Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 8/1/2014
Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 95084)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/1/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Garnet red in color, this wine exhibits ripe cherry and spice accentuated with rich plum and savory highlights. It has a rich, sweet approach displaying ripe dark berry fruits, subtle oak spice, velvety tannins and a long, concentrated finish.

This wine's structure and concentration make it an ideal match for a wide range of foods. It will match well with field mushroom pasta or risotto. It also lends itself to rare, grilled red meats or a variety of slow cooked casseroles including game meats, such as rabbit or fowl.

My Notes:

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About Brancott:

The Brancott Winery opened in 1977, making it one of the oldest wineries in Marlborough. From producing one of the world's first grape tipping tanks, the winery has stayed true to its pioneering herigate and embraced innovation. It was one of the first to commercially plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1973, at the top of New Zealand's South Island and has been heavily instrumental in developing the region as one of the foremost viticultural regions for Sauvignon Blanc world-wide. At present, Brancott Estate continues to lead with its innovative winemaking approach and passionate commitment to excellence under the stewardship of chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.


Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/1/2014
MontGras Quatro 2007
MontGras Quatro 2007
(search item no. 97078)
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 8/1/2014: $12.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 25% Syrah and 15% Carmenere.

Deep ruby, shading to purple. Black currant, cherries, leather and capsicum; hints of vanilla and fresh-roasted coffee on the nose. Flavorful, full bodied, food-friendly with a good balance between acidity and sweetness of alcohol, as well as fruit and oak. Well-structured and complex, concluding in a long finish.

Well-matched with red meats, hearty casseroles and flavorful cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Vina MontGras:

VIÑA MONTGRAS, located in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, was established in the early 1990s by brothers Hernán and Eduardo Gras, together with their business partner Cristián Hartwig. Santiago Margozzini serves as head winemaker, with renowned California winemaker Paul Hobbs serving as consultant.

Colchagua Valley, a serene sub-valley of Rapel, is situated in Chile’s Central Region at the heart of the country’s wine-producing zone. Nestled between the Pacific Coastal Range to the west and the snow-capped Andes to the east, this rustic valley is a protected environment with positive maritime influences that foster a terroir ideal for producing quality wines.

Five ranges of MontGras wines are available: Estate, Reserva, Quatro, Limited Edition, and Ninquén.

In 1996 MontGras, along with five other area wineries, founded the Colchagua Valley Wine Route to promote and facilitate tourism and educate the public about the traditions of Chilean winemaking. Guided tours and tastings at MontGras are available Monday through Friday year-round, by appointment only.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/1/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2008
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2008
(search item no. 98070)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/1/2014: $12.75

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine has a beautiful reddish/purple color as most good Malbecs do. The aromas are a mix of fresh crushed cherries and toasty/smoky oak—just enough to frame the exuberant fruit. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and spice are obvious, and the jammy fruit quality just keeps coming on strong, with hints of spice lurking in the background. This is a wine that you'll want to buy by the case because it can be consumed at almost any occasion, whether at a fancy dinner party, or just curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Fun and delicious—what more can you ask for?!
My Notes:

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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.