Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Louis Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Louis Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 107707)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $24.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a deep garnet color with intense aromas of ripe cherry, cedar, and pipe tobacco. Concentrated flavors of ripe plums and dark bing cherries marry perfectly with the oak nuances, imparting notes of brown spice and vanilla. This is a well structured wine that is balanced with firm, velvety tannins which culminate in a long, elegant finish with hints of tobacco, dried herbs and fruit. This wine is ready to enjoy now or can be aged for 3-5 years.
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About Louis Martini:

For more than 75 years, the Martini family winemakers have crafted world-class Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the exceptional vineyards of Sonoma and Napa counties. Louis M. Martini embodied a simple, honest premise: The best grapes make the best wines. Today, Michael Martini, third generation winemaker carries on this tradition at the historic winery in Napa Valley with his range of unforgettable Cabernet Sauvignon wines.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Tikal Natural Organic Malbec 2009
Tikal Natural Organic Malbec 2009
(search item no. 111247)
green wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This is Malbec in its most natural expression of untouched grapes shining through and capturing the true essence of the Uco Valley vineyard where they were picked. It has a beautiful pomegranate color and aroma of fresh red cherries with light French oak undertones. The palate is fresh and lively with black raspberry and spiced mocha notes. A great companion to barbeque or burgers, and incredibly easy to drink on its own.

100% Organic Malbec
Only 1300 cases produced

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About Tikal:

Tikal is owned by Ernesto Catena and is named after his son. Ernesto spent his childhood in the vineyards of Mendoza among wine-growers and local pundits. Since then, he has experienced a kaleidoscope of cultures, living in New York, Buenos Aires, Berkeley, Cambridge (MA), Milan and London. But his heart remains in his homeland of Argentina (where he now lives), with its natural beauty of mountains, streams and vineyards, its wines, and its people who hold a special passion for living.

There are few wine brands that reflect the sensibilities of their owner more than Tikal. A skilled horseman, fashion designer, software developer, and book editor, Ernesto pursues all that gives pleasure in life. This hedonism (in the best sense of the word) shows through in the wines. It is a style meant to provide enormous pleasure rather than provoke contemplation; an expression of emotion rather than intellect. He has named his wines with passion in mind: Patriota (Patriot), Corazon (Heart), Amorio (Love Affair), Jubilo (Rejoice).

Luis Reginato is the winemaker at Tikal as of the 2002 vintage. Luis is young, but is already a highly trained and respected vineyard consultant and winemaker with long experience at his family's winery in Mendoza. Truly an up and coming talent, Luis and his wines are already garnering high praise from U.S. wine critics. Definitely a winemaker to watch.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2007
Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2007
(search item no. 109161)
The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright, deep, ruby red. Aromas of ripe wild berries (blackberries and red currants) to the nose. Fresh in the mouth, with clean aromas of smoky wood well integrated into ripe fruit. Persistent, spicy finish.
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About Bodegas Ramon Bilbao:

Our winery, which has recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic in Rioja.

At Bodegas Ramon Bilbao we produce the highest quality matured wines, thus increasing both the Denominacion de Origin's and our founder's prestige. Our daily work is based on using the best prime materials, which we choose with the greatest care: grapes from the best estates and vineyards and barrels made of the best oak from European and American woods.

Our aim is to obtain the best matured wines so that you can enjoy a wine for drinking, savouring and tasting again.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Catena Malbec 2009
Catena Malbec 2009
(search item no. 111623)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2011 Decanter rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1997 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#58 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The 2009 Catena Malbec presents a dark, violet color with deep black tones. This microclimate blend of four unique vineyard sites offers intense aromas with a soft generous texture and concentrated flavors. Angelica vineyard lends ripe plum and chocolate flavors with a very soft, supple mouthfeel. Altamira vineyard brings a core of black currant and cassis, with excellent structure and length. La Piramide vineyard offers blackberry fruit with a slight earthy tone and notes of spicy black pepper. Finally, the Adrianna vineyard lends exceptional concentration with explosive floral aromatics. Together they give birth to a complex blend of aromas and flavors - a wine with excellent concentration, balance and freshness.

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About Catena:

Bodega Catena Zapata is one of Argentina's high altitude Malbec pioneers. The Catena family began making wine in Mendoza in 1902. Nicolas Catena, third generation family vintner, was one of the first to see the potential of Mendoza's mountain vineyards for producing high quality Malbec. In 1994, he became the first Argentine to exprot a world-class bottling of Malbec under the Catena label. Nicolas is joined by his daughter, Dr. Laura Catena, in their relentless pursuit of world-class quality from the family's high altitude vineyards. Laura has done extensive work in introducing Malbec and other varietal plant selections, soil and climate analysis, and sustainable practices throughout Mendoza. Head winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, has been at Catena Zapata since 2002 and works with Laura and Nicolas to make wines that express the family's vineyards and palate.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Maipe Reserve Malbec 2009
Maipe Reserve Malbec 2009
(search item no. 108341)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $13.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Made from 100% hand-selected Malbec from the best parcels of the estate. The grapes are carefully chosen and fermented in small lots to preserve the vineyard identity. Alcoholic fermentation for 12 days with indigenous and selected yeasts, at temperatures of 26 and 30°C, combining, remontage, pigage and delestage in order to obtain the best quality of tannins and structure.

The resulting wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels to fully reveal the character of the Andean terroir. The nose reveals dried plum and dark fruits, exotic spices, with hints of violet and chocolate. Round and fleshy, with enticing crushed plum and boysenberry fruit enlivened by a liquorice snap note. Fresh acidity lies buried on the medium-weight, juicy finish

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About Maipe:

Produced in the Luján de Cuyo subregion of Mendoza by the Pelizzatti family, Maipe wines are an expression of the deep rich soils and a commitment to excellence by the young winemaker, Liliana Iannizzotto, and consultant Alberto Antonini.

"Alberto Antonini (think Altos Las Hormigas) is a consultant at Maipe which in and of itself is an indicator that the winery is focused on quality." - Wine Advocate (Dec 08)

The wines are produced from grapes grown in Agrelo and Luján de Cuyo, in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level. Agrelo is a cool climate region in Argentina’s premier grape growing area. Each bottle captures the expression of the grape variety, showing its adaptation to the local soils and climate. The vineyard is planted with 18 hectares of Malbec and 32 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils are deep and textured, which facilitates plant development and confers great body and structure to the wines. Classified among the best areas within the province of Mendoza, year-long sunny and dry conditions permit almost organic viticulture practices. Its outstanding feature is a great daily thermal amplitude, with mild days and cold nights that allow a particular richness of polyphenols that improve the wines’ flavors and color.

Maipe was the Lord of the Winds for the ancient Andean people. Argentineans still invoke his name to clear the skies after a heavy rain or to temper the summer heat. These wines, children of the Sun and the Winds, are produced from grapes grown at the foothills of the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level. The intense color and aromas capture the expression of the soils that gave them birth.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Bayten Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Bayten Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(search item no. 104898)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $8.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This crisp, zesty Sauvignon Blanc hails from the cool coastal area of Constantia. The racy bottling displays textbook flavors of gooseberry and lime, with grassy, herbal undertones and elegant notes of mineral and chalk. This wine makes a great match for grilled or pan-seared fish dishes.
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About Bayten:

Bayten (formerly known as Buitenverwachting) was part of the original Constantia estate founded in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Dutch Colony at the Cape. One of South Africa’s premier estates, this beautiful farm is situated on the east-facing slopes of the magnificent Constantiaberg Mountain, just south of Cape Town and a few miles from False Bay.

Today under the guidance of current proprietor Lars Maack, the winery has earned a reputation as the source of some of South Africa’s most exquisite, mineral-tinged white wines. Bayten is a Dutch word that means "beyond expectation." Cellarmaster Herman Kirschbaum and winemaker Brad Paton continue to craft stunning wines that deliver on that promise to exhilarate the senses.

Constantia is one of the few wine-growing areas in South Africa which does not need to rely on irrigation, thanks to significant winter rainfall. Bayten's vineyards, planted on a variety of ancient decomposed granite soils, are dry farmed, with an average yield of five tons per hectare. The farm embraces a variety of holistic farming practices. A portion of the estate has been dedicated to a conservancy in order to preserve indigenous flora and fauna, and a section of the vineyards is currently undergoing organic certification.



White Wines    Chenin Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 10/30/2014
Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009
Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009
(search item no. 108897)
screw cap wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/30/2014: $15.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Low yielding, dryland vineyards with 40 - 45 year-old bush vines planted on very deep soils on rolling hills exposed to southeastern winds, rain and abundant sunshine.

Upfront tropical fruit, ripe pineapple, melon, peaches and honey flavors on the nose. Full and juicy palate with layers of ripe tropical fruit complemented by a long clean and crisp finish.

Good company for alfresco lunches of grilled chicken or fish, rich pasta dishes and spicy food.

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About Graham Beck:

Graham Beck wines is now entering its third generation as a family winery. It was established in 1983 when entrepreneur Graham Beck purchased Madeba farm outside the Western Cape town of Robertson with a fervent ambition to establish a world-class winery in this region. The success of the Robertson winery has been extended to the second Graham Beck cellar in Franschoek, one of the oldest winemaking regions in South Africa.

The vineyards are located on four diverse farms in the Western Cape province, enabling the Robertson and Franschoek Cellars to have access to grape varietals grown in the climactic conditions and soils to which they are best suited. Marco Ventrella, Graham Beck's viticulturist, oversees the 4 farms. However, each farm is individually tended by its respective vineyard manager.

An extensive renewal program has resukted in premier red and white varietals on all of the farms. Great care has been taken to match the obliging micro-climates and rich variety of soils with the most suitable varietal. This ensures that the winemakers have access to optimum quality fruit from which to make their specific wines.