Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Franciscan Merlot 2005
Franciscan Merlot 2005
(search item no. 95638)
The Wine News rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Appearance: Deep ruby red intensity with crimson accents

Aroma: Complex and layered with black plum and currants, vanilla, sage, and peppercorn, and sweet notes of toasty oak.

Flavors: Round, full-bodied palate with vibrant dark cherry fruit, sweet herbs and silky mouthfeel. Very supple and elegant, the finely knit tannins highlight bold fruit and sweet tobacco notes, giving a velvety finish.

90 Points

"Pale garnet hue. Complex scents of wild cherry, vanilla and chocolate with a hint of dust and sweet tobacco. Full, refined tannins and ripe flavors of raspberry and wild cherry. Hints of vanilla and white chocolate in the raspberry-spiked close."
Wine News

My Notes:

Additional wines from Franciscan Oakville Estate:

About Franciscan Oakville Estate:

Franciscan is one of Napa Valley's most venerable wineries, reaching back more than three decades. Franciscan wines take their signature style - rich, vibrant flavors framed by supple tannins - from the ideal climate offered by Napa Valley's cool, southern half and from the time-honored tradition of small-lot winemaking, blending from hundreds of barrels to craft fine wines that fully express the classic Bordeaux varieties.

Franciscan was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and doctors from San Francisco who decided to try turning their passion for wine into a business. In 1985, Agustin Huneeus, a Chilean exile who had built Concha y Toro in his native country, took over the helm at Franciscan. Huneeus refocused the winery on using the superlative grapes growing in its own vineyards, rather than sourcing from outside.

Today, Franciscan's wines are crafted under the exacting eye of Janet Myers, who came to Franciscan in August 2003 as associate winemaker after working in the Margaret River region and Beaulieu Vineyard, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Louis Martini. The winery remains committed to its tradition of small-lot winemaking, with small batches averaging just 150 to 1,500 cases. The image of a hand-operated wine press on Franciscan's logo and wine labels reflects this small lot approach to winemaking.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2007
(search item no. 92579)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $15.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"Concentrated and very intense, weaving together a harmonious medley of crushed stone, grapefruit and nut flavors. Savory herbs, grass and lime notes highlight a bright, vibrant finish. Drink now."
-Wine Spectator

Appearance: Pale straw with touches of green.

Aroma: Delightful hints of tropical fruits are accented by aromas of citrus and the traditional New Zealand herbaceous notes.

Flavor: Ripe stone fruit, citrus and tropical flavors mingle with the soothing herbaceous notes. Nice acidity with a touch of sweet passion fruit add to the full, crisp finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Kim Crawford:

About Kim Crawford:

Kim Crawford Wines started out in a small Auckland cottage in New Zealand. Since its launch in 1996, the label has gained critical acclaim around the globe. Kim Crawford wines capture the true aromas and flavors of New Zealand in each bottle. The established leader of luxury-priced Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Kim Crawford combines a passion for excellence in winemaking with a vision of exploring new boundaries.


Red Wines    Merlot    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Tin Roof Merlot 2005
Tin Roof Merlot 2005
(search item no. 92839)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Tasting Panel rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A classic plush texture and delicious black cherry and plum flavors make our sumptuous Merlot both delicious on its own and a versatile food wine. Enjoy it with beef, lamb, roast duck with cherry sauce, red-sauce pastas, black olive and mushroom pizzas, and soft-ripening cheeses.
My Notes:

About Tin Roof:

Tin Roof Cellars is both a collection of fine wines and a state of mind, a special place to which wine lovers can escape to enjoy relaxing times, old-fashioned quality, and modern good taste and style. Our delicious, handcrafted wines are produced from California's finest North and Central Coast grapes. Boldly flavored, smoothly textured, and unusually complex, our wines are styled to delight consumers seeking distinctive varietal character with subtle oak flavors. They're rich, but refined, fruit-forward, but complex – wines to share with your friends under the roof. Enjoy!


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Menage a Trois Red Blend 2006
Menage a Trois Red Blend 2006
(search item no. 92079)

PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $10.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Ménage à Trois Red brings together three strange bedfellows: Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. To add complexity and retain character, each variety was fermented separately, then blended together prior to bottling. On top there's Zinfandel, a saucy tease that brings blackberry and raspberry jam to the relationship. Merlot, with its generous mouth feel and red fruits, fits perfectly in the middle. The rich flavors and firm tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon make it the ideal candidate for the bottom layer of the trio.

The 2006 Ménage à Trois Red exposes the fresh, ripe, jam like fruit that is the calling card of California wine. Forward, silky and soft, this delicious dalliance makes the perfect accompaniment for grilled meats or chicken.

My Notes:

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About Menage a Trois:

Given the choice, would you rather be a party of one…or a Ménage à Trois? In a blended wine, the different varietals each bring something to the table, making for a more complex, delicious wine. As a master chef uses different ingredients to achieve the perfect recipe, a winemaker skillfully selects and blends different grape varieties to create harmonious and intriguing wines. With each of our playful blends of three, there's no doubt that the whole is greater (and more fun) than the sum of its parts.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet 2006
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet 2006
(search item no. 95424)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $9.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1990 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1986 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1976 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"The Cabernet and Shiraz blends begin with the 2006 Shiraz (70%) – Cabernet Sauvignon (22%) "Koonunga Hill". Purple-colored, the wine offers meaty black currant, blackberry, and blueberry aromas. On the palate the wine exhibits remarkable focus and structure for its humble price. The fruit is grapy and primary as well as intensely flavored. It should evolve for several years and drink well through 2022 if not longer. It is a fantastic value. As an aside, Peter Gago presented a 1976 Koonunga Hill to demonstrate the aging potential of this cuvee. The wine was showing a bit of age aromatically but none on the palate. At age 31, this wine (which probably cost several dollars on release) is right at its peak (my score 94 points)." - Wine Advocate
My Notes:

Additional wines from Penfolds Wines:

About Penfolds Wines:

Founded by a young, English doctor in 1844, Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines that have changed the landscape of Australian winemaking. Over the past century, Penfolds has indisputably led the development of Australian fine wine in the modern era. The introduction of Penfolds Grange in 1951 forever changed the landscape of Australian fine wine. Since then, a series of standout wines, both white and red, have been released under the Penfolds masthead. Under the direction of master winemaker, Peter Gago, Penfolds is now found in every major wine market in the country. Extraordinary wines such as Block 42 and Bin 60A have also been released during his tenure. Penfolds wines are now widely celebrated for their diversity and quality across many price-points. The strength of Penfolds is that the wine comes first. Penfolds' range of table wines is utterly Australian, evoking a generosity of spirit and the beauty of the Australian landscape.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Gascon Malbec 2007
Gascon Malbec 2007
(search item no. 94683)
The Wine News rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is made by blending Malbec from the three best growing areas in Mendoza. In these areas, the grapes develop sweet tannins, intense fruit and good acidity/sugar balance, combining the characteristics of each area. Red purple color. Intense black fruits and red plum aromas. Smooth and concentrated tannins in the mouth.

"Intense inky hue with a purple rim. Heady aromas of mint, raspberry and plum. The plum theme continues in the flavor with the addition of a fudge-like sweetness. A ripe, drinkable wine with a balancing dash of black pepper in the close."
-Wine News

My Notes:

Additional wines from Gascon:

About Gascon:

Tradition and innovation blended harmoniously when a spirited Don Miguel Escorihuela sailed penniless from Spain to Argentina in 1880. Four years later, he purchased 42 acres of land that would become the cornerstone of an exceptional wine making history.

Don Miguel Escorihuela Gascón and his descendants became known in Argentina for their consistently outstanding wines and for their unconventional undertakings.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Marquis Philips Shiraz 2006
Marquis Philips Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 92109)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The classic McLaren Vale blueberry & apparent sweet fruit is displayed beautifully in this wine. The key descriptor for 2006 Shiraz is "blueberries," like a big blueberry muffin with crème fraiche on top on a Sunday morning followed by a long nap, put that in liquid form and you've got 2006 Marquis Philips Shiraz.

"The 2006 Shiraz was barrel-fermented and aged in predominantly American oak for 12 months. It offers up fragrant aromas of cedar, smoke, tar, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. Full-bodied, opulent, and structured, this intense, well-balanced Shiraz will evolve for 2-3 years and drink well through 2016. It is an excellent value."
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

About Marquis Phillips:

Marquis Philips is a collaboration between American Dan Philips and Australian winemakers to make the most delicious, power-packed wines on the planet. Marquis Philips began with a simple goal: to control the entire winemaking process, soup to nuts, from concept to vineyard, to market, to wine style, to price. The winemakers aim to create wines that are pleasure-giving, dark, ripe, sweet, gulpable, loud, yet subtle, sweet and gentle with a long finish, elegant, Turley-esque, and powerful.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Alamos Malbec Mendoza Seleccion 2007
Alamos Malbec Mendoza Seleccion 2007
(search item no. 96730)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $18.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Presents a deeply dark violet color with blackish tones. The nose is full of ripe black fruits with floral tones and touches of leather, vanilla, and spice. The mouthfeel is full yet supple, with juicy black raspberry, black cherry and black currant fruit layered with notes of violets, black pepper and anis. The finish is long and lingering, with soft, velvety tannins and bright, refreshing acidity.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Alamos:

About Alamos:

From the vineyard to the winery, the Alamos wines are made to emphasize varietal fruit character. The cool evening temperatures in Catena's high altitude vineyards allow for prolonged hang time, preserving the fruit's full spectrum of aromas and flavors.

At the winery, the grapes are gently destemmed, fermentation temperatures are carefully controlled and two to four year old barrels are used to age the wines.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2007
Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2007
(search item no. 96661)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense red color with violet hues. Complex aromas with ripe plums, blackberry, blueberry, sweet tar, licorice, black pepper, mint, truffle with a hint of mocha flavors, giving an expressive and typical Argentinean character. It has sweet and smooth tannins, nice body with supple and long finish.
My Notes:

About Dona Paula:

Located in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Argentina, Dona Paula is an estate winery, producing wines from Dona Paula's own vineyards in the winegrowing regions of Mendoza. Dona Paula's history began in 1990, when a period of exhaustive research on the different Argentinean terroirs and their potential to fully express each varietal began. Dona Paula acquired its first vineyard in 1997 in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, a region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains that is famous for its Malbec. In 2002, Dona Paula began exporting into the US, UK and the Netherlands, and is now one of the leading Argentinean wineries that exports premium wines; with 97% of the winery's production exported to more than 60 countries.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 8/21/2014
Waterbrook Reserve Syrah 2005
Waterbrook Reserve Syrah 2005
(search item no. 90863)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/21/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 91% Syrah, 5% Grenache, 4% Viognier from the Stonetree and Elephant Mountain vineyards.

The personality of the local terroir is skilfully captured - inspiring a handsome, earthy wine that is packed with power and concentration.

Violet, leather and blueberry aromas float in the glass, wrapping the palate with black licorice, minerals, fig and dark chocolate. Bold texture eases into a lovely send-off of exotic spices.

"...smells like a bowl of cocoa and blackberries cloaked with the scent of violets and tar. It's juicy and delicious with explosive black cherry and black raspberry fruit..."
-Wines & Spirits

"Crisp and juicy, this is almost preternaturally focused to show off its blueberry, plum and blackberry fruit, shaded by hints of mineral and cream as the finish lingers effortlessly against light, crisp tannins."
-Wine Spectator

"Heady aromas of raspberry, plum and mocha. Ripe cherry flavors with a peppery, acidic edge. Lengthy finish with youthful, rough-hewn tannins."
-Wine News

My Notes:

Additional wines from Waterbrook:

About Waterbrook:

Waterbrook Winery was founded in 1984 by Eric and Janet Rindal and is located in Washington State's lovely Walla Walla Valley. The name was chosen to complement the translation from Nez Perce Indian dialect for the name Walla Walla, meaning "running water." Production has slowly increased to over 35,000 cases annually.