White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 3/27/2015
Conundrum White Blend 2011
Conundrum White Blend 2011
(search item no. 118612)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 3/27/2015: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This unique, non-traditional white wine blend was created to offer full-flavored fruit and enough complexity to match the creative dishes being offered by today's generation of chefs.

Conundrum can be served with every course from appetizer to dessert and pairs beautifully with spicy foods and full-flavored Asian cuisine. The "conundrum," or puzzle, of this wine is in guessing which grapes make up the blend.

My Notes:

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About Conundrum:

It was the summer of 1989, a year ripe with possibilities and promise. All around the globe, old ways of thinking were giving way to new ideas. In the culinary world, traditional dishes were being reinvented by a generation of chefs who were open to the possibility of exploring adventurous new cuisine. At Caymus, we were similarly inspired to break free of the norm and began to redefine white wine. And in 1989, Conundrum was born.

From our very first vintage we were determined to make a dramatically different white-wine blend that would surpass the scope of single-varietal wines. Just as chefs were exploring the fusion of flavors from classic to contemporary, from east to west, often combining savory, spicy, herbal and fruity flavors in one dish, we explored how non-traditional combinations of grape varietals would work together. We wanted each varietal to be distinctive but still complementary to blend as a whole. After experimenting with eleven different white wines, we chose a select few that we consider the 'key ingredients'. For over twenty years we have continued to perfect the fine art of blending a 'conundrum' of varietals together, to create a remarkably complex, yet harmonious symphony of flavors. More recently we adapted the same approach for the Conundrum Red blend creation when we released the first vintage in 2011.

To make each wine even more complex, we take great care in keeping each parcel of fruit separate throughout the entire winemaking process. As a result, when the time comes to blend the wine, we have a lot of diversity in aromas, flavors and textures to work with. That's when the creative juices begin to flow. The proportions of each varietal vary slightly each vintage, as Mother Nature hands us new "ingredients." But our goal is always the same: a highly styled, complex and delicious wine that is excellent as an apéritif and pairs beautifully with the wide-ranging, global dishes we are eating as chefs and home cooks experiment with new, cutting-edge cuisine.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 3/27/2015
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2007
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2007
(search item no. 107753)
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 3/27/2015: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc.

This supple Bordeaux blend was created by the legendary Mike Dobrovic as a tribute to Boes ("Bushy" in Afrikaans), the loyal dog who kept watch over Mulderbosch farm for nearly three years after his owner's death, waiting beneath an oak tree for the return of his beloved master. Enticing aromas of blackcurrant, mulberry, coffee, and spice lead to intense flavors of ripe plum, blackberry, and licorice enhanced by signature Bordeaux notes of tobacco, forest floor and graphite.

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About Mulderbosch:

Widely recognized as one of South Africa's most iconic producers, Mulderbosch is well-known for its Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Rose and its Bordeaux blend - The Faithful Hound - and is located east of Cape Town in the Stellenbosch Hills. Stellenboxch has a Mediterranean climate that is largely impacted by the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with long, warm summers and cool windy afternoons. Recently acquired by Charles Banks, an American, Mulderbosch has entered an exciting new era of quality. A newly-assembled team promises to re-introduce wine lovers to the many charms of this approachable, easy-drinking, collection of affordable, fun wines. South Africa provokes an unbelieveable platform for making some of the best white wine values in the world.


Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 3/27/2015
Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2007
Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2007
(search item no. 99709)
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 3/27/2015: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wide range of aromas and flavors in our 2007 Zinfandel can again be attributed to its "field blend" origin. Grown and sometimes co-fermented together the three varietals of this wine—Zinfandel, Petite sirah and Carignane—each play critical roles in defining the wine's character. The Zin tastes of wild berries and briary fruit marked with a touch of spice, while the ‘Pets' adds dark color and a weighty mid-palate leaving the carignane to account for the bright acidity and slight earthiness. Dry farmed and organically grown, the wine never feels over-blown yet it is full of juicy flavors of cherry and boysenberry underlined with layers of earth and spice. Plus, with an alcohol under 14%, it makes a wonderful companion to your next backyard barbeque.

Yes, we have noticed that the monster Zins of the '70s are still in fashion. And yes, just like fashion they command monster prices based on their "big" alcohol, "big" flavors, and "big" bottles. But Frog's Leap Zin is different: you can't use this stuff to light your charcoal grill.

Maybe it's that we found our early inspiration for Zinfandel from a different source — instead of reinventing Zinfandel, we looked to the past and the incredible Zins of the '40s and '50s. Those wines taught us the lessons that the old-timers knew: that field blends of Petite Sirah, Carignane, and Napa Gamay all picked at ripeness (not as raisins) added color, aromatics, and earthy complexity. In other words, the help of other varietals was needed to reveal the Zinfandel grape's true flavors. These principles form the foundation for our wine today.

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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    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 3/27/2015
Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah 2005
Clarendon Hills Moritz Syrah 2005
(search item no. 103243)
collectible wine
boutique wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 3/27/2015: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep, spicy dark fruits line this earthy and liquorice basement. Upstairs, there is tobacco and boot leather. Roofed with lavender and coffee, this is the house that cornas built.

Layered and with a velvety texture, the palate is luxurious and the nose is liqueur-like smooth. It has depth and balance to warrant 25 years, or 25 minutes.

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About Clarendon Hills:

Clarendon Hills is a small family-run winery based in Clarendon, South Australia. The company was founded by biochemist, Roman Bratasiuk, in 1990. The story of Clarendon Hills is one of passion, dedication and commitment to exception wine. It all began when this biochemist and wine lover decided to produce his own wine. Though he'd never trained as a winemaker, Roman let himself be guided by his refined palate and scientific knowledge. Following his favorite producers and preferred styles, Roman sought to make a version of the wines he loved.