Sep
12
2016

96 Point Kamen Cabernet = A Striking Gem

 

 

Professor, turned Screenplay writer, turned Vineyard and Winery owner Robert Kamen has done it again. His ace winemaker Mark Herold (Kobalt, Herold) has been making consistent 93 Point rated wine from their Sonoma property. For 11 straight vintages the wine has received 93 Points from Robert Parker, this is the most solid A rating ever. This year even 96 Points! Talking about A ratings, check out Robert’s movie portfolio: Taps,The Karate Kid (1,2 & 3), The Punisher, Lethal Weapon 3,  A Walk in the Clouds , The Fifth Element , Kiss of the Dragon, The Transporter (1,2 & 3), Bandidos, Taken (1 & 2) and many others.Robert Kamen purchased his  280 acre property in 1980 with the proceeds of his first screenplay, and the rest is history. The certified biodynamic vineyards were planted by another vineyard entrepreneur, Phillip Coturri. Mark Herold (Merus, Kobalt, Herold etc.) has been his winemaker since 2001. Robert Kamen and I go back to the very first vintage, so I am proud to be a part of this great run!

Kamen 2013 “Estate” Cabernet Sauvigon, Sonoma Valley
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 92.00
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code KAMEN at checkout

The 2013 Cabernet might be “the” best  release from the Estate yet to date!  The wine offers up stunning aromatics and flavors.  On the nose you are greeted by an amazing nose of cassis, spice and bright fruit with a touch of dustiness.  The palate is loaded with bold in-your-face (typical Mark Herold) flavors of black stone fruit, chocolate, Mayacamas dust.  This wine is extremely well-balanced and textured with a great tannin backbone  that will allow this wine to age well for a good 15-20 years.  If you want to drink this youngster now, I suggest to decant multiple hours in advance – you might even do it in the morning when you are brewing that cup of coffee!  I did, and at dinner time 12 hours later the wine was great!  Due to the high-score this wine will sell out fast!

Robert Parker 96 Points: “Kamen’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon! It’s a spectacular Cabernet, dense purple with notes of lead pencil shavings, blackberry, pen ink and cassis followed by a full-bodied, opulent, voluptuously textured wine with sweet tannins, stunning delineation, precision (a characteristic of 2013) and great length and richness. This is a stunner – a fabulous wine and, at this price point, very attractive. It should drink well for 25-30 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
10
2016

Rhone Valley Meet California

 

 

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 with a very strong showing in his Sans Liege and Groundwork productions, the rest is history.

Sans Liege “Transcendentalist”  XII, XIII, XIV
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code TRANS at checkout

The Transcendentalist is blend of three vintages of “THE OFFERING” 2012, 2013 and 2014! A take on non-vintage Champagne were they blend various vintage together to come up with the best possible final outcome.  They succeeded here. The 2012,13 & 14 vintage blend will wow you!

Winemakers Notes: “It had to be here somewhere. Taking one last shovel full of earth, you strike the ancient coffee tin. The heavy summer air was doused with cedar, berry flesh and distant fire as you open the box to reveal the perfectly preserved treats from the dream: black pepper crusted blackberry, chocolate flowers, chai bark and strawberry crayons. You kiss the ground, knowing the ordeal would be rewarded.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
9
2016

Tempranillo – The NEXT hot California Varietal!

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel are the top five most planted red grapes in California. Tempranillo, with about 1/3 of one percent, is not even close in numeric popularity but fine wine connoisseurs seem to be more and more curious about this Spanish grape.

Tempranillo vines in
Catalonia, Spain

There was mention of “Tempranilla” and “Tempraniellas” in ancient times so we know Tempranillo has been around since at least the 13th century. For many years, people thought it was related to Pinot Noir but that was debunked by researchers at The Institute of Sciences of the Vine and Wine in Rioja and the Madrid Institute for Research and Rural Development, Agriculture and Food. What they found is that Tempranillo’s parents are Albillo, a white grape that is grown today in Castilla Y León and Benedicto, a rare variety that is planted in Aragonia in eastern Spain.

Spanish conquistadors brought it to South America in the 1600’s but it did not arrive in California until the turn of the 20th century and Prohibition virtually ended its existence here before it started. There were a few scattered plantings in the 90’s but outside of a couple of producers in southern Oregon, no one took it seriously in the United States.

Ripening Tempranillo
grapes

In the meantime, Tempranillo surpassed Grenache as the most widely planted grape in Spain. Grown throughout the Iberian Peninsula, it goes by many names including Tinto Fino, Tinto del Pais in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha, Ull de Llibre in Penedés, Tinto de Toro in Toro, and Tinta Roriz and Aragonez in Portugal. A thick-skinned grape, it thrives in climates with hot summer days and cooler nights. The calcareous limestone soils of Rioja and Ribera del Duero are where it has been made into the most complex wines.

Tempranillo marries well with oak, both French and the stronger American varieties, the latter which has been preferred among Rioja producers for decades. It often has a cola like note. It can be tannic when it is young but mellows after a few years in bottle and may also have a lot of acidity, which is a reason why it can age for many years.

Idle Hour
Tempranillo

I think a lot of the recent curiosity among my customers has to do with travel, but also, several California winemakers have ratcheted up the ante and are making very high quality wines with this grape. We are currently carrying two at Golden Gate Wine Cellars:  Idle Hour Winery Winemaker’s Reserve and Aluvion’s 2013 bottling. Both are from vineyards in Clarksburg. Located near Sacramento, Clarksburg gets very hot during summer days but fog from the San Francisco Bay rolls in at night, cooling down the vineyards.

Both of these wines are very fine, authentic examples. Clayton Kirchhoff of Aluvion worked at Dominio de Pingus, under renowned Danish winemaker, Peter Sisseck. Along with Vega Sicilia, Pingus is considered one of the top wineries in Ribera del Duero and Kirchhoff’s excellent training is easy to recognize in Aluvion Tempranillo. Idle Hour has also received acclaim, having been awarded various gold medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the largest wine competition in the world!

If these wines are any indication, Tempranillo is just getting started in California. While it accounts for a tiny proportion of grape acreage, its reputation is outpacing its production. There is a way to go before it is as popular as the big five, but as more people taste wines such as Aluvion and Idle Hour, the demand will grow and California Tempranillo just might become the “next” new hot grape!

Be sure to check out the Aluvion Tempranillo made by the SF Chronicle’s “Winemaker to Watch!”

 

Clayton Kirchhoff is only 33, but has gained a wealth of experience while working at Dominio de Pingus in Spain’s Ribuero del Duero region.   He is the assistant winemaker at Napa Valley’s White Rock Winery and on the side he makes his family’s Kirchhoff wines sourced from their estate property.  The name “Aluvion”  was named after the sedimentary marine deposits comprising much of the soil at the Heringer vineyard.

Aluvion 2013 Tempranillo
Retail 48.00 – GGWC 45.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code ALUVION at checkout

Sourced from older vines on the Heringer property, this wine offer true “Spanish” characters of the varietal.  Deep dark hues are a clue for the intense aromas of black stone fruit, a hint of smoke meats that jump out of the glass on impact.  The wine is medium to full in body with smooth-silky texture on the mid-palate.  Lush and gorgeous black currant and dark plums with a hint of toasty vanilla greet you on the palate.  Leading into a long, but smooth, silky tannin finish.  Only 122 cases were produced of this youngster.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
8
2016

200 case Pinot Envy

 

 

Bill and Cindy Wenzlau purchased 100 acres, but only planted 12 ½ of them (8 ½ 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 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 2013 Pinot Noir “Estate” Santa Rita Hills
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 57.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code WENZLAU

OK to mix & match with Chardonnay

Robert Parker:Wenzlau Vineyard burst onto the scene in 2011 and has produced outstanding wines in every vintage since. Made by Justin Willett of Tyler, these wines share a lot of similarities with the Tyler wines and have bright, crisp yet balanced and thoroughly enjoyable profiles. In general, that wines are mostly destemmed and aged in small amounts of new oak. Most of these 2013s will be better in a year or so and evolve gracefully.”

Anthony Galloni: “A rich, ample wine, the 2013 Pinot Noir Estate is very tightly wound today. The flavors are intense and dark, almost as if you could taste the intense mineral, ash, smoke, graphite and licorice that appear to emanate from these distinctive, black soils in the Sta. Rita Hills. The inclusion of 33% whole clusters adds a measure of aromatic nuance and exoticism, with hints of rose petal, star anise and blood orange that develop on the beguiling finish.”

Also check out their amazing
WENZLAU 2013 CHARDONNAY “ESTATE” SANTA RITA HILLS

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
7
2016

Paul Hobbs’ 4 Barrel Chardonnay STUNNER

 

Black Cordon was created in 1978 when Karen and David Dunphy fell in love with the Napa Valley and its striking black cordons (the branches of a vine are called cordons and they often appear black in the wet season). Despite fantastic scores on their wines, they remain under the radar and will likely be the ones pouring their earthy, velvety, rich, dark-purple (almost black) cab for you when you visit.   Black Cordon Vineyards approaches winemaking with the intention of making wine that is intense and complex with a distinct character that faithfully represents where the grapes have been grown. Attention to detail and hands-on attention to every barrel of wine is what it takes to pull this off. With Paul Hobbs as your winemaker, the wines show the pedigree, character, quality and complexity associated with all of Paul’s projects.

Black Cordon 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
Retail 68.00 – GGWC 64.99
FREE SHIPPING ON 6
Use code BC13CHDRSV at checkout

Light gold with a beautiful nose of just-picked limes and lemons. There is both a sappy lemon curd and an underlying bread dough aroma that is characteristic of Chardonnay-based Champagne. Wisps of citrus blossoms add complexity. This is the roundest and ripest nose of the three wines. The medium body, with a vibrant plushness and bright acidity that melds into round tartness, is supported by an almost invisible oak frame. Rings of complexity reminiscent of mineral-encased citrus fruit, and ripe apricot, meet up with a very long and persistent creamy, lemon custard finish.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
6
2016

PAUL LATO MULTIPLE 97 POINT SCORES!!

 

My good friend, and winemaker of MilAnge, Paul Lato received well-deserved accolades from Robert Parker. All of his 2014 releases received mostly 96 & 97 point scores. I have a small amount of these wines in stock, and I suggest that you JUMP on them NOW or forever hold your peace!

The 2015 will not be released till Spring & Summer of next year and will be very small in quantity!

FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more!
Use code PAULLATO at checkout.

Paul Lato 2014 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard

Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99

This is in my book “THE” best Cinematique to-date bar-none! I believe strongly that is equal, if not better than the great 2012, 2008 and 2007 vintages (97 Point rating).  I’m not surprised that this wine received another 97 score again! Congrats Paul!

Robert Parker – 97 Points: “More  sweetly fruited and perfumed than the Bien Nacido Syrah, the 2014 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard is a gorgeously complex Syrah that offers tons of sweet black cherries, framboise, incense and olive aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, utterly seamless, impeccably balanced and insanely pure, this sensational Syrah needs a decant if drinking anytime soon, and will continue to drink brilliantly for another decade.”

Paul Lato Notes: “In just a few short years, this vineyard has become a holy grail for Rhône varietals in Santa Barbara County, receiving critical acclaim for the quality of the grapes and viticultural practices. Christine Larner and her son, Michael, also a winemaker, are ardent about the continued care and development of their vineyard. The natural beauty of the site with its rolling, sun-splashed hills creates an incredibly peaceful vibe. The Syrah clones of Estrella and 877 planted in this picturesque site produce a rich, intensely flavored wine that retains its elegance.”

Paul Lato 2014 Syrah “IL Padrino” Bien Nacido Vineyard

GGWC 94.99

This is becoming Paul Lato’s BEST Syrah bottling numerous years in a row.  If one were in the Rhone Valley, it would put many of the big names to shame!  In a recent tasting Paul’s Il Padrino bottling beat out 100 point wines like Alban’s Reva, and others!  I only get 5 cases of this gem, so jump on it NOW, as this might be the year of a 100 Point Syrah from Lato! This wine gets 95-98 points every release!

Robert Parker 97 Points: “Another sensational vintage for this cuvee, the 2014 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is slightly deeper colored than the Larner Vineyard and has a more earthy, gamey, savory characteristics in its black currants, damp earth, olive tapenade and sappy flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, rich, beautifully concentrated and layered, with good acidity and fine tannin, it needs short term cellaring to come together (the Larner is much more upfront) and will drink beautifully through 2026.”

Paul Lato 2014 Pinot Noir “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard

Retail 100.00 – GGWC 94.99

The “flagship” wine of Paul’s Portfolio!  I don’t need to tell you that the Pisoni vineyard is often compared to the best (1er and Grand Cru) vineyards in Burgundy, and Paul puts a real Burgundian twist on this source!  This wine equals the best of the previous Lancelot bottlings and could even surpass it!  VERY LIMITED!

Robert Parker 96 Points: “Coming from a block that was recently replanted (this cuvee won’t be made after 2015), the 2014 Pinot Noir Lancelot Pisoni Vineyard is always one of the larger framed, mineral-laced wines from Paul. Offering lots of crushed rock and mineral nuances, with a core of red currants, raspberry, smoked earth and charcoal, it leans towards the blacker fruits, is medium to full-bodied, gorgeously textured and has a finish that won’t quit. Like all of Paul’s wines, it’s impeccably balanced. Give it a year and drink bottles through 2026.”

Paul LATO 2014 Pinot Noir “Prospect” Sierra Madre Vineyard

GGWC 84.99

Robert Parker 94 Points: “Coming all from Dijon clones (115 and 667), the 2014 Pinot Noir The Prospect Sierra Madre Vineyard is more pretty, forward and voluptuous, with lots of black cherry, spring flowers and forest floor aromas and flavors, full-bodied richness and a sexy, layered, downright hard to resist texture. Aged in 50% new French oak, drink it while you wait on the others to come around.”

Paul Lato 2014 Pinot Noir “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Vineyard

Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99

This latest Zotovich “Seabiscuit” bottling is by far one of Paul’s best efforts to date! I would say that it will rival his 97 Point rated 2013 version!  As it is the case with all of Paul’s wines, I get limited amounts of this great gems, so I can only remind you how great and limited they are!

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Showing the more savory, dried earth and sandy loam-like characteristics that are the hallmark of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA is the 2014 Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard (aged 15 months in 70% new French oak). It has lots of bright cherry, forest floor, spice and dried flowers to go with a supple, gorgeously polished style on the palate. It still has a kiss of new oak, so give it a year in bottle.”

Paul Lato Pinot Noir “Suerte” Solomon Hills

Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99

Paul is not slowing down one bit, and this workhorse “Suerte” will amaze many Pinot lovers alike! It shows gorgeously young, and will even improve a lot more in the years to come!  Only a few barrels produced! This 2014 is any bit as good as the 97 point rated 2013 vintage!

Robert Parker 96 Points: “From a top site in the Santa Maria Valley that’s just to the southwest of Bien Nacido, the 2014 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard Suerte comes mostly from clone 115, but has 25% each from 667 and 777. Aged 15 months in 75% new French oak, it’s another lighter colored beauty that offers upfront, fresh and fruit-driven notes of strawberries, framboise, violets and spring flowers. Elegant, layered, pure and with good acidity and fine tannin, it’s already hard to resist, yet should evolve nicely on its balance.”

Paul Lato 2014 Pinot Noir “Contender” Drumm Canyon Vineyard

Retail 90.00 – GGWC 84.99

This might be the best Contender bottling to date!  This rendition of the Drumm Canyon Vineyard “Contender” will make you (happily) dream of a 1er Cru Pommard at a much lower price point!  This latest release is Paul’s best effort to-date and I have only 5 cases of this wine to offer!

Paul Lato Notes: “A highly-perfumed nose of lavender and sweet tobacco alongside lush wild berry notes is beautifully indicative of the Drum Canyon site. The palate is an exotic mélange of hard spice, leather, and bramble fruit, with a surprising and welcome acidity that lends a levity to the muscularity at its core. Like Marlon Brando on the waterfront, it shows that intensity and gracefulness can be a part of the same package.”

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Eclipsing the seriously good 2013, the 2014 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard comes from Swan and Calera clones and spent 15 months in 75% new French oak. More structured and tannic (Paul says it’s the Gevrey of the lineup), with a darker edge to its black raspberry, blackberry, underbrush, red plum and spice aromas and flavors, this beauty hits the palate with a big mouth full of fruit, a layered textured and a great finish. Give it a year or two and enjoy through 2026.”

Paul Lato 2014 Chardonnay “Belle de Jour” Duvara Vineyard

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 76.99

This is the fifth release from this vineyard and has created a real following.  I would be hard pressed, but I can tell you that this one is every bit as good as the 2012 (95 Pt WA) and 2013 (96 Pt WA) bottlings, maybe a touch more focused and more elegant! A real “skilled” winemaker gem! Due to the success with the 2012 & 2013 vintage I have a lot of demand for this bottling and it will be sold out well before it arrives at my store!

Paul Lato notes: “Duvarita is a biodynamic-in-the-making vineyard, with a purity, brightness, and provincial beauty to the fruit. Fresh aromas of yellow apple and lime rind arise on the clean and crisp nose, while fully-rounded tones of butterscotch and meyer lemon envelop the palate in juicy bliss. The finish is long and mouth-watering with toasted hazelnut and honeysuckle notes lingering.”

Robert Parker 96 Points: “Leading 2014 Chardonnay Belle de Jour Duvarita Vineyard comes from a cool site west of the Sta. Rita Hills and is from the Calera and Mt Eden clones. It’s the first wine from Paul from this site and there’s a scant six barrels to go around. Spending 14 months in 50% new French oak, it has a terrific bouquet of smoke, charcoal, stone and apple fruits, brioche and integrated oak. This gives way to a rich, layered Chardonnay that has bright acidity, a layered, seamless texture and a great finish. In short, it’s another sensational Chardonnay from a great winemaker.”

Paul Lato 2014 Chardonnay “East of Eden” Pisoni Vineyard

Retail 82.00 – GGWC 79.99

This is the Fourth Release of the “East of Eden” Chardonnay from the famed Pisoni Vineyard. Only a few barrels were produced, and I was lucky to get a few cases from Paul as they were all earmarked for his mailing list and for restaurants like French Laundry, Per Se, Gary Danko, etc.

This is probably the best rendition of a 1er Cru Montrachet produced in California.  As you are well aware of Paul’s meticulous wine-making skills and strategy, nothing escapes this guru of precision! I’d say that this wine is very similar to the great 2013 vintage, which received 97 Points from Parker!

Paul Lato notes: “The low-yields of the blustery Santa Lucia Highlands contribute a muscular, razor-sharp, and refined character to the Pisoni fruit. Several French customers have compared this wine to “Corton,” but the almost tannic structure here belies a true elegance of form. 60% new French oak beautifully integrated with notes of Granny Smith apple and lemon rind. The James Bond of my Chardonnay portfolio: muscle and brains in a tight package.”

Robert Parker 2014 – 96 Points: “From one of the top sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2014 Chardonnay East Of Eden Pisoni Vineyard is a tour de force in Chardonnay that will stand up with the best California offers. More masculine, rich and textured, with tons of caramelized orchard fruits, orange blossom, minerality and brioche, it has a great mid-palate, excellent acidity and shows serious length on the finish. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak, it should have a decade or more of longevity, although there’s no need to delay gratification too long.”

Paul Lato 2014 Chardonnay “Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 76.99

This is a more than worthy follow-up to the 2011,12 & 13 bottlings which received 96-97 Point ratings! This wine might be Paul’s boldest production, yet another gem in my book.  It is by far Paul’s smallest bottling, only 4 barrels produced.  The 2014 is a carbon copy of the 2011 that received rave reviews from my clients and critics alike! I’d be shocked not to see similar scores, or higher!

Paul Lato: “20+year-old Wente clone vines provide the foundation of this classic Chardonnay. An aroma of alpine flowers rise through mineral notes of broken stone and granite. The palate is velvety and generous but is light on its feet with a zesty, refreshing acidity, with a touch of vanilla and a long finish. Succulent and fresh. 65% New French oak yet the oak is nuanced.”

Robert Parker 96 Points: “Made all from the Wente clone, the 2014 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard saw more new oak than most of the releases and spent 14 months in 70% new barrels. Paul has a two-acre parcel in this site, which is located in the Santa Maria Valley, and he first started working with fruit from this site in 2007. This 2014 is medium-bodied, ultra-fine and utterly seamless on the palate, with textbook notes of buttered apples, stone fruits, white flowers and hints of minerality. Every speck of new oak has been completely absorbed by this sensational Chardonnay, and it should drink gorgeously for 5-7 years. I don’t have any experience with aged examples of this cuvee, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it keep for longer either.”

Paul Lato 2014 Grenache “White Piano” Paderewski Vineyard

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

Paul Lato’s notes: “This is one of the most historic vineyards in Santa Maria Valley tracing its grape-growing history back to the days of the Spanish land grants. Vineyard Manager Chris Hammell and his dedicated crew continue to take this vineyard to even greater heights. Many of this region’s most acclaimed winemakers have enjoyed great success working with this internationally renowned site.”

Robert Parker 93 Points: “The most perfumed and upfront of the Grenache releases from Lato, the 2014 Grenache Paderewski Vineyard is a ripe, perfumed, strawberry, kirsch, incense and potpourri-scented 2014 that’s medium to full-bodied, supple, open knit and loaded with charm. It finishes well, has a distinct personality and is an impressive, feminine style of Grenache to drink over the coming 5-7 years.”

Paul Lato 2013  Chardonnay “Le Souvenir” Santa Maria Valley

MAGNUM – Only ONE left!!

GGWC 180.00

Paul Lato notes:  “White flower, wet stone, and hints of tropical fruit arise on the nose of this classic Chardonnay, which comes from 20 year old Wente clone vines. The lithe acidity is seamless as it cuts through the entire palate, right through a finish of fresh vanilla bean and candied apple. Precise and graceful.”

Robert Parker 96 Points:  “From a tiny 4.5-acre block in one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, the 2013 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard saw 14 months in 55% new French oak. Medium to full-bodied, lively, full-flavored and with vibrant acidity, it offers up ample, mineral-laced notes of apple blossom, citrus, honeysuckle and classy oak. Still tight and backwards, it needs a year or so to come together and should be at its best from 2017-2023.”

Paul Lato 2013 Syrah “IL Padrino” Bien Nacido,Santa Barbara

MAGNUM – Only ONE left!!

GGWC 249.99

Robert Parker 96 Points: As with the Grenache releases, the 2013 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is a bigger, richer wine than the Larner Vineyard release. This inky, mostly opaque 2013 has an off-the-hook bouquet of smoked black fruits, ground black pepper, graphite, bacon fat and marine-like sea-breeze to go with a full-bodied, ultra-pure, elegant and seamless profile on the palate. Beautifully concentrated, multi-dimensional, layered, elegant and with blockbuster length, it’s another wine from Paul that has the pedigree to drink splendidly in its youth, yet age gracefully.

Paul Lato Notes: “This is one of the most historic vineyards in Santa Maria Valley tracing its grape-growing history back to the days of the Spanish land grants. Vineyard Manager Chris Hammell and his dedicated crew continue to take this vineyard to even greater heights. Many of this region’s most acclaimed winemakers have enjoyed great success working with this internationally renowned site. While offering a variety of topography, my very special block of the Estrella clone grows on hillside and produces an elegant, spicy expression of Syrah like those from the great Northern Rhône appellations. This wine often smells of church incense with white pepper and minerality. My Syrah speaks with a softer voice, presenting beautiful aromatics and velvety texture while retaining great structure and perfect acidity.”

Paul Lato 2013 Grenache “Ora de Labora” Bien Nacido, Santa Barbara

750 ml

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

Paul Lato 2013 Grenache “Ora de Labora” Bien Nacido, Santa Barbara

MAGNUM

GGWC 199.99

Robert Parker 95 Points: “A bigger, richer and more concentrated effort than the Larner Grenache, the 2013 Grenache Bien Nacido Vineyard offers lots of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with underlying notes of wet gravel, shrimp broth, peppery herbs, licorice and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a weightless mouthfeel, it’s acidity is nicely integrated and it never puts a foot wrong. Given its balance and overall purity, it’s a killer drink today, but it will evolve beautifully.”

Paul Lato’s notes: “This is one of the most historic vineyards in Santa Maria Valley tracing its grape-growing history back to the days of the Spanish land grants. Vineyard Manager Chris Hammell and his dedicated crew continue to take this vineyard to even greater heights. Many of this region’s most acclaimed winemakers have enjoyed great success working with this internationally renowned site.”

Only 4 barrels produced!

Paul Lato 2013 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard

750 ml

Retail 95.00- GGWC 89.99

Paul Lato 2013 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard

MAGNUM – Only TWO left!!

GGWC 224.99

Robert Parker 95 Points: “The 2013 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard exudes class and elegance on both the nose and palate. Possessing a captivating bouquet that continues to change in the glass, it reveals a core of black raspberries, violets, graphite, dusty soil and dried flowers. These carry to a full-bodied, perfectly balanced Syrah that has layers of pure fruit, integrated acidity and that fine-grained tannin quality that comes only from sandy soils. More supple and elegant than the Bien Nacido release, without quite the same level of concentration, it excels on its purity, balance and overall harmony. I suspect it will gain a touch more weight with short-term cellaring and it will have 10-15 years of overall longevity.”

Paul Lato Notes: “In just a few short years, this vineyard has become a holy grail for Rhône varietals in Santa Barbara County, receiving critical acclaim for the quality of the grapes and viticultural practices. Christine Larner and her son, Michael, also a winemaker, are ardent about the continued care and development of their vineyard. The natural beauty of the site with its rolling, sun-splashed hills creates an incredibly peaceful vibe. The Syrah clones of Estrella and 877 planted in this picturesque site produce a rich, intensely flavored wine that retains its elegance.”

MilAnge 2014 Syrah, Santa Barbara

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

MilAnge is my own label, so I am of course very partial to the wine. MilAnge is named after my two daughters, MIL(ayna) and ANGE(lina). My award winning winemaker Paul Lato sourced the fruit from two of Santa Barbara’s most famous vineyard sites. Unfortunately, only 2 barrels were produced, so it will go quick!

The 2014 MilAnge Syrah was exclusively crafted by ace winemaker Paul Lato.  This youngster oozes with stunning and bright fruit.  On the nose you’ll encounter red and black stone fruits with a whiff of bacon fat.  On the palate this lush wine is loaded with sweet black stone fruit, crushed flowers, cassis and cured meats.  Bold, yet elegant this wine is concentrated yet approachable with a rich and lush mouthfeel.  The wine ends with touch of white pepper silky finish.  Only 50 cases were produced.

Also check out:

MILANGE 2013 “FAMILY RESERVE” CABERNET, NAPA VALLEY

MILANGE 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
3
2016

Robert Foley’s Inaugural White Blend

Robert Foley has been around the block a few times, so to speak. With wines like Hourglass, Robert Foley, Paloma, Pride, Switchback Ridge, etc., one can only expect the best of the best from this winemaker and winery.  Known for making big, bold red wines, I was happily surprised when he introduced his FIRST WHITE RHONE BLEND!  Only 400 cases of this inaugural wine were produced, and I anticipate it to go very fast!

Robert Foley 2013 White Blend
Retail 32.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code FOLEY13W at checkout

This is a classic Rhone-variety blend combining 50% Grenache Blanc, 40% Roussanne, and 10% Marsanne, vinified without the use of oak. The aromas suggest a bouquet of honeysuckle, jasmine and citrus blossoms. The mid-palate feels like a flood of honeyed white fig carried by natural grape acidity. The purity of fruit carries long in the lingering finish. Best experienced slightly chilled. It is vinified in stainless steel, settled, clarified and bottled young and crisp. The wine is then bottled aged for 18 months before release. It never saw an oak barrel and its acidity has been preserved by preventing malolactic fermentation. The resulting wine is crisp and delicate and focused entirely on the character of the fruit. (400 cases produced.)

Also be sure to check out these other wines made by Robert Foley:

2013 Switchback Ridge Merlot
2013 Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah

Robert Foley 2014 “The Griffin” Proprietary Red

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
2
2016

DuMOL’S SPECTACULAR NEW (2014) RELEASES

 

2014 is undeniably a magnificent vintage! The production levels were down from the previous vintage, so that might be a problem, especially when a winery like DuMOL is in high-demand. I would say that this might the best release ever from this winery. I hear from the owner Kerry Muprhy and winemaker Andy Smith that the various wine publications that tasted the wine gave it rave reviews!

DuMol 2014 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 56.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount code DUMOL14 upon checkout

This might be one of the best Chardonnays DuMol has ever produced. The wine offers focused, piercing aromas of pear, lemon zest and cut grass with a flinty, chalky mineral edge. Crisp apple and lime juice on the palate broadens to ripe melon and white peach. Linear entry expands to layers of ripe stone fruits, almond and nutmeg. Electric acidity brings focus and balance to the persistent and intensely mouthwatering finish. Honey and lemon richness lingers. Serve at no cooler than 55 degrees to allow the wine’s full texture to sing! The 2014 was sourced from 5 amazing  vineyards – Dutton Ranch, DuMOL Estate, Lorenzo, Heintz &  Ritchie.

DuMol 2014 Syrah, Russian River Valley
Retail 64.00 – GGWC 59.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount code DUMOL14 upon checkout

The 2014 Syrah RRV is by far the best effort to date from Andy Smith. Sourced from three great vineyards (Greywackle, Gregori and Hoppe-Kelly). This wine offers soaring mutli-dimensional aromatic complexity that is really quite dramatic. Violet, dark cassis, graphite and espresso. Bright peppery component with hints of mint and red volcanic character. Simultaneously fragrant and red-fruited but with a brooding inner dark power. Focussed and granular tannins that are long but never edgy. Lingering complexity – espresso, dusty cocoa and mixed black fruits. Decant for an hour in its youth. You can easily age this wine for 10 to 15 years!

DuMol 2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Retail 74.00 – GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use discount code DUMOL14 upon checkout

One of the best RRV Pinot Noir DuMOL has ever produced! This wine is brilliant in the glass. Lovely purity of Russian River Pinot Noir aromas: juicy black cherry, black raspberry, sassafras and rosehip. As it opens, cassis and smoke then savory fennel emerge. Full in body, this wine is layered with bright red fruits on the lush palate, then broad and chewy with real depth of flavor and deep resonant texture. Firms up with air to a lingering mouthwashing savory finish. This truly is a real gem by Andy Smith – Sourced from some stunning vineyards in the Valley.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Sep
1
2016

Petite Sirah deserves some love!

Can anyone tell me why California Petite Sirah doesn’t get more love from the cognoscenti? It certainly has some of the elements they love: It’s relatively obscure; it’s confusing; it pairs well with some hard-to-pair-with dishes. Is it the word “petite” that scares away macho wine dudes? Or is it the weird, Americanized spelling of Sirah, without the “y”?

Certainly the classic taste of tooth-staining, tannic Petite Sirah isn’t for everyone, but fans like me appreciate the deep, rich flavors and aromas of blueberry, spice, chocolate and sometimes even cedar or eucalyptus, markedly different from American Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Mark Oldman, in his “Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine,” calls Petite Sirah “as dark and intense as a dominatrix’s boot.

What is Petite Sirah, anyway? Most of it is actually a grape called Durif, a cross between Syrah and Peloursin originating in late-19th-century France. Almost no Durif remains in France, but some it made its way to California, where it became a catch-all name for a number of grapes, some of which may have been Syrah. “They decided to give it a new name, including a French word for prestige, and something a bit easier to spell than Syrah,” wrote Roy Andries de Groot in his 1982 book “The Wines of California, The Pacific Northwest and New York.” These days, petite Syrah and Durif are synonymous, and California is its prime terroir.

Petite Sirah has always been used for blending. If a particular year’s zinfandel was a little flabby and in need of some tannic backbone or a darker purple hue, you can bet Petite Sirah was added.

I keep waiting for Petite Sirah to have its moment. In 2000, there were 60 producers of it. Today, there are more than 800. And more wineries are planting the grape: In 1992, 3,000 acres of Petite Sirah were grown in California; two decades later the total is nearly 8,500 acres. Many believe that the 2010, found on shelves now, might be the best petite vintage since it started being bottled as a single varietal in 1961. I figured it was a good time to do a tasting, so I gathered about 20 bottles, which wasn’t easy.

On a Personal Petite Sirah/Wine Note -  My wife and I met in July 1994, and the first bottle of wine we shared was a bottle of Vincent Arroyo “Estate” Petite Sirah. She told me that her girlfriends were drinking White Zinfandel! So I panicked – the “Wine Guy” could not be seen with a glass of “White Zinfandel” So after two meals in a restaurant, we had dinner at my place and the biggest red I had in my “cellar” was a Petite Sirah.  Now 22 years later (and still happily married) she does not care for whites, light reds or “whimpy” wines.  This girl wants the “full Monty” – BIG REDS!

A few Petite Sirah suggestions:

BIALE 2014 ROYAL PUNISHER PETITE SIRAH , NAPA VALLEY

BACIGALUPI 2013 PETITE SIRAH “ESTATE” RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY – 93+ POINTS PARKER

CARLISE 2014 PETITE SIRAH PALISADES VINEYARD – 95-97 PT PARKER

SWITCHBACK RIDGE 2013 PETITE SIRAH “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY - OUTSTANDING, PROBABLY THE BEST PS MADE IN NAPA!

TRINAFOUR 2012 PETITE SIRAH, NIEMI MENDOCINO

ALTA COLINA 2012 PETITE SIRAH “ANN’S BLOCK” PASO ROBLES – 96 POINTS

ATREA 2013 “OLD SOUL RED” MENDOCINO

Aug
30
2016

PAUL LATO’S STUNNING 2014 SYRAH & GRENACHE RELEASES!

 

 

Paul Lato hardly needs an introduction. His wines have raised the bar among Napa wines for several decades now and each release continues to impress. We have just a handful of his 2014 releases remaining in stock, and the ones that we do have are going fast. Here are Paul’s 2014 Syrah and Grenache releases that you will not want to miss!

 

Paul Lato 2014 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard* 

Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99

FREE SHIPPING on 6, can mix & match with all Lato wines, use code PAULLATO at checkout.

 

This is in my book “THE” best Cinematique to-date bar-none! I believe strongly that is equal, if not better than the great 2012, 2008 and 2007 vintages (97 Point rating).  I’d be surprised that this wine will not see very high 90 scores again!

 

Robert Parker 2012 – 97 Points: “On another level, the 2012 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard (92.5% Syrah, 5% Viognier and 2.5% Grenache aged in 50% new French oak) has an incredible perfume of sweet blackberry, raspberry, crushed violets, coffee bean and bay leaf to go with a medium to full-bodied, silky, seamless and ethereally textured profile on the palate. Picking up plenty of fine tannin with time in the glass, this is a gorgeously pure, layered and multi-dimensional Syrah that will benefit from short-term cellaring, and have 15 years or more of ultimate longevity. It’s not a blockbuster, yet excels on its balanced, seamlessness and purity.”

 

Paul Lato Notes: “In just a few short years, this vineyard has become a holy grail for Rhône varietals in Santa Barbara County, receiving critical acclaim for the quality of the grapes and viticultural practices. Christine Larner and her son, Michael, also a winemaker, are ardent about the continued care and development of their vineyard. The natural beauty of the site with its rolling, sun-splashed hills creates an incredibly peaceful vibe. The Syrah clones of Estrella and 877 planted in this picturesque site produce a rich, intensely flavored wine that retains its elegance.”

 

Paul Lato 2014 Syrah “IL Padrino” Bien Nacido Vineyard*

Retail 95.00 – GGWC 92.99

FREE SHIPPING on 6, can mix & match with all Lato wines, use code PAULLATO at checkout.

 

This is becoming Paul Lato’s BEST Syrah bottling numerous years in a row.  If one were in the Rhone Valley, it would put many of the big names to shame!  In a recent tasting Paul’s Il Padrino bottling beat out 100 point wines like Alban’s Reva, and others!  I only get 5 cases of this gem, so jump on it NOW, as this might be the year of a 100 Point Syrah from Lato! This wine gets 95-98 points every release!

 

Robert Parker 2013 – 96 Points: “As with the Grenache releases, the 2013 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is a bigger, richer wine than the Larner Vineyard release. This inky, mostly opaque 2013 has an off-the-hook bouquet of smoked black fruits, ground black pepper, graphite, bacon fat and marine-like sea-breeze to go with a full-bodied, ultra-pure, elegant and seamless profile on the palate. Beautifully concentrated, multi-dimensional, layered, elegant and with blockbuster length, it’s another wine from Paul that has the pedigree to drink splendidly in its youth, yet age gracefully.”

 

Paul Lato 2014 Grenache Bien Nacido Vineyard*

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

FREE SHIPPING on 6, can mix & match with all Lato wines, use code PAULLATO at checkout.

 

Paul Lato’s notes: “This is one of the most historic vineyards in Santa Maria Valley tracing its grape-growing history back to the days of the Spanish land grants. Vineyard Manager Chris Hammell and his dedicated crew continue to take this vineyard to even greater heights. Many of this region’s most acclaimed winemakers have enjoyed great success working with this internationally renowned site.”

 

Robert Parker 2013 – 95 Points: “A bigger, richer and more concentrated effort than the Larner Grenache, the 2013 Grenache Bien Nacido Vineyard offers lots of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with underlying notes of wet gravel, shrimp broth, peppery herbs, licorice and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a weightless mouthfeel, it’s acidity is nicely integrated and it never puts a foot wrong. Given its balance and overall purity, it’s a killer drink today, but it will evolve beautifully.”

MilAnge 2014 Syrah, Santa Barbara

Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99

FREE SHIPPING on 6, can mix & match with all Lato wines, use code PAULLATO at checkout.

 

The 2014 MilAnge Syrah was crafted by ace winemaker Paul Lato.  This youngster oozes with stunning and bright fruit.  On the nose you’ll encounter red and black stone fruits with a whiff of bacon fat.  On the palate this lush wine is loaded with sweet black stone fruit, crushed flowers, cassis and cured meats.  Bold, yet elegant this wine is concentrated yet approachable with a rich and lush mouthfeel.  The wine ends with touch of white pepper silky finish.  Only 50 cases were produced.

FYI:  We have small amounts of Paul Lato’s oustanding 2014 Chardonnays and Pniot Noir remaining

Click here or on the links above to order!