Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Waterstone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Waterstone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 118704)
James Suckling rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Well-established hillside vineyards are the foundation of this wine, giving the finished blend its intense inner core of fruit. The complexity and balance of this vintage was achieved through diverse sourcing, with a majority of grapes sourced from Oakville and Rutherford. With its Bordeaux-like presence, this wine is deep, rich, and lingering. Firm, integrated tannins frame the concentrated, dark fruit (currant, black cherry, wild berry, plum.) Toasty oak and an earthy edge add to the wine's great complexity.
My Notes:

About Waterstone:

In this time of multimillion-dollar vineyard estates and celebrity winemaking consultants, when it seems that financial backing has replaced skill as the key to success in enology, it is rare that a simple idea can give birth to wines that stand out for flavor and balance, rather than pedigree alone. A collaboration between veteran winemaker Philip Zorn and longtime wine executive Brent Shortridge, Waterstone Winery was formed in 2000 when the two men were introduced and discovered a shared interest in creating luxury wines at affordable prices. Bringing together their previously established relationships with Napa Valley growers and vintners, the pair set out to develop balanced wines of varietal character through intelligent sourcing. Preferring to focus on the wine itself rather than the accumulation of land and facilities, Zorn and Shortridge own no vineyards themselves, nor do they own the facility where their wines are made. Dedicated winemaking, strong relationships with top growers and long-term grape contracts are the keys to Waterstone’s quality and success.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 114416)
has video

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $33.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 89 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Medium dark ruby, this wine has aromas of sweet black cherry, blackberry and Santa Rosa plum. The oak is very well integrated with a light spice, clove, vanilla and toast. The depth in the nose has a complexity of dark chocolate and a hint of dried herbs. The entry is soft with dark fruit flavors and well resolved tannins. Velvety, floral, juicy and rich, this wine has great sex appeal.
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About Freemark Abbey:

The history of Freemark Abbey began in 1886, when Josephine Marlin Tychson became the first woman to build and operate a winery in California. The historic site where Josephine's winery, Tychson Cellars, once stood is now known as Freemark Abbey.

Josephine, a native of San Lorenzo, California and her husband, John Tychson, a Danish immigrant, moved to St. Helena in 1881. For $8,500, they purchased 147 acres north of St. Helena, which later became known as "Tychson Hill".

Shortly after her husband's untimely death, Josephine began construction of a fifty square foot redwood winery which would grow to hold a capacity of about 30,000 gallons. In addition, she hired Nils Larsen, an experienced vintner, as her foreman. Josephine successfully produced wine for the next eight years and then sold the winery to Larsen in 1894. In turn, Larsen leased the winery to Antonio Forni, a good friend of Josephine's. Forni later purchased the property in 1898. Forni is responsible for building a new winery on the old site of the Tychson structure.

In the years that followed, Freemark Abbey went through a period of several different owners until 1966, when a group of partners purchased the winery. In 1993, Winemaker Ted Edwards became a partner. Edwards assumed the role of managing partner in addition to maintaining the responsibilities he has held as winemaker since 1985.



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2005
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2005
(search item no. 112044)
collectible wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $71.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine News rating: 94 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This vineyard, and the relationship we've had with the Bancroft family, has always been deeply special to Ed and myself. We've been making a vineyard-designated Bancroft Ranch Merlot since the 1987 vintage when Ed first demonstrated how fantastic Merlot can be when planted in the right place. Bancroft Ranch consistently produces grapes with amazing concentration of flavors, tannins and structure. The 2005 Howell Mountain Merlot is an exceptionally complex wine, full of espresso and dark cherry aromas that lead into a rich ripe black fruit flavors with hints of cedar and orange rind, brown spice and mint. It has tremendous body, complex layers of black fruit, and a supple, lingering finish.
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About Beringer Vineyards:

No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.

Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of the rich heritage of the Beringer Vineyard, while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance. The exquisite wines crafted at the Beringer Vineyards display a single minded dedication and pursuit of excellence instilled by its founder, Jacob Beringer.



Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Merlot 2009
(search item no. 111419)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $22.99

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Fruit for this Merlot bottling is selected from several premium sites and sub appellations of the Columbia Valley making it a true expression of Washington State Merlot. The wine has beautiful balance with great color and structure. Aromas of blackberry and ripe, red fruits with a delicate oak notes open the wine. On the palate abundant, warm fruit, toffee and baking spice flow into the lingering yet vibrant finish. This wine is delicious upon release and will continue to drink well 2 -4 years from vintage date.
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About Seven Hills Winery:

The McClellan family has farmed in Eastern Washington since 1880. One hundred years later, in 1980, Casey McClellan and his father Jim began planting the now famous Seven Hills Vineyard at the south end of the Walla Walla Valley. After then earning his Master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis, Casey returned to Walla Walla with his wife Vicky to found Seven Hills Winery, the fifth winery in the Walla Walla Valley, in 1988. Casey remains Seven Hills’ sole winemaker to this day.

Seven Hills Vineyard is now regarded as one of the “ten most important vineyards in the world” by Wine & Spirits Magazine. In addition to Seven Hills Vineyard, Casey crafts wines from several of the best, old vine vineyards in Walla Walla and on Red Mountain, including Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, and McClellan Estate.

Casey’ focus has always been on Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal reds, complimented by limited production of Alsatian varietal white wines. His vision is to produce wines that reflect the terroir of these sites with intense structure and pure varietal fruit character capable of graceful ageing.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 111507)
Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $28.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#39 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

Full bodied with ripe scents of black currant and violets, rich aromas of caramel intertwined with lively acidity and bright fruit, dark chocolate and velvety tannins stretched out over a lengthy finish. Of all the Tamarack reds, this shows the most length, complexity and balance.

My Notes:

About Tamarack Cellars:

Founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, Tamarack Cellars is dedicated to the production of small lot, hand-crafted wines from select vineyards in the Walla Walla, Yakima, and Columbia Valley appellations. The winery is located in a restored WW II fire station and barracks at the Walla Walla Airport.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 110001)
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $44.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

With its deep purple hue, the 2008 HALL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon drives complex aromas of jammy blackberry puree, rich cassis, Asian Five-Spice and dark chocolate from the glass. The fleshy texture is both dense and opulent, the perfect platform for brawny black and briar fruit flavors that persist through the velvety, enduring finish. This wine will continue to gain complexity and grace for 5-10 years.
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About Hall:

Hall Wines is located in Napa Valley and employs organic small-vine viticulture, precision winemaking, wild-yeast fermentation and micro-block blending to fully extract the purity and quintessence of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Their estate vineyards encompass more than 300 acres of classic Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. The Halls have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting edge technology to yield the highest quality grapes. Through meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards, Hall wines are able to express the unique and diverse character of Napa Valley's soils and climate.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Buehler Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Buehler Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 110995)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $25.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine is brimming with fruit aromas and flavors biased to the black fruit end of the Cabernet spectrum: plums, blackberry, black currant. Rich and full-bodied on the palate, this Cabernet drinks well on release but will soften and develop with additional age. For those who seek youthful fresh Cabernet fruit aromas and a more structured wine, drink it from 2010 through 2014. If you prefer the less fruity, more developed bottle bouquet aromas and a softer, more velvety wine on the palate, drink it from 2015-2025.
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About Buehler Vineyards:

John Buehler, Sr. and his son, John, began the renovation of the property that would become Buehler Vineyards in 1971. Located six miles east of St. Helena and nestled in the mountains above Conn Valley, Buehler Vineyards encompasses some 300 acres of Napa Valley hillside terrain. After a quarter of a century of growing grapes and over 20 years of winemaking from those vines, their focus remains on varietals that are best suited to this site: Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Joel Gott Unoaked Monterey Chardonnay 2009
Joel Gott Unoaked Monterey Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 108072)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $14.79

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Monterey Chardonnay is fermented in stainless steel, keeping the wine clean and crisp—just like our favorite Chablis. The cool, breezy weather of Monterey Bay allows for a longer period of maturation which allows the grapes more time to develop classic varietal characteristics. The climate produces a Chardonnay with aromas of orange blossom, green apple, and citrus and with a bright acid structure.

The vineyards of Monterey consistently provide ideal fruit and exemplify our winemaking goal: a natural balance between sugar and acidity. Because of the low yields from this vintage, the fruit had intensified aromas and flavors, creating a more full-bodied, weighty wine.

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About Joel Gott:

Napa scion Joel Gott was born to make wine. His grandfather was winemaker and president of Inglenook in the 1960s and 1970s while his father, Cary Gott, is the founder of Montevina and continues to consult for wineries such as D.R. Stephens.

In addition to Joel's uncanny blending ability, he has privileged access to many of the best and as yet undiscovered fruit sources in the Napa Valley. Joel Gott wines are therefore remarkable values, offering gobs of classic California fruit, good structure and excellent balance.

Of course, Joel is also the proud proprietor of Gott's Roadside, Napa Valley's red hot retro-chic "hamburger joint" on Highway 29, and most recently, in San Francisco as well. Robert Parker once proclaimed a meal at Taylor's one of the finest meals of the year in the Wine Advocate!



Red Wines    Merlot    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Luna Merlot 2006
Luna Merlot 2006
(search item no. 95729)
green wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2006 Napa Valley Merlot is an intense ruby red. The nose is filled with scents of tangerines, roses, and tobacco. The mid-palate is a tightly integrated mixture of blackberries, plums, and leather. Fine-grained tannins and great acidity hold the wine together as the finish melts into earthy cocoa and cassis. This Merlot will be at its peak from 2013 through 2016.
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About Luna Vineyards:

Luna Vineyards was founded in 1995 by George Vare and Mike Moone. Both Vare and Moone have been Presidents of major California wineries and important influences in the California wine industry since the mid-1960's.

The founders purchased the St. Andrews winery, located at the foot of the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, and set out to produce Italian varietal wines - Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Merlot.

In 1996, after 20 years experience with other wineries, the last 13 at Newton Vineyards where he established himself in the forefront of Napa Valley winemakers, Winemaster John Kongsgaard joined Luna as Vice President and partner. John is particularly noted for his outstanding Merlots and spent seven years in collaboration with Michel Rolland from Bordeaux perfecting winemaking techniques in the Napa region.

With a passion for Italian wines combined with a desire to live slightly on the edge, John happily joined Luna. He was excited by the opportunity to travel to the "Old World" and learn how to adapt their traditional and new techniques for growing grapes and making wine from Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 7/28/2014
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
(search item no. 105035)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 7/28/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Indian Wells Cabernet is our warm climate ripe, jammy "New World" style of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine really typifies the Wahluke Slope region with up front, dark fruit aromas and flavors with hints of vanilla. Vineyards in the area are more than a decade old now and showing character and complexity.
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About Chateau Ste. Michelle:

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington with some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including "American Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and "2005 Winery of the Year" by Restaurant Wine. In addition, the winery's Eroica Riesling, crafted from a partnership with German winemaker Ernst Loosen, has been named to Wine Spectator's prestigious "Top 100" wines list for five consecutive years.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one devoted to whites and another to reds. This dedicated approach to winemaking allows winemaker Bob Bertheau to build winemaking programs to the unique specifications of red and white wines. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle's vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the climate is dry and sunny, Bob Bertheau makes the award winning white wines in Woodinville, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The winery's expansive, 87-acre estate hosts more than 250,000 visitors annually for tours, tastings, dinners and outdoor summer concerts.