NAPA FIRE UPDATE — CAVUS WINERY BURNED DOWN! They need your help!

My friends Darryl and Laurel Browman at Cavus were very unfortunate and lost their home and winery in the Napa fire. These nice folks have worked so hard to create this venture. You can help them rebuild by supporting their winery and acquiring some very fine wine for yourself as well.

Cavus (Cave), The Cave is a personal tribute to friends, good fortune and life. Darryl (winery owner) and two friends were skiing in Argentina when they took a wrong turn and found themselves on the backside of the mountain with no way out. They built “a cave” and the three friends settled in for the night not knowing what the future would bring. As good fortune would have it they were rescued 24 hours later, tired, thankful and full of joy.  The experience reinforced their philosophy on drinking good wine: why wait for a “special occasion”? Celebrate life each day and “always drink good wine.”

Now they need our help again, this time it is a lit more dire, as everything was whipped out during this awful fire night. I am doing my share but I cannot cary the load alone, so I am asking for you help too!

For those not familiar with the venture, the wines are made by ace Dave Phinney.

CAVUS 2014 CABERNET “ESTATE” STAG’S LEAP
RETAIL 120.00 – GGWC 114.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code CAVUS during checkout

Dave Phinney Notes: “The wine opens with ripe cherry and hints of cinnamon, and brown sugar. A lush dark plum and blackcurrant entry gives way to a mid-palate of roasted coffee and a touch of baking chocolate. It finishes with lingering yet subtle flavors of white chocolate and vanilla. Overall, the 2014 Cavus is well balanced with a decadent richness.”

Robert Parker: “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc with the same barrel aging. This exhibits slightly more concentration and depth, but perhaps it’s just more sexy and open-knit compared to the 2013. Deep blackcurrant fruit intermixed with licorice, graphite and some underlying soil tones are all present in this medium to full-bodied wine to drink over the next 15 or so years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

LAST CALL FOR Heidi Barrett’s only White

 
The only white wine from La Sirena, this Moscato is an unusual, delicious dry (not sweet) expression of Muscat Canelli. In its signature blue bottle, Moscato Azul has become a fan favorite for its drinkability, perfumey aroma, crisp acidity, and ability to pair well with many different dishes. It’s especially perfect during the spring and summer time on warm days.

La Sirena 2016 Moscato Azul, Napa Valley
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code AZUL during checkout

The 2016 is a brilliant pale straw color with vibrant aromas of honeydew melon, tropical fruit, green apple, and jasmine floral notes. This is a very pure expression of Muscat Canelli. Crisp and full across the palate with flavors of tangy green apple, pear, lychee fruit, and white peach. It has a nice lingering finish, great acidity, and a lovely polished profile, quite seamless for a white wine. The 2016 marks the 14th release of Moscato Azul, Heidi’s proprietary white wine recognizable by its unique style and consistency each year. Reminiscent of dry Riesling with a bit of minerality and lime peel in the finish when served very chilled. It has tons of flavor without weightiness, enticingly fresh and immediately lovable, crisp and dry in the finish. Fun and absolutely delicious!

Robert Parker says: ”…A wine that Heidi Barrett does better than just about anybody in California is her unbelievably fun Moscato Azul… Reminiscent of northern Italy’s famous Moscatos. A slow cold fermentation renders a wine with an explosive perfume of spring flowers and tropical fruits. This is an ideal aperitif or breakfast wine, or it can be enjoyed at the end of a meal.” And… ”Barrett has hit pay dirt with a lively, consumer-friendly dry Muscat … It’s a shame more California wineries don’t produce these wines.. It is fresh, light bodied, and crisp… seductive aromatics”.

Actor Alan Rickman, of Bottle Shock fame, once remarked that “it was the most delicious thing ever to pass through my lips.” Can’t argue with that!

Also check out:  La Sirena 2014 Pirate, La Sirena 2014 Cabernet, La Sirena 2014 Grenache & 2014 Barrett & Barrett

Click here or on the links above to order!

Scarecrow Winemaker’s releases another SUPERB Cabernet – Only 200 cases produced!

Rewa is the latest venture of ace winemaker extraordinaire Celia Welch.  The Rewa vineyard is located in the Coombsville appellation in the South Eastern part of the Napa Valley.  The vineyard is planted on shallow rocky white volcanic ash in the slightly cooler growing area of the Napa Valley.  Rewa Vineyards represents a significant project from perhaps the best terroir in the budding Coombsville AVA.  Only 200 cases of this “gem” were produced. I highly recommend you jump on this now before the press gets a hold of it!

Rewa 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate”  Coombsville, Napa Valley
GGWC 229.99 ITEM item
FREE SHIPPING on 3 or more
Use code REWA during checkout

The aromas on this fully-ripe Cabernet Sauvignon abound with fresh cherry, boysenberry, mulberry, licorice, and cassis with minor notes of vanilla and a touch of spice. At entry, the wine is soft, ripe, full, and juicy and then transitions into a long, broad mid-palate. Bold flavors of violets, cassis, and purple berries dominate the  palate, along with short confectionary floral notes. The wine shows a strong sense of density and concentration throughout with sufficient tannins to indicate the overall sense of age-worthiness. Only 8 barrels produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Under the radar Syrah Gem

 
Nicora is the blend of two names. Nick (the owner), and Ora (Nick’s great-grandfather). Many years ago, Nick’s great-grandfather built a business, starting with little more than passion, a dream, and an entrepreneurial spirit.  His achievements have been the inspiration behind Nicora.  Nick works with some of the best vineyards in the Central Valley, such as Law Estate, Denner, Bien Nacido, etc.  He works very closely with the vineyard management to achieve only the best finaly product!

Nicora 2014 Syrah “Slide Hill” Edna Valley
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 51.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code NICORA during checkout

The Nicora 2014 Slide Hill offers up aromatics and flavors of ripe black stone fruit, currants, a hint of vanilla spice, and anise. The wine is full-bodied with mouth-filling consistency, and abundant concentration, leading into a long finish with fine grained tannins.  This wine could benefit from a good decanting an hour before serving.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Slide Hill Vineyard comes from Edna Valley and spent 18 months in barrel. It’s another deep ruby/purple tinged effort that offers lots of black raspberries, cedarlike spice, white pepper and cured meats in a rich, structured, nicely texture personality. It’s has good mid-palate density, plenty of tannin and a good finish. Drink it through 2024.“

Click here or on the links above to order!

LAST CALL 95 Point under $50 “Cal-Rhone” sensation

 
I was excited to hear that Prophetess is one of the top wines Robert Parker has ever tasted, and I have to wholeheartedly agree! Curt Schalchlin has been crafting some of the most amazingly, well-priced, widely-praised Rhone blends for over a decade. His wines have made him (and me) many friends.  The Prophetess bottling, Curt’ smallest bottling sells out within weeks of its release, and with this 95 Point rating it will probably even go faster!  So don’t procrastinate!

Sans Liege XIII/XIV Prophetess, Santa Barbara
Retail 52.00 – GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on six
Use code PROPHETESS during checkout

95 Point Rating:  “A multi-vintage blend that’s from 2013 and 2014, the 13/14 Prophetess is a blend of 73% Syrah and 27% Mourvèdre, fermented with a touch stems (only from the Syrah) and aged in 40% new barrels. It’s deep ruby/purple/opaque color is followed by killer notes of black raspberries, cassis, smoke meats and dried flowers. Probably the finest vintage I’ve tasted from Curt, is has full-bodied richness, an elegant, silky, seamless personality and no hard edges. It’s already impossible to resist.” – Jeb Dunnuck (formerly of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate)

Click here or on the links above to order!

Exclusive Cabernet Early Release Offer!

 
Golden Gate Wine Cellars received an exclusive early Cabernet Release Offer from our friends at Coho Winery. Yesterday I visited and tasted with Coho owner Gary Lipp. We sampled his latest (2014) Cabernet Release and WAW (What a Wine) it was!

I am excited to introduce the new Coho Cabernet Sauvignon from the (small) 2014 vintage. The wine is sourced from three small, family-owned vineyards located in, Yountville, and Coombsville. Winemaker Phil Titus (longtime “star” at Chappellet) produced an amazing, crowd-pleasing wine! As always the Coho production is limited – so don’t wait too long to jump on this wine!

Coho 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 64.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use discount code COHO during checkout

The 2014 Cabernet kicks of with bright aromatics of licorice and mocha that  lead to a rich palate of cassis and black currant flavors on the big bold palate. The wine is full and lush in body, loaded with bold and bright black stone fruit and a touch of lively acidity that will support the flavors for years of exceptional enjoyment. However you won’t have to wait as it is already eminently enjoyable.

Antonio Galloni wrote in Vinous: “This is one of the more open-knit, voluptuous wine(s) of the year…Readers looking for immediate gratification will find plenty of that here”.

Also, Be sure to check out Coho’s other releases:
COHO 2014 “OLD POODLE DOG” CABERNET, NAPA VALLEY
COHO 2013 MERLOT “MICHAEL BLACK”, NAPA VALLEY
COHO 2013 HEADWATER CABERNET BLEND, NAPA VALLEY
COHO 2014 PINOT NOIR “STANLY RANCH” CARNEROS NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!

“Grand” 95 Point under $80 MUST HAVE Napa Cab!

 

 

Knighton Family Vineyards was founded in 2007 by Jim and Ann Knighton with their first commercial release. However the story of how they came to live in the Napa Valley begins a few years prior. Jim was living and working in San Francisco at the time – his home was located in the Sunset District, an often cold and foggy part of the city even in the summertime. In 1999 Jim decided he wanted to purchase a small weekend home in a location that offered a respite from urban life as well as a climate that delivered more of a ‘true’ summer. The next thing you know he buys a 50 acre property (3.9 acres planted), and the rest as they say is history.  Today wineries such Ramey and Vineyard 29 purchase grapes from this great vineyard.

Knighton 2014 Cabernet “Ava Grace” Estate
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code KNIGHTON during checkout

Robert Parker 95 Points: “A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot coming from the northeastern hillsides of Napa Valley, this is quite a stunning Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky purple, its notes of charcoal embers, crème de cassis, background oak and earth are followed by a full-bodied, super-concentrated wine with beautifully pure blackcurrant fruit, attractive spice and well-integrated acidity, tannin, alcohol and new oak. This is a major sleeper of the vintage and actually a realistic price for something this grand. Drink it over the next 20 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

2017 Zinfandel of the year!

  
In 1956 a San Francisco dentist and his wife purchased 121 acres on Westside Road in the Russian River Valley (16 acres under vine).  In 1964 he added Pinot Noir (apparently the first Pinot Noir planted in the Russian River Valley) and Chardonnay.  The Chardonnay turned heads, as the 1973 Chateau Montelena which won the infamous 1976 Paris Tasting was partially (40%) sourced from this vineyard.  The entire family works and manages the day-to-day operations.

Bacigalupi 2015 Zinfandel “Estate” Russian River Valley
Retail $55.00 – GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BACIGALUPI at check out 

An inky black colored wine with amazing aromas of black cherry and currant are rounded out with vanilla and pepper notes jump out of the glass. The palate is loaded with jammy fruity characters, and a hint a white pepper and spice, and a high tone structure with good acidity on the finish. This wine should age well and improve over the next 5 years.  Only 200 cases produced

Winemaker Notes: “The aromas are instantly intriguing with notes of crushed cranberries, blackberry cobbler and fragrant lavender. Beneath the fruit are delicate notes of allspice and vanilla mingled with a soft sandalwood undertone. The palate showcases incredibly integrated tannins with judicious acidity throughout the finish.  This cool climate Zinfandel is at its best and can be enjoyed now, but will benefit from a few years of cellaring.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sensational 96 Point, 3 Barrel Chardonnay

 

 
The Pratt Vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley, a world-renowned AVA in California. The appellation benefits from a coastal influence and a cold climate, both favorable for making outstanding wines from Burgundian varieties. The vineyard is owned and farmed by Jim Pratt. Only four rows of clone 15 were planted and are farmed carefully for Cattleya, to produce the best clusters of Chardonnay grapes. Thanks to the intensity and complexity of fruit produced from this site, the Cattleya Chardonnay reflects the typicity and exceptional quality of white wines we can produce in Sonoma County from this finicky varietal.

Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisonio.  Born and raised in Colombia and trained as a winemaker in France, she moved to California in 2007 to settle into making extraordinary wines.  In her words: “Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine. At a very young age I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.”  She also makes the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Pahlmeyer and owns the “Shared Notes” wine venture with husband Jeff Pisoni

Cattleya 2015 Chardonnay “Pratt Vineyard”
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 72.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code CATTLEYA during checkout

Mix & match OK with other Cattleya wines

Jeb Dunnuck ~ 96 Points: “Bottled in January, but not released until this September, the 2015 Chardonnay Pratt Vineyard is only from clone 15 (which is an old Wente clone) and comes from just four rows in the vineyard. This is a very cool site and one of the last to be harvested. Native fermented and aged in 66% new French oak for 16 months, it has a sensational mix of richness and freshness, with lots of stone fruits, tangerine and green citrus aromas and flavors, beautiful concentration, high acidity and a great finish. Impressive, but unfortunately there’s only 65 cases available.”

Winemaker Notes: “French oak barrels—half of which were new—have been tenderly cared for throughout 15 months of aging. The fruit was whole-cluster pressed and the juice was cold-settled overnight for barreling down the next day. The juice sat quietly in the barrel until the fermentation began several days later. By the end of the winter, all  barrels had finished both native fermentation as well as malolactic fermentation. A very gentle racking occurred prior to bottling using argon gas and the wine was bottled in January 2017.”

Make sure to check out these other amazing Catlleya wines:
CATTLEYA 2015 “DONUM” PINOT NOIR CARNEROS 95 POINTS
CATTLEYA 2013 SYRAH “SOBERANOS VINEYARD” 95 POINTS

Click here or on the links above to order!

EPIC Mike Smith – Jim Barbour Cabernet

 

 

Bench Vineyards is a new family venture from Sam Sharp and Allison Steltzner. The Estate consists of 30 acres and sits next door to Odette and some other great Stag’s Leap vineyards. The name “Bench Vineyards” comes from its unique topography – a true “benchland” vineyard located on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, directly below the Stag’s Leap Palisades.

The vineyard was planted in 1964.  Fast forward to 2011. The family hires vineyardist extraordinaire Jim Barbour and his team to “recultivate” the vineyard, and 100 point winemaker Mike Smith (Myriad, Carter, 12c, Scarlett, Quivet, etc.). Mike and Jim were very impressed with the potential and after trial blends in 2012 and 13 they officially released the first “commercial” Bench Vineyards wine in 2014. An all estate blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a good dusting of Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Bench Vineyards 2015 “Circa 64” Cabernet-Blend Estate
Stag’s Leap Napa Valley

Retail 110.00 – GGWC 104.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BENCH at checkout

Amazing color, somewhat inky which tells me intensity! On the nose this wine is bursting with bright black stone fruit and a hint of spice. This gorgeous youngster offers up astounding flavors of crème de cassis, licorice, black stone fruits and a whiff of toasty vanilla.  The wine is full and lush in body, yet extremely well-balanced with the right balance of fruit/acid ratios. The tannins are fine grained and well-integrated with a 30 second finish. Only 250 cases of this second release were produced!

Also check out their equally amazing
BENCH 2015 “ESTATE” CABERNET SAUVIGNON, STAG’S LEAP NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!