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Vintages Release September 12, 2009

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Red Wine

Finca Sophenia Reserve Malbec 2008, Tupungato, Mendoza, Argentina: Vintages Wine Panel: Finca Sophenia’s Reserve Malbec has earned high praise over the last several years from members of the wine press. With Michel Rolland as consultant winemaker here, more accolades are sure to follow with the latest vintage. Cultivated in the foothills of the Andes and aged in French oak for 8 months, this complex, deeply concentrated wine exhibits aromas of plums, cherries and violets along with notes of mint and dried fruits. Especially good with carnivorous feasts. My note: A savory, meaty, mouth-watering red with full-bodied notes of black cherry, blackberry, cassis and smoke. Supple and smooth. 66837 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Benmarco Malbec 2006, Mendoza, Argentina: A tasty Malbec with 10% Bonarda that was matured for 11 months in 50% new French oak and 50% one year in American oak. Blackberries, purple plums, cassis, anise and tobacco leaves. Medium- to full-bodied with a smooth texture. 657601 14% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Jip Jip Rocks Shiraz 2007, Limestone Coast, South Australia, Australia: A minty-blackberry wonder with full-bodied layers of satisfaction and flavor. Licorice and dark spices with a touch of mint. Oh yum! 673897 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elderton Shiraz 2006, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The fruit for Elderton Shiraz is sourced mainly from the Elderton Vineyard situated on the banks of the North Para River in Nuriootpa. My note: A tasty and deep Shiraz with savory notes of mint, blackberry, bacon, licorice, smoke and pepper. Plush, luscious and imminently quaffable. 713024 14.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Elderton Friends Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Barossa, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: One of Australia’s best bargains, the Friends Cabernet sources fruit from quality growers in the Eden Valley sub-appellation of Barossa. Much cooler than the Barossa Valley floor, where Elderton’s estate wines are grown, the Eden Valley tends to produce a more elegant and aromatic Cab. The 2008 is redolent of blackcurrant, plum and chocolate cake supported by dusty tannins and medium acidity. A great wine to share with your friends. My note: Strong mint and black plum aromas with full-bodied, supple texture. Some pepper and spice but the mint keeps coming back throughout. Tasty. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: braised ribs. 595389 14% XD 750 mL $20.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Wits End The Procrastinator Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Grenache 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: The Procrastinator celebrates Wits End’s patriarch, John Harvey, and his inability to finish one task before something else more interesting arises. It’s a blend of 60% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Grenache that was aged in a mix of old and new tight-grained French oak. Let’s not dilly-dally now, though. This is a delicious, easy-drinking wine that is filled with blackberry and raspberry aromas and flavors. My note: A robust, lusty red with full-bodied notes of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry. Terrific smoky finish. Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Grenache food pairings: barbecued gourmet burgers. 684100 14.5% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kangarilla Road Shiraz Viognier 2006, Mclaren Vale, South Australia, Australia: Minty-blackberry great! A whoosh of flavor and aroma wakes up the senses and says, get ready to enjoy! Full-bodied, mouth-watering and tasty. This wine is a blend of Shiraz (92%) and Viognier (8%). The Viognier lifts the palate and brightens the wine making it ever so much more interesting. The wine was aged for 14 months in new French oak barrels. 127548 15% D 750 mL $27.95 Score: 92/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Two Hands Wines Lucky Country Shiraz 2007, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia: Vintages Wine Panel: Two Hands quickly established itself as one of Australia’s elite producers. Founders Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz (the ‘two hands’ themselves) set up their winery on the French négoçiant model, purchasing fruit for their wines from only the top growers. They consistently earn 90+ scores from top critics. Your guests will count themselves the lucky ones if you pour this concentrated, flavor-packed Shiraz at your next event. My note: Savory and deep with rich notes of black plums, black raspberries and cherries and a smoky finish. Full-bodied with mouth-watering layers of flavor. 77883 14% D 750 mL $18.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Le Clos Jordanne Talon Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Vinemount Ridge, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: This is the debut vintage for this attractive Pinot Noir from Le Clos Jordanne’s young Talon Ridge Vineyard. Dominated by plum, raspberry, spring flowers and beetroot/earth aromas. Dry, tannic and tight with good, youthful fruit waiting patiently to come to the front. Will reward 3-5+ years in a cellar, or enjoy tonight, decanted. My note: Canada’s leader in Pinot Noir: classic Old World lines and balance with New World fruit and power. Floods the senses with ripe cherry fruit and raspberries, some spice on the finish for intrigue. Medium-bodied and silky, seductive. Pinot Noir food pairings: lamb chops. 143545 13.5% XD 750 mL $37.00 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

13th Street Winery Gamay Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: A simple, carefree, light-bodied red without a discernible trace of oak or tannin. Cherry-berry, raspberry fruit with mouth-watering acidity. Perfect as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to many dishes. 130195 13% XD 750 mL $18.00 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Lailey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara River, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Pinot Noir is making a strong impression in Ontario and Lailey’s 2007 version is a case in point. Features black cherry, spring flowers, cocoa and beetroot aromas. Dry, round and textured with moderate tannins to give it structure. Medium bodied with a long, very impressive finish. Cellar it 2-3 years, or, enjoy it tonight. This is a great Pinot! My note: A tart and saucy Pinot with bright cherries and beetroot. A lovely and complicate rhubarb finish: this one will keep you coming back for another glass and another … Pinot Noir food pairings: grilled steak, rare roast beef. 591404 12.5% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Veramonte Reserva Pinot Noir 2008, Casablanca Valley, Chile: A bright cherry-berry Pinot with vibrant acidity and lush fruit flavors. Silky and smooth with expressive notes of cranberry and strawberry-tinged finish. Medium-bodied with a lovely finish. 134973 14% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos De Sarpe Merlot Cabernet Franc 2005, A.C., St-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: A wine of great distinction, good bones and great breeding. This estate keeps yields at harvest under 25 hectoliters per hectare. As a result production is small: for this wine, only a 1,000 cases were produced. It’s a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% old vine Cabernet Franc. The 2005 was a spectacular one for Bordeaux and it shows in this wine. Aromas of black cherries, plums, anise, bacon fat, dried herbs and cigar box. Drink: 2015 - 2025 501866 13% XD 750 mL $155.00 Score: 97/100. September 2009. Favorite Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Du Prieure Pinot Noir 2007, A.C., Hautes Côte De Beaune, Burgundy, France: Vintages Wine Panel: From the hills just above this famed Côte de Beaune house come some great wines offering eye-popping values, such as this 100% Pinot Noir beauty. Brimming with aromas and flavors of black cherry, beetroot and freshly tilled earth, this shows classic Burgundy character in a very approachable style. Enjoy it. My note: A terrific, vibrant Pinot Noir for the money! Burgundy doesn’t come much more value-priced than this for such tasty quality. Ripe, tart cherries dance across the palate with a silky texture and medium body. A beetroot-infused finish that’s pleasantly long. I love this mouth-watering style of wine. Pinot Noir food pairings: beef stew, grilled root veggie dishes. 128678 12.8% XD 750 mL $18.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Pech-Redon L'epervier Grenache Syrah Carignan 2004, A.C., Côteaux Du Languedoc, La Clape, Midi, France: This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% Carignan. It floods the senses with black cherry liqueur, dark spices and smoke. Beautifully concentrated and powerful. This winery uses small barrels to age the wine, which results in a vanilla-spice finish. Drink: 2009 - 2016 129965 14.1% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine De Saint Guilhem Renaissance Négrette Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah 2003, A.C., Fronton, Southwest, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine was a Gold Medal winner at the Concours des Vins du Sud-Ouest 2005 in Toulouse. A unique blend of the local rare grape Négrette with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this generous wine is deep and dense with ripe black cherry fruit as well as smoke and spice notes. My note: Black-as-night red with big black fruit, oak and tannins. Full-bodied, a big whacker. Decants for 16 hours, okay two-three hours ought to take out argumentative side of the wine. Delicious. Négrette Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah food pairings: veal stew, ratatouille, roasted guinea fowl. 130187 12.5% XD 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Domaine Rotier Les Gravels Duras Braucol Syrah 2006, A.C., Gaillac, Southwest, France: This wine is a blend of local grapes: Duras (40%), Braucol (40%) and Syrah (20%). A cedary, black-fruited red with a good grip on the palate. Robust and full-bodied with some espresso and pepper notes. 65920 13% XD 750 mL $16.95 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Brulesécaille Meritage 2003, A.C., Côtes De Bourg, Bordeaux, France: A lovely, full-bodied red with robust notes of blackcurrant, cassis, cigar box and dried herbs. Terrific balance, length and concentration. Decant for 1-2 hours. Drink: 2009 - 2012 125872 13.4% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Château Barde-Haut Merlot Blend 2005, A.C., Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Bordeaux, France: A dense, dark wine with notes of blackberries, anise, smoke and kirsch. A good candidate for the cellar. Drink: 2009 - 2016 501965 13% XD 750 mL $69.00 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Côtes Rocheuses Merlot Blend 2005, A.C., Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Silver Medal at the 2008 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Impressive ’05 featuring raspberry, plum and dark chocolate aromas. Dry with a ripe fruit centre surrounded by fine tannins and refreshing acidity. Will reward 2-3 years in a cellar, but why wait? Enjoy it tonight. My note: A pleasant wine with excellent balance and finesse. Classic Bordeaux notes of blackberry, cassis and cigar box. Merlot Blend food pairings: steak, roast leg of lamb. Drink: 2009 - 2014 125674 13.3% XD 750 mL $32.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pertinace Marcarini Nebbiolo Barbaresco 2005, D.O.C.G., Piedmont, Italy: Zippy and mouth-watering with an “I’m here” presence. Tart cherries, no heavy oak and balanced. Made from the grape Nebbiolo. 119420 14% 750 mL $42.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quintarelli Classico Superiore Valpolicella 2000, D.O.C., Veneto, Italy: Scansano is an important town in Southern Tuscany in the coastal hills of Maremma. Morellino is the local name for Sangiovese. This 80 hectare estate is dedicated to Morellino di Scansano and this flagship version blends in a little Syrah for added complexity and depth. It’s fermented in stainless steel which emphasizes the wine’s fresh red fruit and floral characteristics. Aged just four months in barrel, it’s ripe and zesty. Valpolicella food pairings: pastas in a marinara sauce. 986117 12.6% XD 750 mL $89.95 Score: 91/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Erta E China Rosso Di Toscana 2006, I.G.T., Tuscany, Italy: Mocha, blackberries and tart black cherries with full-bodied goodness and generosity. 132308 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Real Companhia Velha Porca De Murça Reserva Tinto Roriz 2005, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: A Gold Medal winner at the 4th annual Concurso Internacional de Vinhos do Brasil in 2008. Tinta Roriz (a.k.a. Tempranillo – a grape with many different regional names in Portugal) is the core of this tasty blend. The addition of Port grapes Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca impart a juicy-fruity vibrancy to this cedary, savory, well-balanced wine. Dark berry fruit sails across the palate on waves of lively acidity and lithe tannins. Decant a bottle and enjoy it tonight, or cellar it 3+ years. My note: A savory, mouth-watering red with notes of vanilla-spice, black raspberry, kirsch and smoke. Tinto Roriz food pairings: rare roast beef. 684753 13.5% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Herdade Paço Do Conde Aragónez Tempranillo Syrah Touriga Nacional Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Alentejano, Portugal: From the southerly region of Alentejano comes this intriguing blend of Aragónez (Tempranillo), Syrah, Touriga Nacional, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This diverse mix yields a fruity, round, dark berry-flavored wine with a gentle touch of peppery spice. Soft-textured and seductive, this little beauty suits a wide range of marinated meats. My note: A savory, tasty red with full-bodied notes of blackberries, black plums and black cherry liqueur. A little oak and smoke wraps it in a warm blanket. 131821 14.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Das Setencostas 2007, D.O.C., Alenquer, Portugal: Vintages Wine Panel: In Portugal’s lovely Estremadura region, 25 kilometers from the coast of the Atlantic, you’ll find the Alenquer zone: a scenic landscape teeming with wildlife as well as olive, grain and tobacco farms – and of course, vineyards. Made from local grape varieties, this unique, exotic wine bursts with aromas of dark berry fruit, cinnamon and chocolate, all of which echo beautifully on the palate. An excellent choice. My note: A simple and tasty red with full-bodied goodness and flavors of blackberries and plums with some pepper. Food pairings: gazpacho soup with smoked sausages, lamb stew. 50930 13% XD 750 mL $12.95 Score: 86/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Mas Estela Quindals Garnacha Syrah Carinena 2005, D.O., Empordà, Spain: This organic wine contains only 6 mg/L of free sulfur. This wine is a blend of 90% Garnacha, 5% Syrah, and 5% Carinena grapes. It was matured 12 months in French oak. Deep, rich and full-bodied: rich, dark fruit with a smoky finish. 133033 15% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Miguel Torres Mas Borràs Pinot Noir 2007, D.O., Penedès, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: The fruit for this gorgeous Pinot Noir is sourced exclusively from the small Mas Borrás vineyard where yields are kept very low to concentrate the fruit flavors. Aged in new Nevers French oak barriques for several months, it is rich with violet, cocoa, pomegranate, raspberry and earth aromas. The dense fruit flavors are brought into focus by ripe tannins and mild acidity. If there is a better Pinot Noir from Spain, we have yet to find it. Cellar it for up to 10 years. My note: Oh please, take me away now with a case of this wine. Lock me in a cabinet until I finish it and then I’ll come out again. Full-bodied but supple and silky with rich, layered berry fruit and some mocha notes. A finish that goes on and on. Pinot Noir food pairings: game meats. 673483 13% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 93/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Navarrsotillo Noemus Joven Tempranillo Garnacha Mazuelo 2007, D.O.C.A., Rioja, Spain: Vintages Wine Panel: This wine won a Gold Medal at Millésime Bio 2009, a competition recognizing the best in organic winemaking. This organic wine contains 8 mg/L of free sulfur. A blend of 60% Tempranillo, with 20% apiece of Garnacha and Mazuelo. Bursting with ripe berry fruit and a hint of raisin, this round, fleshy wine has fine balance and a bit of tannic grip. Cellar it for 1-2 years, or enjoy it now. My note: A dark, rustic red with blackberry and cassis notes. Decant for 1-2 hours. Tempranillo Garnacha Mazuelo food pairings: lamb, mushroom kebabs. 131839 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Beringer Alluvium Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2005, Knights Valley, Sonoma, California, United States: The grapes for this beguiling red were grown in the volcanic, alluvial soil of Knights Valley, thus the name Alluvium. The summer of 2005 was cool in Napa, which extended the growing season and allowed the grapes to further develop flavor, color and tannin until they were hand-picked in October. This gives the wine incredible depth as it floods the senses with black cherries, violets and ground black pepper. Winemaker Laurie Hook has blended Merlot (74%), Cabernet Sauvignon (22%) and small amounts of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot. This wine will keep in the cellar for at least ten years, if not longer. Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec food pairings: osso buco, filet mignon, venison. Drink: 2009 - 2020 393447 14.4% D 750 mL $49.95 Score: 94/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stonehedge Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: This easy-drinking Cabernet is overflowing with dark plum and cassis flavors. Ripe and generous, with a plush texture. If you’re enjoying this superb-value Cab within the next few months, let it breathe in a decanter to bring out its fruity character. My note: A generous, full-bodied don’t-analyze-it red with notes of blackberries and black cherries. A smoky finish. Knock it back! Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: pot roast. 135327 13.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: The history of the Asti Winery dates back to the 1880s when Italian Andrea Sbarboro established a winemaking community in Sonoma. Cellar No. 8 is named for an actual cellar where Sbarboro aged his red wines. My note: A simple, full-bodied red that leads with mocha and dark chocolate followed by blackberries and black plum. Round and luscious on the palate. Enjoy tonight. 68486 13.9% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Clos Du Bois Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: Clos du Bois, located in Geyserville, released its first wines in 1974 and has made continuous strides in quality ever since. This is prototypical Sonoma Cabernet: rich, ripe and powerful, packed with loads of fruit, spice and cedary oak. It’s soft and luscious, with a long finish. Give it a try. My note: A wine is lovely and rare distinction. Smoky, mocha notes intermingle with blackberries and blueberries. Deep and complex. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairings: thyme-rubbed cuts of beef, cooked rare. 54080 14.5% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 91/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Ravenswood Vintner's Blend Shiraz 2007, California, United States: Deep and delicious notes of mouth-watering blackberry, blueberry, bacon, licorice and smoke. Some dark spices and pepper on the finish. Full-bodied and flavorful. Great for casual barbecues and other gatherings. 135350 13.5% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Belle Glos Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County, California, United States: Vintages Wine Panel: The Wagner family has been incredibly successful creating iconic Cabernet with their Caymus winery. Joseph Wagner is now duplicating that success with Pinot Noir at Belle Glos by crafting wines like this single vineyard version grown by Bill and Susan Weir. The vineyard’s proximity to the coast and rocky soils provide the ideal environment for growing this mineral rich, velvety and intensely flavored wine. Enjoy it any time over the next five years. My note: Vibrant and dry with fantastic aromas of tart cherries that dance across your palate. I love this style of New World Pinot Noir. Some notes of cranberry and rhubarb on the finish. Medium- to full-bodied. Pinot Noir food pairings: duck confit, mushroom risotto. 925727 14.5% D 750 mL $52.95 Score: 92/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Rosehall Run Cuvée County Chardonnay 2007, V.Q.A., Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada: Loaded with aromas of green apples, melon and white peach. Layered and textured with a lovely finish. 132928 13% D 750 mL $17.95 Score: 89/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fielding Estate Winery Chardonnay Musqué 2007, V.Q.A., Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada: Vintages Wine Panel: Chardonnay Musqué, a varietal clone that tends to excel in Ontario, is known for its heady, exotic perfume. This version doesn’t disappoint, with its expressive floral, candied citrus, white peach and apricot aromas. On the palate, the wine is off-dry, its subtle sweetness balanced by fresh acidity; the aromas replay beautifully along with notes of marzipan and clover honey. My note: A light, simple and carefree white with lovely notes of ripe peach, pear, apple and melon. Slight sweetness softens the edge and makes it so delicious. Chardonnay Musqué food pairings: grilled tuna with mango salsa, tempura with plum sauce. 129643 12.5% MD 750 mL $13.95 Score: 88/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Estampa Viognier Chardonnay 2008, Colchagua Valley, Estate Btld., Chile: Vintages Wine Panel: Estampa’s winemakers pride themselves on practicing the art of assemblage (a.k.a. blending). This wine is comprised of 85% Viognier, hand-picked in the Colchagua Valley and 15% Chardonnay sourced from the cool Casablanca Valley. My note: Zesty with lemon vibrance and lime notes, lovely grapefruit finish. 128611 13.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Schloss Reinhartshausen Riesling Spätlese 2003, Q.M.P., Erbacher Hohenrain, Rheingau, Germany: Vintages Wine Panel: Erbacher Hohenrain is an enclosed vineyard situated on a south-facing slope overlooking the ancient village of Erbach. This sheltered site is known for its sunny and warm microclimate. Some of Schloss Reinhartshausen’s oldest vines are located on this site. This late-harvested Riesling from the warm 2003 vintage offers richness with ripe peach and apricot flavors as well as minerality. Medium in sweetness, it is nevertheless balanced by a seam of acidity leading to a lengthy finish. My note: Terrifically concentrated yet ephemerally light white. Zippy acidity and ripe pears and peaches. 127589 9.5% M 750 mL $23.95 Score: 90/100. September 2009. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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