White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 110719)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

All Vavasour wines are 100% varietal and true, honest expressions of their Awatere Valley terroir. A serious, concentrated and expressive wine, Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc flaunts a powerful bouquet of fresh herbs and tropical fruits layered with ripe stone fruit and bright citrus. The wine is crisp, balanced and elegant with a distinctive mineral note that holds up well to rich, spicy foods.
My Notes:

About Vavasour:

The Vavasour family have a strong historical background. They can trace their ancestry back to the time of the Norman invasion of England. One of their ancestors is thought to have been a 'taster' for William the Conqueror. The rooster on the label is from the family crest, the emblem on the rooster is an indication of the family's lineage.The Vavasours arrived in New Zealand and established themselves in the Awatere Valley in 1890.

Nearly a century later in the early 1980's Peter Vavasour took a keen interest in the viticultural developments of the Wairau Valley in Marlborough. After some research it was found that the climate and soils of the Awatere region were quite similar to those of the Wairau.

We are dedicated to the Awatere region and our philosophy is to concentrate on fruit grown in the area. Selected grapes are handpicked; this ensures that only the best fruit makes it into the bottle. Our vineyards are trained on the 'vertical shoot positioning' trellis. This form of trellising suits our growing conditions: it also makes it easier if we have to manipulate the canopy due to seasonal growing conditions. Between Glenn (winemaker) and Allan (viticulturist) every effort has been made to ensure that the vineyard and viticultural techniques are adapted to suit the conditions of the Awatere region. After all great wine is made in the vineyard. In all its viticultural techniques Vavasour have focussed on quality over quantity.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Casarena Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Casarena Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 110869)

PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Sauvignon Blanc stays on its lees to broaden the palate while adding a light spice. The color is pale lemon with green highlights. The aromas combines fresh citric fruit and apples and pears with good length on the palate.
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About Casarena:

Casarena vineyards is limited to produced concentrated grapes with an expression of their terroir. The fermentations are cool with extended macerations which add layers of flavors and complex aromas. Our Wine Making team is headed by Michel Rolland.

Our vineyards are located in Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. This is an area where we find vineyards of great prestige, at 33º South latitude, with a continental climate and an annual rainfall average of 200/300 mm. In summer, the temperature difference between day and night is around 24º. All theses features gather together unbeatable height, climate and soil conditions to cultivate premium vineyards.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 107708)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $14.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This powerful Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with a myriad of flavours including gooseberry, passionfruit, fresh citrus, melon and nettle - dominant herbaceous aromas. The wine has an enticing palate with layers of juicy flavors, intensity and concentration, finishing with a refreshing crisp, clean line of acidity.

Serve with grilled seasonal vegtables with fresh seafood or grilled chicken.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Villa Maria:

About Villa Maria:

In 1960, George Fistonich, the son of a Croatian immigrant, founded Villa Maria in Mangere, Auckland. Voted New Zealand's Winemaker of the Year in 1993, George is today the managing director of the Villa Maria Group, which also includes Vidal and Esk Valley Wineries, together forming the third largest wine company in New Zealand.

Winemaker Michelle Richardson has been with Villa Maria since 1992. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Australia and in 1991 assisted flying winemaker Hugh Ryman with the French vintage. In 1997, Michelle, like George Fistonich, was voted New Zealand's Winemaker of the Year. Her 1996 wines have taken Villa Maria to new peaks in quality. Michelle is a graduate of the highly regarded Roseworthy College in Australia. She heads the Villa Maria winemaking team.

This team of dedicated vintners has placed its emphasis on high quality and good value. Grapes are either estate-grown or carefully sourced, and the winery was the first in New Zealand to initiate payment for grapes by quality. Villa Maria has won awards for its wines in competitions across New Zealand and Australia and has been honored for its high standards of customer service and environmental responsibility.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2009
Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 109313)
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $15.97

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

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of Premiere Coastal Grapes: Los Alamos, Rancho Vinedo, Garey, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat vineyards. This cuvee really reflects the 2009 vintage with balanced fruit flavors, structure, and surprising richness. Like all ABC Pinots in all price ranges there is sophistication to this wine.

This is an amazing wine for the price. With so many Pinots shooting up in price this is still a perfect by-the-glass wine. Drink this with any grilled meat; the smoky flavors really bring out the best in this wine. The structure of this wine will hold together for many years, it is drinking well right now and will improve and evolve for another 3 or 4 years.

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About Au Bon Climat:

Au Bon Climat was created to produce high quality handcrafted wine from the traditional Burgundian varietals. They are one of the few California wineries to explore the gamut of these varieties: Aligote, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery is located within the Bien Nacido Vineyard, the source of the majority of their fruit.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 115294)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Decanter rating: 91 points
2013 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2012 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A tangy combination of honeydew melon, yellow peach and pawpaw tossed with some red bell pepper, a sprig of spicy tomato leaf and a twist of grapefruit zest — this is an intensely aromatic, mouth-filling wine with a refreshingly crisp, flinty finish.
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About Greywacke:

The Greywacke portfolio is based on the Marlborough region's signature varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc is crafted in two distinctive styles: classically pure Marlborough Sauvignon, and an alternative wild yeast-fermented, oak-aged Sauvignon. In addition, Kevin indulges his creative drive with small parcels of Chardonnay, along with aromatic varieties Pinot Gris and Riesling. When the season graces this idyllic region with ideal conditions, limited releases of late harvest wines from the aromatic varieties are produced.


White Wines    Pinot Blanc    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Bianco 2009
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Bianco 2009
(search item no. 104026)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This youthfully fresh wine makes an elegant impression. Clear, bright yellow in color, its nose exhibits fine floral and fruit aromas: hints of apple and tropical fruit are prevalent in the bouquet. An agreeable, fresh acidity accompanies this mineral wine through its fine harmonious finish.
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About Tiefenbrunner:

Founded in 1848, the Tiefenbrunner Castel Turmhof Winery owes its name to the ancient castle that hosts the Tiefenbrunner family. The winery is located in Entiklar, a hamlet belonging to the town of Kurtatsch in the South Tyrolean province of Bozen, embedded in the Italian Alps.

Herbert Tiefenbrunner and his son, Christof, are expert winemakers: maintaining complete control over all operations, from the harvest through the winemaking process. The estate produces about 700,000 bottles per year, 70% of them contain zesty whites, the remaining 30% are elegant reds. Tiefenbrunner's vineyards are located along the Südtyroler Weinstrasse, the Wine Route of South Tyrol, in one of the most beautiful wine growing areas in Alto Adige.

The vines are grown mostly on the mountain slopes around the Turmhof Castle, but some are also located in the flatter areas of the valley. The southward-facing slopes and their loamy, chalk rich soils represent the best environment for producing high quality wines. The Mediterranean climate, characterized by a moderate rainfall, and the cooling evening winds, allow for a substantial difference between day and night temperatures, providing the ideal conditions for perfect grape ripening.

The philosophy of the Tiefenbrunner family is to relentlessly improve the grape quality and to highlight the varietal character of each wine.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
RouteStock Route 99W Pinot Noir 2009
RouteStock Route 99W Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 108610)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Pinot Noir is a fresh, pleasing wine that captures the character of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The color is a light, translucent ruby hue characteristic of Pinot Noir. The bouquet reveals notes of raspberry, baked cherries, violets and orange zest with a hint of herbs. On the palate, look for notes of raspberry, cranberry and spice enveloped in a light, food-friendly acidity. This wine will continue to improve in bottle for the next two to three years.
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About RouteStock:

RouteStock Cellars crafts wines from the signature varietals grown along the wine routes one travels when visiting the world's most celebrated wine regions. These are classic grape varieties, best suited to each different wine-growing region and sourced from family-owned vineyards. We invite you to enjoy these wines inspired by the beautiful vineyards and the families that tend them along these historic wine routes.


White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Conundrum White Blend 2009
Conundrum White Blend 2009
(search item no. 107270)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Conundrum is a true California wine, with grapes sourced from Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties. We often hear the phrase "exotic" when described. It's a fitting portrayal; there is no other wine quite like it.

Each lot of wine is treated separately to respect its unique flavor profile. This approach starts in our vineyards and continues in the cellar. We keep some lots in cool-temperature stainless steel to maintain fresh, crisp aromas and fruit flavors; and age some lots in a combination of French barrels.

Floral bouquet nose with a dominance of honeysuckle. Muscat is the defining/alluring factor in the aroma of this wine. Enters round with a Chardonnay weight to it then quickly lightens up to reveal the additional varietals. Sauvignon Blanc adds an herbal element while the Viognier adds a spicy character. The Chardonnay brings weight mid palate and Muscat adds an undeniable honey character to finish things off.

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About Conundrum:

This unique, non-traditional white wine blend was created to offer full-flavored fruit and enough complexity to match the creative dishes being offered by today’s generation of chefs. Conundrum can be served with every course from appetizer to dessert, and pairs beautifully with spicy foods and full-flavored Asian cuisine.

The "conundrum", or puzzle, of this wine is in guessing which grapes make up the blend; a combination that includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, Semillon and Viognier. Conundrum is a true California wine, with grapes sourced from Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties. Winemaker Jon Bolta began to craft the style for Conundrum in 1988.

The twist cap closure protects the fine aromas and flavors of this distinctive blend, allowing the bottle to be easily re-closed and refrigerated. The airtight cap also eliminates the possibility of cork taint.

Conundrum is owned by the Wagner family of Caymus Vineyards, but stands on its own as a separate brand. The Conundrum winery in Monterey County is close to the sources for most of the grape varietals that make up the wine.



White Wines    Viognier    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 7/27/2014
Fairview Viognier 2007
Fairview Viognier 2007
(search item no. 95535)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/27/2014: $17.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Fruity-floral notes of pears, apricots and rose petals with whiffs of lavender. The 2007 Viognier shows good structure, with elegance and length.
My Notes:

About Fairview:

The home of Fairview wines is a 300 ha farm on the southwest-facing slopes of Paarl Mountain, a granite rock outcrop in the heart of the Paarl wine district, viticulturally among the most historic and influential areas of the Cape winelands. Winemaking on the farm can be traced back to 1699, not quite a half-century after the first European settlers arrived in southern Africa. But its wines entered the modern era with the first bottling under the Fairview label in 1974 by the Back family, owners since 1937.

Today, some three decades later, grandson Charles Back II has brought Fairview wines to world markets. One of South Africa's pre-eminent vintners, he has earned Fairview (and its ancillary brands Spice Route, Goats Do Roam and Agostinelli) a reputation for consistent quality across a range of innovative styles, using both classic and unusual varieties. And he has helped pioneer a modern culture of wine growing in South Africa that embraces typicity of terroir, unrestricted by "estate" appellation, by both developing his own vineyards to their full potential and seeking out new viticultural sites to grow fruit for wines to please popular tastes and discerning palates. Charles Back's philosophy is that wine is an integral and joyful part of everyday life.