White Wines    Riesling    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Firestone Riesling 2011
Firestone Riesling 2011
(search item no. 122092)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360


PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $9.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Riesling is a testament to the variety and the cool climate of California's Central Coast Region. The wine exudes nectarine, mandarins, jasmine, lemon and lime zest, and honey. The residual sugar is nicely counterbalanced by the crisp acidity and low pH. After a soft entry on the palate, the finish is detailed and full.

The exuberant fruit flavors and smart balance of this wine make it the ideal aperitif or accompaniment to Asian dishes, spicy Mexican foods or creamy cheeses.

My Notes:

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About Firestone:

Firestone Vineyard specializes in expressive high-quality wines from estate and select vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley and Paso Robles. Long considered a destination for visitors to Santa Barbara County's wine country, Firestone produces an array of Bordeaux-influenced wines in competitively-priced categories.

Founded in 1972 by Leonard and Brooks Firestone, Firestone Vineyard was Santa Barbara County’s first estate winery. In September 2007, Bill Foley acquired the Firestone winery and 380 vineyard acres in Los Olivos, as well as the Firestone tasting room in Paso Robles. Bill has continued the Firestone tradition in striving for the very best in vineyard management and cutting edge winemaking discipline. The vineyard focuses on optimal physiological balance in the vines yielding wines that are brightly flavored, crisp and delicious. Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah vineyards are located on a series of mesas that have gravelly sub-soils, ideally oriented for perfect exposure.



Red Wines    Grenache    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2010
Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2010
(search item no. 111394)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $8.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Evodia is an exciting new project in the Denominacion de Origen Calatayud, hailed as one of Spain's most progressive and promising wine growing regions. It is here, in the vineyards of Atea, that Altovinum sources their Garnacha grapes for Evodia. In addition to the remarkable climate due to elevation, the property is comprised of pure schiste soils, known as pisara in the local area. Aficionados familiar with the wines of the Priorat and the Roussillon are well acquainted to this soil type and its extraordinary influence on the wines.

Blend: 100% Garnacha

My Notes:

About Evodia:

Altovinum is a new project - a joint partnership between Eric Solomon, Jean Marc Lafage and Yolanda Diaz. Sourcing fruit from high elevation vineyards in the village of Atea, the debut wine is EVODIA, from the Greek word for aroma.


White Wines    Bordeaux White Blends    Margaret River    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009
Leeuwin Estate Siblings Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009
(search item no. 105934)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

From the near perfect growing conditions of 2009, the vibrant pale straw wine displays intense passionfruit, orange and lime zest together with gosseberry and dusted jube notes. The palate is soft with intriguing layers of textured lemon, lime and pink lady apples ending in a long finish, well blanced by the lingering acid.
My Notes:

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About Leeuwin Estate:

After an extensive search in 1972 to identify the most suitable Australian area for the production of premium varietal wines, Robert Mondavi singled out a small plot of land in the Margaret River region. At the time a cattle farm, Leeuwin Esate evolved under the direction of owners Denis and Tricia Horgan, with Mondavi acting as a consultant and mentor. The initial vineyards were planted by hand over a five year period from 1975, with the state-of-the-art winery opened in 1978. In 1979, Leeuwin Estate had their first commercial vintage. Today, Leeuwin Estate maintains a team of highly-skilled and dedicated winemakers, under the direction of two generations of the founding family, exporting to over 30 countries.


White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Joel Gott Unoaked Monterey Chardonnay 2009
Joel Gott Unoaked Monterey Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 108072)
screw cap wine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $14.79

Winemaker's Notes:

Our Monterey Chardonnay is fermented in stainless steel, keeping the wine clean and crisp—just like our favorite Chablis. The cool, breezy weather of Monterey Bay allows for a longer period of maturation which allows the grapes more time to develop classic varietal characteristics. The climate produces a Chardonnay with aromas of orange blossom, green apple, and citrus and with a bright acid structure.

The vineyards of Monterey consistently provide ideal fruit and exemplify our winemaking goal: a natural balance between sugar and acidity. Because of the low yields from this vintage, the fruit had intensified aromas and flavors, creating a more full-bodied, weighty wine.

My Notes:

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About Joel Gott:

Napa scion Joel Gott was born to make wine. His grandfather was winemaker and president of Inglenook in the 1960s and 1970s while his father, Cary Gott, is the founder of Montevina and continues to consult for wineries such as D.R. Stephens.

In addition to Joel's uncanny blending ability, he has privileged access to many of the best and as yet undiscovered fruit sources in the Napa Valley. Joel Gott wines are therefore remarkable values, offering gobs of classic California fruit, good structure and excellent balance.

Of course, Joel is also the proud proprietor of Gott's Roadside, Napa Valley's red hot retro-chic "hamburger joint" on Highway 29, and most recently, in San Francisco as well. Robert Parker once proclaimed a meal at Taylor's one of the finest meals of the year in the Wine Advocate!



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Staete Landt Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Staete Landt Sauvignon Blanc 2009
(search item no. 107925)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $18.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Staete Landt Estate is situated in the heart of the famous Rapaura area of Marlborough, New Zealand. The 52 acre Estate is made up of many individual parcels, including 6 Sauvignon Blanc. Each provides its own unique expression, delivering a range of intense and vibrant flavours. Vintage 2009 began with a warm and settled spring, although rain in December did impact on the flowering of the Sauvignon Blanc. As a result, the crop levels were ideal and well balanced. A lot of work on canopies was undertaken in January which paid off when we experienced rain during February. The open canopies and well balanced vines meant the fruit stayed clean and free from any disease threat. In March the temperatures were higher than average, although we experienced some very cool nights. The end result of these conditions meant the fruit was harvested at perfect physiological ripeness, with superb crisp, fresh acidity.

The 2009 Staete Landt sauvignon blanc is intensely aromatic with rose petals, orangeblossom and tropical fruit characters. In the mouth a soft velvety texture with abundant nectarines and crisp granny smiths, chalky/slaty characters and a round and elegant mineral finish. This wine is drinking well from now onwards but will increase in complexity and reward cellaring for up to 5 years.

My Notes:

About Staete Landt:

At Staete Landt they produce wine for the top end of the market, which is the segment of exclusive and (super) premium wines. With a team of passionate wine people they are highly committed to their land, its soils, their vines and their wines. They look after their vines and resources with great dedication in order to make wines that truly represent our unique terroir on the ‘Golden Mile’.

The ‘Golden Mile’ is the name given to a special strip of land in Marlborough located on the old riverbed soils in the sub region of Rapaura. This relatively small area of land has the most optimum wine growing conditions due to its unique microclimate. Some of the oldest and most famous Marlborough vineyards are planted in this area.

The intense ‘Rapaura’ flavors are nurtured in the winery, as they practice minimal winemakers intervention. This means they use the very best of traditional winemaking methods with the latest technology and their own passion for. The results are honest character wines with an old world texture and elegance.



Dessert, Sherry & Port    Port    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Dow's Late Bottled Vintage 2005
Dow's Late Bottled Vintage 2005
(search item no. 107894)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dow's 2005 Late Bottled Vintage Port is a wine of a single year but it is not a "declared" Vintage Port. Whereas Vintage Port spends only two years in oak cask and then matures in bottle, LBV is aged in seasoned oak casks and then bottled, when it is between four and six years old. At the time of bottling, Dow's LBV has completed its maturation and is ready for drinking without the need for decanting.

Dow's LBV has consistently won more awards that most other LBV Ports on the market and has earned a reputation for excellence.

The nose has intense lifted aromas of wild berry fruits and floral hints exploding from the glass. Full-bodied palate with excellent dark fruit flavors such as black plums, combined with nuances of dark chocolate. Ending with a long slightly dry finish.
Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port pairs wonderfully with chocolate desserts and hard cheeses like aged Cheddar or creamy blue.

My Notes:

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About Dow's:

Dow's has been producing top Ports for over two centuries. One of the first companies to establish its own vineyards, Dow's acquired Senhora da Ribeira, located in the remote Upper Douro, in 1890 and Bomfim, which lies in the heart of Alto Douro, in 1896. Their respective wines, Ribeira with its soft fruit and violet aromas, and Bomfim with its concentrated intensity, provide the backbone to the recognized drier style of Dow's Ports. In 1912, Andrew James Symington became a partner in Dow's and today, five members of the fourth generation Symington family own and manage this historic house.


Red Wines    Rhone Red Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Winter Creek Old Barossa Blend 2004
Winter Creek Old Barossa Blend 2004
(search item no. 110046)
Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Delivers a nice whiff of white pepper and clove as well as some sweet earth underpinnings meshed with a note of ripe dark raspberry and blackberry fruit. The palate has an engaging, expansive feel, medium-fuller bodied, with smooth tannins wrapped around spicy dark cherry and black raspberry flavors. This should be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years to maximize its fruit vibrancy.
My Notes:

About Winter Creek:

After considerable experience in the wine industry, David and Pam Cross established the Winter Creek vineyard at Williamstown in the Barossa Valley. The original Winter Creek vineyard was planted exclusively with Shiraz vines and some years ago David and Pam were fortunate in purchasing an old Grenache vineyard adjoining their property. Their philosophy is always to produce the highest quality wine possible and have the unique terroir of the Williamstown region reflected in their wines. Williamstown is located in the most southerly point of the Barossa Valley. In the wettest and coolest part of the valley with the climate being affected by the near proximity of the Barossa Ranges, the cooler Williamstown climate naturally produces wine displaying traditional Barossa richness along with elegance and finesse. The emphasis is very much on intense fruit flavors, complexity and balance.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Barnard Griffin Fume Blanc 2009
Barnard Griffin Fume Blanc 2009
(search item no. 108350)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $11.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Delivers textbook Sauvignon Blanc aromas of pear and melon with a streak of mineral and herbs. Fresh and appley with a thread of pineapple and tangerine flavors. Racy acidity and an underlying minerality add balance and complexity to this satisfying white.
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About Barnard Griffin Winery:

Barnard Griffin Winery was established in 1983 by Winemaker Rob Griffin and his wife, Deborah Barnard. Rob saw the opportunity to make great wine in Washington and moved north in 1977. Pleased with his move to Washington, he says "The northern latitude of Washington and the ideally drained sandy soils of the Columbia Valley make it possible to produce deeply concentrated wines of pronounced character."


White Wines    Chardonnay    Hawkes Bay    New Zealand   
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Date Printed: 12/29/2014
Babich Hawkes Bay Unoaked Chardonnay 2008
Babich Hawkes Bay Unoaked Chardonnay 2008
(search item no. 103204)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/29/2014: $8.29

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

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine displays tropical notes and a muskmelon aroma. The sweet-fruited palate has a harmonious creamy texture redolent of stonefruit particularly peach and melon. The acidity is nicely balanced against the intense fruit creating a delightful, fruit focused example of what Hawke's Bay Chardonnay has to offer, enjoy!
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About Babich:

In 1916, pioneer wine maker Josip Babich fashioned his first New Zealand wine - this was the beginning of what was to become Babich Wines. In 1910, as a boy of fourteen, Josip Babich left Dalmatia (part of modern-day Croatia) to join his brothers toiling in the gumfields of the far north of New Zealand. The shift to Henderson Valley came in 1919. On a 24-hectare wilderness property, Joe and his wife Mara established a small orchard and planted classical Meunier wines.

During the Second World War, winemaking slowly became the family's major business activity. By the 1950s, son Peter had joined the company and the 1960s saw the emergence of Joe Babich Junior as winemaker. With Peter and Joe Babich at the helm, Babich has been transformed from a small, predominantly fortified wine producer into a modern winery renown for producing world-class wines.

Today the Babich Winery, lying in the rolling country at Henderson in West Auckland, is one of New Zealand's largest family-owned wine companies.