White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    South Africa    South Africa   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Bayten Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Bayten Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2012
(search item no. 122286)
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Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine has a pale lemon yellow color and a bouquet reminiscent of green figs with hints of gooseberries and hints of green peppers. The wine is dry, full bodied and has a long lingering finish.

Long referred to as "Bayten" by locals, Buitenverwachting changed their label in 2012 to reflect their new official name of Bayten. While now called Bayten, this is still the Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc you've always enjoyed.

My Notes:

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About Bayten:

Bayten (formerly known as Buitenverwachting) was part of the original Constantia estate founded in 1685 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Dutch Colony at the Cape. One of South Africa’s premier estates, this beautiful farm is situated on the east-facing slopes of the magnificent Constantiaberg Mountain, just south of Cape Town and a few miles from False Bay.

Today under the guidance of current proprietor Lars Maack, the winery has earned a reputation as the source of some of South Africa’s most exquisite, mineral-tinged white wines. Bayten is a Dutch word that means "beyond expectation." Cellarmaster Herman Kirschbaum and winemaker Brad Paton continue to craft stunning wines that deliver on that promise to exhilarate the senses.

Constantia is one of the few wine-growing areas in South Africa which does not need to rely on irrigation, thanks to significant winter rainfall. Bayten's vineyards, planted on a variety of ancient decomposed granite soils, are dry farmed, with an average yield of five tons per hectare. The farm embraces a variety of holistic farming practices. A portion of the estate has been dedicated to a conservancy in order to preserve indigenous flora and fauna, and a section of the vineyards is currently undergoing organic certification.



Red Wines    Merlot    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Waterbrook Reserve Merlot 2009
Waterbrook Reserve Merlot 2009
(search item no. 114427)
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Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#71 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

A developed wine that demonstrates why Washington is recognized as a top Merlot producer. Supple flavors will keep you reaching for another glass.

My Notes:

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About Waterbrook:

Waterbrook Winery was founded in 1984 by Eric and Janet Rindal and is located in Washington State's lovely Walla Walla Valley. The name was chosen to complement the translation from Nez Perce Indian dialect for the name Walla Walla, meaning "running water." Production has slowly increased to over 35,000 cases annually.


Red Wines    Nebbiolo    Piedmont    Italy   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2008
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2008
(search item no. 123230)
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $33.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 James Suckling rating: 92 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1997 The Wine Advocate rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Classic Barbaresco. Aromas of spices, pepper, black cherries on the nose. The flavors are powerful, firm, elegant and ethereal on the palate. This red also has a very long finish.

Pairs well with egg pastas, risottos, white meats, poultry, red meats, game, venison and aged cheese.

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About Produttori del Barbaresco:

Before 1894, Nebbiolo grapes were sold to make Barolo wine or simply labeled Nebbiolo di Barbaresco. But in 1894, Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident, created the first cooperative, the Cantine Sociali, by gathering together nine Barbaresco vineyard owners to make wine in the local castle that he owned. He understood well the differences between the same grape, the Nebbiolo, grown in the different areas of Barolo and Barbaresco and, for the first time, recognized it on the wine label. The Cantine Sociali was closed in the 1930s because of fascist economic rules. In 1958, the priest of the village of Barbaresco, recognizing that the only way the small properties could survive was by joining their efforts, gathered together nineteen small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco. The first three vintages were made in the church basement, then in the winery built across the square where the Produttori is still located. United once again, the small growers continued the work started by Domizio Cavazza, producing only Barbaresco wine and enhancing both the reputation of the wine and the village.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Yarra Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Yering Station Shiraz Viognier 2008
Yering Station Shiraz Viognier 2008
(search item no. 109433)
screw cap wine

Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $16.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
2006 Australian Wine Companion rating: 95 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Structured with precision and intensity. Lots of flavor and pristine fruit with classic Shiraz Viognier characters. Very long and focused.
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About Yering Station:

The first vineyard in Victoria, Yering Station was originally planted in 1838. Its acquisition in 1996 by the Rathbone family marked the beginning of a new era, with the construction of a state-of-the-art winery and award winning tourism complex (Winner: 2003-04 Australian Tourism Award for Tourism Wineries).

The winemaking team lead by Tom Carson (nominated for the Qantas Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year 2004) take a non-interventionist approach to allow full expression of the characteristics of this cool-climate region with particular emphasis on varietal flavours, structure and balance. The sub-regional variation between each of our sites throughout the valley allows the winery to successfully produce a diverse range of wines. When a grape variety performs exceptionally well throughout a season, a selection of the most outstanding parcels are released under our reserve label.

Through consistently producing a vast range of different wines, all with hallmark elegance, quality and distinction, Yering Station has built a reputation as one of the finest producers in the Yarra Valley and Australia.



Red Wines    Tempranillo    Rioja    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2004
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2004
(search item no. 122145)
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older vintages

Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1996 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
1995 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1994 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
1990 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#22 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

Clean, bright dark-cherry red of medium depth with a pink rim. Notably expressive nose with spicy notes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and cloves and fine wood aromas against a background of ripe dark fruit. It is a well-structured, balanced wine with a lively, enticing freshness that combines with polished tannins to fill the mouth with pleasurable sensations. Long aftertaste, marked by the subtlety of a brand whose traditional elegance, complexity and aromatic power are particularly enriched in this vintage.

An excellent wine to accompany charcoal-grilled meat, roasts, small game, medium-aged cheeses, Iberian cured sausages, etc.

My Notes:

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About La Rioja Alta:

On the 10th of July 1890, five families shared their passion for wine and founded La Rioja Alta, S.A. That day was the start of an ongoing searching for excellence that their descendants still pursue nowadays. Since then we have managed to get the best from the marriage of our tradition in wine ageing and the state-of-the-art technology in grape fermentation. Nowadays we are an international reference of great Rioja wines. Our wines are the result of an exhaustive selection of our most exclusive grapes and a slow ageing process that provides them with elegance, complexity and sophistication. They are patiently settle in more than 30,000 American oak casks fashioned by our own coopers. We take great responsibility in making our wines using our own grapes. Wines with personality and wines with soul.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Mitolo The Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Mitolo The Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
(search item no. 124539)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Bright, lush and juicy, Jester Cabernet Sauvignon shows a full-bodied palate and mouth-filling richness. 20% of the fruit has been handled in the Amarone manner. This technique of drying fruit adds complexity and fullness and produces soft juicy tannins. Jester Cabernet is upfront and approachable for early appreciation, delivering excellent quality for the price.
My Notes:

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About Mitolo:

In a short period of time Mitolo has become recognized as one of the finest producers in McLaren Vale. Mitolo is a family owned business, started by and led by the founder and owner Frank Mitolo's vision to create a range of wines of individuality, integrity and utmost quality. Whether it is in the vineyard, or in the winery, or the work of the different coopers who source and shape the diverse barrels which are used at Mitolo, each wine is nurtured and developed with a zealous passion that spares no effort to ensure that the best of everything is brought together to make wines of purity, elegance and power.

Italian family roots inspired Frank's early interest and enthusiasm for good food and great wine. With three earlier generations of his family working as agriculturists and entrepreneurs, it is not surprising that (while heading an international horticultural business), Frank found the energy and passion to pursue his dream of creating world-class wines. The business was established in 1999 and a year later the first Mitolo wine was launched. It was called G.A.M.; named after Frank’s three children and the next generation of Mitolo’s, Gemma, Alexander and Marco.

Acclaimed winemaker Ben Glaetzer is a partner in the business and the combination of his winemaking skills and Frank’s vision have led Mitolo to international recognition and acclaim. What started out as a dream is becoming an exciting reality, and Mitolo Wines has only just begun on its journey.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 117271)
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Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Dense and full bodied this is an aromatic wine with generous layers of ripe, dark fruit. Black cherry, red currant and blackberry gain focus and depth across the mid-palate; concentration and richness persist through a long, generous finish.

Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec

My Notes:

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About Novelty Hill:

Novelty Hill is a small, independent winery crafting limited quantities of elegant wines from Washington State's finest vineyards. Committed to delivering consistent, high quality wines through careful nurturing from vine to bottle, they are dedicated to using innovative clonal selection, sound viticultural practices and gentle, artisan winemaking to produce wines of uncompromising character.


Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    McLaren Vale    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Redheads Studio Barrel Monkeys Shiraz 2011
Redheads Studio Barrel Monkeys Shiraz 2011
(search item no. 124085)
Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#41 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013

Supple, succulent and generous, with pure blackberry and purple plum flavors, hinting at vanilla and cream as the intense finish lingers on a medium-weight frame.

My Notes:



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
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 10/19/2014: $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.

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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.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 10/19/2014
Schild Estate Shiraz 2010
Schild Estate Shiraz 2010
(search item no. 120978)
screw cap wine
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Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2004 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#30 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

Ruby red with purple hues. A nose of rich ripe blackcurrants, dark morello cherries and clove spice. Plush, soft berry fruits and flavors of dark chocolate and mocha are supported by a fine tannin framework and hints of dry roasted nuts derived from some well balanced and integrated oak presence.

My Notes:

About Schild Estate:

The Schild name has a long history in the Barossa dating back to 1952 when Ben Schild purchased the Three Springs Farm property in Rowland Flat and settled with his family. Ben transformed the land into a mixed farm with a focus on sustainable viticulture. Schild Estate's vineyards include some of the oldest in Australia including the famous Moorooroo vineyard near Jacob's Creek, which was planted in 1847 by William and John Jacob. Ed’s vineyard site selection has favoured the cooler, southern end of the Barossa near Lyndoch, which enjoys a slower and longer ripening period – perfect for optimum grape flavour development.

These generous wines are spearheaded by the iconic Moorooroo Shiraz, demonstrating regional integrity and illustrating Schild Estate’s reputation as Pure Barossa.Schild Estate wines are an expression of the southern Barossa, which enjoys a slower and longer ripening period – perfect for optimum grape flavour development. Meticulous viticultural and winemaking practices ensure all wines reflect their sub region - Pure Barossa. Approachable. Warm and Passionate. Over deliver on quality. Generous