with appealing red and black cherry flavors, blackcurrant and plums with a hint of vanilla and cedar. On the palate it has a nice tannic texture, round and well-balanced.

Notes of vanilla and chocolate coming from the French oak.

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About Bodegas Caro:

CARO was born of an alliance between two wine cultures (French and Argentine), two noble grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec), and two renowned wine families (Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena.)

Immediately after CARO's 2002 release, the first vintage of CARO, 2000, was acclaimed by professionals. The achievement of CARO has naturally led the partners to elaborate another wine based on the traditional Argentinean Malbec, conserving the fine balance between the characteristics of Argentina and the style of Bordeaux wines. As a commemoration to the Andean roots, the Indian name of a pretty little flower, which grows on the high altitude of the Andes has been chosen: Amancaya.

Vignerons since the 19th century, these two powerful organizations have combined their deep knowledge of Mendoza's high altitude terroir and the art of winemaking to create truly unique wine.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 105748)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark purple color with ruby red tones. The nose is full of ripe red fruits, sweet spice and a touch of tobacco. The mouthfeel shows red currant and cassis fruit layered with notes of cedar and espresso bean. The finish is soft and sweet, with finely grained tannins adding structure and length.
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About Tilia:

Named after the Tilia (Linden) tree commonly found throughout Argentina’s wine country, Tilia wines possess true varietal character and embody the rural Mendozean lifestyle. For years vineyard workers have used the flowers of the Tilia to make an herbal tea for enjoyment after a hard day’s work. The name Tilia is chosen in honor of this wine country tradition.

The Tilia wines are made at Bodegas Esmeralda, a Catena family winery in the Eastern region of Mendoza that is dedicated to making value wines for the Argentine domestic market. Tilia wines offer a unique combination of fruit sourced from the traditional Eastern region and the dynamic Southern region of Mendoza. The Eastern region of Mendoza enjoys warm, sunny days and cool desert nights. The grapes have very ripe, rich fruit flavors and excellent mid-palate depth and concentration. Bright sunshine and low temperatures of the Southern region lend a cool freshness. The fruit from this area shows clean acid balance and soft, supple tannins.

Tilia is dedicated to responsible use of the environment. The winemaking and viticultural team actively engage in many practices and programs throughout the community to implement sustainability. Water conservation and reuse, minimal use of pesticides and organic fertilization are several examples of the team’s dedication. Furthermore, the entire Tilia viticultural team attends regular sustainability training sessions at the National University of Cuyo and National Agricultural Research Institute. They take this training into the field to share and implement with their grower partners.