Sake    Junmai-Daiginjo    Hokkaido    Japan   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets Sake (720ML)
Takasago Ginga Shizuku Divine Droplets Sake (720ML)
(search item no. 92023)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $59.95

Winemaker's Notes:

A prominent fragrance, a clean and fresh taste, with flavor deep into the recesses. Truly one of the "Rolls-Royces" of saké.

Each year, after the temperature drops below 14 Fahrenheit, Takasago builds an Ice Dome outside the main kura building. It is an igloo inside of which the temperature stays about 28 F, with 90% humidity and no wind The low temperature means "nasty bacteria" cannot survive, allowing them to make clean, pure, ultra-premium saké. Additionally, they separate the clear saké from the fermenting rice lees not by pressing, but rather by putting it into canvas bags and allowing the saké to drip out slowly overnight.

My Notes:

About Takasago Shuzo:

Takasago Shuzo was originally established in 1899 in Asahikawa City in Hokkaido, under the name Kohiyama Shuzo (our family name). We struggled, but continued to produce sake during the war. In 1965, we merged with another sake brewer in Asahikawa, and changed our company name, as well as the name of our sake, to Takasago. Our white-walled kura, built in 1909, is one of the more attractive buildings in Asahikawa.

Asahikawa has been called "the Nada of the North," because there was at one time a lot of sake being brewed there, and we are the oldest sakagura in the area. It is cold here, with the temperature regularly falling to -20C.



White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Conundrum White Blend 2011
Conundrum White Blend 2011
(search item no. 118612)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $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:

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.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Conundrum:

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.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
L'Aventure Cote a Cote 2008
L'Aventure Cote a Cote 2008
(search item no. 113887)
collectible wine
green wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
James Suckling rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $65.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2009 James Suckling rating: 95 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 95 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine features tea and tobacco leaf, garrigue, and jambon in the nose, as well as blueberries and pencil shavings. The mouth is full of spicy berries, licorice, and red currants. This wine is impeccably integrated.

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre

My Notes:

Additional wines from L'Aventure:

About L'Aventure:

L'Aventure was founded in 1998 by a French winemaker, Stephan Asseo. After Stephan graduated enology school in Burgundy, the Asseo family bought their first estate, Domaine de Courteillac, in the Bordeaux area in 1982. Later, the family purchased additional properties: Château Robin and Château Fleur-Cardinale in Saint-Emilion. Stephan raised these properties to a level of great quality, while managing some other well-established domaines such as Château Guillot-Clauzel in Pomerol and Château Corbin in St Emilion.

Stephan saw in the New World a unique opportunity to expand his experience, while gaining more freedom in viticulture and vinification. He began by looking all over California for land, including Napa/Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties, but it was the terroir and climate of Paso Robles that impressed him the most.