White Wines    Chardonnay    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Yalumba Eden Valley Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2008
Yalumba Eden Valley Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 99112)
screw cap wine
green wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color of this wine is pale gold with green tints. The nose displays lifted citrus zest and fresh quince with subtle notes of white nougat and toasted almonds. Finely structured and seamless, the palate is all about texture. Creamy nougat, citrus and hints of white nectarine combine elegantly with the subtle nuances of French oak and a restrained citrus acidity for a lingering finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Yalumba:

About Yalumba:

Yalumba is one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith. From modest beginnings, the Yalumba Wine Company has grown to become one of Australia's most successful medium-sized wineries, owned by 6th generation Robert Hill Smith. Yalumba regularly receives accolateds for its distinctive wines, as well as for its leadership role in the Australian wine industry in the areas of viti-innovation and environmental policy. The Yalumba premium wine portfolio commences with the fresh and flavorsome varietal wines of the Y Series, then moves up to capture the essence of the Barossa Eden Valleys, explores old world varieties through innovated, modern wines in the Hand Picked line, and culminates with the coveted, collectible Yalumba Rare & Fine wines.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2009
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2009
(search item no. 105844)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine has a beautiful reddish/purple color as most good Malbecs do. The aromas are a mix of freshly crushed black cherries and toasty/smoky oak—just enough to frame the exuberant fruit. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and spice are obvious, and the jammy fruit quality just keeps coming on strong, with hints of spice and sandalwood lurking in the background. This is a wine that you'll want to buy by the case because it can be consumed at almost any occasion, whether at a fancy dinner party, or just curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Fun and delicious—what more can you ask for?!
My Notes:

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About Crios de Susana Balbo:

After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."

Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.

Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives.



Red Wines    Grenache    Cotes du Rhone    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Domaine d'Andezon Cotes du Rhone La Granacha 2008
Domaine d'Andezon Cotes du Rhone La Granacha 2008
(search item no. 102605)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $13.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The "La Granacha Signarques" is produced from 80+ year-old vines, harvested at 35 hl/ha and under, grapes are de-stemmed and vinified using all natural yeasts. Bottled with no filtration or fining.
My Notes:

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About Domaine d'Andezon:

In 1994 Eric Solomon visited the Vignerons d’Estézargues and met a young, passionate director/winemaker named Jean-François Nicq. By the end of the day, he & Jean-François had decided on a custom bottling of old vine syrah from one of their best parcels, Andezon. This opaque-black, blockbuster Syrah could have been a top Northern Rhone wine, á la Cornas. What a find! Previously sold in bulk (vinous suicide) to a very famous producer in the Rhone Valley, Eric jumped at the opportunity and over a decade later it remains one of the core items in the Eric Solomon portfolio.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 107330)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The fruit-laden 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon offers a luscious bouquet of dark fruit including blackcurrant, black cherry, and blackberry layered over aromas of sweet vanilla and baking spices. Approachable cherry and cocoa notes lead to a wine of intense concentration, with flavors of dried plums and cola laced with hints of tobacco. Generous weight and mouth-filling velvet tannins frame a finish that lingers with flavors of dark cherry and cassis.
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.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Louis Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Louis Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 99828)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 2% Syrah and 1% Petite Verdot.

The Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a deep garnet color with intense aromas of ripe cherry, cassis, and pipe tobacco. Concentrated flavors of ripe plums, and dark bing cherries marry perfectly with the oak nuances. This is a well structured wine that is balanced with firm, velvety tannins which culminate in a long, elegant finish with hints of tobacco, dried herbs and fruit. This wine is ready to enjoy now or can be aged for 3-5 years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Louis Martini:

About Louis Martini:

For more than 75 years, the Martini family winemakers have crafted world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the exceptional vineyards of Sonoma and Napa counties. Louis M. Martini embodied a simple, honest premise: The best grapes make the best wines. Today, Michael Martini, third generation winemaker carries on this tradition at the historic winery in Napa Valley with his range of unforgettable Cabernet Sauvignon wines.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
Artezin Dry Creek Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 97646)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $13.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The fruit profile opens with fresh blackberries and black cherry, followed by ripe raspberry jam. More subtle aromas of currants, licorice, black pepper and spice. Entry on the palate is a burst of berries, followed by spices and ripe fruit sweetness. The mid-palate is smooth and round with elegant tannins and a lush finish. This Dry Creek offering shows that Zinfandel can be sophisticated and elegant and gains complexity with pairing. As such, excellent food pairings include roasted duck, veal, and grilled salmon as well as pastas and subtle-flavored cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Artezin:

We handcraft Artezin Zinfandel from grapes grown in some of California's best Zinfandel regions: Napa Valley, Amador County, Sonoma County and Mendocino County. Artezin expresses terroir and rich varietal fruit with lively and complex elegance.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 104657)
The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $38.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Forest floor and Chanterelle mushroom greet the nose immediately. The aroma quickly develops into layers of cardamom, clove, and leather. After decanting, citrus blossom, blackberry jam, and dried currants evolve. This wine is unquestionably Stags Leap District: balanced fine-grained tannin, concentration, and fresh minerality. Satsuma peel, dark chocolate, black cherry, and damson plum characterize the lengthy finish. At cellar temperature, further rewards can be found up to 24 hours after uncorking, in the form of maraschino cherry and raspberry.
My Notes:

About Cliff Lede Vineyards:

Established in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards encompasses 60 acres in the famed Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. Owner Cliff Lede, viticulturist David Abreu, winemaker Kale Anderson and consulting winemaker Philippe Melka have come together to form an unrivalled team, making the most of this remarkable property. Their state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Chateau Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. The winery produces Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, is crafted from the steep hillside portion of the estate.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Yalumba Barossa Shiraz and Viognier 2006
Yalumba Barossa Shiraz and Viognier 2006
(search item no. 96280)
green wine
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is deep purpley red in color, displaying an aroma of sweet fragrant plums and bright red-berried fruits along with a fine cedar tone and just the subtle floral notes of Viognier. A medium to full bodied wine, showing red fruits, fine spices, cloves and peppers. The 2006 is rich, but not an overpowering Shiraz with the subtle sweet textures of Viognier.

Great now, but will also reward 5-7 years in the cellar. Match with butterfly pork chops with creamy mash potatoes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Yalumba:

About Yalumba:

Yalumba is one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith. From modest beginnings, the Yalumba Wine Company has grown to become one of Australia's most successful medium-sized wineries, owned by 6th generation Robert Hill Smith. Yalumba regularly receives accolateds for its distinctive wines, as well as for its leadership role in the Australian wine industry in the areas of viti-innovation and environmental policy. The Yalumba premium wine portfolio commences with the fresh and flavorsome varietal wines of the Y Series, then moves up to capture the essence of the Barossa Eden Valleys, explores old world varieties through innovated, modern wines in the Hand Picked line, and culminates with the coveted, collectible Yalumba Rare & Fine wines.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 105161)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $64.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2012 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 92 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1994 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1987 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1987 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

For both the Napa Valley and Special Selection bottlings, the goal is a balanced wine that tastes delicious when bottled but can improve with age. Chuck Wagner attributes the quality of the wines to farming and winemaking techniques developed over the decades.
My Notes:

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About Caymus:

As the Wagner family celebrated the 40th anniversary of Caymus Vineyards in 2012, they thought back to 1972 which Charlie Wagner, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner and their son, Chuck, built their winery among the vines planted on the family's ranch in Rutherford, California - the center of the Napa Valley. In 1975, the Wagners produced their first Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, which remains the only wine to have twice been named Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" (1984 and 1990 vintage).


Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Pahlmeyer Merlot 2004
Pahlmeyer Merlot 2004
(search item no. 91890)
collectible wine

Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $69.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 95 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"While exaggerated ripeness has lately become the bane of too many wines, this highly ripened and downright opulent wine handles its alcohols with great aplomb and delivers layer upon layer of sweet and succulent ripe-cherry fruit, cocoa and lovely, creme brulee oak. It is full, fleshy and very well-balanced with an inviting sense of plushness backed up by perfectly integrated tannins, and its scant suggestion of finishing heat is made moot by its extraordinarily long fruit. Its show-stopping richness will no doubt invite early drinking, but its structure and depth signal great things ahead."
-Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
My Notes:

Additional wines from Pahlmeyer:

About Pahlmeyer:

Jayson Pahlmeyer has been producing highly sought-after wines since 1986. It began with Jayson's dream to make world-class Bordeaux-style wine from Napa Valley. Pahlmeyer's estate vineyard - Waters Rance - is situated at 2100 feet in the Atlas Peak appellation of Napa Valley. It is the key source for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Chardonnay. Jayson's passion eventually led him to the Sonoma Coast, where less than seven miles and two ridges from the Pacific Ocean, he planted Wayfarer Farm, their key source for Pinot Noir.