Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2008
TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 110591)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a best-of-both-worlds wine. It takes two distinct expressions of Santa Barbara County and blends them into a balanced wine with depth and complexity. The first component of the blend comes from our North Canyon Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley at the northern edge of Santa Barbara. This vineyard yields a soft and silky Pinot with delicate floral notes and red fruit character. The lots from North Canyon Vineyard are complemented by grapes from our Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills, located at the southern end of Santa Barbara County. Fiddlestix Pinot Noir is big and lush; it lends structure and core of dark berry fruit to the blend.

The 2008 TAZ Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir is a classic. The nose is rich and complex with aromas of wild strawberry, black tea, dusty cherry and cinnamon. The palate follows through with notes of red cherry, vanilla and clove.

My Notes:

About TAZ:

TAZ Vineyards, like many artisan producers in Santa Barbara County, is located in a winemaker's cooperative warehouse in Santa Maria. Vision and fervent passion earned Bob "Taz" Steinhauer the Tasmanian devil nickname. From the vineyards to the scale houses, this nickname stuck as he feverishly led the development of some of California's most notable vineyards. While his legendary career spanned four decades of grape growing in the Napa Valley, it was the rustic spirit of Santa Barbara that stole his heart. Perfect soils and climate led him to this spectacular region to plant vineyards.

"Taz" Steinhauer is considered a pioneer whose unswerving dedication to unlocking the secrets of the Central Coast over the past several years has contributed directly to the rising acclaim for wines from the region. He shared his passion and his insights broadly with local growers, always pushing for higher levels of quality and an approach that allowed each vineyard to evolve to its fullest viticultural expression.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 105748)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark purple color with ruby red tones. The nose is full of ripe red fruits, sweet spice and a touch of tobacco. The mouthfeel shows red currant and cassis fruit layered with notes of cedar and espresso bean. The finish is soft and sweet, with finely grained tannins adding structure and length.
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About Tilia:

Named after the Tilia (Linden) tree commonly found throughout Argentina’s wine country, Tilia wines possess true varietal character and embody the rural Mendozean lifestyle. For years vineyard workers have used the flowers of the Tilia to make an herbal tea for enjoyment after a hard day’s work. The name Tilia is chosen in honor of this wine country tradition.

The Tilia wines are made at Bodegas Esmeralda, a Catena family winery in the Eastern region of Mendoza that is dedicated to making value wines for the Argentine domestic market. Tilia wines offer a unique combination of fruit sourced from the traditional Eastern region and the dynamic Southern region of Mendoza. The Eastern region of Mendoza enjoys warm, sunny days and cool desert nights. The grapes have very ripe, rich fruit flavors and excellent mid-palate depth and concentration. Bright sunshine and low temperatures of the Southern region lend a cool freshness. The fruit from this area shows clean acid balance and soft, supple tannins.

Tilia is dedicated to responsible use of the environment. The winemaking and viticultural team actively engage in many practices and programs throughout the community to implement sustainability. Water conservation and reuse, minimal use of pesticides and organic fertilization are several examples of the team’s dedication. Furthermore, the entire Tilia viticultural team attends regular sustainability training sessions at the National University of Cuyo and National Agricultural Research Institute. They take this training into the field to share and implement with their grower partners.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Matchbook Tinto Rey 2007
Matchbook Tinto Rey 2007
(search item no. 114379)
The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Tinto Rey means Red King. Tempranillo is the king of Spanish red wines and one of the most important varietals in our Matchbook Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills. The Spanish varietals Tempranillo and Graciano contribute spicy red berry fruit flavors; Syrah adds rich flavors of black cherry and blueberry; the spicy cedar and tobacco notes are from the cool weather Cabernet Sauvignon; a touch of Petite Sirah pumps up the tannins, the rich color, and adds a little pepper spice.

44% Tempranillo, 36% Syrah, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Graciano, 2% Petite Sirah

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About Matchbook:

Why Matchbook? As a farm kid growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Matchbook's owner, John Giguiere, was a confirmed pyromaniac starting various things on fire such as his father's wheat field. At one point, fearing total ruin from his kids burning him out of the house and farm, his father took them to the city jail for an hour stay to impress upon his brother and him the futility of their fascination with fire. John and his brother answered at a later date by graduating from random fires to the launching of rockets which often blew up at some stage of their journey resulting in more random fires and a call to the local fire department for help. They eventually grew out of this fascination with the "Matchbook" but still have fond memories of the power they possessed.

Matchbook has four products, all focusing on varietals that perform well in the warm Dunnigan Hills climate. A percentage of coastal fruit is blended into the Dunnigan Hills wines to add structure and intensify flavors.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 110200)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Brilliant red ruby color. Deep and pleasant mature fruit such as dark cherries, blackberries and plums. Notes of raspberry jam, candied fruit and white chocolate. Spices of black pepper, nutmeg, bay leaves and cloves. Sweet and round tannins. In the mouth, there is good volume, structure and balance. A good classic.
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About Los Vascos:

Los Vascos traces its roots to approximately 1750 and to the original vineyard of Miguel Echenique. The vineyard passed down through the family throughout the succeeding centuries.

The acquisition of 50% of Los Vascos by Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than one hundred Chilean wines for one that could meet their criteria for excellence. A team of winemakers from Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) control the viticulture, harvest, maceration, fermentation and aging of the wines at Los Vascos. Strict control of yields from the estate and adherence to the winemaking techniques of Chateau Lafite result in wines of high quality, whose characteristics do not escape connoisseurs. All production is estate bottled.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Prelius Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Prelius Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 109655)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $14.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has a vivid ruby red color with a tinge of purple. Its aromas are rich and suggestive of blackberry and blueberry with hints of oak and cinnamon. Smooth with a firm structure, it has a fruit-filled finish that lingers.

The Stianti Mascheroni family, owners of Prelius are leaders in Tuscany's organic viticultural movement. They are committed to organic farming at the Prelius estate. These efforts are aided by both nature and man. Mother Nature does her part by providing continual breezes throughout the day and night, which keep humidity at bay, preventing fungus and mold. Insect pests are controlled by an innovative natural technique referred to as sexual confusion, which is accomplished by releasing pheromones to confuse the males, who then cannot locate females and reproduce. And, all fertilization is achieved with organic manure.

Prelius practices organic farming certified by the EU.

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About Prelius:

Prelius is the name given by the Romans to the ancient costal lake of Prile. Already with the Etruscans the land surrounding the lake was a flourishing community dedicated to fishing and to the commerce of salt. The coastal lake used to lay from the Argentario peninsula to Castiglione della Pescaia, separated from the sea by a sandy strip that is now the marvelous pine-wood of Grosseto. Prile, where our vineyards are located, is 2 miles away from Castiglione della Pescaia along the slopes of the hilly amphitheater surrounding the ancient lake.

In this hilly amphitheater called Prelius, the vineyard is organically farmed by the Stianti Mascheroni family flourishes. This vineyard, also called Prelius, is the first venture outside of Chianti Classico for the Stianti Mascheroni family, leaders in Tuscany's organic viticultural movement.