Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2009
Cavit Alta Luna Phases 2009
(search item no. 118955)
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Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#52 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Alta Luna Phases represents the finest selection of grapes from prime vineyard sites in the foothills of Italy's breathtaking Dolomite Alps. This elegant yet robust fusion of Merlot and native varieties Lagrein and Teroldego combines flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and plum with distinctive spicy notes. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months, this vibrant red is smooth and beautifully balanced, with fine tannins and a lingering finish.

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About Cavit:

Founded in 1957, Cavit has earned an international reputation as an innovative leader in Trentino winemaking. Today it is responsible for approximately 70% of this northern Italian province's entire wine production.

The company is based on a partnership between 5,000 member growers, organized into 14 associated cellars located throughout Trentino in zones noted for the quality of their production. Grapes are crushed and vinified at each cellar and after selection sent to Cavit's central winery near Trento for finishing, bottling and aging.

Cavit is a capital example of cooperation and size on a human scale. Trentino winemaking families are able to tap into a pool of resources and attain levels of quality that might otherwise lie beyond their reach.

Strength in numbers has also enabled Cavit to develop its own showcase hospitality and research center (which works closely with Italy's most prestigious school of viticultural research at nearby San Michele all'Adige), at the beautiful Maso Torresella, a former archbishop's castle on the shores of Lake Toblino.

The rewards of cooperation between Cavit's growers are apparent at every level, not least among consumers, for whom Cavit produces consistently high quality, affordably priced premium wines that have captured literally hundreds of awards and medals to date and are in demand in over 20 countries worldwide.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Tilia Malbec 2011
Tilia Malbec 2011
(search item no. 116153)
green wine
screw cap wine
has fluid
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Tilia Malbec has a dark, blackish purple color. The nose offers ripe black fruits, black pepper spice and floral notes. The mouthfeel is full yet soft and supple, with black raspberry and currant flavors mingled with notes of sweet spice and a touch of leather. The finish is long and persistent with soft, sweet tannins.
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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    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
St Hallett Faith Shiraz 2010
St Hallett Faith Shiraz 2010
(search item no. 118258)
screw cap wine
green wine
has fluid
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Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep red with magenta hues. A vibrant nose of lifted red fruits of dark cherry and raspberry, with underlying spices and chocolate. The depth and juicy character this wine exhibits is the essential hallmark of the 2010 vintage. The enticing dark cherry and juicy raspberry notes from the nose continue onto the palate. A silky, textural sensation of smooth tannins follows with a chocolate and black forest fruit persistence. This generous wine displays why it has established itself as a benchmark Barossa Shiraz.

This wine is beautiful to enjoy a glass on its own, bursting with intensity of flavor. Or partner it with a variety of cuisines from pizza and pasta, to lamb fillets or fragrant curries spiced with cinnamon and cardamom.

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About St Hallett:

As one of the founding wineries of the region and in the strength, warmth and honesty of its wines, St Hallett has come to be regarded as quintessential Barossa.

In the heart of the Barossa Valley, Australia's best known wine region, lies St Hallett, one of the country's premier wine producers. Established by the Lindner Family in 1944, for many years St Hallett's winemaking focus was, like many local wineries, on producing fortified wines. However, during the seventies and eighties, St Hallett turned to explore the true potential of the Barossa through premium table wines. This has resulted in St Hallett's status as one of Australia’s best producers.

St Hallett is renowned for crafting full-flavored, textured wines entirely from Barossa Valley fruit and is credited with producing benchmark wines of the region such as the iconic St Hallett Old Block Shiraz, made from vines aged up to 100 years old.

Winemaker and General Manager, Stuart Blackwell spearheaded the commissioning of the new winemaking facilities in 1988 and the installation of some of the world's most advanced fruit processing and handling equipment. Despite this modern approach, traditional winemaking techniques prevail at St Hallett as they are best suited to the winery's classic style.



Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    Other Italian    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Bartenura Sparkling Rose Moscato 2011
Bartenura Sparkling Rose Moscato 2011
(search item no. 114187)
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PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $14.95

Winemaker's Notes:

Bartenura Sparkling Rose Moscato is a light rose color with a delicate fragrance and sweet taste. Goes well with fruit, cheese and desserts. A splendid, festive wine to complete a meal. Best served chilled.
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Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir 2010
Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir 2010
(search item no. 114073)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2011 PinotReport rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Supple in texture, with rose petal and red fruit aromas, this lively, medium bodied wine is aged entirely in small French oak barrels, which adds a subtle, toasty vanilla character and a hint of spice.
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About Rodney Strong Vineyards:

Founded by wine industry pioneer, Rod Strong, in 1959, Rodney Strong Vineyards is now owned by the Kleins, a farming-based family that prides itself on land stewardship and a relentless push for superior wine quality from Sonoma County. After purchasing the company in 1989, Tom Klein began the endeavor that today brings together excellent vineyards, the industry's finest winemaking equipment, and exceptional talent. The winery farms and sources grapes from vineyards throughout Sonoma County, focusing on Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill. Rodney Strong Vineyards is best known for its estate-bottled and vinyeard-designated wines, and is also recognized for their sustainable and Fish Friendly Farming, dedication to solar energy production and coming carbon neutral in 2009.


Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Russian River    California   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Sequana Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Sequana Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 115936)
boutique wine
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 97 points
2007 PinotReport rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A lively bouquet of rose and sandalwood accompany complex dark red fruit of plum, black cherry and blackberry. Layered and full-bodied with balanced tannins, the wine finishes with length and finesse.
My Notes:

About Sequana:

Sequana Single vineyard Pinot Noir wines from Green Valley of Russian River Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands are named in honor of Sequana, the Franco-Roman goddess of the River Seine, which flows through the ancestral birthplace of Pinot Noir.

Winemaker and Pinot Noir specialist, James MacPhail, has complete control over the creation of Sequana's limited production wines – from farming to winemaking. He understands Pinot Noir's temperament, its ability to convey the signature of each single vineyard and its preference for restrained, gentle winemaking. He makes his Pinot Noirs by hand in small batches, using cold maceration and native yeasts. "My goal is to express each vineyard’s personality," says James.



Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Mont-Marcal Cava Brut Rosado Reserva 2009
Mont-Marcal Cava Brut Rosado Reserva 2009
(search item no. 110980)

PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

An intense and attractive redcurrant color with violet tones. Fine bubbles and mousse. The bouquet is dominated by berries such as cherries and blackberries, with a base of plum and fig compote and slight evolution from its contact with the lees. On the palate it is young, fruity, fresh, soft and above all elegant.

This is an ideal Cava to drink as an aperitif and with a wide range of dishes, from croquettes, pasta, salads with red fruits, carpaccios, soft creamy cheeses to dishes made with cured sausages, white meats (veal, rabbit, milk fed lamb), poultry, strong spiced and smoked food and a great variey of cakes. The fine mousse makes it refreshing and perfect to help the digestion of meals. Recommended serving temperature is 6°C and should be stored in a dry and cool place, always in a vertical position. Cava does not improve with time, it is best consumed no later than 20 months after its purchase.

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About Mont-Marcal:

Manuel Sancho's 230-acre estate, "Finca Manlleu," is located on a prominent chalky knoll five miles south of Vilafranca del Penedès overlooking the hamlet of Sant Marcal. One hundred acres are planted to Parellada, Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Chardonnay for white wines; Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for reds. The "Mont" provides 360-degree exposure, creating a wide variety of microclimates for maturation of the various varieties.

In 1975, Manuel Sancho purchased a neglected 19th-century convent, originally a 14th-century farmhouse, converting it to a state-of-the-art winemaking facility and initiating the restructuring of the vineyards. Recent excavation has expanded the CAVA aging and bottling capacity, at the same time revealing medieval underground passageways in the chalk which have been carefully preserved for additional bottle storage.

Intrinsic vineyard quality and careful handling of the grapes obtain a naturally-rich base wine in little need of dosage. Mont-Marcal Brut Reserva is produced from the indigenous white grapes, Parellada, Macabeo, Chardonnay and Xarel-lo, aged at least 24 months with the yeast, and disgorged on order for shipment.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Tahbilk Shiraz 2008
Tahbilk Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 114526)
screw cap wine
has fluid
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Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Shiraz is everything you would be looking for in an Estate release from a very good year for reds. Rich aromas and full bodied palate of dark berries and pepper, ripe red berry fruits, liquorice, plums and chocolate characters, and a finish that lingers.

Linger over a Tahbilk 2008 Shiraz alongside a Lamb Stew or some Meaty Italian Sausages.

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About Tahbilk:

Established in 1860 Tahbilk is one of Australia's most beautiful & historic wineries, located in the Nagambie Lakes region of central Victoria (120kms north of Melbourne) one of the nation's premium viticultural areas.

The property comprises some 1,214 hectares of rich river flats with a frontage of 11 kms to the Goulburn River and 8 kms of permanent backwaters & creeks.

The vineyard comprises 168 hectares of vines which include the rare Rhone whites of Marsanne, Viognier & Roussanne, along with classical varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc & Verdelho.



Red Wines    Grenache    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Borsao Tinto 2011
Borsao Tinto 2011
(search item no. 117147)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Unlike some of its Borsao stablemates, this bottling isn't gushing with fruit in the nose, but it has something more: balance. Black cherries and blueberries coincide with gentle vanilla and toast, and mineral and rock elements finish the wine, along with a whisp of citrusy crispness. Drink now or in the next several years.
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About Borsao:

Founded in 1958 in the town of Borja, called Borsao in the 4th century B.C., this winery represents what can be done with Garnacha, a grape that is not well appreciated by the Spanish press. Through meticulous selection, work in the fields and at reception time in the winery, modern winemaking produces this highly fruity wine. One of the best examples of the region known as "The Garnacha land of Spain", the lower part of the Ebro River.


Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 11/23/2014
Falernia Carmenere Reserva 2007
Falernia Carmenere Reserva 2007
(search item no. 116706)
has fluid
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/23/2014: $11.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense fruity character with vanilla and chocolates notes.
My Notes:

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About Falernia:

Viña Falernia is located in the Elqui Valley between La Serena and Vicuña, 520 km (323 miles) to the north of Santiago and it is at present Chile's northernmost wine estate.

The soils in our vineyards are composed partly of rubble which has eroded from the Andes mountains and deposited by glaciers and wind, and partly of alluvial sand and silt deposited by the river. While stony, gravely soils are regarded as poor for most crops, their excellent drainage qualities make them perfect for wine growing. The climate is semi-arid (average annual rainfall is 80-100 mm) making drip irrigation indispensable during the spring and summer months.

Climatic factors have a crucial influence on the quality and flavour of wine. With the majestic Andes as a backdrop, their peaks gleaming white all through the summer, the vineyards benefit from currents of cold air which descend from the high mountains at night. They cool the vineyards, causing a dramatic contrast between day and night time temperatures during the ripening season, from 27-32°C (80.6-89.6°F) to 10-12°C (50-53.6°F). This has the result of reducing respiration via the leaches and thereby furthering the accumulation of sugar in the grapes as well as the synthesis of polyphenols (tannins and coloring matter) along with the aroma and flavour substance.