Philippe Melka does a great Pirouette, and hits it out of the park!

Phillippe MelkaPhilippe Melka has really established himself as one of the best winemakers in the Napa Valley, and the world, and does not require any more accolades. I lost track over the years, but many great wineries (Bryant Family, Melka, Caldwell, Vineyard 29, Marston, Dalla Valle, Seavey, Lail, Dominus, Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc, Hundred Acre, etc.) seem to have had Philippe Melka as its winemaker and they have all received great press with him at the helm! This latest venture is yet another challenge and that is what Melka is all about – challenge. I would say he did well as Parker gave it 94 Points and that was conservative in my estimate!

Long Shadow 2007 Pirouette, Proprietary Red Blend
Long Shadow 2007 PirouetteRetail 62.00 – GGWC 55.99  – FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more.

A rich, deeply colored wine bursting with complex aromas and flavors of wild berries, black cherry, currant, licorice and cedar. Firm and focused, yet elegantly styled, the 2007 Pirouette combines richness and depth with silky tannins to provide a lush mouthfeel and lingering finish. This sensational blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon,  23% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc,  6% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec is very impressive and well-made by this winemaker extra-ordinaire!  This Bordeaux-blend will stands it own against the big boys, both import and domestic!

UnOrthodox wine at an UnOrthodox price.

Evidence Wines

This wine comes with a twist and a story. An aspiring winemaker is woken up in the middle of the night when police, ATF, IRS and other agents (guns drawn) rush in with a search and arrest warrant for his roommate.  Apparently the roommate had “stashed” large quantities of collector wines in his second bedroom. Our aspiring winemaker had no knowledge (and no charges were filed against him) of this rather large UnOrthodox collection of wine in his house. And when the time came that he was working on his first commercial wine, the word “Evidence” came to mind, and a new winery was born.

Evidence 2009 “UnOrthodox” Proprietary Red Blend

This “UnOrthodox” wine is an extracted, highly structured blend of Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tannat and Tempranillo all sourced from some sought-after vineyards. On the nose this “bad boy” shows of some coffee, licorice, black stone fruit with a touch of smokiness. The palate of this “certified organic” vineyard blended wine is bold, round and lush and gives you a real “big” mouth full of wine that will pair well a rich meal or can stand up on its own legs as well.

Remridg Rockpile Zin – 95 point Rocker!

Remridg Wines

Remridg is a small family-owned operation with some great vineyards of their own and some amazing sources to select from. The 2009 Rockpile is one of the most-sought-after vineyards in the state.  Their winemaker does not need an intro – Jay Buoncristiani (Buoncristiani, Penche, etal).  As for Zinfandel, it is one of the quintessential wine varietals of California. As such, the Remridg folks chose a label design reminiscent of the first California state-issued license plate of 1914. Approximately 125,000 pairs of plates, including roughly 20,000 motorcycle plates, were registered in this inaugural year. These timeless classics combine to create our first bonus red wine bottling. This was the FIRST license plate for the state, as prior to that they were issued by county!  A little FYI on the license plate – RR = Mr and Mrs Remridg  927 (they were married on 9/27)

Remridg 2009 Zinfandel "Rockpile"Remridg 2009 Zinfandel “Rockpile”  Sonoma “Rockpile A.V.A.
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99

Full Case 27.99

In the glass, this delicious wine explodes on the palate with blackberry jam, red cherry-plum, ripe red raspberry, maple and a splash of vanilla. Full in body, yet very elegant. This wine hits on all the flavor profiles–spicy red fruit, driven with just a hint of red and black pepper. Enjoy this wine with wood-fired pizza, a spicy pulled pork sandwich or six-hour smoked chicken. Only 77 cases produced!!

100 Point (Winemaker of the year) releases another stunner!

Epoch 2009 Proprietary Red

Justin Smithe and Bill ArmstrongA wine from the 2010 Winery of Year winemaker (Justin Smith – Saxum) whose last two releases received a perfect 100 POINT rating from Robert Parker and of course was the wine of the year too! I don’t need to tell you that Saxum wine is fetching big bucks on the auction and after market (I hear 250.00!) The 2009 Epoch is a “bargain” blend of 60% Syrah, 19% Grenache, 9% Tempranillo, 8% Zinfandel, 4% Mourvedre sourced from various vineyard blocks on the estate.

EPOCH 2009 Proprietary Blend, Paderewski Vineyard, Paso Robles
Retail 44.00 – GGWC 39.99

Intense aromas jump out of the glass.  On the palate one is greeted by lush black stone fruit, hints of cocoa and espresso and a whiff of toasty vanilla.   The wine is full in body, well-balanced and offers stunning pure fruit and opulence.  This New-World-Rhone-Cali-style blend is vibrant and pleasant from nose to finish.  This might be an ideal wine for the end of the year holiday season and will not break the bank!

Blender Boy is a “must have!” – 95 points

Behrens Family Winery

The Behrens Hitchcock story starts in the early 90’s when Les Behrens brought in Bob Hitchcock to help run the operational side of the winery venture. Lisa Drinkward (Mrs. Les Behrens) is Les’ right-hand in all aspects of the winery. She is a formally trained chef (who ran a very successful restaurant for many years) and has amazing winemaking (and food) skills.  In 2005 Bob Hitchcock retired and the Behrens bought out their share and created Behrens Family Winery. So nothing has changed in the day-to-day winemaking at Behrens “sans” Hitchcock and excellent wines continue to be produced year after year.

Blender Boy Behrens Family 2008 “Blender Boy” Napa Valley 95 Points!

The 2008 Blender Boy is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petite Sirah and 8% Petit Verdot – With only 366 cases produced this Big Bold Blender Boy will be gone in no time. On the nose one is greeted by intense floral notes and hints of chocolate and black fruit. On the palate this thick, layered wine offers up a good dose of black stone fruit, coffee, cocoa and a touch of grilled meat. Densely textured this wine if powerful but does not overwhelm on impact. The wine’s finish is long with layers of cocoa, raspberry, dark cherry and subtle pomegranate notes. The 2008 Blender Boy received 92 Points from both Spectator and Parker.

A local Bordeaux blend stuns the crowd!

Stone Edge Farm Wines

In a recent blind tasting of Bordeaux-style blends, this little Sonoma winery held its own against some big name boys (and girls) like Pahlmeyer, Quintessa, etc.  The wine is a blend from the four vineyards the Stone Edge folks farm the estate Stone Edge Farm and Mt. Pisgah vineyards, the Charlie Smith Vineyard located high in the Mayacamas Mountains, and the Coco Bean Vineyard situated in the eastern foothills of Sonoma. All of these vineyards are organically farmed by the acclaimed viticulturist Phil Coturri (Merus, Kamen, Kobalt, etc.).

Stone Edge 2008 Proprietary Red "Surround"Stone Edge 2008 Proprietary Red “Surround” Sonoma
Retail 33.00 – GGWC 29.99

The new Surround (blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot from their certified organic vineyard) has a deep red color, and a complex aroma of cherries, coffee, a touch of mint, and savory spices. Flavors are bright and fruity, with round tannins, full body, and a long finish. Only 600 cases produced of this little economy friendly priced wine!