Feb
3
2016

MUST HAVE 95 POINT $45 NAPA CAB BLEND!

The Meaning of “Vespera”: (Latin) Evening, a time to gather with friends and family.

In 1999 the two owners Mary Rocca and Eric Grigsby purchased the 21 acre property after a 3 year search for the “ideal” vineyard site.  Mary called upon renowned winemaker Celia Welch, then Celia Masyczek to produce the label’s first vintages. The debut bottling was the 2000 Syrah, a varietal which to this day garners praise and awards for the Rocca family. But Rocca really got on the map in 2002, when its Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet came in #1 in a blind tasting of 12 Rising Star Cabernets. Later, the wine was taken with a group of 12 other Cabernets to show in France’s 12 Best Cabernets from California. It came in #1 over there as well. Finally, those same 12 Cabs had another blind tasting competition in SF to see how they would rank by American consumers. It came in #1 again! Rocca’s star was rising fast. But so far they have been much under the radar, but I have a feeling that this will change soon. The current winemaker Paul Colantuoni worked for many years under Celia Welch and has taken a few pages out of her “note book” and it shows with the new wines.

Rocca 2013 “Vespera” Red Blend “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING ON 6 or more
Use code ROCVESP upon checkout

It will come as no surprise but the Vespera 2013  (69% Cabernet, 26%,Merlot & 5% Syrah) is  a real crowd-pleaser. The wine is forward, easily accessible, immediately delicious and enjoyable young.  As soon as it’s poured, the wine comes across as warm, rich and inviting.  There are deep layers of dark ripe blackberry, cassis, and black cherry aromas here, comfortably interwoven with subtle hints of oak spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate.  On the palate this is a gorgeously soft, smooth blend that lushly coats the entire palate without a hint of heaviness or astringency.  It ends with a long, complex but silky tannin finish.  This is a wine that’s ready for full enjoyment right out of the gate.

Robert Parker 95 Points: “A deep, dark ruby/purple color, loads of blackberry, roasted meat, Mediterranean lavender and licorice are all present in this full-bodied, complex and sexy wine. This is by far the most nuanced and multifaceted of the Rocca wines, but also the most drinkable. Soft tannins, low acidity and a big, fat, fleshy, meaty Syrah working beautifully with the Cabernet Sauvignon — this is a stunner and a great example of an intelligent blend. Drink it over the next 7-8 years”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Feb
2
2016

Cork vs Cap

It seems like almost every day another winery switches from using cork to using screw caps to seal their bottles. Advocates of screw caps tout benefits such as protection from oxidization, elimination of cork rot, or the rare but dreaded “corked” flavor that can sometimes ruin a bottle you have been saving for that special occasion. At the same time, wine purists cringe at the thought of something so base and undignified as a metal screw cap being placed on a fine collectible or fine vintage, not to mention the idea that it takes a cork to properly age a wine in the bottle.

WineSpectator recently interviewed Domaine Laroche winemaker Grégory Viennois regarding their recent decision to switch back to cork closures after nearly ten years of sealing their Chablis with a screw cap. It is an interesting take on a long-standing debate that you can view here. (opens in new window.)

Cork vs Screwcap

Feb
1
2016

A “PERFECT” 95 POINT CABERNET

This might be one of the very best Cabernets to come from Knight’s Valley (better than Peter Michael, really!)  The venture is owned by Norma Hunt (wife of the late Kansas City Chiefs Lamar Hunt – who pretty much invented the Super Bowl).  This gorgeous property is well-situated, and when you bring in the Quarterback – Wide Receiver duo of wine (Philippe Melka and Jim Barbour), you can only achieve one thing – SUPERBOWL-like fame with the accompanying quality.PERFECT SEASON 2013 CABERNET “BIDWELL CREEK” KNIGHT’S VALLEY
Retail 130.00 – GGWC price 124.99
Free Shipping on 4 or more
Use code PERFECT upon checkout

Only 250 cases of the 2013 PERFECT SEASON Cabernetwere produced, so it won’t be around for a long time.  This 100% Estate Grown Cabernet is well-crafted and offers up amazing aromas of red and black stone fruits, a hint of chocolate and a whiff of spice cabinet as I call it.  Amazing, voluptuous body that is loaded with intense concentrated, yet very well-manicured and balanced fruit.  More black stone and espresso / mocha on the mid-palate merging into a long lasting lingering finish of elegant tannins.  A MUST HAVE!

Parker 95 Points: “I was impressed with these wines the first time I tasted them. The2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bidwell Creek Vineyard is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot aged 18 months in 75% new French oak. It’s a beauty, with lots of blackberry and cassis fruit, licorice, incense and camphor. It is ripe, full-bodied, opulent and already showing exceptionally well. It should continue to drink well for at least another 15 or more years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
30
2016

Last Call for the Best Wine OFFERING Ever!

Owner and Winemaker Curt Schalchlin has been producing high quality Rhone varietals at a very respectable price level for years.  Curt worked for some of the best winemakers in industry and went solo about a decade ago, and the rest is history.  Today Sans Liege has a worldwide fan base, even as far as Japan, Belgium and South America.

Sans Liege 2012 “The Offering” Santa Barbara
Retail 32.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code OFFERING12 upon check out

The 2012 Offering (a blend of 48% Grenache, 29% Syrah, 21% Mourvedre and 2% Viognier) is a wine that captures the imagination and challenges expectations, it displays a beautiful purity and depth that is reminiscent of having a summer picnic in an ancient church. Resinous scents of black cherry cola, frankincense, fresh-peeled Clementine orange and vanilla extract lead to a well-structured and balanced palate of curried mix-berry cobbler, turmeric, dark chocolate cocoa nibs and black pepper with rocky, persistent tannins.

Click here or on the links above to order!
Jan
29
2016

STUNNING UNDER $40 WHITE BLEND

Arbe Garbe (pronounced Arbay Garbay), literally “bad weeds”, is what they call the cover crops on the Friulian Colli Orientali (“eastern hills”). It’s the mid-nineties, same scenery; two philosophy students are paying for tuition by picking grapes in the Jermann vineyards. Long hours of hard work and dream-sharing, they find one too many ideas in common. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Kerouac, whispering incessantly in the back of their minds, they lift their deep roots and go. He picks up his guitar and she takes nothing but a flower in her hair and love in her eyes, and they come to California.

Arbe Garbe 2014 Proprietary White Blend – Russian River Valley
Retail 40.00 – GGWC $36.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use shipping code ARBEPW during check out

Those days are long gone, but they still have deep roots and their dreams. Never ceasing to work hard and with passion, they have eventually reconnected to their native culture through the winemaking tradition. All that they have seen and felt and envisioned they expressed in every step of the process that brings this wine to life. They’ve always been enamored with the big Friulian white blends (45% Malvasia Bianca, 20 % Viognier, 20% Pinot Grigio & 15% Gewurztraminer) and wanted to pay homage to their heroes and their dreamy creations. With the same hedonistic approach, they have created an ever-changing blend that embraces the melting pot they’re in and love, California, and the one they’ve left behind.

Click here or on the links above to order!
Jan
28
2016

Herman Story descendant 3 barrel production

Giovanni Grandinetti worked his way up the wine ladder, learning the wine trade literally from the ground up.  He operated the crushpad, worked the vineyards, cleaned the barrels, etc.  But it was not until he started working for some smaller, boutique wineries that he found his passion – making wine.  He went back to school to expand his wine education and landed a job at Herman Story, where he is still the #2 guy behind Russell From.  Russell took him under the wings and guided him to his own label “Lost Blues”.Lost Blues 2013 “Walking Boss” Syrah Paso Robles
Retail 47.00 – GGWC 43.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code LOSTBLUES upon checkout

This wine is a real stunner sourced from two amazing Paso Robles vineyrads (Terra Bella & Shadow Canyon).  This wine excels from the minute you pull the cork.  Gorgeous, bold aromas jump out of the glass upon impact.  This full-bodied youngster shows full-bodied richness with a silky and elegant texture.  The wine is loaded with intense black stone fruit, violets, and a touch of meatiness, anise and hints of dark chocolate.  This wine could benefit from a good decanting.  I’d suggest to open it in the morning when you brew your pot of coffee and enjoy at night, or double decant aggressively a good 2 hours before dinner.  This wine is hard to resist now and will only evolve into its next phase with some time in the bottle.  Only 3 barrels (70 cases) were produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
27
2016

Philippe Melka’s Hot New Cab-vaganza – Includes FREE SHIPPING!

When you have two of the best people in industry at the helm, you can only expect the best of the best.  Philippe Melka (winemaker) and Jim Barbour (vineyard manager extraordinaire) have turned the old Long Vineyards (remember this great vineyard site from some years ago?) into a top notch Cabernet producer.  Gandona(humble man in Portuguese) is rooted in tradition and a passion for transforming land into something extraordinary. It’s born from an estate that rests upon a sloping hillside high above the beauty of Napa Valley and Lake Hennessey – its vineyards, carved from the steep terrain and planted in four blocks, each possess their own distinct personality.

The site of Gandona Estate had its beginnings (just) a few years earlier, when in 1862 Daniel K. Dille homesteaded the property, located just downhill from Pritchard’s future home. California had just experienced the silver rush and Napa County had recently been formed. Here, Dille worked as a laborer and maintained the land. The property sold several times throughout the years until the Bob Long family purchased it in 1966 and planted the site’s first vineyard. In 1977, they entered the wine business in earnest and founded a small winery called Long Vineyards. Sandi Belcher (Arns) produced great Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a late harvest Johannesburg Riesling from the estate. In 2006, Manuel Pires and his wife, Cristina, purchased an estate on Pritchard Hill and began development of what would become Gandona Estate.

Gandona 2013 “Encosta” Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Pritchard Hill Napa Valley
Retail 98.00 – GGWC 94.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4+ BOTTLES
Use shipping code ENCOSTA13 upon checkout

Encosta (“slope”) Cabernet Sauvignon originates from the steeply terraced hillsides of the Gandona Estate and its terra cotta-colored, volcanic soil.  The 2013 vintage is a wine celebrating the very soul of hillside fruit capturing the essence of the vine’s interaction with earth and sun. It opens with aromas of bright red cherry and cranberry with underlying notes of cassis and tobacco.  On the palate, the wine shows a juicy, full mouth feel reminiscent of fresh black and ripe cherries. Rounding out the mid-palate are finely grained, sweet mountain tannins that reveal a beautiful marriage between them and well integrated oak.  The lingering finish is laced with nuances of rich cocoa powder and supported by a strong acid backbone demonstrating a wine worthy of aging.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2013 Gandona Vineyards Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, is an all estate wine made by Philippe Melka. This wine is on a fast evolutionary track, with complex notes of cedar wood, licorice, blackcurrants and tobacco leaf, all from a medium-bodied wine with light tannin, luscious fruit and a delicious, supple mouthfeel. Drink it over the next decade.”

Jan
25
2016

NFL Quarterback’s Hail Mary Cabernet

Rick Mirer, the former stand-out Quarterback at Notre Dame and NFL player with the Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, Bears & Jets turned another longtime hobby into a profession – wine! This Mirror 2012 Cabernet is his ninth release and I would say the best-effort yet-to-date! His friend Jeff Smith (owner of Hourglass winery) did not need to convince him that there was life after the NFL (New Found Love). He was already a big Hourglass fan, and when they hooked up to discuss his future, Mirror was born – the rest, as they say, is history. The wines are made by Rob Lawson (Ghostblock). The name Mirror comes from the two St. Helena vineyards that “mirror” each other across the Napa Valley. The western half is just of Hwy 29, the eastern half perched above the Silverado Trail.


Mirror 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MIRROR upon checkout.

The aromas of this Cabernet Sauvignon are an ever evolving blend of dry rose petals, ripe blackberries, dark chocolate and baking spices. The palate offers layers of complexity – a soft, ripe entry of dark cherry with hints of leather followed by a concentrated core of ripe plum, highlights of vanilla, cinnamon and espresso beans.  The balanced acidity delivers a seamless harmony of fruit and rich tannins that integrate into a clean and long lasting elegant finish.

Click here or on the links above to order!
Jan
23
2016

Grand Re-Opening and High-End Cabernet Tasting!



No need to drive to Napa in this stormy weather. Just come to Golden Gate Wine Cellars instead.

Check out our newly remodeled store, and experience a phenomenal selection of hard-to-find Napa Cabernets!



 

Join us TODAY from 1-5 PM
2337 Ocean Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127
High-End Napa Cabernet Tasting
$15.00 per guest
Jan
22
2016

Seven Barrel Exquisite Syrah by Pax Mahle


Pax Mahle has been at it for a few decades now.  It started out on the East Coast as a sommelier.  After taking a position as a wine buyer on the West Coast, it did not take long for the winemaking bug to hit him and that was the end of one career and the beginning of a very interesting new one.  The Barrel & Ink venture is unique as each varietal is made by a different winemaker. For instance their Cabernet is made by Aaron Pott.  Only 175 cases of this great Syrah were produced, which was sourced from two well-regarded vineyards Griffin’s Lair and Alder Springs, both sources of tremendous wines.

Barrel & Ink 2013 Syrah
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6+
Use code INK13 upon checkout


This wine explodes from the start.  Loaded with bright and bold blue and black stone fruit, a touch of lychee and fresh flowers jump out of the glass.  On the palate this youngster will blow you away with a Cote Rotie like quality and flavors of exotic fruit.  The Wine is rich, full in body and very complex awith layer upon layer of lush fruit that is well-refined.  The finish is long and complex and not too tannic for such a bold wine.  The 2013 Barrel & Ink is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Grenache. Sadly only 7 barrels were produced, so this wine will go fast!
 

Click here or on the links above to order!