Nov
1
2018

Harmonius & Complex Pinot


Alexana Winery was born of Dr. Madaiah Revana’s (Revana Winery) love of the great wines of Burgundy. In the spring of 2005, Dr. Revana began a search for both the ideal region and an experienced winemaker with the goal of producing Pinot Noirs that could rival those from Burgundy. His search ended in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Alexana is named after Dr. Revana’s daughter, Alexandra

Alexana 2016 “Revana Estate” Pinot Noir
GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more!
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

The 2016 Alexana Revana Estate Pinot Noir offers a dark deep red hue with a red berry aromas and a a touch of minerality, with a whiff of cola and baking spices.  This bright youngster is lush, silky and vibrant on the palate. Showcasing pleasing bright red stone fruit laced with floral and zingy flavors that deepen as the wine opens up. The wine finishes long with silky grained tannins.

Wine Spectator 94 Points: “Sleek and harmonious, with an elegantly complex core wrapped in supple raspberry and savory spice flavors that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2023.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
31
2018

And the Blind Tasting Winner is….

In a recent blind tasting of domestic Rhone Varietals Law Estate 2015 Sagaciousbeat out some amazing players. The line-up included:

  • Epoch “Sensibility” (95 Robert Parker/96 Vinous)
  • Booker ‘Vertigo” (95 Robert Parker)
  • Tablas “Panoplie” (96 Vinous)
  • DuMOL “Eddie’s Patch (98 Jeb Dunnuck)
  • Torrin “Maven” (95 Vinous)
  • Aaron “Trespasser” (94 Vinous)
  • Sanguis “Bossman” (97 Jeb Dunnuck)
  • Jonata “La Sangre” (96 Vinous)
  • Law Estate “Sagacious”


THE WINNER === LAW ESTATE!!

Law Estate 2015 Sagacious
GGWC 79.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout


Scott Hawley, winemaker at famed Torrin (many 95-98 point rated wines) is the skipper at the helm of Law Estate in Paso Robles. 80% of the estate is planted to Syrah and Grenache, while the rest of the property consists of Mourvedre, Petit Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo and Carignane.  This winery is doing amazingly well, so get on board now before this becomes the next Sine Qua None (that would mean “None” for you if you don’t bite now).

Vinous 95 Points: “Sagacious, as complex as the dirt it’s grown in, channels southern Rhone vibes and a romantic Old World-like structure. More than ten blocks of varying Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre clones are used to capture the vineyard’s individuality.  Mourvèdre is the obvious key player, conveying notes of savory charcuterie and dried herbs. The Grenache’s pop of bright acidity and the Syrah’s pepper notes create an incredibly round structure. With only 28% new French oak in barrel, foudre and puncheon, Sagacious is significantly advanced in its fruit profile.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
29
2018

96 Point STELLAR under $35.00 RED


A British couple settled in the hills of Mendocino where they found  land with schist-like Cote–Rotie soils on a windblown cool mountaintop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which would become their “estate” vineyard.   With the assistance of Justin Smith (Saxum), Crole Meredith  & Steve Lagier (Lagier-Meredith), Mike Officer (Carlisle) and Wells Guthrie (Copain) they set out to plant what has become a much regarded Rhone-varietal vineyard.  Wells helped develop and maintain the vineyard.  Under the tutelage of the great Roar winemaker (Scott Shapley) they have put some very good quality and well-priced wines on the wine map!

Halcon 2016 Petite Sirah “Tierra”
GGWC 32.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more!
Use code SHIPFREE12 during checkout


Deep rich ruby color. Nose of graphite and black fruits. Silky smooth mouthfeel, flavors of black plum, black cherry and roasted meats. A supple, well balanced wine. Fermented and aged in neutral French oak puncheons with native yeast and 50% whole cluster. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

96 Points by Jeb Dunnuck (formerly of Robert Parker): “The 2016 Petite Sirah Tierra Theopolis Vineyard is another straight up fabulous wine from Paul Gordon. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by gorgeous notes of black raspberries, lavender, flowers, and honeysuckle. Perfumed, elegant and already surprisingly forward, it still packs tons of fruit and richness on the palate, with vibrant acidity and a great finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
29
2018

DUMOL 2016 DESIGNATED VINEYARD RELEASES – 96 & 97 Points!


With still lower than normal production levels this vintage will sell out in no time! The 2016 DuMol releases are turning out to be quite spectacular! I would say that several of these may the best ever from this winery. Look for some rave reviews from the wine critics! As you know DuMOL is always in high-demand, you can bet that this means the allocation will sell out quickly.

DuMOL 2016 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard “Chloe” Russian River Valley – 97 Points
GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE 6 during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMol new releases


Jeb Dunnuck (formerly with Robert Parker) 97 Points: “The 2016 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard comes from one of the top terroirs in the Russian River, and Andy has been working with two parcels from this vineyard since 2001. David Ramey and Mark Aubert also source fruit from these same parcels. This crazy good effort is a match for a Grand Cru White Burgundy and has a reductive, complex, layered style as well as sensational minerality, spice, white flowers, and orchard fruits. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age (I’m not sure bottles would last that long at my house) and will keep for 10-15 years.”

Winemaker Andy Smith: “Certainly, the richest and most forward Chardonnay of the vintage, this is the designate to drink first; sometime in late 2018 is a good start date. The wine brims with yellow peach, nectarine and honeysuckle flavors, offset by more savory mint leaf, fresh thyme and sweet hay characters. While possessing a restrained power at its core, it is fruit-driven and layered with a broad textural range perfectly balanced by a lively acidic backbone that provides an element of tension to buffer all the natural richness. Drink between 2019 and 2022.”

DuMOL 2016 Chardonnay Charles Heintz “Isobel” Sonoma Coast – 96 Points
GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE 6 during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMol new releases


Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points: “From a cooler, foggy site just east of Occidental, on the edge of the Green Valley portion of the Russian River, the 2016 Chardonnay Charles Heintz comes from 35-year-old vines, was barrel fermented and aged, and bottled unfined. This deeper, richer, more powerful Chardonnay boasts sensational notes of honeyed orchard fruits, brioche, and salty minerality. With integrated acidity, a big, rich mid-palate and a great finish, it’s a quintessential Sonoma Coast Chardonnay to drink over the coming decade or more.

Winemaker Andy Smith: ” This Chardonnay is infused with incredibly intense lemongrass and citrus oil notes that extend to the very final echo of flavor. Deeply pitched, it has broad viscosity, carrying honeycomb and truffle notes, offset by vibrant coastal acidity. The wine possesses so many changing dimensions that, each time you return to the glass, there’s something new to discover. I recommend you wait to drink until after Spring 2019 to give the wine time to unfold its many nuances. Drink between 2019 and 2023.”

DuMol 2016 Syrah Greywacke Vineyard “Eddie’s Patch” – 96+ Points
GGWC 94.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE 6 during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMol new releases


Jeb Dunnuck  96+ Points: “From the Greywacke Vineyard (this is a new vineyard for this cuvée), the 2016 Syrah Greywacke Vineyard Eddie’s Patch is reminiscent of a release from the Côte Brune side of Côte-Rôtie. Ample crushed rocks, smoked meats, ozone, pepper, and ripe back fruits give way to a full-bodied, seamless and elegant Syrah that continued to gain in stature and depth as it sat in the glass. Perfectly ripe, impeccably balanced, and long, give it a year or two and enjoy over the following decade or more.

Winemaker Andy Smith: “Greywacke’s iron-rich soils confer an extremely ferrous character to the wine that we see every vintage (terroir!), a trait I describe as mineral/red vapor. This distinctly ferrous note interweaves with spicy dark fruits (tart and savory), mint and a soy-like meatiness. On the palate, the wine is immediately fruit-driven—a slight surprise given the savory nature of its aromatics—with a sense of tiny wild berries, intense, potent and spicy. The wine possesses prodigious structure and deep texture from ultra-low yields due to such unforgiving soils. While you can sample your allocation soon after release (frankly, this wine could outlive most of us), I think it will be best enjoyed between 2020 and 2030. Our finest Eddie’s Patch since the 2013 vintage, and one of our greatest efforts ever.”

DuMOL 2016 Pinot Noir Widdoes Vineyard “Ryan” Russian RIver Valley – 95 Points
GGWC 94.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE 6 during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMol new releases


Vinous 95 Points: “The 2016 Pinot Noir Ryan Widdoes Vineyard is one of the highlights in this range of Pinots. Bright, floral notes and punch, red-toned fruit give the 2016 presence and vivacity. A rush of pomegranate, red cherry, blood orange and star anise build into the voluptuous, racy finish. There is so much to like here. The Widdoes emerges from a dry farmed parcel planted with Martini clone Pinot, which is always so distinctive.”

Winemaker Andy Smith: “Vivid flavors of tiny wild berry fruits, bursting with intensity, are supported by vibrant pinpoint acidity that ensures all elements flow to the last lingering echo of flavor. Black pepper and cedar box aromas co-mingle with pure dark cherry compote flavors as beautiful floral notes are found throughout, the texture deep and layered. For me, the quality and personality align with the 2015 vintage, a wine I particularly love. I’m also reminded of the 2012 vintage, a deep, showy wine that is drinking wonderfully right now. Drink between 2019 and 2026.”

DuMOL 2016 Pinot Noir Estate Russian River Valley 95 Points
GGWC 99.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE 6 during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMol new releases


Galloni 95 Points: “The 2016 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard is a potent, brooding wine that expresses all the natural structural intensity of this site. Black cherry, plum, gravel, graphite, smoke and dark spice notes add to the wine’s virile personality. The 2016 is not at all subtle, but it packs a serious punch. It should also age nicely for a number of years. Today, the tannins definitely make themselves felt.”

Winemaker Andy Smith: “We harvested a strict selection from our three favorite micro-parcels within the wider Estate Vineyard: higher-elevation areas where the soils transition from fluffy/sandy to richer clay. As such, the wine balances sandy soil aromatic intensity—tart fruits, floral and spice notes, and an herbal vein—with richer, deeper clay-derived body and depth—cherry compote, dark fruits and obvious texture. There’s gorgeous elemental Pinot flavor throughout: zesty, linear and focused with a long granular structure that offers extended aging potential of 10 to 12 years. Start drinking your allocation sometime in mid-2019 but know the wine’s fullest expression will likely emerge between 2020 and 2024.”

SMALL AMOUNTS OF THE 2016 WESTER REACH WINES ARE STILL AVAILABLE
DUMOL 2016 “WESTER REACH”  PINOT NOIR “RUSSIAN RIVER” 93 POINTS
DUMOL 2016  “WILD MOUNTAIN SIDE”  SYRAH “RUSSIAN RIVER” 95 POINTS
DUMOL 2016 “WESTER REACH” CHARDONNAY, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY – 93 POINTS

Oct
27
2018

A $100 Napa CAB at ½ the price!

The “Tether” wine is a Anna Monticelli & Kimberly Jones project.   This is real Napa Valley value in a bottle.  When I tasted the wine I figured, another $100, but I was wrong , it was ½ that price!  That said, the production is very limited, so you’ll have to act quick!

Tether 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 54.99 net
FREE SHIPPING on six or more
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout


The 2015 Tether Cabernet Sauvignon explodes from the glass with abundant aromas of crème de cassis, huckleberry compote and blackberries. The intense dark fruits are followed up by layers of scorched earth, chocolate, spice box, crushed rock and toasty oak. The wine coats the palate with fantastic opulence and silkiness. This wine is full-bodied and dense with great richness and length on the finish.  The wine is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc 5% Petit Verdot 2% Merlot 1% Malbec.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
25
2018

96 Point, Brilliant Pinot Noir

Land’s Edge Pinot Noir is sourced from vineyards located at the ‘Land’s Edge’ of the Sonoma Coast AVA. The vineyards are driven by a maritime influence, producing a small but concentrated crop of Pinot Noir that is harvested in late September through mid-October. The foggy coastal climate preserves natural acidity in the grapes and helps delineate the purity of fruit flavors and expression of the unique coastal terroir in this wine. Balanced acidity, layers of complexity and firm tannins will allow for long and graceful aging of Land’s Edge Vineyards Pinot Noir.

Hartford Court 2015 “Land’s Edge” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

WA 95 Points: “One of the brilliant efforts from Hartford Court is the 2015 Pinot Noir Land’s Edge Vineyards. From a site located only four miles from the Pacific Ocean, this wine has a saturated ruby/purple color and a beautiful concentration of blueberry, black raspberry and black cherry, some crushed rock and spring flowers. The terrific fruit on the attack and mid-palate, the full-bodied finish and intensity are all promising in this brilliant effort. Drink it over the next decade.”

WS 96 Points: “This is comprised of fruit from two coastal sites, but it does not hold back on flavor or complexity. A juicy entry of spicy red and blue fruit is surrounded by moderate structure and an imprint of rose petal.  Lasting in intensity and acidity, it’s dotted in citrus and polished tannins”

Winemaker Notes: “The nose leads with black cherry & black raspberry, balanced with aromas of crushed quartz & dried rose petal. The layered flavors of dark berries, licorice & dried flowers lead to a mid-palate with elegant & polished texture. The wine ends with a lingering mocha & mineral finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
24
2018

Old Bridesmaid Gets Married…. We give her a FREE SHIPPING gift!

After many years the Bridesmaid wines are being rebranded of sorts.  Pam Starr (fomer Spottswoode winemaker) has been producing the Crocker & Starr/Bridesmaid wines for many years now.  Crocker & Starr was always estate grown, Bridesmaid only partially.  That has changed and so has the pacakaging. Gorgeous new labels and the same stunning wines, sort of a new (married) life for the Bridesmaid…

Crocker & Starr  2015 “Bridesmaid”  Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
GGWC 52.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

Ruby in color, the wine displays a beautiful nose of wild blueberry and raspberry pie, violet, and savory spice. Silky tannins and medium body elegantly frame flavors of red raspberry, blueberry, malt, and tobacco that linger through the wine’s lengthy finish. The AVA Napa Valley blend of Cabernet Franc is great right now and will cellar well over the next ten years.

Winemaker Story: The traditional role of the bridesmaid was to hand gather a bouquet of romantic… perhaps magical… herbs and flowers for the bride. Similarly inspired, the Crocker & Starr AVA Napa Valley wines gather the best from the estate and a few neighboring Napa Valley estates tocreate wines of complexity and balance.

Crocker & Starr 2017 “Bridesmaid” Proprietary White Blend Napa Valley
GGWC 24.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SHIPFREE12 during checkout 

This brilliant Sauvignon Blanc blend is pale straw yellow in the glass and the aroma is loaded with honeysuckle, lychee, lime leaves, and laced with the slight salinity of oyster shell. Mouthwatering flavors of lemon meringue pie, key lime, honeydew melon, and white peach gleam on the palate. And the Semillon adds jelly richness to the wine’s medium-bodied, perfectly balanced center. The wine shines all the way through the savory finish, which is lined with crushed seashell. You will love this so much that a case simply won’t be enough!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
23
2018

Scarecrow Winemaker’s Prodigious New Cabernet

Celia Welch does not need an intro, but in case you wouldn’t know who she is – She’s the brainchild behind many highly rated and highly regarded wineries including Scarecrow, Corra, Barbour,  Keever, 2480, Kelly Fleming, Rewa, Castiel, etc.  For the past couple of years she’s been involved with a new project called YOUNT RIDGE. The property is based in Oakville, I know with a name like Yount Ridge, you’d think Yountville!  I was excited to taste the latest release and was completely infatuated by the wine.

Yount Ridge 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville Napa Valley
GGWC 94.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

The 2015 Yount Ridge Cabernet is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Malbec and 0.5% Merlot.  Goregous dense ruby/purple color. The wine has a lovely nose loaded with dark fruit, plum and blackberry.  On the palate you are greeted by fresh, deep, dark and rich black stone, dark chocolate, anise and a touch of spice  flavors that roll over your tongue.  The wine is robust in body, yet very-well put together, well-balanced fruit to acid ratios. The Yount Ridge Cabernet is a very sophisticated wine that show class, balance and finesse!  This is Celia at her best’ wine!  The wine finishes with seductive and silky grained tannins.

Winemaker Notes: “Very forward aromas of spice, earth, root beer and raspberry show the range of Cabernet dimensions in this bright, ripe rendition. Broad at entry, the mid palate shows black cherry notes, along with cola, warm baking spices, cassis and red currant flavors. The finish is long and structural, with a fresh natural acidity. Dense, supple and sinewy.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
22
2018

CHARDONNAY VALUE OF THE MONTH, 94 POINTS, 25% OFF

Walter Hansel has become synonymous with great quality at a great price!  Year after year these wines seem to impress me and my clientele alike.  The first vines were planted in 1978 just a up the block from Kistler!  The actual winery did not start till 1996 when they produced 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 10 barrels of Chardonnay, and the rest as they say, is history!  Stephen Hansel (Walter’s son) had one of the best winemakers as his tutor (Tom Rochiolli) so it is no surprise that they are still putting out great wines decades later. Year after year this winery has produced amazing “Dollar Cost Average” under priced wines!

Walter Hansel 2015 “North Slope” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Retail 43.99 – TODAY 32.99 (on 12) & FREE SHIPPING!
Use code SHIPFREE12 during checkout!

Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2015 Chardonnay North Slope Vineyard has a very sultry nose of apricots, green mango and grapefruit with touches of croissant, honeysuckle and chalk dust. Medium to full-bodied with a sexy, satiny texture and tons of citrus and stone fruit layers, it has a nice long, savory finish.”

Vinous 93 Points: “The 2015 Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard is one of the more lifted and aromatically bright wines in this range. Candied lemon peel, tangerine and white flowers give the 2015 an attractive upper register that balances the overt fruit that is typical of these Chardonnays.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Oct
21
2018

Musings On Grenache

Musings on Grenache

Contributed by David Morrison
The Wine Gourd

I have always thought that one of the most intriguing grapes is the one usually known as Grenache. This is because you can make such a wide variety of styles and make them all well — everything from strong and tannic (eg. in Priorat), through herbal and spicy (eg. southern Rhône), to soft and fruity (eg. Barossa), and on to rosé (eg. Tavel and Provence), as well as dessert wines (eg. Banyuls). To me, very few of the usual rosé grapes can make a fine red wine, and few of the red-wine grapes can make a good rosé — it is “horses for courses”, except for Grenache.

This musing was inspired by reading two wine articles in the same week, one extolling the virtues of Grenache in California (How California’s Central Coast winemakers are making grenache their own) and one extolling the virtues of Grenache in South Australia (Great groovy grenaches). These articles embody two different approaches to the topic of making wine from Grenache, but they both focus on making mono-varietal wines. of which we are seeing more and more these days.

Traditionally, in southern France Grenache is combined with Shiraz, and sometimes Mourvèdre / Mataro or Carignan, while in Rioja it is blended with Tempranillo. All of these blends are excellent uses of Grenache, but it can easily stand on its own if handled correctly. Mind you, Grenache can also make some pretty uninspiring wines, if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing, especially regarding over-cropping.

To quote the Australian article: “Lighter-bodied, lower-tannin, soft, fruity, early-drinking red wine is in vogue everywhere, and is being promoted by a younger generation of winemakers who need to sell their wines young. In places … where they can’t do much of consequence with Pinot Noir, astutely produced Grenache can perform a similar role.”

To quote the US article: “Vintners … are shedding that [jug wine] baggage. They’ve optimized viticulture and dialed back the tonnage to produce varietal Grenache as nuanced and delicious as top-shelf Pinot Noir — often at half the price. Winemakers explore both the rich, ripe side of the grape, which retains acidity deep into the harvest season, as well as lighter, fresher expressions that play up floral aromatics and taut textures.”

Formally, the grape’s name is Grenache Noir, to distinguish it from the white-wine Grenaches (Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris). However, since the variety most likely originated in the region of Aragon in northern Spain, we should probably use its Spanish name: Garnacha Tinta. It has even been suggested that the Aragonese (who use the Catalan name: Garnatxa Negra) originally got the grape from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau. However, it was apparently first recorded in Spain in 1479, in Sardinia in 1549, and in France in 1780.
 

 


The grape ripens late, and so it is widely grown in areas that are too warm for, say, Pinot Noir, with which it is so often compared. The above map is taken from: Distribution of the world’s grapevine varieties (produced by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, 2017).

Winemakers worldwide often comment on the “malleability” of Grenache, as well as on its ability to express terroir. It is less distinctive as a grape than are many other varieties and so, as noted above, it can make a wide variety of styles. It is thus somewhat surprising that PlantGrape lists only 23 approved clones in France, compared to 20 for Cabernet Sauvignon but 47 for Pinot Noir.

There are a number of examples where Grenache has been used to make interesting vinous comparisons. For example, in Australia The Artisans of Barossa Grenache Project involved six winemakers each taking a row of Grenache from the same Barossa Valley vineyard in 2017, and then applying their own vinification and maturation approaches, thus producing six different wines. These wines were released as a 6-pack, thus allowing wine lovers to make the direct comparison of wine-making versus terroir. In that regard, Max Allen noted: “10 months after vintage, the winemaking influence is far more obvious than the vineyard-derived characters that all six wines should, theoretically, share.”

With a somewhat different objective, in Spain Celler de Capçanes produces a 4-pack of wines called La Nit de les Garnatxes (this is Catalan; in English, it would be: The Night of the Grenaches). These are Grenache wines produced from grapes grown on each of the four different soil types in their Priorat vineyards: limestone, clay, slate / schist, and sand / alluvial. In this case, the same wine-making technique is applied, so that wine lovers can make a direct comparison of the four terroirs.

Check out these great Grenaches we currently have in stock

PAUL LATO 2016 GRENACHE “ORA LABORE” BIEN NACIDO
AARON 2014 SAND AND STONE PROPRIETARY RED PASO ROBLES
BECKMEN 2016 GRENACHE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY
HERMAN STORY 2015 CASUAL ENCOUNTER GSM , SANTA BARBARA
KEPLINGER 2015 “HANGMAN’S” HUDSON VINEYARD CARNEROS  99 POINTS
GROUNDWORK 2015 GRENACHE, SANTA BARBARA
SANS LIEGE 2015 PICKPOCKET TEMPELTON GAP, PASO ROBLES
SANS LIEGE 2015 “THE OFFERING” SANTA BARBARA
TORRIN 2013 “BANSHEE” GSM CENTRAL COAST – 95 POINTS PARKER