Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Coonawarra    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 111417)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Phoenix name recognizes the first winemaking company purchased by Douglas Tolley in South Australia in 1888, the 'The Phoenix Winemaking and Distilling Company.' The nose consists of violets, black currant leaf, ripe wild berry and integrated spice of the Cabernet grape. Mulberry and blackberry are the dominant fruit flavors enhanced by a tight palate with silky grape tannins and elegant complex cedar oak, so typical of Penley Style. A very generous mid palate with a hints of licorice and chocolate lingers on the finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Penley Estate:

About Penley Estate:

Established in 1988, by Kym Tolley, a direct descendant of the famous Penfold and Tolley winemaking families – the name Penley is an amalgam of the first three and last three letters from each title.

Tolley has over 25 years of winemaking experience, including being involved in the making of many vintages of the famous Penfolds Grange. The estate is located in the heart of Coonawarra, with the vines planted in the famed "terra rossa" soils – bright red top-soils overlaying soft free-draining limestone.

Critically acclaimed as one of Coonawarra's leading estates, and voted as one of the International Wineries of the Year 2001 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, while the Reserve Cabernet voted best wine of Coonawarra 2001, as judged by winemaking peers and critics.

The Penley Estate signature style comprises distinct, precise, terrior driven wines – not overly oaked or excessively alcoholic. They display ripe clean fruit with true regional character – the senior wines will age for many years.



White Wines    Riesling    Clare Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Angove Family Winemakers Clare Valley Vineyard Select Riesling 2006
Angove Family Winemakers Clare Valley Vineyard Select Riesling 2006
(search item no. 97869)
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Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Brilliant crystal clear in color with some green hints, this Riesling is fresh and crisp. Abundant lime and lemon aromas leap from the glass, preceding a palate showing all the complexity of the Riesling grape grown in perfect conditions. Juicy lime and lemon fruit flavours balance with a mineral backbone and fresh acidity. This refreshing wine finishes long and clean.
My Notes:

About Angove Family Winemakers:

The Angove family company, Angove's Pty. Ltd., ranks among Australia's largest privately owned wine companies and stands as one of the few with strong interests in distilling as well as grape growing and winemaking.

His early experimentation with vines, winemaking and distilling, led to the establishment of a proud family business. Dr. Angove's initial plantings at the township of Tea Tree Gully in the Adelaide foothills were the forerunner of one of the largest vineyards in the southern hemisphere - the magnificent Nanya Vineyard at Renmark in South Australia's Murray Valley.

Since World War II, the company has steadily expanded its operations and structure. Their Renmark facility has grown to become a major winemaking and distilling enterprise, with storage capacity for more than15 million litres of wine and spirit. In 1947, Thomas William Carlyon Angove, grandson of the founder, took the helm as Managing Director, beginning a new era in development.

In 1983, the fourth generation of the family took control, when John Carlyon Angove succeeded his father as Managing Director of the company.

The success of the Angove's identity owes a great deal to a pioneering spirit. The same urge that drove Dr. Angove to leave his home in Cornwall and emigrate to Australia is evident in many of the developments the company has taken since.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Ribera del Duero    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Vina Mayor Reserva 2004
Vina Mayor Reserva 2004
(search item no. 106943)
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#38 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

Deep, dark cherry red color.

Aroma: Complex mixture of intense ripe black fruit and fine oak character.

Taste: Elegant, well structured and full bodied. Rich, long and satisfying on the palate

My Notes:

About Vina Mayor:

The Bodegas y Viñedos Viña Mayor project began in Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid) in 1986 in the wake of the birth of the official Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero certification.

With a track record of more than 20 years of success, Bodegas y Viñedos Viña Mayor is known as an innovative highly positioned brand with regards to the quality of our range of wines from the regions of D.O. Ribera del Duero, D.O. Toro and D.O. Rueda.

VIÑA MAYOR's position as an industry leader has been consolidated through the crafting of wines with personality, modern style and elegance. Our wines have repeatedly been awarded prizes by the world's most prestigious wine guides and top competitions.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
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 12/25/2014: $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    Bordeaux Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Newton Claret 2007
Newton Claret 2007
(search item no. 102073)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A sophisticated blend in the Bordeaux tradition, this Newton Vineyard Claret is a dark garnet color with vibrant, lifted aromas of black cherry, currant supported by spicy and smoky hints of nutmeg and white pepper. The palate reveals blueberry, black plum and black cherry with a white pepper spice indicative of cool climate mountain fruit. The creamy mid-palate and silky tannins make this medium-weight wine an approachable, appealing choice.
My Notes:

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About Newton Vineyard:

Peter and Su Hua Newton purchased one square mile of tumbling slopes high up on Spring Mountain overlooking St. Helena in 1977. The Estate was planted to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Merlot thrives in a land which is rocky mixed with clay beneath the surface, while Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot like an impoverished soil, and Cabernet Sauvignon is happy in stony loam. The mountainous slopes of the vineyards not only have these soils, but also a full range of exposures. Spring Mountain provides the vines get all the sunlight they need without any baking heat stress.

Chardonnay needs chalky or loamy soil in a cooler region. Newton owns an old vineyard in Carneros and also has long-term grape contracts for several hillside vineyards verging on that region. Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay, introduced in 1990, is said to be the first unfiltered wine produced and sold in California, and is now regarded as an industry benchmark.

Su Hua insists on picking only ripe grapes from the vine. Her method of quality control is to be involved in every aspect of the harvest, during which time she can be found every day among the pickers. To ensure that only ripe grapes are harvested, there can be up to four separate pickings in a single vineyard - very difficult to do but, she believes, there is no other way to produce a great wine.



White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Eroica Riesling 2008
Eroica Riesling 2008
(search item no. 100239)
Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
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
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast 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 cooler 2008 vintage. The wine exudes mandarin orange and sweet lime aromas and flavors with subtle mineral notes. The mouth-watering acidity is beautifully balanced by flavorful Washington Riesling fruit. After a decade we have truly found our 'Eroica style,' striving for beautiful bright fruit with crisp acidity and enhanced minerarilty.
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



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz 2006
Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 93896)
Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is a blend of old and new Shiraz vines scourced from the Barossa's Valley Floor,complementing the different flavours which are sourced from individual vineyard's. The age of the vines range from 120, 70, 50 and younger vine parcels. They are hand selected from low yielding, minimally irrigated vineyards with exceptional soil and characteristics.

This wine is a classic example of honest traditional Barossa Shiraz. Ripe, rich plummy and dark cherry fruit with earthy tones and hints of spice, it displays fine toasty oak tannins resulting in a medium to full-bodied wine with an exquisite soft dry finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Langmeil:

About Langmeil:

The land on which Langmeil Winery now stands was purchased by a 36 year old German blacksmith, Christian Auricht. He and his family arrived in South Australia in 1838 after emigrating from eastern-central Europe (Silesia) to escape religious persecution.

Christian planted his first acre of vines on the estate. The variety was Shiraz and the vines are still producing fruit today. Auricht's old vineyard is the source of Langmeil Winery's single vineyard Shiraz. This rare wine commemorates the pioneering spirit of the first settlers and, because of their willingness to endure so much hardship for the right to keep their faith, it has been named The Freedom 1843 Shiraz. The vineyard is believed to be one of the oldest known surviving Shiraz vineyards in the world (pictured here).

The property was purchased in 1996 by three local mates whose families have lived in the Barossa Valley for several generations: Richard Lindner, Carl Lindner and Chris Bitter. They restored the remaining old buildings and the village well and beautified the gardens. As a tribute to the early pioneers, the new owners refurbished the old winery and named it Langmeil, after the original village.

Langmeil's award winning premium range is internationally recognized and has contributed towards the winery being regarded as one of the top premium wine producers in Australia



White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Estancia Pinot Grigio 2006
Estancia Pinot Grigio 2006
(search item no. 91066)

PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $10.59

Winemaker's Notes:

Appearance: Pale straw

Aroma: Fresh notes of pear, apricot and honeydew melon are accented by hints of citrus and lemongrass.

Flavor: Crisp apple and pear with notes of honey and ripe peach mingle softly with white pepper that adds a mineral touch to the vibrant, fruity finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Estancia:

About Estancia:

Estancia, based in Monterey, was founded in 1986. The name Estancia is roughly translated from the Spanish word for "estate," and emphasizes our conviction that the world's best wines capture the essence of their place of origin. At Estancia we control the process from the start—from the trials in our experimental vineyard blocks, to planting, harvesting, fermenting and aging the wines. We've built a winery that allows us to devote the same attention to detail in winemaking that we give to our grapes. We use open-top fermenters and small basket presses for our Pinot Noir and new red-wine fermentation tanks that are fit for the diverse blocks in our Paso Robles vineyards. It is this hands-on crafting of the wines, from grapes to bottle, that result in our superior wine quality.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Victoria    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Stonier Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2005
Stonier Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2005
(search item no. 90189)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 Stonier Chardonnay was 80% barrel fermented with lees stirring and complete malolactic fermentation, with 20% fermented in stainless steel maintaining the fresh, powerful fruit characters typical of this wine.

Currently, this wine is drinking excellently. It has a bright, succulent peach and citrus aroma with some nutty touches and nicely restrained oak. The palate is similarly fresh and fruity with a clean and zesty lemon signature.

My Notes:

About Stonier:

In 1978, Brian Stonier and his wife Noel established the Stonier vineyard in the coastal town of Merricks, one hour southeast of Melbourne and ten minutes from the challenging surf beaches of Bass Straight. Over 28 years later, the name Stonier is widely recognized as a producer of exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

At the heart of Stonier lies a meticulous approach to viticulture and winemaking. A desire to reflect the imprint of each site, through subtle variations in flavor and texture, has earned Stonier a place amongst the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers in Australia. Early vintages were made off-site until the winery in Merricks, designed by Daryl Jackson, was completed in 1991.

Today, Stonier sources Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from over 150 acres across 5 selected sub-regions: Merricks North, Balnarring, Tuerong, Red Hill and at the estate vineyards in Merricks which span over 50 acres. Grapes from each of the vineyards are vinified separately to allow ultimate flexibility when finally blending the wine to form the two distinct styles of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Stonier Label and Stonier Reserve wines. An unswerving focus on style and structure ensures that the wines reflect the diverse flavors and texture of fruit sourced from across these five sub-regions without any one aroma or flavor dominating the final wine.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Bleasdale Bremerview Shiraz 2005
Bleasdale Bremerview Shiraz 2005
(search item no. 94919)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Youthful, lively Shiraz wine with lots of blackberries and spices along with a smooth palate of soft tannins.
My Notes:

About Bleasdale:

Bleasdale’s vineyards were founded in 1850 by Frank Potts, making Bleasdale one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries. Having just celebrated its 150th anniversary, it is the second oldest continuously operated family-owned winery besides Yalumba located in the Barossa Valley.

Bleasdale, which has 50 hectares under production, produces around 100,000 cases in total. The principal varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec and the white varietal Verdelho. All the red wines produce the distinctive style of upfront fruit with a soft textural feel to them.

They also produce in limited quantities a red blend that is named Frank Potts after the founder and uses all five Bordeaux varietals. It is the winery's flagship wine and for the money represents one of the better values in all of Australia. It is definitely a statement wine and illustrates the high quality of fruit that comes out of the Langhorne Creek area.

Although Bleasdale is firmly connected to its past, it is nonetheless forward-looking with its eye on the 21st century. A new cellar is just now being completed with state-of-the-art technology, alongside a new hospitality area. The old part of the winery is on the National Trust and National Heritage register.