Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/15/2014
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2005
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2005
(search item no. 96675)
green wine

The Wine News rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 9/15/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 The Wine News rating: 96 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Seriously complex and well-structured, our 2005 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot comes from vines that struggle in the rocky, volcanic soils along the eastern flank of Napa Valley. Intense, ripe black cherry aromas virtually jump out of the glass, says Winemaker Mike Westrick about this huge, deep ruby Merlot, he attributes the wine's distinctive mineral character to the vineyard's unique terroir. The opulent black fruit and mineral flavors, layered with mocha, spice and toasty oak, give remarkable weight on the palate, and then linger on the expansive finish. With tannins that combine power with suppleness, this wine already delivers luscious, complex flavors, yet promises cellar-worthiness.
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About Sterling Vineyards:

Sterling Vineyards was born in the 1960s, a time when creativity and entrepreneurial spirit abounded, especially in California. In 1964, Peter Newton, once a paper broker in England, purchased 70 acres of land in Calistoga and became a Napa Valley winemaker. He planted grapes others did not, bottled varietals others did not, and built a dramatic winery with an aerial tramway. His innovations put Sterling Vineyards into the public eye and helped establish the Napa Valley as a premier travel destination.

When Newton began planting his estate, Cabernet Sauvignon was the preferred variety. He planted the esteemed Cabernet, but his decision to also plant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot was a bold move. His Merlot vines were the first significant planting of that variety in the Napa Valley. Newton saw potential in the soft, velvety Merlot fruit, and in 1969 he took a chance by releasing California's first vintage-dated Merlot. This decision flew in the face of traditional standards, which held that Merlot was merely a blending grape, and forever changed the perception of red wine. People started to enter a restaurant and ask for a glass of Merlot!



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 9/15/2014
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
(search item no. 528)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/15/2014: $54.99

Winemaker's Notes:

A Champagne House is eventually judged on the quality of its Brut Non Vintage. It is in the making of such a wine that the true Art of Champagne blending reveals itself.

This is an art in which the House of Veuve Clicquot excels. Our Brut Yellow Label reflects the superb vineyards we own and the consistent nature of our House style.

The predominance of Pinot Noir provides the structure that is so typically Clicquot, while a touch of Pinot Meunier rounds out the blend. Chardonnay adds the elegance and finesse essential in a perfectly balanced wine.

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About Veuve Clicquot:

The House was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772. Since its inception, Veuve Clicquot has been a specialist in Champagnes based on Pinot Noir, especially Rosé. In 1803, François Clicquot was married to Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. Madame Clicquot was widowed just two years later. Veuve Clicquot (Veuve means widow in French) took over her husband's business. In 1810, the house took the name Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. The way that she ran her company, from risky overseas ventures to startling technological innovations, changed Champagne forever. Her motto is still the guiding principle of our company – "Only one quality – the finest."

In 1816, Mme. Clicquot invented the process, called rémuage or riddling, that removes the yeast from the bottle. She used holes cut in her kitchen table to perfect the method of slowly tilting and turning the bottles to gather the spent yeast in the neck of the bottle. Once settled it could be removed by freezing the neck in a brine of salt and water, removing it, and recorking.

The company was taken public in 1963, and merged with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey in 1986. Today, Jacques Peters is the chief winemaker at Veuve Clicquot, and was appointed cellar master in 1985. He has undertaken an ambitious program since this time to upgrade the grape sources, improve the vineyards, and improve the cellars and production facilities.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/15/2014
Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2008
Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 104954)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 9/15/2014: $35.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

'A good portion of the 2008 blend is from Gamble Ranch, a vineyard that has consistently delivered such rich, ripe fruit flavors. There's a richness in this wine that is wonderfully balanced by a bright citrus note. A sweet oak note weaves together the many layers of aroma and flavor, carrying through to the finish. This wine is always a pleasure to make and equally pleasurable to drink!' - Laurie Hook, Beringer Vineyards Winemaker
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About Beringer Vineyards:

No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.

Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of the rich heritage of the Beringer Vineyard, while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance. The exquisite wines crafted at the Beringer Vineyards display a single minded dedication and pursuit of excellence instilled by its founder, Jacob Beringer.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/15/2014
Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 107221)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/15/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"Crisp and clean" are not often ascribed to a California Chardonnay but with a nod to the great white wines of the old world, the 2009 Frog's Leap Chardonnay is just that. Vivid flavors of green apple, citrus and peach are delicately touched with hints of vanilla and toast. The interplay of fresh fruit and bright acidity, marked by notes of wet stone and slate, offer fantastic complexity and drive the wine's clean, refreshing finish. A vibrant wine to sip on its own, the Chardonnay is also a fantastic companion to seafood dishes, freshly shucked oysters and even mild cheeses.
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About Frog's Leap:

Frog's Leap is an iconic California winery dedicated to organic farming, sustainable living and quality wines. Situated in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, Frog’s Leap produces wine under the leadership of John Williams, a former dairy farmer from New York who created the winery in 1981.

John Williams grew up in Western New York and originally attended Cornell University to extend his studies as a dairyman. A fortuitous work-study program at Taylor Wine Company and a few bottles of wine later, John entered the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC Davis. Following Davis, he returned to the Finger Lakes as the start-up winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars. Taking inspiration from his first Napa Valley winemaking post in the cellars of Stag's Leap, John began making wine commercially in 1981 and named the new operation "Frog's Leap."

Frog's Leap presents a relaxed approach to enjoying wine. An easy hospitality and warm sense of humor is juxtaposed with a more serious sensibility when making wine. Frog's Leap produces some of Napa Valley's finest wines and, undoubtedly, has one of the wine world's best mottos: "Time's Fun When You're Having Flies."

The wines produced range from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. We have quite the line up to offer so we hope you’ll try one of these delicious wines that harmoniously combine quality, sustainability and value.

First certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1988 Frog's Leap has been a leader in the industry for over two decades. The winery relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.



Red Wines    Petite Sirah    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 9/15/2014
Frog's Leap Petite Sirah 2007
Frog's Leap Petite Sirah 2007
(search item no. 104037)
green wine
older vintages


PRICE ON 9/15/2014: $44.99

Winemaker's Notes:

As we drew early barrel samples, this rich Petite Sirah hooked us with its dark indigo hue and intense fragrance. Captivating aromatics of ripe blueberry is revealed at the core, while flavors of cassis, tobacco smoke and damp earth unfold to present a provocative wine with bright acidity, supple tannins and a long finish. Intense and weighty this little Petite is a great compliment to roasted meat dishes or decadent, dark chocolate.

For over 100 years, Cabernet Sauvignon has been the grape of choice in Rutherford - Niebaum, Tchelistcheff, and Daniel all established that fact. However, during that time, another red grape began to slowly gain fame in Rutherford, albeit on a much smaller stage. Petite sirah was grown alongside the zinfandels of the day by many an old time grower and it was known to thrive in the "dust."

During the initial planting of the Galleron Vineyard in 1998, Frank Leeds, our vineyard guru, gave his uncle and pioneering grape grower, Roy Chavez, a tour. When Roy saw the gravelly soils that stretch across the south side, he intuitively uttered, "You should put some Pets on that gravel." And so we did.There are some who believe that every patch of soil in the Napa Valley can be matched to a particular varietal and yield extraordinary results. We can't say that for sure, but when it comes to this little Petite sirah, we feel we have found a match made in heaven.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Frog's Leap:

About Frog's Leap:

Frog's Leap is an iconic California winery dedicated to organic farming, sustainable living and quality wines. Situated in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley, Frog’s Leap produces wine under the leadership of John Williams, a former dairy farmer from New York who created the winery in 1981.

John Williams grew up in Western New York and originally attended Cornell University to extend his studies as a dairyman. A fortuitous work-study program at Taylor Wine Company and a few bottles of wine later, John entered the Enology and Viticulture Masters Program at UC Davis. Following Davis, he returned to the Finger Lakes as the start-up winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars. Taking inspiration from his first Napa Valley winemaking post in the cellars of Stag's Leap, John began making wine commercially in 1981 and named the new operation "Frog's Leap."

Frog's Leap presents a relaxed approach to enjoying wine. An easy hospitality and warm sense of humor is juxtaposed with a more serious sensibility when making wine. Frog's Leap produces some of Napa Valley's finest wines and, undoubtedly, has one of the wine world's best mottos: "Time's Fun When You're Having Flies."

The wines produced range from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. We have quite the line up to offer so we hope you’ll try one of these delicious wines that harmoniously combine quality, sustainability and value.

First certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1988 Frog's Leap has been a leader in the industry for over two decades. The winery relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.