Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Kim Crawford Pinot Noir 2008
Kim Crawford Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 100081)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Purple in color with a touch of crimson. Dark black cherries, red currants and strawberries mingle with integrated oak on the nose. Bright red fruit and hints of dark cherries compliment the oak that outlines a long, smoky finish.
My Notes:

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About Kim Crawford:

Kim Crawford Wines started out in a small Auckland cottage in New Zealand. Since its launch in 1996, the label has gained critical acclaim around the globe. Kim Crawford wines capture the true aromas and flavors of New Zealand in each bottle. The established leader of luxury-priced Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Kim Crawford combines a passion for excellence in winemaking with a vision of exploring new boundaries.


Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
(search item no. 528)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $54.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A Champagne House is eventually judged on the quality of its Brut Non Vintage. It is in the making of such a wine that the true Art of Champagne blending reveals itself.

This is an art in which the House of Veuve Clicquot excels. Our Brut Yellow Label reflects the superb vineyards we own and the consistent nature of our House style.

The predominance of Pinot Noir provides the structure that is so typically Clicquot, while a touch of Pinot Meunier rounds out the blend. Chardonnay adds the elegance and finesse essential in a perfectly balanced wine.

My Notes:

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About Veuve Clicquot:

The House was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772. Since its inception, Veuve Clicquot has been a specialist in Champagnes based on Pinot Noir, especially Rosé. In 1803, François Clicquot was married to Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. Madame Clicquot was widowed just two years later. Veuve Clicquot (Veuve means widow in French) took over her husband's business. In 1810, the house took the name Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. The way that she ran her company, from risky overseas ventures to startling technological innovations, changed Champagne forever. Her motto is still the guiding principle of our company – "Only one quality – the finest."

In 1816, Mme. Clicquot invented the process, called rémuage or riddling, that removes the yeast from the bottle. She used holes cut in her kitchen table to perfect the method of slowly tilting and turning the bottles to gather the spent yeast in the neck of the bottle. Once settled it could be removed by freezing the neck in a brine of salt and water, removing it, and recorking.

The company was taken public in 1963, and merged with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey in 1986. Today, Jacques Peters is the chief winemaker at Veuve Clicquot, and was appointed cellar master in 1985. He has undertaken an ambitious program since this time to upgrade the grape sources, improve the vineyards, and improve the cellars and production facilities.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Monte Antico Rosso 2006
Monte Antico Rosso 2006
(search item no. 100357)
green wine
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2008 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2007 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#61 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The blend, albeit varying slightly depending on vintage conditions, is 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The best selections are blended and aged 1 year in oak (80% in Slavonian barrels, 20% in barrique) + at least 6 months in the bottle, achieving a graceful balance of voluptuous berry tones and flexible yet sturdy backbone. Dark ruby in color, its bouquet of leather, earth, herbs, black cherries, licorice and plums is confirmed on the medium to full-bodied palate – round, spicy, elegant, attractively fruity and extremely versatile with any fare from pasta or risotto, to meat, fowl and cheese. Moreover, the Empsons' judicious pricing policy makes it "consistently one of Italy's better values". Food-friendly, pocket-friendly, all-around simpatico.

My Notes:

About Castello di Monte Antico:

Neil Empson and renowned oenologist Franco Bernabei conjunctly orchestrate this all-Sangiovese varietal from Tuscany's very finest vineyard sites. Having access to the region's top crus and ideal microclimates means they can pick and choose according to harvest conditions, achieving consistent excellence with each vintage.

The superlative characteristics of chosen locations and strict quality parameters make for the wine's depth, structure, character and longevity.

Terrain includes compact, very fine-textured limestone, at an altitude of 400-450 meters above sea level; rocky, clayey/calcareous areas, also at altitudes around 400 meters; and clayey/siliceous/calcareous soil, at an altitude of 250-300 meters: a cross-section of Tuscany's best.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana 2006
Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana 2006
(search item no. 98407)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $16.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Delicate aromas of Mediterranean wood and vanilla mark the deep red fruits and red cherries flavors that are layered with spice. Elegant, ripe, balanced and full of finesse.
My Notes:

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About Aia Vecchia:

Aia Vecchia is the name of an old building which is today the centre of a company deep in the Tuscany countryside between Bolgheri and Castagneto Carducci. This is an area where the particularly favorable microclimate and ideally suited soils make possible the production of very high quality wines. The particular position gives the vines very much light, both direct sunlight as sunlight reflected by the sea. This in general allows an early harvest.

The property consists of 69 hectars of open ground: 48 are vineyards, 30 of which are under the Bolgheri DOC. The planted varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are used to produce Lagone and Sor Ugo. In the cellar situated in Castagneto Carducci there are 2000 barriques.

The Morellino di Scansano is produced in the estate of Magliano in Toscana (Grosseto) which consists of 10 hectares planted with Sangiovese and Merlot grape varieties.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Cotes du Rhone    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Vidal-Fleury Cotes-du-Rhone 2007
Vidal-Fleury Cotes-du-Rhone 2007
(search item no. 102877)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: Ruby core with dark highlights.

Nose: Grenache leads with strawberry, chocolate, prune, cherry and violet notes.

Palate: Black fruits, cherry, pepper; lingering finish

Pair with red and white meats, pizza, barbecue, pasta and cheese

My Notes:

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About Vidal-Fleury:

Vidal Fleury was founded in 1781 as a wine grower and proprietor of vineyards in the Cote Rotie. With more than two centuries of continuous operation, it's undisputedly the oldest functioning winery and wine firm in the Rhone Valley.

Founder Joseph Vidal strove to produce wines that expressed the typicity of the various soils and to achieve the highest degree of quality possible. True to the founder's goals. the winery continues to produce wines that are the finest expression of their appelation. Today Vidal Fleury offers a comprehensive range of red, white and rose wines from the Rhone Valley. Recognizing the enormous potential of Vidal Fleury and the value of its brand, the successful Rhone winemaker Marcel Guigal bought the company in 1986. Modern equipment in a spotless environment is used to implement the traditional methods in winemaking.

All red wines and selected white wines are matured adn aged in oak barrels and casks. Selected cuvees are aged in new oak for part or all of the maturation process.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico 2007
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico 2007
(search item no. 106564)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $17.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#47 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The wine offers a brilliant ruby red color. As time passes, the hue is enriched with garnet tones that, as the years go by, lighten further toward orange with an ochre tint typical of Tuscan wines. The aroma is satisfyingly intense, fine and elegant, with light scents of ripe fruits and violets. As it evolves, the wine develops an appealing bouquet that is full and complex. It possesses a pleasant fullness and an outstanding balance of body and structure. Somewhat austere in its youth, the wine softens with age, becoming velvety and developing prolonged and appealing aromatic persistence.

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About Castello D'Albola:

The Castello d'Albola estate is situated above the town of Radda, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in the province of Siena, Tuscany. Established in the 11th century, Castello d'Albola was initially owned by the Monterinaldi family. Over the centuries it was transferred to the Samminiati, Pazzi and Ginori-Conti families, and finally to the Zonin family.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
A to Z Pinot Noir 2008
A to Z Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 102445)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#75 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The 2008 A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir reveals all of the depth, concentration and beauty of the 2008 vintage. Deeply colored with aromas of minerals, red and black cherries, and spice, the wine opens in the mouth with rich, red and blue fruits, dark spice and dusty tannins. Great ripe acidity and tannic structure bring balance to this classic, succulent, intense wine, perhaps the most beautiful Pinot Noir we have made.

My Notes:

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About A to Z:

Founded in 2002, A to Z Wineworks is Oregon's fastest growing winery. The business model is simple: to produce and market Oregon's best wine values by concentrating on their core competencies of acquisition, blending and marketing.

A to Z has a bargain with other wineries from whom they source wines that they will not reveal their identities; component wines could be from any winery in Oregon from A to Z. This winery wanted a name that suggested that their wines are blended from many sources. A to Z builds their blends to craft balanced wines that aim to embody the essence of Oregon rather than reflect a specific single vineyard or A to Z style.



Red Wines    Other Red Wine    Other Italian    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva 2006
Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva 2006
(search item no. 106153)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense ruby-red in color with garnet reflections, the wine has concentrated aromas of black cherries, plums and blackberries, along with spiced notes of vanilla and licorice. Particularly suitable for roasted red meat, aged steak cuts, rotisseries and aged cheeses.
My Notes:

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About Leone de Castris:

Salice Salentino, a small village in Salento rich in vineyards and olive groves, is the home of the Leone de Castris’ vineyards. In 1665 Duke Oronzo, Earl of Lemos, gave birth to the company. Enchanted by this landscape, he sold all his properties in Spain in order to draw the best from the Salentine rich terroir.

1943 marks the birth of Five Roses and the improvement of the bottling line that has seen our rosé being the first ever bottled in Italy and sold first of all in USA. The name "Five Roses" derives from a "contrad" belonging to the family, so called since for several generations each de Castris had 5 children.

In the '60s, the direction of the company was handled by Cavaliere del Lavoro, Salvatore Leone de Castris and thanks to him the company had an important development, both locally and internationally. His know-how, of continuous improvement, is now carried on by his son Piernicola Leone de Castris, managing director since late '90s.

The winery’s production is very rich: red, white and rosé Doc wines (Salice Salentino, Locorotondo, Copertino, Primitivo di Manduria), interesting Igt Salento and Puglia wines, sparkling rosé and white wines; a distillate and an extra-virgin olive oil of fine value.



Red Wines    Nero d'Avola    Sicily    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Morgante Nero d'Avola 2007
Morgante Nero d'Avola 2007
(search item no. 97897)
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $15.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intensely ruby-red in color with supple aromas of ripe black cherry and blackberry, followed by spicy notes of charcoal, vanilla and black pepper. On the palate, bursting flavors of ripe fruit and exotic spice are balanced by pleasant acidity and silky tannins.

Delicious with roasted meats, eggplant parmigiana, pasta, grilled pork chops and veal casseroles.

My Notes:

About Morgante:

The Morgante winery is located in the pristine countryside of southern Sicily. The winery represents one family's initiative to employ five generations of viticultural experience and for the first time, make their own wine from the fruit of their vineyards. In 1994, Antonio Morgante and his sons, Carmelo and Giovanni, decided to vinify their own grapes. This decision represented the beginning of a strong commitment to achieve the best results with indigenous grapes while keeping an eye towards innovation.

In 1997, the family hired Riccardo Cotarella as their winemaker. Cotarella, widely recognized for his work crafting compelling wines from Italy's native varietals, shares the Morgante passion for producing great red wines from Nero d'Avola. In Sicily, Nero d'Avola is indisputably the red grape for wines of excellence. And it is the vine that the Morgante family has always cultivated. All aspects of production from vineyard to cellar are rigorously controlled by every member of the family, each one dedicated to making wines of the highest possible quality.



Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Cotes du Rhone    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone 2009
Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone 2009
(search item no. 106009)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Cherry red color with concentrated berries and cherries on the nose. Ample and fruity with a gentle hint of oak.

Food Pairing: pasta, white meats, fish and barbecue

My Notes:

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About Louis Bernard:

Since 1976, Louis Bernard has united winemakers of the Rhone Valley in a common project: to devote the best of their wine and savoir-faire to producing great wines. With production throughout the Cotes du Rhone region, Louis Bernard remains dedicated to showcasing the unique characteristics of each terroir while producing exquisite, world-class wines.

La Chartreuse de Bonpas is a medieval fortified convent located near Avignon in the Provence region of France, on the Durance River. According to legend, the area was originally called "Maupas" (bad passage) because it was dominated by dangerous bandits. In the 12th century, a holy man named Sibertius arrived with soldiers, built a convent, and chased away the evil bandits. Thus, the name was changed from "Maupas" to "Bonpas" (good passage) and became known as a safe haven allowing travelers a secure crossing of the Durance River .

Today, this historic monument is surrounded by 45 acres of A.O.C. Cotes du Rhone vineyards and is home to Louis Bernard. Visitors can tour the chapel, stroll in the beautiful French-style gardens, and enjoy wine tasting in the ancient cellar.