Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 93344)
Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $19.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"This finely poised Cabernet brings out the best of Washing State, forward but never over the line. Its dark and generous cassis aromas are accented by mocha, while a mineral tension allows the wine to retain finess. For leg of lamb."
-Wines & Spirits

"The Indian Wells Cabernet is our warm climate ripe, jammy Cabernet. The 2005 bottling is no exception. The wine exudes sweet blackberry pie and vanilla aromas and flavors with loads of complexity. This is our big bold, obvious Cabernet and after just two vintages, it has quickly become a fan favorite. Wonderful Cab from such esteemed growers as Indian Wells, Jones, Washington Fruit and even Cold Creek Vineyard are woven together with a little Syrah to make a wine that says boldly 'I'm from Washington."

Meant to enjoy in its youth, try it with shish kabobs, a flat iron steak or even with a nibble of dark chocolate."
- Bob Bertheau, Winemaker

My Notes:

Additional wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle:

About Chateau Ste. Michelle:

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington with some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including "American Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and "2005 Winery of the Year" by Restaurant Wine. In addition, the winery's Eroica Riesling, crafted from a partnership with German winemaker Ernst Loosen, has been named to Wine Spectator's prestigious "Top 100" wines list for five consecutive years.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one devoted to whites and another to reds. This dedicated approach to winemaking allows winemaker Bob Bertheau to build winemaking programs to the unique specifications of red and white wines. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle's vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the climate is dry and sunny, Bob Bertheau makes the award winning white wines in Woodinville, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The winery's expansive, 87-acre estate hosts more than 250,000 visitors annually for tours, tastings, dinners and outdoor summer concerts.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2007
(search item no. 93881)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Overflowing with aromas of gooseberry and passionfruit with hints of lime and nettles. The wine is mouth filling with vibrant fruit and mid palate richness, finishing rich and racy with excellent length and crispness.

Our "Cellar Selection" wines place an emphasis on fruit quality and minimal handling results in intensely flavoured, elegant food friendly wines. They are a step up in quality from our "Private Bin" wines.

The fruit for this wine comes from both the Awatere and Wairau Valleys of Marlborough. Timely canopy management activities such as shoot thinning and leaf plucking along with an attention to vine health optimises the opportunity for the ideal vineyard flavours and clean, ripe fruit at harvest. The fruit was harvested in the cool of the night to ensure it arrived at the winery in pristine condition.

Steven Tanzer's International Wine Cellar called it "Dense, lush and sweet, with good depth and complexity to the flavors of grapefruit, pineapple, spices, flowers, herbs and pepper. Very good for this price range."

My Notes:

Additional wines from Villa Maria:

About Villa Maria:

In 1960, George Fistonich, the son of a Croatian immigrant, founded Villa Maria in Mangere, Auckland. Voted New Zealand's Winemaker of the Year in 1993, George is today the managing director of the Villa Maria Group, which also includes Vidal and Esk Valley Wineries, together forming the third largest wine company in New Zealand.

Winemaker Michelle Richardson has been with Villa Maria since 1992. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Australia and in 1991 assisted flying winemaker Hugh Ryman with the French vintage. In 1997, Michelle, like George Fistonich, was voted New Zealand's Winemaker of the Year. Her 1996 wines have taken Villa Maria to new peaks in quality. Michelle is a graduate of the highly regarded Roseworthy College in Australia. She heads the Villa Maria winemaking team.

This team of dedicated vintners has placed its emphasis on high quality and good value. Grapes are either estate-grown or carefully sourced, and the winery was the first in New Zealand to initiate payment for grapes by quality. Villa Maria has won awards for its wines in competitions across New Zealand and Australia and has been honored for its high standards of customer service and environmental responsibility.



White Wines    Torrontes    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2008
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2008
(search item no. 95953)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $13.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Enticing aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach pit, white pear, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate, it has a beautiful structure and acidity along with enticing fruit flavors and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed.

Best enjoyed in its youth either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood (especially crab).

"This brilliant portfolio begins with the medium straw-colored 2008 Torrontes. It offers up an alluring perfume of spring flowers, peach, apricot, and a hint of citrus. On the palate the wine is dry, smooth textured, layered, and succulent while retaining a sense of elegance. This nicely balanced wine features a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. Drink it over the next 1-2 years.

The Crios de Susana Balbo label has rapidly become synonymous with great value. Susana Balbo is also widely credited with developing the modern style of Torrontes; hers remains the benchmark."
-Wine Advocate

My Notes:

Additional wines from Crios de Susana Balbo:

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.



White Wines    Other White Wine    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Suavia Soave Classico 2007
Suavia Soave Classico 2007
(search item no. 97206)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is pale yellow with green hues. The nose is fresh, intense and continues with hints of fresh flowers and a hint of anise. The taste is dry, fresh, long and medium-bodied.

Perfect with fish soup, pasta with white vegetable sauce or pasta in broth.

My Notes:

About Suavia:

Giuseppe Tessari had built the family's home in 1887, high on the Fittà hills that overlook the Classico heartland, facing the hills of Soave and Monteforte d'Alpone. He cultivated the family's first vineyards with his own hands and sold his fine fruit into the local cantina sociale, keeping to himself only sufficient grapes for a few barrels of Recioto. Then in 1982, a century after it all began, his son Giovanni and wife Rosetta took a brave step, choosing at last to estate-bottle their wine, constructing a brand new, state-of-the-art winery and calling themselves Suavia "as a tribute to the tradition and culture of their terroir". Suavia the ancient name of the city of Soave and the surrounding area, is the name they decided to give their new winery to underline the profound connection with the tradition and culture of the territory. They dedicated 12 hectares to the vineyard, at the highest point in Soave Classico, using the traditional grapes Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave.

Today, their four daughters run the winery. Arianna, Meri, Valentina (the present winemaker) and Alessandra speak of their vineyards as they speak of grandfather Giuseppe and Nonna Serafina, who taught them to care for every vine, every plot and every grape on the property from earliest childhood. In the course of these years, Suavia has become synonymous with Soave and one of the appellation's benchmark wineries. Attention focus at first in the vineyard and then in the cellar, which release only four wines that are the Tessari's interpretation of all the facets of Garganega. The secret of their success lies in: (1) Their unique empathy with the Soave Classico terroir (2) Very old, select rootstock (Monte Carbonare was planted in 1946, Le Rive in 1951). (3) The richness and complexity of Suavia's volcanic soil, endowing the wines with minerally, flinty notes. (4) An ideal, hillside microclimate, vines at an altitude of 300 meters and exposure, with sunny days and cool nights, hence, the wines' layered aromas and nuances of ripe, exotic fruit.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2008
(search item no. 86934)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 85 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Icon Sauvignon Blanc is a complex, powerful wine, with excellent structure and palate weight. Displaying distinct Marlborough characters of pineapple, grapefruit and nettles, this wine has a smooth, viscous mouth feel with a refreshing balance of tangy acidity and natural grape sugars.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Nobilo:

About Nobilo:

So rich in history, Nobilo wines are proudly hailed as some of New Zealand's most respected pioneering wine brands. A Croat immigrant, Nikola Nobilo, whose family history and winemaking background stretches back over 300 years to the Adriatic island of Korcula off the Dalmatian coast, led the way. The history of the company in New Zealand goes back to the early 1940's when this Croatian family, landed in New Zealand. They settled in Huapai, West Auckland situated in the North Island of New Zealand, and started planting vines in 1943. With over 300 years of European wine history, this family effectively persuaded and guided the NZ wine industry away from hybrid grape varieties and fortified wines, to a higher level of quality wine, now recognised and appraised by all markets.


White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Eroica Riesling 2007
Eroica Riesling 2007
(search item no. 96190)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 93 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Eroica shows the crisp acidity of the 2007 vintage, which was the best acidity holding year in the past five years. The wine delivers mandarin orange and sweet lime aromas and flavors with subtle mineral notes. The cooler September, along with selecting fruit from higher elevation and cooler sites, contributed to the mouth-watering acidity balanced by beautiful Washington Riesling fruit.

An amazing pairing with sweet, flavorful Dungeness crab.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Eroica:

About Eroica:

Launched in 1999, Eroica is a labor of love for two of the world's great Riesling producers. One from the Old World, Dr. Loosen estate of Germany, and the other from the New World, Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state. An intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and technique enables the crafting of an extraordinary Riesling from Washington state grapes. Named for Beethoven's Third Symphony, Eroica reflects not only its variety and site, but also its heritage: bold and forward from its Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration.

The first five vintages of Eroica Riesling (1999-2003) were named to Wine Spectator's "Top 100" list.

"I have long believed that a Riesling revival would have to start with a prominent New World winery like Chateau Ste. Michelle."
- Ernst Loosen, Dr. Loosen estate



White Wines    Riesling    Mosel-Saar-Ruwer    Germany   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA 2007
St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA 2007
(search item no. 97023)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Crisp, racy and refined, reflective of the style that every lover of Riesling from our area seeks ...light and elegant with wonderful fruit flavor. This taste profile for the 2007 vintage wines is the inimitable hallmark of top-quality Mosel Riesling, low in alcohol yet bursting with fruit flavor and minerality, providing a vinous transparency of time and place.
My Notes:

Additional wines from St. Urbans-Hof:

About St. Urbans-Hof:

For our family, wine has been at the heart of life for generations. Our deep respect for the traditions of our region remains, as ever, the guarantee for the quality of our wines.

In our endeavours we give highest priority to maintaining the egological balance of our vineyards, in the belief that as winemakers we must recognize and respect the fragile unity of viticulture and nature.

St. Urbans-Hof employs traditional methods of wine growing and winemaking which have been used in the Mosel and Saar Valleys for centuries, some of which date back to the Romans. For example, the vines are grown on the traditional single-post 'Heart-binding' trellis system, whereby the canes are tied in the shape of a heart.

Also, organic fertilizers are utilized in order to maintain the natural balance of the soil. Most importantly, yields are kept at low levels in order to achieve intense and well-structured wines. For optimal flavour development, leaves are thinned and grapes are harvested as late as possible to allow for maximum ripening. All grapes are hand picked and carried from the vineyard in traditional shoulder-mounted containers called 'hotten' to ensure optimal fruit quality.

Just as important as the great length taken to deliver the best possible fruit from the vineyard is the careful attention given to the proper traetment of the grapes by cellarmaster Rudolf Hoffmann. The grapes are lightly crushed, after which they remain on the skins for a short period to ensure the complete release of aromas into the juice.

After this, the pulp of skins and juice is gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks at cool cellar temperatures to fully capture the aromas, flavours and delicate natural spritz of the Riesling grape. The wines are then transferred into traditional 1000 litre 'Fuder' barrels for several months to harmonize, after which they are lightly filtered and bottled.



White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Concannon Limited Release Pinot Gris 2005
Concannon Limited Release Pinot Gris 2005
(search item no. 88562)

PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $15.29

Winemaker's Notes:

Winemaker Notes:

This fresh, very bright citrus-and-peach fruit forward wine captures the essence of Pinot Gris. There is a suggestion of sweetness in the nose that serves to round out its bright, deeply fruity character. The palate hints at a mix of ripeness and the weighty style of Alsacian Pinot Gris, but the finish stays balanced and crisp. Considering its competition, it‘s an extremely good value, delivering as much character and richness as Pinot Gris at twice the price. A finely structured wine with vibrant peach and floral notes... a real crowd-pleaser.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Concannon:

About Concannon:

A historic and once-famous Livermore winery, Concannon was bought and sold several times in the 1980's by large conglomerates that were purchasing each other. Each sale resulted in a loss of focus, and the brand suffered. In 1992 Eric Wente of Wente Vineyards saved it from the jaws of destruction by assembling a group of eight investors to buy the winery. However, Concannon Vineyard is a totally separate company in both ownership and operation from Wente Vineyards.

Nestled amidst the vineyards and rolling hills along the Livermore Valley, Concannon has been widely recognized for crafting full-flavored, complex and award-winning wines. Ocean air pours through the Golden Gate each afternoon cooling the influence of the sun, and enabling the grapes to develop both the ripe sugars and firm acids that fine wine demands.

Concannon is perfectly positioned geologically, atop a 600-foot-deep bed of gravelly soil. These rocks require the vines to drive their roots deep into mineral-rich deposits, and it also keeps the grape and cluster size in moderation.

More than 140 of Concannon's 200 Livermore estate acres are Petite Sirah plantings grafted onto improved rootstocks. Over the decades, they have carefully tuned their planting and trellising to take full advantage of the unique terroir. The result: intensely flavored, memorable wines vintage after vintage.



White Wines    Riesling    Mosel-Saar-Ruwer    Germany   
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Date Printed: 4/24/2014
Clean Slate Riesling 2007
Clean Slate Riesling 2007
(search item no. 94704)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 4/24/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Refreshing taste profile with peach aromas, lime notes, lively acidity and a hint of mineral and spice.

Pairs beautifully with Asian dishes, spicy foods, sushi, fish, poultry and pork.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Clean Slate:

About Clean Slate:

Clean Slate was born of a partnership between Moselland of Bernkastel-Kues, Germany and the Click Wine Group of Seattle, Washington. Moselland is the largest vineyard owner in the world-class region of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and one of Germany's top exporters of Riesling. Known for its innovation and consumer insight, the Click Wine Group owns and imports unique wine brands that take the intimidation out of the wine buying process.

Credited with producing the finest Rieslings in the world, the slate soil of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer is where the long-ripening Riesling grape finds its most perfect grwoing conditions. Prolonged ripening allows for maximum flavor development from the terroir and a crisp, refreshing acidity with mineral notes. The result is a truly unique and elegant Riesling that is simply not possible to produce in warmer, early-ripening climates.