Mark Herold has been around the block a few times and he does not need much more intro. Star winemaker at Kobalt (95 Pts), Kamen (94 Pts), Merus (96 Pts, he created the label but sold it after a bitter divorce), Vineyardist (95 Pts) so it is no surprise that I am a big fan of his bold winemaking style. As always his productions are very limited!
MARK HEROLD 2011 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 94.99 – FREE SHIPPING on FOUR or more
Use shipping code HEROLD11CS upon check out
Dramatic, dark and penetrating immediately describe this wine. The color is a deeply saturated blue/black hue. Brooding from the glass is a landscape of layered scents: huge aromas of blackberries, black cherries, currants intermixed with espresso, crème de cassis, wet brick with nuances of dried flowers, black olives, and sage brush. A powerful mouth presence reveals extracted flavors of roasted black fruits showcased within a supple tannin framework is evidence of this wines fine sense of balance. Concentration, resolved fine-toothed tannins, and lingering rich flavors are hallmarks of this wine. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy the 2011 Herold Cabernet over the next 15 to 20 years.
A small winery but a big wine! The name is a combination of the vineyard owners (a.k.a mom and dad) Nancy KIVELson and Tom AngSTADT. An all estate property producing some great (mostly) Rhone wines. Our tasting does not often tackle Syrahs, so it was time to do it again. We brought in some great wines and it was a head-to-head race with a 97 point rated wine, but in the end, my little guy beat out the big scoring one!
- Failla “Estate” (92 WA)
- Favia “Quarzo” (95 WS)
- Alban “Lorraine” (97 WA),
- Alban “Patrina” (94 WA),
- Gramercy “Lagniappe” (94 WA),
- Alta Colina “Toasted Slope” (94 WA),
- Lewis (94 WS)
- Ross Andrew “Old Block” (94 WA)
- Dehlinger (93+ WA)
- Relic (95 WS)
- Carlisle “Cardiac Hill” (93 WA)
- Hudson (94 WS)
The Winner: Kivelstadt “Inheritance” received 6 First, 4 Second & 3 Third place votes, Alban “Lorraine” 5 First &3 Second place votes, Relic 2 First & 4 Second place votes.
Kivelstadt 2009 “Inheritance” Syrah (Estate) Sonoma
Retail 45.00 – GGWC 39.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code KIVEL09 upon checkout
This 245 case production is a real gem. You encounter gobs of fruit right out of the starting block. A whiff of anise, black currant and mint jump out of the glass. This full-bodied wine is very well crafted and will impress many! Tons of intensity, yet very elegant where it has to be. We decanted this wine 2 hours prior to tasting and that opened up its bouquet even more and the flavors and acidity where nicely in sync with each other. This little gemstone finishes long and intense just as it started. Don’t wait too long or it will pass you by!
Ed Kurtzman does not need much intro, winemaker extraordinaire for Roar, Freeman, August West, Sandler, etc. He has amassed decades worth of experience at wineries such as Bernardus, Graff, Chalone, Fort Ross, Testarossa and Michaud. The Sandler label is Ed’s own label ( FYI, Sandler is his middle name) which he created in 2003 with a mere 2 barrels of wine! Over the year the label has grown and focusses on various great designated vineyards throughout the state!
Sandler 2012 “Keefer Vineyard” Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99 – FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use discount shipping code SAND12KF upon checkout
The 2012 Sandler Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir is comprised entirely of the Swiss clone 23, also known as Mariafeld. A very generous aroma of gorgeous rose petals and ripe berry aromas jump out of the glass. An lively wine from start to finish. Very lush palate that is filled with stunning red stone fruit and bright acidity that are in-sync with the flavors that you experience from start to finish. This is a wine that is pleasurable right away, but also one that will age for years to come.
The “Dos Lagos” Vineyards (Two Lakes) are nestled in the hills of the Atlas Peak AVA in Napa. A 22 acre property, with only 5 of the acres planted to premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The altitude is approximately 1,650 feet. A rocky terroir, the volcanic rock is called “tuff.” The vines are planted partially on the hillsides, sloping down to the two lakes. Add Ace Winemaker Robert Foley and you have the ingredients for a great bottle of wine!
Dos Lagos 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99 – BUY TODAY ONLY 99.99
FREE SHIPPING on FOUR – Use code DOSLAGOS upon checkout!
This 100% Estate Cabernet sourced from the Dos Lagos vineyard in amazingly intense and exotic. The aromas of chocolate, spice, graphite and black fruit jump out of the glass on impact. Very full in body, dark purple in color this wine is elegant but intense and offers up an array of crème de cassis, anise, a touch of spice and lots of dark fruit flavors from start to finish. Long lasting finish that seems to go on for a good 30 seconds. Only a 250 cases produced!
Almost 50 years ago, Lupe Maldonado moved to California from Atacheo, a small farming community in Michoacan, Mexico. In 1971 Lupe was working for Sterling Vineyards when Peter Newton offered Lupe the opportunity to join him in the creation of a new winery in the Spring Mountain District of St. Helena. Lupe’s dedication and hard work were beginning to pay off; he was named vineyard manager for Newton Vineyard. With Newton, Lupe found a home where he proudly dedicated all his energy for over thirty years. His son Hugo succeeded him in 1999. Lupe began devoting his three decades of viticulture wisdom to his own grapes. He bought a 10-acre piece of land in the Napa Valley. Today Lupe lives in the midst of the vines that he planted and tends to. Lupe and his son Hugo, a graduate in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California in Davis, and their families are partners in the project.
Maldonado 2011 Chardonnay “Parr” Sonoma Coast
Retail 36.00 – GGWC 33.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use discount shipping code MALD11PARR upon checkout
A youthful, fun, vibrant wine from the get go! The wine is medium to full in body, lush with a nice balance from start to finish laced with gorgeous pear, citrus and peach flavors and sublet mineral notes on the finish. The wine finishes long and elegant, a real crowd-pleaser! The wines are crafted by Alpha Omega winemaker Jean Hoefliger, whose relationship with the Maldonado goes back to 2001 while working at Newton Vineyards (under John Kongsgaard).
The Hirsch Vineyard has been the source for many great wineries’ top producing Pinot Noirs (Failla, Williams & Selyem, Littoria, etc.) The “Estate San Andreas Fault” is Hirsch Vineyards’ signature Pinot Noir and is crafted to give the drinker a complete picture of this complex vineyard. The 2011 Hirsch “Hirsch Estate San Andreas Fault” has fruit from 27 distinct farming blocks within Hirsch Vineyards, more than any wine produced from this site. 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 2011 growing season saw cool, even temperatures and clear, sunny skies. This resulted in wines that marry concentrated, focused fruit with flavor, balance and elegance. David Hirsch believes this may be the best vintage yet produced at Hirsch Vineyards.
We lined up 12 great wines that received great press and Hirsch came in numero uno! The line-up included:
- Chanin (95 Parker)
- DuMOL “Finn” (93 Parker)
- DuMOL “Estate (95 Parker)
- Donum “Reserve” (94 Parker)
- Lucia “Garys” (93 Wine Spectator)
- Capiaux “Garys” (93 Parker)
- Brewer-Clifton “D3” (93 Paker)
- Antica Terra “Botanica” (93 Parker)
- Talley “Rincon” (94 Parker)
- Williams-Selyem “Rochiolli” (92 Parker)
- Failla “Hirsch” (94 Parker)
- Hirsch Estate San Andreas Fault
The WINNER: 2011 Hirsch Estate!
Hirsch 2011 Pinot Noir Estate “San Andreas Fault” Sonoma Coast
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 62.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
OK to mix & match with other Hirsch wines
Use code HIRSCH upon checkout
This is one of the best vineyard sites in California, the 2011 Hirsch “San Andreas Fault” Pinot Noir is spotless from start to finish. This wine has amazing aromas jumping out of the glass and is gorgeously layered from top to bottom. On the nose one gets gobs of bing cherries, plum, licorice and sweet spices that come even more out in the lush textured palate that is amazingly impressive and will continue to do so for years to come. This might truly be the best Pinot Noir to date from this estate!
Also check out the new release HIRSCH 2012 CHARDONNAY ESTATE SONOMA COAST
and HIRSCH 2011 PINOT NOIR BOHAN DILLON ESTATE SONOMA COAST
Ten years ago Scott Palazzo was asked by Thomas Keller, “Chef Extraordinaire” and owner of French Laundry and Per Se restaurants to craft a wine exclusively for him! That resulted in amazing exposure for this small winery and the rest-as-they-say-is-history.
This 2009 release might be the best wine ever produced by Scott Palazzo! This Right-bank oriented blend which is a favorite of many top wine lists around the country like French Laundry, Per Se, Gary Danko, Delmonico, Del Frisco, Daniel and many others. I have been a fan from day one, and this 2009 elease showcases what I have preached for years – a wine in “Frank’s palatable price range” of $35.00 – $75.00!
Palazzo 2009 Proprietary Red, Napa
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 63.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more!
Use shipping code PALRED upon checkout
On the palate this well-proportioned 2009 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot offers up a dense, yet extremely elegant and balanced profile. Merlot gives the wine sheer power and strength, silky texture and layers of dark cherry and blackberry fruit. The Cabernet Franc adds brightness, acidity and floral overtones to the wine … with the Cabernet Sauvignon adding structure and character to the wine … with hints of smoke, cocoa and espresso bean to the finish. This wine is big in body, yet silky smooth on impact with layers and layers of gorgeous fruit. The long, silky finish lasts a good 45 seconds.
This expressive wine perfectly personifies the classic style of chardonnay that the cool-climate Russian River Valley is known for. Fruit from several of Ten Acre’s single vineyard sources was combined to create this well balanced take on the classic Burgundian varietal. The Russian River Valley is famous for the coastal morning fog that slowly burns off throughout the day, lengthening the hang time of chardonnay fruit during the ripening season.
Ten Acre 2012 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Retail 35.00 – GGWC 32.99 - FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount shipping code 10A12RRVCH upon checkout
The 2012 Russian River Chardonnay entices with a bouquet of bright tropical notes and vanilla bean. On the palate, lush texture is balanced by crisp acidity. Eleven months in French oak barrels, combined with full malolactic fermentation gives this versatile chardonnay a rich, memorable mouthfeel and finish. Only 200 cases produced!
Also check out these other wines from our friends:
The Kelly Fleming Estate is located next door to Napa collectible Araujo on Pickett Road in Calistoga. The estate might be 300 acres, but only 12 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, while the other 288 acres are its own natural wildlife preserve. Planted in 2002, this winery is slowly but surely turning into a “who is who” in Napa. Add “star” winemaker Celia Welch, and the key to success is there! Only a few hundred cases each of Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc are produced each year, so my advice – jump on it now! Kelly is married to famed restaurateur Paul Fleming, creator of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse restaurants.
Kelly Fleming 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 115.00 – GGWC 109.99 - FREE SHIPPING on FOUR or more
Use discount shipping code KELFLEM upon checkout
Can be combined with Sauvignon Blanc
Gorgeous color and vibrant aromas jump out the glass. You are greeted by Bing cherries, black berries, sweet mint and black licorice that intertwine seamlessly with aromas of toasted nuts and cinnamon spice. The full-bodied palate of this 100% estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon shows a juicy core of black and red stone fruit perfumed by the distinct savory terroir and floral notes that characterize the Kelly Fleming Estate. The bright, juicy nature of this wine is balanced by soft, velvety tannins that both coat the palate and support the minerally, refined finish.
Kelly Fleming 2012 Sauvingon Blanc Napa Valley
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 35.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount shipping code KELFLEM upon checkout
Can be combined with Cabernet Sauvignon
Lovely bright pineapple, gentle fresh Asian pears, and a hint of white peach, along with touches of jasmine, lemongrass and kafﬁr lime leaf all demonstrate the integration between fruit and ﬂoral notes. On the palate, the bright, juicy pineapple and ﬂoral notes are presented in a crisp ﬂavor proﬁle. Vibrant, fresh and lively ﬂavors linger through the soft, dry ﬁnish.
Mark Herold has been on fire as of late. Great reviews on Kobalt, Kamen and his own Mark Herold labels. It does not matter what Mark touches, it turns into a must-have-wine. The same for this 50 case Grenache production!
Mark Herold 2011 FLUX Grenache
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99 - FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use discount shipping code FLUX11GREN upon checkout
This is a very well-structured wine! Full in body, masculine and powerful yet elegant! Mark Herold is not missing a beat these days and this 2011 (100%) Grenache is a real crowd pleaser. On the nose black and red raspberries, pepper and a touch of underbrush and spice. Medium to full in body this lush wine is gorgeously textured and has an amazing mouthfeel with layers of bright fruit, hint of cassis and white pepper. The wine is elegant with a long, pleasant finish. With only 50 cases produced, this will be gone in no time!