Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sicily    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Passopisciaro Passopisciaro 2007
Passopisciaro Passopisciaro 2007
(search item no. 104968)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $38.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The hot summer of '07 on Mount Etna terminated in damp weather and overcast skies in October and early November, which is when we usually pick Nerello Mascalese. The vines were able to use that humidity to jump out of hydric stress and grow slowly into a certain ripeness. We gradually picked from our vineyards on the flank of the volcano, starting with the lowest, at 500 mt. a.s.l. and finishing at 1000 mt, at Guardiola. The wine is kind and young and very subtle; its powers are hidden; time in bottle will be bringing them out for a long time.
My Notes:

About Passopisciaro:

In 2000, before Etna and its ancient vineyards become a place of pilgrimage by winemakers, and home to a new generation of wineries, Andrea Franchetti decided that he would create an estate on the slopes of the volcano. Passopisciaro winery was created, with 40 acres in the town of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the north side of Etna, at about a thousand meters altitude, where he vinified grapes from old and very old vines from the area. The first wine produced at Passopisciaro was a Nerello Mascalese; brilliant ruby in color, with a perfume of great elegance, extraordinary mineral depth that characterizes the great wines of Etna. Andrea's vision moved forward with the planting of high-altitude vineyards in order to dramatically reduce the yields with no risk of overripeness or excessive alcohol. In 2009, we started producing wines that are named The Contrade Etna: Porcaria, Guardiola, Chiappemacine, Sciaranuova, Rampante. Contradas are differen Mount Etna crus, ancient feudal properties which over time were split but still well mapped. Andrea Franchetti realized immediately that the as grapes reachd the cellar, each gave different wines depending on the district came from. The contradas are each on a lava flow with different minerals, grain size and altitude: this has led to Andrea making wines separately from each Contrada.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Frog's Leap Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Frog's Leap Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 104034)
collectible wine
green wine


PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $44.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a richly fragrant nose of luscious black fruit and fresh herbs, followed by a taste progression that captures the essence of the terroir from which it came. Intense flavors of cassis, ripe plum and black currants are punctuated by hints of cedar and tobacco. The wine's velvety tannins are well integrated with fine acidity to create a finish that will endure well after the last course has been cleared.

Rutherford: no other name in the Napa Valley conjures such strong identity. Gustave Niebaum, Georges de Latour, André Tchelistcheff, and John Daniel all built their dreams and hopes around capturing the haunting essence of this remarkable place. Cabernet sauvignon, the vessel used to express their passion, has long been recognized as the perfect muse for the Rutherford soils. "Rutherford Dust" is the term that André attributed to those incredible aromatics, seemingly the most delicate of balances between the rich black fruit of the north valley and the taut essence of green olives and bay more typical of the south. The "Rutherford Bench" is the area defined by the western slopes of Rutherford and home to the most legendary of all Rutherford's cabernets.

Frog's Leap Rutherford: our most honest attempt to capture all of the above in a single bottle - history, tradition and the ultimate expression of winemaking passion.

My Notes:

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About Frog's Leap:

Frog's Leap is an iconic California winery dedicated to organic farming, sustainable living and quality wines. Situated in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, Frog’s Leap produces wine under the leadership of John Williams, a former dairy farmer from New York who created the winery in 1981.

John Williams grew up in Western New York and originally attended Cornell University to extend his studies as a dairyman. A fortuitous work-study program at Taylor Wine Company and a few bottles of wine later, John entered the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC Davis. Following Davis, he returned to the Finger Lakes as the start-up winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars. Taking inspiration from his first Napa Valley winemaking post in the cellars of Stag's Leap, John began making wine commercially in 1981 and named the new operation "Frog's Leap."

Frog's Leap presents a relaxed approach to enjoying wine. An easy hospitality and warm sense of humor is juxtaposed with a more serious sensibility when making wine. Frog's Leap produces some of Napa Valley's finest wines and, undoubtedly, has one of the wine world's best mottos: "Time's Fun When You're Having Flies."

The wines produced range from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. We have quite the line up to offer so we hope you’ll try one of these delicious wines that harmoniously combine quality, sustainability and value.

First certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1988 Frog's Leap has been a leader in the industry for over two decades. The winery relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Hartford Court Far Coast Pinot Noir 2007
Hartford Court Far Coast Pinot Noir 2007
(search item no. 102754)
boutique wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $72.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense dark cherry, pomegranate and cola aromas complement dark cherry and juicy blackberry flavors in this single vineyard 'true coastal' gem. Mineral, coffee, cola and Asian spice nuances lead to fine grained and silky tannins on the finish. This is a great example of true Sonoma Coast ridge-top terroir.
My Notes:

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About Hartford Court:

Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1993 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast.

Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the difficult locations of the Hartford family's vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings and the varietals they use. "Character through adversity" is an expression that the Hartford family believes to apply to both people and grapevines, and they feel that surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.

The Hartford Family makes wines under two marks, one of which is Hartford Court. Hartford Court bottlings are small lots of high-personality single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that express the distinctive qualities inherent in each vineyard's terroir - the interplay of soil, slope, exposure and climate. The fruit is sourced from the Russian River Valley, Green Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 105161)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $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
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 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:

For both the Napa Valley and Special Selection bottlings, the goal is a balanced wine that tastes delicious when bottled but can improve with age. Chuck Wagner attributes the quality of the wines to farming and winemaking techniques developed over the decades.
My Notes:

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).


Red Wines    Nero d'Avola    Sicily    Italy   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Tasca d'Almerita Lamuri Nero d'Avola Sicilia 2007
Tasca d'Almerita Lamuri Nero d'Avola Sicilia 2007
(search item no. 102450)
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense ruby red in color, Lamùri offers a lush bouquet of blackberry, mulberry, and cherry. On the palate, this wine is incredibly rich, with velvety tannins framing a refreshing acidity and a medium body. Recommended with Mediterranean fare, such as pasta, roasted lamb, kebabs, and ribs.
My Notes:

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About Tasca d'Almerita:

It was 1830 when brothers Lucio and Carmelo Mastrogiovanni Tasca bought the former stronghold of Regaleali, which lies on the borderline of the provinces of Palermo and Caltanissetta and in the heart of Sicily. Much has changed since then: the introduction of the use of espalier, the complete restructuring of the cellars, the use of finished barrels for ageing, and the complete renovation of the equipment park - today the most vanguard of Europe - only to mention a few innovations. However, what has never changed in the 180 years of the wineries history is the love of the land, the respect for a noble and ancient art: wine, and the cultivation of the grape in all of its phases. To practice viticulture for many generations means first of all to have clearly understood and interpreted the value and character of this magnificent material above that of the grape, Europe's fruit of life. It is with pride that the Tasca d'Almerita family carries the traditions of yesterday into the future. And it is with the spirit of innovation that the Tasca d'Almerita family faces the challenges of tomorrow already today.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Ernesto Catena Selections Siesta Malbec 2007
Ernesto Catena Selections Siesta Malbec 2007
(search item no. 107138)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A wonderful red tone with violet reflections, clean and very bright. In the nose there is an explosion of cherry fruit, fresh raspberry and plum. Toasty scents and subtle hints of vanilla are indications of the wine's passage through small oak barrique. The entry in the mouth is juicy, filling up the sense of taste with an invasion of fruits, honey, a touch of caramel, and gentle notes of minerals and mint; further adding to the interesting character of this wine. I truly find myself in front of an exceptional Malbec, where the hands of the viticulturist and enologist are clearly expressed. There is no need to wait for this wine, as it is drinking so nicely at the moment. I love this wine and thank the gorgeous soils of Mendoza for giving it to us!
My Notes:

Additional wines from Ernesto Catena Selections:

About Ernesto Catena Selections:

Ernesto Catena Selections are an expression of Ernesto Catena's intense passion for wine, Argentina, art, and life. A Mendoza native, Ernesto personally selects the fruit from the prestigious sites of Tupungato, La Consulta, Vistalflores, Altamira, Tunuyan in the Valle de Uco that is carefully crafted into wines of distinct character and typicity. Tahuan wines highlight Argentina's premier grape varieties, expressing seamless varietal character, enhanced by the microclimate of Mendoza. Structured and intense, Siesta wines capture the depth and complexity produced by the distinct combination of altitude, climate, and soil that define this exciting region which has been a great inspiration to international winemaking.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Inglenook CASK Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Inglenook CASK Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
(search item no. 102332)
collectible wine
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $79.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 95 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2006 CASK Cabernet has an exceptional aromatic quality and luscious flavors of red cherries and blackberries as well as plum and cocoa on the mid-palate. With its soft, lingering finish, the wine is easy to enjoy now with roasted or grilled meats, pasta and cheeses. It is a classic representation of Rutherford Cabernet.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Inglenook:

About Inglenook:

In 1879, Finnish explorer and adventurer Gustave Niebaum searched the Napa Valley with the goal of establishing a wine estate to rival the finest chateau of France. For decades his wines won acclaim and remain some of the most admired in American wine history's classic period. By the mid-1960's, his property was divided, and estate-wine production ceased.

A decade later, Francis Ford Coppola purchased 1,500 acres of this historic property and revived Captain Niebaum's fine winemaking tradition. In 1995, Niebaum-Coppola acquired the remainder of the property and restored the Inglenook Estate to its original dimensions.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 107330)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 87 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The fruit-laden 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon offers a luscious bouquet of dark fruit including blackcurrant, black cherry, and blackberry layered over aromas of sweet vanilla and baking spices. Approachable cherry and cocoa notes lead to a wine of intense concentration, with flavors of dried plums and cola laced with hints of tobacco. Generous weight and mouth-filling velvet tannins frame a finish that lingers with flavors of dark cherry and cassis.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Franciscan Oakville Estate:

About Franciscan Oakville Estate:

Franciscan is one of Napa Valley's most venerable wineries, reaching back more than three decades. Franciscan wines take their signature style - rich, vibrant flavors framed by supple tannins - from the ideal climate offered by Napa Valley's cool, southern half and from the time-honored tradition of small-lot winemaking, blending from hundreds of barrels to craft fine wines that fully express the classic Bordeaux varieties.

Franciscan was founded in 1972 by a group of lawyers and doctors from San Francisco who decided to try turning their passion for wine into a business. In 1985, Agustin Huneeus, a Chilean exile who had built Concha y Toro in his native country, took over the helm at Franciscan. Huneeus refocused the winery on using the superlative grapes growing in its own vineyards, rather than sourcing from outside.

Today, Franciscan's wines are crafted under the exacting eye of Janet Myers, who came to Franciscan in August 2003 as associate winemaker after working in the Margaret River region and Beaulieu Vineyard, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Louis Martini. The winery remains committed to its tradition of small-lot winemaking, with small batches averaging just 150 to 1,500 cases. The image of a hand-operated wine press on Franciscan's logo and wine labels reflects this small lot approach to winemaking.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2008
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 108499)
PinotReport rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/21/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 PinotReport rating: 93 points
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2011 PinotReport rating: 92 points
2010 PinotReport rating: 92 points
2009 PinotReport rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright ruby color with aromas of cherry skin, dried cranberries smoky undertones. The palate shows more cherry and dried fruit flavors with earthy notes. Clean with a nice solid backbone completed by a racy acidity. Lots of cranberry flavors hint of strawberry. Balanced, tight, lean fruit, an ideal accompaniment to grilled fish and fowl or barbecued meats.
My Notes:

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About Schug Estate Winery:

Founded in 1980, Schug Carneros Estate Winery is the showcase and life-long dream of one of California's most celebrated winemakers. Walter Schug's reputation blossomed during his tenure as Founding Winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the 1970s, where he made California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-Style blend (Insignia) and legendary vineyard designated Cabernets (Backus and Eisele Vineyards).

Drawing on his long experience in the production of fine wines in both Europe and California, Walter set up his own winery with his wife Gertrud in the cool, marine climate of the Carneros Appellation. Here he could focus on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals that had always been close to his heart.

Schug Carneros Estate Winery combines old world understanding and tradition with modern winemaking techniques. By using only the finest grapes available, and maintaining the best winemaking values, these wines have gained acceptance worldwide as true contemporary classics.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/21/2014
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 9/21/2014: $79.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
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.