White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Firestone Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay 2010
Firestone Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 118330)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Estate Chardonnay offers fresh fruit aromas of Fuji apple and citrus zest, complemented by notes of vanilla, toasted oak and caramel. The palate has bright acidity that is balanced with malolactic fermentation to give it a soft and round finish.
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About Firestone:

Firestone Vineyard specializes in expressive high-quality wines from estate and select vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles. Long considered a destination for visitors to Santa Barbara County's wine country, Firestone produces an array of Bordeaux-influenced wines in competitively-priced categories.

Founded in 1972 by Leonard and Brooks Firestone, Firestone Vineyard was Santa Barbara County’s first estate winery. In September 2007, Bill Foley acquired the Firestone winery and 380 vineyard acres in Los Olivos, as well as the Firestone tasting room in Paso Robles. Bill has continued the Firestone tradition in striving for the very best in vineyard management and cutting edge winemaking discipline. The vineyard focuses on optimal physiological balance in the vines yielding wines that are brightly flavored, crisp and delicious. Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah vineyards are located on a series of mesas that have gravelly sub-soils, ideally oriented for perfect exposure.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Bianchi Vineyards Paso Robles Heritage Selection Zinfandel 2009
Bianchi Vineyards Paso Robles Heritage Selection Zinfandel 2009
(search item no. 117928)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $16.99

Winemaker's Notes:

For in this offering Bianchi has incorporated some neighbor's grapes to meld with the Estate Zen Zin and go beyond the perquisite panoply of aromas and flavors - fruit forward berry jam with hints of mint, earth, vanilla and smoke – and we see a pleasant overtone of oak spice with a kick of cinnamon preceding a mouth-coating finish.

Note that 11% of the blend comprising some Estate Syrah as well as Zin from some of the oldest vines in Paso Robles, some older than 80 years, are all there for color and depth. The 5% older vintage wines bring a mellow aged quality. So in the evolutionary history of Bianchi Zins, the 2009 is complex, lavishing lodes more layers of flourishing flavors.

Blend: 96% Zinfandel and 4% Syrah

My Notes:

About Bianchi Vineyards:

The Bianchi family has a long history of involvement in the wine Industry, dating back to 1974 when Glenn and his father, Joseph invested in a winery and vineyard on the banks of the San Joaquin river in the Central Valley of California.

Situated on a gentle rise, the new Bianchi Winery has a commanding view looking west over undulating vineyards dotted with ancient oaks. The state of the art stainless steel fermentation tanks provide the winemaker the latest computerized monitoring system and the option to make select, limited production wines. Similarly, the new barrel room for the French and American oak has the capacity to allow blending and aging of small lots. It is here at our new home in Paso Robles that the Bianchi renaissance is taking place as we expand into the super and ultra premium categories with estate grown and hand crafted wines.



Dessert, Sherry & Port    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2010
Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2010
(search item no. 114186)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Made from 100% Orange Muscat, Essentia has an aroma reminiscent of orange blossom and apricot. Its relatively high acidity makes it taste balanced, even with its considerable sweetness, more like a taste of fresh fruit. Essentia is used as a dessert accompaniment or a dessert in itself. Best served chilled. Pair with white fruits such as peach, pear or apricot.
My Notes:

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About Quady Winery:

Andrew Quady started making wine in the mid 1970's. Working for a major wine company he moonlighted to produce his own ports and in 1980 experimented with Orange Muscat, ultimately making an amazing floral fruit character wine that he called Essensia. In 1990, Quady decided to produce a new type of dessert wine, light, delicate and very refreshing. He tasted Orange Muscat juice as it was turning into wine. When the juice was just on the verge - halfway between wine and grape juice, he bottled a test batch. The wine tasted wonderful, but the alcohol was only 4% (most wines are at least 11%). Using sterile filtration to prevent refermentation, he bottled it anyway and named the new creation Electra.


White Wines    Riesling    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Firestone Riesling 2010
Firestone Riesling 2010
(search item no. 118329)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Riesling is a testament to the variety and the cool climate of California's Central Coast Region. The wine exudes nectarine, mandarins, jasmine, lemon and lime zest, and honey. The residual sugar is nicely counterbalanced by the crisp acidity and low pH. After a soft entry on the palate, the finish is detailed and full.

The exuberant fruit flavors and smart balance of this wine make it the ideal aperitif or accompaniment to Asian dishes, spicy Mexican foods or creamy cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Firestone:

About Firestone:

Firestone Vineyard specializes in expressive high-quality wines from estate and select vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles. Long considered a destination for visitors to Santa Barbara County's wine country, Firestone produces an array of Bordeaux-influenced wines in competitively-priced categories.

Founded in 1972 by Leonard and Brooks Firestone, Firestone Vineyard was Santa Barbara County’s first estate winery. In September 2007, Bill Foley acquired the Firestone winery and 380 vineyard acres in Los Olivos, as well as the Firestone tasting room in Paso Robles. Bill has continued the Firestone tradition in striving for the very best in vineyard management and cutting edge winemaking discipline. The vineyard focuses on optimal physiological balance in the vines yielding wines that are brightly flavored, crisp and delicious. Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah vineyards are located on a series of mesas that have gravelly sub-soils, ideally oriented for perfect exposure.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Coonawarra    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 111417)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Phoenix name recognizes the first winemaking company purchased by Douglas Tolley in South Australia in 1888, the 'The Phoenix Winemaking and Distilling Company.' The nose consists of violets, black currant leaf, ripe wild berry and integrated spice of the Cabernet grape. Mulberry and blackberry are the dominant fruit flavors enhanced by a tight palate with silky grape tannins and elegant complex cedar oak, so typical of Penley Style. A very generous mid palate with a hints of licorice and chocolate lingers on the finish.
My Notes:

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About Penley Estate:

Established in 1988, by Kym Tolley, a direct descendant of the famous Penfold and Tolley winemaking families – the name Penley is an amalgam of the first three and last three letters from each title.

Tolley has over 25 years of winemaking experience, including being involved in the making of many vintages of the famous Penfolds Grange. The estate is located in the heart of Coonawarra, with the vines planted in the famed "terra rossa" soils – bright red top-soils overlaying soft free-draining limestone.

Critically acclaimed as one of Coonawarra's leading estates, and voted as one of the International Wineries of the Year 2001 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, while the Reserve Cabernet voted best wine of Coonawarra 2001, as judged by winemaking peers and critics.

The Penley Estate signature style comprises distinct, precise, terrior driven wines – not overly oaked or excessively alcoholic. They display ripe clean fruit with true regional character – the senior wines will age for many years.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Tahbilk Shiraz 2008
Tahbilk Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 114526)
screw cap wine
has fluid
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Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Shiraz is everything you would be looking for in an Estate release from a very good year for reds. Rich aromas and full bodied palate of dark berries and pepper, ripe red berry fruits, liquorice, plums and chocolate characters, and a finish that lingers.

Linger over a Tahbilk 2008 Shiraz alongside a Lamb Stew or some Meaty Italian Sausages.

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About Tahbilk:

Established in 1860 Tahbilk is one of Australia's most beautiful & historic wineries, located in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria (120kms north of Melbourne) one of the nation's premium viticultural areas.

The property comprises some 1,214 hectares of rich river flats with a frontage of 11 kms to the Goulburn River and 8 kms of permanent backwaters & creeks.

The vineyard comprises 168 hectares of vines which include the rare Rhone whites of Marsanne, Viognier & Roussanne, along with classical varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc & Verdelho.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Leese-Fitch Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Leese-Fitch Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 113855)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $11.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 Leese-Fitch Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp and refreshing wine. This wine has a high-tone citrus zest aroma with minerality reminiscent of a brisk ocean breeze. There's a hint of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and tropical Pina Colada. The palate is zippy and alive with Lemon grass spice, but balanced with a touch of creamy tapioca to round out the mid-palate.

This is a perfect wine for sipping on lazy summer after- noons, and is equally prepared to stand up to a creamy pasta dish, spicy Thai soup, or a simple dinner of fruit, cheese, and a fresh baked sourdough loaf.

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About Leese-Fitch:

The wines of Leese-Fitch celebrate the restoration of the Leese-Fitch building located in the Sonoma Square. Built in 1836, this historical landmark in Sonoma Plaza was named after Jacob Leese and Henry Fitch, brothers-in-law to General Mariano Vallejo, the founder of the town of Sonoma.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 112049)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $8.99

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

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of red fruit, sweet spice and a touch of fresh mint. It is full and soft with layers of red currant and cassis, note of cigar box, leather and ripe black fruit. The wine finishes with finely grained tannins that add 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.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/30/2014
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2009
d'Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2009
(search item no. 114519)
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has video
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 8/30/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The nose is full of the fresh berries and spice synonymous with McLaren Vale, with a slight eucalypt lift. Secondary characters of sarsaparilla, cinnamon and clove which are expressed more completely as the wine opens up. The palate is mouth coating and plush with red and purple fruits mingling with orange peel and earth. There is a welcomed kick of five spice on the back palate. The lifted and fine fruit tannins provide structure and pull the wine together nicely. The Footbolt Shiraz has proven to cellar well for at least a decade.
My Notes:

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About d'Arenberg:

One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.