Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2005
(search item no. 93654)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
The Wine News rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $24.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 94 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2010 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Some of the Teldeschi vines are 90 years old, and the grapes are the classic Italian-Californian field blend: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. But Zinfandel is their favorite, so it's mostly Zinfandel.

Flavors of black pepper, vanilla, hints of smoke and tar intermingled with ripe fruit flavors-lots of luscious Bing cherries and sweet plums.

"Saturated purple. Explosively aromatic nose features powerful blackberry, candied plum and fruitcake notes and an exotic Asian spice element. Not at all heavy, though, with the palate showing impressively energetic red and dark berry flavors, molten tannins and a taut, youthful quality on the back. According to Peterson, "this is the best fruit out of Dry Creek Valley."
-International Wine Cellar 91-92

"With lots and lots of well-defined, optimally ripened blackberry and stone fruit notes leading the way in both its very deep, full-scaled aromas and wonderfully well-extracted flavors, this year's Teldeschi hits all the right varietal marks. It is at once endowed with zesty acidity and palpable tannins, yet both of those pieces of the puzzle are appropriately buffered by plenty of real fruit at its very heart. The wine's obvious richness may tempt some into early drinking, but this one is bound to get better and better if allowed three to five years in bottle."
-Connoisseurs' Guide 95/100

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ravenswood:

About Ravenswood:

Fueled initially by the inspiration and winemaking skills of Joel Peterson, aided and abetted by his business partner W. Reed Foster, Ravenswood winery has been dedicated to top quality, hand-crafted wine since the first crush in 1976. Every Ravenswood wine carries a unique vintage and vineyard identity in addition to the intense powerful – gothic – character with which the winery has come to be associated.

A key to Ravenswood’s success is our long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, we are devoted to working with growers who share our philosophy about high quality.

Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what winemaker Joel Peterson refers to as “stubborn and impractical” Old World enological practices. Wines are fermented in small wooden tanks using wild, natural yeasts and punched down by hand three to five times per day. The wines are characterized by intense, spicy aromas supported by rich, berry flavors and long, clean finishes.



Red Wines    Primitivo    Southern Italy    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2006
A. Mano Puglia Primitivo 2006
(search item no. 93874)
The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $10.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Made from 100% Primitivo (Zinfandel's ancestor) from Puglia. A. Mano (meaning "made by hand") is made from 70-100 year-old, hand-cultivated, low-yielding vines.

This is a fruit-packed, food-friendly, modern wine, an excellent value and a great alternative to American Zinfandel. It pairs exceedingly well with a variety of dishes – grilled meats, rich pastas, spicy foods and barbecue.

My Notes:

About A. Mano:

"How does an American end up in Apulia (and why does he stay?)", asks Mark Shannon as he begins to tell his story. Meeting this brilliant wine-maker from California, you are struck by professional and personality alike: Mark's drive, enthusiasm, creativity and expertise are hard to come by in a single individual! Needless to say, the impact of his sensational Apulian red reflects the impact of the man.

Called AMano ("hand-made"), and entirely hand-crafted from indigenous Primitivo grapes (the original source of Zinfandel, by the way...), this fruit-packed, food-friendly red expresses the region's quality potential, and the reasons for Mark's Apulian connection. These are best told by Mark himself: "Apulia (or Puglia, as it is known in Italian) is so easy to fall in love with: old, head-trained vineyards, a history of grape-growing in harmony with nature. Everything necessary for top-quality wines. I was compelled to stay. I have not seen another region of the world where the quality potential is so high.

After so many years of technical wine-making, I had almost forgotten that the right way to make wine is with love. In fact, Puglia reminded me this is the way to do everything."



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Brokenwood Cricket Pitch Red 2002
Brokenwood Cricket Pitch Red 2002
(search item no. 84340)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $15.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is quite a hodgepodge of a red-one with Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc and Shiraz – but boy, is it tasty. Svelte in size, there's briary-earthy component (wheat toast, smooth wood, earth, you name it) through and through, with firm red plum fruit flavors. With good hold on the midpalate, this reasonably priced red could easily go another couple of years.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Brokenwood:

About Brokenwood:

Although based in Hunter Valley, Brokenwood’s practice of multi-district blending has been a major part of the company's philosophy since fruit from other regions was first sought in 1978. This unique approach and the resulting quality wines have cemented Brokenwood's place as one of Australia's most revered and consistent labels.

Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia's most reputable wine labels. Brokenwood was established by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors who then paid a record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. The original block, initially planned as a cricket round for the local community, was planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and later Shiraz. The first vintage picked in 1973 yielded plenty of praise and a loyal following that eventually led to increased production and the creation of a new winery just two years later.

Growth was steady until 1978 when six new partners joined allowing for the purchase of the Graveyard Vineyard the vineyard that produces the winery's flagship wine. When in 1982 Brokenwood decided to diversify into white wines, they appointed Iain Riggs as winemaker and managing director. Just a year after diversifying into white wine production, Brokenwood's output was 70 percent white.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
(search item no. 95523)
The Wine News rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 3% Syrah compose this red wine.

Rich and complex aroma with notes of boysenberries, mint, and chocolate covered cherries; a full-bodied wine with well structured tannins and an excellent finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Kenwood Vineyards:

About Kenwood Vineyards:

Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards is dedicated to producing premium wines truly representative of Sonoma County’s world-class vineyards.

Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 in the former Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic cellar dating back to 1906. Thoroughly refurbished and modernized, the facility now boasts more than 125 stainless steel fermenting tanks and large oak uprights, and 20,000 small French and American oak barrels, all devoted to Kenwood Vineyards’ “small lot” style of winemaking.

In addition to the 22-acre vineyard surrounding the winery, Kenwood Vineyards sources grapes from dozens of vineyards – many farmed sustainably, using natural soil amendments and pest controls whenever possible rather than chemicals - in Sonoma County’s best appellations, including Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Mountain. Each lot from each vineyard is kept separate throughout the winemaking process, enabling the winemaker to bring it to its fullest potential. This “small lot” or “cuvee” style of winemaking also enables the winemaker to draw on an exceptionally broad “palette” to assemble wines that showcase classic character, subtle complexity and superb balance. As a result, every Kenwood Vineyards wine – whether Table Wine Series, Sonoma Series, Reserve, Jack London Vineyard or Artist Series – is consistent in quality and consistently delicious.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Concannon Limited Release Assemblage Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Concannon Limited Release Assemblage Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
(search item no. 88487)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $11.49

Winemaker's Notes:

Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), Merlot (11%), Petite Sirah (4%), Petite Verdot (3%)

The Limited Release Assemblage Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegantly structured, rich Cabernet Sauvignon which displays dark berry, cassis, cherry and chocolate flavors. This full-bodied wine exhibits some spiciness and earthy tones as well as mushroom and smoky influences. Oak aging softens the tannins for a long, intense finish.

Enjoy with rare filet mignon, thyme encrusted pork tenderloin, balsamic grilled vegetables or dry-aged rib roast with sage jus.

My Notes:

About Concannon:

A historic and once-famous Livermore winery, Concannon was bought and sold several times in the 1980's by large conglomerates that were purchasing each other. Each sale resulted in a loss of focus, and the brand suffered. In 1992 Eric Wente of Wente Vineyards saved it from the jaws of destruction by assembling a group of eight investors to buy the winery. However, Concannon Vineyard is a totally separate company in both ownership and operation from Wente Vineyards.

Nestled amidst the vineyards and rolling hills along the Livermore Valley, Concannon has been widely recognized for crafting full-flavored, complex and award-winning wines. Ocean air pours through the Golden Gate each afternoon cooling the influence of the sun, and enabling the grapes to develop both the ripe sugars and firm acids that fine wine demands.

Concannon is perfectly positioned geologically, atop a 600-foot-deep bed of gravelly soil. These rocks require the vines to drive their roots deep into mineral-rich deposits, and it also keeps the grape and cluster size in moderation.

More than 140 of Concannon's 200 Livermore estate acres are Petite Sirah plantings grafted onto improved rootstocks. Over the decades, they have carefully tuned their planting and trellising to take full advantage of the unique terroir. The result: intensely flavored, memorable wines vintage after vintage.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Marquis Philips Sarah's Blend 2006
Marquis Philips Sarah's Blend 2006
(search item no. 92313)
screw cap wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is a beautiful integration of the three varieties. It's a joy to experience and taste the earthy spicy Merlot characters, the leafy berry fruits and firm structure from the Cabernet, and the chocolate and plum Shiraz flavors to finish. This harmony gives you a wine that is balanced, complex and has lots of fruit.

"The 2006 Sarah's Blend is composed of 60% Shiraz, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It was barrel-fermented and aged in seasoned French oak for 12 months. Deep crimson-colored, it yields a complex aromatic array of cedar, spice box, clove, pepper, cassis, and blueberry. Full-bodied, fruit-driven, and intensely flavored, this layered blend has a 45-second finish. Drink it over the next 8 years."- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

My Notes:

About Marquis Phillips:

Marquis Philips is a collaboration between American Dan Philips and Australian winemakers to make the most delicious, power-packed wines on the planet. Marquis Philips began with a simple goal: to control the entire winemaking process, soup to nuts, from concept to vineyard, to market, to wine style, to price. The winemakers aim to create wines that are pleasure-giving, dark, ripe, sweet, gulpable, loud, yet subtle, sweet and gentle with a long finish, elegant, Turley-esque, and powerful.