Red Wines    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera di Monferrato 2011
Marchesi di Barolo Maraia Barbera di Monferrato 2011
(search item no. 119433)
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Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#66 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

The color is a lively and brilliant dark ruby-red. The perfume is fresh and intense with clean scents of wild berries, currants and sour black cherry. A light hint of vanilla and toasted oak. The flavor is warm and robust, full-bodied, pleasant and balanced.

This Barbera's sensory attributes make it an outstanding accompaniment for imposing first courses and main-course, meats boiled or roasted.

My Notes:

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About Marchesi di Barolo:

Setting precedents is a characteristic of Piedmontese winemaking and Marchesi di Barolo, one of the region's premier producers of Barolo, is no exception. In the mid-1800s, Marchesi di Barolo became the first estate in Italy to vinify its red wines in a dry style, a revolutionary concept at the time, but one with enduring and immensely beneficial consequences for the entire Italian wine industry.

In contrast to its noble French counterparts, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, which flourish in various corners of the world, Nebbiolo rarely thrives outside its native Piedmontese habitat. While relatively resistant to frost, damp and mist, it is highly sensitive to terrain, faring best in the Langhe district's chalky, marly soil of maritime origin.

Producing majestic red wines of phenomenal depth, complexity and longevity, Nebbiolo is the earliest red grape variety in Piedmont to bud and the last to ripen. Its name derives from the early morning mists, or "nebbia," that shroud the lower slopes of the Langhe hillsides during the fall harvest period.

The Marchesi di Barolo estate takes pride in the international reputation it has established for its fine Barolo DOCG and two superb single-vineyard crus, Barolo Cannubi DOCG and Barolo Sarmassa DOCG, all made from 100% estate-grown Nebbiolo grapes.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Carpineta Fontalpino Chianti Classico 2009
Carpineta Fontalpino Chianti Classico 2009
(search item no. 116281)
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is typical of the purity of the Sangiovese, a deep red with traces of violet. An interesting nose of plum, cherry, currant, rose, violet, cinnamon and cocoa. On the palate, this wine is elegant and persistent, with a tannic structure and high acidity. It is well-balanced with aromas of flowers and spices evolving on a long and round finish.
My Notes:

About Carpineta Fontalpino:

The Cresti family have been proprietors of Carpineta Fontalpino Vineyard since the 1960's and traces of the wine making traditions date as far back as the past century. The name Carpineta Fontalpino has never changed. It has its roots in two historical places of the area of Montaperti. We find Carpineta, a site where typical trees characteristic of this area, with silver back leaves, called "Carpini" grow and Fontalpino, the water source with the back drop of the pine trees of Montaperti - two noteworthy places of this important medieval historical site. The vineyard is located in the middle of Tuscany, very close to the splendid town of Siena and the historical village of Castelnuovo Berardenga. The surrounding territory is rich in history, legends and love that are experienced by all those who are fortunate to visit it. Its unforgettable atmosphere creates strong emotions. Locals strive to maintain the unaltered countryside and its traditions intact, proud to be part of such a generous area, which never ceases to surprise.

Gioia is the vineyard's oenologist and she is responsible for all the production phases, from the wine making to the aging. She literally “picks up” the best grapes so that the whole wine production is imprinted on her own personal style. Filippo is mainly involved in the organizational activities of the land working of the Winery. He is also the commercial and marketing development mind of Carpineta Fontalpino Estates. The property extends to about 80 hectares and presents various cultivars. The vine planted area extends to about 23 hectares in many varieties of specialized vines, sub-divided into grape types of Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other experimental vines (Petit Verdot, Alicante, and many others). The production areas denominations are the one of the Chianti Classico and the one of the Colli Senesi.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009
Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009
(search item no. 112257)
screw cap wine
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Tasting Panel rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color shows a dark center with a garnet rim. The nose displays a lovely raspberry and pastille lift with a palate of red berry, dark plums and chocolate. Blending the three varietals gives Clancy's great complexity, richness of fruit flavor and a harmonious balance of soft tannin finish.

Blend: 39% Shiraz, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot

My Notes:

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About Peter Lehmann:

The history of Peter Lehmann Wines is intrinsically linked to the events that made the Barossa famous. Formed in 1979 by Peter Lehmann to assist the grape growers of the region who at the time were facing financial ruin, they now enjoy the rewards of longstanding friendships and loyalty. Each vintage, over 160 grape growers supply Peter Lehmann with the best fruit from over 900 of the best vineyards located throughout the Barossa. These amazing resources enable them to craft wines for every occasion, including their flagship, Stonewall. Peter Lehmann Wines has developed a reputation as one of Australia's most respected, energetic and innovative premium wine producers and today, the team continues to create wines that delight wine lovers around the globe.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 113429)
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Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2009

Crafted in a classic Bordeaux style and sourced from low-yielding vineyards within the best appellations of the Columbia Valley. This wine delivers an enticing bouquet of spice, anise and rose petals. On the palate a perfect balance of cherry, berry and coco flavors lead to a powerful and complex finish.

My Notes:

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About Columbia Crest:

Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington state's emergence as a world-class wine region. Over the years, the winery has remained committed to delivery handcrafted, small-lot wines, as well as affordable, superior quality everyday wines. In 2009, the winery reached a milestone when Wine Spectator named their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon "Wine of the Year," the first time a wine from Washington state has received the ranking. This accolade was not only a historic moment for Columbia Crest, but for all wineries in Washington and reinforced the belief that the region is among the best wine-producing areas in the world.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Meiomi Pinot Noir 2011
Meiomi Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 117974)
screw cap wine
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Meiomi (May-oh-mee) is a Pinot Noir that gets its fruit from the most noteworthy coastal areas in California. The wine is crafted, lush, balanced and luxurious. Three of the California's most sought after coastal growing regions brilliantly meld together in this deeply flavored, stylish and truly balanced Pinot Noir; at its most fundamental core, it is an approachable, food friendly wine with a style and place all its own.
My Notes:

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About Meiomi:

The name Meiomi means "coast" in the language of the native, coastal dwelling Wappo and Yuki tribes, and best pays tribute to and symbolizes the origin of this Pinot Noir. Meiomi is a high style Pinot Noir that is shaped, more than anything else, by the fruit sources that lay the foundation of the blend. A pure bred enjoyment wine, built to accommodate any pairing from food to friends. Unifying California’s most noteworthy coastal areas opens the door for a dynamic and opulent wine that is ready to enjoy whenever you are.

Joseph J. Wagner is a fifth-generation winemaker from a family with farming and winemaking roots in the Napa Valley since the 1880's. In his youth, he worked many spring and summer days in the vineyard and cellar of Caymus, learning the basics from pulling leaves, to dragging hoses. Then he began to focus his efforts on what was to become his passion and career in the wine business. He is the owner of Belle Glos and Meiomi wines and has been overseeing vineyard operations and winemaking since 2002. Joseph has a perpetual goal of crafting Pinot Noirs that exude their origins and represent the best of their class in any vintage. Along with his passion for Pinot Noir, he continues his role at Caymus in viticulture and winemaking alongside his father, Chuck. When not at work, he spends time with his wife and 5 children constantly grooming the next generation in farming philosophy and practices, winemaking and the enjoyment of nature's bounty and the outdoors.



Red Wines    Nebbiolo    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Gattera 2007
Mauro Veglio Barolo Vigneto Gattera 2007
(search item no. 112699)
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $44.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Gattera vineyard holds Mauro's oldest vines, which were planted in 1952. Between the 4 Crus of Mauro Veglio, Gattera produces "Classic" Barolo: in the beginning it is evolved and warm with aromas of sun dried peaches and apricots with warm tannins that are decisive, but not aggressive. These dry characteristics come from the south, south-western exposition of the vineyards.
My Notes:

About Mauro Veglio:

Our families were farmers for many generations, like many other families in the Langhe. In 1992, Mauro began to drastically reduce the number of grapes per hectare and started to vinify on his own in his new cantina. He utilized shorter macerations with temperature controlled rotary-fermenters and aging in small oak barrels, and he started to produce, little by little, wines that were more elegant with higher quality grapes.

Unlike the tendency of contemporary philosophy production which means the same as manipulating nature, we believe in natural systems of cultivation and vinification: we reject the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides in our vineyards. Any chemical process is refused in the winemaking as well as any artificial concentration or aromatization: this means that the quality of the wine is the result of the natural character of the vineyards, their soil composition and microclimatic differences determining the maturity of the individual vintages. The result is the authentic essence of our "terroir" in a glass.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    St-Emilion    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Chateau de Pressac  2005
Chateau de Pressac 2005
(search item no. 118287)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $34.99

My Notes:

About Chateau de Pressac:

"Pressac is an old chateau, of which parts have fallen into ruin, and in front of which is a moat, accommodation for farm workers, cellars and a courtyard, all of which are surrounded by walls."

This is how the notary of the time described the Chateau de Pressac at the time of its sale by the Sieur d'Anglade to Jean-Marc Constantin, captain of the regiment of Marmande, in 1775. This description is interesting in so far as it formally proves the existence of a vineyard around the chateau in the 18th century. We also know that this fortified manor house was renovated several times and that it was initially founded in the Middle Ages. Towards the beginning of the Renaissance, it was an imposing building with no less than twenty five towers, some of which remain in existence today as vestiges.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Primus The Blend 2009
Primus The Blend 2009
(search item no. 114935)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#95 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

The 2009 growing season experienced a cool spring followed by a warm summer. Favorable temperatures provided for good ripening and resulted in intensely concentrated flavors, healthy grapes, and excellent red, ripe fruit flavors with elegant yet powerful tannins.

Blend: 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 25% Carmenere, 18% Merlot

My Notes:

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About Primus:

Primus wines are produced by the Veramonte winery. Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2009
Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2009
(search item no. 118955)
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Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#52 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Alta Luna Phases represents the finest selection of grapes from prime vineyard sites in the foothills of Italy's breathtaking Dolomite Alps. This elegant yet robust fusion of Merlot and native varieties Lagrein and Teroldego combines flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and plum with distinctive spicy notes. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months, this vibrant red is smooth and beautifully balanced, with fine tannins and a lingering finish.

My Notes:

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About Cavit:

Founded in 1957, Cavit has earned an international reputation as an innovative leader in Trentino winemaking. Today it is responsible for approximately 70% of this northern Italian province's entire wine production.

The company is based on a partnership between 5,000 member growers, organized into 14 associated cellars located throughout Trentino in zones noted for the quality of their production. Grapes are crushed and vinified at each cellar and after selection sent to Cavit's central winery near Trento for finishing, bottling and aging.

Cavit is a capital example of cooperation and size on a human scale. Trentino winemaking families are able to tap into a pool of resources and attain levels of quality that might otherwise lie beyond their reach.

Strength in numbers has also enabled Cavit to develop its own showcase hospitality and research center (which works closely with Italy's most prestigious school of viticultural research at nearby San Michele all'Adige), at the beautiful Maso Torresella, a former archbishop's castle on the shores of Lake Toblino.

The rewards of cooperation between Cavit's growers are apparent at every level, not least among consumers, for whom Cavit produces consistently high quality, affordably priced premium wines that have captured literally hundreds of awards and medals to date and are in demand in over 20 countries worldwide.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 11/25/2014
Avalon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Avalon Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 109840)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 11/25/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The soul of Cabernet Sauvignon, many believe, lies in Napa Valley.

Wines from these grapes taste richer, fuller and have legendary regional characteristics such as cherry or dusty nuances. Is it the weather, the soil, the sun, we aren't sure.

My Notes:

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About Avalon:

Like the Indie films that inspired Avalon, our wines are original and uncut. We focus on the essence of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. We differentiate ourselves by producing flavorful wines at a decent price. We specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon and just recently branched out with our first release of Merlot from the 2009 vintage.

Avalon - AKA Paradise. According to Arthurian legend, the town of Glastonbury in the U.K. was once known as Avalon. Avalon has long been associated with paradise. It is a land of souls. Many believe that King Arthur's soul rests there and will some day rise again to defend England.

Our wines don't cost a king's ransom, but that's exactly what our Winemaker Alex Cose used to make. We joke with him and say, "Make us a wine that tastes like $75, and then let's sell it for about $15".