Blind Tasting Winnner = SMALL but Mind-Boggling Napa Cabernet

 

 

Longtime Napa Valley winemaker Charles Thomas (Longtime winemaker at Lokoya and Cardinale with many 100 point ratings!, Verite, Quintessa, Rudd, Opus One, etc …) and his wife Lili Thomas-Hsi (pronounced “SHE”) have been living on Mt. Veeder surrounded by their vineyard.  The first release from their estate was last year when the 2011 THV  was introduced.  The 2012 was just released and I am very excited about this project.

 

We lined up some amazing highly rated 2012 Napa Cabernets, and surprisingly theTHV blew them all away. The line-up included:
  • Beau Vigne “Estate” (98 RP)
  • Del Dotto “The Beast” (98 RP)
  • Dominus (98 AG)
  • Kongsgaard (95 RP)
  • Anakota “Helena” (96 RP)
  • Barnett “Rattlesnake Hill” (96 RP)
  • Gandona “Estate” (96 RP)
  • Diamond Creek “Red Rock Terrace” (96 RP)
  • Dunn “Howell Mountain” (96 AG)
  • Thomas-Hsi “THV”
The winner = THOMAS-HSI “THV” received 9 FIRST and 4 SECOND place votes, while Beau Vigne and Dominus received the other first place votes.

Thomas-Hsi “THV” Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
Retail 170.00 – GGWC 164.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code THV at checkout

The 2012 THV is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and a 1/2 % each Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc all from their vineyard atop Mt Veeder. This is a truly remarkable wine. On the nose you are greeted by a combination of chocolate, minerality, a touch of earthiness and bold black and red fruit. On the palate this bold Mountain-grown Cabernet offers up unique flavors of intense and vibrant black stone fruit. This wine is amazingly well-crafted and loaded with gorgeous flavors from start to finish. A real crowd pleaser, this 175 case estate-grown production. Because of the limited production, and the fact I was only allocated 5 cases of this wines, I can tell you that this wine will sell out fast. Don’t wait too long to get in your order! This is a wine that you can drink now (decant a good two hours before serving) and will cellar well for a good 10-15 years.

Click here or on the links above to order!

99 Point Winemaker’s Under $45 Napa Red Blend

Robert Foley has been around the block a few times, so to speak. With wines like Hourglass, Robert Foley, Paloma, Pride, Switchback Ridge, etc., one can only expect the best of the best from this winemaker and winery.  The 2014 vintage just arrived and I can say that this blows previous ones out of the sky! This vintage rivals his best wines to date.  The quantities are limited, so you know the drill!

Robert Foley 2014 “The Griffin” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
Retail 45.00 – GGWC 41.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code GRIFFIN upon checkout

This is what Bob calls his economic challenged wine! Those who purchased previous vintages will be greeted by an even more intense wine with this 2014 release.  This Proprietary Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Petit Verdot.  A pleasure from nose to finish, it has a very aromatic nose, followed by a lush mouthfeel and a medium to full bodied palate.  The wine’s aromas suggest ripe red and black berries. On the mid-palate you’ll encounter black fruit, chocolate and touch of butterscotch finishing with silky tannins. Stunning blend, lush, intense loaded with bright fruit – a great Dollar-Cost-Average Wine!

Click here or on the links above to order!

2 BARREL NAPA CABERNET GEM

 

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).  Our award winning winemaker sourced fruit from two of Napa Valley’s most famous contiguous vineyard sites and the resulting wine is flat out amazing. The Family Reserve” are the 2 best barrels in the lot, that we aged an additional 6 months, resulting in an even better wine – even if I say it myself.

MilAnge 2013 “Family Reserve” Cabernet, Napa Valley
Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more bottles
Use code MILANGE upon checkout

The 2013 MilAnge “Family Reserve” Cabernet was aged for 24 months in high-end French Oak barrels.  The wine offers up an amazing aroma of bold black stone fruits.  On the palate, this lush full—bodied youngster offers up intense flavors of bright black fruits, dark chocolate and a whiff of anise. The wine is very well-balanced with a touch of espresso bean, toasty vanilla leading in a complex finish.  The wine could use some aeration, so I suggest decanting it an hour or two prior to serving.  This one will cellar nicely up to 10 years.  Only 50 cases produced!

Click here or on the links above to order!

KISTLER WINEMAKER’S AMAZING CHARDONNAY

 
Jason Kesner, winemaker extraordinaire at Kistler created yet another amazing wine. Jason was the longtime vineyard manager at Hudson, when in 2002 he produced 25 cases of his first wine for some of the top restaurants like French Laundry, Gary Danko and ME! The following year he produced a massive 75 cases, and the rest as they say is history. Moreover, Jason has brought Kistler to new heights as well, where he has been in charge of winemaking since 2012.  The KESNER CHARDONNAYS are on the “Highly Recommended List” at the French Laundry for over 10 years straight.

Kesner 2013 Chardonnay “Rockbreak” Sonoma Coast
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 54.99
FREE SHIPPING on six or more!
BUY 12 BOTTLES FOR ONLY 51.99 EACH AND FREE SHIPPING

Use code KESNER at checkout

On the nose you’ll be greeted by notes of quince, orange and honeysuckle and a touch of minerality.  The palate is lush and intense, even fleshy offering up a platter of citrus, sweet Anjou pears and quince , a touch of candied ginger.  The wine is lush, yet extremely well-balanced with just the right touch of acidity on the mid-palate, leading into a long clean finish where you’ll encounter just another whiff of very pleasant minerallity.

WINEMAKER NOTES: Easily  our  best  vintage  of  this  bottling  to  date.  Cool  Pacific  winds  and  fogs flow  over  a  rich  dark  loam,  peppered  by  enough  river  run  cobble  to breakdown any farming implement that dare try to tame it. The fruit for this wine  is  from  the  Idell  Vineyard  that  was  planted  in  part  for  us  in  Southern Sonoma  County.  Wet  rocks,  white  citrus  shavings  and  early  spring  fruit blooms. Tones  of  lightly  grilled  Meyer  lemons  and  fresh  creme. A  medium-full yet crisp body, the paradox, or better yet the balance, that I always look for in this wine. Green orchard fruit flesh, brightly threaded with harmonious acids,  that  lend  to  a  racy,  lingering  finish.  Native  fermentation  in  barrel, natural acids, aged in 20% newer French Oak.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Announcing our 2017 East Coast Wine Tasting!

We are excited to announce that we will be coming back to New York City next year for another Tasting Extravaganza! Because of the successful turnout last year, I highly recommend that you get your tickets NOW!

Mark your calendar for June 17, 2017 and join us at the New York Fire Museum. We will be bringing 30+ wineries and 70+ wines. Don’t miss this chance to meet with the owners/winemakers and taste their latest releases. $149.99, includes generous buffet and “Murray’s” cheeses.

Any tickets purchased before September 30, 2016, will receive a 15% EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT! Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com to reserve your spot!  

Those buying tickets before September 30 will be entered in an “Early Bird” drawing gift valued at $300.00!

Tickets also available online at: http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/643976/

Pinot Envy…

 
Three friends. A missed turn. An intimate tasting with Robert Parker. Copious amounts of Champagne. A bird statue in a window.  This is the genesis of Banshee.  Since then they’ve come a long way in short time but the goal hasn’t changed: to craft distinctive wine that over-delivers in every possible way.  They want to give the world wines with real joie de vivre.  Banshee owns a small vineyard, and works in lock-step with high-end vineyard owners and wineries to produce wines of depth, purity and balance.  They spend ridiculous amounts of time working on finalizing each blend, and then try to convince people that “It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.”

Banshee 2014 Pinot Noir “Marine Layer” Sonoma Coast
Retail 52.00 – GGWC 47.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MARINE upon checkout

The 2014 Banshee “Marine Layer” is a blend of some of the most amazing vineyards Sonoma has to offer – Tina Marie, Rice-Spivak, Heintz, Thorn Ridge and Coastland. The 2014 “Marine Layer” offers up bright aromatics of dark red stone fruit.  On the palate this wine greets you with deep, dark fruit that is bold, yet silky/velvety in texture. The fruit dances over the palate like a ballerina on the grand stage.  Beautiful floral notes and  whiff of brush undertone balances out this amazing wine.  The finish is long, perfumed and silky.

Click here or on the links above to order!

PHILIPPE MELKA “SPECIAL” 94 POINT NAPA CAB “15% OFF” & FREE SHIPPING

 
When you have two of the best people in industry at the helm, you can only expect the best of the best.  Philippe Melka (winemaker) and Jim Barbour (vineyard manager extraordinaire) have turned the old Long Vineyards (remember this great vineyard site from some years ago?) into a top notch Cabernet producer.  Gandona (humble man in Portuguese) is rooted in tradition and a passion for transforming land into something extraordinary. It’s born from an estate that rests upon a sloping hillside high above the beauty of Napa Valley and Lake Hennessey – its vineyards, carved from the steep terrain and planted in four blocks, each possess their own distinct personality.

The site of Gandona Estate had its beginnings (just) a few years earlier, when in 1862 Daniel K. Dille homesteaded the property, located just downhill from Pritchard’s future home. California had just experienced the silver rush and Napa County had recently been formed. Here, Dille worked as a laborer and maintained the land. The property sold several times throughout the years until the Bob Long family purchased it in 1966 and planted the site’s first vineyard. In 1977, they entered the wine business in earnest and founded a small winery called Long Vineyards.  Sandi Belcher (Arns) produced great Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a late harvest Johannesburg Riesling from the estate.

Gandona 2013 “Encosta” Cabernet, Estate Pritchard Hill, Napa Valley
Retail 98.00 – GGWC 94.99
SPECIAL 84.99 WITH FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more bottles!!
Use shipping code ENCOSTA13 upon checkout

The ENCOSTA (translation: slope) Cabernet Sauvignon originates from the steeply terraced hillsides of the Gandona Estate and its terra cotta-colored, volcanic soil.  The 2013 vintage is a wine celebrating the very soul of hillside fruit capturing the essence of the vine’s interaction with earth and sun. It opens with aromas of bright red cherry and cranberry with underlying notes of cassis and tobacco.  On the palate, the wine shows a juicy, full mouth feel reminiscent of fresh black and ripe cherries. Rounding out the mid-palate are finely grained, sweet mountain tannins that reveal a beautiful marriage between them and well integrated oak.  The lingering finish is laced with nuances of rich cocoa powder and supported by a strong acid backbone demonstrating a wine worthy of aging.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2013 Gandona Vineyards Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, is an all estate wine made by Philippe Melka. This wine is on a fast evolutionary track, with complex notes of cedar wood, licorice, blackcurrants and tobacco leaf, all from a medium-bodied wine with light tannin, luscious fruit and a delicious, supple mouthfeel. Drink it over the next decade.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

LAST CALL for Chardonnay of the Month, Only 6 barrels produced

  
 
Attune is a venture of two families who with a love for Chardonnay and  Pinot. They  planted 8.5 acres on their estate  to two Burgundy clones from the Cotes d’Or, clones 667 and 115. Their winemaker is Ken Juhasz, who also owns and makes Auteur. Emphasis at Attune is not quantity, but quality. The production of both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are very limited. The 2014 Attune Chardonnay will wow you, both on the palate as well as the wallet!

Attune 2014 Chardonnay, Estate, Carneros Sonoma
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6+, use code ATTUNE upon checkout
Mix and match with Attune Pinot Noir


The 2014 Attune Chardonnay offers up copious notes of honeysuckle, green apple, and Anjou pear on the nose.  The wine is medium to full in body, yet extremely elegant with a clean, lean underbelly of tropical fruit, tangerine, citrus and a whiff of minerality.  The wine possesses a well-balanced acid-fruit ratio and lingers for a good 20 seconds on the finish.  Only 140 cases produced!

Make sure to check out their stunning  ATTUNE 2013 PINOT NOIR “ESTATE” SONOMA

Click here or on the links above to order!

LIMITED OFFER! – Under $50 Napa Cab Gem

Le Pich is the culmination of several seasoned and determined wine professionals efforts to produce the finest Cabernet Sauvignon possible from the best estate vineyards in Napa Valley all under the guidance of winemaker Julien Fayard (Assistant Winemaker at Lafite Rothschild and former Philippe Melka Director of Winemaking at Lail, Gemstone, Vineyard 29 etc) and ace viticulturist Steve Matthiasson.

Le Pich 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 52.00 – GGWC 48.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code LEPICH at check out

This might be “FIND” of the month! Sourced from the To-Kalon, Martinez (Pritchard Hill) and their estate vineyards, this wine offers a deep, rich purple color. A gorgeous nose of black currants and chocolate jump out of the glass.  The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with stunning flavors of dark fruits, black plum, espresso and chocolate that lead to an explosive finish.  The wine arouses you on impact with sweet subtleties that tickle your palate.  The wine, full in body, is very elegant yet explosive without being a tannic monster, although I would suggest to decant this for an hour or two, this wine will age gracefully for a good 15 years!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Inaugural SIX barrel syrah!

Benevolent Neglect is the creation of two East Coast transplants who moved west with the ambition of one day making great wine. With a simple philosophy – find the best quality fruit they can get their hands on, and then do as little as possible to it. Their search for the best grapes came to fruition when they met John Painter and Jean Gadiot, who have owned Las Madres vineyard since its inception. John and Jean converted overgrown pasture land into a beautiful VSP trellised, cool-climate Syrah vineyard with two distinct blocks.

Benevolent Neglect 2014 Syrah
Las Madres Vineyard Carneros
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code BN14SYR at checkout

This youngster  opens with elegant aromas of violets before the bright and showy blueberry aromas start to stand at attention.  Full-bodied,  this wine offers up and elegant palate of gorgeous flavors – bright blue and red stone fruits, cocoa, a touch of pepper and bacon fat lead into a beautiful long silky tannin finish.

Click here or on the links above to order!