Dessert, Sherry & Port    Port    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny
(search item no. 1560)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $29.99

Winemaker's Notes:

An exceptionally fine old tawny blend, aged for 10 years in oak casks. Elegant and smooth, combining delicate wood notes and rich mellow fruit, it is bottled for immediate drinking. A superb dessert wine, particularly with dishes made with chocolate, coffee or almonds, Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny may also be served at the end of the meal in the same way as Vintage Port.
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About Taylor Fladgate:

Taylor's is now into its fourth century: one of the very oldest of the Port companies. It is the last totally independent company of the original British Port houses-and is still family owned and managed. It is run today from Oporto by descendants of the Yeatman and Fladgate families, both of which have been partners in the firm since the 1830s. For more than 300 years Taylor's name has been synonymous with consistent excellence in Port.


Dessert, Sherry & Port    Sherry    Other Spain    Spain   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Emilio Lustau Solera Reserva los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry
Emilio Lustau Solera Reserva los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry
(search item no. 40768)
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The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $16.99

Winemaker's Notes:

#82 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012

A text book Amontillado of great maturity. Naturally dry and soft, its palate gives a hint of wood and smoky raisins. A powerful and distinctive nutty bouquet. A better Amontillado would be difficult to find.

The Los Arcos Amontillado is ideal as a warming aperitiff, with tapas, especially nuts and meats. It can also be served with a meal or any type of cold meat platter or richly flavored seafoods.

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About Emilio Lustau:

What is now Emilio Lustau SA was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo. It was a modest beginning: Don José cultivated the vines of his estate of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera, stored the wines in his vineyard house and later sold them to one of the big exporting bodegas. He was, in fact, an Almacenista. In the 1940s, his son-in-law Don Emilio Lustau Ortega moved the bodega to the ancient Santiago district in the heart of the old city. There, in buildings which formed part of the historic Moorish walls of the city, he expanded the business slowly, still retaining his role as an Almacenista. From the 1950s onwards the firm became Emilio Lustau SA, and its size enabled it to join the prestigious ranks of the select group of exporters of Sherry. In the 1970s, the company expanded. First there were new cellars constructed at the old family estate of Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza. Later, from the early 1980s, Emilio Lustau SA, now under the management of the late Rafael Balao, became one of the most creative companies in Jerez.

Rafael Balao realised that Lustau's place had to be at the forefront of quality. His ideas, combining tradition with innovation, paved the way for Lustau to become, today, "The Definitive Quality Sherry House." A collection of Almacenista Sherries, drawing on rare and marvellous wines held by the stockholders, were chosen and offered to selected customers. These wines are some of the finest Sherries made. The Lustau Solera Reserva range of fine old Sherries was created, drawing on stocks of wines held by Lustau since its beginnings as an almacenista. The tradition of the East India Solera was revived, blending rich, sweet Sherries much sought after in the 19th century and made in similar conditions to Madeira wines by maturing the casks of wine in a warm, humid environment. In 1986, stocks for a unique single vintage Sherry, Vendimia Cream, were laid down. This was first released in 1992.

In 1990, the fortunes of Emilio Lustau SA changed dramatically, when the famous El Puerto de Santa Maria Sherry and.spirits company of Luis Caballero SA, producer of Ponche Caballero, Spain's largest selling liqueur, took a major shareholding. This gave Emilio Lustau considerable and secure financial backing, and the chance to develop and expand. It also brought into the company 170 hectares of fine Albariza vineyard land at Montegilillo in the Jerez Superior region to the north of Jerez. The involvement of Luis Caballero SA in the firm of Emilio Lustau has meant that further emphasis is being placed on fine Fino Sherries. All the Sherry interests of the Caballero group are now under the Lustau banner. That includes the considerable stocks of Puerto Fino held in the bodegas at El Puerto de Santa Maria, which form the basis of Lustau Finos. Here, in the Caballero bodegas, more innovation is in progress. A unique Double Flor system of refreshing the wine just before bottling preserves the freshness of Fino in the bottle. This means that the Puerto Fino of Lustau is now one of the most reliable - and freshest - Finos on the market.

Since 1988, Lustau have used a new bottle shape for all their wines. The elegant, dark bottle, with sloping shoulders is unique to the company, setting Lustau Sherries apart from others and reflecting the very special quality of these wines.



Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Other Oregon    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Erath Pinot Noir 2011
Erath Pinot Noir 2011
(search item no. 123981)
screw cap wine
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PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 86 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 85 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Wafts of red plum and raspberry intertwine with spice, soft sage and an intriguing hint of cracked pepper. The palate features flavors of juicy Bing cherry, cranberry cocktail and a late kiss of vanilla spice. A gentle coaxing of light tannins offers a pleasing pull toward another sip.

Try this with Thai or Chinese pepper sauce, grilled scallops, thin crust pizza margherita, pasta with red sauce, and zesty BBQ.

My Notes:

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About Erath Vineyards:

As one of Oregon's wine pioneers, Erath winery's founder, Dick Erath, was driven by the belief that the future of Pinot Noir was in Oregon. Today, Erath's wines are an expression of the land that the winery has cultivated for more than 40 years, longer than any other winery in the Dundee Hill of Oregon. Winemaker, Gary Horner, who shares Dick Erath's background in science and a reverence for Oregon's unique terroir, strives to reveal classic Oregon Pinot: light, delicate and fruit-forward. Horner takes pride in making a range of Pinot Noir styles, from the hugely-popular Oregon blend to the highly-acclaimed, limited-edition, single-vineyard selections. His goal is to make the best Pinot Noir the region has to offer - it is time-honored, authentic and uniquely Oregon.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009
Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2009
(search item no. 112257)
screw cap wine
has fluid
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Tasting Panel rating: 91 points
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2002 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The color shows a dark center with a garnet rim. The nose displays a lovely raspberry and pastille lift with a palate of red berry, dark plums and chocolate. Blending the three varietals gives Clancy's great complexity, richness of fruit flavor and a harmonious balance of soft tannin finish.

Blend: 39% Shiraz, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot

My Notes:

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About Peter Lehmann:

The history of Peter Lehmann Wines is intrinsically linked to the events that made the Barossa famous. Formed in 1979 by Peter Lehmann to assist the grape growers of the region who at the time were facing financial ruin, they now enjoy the rewards of longstanding friendships and loyalty. Each vintage, over 160 grape growers supply Peter Lehmann with the best fruit from over 900 of the best vineyards located throughout the Barossa. These amazing resources enable them to craft wines for every occasion, including their flagship, Stonewall. Peter Lehmann Wines has developed a reputation as one of Australia's most respected, energetic and innovative premium wine producers and today, the team continues to create wines that delight wine lovers around the globe.


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale (375ML) 2009
Castellare Chianti Classico Riserva Il Poggiale (375ML) 2009
(search item no. 119583)
collectible wine

International Wine Cellar rating: 95 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 94 points
2011 Vinous / Antonio Galloni rating: 93 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Made from 90% Sangioveto, 5% Canaiolo, and 5% Ciliegiolo grown in the Il Poggiale vineyard, the grapes come from an elevation of almost 1,500 feet above sea level. The combination of high elevation and extremely low yields results in a wine that manages to simultaneously show both restraint and layered richness. This classic red holds great aging capability.

This Riserva is a brilliant garnet color with layered aromas of red cherries, earth, rose flowers, and leather. On the palate, the wine shows excellent structure with firm, integrated tannins and is full-bodied with plenty of spice.

My Notes:

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About Castellare:

The vineyards of this 46 acre estate are found in a natural amphitheater in the heart of Tuscany's Chianti Classico region. The story of Castellare is the story of Paolo Panerai, who entered the world of winemaking at age 37 after a career in Italian journalism. Panerai feels it is important to understand and respect the experience of the world's best wineries and to apply this understanding to viticulture in Italy. He has great respect for technology from other winemaking regions and chooses to utilize this technology to move forward while rediscovering and reshaping some of the great traditions of Tuscany.

The birds on Castellare's labels symbolize Panerai's commitment to environmentally sound cultivation. Herbicides are not used, nor are any systemic pesticides. Chemical treatment of any kind is shunned. Hunting is also prohibited on the property. As a result of these practices, the property has become a virtual refuge for wildlife, including many of the birds pictured on the labels.



White Wines    Chenin Blanc    Loire    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Sauvion Vouvray 2010
Sauvion Vouvray 2010
(search item no. 112234)
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $15.95

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Amber in its youth and gold tined after a few years. Acacia, wallflowers, verbena on the nose. Lively and punchy in the palate with a honey-noted finish.

Wonderful aperitif or with desserts.

My Notes:

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About Sauvion:

One of the best-known Muscadet producers, Sauvion has long been established in the Loire Valley. Jean-Ernest (often referred to as the "Wizard of the Loire") and Yves Sauvion have carefully put together a range of delicious and diversified wines that have set the tone for much of the Loire Valley.

Château du Cléray-Sauvion, located in the heart of the Nantes region, is one of the oldest estates of the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region and serves as the home to the Sauvion family. It is also one of the few Muscadet-producing Châteaux.



Rosé Wine    Rosé    Provence    France - Other regions   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rose 2011
Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel Rose 2011
(search item no. 115687)
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Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2012 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Whispering Angel is a blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvedre grapes. Strikingly pale pink in color, the aromas are fresh and fruity. On the palate, it is bone dry through the finish. The name really suits the delicate nature of this wine.

If not simply drinking Whispering Angel on its own, pair it with lightly grilled steaks, salmon, other fish dishes and salads, as well as cheese. Fabulous with modern cuisine.

Check out this clip from the popular NBC sitcom, "Up All Night," with Maya Rudolph, as it showcases the Whispering Angel Rose:
My Notes:

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About Chateau d'Esclans:

Also enchanted by the Provence his father speaks of with emotion, Sacha Alexis Lichine, convinced by the potential of these sun-drenched soils, become the owner, with the Angostura group, of Chateau d'Esclans in 2006. Since then, he hasn't ceased to combine his talent and know-how to this magical terroir, and has given a new dimension to Provence Rose, making a unique assemblage of refinement and pleasure. A new chapter has begun in the world of Rose.

Patrick Leon has unparalleled experience in making among the great wines of the world. Leon served as a Managing Director for Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, overseeing technical departments including the company's vineyards and winemaking facilities for Chateau Mouton Rothschild, d'armailhac, Clerc Milon, le Petit Mouton, Aile d'Argent, Opus One in California, Almaviva in Chile, Domaine de Lambert & Barn' Arques in the Languedoc, Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux as well as other wines in the Baron Phillipe de Rothschild portfolio, including Escudo Rojo in Chile. Patrick's wide breadth of experience and knowledge has established the foundation to becoming a consulting oenologist and working with Sacha Lichine in this capacity. Towards that end, Patrick has been instrumental in overseeing the wine making for Chateau d’Esclans. Patrick Leon's guidance and his enduring counsel have made an immeasurable difference to making all the Lichine wines as great as they are.

Chateau d'Esclans is located on an exceptional site, on elevated land near the Gorges de Pennafort. The surrounding land around Chateau d'Esclans is known as La Vallee des Esclans (the valley of the clans).



Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Barossa Valley    Australia   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2006
Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2006
(search item no. 112404)
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older vintages

Australian Wine Companion rating: 96 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $29.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2010 Wilfred Wong of Wine.com rating: 92 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2008 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2004 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2003 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2003 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2002 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2001 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
1997 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
1996 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
1996 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Yalumba Signature 2006 is a very deep dark red with generous sweet dark chocolate and warm fig, blackcurrant and cedary spices on the nose. The palate is broad shouldered, intense and concentrated with lingering red and black currant notes. Young and tight, this wine will reveal an elegance and silky refinement on the palate given time. Perfect with braised lamb shanks.
My Notes:

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About Yalumba:

Yalumba is one of Australia's oldest family-owned wineries and was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith. From modest beginnings, the Yalumba Wine Company has grown to become one of Australia's most successful medium-sized wineries, owned by 6th generation Robert Hill Smith. Yalumba regularly receives accolateds for its distinctive wines, as well as for its leadership role in the Australian wine industry in the areas of viti-innovation and environmental policy. The Yalumba premium wine portfolio commences with the fresh and flavorsome varietal wines of the Y Series, then moves up to capture the essence of the Barossa Eden Valleys, explores old world varieties through innovated, modern wines in the Hand Picked line, and culminates with the coveted, collectible Yalumba Rare & Fine wines.


Red Wines    Other Red Blends    Portugal    Portugal   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Quinta do Vallado Douro Tinto 2009
Quinta do Vallado Douro Tinto 2009
(search item no. 115689)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $23.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 James Suckling rating: 91 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The Quinta do Vallado Douro Red is dark red, with crimson highlights and an intense, mature red fruit nose, with hints of violets and "esteva" (a local Portuguese herb). The palate shows great structure and a full- bodied elegance, with mature, round tannins, leading to a long, persistent finish.
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About Quinta do Vallado:

In the heart of Portugal’s most famous wine region – the Douro Valley – near the historical center of Regua, the Quinta do Vallado vineyards, winery and guest house spread across both banks of the Corgo River at the very point where it meets the Douro. With winemaking references that date back to 1716, the Quinta belonged to the legendary Portuguese vintner D. Antonia Adelaide Ferreira, and has remained in the family through modern times.

The current owners, Joao Ferreria Alvares Ribeiro, Francisco Ferreira and Francisco Olazabal, are the sixth generation of this remarkable family, and the family’s mission to produce some of the best still wines of this fertile valley continues with the red blends and varietals that are exported worldwide. Of the 38-hectare Estate, 26 hectares are filled with vines 60 years and older. It is from these vines that Quinta do Vallado’s Red Reserve and Touriga Nacional wines are made, so it is no wonder that the wines are often found to be rated and reviewed among the best wines from the Douro.



White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 12/19/2014
Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc 2011
Dry Creek Vineyard Fume Blanc 2011
(search item no. 116212)
screw cap wine


PRICE ON 12/19/2014: $12.79

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 86 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2011 Fumé Blanc displays an aromatic symphony that leaves one pondering the truly magical characters of the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. The initial aromas fill the senses with a cacophony of pungent grassy, kaffir lime, citrus, white pepper and classic olive aromas. The palate is framed by refreshing citrus and mineral notes that mingle in wonderful harmony with Meyer lemon, Granny Smith apple and orange zest flavors. The grassy elements repeat on the finish with acidity that is both refreshing and brisk. This incredible new vintage is an ode to our founding and reminds us of how we got our start – a wine that is classically styled and immediately food friendly at an unbelievably fair price.
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About Dry Creek Vineyard:

In 1972, when David S. Stare opened the doors to Dry Creek Vineyard, it was the first new winery to be built in the Valley since Prohibition. Dry Creek created the first Sonoma Fume Blanc, originated the Dry Creek Valley AVA, and was an early advocate for Bordeaux-style blending.

Today, Dry Creek Vineyard is committed to vineyard diversity, vinifying individual lots of fruit separately, and then blending carefully for each final cuvee. Dry Creek Vineyard is also a leader in the stewardship of pre-Prohibition Zinfandel vines and vineyards, and has isolated a clone, called the "Heritage Clone," which is bottled separately from their "Old Vines" Zinfandel (containing wine only from vines no younger than 50 years old), and which has made very promising wines.