Nov
21
2016

95 Point Cab Gem by former Spottswoode winemaker

 

Winemaker/owner Rosemary Cakebread has earned her stripes after 30 years in the Napa Valley (Spottswoode, etc.).  She created the Gallica label in 2007 and has been producing amazing Cabernets, Rhone Blends and Albarino.  The 2013 Cabernet might be here best offer yet to date.  STUNNING I’d say!

Gallica 2013 Cabernet, Napa Valley
Retail 170.00 – GGWC 164.99
$0.01 or almost FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code GALLICA13 @ checkout

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Gallica’s beautiful 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon has velvety tannins, loads of plum, blackberry and cassis fruit and a floral component. It has a medium to full-bodied personality that would suggest a suave complex wine from a Bordeaux or Margaux appellation. The wine is quite beautiful with purity, richness and an overall charm that make this an endearing effort in 2013. Moreover, it should drink well for another 20+ years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
20
2016

Last Call! 97 Point KILLER Red

 

Matthias Pippig is not your everyday mainstream winemaker. He’s an “artist” in the true sense of the worth.  A creator, a dreamer, a visionary, a poet, a chef, a scientist.  Mix this all together and you have Sanguis.  Matthias moved here from Germany some 30 years ago with plans to make it big in the Rock & Roll scene.  Life took a different turn, as he had to make a living and  he eventually stumbled onto the L.A. food scene.  He worked as a waiter, and in time met Manfred Krankl, of La Brea Bakery fame, which whom he’d partner and work for several years.  Krankl, created the infamous Sine Qua Non label and that inspired Matthias to go a similar route and the rest is history.  Sanguis is not a quaffing wine, but complex and sophisticated.

Sanguis 2013 “Bossman” Syrah – Santa Ynez
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
$0.01 (or almost) FREE SHIPPING with the purchase of 6 bottles
Use code BOSSMAN at checkout

Winemaker Notes: “An eccentric gentleman, like the men of early car racing – Confidently humble, determined and patient, smart, beautiful (but not in the Hollywood or GQ sort of way), generous…probably in his mid-fifties but not the sort of 50’s that we’d find in a Viagra commercial and also not the Dos Equisman (though I like him very much).  As a wine, this just about has it all – a dark brooding core enrobed by bright and vibrant energy and an incredibly generous    manner.  It is as pure and lively an expression of Syrah as we’ve been able to coax from nature and put in a bottle – beautiful now and promising a long interesting life ahead.”

Robert Parker 97 Points: “The greatest wine made by this estate, the 2013 Syrah Bossman is a flat-out sensational blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier, from Bien Nacido and Watch Hills vineyards, that saw a quarter whole clusters and 23 months in new French oak. Its inky opaque color is followed by killer notes of smoked meats, pepper, olives and assorted dark fruits. This gives way to a full-bodied, perfectly balanced red that has a great mid-palate, seamless integration of its oak, tannin and alcohol, and a complex, layered personality that keeps you coming back to the glass. Hats off to winemaker Matthias Pippig for this beauty!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
19
2016

Napa Valley Wine Appellations ~Part Two~

Napa Valley
Appellations

Picking up where we left off last week at the southern end of the valley floor, we find ourselves in the Oak Knoll District. It is not as warm as the AVA’s to its north but still gets hot in the summer. Not only Cabernet Sauvignon, but other varieties that don’t do as well in the heat, such as Riesling, are planted. One of our current favorites from Oak Knoll is the Barrelhead Cabernet Franc, which has some richness but is also distinctly Cab Franc, with hints of pepper and tobacco.

The Stags Leap District northwest of Oak Knoll is the valley floor “star,” known for its superb Cabernet Sauvignon. It has the perfect combination of hot days in the summer, temperature moderating wind, volcanic rocks and a clay foundation. The wines have body, acidity, elegance and finesse. Several famous wineries are based here and many others, big and small such as BENCH VINEYARD, source Cabernet Sauvignon from its golden terroir.

Heading north you’ll hit Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford and St. Helena. It gets warmer as you move further from the San Pablo Bay so by the time you reach St. Helena there are very few cooling influences. The usual suspects – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – are widely planted but Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zinfandel and Viognier are also grown. With Highway 29 running the course of these towns, several big names including SPOTTSWOODE in St. Helena are easy to find yet lesser-known producers including TRESPASS , ROCCA and YOUNT RIDGE are scattered along the way.

The Tofanelli Family Vineyard
in Calistoga at winter.

Calistoga is the most northern AVA in Napa. Lodged into the Mayacamas Mountain Range, it is hot and has become recognized for its big, rich red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Syrah. TOFANELLI, which was founded in Calistoga in 1929, makes classic, powerful Zinfandel from organically grown fruit.  Another crowd-pleaser is KELLY FLEMING, known for her big Cabernet and elegant Sauvignon Blanc

The Diamond Mountain District is south of Calistoga. It has a density of volcanic matter, giving the wines a penetrating sense of minerality. Cabernet Sauvignon is king but there is a lot of Cabernet Franc and some Merlot as well, both of which are usually added as blending grapes. A new producer (older vineyard) is SUMMITVINE making an amazing, limited production from this estate.

Spring Mountain hovers over St. Helena. At its peak, it is 2600 feet, more than 2000 feet higher than the top aspect of Diamond Mountain. The most coveted land is at the higher altitudes above the fog line that create full-bodied, tannic red wines, amazing Merlot, PALOMA and fruity Sauvignon Blanc.

Betty O’Shaughnessy Woolls,
founder and matriarch of Mt. Veeder’s
O’Shaughnessy winery.

Mount Veeder, which is south of Spring Mountain, is Napa’s largest AVA other than the Napa AVA (which, by the way, was granted in 1981) itself. It is as high as Spring Mountain and has a similar microclimate.  Other than Sauvignon Blanc, the same grapes are grown. LONGTABLE makes a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) that offers a delicious mouthful of packed fruit that is pretty representative of the appellation. THOMAS-HSI is a new-comer with a stellar Cabernet and of course O’SHAUGHNESSY cannot be forgotten as one of the best Cabernet producers in Napa.

Napa shares Los Carneros with Sonoma. This is the coolest AVA in Napa, getting a double whammy of wind from the San Pablo Bay to the south and Petaluma Gap to the west. It is extremely well-known for Pinot Noir and vivacious Chardonnay such as the wine we carry from COHO and HUDSON.  Many winemakers, ARIETTA just to name one, also like its cooler renditions of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are not as fruit driven as their counterparts from other parts of Napa.

One thing to keep in mind is that while the most popular grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Chardonnay – still reign throughout most of Napa, a host of Italian varieties as well as Semillon and others have taken root and the results are promising. Napa Valley is constantly evolving but we have a pretty good idea which grapes work in different spots and how they are vary from place to place. This keeps it exciting for wine drinkers and reminds us, and the rest of the wine drinking world that Napa is far from a homogenous region but one that has focus and at the same time, diversity.

Nov
18
2016

The “BEST” Petite Sirah from Napa this year

An Ideal wine for the “dark” Turkey Meat!

Corey Beck grew up in the Napa Valley in and around the vineyards his grandfather planted at Chateau Montelena.  He started his winemaking career under Scott McLeod at Rubicon (Francis Ford Copolla).  His own Cabernet Sauvignon is an amazing wine sourced from one of the most sought after vineyards in the Napa Valley nearby the Hourglass, 3 Palms and Switchback Ridge vineyards. This wine’s quality is much higher than its price tag!

C-Beck 2012 Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
Retail 45.00 – GGWC 39.99
NEARLY FREE SHIPPING ($0.01) on 6 bottles or more
Use code CBECK upon checkout

The 2012 C-Beck Petite Sirah looks like crude oil, as it is black/purple in color.  The wine is dense, concentrated yet extremely elegant on the mid-palate.  The wine offers up stunning fruit – dense and ripe yet stunningly elegant and polished laced with black currant, dark plum and a touch of vanilla.  The palate has a silky entry which leads to a long, supple finish.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
17
2016

Pritchard Hill Cabernet STUNNER

Greg Melanson first came to the wine country on vacation at age 18. After graduation from U.S.C. in 1975 he moved to San Francisco to start a legal document management company. During those early years he learned to fly and skydive at the Pope Valley Parachute Ranch. Greg caught the bug for both soaring and wine which prompted him to purchase a 10 acre vineyard in Calistoga at age 25. In his mid 30’s Greg sold his Calistoga vineyard and purchased a vineyard on Pritchard Hill. He now commands a premium for his fruit and is serious about making world-class Cabernet Sauvignon (wineries such as Pulido-Walker, Tor-Kenward, etc. etc).  The vineyard is directly above COLGIN IX Estate nearby Gandona, Brand, etc. – so in amazing company!

Melanson 2013 “Estate” Cabernet, Pritchard Hill
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99
NEARLY FREE SHIPPING ($0.01) on 4 bottles or more!
Use code MELANSON upon checkout

The 2013 sourced from the best block of the Melanson rocky soil vineyard on Pritchard Hill offers up an amazing aroma of black stone fruit, chocolate, a hint of tobacco and licorice.  On the palate this gentle giant showcases its true Pritchard Hill character.  The wine is opulent, full-bodied and multi-dimensional.  Flavors of black currants, black berries, hint of dark chocolate and a little of dustiness coat the bold, yet very elegant palate of this youngster.  The tannins are there, but nicely integrated.  I suggest decanting this wine for a few hours.  Limited production!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
16
2016

French Laundry’s Favorite White

When Sommeliers recommend and drink Sauvignon Blanc they often prefer, the dry, earthy, mineral, floral whites of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume and Graves. This is the inspiration for Somm Blanc, a blend of Old Vines Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon “Remixed” in California.  When a great Master sommelier friend of mine, Will Sherrer, got the opportunity to use the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in California, which were planted in 1942, he jumped on it. The Lolonis Vineyard brings these old vines flavors to  the “Somm Blanc.” Old Vines are much like people in that they are simple yet powerful when young (1 to 21yrs), powerful and complex in mid age (22 to 50yrs) and less powerful but very complex when old (50 to 100yrs).

SOMM BLANC 2015 “Old Vines” Proprietary White
Retail $40.00 – GGWC $35.99
$0.01 (Almost Free) Shipping on 6 or more
Use shipping code SOMM at checkout

Somm Blanc blended 80% of Sauvignon Blanc with 20%  old vines Semillon. His idea was to treat these grapes to an “old world” style of fermentation to maximize earthy, floral tones of Sauvignon Blanc without as much of the fruity, grassy elements of new world styles. The Semillon was fermented to bring out the varietal earthy, spice unique to Semillon. The grapes were neutral barrel fermented with partial skin contact and good lees stirring. The flavors begin with the earthy and mineral with slight musk notes. Fruit flavors are grapefruit and sweet lime zest with a finish of quince and dried papaya.  White flowers and slight spice reminiscent of a mild yellow curry.  Altogether, a very well-made, complex and flavorful wine that will please many palates!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
15
2016

DuMOL 2014 Designated Vineyard Releases 94-96 Points!

 

With lower than normal production levels, and perhaps because of them, the 2014 DuMol releases are turning out to be quite spectacular! I would say that several of these may the best releases ever from this winery. Look for some rave reviews from the wine critics! And when a winery like DuMOL is in high-demand, you can bet that this means the allocation will sell out quickly.

DuMOL 2014 Chloe Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 95 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99
$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

This has been one of my favorites for years! The Chloe offers a brilliant pale yellow gold color. The wine is richly aromatic, with nectarine, orange marmalade, mango, and a subtle edge of fragrant lilies. On the palate the wine is broad with intense fruit richness, white peach, citrus oil, toasted nuts, almond paste, brioche. Real sense of thrusting power, but perfect balance between pulsating fruit and precise acidity. Lemon zest finish.

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie-Lorenzo Old Vines is one of the biggest, most voluptuous wines in the range, but like all of the Chardonnays, the 2014 has preserved notable acidity and freshness. Here it is the wine’s overall balance that truly stands out.”

Robert Parker 2013 Review 96 Points: “The 2013 Chardonnay Chloe, which comes from two great vineyard sources, the Ritchie and Lorenzo, was treated similarly in terms of its aging 12 months on its lees, then four months in tank. Good acidity buttresses a relatively full-throttle, big, rich, honeyed wine, with plenty of apple blossom, orange marmalade, and pineapple notes. There is some underlying minerality as well. This should also drink well for at least a decade.

Winemaker Notes: Orange blossom, orange marmalade, peach and nectarine, prosciutto and melon. Oyster shell freshness and wet stone minerals. Sweet and pliant fruit-filled palate. Real depth and extract. Honey and baking spice. The deep, deep flavors linger long on the layered rising whistle-clean finish. Great pedigree. Rich, broad and powerful fruit-driven wine with old vine sinew and a clean mineral spine. Lots of nuance and detail.”

DuMOL 2014 Clare Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 93 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

The Clare bottling showcases a brilliant pale straw color. The nose offers great aromatic purity of lemon, mineral, sea spray, green apple, mint freshness that opens to poached pear and toasted almond. A very intense stone fruit palate, oatmeal richness and nutmeg. Density builds in the glass, intense salty acidity and nice waxy/oily finish.  Very limited.

Anthony Galloni 93 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Clare Hyde Vineyard is an attractive wine, but it also comes across as a bit less complex than the other Chardonnays in the range. There is no shortage of depth or density, but the aromatics are a bit muted today. The Hyde went into tank with all of its lees, which, along with six months in tank, explains why the wine is not as expressive as some of the other wines in the range.”

Winemaker Notes: “Brilliant pale straw color with a green tinge. Explosive aromatics: lemon zest, white nectarine, geranium, spearmint, thyme and oyster shell. Great clarity and direct focus. Deep precise flavors. Mineral, stream bed and crisp apple. Dry, tangy and pulsating. Really opens up as it grows in the glass. Oatmeal and almond paste, body and richness. Weighty, broad deep savory finish, rising grapefruit character. Incredibly dynamic wine – mineral, tense and deep with building fruit richness. A livewire with long cellaring potential.”

DuMOL 2014 Isobel Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 94 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

Brilliant pale gold color. Intriguing mix of savory and sweet aromas: pear, fennel, cut grass, crisp apple, lemongrass, quince, complex herbal notes. Generous palate entry, but quite delicate, round and mellow. Tangerine, lemon and almond. Lovely progression along the palate, subtle richness, but always vibrant pin-point acidity. Complex truffle/hazelnut finish.

Galloni 94 Points 2014: “DuMol’s Chardonnay Isobel Charles Heintz Vineyard is bright, focused and vibrant on the palate, with a real sense of energy that balances the inherent richness that is so typical of this site. Apricot, peach, chamomile, sweet floral and lightly tropical notes form an attractive fabric of aromas, flavors and nuances. This is a lovely showing. The window of picking at Charles Heintz was quite long in 2014 and stretched for nearly two weeks.”

Winemaker Notes: “Sea spray, green olive, cheese rind, freshly cut grass and sage aromas. Palate richness expands: citrus oil, white stone fruits and honey. Intense, mineral and precise. Fine interplay between botanical, floral and fruit elements – chamomile, white blossom and meyer lemon. Lovely balance and fine length. Subtle leesy texture builds density. Brisk finishing acidity. Long star anise/lemongrass finish. Beautiful, savory, focused wine with subtle depth and gradually evolving texture. Pinpoint coastal signature.”

DuMOL 2014 Pinot Noir “Aidan” Russian River Valley- 96 Points
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

The Aidan offers a medium dark ruby red color. The wine offers a bright, vibrant and high-toned aroma with great energy. Rainier cherry, fresh raspberry, pine needle, fragrant roses, a touch of iron. Classic coastal palate with explosive fruits: fresh raspberry coulis, huckleberry, bing cherry. Full-bodied, rich and satisfying, but always bright and juicy. Dusty cocoa powder, tobacco finish.

Anthony Galloni 96 Points: “The 2014 Pinot Noir Aidan Wildrose Vineyard is all about tension and energy. Beautifully chiseled throughout, the 2014 is loaded with the essence of dark red/purplish fruit, wild flowers, mint, cinnamon and crushed rocks. I very much like the verve in the 2014, a wine that is shaping up to be a real gem.”

Winemaker Notes: “Aromas of dark cherry and black raspberry, tobacco leaf, sweet cedar and grapefruit peel. Taut, focused and energetic palate entry. Soaring inner mouth fragrance and direct intensity. Succulent layers of pure deep dark cherry fruit. Graphite, tarragon and anise savory complexity. Building volume and deep structural presence. Pulsating acidity. Long aging potential – 10+ years. A sophisticated, classic fruit-driven wine accented by mineral and fresh herb notes.”

DuMOL 2014 Ryan Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 95 Points
Retail 96.00 – GGWC 89.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

Ryan is becoming the flag ship of DuMOL’s designated series. The 2014 vintage offers up a deep rose color, quite dark & brilliant.  The wine shows of complex floral and seasoned aromas of juniper, bay leaf, anise then wild berry sweetness, kirsch, sassafras and tobacco. The wine offers great power and dimension to the palate. It is rich, but never soft – a lean dynamic power. Boysenberry, maple, cocoa then mint and game. Fine tannin-acid balancing act. Fresh orange zest on the finish.

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “One of the many highlights in this lineup, the 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Widdoes Vineyard offers notable depth and concentration. There is a real sense of gravitas to the Ryan, while a dollop of whole clusters (15%) adds aromatic intrigue, something that is so typical of Martino clone Pinots. Sweet red cherry and floral notes built to the intense, richly textured finish.”

Winemaker Notes: “Dark brooding fruit flavors: black raspberry and vineyard-typical black cherry compote. Anise, rosemary and mint leaf then smoked meat. Bold fruit entry, obvious concentration and density but always fresh and pure. Blackberry sweetness, rich and broad, palate-staining. Lingering cherry pit and bergamot tea finish. A powerful muscular wine with layers of deep fruit and classic Californian broad texture, but always nuanced, complex and fresh, never heavy or simple.

DuMOL 2014 Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 95 Points
Retail 105.00 – GGWC 99.00

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

This is the eight “Estate” release. This bottling offers a brilliant deep rose color. The nose shows penetrating floral, fruit and seasoned aroma.  On the palate you’ll encounter black cherry and raspberry, fresh herbs, fragrant flowers, toffee and cocoa powder. Great vineyard purity with tightly entwined aromas and flavors. Dark fruits, earth, fresher blueberry, orange zest, a hint of black olive. Structured back end with lifting acidity and youthful tannins.

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “A wine of density and wound up energy, the 2014 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard is very tightly coiled at this stage. All the elements are there for the Estate to develop into a splendid Pinot with proper aging, especially if the wine finds a more refined register over time. Even so, the 2014 is attractive, if a bit monolithic next to the other wines in this range.”

Winemaker Notes: “Brilliance in the glass. Cranberry, pomegranate, rhubarb and black raspberry fruit. Bay laurel, graphite and tarragon complexity. Underbrushy and woodsy, edgy and intriguing. Savory entry, red currant and sassafras, Rainier cherry and dark cassis. Broad across the palate, density and weight. Clove, lavender and forest floor. Balances succulence and structure. Youthful acidity and fresh minerals extend the finish. Slower to open. This one will age. Really fascinating, commanding pinot – a beautiful mix of red and black fruits, savory elements and chewy tannins.”

DuMOL 2014 “Jack Roberts” Syrah, Russian River Valley – 96 Points
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 81.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

This 100% Syrah is sourced entirely from the Dutton-Gregoir vineyard.  The wine offers a saturated purple color; wonderfully intense high-toned floral aromas with sage, cracked pepper, bacon and blue fruit notes. Cassis, blueberry and blackberry liqueur dominate the palate with a swirling inner-mouth violet floral perfume. Great density and volume but also sleek, focused, long and elegant. Rich tannins and snappy acidity combine on a peppery youthful finish. Cellar for at least two years or decant before serving.

Anthony Galloni 96 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Jack Robert’s Run Estate Vineyard is super-refined and polished throughout. Almost Pinot-like in its personality, the 2014 is bright, focused and light on its feet. Sweet red stone fruit, wild flowers, mint, herbs and dried flowers are some of the signatures. In 2014, the Jack Robert’s Run is all class.”

Winemaker Notes: “Wildly aromatic, deep and vivid. Black and blue fruits, white and black pepper, sage and anise, thyme blossom, lilacs and violet. Blackberry liqueur and spicy plum compote palate, intense and broad. Great floral inner mouth perfume. Bold, succulent layers of billowing texture then dense, chewy, cocoa-dusted tannins, voluptuous and gripping. Rising, dominant fruit-filled finish. Cool climate Syrah of power and intensity, delicacy and concentration. Aromatic, fruit and savory elements in gorgeous harmony.

DuMOL 2014 “Eddie’s Patch” Syrah, Russian River Valley – 94 Points
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

The big boy “Eddie’s Patch” Syrah has a saturated purple color of dense and concentrated ripe dark fruits.  Out of the glass gobs of blackberry and cassis with menthol, tapenade, mineral and iron tones greet you with pleasure. The wine maintains a floral elegance and lifted aromatic character.  It has a bright red fruit entry, lighter than the nose suggests, then dark fruit compote but not heavy or too forward, truffle notes, pepper, thyme and sage. Rich tannins round out the finish and aromatic graphite notes linger. Always decant this big boy before serving, and let it breathe for an hour or two!

Anthony Galloni 94 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Eddie’s Patch Greywacke Vineyard is the first wine from a site that will inform this wine until Hoppe-Kelly comes back on line. Tasted from barrel, the 2014 Eddie’s Patch is deep, dense and noticeably sweet through the middle, all a reflection of this relatively warm site planted with Alban clone Syrah. Today, the 2014 is a bit raw and not fully put together. It will be interesting to see what more time in barrel brings.

Winemaker Notes: “Deep blueberry, blackberry and dark cherry fruit with bay laurel, pine needle, menthol and a resonant balsamic note. The aromas directly translate to flavors. Wintergreen complexity, charcoal and a strong volcanic iron quality.  Dark core of rich, full fruit. Walnut sweetness with dried herb freshness. Weighty and concentrated but wonderfully energetic. Plum skin tanginess on the mouth filling finish. There’s long term aging potential here. Complex, multi-layered wine with fine interplay between vintage-derived deep fruit core and vineyard signature soil-driven elements.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Nov
14
2016

WINE WAKE UP CALL – 94 Point, 200 case production

Bill and Cindy Wenzlau purchased 100 acres, but only planted 12 ½ of them (8½ to Pinot 4 to Chardonnay).  For 2 decades they fantasized about owning their own vineyard.   But it was not until their sommelier son Tommy came back from a trip to France that he persuaded his family to look for land.  They scoured California and came across this gorgeous property in the Santa Rita Hills and the rest as they say was history and the Wenzlau Vineyard was born!  The first vintages were made by Paul Lato and as of 2012 Justin Willett (Tyler) has been at the helm of this great winery.

Wenzlau 2014 Chardonnay “Estate” Santa Rita Hills
Retail 53.00 – GGWC 49.99
$0.01 (i.e. almost FREE SHIPPING) on 6+ bottles
Use code WENZLAU upon checkout

This 200 case Wenzlau Estate production offers up gorgeous scents of white flowers,  citrus, toasted nut and apple blossom on the nose. On the palate you’ll encounter a remarkable Chardonnay loaded with bright acidity, a lush, rich mid-palate, and a seamless texture that carries beautifully pure fruit .  This is one of the most elegant and silky Chardonnays – a real joy to drink. This wine will “grow” in the bottle with some time.

Anthony Galloni 94 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Estate is one of the most distinctive of the wines I tasted from Wenzlau this year. Bright lemon, mineral, salt and chalk give the Chardonnay its bright, salivating personality, but there is plenty of understated depth and structure lying in reserve. This is an impressive, powerful yet also reserved Chardonnay from one of the top vineyard sites in the Sta. Rita Hills.”

Click here or on the links above to order!
Nov
12
2016

Napa Valley Wine Appellations ~Part One~

Napa Valley
Appellations

People sometimes forget that Napa Valley is a valley and that there are differences between the areas on the valley floor and the higher areas in and around the mountains. Not only does the altitude affect the fruit, but it also impacts the micro-climates and variations in soil composition.

The Vaca Range and the Mayacamas Mountains bookend the valley. Ancient volcanoes formed much of the region but the soil types are diverse, with volcanic material and alluvial (clay) soils making up the bulk of the land. In general, the floor has denser alluvial soil that is good for water retention. The mountains have less clay and a high concentration of volcanic soil that provide a lot of drainage. As a result, the mountain fruit is often more intense.

In total, Napa has 16 AVA’s:

Atlas Peak, Calistoga, Chiles Valley, Coombsville, Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Los Carneros, Mount Veeder, Oak Knoll, Oakville, Rutherford, Spring Mountain, St. Helena, Stags Leap, Wild Horse Valley, and Rutherford.

The O’Shaugnessy Estate
on Howell Mountain

Howell Mountain, the most northern AVA on the Vaca range, is also one of the warmest parts of Napa. Because of its altitude (1400 – 2600 feet) it sits above the fog line and since it is far from the San Pablo Bay, it does not receive any of the cooling marine influences. It is superb for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah, grapes that can withstand the heat. One of the producers from this area that we carry, O’SHAUGHNESSY, makes a lusciously typical Howell Mountain Cabernet with brooding black fruits. Viognier is one of the white grapes that can also tolerate the climate. Chardonnay is grown as well but it is often more fleshy than those you’ll find in cooler areas such as Carneros.

The Chiles Valley is southeast of Howell Mountain. Even though it has “valley” in its name, many of the vineyards are on the hillside, but since its highest point is 1200 feet, it gets fog at night. You’ll find a lot of the same grapes grown but the wines often have more acidity because of the cool evenings. BROWN ESTATE is one of the most famous wineries in the Chiles Valley, in large part due to its voluptuous yet balanced Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

Scribe, one of the
great Atlas Peak Wines

Atlas Peak is the other major AVA on the Vaca Range. Between the altitude, which peaks at 2600 and the cooling marine influences, the temperatures are noticeably different from that of Howell Mountain. SCRIBE Winery, which is actually based in Sonoma, sources grapes for its Cabernet Sauvignon from here as the wines have body but also plenty of acidity, a style that they prefer.

The Wild Horse Valley is the smallest and one of the coolest AVA’s in Napa. It has become well known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, rivaling Carneros as the best appellation within the region for these grapes. We will see more wines made from these grapes in the future as its reputation is taking off.

Coombsville, located in between Los Carneros and Atlas Peak, is also a “hot” region. In actuality, it is cooler than other parts of Napa but unlike its immediate neighbors, has staked its reputation on Cabernet Sauvignon, often getting as much structure from its acidity as from tannin. INHERIT THE SHEEP, a winemaking venture started by two Mondavi alumnae (Clay & Tersila Gregory), is one of a number of boutique wineries making waves in this area, and has created a real following among our clients. Not to forget the amazing Merlot produced by COHO from the Michael Black Vineyard.

To leave you in suspense, next week I’ll pick up with the valley floor and move into the AVA’s on Mayacamas Mountain Range.

Nov
11
2016

Honoring Our Veterans




Today, we salute the heroes
who have fought for the integrity of this country and the freedoms we enjoy.

Our hearts and minds are filled with thanks and respect.

We are forever grateful for their sacrifice of life, limb, and time
for the greater good so that we might have a better life
and a place to call home.

Let us raise a toast to our veterans.
Happy Veteran’s Day!