Artesa Carneros Pinot Noir 2004 (California) Reg. $35.99, Sale $19.99 - This Pinot has bright raspberry and cherry aromas, which are complimented by aromas and hints of vanilla, cinnamon, roasting coffee, chocolate and cedar. Good mid-palate weight and a silky finish make this wine a tactile joy as it melts away like chocolate in your mouth. While this wine has the suppleness to enjoy by itself, it excels when paired with food.
Gunderloch Rothenberg Nackenheim Riseling Spätlese 2005 (Germany) Reg. $40, Sale $19.99 - An intense Spätlese, exhibiting a piercing smoke and herb scent backed by apricot and pineapple flavors. Rich yet elegant, with well-integrated acidity and a mouth-watering finish. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases imported. Wine Spectator, 93 points
Hope Estate Hunter Valley Chardonnay (Australia) Reg. $12.99, Sale $7.99 –Ripe nectarine, melon,peach and pineapple fruit characters with nutty, creamy butterscotch characters. The buttery, oaky complexity is balanced by the flinty, citrus finish. Rich depth of stonefruit flavours are balanced by the fresh citrus and melon. The fruit integrates with the creamy oak to achieve a complex and full mouthfeel with persistent flavours and a very long, crisp, refreshing finish.
Leeuwine Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (Australia) Reg. $45.99, Sale $24.99 – The outstanding 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Art Series boasts spicy, subtle French oak, cedar, spice box, black currant aromas and flavors gently touched by licorice and herbs. This attractive, medium-bodied Cabernet exhibits layers of richness, a graceful, restrained personality, decent acidity, noticeable but sweet tannin, and a long finish. Enjoy this beauty over the next decade. Drink 2005-2015. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91+ points
Leeuwine Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2005 (Australia) Reg. $89.99, Sale $19.99 - A little mute to begin of the nose but soon opens out to some very pretty floral and tropical fruit aromas: jasmine, pineapple, guava and some spicy oak plus faint hints of chalk dust and white pepper, with some coaxing. The palate is rich and ripe with a full body of concentrated fruit, and a decent backbone of medium to high acidity to balance. Long tropical finish. Drink now to 2015. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points
Leeuwine Estate Art Series Riesling 2006 (Australia) Reg. $21.99, Sale $13.99 - The light straw-colored 2006 Riesling “Art Series” exhibits a bouquet of mineral, spring flowers, and lemon-lime. This leads to a dry, crisp wine with plenty of citrus fruit, ripe flavors, excellent concentration, and a lengthy finish. Although it can be enjoyed now, particularly with raw bar, it will evolve for up to a decade in the manner of a top Mosel Riesling. Drink through 2017. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points
Leeuwine Estate Prelude Cabernet Merlot 2003 (Australia) Reg. $33.99, Sale $12.99 - Bright red. Peppery, herb-accented cherry and redcurrant aromas strongly suggest Bordeaux; this doesn't smell like it's from a superripe vintage. Taut, light red berry and plum flavors are nicely focused and zesty, with fine-grained tannins adding structure. Finishes bright and crisp, with very good persistence and a lingering note of cherry pit. Nice balance here. Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90 points
Leeuwine Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2006 (Australia) Reg. $33.99, Sale $12.99 - The 2006 Chardonnay Prelude Vineyard was barrel-fermented and aged in one-third new French oak. Medium straw-colored, it offers up an alluring bouquet of buttered toast, spiced apple, and tropical notes. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, it has superior depth, ripe flavors of pineapple and mango, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. Drink it over the next four years (2009-2013). Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points
Milz 180° Riesling (Germany) Reg. $17.99, Sale $8.99 – The Mosel River makes one of its famed 180° turns around the pretty village of Trittenheim, where the Milz family has been making wine since 1520. With only 18 grams of sugar, this Riesling is neither dry nor sweet. It has racy acidity and nice minerality. Aromas and flavors of pears and citrus balance the minerals.
Patz & Hall Durrell Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 (California) Reg. $44.99, Sale $24.99 - Good medium yellow. Lemon drop, orange, clove and minerals on the nose, complicated by a musky flinty, smoky character. Glyceral in the mouth, with fruit-driven flavors of pineapple, lemon custard and stone fruits. A bit more complex and deep than the Napa Valley bottling. Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 89 points
Penley Estate Hyland Shiraz 2005 (Australia) Reg. $24.99, Sale $9.99 - Deep ruby. Sexy, expressive red and dark berry aromas are brightened by floral and mineral nuances. Very sweet on entry but the raspberry and cassis flavors are nicely enlivened by zesty acidity and a hint of orange peel. Crisp berry skin tones define the long, juicy finish, which leaves a lingering note of fresh raspberry. This boasts impressive depth and purity, especially at this price. Drink now-2015. Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points; Wine Spectator, 90 points.
Pfeffingen Scheurebe Spätlese Ungsteiner Herrenberg 2006 (Germany) Reg. $29.99, Sale $15.99 - Harvested only three days later than the feinherb rendition, the Pfeffingen 2006 Ungsteiner Herrenberg Scheurebe Spatlese reflects a very different state of ripeness as well as the rapid onset of botrytis. Redolent of mint candy, sage flower, black currant, nectarine, pink grapefruit and banana, its veritable bowl full of fruits on the palate prominently features those classic Scheurebe markers pink grapefruit and cassis. Suggestions of grapefruit rind and berry skin invigorate, while lending counterpoint to the wine’s sweetness. This gaudy, lush and luscious Scheurebe should be capable of entertaining you over the coming 12-15 years. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points
Renwood Fiddletown Zinfandel 2005 (California) Reg. $26.99, Sale $16.99 - A genuine Zinfandel, intense and appealingly rustic. Wild berry, dusty clay and fresh licorice aromas, with tart, minerally boysenberry and smoky pepper flavors. The tannins suggest there's no hurry. Best from 2009 through 2012. 2,573 cases made. Wine Spectator, 90 points
Salentein Pinot Noir 2003 (Argentina) Reg. $22.99, Sale $9.99 - The medium ruby-colored 2003 Pinot Noir Reserva offers an alluring nose of raspberry, cherry, and rose petal. This leads to a velvety-textured wine with ripe flavors, good depth, and enough structure to last for several more years. Excellent; supple, rich and full bodied; a wine with intense fruitiness (plum, cherry), and layers of oak character (toast, smoke, cedar). Very long finish.
Sileni Pinot Noir 2006 (New Zealand) Reg. $21.99, Sale $9.99 - This ripe, deeply coloured food wine has concentrated black cherry aromas which follow through to the palate where dark berry flavours are supported by soft tannins. Perfect for early drinking but capable of cellaring for up to 6 years.
Tintara Shiraz 2005 (Australia) Reg. $21.99, Sale $9.99 - Smooth and velvety, with an attractive range of plum, red berry and mint flavors mingling well and lingering on the finish. Drink now through 2012. 12,000 cases imported. Wine Spectator, 89 points
Trefethen Chardonnay 2006 (California) Reg. $17.99, Sale $9.99 - Liquid sunlight” in the glass, this Chardonnay has aromas of poached pear, lemon cream, toasted brioche, and bright white honeysuckle. A full, viscous mouth is balanced by classic Trefethen fruit – bright and crisp pear and lemon. A little vanilla, butterscotch, and cooking herbs linger in the background and tickle the tongue during a nice, long finish. In 1979, Trefethen 1976 Chardonnay was named “Best Chardonnay in the World” at the Gault Millau World Wine Olympics in France. This is a half-bottle!