Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2010
Crios de Susana Balbo Malbec 2010
(search item no. 110709)
screw cap wine

Wine & Spirits rating: 88 points
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $14.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine has a beautiful reddish/purple color as most good Malbecs do. The aromas are a mix of freshly crushed black cherries and toasty/smoky oak—just enough to frame the exuberant fruit. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and spice are obvious, and the jammy fruit quality just keeps coming on strong, with hints of spice and sandalwood lurking in the background. This is a wine that you'll want to buy by the case because it can be consumed at almost any occasion, whether at a fancy dinner party, or just curled up on the couch in front of a movie. Fun and delicious—what more can you ask for?!
My Notes:

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About Crios de Susana Balbo:

After 22 years of winemaking, Susana Balbo has a strong sense of what she wants from her wines. From every harvest, she creates the grandest possible wines under her Susana Balbo label. To achieve this, she makes a rigorous selection of the finest barrels prior to making her final blends, dividing them into the parents (reserve level wines) and offspring or "crios."

Wines under her Crios label display ripe fruit flavors, excellent balance and concentration, and are meant to be enjoyed in their vibrant youth. These wines are produced under Dominio del Plata's code of sustainable agriculture.

Like Susana's own crios (a boy and a girl), they are extremely lovable and fun to be around. The label features a series of three connected and overlapping hands, an image inspired by a Mayan artifact. The artifact illustrates the interconnectedness of every generation, and the irony that we will be both the parent and the offspring at different times in our lives.



Red Wines    Syrah/Shiraz    South Australia    Australia   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz 2008
Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz 2008
(search item no. 109697)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 Australian Wine Companion rating: 90 points
2010 Australian Wine Companion rating: 94 points
2009 Australian Wine Companion rating: 92 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2007 Australian Wine Companion rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2003 Australian Wine Companion rating: 91 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Intense brick red in color with youthful crimson hues, the 2008 Killerman's Run Shiraz has rich notes of plums and dark chocolate that overwhelm the nose, supported by spicy oak char. The palate is beautifully rounded and flavored. Sweet plum fruits and chocolate characters carry over from the nose, with spicy oak notes and gentle tannins lending length and complexity. This wine has both power and finesse that showcases the appeal of Australian Shiraz - richly fruit driven, balanced and powerful.
My Notes:

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About Kilikanoon:

Founded in 1997 by Kevin Mitchell, Kilikanoon is a boutique Clare Valley winery with an international reputation for producing regionally expressive, terroir-driven wines. The Kilikanoon property, featuring a circa 1860s stone cottage housing Kilikanoon tasting room, was originally settled by early English migrants who named it after an historic old mansion in Cornwall. On purchasing the property in the 1990s, Kevin Mitchell inherited 30 year old Shiraz, Cabernet, Grenache and Riesling vineyards, many of which were planted by his father, Mort, in the 1960s. Fifteen years on, with the addition of partners Nathan Waks, a principal cellist with the Sydney Symphony, and Bruce Baudinet, Managing Director of Oracle Estates, Kilikanoon is rated by US and Australian critics as one of the Clare Valley's outstanding wineries, producing bracingly intense and long-lived Rieslings, along with powerful, yet balanced, Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Belasco de Baquedano Llama Malbec 2009
Belasco de Baquedano Llama Malbec 2009
(search item no. 108694)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $12.99

Winemaker's Notes:

As its namesake, this wine embodies the distinctive spirit of our vineyards, spanning the foothills of the Andes. Llama is a rich ruby-purple color, and boasts elegant flavors of black berries, ripe plum and robust spices with good balance and structure.
My Notes:

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About Belasco de Baquedano:

Belasco de Baquedano is the Agrelo district of Lujan de Cuyo. The vineyards soar up to 3,346 feet, where the conditions are excellent to produce elegant yet powerful premium wines. Warm days are offset by cool nights with as much as a 45°F diurnal swing, which produces aroma and flavor, while holding acidity.

We have 222 acres of 100 year old Malbec from the original French clones and our viticultural methods are green, with irrigation fed by snow melt.

The wines are gravity driven table to tank, using délestage (submerged cap) tanks in fermenting red wine with skins and seeds for excellent fruit, soft tannins and deep color. Our wines are bottled unfiltered and unstabilized in the traditional artisan style to preserve subtle aromas and flavors, while promoting richness, body and color.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Sonoma County    California   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Sebastiani Sonoma Chardonnay 2009
Sebastiani Sonoma Chardonnay 2009
(search item no. 109894)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $12.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2000 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our 2009 Chardonnay possesses a wonderful elegance due to the coolness of the vintage. While the wine still has the abundant orchard fruit flavors typical of Sonoma County Chardonnay, it also displays more citrus, acidity and minerality than we have seen in the past. The oak profile is also subdued to better match the wine's intensity, but there is still plenty of inherent texture and ripeness thanks to the Indian summer and frequent stirring of the lees. Overall, this is one of the most balanced, complex and delicious Sonoma County Chardonnays we've produced in years.
My Notes:

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About Sebastiani Sonoma Cask Cellars:

With over a century of winemaking experience in Sonoma, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery focuses on crafting small lots of super-premium wines from the great growing regions of Sonoma County, becoming one of California’s most highly praised and awarded wineries for its Bordeaux and Burgundian varietals.

With the spotlight on single vineyards and specific sub-appellations such as Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Carneros and Russian River Valley, Sebastiani produces wine under the Sonoma County, Appellation Selection and Proprietary Selection designations. Founded in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, the winery is best known for its Cherryblock Cabernet Sauvignon, one of Sonoma County's most coveted wines. The winery is located just blocks from Sonoma's historic downtown plaza and offers historical tours as well as extensive picnic grounds and hospitality venues.



White Wines    Chardonnay    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2010
Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2010
(search item no. 110610)
screw cap wine
has fluid
has fluid 360

Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Exploding with fresh, crisp fruit, the nose combines tropical pineapple, mango and banana with citrus notes of lemon, lime and grapefruit--a testament to the diversity of vineyard sources. The palate bursts with a medly of fruit, driven by the crisp Fuji apple character and underlying minerality of the estate grapes. Fresh and vivacious, this wine exhibits a dense mid-palate, proving that with the right grapes and winemaking, Chardonnay does not need oak or malolactic fermentation to shine.
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About Chamisal Vineyards:

The first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley appellation in 1973, Chamisal nestles five miles inland against the Santa Lucia Mountains, half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on the rugged California Coast. Part of an original Spanish land grant, this historic 80-acre property- formerly operating under the name of Domaine Alfred- is planted mostly to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a few acres of Syrah, Grenache, and Pinot Gris. The vines thrive in the dry rocky terrain, as does the fragrant Chamise, a native white-flowered shrub that inspired the name of the property. The Edna Valley appellation, with its unique geography, possesses a near perfect combination of soil type and climate for wine grapes. With the cooling Pacific Ocean nearby, the long temperate growing season extends the amount of time a grape stays on the vine to develop its flavors. This hang time paired with the calcerous, clay-rich soil on the property produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors, often showing a distinctive character that some fondly call "Chamisal Spice."


Red Wines    Sangiovese    Other Italian    Italy   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
La Carraia Sangiovese Umbria 2009
La Carraia Sangiovese Umbria 2009
(search item no. 106479)
The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $13.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Brilliant ruby-red in color with loads of ripe blackberry, strawberry and currant on the nose. The plush fruit flavors are deliciously integrated with subtle hints of mocha, tobacco and oak spice. Full and rich with soft tannins, the lush layers of fruit and spice are backed by lively acidity. This everyday Sangiovese is the perfect choice for barbecues, pastas, pizza and sausages.
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About La Carraia:

La Carraia was founded in 1976 by the Gialetti and Cotarella families. Riccardo Cotarella, respected throughout Italy and abroad as a leading authority in the production and marketing of Italian wines, is the winemaker at this estate. La Carraia began as a producer of bulk wines for top of the line estates such as Ruffino and Rocca delle Macie.

Today, the winery owns a total of 200 acres and is bottling its own wines in the heart of the Orvieto Classico, and a small amount of the excellent single vineyard Orvieto: Poggio Calvelli. The remaining property is planted to Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. La Carraia is the leading estate in the new emerging production of excellent red wines from the Orvieto zone.



Red Wines    Malbec    Argentina    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Broquel Malbec 2008
Broquel Malbec 2008
(search item no. 105455)
Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $15.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2003 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The wine shows aromas of black fruit jam and liqueur, with notes of vanilla, chocolate and smoke. On the palate, its ample and rich, with a long finish and soft tannins.

Pair with roasts, red meat, hard cheeses, grilled vegetables, grilled meats, fowl, beef, BBQ.

My Notes:

About Broquel:

Broquel is an additional brand produced by Trapiche. With its 120 years of history Trapiche is reinforcing its leadership as the most exported wine brand of Argentina. Three years ago the company began an intensive transformation, both in the vineyards and in the winery to consolidate Trapiche's position as the leading wines of Argentina. One of the pillars in this transformation was to concentrate the responsibility of the vineyards and the winemaking in one Chief Winemaker; the appointed person for this ambitious objective was Mr. Daniel Pi.

The wines have a new international style, with more fruit and personality. The grapes are now not only coming from Trapiche's greatest vineyards in Mendoza, but also from the very best terroirs of Argentina.

All these changes needed to be shown not only inside the bottle but outside as well. A fresh, appealing, eye-catching and international packaging was developed across the entire portfolio.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
(search item no. 114475)
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $17.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Tasting Panel rating: 88 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon offers up-front aromas of ripe red fruit, followed by similar vibrant and rich berry flavors. Silky but firm tannins lend excellent structure, while maintaining a soft approachability reflective of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a ripe finish with good length. Its fruit-driven style lends ease to food-pairing.
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About Liberty School:

Varietally on target, reliable year after year, Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Cuvee consistently over-deliver value wines of outstanding quality. The Hope family has been making Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon since 1990. In 1996, when the Hopes established Treana Winery, the Liberty School brand officially became part of Hope Family Wines. Liberty School wines are made in a traditional style. Fruit driven, they are crafted to reflect true varietal character. The wines are barrel-aged, employing very little new oak. Oak is used as a building component rather than a flavoring agent.

A big brand, made by a small, close family, Liberty School is the home of delicious wines that are easy to enjoy.



Red Wines    Cabernet Sauvignon    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Clayhouse Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Clayhouse Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
(search item no. 114496)
screw cap wine

James Suckling rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $13.99

Winemaker's Notes:

The Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has dusty cassis, chocolate and toasty notes, highlighted with dried herb and orange zest aromas. It's rich and soft in the mouth, with a toasty, dry finish of fine, dusty tannins.
My Notes:

About Clayhouse:

Our label and brand celebrate a historic home at our estate vineyard near Paso Robles. That 150-year-old adobe structure – the Clayhouse itself – still reminds us of the time when grapes were first planted in this area. The Clayhouse, which we’ve carefully restored, is really the ideal symbol for our vineyard and winery. After all, like the adobe, our wines are created from the earth, cultivated by hand, and nurtured by family traditions.

For the Middleton family, those traditions and deep passion for agricultural businesses go back more than four generations.

Today, Clayhouse Wines extend that proud family legacy with a selection of exceptional wines, all crafted by hand in a refined, elegant style that reflects the unique character of Paso Robles and the depth of flavor that the Central Coast imparts.



Red Wines    Sangiovese    Tuscany    Italy   
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Date Printed: 4/16/2014
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico 2007
Castello D'Albola Chianti Classico 2007
(search item no. 106564)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/16/2014: $17.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

#47 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The wine offers a brilliant ruby red color. As time passes, the hue is enriched with garnet tones that, as the years go by, lighten further toward orange with an ochre tint typical of Tuscan wines. The aroma is satisfyingly intense, fine and elegant, with light scents of ripe fruits and violets. As it evolves, the wine develops an appealing bouquet that is full and complex. It possesses a pleasant fullness and an outstanding balance of body and structure. Somewhat austere in its youth, the wine softens with age, becoming velvety and developing prolonged and appealing aromatic persistence.

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About Castello D'Albola:

The Castello d'Albola estate is situated above the town of Radda, nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region in the province of Siena, Tuscany. Established in the 11th century, Castello d'Albola was initially owned by the Monterinaldi family. Over the centuries it was transferred to the Samminiati, Pazzi and Ginori-Conti families, and finally to the Zonin family.