Oct
18
2021

Carte Blanche Cabernet 97+ Points = “THE” Haut-Brion from Napa (really)


 

After the great  success with her own Keplinger label, Helen Keplinger is out of control (in a very good way)! The latest release of the 2018 Carte Blanche Cabernet showcases Helen’s amazing talents. Only a few hundred cases of this mind boggling wine were produced from this “next” Haut Brion of the Napa Valley! This wine over-delivers and the 97+ points is 2 ½ points shy of what it deserves!

The Dillon family has been in the wine business for nearly a century, since Nick Allen’s great grandfather, Clarence Dillon, acquired Chateau Haut-Brion in 1935 and the family company, Domaine Clarence Dillon subsequently purchased Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion in 1983. This was Nick’s inspiration to produce his own boutique label in Napa – Carte Blanche.

Carte Blanche 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer” Napa Valley
GGWC 154.99 net item

Robert Parker 97+ Points: “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Featuring a deep garnet-purple color, it sashays out of the glass with gregarious notions of baked plums, warm cassis and blueberry compote with suggestions of kirsch, dusty soil and Indian spices. The palate is full-bodied and laden with bright, lively, energetic black fruits, supported with firm, super ripe tannins and finishing on a persistent exotic spice note.”


Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “Lastly, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard comes from a great site in Oakville that continues to fly slightly under the radar yet produces brilliant wines. Incredible cassis, graphite, damp earth, and violet notes emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty offers plenty of high-end oak, ripe, seamless tannins, and flawless balance. It just screams of Cabernet. There’s no harm drinking bottles today, but I’d nevertheless recommend a solid 4-5 years of bottle age. It should keep for two-plus decades.”

Winery Notes: “The 2018 Carte Blanche Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% varietal makeup. Sitting in the southwest corner of Oakville and at the base of the Mayacamas, Missouri Hopper Vineyard, owned by Andy Beckstoffer, is the home of our Cabernet Sauvignon. A super perfumed nose shows violets, red currant, black cherry, and boysenberry, underpinned by savory graphite and beautiful cassis.  A silky and plush entry opens broadly across the palate showing high notes of red currant and hints of cherry, to dark fruited blackberry and boysenberry, all seamlessly integrated with forest floor, graphite and cacao woven through the everlasting finish”

Helen Keplinger (winemaker) Notes: “Stunning color in the glass, an electrifying nose showcases black currants, cassis, cigar box and red fruit. The palate is opulent, plush and structured with integrated sweet tannins showcasing notes of dark blackberry, black cherry, and bittersweet chocolate dance through an everlasting and strong finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Oct
17
2021

WINE AND MUSIC PAIRING: A NEXT-LEVEL AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE

WINE AND MUSIC PAIRING: A NEXT-LEVEL AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE

By Dwight Furrow
from Edible Arts
 
The evidence that pairing music with wine can enhance one’s tasting experience continues to mount since I last visited this topic in 2017. A research team headed by Q.J. Wang showed that, in a winery tasting room, wines tasted with a soundtrack chosen to enhance oak-derived flavors were rated as significantly fruitier and smoother than the same wines tasted in silence. Master of Wine, Susan Lin wrote her thesis on the effects of music on the taste and mouthfeel of Brut Non-Vintage Champagne. And Jo Burzynska’s published research includes a paper entitled “Tasting the Bass,” which investigates the effects of lower frequency sound on the perceived weight and body of a New Zealand Pinot Noir and a Spanish Garnacha. The study also measured the influence of pitch on aromatic intensity and the perception of acidity.

This recent research is on top of the earlier studies in which test subjects show statistically significant agreement about which wine goes best with music samples presented to them (cross-modal correspondence); and that the right music can influence specific aspects of the tasting experience, such as perception of sweetness, flavor notes, perceived acidity, and level of astringency (cross-modal influence).

For instance, in one study by British music psychologist Adrian North, subjects were offered a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Chardonnay. After rating the wines along four dimensions—powerful and heavy, subtle and refined, zingy and refreshing, and mellow and soft—they tasted the wines while listening to music chosen to highlight each dimension. Both wines were scored significantly higher on the powerful/heavy metric by those who listened to the powerful/heavy music (Orff’s Carmina Burana) and the same effect was found with the other dimensions tested. The music had similar effects on both red and white wines and was independent of whether the subjects liked the wine. There is now almost 30 years of research leading to the same conclusion. Music can enhance our appreciation of wine. This is not surprising given the evidence that all variety of environmental and contextual factors from weather to the sound of popping a cork influence the taste of a wine.

The debates about why wine and music pairing works are ongoing. Perhaps music directs our attention to specific properties of the wine. Perhaps music influences our mood making us more sensitive to olfactory and flavor stimulation. Perhaps specific musical pieces and particular wines share a common metaphorical attribute that the music primes us to perceive in the wine. Perhaps the congruence between a wine and a musical piece helps us more efficiently process the faint and complex sensory signals we get from a wine. My sense is that all of these factors are at work.

But I want to focus on why pairing wine and music is worth doing. We routinely pair wine with food, a practice that some people find fraught with worries about doing it right. Why add music pairing to the tasting experience? The importance of providing the right background music in restaurants and tasting rooms is clear. But why should individual consumers think about the music that accompanies their enjoyment of a wine?

Sonic Seasoning

One reason is obvious. If music can influence positively or negatively how we experience a wine, it is important to avoid music that will damage one’s tasting experience. The quickest route to disappointment in that elegant, well-aged Chateau Margaux 2000 that sells in the neighborhood of $1000 per bottle is to pair it with music from early Nine Inch Nails, even if you really like Nine Inch Nails. Pairing it with a sonata for piccolo would be even more damaging. The wrong music can make a wine taste thin, harsh, or clunky.

But there are positive reasons for pairing wine with music. The empirical research makes clear that music can influence how we perceive a wine’s balance—the relationship between fruit or sweetness, acidity, tannins, and alcohol. A Cabernet Sauvignon that is rough and astringent can appear more elegant and supple when paired with music that matches the wine’s intensity and power. A too-tart Sauvignon Blanc might acquire a hint of sweetness when paired with the right Prélude from Debussy. Most of us cannot afford to drink wines that are exquisitely harmonious except on special occasions. Most everyday wines are less than perfectly balanced and applying the “sonic seasoning” of an appropriately paired piece of music improves the experience. Music cannot add something to a wine that is not there—it won’t make a simple wine more complex or extend the finish of a fruity Beaujolais Nouveau. It won’t dramatically boost the aromatic intensity of a mute wine or turn sandpaper into silk. But it will shift the balance point of a wine toward better integration by shifting our attention to a wine’s strengths while suppressing its flaws.

But music and wine pairing is not limited to improving budget wines. Even wines that are well balanced benefit from congruent music that shares textural features and emotional resonance with the wine.

Harmony and Integration

In order to understand how music pairing can enhance quality wine, we need to make a distinction between balance and harmony. Although there are exceptions, most premium wines (priced above about $20) produced for immediate consumption are balanced. They have an appropriate relationship between the structural components of the wine, so nothing stands out as too much. This is not to say every individual will find every wine balanced. We all have our individual preferences and winemakers will have their own aesthetic aims they seek to achieve. But most premium wines today fall within an acceptable range, regarding their balance, given what is typical for the varietal, region, style, and vintage.

But a balanced wine is not necessarily a harmonious wine.

Many wines are balanced but don’t leave an impression of cohesive activity. The structural elements of the wine stay out of the way of each other and nothing stands out as “too much,” but there is little impression of interaction among the elements. By contrast some wines will seem alive because their components are interacting, accentuating each other but in a way that seems notably consonant. That is harmony. When the acidity is freshening the fruit and the fruit is softening the angularity of the acidity and the dryness of the tannins; and when the tannins provide a foundation that lengthens the taste experience, the wine evolving through many stages with no jarring sensations in the transitions, that is the beginning of harmony. But just the beginning.

Harmony is intimately related to complexity. When wines are simple there is not much there to harmonize. But when complexity is added to the picture the possibility of a unified story, a larger whole that the elements contribute to, emerges. Great wines have tension and paradox. They display nervous energy yet feel fluent and supple. They exhibit power and delicacy, profundity, and charm. Yet, despite the contrasts, it all feels well put together in a unified whole effortlessly achieved.

Pairing wine with the right music can make a balanced wine seem harmonious and make a harmonious wine really sing. The structure of the wine seems to have more activity and integration. The music helps draw the structural components together, so they seem like they are communicating with each other. Even excellent wines benefit from being paired with music.

Affective Engagement

We know that music is effectively absorbing. Our internal states resonate with music. Unlike vision’s sense of touching things out there, at a distance from one’s lived center, sonorous experience is of events that seem to happen within consciousness. Although we are aware that the sound might be coming from an object, we experience the sound as taking place within us because, in a sense, it is taking place inside us. And because sound is fleeting and always changing, the experience of sound requires a relationship of openness and empathy in order to follow it. Listening to music is a form of participation. If the music is pleasant it can generate a feeling of merging with the music rather than separation from it. Thus, it is common when listening to music to feel that one’s internal states are in some sort of sympathetic motion with the music. Calm music can make us feel calm. Energetic music makes us want to move, etc. These are often unconscious effects. Music seems to directly influence the motor cortex of the brain and the parts of our nervous system that regulate mood. Sometimes we may experience particular emotions or moods when listening to music but often it’s just a feeling of our internal affective states being attuned to the music, of being caught up in and participating in the music’s motion.

As I argued in more detail in Beauty and the Yeast, we can have similar experiences with wine although they are less accessible than with music. Wine does not affect the motor cortex in the way music does. But, nevertheless, we can gain a sense of intimacy with the evolution of a wine and the changes in its textural properties because, of course, the wine is literally inside us as well. Because wine shares with music this capacity to create a sense of intimacy, congruence between a wine and specific musical works enhance that sense of intimacy. This is not about making the wine better. The wine is perfectly fine on its own. It is about making our experience of it more vibrant, intimate, and less distant. The focus and quality of our attention to a wine is enhanced by music, and the more levels of correspondence there are between the wine and the music the more engrossing the experience is.

Enhanced Understanding of Wine

One by-product of this effective engagement and sense of integration is that music can help us better understand the structure of a wine. Pairing music with wine is not a mechanical process and subtle differences in wines can require different pairing strategies. I have never found a foolproof way of predicting what will work ahead of time and there is a good deal of trial and error in finding a good match. By trying out various possibilities for which piece of music is most congruent with a wine, we often discover something we hadn’t noticed about the wine’s structure. We learn which structural element of the wine is in danger of being out of balance and discover hidden dimensions of a wine that the right piece of music can make more available. Complex wines have more going on in them than we can take in with one sniff or taste and will show different dimensions over the course of an evening or with the right food. Adding music to the mix increases the factors that can expose these various dimensions.

A More Holistic Experience

Finally, in traditional aesthetics we tend to focus on a single sensory object as the locus of aesthetic attention. But the confluence of many sensory objects that create an atmosphere also has aesthetic properties. Adding the appropriate music to a gathering where people are interacting, enjoying food and wine, situated at a time of day, within a seasonal weather pattern, in an appealing visual context, all of which have meaning for the assembled creates a multisensory, holistic experience that ought to receive more attention as an aesthetic object. The wine and the music together are an integral part of that experience.

Wine and music have parallels and similarities that make them natural partners in creating aesthetic experiences. Next month I will explain how to begin pairing wine with music.
 

 

Visit us at GoldenGateWineCellars.com!
As always, don’t hesitate to call us at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for selection advice or assistance!

 
Oct
16
2021

LAST CALL – A Modern Day California Bubbly that will “tickle” the palate, and not hurt your wallet!


 

Carboniste is a new, very exciting sparkling wine project by husband and wife duo, Jacqueline and Dan Person. Dan was the longtime assistant winemaker Schramsberg (Napa Valley’s oldest & premium Sparkling wine producer) and quite some years at Larkmead. His wife worked as an invested consultant for a large winery. Together they decided to start something on their own, and handcraft some “modern-day” Sparkling wines. The packaging alone is innovative and fun!

Carboniste 2020 Rose of Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine
GGWC 31.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code CARBONISTE during checkout

The Carboniste 2020 Sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir is a fun and fresh sparkling wine with aromas of wild strawberry and guava. It pairs well with a wide range of fresh foods including uni (sea urchin).

Vineyards: This wine is assembled from a range of cool-climate vineyards from which we source our Pinot noir and Chardonnay including the Santa Cruz Mountains and Marin County. We consider these to be the best appellations in California for sparkling wine, and we carefully select barrels that help us create this unique sparkling rosé.

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Oct
15
2021

97 POINT RATED UNDER $60 STUNNING BORDEAUX BLEND “BEAUTY”


 
Never mind the six million album covers around the world that feature Andy Katz’s photographs, or his dozen books of gorgeous photos that grace countless coffee tables around the country, or the many awards on his mantel earned from five decades of work around the world. It was all an excuse. An excuse to drink world class wine. To learn what it takes to make world class wine. And to spend time with his young son Jesse. Andy brought Jesse to the most famous vineyards on earth, from the heart of Burgundy to the hills of Tuscany. He may not have admitted it at the time, but Andy’s gambit worked. Barely a decade later, Jesse is now one of the most exciting — and accomplished — winemakers in the world, recently gracing the cover of Wine Enthusiast as a rising young star who is doing nothing less than “changing the way the world drinks.” The son of a man who, through his photographs, changes the way the world sees wine. And the rest… is history as they say.

Aperture 2019 Bordeaux Blend, Alexander Valley
GGWC 59.99 net item

Robert Parker 97 Points: “The 2019 Bordeaux Red Blend is a barrel sample composed of 40% Malbec, 34% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby-purple in color, the nose bursts with lilac perfume, Morello cherries, cured meats, star anise, tar and a mineral undercurrent. The palate is pixelated and lifted with glorious perfume lingering on the very long finish.”

Winemaker Notes: “For this vintage, we crafted a distinct Bordeaux blend, composed dominantly of Malbec and Merlot and delicately balanced by smaller inclusion of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. The ripe fruit characters are structured by seamless tannins, showcasing an elegant density to the blend. The 2019s are expressive in their youth and are drinking beautifully with a decant now, and will only continue to reward with cellaring.”

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation!

Oct
14
2021

When Bordeaux and California Meet … California takes the Crown!


 
Shared Notes is a winemaking joint-venture between wife and husband, Bibiana Gonzalez Rave (Cattleya, and former Pahlmeyer & Wayfarer winemaker) and Jeff Pisoni (Pisoni, Lucia, Luli, etc. winemaker). Both had early desires of making wine, and spent most of their lives doing so. The year 2012, however, marked the first vintage that they produced together. Previously, during the grape harvest, Bibiana and Jeff were like the proverbial ships passing in the night. Early grape picks and late nights at the winery left them rarely crossing paths. Now, Bibiana and Jeff cross paths—to discuss ideas and taste samples. You can sometimes catch them in front of a grapevine, the press, a fermenting tank, or a barrel… most likely with a glass in hand.

Shared Notes 2020 Sauvignon Blanc
Les Leçons des Maîtres, Russian River Valley

GGWC 69.99 net item  
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SHAREDNOTES during checkout

Ok to  mix & match with other Shared Notes SB

This wine is a White blend inspired by the cellar masters of Bordeaux and their dedication to Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Classically Bordeaux to its core, the 2020 Shared Notes Les Leçons des Maîtres harmonizes the finest aspects of both the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon varietals. Crushed white peach, Bosc pear, and honeysuckle fill the glass as this youthful, shimmering light green wine starts to breathe with each swirl. Flavors of stone fruits, ripe melon, and lemon zest combine with mineral driven notes of crushed rock and sea air to form a precise, yet complex profile. Vibrant, mouthwatering acidity dances on the palate, while generous volume and texture from aging peacefully on its lees provides an unmistakable richness. 

Bibiana’s Tasting notes: A true homage to this legendary Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, the 2020 Shared Notes Les Leçons des Maîtres is a stunning example of the old adage that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Incredibly bright notes of Key lime, crisp pear, and grapefruit are enveloped with generous, rich aromas of honeysuckle and juicy white peach. As this wine coats the palate, flavors of nectarine and citrus zest are given added volume and supple texture through the inclusion of Semillon and the wines extended lees contact in new French oak barrels. Though a true delight when consumed in its infancy, the lessons of these masters will surely continue to evolve and mature well into the next decade.

Vineyard Sources: Ritchie, Kick Ranch & Merino Vineyards

Also check out these other wines by Bibiana:

Cattleya 2019 Pinot Noir Cuvee #1
Cattleya 2019 Chardonnay Beyond TheThreshold
Cattleya 2018 Syrah”Initiation” 97 Points
Cattleya 2018 Cabernet “The Mentor” 98 Points
Cattleya 2018 Chardonnay Cuvee #5 – 94 POINTS
Cattleya 2020 Alma de Cattleya Sauvignon Blanc

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation!

Oct
13
2021

The “almost perfect” scoring Carter Cellars portfolio is now in stock

Late fall is always a time of excitement, many great Cabernets reach the “shores” of Golden Gate Wine Cellars. Among them Carter Cellars, crafted by my friend and ace-winemaker Mike Smith. The current “stash” of 2019, although amazing in quality, are unfortunately very small in the quantity department. I came up with some “mixed offer packs” of these stunning wines. I know I will not make everyone happy, but I will try my hardest. Please don’t take it out on the messenger! Mother nature yielded way less for Carter, so I got less! Most of the 2019 Carter wines scored 96-99 points, so again not a bad run!

We are offering it as a mixed six-pack, and (2) mixed four-packs
 
CARTER SIX-PACK – $935.00
 
This six-pack consists of 1 bottle each of:
 
Beckstoffer To Kalon ‘The Grand Daddy’ (97 Points)
Beckstoffer To Kalon ‘The Three Kings’ (98 Points)
Beckstoffer Las Piedras ‘La BAM’ (98 Points)
Carter “Estate” Cabernet (99 Points)
Fortuna Vineyard Cabernet (97 Points)
Hossfeld Coliseum Red Blend (96 Points)
 
CARTER FOUR-PACK A – $655.00
 
This four-pack consists of 1 bottle each of:

Beckstoffer To Kalon ‘The Grand Daddy’ (97 Points)
Beckstoffer Las Piedras ‘La BAM’ (98 Points) 
Carter “Estate” Cabernet (99 Points)  
Fortuna Vineyard  Cabernet (97 Points)  
 
CARTER FOUR-PACK B – $560.00
 
This four-pack consists of 1 bottle each of:
 
Beckstoffer To Kalon ‘The Three Kings’ (98 Points)
Carter “Estate” Cabernet (99 Points)
Fortuna Vineyard Cabernet (97 Points)
Hossfeld Coliseum Red Blend (96 Points)

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Oct
12
2021

A Zin for Cabernet lovers

Named after Jack Ireland, one of the area’s earliest (and rumor has it, most rebellious) settlers. Now only the tattered remnants of Jack’s house remain on the Mauritson family’s property, along with a myriad of urban legends surrounding its history. The vineyard is planted at nearly 950 ft in elevation, the Jack’s Cabin Vineyard is one of the premier sites of Rockpile. It has a southern sun exposure and is planted with the meandering natural slope of the bench. Relatively hidden from the coastal breezes that howl through Rockpile, this vineyard is the least stressed of all the blocks.

Rockpile 2017 “Jack’s Cabin” Zinfandel by Mauritson
GGWC 49.99 
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code ROCKPILE during checkout

The Jack’s Cabin Zinfandel is very classic in its aromatic offerings: crushed black cherry, milk chocolate shavings, sweet baking spices and nuances of dried old-fashion rose petals. The juicy entry reveals fresh red currants and black raspberries, black tea leaf and dusty soil. Full-bodied with a plush texture, it finishes with great focus and clarity. Please enjoy it over the next 5-7 years.

WS 93 Points: “Deeply aromatic, this offers hints of bouillon, meat and grilled mushroom, earthy and profuse. The palate delves deeper into rich dark chocolate and baking spice, complemented by vanilla oak and a hint of cola. Robust tannins give it additional power and density within balanced acidity and length.”

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Oct
11
2021

GGWC EXCLUSIVE FOR OCTOBER You’ve NEVER been “OFFERED” a wine like this!

Owner and Winemaker Curt Schalchlin has been producing high-quality Rhone blends at a very respectable price level for years. Curt worked for some of the best winemakers in industry and went solo about over a decade ago, and the rest is history. Today Sans Liege has a worldwide fan base among my clients, as far as Japan, Europe and South America. The 2019 Sans Liege “The Offering” is by far the best release to date!

Sans Liege 2019 GSM The “Co-Ferment” Offering
Santa Barbara

GGWC 32.00 NET ITEM
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SANSLIEGE during check out

The Sans Liege The Co-Ferment” Offering (a blend of 53% Grenache, 37% Syrah,10% Mourvèdre) 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. Only 300 cases were produced!!

Winemaker Notes: The crisp air begins to make its way through your flannel as you slip your hatchet into a suede holster at your side. Collecting several pieces of freshly split red fir, you make your way towards the warm glow of the cabin. Once inside you smell green peppercorn and drying oregano – a basket of harvested rhubarb sits on the kitchen counter and lingonberry sauce simmers on the old stove. You settle into a cozy, velvet covered armchair and smile with anticipation for your holiday guests

Vineyard Sources:
Grenache: Kopack, Derby, Old Potrero; Syrah: White Hawk, Old Potrero; Mourvèdre: Alta Mesa

ALSO CHECK OUT :
SANS LIEGE PROPHETESS XVII SANTA BARBARA
GROUNDWORK 2019 GRENACHE BLANC
GROUNDWORK 2017 SYRAH
SANS LIEGE 2020 CÔTES DU COAST, WHITE BLEND

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Oct
10
2021

Archaeologists say earthquake caused sudden disuse of Canaanite wine palace

Archaeologists say earthquake caused sudden disuse of Canaanite wine palace

By Stuart Winer
from The Times of Israel

 

Wine cellar room at the Tel Kabri archaeological site.

A joint Israeli-US team of archaeologists say they may have finally uncovered what caused the sudden abandonment of an ancient Canaanite palace well-stocked with wine — and the culprit was an earthquake.

Research at the Tel Kabri site in the Western Galilee region was co-directed by Assaf Yasur-Landau, a professor of Mediterranean archaeology at the University of Haifa, and Eric Cline, a professor of classics and anthropology at the George Washington University, the US university said in a statement Friday.

Excavations were carried out at the 75-acre site, located on land belonging to Kibbutz Kabri that contains a Canaanite palace and city dating to 1900-1700 BCE.

“We wondered for several years what had caused the sudden destruction and abandonment of the palace and the site, after centuries of flourishing occupation,” Yasur-Landau said in the George Washington University statement.

A breakthrough came last year when a trench previously uncovered at the site was mapped and found to extend further than initially thought as well as containing key archaeological evidence that appeared to show the land had moved.
 

A building with a trench running through it at the Tel Kabri archaeological site.
(Tel Kabri research team via the University of Haifa)

“We opened up a new area and found that the trench continued for at least 30 meters, with an entire section of a wall that had fallen into it in antiquity, and with other walls and floors tipping into it on either side,” Yasur-Landau said. 

“It really looks like the earth simply opened up and everything on either side of it fell in,” Cline said. “It’s unlikely that the destruction was caused by violent human activity because there are no visible signs of fire, no weapons such as arrows that would indicate a battle, nor any unburied bodies related to combat. We could also see some unexpected things in other rooms of the palace, including in and around the wine cellar that we excavated a few years ago.”

There are also no signs of drought that would cause residents to leave, or a mass burial site that would point to an epidemic, according to the study, which was published in the PLOS ONE online journal.

Ruth Shahack-Gross, a professor of geoarchaeology at the University of Haifa and a co-author on the study, said that the rapid collapse, rather than a slow accumulation of building fallen materials as found in an abandoned building, indicates “one or more earthquakes could have destroyed the walls and the roof of the palace without setting it on fire.”

Researchers found warped plaster floors, tilted walls and mud bricks that had collapsed into rooms, sometimes quickly burying large jars, dozens of which were discovered.

Michael Lazar, the lead author of the study, described the difficulties in recognizing past earthquakes at sites with little stone masonry and where ancient builders had used degradable construction materials such a sun-baked brick and wattle-and-daub.

At Tel Kabri there were remains of stone foundations and also of mud-brick superstructures.

 

Tel Kabri wine cellar with numbered jars (
photo courtesy: Assaf Yasur-Landau)

“Our studies show the importance of combining macro- and micro-archaeological methods for the identification of ancient earthquakes,” Lazar said in the statement. “We also needed to evaluate alternative scenarios, including climatic, environmental and economic collapse, as well as warfare, before we were confident in proposing a seismic event scenario.”
 

An earlier excavation in 2013 found 40 jars in a storage room of the palace, making it one of the oldest and largest wine cellars discovered in the Near East. Analysis revealed the jars had contained wine.

Since then the dig has uncovered four additional storage rooms and at least another 70 jars in the collapsed building.

A statement Sunday from the University of Haifa said that previous excavations had shown the palace was equipped with “magnificent halls” and other evidence, including meat consumption, pointed to a life of luxury that “testified to immense wealth, murals that testified to trade and cultural ties with Minoan Crete and the Aegean islands.”

In particular, “huge wine cellars where many dozens of large wine jugs were discovered, which contained red wine to which resin and plant extracts were added.”

The archaeologists noticed that the wine jars were all smashed in the storage area and there was evidence that the wine poured into the building’s drainage system.

“When you add to all this evidence the geology of the area: the fact that the place is on a fault, there are four springs on the same line, which can indicate an active fault, and on other geological findings the explanation of an earthquake is greatly strengthened,” Lazar said in the Sunday statement and added that he hopes the team may eventually be able to calculate the strength of the earthquake.

The team, which was funded by the National Geographic society and the Israel Science Foundation, hopes its methods can be used to identify earthquake damage at other archaeological sites.
 


Visit us at GoldenGateWineCellars.com!
As always, don’t hesitate to call us at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for selection advice or assistance!

 
Oct
8
2021

A 97 Point “Rockstar” limited production MUST have Chardonnay

Senses Wines is the dream of three childhood friends. Chris, Max and Myles partnered with celebrity winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, to produce world-class wines from renowned vineyards owned by their families. Since founding, Senses production has grown to include many coveted vineyard sites throughout Sonoma County.

Planted in the early 2000’s by vineyard manager Ulises Valdez, El Diablo vineyard sits on a ridge above Eastside Road in Russian River Valley. Early in their relationship, he told the Senses team that “when you work hard, the fruit always tastes better.” That holds very true for El Diablo.

Senses 2019 “UV-El Diablo” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
GGWC $79.99 net item
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SENSES during checkout

The 2019 Chardonnay UV – El Diablo Vineyard is one of the most opulent wines in the Senses lineup. Apricot, tangerine oil, crème brûlée, crushed rocks and sage lend tremendous depth throughout. Tropical accents appear later, adding very pretty aromatic breadth. This heady, potent Chardonnay oozes character.

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: Another rock star of a Chardonnay is the 2019 Chardonnay UV – El Diablo. From a site that’s partially named after the renowned grower Ulises Valdez, it’s also known as Eastside Vineyard (Aubert) and just El Diablo by others (Arista, KB, etc). As with the other Chardonnay here, it was barrel fermented and spent 14 months in 25%-40% new French oak. Beautiful buttered orchard fruits, honeysuckle, green almond, pear, and crushed stone notes are just some of the nuances here, and this complex, full-bodied Chardonnay has nicely integrated acidity, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, flawless balance, and a great finish. This is another magical Chardonnay from the team that does everything right. Enjoy bottles over the coming 5-7 years.

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