Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Shafer Relentless 2008
Shafer Relentless 2008
(search item no. 113515)
collectible wine

Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $59.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 97 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#1 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

The 2008 is like midnight in a glass. With abundant aromas and flavors of juicy purple fruit, smoked meat, spice, smoke, black plums and berry, it hugs the line between extract and elegance. In the mouth it's full and seamless from first taste through the long finish.

My Notes:

About Shafer Vineyards:

John Shafer and his family founded Shafer Vineyards, located in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, in 1979. From the Shafers' first wine, a 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon, their wines have won much acclaim. Today, the Shafers farm 200 acres of vineyard in the Stags Leap District, Carneros and Oak Knoll regions. Their flagship wine, Hillside Select, is produced from selected blocks of the family's hillside vineyards and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, Merlot, One Point Five (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Relentless (a Syrah/Petite Sirah blend), which was named #1 wine of the year by Wine Spectator's "Top 100" of 2012.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Trumpeter Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Trumpeter Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 94945)

PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $9.98

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes are sourced from the 32 year old vineyards in the Maipu district of Mendoza about 2,600 feet above sea-level. Hand-tended and hand-harvested, the Rutini family's high altitude vineyards provide the foundation for Trumpeter. Destemmed for a 15 day fermentation and maceration. Ageing takes place for 7 months in 50% new French oak and 50% in second and third use American oak. 100% malolactic fermentation.

Juicy berry fruit aromas lead into concentrated flavors of raspberries and blackberries. Well-balanced with firm tannins. Hints of vanilla, cocoa and sweet oak appear on the finish.

My Notes:

About Trumpeter:

Bodega La Rural was founded in 1885 by Don Felipe Rutini. From Italy, he brought with him his oenological degree and the vast experience he had acquired from his father's vineyards. The first vines were planted in Maipu, Mendoza and the winery was installed with French Oak barrels and the best in modern machinery. Under his work ethic, "Labor and Perseverance," four generations of the Rutini family continued his legacy. They brought together hard work and the most advanced technologies in viticulture in the search for excellence in oenology.

Today, the winery boasts stainless steel tanks, two pneumatic presses, imported crushers, vacuum pumps and filters, in addition to 500 new French Oak barrels. Over the last couple of years, the Trumpeter wines have soared to new heights in popularity in the United States. Offering four varietals: a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Malbec, Bodega La Rural has crafted new wines with attractive new labels that have created quite a stir in the media. These wines have received praise in many respected publications ranging from Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits magazine to the Washington Post daily newspaper.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2007
(search item no. 93251)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Good clarity with light straw color. Fresh stone fruit, citrus and herbs mingle with floral accents. Zesty, medium body with citrus, melon and herb flavors that linger on the palate.

Chile's Casablanca Valley is the premier place in the Southern Hemisphere to grow Sauvignon Blanc that ripens to perfection with rich fruit flavors complemented by lively acidity.

Veramonte's Sauvignon Blanc grapes are grown in the estate vineyards with well-drained, sandy decomposed granite and alluvial soils. Warm days and cool nights are the signature conditions of the dry growing season at Veramonte.

"...The tension in the structure holds it firm as the wine gradually shows its bosseberry and mineral side. A great value for sea bass ceviche."
-Wine & Spirits 91/100

My Notes:

Additional wines from Veramonte:

About Veramonte:

Veramonte represents a return to Agustin Huneeus' Chilean roots. When he spearheaded development of the Veramonte Estate in 1990, there were less than 100 acres of grapevines planted in the Casablanca Valley.

The coastal mountain ranges surrounding the Casablanca estate create a unique terroir with a diversity of microclimates. The valley floor's cool climate is reminiscent of Carneros and ideal for growing premium Chardonnay. The foothills are warmer, akin to the more Northern reaches of the Napa Valley. Here, the climate is more suited to varieties like Carmenëre, the lost Bordeaux grape that has become Chile's citizen and the basis of Primus, our racy, exotic Chilean blend.

Using the latest viticultural technology developed in California, rootstock has been matched to each vineyard block and clone. Vertical trellising and dense vine spacing balance growth and fruit production. Veramonte's Casablanca vineyard produces significantly lower yields than other grape growing regions in Chile, resulting in grapes with more intensity and concentration.

Recognizing that the region also had potential as a tourist destination for its proximity to Santiago, Huneeus began to plant the estate and in 1995, constructed the first Napa Valley style hospitality center in Chile. The first wines were released in 1996.



Red Wines    Grenache    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Las Rocas Garnacha 2006
Las Rocas Garnacha 2006
(search item no. 95444)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $10.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"The grapes for Las Rocas are sourced from high altitude 70- to 100-year-old Garnacha vineyards. The 2006 Las Rocas Garnacha is dark crimson-colored with an alluring nose of spice box, mineral, black cherry, and black raspberry. Smooth-textured, round, and with no hard edges, this tasty effort is designed for immediate gratification. This is one worth buying by the case."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
91 Points
My Notes:

Additional wines from Las Rocas de San Alejandro:

About Las Rocas de San Alejandro:

Las Rocas de San Alejandro is located in the region of Calatayud, about 150 miles northeast of Madrid, and is centered around the rivers of Jiloca and Jalon. Although there are still few wineries in the zone, the ones which are beginning to show with their wines why this region is so special.

Although the D.O. is quite young, vines have been grown in the zone for some time. About one eighth of the vineyard land’s production has been bottled at one of Spain’s best and most progressive cooperatives, San Alejandro. With an abundance of amazing raw material, Eric Solomon was able to commission several bottlings of very old vine fruit into what has become one of the most sought-after estates in the portfolio. Calatayud benefits from a continental climate with vast temperature differences between night and day. Harvests are much later than in other parts of Aragon, and the acidity/maturity/alcohol ratios tend to be more balanced.

As most of the vineyards lie on what was (thousands of years ago) an old river basin, the soil is comprised of brown limestone and loam over slate and gypsum. This particular soil is also ideal for production of olives, cherries, and other fruits. Jean-Marc Lafage (of Domaine Lafage in France’s Roussillon) is responsible for the Las Rocas cuvees.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/25/2014
Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2007
Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2007
(search item no. 96661)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/25/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense red color with violet hues. Complex aromas with ripe plums, blackberry, blueberry, sweet tar, licorice, black pepper, mint, truffle with a hint of mocha flavors, giving an expressive and typical Argentinean character. It has sweet and smooth tannins, nice body with supple and long finish.
My Notes:

About Dona Paula:

Located in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza Argentina, Dona Paula is an estate winery, producing wines from Dona Paula's own vineyards in the winegrowing regions of Mendoza. Dona Paula's history began in 1990, when a period of exhaustive research on the different Argentinean terroirs and their potential to fully express each varietal began. Dona Paula acquired its first vineyard in 1997 in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo, a region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains that is famous for its Malbec. In 2002, Dona Paula began exporting into the US, UK and the Netherlands, and is now one of the leading Argentinean wineries that exports premium wines; with 97% of the winery's production exported to more than 60 countries.