White Wines    Chenin Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Raats Chenin Blanc 2006
Raats Chenin Blanc 2006
(search item no. 98814)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This sublime bottling from Chenin master Bruwer Raats sets the standard for South African Chenin Blanc, consistently garnering 90+ Wine Spectator raves. A portion of the wine is fermented and aged in barrel, resulting in a rich, profound offering that strikes a perfect balance between elegance and power. Luscious flavors of honeyed pear, butterscotch, citrus, and ginger and delicate hints of mineral and spice carry through on the seemingly endless finish.

"Ripe, but remarkably lithe and elegant, with tangy mineral, chamomile and honeysuckle notes leading the way for ginger, pear and cardamom flavors. The long, bracing finish leaves lingering bitter almond and peach pit notes."
91 Points
Wine Spectator
October 15, 2007

My Notes:

About Raats:

Raats Family Wines, founded in 2001 by brothers Bruwer and Jasper Raats, is focused solely on crafting world class Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, best known as the premier grapes of France's Loire Valley. The small, family-owned winery has quickly established itself as a New World leader in the production of these two varietals, garnering tremendous critical acclaim – including consistent 90+ ratings – and a dedicated fan base.

Raats is truly a family operation, and the clan firmly believes that South Africa's proliferation of older Chenin Blanc vineyards provides a unique opportunity to craft terroir-driven wines that serve as international benchmarks for the varietal. Raats owns several hectares of estate vineyards in the Polkadraai Hills. In addition, they source Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc from several extremely low-yielding old vines parcels where Bruwer maintains complete control of viticulture. These sites are characterized by complex soils of sandstone and decomposed granite.

For Bruwer, the greatest part of crafting wines under your own label is that "you don't have to worry about shareholders or catering to a market, or to keeping within a cellar's style. You can have freedom of expression in something that you believe in." The Raats family continues to win over hordes of thirsty consumers worldwide with their passionate belief in the classic, versatile and decidedly stylish varietals of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Layer Cake Shiraz 2008
Layer Cake Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 100502)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

South Australia is arguably one of the top shiraz-growing regions of the world. Within SA, the McLaren Vale is the most diverse and historic sub-region with vines dating back to the 1830's. The microclimates within McLaren Vale are what give Layer Cake Shiraz its complexity. For our Shiraz, we pull from vineyards all over McLaren Vale; from the full-clustered, sandy soiled blocks on the sea coast of Gulf St. Vincent, to the Terra Rosa based, tiny-berried wind- blown hills across the Vale. The vineyards are all within a few miles of each other, yet give us a broad array of flavors to blend into a complete wine. Each year we pull a small amount of fruit from tiny vineyards in Padthaway and Wrattanbully for added layers; combined they represent less than 10% of the blend.

Dark, dense and creamy, complex aromas of black plum, Bing cherry, blackberry and pepper merge with licorice, tobacco, mocha and dark chocolate. This is one inky Shiraz; an explosion of dark, super ripe, wild blackberry, with a touch of cigar box finishing with a mélange of exotic spices. A pure fruit bomb…complete from attack through a long, lingering finish. Chefs will save this cake for themselves…

My Notes:

Additional wines from Layer Cake:

About Layer Cake:

Layer Cake is a wine that was inspired by my Grandfather and Grandmother. Every Sunday, my Grandmother would bake a huge layer cake for dessert. My Grandfather would pour me a little glass of wine and place it at the table for me. He explained wine in terms of that cake. 'The vines,' he would say, 'live in layers of soil just like the layers in Grandma’s cake; each layer bringing a different flavor.' My grandfather taught me that everything in life is about layers and complexity. I loved those words and when I was a cake-focused boy, it made perfect sense… in fact, it still does.

Since those early days I have been all over the wine world time and again. I have tasted thousands of different wines and there are only a few places that haunt me, always come back to mind, occupy my dreams and have drawn me back again to taste some more.

I started Layer Cake because I wanted to make a wine at a price that could be enjoyed everyday with abandon, yet made by hand (not in a giant factory) and made in some special places in the world that I have always loved. The mission was simply to shock people about how good wine could be at a very affordable price.

While the Layer Cake wines were not intended to be compared with Hundred Acre, they are rich and taste like they should simply cost a lot more. This is due to our rigorous fruit selection and small winemaking style. The same team of winemakers that work with me at Hundred Acre, work with me all over the world to craft a rich Shiraz in South Australia, fabulous Malbec in Argentina, spicy old vine Primitivo, aka Zinfandel, in Puglia, Italy, sleek Syrah in the Cote du Rhone, France and of course, some Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Each is very special in its own way and a phenomenal value.

With the making of each Layer Cake wine my Grandfather’s words and my Grandmother’s cakes come back to me. Layer Cake is a simple black and white label with, of course, my Grandmother’s giant layer cake on the front and my Grandfather’s words on the back…ENJOY!!



Red Wines    Carmenere    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Errazuriz Single Vineyard Carmenere 2008
Errazuriz Single Vineyard Carmenere 2008
(search item no. 102227)
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $17.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Deep plum-red in color, this wine shows the classic traits of the variety. The nose is ripe but complex, with aromas that recall fresh blackberries and notes of sweet spice. A swirl of the glass reveals a light touch of black pepper that lends complexity and elegance. The voluminous palate is complemented by a soft, creamy texture with well-rounded tannins in this big-bodied wine. The flavor of roasted red pepper subtle toasted notes linger long on the finish, confirming the sweetness and depth achieved this year in the Carmenère at Errazuriz.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Errazuriz:

About Errazuriz:

Don Maximiano Errazuriz founded Viña Errazuriz in 1870 in the Aconcagua Valley, north of Santiago. This valley has cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes--ideal for growing grapes. Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard. Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick--the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernization of the winemaking technology at this historic estate while maintaining a distinct identity for its wines, dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality.


White Wines    Riesling    Clare Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Leasingham Magnus Riesling 2007
Leasingham Magnus Riesling 2007
(search item no. 97065)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

In its inaugural release, the 2006 Magnus Riesling displays all the hallmarks of fine Clare Valley Riesling; juicy acidity, lemony citrus and fullness of flavor. The palate shows fresh punchy citrus fruit balanced out by delicious, tangy acidity, and finishes long and refreshing.

My Notes:

About Leasingham:

Originally there were four pioneers : J.H. (Joseph) Knappstein, a merchant, Dr O. Wein-Smith, a medical practitioner of Clare, Magnus Badger, a solicitor, and John Cristion, who was a brewer of note. Alfred Basedow was employed as a General Manager and Winemaker, having learned the craft of winemaking in Europe. The name Stanley was chosen to identify the company with the local electoral district of Stanley. By 1912, Joseph Knappstein, one of the most enterprising men of his time in South Australia, had bought out the interests of the other three founders and gained control of the company.

The Leasingham winery was acquired by The Hardy Wine Company in January 1988, when a major upgrade of vineyards, winery, tourism and promotional facilities was begun. Subsequently that year the Clarevale Co-operative was integrated giving access to further premium fruit. Today the name Leasingham is reserved for premium wines only. The Stanley name continues on a range of wine casks produced at the Buronga winery



White Wines    Rhone White Blends    Cotes du Rhone    France - Rhone   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Perrin et Fils Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2006
Perrin et Fils Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2006
(search item no. 91665)
green wine
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $9.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Jean Pierre and Francois Perrin have taken particular care that this Cotes du Rhone meets their stringent standards of excellence. As proprietors of Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Perrin family has demonstrated exceptionally high standards for nearly a century.

From the relatively cool districts around Cairanne and Jonquieres, the Blanc is an exotic blend of melon, honeysuckle, lemon aromas and flavors. Its freshness and intensity are the result of cold fermentation of the hand-picked grapes, 50% White Grenache, 20% Bourboulenc, and 10% Marsanne, Roussane, and Viognier.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Perrin et Fils:

About Perrin et Fils:

Jean-Pierre, François and Pierre Perrin are proud to present their fine wines, inspired by the memory of their grandfather, Pierre Perrin. Using the same techniques employed at Château de Beaucastel, the Perrins have added some interesting appellations to their already impressive list of wines.

"Jean-Pierre and François Perrin - chosen among the Most Influential Wine Personalities of the last 20 Years. The Perrins believe in natural winemaking, unfiltered wines, and routinely produce long-lived classics that are among the finest in the world." -Robert M. Parker, Jr's The Wine Advocate



White Wines    Chardonnay    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Chardonnay 2007
Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series Chardonnay 2007
(search item no. 98784)

PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $13.98

Winemaker's Notes:

The region's morning fog slows ripening, allowing for the full development of aroma and flavor compounds so that the grapes ripen with higher acidity. The result is a perfect balance of fresh mouthfeel and soft, creamy texture.

The round, full-bodied texture, sweet vanilla notes and increased depth are a result of aging in a mixture of new and neutral French oak barrels. The lovely fruit-forward flavor with essence of pear, Gravenstein apple, and pineapple contrasts with a very floral nose and slight hints of vanilla on the back palate.

My Notes:

About Dan Aykroyd:

Dan Aykroyd first developed his love of wine while working on Saturday Night Live and The Blues Brothers, when musician Steve Cropper introduced Dan to Premier Cru Bordeaux and other world-class wines. Since that time, Dan has immersed himself in the wine world, launching his own brand in Canada in 2007 to rave reviews by wine critics, media and wine lovers alike. In 2008 Dan teamed with the winemakers at DeLoach Vineyards in California's Sonoma County to create a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay in a style that reflects his passion for entertaining family, friends, and fans.


Rosé Wine    Rosé    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Angove Family Winemakers Nine Vines Rose 2007
Angove Family Winemakers Nine Vines Rose 2007
(search item no. 91794)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine has raspberry and strawberry aromas on the nose. On the palate, zesty fruit flavors of red currant and raspberry from the Grenache combine with spicy cherry of the Shiraz to produce a crisp, refreshing wine with a long, full finish.
My Notes:

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About Angove Family Winemakers:

The Angove family company, Angove's Pty. Ltd., ranks among Australia's largest privately owned wine companies and stands as one of the few with strong interests in distilling as well as grape growing and winemaking.

His early experimentation with vines, winemaking and distilling, led to the establishment of a proud family business. Dr. Angove's initial plantings at the township of Tea Tree Gully in the Adelaide foothills were the forerunner of one of the largest vineyards in the southern hemisphere - the magnificent Nanya Vineyard at Renmark in South Australia's Murray Valley.

Since World War II, the company has steadily expanded its operations and structure. Their Renmark facility has grown to become a major winemaking and distilling enterprise, with storage capacity for more than15 million litres of wine and spirit. In 1947, Thomas William Carlyon Angove, grandson of the founder, took the helm as Managing Director, beginning a new era in development.

In 1983, the fourth generation of the family took control, when John Carlyon Angove succeeded his father as Managing Director of the company.

The success of the Angove's identity owes a great deal to a pioneering spirit. The same urge that drove Dr. Angove to leave his home in Cornwall and emigrate to Australia is evident in many of the developments the company has taken since.



Rosé Wine    Rosé    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 12/26/2014
Mulderbosch Rose 2007
Mulderbosch Rose 2007
(search item no. 94768)

PRICE ON 12/26/2014: $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.