Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Champagne    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Gosset Brut Excellence
Gosset Brut Excellence
(search item no. 24273)
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $39.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Aromas of pear and honeysuckle perfume the bouquet. This is a beautifully balanced champagne with a long, expressive finish.

Gosset only uses juice from the first and best pressing of grapes, and unlike most other producers, initial fermentation is still carried out in small oak barrels. Riddling and disgorgement are performed by hand. Significantly, and in contrast to virtually all other houses, Gosset Champagnes do not undergo a malolactic fermentation, resulting in a heightened acidity, slower maturing wines and that inimitable Gosset style – powerful and full-bodied, of unrivaled richness and staying power – in other words, some of the world's most legendary Champagne.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Gosset:

About Gosset:

Founded in Aÿ in 1584 by Pierre Gosset, Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne. It also remains one of the most prestigious, considered by many collectors and connoisseurs as the world’s preeminent name in luxury champagne. In 2009, this storied winemaker celebrated a landmark 425-year anniversary.

Gosset's reputation for excellence starts on the vines. Its champagnes are composed almost entirely of grapes from Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards. Unlike most champagne producers, this illustrious wine house purposely avoids malolactic fermentation and always performs riddling and disgorging of prestige cuvées and large-format bottles by hand. Gosset champagnes are made with infinite care and kept in dark cellars for at least three years – and up to five for vintage and prestige cuvées – before release.

Gosset's inimitable style – powerful and full-bodied, of unrivaled richness and staying power – has changed little over the centuries. Once a favorite of the kings and queens of France, it is now a fixture on the wine lists of some of the most lauded restaurants in the world, recognized by expert sommeliers for its exceptional capacity to enhance a wide range of cuisine.

Gosset's legacy is today in the safekeeping of the Cointreau family, who also owns and manages the highly regarded Cognac Frapin. While other champagne houses are handing over the reigns to large corporations, the members of this family are personally involved in the winemaking practices that have, over 425 years, made Gosset the ultimate name in champagne. In 2009, the family announced the acquisition of a new property in the heart of Epernay, which, with space for up to 2.5 million bottles, will serve as an extension to its production facilities in Aÿ.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Brut
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Brut
(search item no. 38473)
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PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is light to medium straw in color with a hint of green. Complex aromas of fresh fruit and creamy yeast are perfectly balanced on the nose. On the fine palate, green apple chardonnay flavours and strawberry Pinot Noir characters are complemented with a crisp lively acidity. An outstanding sparkling for the price. Enjoy as an aperitif or will pair well with many foods.
My Notes:

About Wolf Blass:

Wolf Blass arrived in Australia's Barossa Valley at the age of 27, and has since developed one of Australia's premier wineries. Wolf Blass has been producing some of Australia's very best wines for over 30 years, receiving over 3,000 awards at international wine shows since 1966.

Produced from fruit grown in vineyards across southeast Australia, Wolf Blass winemakers produce wines of outstanding quality, character and consistency every year.



White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2007
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2007
(search item no. 103135)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $7.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

To make our Dry Riesling, we pick our grapes relatively early (21-22.5 Brix). The Riesling juice is fermented at cold temperatures for 30 days and then aged in stainless steel tanks. We leave our dry wines sur lie (which means that we keep the wine on the yeast lees to increase the mouthfeel of the wine) post fermentation for five months and we stir the lees once or twice a week. We use no oak and no malolactic on this wine it's as pure and unmanipulated as it gets. For our Dry Riesling, we blend 20% of German Riesling wine selected by Johannes Selbach in the Mosel region to 80% of our Columbia Valley Riesling. The German Riesling lends great depth and acidity, as well as low alcohol.

The wine is crisp, dry and lush with flavors of citrus, jasmine and minerals. Our Dry Riesling is endlessly versatile and harmoniously complements the world's most vibrant and flavorful cuisine from Asian to European to a wide variety of seafood, cheeses and cold meats.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Pacific Rim:

About Pacific Rim:

Riesling, simply, is the most versatile, complex and food-friendly of all the noble grapes. if you enjoy inspiring your palate, then Riesling is your ideal wine. No other varietal so purely expresses terroir. Washington's Columbia Valley - home of Pacific Rim - provies the ideal soils and climate for growing Riesling. Purity is at the core of Pacific Rim's winemaking philosophy. They exclusively use stainless steel tanks, allowing the true character of Riesling to speak for itself, they do not use malolactic fermentation and their wines are fermented only with native yeasts. Pacific Rim produces 10 different Rieslings from bone dry to sticky sweet, and Riesling represents 95% of all the wines they produce. Pacific Rim is an Organic and Biodynamic certified winery.


White Wines    Other White Wine    Sardinia    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 2009
Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 2009
(search item no. 108969)

PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $10.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is pale straw with tints of lemon- green. The aroma, very intense with notes of citrus, and delightfully floral. The taste is crisp and dry with youthful vitality and freshness.
My Notes:

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About Sella & Mosca:

In Italy and elsewhere in Europe, wine connoisseurs and industry professionals rate Sella & Mosca among Italy's most outstanding wine estates. Sella & Mosca's I Piani estate in Sardinia constitutes the second largest contiguous vineyard in Italy and counts itself among the country's most impressive wineries. Situated in the northwest corner of Sardinia, just inland from the pretty, historic port of Alghero, this 1,600-acre property with more than 1,200 acres of vines is one of the largest wine estates in Europe.

Sella & Mosca, which celebrated its centennial in 1999, was founded by Messrs. Sella and Mosca, two Piedmontese businessmen revered to this day for their prominent roles in the Risorgimento (Italy's 19th-century unification movement). Today, the property is owned by Campari.

As Sardinia's foremost wine producer, Sella & Mosca is renowned for premium wines made exclusively from estate-grown grapes. In addition to native varieties such as Vermentino and Cannonau, the winery has successfully pioneered the introduction of international grape varieties, notably Cabernet Sauvignon.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Smoking Loon Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Smoking Loon Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(search item no. 109343)

PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This bleached blonde beauty is reminiscent of fresh green apples, pineapple and has hints of hibiscus blossoms. The concentration of zesty lemon and gooseberry fills your mouth leaving notes of thyme and melon behind. The bright acid in this wine gives you a zing while the fruit keeps your mouth watering for more.

This wine pairs beautifully with a grilled prawn salad with a grapefruit vinaigrette, veggie spring rolls or grilled tilapia with mango salsa.

My Notes:

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About Smoking Loon:

Don Sebastiani & Sons is a family-owned wine negociant firm specializing in the marketing of upscale, but moderately priced varietal wines. Principals Don Sebastiani and sons, Donny and August are third and fourth generation California vintners and wine merchants. The company is headquartered in Sonoma Valley and has a winery in the Napa Valley.

Smoking Loon has been recognized as a Value Brand of the Year by Wine & Spirits magazine (2005).



White Wines    Chenin Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/22/2014
Kanu Chenin Blanc 2008
Kanu Chenin Blanc 2008
(search item no. 98537)
screw cap wine
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 12/22/2014: $9.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points
2000 International Wine Cellar rating: 86 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This crisp, crowd-pleasing white from Mulderbosch's sister winery displays fresh peach, melon, citrus, and tropical fruit flavors, with hints of almond and delicate floral and spice notes. A versatile and refreshing alternative to boring Pinot Grigio, it works wonders with grilled vegetables, salads, pan-seared fish, smoked chicken, and light pasta dishes.

My Notes:

About Kanu:

The vineyards and cellar of Kanu wines are located on the Goedgeloof (HOOT-ha-loof) farm, nestled in the Polkadraai Hills of Stellenbosch. The property once formed a part of the original Spier Wine Estate, granted to a German soldier by Cape governor Simon van der Stel in 1692. According to a veteran farm hand on Goedgeloof, Kanu was a mythical bird of promise. The creature’s appearance in the African skies signaled the blessings of a bountiful harvest for all those who fell under its shadow. The wines of Kanu celebrate this traditional African legend.

Recognized globally as a producer of world class Chenin Blanc, Kanu was one of only three estates to be awarded inaugural "Super Chenin" status by the South African Chenin Blanc Association, an honor granted to producers who have demonstrated a track record of consistently outstanding bottlings. Kanu’s Chenins are crafted from the fruit of bush vines with an average age of 30 years, planted predominantly on decomposed Malmesbury shale soils.

Today the Kanu tradition of excellence continues under Cellarmaster Richard Kershaw. A proponent of minimal intervention winemaking, Kershaw employs natural "wild" fermentations. He seeks to craft balanced and approachable wines with moderate alcohol levels and minimal oak influence, allowing the true flavors of the wine to shine through. This winning formula has resulted in consistent critical praise and "Best Buy"/"Best Value" accolades.