Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Catena Malbec 2009
Catena Malbec 2009
(search item no. 111623)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Decanter rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#58 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The 2009 Catena Malbec presents a dark, violet color with deep black tones. This microclimate blend of four unique vineyard sites offers intense aromas with a soft generous texture and concentrated flavors. Angelica vineyard lends ripe plum and chocolate flavors with a very soft, supple mouthfeel. Altamira vineyard brings a core of black currant and cassis, with excellent structure and length. La Piramide vineyard offers blackberry fruit with a slight earthy tone and notes of spicy black pepper. Finally, the Adrianna vineyard lends exceptional concentration with explosive floral aromatics. Together they give birth to a complex blend of aromas and flavors - a wine with excellent concentration, balance and freshness.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Catena:

About Catena:

Bodega Catena Zapata is one of Argentina's high altitude Malbec pioneers. The Catena family began making wine in Mendoza in 1902. Nicolas Catena, third generation family vintner, was one of the first to see the potential of Mendoza's mountain vineyards for producing high quality Malbec. In 1994, he became the first Argentine to exprot a world-class bottling of Malbec under the Catena label. Nicolas is joined by his daughter, Dr. Laura Catena, in their relentless pursuit of world-class quality from the family's high altitude vineyards. Laura has done extensive work in introducing Malbec and other varietal plant selections, soil and climate analysis, and sustainable practices throughout Mendoza. Head winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, has been at Catena Zapata since 2002 and works with Laura and Nicolas to make wines that express the family's vineyards and palate.


Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    Carneros    California   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Domaine Carneros Brut 2007
Domaine Carneros Brut 2007
(search item no. 110575)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $26.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1994 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Vintage dated each year, the Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée represents the best of Carneros pinot noir and chardonnay made into a classic sparkling wine. The appellation is 100% Carneros. The Brut was aged in the bottle for three years before release. It will continue to develop further depth and complexity as it ages.

This cuvée has aromas of meadow flowers, pears and citrus peel enhanced with notes of toast, vanilla and spice. The wine is elegantly structured, rich, round and flavorful with the long creamy finish that is the hallmark of Domaine Carneros wines.

Lovely served with double or triple cream cheeses, it also matches especially well with oysters, shellfish, fish, poultry, Asian and California cuisine.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Domaine Carneros:

About Domaine Carneros:

A joint venture between Champagne Taittinger and Kobrand Corporation, partners who are perfectionists in their fields, Domaine Carneros has established itself since its inception in 1987 as one of California's finest producers of premium quality, methode traditionelle sparkling wines. The inspiration for Domaine Carneros belongs to Champagne Taittinger; the first glimmerings of the concept were shaped in the mind of Claude Taittinger in 1947. The 138 acre estate is situated in the Carneros appellation of Northern California, a 36,900 acre viticultural area which straddles the border between the Napa and Sonoma counties at their southern extremity. The estate's vineyards extend up a slope rising to a crest overlooking San Francisco and San Pablo Bay, with an elevation of 120 to 260 feet above sea level.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 110337)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $64.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
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
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 93 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:

The 1994 vintage of this wine was ranked #9 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1997

Scarlet color and brackish edges. Nose is sweet fruit and smoked meats. This wine already has some bouquet- truffle mushrooms, vanilla style oak. The palate is creamy richness with nuances of leather and a cocoa-style fine grain tannin. The flavors and structure of this vintage are consistent with the Caymus style - spice, toast, cassis - fully rich, yet supple.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Caymus:

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).


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Warwick Estate Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Warwick Estate Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 111072)
screw cap wine

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

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine shows an abundance of tropical fruit, pear, grapefruit, litchi and green fig flavours on the nose that carry through to the palette. The mouth feel is mineral, crisp yet rich, fruity and coats the pallet evenly. The well balanced acid and fresh flavours ensures a long lingering aftertaste.
My Notes:

About Warwick Estate:

Warwick Estate lies in a valley enclosed by the Simonsberg, Kanonkop and Klapmutskop. Originally part of a vast piece of land known as "Good Success", this eighteenth century farm belonged to Colonel Alexander Gordon who renamed his portion in honour of the Warwickshire regiment which he commanded during the Boer War.

Years later in 1964, Stan Ratcliffe bought Warwick, where, with considerable foresight he began planting the precious Cabernet Sauvignon vines, which are still a major part of the production today. These vines produced high quality grapes and became highly sought after by wholesalers and other wineries. However, it took the arrival of Norma Ratcliffe, Stan's beautiful and energetic wife, in 1971 for the family to begin making a few experimental wines from Cabernet Sauvignon. The early results were very encouraging and served to extol the virtues of what is surely some of the best terroir in South Africa.

Michael Ratcliffe, Norma's son, has now taken over as proprietor in Stan's retirement and has wasted no time in stamping his personality on the Estate. A host of new innovative techniques, learnt during his postgraduate wine studies in Australia, are being implemented aimed at maximizing the potential of the Warwick terroir. Under Michael's leadership, the Warwick team is striving to take the next step in quality.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 9/20/2014
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 113939)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/20/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Pale straw in color with intense amalgam of limes, grapefruit, and underlying rich tropical fruit aromas. It has an inviting and fine texture that brings out the citrus and currant flavors of the wine. Pure fruit and vibrant acidity leave a sustained, dry finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Spy Valley:

About Spy Valley:

The brand name Spy Valley is derived from the presence of a satellite communications monitoring station within a few kilometers of the winery. Situated on the sunny southern side of Marlborough's Wairau Valley, nestled on the terraces of the Omaka River are the vineyards of Johnson Estate. Established in 1993 by the Johnson family, Johnson Estate was one of the pioneering vineyard companies in the Marlborough sub-region and remains family-owned. Eight varieties of grapes grow over 380 acres of free-draining, stony soils producing exceptional fruit for Spy Valley Wines. In ten years, production has risen to place Spy Valley as one of Marlborough's leading family-owned companies. Youthful and exuberant wines are crafted using modern winemaking techniques by winemaker Paul Bougeois and his team.