Another generation GEM!

Stone Edge Farm

This winery has stunned me the last couple of years, but the 2007 tops it all! Selected from two organically farmed estate vineyards. The first, Stone Edge Farm, is located on the west side of the Sonoma Valley, in soils studded with rounded stones left over from the ancient floods of Carriger Creek as it plunged from the steep mountains above. The second, Mount Pisgah Vineyard, is situated some 1300 feet above the Sonoma valley floor in the ruggedly volcanic Mayacamas Mountains that define the eastern side of the valley. The 2007 Vintage has been referred to as the vintage of the decade and this wine elaborates on that idea!

I had a chance to attend a blind tasting of Sonoma Mountain wineries and this was the BIG surprise.  The line up Chalk Hill Proprietary Red (95 Parker),  Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Clajeux  (95 Parker, $100), Kamen (93 Parker $75), Pride Mountain Vintners Select (95 Parker $85), Fisher Cabernet Mountain Estate, Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota (94 Parker), Dehlinger Cabernet Sauvignon East Ridge (94 Parker), Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso  (95  Parker), Prevail Wines Back 40 Cabernet (94 Parker, $80) and Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall (95 Parker $100).

 The RESULT:  1. STONE EDGE,  2. KAMEN, 3. PRIDE

Stone Edge 2007 Cabernet SauvignonStone Edge 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Sonoma
Retail $60.00 – GGWC$49.99

This wine (81% Cabernet and 19% Merlot)  is rich, dark, deep, mysterious, complex! A purple hue is the lead for an intense blackberry, cassis, chocolate aroma that jumps out of the glass.  The wine is lush and full in body with intense but balanced concentration and texture.  This wine has purity written all over.  The wine finishes with supple tannins–you’ll have to taste it to believe it. It is a collector’s wine, suitable for extended cellar aging where it should peak in balanced fruit at about 12 years of age, but increase in nuanced complexity for decades more.

Wine of the year winemaker has the wind in his sails! 3 HOT new releases!

32 Winds Wines

With Ehren Jordan  (Turley Cellars and Failla winery) as your winemaker and a top sommelier as your founding partner it is no surprise that you create some of the best wines money can buy!  This venture really has a lot of wind in its sails and is cruising along nicely, but if snooze you will miss this boat as the productions are very small.

32 Winds 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain Napa
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

The fruit for this amazing Cabernet was sourced from one of the most spectacular single vineyard sites atop Diamond Mountain.  I was stunned when I took my first sip, and it only got better with the second….and third sip!   This well-crafted, full-bodied gem displays notes of wild blackberries and blueberries, crème de cassis, licorice, and gorgeous chocolate notes.  On the palate, one will encounter more well-balanced black-stone fruit with the right amount of acidic backbone a wine of this caliber should possess.  On the finish it demonstrates wonderful grippy fine-grained tannins that will enable this youngster to age nicely in the cellar.

32 Winds Wine32 Winds 2009 Pinot Noir “Maestro” Anderson Valley
Retail 48.00 – GGWC 44.99

The Maestro comes from the (biodynamic and organic) Roma’s Vineyard – at 1850 feet atop a mountain ridge overlooking  the Anderson Valley.  It is perfectly situated to take full advantage of the warm sun and cooler night temperatures; this combination allows the grapes an extended period of time to develop their intense flavors whilst preserving their great natural acidity.  This well-made wine showcases gorgeous aromatics and flavors of wild berries, Bing cherries, rose petals, and a touch of earthy minerality, underlain by great natural acidity and silky fine tannins.  A real winner!

32 Winds 2009 Chardonnay “Monument Tree” Anderson Valley
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 36.99

The organically farmed Monument Tree Vineyard is a wonderful cool climate site at an elevation of 300 feet on the eastern edge of the Anderson Valley.  The alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation occurred naturally in the barrel and the resulting wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wine has great natural acidity reminiscent of a “Premier Cru” Chablis or Meursault, an underlying minerality and a lovely creamy mouth-feel. The predominant flavors are of baked apples, lemon curd and quince.

Free tickets to our Wine Tasting and a new release from Ric Forman

Get a change to WIN FREE TICKETS for our VALENTINE’S DAY (FEB 11) tasting when you place an order between today and Jan 28th! You will automatically be entered to win a set of tickets (meet 10 winemakers, taste 30 wines!) for our monthly wine tasting event.

And while you are at it, check out our WINE OF THE DAY -  Rossi Wallace 2010 Pinot Noir, Mt Veeder Napa Valley  (RIC FORMAN’s latest venture)

Rossi Wallace 2010Rossi Wallace (Ric Forman) 2010 Pinot Noir, Mt Veeder Napa Valley

Rossi-Wallace is a venture between husband and wife Ric Forman (Forman Winery) and Cheryl Emmolo (Emmolo Winery).   Annie ROSSI and Roz WALLACE are the mothers of Ric and Cheryl. And since a mother’s influence is undeniable, it made sense that they should honor their spirited (and red-headed) mothers. After all, the couple inherited their deep love and respect for the land from these passionate women.

It was a few years after Ric and Cheryl married that the couple began talking about making wine together as well as separately. Neither wanted to relinquish their own labels, but the chance to make another wine, side by side? It was too tempting to resist. There was almost no debate regarding the specifics. They would produce their favorite wine in their favorite style: a Burgundian-inspired Pinot Noir. And they would craft it the way their spirited, garden-loving mothers would have wanted: in small quantities that would express the brightness and freshness of the fruit without the complications of over-ripeness or excessive oak.  Ric and Cheryl said: “Pinot is the wine we like to drink, and we feel positive others will take pleasure in enjoying it as well!”

Rossi Wallace

 

Stewart Cabernet – Turning Heads

Stewart Cellars

This little winery has been turning a lot of heads as of late. Of course it helps when Paul Hobbs is your winemaker and your source from some of the best vineyards in the Napa Valley, many that have produced 100 Point wines!

Malk 2008 Cabernet SauvignonStewart 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
Retail 68.99 – GGWC 55.99

With Paul Hobbs at the helm, this winery has produced some dazzling wines. The fruit is sourced from three amazing Napa vineyards: Stagecoach (45%), Beckstoffer IV (29%), and State Lane (26%). Paul Hobbs has been the winemaker for this small venture since day one. Those of you who purchased the previous vintages know the quality of this winery and the skills of its winemakers. The 2007 vintage is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which offers an amazing hue and aroma that jumps out of the glass. A bright, harmonious array of berries, anise and vanilla. On the palate of this full-bodied wine one will encounter concentration and elegance – more black stone fruit and chocolate. The finish is long with fine tannins. This is a wine that will drink well into the next decade. As it was the case with the 2006 vintage – small production!

Malk 2008 Cabernet blows away the big names in a blind tasting!

Malk Family VineyardsFor those who bought the 2007 vintage I can tell you that you will be happily surprised by this latest release. Unfortunately this year’s production is much smaller (only 200 cases produced), but it is just as good.

We recently lined up 10 big Napa Valley (expensive and highly rated) Cabernets and the result was … Malk #1. The line up consisted of 2008 Spottswoode ($150.00), 2008 Ghost Block “Single Vineyard” ($110.00), 2008 Dancing Hares, 2008 Hourglass Estate Cabernet ($135.00), 2008 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace ($175.00), 2008 Casa Piena ($150.00), 2008 Cask 23 from Stag’s Leap ($175.00), 2008 Au Sommet ($250.00), 2008 David Arhur Elevation 1147 ($150.00) and 2008 Barnett Ralttlesnake Hill ($135.00). Being the only wine on the list under $100.00, I am even more excited to offer you the 2008 Malk Cabernet!

Malk 2008 Cabernet SauvignonMalk 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Napa Valley

Winemaker Robbie Meyer (L’Angevin, Pierson Meyer) has crafted an amazing wine from the Griffin Vineyard in Stag’s Leap. The 2008 Vintage of the Malk Family Vineyards is likely their best effort to date, I would say it equals and maybe surpasses the great 2007 vintage!

This wine greets you with gobs of black stone fruit right from the start. On the palate this youngster is loaded with more blackberry, currant and intense stone fruits. A whiff of spice spirals through on the mid palate of this full-bodied Cabernet, where we encounter a silky feel. The wine is and dense and well-extracted, but extremely balanced with the right touch of acidity. I would suggest to either put this wine in the cellar for a few years or at least decant it when brewing that early morning cup of Joe – so you can drink this one at day’s end! Only 200 cases produced.

2012 Valentine’s Day Wine Tasting

San Francisco February, 11 2012 — 5 P.M. – 8 P.M.

Tickets are limited and available in advance only! These will probably be gone before you know it!

Meet the winemakers from Hudson, Redmon, Stewart, Paloma, J. Moss, Passenger, Arbe Garbe, Coho, 32 Winds and others. Taste Champagnes from Stephane Coquilette, Clos de la Briderie & Diebolt Vallois.

Tickets $75.00 (ADMITS TWO)

Tickets may be purchased at GoldenGateWineCellars.com
or by calling 415-337-4083

Trespass beats the best Cab Francs from Napa and Washington State!

Trespass Vineyards Trespass Vineyard

In a blind tasting of big name Cabernet Francs, the little Trespass winery (yes only 150 cases produced of this vintage) blew away a lot more expensive and highly rated wines, including:  Hourglass ($150.00), Cadence, Andrew Will ($75.00), Derencourt ($140.00), Realm ($90.00), Pride ($75.00), Cayuse ($85.00), Del Dotto ($90.00), Crocker Starr ($70.00), Reverie ($60.00) and Wolf Family ($75.00).  Trespass was #1 by a long shot.

Another interesting note was that the Trespass average price point that was guessed at $68.00 by the 40 member tasting group!  All of the other wines scored lower and were ranked with lower average prices too! For instance Del Dotto’s average price came in at $33.00 (a good $57.00 below its retail price), Pride at $31.00 (a good $44.00 below its retail price), as did the wines from Derencourt and Hourglass!  I am a big proponent of blind tastings and this latest tasting is no surprise.

Trespass 2009 Cabernet FrancTrespass 2009 Cabernet Franc, Estate St. Helena, Napa Valley

An incredible follow-up vintage. Kirk Venge (yes, Nils Venge’s son – Plumpjack, Stag’s Leap – Nils was THE FIRST 100 POINT winemaker from California, Saddleback, Vegne, etc) does not skip a beat with this latest release. It is beyond awesome. I would almost rate this is the best Cabernet Franc in the Napa Valley, but who am I to say. This wine has an amazing dense purple hue and a touch of anise and black currant on the nose. Extraction would make you think it is Syrah, yet amazingly elegant this wine offers up a storm of black fruit alongside its full-bodied armor. Great balance, with the right amount of fruit and acid. The wine’s finishes with a long silkiness.

Our first wine offer of the year. Pre-sale of Paul Lato.

Paul Lato Wines

Paul Lato has become synonymous with some of the best “Burgundies” made in California.  All of his releases have received rave reviews from Parker, Tanzer, and many others – especially our Golden Gate Wine Cellars followers.

Paul Lato The average score for any Paul Lato wine is 94.5 Points, not shabby for my Polish (via Canada) sommelier turned winemaker friend.  I don’t know any winemaker that puts more attention to detail as Paul does.  He is so meticulous that he’ll discard a barrel that 99% of the winemakers would consider perfect.  If it is not 110% perfect it is not Paul Lato perfect.  Paul only settles for the best.

The 2010 vintage might be one of Paul’s best efforts yet to date, close to stunning.

As always Paul Lato wines are extremely limited as you know and those who buy the pre-sale are usually the only ones to ever seeing a bottle of these much-sought-after gems.

The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir should be available in the early Spring of 2012, the two Syrahs in the late Spring.  This is one of those you snooze you ….

Please EMAIL me your request at frank@goldengatewinecellars.com or call me 415-337-4083, as the wines do not have inventory quantities on my site! Last year we sold out 95% of our inventory in 48 hours!   I expect the same this year, especially since the allocations are 10% less!

Paul Lato 2010 Chardonnay “Souvernir” Santa Maria Valley
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 59.99 or 55.00 on six or more with FREE SHIPPING

Very similar to the 2009 vintage that Robert Parker gave 95 Points.

Robert Parker! “The 2009 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard might easily be mistaken for a top-flight white Burgundy. The wine blossoms on the palate with layers of varietal fruit, minerals and flowers. It is a strikingly pure Chardonnay loaded with class and pedigree. The fruit is ripe and quite generous, but never tropical or heavy in any way. The wine was fermented and aged in barrel (with no stirring of the lees), and was not racked until it was prepared for bottling. There is more than enough depth and sheer pedigree to handle the 70% new barrels. Frankly, this is a must-have wine from Paul Lato. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. ”
Paul Lato 2010 Pinot Noir “Duende” Gold Coast Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley
(93 Points Previous Vintage)
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 69.99 or 65.00 on six or more with FREE SHIPPING

I would say that this is one is even better than the 2009 which Parker gave 93 Points. Robert Parker: “The 2009 Pinot Noir Duende Gold Coast Vineyard is a plump, juicy Pinot bursting with red fruit, flowers and sweet spices. Cloves, tobacco and sweet herbs add complexity on the fleshy, expressive mid-palate. I especially like the way this gains richness and volume in the glass all the way through to the silky, perfumed finish. This is an exceptionally polished wine from Paul Lato. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. “
Paul Lato 2010  Pinot Noir “Suerte” Solomon Hills,  Santa Barbara Santa Maria
(95 Points Previous vintage)
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99 or 75.00 on six or more with FREE SHIPPING

Another gem from Paul, and this one reminds me a lot of the great 2005 which Parker gave 95 Points:

Robert Parker 95 Points:” From Dijon clones 115 and 777, this wine exhibits sweet blueberry, black raspberry, and kirsch notes intermixed with a perfumed floral note. This full-bodied, opulent wine has extraordinary elegance, precision, and finesse, but is layered, beautifully textured, and lush. This is a completely different expression of Pinot Noir than the Cine Sera. It should drink well for up to a decade.”

Paul Lato 2010 Pinot Noir  “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Santa Rita Hills
(93 Points Parker for 2009)
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.00 or 69.99 on six or more with FREE SHIPPING

This is only the second release from this vineyard, and within two years Paul has created a real star!   The 2009 received a 93 from Parker, and I would stunned that this one scores less, as it is much better! Parker 93 Points:” The 2009 Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard is one of the larger-scaled, more explosive wines in this lineup. A firm vein of minerality supports bright red fruit, flowers and licorice in this beautiful, highly articulate Pinot. I especially admire the focus and length in this intensely chiseled, pointed wine. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.”
Paul Lato 2010 Pinot Noir “Sebastiano” Santa Rita Hills
PREMIER RELEASE
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.00 or 69.99 on six or more  with FREE SHIPPING

This is the first release from this vineyard and it is an immediate “home-run” and would be shocked to see a poor review on this wine.  On the nose one is greeted by sensual aromatics, hints of roses and a touch of minerality.  On the palate this wines offers a lush moutfeel hints of floral and red cherries with some toasty vanilla.  The wine is lush and round and well-balanced (fruit/acid ratio).  The finish is long and lush with an outstanding pure Pinot edge.

Paul Lato 2010 Pinot Noir “Lancelot” Pisoni, Santa Lucia Highlands
(96 Points for 2009)
Retail  100.00- GGWC 95.00 or 89.99 on six or more  with FREE SHIPPING

This is the “Piece de Resitance” in Paul’s portfolio!  I don’t need to tell you that the Pisoni vineyard is often compared to the best (1er and Grand Cru) vineyards in Burgundy, and Paul puts a real Burgundian twist on this source!  This wine equals the best of the previous Lancelot bottlings and could even surpass it!  As always LIMITED!

Robert  Parker 96 Points: “The Pinot Noir Lancelot from the famed Pisoni Vineyard was fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled without filtration. It exhibits a gorgeous bouquet of forest floor, black raspberries and black cherries that suggests a top premier or grand cru from Vosne-Romanee. A beautiful texture, layers of fruit, superb purity and a voluptuous mouthfeel make for an exquisite Pinot Noir reminiscent of a hypothetical blend of ripe California fruit and the complexity of a Burgundy. Drink this beauty over the next 7-8 years.”
Paul Lato 2010 Pinot Noir  Sierra Madre, Santa Maria Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.00 or 69.99 on six or more  with FREE SHIPPING

This is another ace-in-the-hole wine.  On the nose one gets a burst of intense black raspberries and a touch of coffee with a touch of spice.  Similar flavors are encountered on the lush, creamy palate with a touch more of black stone fruit persisting.  This wine offers lots of depth with a touch of toastiness. On the finish this wine lingers for a long time.
Paul Lato 2010 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard Santa Barbara
(97 Points previous vintage)
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99 or 79.99 on six or more with FREE SHIPPING

This wine rivals the great 2008 vintage which received 97 Points from Parker! Extremely limited!

Robert Parker 97 Poins:”Slightly more exotic and aromatically complex is the 2008 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard (95% Syrah co-fermented with 5% Viognier). Gorgeous aromas of spring flowers, black olives, blackberries, black currants, and raspberries jump from the glass of this full-bodied, intense, complex, elegant Syrah. Superb purity, a seamless mouthfeel, and a tremendously long finish with no hard edges suggest it can be enjoyed now and over the next decade.”
Paul Lato 2010 Syrah “Il Padrino”, Bien Nacido
(95+ Points previous vintage)
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 94.99 or 89.99 on six or more with FREE SHIPPING

2008 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard, which comes from the Estrella clone. Fully destemmed and aged in 100% new French oak, it is a beautifully made, full-bodied, inky/purple-colored wine exhibiting notes of graphite, creme de cassis, blackberries, minerals, and spice box with just a hint of oak in the background. It offers layer upon layer of fruit as well as a powerful, rich, yet elegant style. Drink this beauty over the next decade or more.

Again, these wines are likely to sell out quickly and they are not yet available online. Please email me your order at frank@goldengatewinecellars.com to secure your allocation!

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