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WineRelease.com's December 15, 2012 Monthly Newsletter.


Happy Holidays!

I hope you enjoy the holidays with great wine, food, friends and family.

Last month we surveyed our WineRelease subscribers about various wine topics (screw cap vs cork), wine buying, wine release info and wine critics. Thanks to the 384 who took the time to participate and have their opinions count. The results are here.


These past few weeks have found us enjoying many a holiday gathering. A social club (Wingtip) I belong to, here in San Francisco, recently held its annual ‘Frank Sinatra’ birthday party, complete with a Sinatra singer (and I believe I saw Dean Martin as well), a Scotch tasting room, a delicious wine bar (hosted by the club’s wine directors, Paulo and Melanie Mancini), and a Jack Daniels tasting. While I’m regularly a wine guy, I enjoyed a glass of Jack with a large single round ball of ice, made with the ice ball mold (see below). Apparently, the lack of edges on the ice allows it to melt more slowly, so as not to distort the flavor of the whiskey.




This weekend is a big birthday for my wife, and I surprised her with dinner at one of our favorite SF restaurants, Spruce, the scene of our first date almost five years ago. Her best friend flew in from Mississippi and her parents drove down from Tahoe as part of the surprise. We enjoyed a delicious dinner starting with burrata and lightly roasted root vegetables, grilled scallops, and a little bubbly. Our main courses ran the gamut from seared tuna and bok choy to roasted chicken with duck sausage to short ribs on a bed of quinoa. All in all, a great night.




Over the next week, it’s going to be a whirlwind for my family as we prepare for our Christmas and New Year celebrations with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and dear friends. My daughter is especially enthralled with all of the holiday décor.




I hope that this season finds you all happy, healthy, and drinking good wine.

And now, onto the wine.


December 2012 Wine Releases

  • Agharta; 2009 Sonoma Valley Mountain Terraces Cabernet Sauvignon (260 cases, $65)
  • Airlie Winery; 2008 Dunn Forest Vineyard Pinot Noir (76 cases, $40), 2011 Oregon Riesling (332 cases, $15), 2011 Seven White blend (2,182 cases, $14)
  • Alfaro Family Vineyard; 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Pinot Noir (117 cases, $35)
  • Amizetta Estate Winery; 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (1,350 cases, $55)
  • Archery Summit Winery; 2010 Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir ($85)
  • Arroyo Robles Cellars; 2008 Monterey County Chardonnay ($24), 2009 Viognier ($22), 2011 Albarino ($22), 2007 Petite Sirah ($27), 2009 Winemaker's Cut Grenache ($28), 2007 Little Star Syrah/Petite Sirah/Tempranillo/Merlot ($29)
  • Axios Wine; 2010 Sonoma Coast Kalaris Pinot Noir, 2011 Napa Valley Kalaris Chardonnay
  • Barnett Vineyards; 2010 Cyrus Ryan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (20 cases, $95)
  • Barrett & Barrett; 2009 Napa Valley Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon (300 cases, $250)
  • Bedrock Wine Co.; 2011 Sonoma Valley Monte Rosso Zinfandel ($39), 2011 Sonoma Valley Pagani Ranch Heritage Wine ($37), 2011 Sonoma County Kick Ranch Syrah, ($32), 2011 North Coast Syrah ($20), 2010 Sonoma Valley Bedrock Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($39)
  • Broc Cellars; 2011 Santa Barbara County Cassia Grenache (250 cases, $27), 2011 Paso Robles Cabernet Franc (150 cases, $25)
  • Chappellet Vineyard; 2010 Napa Valley Las Piedras (930 cases, $52)
  • Chrysalis Vineyards; 2011 Petit Manseng, 2010 Tannat
  • Creekview Vineyards; 2010 Santa Clara Valley Old Vine Zinfandel
  • Donati Family Vineyard; 2010 Claret ($22), 2010 Merlot ($25), 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30), 2010 Ezio ($40), 2010 The Immigrant ($40)
  • Donedei; 2008 Merlot, 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Dutton-Goldfield; 2010 Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (296 cases, $72), 2010 McDougall Vineyard Pinot Noir (239 cases, $58)
  • Ehlers Estate; 2010 Napa Valley Estate Merlot (950 cases, $45)
  • Fiddlehead Cellars; 2009 Seven Hundred Twenty Eight Bubbles Sparkling Wine (43 cases, $60), 2009 Doyle Pinot Noir ($166)
  • Fidelitas; 2010 Red Heaven Merlot, 2010 Columbia Valley Malbec
  • Forlorn Hope Wines; 2009 De Witt Vineyard Mil Amores Touriga Nacional/Tinta Roriz/Tinta Cão/Tinta Amarella (47 cases, $25), 2011 DeWitt Vineyard Que Saudade Verdelho (217 cases, $24)
  • Green & Red Vineyard; 2010 Chiles Mill Vineyard Zinfandel (814 cases, $26), 2010 Chiles Canyon Vineyard Zinfandel (2,750 cases, $23), 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (326 cases, $20)
  • Heibel Ranch Vineyards; 2009 Napa Valley GBH Cabernet Sauvignon (77 cases, $64), 2010 Etzio Zinfandel Dessert Wine (88 375ml cases, $35 per 375ml)
  • Hourglass Winery; 2010 Napa Valley Blueline Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($125), 2010 Napa Valley Blueline Vineyard Merlot ($75)
  • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines; 2011 Monterey Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir, 2011 Arroyo Seco October Night Chardonnay ($25), 2011 Monterey Estates Wildflower Valdiguié ($10)
  • J. Moss Wines; 2008 Stags Leap District Spicer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($60), 2008 Rutherford Ponti Road Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($60), 2008 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($60)
  • John Anthony Vineyards; 2011 Carneros Church Vineyard Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc ($56)
  • Kelleher Family Vineyard; 2008 Brix Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Ken Brown Wines; 2010 Sta. Rita Hills Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir (265 cases, $50), 2009 Santa Barbara County A Cuvee Syrah (72 cases, $42)
  • King Estate Winery; 2008 Domaine Blanc de Gris Methode Champenoise ($35), 2008 Blanc de Noirs Methode Champenoise ($45)
  • Kobalt Wines; 2011 Window Pane Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
  • Lava Vine; 2010 Knights Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($100)
  • Lionheart Wines; 2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • Londer Vineyards; 2010 Dry Gewurztraminer ($20), 2010 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($30), 2010 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir ($48), 2010 Paraboll Pinot Noir ($48), 2009 Londer Estate Grown Pinot Noir ($48)
  • Luna Vineyards; 2010 Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay ($36), 2010 Napa Valley Reserve Sangiovese ($48)
  • MARA Winery; 2009 Russian River Valley Laughlin Road Ranch Pinot Noir (225 cases, $59)
  • Mario Bazan Cellars; 2011 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (200 cases, $25), 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (200 cases, $55)
  • Masquerade Wine Company; NV Columbia Valley Effervescing Elephant II Brut Champagne-Style Sparkling Wine ($35)
  • Mauritson Vineyards; 2010 Rockpile Ridge Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($47), 2010 Rockpile Buck Pasture Vineyard Cabernet Franc ($41), 2010 Rockpile Independence Port Style Wine ($35), 2010 Rockpile Buck Pasture Vineyard Malbec ($41)
  • Midsummer Cellars; 2012 Yolo County Grenache Rose ($19)
  • Moffett Vineyards; 2010 Napa Valley Malbec (22 cases, $45), 2010 Napa Valley Petit Verdot (22 cases, $45), 2010 Napa Valley Merlot (22 cases, $45)
  • Mueller Winery; 2011 Russian River Valley Emily's Cuvée Pinot Noir (450 cases, $48), 2011 Russian River Valley Old Vine Zinfandel (166 cases, $38)
  • Orfila Vineyards; 2010 Estate Syrah (850 cases, $28)
  • Palmina; 2010 Lumina Sparkling Nebbiolo ($48)
  • Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards; 2010 Dry Creek Valley Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Piña Cellars; 2009 Mimbre Cabernet Sauvignon (211 cases, $85)
  • Promise Wine; 2008 Napa Valley Winston Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (219 cases, $225)
  • Ramey Wine Cellars; 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($38)
  • Ridge Vineyards; 2008 Mazzoni Home Ranch Red Wine Zinfandel/Carignane/Petite Sirah ($30)
  • Rudd; 2010 Susan’s Blanc Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris ($150)
  • Seagrape Wine Company; 2010 Sta Rita Hills Jump Up Pinot Noir ($32), 2010 Rancho la Viña Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir ($34)
  • Skylite Cellars; 2008 Syrah (87 cases, $29) 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (98 cases, $47)
  • Stanton Vineyards; 2010 St. Helena Petite Sirah (187 cases, $45)
  • Taft Street Winery; 2009 Mendocino Ridge Garagistes Pinot Noir (146 cases, $32)
  • Talley Vineyards; 2011 Estate Chardonnay
  • Tertulia Cellars; 2009 Phinny Hill Vineyard Carménère (294 Cases, $35), 2009 Les Collines Vineyard Tempranillo (100 Cases, $32)
  • The Donum Estate; 2010 Carneros Estate Grown Chardonnay ($50)
  • Thomas George Estates; 2010 Estate Wine Concrete Egg Chardonnay (60 cases, $42), 2010 Windsor Oaks Vineyard Muscat Cannelli (55 cases, $42), 2010 Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Blanc (105 cases, $27), 2010 Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir (1,340 cases, $42)
  • Tom Eddy Wines; 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($95)
  • Toogood Estate Winery; 2009 El Dorado County Cabernet Sauvignon ($14)
  • Toucan Wines; 2010 Estate Toucanet Port Syle Wine
  • Tower 15 Winery; 2011 Paso Robles Grenache Blanc (215 cases, $18.50), 2010 Petite Sirah ($19.50), 2010 Paso Robles The Swell Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Malbec ($22), 2010 Paso Robles The Jetty Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre (598 cases, $21)
  • Uvaggio; 2011 Vermentino (2,350 cases, $14)
  • Vino Noceto; 2012 Frivolo Moscato Bianco (2,000 cases, $17), 2012 Clarksburg Pinot Grigio (700 cases, $16)
  • Wallis Estate; 2010 Napa Valley Diamond Mountain District Little Sister Proprietary Red Wine (500 cases, $45), 2010 Napa Valley Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon (300 cases, $65)
  • Willful Wine Co. (formerly Daedalus Cellars); 2010 Willful Brut Rose
  • Wilson Winery; 2010 Sawyer Vineyard Zinfandel, 2010 Duetto Zinfandel, 2010 Imperial Zinfandel
  • ZD Wines; 2011 California Chardonnay ($36)

2013 Wine Releases


January 2013 Wine Releases

  • Acorn Winery; 2009 Alegria Vineyards Axiom Syrah (336 cases, $34), 2009 Cabernet Franc (347 cases, $30), 2009 Alegria Vineyards Medley (197 cases, $38)
  • Axios Wine; 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Betz Family Winery; 2010 Pere de Famille, Cabernet Sauvignon (1,100 cases), 2010 Clos de Betz Bordeaux Blend (1,020 cases)
  • Bishop’s Peak; 2011 Edna Valley Chardonnay, 2010 Malbec, NV Red Wine
  • Crazy Flower Wines; 2010 Carneros Merlot
  • Flat Creek Estate; 2012 Blanco Brio
  • Indigenè Cellars; 2009 Pinot Noir
  • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines; 2011 Arroyo Seco Arroyo Vista, 2012 Napa Valley St. Helena Carol's Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Arroyo Seco Fog's Reach Pinot Noir
  • Lakewood Vineyards; 2010 Pinot Noir
  • Lula Cellars; 2010 Mendocino Coast Pinot Noir (500 cases, $40)
  • Madroña Vineyards; 2011 Barbera
  • Malk Family Vineyards; 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Martin Estate; 2010 Eight Barrel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Melville Vineyards and Winery; 2011 Clone 115 Indigène Estate Pinot Noir, 2011 Sandy's Estate Pinot Noir, 2011 Terraces Estate Pinot Noir, 2011 Carrie's Estate Pinot Noir
  • Merritt Estate Winery; NV Winemaster's Choice Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Marchal Foch
  • Talley Vineyards; 2009 Mano Tinta Red Wine
  • Terry Hoage Vineyards ; 2011 Pik Pool Picpoul Blanc ($38), 2011 The Gap Cuvee Blanc Grenache Blanc/Roussane/Picpoul Blanc ($38), 2011 Roo Sahn Roussane ($38), 2010 The Skins Grenache ($48), 2010 The Pick Grenache Cuvee Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre/Couniose ($48), 2010 The 46 Grenache/Syrah ($48), 2010 5 Blocks Syrah Cuvee Syrah/Mourvedre/Grenache/Couniose ($48), 2010 The Hedge Syrah ($48), 2010 The 34 Syrah ($80), 2006 Skins Reserve ($65)
  • The Four Graces; 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2011 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
  • Titus Vineyards; 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($41)
  • Vino Noceto; NV Tutti i Giorni Nutz! Red Table Wine (900 cases, $14)
  • Vinoce Wines; 2012 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (900 Cases, $25)


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The following 84 winery information pages have been updated since November 15, 2012:

Wine Quote of the Month: "Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. Benjamin Franklin


Till next month.


Neil Monnens


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