Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2009
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2009
(search item no. 112081)
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $36.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 92 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ripe black cherry/raspberry nose, with notes of pepper, licorice, chaparral, and tobacco. Rich black fruit on the palate. Full and viscous. Well-coated tannins and a long, layered finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

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.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2009
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2009
(search item no. 112986)
Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 95 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 96 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ripe black cherry/raspberry nose, with notes of pepper, licorice, chaparral, and tobacco. Rich black fruit on the palate. Full and viscous. Well-coated tannins and a long, layered finish.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

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.



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Medoc    France - Bordeaux   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ch. d'Aurilhac Haut Medoc 2005
Ch. d'Aurilhac Haut Medoc 2005
(search item no. 102724)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A consistently fine estate which stands on the gravelly Medoc plain looking out over the Gironde. The vineyard is predominantly planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, combining to give a typically vigorous blackcurrant, plum and spice scented wine with firm yet supple tannins

The 20 hectares of Chateaux d'Aurilhac stretch on a plateau of clay, sand and gravels. This is one of the best soils of the commune of Saint Seurin de Cadourne (a canton of Pauillac), where the vine has been cultivated since the Middle Ages.

My Notes:



Red Wines    Bordeaux Red Blends    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Robert Craig Cellars Affinity 2007
Robert Craig Cellars Affinity 2007
(search item no. 104723)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $47.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Open, inviting aromas of dark black fruit blossoms in the glass, underlain with sweet cassis and lovely touches of blueberry, violets, roasted coffee and spicy oak. An abundance of rich, deep black and blue fruit wraps around a core of polished tannins, intermixed with black currant, dark cocoa and spice. A continuum of luscious flavors carries forward through the generous finish, enlivened by crisp acidity and mineral notes. This is a rich, multi-layered Cabernet that balances power with finesse.

Blend: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec

My Notes:

Additional wines from Robert Craig Cellars:

About Robert Craig Cellars:

Robert Craig Winery showcases four Cabernet Sauvignons produced from Napa Valley mountain and hillside vineyards, including Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate vineyard, Affinity, a classic Bordeaux-style Cabernet, and powerhouse Cabernets from Mount Veeder and Spring Mountain. Each wine conveys a unique personality derived from the soils, climate and varietal characteristics of the growing region. Robert Craig has been a pioneer in mountain vineyard development for over 30 years. During the 1980s, he directed vineyard and winery development on Mount Veeder. Robert Craig wines debuted in 1992. The winery facility is located at 2300 feet atop Howell Mountain, with a Tasting Salon in Downtown Napa.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2007
Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs 2007
(search item no. 100114)
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $32.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 92 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2009 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 71% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Sirah and 7% Carignane.

After a dry winter and spring, budbreak came early. Despite the lack of spring rain, temperate summer weather mitigated vine stress and created ideal ripening conditions. At veraison, we dropped a quarter of the young zinfandel. A warm August ripened the fruit earlier than expected, and we harvested the thirtyfour parcels as flavors developed fully, fermenting each separately on its natural yeasts. Color and tannin extracted easily, reducing maceration time to seven days, on average. After malolactic, we chose twenty-one lots for this year's wine. Aged for fifteen months in air-dried american oak, this classic Lytton Springs is remarkable for its richness, balance, and elegant texture. It will soften and gain complexity over the next ten years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

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.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ridge Vineyards York Creek Zinfandel 2008
Ridge Vineyards York Creek Zinfandel 2008
(search item no. 106608)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $27.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

79% ZINFANDEL, 21% PETITE SIRAH

After two years of full yields, this Spring Mountain District vineyard above Napa Valley set a very small crop in 2008. Despite mild summer weather, the grapes were ripe by Labor Day, two weeks earlier than usual. Harvest began September 5 with the young zinfandel, and ended the next week with the thirty-six year old petite sirah; individual parcels fermented separately on their natural yeasts. We pressed as the wines went dry, at eleven days on average. Following natural malolactic, we tasted the finished wines, selecting the five most intense to represent the vintage. The combined lots then aged for fourteen months in air-dried american oak. This full-bodied wine shows the rustic flavors and firm structure typical of zinfandel from York Creek. It will evolve over the next seven to eight years.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ridge Vineyards:

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.



Red Wines    Zinfandel    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2006
Ravenswood Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2006
(search item no. 98408)
boutique wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 96 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $43.98

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2007 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 96 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This unique vineyard in Sonoma Valley is an extension of the Oak Hill Organic Farm, owned and operated for many years by the now deceased Otto Teller, a sage octogenarian who employed no pesticides or irrigation. The 110-year-old vines are situated on a gravelly, well-drained hill that receive a full share of summer sun as well as cooling breezes. The crop level is seldom higher than one and a half tons per acre, and this scant tonnage - combined with the ideal growing conditions - produces exceptionally intense, spicy fruit.

A longtime favorite among hard-core Ravenswood fans, the Old Hill vineyard was planted in the 1880`s in the Valley of the Moon, just north of the town of Sonoma. This vineyard is like your most comfortable pair of old shoes - unparalleled. It is wonderfully consistent, from year to year, in its ability to please even the most discriminating palate.

Old Hill Zinfandel is Knockout nose combines sappy black fruits, black pepper and spicy, smoked meats; rather Rhone-like. Silky and sweet in the middle but with terrific flavor definition and cut. This has compellingly intense fruit and a very long, juicy, aromatic aftertaste. Would appear to be an outstanding vintage for this consistently excellent zinfandel bottling.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ravenswood:

About Ravenswood:

Fueled initially by the inspiration and winemaking skills of Joel Peterson, aided and abetted by his business partner W. Reed Foster, Ravenswood winery has been dedicated to top quality, hand-crafted wine since the first crush in 1976. Every Ravenswood wine carries a unique vintage and vineyard identity in addition to the intense powerful – gothic – character with which the winery has come to be associated.

A key to Ravenswood’s success is our long-standing relationships with over 60 independent grape growers. Vineyards are chosen for their location, age, yield and special flavor characteristics. At Ravenswood, we are devoted to working with growers who share our philosophy about high quality.

Ravenswood Vineyard Designate wines are made employing what winemaker Joel Peterson refers to as “stubborn and impractical” Old World enological practices. Wines are fermented in small wooden tanks using wild, natural yeasts and punched down by hand three to five times per day. The wines are characterized by intense, spicy aromas supported by rich, berry flavors and long, clean finishes.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Ramey Rodger's Creek Vineyard Syrah 2007
Ramey Rodger's Creek Vineyard Syrah 2007
(search item no. 107085)
collectible wine
boutique wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $49.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 98 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 95 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 92 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2007 Syrahs are aged on their lees, ala Pinot Noir. The Rodgers Creek seemed to be absorbing new oak unobtrusively, and we ended up selecting all new François Frères barrels for that cuvée. Blended with about 5% Viognier and 25% whole clusters, went directly from the fermenter to barrel for the malolactic, and were aged on their lees without racking. For the first time we bottled after the second harvest, so this wines spent 24 months in barrel. And of course, was bottled without filtration.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Ramey:

About Ramey:

Following winemaking posts at Rudd, Dominus, Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek, David Ramey and his wife, Carla began their own label in 1996 - a Chardonnay from the Hyde Vineyard. Now situated in downtown Healdsburg, Ramey Wine Cellars draws on exceptional vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma to fashion classically-styled Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay using traditional old world techniques.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008
(search item no. 109362)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 98 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $89.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1993 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% Estate grown.

The aroma has lots of sweet black fruit, ripe blackberries, Bing cherries, dark chocolate, ripe red rose and their crushed petals with hints of licorice and cigar box.

The taste has sweet tannins with hints of cedar, coffee and chocolate cake. Great intensity, full bodied with a multi-layered mouth feel. The smooth after taste and lingering finish should make this wine better for 12- 16 years and then hold for another ten plus after that!

My Notes:

Additional wines from Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards:

About Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards:

Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards are located just east of St. Helena in the Napa Valley where Conn Creek flows out of Howell Mountain. Twenty-six acres of vineyards, divided into nine blocks, along with a fifteen acre-foot reservoir are the heart of this 40-acre grape-growing paradise.

Separated from the Napa Valley floor by a north/south running ridge, the world-renowned wineries of Joseph Heitz and Joseph Phelps are located on the west side of this ridge and the Anderson's Estate Vineyards are on the east side at a perfect elevation of 400 feet.

The vineyards not only enjoy Napa Valley's superb microclimate, but share the same Bale Loam Series as are found on the famous Rutherford Bench. This combination of clay-loam soil and microclimate produces up to 106 tons of exceptional fruit each year. One from which a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blend, called Éloge, can be artfully handcrafted.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/20/2014
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
(search item no. 109365)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 98 points
PRICE ON 8/20/2014: $299.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 96 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
1993 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% Estate grown.

The aroma has lots of sweet black fruit, ripe blackberries, Bing cherries, dark chocolate, ripe red rose and their crushed petals with hints of licorice and cigar box.

The taste has sweet tannins with hints of cedar, coffee and chocolate cake. Great intensity, full bodied with a multi-layered mouth feel. The smooth after taste and lingering finish should make this wine better for 12- 16 years and then hold for another ten plus after that!

My Notes:

Additional wines from Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards:

About Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards:

Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards are located just east of St. Helena in the Napa Valley where Conn Creek flows out of Howell Mountain. Twenty-six acres of vineyards, divided into nine blocks, along with a fifteen acre-foot reservoir are the heart of this 40-acre grape-growing paradise.

Separated from the Napa Valley floor by a north/south running ridge, the world-renowned wineries of Joseph Heitz and Joseph Phelps are located on the west side of this ridge and the Anderson's Estate Vineyards are on the east side at a perfect elevation of 400 feet.

The vineyards not only enjoy Napa Valley's superb microclimate, but share the same Bale Loam Series as are found on the famous Rutherford Bench. This combination of clay-loam soil and microclimate produces up to 106 tons of exceptional fruit each year. One from which a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blend, called Éloge, can be artfully handcrafted.