2009 Howell Mountain Cab stuns in blind tasting

Moffett Wines

The 2009 Moffett Howell Mountain Cabernet beat out 9 Napa Valley Cabernets in a recent blind tasting.

  • The line-up included Diamond Creek
  • Dunn (97 Points Parker)
  • Morlet (96 Points Parker)
  • Kapscandy ($350.00 and 97 Points Parker)
  • Peter Michael
  • Buccella
  • Dancing Hares
  • Screaming Eagle ($$$$$ – 97 Points)
  • Mondavi Reserve.

Not only did Moffett come in first, the average price point of some of the “collectibles” did not do so well.

MOffett 2009 CabernetMoffett 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet  – Howell Mountain Napa Valley
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 74.99 (FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more)
Use the discount code “MOF09CSHM” during check out.

Not all of the Howell Mountain wines are super tannic, and need 10 years in the cellar to drink well. The 2009 Moffett is a stunning, well-crafted, gorgeous, nicely balanced mountain-grown youngster. Beautiful deep dark color and rich, black stone fruit aromas jump out of the glass. This 2009 is dense, rich, powerful and extracted with stunning layers of black currant, black cherry and blackberry fruits with a touch of chocolate, espresso and a whiff of toasty vanilla. Full in bodied, but well balanced, with a stunning finish that offers up touches of raspberry mixed into the deep core of fruit that allows for an impressive long juicy finish with a silky lining.

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World Class Chardonnay from a Grand Cru Vineyard!

Fama Wines

Heather Munden produced one of the most amazing Chardonnays I have ever tasted from the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros. This vineyard has gained “Grand-Cru” status among the wine critics, elite wineries and wine lovers alike. This is one of the best sources for Chardonnay in California, and I would say in the world!

Fama 2009 Chardonnay "Hudson"FAMA 2009 Chardonnay “Hudson”
Retail 65.00 NOW ONLY $49.99 and FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more!
Use the discount code “FAMA09CHD” during check out!

“Fama” = Italian for FAME — “Hudson” = Californian/Carneros for OUTSTANDING Chardonnay —– Combine the two and you have a FAMEOU(S)TANDING bottle of wine. Only 7 (seven) barrels of this holy juice were produced, so you’ll blink and -the wine will be gone! —– Gorgeous color and amazing aromas of white peaches, quince and honeysuckle jump out of the glass. This is one the “best” made Chardonnays I have tasted in years! The wine is full in body, concentrated and well-balanced with a succulent texture. A touch of citrus and minerality and a touch of nuttiness lingers from the mid-palate into a long lasting finish. This is Chardonnay that can be drunk now, and will age nicely!

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XXI Amendment new release is a mindboggling wine!

Amendment XXI is more than just rounded beauty and seductive grace in a bottle. Because of the 21st Amendment, prohibition was abolished and fine wine was again enjoyed by all!  This wine is not just a story, it is the real McCoy!  Crafted by ace-winemaker Nils Venge this Cabernet-Merlot blend will wow you and blow you away.

Amendment XXI 2010 Red BlendAmendment XXI , 2010 Merlot/Cabernet blend, Napa Valley
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 49.99 FREE SHIPPING on 8 or more
Use the discount code “AMEND21” during checkout.

The 2010 Amendment XXI begins with plush warmth and roundness in the nose. This Merlot/Cabernet blend has notes of black cherry, blackberry briar, and is backed by a hint spice. The lush, but silky palate opens up to a fresh and bountiful array of exotic red  berries, strawberry and plums. It is soft and delivers seamlessly, but there is a serious side to the wine in its finish that arrives with agreeable tannins.

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Jeff Pisoni’s amazing Pinot Noir!

Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery

Fort Ross vineyardNestled on a sunny coastal ridge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean a mile below, the “True Sonoma Coast” vineyard is one of the closest, if not the closest, to the ocean in all of California. From the vineyard you can see the breaking surf and the misty silhouettes of Bodega Head and Pt. Reyes far below. The vineyard’s high elevation above the coastal fog and its proximity to the ocean provide a gentle, sunny and temperate climate that has proved to be very favorable for the slow and even ripening of Burgundian varietals. Fort Ross Vineyard has just received wonderful news — the establishment of the FORT ROSS-SEAVIEW AVA, a limited mountainous area overlooking the Pacific Ocean, north of the Russian River that was carved out of the expansive Sonoma Coast AVA. With Jeff Pisoni at the helm since 2009 this winery has gone from good to outstanding!

Fort Ross 2009 Pinot NoirFort Ross 2009 Pinot Noir Estate, Sonoma Coast
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 38.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use the discount code “FTRS09PNEST” during checkout.

The 2009 is a very serious wine.  The wine shows what Jeff Pisoni is all about.  The wine shows structure, balance and power.  On the nose one is greeted by exotic red stone fruit and hints of crushed rocks . On the palate this well-crafted wine shows its great potential of black cherries, and plums, licorice and a touch of herbs and mint.  The wine is gorgeous and complex and bottled unfined and unfiltered. It tastes a lot more expensive than its price tag!

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Stunning Old Vine Zinfandel

Limerick Lane

Limerick Lane is a thirty acre estate located in the north east corner of the Russian River Appellation just south of the town of Healdsburg.  The estate was first planted to grapes in 1910 by the Del Fava family and the original homestead where Mario Del Fava was born is where the current owner lives with his wife and three children In the mid 70’s, the estate was sold to the Collins family. Brothers Mike and Tom Collins brought incredible passion and enthusiasm to the property selling the grapes as vineyard designates to several well-known local wineries.  In 2009, Mike Collins approached sold the winery to the current owners and they immediately turned it into an even better producer.  The current vintage is just an example of what we can expect from Limerick Lane in the future.

Limerick Lane 2010 ZinfandelLimerick Lane 2010 Zinfandel
Retail 32.00 – GGWC 28.99  FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use the discount code “LIMLANE10” during checkout.

This 2010 Zin is a wine that I would very much define as “rustic” in style. It is balanced, chewy, and absolutely chock full of texture…very much a complete wine as opposed to a jar of jam. Made with the intention of complimenting food, not dominating it, this Zin exhibits a spectrum of flavors including red fruits like strawberries and raspberries as well as some riper black fruit flavors such as blackberries and plums.  The fruit flavors in the wine are complemented by a good dose of chewy tannins, a hint of oak, and great acidity. This wine is comprised of 60% Limerick Lane estate grown fruit. The balance of the fruit comes from 2 vineyards: The Crossroads vineyard on West Dry Creek Rd and the 100 year old Sodini vineyard just down the street on Limerick Lane. Textured, layered, rich and complex yet appropriately balanced, this is a Zinfandel that hearkens back to the days of Italian immigrants and field blends.  It is reflective of a time when Zinfandel was known for much more than just a fruit and is very much a product of the unique growing conditions at Limerick Lane.

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Cultivar 2009 Cabernet Franc, Napa – 30% OFF

Cultivar Wines

Sommelier turned winemaker Dan O’Brien and Julien Fayard (Winemaker at Azur and Atelier Philippe Melka) crafted this fun 161 case Cabernet Franc production from a stunning vineyard source in Oakville!

Cultivar 209 Cabernet FrankCultivar 2009 Cabernet Franc, Oakville Napa Valley
Retail 53.00 – GGWC SPECIAL 37.50 on six or more (FREE SHIPPING on 12)
Use discount code “CULTIVAR09CF” during checkout.

The nose shows gorgeous aromas of cranberries, mint, raspberries and a hint of fragrant spice. On the palate this well-balanced, medium to full-bodied and striking wine (aged in neutral French oak barrels) shows great body, lots of juice and bright clean flavors. Beautiful flavors of black currant, anise, a touch of leather and spice linger on into the silky finish of this little gem. The wine reminds me of a Chinon from the Loire Valley.

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Zin is not a sin. This one will not break the bank!

Sandler Wines

Ed Kurtzman Ed Kurtzman’s portfolio includes Roar, Freeman, August West and Sandler.  He really put his stamp on the wine map and received great accolades with these wines (and others) over the past 20 years.  I was very excited when he offered me the 2010 Buck Hill Zinfandel. A  real crowd pleaser and money saver!

Sandler 2010 Buck Hill Zinfandel, Sonoma
Retail 31.00 – GGWC 27.99 FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use the discount code “SANDLER10Z12” during checkout.

From the start this little gem shows great quality and character.  On the nose you’ll encounter red cherries, plums, sweet spice, a touch of chocolate.  On the palate this plush wine is loaded with red plums, mocha and chocolate flavors and a touch of anise.  The wine is full in body, yet extremely elegant and finishes with a whiff of spice.  Fun wine and easy on the palate!

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Small Napa White wins in wine stampede!

I rarely, if ever conduct blind tastings of Sauvignon Blancs, but decided to give it a try when a bunch of Francophiles challenged me to go head-to-head with California.  A few of my “French” friends provided “their” wines and I sourced the local market.  As you know I don’t stock the big names, I wanted to include some in this tasting to see how they would do against the French and small, boutique producers.  Since Brian Malk is from South Africa, I decided to include a well-rated white from there as well.

  • Peter Michael Winery Sauvignon Blanc l’Apres Midi (94 Pts Parker)
  • Domaine Pascal Cotat Sancerre les Mont Damnes 94 Pts Parker
  • Duckhorn
  • Cakebread
  • Louis-Benjamin Dagueneau Sancerre Monts Damnes (a very expensive $120.00, 95 Pts Parker)
  • Domaine Claude Riffault Sancerre les Desmalets (93 Pts Parker)
  • Peirson Meyer Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Ryan (93 Pts WS)
  • Reyneke Reserve White Stellenbosch (93 Pts WS)
  • Merry Edwards
  • Malk 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

The winner, by a long shot MALK 2011 Sauvignon Blanc!

A native of South Africa, Brian Malk continues a family tradition of grape growing started by his grandfather who owned a wine farm (vineyard) in Franschhoek, near Capetown. Brian moved to the United States in 1978 and is now residing in Napa Valley as well as San Diego. Brian and Nancy purchased the Stags Leap property for Malk Family Vineyards in 1997 and began planting in 1998.

Malk 2011 Sauvignon BlancMalk 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Retail 35.00 – GGWC 31.99 (FREE SHIPPING on 12)
Use the discount code “Malk01SB12” during checkout.

Our friends at Malk produced a stunning wine.  The Aromas of peaches and melons are gorgeous and elegant jumping right out of the glass.  On impact this well-made youngster tickles the palate with flavors of fresh apricots, honeydew, orange blossom and a touch of minerality.  Medium weight, this wine has good body with its hallmark Sauvignon Blanc crisp flavors.  The finish is silky and long lasting.  Only 278 cases produced!

Also check out the 2008 Malk Cabernet Sauvignon!

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