Anniversary of “DRINK PINK” – it is good for the body, good for the soul

Lorenza is made by mother-daughter team Melinda Kearney, who is a long time wine diplomate, and her daughter, model Michelle Ouellet. The mother-daughter team has deep roots in the Napa Valley, where their rosé project was inaugurated with the 2008 vintage. The 2017 is their “10th Anniversary”. They love showcasing its natural expression as well their love for wine and travel.

Lorenza 2017 Rose (Rhone Blend)
GGWC 21.99
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The 2017 Lorenza Rose literally shimmers in its barely-there hue with irrepressible perfume of flower petals and lemons. Intense acidity, bright citrus, jicama, and white peaches are anchored on the palate by prominent minerality and a crisp, mouthwatering finish. This Rose is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignane, 25% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Vine Hill Ranch: The Quiet Superstar

Galloni 96+ Points: “The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is gorgeous. Above all else, I am impressed with how much freshness the 2015 shows. Racy red cherry, plum, rose petal and lavender notes fill out the wine’s sumptuous frame. Bottled just a few months ago, the 2015 is a bit reticent, but it is nevertheless impressive. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s natural radiance.”

Vine Hill Ranch 2015 “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon
GGWC 199.99
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The Vine Hill Ranch Story
by David Rosengarten, Forbes Lifestyle

In the fame-drenched Napa Valley, there is a tremendously important vineyard, growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, that is not famous at all. When you read the history of this vineyard, in the dramatic decades of the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, right up to the modern day—what you find is a record of the most important changes that shook Napa Valley, pushed it into its modern superstar status. The vineyard of which I sing — VINE HILL RANCH  — quietly, surreptitiously, played one of the most central roles of all in the rise of California’s most iconic wine region.

Some proof…

Margaret PattilloPick a “famous” Napa wine from the 20th century. Let’s say the historic 1968 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve. A classic—made by the classic winemaker of the day, Russian-born André Tchelistcheff. What grapes did he choose to crush into this wine? Many of them were from Vine Hill Ranch, which sits in a beautiful southwestern corner of Oakville, rolling up over gentle hills into the east side of the Napa/Sonoma border (the Mayacamas Monutains). The elegant, almost European ’68 BV Georges de Latour made the kind of waves in the wine world that puts a wine region on the map….though it was not an era of “vineyard identification”…so it did nothing for the fame of the vineyard that grew the grapes
Another historic wine from the 20th century? How about its opposite, in a way: the much richer, much chunkier 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Robert Mondavi…grown almost 30 years after the ’68 BV Georges de Latour? You guessed it: same vineyard source, Vine Hill Ranch. BUT…a very, very different wine.

In fact, from the 1950s, when Vine Hill Ranch was established…Napa Valley Cabernet has been on a roller-coaster, style-wise. Vine Hill Ranch has seen it all. Its flavorful fruit has been used by many Napa winemakers for many decades to craft wines that were “of the times”—elegant sometimes, but at other times more forward and boisterous. Following the history of wines made from Vine Hill fruit is a way of following the history of Napa: Cakebread, Chappellet, Etude, Duckhorn, Lail, Bond, Araujo, and, right up to today, the great group at Favia Erickson Winemakers (Andy Erickson was the famous winemaker who fermented Screaming Eagle into mind-blurring fame).

Most happily, once and for all, I hope….Vine Hill Ranch, in 2008, decided to start using some of its own grapes to make its own wines, wines identifying “Vine Hill Ranch” on the label as the producer. And the establishment of the brand came right in the middle of one of Napa’s greatest stylistic eras (which is still going on): the era of the Modern Napa Wine, which is much less weighty, much more ethereal than the Napa wines of the 1980s-1990s. A perfect vineyard source (Vine Hill Ranch), found a perfect winemaker in 2008 (Francoise Peschon), to make elegant wines, through this day, that are the best possible expressions of Vine Hill fruit.

Intriguingly, almost ten years later, they are still not so well-known

Margaret PattilloThe contemporary Vine Hill wines are like a memoir of another era. Back in 1956, when an architect from Point Reyes, California, named Bruce Kelham, decided to buy a large vineyard in Napa Valley, and to move north to Napa, and to become a grape-grower…Napa Cabernet had an almost Old World aesthetic going on. The wines were gentler, lower in alcohol, somewhat like the European reds that were their historical grandparents. Tchelistcheff’s ’68 BV Georges de Latour was such a wine.

But then… May 1976 happened. In Paris!

Some of California’s best Cabernet producers.. in most cases, producers of rich wines…were asked to compete in Paris, in a blind tasting that set up French Cabernets (from Bordeaux, of course), and California Cabernets, for a duel. The judges were French. Staggeringly, the Californians came out with a first-place victory for the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (from Napa Valley), as well as big honors for other 1970s Napa Cabs from Heitz, Clos du Val, and Chateau Montelena. You can only imagine the shock throughout the world–and the frenzy in California.

Until the 1976 victory, the traditional, more restrained style was in full force in Napa. According to Dan Berger, wine columnist at the time for the L.A. Times, Cabernet-making was relatively buckled up before the Paris victory: “no excessive ripening (22 to 24 Brix was the standard), no excess alcohol (13.5% was considered too high), almost no new wood.”

But “the judgment of Paris” had its effect. The heads of California winemakers swelled, as did their wines. “If the richer, chunkier style of California Cabernet beat out the more elegant first-growth Bordeaux,” they wondered… “shouldn’t we go richer still?”

And they did. And they came in droves to do it, emboldened by California’s great international victory. “The consumer,” Berger says, “was inundated in the 1980s by brand after brand of new Napa and Sonoma Cabernets.” Soon-to-be classics like the Shafer Hillside Select were inaugurated (first vintage: 1983), as well as lots of smaller-scale wines and wineries. And the use of new oak was rampant; sarcastic tasters at the time spoke of pulling splinters out of their palates.

Well, this was fine and dandy for Vine Hill Ranch; if the pickers harvested their grapes later in the season, the grapes provided superb material for this over-the-top kind of Napa Cabernet.

And the wines got bigger still before the pendulum started swinging back twenty years later. A famous writer contributed a lot to the fattening up. The consumer was overwhelmed by all this up-sizing activity—and needed a lodestar, a voice, to help select these new California Cabernets. Wine writer Robert Parker emerged—who put the final kibosh on the elegant California Cabernet tradition; Parker had a predilection for big, densely fruity, heavily extracted wines, with lots of tannin, alcohol and new oak. “We had in California,” Berger recalls, “the first indications that high scores could sell wines. And because high scores went to fat wines, that changed everything.”

The spectacular 1990 vintage itself sealed the deal. Pushed by this warm year, and by the growing knowledge that making wine that’s bigger and bigger predictably leads to higher and higher scores, a new type of California Cabernet emerged: the expensive bottle (wineries were flirting with $100 per at this point, soon to rise), containing sweet-ish, ripe, concentrated wine, whose price was ostensibly justified by the 97, 98, 99-point scores the wines were receiving.

Throughout the 1990s, the push was towards Cabernets like these. “What became the norm,” Berger says, “were wines not for the dinner table, not for the cellar (because alcohol and pH were too high for aging)… but ‘walking-around wines,’ show-off wines, trophy wines.” This is the era in which the California cult wines became all the rage: Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Bryant Family Vineyard, Staglin, anything made by Helen or Larry Turley, with prices for a single young bottle rising absurdly close to $1000. “These were egocentric wines,” notes Bob Millman of Executive Wine Seminars, a prestigious tasting group in New York City, “centered around the egos of the proprietors, or the flying consultants flown in from across the globe to assist them.” The wines, according to Steve Tanzer, of the top wine publication Vinous, became “urban indoor sporting events.”

As if this weren’t enough basis for change, the ’80s had brought another startling development: the discovery of phylloxera in northern California’s vineyards, the same root louse that had nearly wiped out the vineyards of Europe in the late 19th century. This horrific plague threatened the end of Napa Valley wine. Yes, Napa Valley was riding the Cabernet rocket–but the rocket was about to explode, if something wasn’t done about the vineyards.

Having no choice, many wineries pulled out their old, phylloxera-susceptible vines—as they did, in a major way, at Vine Hill Ranch—and planted new rootstock that was much more resistant to the disease. The changes wrought by this were unexpected–and enormous. The new vines produced massive amounts of sugar easily; it soon became apparent that you could have much more concentrated wine than ever before, with higher alcohol and a greater impression of sweetness. A lot of the newly re-planted vines came with new trellising systems…..bringing even more sunshine and ripening to the grapes. Plus….modern yeast strains that came into vogue at this time were better at converting sugar to alcohol.

“Intriguingly,” says Bruce Phillips, grandson of Bruce Kelham, and current co-owner of Vine Hill Ranch—“another trend was taking hold at the time of the post-phylloxera re-planting: the identification of vineyards on the labels.” Robert Mondavi, a long-time buyer of Vine Hill Ranch grapes, started identifying his wine made from Vine Hill grapes as Robert Mondavi Winery Vine Hill Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon.” Before the phylloxera epidemic, Phillips pointed out, “almost all vineyards were planted in a way to maximize volume. But at this time—the re-planting of quality producers started to emphasize individual plots.” This was an important new phenomenon in California that lasts to this day—mirroring the age-old practice of wine in, say, Burgundy, where the most prominent thing on the most expensive labels has always been the name of the vineyard, not the producer. Vineyard-identification in Napa accompanied the rise of richer, more expensive wines.

Margaret PattilloSo where can you go from there? Nowhere. 16% alcohol? No way. There WAS no way for these pumped-up, expensive, vineyard-identified wines to get any bigger in style.

So… they didn’t. Starting in the mid-2000s, after taking much international ribbing about “monster” wines…and just about at the time that Vine Hill Ranch was starting to make its own wine, in an elegant style…Napa Cabernet went on a diet.

“While heightened alcohols and fruit concentrations dominated the wines of the late 90’s and early part of this century,” says Bruce Phillips, ”Napa inevitably moved towards grapes being harvested at balanced maturity…resulting in wines that are uniquely expressive of their individual vineyard sites and the subtle nuances informed by each individual growing season.”

Phillips made a great contribution to ths trend. When a guy whose family has been growing grapes for fifty years starts making wine himself, people notice. Neighbors notice the kind of wine he’s making. And right from the VHR get-go, in 2008, Francoise Peschon has been making Napa wine in a decidedly French direction.

Easy question: where is Vine Hill Ranch wine going from here? To ever-greater quality, I suspect. Peschon, is still in place, at the height of her skills. Many of the blocks of Vine Hill Ranch that are used for the winery’s own wine are getting older—a good thing, in viticulture! And a very good thing, in this case! I had the opportunity recently to taste through barrel samples of the most recent vintage, the 2017. There were six samples, each from a different block of the 70-acre vineyard; each of the blocks had had its own planting date.

Intriguingly, my two favorite barrel samples were from the two youngest blocks! One of these blocks was five years old, and one was six years old. They seemed much brighter, even deeper, than the blocks averaging around 20 years of age.

Margaret PattilloThis doesn’t necessarily mean that the younger vines are better vines; Peschon uses different barrel treatment for wines from blocks with different ages—typically choosing more new oak, and longer stays in oak, for wines from older blocks. But the careful tracking that she does—and constant experimenting—will inevitably lead to adjustments that improve the quality of the wine. When I asked her about her criteria in choosing barrels, she said “we look for barrels that enhance the quality of our vineyard, rather than make a statement.” Brava! Exactly what a winemaker in Napa Valley in 2000 might not have said!

I also had the chance to taste a range of recent vintages already in bottle. Brava again! I especially liked two: the 2010, a luscious wine, with pretty eucalyptus notes, and very little wood influence; and the 2015, a wine that’s becoming available in retail, elegant, with good acid, and with touches of vanilla and camphor in the very pretty nose. Complex, high-quality wines, the both of them.

These wines are not inexpensive, of course…like so many wines before them that came out of this very special vineyard. The 2015 has just appeared in California wine shops at around $200 a bottle. But if you compare that to other first-rate, better-known Napa Cabs—at Wally’s Wine and Spirits in Los Angeles, you can find yourself a nice 2015 Screaming Eagle for only $2500—I’d say $200 is quite a bargain.

Grapes in the same family since 1956, wines from the same winemaker since 2008—both of these things encourage me to break the piggy bank (it’s only a fracture, really!) for this enormously consistent wine from VINE HILL RANCH.

Click here or on the links above to order!

You say: “Old Chardonnay”, I say that you are wrong! Edit Subject

You’d say: “Old Chardonnay”, I say that you are wrong.

The Vigneron profession first appears in the Terrien family tree in the 1700s when they lived in the Loire Valley of France. “Bêcheur” was also one of their occupations, which is to say they shoveled dirt for a living. As bêche is a spade and terre means earth, winemaking just seems inevitable. Adding to the destiny of it all, Bêcheur also means pretentious arrogant snob. Perfect…

Terrien 2012 Chardonnay
GGWC Price $44.99
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Terrien Chardonnay comes from an Old Wente planting at Kiser Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. Wente, a California heirloom traced from France at the turn of the 19th Century, has a tendency to produce many small berries. The juice ferments with the addition of Montrachet yeast, which, like Old Wente, is itself a throwback to earlier California winemaking. In September  2012 four tons of good-looking large clusters were fermented with Montrachet yeast and remained for 8 months in a stainless steel tank. During this time the wine cold-settled and malo-lactic was arrested to keep the brightness which is so critical to the vitality of the wine as it ages.  In late April 2013 it was racked into 9 used barrels as it allows a wine to become rich without boosting oak flavor; it’s about slow oxygenation. A year later 218 cases were bottled. Not much happened in between.  But without a reputation like Chassagne-Montrachet, it makes sense to allow the wine to become complex with bottle age before introducing it to the market. That is why the 2012 is just being released in 2018!

This wine is rich yet weightless! On the nose you are greeted by beautiful aromas of chamomile, linden, lemon and melon come to mind, and a faint spicy-floral narcissus scent The wine is full in body without being heavy or creamy!  Very well-polished and harmonius. The bright acidity has yielded somewhat to the effects of bottle age and the palate weight is now tensioned in good balance. Nicely polished and harmonious wine with a long, textured finish.

Click here or on the links above to order!

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.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

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!”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Premier Cru Vineyard Chardonnay Gem

Montagu is a boutique winery dedicated to showcasing wine from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Each wine is a true expression of the world-class terroir from which it comes. Dedicated to minimal intervention in the winery, Montagu allows each wine to naturally express its authentic and full potential.

Montagu Wines is a tribute Weston Eidson’ great-grandfather John, the second Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and a British automotive pioneer responsible for much early automotive legislation. He was also the first person to drive an automobile to Parliament, gave the future Edward VII his first car ride, and whose assistant served as the model for the iconic Rolls-Royce hood ornament known as the Spirit of Ecstasy.

His son, and Edison’ great-uncle Edward, the third Lord of Montagu, continued his father’s legacy by founding Britain’s National Motor Museum and worked tirelessly to promote the heritage and preservation of British history. He was also a lover of wine and produced his own from a vineyard he planted in Southern England.

Both his great-grandfather and great-uncle led innovative and adventurous lives and it is Eidson’ hope that you discover this spirit and zest for life in each bottle of Montagu Wines.

Montagu 2016 Chardonnay “Ritchie Vineyard” Sonoma Coast
GGWC 53.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use code MONTAGU during checkout

This Chardonnay hails exclusively from the world class Ritchie Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The Chardonnay is rich, powerful, and driven by layers of white peach, candied orange peel and lemon curd. Brightness balances the wine and is a hallmark of classic Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay.  This wine was fermented in French barrels (100% new) and spent a year in barrel leading to wonderfully balanced oak integration while sur lee aging developed depth and complexity.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Saturday February 3rd, our annual Cult & 100 Point Tasting.

100 Point Cult Wine Tasting

It was a nice and sunny (73 degree) day in the city-by-the-bay. At 8 AM I had decanted all the wines, and at 11 AM I decanted them back into the bottles so they would be ready for the 1 PM “show down”, and what a real showdown it was.

A nice crowd gathered in our tasting room, some flew in from Washington State, some drove 120 miles, and many from within the city and Bay Area.  I greeted the crowd with some Lucy Rose (made by Jeff Pisoni), and a selection of artisanal cheeses from my favorite San Francisco cheese monger (Canyon Market).

100 Point Cult Wine TastingEveryone enjoyed the wines. Not one wine disappointed.

We tasted the following wines:

1. KAPCSANDY 2013 ROBERTA’S RESERVE – 100 POINTS
2. VERITE 2014 LA MUSE – 100 POINTS ROBERT PARKER
3. BEVAN 2015 “SUGARLOAF” PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA (100 POINTS) – tied Winner of the event!
4. Harlan 2011 Estate Cabernet Blend 95 Points SOLD OUT
5. COLGIN 2014 IX ESTATE PROPRIETARY RED, NAPA VALLEY – 98 POINTS ROBERT PARKER
6. Our “brown bag” wine, and tied “Winner” of the event – REWA 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON “ESTATE” COOMBSVILLE, NAPA VALLEY

A few comments I received, Kapscandy and Verite reminded them of some Right Bank Bordeaux.

Colgin’ nose reminded someone of corn chowder…..

Harlan, even “the much hated” 2011 vintage was phenomenal

100 Point Cult TastingBevan and the “brown bagged” Rewa were the “talk-of-the-town” both stunning!

For those who missed the tasting, there is always next time! I have a feeling I will have to rent a larger venue for this event as we had a full house.

Your humble host,
St. Frank

P.S. Mark May 5 on your calendar. We will be hosting our “West Coast” tasting from 5-9 PM (venue will be announced shortly). You’ll have a chance to meet 20+ winemakers and winery owners, and taste 40+ new releases!

Confirmed so far : Coho, Teeter-Totter, Sans Liege, Seabiscuit, Paul Lato, Rewa, Wolf Family, MC4, Bevan, Paloma, Luli, Lucia, Bench, Solitude, Pisoni, Monthuys Champagne, and more to come!

Waldorf High SchoolThis event is our “good cause of the year tasting”. All proceeds will go towards Waldorf High School’s “Home Court Campaign”

We are in the very last fundraising stretch to cover the 8 Million investment of the new Center for Athletics and Community after momentum for the project grew through the year. The sustainable showcase facility, located on the high school campus, will serve as a home court for athletics and an all-school center for lectures, events, and performances.

The project is designed by alumni parent David Bushnell and his team at 450 Architects. Bushnell also designed the high school renovation, the first school in San Francisco to be awarded LEED-Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, and the plans continue to reflect the school’s ethic of sustainability by including a living wall, a cistern system for rain gathering, and Zero Net Energy through solar, natural light, and high efficiency energy systems.

 

 

100 Point Cult Tasting 100 Point Cult Tasting

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!

Wine 101 – Serving Temperatures

At one point or another, we have all heard the conventional line, “Drink red wines at room temperature and whites should be kept in the fridge.” In reality, however, when it comes to both drinking and storage this couldn’t be further from the truth.Any seasoned foodie or wine drinker knows that aroma is one of the most important elements of taste. The aroma, or “nose”, of a wine is produced when chemicals and molecules in the wine are released into the air above the liquid. The rate at which these molecules are released as well as which of these are released is highly dependent upon the temperature of the wine itself. Too warm and you will have a wine that tastes strongly of the sharpness and astringency of  alcohol. Too cool and the wine will often end up devoid of any flavor or richness at all.

Unfortunately, this means that the majority of wines consumed every day are drunk either too warm or too cool, and most likely under appreciated.

Each wine varietal has a temperature that is ideal for its particular set of aromatics. Here is a quick reference chart that gives you the best drinking temperature for many of the most common varietals.

Wine Serving Temperature Guidelines

Temp °F Temp °C Varietal
66°
19°
Vintage Port
64°
18°
Bordeaux, Shiraz
63°
17°
Red Burgundy, Cabernet
61°
16°
Rioja, Pinot Noir
59°
15°
Chianti, Zinfandel
57°
14°
Tawny/NV Port, Madeira
55°
13°
Ideal storage temperature
for ALL wines
54°
12°
Beaujolais, rose
52°
11°
Viognier
47°
Chardonnay, Riesling
45°
Champagne
43°
Ice Wines, Spumanti

Keep in mind that all wines ought to be stored at around 55 F (13 C) so you will usually need to plan ahead to get your wines ready to drink. In most cases this means 30-90 minutes in the fridge for a white or 20-40 minutes sitting out for a red. But the wait will be worth it.

Don’t have that much time? If the wine is too warm, immerse the bottle in a mix of ice and cold water—this chills a bottle more quickly than ice alone because more of the glass is in contact with the cold source. It may take about 10 minutes for a red to 30 minutes for a Champagne.

If the wine is too cold, decant it into a container rinsed in hot water or immerse it briefly in a bucket of lukewarm water. If the wine is only a little cold, just pour it into glasses and cup your hands around the bowl to warm it up.

Keep in mind that a wine served cool will warm up in the glass, while a wine served warm will only get warmer. It’s always better to start out a little lower than the ideal temperature.

I hope that this information is helpful, and I know that if you aren’t already paying attention to the temperatures at which you serve your wine you will be surprised at the difference it makes!

As always, don’t hesitate to call me with any questions at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com And, remember to always drink good wine!

“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.

Click here or on the links above to order!