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Cellar Notes

Al Spoler and Hugh Sisson host Cellar Notes

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Marjolet Cotes du Rhone-Villages, 2012 $  ** 1/2
(70% grenache 30% syrah, a very good bargain)

Domaine Galivan Cotes du Rhone-Villages "L'esprit du Vin" 2009  $$  ** 1/2
(A fine, rustic blend of grenache, syrah and moruvedre)

Domaine Galivan Chateauneuf du Pape, 2009 $$$ **1/2
(A lot of finesse with raspberry and current flavors)

Chateau Saint Jean Chateauneuf du Pape 2010  $$  **1/2
(Very good value in an expensive category)

Domaine Gavilan Blanc 2010  $$  **
(Relatively rare and worth trying)

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Folie a Deux Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2009  $  * 1/2
(A nice light "luncheon cabernet")

Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino/Lake 2011  $  * 1/2
(A scaled down picnic wine, like a Loire Valley red)

Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2011  $ **
(A smoky, oaky dense cab to match with cheeses)

St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2009  $ **
(Classic textbook cab at a bargain price)

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Coast 2011 $ ** 1/2
(Exceptionally nice basic SB)

Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Bennett Valley 2012 $$ ***
(SB with character, firm, deep flavors)

Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Helen Bench, Knight's Valley 2012 $$ ***
(Truly a reserve SB with great depth and class)

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Atalon Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley '12 **  $ 
(Elegant and understated)

Atalon "Pauline's Cuvee" red blend, Napa Valley '10 **1/2  $$
(The classic Bordeaux five grapes in a harmonious blend)

Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley '10  **1/2  $$
(Well sculpted cab, built for aging over the long haul)

Bonus Wine:  (Proceeds from the sale of this wine will benefit the families of American servicemen serving abroad.)

Murphy Goode Homefront Red '11 ** $
(A blend of syrah, merlot, zin and petit sirrah)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Rogue Ridge Petit Verdot, "Rattlesnake Ridge" WA '09  **  $$
(Like a zin with way too much tannin; really delicious and complex)

Kiona Lemberger, Red Mountain, WA '10  *  $
(Minor European grape, vinified light and fruity if not complex)

Cline Mourvedre, Contra Coasta '11 **  $
(Provence mainstay, always a little bizarre, but filled with flavor)

Cline Carignane, Contra Coasta '09   ** $
(Spicy Spanish grape with deep red flavors, true complexity)

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Alexnder Valley Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon '11, **1/2  $$
(A California classic, back to form with the '11 vintage)

Alexnder Valley Vineyards Estate Chardonnay '11, **  $
(Terrific, complex, delightful)       

Alexnder Valley Vineyards Sin Zin (Zinfandel) '10 ** $
(Classic California zin, loaded with flavor)

Alexnder Valley Vineyards Estate Syrah '10  **1/2  $
(A bargain for detailed, refined California Syrah)

Alexnder Valley Vineyards Estate Cabernet Franc '11  ***  $$
(A masterpiece version of this very important grape)

Alexnder Valley Vineyards Estate Merlot '10 **1/2  **1/2 $$

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.
  See sponsor tab.

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Al Spoler has been running the Maryland Governor's Cup wine competition for 14 years.  This year's competition was one of the most exciting, and Al thinks these are the highlights.

-Another strong year for Black Ankle, whose "Crumbling Rock" red blend, and "Bedlam" white blend scored very high gold medals.

-Winery of the Day was certainly Port of Leonardtown, a 6 year-old co-op located in St. Mary's County.  They scored five gold medals, among them a very popular chardonnay that retails for all of $10!

-There was a great showing for our youngest wineries.  Crow Vineyards and Winery, in Kent County (operating only since 2010), dazzled the judges with a delicious Barbera Rosé.  Cascia Winery on Kent Island produced a magnificent Nebbiolo that contended strongly for the top prize.  And newcomer Big Cork, located in the gorgeous Pleasant Valley, not far from Antietam, impressed with a wonderful chardonnay of their own.  

-Layton's Chance Vineyard and Winery continues its strong run of Chambourcins, snagging yet another gold medal for one of the state's signature grapes.

-Cabernet Franc, one of Maryland's most successful grapes was well represented by Sugarloaf Mountain's Reserve Cab Franc.

-Veteran wineries Boordy, Loew, Bordeleau and Linganore all scored gold medals in the competition.

If you want a chance to taste these award winning wines, you should consider attending the Maryland Wine Festival in Westminster, September 21 and 22.  Go to www.marylandwine.com for more information.

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Domaine de Bois de St. Jean Cotes de Rhone Blanc '09  **  $$
(Rich, plump and deep, a very classy Viognier, very food-friendly)

Wilson Family Vineyards "The Crusher" Viognier, Clarksburg Delta '12  *  $
(A simple light Viognier, good for everyday drinking)

Bridlewood Reserve Viognier, Central Coast '08  **1/2  $$
(An exceptional Viognier at a great price, almost Gewurz-like)

Cline Viognier, North Coast '12  *1/2  $
(Reliable, delicate, inexpensive, good for every day drinking)

McManus Viognier, California '11  **  $
(A very good fleshy, full flavored Viognier, very reasonable)

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.
  See sponsor tab.

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Edna Valley Chardonnay "Paragon", San Luis Obispo '11 ** $ 
(One of our favorite values in chardonnay)

Edna Valley Pinot Noir "Paragon", San Luis Obispo '11  **  $
(Quality equivalent in pinot noir, making a great bargain)

Edna Valley Merlot, Central Coast '11 * 1/2  $
(A cut above your average merlot at a great price)

Edna Valley Sauvignon Blanc "Paragon", San Luis Obispo '11 *
(Good spicy white, in a classic California style)

**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.

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Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Jean Luc Colombo Cape Blue Rosé '12  *1/2  $
(tastes like a full-bodies white, very dry)

Menage a Trois California Rosé '10  **  $
(Lovely rose, dominated by the gewurtztraminer)

Comanderie de la Bargemone Rosé, Cotes d'Aix en Provence '12  *1/2  $
(Extremely pale, but surprisingly fleshy and full flavored)

Vina Robles "Roseum" Rosé, Paso Robles '12  **1/2  $
(Very good rose, tons of flavor, big personality) 
  
**Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.  See sponsor tab.