Another Dave Phinney blockbuster release

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.

RETAIL 50.00 – GGWC 46.99
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.

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Mark Herold’s HOT NEW 94 Point Cab Release

Kevin Carriker started out in a wine store in San Francisco, making his way via some Napa and Bordeaux wineries where he did everything from working the tasting room, cleaning and topping barrels to participating in the harvest.  In 1990 he worked a crush at Grgich Hills and from here he decided it was time for the big leagues. In 1994 he made his first wine and in 1998 he purchased the Coombsville property.  With the help of “ace winemaker” Mark Herold he has  been producing killer Cabs for years. Mark does not need any intro, but for those who don’t know him, he worked at Phelps, Hestan before creating Merus (he sold this years ago) and becoming the full-time winemaker at Kamen in 2001 where he has made amazing high-scoring wines and of course his own well-regarded Mark Herold label.

Kobalt 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 91.99
Use code KOBALT at checkout

Opaque black/purple in color, with nuances of cassis, blackberry, graphite and black cherry, which are framed by toasty vanilla oak. The deep berry flavors are lively on the palate, focusing on cherry and violet. The rich finish and ripe tannins lead to a pure balance of lively acids and focused fruit.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “Coming from the Stagecoach Vineyard and some other terroirs in Coombsville, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is made by Mark Herold, and his style obviously leans toward super-extraction. A dense purple color, with notes of roasted coffee, chocolate, blackcurrant, blackberry, new saddle leather and spice, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, opulent and best drunk over the next 15-20 years.”

Anthony Galloni 94 Points: “Kobalt’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Mark Herold wine built on super-ripe, inky fruit, soft contours and notable concentration. Inky blue/purplish fruit, licorice, lavender, bittersweet chocolate and sweet French oak are front and center in this full-throttle, unapologetically rich Cabernet Sauvignon.”

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SORRY, LAST CALL 4 Thomas Rivers Brown’ 95 Point CAB


Three great friends – One goal: to create something worth appreciating, like the time they’ve spent together. They searched for an area rich in heritage, resources, and committed winemakers which took them 2,297 miles west from their homes in Kentucky to Napa Valley. They traveled to California time and again. Wine was shared, stories were told, and their idea was born.  At the helm is Thomas Rivers Brown, one of Napa Valley’s most distinctive and acclaimed winemakers. (FYI: Post Parade refers to the moment when thoroughbred horses walk onto the racetrack minutes before stepping into the starting gate.)

Post Parade 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 93.99
Use code PP13CS at checkout

Amazingly intense wine from start to finish. Dark purple hue and stunning aromas of black stone fruit, chocolate and a touch of toastiness greet you on impact. This is an extraordinarily well-crafted wine that is lush on the palate, loaded with gorgeous jammy black stone fruits, chocolate, a touch of espresso and toasty vanilla that are in-sync with the right touch of acid.  The wine lingers on the finish for a good 30 seconds!  Only 400 cases produced.

Robert Parker 95 Points:  “For a wine of this quality, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Post Parade is a fabulous bargain by Napa Valley standards. There are 430 cases of this wine, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 90% new French oak (50% of which was Taransaud and 40% Ermitage). Coming from the Tench Vineyard, an Oakville vineyard made famous by Russell Bevan, this wine has an opaque purple color and a glorious nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with charcoal, camphor, a touch of toast and plenty of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. It is full-bodied and displays terrific intensity and purity as well as velvety tannins. This heady, multi-layered wine is already drinking beautifully but should continue to do so for another 15+ years.”

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This small winery in the Santa Rita Hills is the brain child of Jeff and Nikki Nelson.  Their wine maker is Brandon Sparks-Gillis (the “man” behind the Dragonette success).  Their wine-style is based and named in honor of the chalky white hills of Chablis and diatomaceous earth of the  Santa Rita Hills.

Liquid Farm 2014 Chardonnay “Golden Slope” 
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 52.99
Use code SLOPE during checkout

Subtle aromas of raw honey, beeswax, baked sourdough and white flowers. The palate gives flavors of quince, tangelo, and creme fraiche with subtle hints of nutmeg and cardamom. A very long, lingering finish with flavors of marzipan and green pineapple that leaves your mouth-popping and (at least for us!) craving another sip.

Galloni 94 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Golden Slope is one of the richer, creamier wines in the range. Orange blossom, crème brulee, apricot jam and buttery notes are fused together. The Golden Slope will appeal most to readers who like more overt, flamboyant Chardonnays. Today, it is absolutely striking.”

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Mike Davis and his wife Sandy earned their stripes in the tech industry before setting up shop in the Napa Valley.  They purchased a 155-acre property in Calistoga in 2011, along with other vineyard holdings in the Napa Valley.  The “estate” stretches from the valley floor to about 1300 feet elevation and is planted to all five red Bordeaux varietals, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Viognier.  They have been big fans of Philippe Melka, and he jumped at the opportunity to work on this great project.

Philippe Melka does not need an intro, but I can tell you that this latest project Phase V will turn heads and could easily garner 100 Points!  This is the “Premier” release and I suggest to get on board early.  As soon as this train leaves the station it will be hard to jump on board.

Phase V 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Davis Estate Napa Valley 
Retail 215.00 – GGWC 204.99
Use code PHASEV at checkout

This might be one of most complex wines Philippe Melka has produced to date!   The color is amazingly saturated ruby/purple.  The nose is stunning, with aromas of black stone fruit, anise, spice, dark chocolate jumping out of the glass. The wine is lush and full in body with forward notes of bittersweet chocolate, espresso bean, black currants, a touch of leather a hint of spice cabinet.  The flavors roll over the the palate into along lasting finish.  This is one for the ages, a wine that will cellar well for a good 12-15 years! VERY LIMITED PRODUCTION!

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Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisonio.  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 2013 Syrah “Soberanos Vineyard” ~ 95 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99
Use code CATTLEYA at checkout

Mix & match with other Cattleya wines

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Tasting more like a barrel sample than a finished wine, the 2013 Syrah Soberanes Vineyard sports an inky, glass staining purple color to go with decadent plums, black raspberries, liquid flower, olive and background meatiness. Rich, full-bodied, nicely concentrated and textured, with sensational purity and elegance in its tannin structure, it needs 2-3 years of cellaring and will drink well for a decade or more after that.”

Also check out her amazing:

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Big Napa Cab at a Price Worth Howling For

Since 1997, Jane and Doug Wolf have been stewards of the historic Inglewood Estate which is located at the base of the Mayacamas Range in the St. Helena appellation. The 30 acre property hosts just 6.75 acres planted to meticulously tended vines nurtured into wine of uncompromising quality. Karen Culler, winemaker, has led the wine program on the estate since the first vintage in 1997

Wolf 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Phaedrus”  Napa Valley
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 51.99
Use code WOLF at checkout

The 2013 Wolf Family Vineyards Phaedrus Cabernet Sauvignon is the blend of two excellent vineyards. The new Wolf Family Estate on White Lane in St Helena is a stone’s throw away from their Inglewood Estate vineyard and offers all the same unctuous flavors that St Helena is known for…blackberry, stone fruits, tobacco and a rich but balanced texture.  The second vineyard is the Montgomery Vineyard in Calistoga and gives the wine more of the delicious dark fruit aroma,while the palate is full bodied and with a perfectly balanced acid- tannin profile.  The 20 month barrel aging in French Oak barrels (67% new) gives the wine a toasty and complex aroma that deserves a long cellaring. Very small production!

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Inaugural 94 Point Rated, 4 barrel release from the infamous McGagh (a.k.a. Scarlett) vineyard


Kale Anderson has put Pahlmeyer back on a path to success, but it is his own label that caught my eye and will turn lots of heads in years to come.  Kale is the day-to-day winemaker for the Cabernet and Merlot production at Pahlmeyer.  As for his Kale “Heritage” this was sourced from the “First Growth” McGagh (Scarlett) vineyard in Rutherford.  Kale produces a mere 115 cases of this stunning “Heritage” a blend of 87% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah. This is a winery to jump on now, as I see “CULT” all over it!

Kale 2014 “Heritage” GSM – McGagh Vineyard, Napa
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 61.99
Use code KALE14 during checkout

This is the inaugural vintage of the Kale “Heritage” and the first Grenache-based blend in Kale’s  portfolio. Luxurious strawberry pie, and wild raspberry marmalade aromas lead to a rounded palette. Fresh plum, fig compote and hints of cinnamon are layered through the full-bodied finish. The wine is focused in approach, but expands through the finish. Hedonistic and savory. Enjoy now through 2030.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2014 Heritage McGah Vineyard from Rutherford, is 87% Grenache and the rest 8% Mourvédre and 5% Syrah. This is another sexy wine with. peppery, Provencal herb and strawberry notes soard from the glass of this fragrant, intriguing wine. It is medium to full-bodied with loads of glycerin, a voluptuous texture and a long, pure finish. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.”

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Surprising Foods which have more Calories than a Glass of Champagne!

Just how many calories are in a glass of Champagne? Well, it is very hard to give an exact answer as there are many varieties of Champagne and there are many sizes of glasses! I would say that the average sized glass of champagne would be around 85 calories, so let us take a look at some everyday foods that actually have more calories than the glass in your hand that you are about to enjoy:

Banana – A medium sized banana will have an average of 115 calories.
Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt – A typical 100g serving will have 100 calories.
Baked Potato – A  4oz sized potato will average around 161 calories.
Honey – Two tablespoons will cost you 128  calories.
Plain Fairy Cake –  An average sized fairy cake (minus that icing!) will be 90 calories.
Buttercream Icing – Because you can’t have the cake without the icing! So go ahead and add 200 calories!
Coca-Cola – There are 150 calories in a can of Classic Coca-Cola
Rasher of Bacon – 117 calories is what you are in for if you go for a slice of bacon.
White Rice – A cup of white rice will cost you 206 calories.
Gin and Tonic – A glass of gin and tonic will average around 200 calories.
Olive Oil - A tablespoon will have 119 calories.
Orange Juice – There will be 111 calories in a cup of orange juice.
Packet of Potato Chips – Your average packet of ready salted chips will have around 130 calories per 1oz serving.

(All calorie counts above are averages and should not be used as part of a calorie controlled diet!)

So now that you know just how healthy champagne really is, here are a few bubbly suggestions that you easily enjoy without getting a panic attack!

We will offer NEARLY FREE SHIPPING ($0.01) on SIX BOTTLES (can mix & match any combination) use code LOWCAL at checkout.

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2014 is undeniably a magnificent vintage! The production levels were down 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 the best release ever from this winery. I hear from the owner Kerry Muprhy and winemaker Andy Smith that the various wine publications that tasted the wine gave it rave reviews!

DuMol 2014 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 56.99
Use discount code DUMOL14 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 2014 was sourced from 5 amazing  vineyards – Dutton Ranch, DuMOL Estate, Lorenzo, Heintz &  Ritchie.

DuMol 2014 Syrah, Russian River Valley
Retail 64.00 – GGWC 59.99
Use discount code DUMOL14 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 2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Retail 74.00 – GGWC 71.99
Use discount code DUMOL14 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.

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