“(Low Alcohol) Pinot of the month

The San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir is the flagship wine from Hirsch, and the wine that represents the summation of our complex vineyard.  It is named for the fault-line which marks the meeting of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, snaking its way up the California coast and passing less than a mile from Hirsch. The proximity to the fault is responsible for the geologic and topographical complexity of our soils. This vintage allows you the opportunity to experience how our site expressed itself in 2014.

Hirsch 2014 Pinot Noir “San Andreas” Estate, Sonoma Coast
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 66.99
Use code HIRSCH during checkout

OK to mix & match with Hirsch Chardonnay

The Hirsch 2014 Pinot offers up a gorgeous ruby color and bright aromas of black and blue  stone fruit permeated with a touch of figs, minerals, and flowery perfumy notes.  The wine is medium to full in body, yet extremely elegant and mouth coating with pure Pinot Noir flavors, great vibrancy and a touch of “Hirsch’ Sonoma Coast” acidity. The wine lingers for a good 20 seconds on the finish.   Alcohol 12.7%

Galloni, 95 Points: “The 2014 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault draws on fruit across the entire ranch. Silky and aromatic, with understated depth, the 2014 will give readers a good idea of the personality of both the vintage and this site. Bright red stone fruit and delicate yet incisive tannins give the wine its shape and overall feel. This is a relatively easygoing style for Hirsch.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Happy Father’s Day!

A Father means so many things…
An understanding heart,
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start.
A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way.
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way.
A special generosity and always affection, too
A Father means so many things.

Happy Father’s Day!

Going crazy? Here’s More Proof that Wine Might Prevent Dementia!

Going crazy?
Here’s More Proof that Wine
Might Prevent Dementia!

By Lexi Williams, Wine Spectator

A new analysis of medical research finds that a nightly glass of wine with your dinner could be helping protect your brain from the risk of developing dementia. But scientists have yet to agree on why.

For several years, researchers have examined alcohol’s potential effects on the risk of developing dementia—both positive and negative. Many recent studies have found that moderate alcohol consumption can have a protective effect, but due to different methodologies, theories and the sheer number of studies out there, deciphering what it all means can be a bit tricky.

Hoping to bring focus to the debate, researchers from Qingdao Municipal Hospital and Ocean University, both in China, conducted a meta-analysis of recent research on the topic. They looked at 11 all-cause dementia (ACD) studies with 73,330 participants, five Alzheimer’s dementia studies with 52,715 participants and four vascular dementia studies with 49,535 participants. They used a random-effect model to analyze the data.

The main conclusion of the study supports the idea that light to moderate alcohol consumption—one drink per day or less, according to this analysis—confers a lower risk of all-cause dementia than total abstinence. On the other hand, the researchers found that the risk for dementia was higher for those who consume more than three to four drinks per day, or 23 drinks per week.

A closer look at the results shows more good news for wine lovers: Of the studies analyzed, seven addressed the type of alcohol consumed, and the analysis concluded that wine (consumed in light to moderate amounts) was the only alcoholic beverage that appeared to possess notable protective effects against dementia. Heavy beer drinkers appeared to suffer a higher risk of dementia.

Why does wine protect the mind? The International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (ISFAR), a group of scientists and researchers dedicated to analyzing alcohol and health-related studies, published a critique of the meta-analysis. Members of ISFAR, including medical practitioners, university professors and public health specialists, discussed potential explanations for the findings. One familiar theory: the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of polyphenols in wine could be a contributing factor.

But members also suggested other mechanisms. Ethanol is believed to stimulate the release of acetylcholine in the brain, which leads to improved cognitive function. Another theory is that gallic acid, which the body produces when consuming red wine, can block the aggregation of beta amyloid in the brain. Those peptides are involved in the development of dementia.

Overall, ISFAR members commended the meta-analysis for its vast sample size and methodology, but asserted that there is still much more research to be done to understand the complicated relationship between alcohol and dementia.

So what does this mean for wine drinkers? “It’s pretty clear that people who drink wine [are] lowering the risk of developing dementia; what we were trying to do is see why this is true,” explained Dr. Curtis Ellison, codirector of ISFAR and professor at Boston University School of Medicine. “It’s the polyphenols in wine that seem to give it extra protection, and it’s probably that polyphenols work best with alcohol. [But wine] also evidently has mechanisms that are still poorly understood.”

Ellison, who studied wine’s health benefits with the “father of the French paradox” Serge Renaud, told Wine Spectator that the best way to reap wine’s benefits is to drink moderately, with food, throughout the course of the week. “We’re not saying to go out and drink to prevent dementia. However, if you decide that you’re going to have wine with your meal every night, you can know that you’re getting a side benefit.”

Dance the Foxtrot? If not, just drink it!

The Foxtrot winery was created by Torsten and Kicki Allander who believe that the key to producing world class wine is total control over the grape growing and winemaking process from start to finish. To this day, both remain an integral part of the family business, with Kicki spending her days in the estate vineyard meticulously cultivating the vines, and Torsten overseeing quality control.

The Story behind the Label: Every year, just in time for harvest, Foxtrot has had a resident Black Bear around the vineyard. Sometimes he has been known to make an appearance at picking time and pickers would comment that it looked like he was dancing when standing up on his hind legs. At the winery we have come to affectionately call him Fred.

Foxtrot 2014 Chardonnay “Four Shadows”
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 49.99
Use code FOXTROT during checkout
Mix & match with Foxtrot Pinot Noir

The wine has a medium to light lemon color with stunning aromas of citrus, stone fruits, a whiff of melon and subtle spice. These flavors continue on the palate with a complex minerality framed by a rich mid palate with subtle spice, tropical and citrus fruits, and lengthy finish. The crisp acidity in this wine serves as a refreshing counterpoint to balance the richness and roundness of the wine. This wine can be consumed in the near term or aged for 5 to 8 years.

Foxtrot 2013 Pinot Noir “Foxtrot Vineyard” 
Retail 62.00 – GGWC 58.00
Use code FOXTROT during checkout
Mix & match with Foxtrot Chardonnay

Sourced from the estate’ 20 year old self-rooted vines. The resulting wine is incredibly balanced with a stunning nose of bright red fruits, and a classic  oriental spice and slight earthy tones. The intensity of the fruit and earthiness continues on the palate and is wonderfully framed by the vibrant acidity and bold silky smooth tannins with a long lingering finish. The 2013 Foxtrot Vineyard Pinot Noir can easily be aged for up to 10+ years but can also be consumed in the near term with decanting.  Alc. 13.5%

Click here or on the links above to order!

DuMol’s fabulous 2015 releases!

DuMOL and Frank Melis go back to the 1996 vintage, the first one released, so a long and happy marriage, that has never been on the rocks!  I am proud to share that 2015 is undeniably a magnificent vintage! The production levels were down a lot from the previous vintage, so that might be a problem, especially when a winery like DuMOL is in high-demand. I would say that this might one of the best releases ever from this winery. I hear from winemaker Andy Smith that the various wine publications that tasted the wine gave it rave reviews!

Winemaker Andy SmithDUMOL 2015 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Retail 64.00 – GGWC 59.99
Use discount code DUMOL15 upon checkout

This might be one of the best Chardonnays DuMol has ever produced. The wine offers focused, piercing aromas of pear, lemon zest and cut grass with a flinty, chalky mineral edge. Crisp apple and lime juice on the palate broadens to ripe melon and white peach. Linear entry expands to layers of ripe stone fruits, almond and nutmeg. Electric acidity brings focus and balance to the persistent and intensely mouthwatering finish. Honey and lemon richness lingers. Serve at no cooler than 55 degrees to allow the wine’s full texture to sing! The 2015 was sourced from 5 amazing  vineyards – Dutton Ranch, DuMOL Estate, Lorenzo, Heintz &  Ritchie.

DUMOL 2015 Syrah, Russian River Valley 
Retail 64.00 – GGWC 59.99
Use discount code DUMOL15 upon checkout

The 2014 Syrah RRV is by far the best effort to date from Andy Smith. Sourced from three great vineyards (Greywackle, Gregori and Hoppe-Kelly). This wine offers soaring mutli-dimensional aromatic complexity that is really quite dramatic. Violet, dark cassis, graphite and espresso. Bright peppery component with hints of mint and red volcanic character. Simultaneously fragrant and red-fruited but with a brooding inner dark power. Focussed and granular tannins that are long but never edgy. Lingering complexity – espresso, dusty cocoa and mixed black fruits. Decant for an hour in its youth. You can easily age this wine for 10 to 15 years!

DUMOL 2015 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Retail 74.00 – GGWC 71.99
Use discount code DUMOL15 upon checkout

One of the best RRV Pinot Noir DuMOL has ever produced! This wine is brilliant in the glass. Lovely purity of Russian River Pinot Noir aromas: juicy black cherry, black raspberry, sassafras and rosehip. As it opens, cassis and smoke then savory fennel emerge. Full in body, this wine is layered with bright red fruits on the lush palate, then broad and chewy with real depth of flavor and deep resonant texture. Firms up with air to a lingering mouthwashing savory finish. This truly is a real gem by Andy Smith – Sourced from some stunning vineyards in the Valley.

FYI: DuMOL’s owner is pouring these wines at our New York Wine Tasting June 17 and we will have a special tasting in our store on July 15!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Wine and cheese make you smart and healthy!

Wine and cheese make you smart and healthy!

New studies say cheese doesn’t have health risks, and wine helps your brain

Go ahead — have some cheese with your wine tonight. It turns out that cheese may not be so bad for your health after all.  A recent study challenges some of the health concerns around cheese and dairy: Mainly that they are fatty and lead to potential heart attacks or strokes. The researchers, using previous studies and data found on these dairy products, found cheese doesn’t increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is important to note, however, that the study was funded in part by three dairy organizations, which obviously have a vested interest in positive results. The Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and the Dairy Australia (even though the paper says they had no role in study design or data collection and analysis).

And red wine, in moderation, can help your heart and your brain, according to a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. Contrary to previous findings, such as one Swedish report from 2014, cheese, as well as other dairy products like milk and yogurt, may not be more dangerous to your health. The recent findings published in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggest there is no increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes as they sometimes have been said to do, according to another paper.

The wine study looked at wine residue passed through the gut and found that those metabolites are preventing cells from dying because of stress conditions that normally affect neurodegenerative disorders. The research showed different foods have various benefits along the digestive path, and wine, in this case, stops dying cells, and therefore delay potential neurodegenerative diseases.

And… As always, if you need some help finding the best wines for your own wine and cheese tasting activities, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 415-337-4083 or visit http://www.GoldenGateWineCellars.com!


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 2014 Chardonnay “Cuvee Alyce” Estate Russian River Valley 
Retail 44.00 – GGWC 41.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code ALYCE during checkout

Robert Parker 95 Points: “The top Chardonnay every year is named after Stephen Hansel’s mother. The 2014 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is a field blend of a Hyde and Hudson Old Wente clone. This vineyard always produces the smallest clusters and tiniest berries and, hence, the richest offering. It’s a stunner in 2014, with a light straw/gold color and terrific notes of pineapple, white peach, honeysuckle and citrus oil. Full-bodied and rich with great acidity, beautiful purity and subtle oak, this is a stunner to drink over the next 7-10 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!