White Wines    Bordeaux White Blends    Pessac-Leognan    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Clarendelle Blanc 2011
Clarendelle Blanc 2011
(search item no. 120948)
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PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $22.99

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Clarendelle Blanc reflects the subtle, well-balanced structure of the white wines from Domaine Clarence Dillon. It features all the complexity and mystery of its illustrious cousins. Clarendelle Blanc is a fine blend of two traditional grape varietals, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. It also displays a touch of Muscadelle in certain vintages.
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About Clarendelle:

In Chateau Haut-Brion, Clarence Dillon found not only the charm of an elegant and fabled estate, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. He discovered a tarnished jewel. This estate had sparkled for centuries prior to these difficult times and yet in 1934, Mr. Gibert, the current owner, had not been successful in his bid to give the estate away to the town of Bordeaux because of the high maintenance costs and meager returns.

The estate needed someone of passion and means to allow it to weather the storm. Clarence Dillon immediately entered into negotiations to acquire the estate and requested that his Paris office continue these on his departure by ship to the United States. On board the ship during the crossing he received a telegram which read "You may acquire Chateau Haut-Brion if we act fast." His two word answer was "Act Fast!" This short and decisive response was the beginning of a long family commitment to this estate and to the wines of Bordeaux.

Clarendelle's name thus pays homage to the ancestor who brought the family to this region. In creating Clarendelle the team from Clarence Dillon Wines and their colleagues at Domaine Clarence Dillon, wish to discover and extract the best from the enormous potential and savoir-faire that this region and terroir provide. They already benefit from centuries of acquired knowledge and will aim to produce wines worthy and representative of their heritage and provenance.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Hawkes Bay    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Craggy Range Winery Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
Craggy Range Winery Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 122386)
screw cap wine
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James Suckling rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Shows lemon zest, almond, and mineral aromas and flavors, with a coastal acidity and freshness. This medium-weight, textured wine has a remarkable length of flavor.

A delicious companion to a variety of shellfish dishes.

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About Craggy Range Winery:

From the beginning, Craggy Range Winery has some great land and vineyards and a wonderful home in which to weave the strands together. The first wines made in the 1999 vintage are from small parcels of mature vineyards in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The wines show the character of the vineyards and the Craggy Range philosophy of wine both inside and outside the bottle. In time, as the vines mature on their own estates, the wines of Craggy Range Winery will without doubt express their origin and the commitment and skill of their people.


Red Wines    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
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 4/23/2014: $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.

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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    Syrah/Shiraz    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Arrowood Saralee's Vineyard Syrah 2008
Arrowood Saralee's Vineyard Syrah 2008
(search item no. 124297)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Saralee's Vineyard Syrah is a classic example of cool-climate Syrah. The aromas are layered and complex, showing a balance of smoked game meats, black cherry cola, dried herbs, hints of mint and spiced plum. On the palate, bright acidity and bold dark fruit flavors evolve into spiced dark chocolate notes followed by a long finish of dried cherries and herbs.
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About Arrowood Vineyards & Winery:

Richard and Alis Arrowood founded Arrowood Winery in 1987 with a philosophy of making wines of singular and exceptional quality, using grapes grown exclusively in Sonoma County. Richard continually explores the diversity of Sonoma County, working with mostly the same grape growers he began cultivating in 1974, as Winemaster at Chateau St. Jean Winery. Arrowood is known for making small lots of benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Merlot, Viognier and Syrahs, among other varietals.


Dessert, Sherry & Port    Port    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year-old Tawny
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year-old Tawny
(search item no. 1560)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $29.99

Winemaker's Notes:

An exceptionally fine old tawny blend, aged for 10 years in oak casks. Elegant and smooth, combining delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit, it is bottled for immediate drinking. A superb dessert wine, particularly with dishes made with chocolate, coffee or almonds, Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny may also be served at the end of the meal in the same way as Vintage Port.
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About Taylor Fladgate:

Taylor's is now into its fourth century: one of the very oldest of the Port companies. It is the last totally independent company of the original British Port houses-and is still family owned and managed. It is run today from Oporto by descendants of the Yeatman and Fladgate families, both of which have been partners in the firm since the 1830s. For more than 300 years Taylor's name has been synonymous with consistent excellence in Port.


Dessert, Sherry & Port    Sherry    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Emilio Lustau Solera Reserva los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry
Emilio Lustau Solera Reserva los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry
(search item no. 40768)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

#82 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

A text book Amontillado of great maturity. Naturally dry and soft, its palate gives a hint of wood and smoky raisins. A powerful and distinctive nutty bouquet. A better Amontillado would be difficult to find.

The Los Arcos Amontillado is ideal as a warming aperitiff, with tapas, especially nuts and meats. It can also be served with a meal or any type of cold meat platter or richly flavored seafoods.

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About Emilio Lustau:

What is now Emilio Lustau SA was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo. It was a modest beginning: Don José cultivated the vines of his estate of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, stored the wines in his vineyard house and later sold them to one of the big exporting bodegas. He was, in fact, an Almacenista. In the 1940s, his son-in-law Don Emilio Lustau Ortega moved the bodega to the ancient Santiago district in the heart of the old city. There, in buildings which formed part of the historic Moorish walls of the city, he expanded the business slowly, still retaining his role as an Almacenista. From the 1950s onwards the firm became Emilio Lustau SA, and its size enabled it to join the prestigious ranks of the select group of exporters of Sherry. In the 1970s, the company expanded. First there were new cellars constructed at the old family estate of Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza. Later, from the early 1980s, Emilio Lustau SA, now under the management of the late Rafael Balao, became one of the most creative companies in Jerez.

Rafael Balao realised that Lustau's place had to be at the forefront of quality. His ideas, combining tradition with innovation, paved the way for Lustau to become, today, "The Definitive Quality Sherry House." A collection of Almacenista Sherries, drawing on rare and marvellous wines held by the stockholders, were chosen and offered to selected customers. These wines are some of the finest Sherries made. The Lustau Solera Reserva range of fine old Sherries was created, drawing on stocks of wines held by Lustau since its beginnings as an almacenista. The tradition of the East India Solera was revived, blending rich, sweet Sherries much sought after in the 19th century and made in similar conditions to Madeira wines by maturing the casks of wine in a warm, humid environment. In 1986, stocks for a unique single vintage Sherry, Vendimia Cream, were laid down. This was first released in 1992.

In 1990, the fortunes of Emilio Lustau SA changed dramatically, when the famous El Puerto de Santa Maria Sherry and.spirits company of Luis Caballero SA, producer of Ponche Caballero, Spain's largest selling liqueur, took a major shareholding. This gave Emilio Lustau considerable and secure financial backing, and the chance to develop and expand. It also brought into the company 170 hectares of fine Albariza vineyard land at Montegilillo in the Jerez Superior region to the north of Jerez. The involvement of Luis Caballero SA in the firm of Emilio Lustau has meant that further emphasis is being placed on fine Fino Sherries. All the Sherry interests of the Caballero group are now under the Lustau banner. That includes the considerable stocks of Puerto Fino held in the bodegas at El Puerto de Santa Maria, which form the basis of Lustau Finos. Here, in the Caballero bodegas, more innovation is in progress. A unique Double Flor system of refreshing the wine just before bottling preserves the freshness of Fino in the bottle. This means that the Puerto Fino of Lustau is now one of the most reliable - and freshest - Finos on the market.

Since 1988, Lustau have used a new bottle shape for all their wines. The elegant, dark bottle, with sloping shoulders is unique to the company, setting Lustau Sherries apart from others and reflecting the very special quality of these wines.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Other Oregon    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Erath Pinot Noir 2011
Erath Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 123981)
screw cap wine
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PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Wafts of red plum and raspberry intertwine with spice, soft sage and an intriguing hint of cracked pepper. The palate features flavors of juicy Bing cherry, cranberry cocktail and a late kiss of vanilla spice. A gentle coaxing of light tannins offers a pleasing pull toward another sip.

Try this with Thai or Chinese pepper sauce, grilled scallops, thin crust pizza margherita, pasta with red sauce, and zesty BBQ.

My Notes:

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About Erath Vineyards:

As one of Oregon's wine pioneers, Erath winery's founder, Dick Erath, was driven by the belief that the future of Pinot Noir was in Oregon. Today, Erath's wines are an expression of the land that the winery has cultivated for more than 40 years, longer than any other winery in the Dundee Hill of Oregon. Winemaker, Gary Horner, who shares Dick Erath's background in science and a reverence for Oregon's unique terroir, strives to reveal classic Oregon Pinot: light, delicate and fruit-forward. Horner takes pride in making a range of Pinot Noir styles, from the hugely-popular Oregon blend to the highly-acclaimed, limited-edition, single-vineyard selections. His goal is to make the best Pinot Noir the region has to offer - it is time-honored, authentic and uniquely Oregon.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
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 4/23/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
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

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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    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale (375ML) 2009
Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale (375ML) 2009
(search item no. 119583)
collectible wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Made from 90% Sangioveto, 5% Canaiolo, and 5% Ciliegiolo grown in the Il Poggiale vineyard, the grapes come from an elevation of almost 1,500 feet above sea level. The combination of high elevation and extremely low yields results in a wine that manages to simultaneously show both restraint and layered richness. This classic red holds great aging capability.

This Riserva is a brilliant garnet color with layered aromas of red cherries, earth, rose flowers, and leather. On the palate, the wine shows excellent structure with firm, integrated tannins and is full-bodied with plenty of spice.

My Notes:

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About Castellare:

The vineyards of this 46 acre estate are found in a natural amphitheater in the heart of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region. The story of Castellare is the story of Paolo Panerai, who entered the world of winemaking at age 37 after a career in Italian journalism. Panerai feels it is important to understand and respect the experience of the world's best wineries and to apply this understanding to viticulture in Italy. He has great respect for technology from other winemaking regions and chooses to utilize this technology to move forward while rediscovering and reshaping some of the great traditions of Tuscany.

The birds on Castellare's labels symbolize Panerai's commitment to environmentally sound cultivation. Herbicides are not used, nor are any systemic pesticides. Chemical treatment of any kind is shunned. Hunting is also prohibited on the property. As a result of these practices, the property has become a virtual refuge for wildlife, including many of the birds pictured on the labels.



White Wines    Chenin Blanc    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 4/23/2014
Sauvion Vouvray 2010
Sauvion Vouvray 2010
(search item no. 112234)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/23/2014: $15.95

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Amber in its youth and gold tined after a few years. Acacia, wallflowers, verbena on the nose. Lively and punchy in the palate with a honey-noted finish.

Wonderful aperitif or with desserts.

My Notes:

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About Sauvion:

One of the best-known Muscadet producers, Sauvion has long been established in the Loire Valley. Jean-Ernest (often referred to as the "Wizard of the Loire") and Yves Sauvion have carefully put together a range of delicious and diversified wines that have set the tone for much of the Loire Valley.

Château du Cléray-Sauvion, located in the heart of the Nantes region, is one of the oldest estates of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region and serves as the home to the Sauvion family. It is also one of the few Muscadet-producing Châteaux.