LAST CALL for Exquisite Under $50 Napa Cabernet!

 

Corey Beck grew up in the Napa Valley in and around the vineyards his grandfather planted at Chateau Montelena.  He started his winemaking career under Scott McLeod at Rubicon (Francis Ford Copolla).  His own Cabernet Sauvignon is an amazing wine sourced from one of the most sought after vineyards in the Napa Valley nearby the Hourglass, 3 Palms and Switchback Ridge vineyards. This wine’s quality is much higher than its price tag!

C-Beck 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 53.00- GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code CBECK upon check out

The wine’s aromas jump out of the glass upon impact.  Gobs of black stone fruit with hints of sweet vanilla greet you on the gorgeous nose.  This full-bodied wine is big and bold, yet silky and luscious loaded with extremely well-balanced black stone fruits (black currant, dark plum and blackberry) and the right touch of acid that will allow this wine to age nicely.  The wine finishes long with soft and supple tannins.  Only 264 cases of this great wine were produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Spottswoode 96 Point Rated Cabernet

 

Robert Parker is quoted in Wine Spectator as saying “When the history of Napa’s great vineyards is written, the 40-acre Spottswoode vineyard will be counted among the finest grand cru vineyards of the region.”

Spottswoode is a family-owned historic vineyard and winery renowned for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Established in 1882 by George Schonewald, the estate is distinguished by the pre-prohibition Victorian home depicted on the wine label. Spottswoode was christened by Mrs. Albert Spotts in 1910 and it was acquired by Mary and Jack Novak in 1972. Mary released Spottswoode’s first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1982, exactly one hundred years after the estate’s founding.

Spottswoode 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Napa Valley
FREE SHIPPING on 4
Use code SPOTTSWOODE at checkout

Robert Parker 96-98 Points: “The flagship wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which in this vintage is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot aged 20 months in 60% new French oak. It is elegance personified. Dark blueberry and black raspberry fruit with crème de cassis, licorice and spring flowers emerge from this juicy, medium to full-bodied wine with everything in ideal balance. The acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol are subtle and disguised. This is another beauty from Spottswoode. Slightly less dramatic than the 2012, but classic, it offers 20-25 years of aging potential.”

Anthony Galloni 96 Points: “Vivid, nuanced and explosive, the estate’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses remarkable intensity and pure power. The 2013 is one of the most precise wines I have tasted here in some time. Dark blue and black fruits, cedar, lavender and leather are all vivid and beautifully articulated throughout. The flavors build effortlessly to the huge, dramatic finish.”

Also check out these other great Spottswoode wines:
SPOTTSWOODE 2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC, NAPA/SONOMA
SPOTTSWOODE 2013 “LYNDENHURST” CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Rosé is NOT just SWEET PINK wine! Here’s why….

When I first got into the wine industry a few decades ago, rosé was anything but cool. White Zinfandel from California made the public think that all rosé was sweet, and unfortunately, imports such as Royal Lancers from Portugal and wines such as Sutter Home White Zin confirmed this notion.

Today, however, rosé is the second fastest growing segment of the wine market – the United States is the second largest rosé consuming country in the world, following France of course! It accounts for nearly 10% of all wine made worldwide. You’ll find rosé at high-end restaurants and corner grocery stores alike.

The dry rosés from Provence did more to change people’s perception of pink wine than anything else. Domaine Tempier’s Bandol rosé started to have a huge cult following in the 90’s and other producers from this area were able to ride its coat tails.

There are a few ways to make rosé. One is to “bleed” some of the juice from red wine during the maceration process. This is called “saignée.” It also serves the purpose of concentrating phenolics in the red. Instead of just discarding the left over wine, some wineries bottle it as rosé. Lightly pressing red grapes to extract just enough color to give the wine a pink hue is another method. This is how “vin gris” is made. Of course mixing red and white wine together is another way.

Most rosé made in the United States is still sweet and that might account for why imported rosé sales are growing while domestic rosé sales have gone down. However, there has been a proliferation of dry rosé made in California and many of these wines are every bit as good as the pink wines other countries have to offer.

In fact, California rosé is as diverse as the state. So long as a producer has access to red grapes, rosé can be made.MCEVOY uses Pinot Noir, andLORENZA creates a Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend that is similar to the rosé from Provence. White grapes can also be added to the blend. Some producers prefer lighter, lower alcohol versions while others go for a fuller and often fruitier style. A few rosés have a touch of noticeable residual sugar yet many are bone dry. As rosé is usually considered a warm weather wine, most people want it to be crisp and refreshing more than anything else.

 

We’re having a “Rose and Summer White “tasting Saturday August 27, We will feature five rosés and 1 “special white” from different parts of the state and composed of a variety of grapes, this selection really captures the variety and quality of rosé California has to offer. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by from 1-5 P.M.

 

For those who cannot attend the tasting I have a “six pack” special – 10% OFF THIS WEEK ONLY!

HERMAN STORY 2015 ROSE OF GRENACHE “AFTER HOURS”

LORENZA 2015 ROSE (RHONE BLEND)

MCEVOY 2015 ROSE OF PINOT NOIR “ROSEBUD”

DRAGONETTE 2015 ROSE OF GSM “HAPPY CANYON” SANTA BARBARA

WALTER HANSEL 2015 ROSE OF PINOT NOIR “ESTATE” RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

Plus a non-rose to fill out the “summer-selection” tasting six pack!

ARBE GARBE 2015 PROPRIETARY WHITE, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

Please use code TASTINGAUG27 at checkout to receive the 10% discount.

Sceaming Eagle Winemaker’s Hot New Cabernet Gem

 

Marciano Estate revitalizes a proud winegrowing history that dates back to the mid-19th century. The property upon which their vineyards are planted was part of the Bourn family estate, a country residence for one of San Francisco’s most successful and influential families during the time of California’s Gold Rush. When the Bourns purchased the St. Helena property in 1872, the estate – which the family called Madroño included over 100 acres of vineyards, orchards and grazing pastures, two cottages and a home. Though the Bourns replaced the original house with a much larger home, complete with Victorian towers and decorative stone work, this new home burned down in 1888. A second home – one that utilized the original stone walls along with a few oak doors — was completed in 1903-1904, and still stands on the property today.

The Bourn family had a keen interest in Napa Valley’s burgeoning wine industry, particularly Sarah Bourn, the family matriarch. After her husband, William I died, she devoted herself to learning everything she could about grape growing. In the meantime, her son, William Bourn II, recognized the need for additional winery capacity in Napa Valley. He and his partner, E. Everett Wise, built Greystone Cellars in 1888/89, one of Napa Valley’s grandest structures and today the home of the Culinary Institute of America’s west coast campus. Though the onset of phylloxera dampened William II’s enthusiasm for the wine industry and triggered the sale of Greystone in 1894, the Bourn family continued to maintain their residence at Madroño, adding to their Napa Valley vineyard holdings and selling grapes to wineries throughout the valley.

The Marciano family purchased the estate in 2006 and has completely brought it up the 21st Century standards. They also hired a top winemaker (Andy Erickson) and vineyard manager (David Abreu) and the end-result is amazing grapes and stunning wines!

Massiglia 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4
Use code MASSIGLIA at checkout

The 2012 Massiglia is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all sourced form the Marciano Estate. The aromatics are captivatingly complex—cassis, ripe raspberries, fresh-cut truffles, salted caramel, and wet gravel. The burnished, rounded texture of the wine is immediately appealing; but with such structure, the wine will continue to age for many years.

Parker 94+ Points: “The proprietary red wine, the Massiglia, tends to be a blend of about two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, 29-30% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot. These wines see slightly less new oak than the Cabernets (about 61-71%, depending on the vintage). The star is the Proprietary Red Blend Massiglia, which has a dense purple color and a wonderful nose of creosote, black truffle, blueberry and blackberry fruit. It is full-bodied and opulent, but also has good, sweet tannin, grip and a delineated, vibrant mouthfeel.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

2016 Harvest Report – Part Two

Dear Friends,

 

As promised, two pre-harvest reports for you.  Last time we shared some info about DuMOL, Linked, and Inherit the Sheep.  Today, our focus is on Spottswoode and Hudson.  Two “big” boys and girls in the Valley.  Both these vineyards would have “First Growth” and “Grand Cru” status if they were located in France.

As we are approaching the 2016 harvest, I want to give you a heads-up and share my experiences while visiting the Napa and Sonoma Valleys this last week.

After 5 years of major drought in California, we finally had a somewhat normal winter rainfall even though we had expected much more after the touted “El Nino” was announced.  Unfortunately, the flooding and massive deluges never materialized yet we took all the rain we could get.  I’d say the reservoirs are looking good, but we still will have to conserve as this could (again) be another drought year.  Since March we have not seen a drop of rain!

Last year the drought did a number on the yields of every vineyard in the state–many are down 30-50%, and some even more–which means we all will have less wine.  But the quality is exceptional!  I barrel-sampled with 10+ wineries and the 2015 will be another one for the books!

I visited with a few folks in the valley – Hudson (Carneros), Linked (Knight’s Valley), Spottswoode (St. Helena), Inherit The Sheep (Coombsville, Napa) DuMOL (Russian River Valley) and came away with the following to report to you.   Today PART 2 of the report – Hudson and Spottswoode.

 

HUDSON

Lee Hudson owner, John Kongsgaard winemaker

 
Happy clusters of Hudson Chardonnay

The big news I got from Lee was that he is building a winery on the site of his great vineyard, and groundbreaking is scheduled for mid-August!

Due to a temperature drop, Lee is planning to start picking August 22, which is about a week later compared to last year.  Lee told me that the vintage is looking beautiful with the stars all in alignment.  It’s looking early with very healthy canopies and a good average to average plus size crop. “We are very excited, rocking with anticipation,” Lee told me.

The Hudson Ranch is 200 acres and production is in small amounts. 95% of the fruit is sold to 32 other wineries, like Kongsgaard, Kistler, DuMol, etc.   The principal varietals grown on the ranch are Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache, yielding on the average 2.5 – 3 tons per acre.  Lee also grows small amounts of Viognier, Alberino, Arneis, Aliatico, Greco Di Tufo, Friulano, Ribollo Gialla. Verdejo and Vermintino. These are represented in areas as small as 1 to .3 of an acre each.

The vineyard is situated on a sloping, rolling area at 300 to 400 feet elevation in the Carernos region.  If this vineyard were located in France, it would have “Grand-Cru” status!

I have been a big fan of Lee and his “Hudson Ranch” for years and am excited about what the vineyard has to offer for years to come.  Make sure to check out the HUDSON 2013 CHARDONNAY CARNEROS

 

Also a few other wines worth checking out produced from this estate:

ARIETTA 2013 MERLOT “HUDSON I BLOCK” NAPA VALLEY 96 POINTS

ARIETTA 2013 VARIATION ONE, NAPA 96 POINTS

 

 

SPOTTSWOODE WINERY:

NOVAK FAMILY OWNERS, ARON WEINKAUF WINEMAKER

The Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Vineyard

Spottswoode is one of the venerable Napa Valley wineries dating back to 1882 when George Shonewald planted 17 acres on the 31-acre property. In 1906 he sold the property to Joseph Bliss, who renames it “Stonehurst” but sells it 2 years later to Dr. George Allen who renames it “Lyndenhurst” for the four Linden trees that grace the garden.  In 1910 he sells it to Mrs. Albert Spotts who swiftly renames it “Spottswoode” in honor of her late husband.   In 1916 she plants various varietals hoping that the manufacturing of alcohol would not be banned (Prohibition).

Between 1919-1930 prohibition takes hold and Spottswoode falls into disrepair.  They survive by selling the grapes to the Christian Brothers (who make sacramental wine, suddenly very popular at that time!). They also grow produce, mushroom, and frogs for frogs’ legs, which were very popular in San Francisco restaurants during those years.  In 1930 she gifts it to her niece, who begins to sell fruit to the St. Helena Wine Cooperative.  

This lasts for several decades and in 1972 the estate is sold to the current owners the Novak Family, who still own and operate the winery.

Between 1973-75 the vineyard is replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.  Jack Novak passed away at a very young age in 1977 and Mary Novak decides to make the best of everything, officially founding Spottswoode winery in 1982.  Tony Soter was the original winemaker till 1997.  Since then some great winemakers have passed through this amazing property (Pam Starr, Rosemary Cakebread and Jennifer Williams.  Today the wines are made by Aron Weinkauf)

 

Spottswoode assistant winemaker James Revie with a cluster of 2016 Cabernet.

After a great winter and early spring “El Nino” Spottswoode’s vineyard benefited from the generous amount of rain that fell on this gorgeous and venerable property.  Everything is looking amazing at this time, with harvest anticipated in late September to early October, about a week or so later compared to 2015.   The yields are looking very good, and the anticipation of great quality is there!  The RED varietals have just finished veraison. The quantity will be average to just above average – but they settle for high-quality and modest yields anytime!  Anticipated harvest time will be September 12th for the reds, while they will start picking the whites late August.

Check out these current releases from Spottswoode:

SPOTTSWOODE 2013 CABERNET, NAPA VALLEY – 96 POINTS!! - AVAILABLE NOW!

SPOTTSWOODE 2012 CABERNET “LYNDENHURST” NAPA VALLEY

SPOTTSWOODE 2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY (96+ POINTS)

SPOTTSWOODE 2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC, NAPA/SONOMA

STUNNING UNDER $40 WHITE BLEND

 

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.

Arbe Garbe 2015 Proprietary White Blend, Russian River Valley
Retail 43.00 – GGWC $39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use shipping code ARBEGARBE during check out

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.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Paul Lato makes killer MilAnge Syrah!

 

MilAnge is my own label, so I am of course very partial to the wine. MilAnge is named after my two daughters, MIL(ayna) and ANGE(lina). My award winning winemaker Paul Lato sourced the fruit from two of Santa Barbara’s most famous vineyard sites. Unfortunately, only 2 barrels were produced, so it will go quick!

MilAnge 2014 Syrah, Santa Barbara
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MILANGE

OK to mix with MilAnge Cabernet

The 2014 MilAnge Syrah was exclusively crafted by ace winemaker Paul Lato.  This youngster oozes with stunning and bright fruit.  On the nose you’ll encounter red and black stone fruits with a whiff of bacon fat.  On the palate this lush wine is loaded with sweet black stone fruit, crushed flowers, cassis and cured meats.  Bold, yet elegant this wine is concentrated yet approachable with a rich and lush mouthfeel.  The wine ends with touch of white pepper silky finish.  Only 50 cases were produced.

Also be sure to check out the

MILANGE 2013 “FAMILY RESERVE” CABERNET, NAPA VALLEY
MILANGE 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!

99 Point winemaker’s 5 barrel Cabernet Gem

 

Luc Morlet has yet another accolade to his name, the new Linked 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.  Only 118 cases of this great wine were produced. Just around the bend from Peter Michael’s stomping grounds, this new wine is poised to become a reference point for Knights Valley. Dense, mouth‐coating flavors of dark fruits, chocolate and cassis with a decadent wood flourish to the finish. If someone could have told you about something like Peter Michael Les Pavots while you could still get it, youʹd thank them, right?  Luc uses the fruit from this vineyard for his (97 point Parker rated) “Moret Mon Chevalier.”  For those not familiar with Luc Morlet, he also makes the wines for Peter Michael, Vineyard 7 & 8, Cabaud, and of course his own Morlet label.

Linked 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate, Knight’s Valley
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use the discount code “LINKED″ during checkout

Keeping true to the vineyard, this wine is made with 100% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is a powerful wine that showcases the balance of power and elegance. A first glance at the deep, dark ruby color fringed with mahogany suggests a wine of great character and complexity. The nose is redolent of intense, concentrated red and black fruit with hints of chocolate and tobacco, finely‐framed by delicate oak. Each sip reveals a new flavor dimension; black currant, blueberry, dark Bing cherry and plum mingle with tobacco, leather, cocoa, black pepper, and touches of spice. Supple tannins dance around balanced acidity to give a silken finish that goes on and on.

Click here or on the links above to order!

MidWeek Wine Special!

 

The Rosella vineyard is on of the most sought after vineyard sources for great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Nestled in the benchland of Monterey’s Santa Lucia Highlands, Rosella’s Vineyard was planted in 1996 by Gary Franscioni one of the appellation’s pioneering growers (from Garys’ fame – he also owns the Garys’ vineyard with Gary Pisoni),

Many great wineries such as Kosta Browne, Roar, Lucia, Carlisle, Siduri, and many others have been sourcing high-quality fruit from this vineyard.  So I was excited to hear that Saxon Brown started making wines from this much coveted vineyard as well!

Saxon Brown 2013 “Rosella” Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands
Retail 58.99 – NOW 47.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SAXON at checkout

Only 200 cases of the 2013 Saxon Brown Rosella’s Chardonnay were produced!  This wine has a very intense aroma of tropical fruits (guava, peach, mango) and a hint of creamy nuttiness jumping out of the glass.  The wine is lush and full in body with a round, creamy texture of pure Chardonnay fruit flavors of apple blossom and orange marmalade.  A touch of underlying minerality leads into a long finish where you’ll encounter a touch of toasty vanilla.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Exquisite Under $50 Cabernet!

 

Corey Beck grew up in the Napa Valley in and around the vineyards his grandfather planted at Chateau Montelena.  He started his winemaking career under Scott McLeod at Rubicon (Francis Ford Copolla).  His own Cabernet Sauvignon is an amazing wine sourced from one of the most sought after vineyards in the Napa Valley nearby the Hourglass, 3 Palms and Switchback Ridge vineyards. This wine’s quality is much higher than its price tag!

C-Beck 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 53.00- GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code CBECK upon check out

The wine’s aromas jump out of the glass upon impact.  Gobs of black stone fruit with hints of sweet vanilla greet you on the gorgeous nose.  This full-bodied wine is big and bold, yet silky and luscious loaded with extremely well-balanced black stone fruits (black currant, dark plum and blackberry) and the right touch of acid that will allow this wine to age nicely.  The wine finishes long with soft and supple tannins.  Only 264 cases of this great wine were produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!