Red Wines    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Prunotto Fiulot Barbera d'Asti 2011
Prunotto Fiulot Barbera d'Asti 2011
(search item no. 118982)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 88 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is a vivid and intense ruby red in color with a grapey and fruity (plum and cherry) aroma. Grapes grown on light and loose-textured soils and modern oenological techniques which enable producers to obtain and conserve fruit and freshness combine to make this a wine which is very pleasurable in its youth. For this reason it goes well with simple dishes such as hors d'oeuvres, soups, risotto, and pasta.
My Notes:

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About Alfredo Prunotto:

Following World War II, Alfredo Prunotto and his wife took over and restored an old cooperative winery called "Vini delle Langhe", establishing a new era under the Prunotto name. Prunotto imposed new standards on production, elevating the level of quality and succeeding in exporting his wines to several countries. Prunotto was the first winery to individually select grapes from the finest vineyards and to designate the name of the vineyard (cru) as a symbol of the quality and specific characteristics of the wine.

The Antinori group purchased the winery in 1989 and made great investments towards improvements. The strategic vision brought by Antinori is well represented by the acquisition of prominent vineyards in the most exclusive areas: the Bussia vineyard, acquired in 1990, and the Bric Turot vineyard, bought in 1997, to name two.

Prunotto's desire to control every detail in all phases of production, starting from the vine and ending in the glass has become a distinctive feature of their high quality. The balance between tradition and innovation continues to be a distinctive feature of Prunotto wines. The meticulous care for each bottle is the result of a century of experience, great passion for wine and love for the land of Piedmont. These characteristics made Prunotto a leader in the production of Alba's finest wines.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2011
(search item no. 117483)
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Decanter rating: 91 points
2013 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2012 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#53 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Imagine a refreshing sorbet-like medley of fresh lychee, grapefruit and honeydew melon laced with flinty minerality and finished with an infusion of mandarin and lime zest. A lively, invigorating wine with persistent grapefruit flavours and a steely blackcurrant tang – crisp but succulent with a long enduring finish.

My Notes:

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About Greywacke:

The Greywacke portfolio is based on the Marlborough region's signature varieties, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc is crafted in two distinctive styles: classically pure Marlborough Sauvignon, and an alternative wild yeast-fermented, oak-aged Sauvignon. In addition, Kevin indulges his creative drive with small parcels of Chardonnay, along with aromatic varieties Pinot Gris and Riesling. When the season graces this idyllic region with ideal conditions, limited releases of late harvest wines from the aromatic varieties are produced.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Toscolo Chianti 2011
Toscolo Chianti 2011
(search item no. 120906)
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James Suckling rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $11.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Brilliant ruby color, elegant bouquet of violets, berry fruit and iris confirmed on a soft, round, well balanced palate showing good body, fruity flavors and intensity.

An all-around food wine to match first courses, red and white meat, cheese.

My Notes:

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About Toscolo:

Think Tuscan. That's Toscolo, Neil & Maria Empson's labor of love from a longtime passion for this extraordinary region. The name itself is a tribute to Tuscany: a Renaissance Italian word, it means "Tuscan boy." The Empsons chose their friend and star oenologist Franco Bernabei to style the wines with Neil himself. Nothing was left to chance in order to make the Empsons' proprietary brand their ideal Tuscan credentials. Maria Gemma Empson personally designed the ultraclassic packaging and the wines' characteristic "ancient seal," bearing the features of the eponymous "Tuscan boy."


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 117261)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $13.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine offers generous aromas of ripe Bing cherries, blackberry, candied violets, cedar, and tobacco, plus hints of minerals and graphite. Sweet, densely packed and creamy in the mouth, but with firm, underlying structure that gives lift to the dark berry, chocolate, and coffee flavors. This is a very lush, soft, complex wine that coats the palate and spreads out on the long, lingering finish.
My Notes:

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About Layer Cake:

Layer Cake is a wine that was inspired by my Grandfather and Grandmother. Every Sunday, my Grandmother would bake a huge layer cake for dessert. My Grandfather would pour me a little glass of wine and place it at the table for me. He explained wine in terms of that cake. 'The vines,' he would say, 'live in layers of soil just like the layers in Grandma’s cake; each layer bringing a different flavor.' My grandfather taught me that everything in life is about layers and complexity. I loved those words and when I was a cake-focused boy, it made perfect sense… in fact, it still does.

Since those early days I have been all over the wine world time and again. I have tasted thousands of different wines and there are only a few places that haunt me, always come back to mind, occupy my dreams and have drawn me back again to taste some more.

I started Layer Cake because I wanted to make a wine at a price that could be enjoyed everyday with abandon, yet made by hand (not in a giant factory) and made in some special places in the world that I have always loved. The mission was simply to shock people about how good wine could be at a very affordable price.

While the Layer Cake wines were not intended to be compared with Hundred Acre, they are rich and taste like they should simply cost a lot more. This is due to our rigorous fruit selection and small winemaking style. The same team of winemakers that work with me at Hundred Acre, work with me all over the world to craft a rich Shiraz in South Australia, fabulous Malbec in Argentina, spicy old vine Primitivo, aka Zinfandel, in Puglia, Italy, sleek Syrah in the Cote du Rhone, France and of course, some Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Each is very special in its own way and a phenomenal value.

With the making of each Layer Cake wine my Grandfather’s words and my Grandmother’s cakes come back to me. Layer Cake is a simple black and white label with, of course, my Grandmother’s giant layer cake on the front and my Grandfather’s words on the back…ENJOY!!



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Vina Eguia Reserva 2007
Vina Eguia Reserva 2007
(search item no. 114571)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is a bright, ruby red color, with brick red hints. The aromas are intense and complex, with vanilla, spiced and aromatic herbs perfectly blended with mature red fruit. The mouth shows very balanced, fine, elegant and rounded structure. It has a long, very pleasing finish.

Ideal for all types of grilled and roasted meats. It also matches well with strong fish and all kind of cured cheeses. Tasty with chocolate desserts and puddings.

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About Vina Eguia:

Vina Eguia was founded in 1982, when Julian Murua revived his father's (Jose Murua) winery, which dates back to 1926 in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Las Rocas Red Blend 2009
Las Rocas Red Blend 2009
(search item no. 118180)
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Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $11.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The bright red color of the 2009 Red Blend leads to ripe, jammy aromas and nuances of oak. These aromas extend to the palate, creating a bright, medium-bodied wine with a round, smooth finish.
My Notes:

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About Las Rocas de San Alejandro:

Las Rocas de San Alejandro is located in the region of Calatayud, about 150 miles northeast of Madrid, and is centered around the rivers of Jiloca and Jalon. Although there are still few wineries in the zone, the ones which are beginning to show with their wines why this region is so special.

Although the D.O. is quite young, vines have been grown in the zone for some time. About one eighth of the vineyard land’s production has been bottled at one of Spain’s best and most progressive cooperatives, San Alejandro. With an abundance of amazing raw material, Eric Solomon was able to commission several bottlings of very old vine fruit into what has become one of the most sought-after estates in the portfolio. Calatayud benefits from a continental climate with vast temperature differences between night and day. Harvests are much later than in other parts of Aragon, and the acidity/maturity/alcohol ratios tend to be more balanced.

As most of the vineyards lie on what was (thousands of years ago) an old river basin, the soil is comprised of brown limestone and loam over slate and gypsum. This particular soil is also ideal for production of olives, cherries, and other fruits. Jean-Marc Lafage (of Domaine Lafage in France’s Roussillon) is responsible for the Las Rocas cuvees.



Red Wines    Barbera    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
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 11/23/2014: $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.

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: 11/23/2014
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 11/23/2014: $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: 11/23/2014
Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009
Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009
(search item no. 112257)
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Tasting Panel rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $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: 11/23/2014
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 11/23/2014: $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.