Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2010
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2010
(search item no. 129867)
The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 vintage has rich concentrated aromas of black cherry, raspberry and cream that lead into flavors of clove, cinnamon and maple. It is a subtle and soft with a lingering toasted oak finish. This wine was created to enjoy now, or for many years to come as it will age gracefully.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Northstar:

About Northstar:

Northstar, located in Walla Walla, Washington, aims to make Merlots that can be considered among the world's best, using fruit sourced from one of the world's best regions for the variety: Washington state. Winemaker, David "Merf" Merfeld, blends New World fruit with an old world winemaking style, influenced by Bordeaux's "right bank," to create his highly-acclaimed wines. Northstar produces two Merlot-based wines from the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla AVAs, as well as the Stella Maris red blend and extremely limited production bottlings of the blending component varieties that Merf uses as his "spice box" in creating Northstar's Merlots.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
O'Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 107356)
boutique wine
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $79.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Vines from our Betty's vineyard on Mount Veeder struggle to exist on this steeply terraced and water deprived parcel, coupled with the exceptional growing season in 2007 are the reasons why our 2007 Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is a blockbuster wine. An inky purple/black color, with intense blueberry, blackberry, crushed fruits, pomace, licorice, casis and cured meat notes on the aroma. The palate is dense with blue and black fruit flavors and full bodied tannins that will preserve this wine for decades to come
My Notes:

About O'Shaughnessy:

Our winemaking philosophy at O'Shaughnessy Estate winery is to produce wines that express the unique character of our estate vineyards and their appellation. The winemaking style is contemporary, utilizing cutting edge fermentation equipment paired with natural, hands-on winemaking. Our emphasis is on balance; the concentrated nature of the grapes from our estate vineyards needs to be in balance with the flavors and aromas in order to produce the most harmonious wine.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
R Wines Red Lion Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
R Wines Red Lion Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 103021)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $10.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A late season heat wave in Napa affected many producers. The vintage offered challenges with tannin balance and the wines were carefully blended to accentuate sweet fruit notes to keep the wines in balance. Wine sourced from cooler North Coast appellations didn't suffer the heat wave to its full intensity.

A tight, reserved bouquet slowly opens to ripe black cherries and a hint of spice. The palate is rich, classic Cabernet cassis and cedar wood, given volume by an elegant tannin structure. A lingering finish with distinct black current notes.

My Notes:

About R Wines:

Based in Australia, R Wines produces wine from vineyards all over Australia including Riesling from Western Australia, Pinot Noir from Victoria, Shiraz from McLaren Vale and the Barossa just to name a few. R Wines was founded in 2005 by partners Dan Philips, and Chris Ringland. Chris is one of world's leading and most gifted winemakers. He leads teams of winemakers and viticulturalists managing vineyards Australia wide. R Wines that make it to the shelf are not merely sound and well-made, but are stylish, compelling, hand-crafted and peerlessly delicious. We believe that what goes on the bottle is as important as what goes in the bottle and work with world-class designers to create innovative, loud, brilliant labels that speak to consumers in ways unique to the wine world. The best Grenache in the world is in Australia. The Chateau Chateau project is a study of the effects of soil and place. Five icon vineyards and one blend with distinct expressions, soils and locations in the Barossa and McLaren Vale. There is no illusion, this project includes the world's best Grenache.


Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Oberon Merlot 2005
Oberon Merlot 2005
(search item no. 97038)

PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 98.7% Merlot and 1.3% Cabernet Sauvignon.

To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, we gave the wine 28 days of skin contact. We then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth. Blending in the Cabernet Sauvignon added interesting nuances to the lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot. Oberon Merlot is ripe with blueberries and chocolate.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Oberon:

About Oberon:

As a third-generation winemaker and Napa Valley native, Rob Mondavi, Jr. has always understood that the region is uniquely suited for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. With the Oberon label - originally named for the eponymous king in Shakespeare's winsome comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream — he has created high-quality Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc to be enjoyed every day.

Rob and fellow winemaker, Tony Coltrin, select Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from some of Napa Valley's finest vineyards in Oakville, Rutherford, Stags Leap and other emerging sub-appellations. The climate of these regions — warm days and cool evenings — yields grapes with the perfect balance of ripe fruit flavors and natural acidity.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Oberon Merlot 2006
Oberon Merlot 2006
(search item no. 97047)

PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $21.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

To naturally soften tannins and enhance varietal complexity, we gave the wine 28 days of skin contact. We then pressed the wine and transferred it to French oak barrels to undergo a long malolactic fermentation for roundness and depth. Blending in the Cabernet Sauvignon added interesting nuances to the lush berry flavor profile of the Merlot. Oberon Merlot is ripe with blueberries and chocolate. Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon is velvety with blackberry and dark plum flavors.

The 2006 Merlot is a blend of 95.2% Merlot and 4.8% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Oberon:

About Oberon:

As a third-generation winemaker and Napa Valley native, Rob Mondavi, Jr. has always understood that the region is uniquely suited for growing classic Bordeaux varieties. With the Oberon label - originally named for the eponymous king in Shakespeare's winsome comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream — he has created high-quality Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc to be enjoyed every day.

Rob and fellow winemaker, Tony Coltrin, select Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc grapes from some of Napa Valley's finest vineyards in Oakville, Rutherford, Stags Leap and other emerging sub-appellations. The climate of these regions — warm days and cool evenings — yields grapes with the perfect balance of ripe fruit flavors and natural acidity.



Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2004
Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot 2004
(search item no. 93271)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $36.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

An elegant wine that opens with bold aromas of raspberry, mint, maple, chocolate, clove, coconut and licorice, it's medium-bodied, dense and muscular with a bold, rich, smoky coffee-mocha finish.

"In the blend of this intensely fragrant young wine is 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot. I like the complexity, the way the primary fruits mix in unusual notes of pineapple along with the black cherry. It's resonant and tangy, with good, long flavors and lots of new oak. This was a year of winemaker transition, and may be the last of the real chocolaty wines from Northstar. Give this plenty of airing, or cellar it for another 3–4 years."
Wine Enthusiast
92 Points

My Notes:

Additional wines from Northstar:

About Northstar:

Northstar, located in Walla Walla, Washington, aims to make Merlots that can be considered among the world's best, using fruit sourced from one of the world's best regions for the variety: Washington state. Winemaker, David "Merf" Merfeld, blends New World fruit with an old world winemaking style, influenced by Bordeaux's "right bank," to create his highly-acclaimed wines. Northstar produces two Merlot-based wines from the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla AVAs, as well as the Stella Maris red blend and extremely limited production bottlings of the blending component varieties that Merf uses as his "spice box" in creating Northstar's Merlots.


Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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My Rating (circle) :
Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2006
Raymond Reserve Selection Merlot 2006
(search item no. 102318)

PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine opens with fragrant aromas of cherry, raspberry, cranberry, cassis and mocha followed by big, bold flavors of red cherry, raspberry, boysenberry, black pepper, cassis and chocolate. Well balanced with good structure and a long smooth vanilla finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Raymond Vineyard:

About Raymond Vineyard:

For generations, Raymond Vineyards has been an integral part of the Napa Valley, with now five generations of viticultural and winemaking expertise. Our new winemaking team captures the essence of the past while infusing the energy of the future and the vibrancy of the next generation into each and every wine. “It is important to retain the core foundation that made this brand legendary in Napa Valley, while keeping the style fresh and relevant to today’s wine drinkers” says Stephanie Putnam.

In addition to our top-notch winemakers and viticulturalists, Raymond has also tapped into a world-renowned winemaker, Phillipe Melka, to assist on our high-end Cabernets and complement the inherent strengths of the team.

As for a specific style, the team aims for the three B’s – Big, Bold, Balanced – yet with refinement and elegance. This philosophy lends itself well to the underlying principal of terroir that dates back thousands of years where the interrelationship between soil, climate, and plant are enhanced by the passion of people to convey an authentic sense of place. Our winemaking team allows the purest expression of the fruit to reign, with aromas and flavors that fill your glass and your palate with wines that are unmistakably powerful, intriguingly complex, and beautifully integrated.