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WineRelease.com's December 15, 2011 Monthly Newsletter.


Greetings from WineRelease.com, now 1,828 winery listings strong.

In addition to the typical holiday-inspired dinner and cocktail parties, this time of year finds those of us in Northern California celebrating the onset of the Dungeness crab season. The season was delayed a bit this year, due to a pricing dispute, but I’m happy to report that the season is fully underway and we are enjoying some of the most delicious fresh crab that I’ve experienced to date. At my house, we steam our (live) crabs, and serve cracked with a champagne-vinegar mignonette, a sparkling California wine, and melted butter seasoned with fresh Meyer lemon juice. (You know the dinner is over when the butter returns to solid.)

This holiday season finds many of us pulling out those special bottles from the depths of our cellars. My brother, Ken, had a different take on that, which had some fun results.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Ken hosted his annual soup lunch, featuring my famous butternut squash soup, chili, my mom’s Italian wedding soup, and of course the traditional turkey noodle. Instead of selecting one or two wines to feed the crowd of 40+ who convened upon his Napa Valley home on that afternoon, he pulled out every bottle of those ‘one-offs’ that had been taking up space in his cellar. You know, those bottles that people bring to dinner that are never consumed? He had some dating back to the 1980s, and we had a great time opening each of them, finding some delicious surprises amongst the group.

However you plan to celebrate this season, whether with family, friends, or others, we at WineRelease wish you all of the best health, happiness, and delicious wines moving into the new year....

And now, onto the wine.


December 2011 Wine Releases

  • Airfield Wines; 2010 Dolcetto (50 cases, $28)
  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards; 2010 Sta. Rita Hills La Encantada Vineyard Clone 667 Pinot Noir, 2010 Sta. Rita Hills El Jabali Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Baer Winery; 2009 Star Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon (273 cases, $27)
  • Banknote Wine Company; 2009 Sonoma County Counterfeit Cabernet Sauvignon (1,000 cases, $20)
  • Baxter Winery; 2009 Oppenlander Vineyard Pinot Noir ($60), 2009 Run Dog Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45), 2009 Langly Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45)
  • Bergevin Lane Vineyards; 2009 Wild Child Merlot, 2008 Oui Deux Syrah
  • Bunchgrass Winery; 2010 Whispering Owl Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc (22 cases, $22)
  • Cameron Hughes Wine; 2009 Atlas Peak Lot 234 Meritage (7,500 cases, $16), 2009 Russian River Lot 271 Pinot Noir (7,205 cases)
  • Claiborne & Churchill Winery; 2010 Sparkling Brut Rose (160 cases, $32), 2009 Dry Riesling (324 cases, $20), 2010 Chardonnay (140 cases, $28), 2010 Clueless Red ($25)
  • Daou Vineyards; 2009 Celestus
  • Darioush Winery; 2010 Napa Valley Sage Vineyard Signature Sauvignon Blanc (175 cases, $45)
  • Dashe Cellars ; 2010 Potter Valley McFadden Farm Dry Riesling (293 cases, $20), 2009 Dry Creek Valley Late Harvest Zinfandel (975 cases, $24 375ml)
  • Domaine Carneros; 2007 Ultra Brut Sparkling Wine ($39)
  • Donkey and Goat (previously A Donkey and Goat); 2010 El Dorado Sluice Box White Wine (95 cases, $27), 2009 Mendocino Ridge Perli Vineyards Syrah (172 cases, $38)
  • Dutton-Goldfield; 2009 McDougall Vineyard Pinot Noir (267 cases, $58), 2009 Devil's Gulch Vineyard Pinot Noir ($400 cases, $58)
  • Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery; 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir (303 cases, $49), 2009 Pinot Noir ($39), 2009 Symposium (515 cases, $32)
  • Freestone Vineyards; 2008 Pinot Noir
  • Girardet Wine Cellars; 2011 Umpqua Valley Riesling (953 cases, $15)
  • Grable Vineyards; 2007 House Creek Chardonnay (415 cases, $42), 2007 Patience Cabernet Sauvignon (221 cases, $95), 2007 Liquid Twitter Cabernet Sauvignon (98 cases, $85.50)
  • Gridley Family Cellars;
  • Harris Estate Vineyards; 2008 Napa Valley Indulgence Cabernet Sauvignon (126 cases, $90)
  • Howell at the Moon; 2007 Knoll Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (40 cases, $100)
  • Kelleher; 2007 Brix Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (272 cases, $90)
  • Kramer Vineyards; 2009 Brut (149 cases, $24), 2010 Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Blanc (250 cases, $18), 2009 Kimberley's Reserve Pinot Gris (145 cases, $18), 2008 Rebecca's Reserve Pinot Noir (100 cases, $35), 2008 Pinot Noir Port (110 cases, $30)
  • Lagier Meredith Vineyard; 2010 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (93 cases, $30), 2009 Napa Valley Hattori Hanzo Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Syrah (244 cases, $35), 2010 Napa Valley Gretna Green Marsanne/Roussanne ($30), 2009 Mount Veeder Zinfandel (70 cases, $38), 2009 Mount Veeder Malbec (118 cases, $40)
  • L'Aventure; 2009 Plus 16 Cuvée Mourvedre/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah (100 cases, $75)
  • Longboard Vineyards; 2010 Late Harvest Semillon, 2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
  • Madroña Vineyards; 2010 Hillside Collection Gewürztraminer ($14), 2008 Signature Collection Syrah ($24)
  • Marilyn Merlot; 2008 Sonoma Coast Blonde de Noirs Sparkling Wine
  • Mario Bazan Cellars; 2009 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (200 cases, $20), 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (260 cases, $50)
  • Modus Operandi Cellars; 2009 Vicarious Red Wine ($45)
  • Morning Dew Ranch; 2008 Mendocino County Anderson Valley Morning Dew Ranch Pinot Noir (197 cases, $60)
  • Nichols Winery & Cellars; 1999 Vinas del Sol Vineyard Soleil & Terroir Cabernet Sauvignon (2000 cases, $43)
  • Nine North Wines; 2010 Napa Valley Seven Sinners Petite Sirah ($20), 2009 Rock & Vine Cabernet Sauvignon ($22), 2010 Napa Valley Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon ($22)
  • Pahlmeyer; 2010 North Coast Jayson Chardonnay
  • Patricia Green Cellars; 2010 Ana Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45), 2010 Sauvignon Blanc ($20)
  • Pedras (formerly Ristow Estate Vineyards); 2007 Napa Valley Ristow Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (130 cases, $60)
  • Piña Cellars; 2009 Oakville Ames Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (211 cases, $85), 2008 Mimbre Cabernet Sauvignon (135 cases, $85)
  • Robert Karl Cellars; 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (500 cases, $30)
  • Robert Mueller Cellars; 2010 Russian River Valley Old Vine Zinfandel (112 cases, $35), 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (450 cases, $32)
  • Rombauer Vineyards; NV Zinfandel Port ($45)
  • Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate; 2010 Newton Canyon Viognier (250 cases, $25)
  • Sabina Vineyards; 2009 Sabina Pinot Noir (300 cases, $55)
  • Siduri Wines; 2010 Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot Noir ($49)
  • Sodaro Estate Winery; 2007 Estate Blend Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot/Malbec ($487 cases, $68)
  • Spann Vineyards; 2010 Sonoma County Rose Malbec/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon (11 cases, $15), 2008 Sonoma County S & M Syrah/Mourvedre (80 cases, $25)
  • Stellareese; 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (285 cases, $35), 2009 Knights Valley 2Wines Red (285 cases, $28)
  • Terra Blanca Vineyards; 2008 Malbec
  • Terra Valentine; 2008 Spring Mountain District Yverdon Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (661 cases, $65), 2008 Spring Mountain District Wurtele Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (504 cases, $65)
  • 13th Street Winery; 13th Street Winery
  • Torii Mor Winery; 2008 Syrah Port (220 cases, $45)
  • Treana Winery; 2008 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah (5,500 cases, $50)
  • 21 Cellars; 2008 Promesse 21 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($32)
  • VIADER Vineyards & Winery; 2010 DARE by Viader Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vino Noceto; 2011 Frivolo (1928 cases, $16)
  • Wilson Winery; 2009 Carl's Reserve Zinfandel, 2009 Ken's Reserve Zinfandel, 2009 Tori Reserve Zinfandel, 2009 Duetto Zinfandel
  • ZD Wines; 2010 Carneros Pinot Noir ($45)

2012 Wine Releases


January 2012 Wine Releases

  • Andesite Vineyard; 2008 Mervignon Bordeax Blend (153 cases, $48)
  • Athair; 2009 Sonoma Mountain Farina Vineyards Chardonnay (112 cases, $38), 2009 Russian River Valley Calegari Vineyards Pinot Noir (112 cases $42)
  • Bishop’s Peak; 2009 Elevation Red
  • Longboard Vineyards; 2010 Point Break Red Blend, 2008 Dakine Syrah
  • Malk Family Vineyards; 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Mount Palomar Winery; 2009 Reserve Cabernet Franc ($48)
  • Sojourn Cellars; 2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (925 cases, $39), 2010 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir (375 cases $48), 2010 Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (800 cases, $48), 2010 Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir (975 cases, $48), 2009 Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (125 cases, $95), 2009 Home Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (150 cases, $39)
  • Spann Vineyards; 2009 California Mo Zin (1,250 cases, $20), 2010 North Coast Chardonnay/Viognier ($20)
  • Talley Vineyards; 2010 Edna Valley Chardonnay
  • The Four Graces; 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc

WineRelease.com's Winery Newsletters and Mailing Lists Sign Up Page: Click here.

The following 84 winery information pages have been updated since November 15, 2011:

Wine Quote of the Month: "Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever. Aristophanes


Till next month.


Neil Monnens


Special thanks to the following sponsors of WineRelease.com: Carabella Vineyards, Donkey and Goat (previously A Donkey and Goat), Hopper Creek Winery, Lula Cellars, MARA Winery, Martin Estate, Parry Cellars, Pietra Santa Vineyards & Winery, Selene Wines, Stein Family Wines, Three Sticks Winery, TR Elliott and VIADER Vineyards & Winery . They help make WineRelease possible.

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