White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Lincourt Steel Chardonnay 2011
Lincourt Steel Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 119144)
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

When we produced our first steel Chardonnay, we had no idea it would eventually become one of our most popular wines. From day one, the secret to our success has been the high quality of fruit from our estate Rancho Santa Rosa and Rancho Las Hermanas vineyards. This 2011 is both lively and concentrated, a rare vinous feat. The aromatics combine kiwi, mandarin zest and honeycomb. The palate is crisp and minerally with notes of lemons and green apples.

As with its predecessors, this Stainless Steel Chardonnay is perfect as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or fresh fish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from LinCourt Vineyards:

About LinCourt Vineyards:

Founded in 1996 by Bill Foley, Lincourt is a producer of ultra premium wines from the Santa Barbara County. Named in honor of Bill and Carol’s two daughters, Lindsay and Courtney, the Lincourt winery is located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, on Alamo Pintado Road in the Santa Ynez Valley. Originally a dairy farm, the 30 acre property retains the rural charm and simplicity of an earlier era. The quaint tasting room is located in the former farmhouse, a 1926 Sears Craftsman kit home. The barns have been converted to a winery and barrel room, and equipped to allow for handcrafted, premium winemaking.

Great fruit, dedicated winemakers, incredible climate and a serene setting – Lincourt embodies the best of Santa Barbara wine country.



White Wines    Riesling    Other German    Germany   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Bex Riesling 2010
Bex Riesling 2010
(search item no. 121043)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $9.99

Winemaker's Notes:

Aaromas of lemon cream, orange marmalade and honeysuckle flowers. Enjoy fresh tangerine and apricot fruit notes with a hint of whipped cream essence and perhaps a note of cucumber. On the palate, it is refreshing, clean and shows lemon citrus with a slight sweetness. Faint lemon grass and mineral aromas may trigger memories of summer rains.

Enjoy as a perfect aperitif, accompaniment to light or spicy cuisine or as a finale served with dessert.

My Notes:

About Bex Winery:

At the height of the 15th century European wine movement, a group of German artisans began cultivating what would come to be the most terroir-expressive varietal on the planet. Enamored with the fruits of their labor, wine enthusiasts traveled from far and wide to sample the newly christened, "Rissling."

In a style credited to those 15th century artisans, and using grapes sourced from Germany’s premier Nahe region, BEX Winery is committed to propelling the art of Riesling winemaking to new heights one glass at a time.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Catena Chardonnay 2011
Catena Chardonnay 2011
(search item no. 118836)
has fluid
has fluid 360

The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $18.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Catena Chardonnay 2011 combines the unique expressions of three high-altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of vineyards offers honeyed tropical fruit flavors with concentrated aromas and flavors of ripe fruits, including notes of peaches, pears and figs, hints of white flowers and notes of vanilla. It is a clean, fresh wine with a strong minerality and crisp acidity.

Pair with salmon, seafood, chicken, or pork chops.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Catena:

About Catena:

Bodega Catena Zapata is one of Argentina's high altitude Malbec pioneers. The Catena family began making wine in Mendoza in 1902. Nicolas Catena, third generation family vintner, was one of the first to see the potential of Mendoza's mountain vineyards for producing high quality Malbec. In 1994, he became the first Argentine to exprot a world-class bottling of Malbec under the Catena label. Nicolas is joined by his daughter, Dr. Laura Catena, in their relentless pursuit of world-class quality from the family's high altitude vineyards. Laura has done extensive work in introducing Malbec and other varietal plant selections, soil and climate analysis, and sustainable practices throughout Mendoza. Head winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, has been at Catena Zapata since 2002 and works with Laura and Nicolas to make wines that express the family's vineyards and palate.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2010
(search item no. 119694)
boutique wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2006 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 91 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2005 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

While the 2010 offers all the concentration and viscosity of previous Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blancs, it is decidedly more focused and pure in its fruit expression. Look for peach, guava, grapefruit and jasmine in the bouquet. The palate adds green apple and candied lemon peel to the mix.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Chalk Hill Winery:

About Chalk Hill Winery:

Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery was purchased recently by Bill Foley, proprietor of Foley Family Wines, who will continue the time-honored traditions that Fred Furth began. Founded in 1972 by Fred Furth, the Chalk Hill Estate encompasses 280 acres of carefully positioned vineyards, including the valley floor, hillsides, and ridge tops of a 1300 acre estate. Perpetuating the time-honored traditions of the first land grant pioneers, the Chalk Hill Estate operates as a family farm with the daily tasks of sustainable viticulture flowing seamlessly through the growing season and ultimately to estate bottled wines. Chalk Hill is the only 100% estate winery in the Chalk Hill AVA nestled within the Russian River Valley. The passion for meticulous viticulture has resulted in elegant, world-class wines.


Sake    Junmai    Kyoto    Japan   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (720ML)
Tozai Snow Maiden Sake (720ML)
(search item no. 92158)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

This is fairly thick and chewy nigorizake (cloudy sake), but it is still surprisingly dry. The aromas are bright and fresh and they show a lovely ricey and fruity combination. In the mouth, this sake has solid weight and gives the same flavors of fresh fruit and creamy fresh rice that your nose told you about. The finish has a pleasant astringency and is nicely mellow, beckoning you for another mouthful. You will rarely taste a classier Nigori at this price, and this may be the ultimate food-friendly Nigori.

About Snow Maiden
The image on the label is a koi, or Japanese carp. Ornamental domesticated carp have been bred for their bright colors for centuries in Japan. Perhaps the most famous koi is one named Hanako which reportedly lived for 226 years! Hanako translates to "Flower Maiden", but in homage to the long-lived Hanako which lived in the icy waters at the foot of Japan's Mt. Ontake, we have named this sake "Snow Maiden".

My Notes:

Additional wines from Tozai:

About Tozai:

Daimon Shuzo, founded in 1826, is located at the foot of the scenic Ikoma mountain range in Katano City (near Osaka).

Katano occupies a well-known spot in Japanese history. During the Heian era (over 1000 years ago), the aristocracy of Western Japan flocked to Katano to enjoy the very beautiful scenery that abounded there including lovely cherry blossoms in the spring and the verdant surrounding mountains.

Hunting was the main sport of the gentry and cotton seed oil and silk production were the usual industries of the residents.

Sake production began during the Edo period, but of the many sake-producing firms originally present, only Daimon Shuzo and one other remain.

About Tozai
Tozai represents a unique collaboration between a fifth-generation Japanese sake brewery—Daimon Shuzo, a British-born Master Sake Brewer—Philip Harper, a prominent Kyoto-based American artist—Daniel Kelly, and America's leading importer of chilled, premium, artisanal Japanese sake—Vine Connections. Tozai means "East-West" in Japanese and evokes the spirit of the alliance that created this special sake. We have combined our vast experience, skills, and passions to create a boutique sake that will thrill your senses of smell, taste, and sight.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Hahn Estates California Pinot Noir 2011
Hahn Estates California Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 117507)
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PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $15.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Hahn 2011 Pinot Noir comes out of the gate with aromas of fresh mixed berries and dark cherries leading to hints of lavender, violets and a touch of cassis. This is an exceptionally balanced wine with good acidity whose flavors are given structure by a light touch of caramelized oak.

This versatile wine stands alone well but would be a perfect partner to a variety of fish, poultry or pasta dishes. Try it with risotto with shellfish, wild mushrooms and pancetta, roast five-spice duck with mango chutney or a traditional pairing of grilled salmon with Pinot Noir pan sauce and garlic mashed potatoes.

My Notes:

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About Hahn Estates:

The spectacular beauty of California's Central Coast is probably the best-known region in all of California for its unique lifestyle. Monterey County's dramatic ocean scenery, historic communities, artistic culture, verdant pine forests, and bountiful agriculture have beckoned adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers for over 100 years. And the 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline is something no other California county can boast.

The wind and fog interact with solar radiation to slow grapes' ripening, producing up to two months longer growing season than in warmer grape growing regions. These conditions create fruit with more varietal intensity, flavor, depth and structure, and thus, exceptional wines. In German, "Hahn" means "Rooster" and for this reason a rooster embellishes the Hahn Estates label, honoring the Hahn Family’s European Heritage. With an inspiration to raise Monterey wines to the highest level, the wines of Hahn Estates are created with a philosophy that all great wines are special – akin to the region they were grown in. The Hahn wines celebrate everything that is Monterey – unique in thought, style and setting.



Champagne & Sparkling    Vintage    North Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Schramsberg J. Schram 2005
Schramsberg J. Schram 2005
(search item no. 117308)
collectible wine
has fluid
has fluid 360
older vintages

Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 97 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $99.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 97 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2003 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2001 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 90 points
2000 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 95 points
2000 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1999 The Wine News rating: 95 points
1999 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 94 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1993 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 J. Schram shows classic characteristics of a very cool vintage. The aroma is fresh and bright with green apple, ripe grapefruit and pineapple followed by nuances of lemon custard, creme brûlée and toasted hazelnut. White peach and crisp citrus flavors are carried with accents of tart pear and apple. The palate is further layered with sweet, spicy flavors of candied ginger and lemon curd. The texture is both viscous and mouthwatering, and the wine finishes with a long, lingering acidity.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Schramsberg Vineyards:

About Schramsberg Vineyards:

Focused on Schramsberg's top Chardonnay barrel and tank lots, and aged for seven years prior to release, J. Schram is the winery's signature Brut sparkling wine. Jack and Jamie Davies revived the historic vineyards and cellars in 1965, with a mission to produce California's first world-class sparkling wines. Today, led by their son Hugh, Schramsberg's team continues with this commitment to quality and innovation. Schramsberg also produces the J. Schram Rose, Reserve, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose, Cremant Demi-Sec and J. Davies Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.


Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Avalon California Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Avalon California Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
(search item no. 120661)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2010 vintage of the California Cabernet shows aromas of plums, cranberries, allspice and dried ginger with barrel notes of cedar cigar box. The blend of 88% Cabernet, 9% Merlot and a splash of Sangiovese and Zinfandel truly is reflective of its flavors. The dark, jammy core drinks of boysenberry pie, black cherry preserves and currants. Medium in weight, the wine shows silky tannins and just a touch of barrel spice.

Pair this versatile Cabernet Sauvignon with everything from burgers, ribs, lasagne, or chicken Parmesan to smoked Gouda of cheddar cheese.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Avalon:

About Avalon:

Like the Indie films that inspired Avalon, our wines are original and uncut. We focus on the essence of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. We differentiate ourselves by producing flavorful wines at a decent price. We specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon and just recently branched out with our first release of Merlot from the 2009 vintage.

Avalon - AKA Paradise. According to Arthurian legend, the town of Glastonbury in the U.K. was once known as Avalon. Avalon has long been associated with paradise. It is a land of souls. Many believe that King Arthur's soul rests there and will some day rise again to defend England.

Our wines don't cost a king's ransom, but that's exactly what our Winemaker Alex Cose used to make. We joke with him and say, "Make us a wine that tastes like $75, and then let's sell it for about $15".



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Napa Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/23/2014
Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 119549)
collectible wine
green wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 10/23/2014: $99.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 94 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine News rating: 95 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine News rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2008 vintage of this wine was ranked #2 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2011

The 2009 Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon hits the mark brilliantly. Deep, rich and concentrated, the wine boasts black jammy fruits, cassis, freshly plowed earth and dark chocolate. The opulence and massive texture is undeniable while the glycerol-like body and silky tannins glide through an expansive, delectable finish. The wine will reward 10-15 years of cellaring, but it would be regrettable not to try a bottle at release.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec

My Notes:

Additional wines from Hall:

About Hall:

Hall Wines is located in Napa Valley and employs organic small-vine viticulture, precision winemaking, wild-yeast fermentation and micro-block blending to fully extract the purity and quintessence of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Their estate vineyards encompass more than 300 acres of classic Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. The Halls have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting edge technology to yield the highest quality grapes. Through meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards, Hall wines are able to express the unique and diverse character of Napa Valley's soils and climate.