5 Barrel Landmark Wine – Only 8 cases allocated!

Yannick Rousseau was born in the Gascony region in the South-West of France known for its ‘French paradox’ of delicious, rich food, daily wine consumption and impressive longevity of the inhabitants. His life-long journey in wine and food started when he was 5 years old and drank his first glass of homemade wine with Pépé (his grandpa). Pépé hunted his own food, made his own wine, and was an artisan butcher. Every day, Yannick lived the simple life where his family took the time to enjoy their food, wines and the company of family and friends.

High a top Mt Veeder you’ll cross into Sonoma.  The appellation might change, but the soil and quality does not.  It is mountain grown, high-quality “stuff” – right by sources like O’Shaughnnesy, etc.  In the late 1800’s this area was known as the Cavedale Resort, a mineral hot spring, which was surrounded by farms – not too many trucks around in 1880 to drive from the valley with produce for the resort guests!  The resort closed in the early 1900’s and the area eventually became prime vineyard land!

Rousseau 2012 Merlot Cavedale Vineyard “Pepe”
Moon Mountain. Retail 55.00 – GGWC 51.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more~ Use discount code ROUS12M upon checkout

This is a textbook wine.  Dazzling aromatics of black fruits and chocolate that are firm, ripe and expressive jump out of the glass. Grown on the western slopes of Mt. Veeder, this Merlot shows of and the color is a real indicator (dark purple hue).  Stunning and elegant on the mid-palate, this wine is loaded with nicely balanced red and black cherries, plum and a touch of roasted meat and black pepper. This wine rolls over the palate like a ballerina doing an arabesque.  The finish is long and flavorful.  Only 5 barrels (120 cases) produced, so hurry for this one!

Click here or on the links above to order!


100 Case Blind Tasting Winner!

Grenache is not in everyone’s wine vocabulary and it still confuses many Cabernet and Pinot drinkers.  It is not as bold, bacon-fatty spicy as Syrah, yet it is more elegant and complex.  Last week was one of our last tasting meetings of the year and we decided on Grenache.  We lined up some great wines with an amazing outcome

  • Booker “Ripper” (96 WA)
  • Ojai (94 AG)
  • Beckman “Pursima” (93 WA)
  • Two Hands (93 WS)
  • Tablas Creek (94 AG)
  • Pax (93 AG)
  • Denner (93+ WA)
  • Paul Lato (94 RP)
  • Herman Story (94 AG)
  • Tofanelli

The surprise winner – TOFANELLI!

Vince Tofanelli the man behind many great Zinfandels (his own label, Turley, Neyers etc.) produced 100 cases of an amazing Grenache.  This is only the second vintage, so you might be confused – not Zin, not Petite Sirah!

Tofanelli 2012 Grenache “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6+ Bottles, use code TOF12GREN upon checkout
(can mix & match with Tofanelli Zinfandel)

On the nose you are greeted by bright aromatics of black raspberry, a touch of jasmine and orange blossom notes.  The wine is typical Tofanelli intense, with layered black and red stone fruit, cassis,  a touch of pepper spice and rose petals. Seamless wine that is extremely elegant and complex. An ideal Thanksgiving and Holiday wine – splash decant, but you can lay this wine down for some years to come as well.  Only 4 barrels produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!


Cabernet of the Month – 8 barrels produced

Passenger is the project from wine broker Kimberly Jones and the "other" Passenger Master Sommelier Chris Blanchard (FYI only 192 of them on planet earth). This is one of my favorite “secret” wines. You’d ask – Why the secrecy?  The vineyard sources are designates for many high-end wines and they like to keep their price tag that way.  Then you have a cult winemaker who should not be moonlighting with other projects, that are the ingredients to keep everything hush-hush, under the radar so to speak.

Passenger 2012 Stag’s Leap, Napa Valley
GGWC 79.99  -  FREE SHIPPING on 6+
Use discount code PASS12 upon checkout

The fruit is sourced from a "secret" Stag's Leap District vineyard.  This is a fun project that has taken flight ever since its inaugural 2008 release.  Today's flock is a mere 148 cases of pigeon (read picture) perfect Cabernet. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon has an amazing aroma that jumps out of the glass. Balance and elegance, yet structure, power and complexity.  The owners were not interested in a high alcohol, over ripe, dessert wine of a Cabernet, yet instead, a wine that had the typicity of the Valley and specifically of the Stags Leap AVA.  Dark cherry and blackberry, cocoa and mocha with a slight dusty quality that represented the vineyard.  This combined with moderate alcohol and tannins, 25% new French oak for 2 years in barrel and an intensity in the mouth, structured, round and finishing long with each of these elements.

Clich here or on the links above to order!

* Free Shipping on qualifying purchases to a single address within the continental United States. AK & HI residents will receive discounte air freight.


Down Under stunner 20% OFF

Last week I enjoyed an afternoon visiting with Donal O’Dwyer who flew all the way from Australia with a few sample bottles of wine!  I tasted his new 2009 Cabernet (400 cases produced), which will be in stock shortly, as well as a latest venture, his 2010 Shiraz (only 100 cases produced) – we are taking orders NOW!

The 2009 Cabernet all estate is by far THE BEST wine he has ever produced, it will put his 2006 vintage to shame!  The Shiraz (sourced from his neighbor’s vineyard) is finger licking good!  Eventually Donal will produce his own “Estate” Shiraz as the vines are still a little young so he is selling that fruit and making trial batches as references for future releases.

O’Dwyer 2009 “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley
Retail $75.00 – Retail 65.00
ONLY $59.99 per bottle with FREE SHIPPING on 12!!!!
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more, use code ODW upon checkout (can mix and match with his Shiraz)

The Cabernet, which I am sipping while writing this note will elevate you to other galaxies.  The nose is gorgeous, amazing black stone fruit jumps out of the glass.  The palate is mouth coating and teeth staining black stone fruit that is very well-balanced and extremely complex.   One would think Napa and Bordeaux visited the Clare Valley!

Lush black currant, with a hint of chocolate and mocha notes lead into a 45 second long crescendo.  The tannins are there, and I suggest decanting this wine an hour or two before consuming.  The 2009 O’Dwyer Cabernet is drinking well now, but can benefit from a year or two in the cellar and will age gracefully for a good 10-12 years.  400 cases were produced and ONLY 50 are coming to the US.  Because of the big following, I anticipate this wine to be sold out before it arrives here!

We are commencing the PRE-SALE offer today.   The wine is NOT YET in stock and is scheduled to arrive late January 2015. Well worth waiting for, really!!

O’Dwyer 2010 Shiraz, Clare Valley
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 65.00, PRE SALE 59.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more – use code ODW upon checkout
(can mix and match with O’Dwyer Cabernet)

The 2010 O’Dwyer Shiraz offers a deep dark purple hue and intense aromatics of black berries and violets with a touch of pepper, tea and bacon fat character.  The wine oozes on the palate, full in body with rich and seductive flavors of black berries, chocolate, creme de cassis, and a whiff of smokiness that lingers on the back palate.  The wine is lush, yet very elegant and intense with silky tannins on the long lasting finish.   Only 100 cases produced, and only 5 are coming to the US!!

All orders received after November 30 will receive a pre-sale price of $65.00 with FREE SHIPPING on 12 bottles. Pre-Sale ends December 12, 2014.

Click here or on the links above to order!

*Free shipping on qualifying orders to a single address within the continental United States. Alaska and Hawaii orders will receive discounted air freight.


Bargain Napa Blend of the week

Chris Corley is a Monticello descendant and of course he was set out to make wine.  He did not always agree with the family practice and decided with the help of his wife “Jules” to create the Jules and Barrelhead winery. The Jules wines are well-made Napa Valley blends under $30.00!  This small production of 48% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot, 8% Syrah was sourced from two great vineyards the Oak Knoll District of the Napa Valley. The wine is built on the framework of a bold Cabernet Franc, which provides the structure and depth that is essential in crafting wines that are intended for moderate to long term aging. The secondary layer on this framework is Merlot, which softens some of the edges without compromising the structure. Merlot also contributes a slightly brighter fruit component to both the nose and the palate which nicely balances the darker tones from the other varietals. The tertiary layer is Syrah, which melts over the first two wines, filling in the gaps, deepening the core texture and rounding out the long finish.

Jules 2012 Vin Rouge (Red Blend), Napa Valley
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on a FULL case – use code JULES12 upon checkout

On the nose, you’ll find deep black and purple berry aromas, mocha and coffee. There is a subtle beam of lavender and vanilla which gives way to a light toastiness.  On the palate, you encounter a dark rich wine, especially after it is decanted for an hour or so, allowing the tannins to melt a bit. The attack maintains a brightness and vigor, which quickly subsides and softens into a deeply textured rich core. The finish is long with a slight grip of chewy tannin framing a long rich fall off the back of the palate.

Click here or on the links above to order!

*Free shipping on qualifying orders to a single address within the continental United States. Alaska and Hawaii orders will receive discounted air freight.


“The” Pinot of the year – 225 cases produced/ 6 cases allocated

Despite only being six miles from the Pacific, Rice-Spivak is still the most inland of the vineyards Cobb works with. Even so, it’s a very cool site. The 2012 growing season has yielded the finest vintage of Rice-Spivak Vineyard Pinot Noir ever made. While Rice-Spivak’s Dijon and Swan Pinot Noir plantings, northern exposure, and unique volcanic ash-laden soils always produce a complex, aromatic wine with excellent acidity and earthiness, the 2012 has a level of depth and concentration that is remarkable. It also possesses more black fruit and spice layers than we traditionally see from this vineyard, all at a low alcohol level.

Cobb 2012 Pinot Noir “Rice-Spivak” Sonoma Coast
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6+, use code COBB12RS upon checkout

On impact this wine will surprise you as dark aromas of layered cherries jump out of the glass. The wine is full in body, yet extremely elegant (not delicate). About 1/3 of the wine is whole cluster press and it shows in the flavors on the mid-palate. Gorgeous color and flavors from start to finish. This wine offers stunning black cherry and plum flavors with some savory spiciness on the palate. The tannins are there but not aggressive at all finishing with a silky, strawberry tartness that is very pleasant and appealing. Only 225 cases were produced and I was allocated a mere 6 of them, so HURRY!


The Heidi Barrett Collection (Incudes $0 Shipping)

Heidi Barrett, the “Queen of the Napa Valley” has been at it for 35+ years and still has a lot to offer, and her latest La Sirena releases are clear proof of that. Last week I got together with the La Sirena team and tasted all the new fall releases and not one of them disappointed. As a matter a fact she might defied the odds on the 2011 vintage!

The lineup included:

  • 2013 Moscato Azul
  • 2012 Grenache (Premiere Release)
  • 2011 Barrettage
  • 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The last two, which I tasted with 15 other people got a solid 94.5 rating from our group!

All the wines may me mixed and matched for FREE SHIPPING with a minimum six bottle order. Use code LASIRENA upon checkout

2012 La Sirena Grenache, Napa Valley “PREMIERE RELEASE”

Retail 50.00 – GGWC 46.99

This first release of Grenache from La Sirena sports a medium ruby color with wonderful open aromas of ripe red plums, currants, and dried cranberry. There are pretty, sassy, spicy notes in the nose as well and a light touch of French oak which leads to a lively, juicy mouthfeel, silky tannins, and a flavor profile that lasts several minutes. This is a medium bodied, user friendly wine that begs to be shared. The flavors mirror the aromas in this nicely balanced exciting new wine. Suggested pairings – Thanksgiving turkey and ham, Paella, hearty pasta dishes, burgers, sausage, or wild duck. Quite delicious, Enjoy!

2011 La Sirena “Le Barrettage”

Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99

The name Le Barrettage is a fusion of Heidi’s last name with the classic L’Hermitage wine from the Rhone Valley. The 2011 “Le Barrettage” is very dark blackberry in color with fully ripe aromas of black plums, pomegranate juice, smoked meat, mineral earth, spice, and a hint of bacon. It has a silky soft initial palate with a mouth coating lush mid-palate, and a seamless long finish. This is a thing of beauty for Rhone style wine lovers. A blend of several different Syrah blocks, Grenache, and a touch of Petite Sirah round out this delicious proprietary blend from La Sirena. Especially impressive in light of the reported difficult 2011 vintage. This will be one of the stars of the vintage. Not to be missed.

2011 La Sirena Cabernet

GGWC 149.99

Cabernet lovers will recognize the winemaking style which is quite similar to the Screaming Eagle wines Heidi made in the past with a very similar blend profile. The 2011 Cab is a gorgeous deep garnet color. The aromas are of ripe fruit with layers of berry, cherry and plum enhanced by sweet and spicy toasty French oak. From the first enticing sniff the wine leads you to a round lush tasty mouthful of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Flavors mirror the aromas nicely in this soft silky easy to love Cab. The tannins are very light and refined yet the wine has good depth and length especially in light of the challenging 2011 harvest. Heidi made a delicious Cabernet blend that will be easy to approach at release. Enjoy!

Click here or on the links above to order!

*Free shipping on qualifying orders to a single address within the continental United States. Alaska and Hawaii orders will receive discounted air freight.


94 Point Mountain Grown Cab-a-licious wine!

Situated mid-slope on Diamond Mountain, this 2.3 acre vineyard is a real gem-in-the-rough.  At ½ the price of its esteemed neighbor “Diamond Creek”, this wine will blow your mind and not your wallet.  In a recent “Mountain Cabernet” tasting, Dyer stood its own against some big-boys (and girls).  Only 241 cases of this 2010 Cabernet (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot) were produced! The wine received 94 Points from both Robert Parker and Anthony Galloni!

Dyer 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate, Diamond Mountain Napa Valley
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6+, use code DYER10 upon checkout

The 2010 showcases an amazing color and aroma!  Intense aromas of huckleberry and cassis with a touch of cocoa dust and a whiff of spice jump out of the glass.  On the palate, this harmoniously made 2010 Cabernet is lush and full in body and shows an amazing balance of great fruit and acid.  Coated with powerful layers of black stone fruit, chocolate, spice and a touch of toasty vanilla.  This full-bodied wine finishes with silky and supple tannins.  This is a wine that will drink and cellar well for 15+ years!

Robert Parker 94 Points:Dyer’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is superb. The finessed, elegant side of Diamond Mountain comes through in spades. A pedigreed, silky wine, the 2010 impressed for its exceptional balance and pure class.  Today the aromas and flavors are naturally quite primary, so readers will want to cellar for 2010 for at least a few years.  This is one of the most refined Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted from Diamond Mountain, The only bad news is that yields were down significantly and there are only 250 cases to go around versus the 400 that is more typical.  Anticipated Maturity: 2018-2030.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Epic Two Barrel Syrah – 6 cases allocated

Campesino reads like a love story.  A young girl Griselda Ceja (from the infamous Ceja winery) spent her childhood days on this property, she falls in love with a local winemaker and they got married on the vineyard site in 2007.  This five acre vineyard is one of the most ideal vineyard sites (for Pinot) in the Valley, getting much needed temperate weather necessary for this varietal.   Located in the Carneros Region of the Napa Valley, the “Papi y Chula” vineyard is the source of this little gem.

Campesino 2012 Syrah Sangiacomo “Old Lakeville Vineyard” Sonoma Coast
Retail $39.99 – GGWC $37.99

FREE SHIPPING on SIX+ bottles, use code CAMP12SYR upon checkout

Dark purple color and profound aromas of bright blueberry fruit, cassis, chocolate and a touch of spice jump out of the glass.  The 2012 Campesino Syrah is a very intense, full-bodied, lush wine that is loaded with powerful, yet very elegantly crafted black and blue stone fruit, a touch of roasted herbs and a whiff of smoke.  As intense the wine is on the mid-palate, this wine offers an amazingly long, sensational finish with silky tannins. 

Click here or on the links above to order!

*Free ground shipping on qualifying orders to a single address within the continental US. Orders to HI & AK will receive reduced air freight shipping.


Winemaker of Year’s hottest new wine (includes $0 Shipping)

Steve Matthiasson is one of the most sought after vineyard managers and winemakers in the Napa Valley. His current clients include Araujo Estate, Spottswoode, Chappellet, Hall, David Arthur, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and many others. 

Steve Matthiasson was named “Winemaker of the Year” in 2014, and that is an honor not given to everyone!  Steve meticulously farms his own vineyard at night and even on Sundays!  One of the nicest guys in the Valley, a quiet “rock star” of sort.  He is not noticed, but the wineries noticed him!

Matthiasson 2012 White Blend, Napa Valley
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99

FREE SHIPPING on 6+, use code MATT12W upon checkout

This most amazing 2012 White Wine will amaze everyone.  I would say this might be the best choice for Thanksgiving!  The 2012 (dry) White is a blend consisting of mostly Sauvignon Blanc with smaller amounts of Ribolla Gialla, Semillon, and Tocai Fruilano as in previous years, but is more ripe and exuberant than past vintages, reflecting the warm growing season. You’ll find fresh cream on the nose accompanied by key lime pie and flavors of passion fruit, lychee, and lemon curd. There’s a long stony/saline finish from the Ribolla, bright flavors from the Sauvignon Blanc, and the Semillon balances the wine with a beeswax character that adds gravity and weight.  

Click here or on the links above to order!

*Free ground shipping on qualifying orders to a single address within the continental US. Orders to HI & AK will receive reduced air freight shipping.