Dec
2
2016

Dave Phinney’s 98 Point Cabernet Stunner!

The Crane Assembly is centered around a unique eight-acre vineyard located in the gravel rich soils of southern St. Helena. It is believed that George Beldon Crane, or simply G.B. Crane, first established grapes on this site in the year 1885, making it one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley. Although records are scarce, it was most likely planted as a field blend commonly known as “mixed blacks”. This field blend traditionally consisted of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan, and a smattering of lesser-known grape varieties such as Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre and Valdiguie.

Of the eight acres in production, approximately four acres are Crane’s original plantings. This four-acre block has been continuously farmed for nearly one hundred and thirty years by a number of different people…and now it is our turn to take on that responsibility. In addition to Crane’s old vine section, there is also a 1.6 acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1.4 acre block of Petite Sirah, and two rows of Merlot.

G. B. Crane 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 98 POINTS
Retail 230.00 – GGWC 225.00
FREE SHIPING on 3 or more
Use code GBCRANE at checkout

Comes in beautiful bamboo 3-pack box.  Order 3 bottles, we’ll ship in the box!

Winemaker Notes: “Stoic, the 2013 GB Crane Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a layered nose of ripe black plum, blackcurrants, allspice and fir. Massive upon entry, the textured palate floods with flavors of blackberry compote, ristretto and hints of pomegranate, complicated by strings of brambly fruit. Ever evolving on both the nose and palate, the baking chocolate structure has integrated tannins that will soften in time.”

Robert Parker 98 Points: “The 2013 G. B. Crane Cabernet Sauvignon Composition is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Sirah and 2% Merlot. This is a big boy at 15.3% natural alcohol. Nevertheless, there’s no heat to it. It is a seamless classic from Napa, with copious quantities of blackberry and blackcurrant, some Asian spice and a full-bodied, nearly massive entry on the palate, with oodles of fruit, glycerin and extract. Tannins are present, but soft and well-integrated. This is a big, juicy, compelling effort from Dave Phinney that should drink well for 30 or more years.”

Also, be sure to check out the:
G.B. Crane 2014 “El Coco” Proprietary Red ~ 95 Points
G.B. Crane 2014 “Disciples” Proprietary Red ~ 94 Points

Click here or on the links above to order!

Dec
1
2016

Pinot Noir Blind Tasting Winner!

In one of my tasting group last get-togethers for the year we decided to blind taste some 2013 Pinot Noirs – all very good ones! The line-up included:

  • Tyler “N-Block” 95 PT RP
  • Peter Michael “Clos du Ciel” 94 RP
  • Aubert “U-V” 96 RP
  • Brewer-Clifton Acin 95 RP
  • Wenzlau 93 RP
  • Mount Eden 96 RP
  • Argot “Bastard Tongue” 93+ RP
  • Merry Edwards “Meredith” 94 RP
  • Kistler 94 RP
  • Cattleya “Donum”

Cattleya “Donum” 2013 came out shining on top! With 95 Points from Robert Parker, I am not entirely surprised. However, rising from a field of other highly rated wines, it is a testament to the quality of this wine.

Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisoni.  Born and raised in Colombia and trained as a winemaker in France, she moved to California in 2007 to settle into making extraordinary wines.  In her words: “Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine. At a very young age I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.”  She also makes the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Pahlmeyer and owns the “Shared Notes” wine venture with husband Jeff Pisoni.

Cattleya 2013 “Donum” Pinot Noir Carneros
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code CATTLEYA at checkout

Robert Parker 95 Points: “From a vineyard in Carneros and not harvested until the middle of October, the 2013 Pinot Noir Donum Vineyard is a thrilling Pinot Noir that doesn’t put a foot wrong. Mostly destemmed (there were 35% whole clusters) and aged 11 months in 50% new French oak, its deeper violet/purple color is followed by sensational notes of black raspberries, crushed violets, wet rock, toasted spice and sage brush. Medium to full-bodied, layered, and beautifully textured and concentrated, it has impeccable purity, ripe tannin and ample, juicy acidity that shows on the palate and finish. It’s good now in a youthful, vibrant style, but will be better with bottle age.”

Winemaker Notes: “Clear ruby-red color with beautiful depth. The nose starts with a combination of raspberries and violets evolving into a spicy blend full of cinnamon, cloves and lightly-roasted coffee. After a few minutes in the glass, the red fruit aromas take over the nose and flirt with vanilla beans and pomegranate.  Intense tannin content indicates aging potential while the acidity focuses the wine texture to the middle – giving a long finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
30
2016

#1 Rising Star “94 Point” Cabernet

In 1999 Mary Rocca and Eric Grigsby purchased the 21 acre property after a 3 year search for the “ideal” vineyard site.  Mary called upon renowned winemaker Celia Welch, then Celia Masyczek to produce the label’s first vintages. The debut bottling was the 2000 Syrah, a varietal which to this day garners praise and awards for the Rocca family.

But Rocca really got on the map in 2002, when its Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet came in #1 in a blind tasting of 12 Rising Star Cabernets. Later, the wine was taken with a group of 12 other Cabernets to show in France’s 12 Best Cabernets from California. It came in #1 over there as well. Finally, those same 12 Cabs had another blind tasting competition in SF to see how they would rank by American consumers. It came in #1 again! Rocca’s star was rising fast. But so far they have been much under the radar, but I have a feeling that this will change soon. The current winemaker Paul Colantuoni worked for many years under Celia Welch and has taken a few pages out of her “note book” and it shows with the new wines.

Rocca 2013 Cabernet “Grigsby” Estate, Napa Valley 
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99
NEARLY FREE SHIPPING ($0.01) on 6 bottles or more
Use code ROCCA13 on checkout

The  2013 Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is the deepest, richest, most complete and balanced version of this wine Rocca has ever produced.  It shows gorgeous weight and density, supported by the exquisitely resolved tannins of the extraordinary 2013 vintage.  The overall theme here is one of perfectly ripe dark red fruit, especially sweet black cherries, beautifully complemented by sophisticated spice and floral elements as well as prominent notes of vineyard dust and rock quarry dust.  The quality of the vintage is particularly evident on the mid-palate, where tremendous richness perfectly matches the luscious black cherry flavors, and on a highly polished, silky smooth finish that seems to last forever.  This is one that you can enjoy for a long, long time to come.

Robert Parker 94 Points: ”The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Grigsby Vineyard from Yountville is a softer, almost Margaux-style of wine compared to the Coombsville. The wine offers Asian plum sauce, a touch of ripe, black cherries and blackcurrants, background smoky oak and a nice fleshy full-bodied mouthfeel with velvety tannins and well-integrated acidity, wood and alcohol. This is a beauty that can be drunk now, or cellared for another 15 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
29
2016

The Top 25 Wines of 2016!

Dear Friends of Golden Gate Wine Cellars,

It has been an amazing year of tasting, smelling & swishing wines.  We must have tasted over 2000 wines this year, so to come up with our “own” Top 25 wines that are “the best” is not easy. But as always, we will do our best!

My tasting group of 18 wine swishers, wine smellers, wine “evaluators”, and friends of Bacchus carefully evaluated the wines and came up with the following list:

 

Golden Gate Wine Cellars 2016 – TOP 25 WINES

1 (TIED) ARGOT 2014 PINOT NOIR “BASTARD TONGUE” SONOMA COUNTY
96 POINTS PARKER
1 (TIED) CATTLEYA 14 CHARDONNAY “PRATT VINEYARD” RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
95 POINTS PARKER
3 SPOTTSWOODE 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY
99+ POINTS
4 PAUL LATO 2014 SYRAH IL PADRINO BIEN NACIDO VINEYARD
97 POINTS PARKER
5 G. B. CRANE 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
98 POINTS
6 HERMAN STORY 2013 SYRAH “BIEN NACIDO”
96 POINTS PARKER
7 DUMOL 2014 CHLOE CHARDONNAY, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
95 POINTS
8 POST PARADE 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
9 BEAU VIGNE 2014 “CULT” CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
10 SANGUIS 2013 “BOSSMAN” SYRAH – SANTA YNEZ
97 POINTS PARKER
11 DUMOL 2014 “JACK ROBERTS” SYRAH, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
96 POINTS
12 SEAVEY 2013 ESTATE CABERNET, NAPA VALLEY
97 POINTS
13 MILANGE (PAUL LATO) 2014 SYRAH, SANTA BARBARA
14 JONATA 2013 TODOS PROPRIETARY RED BLEND, BALLARD CANYON
95 POINTS
15 GALLICA 2013 CABERNET, NAPA VALLEY
95+ POINT PARKER
16 KEPLINGER 2014 “SUMO” RHONE BLEND, SHAKE RIDGE VINEYARDS
95 POINTS
17 KAMEN 2013 “ESTATE” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
96 POINTS
18 SANS LIEGE 2013 GRENACHE “EN GEDI” SANTA BARBARA
94 POINTS
19 COHO 2013 MERLOT “MICHAEL BLACK”, NAPA VALLEY
20 ARBE GARBE 2015 PROPRIETARY WHITE, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
21 SOMM BLANC 2015 PROPRIETARY WHITE
22 DUMOL 2014 RYAN PINOT NOIR RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
95 POINTS
23 CATTLEYA 2013 “DONUM” PINOT NOIR CARNEROS
95 POINTS
24 TYLER 2014 CHARDONNAY “LA RINCONADA” SANTA RITA HILLS
94 POINTS
25 BACIGALUPI 2014 ZINFANDEL “ESTATE” RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
28
2016

Inaugural 94 Point Rated, 4 barrel release from the infamous McGagh (a.k.a. Scarlett) vineyard

 

Kale Anderson has put Pahlmeyer back on a path to success, but it is his own label that caught my eye and will turn lots of heads in years to come.  Kale is the day-to-day winemaker for the Cabernet and Merlot production at Pahlmeyer.  As for his Kale “Heritage” this was sourced from the “First Growth” McGagh (Scarlett) vineyard in Rutherford.  Kale produces a mere 115 cases of this stunning “Heritage” a blend of 87% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah. This is a winery to jump on now, as I see “CULT” all over it!

Kale 2014 “Heritage” GSM – McGagh Vineyard, Napa
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 61.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code KALE14 during checkout

This is the inaugural vintage of the Kale “Heritage” and the first Grenache-based blend in Kale’s  portfolio. Luxurious strawberry pie, and wild raspberry marmalade aromas lead to a rounded palette. Fresh plum, fig compote and hints of cinnamon are layered through the full-bodied finish. The wine is focused in approach, but expands through the finish. Hedonistic and savory. Enjoy now through 2030.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2014 Heritage McGah Vineyard from Rutherford, is 87% Grenache and the rest 8% Mourvédre and 5% Syrah. This is another sexy wine with. peppery, Provencal herb and strawberry notes soard from the glass of this fragrant, intriguing wine. It is medium to full-bodied with loads of glycerin, a voluptuous texture and a long, pure finish. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
26
2016

Holiday Gift Suggestions to Make Every Oenophile Smile!

Winter is nearly here and the Holiday gifting season is fast on its heels. If you are getting this email it means that you or someone you know is a member of that rare and delightful group of people known as the Oenophiles! And when it comes to a lover of wine, you know that there is only one gift that will really light up a smile!

So this year we have some special suggestions and offers for you to help pick the perfect gift. Whether it be single bottles (or a case) of the best new releases that Napa has to offer OR a carefully crafted themed gift case, here are the wines that will delight…

~Click here or on the selections below to order~

 

~Click here or on the selections above to order~
Nov
25
2016

Black Friday Wine Sale!

Today Everything is 10% OFF!*

Dear Friends,
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

I am sorry to say that we don’t have Black Friday deals on toaster ovens, televisions, bikes or clothes – so my apologies. And because the margins on wine are much lower compared to most other products, I won’t be offering a buy one-get-ten-free bargain.

However, as a token of my appreciation for your loyal patronage and to help you stock up for the upcoming holiday season, I want to give you 10% OFF TODAY & SATURDAY (Nov 25 & 26) on any purchase of $300.00 or more. Just use the code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout!

Also, don’t forget that Saturday is NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS DAY, so be sure to seek out your locally owned shops when you are doing your holiday shopping this weekend.

Cheers and best wishes,
Your Humble Wine Servant,
St. Frank
The Patron Saint of Tannins.

Nov
24
2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a family holiday full of love, sharing and giving thanks. So take some time away from your work, responsibilities and everyday life for a moment. Thanksgiving comes only once each year.

We have a lot to be thankful for as well. We’re especially thankful for you, our loyal customers. You are the ones who make it possible for this industry to exist. Without you, none of the wonderful wines that we all enjoy together would be crafted at all. It makes us want to work even harder so that the New Year can be filled with more discovery, enjoyment, and zest for life!

So, here’s to you and yours. Carve the turkey and loosen your belt. Thank you for everything, and may your holiday be filled with gratitude and the love of your family and friends!

Nov
23
2016

Champagne can improve your Love Life

Champagne can Improve your Love Life… Yes it really can!

By Christopher Walkey

Your mind will run wild I’m sure with thoughts on what would improve on your love life, some things most obvious and other tips and tricks so very unique and clever, but how does Champagne fare when it comes to moving that love dial upwards?

I usually lightly joke when people ask me what benefits to your health and your love life Champagne can offer. I suppose many of us would have read over recent years the news that a few glasses of bubbly a week can help improve your memory and I usually say this is the single most important part of how it improves your existing love life and your chances of finding new love. What do I mean by this you ask? Well, if like me you have a poor memory and especially for names, it can well save you a relationship of two having a Champagne fueled memory to prevent those times you call your partner by another name or meet up with someone new and you get that name blocking moment which doesn’t get things off to the perfect start… Drink more Champagne, so not to be introduced to someone and seconds later, you can’t remember her/his name!

As we said, Champagne is said to improve your memory, so never be stuck again remembering that special person’s name!

Been invited to a friend’s party and want to make the right impression? Then you must be the person that doesn’t turn up with the six pack of lager and instead opt for that bottle or magnum of Champagne, yes it may set you back a few extra pounds (that is pounds in money and not in weight), but it will be worth it as eyes will light up, you’ll be best pals with everyone and you also get to pop or choose who pops that bubbly and you can even give it that celebration spray, great social media photo opportunities eh… ? Leastways, it’s certainly better than pulling that ring on the next can of lager.

First impressions on that first date. “Would you like to meet up for a glass of Champagne somewhere?” Now that is a chat up line that many will be unable to resist. Champagne and romance are well known to be close friends, so mixing the two, especially on that first date really does get things off to the perfect start… But be warned, once you start things off with Champagne then it is very much downhill from there so to maintain your chances you may need to maintain the flow of Champagne!

We are nearly all guilty of never having enough time and being full of excuses, time seems to fly by we commonly say and how can I fit anything more into my already busy life of work and family… But sometimes, even just once a month, that romantic break away from it all with a bottle of Champagne can just be what a relationship needs to remind itself of what living a life together is all about. Even if you haven’t time to go out and chose that bottle of bubbly each month, you can order Champagne online and each month you’ll get something new and exciting to experience. Now you mix that with a plate of oysters and maybe some special chocolates then oh la, la… !

Champagne being popped open is one of the best and most recognized sounds in the world. It makes everyone feel excited and will most certainly excite that partner you are looking to impress!

With all of that in mind, here are a few BUBBLY suggestions:
DIEBOLT VALLOIS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT ROSE
DIEBOLT VALLOIS NV CUVEE PRESTIGE BLANC DE BLANC
GONET-MEDEVILLE 1ER CRU CUVEE TRADITION
MONTHUYS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT, CHAMPAGNE FRANCE
STEPHANE COQUILLETTE CARTE D’OR BRUT CHAMPAGNE
ALLIMANT LAUGNER CREMANT ROSE LOIRE VALLEY

Don’t forget to use the discount LOVE upon checkout for the 0.01 (i.e. almost FREE) SHIPPING on 6 bottles or more!

Nov
22
2016

Chardonnay of the Year!

 

Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisonio.  Born and raised in Colombia and trained as a winemaker in France, she moved to California in 2007 to settle into making extraordinary wines.  In her words: “Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine. At a very young age I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.”  She also makes the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Pahlmeyer and owns the “Shared Notes” wine venture with husband Jeff Pisoni

The Pratt Vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley, a world-renowned AVA in California. The appellation benefits from a coastal influence and a cold climate, both favorable for making outstanding wines from Burgundian varieties. The vineyard is owned and farmed by Jim Pratt. Only four rows of clone 15 were planted and are farmed carefully for Cattleya, to produce the best clusters of Chardonnay grapes. Thanks to the intensity and complexity of fruit produce from this site, the Cattleya Chardonnay reflects the typicity and exceptional quality of white wines we can produce in Sonoma County from this finicky variety.

Cattleya 2014 Chardonnay “Pratt Vineyard” Russian River Valley – 95 Points Parker
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 69.99
NEARLY FREE SHIPPING ($0.01) on SIX
Use code CATTLEYA at checkout

Robert Parker 95 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Pratt Vineyard is an exotic, lemon, honeycomb, hazelnut and toasty oak-scented beauty that has terrific mid-palate density, a supple, rich, layered texture, good acidity and additional minerality on the finish. This is a beautiful, rich, Burgundian-styled Chardonnay that will be better in a year, and evolve nicely through 2024.”

Winemaker Notes: “Four French oak barrels—2 of which were new—have been tenderly cared for throughout 15 months of aging. The fruit was whole-cluster pressed and the juice was cold-settled overnight for barreling down the next day. The juice sat quietly in the barrel until the fermentation began several days later. By the end of the winter, all 4 barrels had finished both native fermentation as well as malolactic fermentation. A very gentle racking occurred prior to bottling using argon gas and the wine was bottled in January 2016.”

Click here or on the links above to order!