Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2006
Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2006
(search item no. 101294)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $36.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 1996 vintage of this wine was ranked #1 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1999

This is a classic Cinq Cepages with signature notes of blackberry jam, red raspberry, milk chocolate and violet. The palate offers a rich, dark fruit density surrounded by well-structured tannins. Layers of generous black plum and fresh-picked blackberries combine with notes of black tea and mocha. This wine has beautiful oak integration and a lushness throughout that leads to a lingering finish with hints of blackberry and clove.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Chateau St. Jean:

About Chateau St. Jean:

Chateau St. Jean is a winemaking estate located at the foot of the Sugarloaf Ridge in Sonoma Valley near Kenwood, California. Founded in 1973, Chateau St. Jean has long been recognized as a leader in Vineyard Designated wines. Winemaker Steve Reeder has built a reputation for making wines of power and elegance. With over 20 years of vineyard and winemaking experience, his knowledge of Sonoma makes him a master in highlighting the best of each vineyard. Chateau St. Jean was the first Sonoma winery to be awarded the prestigious "Wine of the Year" award from Wine Spectator for its 1996 Cinq Cepages Cabernet Sauvignon, a Bordeaux-style blend of "five varieties."


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Cornas    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Terres Brulees Cornas 2007
Jean-Luc Colombo Les Terres Brulees Cornas 2007
(search item no. 106081)
collectible wine
older vintages

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $51.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color is deep red, almost inky. The bouquet boasts red fruit, blackberries, black currants and hints of tobacco. Rich, concentrated and spicy; persistent aromas of red fruit and licorice add elegance to the structure. This wine will benefit from two to three years' cellaring.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Jean-Luc Colombo:

About Jean-Luc Colombo:

A native of Marseilles, Colombo first developed a strong admiration for the wines of the Rhône Valley in the late 1970s as a pharmacy student. A devotee of the Syrah grape, Colombo was convinced that the northern Rhône appellation of Cornas offered enormous and, at the time, unrecognized potential for producing super-quality Syrah wines. After earning degrees in pharmacy and enology, Colombo and his wife Anne, also a pharmacist and enologist, moved to Cornas, fully intending to support themselves as pharmacists while developing a wine consultancy on the side.

It was not long before Colombo began purchasing and cultivating his own vineyards - first in Cornas then throughout the Rhône Valley and Languedoc - leading to the establishment in 1994 of Vins Jean-Luc Colombo. The wines of Vins Jean-Luc Colombo are all sourced from Colombo's own vineyards and from carefully selected domains under his direct consultation.

Colombo has not limited his magical sphere of influence to Cornas. The company now embraces 27 wines representing major appellations of the Rhône Valley as well as the Languedoc and Roussillon regions of southern France. Most recently, Colombo has returned to his roots for his latest winemaking venture in the Côte Bleue district near Marseilles.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards 2006
Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards 2006
(search item no. 100320)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Pickberry Vineyard is located on the slopes of Sonoma Mountain on the western side of the Sonoma Valley. Pickberry Vineyard got its name many years ago by then two-year-old Kristin Strotz, daughter of owners Cris and Lorna Strotz, due to the irresistible blackberry vines that grow on the property. Pickberry fruit (in this case grapes, as opposed to blackberries) has traditionally produced opulent, berry-saturated, Bordeaux-style wines and with the 2006 vintage, these indisputable virtues are even more dramatic.

Deep ruby color, expressive aromas of smoky cherry, blackcurrant and baking spices. Suave dark berry flavors show liqueur-like depth and intensity, with dusty tannins adding shape and grip and carrying through the finish.

Blend: 74% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon

My Notes:

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    Other Red Blends    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Rocca di Frassinello  2005
Rocca di Frassinello 2005
(search item no. 108651)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $37.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense ruby red, soft, silky with lots of floral flavors (typical of Sangiovese), nice hints of red berries and cherries and elegant notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a round, medium finish. It pairs well with all red meat dishes and mature cheeses.
My Notes:

About Rocca di Frassinello:

After Castellare di Castellina, located in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, Rocca of Frassinello was born in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, between Bolgheri to the north and Scansano (the Morellino area) to the south. A great international project conceived with the partnership of Les Domaines Baron de Rothschild-Lafite: 500 hectares, 80 already cultivated with vines, 50% Sangioveto and 50% Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Shiraz, to produce three wines in what can be considered as a meeting of the best of Italy and France: the third label, the wine of entrance, without the name of the company, Poggio alla Guardia; the second label, with a part of the name of the company, Le Sughere di Frassinello; and the first label, Le Grand Vin, Rocca di Frassinello. The first year of marketing was the 2004 vintage, with the delivery of the third label on June 2006, the second on September-October, the first one within the end of 2006. Three wines that the wine maker of Castellare and manager of Rocca di Frassinello, Alexander Cellai, and Christian Le Sommer, renowned wine maker of the various companies of Domaine Baron de Rothschild in the world, have judged simply extraordinary, to the point of convincing the ownership to immediately sell Le Grand Vin as well, the first label Rocca of Frassinello.


Red Wines    Cabernet Franc    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Le Macchiole Paleo 2005
Le Macchiole Paleo 2005
(search item no. 99244)
collectible wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $68.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 97 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 97 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 98 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 98 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Named for the vineyard of its provenance, Paleo Rosso is the flagship wine for Le Macchiole and was the first wine in Bolgheri to made entirely from Cabernet Franc. Ruby red with violet flecks, its red fruit aroma offers notes of yellow and black pepper, tobacco, and nutmeg. Clean on the palate, it finishes with elegant minerality, ripe fruit, and a hint of balsamic.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Le Macchiole:

About Le Macchiole:

Long before it was fashionable, Eugenio Campolmi saw the potential of his homeland, buying his first vineyard in Bolgheri in 1975 baptised "Le Macchiole". In 1987, he hired famed oenologist Vittorio Fiore as a consultant before the later was joined by Luca d'Attoma for years later. In contrast to his renowned neighbors who focused on Bordeaux blends, Campolmi focused on achieving the purest expression of individual varieties, crafting distinct wines of unprecedented quality. Soon Le Macchiole joined Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Guado al Tasso as one of the most prestigious estates in Bolgheri. Following Eugenio's death in 2002, his wife Cinzia Merli, who shares her husband's passion, took over at the estate. Working with Luca D'Attoma, she has carried on her husband's legacy by continuing to make great Tuscan wines.


Red Wines    Nebbiolo    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Paje Riserva 2005
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Paje Riserva 2005
(search item no. 108424)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $43.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The south-facing 2.5 hectare Paje` Vineyard was established in 1982 with its first year of wine production. Average wine production is 8,000 bottles. The Paje Nebbiolo varietal cultivated in this vineyard is intense yet delicate, with a long life of 15 - 25 years with notable freshness.

Complex but tight in its youth, with bright aromas of fresh rose, raspberry and incense. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and lots of fruit; enhanced by a good acidity and a firm tannic finish. Layered and rich. Excellently paired with intensely flavored fresh-egg pasta dishes, risottos, white and red meat, game and seasonal dishes.

My Notes:

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About Produttori del Barbaresco:

Before 1894, Nebbiolo grapes were sold to make Barolo wine or simply labeled Nebbiolo di Barbaresco. But in 1894, Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident, created the first cooperative, the Cantine Sociali, by gathering together nine Barbaresco vineyard owners to make wine in the local castle that he owned. He understood well the differences between the same grape, the Nebbiolo, grown in the different areas of Barolo and Barbaresco and, for the first time, recognized it on the wine label. The Cantine Sociali was closed in the 1930s because of fascist economic rules. In 1958, the priest of the village of Barbaresco, recognizing that the only way the small properties could survive was by joining their efforts, gathered together nineteen small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco. The first three vintages were made in the church basement, then in the winery built across the square where the Produttori is still located. United once again, the small growers continued the work started by Domizio Cavazza, producing only Barbaresco wine and enhancing both the reputation of the wine and the village.


Red Wines    Nebbiolo    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva Barbaresco 2005
Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva Barbaresco 2005
(search item no. 108425)
collectible wine

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $43.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The dialect spelling Mùncagòta is sometimes used to define this vineyard of 20 acres of which 10 are managed by Produttori . It is the only single vineyard with a full south - east exposure which means full sunshine in the morning rather than in the afternoon and therefore a slightly cooler micro - climate. Higher calcium in the soil defines a very elegant, intense wine with a distinct floral, sometimes minty bouquet. Tannins are firm and the finish is long lasting. Produced for the first time in the 1967 vintage.

Great complexity and full body, intense fruit, firm tannins and a very long finish. Extremely elegant, intense fruit in a refined bouquet. Perfect with egg-fresh pasta dishes, risotto,white and red meat, game, venison, cheese. Longevity for 18-22 years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Produttori del Barbaresco:

About Produttori del Barbaresco:

Before 1894, Nebbiolo grapes were sold to make Barolo wine or simply labeled Nebbiolo di Barbaresco. But in 1894, Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident, created the first cooperative, the Cantine Sociali, by gathering together nine Barbaresco vineyard owners to make wine in the local castle that he owned. He understood well the differences between the same grape, the Nebbiolo, grown in the different areas of Barolo and Barbaresco and, for the first time, recognized it on the wine label. The Cantine Sociali was closed in the 1930s because of fascist economic rules. In 1958, the priest of the village of Barbaresco, recognizing that the only way the small properties could survive was by joining their efforts, gathered together nineteen small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco. The first three vintages were made in the church basement, then in the winery built across the square where the Produttori is still located. United once again, the small growers continued the work started by Domizio Cavazza, producing only Barbaresco wine and enhancing both the reputation of the wine and the village.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Mas de l'Abundancia  2005
Mas de l'Abundancia 2005
(search item no. 106552)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Mas de l'Abundancia winery is entrenched in history, art and quality wine production. Translated as "land of the abundant harvest," the winery's name stems from the 15th century when the current vineyard site was farmed by monks from the nearby Scala Dei monastery. Winemaker Jesus del Rio, whose family has cultivated land in the region since the 1300s, manages this property in the heart of Montsant with help from his wife, Marta.

The majority of the estate is devoted to the Garnacha grape variety that del Rio's family has grown for generations. A self-trained viticulturalist, he planted over 7,000 Garnacha and 6,000 Cabernet Sauvignon vines himself, fueled by his belief that these varieties would express the true terroir of his land.

He bottled his first flagship wine, named for the winery "Mas de l'Abundancia," in 2002. Made from Garnacha and Cariñena, this wine symbolizes the fusion of an ancient land with innovative enology and artistic winemaking. This is the first time these wines have been imported into the United States.

My Notes:

About Mas de l'Abundancia:

The Mas de l'Abundància winery is entrenched in history, art and quality wine production. Translated as "land of the abundant harvest," the winery's name stems from the 15th century when the current vineyard site in Montsant was farmed by monks from the nearby Scala Dei monastery. Poet, musician, winemaker and owner Jesus del Rio, whose family has grown Garnacha in the region for generations, purchased the property in the early 1990s, and exported his wines to the United States for the first time in 2006.

The vines that make up the Fluminis wine are located at the Mas de l’Abundància property in the hillside town of Mas Roig. It currently contains 4.5 hectares of vines consisting of low-production Cabernet Sauvignon, Carineña, and two select clones of pre-phylloxera Garnacha: Garnacha Prioratina and Garnacha Pais. The soils are very fertile with excellent drainage; 40% of the fruit is generally dropped each year to ensure the best quality of each of the three grape varieties.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2005
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2005
(search item no. 96675)
green wine


PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
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.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Sterling Vineyards:

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!



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2006
Sterling Three Palms Vineyard Merlot 2006
(search item no. 108141)
green wine
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $55.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
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:

With great structure, depth and concentration, our 2006 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot tells the story of an unusual vineyard in Napa Valley. The wine's intense, ripe black cherry aromas and expansive flavors slowly unfold to reveal complex notes of mineral, mocha, spice, rose and toasty oak. This beautifully balanced expression of Merlot comes from vines that struggle in rocky, volcanic soils along the eastern flank of Napa Valley. Winemaker Michael Westrick attributes the wine's distinctive mineral character and remarkable weight on the palate to the vineyard's unique terroir. Structured with tannins that combine power with suppleness, this wine delivers luscious, complex flavors now, yet promises cellar-worthiness.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Sterling Vineyards:

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!