87 Case Pinot Envy

 
Three Siblings (Robert RO, Michael MI and LILLY) make up ROMILILLY.  Producing wine from great vineyards is their motto. And the 2013 Vanderkamp was sourced from this amazing vineyard at 1400 feet elevation on the Sonoma Mountains.  The vineyard was originally planted for Sparkling Wine, but its history goes back centuries.  The Miwoks dub this mountain  “The House of the Moon”

Romililly 2013 Pinot Noir “Vanderkamp” Sonoma Mountain
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 45.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code ROMILILLY upon checkout

The grapes for the 2013 RoMiLilly Vanderkamp come from 2 blocks on the vineyard.  One is a “suitcase” clone from the famous Burgundy LA TACHE vineyard (you might have heard stories that vintners would smuggle vine clippings from famous properties and then propagate them) and Clone 828 a hardy and highly aromatic clone.  The wine has a beautiful licorice red tone and a gorgeous aroma of honey-branded cherries, holiday spice and anise.  On the nose you are greeted by gamey, spicey and bing cherry notes which are typical for this vineyard. On the palate, this well-made youngster offers up an array of carmalized apple notes, vanilla and marsaschino cherries.  The wine’s texture is silky soft but is loaded with bold flavors that linger into a linger fine grainy tannin finish.  Sadly only 87 cases of this wine were produced, so it will go fast!

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Must Have 125 Case Napa Cab Blend

 
Trespass is a small 5 acre all estate property in northwestern St. Helena at the base of Spring Mountain. The wines are hand-crafted by Kirk Venge who has been making wine since he was a little child under the tutelage of his dad Nils Vegne (the first 100 point winemaker in the US with his 1985 Groth Reserve Cabernet).  Kirk has wowed us with many great wines (Beau Vigne, Macauley, Honeycutt, Igneous, Venge, etc). Nils told me that at pre-school age Kirk knew he was going to be winemaker.Trespass Intrigue 2013 “Bordeaux-Blend” Estate Napa Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 76.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code INTRIGUE upon check out
Can mix & match with other Trespass wines

The Trespass Intrigue is a fine Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon married with 35% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc from their Estate property.  This wine is known for its devout approachability.  Already drinking nicely, it starts with a generous wafting of raspberry covered with a smooth milk chocolate and finishing with a creamy vanilla.  This generous wine produces full flavors of kirsch, currant, plum, black cherry and a touch of cedary tannin for spice.  The Merlot possesses the velvety charm to tame the strength and more powerful ego of the Cabernet. Only 125 cases were produced.

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A Specatcular White by the Scarecrow Winemaker

 
The Kelly Fleming Estate is located next door to Napa collectible Araujo on Pickett Road in Calistoga. The estate might be 300 acres, but only 12 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, while the other 288 acres are its own natural wildlife preserve.  Planted in 2002, this winery is slowly but surely turning into a “who is who” in Napa.  Add “star” winemaking consultant Celia Welch, and the key to success is there!  Only a few hundred cases each of Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc are produced each year, so my advice – jump on it now!  FYI: Kelly is married to famed restaurateur Paul Fleming, creator of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse restaurants.

Kelly Fleming 2014 Sauvignon Blanc “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 35.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code KF14SB

This expressive and fresh wine entices with aromas of honeydew melon, grapefruit, and ripe pear. The palate entry is coating and viscous yet there is a vibrant, mineral-driven acidity that focuses the wine from entry to finish. Flavors are bright and floral, perfumed with white flowers, peach cream and lime zest.  A hint of spice adds depth and complexity to this pretty, aromatic white wine.

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Last Call for Amazing Under $40 Napa Cab blend!

 
The Bridesmaid name comes from the more serious analogy between a First Growth Bordeaux and the next level Appellation blend. Pam and Drew took the more whimsical aisle of what the Bride is to the Bridesmaid: left of center, sexy and totally available! Pam Starr garnered her inspiration for this wine while working at such celebrated wineries as Spottswoode, Gemstone, and now her own label, Crocker & Starr. Meanwhile, Drew Neiman has kept his winemaking skills sharp with the creation of Neiman Cellars and stints at Newton, Kongsgaard, and Chateau Boswell.

Bridesmaid 2013 Proprietary Cab Blend, Napa Valley
Retail 45.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BRIDE upon checkout

This splendid Napa Valley Bordeaux-style blend might be the best effort from Pam Starr yet to date. The 2013 Bridesmaid Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec,  Merlot, and Petit Verdot.   Dense color meets the eye and copious notes of bright black stone  berries and flowers greet the nose.  On the palate this lush, well-made Napa Cab blend is loaded with  black currants, black cherrier, chocolate, red rose petals and a touch of spiciness all knit together for a big juicy mouthful of flavor. Oh so smooth finish with lots of length. All of this in a very seductive wine.  Probably one of Napa’s best kep secrets!

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A+++ RatedMelka/Babour produced Cabernet

QTR is the latest Philippe Melka/Jim Barbour venture.  The vineyard is situated on Howell Mountain spanning between 850 and 1200 feet elevation.  The vineyard is divided into seven blocks, ranging from 1/3 to 2 acres in size.  Only 6 acres are planted.  The 2012 vintage yielded a stunning 380 cases!  The name QTR or Quality Time Remaining is the brainchild of Natan & Jessica Bibliowicz.  After raising their kids they said that they had lots of QTR and decided to venture into the other love, wine. They purchased a property atop Howell Mountain and planted it to Cabernet in 2000.  This second release is even better than the amazing 2012 vintage!QTR 2013 Cabernet “Estate” Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4+ bottles
Use code QTR upon checkout

QTR’s aromatics are amazing.  Dark red fruit and exhilarating minerality reflecting the volcanic nature of the site, and a hedonistic display of cocoa and roasted coffee beans jump out of the glass on impact.  The wine is loaded front to back with stunning, yet extremely well-crafted fruit that is nicely balanced with a whiff of acidity and leads into an amazingly long finish with well-integrated tannins that speak to the lower elevation of Howell Mountain with a freshness and minerality reflecting the volcanic nature of the site.  Only 300 cases produced, so the wine will not be around for a long time!

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Helen Keplinger’s MUST HAVE Pinot

Boris Guillome is a 20 year wine industry veteran, having worked in some of California’s best restaurants and wine stores. In 2013, he decided that his next challenge would be in creating his own label, so he hired Helen Keplinger as his winemaker and set out to find exceptional sites and the best fruit possible. These wines are pure, focused and spectacular.

Waterfall 2013 Pinot Noir “Walala” Sonoma Coast
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 56.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code WATER13PN upon checkout


The wine is inspired by the winemaker’s love for Burgundy.  The wine offers a dark red hue. On the nose you are greeted by dark cherries, rose petals, plums and spices. The mouthfeel is elegant and lush, with flavors of ripe black cherries, black plum, clove, cinnamon, and tea. The lengthy finish is complex and inviting with soft silky tannins at the end. This is a smooth, balanced, savory wine. (Alc 14.1) Only 135 cases made.

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100 case Chardonnay Sensation with a Pisoni twist

Camino Winery is a project from Tadeo Borchardt (who has followed a circuitous road (a “camino”) towards pursuing his love of wine. For the past decade, as winemaker at Neyers Vineyards, he has been making wines of distinction and wide acclaim. He just released the second vintage of his own personal label, beginning with two wines sourced from vineyards and grape growers whom he has the highest degree of respect.  He just released 2 amazing new wines, a 100 case production each Chardonnay and an amazing Cabernet.

Camino 2013 Chardonnay “Soberanos” Santa Lucia Highlands
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code CAMINO upon checkout

The grapes from the great Soberanos vineyard (farmed by the Pisoni family) were hand harvested before sunrise under lights to ensure they arrive to the winery cold and in perfect condition. Immediately pressed, the juice fermented naturally in the finest French oak barrels without the addition of any laboratory agents.

Very perfumed aromas of Meyer lemon, fresh tarragon, and creamy meringue leap out of the glass. The flavors are generous with Pixie tangerine, fresh cream, sea salt caramel, honey, and stony, mineral notes. The clean acidity keeps all the flavors precise, giving the finish a lot of snap and verve. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 15 months of barrel aging. Only 4 barrels or 100 cases were produced!

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Stand in Solidarity

We are terribly saddened by the terrible events that unfolded in Brussels today. Our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones and to all of Belgium.
My flight yesterday was delayed, but I am still traveling as planned to be with my family and show solidarity with our Belgian families, friends, and clients. Fortunately, my family is safe. My brother-in-law was on the subway when the attack happened but he is unharmed.

Stay strong Belgium, the US is on your side!

Belgium

96 Point Cabernet Gem by Thomas Rivers Brown

 
The vineyard dates back to the days of Robert Louis Stevenson – Foremost among the books about the lore of Napa Valley is “The Silverado Squatters” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  In the passage above from this book you found the name for the winery, THE GRADE Cellars.  As he “entered on ‘the grade’ ” Stevenson describes the vineyard location at the beginning of the Old Toll Road outside the small town of Calistoga.  The vineyard is located in the northern Calistoga District of the upper Napa Valley where the lower volcanic slopes of Mount Saint Helena rise out of the Valley’s alluvial floor.  This confluence of geologic landscapes, combined with the unique micro-climate of the upper valley, create a terroir ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown (Schrader, Revana, Pulido Walker, Post Parade etc. – Winemaker of the Year) does not need any intro, as his name is synonymous with perfect, amazing, stunning, outrageously good wines, including the latest: The Grade Winfield.

The Grade 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Winfield” Napa Valley
GGWC 109.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 bottles or more
Use code GRADE upon checkout

The wine offers an opaque purple color with ruby edges.  On the nose you are greeted with purple flowers, cocoa, cedar and a touch of spice. The wine is mouth coating, lush, dense and chewy, with bold flavors of black plum, black cherry and dark chocolate. Great grip and texture, with fine tannins. A fantastic Cabernet!

Galloni 96 Points: “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is just as fabulous as it was last year. Nuanced, chiseled and finely cut, the 2013 possesses remarkable precision throughout. White pepper, flowers and mint add a super-appealing upper register that balances some of the wine’s darker leanings. This is a fabulous showing from The Grade.”

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French Laundry’s favorite UNDER $50 White by Luc Morlet

 

Luc Morlet has been on a roll as of late, and this latest venture “Cabaud” is just one of the many accolades this great winemaker can add to his portfolio.  Luc who was born in France, but is best known for his success at Peter Michael Newton, Staglin, Carte Blanche, Linked, his own Morlet label and of course the Cabaud Wines.

Passionate for both the expression of the various California terroirs, as well as the continuous pursuit of the ultimate quality, Luc calls his winemaking philosophy “neo-classical laissez-faire without compromise.” His is a non-interventionist winemaking style driven by an ongoing search for quality improvement. With over two decades of vintages under his belt (he worked 9 years in France, before coming to California), and with his own zest for innovation, Luc uses century old principles and classic Burgundy and Bordeaux methods, while adapting to California’s natural conditions.

FYI: Meadowood and French Laundry both feature this amazing Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion blend. This wine is very similar to the Peter Michael L’Apres Midi and Morlet’s own Proportion Doree (which all received big scores!)

Cabaud 2013 White Blend “La Brume de la Mer”
Retail $50.00 – GGWC 46.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code CAB13W upon checkout

A Classic Sauvignon Blanc with a French nose and a new world mouth feel. This beautiful wine is mineral driven with hints of honey suckle, citrus oil and oyster shell. On the mid-palate you’ll encounter flowers and tropical flavors that are layered between a great body with just the right touch of acidity showing of its freshness and lively character. The finish is full bodied with seamless character.  The wine is sourced from the same vineyard as the Morlet Proportion Doree.  Only 1 cluster per shoot, so amazing concentration here!

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