VALUE CHARDONNAY OF THE MONTH!

Walter Hansel has become synonymous with great quality at a great price!  Year after year these wines seem to impress me and my clientele alike. The first vines were planted in 1978 just a up the block from Kistler!  The actual winery did not start till 1996 when they produced 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 10 barrels of Chardonnay, and the rest as they say, is history!  Stephen Hansel (Walter’s son) had one of the best winemakers as his tutor (Tom Rochiolli) so it is no surprise that they are still putting out great wines decades later.  Year after this winery has produced amazing “Dollar Cost Average” under priced wines!

Walter Hansel 2015 “Estate” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
GGWC 27.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more!
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Robert Parker says: “A killer bargain! The wine is a blend of 95, 76 and the Hanzell clones.  The 4 acre parcel from which the wine was producred was planted in 1976, so it has some age to it.  This is a great Chardonnay with loads of honeysuckle, buttered citrus, orange and white peach notes, a medium to full body, terrific energy and purity.  This is a terrific wine that tastes like a Chardonnay that should be selling for three or four times the price.  So, consumers take note.  Drink it over the next 4-5 years.”

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Marcassin Disciple’s extraordinary Chardonnay (only 125 cases produced) Edit Subject

Ferren is a winery dedicated to tiny lots of artisanally made single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from the Sonoma Coast. Each of the vineyards is a jewel of the true coast, and is farmed to the highest standards of sustainability and wine quality. Owner and winemaker Matt Courtney started Ferren after an eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley at Marcassin Vineyard. The wines are made using traditional Burgundian methods without fining or filtration, and native yeasts on the grapes from the vineyards perform the fermentations.

Ferren 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast (Silver Eagle/Lancel)
GGWC 62.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code FERREN during checkout

The Wine: Nose of apple, pear, mango and white flowers. Layered flavors of stone fruits, honey, zesty citrus and lemon oil pair with a rich mouthfeel without being creamy or buttery. Shows good intensity, complexity, and minerality with a smooth midpalate and a finish that lingers on the palate. 125 cases made.

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Value Pinot of the Month

Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisoni.  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 “Alma de Cattleya” 2016 Pinot Noir
Retail 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
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This is a great taste of the freshness of Sonoma without the sticker shock, showing freshly pressed red berries, vanilla and wet slate on the nose. It’s light in density on the sip, so the flavors of cranberry, carnation, wet earth and brown spice sail effortlessly across the palate.

Winemaker Notes: “The Pinot Noir grapes are grown in California’s unique geography where the mountains meet the cold Pacific Ocean. Here we find the cool and foggy coastal climate where this grape thrives and develops the beautiful and sexy aromas of which it is famous.”

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LAST CALL FOR THIS “PERFECT” 97 POINT CABERNET

This might be one of the very best Cabernets to come from Knight’s Valley (even better than Peter Michael, really!)  The venture is owned by Norma Hunt (wife of the late Kansas City Chiefs ownerLamar Hunt – who pretty much invented the Super Bowl).  This gorgeous property is well-situated, and when you bring in the Quarterback – Wide Receiver duo of wine (Philippe Melka and Jim Barbour), you can only achieve one thing – SUPERBOWL-like fame with the accompanying quality.

Perfect Season 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Knight’s Valley
Retail 140.00 – GGWC 134.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
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Only 250 cases of the PERFECT SEASON Cabernet were produced, so it won’t be around for a long time.  This 100% Estate Grown Cabernet is well-crafted and offers up amazing aromas of red and black stone fruits, a hint of chocolate and a whiff of spice cabinet as I call it.  Amazing, voluptuous body that is loaded with intense concentrated, yet very well-manicured and balanced fruit.  More black stone and espresso / mocha on the mid-palate merging into a long lasting lingering finish of elegant tannins.  A MUST HAVE!

Robert Parker 97 Points: “The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, ratchets up the level of intensity by a few points. It displays slightly blacker fruits, a tremendous purity and sucrosity of fruit, an unctuous texture, and a terrific finish with real character and personality. This should turn out to be a beauty and edge out its rival, the 2014. It should also drink well for at least 15-20 or more years. Both are great examples of viticulture in the up-an-coming Knights Valley.”

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The Queen of the Valley’s BIG BOLD RED

The name “Barrettage” is a fusion of Heidi Barrett’s last name with the classic Rhone wine region Hermitage. The wine is a blend of 95.5% Syrah, 4.0% Grenache, and 0.5% Petite Sirah.  Only 285 cases were produced of this hard to get gem.

La Sirena 2013 Le Barrettage, Napa Valley
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
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Wine Notes by Heidi Barrett:
“Impressively dark in the glass, almost black ruby or blackberry in color. Deep aromas of fully ripe fruit, classic Syrah aromas of smoked meat, bacon, both red and black plums, pomegranate juice, mineral earth, and a hint of white pepper. A silk bomb across the palate (it’s a “wow”). Cashmere comes to mind. Flavors are layered and delicious with a seamless long finish. This is a thing of beauty for Rhone style wine lovers and a phenomenal vintage in the Napa Valley. A blend of two different Syrah blocks, Grenache for liveliness, and a tiny splash of Petite Sirah for added power. This delicious proprietary “Rhone style” blend from La Sirena was given an additional year in bottle before release because honestly, it just keeps getting better!”

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LAST CALL 100 POINT BEVAN WINE!

Russell Bevan and Victoria De Crescenzo knew they were on to something special way back in the late 90′s when impromptu blind tastings with friends and trips to Napa became a regular part of their life. Over the next several years, they met with and were inspired by some of the greatest winemakers and viticulturists of the time. Robert Foley, Phil Togni, Greg La Follette, and others imparted bits of wisdom and wine lore that shaped their approach even before the first batch of wine was an idea. It was not long before they acquired eight acres of land in the Bennett Valley and with a ton of grapes from the best block in Kal Showket’s vineyard, Bevan Cellars was born.

The Bevan legacy continues to this day and every year continues to impress. Multiple 95-100 point ratings are a testament to the quality, dedication, and attention that they give to each one of their wines.

BEVAN 2015 “SUGARLOAF” PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA (100 POINTS)
$199.99 (Net Item)
FREE SHIPPING on 3 bottles of more
Use code BEVAN during checkout

Jeb Dunnuck (formerly with Robert Parker) 100 Points: “Another perfect wine from Bevan is the 2015 Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard Proprietary Red Wine, a Cheval Blanc-like blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Merlot brought up all in French oak. This huge, full-bodied, opulent 2015 carries itself like a ballerina – elegant, weightless and even graceful, with remarkable purity of fruit. Currants, blueberries, liquid violets, Asian spices and a distinct minerality all emerge from the glass and it has both incredible complexity and richness. Bravo!”

Robert Parker 98 Points: “Deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard offers up a compelling earthy/savory nose of tree bark, tilled soil and black truffles over a core of blackberries, black cherries and black currants with touches of clove, sage and cedar chest. Full-bodied and built like a brick house, the firm, ripe, grainy tannins and lively acid superbly support the generous, muscular fruit, finishing long and multilayered. 325 cases produced.”

Russell Bevan Notes:Sugarloaf Mountain Proprietary Red Wine can be described in one word, consistent. Vintage to vintage the wines are so similar. Looking back on my last years notes, the descriptions have not changed much; Cocoa, Espresso, flowers and blackberry. Super round and complex, opulent with an incredible finish.”

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Napa’s Best Cabernet Franc!

The 2014 harvest marks the 38th vintage for the Robert Keenan Winery. It all started in 1974 when Robert Keenan purchased 180 acres in the Spring Mountain District at an elevation of 1700 feet. The winery is now in its second generation on leadership of Michael Keenan since 1998. He replanted the vineyards and it paid of!

Keenan 2014 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99 net item
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code KEENAN during checkout

Robert Parker 94 Points: “One of Napa Valley’s most successful Cabernet Francs, Keenan’s Cabernet Franc, is 100% estate grown from their holdings on Spring Mountain. Beautiful blueberry and raspberry fruit interwoven with spring flowers jumps from the glass of this wonderfully balanced and elegant, yet authoritative wine. It is rich, medium to full-bodied, but at the same time ethereal and finesse-oriented. This is a great example of Cabernet Franc at its best B intense, but elegant. This should last for at least another decade.”

Galloni 94 Points: “The Keenan Cabernet Franc is surprisingly approachable for the vintage. Captivating Franc aromatics meld into a core of dark fruit as this sensual, totally inviting wine shows off its winning personality. Sweet red cherry, mocha, plum, rose petal, anise and mint are laced together. Delicate and understated, this wine is impeccably balanced throughout.”

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A REAL NAPA DISCIPLE

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 2016 Disciples Red, Napa Valley 
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 47.99
FREE SHIPPING ON 6
Use code DISCIPLES during checkout

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.

Winemaker Notes: “Complex and evolving from first taste, unique aromas of hot granite, brambly fruit, mixed berry cobbler, forest floor and smoke open from the glass. More aromas abound—black plums, boysenberry compote—that carry through to the palate that is lush, rich, big and brawny. The finish is lingering and persistent, and the wine is definitely addictive.”

Also check out these other highly rated Dave Phinney wines:
G. B. CRANE 2014 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
G.B. CRANE 2015 “EL COCO” PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA VALLEY

AFTERMATH 2014 CABERNET “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY

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Powerhouse Howell Mountain Cabernet

Wayne and Victoria Prim elevated their passion for wine to the next level in 2009 by merging their exceptional Howell Mountain harvest with the wine making mastery of Rudy von Strasser. Prim Family Vineyard has been delivering highly acclaimed and award winning wines since its inception. The culmination of the “Prince of Cabernet” and the unsurpassed harvests of Prim Family Vineyard deliver outstanding wines that stand out from the rest and provide the perfect addition to any serious wine collection.

Prim 2013 “Estate” Cabenet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain Napa Valley
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
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Winery Notes: “Enticing aromas of crushed blackberries and cassis are complemented by dark chocolate. Black licorice, cocoa powder, and espresso add complexity to this opulent wine. Exceptional concentration and a rich mouth-feel create a powerful impression that finishes with polished tannins enticing minerality, an exceptional vintage from our Howell Mountain vineyards.”

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The Dream Come True Chardonnay

Rolando started his career in the Napa Valley in 1982 as a modest dishwasher at the exclusive Auberge du Soleil restaurant. Over the span of 15 years, his resume of employers began to read like the who’s who of the Napa Valley—from the legendary Warren Winiarski, founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, to winemaking great Paul Hobbs. Each experience was an opportunity to learn more, and with every move Rolando harnessed his work ethic with his love of farming and wine.

FYI: This is the wine that started it all back in 1997. True to its inaugural style, this wine is the perfect hybrid of Burgundy elegance and rich Napa personality.

Mi Sueno 2015 Chardonnay “Carneros”
GGWC 43.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MISUENO during checkout

This classic golden-hued Napa Valley Chardonnay has aromas of juicy pear, pineapple, and vanilla bean. Bright and fresh on the palate, flavors of grapefruit, lemon peel, butterscotch, and jasmine, are balanced by the peppy acidity and supple and creamy mouthfeel. Hints of vanilla compliment, but do not overshadowed the fresh flavors and provide a silky yet rich finish. This pairs beautifully with a wide range of cheeses, from aged Gouda to Farmstead Cheddar. It is also delicious with fish tacos, scallops, ceviche, and grilled chicken.

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