Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2008
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2008
(search item no. 113541)
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James Suckling rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2010 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Nipozzano Riserva 2008 greets the eye with a deep purplish red color. The nose is remarkably rich and multi-faceted, showing cleanly-delineated aromas of sour cherry, raspberry, and dried plum, lifted in turn by spicier impressions of black pepper, vanilla, cocoa powder, and espresso beans. A warm alcohol complements its smooth overall texture in the mouth, and a clean, vibrant acidity and silky, well-integrated tannins contribute to an impressive elegance. An almost-endless finish, with abundant aromatic fruit, completes a harmonious, well-balanced wine.
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About Frescobaldi:

The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of Italy's oldest wineries, with a history dating to the 1300s. The family has included medieval knights, bankers, lawyers and patrons of the arts. The Marchesi de' Frescobaldi is one of the most significant wine producers in Italy, with nine estates—and roughly 2,500 acres—in Tuscany. The family has been growing wine since the late 19th century, when they became the first in Tuscany to import and plant French vine cuttings. Because they have been producing wines for more than 700 years, to experience Frescobaldi is to glimpse the history of Florence, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Wine Spectator has ranked many of their offerings in the 90s and their wines are consistently listed in the magazine's Top 100 Wines of the Year, encouraging wine enthusiasts from around the globe to become familiar with some of Italy's finest wines.



Red Wines    Other Red Wine    Other Italian    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Valle Reale Vigneto di Popoli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008
Valle Reale Vigneto di Popoli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2008
(search item no. 114567)
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PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Ruby-red in color, this wine is surprisingly concentrated. With silky tannins and layers of dark berry fruit and spices, this is a rich and aromatic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

Full-bodied and firm, yet supple, it is ready to be enjoyed with hearty pasta dishes, roasted poultry or lamb, and slow cooked ribs.

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About Valle Reale:

Valle Reale is a territory that seems predestined for wine. The geological characteristics and ambient beauty are unique in these vineyards that are set in one of Italy's most beautiful national parks.

Valle Reale possesses all of the natural elements conducive to the production of great wine. There is an abundance of water, proximity to the sea and the benefits of a maritime climate, ample sunshine and mineral rich soils.

The Pizzolo family together with Leonardo Valenti have striven to produce a model of central Italian wine: strength, exuberance, vitality, Mediterranean color, elegance, balance and depth. They are working exclusively with the Montepulciano varietal and seek to highlight the grape's intrinsic qualities in both the young, vibrant base wine as well as the cru San Calisto which they hope will offer critics and consumers alike a new benchmark for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.



White Wines    Riesling    Mosel-Saar-Ruwer    Germany   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Jakoby-Mathy Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese 2009
Jakoby-Mathy Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese 2009
(search item no. 117700)
Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $21.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This is a salty corn fritter of a wine, with an applesauce dip. Trust me, that nails it.
My Notes:

About Jakoby-Mathy:

In the big loop of the Moselle between Traben-Trarbach and Bernkastel, you find the wine-village Kinheim, an officially recognized village for resting. The vinyards here are steep and the village snuggles up to them. The apparent narrowness offers plenty of romantic corners, worth seeing half-timbered houses and old wine courts. This is where Jakoby-Mathy is found.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
La Maialina Chianti Classico Riserva 2007
La Maialina Chianti Classico Riserva 2007
(search item no. 108170)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
James Suckling rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $19.99

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

Winemaker's Notes:

Inviting aromas of black cherries, plums and sweet spices, with notes of roses and black pepper, elegant and lush on the palate with ripe round tannins and a long finish.
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About La Maialina:

La Maialina celebrates the history, culture and cuisine of Chianti, prized since antiquity for its rich soil and favorable climate. Rolling hillsides lend themselves to the optimal cultivation of the Sangiovese grape, ripening to perfection during the dry, warm summers. The La Maialina wines express the essence of Tuscany and the tradition of quality that defines this historic region. The name La Maialina (little pig) references the Cinta Senese heirloom breed that originated in the Siena area during the 1300’s and is the only Tuscan native pig to survive extinction. Produced by the revered Attilio Pagli, La Maialina Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Chianti Classico Riserva are crafted to express the essence of the territory and tradition of quality of this historic region. Settled first by Etruscan then the Romans, the earliest documentation of a “Chianti wine” dates back to the 13th century when viticulture was known to flourish in the “Chianti Mountains” around Florence. The Chianti denomination was first delimited in 1932 by ministerial decree and its boundaries have remained unchanged.


White Wines    Other White Blends    Other French    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Domaine Lafage Cuvee Centenaire Blanc 2011
Domaine Lafage Cuvee Centenaire Blanc 2011
(search item no. 122075)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $14.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The name "Centenaire" refers to how the age of vines for this wine are 100+ years old. This wine come from of the most sought-after winemakers of Europe at the moment, Jean-Marc Lafage, lends his expertise with Southern European varietals to several top estates in both France and Spain.

Blend: 80% Grenache Blanc/Grenache Gris, 20% Roussane

My Notes:

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About Domaine Lafage:

Although only in his thirties, Jean-Marc Lafage already has almost 15 years of worldclass winemaking behind him. One of the most sought-after winemakers of Europe at the moment, Jean-Marc lends his expertise with Southern European varietals to several top estates in both France and Spain (he makes Las Rocas Garnacha with Eric Solomon) and also in South America. However, his best work is perhaps at home at his estate in the hills of the Roussillon with his wife, also an accomplished winemaker.

As the varietals come from different parcels all around the Eastern and Central Roussillon, they are always vinified separately, and then blended before bottling. The whites never pass through malolactic and the property always searches for freshness and expressive aromas in the blends. The reds can often show off a mineral component as Jean-Marc does not favor heavy extraction. Yields are amazingly low for wines at this price level. The wines are bottled unfiltered.



White Wines    Albarino    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Columna Albarino 2011
Columna Albarino 2011
(search item no. 121087)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Columna is a superb wine made from estate owned grapes in the most southern and inland subzone of Rias Baixas (Condado de Tea). Vines are tended in Granite and Slate soil, imparting lots of minerality. Winemaker Rodri Mendez, disciple and right hand man of Raul Perez vinifies Columna in the same winery where Sketch (the under the water wine) is vinified.

Albariño's crisp clean flavors are extremely versatile. Seafood, clams, oysters are what the local Galician people eat with this queenly grape. It also pairs like magic with Sushi, Indian, or Thai. Other pairings that are successful include hard-to-pair, popular take-out meals like cold sesame noodles, chicken tikka masala, pad thai, and tacos.

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About Columna:

Made from 100% Albariño grapes tended in granite soil. The vineyards are located next to the Miño river in Galicia (North West of Spain) within the Condado de Tea subzone of Rias Baixas. Out of the 5 Subzones of Rias Baixas, Condado de Tea is the most southern subzone and furthest from the Atlantic Ocean. The North East of Spain is known for making the best white wines in the Iberian Peninsula. Out of the 200+ indigenous grapes found in this area, Albariño is the queen. She sustains the farmers of the region. Columna is a very unique expression of this queenly grape due to its southern and interior location – resulting in a style that is bright, floral mineral and at the same time rich. The vineyards that produce this outstanding expression of Albariño are tended in the local popular Emparrado trellis system, which was invented by the Romans during the 2nd century to maximize air circulation allowing for a better drier ripening season. The winemaker Rodri Mendez is no less than Raul Perez disciple and right hand man. In fact Columna is vinified in the same winery were Sketch (the under the water wine) is produced. The goal in producing Columna is to showcase the purity of the Albariño grape in a 100% unoaked style from a unique micro-clime that produces richer fuller often more balanced Albariño wines.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos 2010
Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos 2010
(search item no. 120654)
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International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#57 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Petalos del Bierzo is assembled from old hillside and hilltop vines across from Bierzo's western edge. The wine is vinified for immediate appeal, but it retains the estate's signature finesse and restraint.

My Notes:

About Descendientes de Jose Palacios:

During the late 1980’s, Alvaro Palacios travelled his native Spain selling French barriques to winemakers. But his journeys had a second purpose: to find the best place to achieve his goal of making Spain's greatest wine. He ultimately decided, in 1990, on Priorato, where he would achieve worldwide fame with "L'Ermita" and "Finca Dofi." But there had been a close contender: Bierzo. It had all the ingredients that Alvaro wanted—incredibly steep hillside vineyards, distinctive terroirs and, most importantly, ancient vineyards of Mencía—a unique red grape believed brought by French pilgrims during the Middle Ages.

In Pursuit of the Dream. The idea of making great wine from old-vine Mencía never left Alvaro, and his experience in Priorato—particularly with L'Ermita—convinced him of Bierzo's enormous potential. Meanwhile, his nephew Ricardo Perez had finished enological studies in Bordeaux and was travelling across France—absorbing everything he could about great wines. He worked the harvest at Château Margaux, and did internships at other Bordelais firms like Moueix (Pétrus, Trotanoy, etc.). He also visited Alvaro frequently and came to share a belief in Bierzo's potential. In 1998, the two decided on a joint venture and set out in search of the region’s finest old vineyards.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava
Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava
(search item no. 6619)
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Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $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<

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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.



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco
Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco
(search item no. 75299)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $17.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Nino Franco's non-vintage sparkling Rustico Prosecco is unquestionably the world's finest value in a high quality, Champagne look-alike. The non-vintage, light-bodied Prosecco di Valdobiaddene Rustico offers gorgeously elegant, fresh, lively fruit, notes of bread dough and citrus, and persistent effervescence.
My Notes:



Champagne & Sparkling    Non-Vintage    Veneto    Italy   
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Date Printed: 11/27/2014
Mionetto Cuvee Sergio Prosecco
Mionetto Cuvee Sergio Prosecco
(search item no. 58520)

PRICE ON 11/27/2014: $15.97

Winemaker's Notes:

A cuvée that successfully introduces emotions and the special unmistakable flavor of wine skillfully produced to enhance the characteristics of the native grape varieties of a unique area, at the foot of the Pre-alps of Veneto, where Mionetto has been based since 1887. These flavors and aromas have disappeared over the years but now Mionetto are reintroducing them in this excellent cuvée.

A delicate pale yellow color, with a characteristic aroma that blends with hints of honey and crab apples. It is dry and pleasantly slightly bitter on the palate. Lean due to the right level of acidity, it is moderately full-bodied with a fine and intense perlage.

A balanced, smooth and refreshing sparkling wine that is ideal for any occasion, thanks to its moderate alcohol content and versatility. It is best served with simple light fish or vegetable dishes. It is an excellent aperitif accompanied by savory tarts or more delicate finger food such as shrimp vol-au-vent.

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About Mionetto:

Founded in 1887 by Francesco Mionetto in the small village of Valdobbiadene, Mionetto has an established reputation for quality, tradition and innovation. In the heart of the Prosecco region, Mionetto produces exceptional wines with consistent national and international acclaim.