A 95 point Cabernet for your cellar

Turnbull Winery has been on fire as of late (no pun intended) receiving many 97-100 point ratings.  Winemaker Peter Heitz (also makes the great Realm wines which received equal 97-100 point ratings.  That said, don’t wait to jump on this hot winery!

Turnbull 2013 Cabernet, Oakville (Leopoldina/Fortuna) Napa Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99
Use code TURN13CS upon checkout

This is truly an amazing wine. The Leopoldina vineyard gives this wine the amazing and gorgeous aromatics of black currant, pomegranate, white pepper, chocolate, and spice.  The Fortuna gives it subtle smoky and licorice tones.  On the palate this stunning 2013 Cabernet truly explodes with luscious well-balanced flavors of black currant, chocolate, a whiff of toasty vanilla and anise.  A full-bodied mouthfeel with amazing structure and texture reveal the spectacular nature of Oakville. The wine finishes amazing with long, silky, light grained tannins.  Supply is limited, so don’t wait to jump on this wine NOW!

Parker 95 Points: “Turnbull’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville, their least expensive wine in the portfolio is the most forward and precocious of the cuvées and shows what great winemaking and vineyard sources the Turnbulls are dealing with. The color is opaque purple, the wine shows slightly less tannins than its counterparts, with gorgeously intense blueberry and blackberry fruit, cedar wood, forest floor and spice box. It’s full-bodied, opulent, rich and, while still young with a good 10 years of upside, this wine will still be drinking great 20 years from now.”

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Screaming Eagle winemaker’s “Dad” Pinot Noir

It would take me a book to tell you the all about this legendary winemaker, but the short version is that Dr. Richard (Dick) Peterson is Heidi Peterson-Barrett’s father.  So the lineage should say enough.Make sure to watch this video on Dick Peterson - http://bit.ly/DP-video and read up on Dick’s 50 years in the wine industry -http://bit.ly/DP-NVR-Article (click or paste the links in your brower) for the full story!

It is in the Santa Lucia Highlands where Dick planted his vineyard with a footprint unlike any other. Boasting a cool climate and one of the longest growing seasons in California, the Richard G. Peterson property cultivates two distinct clones – Wrotham and R-4. The Wrotham Clone was discovered near Wrotham Village in southeast England; the cuttings were introduced there by the Romans some 2000 years ago. The Wrotham clone produces a uniquely rich color and a spicy characteristic not often found in other Pinot Noir wines. In 1980, Dick Peterson brought the first and only Wrotham cuttings back to California and planted 2 acres of them on his 10-acre property

Richard Peterson 2014 Pinot Noir “Wrotham Clone” Santa Lucia Highlands
Retail 72.00 – GGWC 69.00
Use code RP14PN upon checkout

The Richard G. Peterson 2014 Pinot Noir is elegant in its Burgundian style and offers an energetic profile on the palate with an array of earthy notes and minerality. Flavors of black currants, cardamom, sautéed porcini mushrooms and smoked game meat complement the wine’s uniqueness. This Pinot Noir will be ready to drink upon release and will continue to age beautifully over the next 25 years.

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Screaming Eagle’s “lost wine”

We are excited about the 2013 Vin Perdu. Once again, Heidi Barrett has masterfully blended small lots from some of the finest vineyard blocks on the eastern side of three Napa Valley vineyards to deliver an incredible array of mind-altering aromas and flavors. The composition of 2013 Vin Perdu is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9.% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc from the Amuse Bouche, La Sirena, Au Sommet and Lamborn estates. Because the percentages of theVin Perdu components vary year to year, each vintage is truly unique.

Vin Perdu by Amuse Bouche 2013 Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
Retail $95.00 – GGWC 89.99
Use code VINPERDU upon checkout

Robert Parker 94 Points: “With a colorful label, the 2013 Proprietary Red Blend Vin Perdu is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The wine shows rich, saddle-leather-infused coffee and chocolaty blackberry fruit and plenty of robust, bordering on rustic flavors. This is a pedal-to-the-metal, fun wine and very well-made; a big, substantial mouthful of wine that should drink nicely for another 7-8 years.”

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Under $50 blind tasting winner beats big guns

In our Pinot Noir contest a surprise winner rose from the ashes.  Our group of 15 tasters lined up some amazing Pinot Noirs:
  • Brewer Clifton “Hapgood” (96 Parker)
  • Aubert UV (96 Parker)
  • Dierberg “Drumm Canyon” (94 Parker)
  • Chat. Boswell “Eloise”(94 Parker)
  • Foxen “Block 8” (95 Parker)
  • Bacio Divino “Bacigalupi” (94 Parker)
  • Paul Lato “Kokoro” (94 Parker)
  • Capiaux “Pisoni” (93 Parker)
  • Chapter 24 “Last Chapter” (94 Galloni)
  • Peter Michael “Clos du Ciel’ (94 Parker)
  • Kosta Brown ”Giusti” (94 Galloni)
  • Martinelli “Moonshine” (94 Galloni)
  • Roar “Pisoni” (96+ Parker)
  • Wrath “Boekenoogen”
The big winner with 9 out of 15 first place votes: WRATH 2013 BOEKENOOGEN
The wrath of Juno sent Aeneas wandering the Mediterranean in Vergil’s Aeneid. For the ancient Romans, ira or wrath, was a tool of a god, an unstoppable anger driven by forces greater than man. One can argue that we see such fury in both the might of nature and the passion of art. Wrath appears in the edgy power of Robert Plant’s voice and the raw wail of Eric Clapton’s guitar. It is frozen into Jackson Pollock’s violent splatters of paint. Wrath is in the wall of maritime fog that rolls into the Salinas Valley and the relentless afternoon winds that scream through our grape trellises.  The vineyard was started in 1990, but the farm dates back to John Boekenoogen’s great grandfather who farmed it in 1870, not grapes but hay and cattle.

Wrath 2013 Pinot Noir “Boekenoogen” Santa Lucia Highlands
Retail $50.00 – GGWC $46.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code WRATH upon checkout.

This is a very complex with with layers of red and dark fruit and a hint of smokiness on the nose.  The wine is lush and juciy with a very lively palate that is capped by fleshy wild berries and a touch of Burgudny-like minerality.  The wine is supple, complex and elegant  displaying great fruit and a touch acidity ending with an elegant long finish. Only 291 cases produced.

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Scarecrow 100 Point Winemaker’s Smashing Release

Jim Barbour was raised on his family ranch in Rutherford where he learned the life of framing, a passion for land, and the understanding that hard work breeds success.

After graduating from UC Davis, Jim returned to Napa to begin a career that would lead him to become on Napa Valley’s most sought-after and successful viticulturists.  He has been dedicated to his craft, producing premium wine grapes using traditional and contempary hand-farming methods.  Jim has planted and managed many prominent vineyards in the valley, including Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, Blankiet, Revana, Gandona Estate, The Vineyardist, Keever, Pillar Rock, DR Stephens, Husic, Grace Family, and more.

In 1992 he planted his own vineyard and in 1995 produced his first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon of just 50 cases.
His winemaker is no other than Celia Welch (Ms. 100 Points), knows for her great skills putting wineries on the map of success.  Her list is long, but in case you didn’t know – Scarecrow, Corra, Keever, Kelly Fleming, Lindstrom, Hollywood & Vine, etc. She took over from the “other” 100 point winemaker, Heidi Barrett.

Barbour 2013 “Esate” Cabernet, Napa Valley
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code BARBOUR upon checkout

The 2013 Barbour Cabernet is amazingly opulent from start to finish.  The wine’s aromas of black stone fruit, anise, mocha and chocolate jump out of the glass on impact.  This full-bodied wine is loaded with generously layered dark berry, plum, chocolate and exotic spices that tickle the lush concentrated palate.   This wine is extremely well balanced and the layers of flavors are all nicely insync with just a little whiff over acidity which will allow this wine to be one for the ages. The wine finishes with a long complex finish that lasts a good 30 seconds! A MUST HAVE!

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Rick Mirer, the former stand-out Quarterback at Notre Dame and NFL player with the Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, Bears & Jets turned another longtime hobby into a profession – wine! This Mirror 2012 Cabernet is his ninth release and I would say the best-effort yet-to-date! His friend Jeff Smith (owner of Hourglass winery) did not need to convince him that there was life after the NFL (New Found Love). He was already a big Hourglass fan, and when they hooked up to discuss his future, Mirror was born – the rest, as they say, is history. The wines are made by Rob Lawson (Ghostblock). The name Mirror comes from the two St. Helena vineyards that “mirror” each other across the Napa Valley. The western half is just of Hwy 29, the eastern half perched above the Silverado Trail.

Mirror 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.99
Use code MIRROR upon checkout.

The aromas of this Cabernet Sauvignon are an ever evolving blend of dry rose petals, ripe blackberries, dark chocolate and baking spices. The palate offers layers of complexity – a soft, ripe entry of dark cherry with hints of leather followed by a concentrated core of ripe plum, highlights of vanilla, cinnamon and espresso beans.  The balanced acidity delivers a seamless harmony of fruit and rich tannins that integrate into a clean and long lasting elegant finish.

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Kenefick Ranch Winery and Vineyard is owned by retired San Francisco neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas P. Kenefick, and his two children Caitlin and Chris Kenefick. In 1978 Dr. Kenefick acquired a 125-acre vineyard property next door to the Eisele Estate (Araujo, now owned by Chateau Latour). This vineyard was head pruned and dry farmed with old Italian varietals. Over the next 20 years these were replaced with Bordeaux varietals on vertical shoot positioning and drip irrigating for higher quality grapes. 95% of the grapes are sold to various wineries and only small quantities are produced from the estate.

Kenefick Ranch 2012 Cabernet Franc “Caitlin’s Select” Estate
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 49.99
Use code KEN12CF upon checkout

Notes of dark cherry, underlining baker’s chocolate and strong currant notes greet the nose out of the glass. Raspberry preserve, custard and creamy notes are supported by a well rounded tannin profile and finished by integrated red cherry notes mingling with the French Oak spicy notes. Only 350 cases produced.

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A 97 Point “Moaning” Syrah

John Schwartz, owner of Amuse Bouche Winery in Napa Valley, and Chef Bryan Ogden, recipient of the James Beard Award for best restaurant 2003 are the owners ofPharaoh Moans winery.  With their combined 35 years in the wine and food industry, they teamed up with winemaker Guillaume Fabre.  Their vineyards are located in the West Paso Robles appellation whose sloping hills are broadly exposed to the Pacific ocean climatic influences.

Pharaoh Moans 2013 Syrah, Estate, Paso Robles
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 89.99
Use code PM13SYR upon checkout.

Robert Parker 97 Points: “A sensational barrel sample from owner/winemaker Guillaume Fabre, the 2013 Syrah (there’s 2% Grenache in the blend) exhibits a killer nose of creme de cassis, white chocolate, melted licorice and sweet spice to go with a decadent, concentrated and voluptuous style on the palate. Despite its wealth of fruit and texture, it never seems over the top, stays lively and balanced and has a great finish. If you’re craving lightweight aromas and flavors, look elsewhere.“

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The Romanee-Conti from California – 8 barrels produced only 6 cases allocated

Katy Wilson named her winery after her great-grandmother – Verona LaRue Newell.  Verona survived and suffered through the great depression.  Verona left a big impression on her and when she started her own business dedicated the winery “LaRue” to her.  Katy grew up on a farm and at a young age knew that she wanted to be a winemaker.  She drove a tractor before she could drive a car!  After graduating with a degree in winemaking, she gained experience working at many great wineries both in the US as overseas, Phelps, Craggy Range, Torbreck and most recent at Kamen, but it was during her days at Flowers that she fell in love with Pinot Noir and the Sonoma Coast.  She sources from two stellar vineyards, Rice-Spivak and Emmaline Ann – used by many great wineries like Cobb, Flowers, William Selyem, etc.

LaRue 2013 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 61.99
Use code LARUE upon checkout

This is a beautifully complex wine that offers the unexpected. The wine is rich and textured with fragrant aromas of Bing Cherries, crushed flowers and a touch of rose petals.  On the palate, this large Pinot Noir is full in flavor yet elegant and not flabby! If I was drinking Burgundy, I’d say Grand Cru Pommard! The wine is amazing from start to finish.  Lush bright cherries, tea leaves coat the palate. The wine’s balance is impeccable with the right touch of acid intertwined with great fruit.  The finish is long and mouth-watering. Only 220 cases produced!

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The Meaning of “Vespera”: (Latin) Evening, a time to gather with friends and family.

In 1999 the two owners 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 “Vespera” Red Blend “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 44.99
Use code ROCVESP upon checkout

It will come as no surprise but the Vespera 2013  (69% Cabernet, 26%,Merlot & 5% Syrah) is  a real crowd-pleaser. The wine is forward, easily accessible, immediately delicious and enjoyable young.  As soon as it’s poured, the wine comes across as warm, rich and inviting.  There are deep layers of dark ripe blackberry, cassis, and black cherry aromas here, comfortably interwoven with subtle hints of oak spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate.  On the palate this is a gorgeously soft, smooth blend that lushly coats the entire palate without a hint of heaviness or astringency.  It ends with a long, complex but silky tannin finish.  This is a wine that’s ready for full enjoyment right out of the gate.

Robert Parker 95 Points: “A deep, dark ruby/purple color, loads of blackberry, roasted meat, Mediterranean lavender and licorice are all present in this full-bodied, complex and sexy wine. This is by far the most nuanced and multifaceted of the Rocca wines, but also the most drinkable. Soft tannins, low acidity and a big, fat, fleshy, meaty Syrah working beautifully with the Cabernet Sauvignon — this is a stunner and a great example of an intelligent blend. Drink it over the next 7-8 years”

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