White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/1/2015
Hess Select Chardonnay 2011
Hess Select Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 121726)
green wine
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PRICE ON 4/1/2015: $9.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of pear and citrus, highlighting lemon and lime, are followed on the palate with pineapple and tropical fruit flavors. Medium bodied and refreshing, a subtle oak toast balances acidity, resulting in a wine crafted in a modern, fruit-forward style, wonderful to enjoy on its own as an aperitif, or with a wide array of dishes across many cuisines.

This wine's natural acidity complements tangy, spicy foods and shows well with the richness of creamier dishes. Enjoy with Asian chicken salad, grilled tuna with melted anchovy butter and lemon, or a creamy pasta dish with Portobello mushrooms.

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About The Hess Collection:

The Hess Collection was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess, who first purchased vineyards on Mount Veeder in 1978 and began making wine under The Hess Collection label in 1983. In 1986, he began renovation of the historic winery, originally constructed in 1903 by Colonel Theodore Gier. The winery opened to the public in 1989. The Hess Collection has vineyards on Mount Veeder, along with their Napa Valley estate vineyards - Su'skol and Allomi in Napa Valley, and Shirtail Creek Vineyard in Monterey. Each of these vineyards is sustainably farmed in accordance with Donald's philosophy: "Nurture the land, return what you take."


White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 4/1/2015
Conundrum White Blend 2011
Conundrum White Blend 2011
(search item no. 118612)
screw cap wine
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PRICE ON 4/1/2015: $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:

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.

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About Conundrum:

It was the summer of 1989, a year ripe with possibilities and promise. All around the globe, old ways of thinking were giving way to new ideas. In the culinary world, traditional dishes were being reinvented by a generation of chefs who were open to the possibility of exploring adventurous new cuisine. At Caymus, we were similarly inspired to break free of the norm and began to redefine white wine. And in 1989, Conundrum was born.

From our very first vintage we were determined to make a dramatically different white-wine blend that would surpass the scope of single-varietal wines. Just as chefs were exploring the fusion of flavors from classic to contemporary, from east to west, often combining savory, spicy, herbal and fruity flavors in one dish, we explored how non-traditional combinations of grape varietals would work together. We wanted each varietal to be distinctive but still complementary to blend as a whole. After experimenting with eleven different white wines, we chose a select few that we consider the 'key ingredients'. For over twenty years we have continued to perfect the fine art of blending a 'conundrum' of varietals together, to create a remarkably complex, yet harmonious symphony of flavors. More recently we adapted the same approach for the Conundrum Red blend creation when we released the first vintage in 2011.

To make each wine even more complex, we take great care in keeping each parcel of fruit separate throughout the entire winemaking process. As a result, when the time comes to blend the wine, we have a lot of diversity in aromas, flavors and textures to work with. That's when the creative juices begin to flow. The proportions of each varietal vary slightly each vintage, as Mother Nature hands us new "ingredients." But our goal is always the same: a highly styled, complex and delicious wine that is excellent as an apéritif and pairs beautifully with the wide-ranging, global dishes we are eating as chefs and home cooks experiment with new, cutting-edge cuisine.



Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/1/2015
Scharffenberger Brut Rose
Scharffenberger Brut Rose
(search item no. 113573)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/1/2015: $21.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Scharffenberger Rosé is made by the traditional méthode champenoise process, whereby the wines are individually bottle-fermented before being riddled and disgorged. Most of the base wines underwent malolactic fermentation, which softens and rounds out the blend. The grapes are sourced from our vineyards in the Anderson Valley as well as other premium quality vineyards in Mendocino County with whom we have long term contracts. This type of vineyard selection allows us to choose from the best vineyards in the area, which enables us to produce our trademark cuvée.

The wine has a pale salmon hue with integrated aromas of fresh raspberry jam and wild strawberries on a cream covered pastry base. The flavors are layered, round, fresh, fruity and long.

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About Scharffenberger:

The history of Scharffenberger Cellars begins in 1981 in the heart of California's Anderson Valley. Situated only miles from the coastal influences of the Pacific Ocean, Scharffenberger Cellars also enjoys the deep soils and sunshine within the protected valley. Originally founded by John Scharffenberger, the company has undergone many transitions, including a name change when it was formally known as Pacific Echo from 1998 until July 2004. Today, the name has been restored back to Scharffenberger Cellars under the management of Maisons Marques & Domaines.


Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 4/1/2015
Canard-Duchene Authentic Brut Rose
Canard-Duchene Authentic Brut Rose
(search item no. 110659)
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Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 4/1/2015: $39.99

Winemaker's Notes:

With its delicate, pinkish hue, Canard-Duchene Brut Rose stands apart for its intense, fresh fruit aromas of strawberries, with a subtle hint of grenadine, against a backdrop of mineral notes for enhanced freshness.
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About Canard-Duchene:

1860 in Ludes, Victor Canard, A cooper, and Léonie Duchêne, from a family of "vignerons" met and fell in love. They got married, and started to make their own champagne.

Success came quickly, so they then decided to set up their own Champagne house. They joined their names together, in the true Champagne tradition, and Canard-Duchêne was born. The year was 1868.

In 1890, their son, Edmond Canard took over. He was young, bold, loved champagne, and really understood the new world which was coming up. Under his guidance, Canard-Duchêne became international champagne, especially as one of the Champagnes supplied to the court of Tsar Nicholas II.

The relationship has left its mark: from then on, the Canard Duchêne coat of arms has borne the two-headed eagle, emblem of the Russian Imperial Family. Another symbol was added later. The sabre, in memory of a tradition which is intimately linked with champagne, celebration and reward. For the last hundred years, the eagle and the sabre have been our coat of arms.

The Third generation continues on the same tracks. Since 1930, Victor Canard, the founder's grandson, gives a new life of the son. After the recent integration of Canard-Duchêne in the privately-owned group Alain Thiénot, it now occupies a strong position on the French market. At the same time, the House is developing its international markets. Long a Symbol of enjoyment and elegance, Champagne is a gift from nature. From the 300 "crus" in the Champagne region, Canard-Duchêne has chosen 60 of them, blending Pinots and Chardonnay, in order to create year after year fruity, balanced and rounded wines.



White Wines    Chardonnay    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 4/1/2015
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2011
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 118203)
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International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/1/2015: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Koonunga Hill Chardonnay reflects Penfolds' multi-region, multi-vineyard blending policy, which enables winemakers to source the best parcels of fruit to produce consistently high quality wines from each vintage. A light to medium bodied Chardonnay with distinctive primary fruit characters, sustained intensity and a subtle underlay of moderate oak.
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About Penfolds Wines:

Penfolds has been producing remarkable wines since 1844 and 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 stand-out wines both white and red have been released under the Penfolds masthead.

Peter Gago, Penfolds Chief Winemaker and only the 4th custodian of Grange, relishes the opportunity to bring Penfolds to the world stage and is an enthusiastic ambassador and natural educator. Penfolds came to the attention of the US market when 1990 Grange was Wine Spectator’s ‘Wine of the Year’. Since then, Penfolds Grange has become one of the most collectable wines of the world and was honored to grace the front cover, once again, of Wine Spectator, with declarations of Grange as Australia’s Icon