Under $35 Chardonnay Surprise of the Day

 
Byron Kosuge has been making wine for over 3 decades now.  He honed his skills at various great wineries in California and France.  While working in Carneros he befriended two guys who ran a vineyard management company.  When they planted a small vineyard next to their work shop, Byron came up with the name “The Shop” and the rest (10 years later) is history.  Byron has created a good following for his brand, and so have many of my customers. But his Chardonnay making goes back 30 years and has been his big passion, although he did not add this to his portfolio till 2008.  The 2014 is truly amazing and a great wine for your Buck!

B. Kosuge 2014 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
Retail 36.99 – GGWC 34.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code KOSUGE at checkout

Mix & match with Kosuge “The Shop” Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: “2014 may turn out to be the best wine since the new millennium began. Don’t quote me on that, but I am very excited about the quality of all of my 2014 wines. Why am I so high on the 2014? They have an enviable combination of richness, purity, freshness and concentration–ripe without being heavy–that doesn’t happen very often. I find a mineral streak in the Chardonnay in its youth which is particularly appealing. Over the course of the summer, if it follows the pattern of my previous Chardonnays, it will put on weight and develop some mid-palate richness, but I like that it is a touch steely at the moment.”

Check out these other Kosuge wines: 
B KOSUGE 2013 PINOT NOIR THE SHOP
B. KOSUGE 2012 PINOT NOIR “HABITAT” SONOMA COAST

Click here or on the links above to order!

Remembering our Heroes


 

On this Memorial Day, let us remember our heroes.

Remember, honor, and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that others could live free. Give thanks to those who believed in something greater than themselves. And let us not forget their families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers.

God Bless our fallen, their families, and the men and women in uniform all over the world.

And raise a glass to the United States of America!

Blind Tasting 93 Point ZIN-o-Rama

 
My tasting group doesn’t often conduct Zinfandel tastings, so we were due for one. We called it the “Battle of the Zins”.  The line up of 2013 Zins was impressive and the winner a big surprise. We tasted the following wines:
  • Turley “Estate” (95 Parker)
  • Epoch (95 Parker)
  • Bella Barrel 32 (95 Parker)
  • Limerick Lane “Rocky Knoll” (95 Parker)
  • Harford “Fannuci” (95 Galloni)
  • Carlisle Pagani (95 Parker)
  • Saxum “Paderewski (94 Galloni)
  • Williams Selyem “Bacigauipi” (94 Parker)
  • Ridge “Lytton Springs” (95 Galloni)
  • Saxon Brown “Fighting Brothers”
The “Battle of the ZINS Winner SAXON BROWN received 8 first, 4 second and 3 third place votes, ahead of Carlisle 4 First, 4 Second and Turley 2 First, 2 Second place votes, so a clear winner!

Saxon Brown 2013 Zinfandel “Fighting Brothers” Sonoma Valley
Retail 44.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SAXON upon checkout

The 2013 Fighting Brothers Zinfandel is a big, concentrated wine offering a mouthfilling blend of rich plum, blackberry bramble, raspberry compote, dark cherry and chocolate with lovely accents of allspice and clove. On the palate the wine’s jammy core of concentrated fruit gains exquisite structure from polished, sweet oak tannins that linger on the endless finish. Decant within first year of release. Cellar for up to 7-12 years.  Only 393 cases produced.

Robert Parker 93 Points: “The 2013 Zinfandel Fighting Brothers displays notes of Provençal garrigue, pepper, kirsch liqueur and black currants in a complex, intense style. This is very Mediterranean in character, but full-bodied, hedonistic, and just a total joy to smell, taste and appreciate. Drink it over the next 4-6 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

95 Point Napa Cabernet under $50

 
The Gianulias’ had been farming and making wine for centuries in Greece, so it was only normal that they would do so after emigrating to the US. It started in 1926 when the Gianulias family planted their first vines in the Napa. So decades later they are still at it and they say “Levendi” or “Celebrate Life”Levendi 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Sweetwater” Napa Valley 
Retail $60.00 – GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code LEV13 upon checkout

The Sweetwater is back and better than ever. On the nose this youngster offers up gorgeous black currant, black plums  and white pepper aromas. The wine if lush and full in bodied with very lively and forward flavors of black stone fruits, hints of chocolate and a whiff of spice and very modest acidity, balancing it well with the toasty vanilla flavors from the French oak barrels.  This wine is lush, bold yet extremely silky on the mid-palate leading into a long-lasting finish. A pleasant wallet-friendly experience!

95 Point Review: “The grapey/currant syrupy effect is attributable to the sunshine-filled 2013 vintage and this Cab shows it beautifully. The grapes are grown on rocky red-soiled slopes and the wine’s texture – strikingly rich – has a backdrop of slate and dried lavender, chocolate pudding surfaces heroically on the mid-palate. The creamy French oak drives texture further, enveloping the palate in what seems like forever. This is one to watch!”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Wine of the Year Source at ½ the Price

 
Kanzler is still a winery floating below the radar, but that will chance soon!.  As you might know Kosta Browne received Top Honors a few yeas ago WINE OF THE YEAR in the Top 100 of Wine Spectator with their Pinot Noir, and the fruit was sourced from…. You guessed it KANLZER!  That said, the Kanzler folks are not walking in the clouds after that review but have been acknowledged as one of the best growers of Pinot Noir in California.  Their latest bottling is truly amazing and a fraction the cost of Kosta Browne!

Kanzler 2014 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Retail $60.00 – GGWC 57.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code KANZLER at checkout

The 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir practically leaps out of the glass with aromas of fresh strawberry, raspberry and earthy notes of tobacco and green tea. On the palate, it opens with boysenberry and blueberry fruit balanced seamlessly with well integrated French oak, contributing youthful, grippy but smooth and pleasing tannins. A burst of vivid black tea, Bing cherry, leather, cocoa and sweet oak explodes in the mid-palate and continues through to a long and lingering finish.

Winemaker Notes: “The 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a generous, fruit forward wine with a surprisingly deep reserve of vivid and complex flavors. Whole cluster fermentation adds spicy and earthy undertones and grippy, age-worthy tannin. The structure and texture make this an excellent food wine, that will pair well with dishes like roast duck, wild mushroom risotto, or pork tenderloin. A concentrated and vibrant wine, we recommend decanting or opening early to allow the nose to blossom and flavors to fully develop.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

VALUE CABERNET OF THE MONTH

Pied-à-Terre is the realization of many years Richard Luftig put in working in the restaurant and wine industry and grasping that you should be able to find a well-priced bottle of Cabernet under $30.00!  He succeeded with the 2013 Pied à Terre Cabernet which he sourced from various amazing Sonoma vineyards – Clajeaux, Wild Iris, Grable, Rockpile, Mauritson and Grable.  A well-made, wallet friendly wine!

Pied-à-Terre 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code PAT13CS on checkout

The 2013 vintage was exceptional, one of the best vintages in Sonoma in recent memory.  The wine offers up gorgeous aromas of vibrant red stone fruit — Bing cherry, black cherry — with a touch of spice, dark chocolate and white pepper notes.  On the palate this medium bodied wine offers up great intensity and freshness.  You’ll encounter flavors of red currants, chocolate, a whiff of toasty vanilla.  This youngster finishes with subtle, mature tannins; a perfect complement to hearty meat dishes.

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A TURLEY SOURCE AT ½ the PRICE

The RW MOORE VINEYARD is one of California’s oldest and best known Zinfandel vineyards.   Turley labels it under the  “EARTHQUAKE”  bottling.  Molly is the niece of Bill Moore (RW Moore) and of course Mike is an Hendry, as in Hendry Winery.  Mike and Molly Hendry married in 2009 and produced their first vintage from the Moore Vineyard that year.  Mike manages the vineyard and sales for the HENDRY WINERY and Molly is an attorney for Napa County.

Bill Moore is Molly’s uncle, and has owned the Moore Vineyard since 1986.  At a time when many old zinfandel vineyards were being pulled and replanted to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Bill had the foresight to preserve this important piece of Napa’s history and the wines that it produces.   Today, less than 2.5% of Napa’s vineyard acreage is planted to Zinfandel. The Moore (earthquake vineyard) has been a Turley source for decades, so it was only fitting that Mike and Molly used it too.

Mike & Molly 2013 “R.W. Moore” Zinfandel, Napa Valley
Retail 40.00  ~ GGWC 37.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount shipping code M&MZin during check out

The wine’s floral aromas of huckleberry and anise jump right out of the glass!  This full-bodied, densely concentrated wine leads to lush, complex layers of blackberry, chocolate, ripe plum and black pepper flavors that are well-balanced and not overpowering.  This full-bodied, but not overly concentrated wine finishes equally lively and complex as it started.  I can see why Turley loved this vineyard source.

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LAST CALL 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!

Click here or on the links above to order!

The Bedrock Man Does It Again!

 


Everyone’s dream is to make great wine.  That said, when these two friends createdLacuna and set out to do so, they had one problem – they had no winemaker!  When they hooked up with ace winemaker Morgan Twain Peterson (Bedrock) their problem was solved and their 10 year dream came to fruition.  This is the seventh release and it has created a great following among many of our clients.  I’d be surprised not to see another high (95 point) rating, as this is on par with the Bedrock wines that have garnered 95-99 Point ratings regulary!

Lacuna 2013 Proprietary Red, Sonoma
Retail 36.00 – GGWC 33.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount shipping code LACUNA during check out


The Bedrock Man does it again! I am proud to introduce another release of Lacuna. This 700 case production was sourced from several revered vineyards in Northern California. Morgan Twain Peterson crafted this blend of 85% Syrah, 6% Carignan, 3% Mourvedre, 2% Petite Sirah and 4% Viognier (co-fermented) into a synergy of amazing aromas and flavors. The wine is high-toned with savory and bold aromas of white pepper, rosemary, and black stone fruit that are nestled in the warming embrace of currant and blackberry. This wine has an amazing, lush body with bold black stone fruit flavors that linger on the palate. This wine is well-balanced, although young, shows tremendous potential. I would suggest either decanting, and let it breathe for a good 2 hours, or put in the cellar for a year or two.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Inaugural Release GEM by Dave Phinney

 
In August of 2012, Dave Phinney and his friends stood in the middle of a block of hundred year old Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted by George Beldon Crane in the late nineteenth century and is one of the icons of the Napa Valley. Hours earlier they had signed the paperwork to buy the vineyard and it was just in the nick of time…they picked the grapes the next morning.GB Crane 2014 Disciples Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 46.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code CRANE upon check out

Dark crimson in color, the strong, classic Zinfandel aromas of briar fruit and wild strawberries jump out of the glass and are complemented by hints of wet forest floor and high mountain forest. The entry gives way to a rich and textured mid palate of Mexican chocolate, brambly raspberry and a lengthy, caramelized crème Anglaise finish. This wine is a unique expression of old vine Zinfandel grown in the gravel-rich alluvial soils at the base of the Mayacamas mountain range. The 2014 GB Crane Disciples Prop Red is a blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.

Also check out these other GREAT wines by Dave Phinney:

G.B. CRANE 2013 “EL COCO” PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA VALLEY
PAPILLON 2013 PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA VALLEY 95 POINTS
AFTERMATH 2013 CABERNET “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!