Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 4/19/2014
Echelon Pinot Noir 2010
Echelon Pinot Noir 2010
(search item no. 115005)
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Sumptuous aromas of black cherry and plum are accentuated by a touch of warm cinnamon spice. Rich flavors of black currant and raspberry with a hint of earthy sage lead into a smooth, silky finish.

Pairs well with wild salmon with rosemary, turkey burgers or soft cheeses like Brie or Humbolt Fog.

My Notes:

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About Echelon Vineyards:

Combining the best fruit from friends’ and neighbors’ vineyards, Echelon produces serious wines for everyday drinking. To obtain this exceptional fruit, Echelon pioneered the development of long-term contracts with growers in emerging regions, including areas within California’s Central Coast and the Clarksburg appellation’s Esperanza Vineyard. Echelon’s winery is located in San Miguel, in the heart of the Central Coast, near many of its vineyard sources. This state-of-the-art facility enables Echelon to take advantage of the latest technology throughout the winemaking process.

Echelon’s superb grapes and gentle winemaking result in fresh, fruit-forward wines. Beautifully balanced and pleasingly complex, these impressive premium wines are easy on the palate and the budget.



Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/19/2014
Chono Carmenere Reserva Maipo Valley 2006
Chono Carmenere Reserva Maipo Valley 2006
(search item no. 100877)
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $7.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This Carménère is grown on the alluvial plains of the river Maipo, a high-altitude region in the shadow of the breathtaking Andes. Grapes are handpicked, and 60 percent of the wine is aged for 10 months in barrel. Lush and round on the palate, with plenty of baking spice and touches of tobacco in its perfume. Wonderfully supple and ripe; great mouthfeel.
My Notes:

About Chono:

Chono is the cutting edge of Chilean winemaking—a micro-estate that produces world-class wines from some of the most unique terroirs in the country. Led by two of South America's leading winemakers and enologists, Alvaro Espinoza and Juan Carlos Faúndez, Chono too is the future of the Chilean wine industry, as producers move away their quantity-over-quality past to focus on Chile's terroir strengths.

The heart of Chono is in the Maipo Valley, the starting point of Chilean viticulture in the late 18th century. It is here where enterprising winemakers brought back vine cuttings from Bordeaux to plant in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, on alluvial soils not too different from those on the banks of the Dordogne. Chono's home base is the eastern side of the Maipo Valley called Isla de Maipo. Here the soils are sandy; vineyards sit between 1,800 and 2,000 feet above sea level; and temperatures are warmer than in more coastal areas, moderated by the cooling winds from the Andes. Red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, not to mention Chile's signature grape, Carmenère, thrive here.

Photo Courtesy of North Berkeley Wine Imports.



Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/19/2014
Falernia Carmenere Reserva 2007
Falernia Carmenere Reserva 2007
(search item no. 116706)
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense fruity character with vanilla and chocolates notes.
My Notes:

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About Falernia:

Viña Falernia is located in the Elqui Valley between La Serena and Vicuña, 520 km (323 miles) to the north of Santiago and it is at present Chile's northernmost wine estate.

The soils in our vineyards are composed partly of rubble which has eroded from the Andes mountains and deposited by glaciers and wind, and partly of alluvial sand and silt deposited by the river. While stony, gravely soils are regarded as poor for most crops, their excellent drainage qualities make them perfect for wine growing. The climate is semi-arid (average annual rainfall is 80-100 mm) making drip irrigation indispensable during the spring and summer months.

Climatic factors have a crucial influence on the quality and flavour of wine. With the majestic Andes as a backdrop, their peaks gleaming white all through the summer, the vineyards benefit from currents of cold air which descend from the high mountains at night. They cool the vineyards, causing a dramatic contrast between day and night time temperatures during the ripening season, from 27-32°C (80.6-89.6°F) to 10-12°C (50-53.6°F). This has the result of reducing respiration via the leaches and thereby furthering the accumulation of sugar in the grapes as well as the synthesis of polyphenols (tannins and coloring matter) along with the aroma and flavour substance.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 4/19/2014
Mitolo The Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Mitolo The Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 115768)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 Jester Cabernet Sauvignon is dense purple in color. On the nose, you'll get masses of blueberries, cassis and leather with intense aromas of coffee and mocha. On the palate, it is spicy, lifted and pure, with juicy and savory tannins, richness and elongated length.
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About Mitolo:

In a short period of time Mitolo has become recognized as one of the finest producers in McLaren Vale. Mitolo is a family owned business, started by and led by the founder and owner Frank Mitolo's vision to create a range of wines of individuality, integrity and utmost quality. Whether it is in the vineyard, or in the winery, or the work of the different coopers who source and shape the diverse barrels which are used at Mitolo, each wine is nurtured and developed with a zealous passion that spares no effort to ensure that the best of everything is brought together to make wines of purity, elegance and power.

Italian family roots inspired Frank's early interest and enthusiasm for good food and great wine. With three earlier generations of his family working as agriculturists and entrepreneurs, it is not surprising that (while heading an international horticultural business), Frank found the energy and passion to pursue his dream of creating world-class wines. The business was established in 1999 and a year later the first Mitolo wine was launched. It was called G.A.M.; named after Frank’s three children and the next generation of Mitolo’s, Gemma, Alexander and Marco.

Acclaimed winemaker Ben Glaetzer is a partner in the business and the combination of his winemaking skills and Frank’s vision have led Mitolo to international recognition and acclaim. What started out as a dream is becoming an exciting reality, and Mitolo Wines has only just begun on its journey.



Red Wines    Merlot    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 4/19/2014
Rust en Vrede Merlot 2010
Rust en Vrede Merlot 2010
(search item no. 115199)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $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.
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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: 4/19/2014
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 4/19/2014: $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:

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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: 4/19/2014
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 4/19/2014: $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:

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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: 4/19/2014
Buena Vista Pinot Noir Ramal Vineyard Estate 2007
Buena Vista Pinot Noir Ramal Vineyard Estate 2007
(search item no. 108603)

PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $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.

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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: 4/19/2014
Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2006
Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2006
(search item no. 89720)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $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: 4/19/2014
Canoe Ridge Red Table 2001
Canoe Ridge Red Table 2001
(search item no. 62438)

PRICE ON 4/19/2014: $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:

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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.