Red Wines    Merlot    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Rust en Vrede Merlot 2010
Rust en Vrede Merlot 2010
(search item no. 115199)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Licorice and blueberry aromas with subtle hints of cedar wood and cigar box on the nose. Elegant red fruit flavours are backed with vibrant juicy tannins, typical of a youthful Merlot.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Rust en Vrede:

About Rust en Vrede:

Nestled on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Stellenbosch wine region lies this beautiful estate of 55 hectares. Known for consistently producing wines of high quality, Rust en Vrede is now considered to be one of the finest estates in South Africa when it comes to the making of truly great red wines. Established in 1694, it is one of the oldest estates in the Stellenbosch area and displays exquisite examples of Cape Dutch architecture.

In 1991, President Nelson Mandela awarded the Merit award of export achievement to the estate. During this period, they tirelessly worked on building the Rust en Vrede brand into a world quality product. These efforts were rewarded in 1993 when President Mandela selected Rust en Vrede to be served at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize banquet.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Pine Ridge Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Pine Ridge Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 115927)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $39.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A sweet and spicy nose of dark, ripe plum, blackberry pie and red licorice balanced with leather and star anise bursts from the glass in this deep garnet wine. The palate echoes the richness of the bouquet and surges with fresh cassis, black cherry and brambly black fruit flavors, supported by a framework of lush tannins, roasted espresso and dark cocoa. This tremendously well-balanced wine finishes delicately with a velvety kiss of mint chocolate and toast.

Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot, 4% Malbec

My Notes:

Additional wines from Pine Ridge:

About Pine Ridge:

In 1978 , a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and deeply embedded in the winery's heritage. Each vintage reflects the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from the founding of the winery to today.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 109754)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is a lustrous ruby red. On the nose you'll find ripe red and black fruit aromas mingle with leather and spice, exquisitely balanced by wood notes evoking vanilla and toast. On the palate are supple tannins and a majestic structure conclude in a complex and persistent finish.

Delicious with steaks, wild game, hearty stews, casseroles and ripe, semi-creamy cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Vina Santa Rita:

About Vina Santa Rita:

Heritage and enterprise are hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile's premier wine estates. Founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez in Chile's Maipo Valley, this historic property was among the first to pioneer plantings of European grape varieties in Chile.

In 1980, it was acquired by its present owner, Ricardo Claro, under whom Santa Rita has reaped the rewards of continuous investment, resulting in a period of impressive growth, during which the winery has consolidated its position in the vanguard of Chile's most successful and innovative estates. Initiatives include the highly successful launch of Santa Rita’s 120 Series of wines and a range of ultra-premium wines, notably the highly acclaimed Casa Real and Triple C. Wide-ranging enhancements embrace the purchase of choice new vineyards, plantings with top quality clones, improved trellising and irrigation, balanced viticulture, restricted yields, later harvesting, individual block farming, small-lot vinification, and an increased emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

Today Santa Rita exports to more than 70 countries worldwide. The property accounts for outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important appellations - the Maipo Valley; Casablanca; Rapel; Apalta; Leyda and Curico - enabling access to diverse climates and terrain.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Carneros    California   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Buena Vista Pinot Noir Ramal Vineyard Estate 2007
Buena Vista Pinot Noir Ramal Vineyard Estate 2007
(search item no. 108603)

PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 Ramal Vineyard Pinot Noir shows a great combination of fruit intensity, structure and ageability. The color is deep purple with aromas of blueberry, plum and blackberry fruit, anise, allspice and mushroom. It has bright raspberry and deeper plum flavors with cinnamon, vanilla and toast notes on the long, silky finish. Pair this rich Pinot Noir with beef tenderloin and sautéed spinach.

Bold enough to pair with a roasted rosemary rack of lamb along with new spring red potatoes.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Buena Vista Winery:

About Buena Vista Winery:

Founded in 1857 as California's first premium winery, Buena Vista, under the direction of winemaker Jeff Stewart, is a leader in cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. Straddling Sonoma County in the southern end of the Carneros appellation, the 523-acre Ramal Vineyard Estate is broken up into 167 small blocks, with 21 different clones of Chardonnay and 13 different clones of Pinot Noir, and is set along rolling south-facing hillsides overlooking the San Pablo Bay. The Ramal Vineyard is the crown jewel of all Carneros.

Most winemakers will agree that cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir are the most difficult to produce. And most will agree that Jeff Stewart does so with unparalleled success. Jeff comes to Buena Vista with over 15 years of achievement in cool-climate viticulture and his focus on gentle handling of the grapes and temperature moderation produces wines with complexity, character and depth.



White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2006
Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2006
(search item no. 89720)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Number 74 on the Wine.com 100 of 2007!

This pale straw colored Pinot Gris displays generous floral, pear, and tropical fruit aromas. On the palate, this beautifully balanced wine is initially crisp with zesty citrus and granny smith apple flavors that lead into a delightfully bright, honeysuckle and Asian-pear flavored lingering finish.

My Notes:

About Benton Lane:

Steve and Carol Girard have been owners of Benton-Lane since 1988. Carol and Steve shared a passionate desire to produce great Pinot Noir but decided their native California was probably not the best place in which to make it. Instead, they headed to Oregon where the cooler climate offered the possibility of producing Pinot Noir with better balance and structure.

After countless months of looking at possible properties, Carol and Steve discovered an old sheep ranch called "Sunnymount" in the southern Willamette Valley. It was immediately apparent Sunnymount held great potential as a vineyard site. The property is in the foothills of the costal mountain range on the west side of the valley with hillsides sloping east by southeast, a perfect orientation for planting Pinot Noir.

Sunnymount straddled the border between Benton and Lane counties with some of the land being in each, and so the name Benton-Lane was born. Carol and Steve purchased the property in 1988 and planting of Pinot Noir commenced in 1989. Benton-Lane’s first vintage was 1992 which was custom produced at another local winery. This process continued until 1997 when the Benton-Lane winery was constructed.

Benton-Lane produced Pinot Noir exclusively until 2003. In 2004, the winery began full-scale commercial production of Pinot Gris from grapes purchased from carefully selected Willamette Valley growers.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Canoe Ridge Red Table 2001
Canoe Ridge Red Table 2001
(search item no. 62438)

PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Don't be fooled by the name. This is a serious little wine that blends the lighter lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot into a delicious, approachable, everyday wine. Our Red Table wine is aged in 75 percent French and 25 percent American oak barrels for 14 months.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Canoe Ridge Vineyard:

About Canoe Ridge Vineyard:

Canoe Ridge Vineyard's estate vineyard, uniquely sited at a broad section of the Columbia River in eastern Washington, produces grapes of uncommon quality. The vast river moderates temperatures, prolonging the grapes' time on the vines during summer days, which are longer at this northern latitude, while protecting the vines from hard freezes in the winter. Sheltering ridges limit wind damage and hold warmth around the vines. The grapes from this vineyard are as unique as the area, with layers of concentrated fruit and lush, supple texture.

The winery uses traditional French cellar practices, such as small-lot fermentation, gentle handling and French oak barrels, to enhance the fruit. To allow the best expression of each lot, the winemaker tailors the yeast strains, barrel selection and fermentation practices to complement the many different dimensions of the fruit. The winery is known for its unique Merlot, which displays the traditional elegant, classic flavors of Bordeaux Merlot, yet has the suppleness of Pinot Noir.



Red Wines    Merlot    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
California's Jewel Merlot 2004
California's Jewel Merlot 2004
(search item no. 92738)

PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $9.79

Winemaker's Notes:

The Merlot has a rich garnet color that is filled with aromas of toasted oak and cherry complimented by flavors of black cherry and plum. Soft vanilla oak and delicate tannins add richness to the finish.
My Notes:

About California's Jewel:

Global Wine Group produced its first vintage of Jewel Collection wine in 2000 and since then has been among the fastest growing wineries in the U.S. Established by wine industry entrepreneur Jeff Hansen, the Jewel brand was developed to fill an important void in the industry today - to give consumers a wine that will exceed their expectation for both price and quality.

Recently, Jewel has taken their brand in an exciting new direction with the introduction of the California's Jewel label. This new label captures the richness and elegance that defines the brand's namesake.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 99954)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This cabernet has a deep, ruby red color with fine brilliance. Its fragrant aroma evokes black currant, tar and wood notes originating from the barrels is was aged in. The taste has a concentrated body, rich in ripe almost sweet tannins.

Serve with steaks, game, hearty stews, casseroles and ripe, semi-creamy cheeses.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Vina Santa Rita:

About Vina Santa Rita:

Heritage and enterprise are hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile's premier wine estates. Founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez in Chile's Maipo Valley, this historic property was among the first to pioneer plantings of European grape varieties in Chile.

In 1980, it was acquired by its present owner, Ricardo Claro, under whom Santa Rita has reaped the rewards of continuous investment, resulting in a period of impressive growth, during which the winery has consolidated its position in the vanguard of Chile's most successful and innovative estates. Initiatives include the highly successful launch of Santa Rita’s 120 Series of wines and a range of ultra-premium wines, notably the highly acclaimed Casa Real and Triple C. Wide-ranging enhancements embrace the purchase of choice new vineyards, plantings with top quality clones, improved trellising and irrigation, balanced viticulture, restricted yields, later harvesting, individual block farming, small-lot vinification, and an increased emphasis on sustainable agriculture.

Today Santa Rita exports to more than 70 countries worldwide. The property accounts for outstanding vineyards in Chile’s most important appellations - the Maipo Valley; Casablanca; Rapel; Apalta; Leyda and Curico - enabling access to diverse climates and terrain.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Carneros    California   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Robert Stemmler Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2006
Robert Stemmler Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 101847)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A bouquet filled with an array of wild raspberries, strawberry, rhubarb, cherry, baking spice, clove, and cinnamon. Lively yet rich tannins embrace flavors of fresh blackberries nuanced by sage and finishing with mineralality.

The wines of Robert Stemmler are handcrafted, limited releases of estate grown varietals. The mission of our dedicated vineyard and winemaking team, in its pursuit of superior quality, is to produce world-class wines noteworthy in style and intensity.

My Notes:

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About Robert Stemmler:

Robert Stemmler's passion for winemaking spans over forty years. A native of Germany, Robert Stemmler completed his formal education in winemaking and viticulture at Bad Kreuznach wine college in Germany. In 1961 he then traveled to America to accept a winemaking position at Charles Krug Winery, one of Napa Valley's most prominent wineries. He quickly earned the reputation as one of the leading winemakers in California. This recognition lead him to other renowned wineries including Inglenook Vineyards in the Napa Valley and Simi Winery in Sonoma County.

In 1976, Robert Stemmler opened his own winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. With total control over the direction of his brand, Robert concentrated on his true passion, Pinot Noir. It was in 1982, after securing quality fruit from a hillside vineyard in Russian River, Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir was put on the map. In 1984, the Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir was awarded the "Best in America." Today, Robert Stemmler is recognized as one of California's top Pinot Noir producers and he continues to devote his energy to his passion of making California's best Pinot Noir.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 7/13/2014
Hahn Estates Monterey Pinot Noir 2006
Hahn Estates Monterey Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 100600)
has fluid

The Wine News rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 7/13/2014: $13.49

Winemaker's Notes:

The deep but muted ruby hue hints at the silky tannins of this dynamic and multi-faceted wine. The white and black pepper background aromas blend nicely with clove fragrances on the front. Every sip uncovers new flavors and textures. When given time, the wine evolves from edgy to extreme bliss with a tangy burst of fruit and spice, backed by cool-climate acidity that carries each separate flavor component on to the next sip. The structure and balanced acidity of this wine allows the flavors to hang for a moment before it finishes with a light, slow and even departure that leaves the mouth infused with fresh pomegranate flavors.

Serve with baked Halibut on a bed of sautéed Swiss chard and puréed potatoes or, to bring out the spice, try with kicked up Pasta Arrabiata.

My Notes:

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About Hahn Estates:

The spectacular beauty of California's Central Coast is probably the best-known region in all of California for its unique lifestyle. Monterey County's dramatic ocean scenery, historic communities, artistic culture, verdant pine forests, and bountiful agriculture have beckoned adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers for over 100 years. And the 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline is something no other California county can boast.

The wind and fog interact with solar radiation to slow grapes' ripening, producing up to two months longer growing season than in warmer grape growing regions. These conditions create fruit with more varietal intensity, flavor, depth and structure, and thus, exceptional wines. In German, "Hahn" means "Rooster" and for this reason a rooster embellishes the Hahn Estates label, honoring the Hahn Family’s European Heritage. With an inspiration to raise Monterey wines to the highest level, the wines of Hahn Estates are created with a philosophy that all great wines are special – akin to the region they were grown in. The Hahn wines celebrate everything that is Monterey – unique in thought, style and setting.