Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Iron Horse Russian Cuvee 2002
Iron Horse Russian Cuvee 2002
(search item no. 92183)

PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $28.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Russian Cuvee commemorates the style of Sparkling that Iron Horse made for the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings, which ended the Cold War. It is the sweetest of their cuvees - right on the edge of Brut level dry and hits a perfect balance point. The higher dosage doesn't come across as sweet, per se, but makes the wine richer and more floral.

Russian Cuvee was originally designed as a toasting wine. It is exceptional with foie gras (for the same reason Sauterne goes with foie gras) as well as the sweet and sour tastes of many Asian dishes. It is surprising with vine-ripened tomatoes and when October rolls around, a fabulous cocktail is Russian Cuvee with a handful of pomegranate seeds bobbing in the glass. For dessert, almond cake with strawberries and whipped cream, or anything to do with ginger.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Iron Horse:

About Iron Horse:

A pioneer in the Green Valley appellation within the Russian River area of Sonoma County, the Iron Horse family is building a legacy of prestige sparkling wines and elegant estate-bottled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir within a "holistic" environment of natural balance, cultivation and love of the land.

Iron Horse is best known for its Sparkling Wines, which have been served at the White House since 1985, beginning with the historic U.S.-Russian Summit Meetings ending the Cold War, at the White House Millennium celebrations ushering in the new century, and at the White House dinner honoring the Pope.

Their Chardonnay is considered a signature wine for the cool, foggy Green Valley region. Pinot Noir is the winery's rising star wine.

Iron Horse has been named an American icon in a reference book published by Random House called "Icons of the American Market Place". Listed in alphabetical order, Iron Horse takes its place between iPod and Jack Daniel’s, validating Iron Horse’s reputation as a brand backed by pride, passion and quality.

The Iron Horse name came from a train that cut across the property in the 1890s. The logo, the rampant horse on a weather vane, came from a 19th century weathervane found while clearing away the rubble to build the winery.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 93807)

PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 99.97% Cabernet Sauvignon and .03% Merlot.

18 months in French oak (45% new)

Beautifully rounded mouthfeel and layers of rich and complex flavors such as cherry, dark berry and cassis, with the oak influence adding subtle nuances of toasted vanilla and toffee.

Great with steak, lamb and duck dishes, as well as flavorful cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Oberon:

About Oberon:

As a third-generation winemaker and Napa Valley native, Rob Mondavi, Jr. has always understood that the region is uniquely suited for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. With the Oberon label - originally named for the eponymous king in Shakespeare's winsome comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream — he has created high-quality Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc to be enjoyed every day.

Rob and fellow winemaker, Tony Coltrin, select Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from some of Napa Valley's finest vineyards in Oakville, Rutherford, Stags Leap and other emerging sub-appellations. The climate of these regions — warm days and cool evenings — yields grapes with the perfect balance of ripe fruit flavors and natural acidity.



Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Roederer Estate Brut Rose
Roederer Estate Brut Rose
(search item no. 8499)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $27.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Roederer Estate Rosé is full and round with smooth flavors and a fine, persistent mousse. The extra measure of Chardonnay contributes elegance and austerity that balance nicely with the delicate fruitiness of the Pinot Noir.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Roederer Estate:

About Roederer Estate:

The crisp, fresh and rich flavors of Roederer Estate sparkling wines reflect the cool, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley that is home to their family-owned estate's 600 acres of vineyards. This protected valley in Northern California provides the ideal ripening conditions for their 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Founded in 1982, Roederer Estate adds oak-aged reserve wines to all their blends to create complex, dry and harmonious sparkling wines.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2007
Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 94075)

PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 PinotReport rating: 91 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2008 Burghound.com rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Vibrant and explosive aromas of roses, cherries and wild strawberries dominate with hints of sweet juice and warm spices. Flavors mirror aromas with strawberries, and cherries dominating complemented by juicy and spicy characters. The mouthfeel is soft, round, juicy and well-balanced with fresh acidity which highlights the fruitiness.

Wonderful by itself or with turkey, hamburgers, pizza, grilled fish, lighter wild fowl, or pasta dishes with sun dried tomatoes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Willamette Valley Vineyards:

About Willamette Valley Vineyards:

United in the dream of building a world class winery in Oregon, thousands of wine enthusiasts joined winegrower Jim Bernau to create Willamette Valley Vineyards, which is regarded as one of Oregon's top wineries. Since 1983, the winery has grown to produce some of the highest-rated Pinot Noirs in the U.S. Wine Enthusiast magazine has named Willamette Valley Vineyards one of "America's Great Pinot Noir Producers." Their wines have been served at the White House and are recommended by wine critic and author Andrea Immer, Food Network's Rachael Ray and Public Broadcasting's chefs Caprial and John Pence.

Willamette Valley Vineyards' goal is to make the highest quality Burgundian varietals possible from the Willamette Valley. Their approach is to grow, by hand, the highest quality fruit using careful canopy management, and achieve wines that are truly expressive of the varietal and the place where they are grown. Bernau's stylistic emphasis is on pure varietal fruit characters, with attention to depth and richness of mouth feel and balance.

The people of Willamette Valley Vineyards are deeply committed to being good stewards of the land using natural means to promote soil nutrition and vine health. Both the Estate and Tualatin vineyards are LIVE certified and designated "Salmon Safe" by the Pacific Rivers Council.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Robert Mondavi Napa Merlot 2005
Robert Mondavi Napa Merlot 2005
(search item no. 94458)

PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Full-bodied, with ripe, integrated tannins enlivened by excellent acidity. Harmonious layers of ripe black plum and blackberry fruit flavors with a hint of spice and taffy-toasted oak.
My Notes:

About Robert Mondavi Winery:

For more than 40 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been the symbol of Napa Valley. Founded in 1966, it was the first major winery built in Napa Valley in the three decades following the repeal of Prohibition (1933), and went on to establish the foundation for modern California winemaking. Robert Mondavi Winery's mission-styled architecture, with the expansive archway and bell tower designed by Cliff May, has become an enduring landmark that honors California's history. With the philosophy that great wines reflect their origins, Robert Mondavi Winery pursues the fullest expression of the terroir of its Napa Valley vineyards: the historic To Kalon Vineyard in the Oakville American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the Wappo Hill Vineyard in the Stags Leap Vineyard AVA.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 95532)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $36.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The key words for this wine are balance and grace. There is a sensuality to this wine that really brings unique excitement to one's highest calling for the grape, Pinot Noir. Look for rose petal powered red fruit like cherry and raspberry fruit aromas. This is the "feminine" power that only Pinot Noir can capture in a wine glass. The mouth-feel is seductive and creamy textured with red fruit, spice, and violet floral perfumed flavors. Rich, long, and enticing this Pinot Noir keeps on giving.
My Notes:

About Argyle:

Twenty-five years ago, Argyle began making wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Since 1987, winemaker Rollin Soles and viticulturist Allen Holstein have teamed up to produce world-class method champenoise sparkling wines, barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and silky-textured Pinor Noir from low-yielding vines that are winery farmed on some of the best hillside slopes and elevations. Argyle wines have received a total of 11 Wine Spectator Top 100 designations - more than any other winery in Oregon. The Argyle wines represented on this list include sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, truly making Argyle one of the finest practitioners of the craft of elegant, long-lived winegrowing.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
(search item no. 87234)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2010 Decanter rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This 2003 Artist Series was produced from grapes grown primarily at Champoux, Woodward Canyon Estate, Canoe Ridge, Klipsun, Sagemoor, Tapteil and Pepper Bridge vineyards. These seven vineyards are some of the most highly regarded properties in Washington and produce fantastic wines in their own right. In a blend, they can produce extraordinary wine.

The 2003 vintage was the warmest vintage for Washington that we have experienced since we began making wine in 1981. We achieved extraordinary ripening with full physiological maturity achieved through rigorous cultural practices such as shoot thinning, leaf stripping and green harvesting. This cabernet sauvignon was fermented in small stainless steel tanks and was punched down or pumped over twice a day. Aging in predominantly new French Chateaux barrels has produced a complex and generous red wine.

This wine has a beautiful nose of spicy oak and cedar integrated with ripe black fruits and cherry. A firm rich mouth feel begins with cassis and black berry leading towards chocolate and mocha. The finish is generous and long. While this wine can be enjoyed now it will definitely benefit from additional cellaring and with proper storage should develop for eight years or more.
My Notes:

About Woodward Canyon:

Woodward Canyon Winery was founded by Rick Small in 1981. He is currently soul-searching on the subject of terroir. Debating the suitability of certain varietals to certain vineyard plots has become a quandary. On the one hand, the grapes growing there do fine and are the basis for extremely successful wines (Chardonnay, mostly); on the other, would Merlot or Cabernet Franc provide even more exciting character? The evolution of the Northwest wine industry continues.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Carneros    California   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 2006
Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 95108)

PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $35.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2006 Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir is medium-bodied, with dark plum, dried raspberry & blueberry, and hints of espresso and cocoa powder. This wine is well structured with lingering fruit and spice on the finish and gentle, rounded tannins.

An excellent food wine, Pinot Noir pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Beaulieu Vineyard:

About Beaulieu Vineyard:

The deep roots of Beaulieu Vineyard were first planted back in 1900, when founder Georges de Latour noticed similarities with his native Bordeaux and declared the Napa Valley ideal for winemaking. Planting vineyards in Rutherford with grafted, phylloxera-resistent French vines, the Cabernet Sauvignon that de Latour crafted from these grapes gave the world a taste of California's promise as a world-class winemaking region. In 1938, de Latour hired the young Russian-French enologist, Andre Tchelistcheff. Today, Beaulieu continues to turn to innovative practices. Most recently, they completed a new state-of-the-art winery within one of their original buildings. The Georges de Latour Private Reserve Winery utilizes the latest technology in combination with time-honored traditions for the production of this exceptional wine.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 94208)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $48.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2010 Decanter rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 vintage was one of the finest that I have ever experienced. We achieved extraordinary ripening with physiological maturity achieved through leaf stripping, green harvesting and generally improved cultural practices throughout the vineyards. This Cabernet Sauvignon was fermented in very small stainless steel tanks and was punched down or pumped over twice a day. Aging in predominantly new French Chateaux barrels has produced a complex and generous red wine.

This wine has a generous nose of spicy oak and cedar integrated with ripe black fruits and cherry. A sweet, rich mouth feel begins with cassis and ripe black berry leading towards chocolate and mocha. The finish is complex, generous and long. While this wine can be enjoyed now it will definitely benefit from additional cellaring and with proper storage should develop for eight years or more.

This 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was produced from grapes grown primarily at Champoux, Sagemoor, Klipsun and Tapteil Vineyards. These four vineyards are some of the most highly regarded properties in Washington State and produce fantastic wines in their own right. In blend, they produce extraordinary wine.

My Notes:

About Woodward Canyon:

Woodward Canyon Winery was founded by Rick Small in 1981. He is currently soul-searching on the subject of terroir. Debating the suitability of certain varietals to certain vineyard plots has become a quandary. On the one hand, the grapes growing there do fine and are the basis for extremely successful wines (Chardonnay, mostly); on the other, would Merlot or Cabernet Franc provide even more exciting character? The evolution of the Northwest wine industry continues.


Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/20/2014
Duckhorn Napa Merlot 2005
Duckhorn Napa Merlot 2005
(search item no. 92228)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/20/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2002 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 85 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Napa Valley Merlot is blended to offer the complexity and balance of a young wine, while embodying the diversity of the whole Napa Valley appellation. This wine is medium-bodied and balanced with a smooth entry, integrated soft tannins, and a long finish. The aroma is lifted with raspberry, red currant, blueberry, cherry cola, and delicate spice. The flavors are polished with blackberry, plum, black cherry, toast, and a hint of herb.

The 2005 season began with a wet winter and spring; annual rainfall totals were well above average. We had an ideal fruit set, which produced an abundant number of full grape clusters. As a result, the vintage yielded exceptional fruit for the season. The harvest lasted over two months—into the early days of November. In many ways the 2005 season was reminiscent of 1997, where we had an abundant harvest of remarkable quality.

86% Merlot
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Cabernet Franc
1% Petit Verdot

"...this Merlot has a lot going for it. It's full-bodied and rich in black currant, cherry, chocolate, violet, licorice and smoky oak flavors, with dense, intricate tannins. Probably best now and through 2009, before it drops its fresh fruit."
-Wine Enthusiast

My Notes:

Additional wines from Duckhorn Vineyards:

About Duckhorn Vineyards:

Founded in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has been crafting Bordeaux varietals from the Napa Valley for over 30 years. This winemaking tradition has grown to include seven estate vineyards, located throughout the various microclimates of the Napa Valley. Focused on quality and consistency, these estate vineyards are an essential element in making wines of distinction. One of the first wineries to pioneer Merlot as a premium varietal, Duckhorn Vineyards now makes several elegant Merlot and distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings to showcase the characteristics of its vineyard sites. In addition, the winery is known for its acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc. Beginning with the 2006 vintage, Duckhorn Vineyards unveiled The Discussion, a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that represents the pinnacle of Duckhorn's portfolio.