Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2006
Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 95228)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $99.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2006 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir shows elegant fruit, a rich middle palate, firm tannins and Sea Smoke Vineyard's signature cool climate acidity. Aromas of wild blueberries, violets and a subtle dustiness are characteristic of this wine.
My Notes:

About Sea Smoke Cellars:

For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.

At Sea Smoke, we produce Pinot Noir grown exclusively on the south-facing hillsides of our estate vineyards. On summer evenings, the Santa Ynez River canyon funnels a cool maritime fog layer (sea "smoke") across our hillsides, slowing the ripening process and providing the extended maturation period essential to the development of top-quality Pinot Noir.

Our shallow clay soils are planted to French clones on vigor-reducing rootstocks, resulting in fewer grape clusters of intense flavor, and our artisinal approach to winemaking results in wines that are a reflection of the unique land on which they are grown.

We believe that Sea Smoke's rare geography and commitment to quality have produced wines of exceptional complexity and grace. We hope that you agree and welcome your comments.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2009
Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 112537)
collectible wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $79.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The seductive nose of the 2009 Southing exhibits fresh leather, rose water, black cherry, violets and hint of macerated cherry. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard's characteristic cool climate acidity.
My Notes:

About Sea Smoke Cellars:

For years, vintners have coveted a stretch of land in the western end of Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills AVA known to have the perfect microclimate, soils, and exposure to grow world-class Pinot Noir. In 1999, fulfilling a long-held dream of owner Bob Davids, this sought-after stretch of land became Sea Smoke Vineyard.

At Sea Smoke, we produce Pinot Noir grown exclusively on the south-facing hillsides of our estate vineyards. On summer evenings, the Santa Ynez River canyon funnels a cool maritime fog layer (sea "smoke") across our hillsides, slowing the ripening process and providing the extended maturation period essential to the development of top-quality Pinot Noir.

Our shallow clay soils are planted to French clones on vigor-reducing rootstocks, resulting in fewer grape clusters of intense flavor, and our artisinal approach to winemaking results in wines that are a reflection of the unique land on which they are grown.

We believe that Sea Smoke's rare geography and commitment to quality have produced wines of exceptional complexity and grace. We hope that you agree and welcome your comments.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Gordon Brothers Tradition Red 2002
Gordon Brothers Tradition Red 2002
(search item no. 99371)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $45.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 7% Syrah

This seductive, complex blend is pleasing to the senses, beginning with a lovely garnet color. The exotic aromas of cloves, cinnamon, leather and earth waft from the glass. The palate is teased by a velvety mouth-feel and sensual flavors of dark cherries and currants, spicy oak, vanilla and anise. Savor this spectacular wine with your very best steaks and the darkest of chocolates.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Gordon Brothers Cellars:

About Gordon Brothers Cellars:

The Gordon Brothers vineyards were established in 1980. They have planted a total of 95 acres, consisting of 25 acres of Chardonnay, 21 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 acres of Merlot, 15 acres of Syrah, 14 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, and one acre of Gewurztraminer. The vineyards lie on a perfectly oriented south-facing slope ranging from an elevation of 600 to 682 feet above sea level, on the Snake River just above Ice Harbor Dam and the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers in southeastern Washington. These mature vines are proving that the Gordon Brothers vineyard has a singular, superior micro-climate. Superb air drainage and all the favorable effects of river sites for grape growing are only two of the reasons that these are some of the most sought-after grapes and wines in the Northwest.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Nickel & Nickel Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Nickel & Nickel Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 106148)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $85.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 95 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The home vineyard of Nickel & Nickel, Sullenger Vineyard is situated behind the winery in the heart of Oakville and is named for John C. Sullenger, who settled the farmstead in the 1880's. The vineyard's 30 acres of clay loam soil are planted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2007 Sullenger has the blackberry and black cherry flavors that seem to express themselves so often in Oakville, but it is the velvety texture and chewiness of this wine on the palate that emphasizes its alluring qualities. The consistency of the flavors, as promised by the aromas, carries through to a finish that is in fact, mouth watering.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Nickel & Nickel:

About Nickel & Nickel:

Nickel & Nickel is devoted exclusively to producing 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinctive personality of each vineyard. Established in 1997 by the partners of Far Niente, the winery is based in Oakville, California, on the 42-acre John C. Sullenger vineyard property. Nickel & Nickel produces single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, but also makes single-vineyard Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 111967)
green wine


PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dark purple color, aromas of violet, anise and lifted red and black currant. The lush, smooth entry leads to dark berry, cassis, shaved chocolate and espresso bean flavors. Big, smooth tannins give weight and roundness to the mouthfeel. The long finish is smooth with balancing notes of red fruit. Delicious upon release; optimal cellaring time four to 15 years from vintage.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Gundlach Bundschu:

About Gundlach Bundschu:

Gundlach Bundschu Winery is a family-owned, sixth-generation producer of distinctive wines of site-specific character. The winery's 320-acre Estate Vineyard, christened Rhinefarm in 1858, is located at the crossroads of the Sonoma Valley, Carneros and Napa Valley AVAs, at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain Range.

Gundlach Bundschu approaches its vineyards, wines, business and the world with spirit, creativity and dedication to excellence. When you open a bottle of Gundlach Bundschu, you uncork not only the Estate's unique ability to produce profound wines, but also a rich, personal relationship between the Gundlach Bundschu family and the land on which the family lives.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Pahlmeyer Jayson Pinot Noir 2007
Pahlmeyer Jayson Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 104511)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $52.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our grape bunches were hand-sorted, and once de-stemmed, the berries were again sorted by hand on the way to the tank. This was followed by a four to five day cold soak, depending on flavor extraction. The wine was then fermented with native wild yeast in small open-top fermentors for two to three weeks. Towards the end of fermentation the fruit was gently pressed and moved to barrel. The wine finished fermenting in barrel to help integrate the flavors from the oak. The wine continued to age in 70% new French oak for fifteen months. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Pahlmeyer:

About Pahlmeyer:

Jayson Pahlmeyer has been producing highly sought-after wines since 1986. It began with Jayson's dream to make world-class Bordeaux-style wine from Napa Valley. Pahlmeyer's estate vineyard - Waters Rance - is situated at 2100 feet in the Atlas Peak appellation of Napa Valley. It is the key source for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Chardonnay. Jayson's passion eventually led him to the Sonoma Coast, where less than seven miles and two ridges from the Pacific Ocean, he planted Wayfarer Farm, their key source for Pinot Noir.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Foley Estate Winery Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2008
Foley Estate Winery Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 109983)

PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $29.97

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes were harvested in the cool morning hours to preserve the aromatics of the fruit. After a three-day cold soak, the wine was fermented in open top fermentors with daily punch downs to maximize color and flavor extraction. Throughout the winemaking process each lot was kept separate. This allowed us to tailor our winemaking techniques on the micro level and gave us more options for the final blend. After 20 months in French oak (50% new) the wine was bottled.

Our 2008 Pinot Noir opens with enticing aromas of dark berries, chocolate and toasty oak. The palate is laced with cherries, blackberries, vanilla and lavender. This is a rich, fleshy wine held together with a solid backbone of silky tannins and firm natural acidity. It drinks beautifully with duck, turkey, grilled meats and salmon.

My Notes:

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About Foley Estate Winery:

Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery at Rancho Santa Rosa is the realization of vintner Bill Foley's dream to produce world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. A historic parcel located in the Santa Rita Hills region of the Santa Ynez Valley, Rancho Santa Rosa was formerly a thoroughbred horse ranch. In 1998, Bill purchased the 460-acre property and planted to 230 acres of vineyard. Devoted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, the vineyard has been subdivided into 59 micro-blocks with each being farmed, harvested and vinified separately. The handsome stables have been refurbished to house the winery, with tremendous detail going into the planning of a modern facility, while honoring age-old winemaking tradition. Highly regarded by leading wine critics and sommeliers, Foley’s Burgundian-influenced portfolio has become a flagship property in the South Central Coast.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2009
Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 112268)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $26.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 PinotReport rating: 92 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 PinotReport rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine News rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Delightful bright aromas of pomegranate, sandalwood, juicy cherry and bramble waft from this energetic and flavorful 2009 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir. Seven different vineyard sources combine to create lively flavors of cranberry, French prune, briar and expressive red plum with a soft underpinning of oak. Deep flavors, firm tannins, wonderful fruit and a nice tartness make for a rich, lingering finish.
My Notes:

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About Calera:

Calera is a small ultra-premium winery located in the limestone-rich Gavilan Mountains, east of Monterey and south of Hollister, California. Josh Jensen planted Calera's first 23 acres of Pinot Noir in 1975. An additional 26.6 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier were planted in the 1980s, and 33 more acres, mostly Pinot Noir but also some additional Chardonnay, in 1997 and 1998. All these parces are in the Mt. Harlan AVA that was created in 1990. Calera produces 8 single-vineyard wines from Mt. Harlan, as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from grapes purchased from selected vineyards in the Central Coast regions.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 110563)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/2/2014: $48.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Complex Bing cherry and ripe plum aromas combine with hints of spice and forest floor in the fruit-forward yet subtly earthy nose of this Pinot Noir. Vibrant, juicy cherry and cranberry flavors mingle with black plum and delicate traces of black tea and cloves enhance the long-lasting, supple and silky finish.
My Notes:

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About Robert Stemmler:

Robert Stemmler's passion for winemaking spans over forty years. A native of Germany, Robert Stemmler completed his formal education in winemaking and viticulture at Bad Kreuznach wine college in Germany. In 1961 he then traveled to America to accept a winemaking position at Charles Krug Winery, one of Napa Valley's most prominent wineries. He quickly earned the reputation as one of the leading winemakers in California. This recognition lead him to other renowned wineries including Inglenook Vineyards in the Napa Valley and Simi Winery in Sonoma County.

In 1976, Robert Stemmler opened his own winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. With total control over the direction of his brand, Robert concentrated on his true passion, Pinot Noir. It was in 1982, after securing quality fruit from a hillside vineyard in Russian River, Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir was put on the map. In 1984, the Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir was awarded the "Best in America." Today, Robert Stemmler is recognized as one of California's top Pinot Noir producers and he continues to devote his energy to his passion of making California's best Pinot Noir.



Red Wines    Other Red Wine    Sardinia    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/2/2014
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 10/2/2014: $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.