Rosé Wine    Rosé    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Ricasoli Albia Rose 2009
Ricasoli Albia Rose 2009
(search item no. 109060)
International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $15.29

Winemaker's Notes:

The color is delicate pink. The nose is fresh with hints of scented flowers (geranium, pansy, peppermint) and citrus fruit appeal (cedar, raspberry). On the palate, the wine delivers lovely and sweet notes of cherries and strawberries. The freshness given by the right acidity stimulates the palate. The finish is clean and persistent.

Delicious as an aperitif, serve with crudités and fresh cheeses, white meat and light cuisine.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Ricasoli:

About Ricasoli:

The House of Ricasoli has had an indelible impact on the history and quality of Chianti. According to Burton Anderson, "it is the world's oldest winery," having produced wines since 1141. Not only did an early Baron help create the appellation system, but in 1874, Baron Bettino Ricasoli (The "Iron Baron") developed the Sangiovese-based formula that came to be known as the official blend for Chianti.

After a few years of foreign ownership in the 60s and 70s, the Ricasoli winery is back in Italian hands -in fact, Francesco Ricasoli, the 32nd Baron of the original family, gained control in 1993. He has replanted several vineyards with improved clones, has improved the vinification technology, and has invested in new cooperage.

Barone Ricasoli is a commercial group that owns several estates throughout Tuscany. At its winery, it vinifies its own and other estates' wines, including those of Castello di Brolio. The Ricasoli family continues to show its commitment to quality and innovation. It was a leader of the Super Tuscan movement, with the production of its award-winning Casalferro. It produces a full range of Tuscan wines, ranging from Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG to the newest addition to the line, Formulae, a 100% Sangiovese aged in American oak casks.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Primus The Blend (375ML half-bottle) 2006
Primus The Blend (375ML half-bottle) 2006
(search item no. 103234)
green wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $9.97

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Syrah, 17% Merlot, 16% Carmenere

The 2006 growing season was characterized by even ripening conditions resulting in a balanced set crop. Favorable weather, long hang time and a smooth harvest yielded intensely concentrated flavors. Primus 2006 combines striking rich, ripe fruit, exotic spice and a round mouth feel with elegant tannins, leading to a long finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Primus:

About Primus:

Primus wines are produced by the Veramonte winery. 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    Rhone Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica 2007
Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica 2007
(search item no. 101763)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $16.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Varieties: 85% Garnacha & 15% Syrah.
My Notes:

About Capcanes:

High up in the hill, roughly 30 miles inland from Tarragona and 100 miles to the south of Barcelona, lies the village of Capcanes, in the sub-zone of the Tarragona DO called Falset. Essentially, this sub-zone is continuous with the Priorat DO, and the wines from this area have more in common with the wines of Priorato than they do with those from the plains around Tarrragano itself.

Viticulture
At Capcanes, the altitude ranges from 300 meters to 700 meters, and natural rainfalls is low at around 450 mm. The average temperature in this Mediterranean region is around 15 C and rises to 35 C in the summer. Soil in the lower vineyards is deep, rich and fertile; the higher vineyards and all the terraces are on poor, mineral , stony soils with a granite or slate base. Under the guidance of the two winemakers, Angel Teixado and Antoni Alcover, owner/winemaker of Fra Fulco. Capcanes has progressed to a level of serious quality among Spanish reds, and offers tremendous value.

Vinification
New cellars were built to accommodate new temperature controlled stainless fermentation tanks and 600 new oak barrels, of which about 30% are French. Along with the introduction of a new bottling line, the packaging has been updated, reflecting the new breed of wine produced at Capcanes.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2008
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2008
(search item no. 108499)
PinotReport rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 PinotReport rating: 92 points
2012 PinotReport rating: 93 points
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2011 PinotReport rating: 92 points
2010 PinotReport rating: 92 points
2009 PinotReport rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright ruby color with aromas of cherry skin, dried cranberries smoky undertones. The palate shows more cherry and dried fruit flavors with earthy notes. Clean with a nice solid backbone completed by a racy acidity. Lots of cranberry flavors hint of strawberry. Balanced, tight, lean fruit, an ideal accompaniment to grilled fish and fowl or barbecued meats.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Schug Estate Winery:

About Schug Estate Winery:

Founded in 1980, Schug Carneros Estate Winery is the showcase and life-long dream of one of California's most celebrated winemakers. Walter Schug's reputation blossomed during his tenure as Founding Winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the 1970s, where he made California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-Style blend (Insignia) and legendary vineyard designated Cabernets (Backus and Eisele Vineyards).

Drawing on his long experience in the production of fine wines in both Europe and California, Walter set up his own winery with his wife Gertrud in the cool, marine climate of the Carneros Appellation. Here he could focus on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals that had always been close to his heart.

Schug Carneros Estate Winery combines old world understanding and tradition with modern winemaking techniques. By using only the finest grapes available, and maintaining the best winemaking values, these wines have gained acceptance worldwide as true contemporary classics.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 99737)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#82 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2009

The name 'Stump Jump' relates to the significant South Australian invention – the Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for ploughing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps and gnarled "mallee" Eucalypt roots and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse.

Inviting fresh plum aromas leap out of the glass with raspberry and pretty pot-pourri notes providing more complexity. The palate is juicy and spicy with an abundance of red fruits that are fresh and vibrant. Licorice and rose petals come through on the mid palate and an under-lying earthy complexity is evident all the way through. The tannins are powdery and subtle on this juicy ready to drink red.

My Notes:

Additional wines from d'Arenberg:

About d'Arenberg:

One of the undisputed kings of Australian Shiraz and Rhone varietals, d'Arenberg has managed to turn individuality into an art form by doing a whole lot of little things differently. The original vineyards were established by Joseph Osborn in 1912 in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. A century on, the estate has grown to 345 acres, and the mantle now rests with fourth-generation winemaker, Chester Osborn. By maintaining a focus on traditional winemaking and nurturing their old-vine material, the Osborn clan has successfully established themselves as one of the country's leading producers of concentrated wines that are full of character.


White Wines    Pinot Gris/Grigio    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Robert Oatley Pinot Grigio 2009
Robert Oatley Pinot Grigio 2009
(search item no. 106350)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

2009 was a tale of two distinct harvests in the Adelaide Hills. An excellent lead into the growing season was followed by warmer than normal conditions making site selection and timing of harvest important. Our earlier harvested Pinot Grigio escaped the heat resulting in grapes with freshness and clarity of flavor.

Texture and structure are the hallmarks of our Pinot Grigio. We aim to capture the delicate pear, ginger and spice notes of the variety. We ferment some parcels with more solids to promote palate weight. The wine's natural partridge-eye hue has been retained in a wine that is crisp and fresh with the pure flavor of Pinot Grigio.

My Notes:

About Robert Oatley:

Famed Australian Vintners, Bob and Sandy Oatley, founders of Rosemount Estate, began their next wine venture to pay homage to the many terrific regions of Australia and the grapes most suited to the terroir.

Wherever he makes wine, Bob Oatley's underlying philosophy is to find the right vineyard with the right soil and match it to the right variety.

With the guidance of winemaker, Larry Cherubino, Robert Oatley Vineyards shares the expression of regions, such as Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Yarra Valley, Great Southern and Central Ranges.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Other Oregon    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir 2009
King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 105883)
screw cap wine
has video
has video

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 PinotReport rating: 91 points
2010 PinotReport rating: 90 points
2008 PinotReport rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright garnet with ruby tint. A nose of sweet cherry, tobacco, earth, raspberry, oak, floral notes. Flavor of blueberry, dried cherry, chocolate and spice. Silky mouthfeel, lively mid palate and a round finish.


My Notes:

Additional wines from King Estate:

About King Estate:

King Estate is a sustainably-farmed 1033-acre certified organic vineyard complex and state of the art winery situated atop the rolling slopes in the Coast Range foothills, near the southern end of Oregon's Willamette Valley. In addition to world-class vineyards, their estate is home to organic orchards, vegetable gardens, and a host of native wildlife; including cougar and black bear. Organically-farmed and managed as a fully-integrated ecosystem, King Estate is also home to an innovative culinary program whose focus is the synergy of local, organically produced food and wine created just outside the winery doors. King Estate's critically-acclaimed Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are available through fine restaurants and retailers around the world.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva 2005
Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva 2005
(search item no. 102040)
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 James Suckling rating: 93 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Color: intense ruby red with garnet reflexions
Bouquet: full and well expressed
Flavor: dry, austere, with elegant tannins
Food matches: red meat roasts
My Notes:

Additional wines from Castello di Querceto:

About Castello di Querceto:

The François family, which settled in Tuscany in the 18th century, has owned the Castello di Querceto estate since 1897. Of French origin, the family has produced such illustrious personalities as Giuseppe François, a noted mathematician, and Alessandro, an expert on archaeology and the discoverer of important Etruscan works like the celebrated François Vase, which is now preserved in the Archaeological Museum in Florence. Castello di Querceto and the land surrounding it are fascinating places steeped in history. In the past, the castle, erected as a lookout point on the Via Cassia Imperiale, one of the principal arteries of the Roman period, helped to defend the immediate area. Today, encircled by the green of the forests and the hills, it seems as if it had been constructed purposely to protect the invaluable heritage of its vineyards and olive orchards. Vines and olives grow on both sides of the valley of the Dudda, from the Sugame Pass and, beyond Dudda, toward Lucolena and Mount San Michele, which reaches a height of 400 to 500 meters (1,312-1,640 feet).


Red Wines    Merlot    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006
Fog Mountain Merlot (PET bottle) 2006
(search item no. 99700)
screw cap wine
has video


PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $11.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Dark ruby color. Aromas of raspberry jam. Mouth-filling black cherry, dusty chocolate, and blackberry flavors finish soft with ripe plum notes.

Fog Mountain is a wine that evokes the cooling fog of California's hillside vineyards, in a provocative, revolutionary bottle that embraces a modern approach to reduce its carbon footprint while delivering superior convenience and value.

Fog Mountain is delivered in a revolutionary 1-liter PET (#1 plastic) bottle:

  • 33% more wine – two extra glasses – than a standard 750ml bottle
  • 60% smaller carbon footprint
  • Less energy to produce, ship and recycle
  • 100% recyclable
  • 7 recycled Fog Mountain wine bottles can produce 1 extra-large t-shirt
  • Quality assured; protects wine quality
  • A convenience revolution: lightweight & shatterproof
  • Perfect for picnics, barbecues, camping and life-on-the-go

Recommended for picnics by the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Dark boysenberry, touched with earthiness on the nose. A fruitier palate that offers some spice and concentration; long finish."
- June 21, 2009

My Notes:

About Fog Mountain:

Fog Mountain: a wine that evokes the cooling fog of California’s hillside vineyards, in a provocative, revolutionary 1 Liter PET bottle that embraces a modern approach to reduce its carbon footprint while delivering superior convenience and value. Boisset is the wine world’s innovation leader with a committed philosophy of evolution in packaging that reduces wine’s carbon footprint while providing added convenience and value for the wine lover.


Rosé Wine    Rosé    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/18/2014
Trenza Rosado 2009
Trenza Rosado 2009
(search item no. 106462)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 12/18/2014: $11.99

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

Winemaker's Notes:

True to the Trenza mission, this vintage is a blend of Iberian varietals: Syrah, Grenache (Garnacha), and Albariño, from both the warm Paso Robles and cool Edna Valley regions in SLO County. Each block was farmed specifically to make this Rosado, with the aim to shade the fruit, and was picked at lower brix levels. The lower sunlight on the clusters helps to pump up bright fruit flavors and preserves acidity. The color was carefully chosen to show the fresh yet rich flavors of this vibrant rosé.

This wine has a very similar aroma and flavor profile. There is bright strawberry and cherry, along with rich banana, and a hint of rose petals. It finishes nice and surprisingly dry. It is a true rosé – one that was grown, picked, and fermented for the sole purpose of making this style of wine.

My Notes:

About Trenza:

Trenza, Spanish for braid, is a winery dedicated to the production of Spanish-inspired New World blends that showcase the viticultural diversity of San Luis Obispo County.