Red Wines    Grenache    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Borsao Tinto 2008
Borsao Tinto 2008
(search item no. 99663)
Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $8.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 International Wine Cellar 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:

Dark ruby-colored, the nose delivers aromas of mineral, cherry, and earth notes. This is followed by a medium-bodied wine with excellent depth, ripeness and a lengthy finish.

80% Garnacha, 20% Tempranillo

My Notes:

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    Other Red Blends    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2006
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2006
(search item no. 100633)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This blend of 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese is a smooth, full bodied cru made in an innovative ripasso style. After the harvest, the grapes from the Palazzo della Torre vineyard follow two different paths: 70% of the grapes picked are vinified immediately, and the remaining 30% are left to dry until the end of December. The fresh juice obtained at harvest is blended with the juice for the dried grapes, initiating a second fermentation, and rendering a more highly concentrated and complex wine.

What Allegrini affectionately refers to as their "baby Amarone" is more approachable with its pleasant fruity character with raisin-like qualities. Pairs well with a wide range of first courses, including full-flavored pasta and risotto dishes. Also enjoy with roasts such as veal, turkey and lamb, as well as with grilled meats such as barbequed chicken, steak or sausages. Excellent with hard and semi-hard cheeses.

My Notes:

About Allegrini:

The estate is based in Fumane di Valpolicella, just north of Verona in northeastern Italy. Valpolicella, or "valley of many cellars" is an area crossed from north to south by a series of hills, which in succession form three parallel valleys. These valleys are crossed by steep-sided, narrow river beds which remain dry except during spring thaws or autumn rains.

The Allegrini family has been handing down grape growing and wine producing traditions over many generations, playing a major role in the Valpolicella Classico area for many centuries. Giovanni Allegrini was the founder of the new generation. He was extremely proud to be part of the Valpolicella, and dedicated his many resources and energies to this land. He was among the first in questioning local viticultural techniques, revolutionizing accepted practices, and speaking clearly about quality. He was able to combine the science of enology with strict grape selection, and between 1960 and 1970, made some of the Valpolicella's best wines.

Allegrini's winemaking philosophy is largely based on the concept of "cru" production: a single vineyard dedicated to the production of local varieties destined to become a single wine. These crus have been a success worldwide: The Palazzo della Torre, La Grola and La Poja have set the highest benchmarks for Valpolicella's wines.



White Wines    Torrontes    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2009
Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontes 2009
(search item no. 99968)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Enticing aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach pit, white pear, flowers, and orange citrus fruit. On the palate, it has beautiful structure and acidity similar to Sauvignon Blanc along with enticing fruit flavors that keep you coming back for another sip and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed.

Best enjoyed in its youth either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood (especially crab!).

My Notes:

Additional wines from Crios de Susana Balbo:

About Crios de Susana Balbo:

After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."

Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.

Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Ercavio Mas Que Vinos Roble 2007
Ercavio Mas Que Vinos Roble 2007
(search item no. 99049)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $11.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Complex aromas of dark fruit (black cherry and blackberry) mixed with hints of cedar, vanilla and coffee on the nose. On the palate, the wine is velvety, full bodied and intense. The savory flavors of dark fruit, licorice and spices are well blended with an elegant toasting. Long finish with soft tannins.
My Notes:

About Ercavio:

Mas Que Vinos is the brainchild of a group of friends, Margarita Madrigal, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and Alexandra Schmedes. Having renovated an old family winery which dates to 1851, the three sought to preserve as much as they could from the original property, including the old tinajas (clay amphors) which are still used today for the malolactic fermentation.

La Mancha is one of the few areas of Spain that benefits from one single climate instead of two or three such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero. This Continental climate favors the extremes, with very cold winters and very hot summers. In the summer, and because of the altitude (often over 700 meters), the nights are quite cool which is perfect for an grape maturation. Soils in the zone are usually clay and limestone, with small patches of granite.

Mas Que Vinos works with two varietals with which many American buyers may not be familiar. Cencibel, a red varietal, is simply another name for Tempranillo when grown in certain areas of Central and Southern Spain. Arien, equally as unknown, is Spain’s most widely planted white varietal. Bunches are large and very tightly packed and alcohol levels tend to be between 13% and 14%. Often it is added to a blend for texture, but as it tends to be lower in alcohol in the area near Mas Que Vinos and the aromatics quite interesting, the property has decided to make it the centerpiece of their white wine.



Rosé Wine    Rosé    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Mulderbosch Rose 2007
Mulderbosch Rose 2007
(search item no. 94768)

PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $12.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Blend: 96.3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.7% Cabernet Franc

This wine displays a brilliant, lively, strawberry color. The nose is complex with aromas mainly in the rose petal, strawberry and cherry spectrum. A dry aftertaste of pomegranate and berry fruits lingers in the mouth.

Serve well chilled. An excellent aperitif or picnic wine. The ideal summer salad wine. Serve with fresh seared tuna steaks, veal limone, poached salmon, asparagus quiche, cold crayfish salad, vegetable spring rolls dipped in soy sauce; ideal with sushi and other Japanese delights.

My Notes:

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.


White Wines    Riesling    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
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 12/19/2014: $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    Pinot Gris/Grigio    Trentino-Alto Adige    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio 2008
St. Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio 2008
(search item no. 101954)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#70 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

Light green lustres run through the straw colour of this wine whose aroma is rich in fruits, the most striking of which are pears. An excellent acidity balance gives this wine strength and structure . It is dry and smooth on the palate, and leaves a long, pleasant aftertaste. The Pinot Grigio goes well with many dishes, especially lighter foods, to which it is an exellent accompaniment. It is served chilled and also bestows a fine taste following longer ageing.

My Notes:

About St. Michael-Eppan:

St. Michael Eppan, the innovative Winery situated along the Wine Route, is considered one of the best wineries in South Tyrol and Italy. St. Michael Eppan Winery, with its 355 members, 350 hectares of vineyard and 2.5 million bottles sold every year, has become renowned worldwide. The "Sanct Valentin" label alone is enough to thrill wine lovers and connoisseurs.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Goats do Roam Goat-Roti 2007
Goats do Roam Goat-Roti 2007
(search item no. 97746)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier.

When blending Sshiraz and Viognier it is beneficial to co-ferment the grapes, as opposed to blending the finished wine which generally tends to have a flavor diluting effect. Co-fermented grapes have a positive impact, as the use of Viognier improves color, softens and elaborates the tannin and gives a slight fragrant lift to the wine.

Pepper and clove aromas with subtle fragrance. Dark bramble fruit flavors balance well with gentle oak and firm tannins. Bold structure with rich, fruit forward flavors.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Goats do Roam:

About Goats do Roam:

Respected South African winery Fairview owner/vintner Charles Back has built what started as a single red blend named Goats do Roam into a full-fledged wine company offering a range of top-quality, blended wines widely available throughout the wine-drinking world. The Goats do Roam brand is, in fact, the single-biggest selling South African wine label in the United States. Fruit for the wines is sourced from vineyards in the Paarl, Malmesbury and Stellenbosch areas, where Back owns farms or buys fruit from selected wine growers. No matter what their origins, grapes are selected based on the basis of inherent fruit quality and flavor characteristics required for each respective blend in the range.

The grapes are vinified in Fairview’s cellar in Paarl by Charles Back and resident winemaker Anthony de Jager, also responsible for the Fairview range. For all the light-hearted sense of fun evident in the labelling and branding of the Goats do Roam range, the wines themselves take a serious approach to quality. The style is modern, fruit-rich, with intelligent use of wood for either fermentation and/or maturation in small French and American oak barrels. The range is predominantly red, complemented by selected whites and a rosé and covering tastes from those that call for a wine with complexity and cellaring potential to those that require early drinking.



White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Kendall-Jackson Summation White 2008
Kendall-Jackson Summation White 2008
(search item no. 100434)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Mingles refreshing flavors of honey dew melon, apricot, pink grapefruit and white pepper. Added hinds of honeysuckle and a creamy mouth feel result in a soft, dry wine that is excellent for food pairing or simply sipping.

Blend includes: 31% Sauvignon Blanc, 18% Chardonnay, 13% Semillon, 11% Viognier, 9% Pinot Blanc, 8% Roussanne, 4% Marsanne, 3% Grenache Blanc, 2% Gewürztraminer, 1% Chenin Blanc.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Kendall-Jackson:

About Kendall-Jackson:

Back in 1974, Jess Jackson saw in the fine vineyards of California's cool coastal regions fruit with a variety of outstanding flavors. What if there was a way to produce from this abundance, a single outstanding "cuvée" that offered both quality and value? The result, first released in 1983, was Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, a rich, round and flavorful wine, made with hand-crafted methods. That same year, Grand Reserve was introduced, a line of ultra-premium wines that represented the full potential of California's finest vineyards and winemaking. Today, over 5,000 acres of vineyard in California's coastal regions are farmed by Kendall-Jackson. Four separate wineries house what is possibly the single largest barrel-fermentation project in the world. But perhaps most important, is that Kendall-Jackson remains a family-owned winery.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Innocent Bystander Shiraz Viognier 2005
Innocent Bystander Shiraz Viognier 2005
(search item no. 90244)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $17.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Nose: Asian spices accented by nutmeg, star anise, sweet plums with a hint of earth.

Palate: Medium body with a velvety mouth feel. The palate displays plums, white pepper, dark fruits and blueberries. A chewy but not tannic finish.

Food Pairings: Stuffed mushrooms with goat cheese, butternut squash risotto, wood-fired pizza with prosciutto, stir-fried Chinese noodles with roast pork.

"This may only be a medium-bodied red, but it crackles with the exciting flavors of the northern Rhône, marrying freshly cracked peppercorns with a hint of meatiness and bright blueberry fruit."
-Wine Enthusiast

My Notes:

Additional wines from Innocent Bystander:

About Innocent Bystander:

The idea behind Innocent Bystander is to produce great value, food friendly wines that are not your run of the mill varietal blends. Taking fruit from various sources in Central Victoria (in particular Sangiovese, Shiraz, Pinot Gris and Viognier) the team at Innocent Bystander is inspired to utilize and showcase the natural qualities of each region in their unique blends.

As a group of winemakers and viticulturalists who eschew the bland direction and market dominance increasingly exerted by the large corporate winemaking groups, the folks behind these wines see themselves as innocent bystanders. They remain accountable to their craft, not shareholders.