Pfendler Chardonnay blind tasting winner of the month.

The late Peter Pfendler planted his first vineyard on their 300 acre Sonoma Mountain ranch in 1992.  Peter passed away in 2007 and since then 2 more vineyards have been planted.  Greg Bjornstad (formerly with Flowers) is the hands-on winemaker.  Very small production from this estate (600 cases total), so not something that you’ll find in the big box or corner store.

My weekly group never pulls out a lot of Chardonnays, but we decided it was time!  We tasted the following:

The winner – 2012 Pfendler

Pfendler 2012 Chardonnay “Estate” Sonoma Coast
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
Use discount code PFEND upon checkout

A beautiful golden straw color with gorgeous aromas of honeysuckle, Asian pear, honeycomb and sweet apples.  Full in body, this wine offers a honeyed mid-palate showing crisp lemon tart, crème brûlée, toasted spices and a scintillating acidity that keeps this sultry wine in impeccable balance.

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Killer 2 barrel Pinot Noir production

A small winery but an amazing wine!  The name is a combination of the vineyard owners (a.k.a mom and dad) Nancy KIVELson and Tom AngSTADT.  An all estate property producing some great (mostly) Rhone wines and a small amount of Estate grown Pinot Noir.  Too bad the production of the Pinot Noir is still very limited, but it is well worth jumping on now.  The production will gradually grow to a whopping 100 cases!

Kivelstadt 2012 Pinot Noir “Sibling Rivalry” Estate Sonoma
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 45.00 – FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more

Use code KIVELPN upon checkout
OK to mix and match with Kivelstadt Syrah

Only 42 cases were produced of this amazingly well-crafted Estate grown Pinot Noir.  Organically grown 100% Pommard Clone, for those who are fans of Red Burgundies.  The aromas of fresh cut flower, black raspberries and Bing Cherries jump out of the glass.  This well-crafted Estate-grown youngster is rich and full in body but amazingly structured. Finesse and elegance roll over the palate into a long flavorful finish.  Too bad the production is so small, and I have only 5 cases allocated to me.


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Small Pinot Real Head Turner

What happens when a med student changes her mind…. she becomes a winemaker.  That is truly what happened!  Kerith and Brian had just graduated from Cornell when they decided to take a trip to Napa.  They picked up some bottles of wine and food and set out for a picnic.   Somehow the picnic became nap time and … right then it happened – a guy in a bathrobe and slippers sauntered by.  They tried to ignore him as best as possible, but pretty soon similarly clad gentlemen were cruising by and around them, like they were living a scene out of The Twilight Zone.  They quickly packed up their picnic and climbed back in the car.  As they drove away, they noticed the sign that they had missed on our way in: Napa State Hospital – Department of Mental Health –  TRUE STORY. But it is here that their affair of the vine began in earnest.

Bruliam 2012 Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 55.00 with FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use shipping code BRU12GC upon checkout

As you know the 2012 will go down in history as the “perfect growing season.  The wine is deep ruby in the glass, and features black cherry and raspberry aromas that are overlaid with nutmeg and spice and subtle hints of cedar and sweet tobacco round out the seductive aromatics.  On the palate this gorgeous Pinot Noir offers flavors of cherry pie with lively acidity bursting in your mouth and through the long finish. The 2012 has more grip and texture than 2011, with enough tannin and vibrant acidity to weather cellar age.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Napa’s Most Amazing White of the year! A White for Cabernet lovers – FREE SHIPPING

It started a little over decade ago when Thomas Keller (owner/chef) of the famed French Laundry in Napa asked Scott Palazzo to craft a wine exclusively for his restaurant.  Since then, Palazzo has turned out some amazing wines.  This latest Cuvee Blanc, sourced from OLD Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc vines might be his “Piece de Resistance”

Palazzo 2012 Cuvee Blanc, Napa Valley
Retail 58.00 – GGWC 54.99 – FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount code PALCUV12 at checkout

On the nose this youngster offers up a floral and seductive aromas of tropical fruit (guava, passion fruit, hints of pear Anjou, pink grapefruit and orange blossoms).  On the palate, this wine is round and silky with a very opulent and broad oil texture and weight.  Amazingly balanced with the right touch of zesty acidity and a touch of mineralitly rarely seen in domestic whites.  The delicious passion fruit with whiffs of nectarine and Meyer lemon tease the palate.  This is an amazingly complex and well-crafted wine with a stunning mouthfeel.  It finishes with excellent richness and weight and complex notes of slate.

I’d call this a White Wine for Cabernet lovers!

Pair this wine with oysters & shrimp salads . Halibut, salmon & chicken dishes to roast pork & suckling pig! A Very versatile Food Wine!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Paul Lato King of Pinot and Chardonnay


Paul Lato has been producing some of the most amazing wines over the past decade and has not gone unnoticed by the press with many 96, 97 and 98 point ratings.  All of Paul’s productions are ver small production, but amazingly well-crafted.  Paul is probably one of the most meticulous winemakers I have ever met.  Attention to detail from start to finish.  Paul is involved from the first day after harvest into dormancy, pruning, etc. all the way to dropping fruit during the growing season and only picking the very best bunches his vines yield.  He’d rather only sell two barrels of amazing wine versus selling six of “OK” wine.

The 2012 Paul Latos are MINDBOGGLING but VERY limited! I wish I could say that I have a lot to offer, but I don’t.  As it has been the case in the past years, this wine will sell out within 72 hours of our offering!
Paul Lato  was born in Poland. He worked as a certified Sommelier in Toronto’s most exclusive restaurants and visited California for the first time in the early 1990′s. Jim Clendenen (ABC and Clendenen wines) told Paul to just pack up and move here, and he would show him the ropes.
About 13 years ago he did make the move and took a job at Bien Nacido vineyards for just $10.00 per hour, he did get free “lodging” at the bunkhouse in the vineyard. The Bien Nacido owner pushed Paul to make his own wine. With some tutoring (he observed the best in the business for some years, asked a lot of questions and experimented a lot) he made his first wines and by chance met Robert Parker.
Parker asked him if “he” was the Polish Sommelier that makes wine and said that he wanted to taste it.  Parker told him that he would tell him immediately if the wine was the real McCoy or …. (slang for excrement – I like to keep my pages PG 13)
The rest, as they say, is history.  Parker was blown away and gave Lato a rave review. From then on, Paul’s new career was born (FYI – his first vintage he made 6 barrels of wine, 3 different wines)
I met Paul in 2005 and have been a big fan since day one, and could say that we have become good friends along the way.
Click on the links below to order and to read all about the great Paul Lato 2012 releases!


Sexy Napa Red low 30’s

Pazzo (which means “crazy” in Italian) is a wine crafted by ace winemaker Kirk Venge.  It is an unpretentious blend of Cabernet, Sangiovese, Syrah and Petite Sirah.   It is a wine that Parker called “Sexy, seductive, provocative” and “The best value Bistro wine from Napa” as well as “Gorgeously hedonistic, flavorful”.  In other words, a wine you should jump on now.

Pazzo 2012 Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
GGWC 33.49 with FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use code PAZZO12 upon checkout

This “crazy” wine is a real crowd pleaser that was crafted was star winemaker Kirk Venge.  The 2012 vintage, as you know is a knock-out year, is a stunning blend of some of Claus’ best barrels of Cab, Sangio, Syrah and Petite Sirah.  An ingratiating wine that is wonderful to drink in its youth. In addition to its good looks, it displays a nose of red berry aromas and follows through with spirited, sweet, lingering, fruit flavors.  The Cabernet gives it structure, density and black fruit flavors. The Sangiovese offers a “wow” factor of acidity, cherry-berry goodness, and an amazingly fragrant nose that has you craving another glass.  Syrah and Petite Sirah add a bolder richer component and also helps give Pazzo its deep color.  The balance of fruit, oak and tannin is perfect for drinking now.  I’d call this wine delicious!

Click here or on the links above to order!