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Online Edition

THE RARE WINE CO.

June 30, 2009

Newsletter

Bathed in a late afternoon autumn sun, Peay, like other ridgetop vineyards in The True, soars above the Pacific fog. See page 2. 21481 EIGHTH STREET EAST

SONOMA, CA 95476 800-999-4342

707-996-4484

SALES@RAREWINECO.COM


21481 EIGHTH STREET EAST

THE RARE WINE CO.

California page 1

SONOMA, CA 95476 800-999-4342/707-996-4484 email us at sales@rarewineco.com JUNE 30, 2009 ONLINE EDI T ION

A Profound Promise Thomas Brown’s Rivers-Marie Pinot Noirs & Chardonnays "Perhaps the finest California pinot I have ever had the pleasure of tasting."

his Napa Valley Cabernets, already earning two perfect Parker rating for his work. But Thomas' life was changed in 2004 when he tasted Williams-Selyem's 1988 Summa Vineyard Pinot, about which he says he'd "never tasted anything like that before from California." Allen Meadows on the 2004 Rivers Marie Summa Pinot Noir His inspiration for tracking down that legendary '88 was his growing fascination with the Summa Vineyard, which enjoys a providential posiIn recent weeks, we have focused with increasing interest on a winetion on The True’s Taylor Lane ridgetop. making revolution unfolding along Sonoma’s rugged coast. Here, in an area called “The True,” the savagely unyielding mountains hold the Three years earlier, he had met Summa’s owners, Scott and Joan Zeller, promise of becoming the greatest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay terroirs yet and immediately began working with Summa fruit. And within three found in America. vintages, his Summa and Summa Old Vines had become holy grail wines for the lucky few who'd tasted them. (Production averages just Rising above the thick coastal fog, The True’s ridgetops have some of California's most gifted winemakers in their grip—consumed by the idea Fom the sky and on the 125 and 100 cases, respectively.) of crafting wines that are singularly evocative of great Burgundy. bottle: Summa Vineyard. Allen’s Awe Among those whose work in The True is gaining the most attention is Thomas Burghound's Allen Meadows has regularly tasted Thomas' Summa Pinots since Brown, who’s acquired a fervent cult following for the tiny quantities of “Rivers- the 2004 vintage. After tasting the '04 Old Vines, he wrote that it was "perhaps Marie” Pinot and Chardonnay he makes with his wife Genevieve. the finest California pinot I have ever had the pleasure of tasting." With this offering, The Rare Wine Co. is honored to be the first U.S. retailer Thanks to the Zellers’ help, Thomas has gained access to several other superb ever to receive a direct allocation of Thomas’ coveted wines—including magsites in The True since 2004. These include two of Summa’s Taylor Lane neighnums never before offered for sale. We are particularly thrilled to be able to offer bors: Occidental Ridge for Pinot Noir and Thieriot for Chardonnay. He is also the 2007s—from a year that many growers, winemakers and critics believe will making highly promising Pinot from the Willow Creek vineyard, two ridgetops one day become legendary for Northern California Pinot Noir. to the north. Yes, the Thomas Brown Each wine is made naturally: indigenous yeast fermentations, no malolactic This is, of course, the same Thomas Brown who's won a towering reputation for inoculation or acid adjustment, and no fining or filtration. The percentage of a


Rivers-Marie

California page 2

The Promise of Thomas Brown’s Pinots & Chardonnays a new wood is tailored to preserve the character and nuance of each wine. Each of his wines reflects Thomas' quest for purity and balance. But they also reflect The True's unique terroirs ... a combination of exposures, soils and proximity to the ocean which produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of amazing perfume and texture, yet with no excess weight and the structure to age. The 2007 harvest was tiny, with small, intensely flavored berries. Consequently, Thomas’ Pinot Noir production was scant: Willow Creek, 84 cases; Summa

Old Vines, 100 cases; Summa, 125 cases; Occidental Ridge, 180 cases; and Sonoma Coast, a blend of fruit from the three Pinot vineyards, just 225 cases. And Thomas made just 120 cases of Thieriot Chardonnay in the inaugural 2007 vintage. It’s an honor on the next page to offer not only these highly sought-after 2007s, but a handful of incredibly rare magnums of Thomas’ greatest 2006s—a format not previously offered for sale. Don’t miss out.a

The True

The Search for the Holy Grail of California Pinot Noir Since at least the 1940s, winemakers—haunted by past encoun-

Noirs are beginning to emerge in sufficient numbers to earn the area not only its own name, The True, but the worship of demanding Pinot lovers. ters with great Burgundies—have searched for California terroirs that might capture Pinot Noir's ethereal magic. Mostly they have Over the past three decades, The True has attracted dozens of winemakers met with frustration, particularly as summer temperatures have and grapegrowers, lured by the promise of making America's greatest climbed, sending alcohol levels soaring. Pinot Noirs. The first to arrive were David Hirsch, who battled all kinds of adversity to establish his eponymous vineyard, and Taylor Lan, who What has been lacking has been an area whose growing condiwas the first to plant Pinot on a ridgetop west of the town of Occidental. tions are as marginal as Burgundy's, with meager, yet intensely A vineyard in The True untouched by the fog Lan’s Summa Vineyard fruit achieved immortality, producing arguably mineral, soils; sufficient sun and rain to achieve both ripeness and that surrounds it. Williams-Selyem's greatest Pinot Noir. balance, and cool nighttime temperatures to preserve Pinot's ephemeral nuances. Such terroirs abound in Burgundy's Côte d'Or, but in Their pioneering work has inspired a surprisingly diverse second wave to try California they have until recently been considered too daunting and inaccessible. their hand in The True. It includes not only members of the California Pinot establishment like Marcassin, Flowers and Littorai, but such Napa heavyweights But in the view of many winemakers, one place in California holds the key to as Joseph Phelps, Pahlmeyer, Caymus and Peter Michael. Yet, the area's heart capturing the magic of great Burgundy: a series of ridgetops along Sonoma's and soul are young idealists—like Rivers-Marie's Thomas Brown, Ross Cobb, Pacific Coast, which are close enough to be cooled by the Pacific, yet high enough to bask in brilliant sunshine above the omnipresent summer fog. And the Peays, and Ceritas’ John Raytek—who increasingly see California Pinot’s now, after nearly three decades of working these rugged ridgetops, exciting Pinot future in The True. f


California page 3

The Planets Align An Unimagined Offering of Rivers-Marie Pinots & Chardonnay Note: Allen Meadows’ Burghound reviews on the Rivers-Marie 2007s are due out this fall.

2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $35.00

A blend of Summa, Occidental and Willow Creek vineyards —and a screaming value. Burghound on the 2006: "An extremely pretty, indeed even elegant red pinot fruit nose that manages to be at once fruity yet layered before sliding into round, supple and forward middle weight flavors that possess good detail and focus as well as good vibrancy on the admirably dry finish ... For an ‘entry level’ wine, this is really quite good and definitely worth a look because not only is it delicious but there's depth as well."

Rarest Magnums

2006 Occidental Ridge Pinot Noir .............................. 150.00 magnum Burghound: "A really pretty set up of moderately deeply pitched red and dark berry fruit aromas that carry a whiff of underlying earth ... a very subtle hint of minerality and fine length. While this will certainly age, it is already accessible and with the right foods, could easily be enjoyed now." 2006 Summa Pinot Noir .......................................... 175.00 magnum Burghound: "An admirably fresh and beautifully complex nose features spicy deep red cherry and ripe red pinot fruit aromas that complement perfectly the rich, mouth coating and balanced medium weight flavors that benefit from fine levels of dry extract and solid length ... absolutely worth a look ....” 2006 Summa Old Vines Pinot Noir .............................. 225.00 magnum Burghound: "A wonderfully complex nose is highly expressive, offering notes of black cherry and spiced raspberry that lead to equally complex middle weight flavors that possess good detail and a lovely layering effect ... the extract confers the sense of concentration on the delicious backend. A study in balance and grace.” Wines may be sold and delivered only to persons who are at least 21 years old. All wines are sold in California and title passes to the buyer in California. We make no representation to the legal rights of anyone to ship or import wines into any state outside of California. We are not responsible for typographical errors. All items and prices subject to availability. Request a copy of our terms of sale or read them at www.rarewineco.com. * indicates pre-arrival. Issued 14 times yearly. © 2009 The Rare Wine Co.

2007 Willow Creek Pinot Noir $45.00

Tanzer: “Sappy raspberry and underbrush aromas, with high notes of citrus peel and flowers, plus a dusty nuance. Juicy ... good restraint to the supple fruit flavors. Soft tannins make this very approachable already ... a very low one ton per acre.”

2007 Occidental Ridge Pinot Noir $49.95

Tanzer: “Raspberry, maraschino cherry and smoke on the nose. Sweeter, deeper and more intense ... with a sappy quality in the middle palate and riper, darker flavors of pomegranate and sassafras. A step up in density ... very good lift ...” 2007 Summa Pinot Noir ...........................................................75.00 Tanzer: "Intriguing nose melds cranberry, orange zest, rust, smoke and underbrush. Sweet but juicy and lively, with a saline element contributing to a chewy texture. Sneaky acidity and firm tannins keep this a bit youthfully subdued. I'd wait a year before pulling the cork.” 2007 Summa Old Vines Pinot Noir ...............................................95.00 Tanzer: "... sexy aromas of red fruits and spices. Broad, rich and sweet; the silkiest and most mouthfilling of these 2007 pinots, offering deep flavors of red fruits, spices and earth. Finishes dry, rich and long, with a chewy impression of extract.” One bottle limit.

2007 Thieriot Chardonnay $45.00

Steve Tanzer: “Good full, bright yellow. Pineapple, smoke and a whiff of matchstick minerality on the nose. Juicy but tight, with brisk acidity ... white peach and mineral flavors ... A very brisk and refreshing style, with finishing flavors of lemon-lime and white chocolate. This will scrape your palate clean, but give it plenty of air if you plan to serve it soon.”


Sandrone The Noble Barolos of a Langhe Legend Luciano Sandrone is Barolo's master tightrope walker—the winemaker who most brilliantly harmonizes traditional and modern winemaking philosophies. In a region where most producers have aligned themselves with one school or the other, Sandrone is the intriguing loner, choosing to forge his own style. In fact, his singular winemaking voice might be attributed to his humble beginnings. His father was a bus driver, and so while most of his contemporaries had winemaking fathers and grandfathers—whom they could either follow or rebel against—Sandrone was free to find his own way. The Early Years He started in wine dal niente, working for years as a cantiniere at the very traditional Marchesi di Barolo. Slowly purchasing small plots of land, Sandrone began making wine on his own in the late 1970s, and he quickly became the shining star

Piedmont & Priorat page 4

in the tumult that was late-1980s Langhe winemaking. And his 1989 and 1990 Cannubi Boschis Barolos became the holy grail wines of his generation. Given everything he was exposed to, it’s no surprise that Sandrone’s approach has always been characterized by a careful temperance of modern practices with traditional wisdom. For example, he uses neither traditional large Slovenian oak botti nor the French barriques championed by the modernists. Rather, he ages his wine in 500-700-liter French tonneaux, of which only a small percentage are new. And further distancing him from other modernists, Sandrone has said that he has never used roto-fermenters to enrich his Barolos' color and extraction. Two Iconic Barolos Sandrone produces only two Barolos, both of which walk a fine line between a

Masterful Bargains

Diverse Sizes of Alvaro Palacios’ 2006 Les Terrasses at Amazing Prices Throughout history, some of the planet’s most compelling wines have been marriages of multiple sites. In fact, in Champagne and Piemonte, it was until the past 40 years considered a sacrilege not to blend multiple vineyards. The virtue of blending vineyards is that a skilled winemaker can achieve a wine of completeness and perfect balance. Power can come from the fruit of one site, perfume from another and structure from a third. Getting such perfection from a single vineyard is reserved for the truly blessed sites in great years. And so perhaps the best measure of Alvaro Palacios’ genius is not his iconic L’Ermita but Les Terrasses—created from more than 90 different vineyards spread throughout the mountains of Priorat. The brilliant 2006 Les Terrasses is a perfect example. And we can offer it

by the case for just $31.25 a bottle, nearly 30% off its original list price. We also have rare mags and jeros at seductive discounts. But hurry!

2006 Les Terrasses 91 Josh Raynolds

$34.95 bt. $375.00 cs. $79.95 magnum $165.00 3-liter

Josh Raynolds: “Lively red fruits on the nose, with strong mineral and floral qualities adding energy. Fresh, mineral-driven strawberry and raspberry flavors ... Silky, sweet and spicy on the finish, which strongly echoes the raspberry note. I prefer this wine's vivacity to last year's version.”


Piedmont page 5

A Heart-Stopping Sandrone Offering a tradition and modernism. His crown jewel is, of course, the monumental Cannubi Boschis, from a small plot in Barolo'sprized cru of the same name. This mythic wine has prompted Wine Spectator to declare boldly: "Sandrone makes the best Cannubi." Sandrone’s other great Barolo, Le Vigne, pays hommage to the time-honored practice of blending juice from different sites, an inviolate rule in Langhe cellars

until the 1950s. Le Vigne blends four crus in three communes: Vignane in Barolo; Conterni and Ceretta in Monforte d'Alba; and Merli in Novello. The Sandrone offer below is our most varied to date, featuring two screaming deals: '98 Barolo Cannubi Boschis and '01 Barolo Le Vigne. It also includes our first—and possibly our only—offering of the coveted 2004 Barolo Cannubi Boschis. Here’s your chance. 2

Selling Elsewhere for $135 to $200!

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2004 Barolo Cannubi Boschis 98 Antonio Galloni

1998 Barolo Cannubi Boschis

$189.95

94 Antonio Galloni 94-96 Robert Parker $89.95 bt. $189.95 mag.

Galloni: "Layers of perfumed dark fruit flow effortlessly from the glass with wonderful depth and purity. The wine offers a long, intensely harmonious personality and a refined, aristocratic finish." Parker: “... a spectacular bouquet ... This powerful, ripe 1998 offers full-bodied flavors, silky tannin, low acidity, gorgeous levels of glycerin, and a creamy mouthful of complex, layered, superbly pure Nebbiolo fruit.” 2

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2001 Barolo Le Vigne 93 Antonio Galloni

$79.95 (released at $120)

Galloni: "…a fantastic nose of flowers, minerals and crushed raspberries followed by generous amounts of very ripe red fruits, mint and eucalyptus notes ... traditional in design, but modern in execution ... tremendous harmony and elegance." 1997 Barolo Cannubi Boschis ...................................................195.00 Parker: “996 rating ... prodigious ... Amazingly concentrated, with tremendous unctuosity yet superb delineation ... possesses fabulous extract as well as a multidimensional mid-palate and finish ... will last for 25+ years. It is an amazing effort!”

Galloni: "I was blown away by the breathtaking purity and definition ... weightless yet sumptuous ... layers of dark ripe fruit that coat the palate with stunning grace and elegance. ... notes of licorice, tar and sweet toasted oak gradually emerge to complete this magnificent wine ... not to be missed." 1

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1996 Barolo Cannubi Boschis

100 Robert Parker 96 Antonio Galloni $295.00 bottle $595.00 magnum

Parker (Hedonist Gazette): “... a perfect expression of Nebbiolo in an amazingly concentrated style.” Galloni: "… takes things to another level. It shows an outrageous, well-delineated nose of fresh roses, minerals and menthol followed by waves of dark fruit and licorice flavors ... exceptional freshness, length, and harmony. This opens beautifully in the glass, taking on an almost Burgundian elegance. A wine to marvel over." 1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis ....................................................595.00 1990 Barolo Cannubi Boschis Magnum .......................................1395.00 Parker: "999 rating ... nearly perfect ... an amazingly rich ... profound Barolo ....” Galloni: “998 rating ... I was simply floored ... tremendous opulence, concentration and length on the palate, with waves of ripe, sweet red and black fruit, menthol, and mineral flavors ... must be tasted to be believed ...”


Mining Meursault

White Burgundy & Tuscany Page 6

Patrick Javillier’s “Lieux-Dits” at Amazing Prices in the diversity and intense stoniness of its soils— attrib- “Javillier is a passionutes that are magnified by an exceptionally low water ate seeker after truth table forcing the vines deep underground. (or, in this case, The result is a dizzying array of terroirs within the vilperfection) working lage’s boundaries, each capable of producing Chardon- each barrel differently nay of distinctive character. But only a handful of grow- in a constant series of ers have explored the idea of individually bottling the viltrials to see what lage’s best non-premier cru vineyards (called lieux-dits). works best ... he is And fewer still have done so in a sufficiently transparent a real master.” way to showcase these differences in character. The list of Clive Coates these growers is short but impressive: Guy Roulot, JeanPhilippe Fichet, Arnaud Ente and perhaps the least well-known, Patrick Javillier. Teachers Javillier is a spiritual descendent of Comtes Lafon and Guy Roulot, the pioneers in Meursault of lieu-dit bottling. He took over his family’s domaine in 1976,

but his winemaking style didn’t mature until the 1990s, by which time he’d absorbed Lafon’s and Coche’s teachings about barrel fermentation, lees contact and non-filtering, as well as Jean-Marc Roulot’s lessons about transparency. Today, this methodical, detailed winemaker is one of Meursault’s best growers, producing wines of great complexity and richness. From his over-achieving Bourgogne Oligocène —from a single parcel within Meursault—to his superb Tête de Murgers, Tillets and Les Clous, Javillier is producing tiny quantities of Meursault exceptional wine. And so it’s an honor to offer, on page 7, a great selection from superb European cellarage ... and at stunning low prices. A note on the nomenclature: Through the 2002 vintage, Javillier made two versions of each wine, a regular bottling and a Cuvée Spéciale—the latter spending an extra three to six months in barrel. Since 2003, he’s made only Cuvée Spéciale.

Tua Rita’s Towering 2006s Tua Rita's Giusto di Notri and Redigaffi are fixtures in the Tuscan elite. The former is famed for its rich palate and signature bouquet of chocolate and dark fruits, while Redigaffi is holy grail material. In the great '06 vintage, both are potentially legendary. We are pleased to offer them at well-below-market prices.

2006 Giusto di Notri

2006 Redigaffi

Antonio Galloni: “96 rating ... powerful ... bursting with tons of primary fruit. Sweet herbs, cassis and graphite swirl around in the glass, adding further complexity ... needs time to reach the full range of its potential, but it is awfully impressive even at this early stage. ”

Antonio Galloni: “97 rating ... Blueberries, blackberries, grilled herbs, minerals and French oak emerge ... This gorgeous, sculpted Redigaffi possesses tons of harmony and class all the way through to the polished, energetic finish ... an awesome effort ....”

$64.95

$195.00


Javillier ... Featuring the Famed 2002s

White Burgundy page 7

Meursault Tête de Murgers A consistently impressive blend of Murgers and Casse Têtes. According to Javillier, Murgers gives the wine its strong finish, while Casse Têtes endows it with a powerful attack. Arguably Javillier’s greatest wine.

2002 Meursault Tête de Murgers ‘Cuvée Spéciale’ 93 Burghound $49.95

Burghound: “... plenty of Meursault character with the same stunning concentration, complexity and breadth of expression, all wrapped in grand cru caliber length. A stunner of a wine ....”

2000 Meursault Tête de Murgers ‘Cuvée Spéciale’ ................................. 47.95 Burghound: “991 rating. Rich, powerful and intense ... excellent size and weight and simply outstanding detail, flavor precision and length ... worth a special search ...” Tanzer: “991 rating ... Dense and intensely flavored ... Very classy Meursault.” 1999 Meursault Tête de Murgers ‘Cuvée Spéciale’ ................................... 49.95 Tanzer: “992 rating. Very rich, supple ... a palate-caressing, layered texture. Firm acidity on the close freshens the finish and cleanses the palate ... amazingly good ...” 1996 Meursault Tête de Murgers .................................................... 49.95 Wine Spectator: “995 rating ... intense and concentrated ... heavyweight white Burgundy.” Tanzer: “992 rating ... Very intensely flavored and layered; consistent from the strong attack through the subtle, very long finish. Better than most premier crus.”

Meursault Tillets & Les Clous Tillets faces south at 350-340 meters, with shallow, pebbly soil. From here, Javillier makes beautifully transparent wines that age well with superb minerality.

2002 Meursault-Tillets ‘Cuvée Spéciale’ $45.00

Burghound: “Drop dead gorgeous detail on the ripe, indeed very ripe hazelnut and pain grillé-infused nose ... mineral laden, full and beautifully delineated flavors and an impressively intense, sappy and long finish.”

Situated just south of Tillets, Les Clous offers similar minerality, but often with a bit more power.

2002 Meursault-Les Clous ‘Cuvée Spéciale’ $45.00

Burghound: “992 rating. Classic ... stunningly complex, deep and rich medium full, punchy and delineated flavors that possess outstanding intensity and simply fabulous length ... the quality here is way above its class.”

Remember, we now offer low-cost Fedex Ground Shipping at $15 a case within California and $25 a case outside California, styrofoam packaging included.

Two Javillier Bargains Bourgogne Oligocène From Les Pellans, a lieu-dit just below MeursaultCharmes. Burghound has called Oligocène “one of the finest wines in its class year after year.”Andrew Jefford writes: “Javillier’s Cuvée Oligocène shows just how good Bourgogne Blanc can be when no expense or effort is spared in making it.” Great value.

2004 Bourgogne Oligocène .................27.95

Meursault Clos du Cromin Half Bottles Javillier’s very old vines in the Clos du Cromin produces Meursault that could be his most opulent. Here are two top vintages in rare half bottles ... and at bargain prices. 2000 Clos du Cromin half bottle ................19.95 Burghound: “The oak here is almost seamless ... decidedly bigger and richer than the Tillets ....” 1999 Clos du Cromin “Spéciale”half bottle . 19.95


The Deal of the Vintage

Southern Italy page 8

No Reserve Bottling in 2007 Means an Epic La Vieille Julienne La Vieille Julienne’s surging celebrity has been due in large part to its

Dramatic Turnaround iconic Cuvée Réservé—and the 100-point ratings given by Robert Parker Since 1990, Daumen has emerged as one of Châteauneuf ’s elite winein 2001, 2003 and 2005. makers. He inherited a family estate that was blessed with incredibly old vines but had an inconsistent track record. But Vieille Julienne's proprietor Jean-Paul Daumen had a surprise in store for its fans in 2007, the year Parker has called the "Vintage of a Lifetime." Within a few years, he was producing wines of consistent and staggering Daumen has decided not to make the Cuvée Réservé, pooling all of his quality, drawing on his vineyards in the appellation’s cooler Northern best fruit to make just a single red 2007, of epic quality. part (not far from two other traditionalists, Charvin and Beaucastel). Jean-Paul Daumen Daumen's reasoning was that the quality throughout the domaine was And to capture the essence of this terroir, the winemaking is thoroughly too consistent to justify separate bottlings. This means that the centurytraditional, with aging in neutral wood. old Grenache normally destined for Réservé has gone into the cuvée classique. The 2007 La Vieille Julienne is a wonderful expression of a great terroir in a The result is a classique of heroic depth and complexity … and at a bargain great vintage. And the wine is an absolute bargain, especially considering that if price. a Résérve had been made, it would command $400-$500. This is arguably the

2006 “Cuvée Felix” at a Great Price Bois de Boursan’s claim to fame is its Cuvée Felix—a traditionally vinified, Mourvèdre-intense Châteauneuf of epic quality. It comes from the same five-hectare parcel each vintage and is stunningly expressive. We are pleased to offer the great '06 at an amazing price. 2006 Bois de Boursan Cuvée Felix CDP .................................49.95 Josh Raynolds: “992-94 rating ... Extremely rich, with deep red and dark berry liqueur flavors ... Reminds me of a Bonneau wine in its borderline port-like intensity and unlikely freshness. Singular and compelling.”

deal of the vintage, so please don't miss it.

2007 La Vieille Julienne Châteauneuf du Pape* 93-95 Parker $59.95

Robert Parker: “... a great effort ... notes of melted licorice, smoke, pepper, blackberries, kirsch, and incense, it is incredibly aromatic ... with excellent concentration ... It reveals wonderful freshness and vivacity, a full-bodied style, and an elegant, pure personality. It should drink nicely for two decades or more ....”

THE RARE WINE CO. 21481 EIGHTH STREET EAST

SONOMA, CA 95476 800-999-4342/707-996-4484 email us at sales@rarewineco.com JUNE 30, 2009 - ONLINE EDI T ION

6-30-09 RWC  

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