Aug
21
2018

Top 100 wine # 3, receives 95 Point rating & FREE SHIPPING

The Beaux Frères Vineyard was a creation of Robert Parker and his brother-in-law (Beaux Frere) Mike Etzel.  The winery/vineayard is located on an 88-acre farm atop Ribbon Ridge in the Chehalem Valley near Newberg (Yamhill County, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA). Tall and stately Douglas fir trees cover nearly 50 acres of the farm, with homestead and winery buildings occupying another 8 acres. The vineyard is situated on 30 acres of steep, contiguous southeast, south and southwest facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils at elevations of around 400 feet. Planting began in 1988 with tightly planted Pinot Noir vines spaced at a density of about 2200 plants to the acre. The oldest vines in the vineyard are now a seasoned 29 years of age, and the vineyard as a whole is a mixture of own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil clones and younger Dijon clones on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.  Recently Robert Parker & Mike Etzel each sold a chunk of their ownership to a French producer.  However, Mike Etzel will remain on a President and winemaker.

Beaux Freres 2016 Pinot Noir “Beaux Freres Vineyard”
GGWC 94.99
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Vinous 95 Points: “Deep lurid red. Intensely perfumed aromas of raspberry liqueur, vanilla, Indian spices and potpourri, along with a hint of smoky minerals that builds in the background. Densely packed and alluringly sweet, showing impressive depth and a bright mineral core to the sappy red berry, spicecake and floral pastille flavors. Gains power with air while maintaining energy and focus. Smooth tannins build slowly and harmonize with the vibrant fruit on an impressively persistent, floral-driven finish.”

Wine Spectator 95 Points: “Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich, expressive blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by savory spice and espresso details. Builds depth as this dances toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025.”

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Aug
19
2018

Get this wine for a steal & I give you FREE SHIPPING!

I would never condone stealing, except when it comes to this Pickpocket from our Sans Liege friends. All joking aside, Sans Liege has made a name for itself as one of the best Rhone Varietal producers in the state, and this latest release might be one of the best ones yet-to-date.

Sans Liege 2015 “Pickpocket” Templeton Gap, Paso Robles
GGWC 49.99
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The 2015 Pickpocket (100% Grenache) was sourced from the Alta Colina & Derby vineyards. As the light is stripped softly from the bookcases, heavy curtains and sullen marble floors of this country manor, your host is likely to pour you a nightcap from some inky carafe. You are met with a rich perfume of brandied cherry Ceylon tea, fresh plum, nutmeg shard and black chocolate. A final cup of fine ground coffee is served. The sunken glass of the windows waxes to obsidian, and a prick begins worming in your mind: this place has magic. The sense comes quickly and carries with it a taste of old growth forest, burnt cinnamon, tiny sweet strawberries, creek fresh mint and fog. Now in comfortable repose in your room, you notice the creep of long shadows. It is a hours till dawn, and the sheets will make a poor shield from the darkness to come. This wine has great aging potential. I would advise to decant this wine a good two hours before consumption and serve slightly below room temperature.

Only 8 barrels (200 cases were produced), so this will be gone in no time.

Winemaker Notes: “It’s been hours since another soul has entered the room. You take a deep breath and notice once again the comforting scents of clove, ceylon tea, birch beer and cherry coulis with cocoa. As you prepare to depart, the library door groans open. A figure appears, looking suspicious with an old leather bound book tucked protectively under his arm. In his haste, he doesn’t notice the pressed sprig of lavender that falls to the floor. With an anxious glance over his shoulder he slips behind a shelf of books and disappears.”

Also be sure to check out: 
SANS LIEGE 2015 “THE OFFERING” SANTA BARBARA
SANS LIEGE 2016 “CALL TO ARMS” PROPRIETARY WHITE,  PASO ROBLES
SANS LIEGE 2014 BLENDING KIT

Click here or on the links above to order!

Aug
18
2018

ZinSation of the Month

Gamba Vineyards is a small, family owned vineyard and winery in Sonoma County. The  110 year old 27 acre Gamba Estate Vineyard parcel rests on the Eastern edge of the beautiful Russian River Valley on gently rolling bench land above the valley floor. Planted to Zinfandel in 1900, the Gamba Estate Vineyard consists primarily of Old Vine Zinfandel, as well as small separate blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon. This organic and dry-farmed 35 acre vineyard is owned by Gus and Paulette Gamba. Guided by a family heritage of six generations of wine grape growing, it is a firm belief at Gamba that wines are made in the vineyard.

Gamba 2016 Zinfandel “Old Vine” Starr Road
GGWC 54.99
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Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2016 Zinfandel Old Vine Starr Road Ranch is deep garnet-purple colored with a nose of baked cherries, raspberry preserves and stewed plums with hints of baking spices, potpourri, licorice and chocolate box plus a waft of dried herbs. Very big, rich and full-bodied, it packs in the berry preserves and spice box flavors with a firm, chewy frame and oodles of tart freshness, finishing long. 440 cases produced.”

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “The 2016 Starr Road Ranch Old Vine is also gorgeous. Black raspberries, cedary spice, ginger, and exotic flower notes, full body, sweet, present tannin, and a beautiful finish all make for a downright irresistible Zinfandel that delivers serious pleasure.”

Click here or on the above links to order!

Aug
17
2018

Screaming Eagle Winemaker under $70.00 Napa Gem


Andy Erickson does not need an introduction, the man worked with John Kongsgaard, Paul Hobbs, Bob Levy at Harlan Estate, Staglin, etc. and of course Screaming Eagle!  He currently makes Arietta, Ovid, Dalla Valle and his own labels Leviathan and Favia.  The Arietta wines have been on fire as of late and this latest release is yet another gem in the rough.

Arietta 2015 “Quartet” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
GGWC 68.99
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Vinous 94 Points: “Tasted after the other 2015s in this range, the Quartet, Arietta’s entry-level offering, does not show a demonstrably significant drop in quality, which is probably the highest compliment I can pay it. Hints of raspberry jam, cedar, smoke and licorice add shades of nuance throughout. What a pretty wine this is.”

Winery Notes: “Arietta’s vines proved their resilience in 2015, working their way through the driest growing season on record in California. In the end, the vines found the resources necessary to ripen a balanced but fairly limited crop.  The grapes at harvest were intensely perfumed, with small berries and ample acidity. The wine is a reflection of the stalwart nature of Arietta’s carefully selected vineyard blocks in Coombsville, Carneros (Hudson), and Calistoga: overtly aromatic, richly textured, and packed with generous black fruit flavors. There is a sublime combination of silkiness, generosity, and density in the wine, and it will certainly continue to reveal more layers over the course of 10 to 15 years in bottle. The 2015 Quartet is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc & 9% Petit Verdot.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Aug
16
2018

Sexy Beckstoffer Cabernet Release!

Mike Smith, who we sometimes call “Mr. 100 Pointer” (Carter Cellars, Myriad, Scarlett, etc.), has taken the Beckstoffer Georges III vineyard’s stunning fruit and produced an equally stunning wine for 12C.  Incidentally, 12C get’s its name from Twelve degrees Centigrade or Fifty-five (55) degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimum storage temperature for wine.

12c “G3” Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer Vineyard Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 124.99
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The 2016 12c “G3” has a dark opaque purple color with amazing aromatics of  of bright blackberry and blueberry fruits and a whiff of bitter chocolate and graphite. Bold flavors on the palate make for a lush and elegant wine that offers up a sexy, full-body loaded with delicious flavors that lead into a long complex finish.  This is a wine that should drink well over the next 10-15 years.

Winery Notes: Twenty-Sixteen was an incredible year for our Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard G3 Wine. An alluring mix of aromatics consisting of dark fruits, acacia flowers, and Belgium chocolate intertwine with a mid palate that is loaded with layers of pedigree.  The beauty of this site is how it captures and marries subtle but exuberant ripeness with the dusty earth of the Rutherford appellation.  The finish combines the above notes and extends into an abyss of dark fruit notes accompanied with baking spice’s, blueberry cobbler and plush tannins that envelope the senses. This wine is immediately approachable yet will to gain further complexities for 3-8 years.  Extended aging may add a touch of magic.  What a wine!

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Aug
15
2018

Napa meets Spain & We’ll pay for the plane ticket*…


The Hendry Family is always reinventing itself.  A few years ago they introduced Albariño, and it has created a following. The Albariño grape hails from the area of Galicia, Spain, and were first planted at the Hendry Estate in 2003. Block 2, originally planted in 1997, was grafted over to Albariño from Pinot Gris in 2013. 

Hendry 2017 Albariño “Estate” Napa Valley
GGWC 25.99
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Pale to medium straw color. Mouthwatering citrus, green apple and citrus blossom on the nose. Nectarine and green apple on the palate, tingling lemon-lime acidity on the finish. Tart acid and a full, fruity palate make this wine a delicious pairing with crab, mussels, oysters and other shellfish. Other pairing ideas: grilled shrimp with gazpacho, white pizzas, especially with shrimp, Caesar salad, even sushi. Foods light in weight but high in flavor are always a good match.

Also check out the awesome 2015 Hendry Zinfandel!

(*By the way… Free Plane ticket = Free Ground Shipping)

Click here or on the links above to order!

Aug
14
2018

Value still happens in California, Really!

Walter Hansel has become synonymous with great quality at a great price!  Year after year these wines seem to impress me and my clientele alike. The first vines were planted in 1978 just a up the block from Kistler!  The actual winery did not start till 1996 when they produced 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 10 barrels of Chardonnay, and the rest as they say, is history!  Stephen Hansel (Walter’s son) had one of the best winemakers as his tutor (Tom Rochiolli) so it is no surprise that they are still putting out great wines decades later.  Year after this winery has produced amazing “Dollar Cost Average” under priced wines!

Walter Hansel 2015 Chardonnay “North Slope” Russian River Valley
GGWC 42.99
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Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2015 Chardonnay North Slope Vineyard has a very sultry nose of apricots, green mango and grapefruit with touches of croissant, honeysuckle and chalk dust. Medium to full-bodied with a sexy, satiny texture and tons of citrus and stone fruit layers, it has a nice long, savory finish.”

Also check out the WALTER HANSEL 2015 PINOT NOIR “CAHILL LANE”‘ RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY (95+ POINTS)

Click here or on the links above to order!

Aug
13
2018

96 Point (200 case) Cabernet beats BIG NAMES in Blind Tasting


Our first of the summer blind tasting Cabernet tasting brought together the who is who among great Cabs.  The lineup included:

  • Aloft (95 RP)
  • Vineyard 29 (95 WA)
  • Fait Main Las Piedras (95 WA)
  • Vineyardist (96 WA)
  • Barnett Rattlesnake Vyd (95+ WA)
  • Ramey Pedregal (95+ AG)
  • Ceritas PMR (96 AG)
  • Cliff Lede Scarlet Love (97 WA)
  • Robert Foley (96+ WA)
  • Kamen Kashmir (99 WA)
  • Crown Point (96 WA)


The Winner – Crown Point 2014!!

Made by a Philippe Melka and longtime Harlan assistant Adam Henkel, this team got it right from the get-go.  Saturated garnet in color, the aromatics of this wine point to freshly baked blackberry pie, plum preserves, toasted rye bread and slate. Voluptuous and fullbodied, this 2nd release is built around tannins wrapped in a blanket of glycerin- notably marked with the essences of cassis, graphite, scorched earth, and dark chocolate. Loaded with black and blue fruits, this wine combines finesse and power that swells across the palate in impressive fashion. One for the cellar, it should drink best from 2018-2028… most likely hitting the top of the evolutionary bell curve ten years from vintage date (2024). Very small production.

Crown Point 2014 Cabernet “Estate” Happy Canyon
GGWC 159.99
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Philippe Melka Notes: “The 2014 Crown Point Cabernet Sauvignon undeniably blew me away. It is precisely what we should expect from Roger’s estate vineyard in Happy Canyon. This is an impeccable encapsulation of what he wants this wine to be: great minerality, a marvelous amount of richness and elegance. This wine should drink well and age gracefully for 25+ years.”

96 Points Wine Advocate: “A deep, velvety purple color in the glass, this bottling by proprietor Roger Bower and winemaker Adam Henkel shows dark-chocolate-covered black cherries, fresh blackberry, white pepper, violet oil, port reduction sauce and spice sake on the lavish nose. Firm tannins frame the palate, which carries black currant and roasted lean beef flavors through soy and pepper sauce into a finish of caramel and espresso grinds.”

95 Points Antonio Galloni: “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is gorgeous.  Ripe red cherry, raspberry jam, mocha and espresso infused this supple, flamboyant Cabernet.  Silky and purple, with no hard edges at all, the 2014 hits all the right notes.  Even with all of its natural intensity, it displays a good bit of aromatic freshness and nuance as well.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Aug
11
2018

Terroir: Nature & Nurture

Terroir: Nature & Nurture

Terroir is often spoken about as if it’s a fixed construct; unmovable, definitive. It’s as if the terroir of Burgundy, for example, lives off in an ethereal realm, elusive yet sacrosanct; something to represent and uphold at all costs. Carrying this example even further, what defines the terroir of Burgundy’s most coveted sites, after all? Standing on the hillsides there, observing those storied sites, one comes to understand that many of them came into existence not because of their ephemeral terroir, but as the result of man-made choices bound by history, logistics and practicalities.

A king on his dying bed makes an overture of generosity towards a cloister of monks, leaving an inheritance of land, to better secure a place in Heaven, perhaps. Numerous sought-after sites are curiously close to cloisters where the monks needed to rest their weary bodies at night; a practical choice.

Were those monks hundreds of years ago consciously toiling to preserve the terroir of a site, as so many critics and collectors compel winemakers to do today? Certainly not, for that concept did not yet exist. Their approach was more primitive, more sensual. They were striving to create something pleasant, something beautiful.

At some point, they must have noticed that some sites have better drainage than others; that one aspect is more favorable than another; that some soils are more nuanced than others.  They must have also noticed that some monks were more gifted at farming than others. Maybe one was especially good at pruning. Another more talented in the cellar.

It is at this crucial intersection that Nature and Nurture convene.

In my tenth grade Biology class, I recall having an uplifting, hopeful moment when I learned that we while 50% of us is already pre-programmed, if you will, by our DNA, the other 50% is a result of our environment. As a young man eager to forge his own path, that was positively heartening.

Given the fruit of the same special site, 10 winemakers will produce 10 different wines. Intentionality, creative choices, experience, taking risks, the spirit of innovation; all of these variants come to bear upon a singular, finished wine.

Can innovation and creativity exist if they constantly run up against the fixed construct of terroir? Henri Jayer said ‘no stems’. He was adamant on this point and it’s a debate that rages to this day. Does batonnage obscure site? These and other lively discussions remain prevalent today among Burgundians, and that is a good thing. Would that we could allow them this luxury; to innovate and create; to leave their own personal imprimatur upon a site without risking criticisms (from the trade and media alike) that their unique creative excursions betray terroir.

If Burgundy were to disappear tomorrow and they had to start all over again, with no history, no presumptions or hierarchies of greatness, would the re-creation of Burgundy look exactly the same way as it does now?

What would the wines of Burgundy be today if those monks toiling hundreds of years ago were not allowed to innovate? We are quick to applaud a winemaker who hardly intervenes and who adheres to ancient practices. If there is delicacy in their operations, surely we cannot fault winemakers worldwide for evolving. For being transformative.

From Paul Hobbs’ wine blog http://paulhobbs.com


To experience the variance of terroir and the incredible creativity of Napa’s greatest winemakers for yourself, be sure to join us at one of our weekly wine tastings! Or visit http://GoldenGateWineCellars.com to grab a case to try at home! Feel free to give me a call at 415-337-4083 for suggestions on a mixed case for your next gathering or personal collection!

Aug
10
2018

The Inaugural Release of Frank’s own Beckstoffer G3 Cabernet!

I am very proud to announce the release of our first Melis Family G3 Cabernet bottling.  The grape were sourced from the famed Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III in Rutherford.  This vineyard does not need any introduction, except that it produces amazing “juice”! The Vineyard Story: Historical records show that a portion of this vineyard was planted in 1895 by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford. This 300-acre parcel first purchased by Beaulieu founder Georges de Latour in 1928 and called Beaulieu Vineyard Number 3, was the home to BV’s Rutherford Cabernets made by the renowned winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. These wines achieved wide acclaim in the 1960’s and 70’s, establishing BV’s pre-eminence in the making of fine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Purchased by Beckstoffer Vineyards in 1988, the vineyard has since been replanted using new Cabernet Sauvignon clones with tighter spacing and advanced trellising systems, enhancing both quality and grape tonnage. In 2009 181 acres were placed under a land conservation esement that forever prohibits non-agricultural development.  Vineyard Georges III is today home to the main offices of Beckstoffer Vineyards.

Melis Family 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer G3 Vineyard Napa Valley
Retail 120.00 – GGWC 114.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more!
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Our Melis Family 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III offers intense aromatic notes of chocolate, black currant and a touch of licorice.  The wine is full in body with remarkable  richness, great length and a complex long but silky grained finish.  This is a wine that should cellar well for 10+ years.  Those who like to enjoy it now, I highly recommend to decanting a few hours in advance.

Click here or on the links above to order!