Champagne & Sparkling    Rosé    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rose Cava
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rose Cava
(search item no. 73471)
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

60% Pinot Nior, 40% Trepat

Beautiful scents of raspberry and cherry on the nose with fresh, clean strawberry and cherry flavors in the mouth and a consistent bead. The finish is clean and crisp and invites another sip.

Cristalino Brut Rose Cava is an excellent match for fried appetizers such as calamari or light desserts such as creme brulee. It is also excellent on its own or with fresh fruit.

Did you get a bottle with a gold label rather than this white label? No worries, it's still the same great Cava. Cristalino is undergoing a label change and released some bottles with the original packaging and some with the white label packaging.

My Notes:

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About Jaume Serra Cristalino:

The winery behind Cristalino, Jaume Serra, was founded in 1943 by distinguished enologist Jaume Serra Guell. It is located in the Garraf subdivision of the Denominacion de Origen Penedés, the largest wine growing area in Catalonia. Jaume Serra lies within the “El Padruel” estate in the Mediterranean Coastal town of Vilanova y la Geltru, some 50 kilometers south of Barcelona,. Wine making began on this property in 1947. The winery underwent renovations in 1984 and then again in 1997, after the J. García Carrión family purchased the property.

The white varietals of Parellada, Chardonnay, Macabeo and Xarel-lo are grown in Jaume Serra's vineyards situated in the Alt Penedés, a sub region of the Penedés, and are used to produce the area's famous sparkling wines, called "Cava". By law, Cava must be made in the Methode Champenois or Champagne Method. Due to European regulations prohibiting use of that term, Cava is now labeled as Methode Tradicional, which has the same requirements with an added stipulation that cava must age for a minimum of nine months on the lees before release. After researching local yeasts, the Jaume Serra winery has taken the extraordinary step of importing their yeast from Champagne, France in order to impart the finest quality to their Cavas.



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Neil Ellis The Left Bank 2008
Neil Ellis The Left Bank 2008
(search item no. 99693)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A full-bodied red wine with purple-red hues and good depth of color. Concentrated red berry fruits of dark cherries, plums and spicy fruit cake layers provide an uplifted intensity. The nose is clean and pure with layers of rich dense fruits. Oak provides a caramel/mocha complexity. The long brooding palate has an abundance of soft, round, juicy red berry fruits. The vibrant, sweet palate has aniseed spice and black pepper complexity with mineral gravely texture providing some dryness. Fine, soft, powdery tannins add structural focus and length.
My Notes:

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About Neil Ellis Wines:

In 1986, Neil Ellis took a calculated leap of faith into the wine negociant arena, buying and vinifying grapes from selected vineyards and marketing these hand-reared wines under his own label. Mindful that exceptional terroir and assiduous vineyard cultivation form the bedrock of great wine, Neil forged long-term supply partnerships with top grape-growers in premium areas.

In the very year Neil Ellis set out as a negociant, his future partner Hans Peter Schroder purchased the Stellenbosch wine estate, Oude Nektar, in the spectacular, viticulturally-ideal Jonkershoek Valley. This coincidence gained fresh resonance some years later when Neil and Hans finally met. Neil, recipient of many accolades since flying solo, had outgrown his leased cellar; Hans, in search of a like-minded partner for a quality-focused winery, had extensive cellar facilities. From this synergy emerged a unique joint venture: Neil Ellis Wines.

Neil Ellis Wines differs from most South African wineries in that instead of owning vineyards they have focused on producing the best wine possible and sourcing the grapes from top quality growers. Recognizing that different grape varieties thrive under different soil and climate conditions, from the company's start their philosophy has been to locate those areas that produce a distinctive grape quality and work closely with quality-minded growers in those areas.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava
(search item no. 4104)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, created from a blend of reserve and non-vintage wines, is clean and delicate, yet rich in flavor.

Brut is a cuvée of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes grown in the renowned Penedès region of Spain. The wine is vinified according to méthode champenoise technique and is aged in the bottle for up to 2 years.

This fine cuvée is fairly crisp with an interesting floral note and mouth-pleasing sensation of creaminess.

My Notes:

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About Segura Viudas:

Segura Viudas was established in 1954 in the heart of Spain's Penedes region, one of the world's best sites for growing and producing grapes for production of sparkling wine. Segura Viudas has become one of the top Spanish sparkling wine producers and is noted for its high production standards of traditional Methode Champenoise.


Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava
(search item no. 6619)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $8.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This fine Spanish sparkling wine is made using the Traditional Method, in which the secondary fermentation producing a sparkling wine's bubbles occurs in the bottle. Its fresh, toasty nose, beautiful citrus, green apple and mineral flavors, supple, lively mouth-feel, and clean, crisp finish make it the ultimate celebratory wine. Enjoy it on its own and with caviar, sushi, seafood, fried foods and Asian dishes

Varietal Blend: 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, 15% Xarel-lo<

My Notes:

Additional wines from Jaume Serra Cristalino:

About Jaume Serra Cristalino:

The winery behind Cristalino, Jaume Serra, was founded in 1943 by distinguished enologist Jaume Serra Guell. It is located in the Garraf subdivision of the Denominacion de Origen Penedés, the largest wine growing area in Catalonia. Jaume Serra lies within the “El Padruel” estate in the Mediterranean Coastal town of Vilanova y la Geltru, some 50 kilometers south of Barcelona,. Wine making began on this property in 1947. The winery underwent renovations in 1984 and then again in 1997, after the J. García Carrión family purchased the property.

The white varietals of Parellada, Chardonnay, Macabeo and Xarel-lo are grown in Jaume Serra's vineyards situated in the Alt Penedés, a sub region of the Penedés, and are used to produce the area's famous sparkling wines, called "Cava". By law, Cava must be made in the Methode Champenois or Champagne Method. Due to European regulations prohibiting use of that term, Cava is now labeled as Methode Tradicional, which has the same requirements with an added stipulation that cava must age for a minimum of nine months on the lees before release. After researching local yeasts, the Jaume Serra winery has taken the extraordinary step of importing their yeast from Champagne, France in order to impart the finest quality to their Cavas.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Alamos Malbec Mendoza Seleccion 2008
Alamos Malbec Mendoza Seleccion 2008
(search item no. 106819)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $19.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 Alamos Seleccion Malbec shows an opaque, dark violet color. The nose is full of ripe blueberry fruits with notes of violets and sweet spice. The moutheel is full and rich with ripe black cherry and cassis fruit layered with notes of wildflowers, spicy black pepper and anise. The finish shows a supple silky texture with a bright, racy acidity and a stony minerality.
My Notes:

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About Alamos:

From the vineyard to the winery, the Alamos wines are made to emphasize varietal fruit character. The cool evening temperatures in Catena's high altitude vineyards allow for prolonged hang time, preserving the fruit's full spectrum of aromas and flavors.

At the winery, the grapes are gently destemmed, fermentation temperatures are carefully controlled and two to four year old barrels are used to age the wines.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
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 9/2/2014: $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:

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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.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 105748)
screw cap wine
green wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Tilia Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark purple color with ruby red tones. The nose is full of ripe red fruits, sweet spice and a touch of tobacco. The mouthfeel shows red currant and cassis fruit layered with notes of cedar and espresso bean. The finish is soft and sweet, with finely grained tannins adding structure and length.
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About Tilia:

Named after the Tilia (Linden) tree commonly found throughout Argentina’s wine country, Tilia wines possess true varietal character and embody the rural Mendozean lifestyle. For years vineyard workers have used the flowers of the Tilia to make an herbal tea for enjoyment after a hard day’s work. The name Tilia is chosen in honor of this wine country tradition.

The Tilia wines are made at Bodegas Esmeralda, a Catena family winery in the Eastern region of Mendoza that is dedicated to making value wines for the Argentine domestic market. Tilia wines offer a unique combination of fruit sourced from the traditional Eastern region and the dynamic Southern region of Mendoza. The Eastern region of Mendoza enjoys warm, sunny days and cool desert nights. The grapes have very ripe, rich fruit flavors and excellent mid-palate depth and concentration. Bright sunshine and low temperatures of the Southern region lend a cool freshness. The fruit from this area shows clean acid balance and soft, supple tannins.

Tilia is dedicated to responsible use of the environment. The winemaking and viticultural team actively engage in many practices and programs throughout the community to implement sustainability. Water conservation and reuse, minimal use of pesticides and organic fertilization are several examples of the team’s dedication. Furthermore, the entire Tilia viticultural team attends regular sustainability training sessions at the National University of Cuyo and National Agricultural Research Institute. They take this training into the field to share and implement with their grower partners.



Red Wines    Pinotage    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 9/2/2014
MAN Vintners Pinotage 2008
MAN Vintners Pinotage 2008
(search item no. 99637)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 9/2/2014: $9.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Packed with full red-berry flavours, touches of cinnamon and nutmeg spices, and soft tannins, this wine should pair well with most red meats or poultry. The sweet fruit flavours of Pinotage make it an ideal match for spicy curries. A modern-style of Pinotage. Serve at a cool room temperature.
My Notes:

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About MAN Vintners:

"This MAN thing all began with three friends and an idea: to make a wine that we ourselves would love to buy. Good quality, good value, good packaging. Not exactly an epiphany, but enough to motivate us into action. What do we name it? Keeping peace in the family, we took the first initials of our wives. (We each have one wife, that is.) So this is how we explained to Marie, Anette, and Nicky that we were going to be "busy" most weekends. It's for you! we told them. And it's mostly true. But MAN is not only about woMAN, it is about MANkind and huMANity as well. Remember, Africa is the cradle of MAN!

For those of you that have experienced South Africa, it won't be a surprise if we state (objectively) that this is the most heavenly spot on earth. The winelands are stunning, with dramatic mountains, lush rolling vineyards, and that African blue sky. Taste a bit of Africa!"
- MAN Vintners