4 Barrel, Blind Tasting Winner

Our tasting group rarely tackles Cabernet Franc, so I was very excited to review one of my favorite varietals.  Our panel selected some amazing wines:
  • Ramey (94 Galloni)
  • Hudson (93+ Galloni)
  • Kamen (93 Galloni)
  • Crocker Starr (92 Galloni)
  • Hourglass (94 Galloni)
  • Lang & Reed
  • Reverie
  • Robert Keenan (93 Points)
  • Oakville Ranch “Roberts’ (93+ Galloni)
  • Constant (93 Galloni)
  • Del Dotto
  • Walla Walla Vintners (92 Parker )
  • Pride Mountain
  • Chappellet (92 Galloni)
  • Wolf Family
The WINNER = WOLF 2012 CABERNET FRANC!
Since 1997, Jane and Doug Wolf have been stewards of the historic Inglewood Estate which is located at the base of the Mayacamas Range in the St. Helena appellation. The 30 acre property hosts just 6.75 acres planted to meticulously tended vines nurtured into wine of uncompromising quality. Karen Culler, winemaker, has led the wine program on the estate since the first vintage in 1997.

Wolf 2012 “Estate” Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley 
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6, use code WOLF upon checkout
Can mix & match with other Wolf wines

The 2012 vintage was textbook Napa Valley and counts itself along with the stellar vintages of the 2009 and 2010 wines. The 2012 Cabernet Franc has a rich texture and mid palate because of the fully mature and meaty tannins. The aromas are anise, blueberry, vanilla, and tobacco. The palate has the distinct oily mid texture characteristic of great Cab Franc. This wine exudes softness on the mid palate and extracted tannins on the finish, which is a luxury only found in Cabernet Franc. 95% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 101 cases produced.

Also check out the WOLF 2012 PHAEDRUS CABERNET SAUVINGON, NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Sensational “Inaugural” (Screaming Eagle) Pinot Noir, 270 cases produced!

Domaine de la Côte is a collection of 6 vineyards planted over 40 acres on a 25 million year old siliceous (silex) seabed at the furthest western side of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The vineyards, with vine densities between 4,000 – 7,000 vines/acre, are entirely organically farmed. Originally part of the Evening Land program, the vineyards were purchased by Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman, along with their financial partners (Screaming Eagle owner).Domaine de la Cote 2013 Memorious, Estate 
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 56.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code MEMO13 upon checkout

This very intense Memorious Pinot Noir is a single parcel at the Domaine de la Cote estate.  The wine  gushes out amazing amounts of concentrated fruit from the get go! Gobs of black stone fruit, anise, sweet spices, minerals and flowers jumps out of the glass.  The flavors mirror the aromas with a touch of crushed berries and wild herbs coating the silky palate.  This great wine is full in body, yet extremely balanced, rich, clean and concentrated without being overpowering. This is a wine with a future.  Young and intense, and it will age gracefully. My taste test showed that after 24 hours it had not lost any of its luster and was still kicking strong! Only 270 cases produced!

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

6 Barrel, Under $30 Cab Franc Stunner

This is only the second vintage from the legendary Pickberry Vineyard in Sonoma Valley that Zepaltas produced. This vineyard was put on the map by Joel Peterson of Ravenwood Winery and his sturdy, Bordeaux blends from the site. They have proven to be wines that stand the test of time, and we aim to follow suit with our Cab Franc. The vineyard was planted in the mid-1980’s on the western slopes of Sonoma Mountain about the town of Glen Ellen. The soils are rocky, red volcanic soil and our block of Cabernet Franc is situated on a beautiful knoll over looking the Sonoma Valley below.

Zepaltas 2013 Cabernet Franc “Pickberry” Sonoma Valley
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code ZEP13CF upon checkout

This wine offers up amazing aromas and flavors from start to finish.  On the nose you’ll encounter lavender, strawberry, anise and black pepper. On the lush, silky palate you are greeted by flavors of blueberry, raspberry and of course the hallmark of Cabernet Franc falvors, a touch of spice. The 2013 Pickberry is slightly more fruit driven than the 2012. It is bright and plush up front and finishes with silky tannins. This wine will need a year of cellaring to get to its sweet spot, so decanting will be necessary for early drinking. Only 145 cases produced!

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Wine = Rocket Science

John Caldwell grew up in Napa into a family that ran a shoe business. John eventually turned the one business into many more.  Living in Napa, making money he purchased 54 acres of land and had plans to develop some homes.  Unfortunately that backfired and now he was “stuck” with 54 acres of dirt.  He had been on trips to France, and one thing let to another that he was going to start a vineyard.  On one of his trips he decided that the only way to get vines from France was to smuggle them into the country.  With the help of some friends in New York and Canada he started to bring in vines from Haut Brion.  Unfortunately on his last of 5 trips he got caught by custom agents.  They wound up confiscating his last load, but John got lucky that via a lawyer friend he was released with a warning and a fine.  His 4300 vines were in a barn in Napa and that started the success story Caldwell would become years later.

In the mid-late 90’s I met John and we tasted through some barrels, when he said, you know this is not “Rocket Science”!  At that time, Philippe Melka was his winemaker, and the next day Melka asked him what that “blend” was all about that he made the day before.  That said, John created “Rocket Science” under my eyes and a new brand was born. So many years later, I am still a big fan of this wine!

Caldwell 2012 “Rocket Science” Red Blend, Estate Napa Valley
Retail 62.00 – GGWC 57.99 ~ FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code ROCKET upon checkout

This is real wine – real Rocket Science. It is a blend of 33% Syrah, 33% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Tannat, all sourced from John Caldwell’s estate vineyard at 1200 feet elevation in the Coombsville area of Southern Napa Valley. A delicious, full bodied, mouth filling and layered that’s got great fruit and structure without being overly intense or extracted. Laden with flavors of plum, cranberry, currant, coffee and chocolate with a few little hits of black pepper, cinnamon and earthy goodness. The gorgeous dusty tannins and pretty acid make this a serious wine by any yardstick. This full bodied wine will pair very well with the likes of a rib-eye, rack of lamb or hardy dish. Limited production!

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Under $50 Rock Star Napa Cabernet Blend

Scott Peterson (S.P. – Drummer) is a seasoned winemaker with a portfolio stretching almost 30 years making wine at an array of great wineries like Cardinale, Textbook, Pey-Marin, Mt. Eden, Anderson Conn Valley and others.  Scott is a big fan of Bordeaux-style blended wines, thus his blends have always been Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Merlot based.  Scott  believes in value and quality, and this 2012 SP Drummer Proprietary Red is just that!

SP Drummer 2012 Red Blend, Rutherford, Napa Valley
Retail 54.00 – GGWC 49.99 ~ FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SPD12RED upon checkout

Swirling up and out of your glass is an intensity of classic California, ripe black stone-fruit aromatics, specifically plums. Texturally on the palate, this Rutherford wine is all-consuming first with rich fruit. Incredible toast that soon blankets the palate comes from our use of multi-forested French Oak. A trophy wine, to stand alone; our Marilyn Merlot of bottles, full of soft tannins, but voluptuous. With tremendous flavor and velvet from nose to palate, she lingers beyond your senses control. The blend of ripe grape-tannins and Oak tannins are seamless, and the marriage is forever smooth until your sadly tipping the bottle for the very last drop. Only 280 cases produced.

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Surprise 95 Point Napa

A native of South Africa, Brian Malk continues a family tradition of grape growing started by his grandfather who owned a wine farm in Franschhoek, near Capetown.  Brian moved to the United States in 1978 and is resides in Napa Valley as well as San Diego. Brian and Nancy purchased the Stags Leap property for Malk Family Vineyardsin 1997. The inspiration behind the Malk Family Vineyards logo was their beloved Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Griffin, who recently passed away at the age of 15 1/2.  They even named the vineyard after their dog!  The complex layers of his personality displayed a bold yet colorful character, which exemplify the attributes of the wine his portrait graces.

Malk 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Griffin Vineyard
Stag’s Leap Napa Valley
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 79.99 ~ FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MALK upon checkout

The 2012 Malk Family Vineyards Stag’s Leap Cabernet is a perfect example of what the appellation has to offer. The dark, yet vibrant color of the wine gives the first glimpse of its depth and elegance. The nose offers classic ripe black currant aromas, but is highlighted with beautiful floral qualities, light clove and spice, and notes of chocolate and vanilla. The full-bodied 2012 reveals interesting mineral notes of crushed gravel, black stone fruit, a whiff of dark choclate and a hint of soil in which the grapes are grown. While the weighty palate is incredibly supple, there is plenty of concentration in this wine to carry it for many years of enjoyment.

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

“The” Must Have Pinot

Winemaker Phil Titus (Chappellett etal) is the new winemaker at the helm, and it seems like Coho is getting an extra shot in the arm with this new addition.Coho will continue to source from the same vineyards, but with adding Phil Titus, they might have gone from Coach to First Class!

Coho 2013 Pinot Noir “Stanly Ranch” Carneros
Retail 45.00 – GGWC 41.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or MORE!
Can mix & match with other Coho wines
Use code COHOFREE upon checkout

This 2013 Coho comes three distinct Dijon clones of Pinot Noir on Stanly Ranch in Los Carneros. Ripe aromas of black cherry, wild berry and enticing ripe plum aromas mingle with floral violet scents with a toasted almond and vanilla-infused bouquet. Rich and mouth-filling on entry, where the opulent texture reveals layered black cherry, plum and red currant flavors and fine-grained tannins which builds finesse on the elegant finish.   Only 600 six-pack cases produced.

Note: Make sure to mark September 26 on your calendar to come and taste all the new Coho wines in our tasting room and meet the owner Gary Lipp and his winemaker Phil Titus. Visit our website or http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/599941 to reserve your tickets. Attendance is limited!

Also check out the following hot new Coho releases, COHO 2012 HEADWATERS CABERNET BLEND NAPA VALLEY, COHO 2012 “C-2″ NAPA VALLEY, COHO 2012 “OLD POODLE DOG” CAB BLEND NAPA VALLEY, COHO 2012 MERLOT “MICHAEL BLACK” NAPA VALLEY & COHO 2012 SUMMITVINE RANCH CABERNET, DIAMOND MOUNTAIN NAPA.

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Top Notch Pinot Noir (250 cases produced)

Bill Hunter (Chasseur in French), started his winemaking career in 1987 after graduating from UC Davis.  He worked at Rombauer, Bonny Doon, Chaffe Eau and in 1994 he created Chasseur.  His first vintage he made 2 barrels of Dutton Chardonnay from the original shop block and a barrel of Carneros Pinot Noir, and the rest as they say is history.  Bill went on to source from many other great vineyards and has received great accolades along the way.

 

Chasseur 2012 Pinot Noir “Freestone Station” Russian River Valley
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 61.99 ~ FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code CHAS12PNFS upon checkout

The aromas of this wonderfully elegant Pinot are all at once deep, ripe and intensely varietal. Pouring forth in a cascade of hazel nut, red raspberry, vanilla cream scents over quieter notes of white pepper and lead pencil/minerality. It proves nearly as forthcoming on the palate, with a luxurious elegance, texture and polished feel of juniper berry, allspice, red raspberry, vanilla and floral spices. Picks up weight and becomes more intense as it airs, this is going to be a truly memorable Pinot.

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Screaming Eagle winemaker’s Syrah (Includes $0 Shipping)

Andy Erickson, winemaker extraordinaire with labels under his belt like Screaming Eagle, Arietta,Dalla Valle, Harlan, Ovid, Dancing Hares, Spottswoode, and Staglin does not any intro. He knows the game! He is the game!

The eighth offering of the Syrah, Quarzo, hails from Ann Kraemer’s Shake Ridge Ranch. It is a rugged, hilly landscape, imbued with lore of the Gold Rush—with the same rich volcanic soils that once revealed a precious element and now produce beautifully nuanced fruit. The intermixed quartz crystals, whittled down from large boulders throughout the vineyard, inspired the name Quarzo, Italian for “quartz.” Much has been said of the potential to produce world-class Rhône varietals in this area, and after eight years of production, we confidently agree. 

Favia “Quarzo” 2012 Syrah
Retail $80.00 – GGWC 74.99 ~ FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code QUARZO upon checkout


The opaque ruby-violet 2012 blend is a complex, balanced wine. Five different clones of Syrah bathed in the sun all summer long, adding their individual character to create a layered, complete wine. The 2012 Quarzo is beautifully textured, with notes of sous bois, Tellicherry peppercorns, fresh thyme and graphite upon first encounter. It then delivers intense Mirabelle plums, coastal Californian bay laurel, tasso, sarsparilla and gravelly minerality on the palate. Judging from the trajectory of our earlier bottlings, this most recent offering should continue to develop for the next 15 years conservatively.
 

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!