Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Santa Margherita Prosecco
Santa Margherita Prosecco
(search item no. 49672)
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PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Nestled in the hills of the eastern Veneto is one of the most wonderful wine growing regions - the Valdobbaidene. In April 2010 this small area was established as a DOCG region, the highest quality level that can be given to an Italian wine. Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) grapes are grown on the steep hillsides, 100% hand-harvested, and crafted into the prized Santa Margherita Prosecco DOCG. With peach and apple aromas, this fresh and balanced sparkling wine has fine perlage with a refreshing finish. Prosecco di Valdobbiadene is excellent as an aperitif, ideal with seafood dishes and after meals with light desserts.

The color is straw yellow, with an aroma that has a lively vinosity characterized by a fine fruity fragrance and an elegant long-lived mousse. On the palate the wine tastes pleasantly dry with a well-balanced acidity, making the wine fresh and lively.

My Notes:

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About Santa Margherita:

Santa Margherita introduced Pinot Grigio in 1980, and has become one of America's favorite premium wines. Recently voted the most popular imported wine, red or white, in top restaurants for the 11th consecutive year (Wine & Spirits 4/06), Santa Margherita remains a favorite among wine enthusiasts for its crisp, ripe character and consistent quality.


White Wines    Albarino    Rias Baixas    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Pazo de Senorans Albarino 2005
Pazo de Senorans Albarino 2005
(search item no. 90566)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"Always a candidate for Albarino of the year, the 2005 Pazo de Senorans does not disappoint. The wine is produced from low yielding vines on slate and gravel and is tank fermented and aged on its fine lees with battonage. Light gold-colored, it offers up a refined nose of mineral, petrol, and pit fruits reminiscent of a top-flight Alsace Riesling. Bone dry and crisp, the wine offers intense flavors with superb balance and length. Drink this classy effort over the next 12-18 months with a variety of seafoods."
-Wine Advocate
My Notes:

About Pazo de Senorans:

Pazo de Señorans is located in the Salnes region of the Rias-Biaxas in northwest Spain. It would not be an exageration to say that winemaker Señora Mariol Bueno's tireless efforts in promoting the region resulted in Rias-Baixas' status as a D.O., which was finally granted in 1992. Through her work, the region gained international noteriety for producing a wonderful and intriguing white wine from the indigenous Albariño grape variety.


White Wines    Pinot Blanc    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Terlano Pinot Bianco 2006
Terlano Pinot Bianco 2006
(search item no. 92448)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $17.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

With wonderful aromas of apple cider, chalk and lemon zest, this clean and focused wine expands on the palate to reveal warm apple crisp, clove and quince nuances.

Possessing a long, concentrated citrus finish, this wine pairs perfectly with roasted pork, shellfish and egg-based sauces or as a charming cocktail beverage.

My Notes:

About Terlano:

In Terlano, the wine-making tradition dates back more than 2000 years. Mild microclimatic conditions give the wines certain unique characteristics, thus adding a special flavor to them.

Terlano’s unique position at the foot of Mount Tschöggel is a key to the development of the vineyards. The southfacing slopes are ideal for grape growing. The porphyry rocks accumulate warmth and the porous soil allows the water to drain, keeping the soil dry around the roots of the wines.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Red 2006
Ridge Vineyards Three Valleys Red 2006
(search item no. 93382)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2012 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

80% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 5% Grenache

"Three Valleys" is the proprietary name for the only Ridge wine blended from multiple vineyard sites. They select softer, more accessible lots from their single vineyards and, taking the role of winemaker literally, create a character they find most appealing.

Younger vines from Lytton Estate provided most of the fruit; older vines on five small Alexander Valley vineyards and one Russian River vineyard make up the rest. The grapes fermented on their own yeasts in small-capacity tanks. Pressed, on average, by the seventh day, they completed a natural malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked to american oak barrels, whose staves had been air (not kiln) dried for twenty-four months.

Ridge blind-tasted all the lots in spring, creating this elegant blend. Their sixth vintage of Three Valleys contains the highest percentage of Zinfandel to date. Sensuous structure and rich fruit give the wine immediate appeal; it will be most enjoyable over the next five years.

My Notes:

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About Ridge Vineyards:

Ridge's history begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor and prominent member of San Francisco's Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He planted vineyards and constructed a winery of redwood and native limestone in time to produce the first vintage of Monte Bello in 1892. The historic building now serves as the Ridge production facility.

Though Ridge began as a Cabernet winery, by the mid-60s it had produced several Zinfandels including the Geyserville. In 1972, Lytton Springs joined the line-up and the two came to represent an important part of Ridge production. Known primarily for its red wines, Ridge has also made limited amounts of Chardonnay since 1962.

The Ridge approach is straightforward: find the most intense and flavorful grapes, guide the natural process, draw all the fruit's richness into the wine. Decisions on when to pick, when to press, when to rack, what varietals and what parcels to include and when to bottle, are based on taste. To retain the nuances that increase complexity, Ridge winemakers handle the grapes and wine as gently as possible. There are no recipes, only attention and sensitivity.



Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose
Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose
(search item no. 13649)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $24.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Mirabelle Brut Rosé is a specially crafted blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Schramsberg's select cool-climate vineyards in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma and Marin coastal areas of Northern California. Pinot Noir lots, including a few fermented with skin contact, provide brightness of berry fruit and body, while Chardonnay lots lend length and zest to the palate. Additional flavor depth and aromatic complexity results from the blending of base wine lots aged in barrels and tanks for one or more years. The finished Brut Rosé exhibits fresh, elegant and toasty aromas that lead into lively and delicious fruit flavors on the palate.

My Notes:

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About Schramsberg Vineyards:

Focused on Schramsberg's top Chardonnay barrel and tank lots, and aged for seven years prior to release, J. Schram is the winery's signature Brut sparkling wine. Jack and Jamie Davies revived the historic vineyards and cellars in 1965, with a mission to produce California's first world-class sparkling wines. Today, led by their son Hugh, Schramsberg's team continues with this commitment to quality and innovation. Schramsberg also produces the J. Schram Rose, Reserve, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose, Cremant Demi-Sec and J. Davies Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.


Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/25/2014
Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Reserva 2001
Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Reserva 2001
(search item no. 92282)
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/25/2014: $11.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Wine & Spirits Top 100 of 2007!

At the estates of La Recilla, Valdegaru, Ozaku and La Olivera, the soil, the sun and the rain create this exceptional wine, which assumes its final shape after blending. It is a wine with the know-how and flavour of a great Rioja Alta wine.

Intense cherry-red with a bright rim. Predominating nose of cocoa, coffee and cigar box aromas blending into notes of stewed fruit. Well-integrated, characterful tannins in the mouth that slowly lead to hints of cedar and ripe red fruit. The finish brings back toasty notes from the wood, such as cedar, enhanced by a light, pleasant hint of roast chestnuts.

"The modern style of this wine is apparent right from the vibrant color, both deep and bright. But rather than coming across as a fruit bomb, this wine offers a contemporary take on the earthier side of Rioja. It has a floral scent, like rosehips, and a firm, zesty feel. For now, the extraordinary length is more about earth than fruit, but there's a controlled intensity to the structure that predicts a long evolution ahead."
-Wines & Spirits 93/100

My Notes:

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About Bodegas Ramon Bilbao:

Our winery, which has recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic in Rioja.

At Bodegas Ramon Bilbao we produce the highest quality matured wines, thus increasing both the Denominacion de Origin's and our founder's prestige. Our daily work is based on using the best prime materials, which we choose with the greatest care: grapes from the best estates and vineyards and barrels made of the best oak from European and American woods.

Our aim is to obtain the best matured wines so that you can enjoy a wine for drinking, savouring and tasting again.