Cellar Notes | WYPR

Cellar Notes

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Cellar Notes is made possible by Bagby Restaurant Group.

Archive Prior to 2014

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

(These are the best of Maryland's wines, as judged by a panel of seasoned wine professionals.  The competition was held August 14 at Baltimore's prestigious Center Club.)

Governor's Cup winner:  Boordy Albariño, South Mountain 2015       

Wines of merit and interest:

Big Cork Vidal Ice (dessert wine)

Sugarloaf Mountain Chardonnay

Big Cork "Black Cap" (winner of the Jack Aellen Cup for best fruit wine)

Old Westminster Winery "Tapestry, Third Edition"

Linganore Winecellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon,

Turkey Point Lighthouse White

Catoctin Breeze Estate Cabernet Franc

Crow Vineyard Barbera Rosé

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.

Odds and Ends

Aug 31, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite  

Domaine Bardin, Coteaux de Giennois, Loire, '15 **  $

(100% sauvignon blanc, lovely nose and taste, seafood friendly)

Domaine Vincent Bouzereau, Meursault '13 ***  $$$

(Loaded with finesse, refinement, great structure, touches of hazelnut)

Ch. Rocher, Corbin Montaigne St.-Emillion '12 ***  $$

(VALUE for the price/quality ratio for good Bordeaux)

Ch. Pebrun, Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux '12  **  $

(Nice easy drinking Bordeaux for the price)

Domaine Jacky Piret, Côtes de Brouilly (Beaujolais) '13  *** $$

(This is classic "Cru Beaujolais", regal, easy to understand, delicious)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits

Petite Sirah

Aug 24, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite  

Concannon Vyds Petite Sirah, San Francisco Bay '14 **1/2 $  SUPER VALUE

(Deep intense, classic Pet with the trademark upper layer of citrus)

Chancewater Petite Sirah, Lake County, '11 **1/2   $

(Classic, tannic Pet, with layers of fruit, gorgeous nose, needs steak)

Foppiano Petite Sirah Lot 96, Sonoma '11   *1/2  $

(Perfectly sound wine, pretty nose, good fruit, not overly concentrated)

Vinum Cellars Petite Sirah, Clarksburg, Sonoma '13 **  $  VALUE

(Reminiscent of good zinfandel, soft tannins, long finish, very tasty)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Ladoucette Touraine Blanc (Loire) '13  **1/2 $

(Very well made sauvignon blanc, subtle mineral flavors, mild citrus)

Arrogant Frog, vin de pays, Languedoc '14  *1/2  $

(VALUE wine, lots of good solid SB flavors, very pleasant)

Tom Gore Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, California '15 ** $

(Well made, fuller bodied SB, with a touch of colombard added)

Ch. Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven vyd, Washington '15 **  $

(Crisp, racy, vibrant style with clean clear flavors)

Infamous Grouse Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand '15 **  $

(Powerful SB with notes of huckleberry)

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ '15  **1/2  $

(A very well made SB with a lot of finesse to counteract aggressiveness)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.  

Pinot Grigio

Aug 10, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Attems Pinot Grigio, Venezia Giulia '14  *   $

(Notes of lime and green apple in a tart, simple format)

Terlato Pinot Grigio, Friuli '15 **  $

(Light on fruit, but has a good smooth texture, easy drinking dry white)

Nals Margriel Pinot Gris, Alto Adige '14 ** $  VALUE

(Firm and flavorful, some complexity, nice round texture)

Terra d'Oro Pinot Grigio, Santa Barbara '14 *1/2  $

(A good mouthful of wine, with a burst of sweet fruit)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.  

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Frédéric Mabileau "Chenin des Rouillères" Anjou Blanc '14  $$ **

(A dry,frim, racy chenin blanc that is a fine dinner wine)

Frédéric Mabileau "Les Rouillères" St. Nicolas de Bourgueil '14  $$  **

(A medium bodied red with bright red berry, floral notes, well balanced)

Frédéric Mabileau "Racines" Bourgeuil '13 $$  **1/2

(Hugh's favorite, complex, great structure, pure cab franc)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.  

Maryland Wines

Jul 27, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Dodon Sauvignon Blanc, Maryland '14 **1/2

(Very nice SB, round, fruity with melon and grassy character)

Dodon "South Slope Red Blend", Maryland '13 **

(Very good effort for a tough vintage:  light red with lots of flavor)

Boordy Petit Verdot, South Mt. Vyd, NV  **

(Surprsingly middle weight red with bright, lighter notes, good depth)

Boordy Albariño, Sotuh Mt. '15 ***

(Superb full mouth feel, rich and floral, very complex, very well made)

Boordy Viognier, South Mt. '15 **1/2

(Very reminiscent of Condrieu, tart, mineral flavors, well balanced)

Old Westminster Cabernet Franc, Antietam Creek '14 ***

(Deep, concentrated, totally classy, tons of plum, with quinine tang)

Old Westminster Malbec, South Mt.  '14 ***

(Big juicy wine, very complex, flavors run from deep to bright, wonderful)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits  

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite  

San Gregorio "Ciampoleto" Rosso di Montalcino '11 **  $$

(A good buy for Tuscan red with Brunello style)

San Gregorio "Ugolforte" Brunello di Montalcino '10 ***  $$$$

(Superb Brunello, with dense complex flavors, silky texture, memorable)

Tenuta L'illuminata "Colbertina" Barbera d'Alba '10 ** $

(A rich fruity medium bodied red, excellent with pasta dishes)

 Tenuta L'illuminata "Tebavio" Barolo '10 ***1/2  $$$$

(As good as it gets:  intense, fabulous flavors, will age for years)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.

Barbecue Reds

Jul 13, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

(All these wines are distributed by Lanterna)

Brack Mountain Wine Company, "The Boatman" Red Blend '14 ** $ VALUE

(A stunning big red, brawny, spicy tremendous value)

Brack Mountain "A La Carte Red Wine" '14 **1/2  $ VALUE

(Zin based, blueberry pie aroma, serve with the biggest roasts)

Feudi di Guagnano Salice Salentino '14 **1/2  $  VALUE

(Almost like a drier, smaller Amarone, deep and rich, a steal)

Tenuta Novare Valpolicella Ripasso '12  **1/2  $$

(One of Al's faves, a super medium bodied summer red with class)

Quinta do Mondego, Red Blend Mondego, Dão ** $  VALUE

(A deep but restrained Portuguese red that will be great with the grill)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits  

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Siduri Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley '13 *** $$

(Silky, full of flavor, rich and deep, lots of personality)

Siduri  Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands '13  *** $$

(Lush, soft, solid pinot noir with great complexity)

Siduri Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley '14 **1/2  $$

(A touch leaner, more delicate, lovely nose, fine grained flavors)

Wild Ridge Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast '12  **1/2 $$$

(Very forward red fruit flavors, with biscuity yeast, good structure)

Champ de Reves Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley '12  *** $$

(Tons of flavor and complexity, silky texture, touches of oak)

Carneros Hills Winery "Chardenet", Durrell Vyd. '12 **1/2 $$$

(The epitome of California chardonnay, serve with lobster) 

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.    

Merlot

Jun 29, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Ch. Ste. Michelle Merlot "Indian Wells", Columbia Valley '12  *1/2 $

(Lean, flavorful, good ordinary everyday merlot)

Praxis Merlot, Alexander Valley '10  ** $

(Big bodied merlot, with bottle age, perfect with steak)

L'école No. 41 Merlot, Columbia Valley  **1/2  $$

(A very nice, elegant classy merlot that is quite Bordeaux-like)

William Hill Estate Merlot, Central Coast '13 **1/2 $ VALUE

(Best of the bunch, big, opulent, juicy, deep, satisfying)

 Dom, des Herrbauges, VDP Loire  '14 and '15  **1/2 $

(Little known Grolleau Gris goes into this gorgeous, beguiling wine)

Dom. des Herbauges Unoaked Chardonnay  VDP Loire Valley '14 ** $

(Bracing acidity, tart focused fruit, great balance, good as aperatif)

Prieure de la Fine Muscadet, Reserve, Vielles Vignes, Muscadet '15 ** $

(Quintessential French café wine, bone dry, crisp, complex fruit)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** = elite

Lago Adega do Salvador Vihno Verde "Portal da Calçada" '14  *1/2  $

(A bit bigger and bolder than most Vihno Verde)

Mirabeau Rosé Classique , Provence '15 ** $

(A big firm rosé, dry but filled with flavor, good for dinner)     

Domaine de Prince Costieres de Nimes Blanc '15 **1/2 $ VALUE

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

Quality key:   * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   **** =  elite

Charles and Charles Rosé, Columbia Valley '15 * 1/2 $

(Rhone blend with surprising deep flavor, herbal touches)

Planetta Rosé, Sicily '15 * 1/2 $

(50-50 nero d'avola and syrah, elegant, delicate, full of flavor)

Bertani Bertarose, Veneto '15 * 1/2 $

(A lovely pale pink rosé from a celebrated producer, dry and crisp)

Bieler Père et Fils, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence '15 ** $  VALUE

(A tremendous rosé from Provence, bone dry but great fruit)

Acrobat Rosé of Pinot Noir, Oregon '15 ** $

(Tons of flavor in a light bodied, dynamic rosé from Willamette Valley)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.  

Oregon Pinot Noir

Jun 1, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Adelsheim Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley '13 * 1/2  $$

(Light, simple, toned down fruit, a bit tannic, entry level)

Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir, Eola Hills '13 **

(Good quality, subtle pinot, nice balance, needs breathing)

Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills '13 **1/2 $$

(Obvious class, feminine, pure fruit flavors, gentle tannins, lovely)

Stoller Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills '13 **1/2 $$

(Big masculine pinot, earthy aroma and flavors, deep fruit)                  

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.  

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

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite  

Tenuta De Arceno, "Strada al Sasso" Chianti Classico '09 ** 1/2 $$

(Great Chianti character, considerable depth, floral and dark fruit notes)

Donna  Olimpia "Millepassi", Bolgheri Superioire  *** $$$

(Costly Bordeaux blend that delivers great complexity, flavor)

Donna Olimpia Bolgheri ** 1/2 $$

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

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb     **** = elite

Spy Valley Dry Riesling, NZ '15 **  $$

(Very firm, bone dry riesling with deep fruit, great acidity)

Fratelli Allesandria Barbera d'Alba '14  **  $$

(Fully packed medium bodied red, with soft deep fruit flavors)

Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin Valley, SA '15 ** $

(A big bold SB that makes a statement, very well made)

Paul Cluver Riesling, Elgin Valley SA '14 **/12 $

(Dead ringer for classy Alsatian riesling, very good effort)

Paul Cluver Pinot Noir, Elgin Valley SA '13 ** $$

(Very Burgundian style, classic flavors, some complexity)

Adelsheim Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley '14 ** $

(Strong, lovely floral nose, dry deep fruit, minearlity)

Rhiannon California Red Blend '14  **1/2 $ VALUE       

(Big, complex, brawny, over-delivers, stupendous value)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits.    

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Pacific Rim Gruner Veltliner, Spring Creek Vyd., Washington  * 1/2 $

(Lean, tart wine with floral notes and traces of white pepper)

Austrian Pepper Gruner Veltliner, Austria '13  * 1/2 $

(Well structured with citrus, melon, and spice, good acidity)

Count Karolyi Gruner Veltliner, Hungary '14 * $

(Green apple notes with apricot, and peppery finish)

Broadbent Gruner Veltliner, Austria '15  ** $ VALUE

(A very good wine from a very good house, great buy)

Wimmer Gruner Veltliner, Austria '13 * 1/2 $

(Crisp, flavorful white with lime, white pepper notes)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine and Spirits  

Price:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Quality: * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Yalumba Unoaked Chardonnay, South Australia '13 * $

(Delicate, clean flavors but not much character)

Ridge Crest Chardonnay "Unoaked" Columbia Valley '12 * $

(Simple, very dry, "Alsatian" approach)

Naked Unoaked Chardonnay. Santa Barbara '13 ** $

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

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite  

Boordy Vineyards "Petit Cabernet", American '14 ** $

(Crowd-pleasing light red with tons of flavor; very food friendly)

Marques de Cáceres Rioja Riserva '09  ** 1/2 $$

(Very young, yet already complex, gorgeous texture)

Domaine Pichot Vouvray, Coteaux de la Biche, Vouvray '12 ** $

(A leaner, more acidic version of Vouvray with lots of character) 

Dr. H Tanisch Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Kabinett '14 ** $$

(Sweet for a kabinett, but has crystaline purity of flavors, lovely)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Albarino - 4/20/16

Apr 19, 2016

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

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Juan Gil "Kentia" Albariño, Rias Baixas '13 ** $

(Layers of complexity with herbs, stone fruit flavors)

Raimat Albariño, Costiere de Segre '14 *1/2 $

(Fresh, flowery wine with good acidity, firm structure)

Martin Codax Albariño, Rias Baixas '14  ** $

(A classic albariño with crisp apple flavors, mineral notes, complexity)

Burgans Albariño, Galicia '14 **1/2 $  VALUE

(A very complex, delicate, aromatic white)12

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite  

San Pietro Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige '13 *1/2  $

(Tropical fruit flavors with honey notes)

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio, Valdadige '14 * $

(Lean, minerality, lemon notes, with crisp acidity)

La Crema Pinot Gris, Monterey '14 ** $ VALUE

(A rich, complex, aromatic wine with good complexity)

King Estate Signature Pinot Gris, Oregon '14  ** $

(A very aromatic p.g. with layers of flavor in a crisp format)

Jermann Pinot Grigio, Friuli Venezia '12  *** $$

(A very good maker of crisp white wines with great depth)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

House of Mandela Chenin Blanc, South Africa '13 **  $

(A fresh lively chenin, with great acidity, sweet/tart fruit and earthiness.)

Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc, Alsace '14 ** 1/2 $ VALUE

(A beautiful full-flavored pinot blanc, rich, easy to drink, aperitif.)

Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc, California '13 ** 1/2 $  VALUE

(A great negotiant blend, plump for a grassy style of sauvignon blanc.)

Dr. E. Loosen "Loosen-Up Riesling" '14 * $

(A simple, very pleasant riesling with some sweetness and balance.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.

Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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

Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Villa Antinori Toscanna Red IGT '12  *1/2 $$

(A classic Tuscan red, lean structure, modest fruit)

Tomasi Rompicolla '12 **1/2 $

(A velvety sangiovese/cab blend with opulent flavors and texture)

Familia Dante Chianti Riserva '12 ** $

(Dry, lean red with notes of chocolate and cherries)

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Mara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, '13 **1/2 $  VALUE    
(Classy versions of Juicy Fruit gum aroma and flavor, complex.)

Loriñon Rioja Crianza '10 ** $  VALUE
(Graceful, flavorful, with layers of complexity, a lot of bang for the buck.)

G. D. Varja Langhe Rosso '11  **1/2 $  VALUE
(Lovely blend of 6 grapes, bright, balanced and complex.)

Urban Maule Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle de Maule '11 **  $
(Soft, modest red with correct aroma and flavor, very tasty.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Porter - 3/16/16

Mar 16, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent wine   ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine   ****= elite

Original Flag Porter, England **    
(Grainy, earthy, iron flavors, almost light bodied)

Fuller's London Porter, England **1/2
(A touch of molasses, good density, well integrated flavor)

Anchor Porter, California **1/2
(Good depth, good body with roasted coffee and malt notes)

Saranac Caramel Porter, New York ***
(Very complex with true coffee flavors, great smoothness)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Malbec - 3/9/16

Mar 9, 2016

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    ****= elite

Salentin Reserve Malbec, Mendoza '13 * $
(Simple and uninspiring.  Not much to say.)

Amancaya Gran Reserva, Mendoza '12 *1/2 $
(Catena-Rothschild project with some complexity.  OK)

Alta Vista Estate Malbec, Mendoza '13 ** $
(High altitude vineyards give it good character.)

Don Manuel Villafañe  Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza '12  ** $
(Lush texture, mild, tons of flavor...see what can be done.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Cambria has long been one of our favorite brands for good value in pinot noir and chardonnay.  They are re-shuffling the brand, moving the "Bench Break" line of wines into the entry level position, and elevating the "Julia" and  "Katherine" labels to the top tier.  In between will be a series of "Clone" bottlings of pinot noir and chardonnay.  They are also bottling a good syrah and an extremely good viognier.

Cambria "Bench Break" Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley '14  **1/2  $$
(A nice toasty citrus chard, good for Saturday night dinner.)

Cambria "Bench Break" Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley '13 ** $$
(Soft, rounded, subtly earthy, nice classy pinot noir.)    

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Ferreira 10 Year Tawny Port  *** $$
(Everything you could ask for in a middle-aged tawny)

Ferreira Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011 **** $$ SUPER VALUE
(This LBV has it all!  Why spend 3 times more for vintage port?)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats. Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = decent    ** = very good    *** = superb    **** = elite

Ferreira Ruby Port *** $  VALUE
(Arguably the best entry-level ruby port out there.)

Ferreira Tawny Port *** $ VALUE
(Superb value in classic tawny port.)

Ferreira "Brown Label" Branco Port **1/2  $
(Almost a rosé port, very intriguing.)
    
Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Reds Wine, Spirits, Deli & Meats.
Visit them at www.redswinenspirits.com.

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