Under $60 ~ 96 Point Syrah Gem

 

“Just from the color you can tell the 2014 Les Titans Syrah will be magnificent; it has an electric psychedelic purplish glow hinting at the energy present in the wine. The nose is a complete knockout with iron, grilled meat, hickory smoke, ink, and pain grillé aromas. The mouth is consistent with the nose combining power and precision. The finish is long and clean with great acidity and lingering notes of violets and squid ink. The Les Titans has everything you could hope for in cold climate Syrah with grace and focus and none of the one dimensional, heavy, leaden quality found in lesser wines. I suggest you drink a bottle upon release to see what is so exciting and then open a few every few years to watch it evolve into the single best Les Titans – and maybe even Syrah – we have ever made.”
~Peay Vineyards

Peay 2014 Syrah “Les Titans” Estate
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 57.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code PEAY during checkout

Galloni 96 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Estate Les Titans is very tightly wound today. The signature blue/purplish fruit profile comes through, but the savory, peppery notes that are typical of this site need time to develop. Today the 2015 is raw and in need of time, but its potential is evident. Black pepper and lavender overtones develop with time in the glass, providing a glimpse of what will develop over time. There is so much to look forward to.”

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“REAL NEWS” A WHITE WINE FOR RED WINE DRINKERS

 

 

Arbe Garbe (pron. Arbay Garbay), literally “bad weeds”, is what they call the cover crops on the Friulian Colli Orientali (“eastern hills”). It’s the mid-nineties, same scenery; two philosophy students are paying for tuition by picking grapes in the Jermann vineyards. Long hours of hard work and dream-sharing, they find one too many ideas in common. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Kerouac, whispering incessantly in the back of their minds, they lift their deep roots and go. He picks up his guitar and she takes nothing but a flower in her hair and love in her eyes, and they come to California.

Those days are long gone, but they still have deep roots and their dreams. Never ceasing to work hard and with passion, they have eventually reconnected to their native culture through the winemaking tradition. All that they have seen and felt and envisioned they expressed in every step of the process that brings this wine to life. They’ve always been enamored with the big Friulian white blends (45% Viognier, 30% Malvasia Bianca, 15% Gewurztraminer and 10% Pinot Blanc) and wanted to pay homage to their heroes and their dreamy creations. With the same hedonistic approach, they have created an ever-changing blend that embraces the melting pot they’re in and love, California, and the one they’ve left behind.

Arbe Garbe 2016 Proprietary White Blend, Russian River Valley
GGWC $39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use shipping code ARBEGARBE during checkout

The Arbe Garbe White Blend is absolutely gorgeous. Sweet, floral aromatics lead to apricot, lemon confit, jasmine and mint. Beautifully perfumed throughout, the wine offers a compelling interplay of exotic fruit, lifted aromatics and pliant texture. Not surprisingly, it has much in common with the white blends of Friuli. The latest Arbe Garbe White is all class.

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Thomas Rivers Brown “Parades” his skills again

 

 

Three great friends – One goal: to create something worth appreciating, like the time they’ve spent together. They searched for an area rich in heritage, resources, and committed winemakers which took them 2,297 miles west from their homes in Kentucky to Napa Valley. They traveled to California time and again. Wine was shared, stories were told, and their idea was born.  At the helm is Thomas Rivers Brown, one of Napa Valley’s most distinctive and acclaimed winemakers. (FYI: Post Parade refers to the moment when thoroughbred horses walk onto the racetrack minutes before stepping into the starting gate.)

Post Parade 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Retail 105.00 – GGWC 99.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code PP14CS at checkout

Amazingly intense wine from start to finish. Dark purple hue and stunning aromas of black stone fruit, chocolate and a touch of toastiness greet you on impact. This is an extraordinarily well-crafted wine that is lush on the palate, loaded with gorgeous jammy black stone fruits, chocolate, a touch of espresso and toasty vanilla that are in-sync with the right touch of acid.  The wine lingers on the finish for a good 30 seconds!  Only 400 cases produced.

Robert Parker 95 Points:  “For a wine of this quality, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Post Parade is a fabulous bargain by Napa Valley standards. There are 430 cases of this wine, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 90% new French oak (50% of which was Taransaud and 40% Ermitage). Coming from the Tench Vineyard, an Oakville vineyard made famous by Russell Bevan, this wine has an opaque purple color and a glorious nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with charcoal, camphor, a touch of toast and plenty of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. It is full-bodied and displays terrific intensity and purity as well as velvety tannins. This heady, multi-layered wine is already drinking beautifully but should continue to do so for another 15+ years.”

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Frank’s Thanksgiving Wine Selections!

Dear Friends,

This has been some year – The Northern California Fires, the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto and the New York terror attack, but we will not give up!  We will continue to fight and stand up, support everyone around us, and continue to “Always Drink Good Wine”!  Golden Gate Wine Cellars is proud to have donated over $10,000 to the fire relief efforts, and I could not have done it without you – so THANK YOU!  Don’t stop giving!

I hope you’ll continue to support me and my efforts as well.  With Thanksgiving around the corner we will have a time to reflect on things and hope for everyone to get back on their feet and continue to live the dream!

On that note, here are a few suggestions for your Thanksgiving Dinner:

1. WALTER HANSEL 2014 PINOT NOIR “CUVEE ALYCE” 94 Points
2. SANS LIEGE 2014 “THE OFFERING” SANTA BARBARA
3. LARUE 2014 PINOT NOIR “SONOMA COAST”
4. HERMAN STORY 2015 CASUAL ENCOUNTER GSM , SANTA BARBARA
5. ARBE GARBE 2016 PROPRIETARY WHITE, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
6. MONTHUYS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT, 750ML – Best selling Bubbly!
7. WALTER HANSEL 2016 ROSE OF PINOT NOIR “ESTATE” RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
8. PIED-A-TERRE 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, SONOMA VALLEY – Excellent Value!
9. LULI 2015 PINOT NOIR “HIGHLANDS RANCH” SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS – 89 cases produced!
10. LORENZA 2016 ROSE (RHONE BLEND)
11. BELLA 2014 ZINFANDEL “LILY HILL” DRY CREEK – 125 cases produced
12. YOUNT RIDGE 2016 SAUVIGNON BLANC, ESTATE, OAKVILLE – Celia Welch Winemaker

Order 12 bottles (mix & match OK) or more and we’ll pay the shipping!
Use code THANK17 during checkout

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Michelin awards several Napa and Bay Area Restaurants 3 STARS!

Michelin awards several Napa and Bay Area Restaurants 3 STARS!
By Diane Peterson, The Press Democrat

After a delay due to the North Bay wildfires, Michelin on Wednesday announced its star selections for the 2018 Michelin Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country, with 11 restaurants in Wine Country snagging a total of 16 stars.

For the North Bay, the biggest winner was newcomer Single Thread in Healdsburg, which was one of seven restaurants to snag two stars. The high-end restaurant, opened by chef Kyle Connaughton in early December, 2016, offers a prix fixe tasting menu inspired by Japan kaiseki dining and Sonoma farm-to-table cuisine.

Both The French Laundry in Yountville and The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena maintained their coveted three-star status. Among the five other three-star restaurants, the only newcomer was Coi of San Francisco, a quirky, fine dining restaurant in North Beach run by Chef Matthew Kirkley.

There were eight Wine Country restaurants that garnered one star. This year’s newcomer was the authentic Japanese restaurant Kenzo of Napa, opened in November 2016 by Kenzo Estate owners Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto. Solbar, located at the Solage Resort in Calistoga, lost its one-star status.

The 2018 Michelin Guide encompasses the North, South and East Bay as well as San Francisco. This year’s 67 Bib Gourmand winners, awarded to restaurants offering high-quality food and good value, were announced earlier this month. Nine of the 67 Bib Gourmand restaurants were in Sonoma County, and six were in the Napa Valley.

Here are this year’s Michelin star winners:

THREE STARS
Benu, San Francisco
Coi, San Francisco
The French Laundry, Yountville
Manresa, Los Gatos
Quince, San Francisco
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
Saison, San Francisco
___

TWO STARS
Acquerello, San Francisco
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Baumé, Palo Alto
Californios, San Francisco
Commis, East Bay
Lazy Bear, San Francisco
Single Thread, Healdsburg

If you have been so fortunate to have dined recently at one of these fine establishments, or even if you haven’t yet, Golden Gate Wine Cellars carries many of the best local wines that are found on most of their wine lists! We can have a case shipped out to your home to make the experience last even longer! Be sure to give us a call at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com if you need any personal recommendations.

French Laundry & Saison’s Top Cabernet by Thomas Rivers Brown

For the past few years, The Hobels & Thomas Rivers Brown had been searching for a new vineyard to add to the lineup, looking for a unique vineyard that would allow them to produce a wine that would rival the quality and balance of their original Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon from the Engelhard Vineyard.  They finally found a wonderful match with the R.M. Kennedy Vineyard, a beautiful hillside vineyard located in Calistoga.

Hobel 2015 “The Figure” Cabernet Sauvignon
Retail 115.00 – GGWC 109.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code HOBEL during checkout

The 2015 Hobel “The Figure” is a voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon that has a spicy layered nose of vanilla extract, plums, cherries, toasty vanilla, rose petals and turned earth. The wine is juicy, rich and silky, with loads of glycerin. While it is easy to drink now, the depth of the materials promises great evolution.  Only 6 barrels were produced.

Winemaker Notes:  “Whereas the 2013 vintage was marked by its tannin profile and 2014 by its transparency of underlying terroir, 2015 is marked by the generosity of fruit.  Yields were down dramatically in 2015. First, cooler than normal weather during flowering and fruit set limited the berries per cluster. Second, dehydration at the end of the growing season due to the high temperatures further reduced cluster weights. Being just our second vintage from this vineyard, we made some farming adjustments in 2015 to help achieve better balance and structure. Like its 2014 predecessor, this wine is dense and really shows the vintage’s concentration.

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Kosta Browne Winemakers’ HOT NEW “VALUE” Pinot

 

Entering the wine industry less than 16 years ago as a harvest intern, Shane Finley has literally started at the bottom and worked his way to the top. After spending several seasons as an intern in California, Australia, and the Northern Rhône, Shane became Cellar Master at Copain Custom Crush. While there he had the opportunity to work closely with many notable winemakers including at Dumol, Carlisle, Pisoni Estate and Copain. He later took positions as Assistant Winemaker for Paul Hobbs Winery and then Associate Winemaker at Kosta Browne Wines, eventually head winemaker and now also winemaker at Dan Kosta & Emeril Lagasse’s “Alden Alli” wine venture.

Shane 2015 Pinot Noir “The Charm” Russian River Valley
Retail 47.00 – GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHANE during checkout

Showy and structured, the 2015 La Reine Pinot Noir exhibits an inky garnet color in the glass. It is a hedonistic Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir filled with brambly fruits and effusive spice.  Subtle blueberries, plum skin, and cardamom highlight its heady aromatics.  Firm tannins and notes of lavender, Asian spices, and cranberry support the wine’s core. The lingering finish unfurls with hints of sandalwood, ripe cherry, cola and toffee.

Winemaker Notes:La Reine has the structured core and delicate fruits of its predecessors. This years’ rendition is one-hundred percent old vine Martini clone planted in 1971.  La Reine balances Pinot Noir’s purity of fruit and seductive savory elements. Aged in fifteen percent new French oak for fourteen months, with twenty-five percent whole cluster inclusion, the 2015 La Reine is a wine with a firm backbone, juicy acidity, dark fruits and spice.”

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NEWS FLASH: Wine Pirates invade the Napa Valley!

Not fake, you read it right – Pirates have invaded the Napa Valley.  Although only a small section of Napa was captured, I am happy to report that Heidi Barrett fought them and was able to fight off the savage invaders.  But it was here that she created the idea of making a “Pirate” style wine, or in English “out-of-the-box”…

Heidi Barrett does not need any intro, but for those who do not know her – she is “Lady” Napa Valley, even better the “Queen” of the Valley! Heidi just released two new wines from her La Sirena portfolio; 2014 Pirate (her multi varietal  Cabernet based blend) and a stunning (bone dry) 2016 Moscato Azul (a wine for ABC fans  – “Anything But Chardonnay” lovers).

The true treasure of the seven seas – Pirate TreasuRed.  A hearty blend of seven varieties with full ripeness and big flavors from the stellar 2014 weather. The aromatics show layers of fruit; berry, cherry, plum, black raspberry, and pomegranate with smoky, spicy, meaty tones as well, complimented by sweet caramel, vanilla, toasty French oak. It’s a mouth coating yet silky structural wine with flavors that mirror the aromas. This is a big lush red that’s fun and delicious while also being quite versatile and age worthy to boot. Drink up all ye pirates!

La Sirena 2014 Pirate TreasurRed, Napa Valley
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 67.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use code PIRATE upon check out

The 2014 Pirate offers up a deep black-ruby colored wine with intense aromatics of sweet ripe fruit layered with toasty vanilla nuances, and hints of caramel. Layers of flavor coat the palate with broad appeal, wonderful cherry texture and seamless tannins. Bold, intense fruit flavors of dense blue and black berries are laced with a touch of chocolate and spice, and a whiff of vanilla. These flavors persist a long time in a lengthy and powerful finish. A great example of the magic of Heidi Barrett’s art of blending!

Suggested pairings: BBQ ribs, pulled pork, jerk chicken, wood-fired pizza, hearty red sauce, brisket, gourmet burgers, chorizo/spicy sausage, and many others – quite a versatile wine.

Make sure to  check out Heidi’s other excellent new release:
La Sirena 2016 Moscato Azul (BONE DRY)

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It is not weird, not light, not small – It is Petite and … comes with Free Shipping!

It started in 1914 when Eliza & Pads Peterson purchased a 100-acre property in the Napa Valley. It hosted a small Zinfandel vineyard, but with the onset of Prohibition in 1920, prunes became the cash crop. It remained an orchard, large vegetable garden and also hosted  numerous farm animals. Not until the 1990s was the orchard replaced by vines again. The current Peterson generation has been growing Petite Sirah, Cabernet and Merlot on the property. Under the guidance of ace-winemaker Robert Foley, the Petersons have been producing amazing wine from the property called “Switchback Ridge” named for the winding trails in the hills above the vineyard. Today Kelly Peterson continues the legacy that began with her great-grandfather, Mads 103 years ago. Her daughter Ashley is being groomed to take over the reins one of these days as well

Switchback Ridge 2014 Petite Sirah, Estate, Napa Valley
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 63.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SWITCHBACK during checkout

This might be the BEST Petite Sirah to come from the Napa Valley in decades.  The wine offers up a very dark blue/purple color, almost crude oil-like.  On the nose you’ll encounter gorgeous aromas of black stone fruit, dark chocolate, espresso bean and a hint of minerality.  On the palate this lush, full-bodied gem offers bright, bold yet extremely well-balanced fruit.  Very opulent, yet extremely well-refined, this youngster can be enjoyed now, but will be able to cellar for a good 10-15 years.  LIMITED PRODUCTION!

Winemaker Notes: “Welcome to the blackberry patch! Enticing aromas of blackberry pie lead to a viscous and mouth coating palate. Perfectly integrated natural acidity is framed by abundant tannins that are chewy and coating but not angular, giving way to an incredible, long-lasting finish. ~ Bob Foley, Winemaker”

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Life is too short not to drink this bubbly!

I am very proud to announce this stunning Grand Cru GROWER CHAMPAGNE located in the revered hill slopes of Mesnil sur Oger. The Robert Champagne Estate is above all a family business. The Robert family has been cultivating vines for several generations. Henri Robert (1881-1948) began working on vineyards after the 1st  World War when vines were planted “en foule”. In the 1930s he established the first group of ‘growers’ to share equipment needed for pressing and wine-making.

At the start of the 2nd  World War, André Robert (born in 1925) began to work in the vineyard with the use of a horse. In 1960 he bought the Estate (dating back to the 19th century) as it is today with its amazing chalk-stone cellars for ageing. He began to sell his own bottled champagne in 1962. Bathed in the world of champagne throu-ghout his childhood, Bertrand Robert took over the estate in 1961, with his wife Colette joining him in 1990. Bertrand’s daughter, Claire joined her father in 2013 and now works beside him in the vineyards and cellar. These are absolutely stunning champagne offerings… pure and all Grand Cru. Only available in California here at Golden Gate Wine Cellars!

Andre Robert Champagne Brut “Reserve” Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 46.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BUBBLY during checkout

The Andre Robert is a great bubbly!  Sourced from two Grand Cru vineyards in Le Mesnil (mostly 2009 and 2010 vintage). 100% Chardonnay with a dosage from 8-9 g/l, which translates to medium on the “Brut” rating scale.  This wine has gorgeous aromas of pie and citrus and white stone fruit.  On the palate pleasant fruit and the right acidity, amazingly balanced, a real crowd-pleaser.

Winemaker Notes: “Light yellow color. Expressive nose of white flesh fruit, pastries with overriding mineral touches. The mouth is both structured and refreshing with ever-present minerality, finishing on a slightly toasted register.”

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