Screaming Eagle Winemaker’s Merlot wins blind tasting

In a recent blind tasting of top-flight Merlots, a small 300 case production winery stunned our group of 16 wine professionals.  The line-up for the 2012 Merlot tasting included:
  • Blankiet Rive Droite (96 WA)
  • Keenan“Reserve” (94 WA)
  • Venge “Estate”(94 WA)
  • Pott “La Carte” (95 WA)
  • Pahlmeyer (95 Galloni)
  • Abeja (93 Galloni)
  • La Jota (96 WA)
  • Constant (94 Galloni)
  • Leonetti (94 WA)
  • Hourglass (92 Galloni)
  • Plumpjack (92 Galloni)
  • Farella “Estate”

Farella Vineyards has been growing premium grapes in Coombsville since 1977. Tom Farella has an impressive list of long-standing clients (Realm, Far Niente, Pahlmeyer, Zeitgeist, Keenan, Relic, Lail etc.) and has produced exceptional Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Malbec under his own label since 1985. Tom and Winemaker Massimo DiCostanzo (Assistant Winemaker at Screaming Eagle) work closely to showcase the exceptional terroir of Coombsville and do it very well.

Farella 2012 Merlot, Estate, Coombsville Napa Valley 
Retail 44.00 – GGWC 39.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX

Use discount shipping code FAR12M during check out

This is a very intense well-made gem from this small producer, nestled in hills of Coombsville.   The wine offers a deep purple color followed by intense aromas.  The nose is full of blackberries, dark chocolate and lovely floral notes.  Very well structured youngster.  This wine is smooth and rich on the palate, loaded with bright  flavors of pure and lush black fruits, with a long, smooth, spice-driven finish.

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Pritchard Hill under $65 GEM ~ Only 300 cases produced!

Kale Anderson is the day-to-day “red wine” winemaker at Pahlmeyer.  In his spare time he moonlights to craft his own “Kale” label.  The Kale “Broken Axle” is a Syrah, Grenache blend from the infamous Stagecoach vineyard in the Pritchard Hill region of the property at 1500’ elevation.  Only 300 cases of this little gem were produced!

Stagecoach Vineyard is the largest contiguous vineyard in the Napa Valley spanning multiple AVAs, and four distinct regions. With planting started in 1995, Jan Krupp has removed billions of pounds of volcanic rock. Heavy mining equipment is used to prepare the soil before planting. There are behemoth dump trucks that have lived and died on the property inspiring the name “Broken Axle.”

The “Kale” blocks of Syrah (Alban clone) and Grenache (Alban clone) are located in the Pritchard Hill region of the property at 1500’ elevation. The soils are red Hambright complexes and with Guenoc outcroppings. Dynamite was used to clear this well-exposed southwest slope. The soils are de-vigorating to the vines due to great drainage and sparse nutrients. The vines produce light crops of extremely small black berries transforming into intense, powerful wines.
Kale 2012 Broken Axle “Stagecoach Vineyard” Pritchard Hill Region Napa Valley
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 64.99 – FREE SHIPPING on 6+
Use code KALE upon checkout

The 2012 Broken Axle is a blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache.  The wine offers a dark purple/violet hue. The aroma matches the color with asphalt, fresh blueberry, and gravel. This is Kale’s richest and silkiest wine to date. The intense southern exposure at 1500’ on Pritchard Hill smooths the tannins into a cacao-like texture. A wide mid-palate gains momentum through the finish. Nuance of white pepper minerality holds together the tight core of this wine suggesting age-ability like the other wines from this region.
Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

A California wine with Basque roots

Tannat is not a household name, but it is a real beauty and a great value.  The “forgotten” varietal from the France I call it.  Tannat’s roots reach through the same French countryside as Yannick’s. As one of the Southwest of France’s hallmark red  beauties, it hails from the Madiran region near the Pyrénées mountains.

Rousseau 2012 Tannat, Saralee Vineyard Russian River Valley
Retail 38.00 – GGWC 34.99 FREE SHIPPING on 6+
Use code ROUS12T upon checkout

The Rousseau 2012 Tannat is a real stunner. Dark purple to black hues. An enticing, complex nose develops into quite expressive aromas of black cherry and blueberry pie, cassis, licorice and violet.  Full in body, this wine is lush and densely concentrated, yet extremely silky and elegant on the mid-palate.  Loaded with bright red stone fruit (ripe cherries and plums) laced with a touch of violet, anise and a touch of spice.  This is an incredibly well-crafted wine with a stunning balance and seemingly long finish.  This Tannat can be paired with a bunch of great foods like a Hanger Steak, Beef Bourguignon, Game and Chocolate dessert. Only 200 cases produced.

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Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

100 Point winemaker’ sensational Napa Cab

Father and son McSharry both had a love for wine.  Gerry McSharry developed a love of fine wine though a lifetime working in Media.   He created one of the world’s leading media companies with offices in fifteen countries around the globe.  When his son Paul, who had started a wine import business, met Mark Herold in 2009 and immediate “love affair” developed and it didn’t take Paul long to persuade this father to bankroll what would become the Maze venture.

Maze 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 74.99  FREE SHIPPING on 6+
Use code MAZE upon checkout.

The 2012 Maze Cabernet is very impressive from start to finish.  Mark Herold pulled out all the stops for this one.  He sourced from some of Napa’s most amazing vineyards to craft this puppy.  The color is very intense and it shows on the nose. Powerful notes of crème de cassis, anise, chocolate and a touch of espresso jump out of the glass of this full-bodied wine. On the palate this rubenesque wine is complex, lush and flavorful, typical Mark Herold, yet extremely well-balanced and sophisticated.   The bold mid-palate of lush black current, chocolate and a touch of valley floor lead into a long finish with long grained, but silky tannins.  Robert Parker rated this wine 94 Points!

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Exquisite Napa White under $24

Kenefick Ranch Vineyards is owned by retired San Francisco neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas P. Kenefick, and his two children Caitlin and Chris Kenefick. In 1978 Dr. Kenefick acquired a 125-acre vineyard property next door to the Eisele Estate (Araujo). This vineyard was head pruned and dry farmed with old Italian varietals. Over the next 20 years these were replaced with Bordeaux varietals on vertical shoot positioning and drip irrigating for higher quality grapes. 95% of the grapes are sold to various wineries and only small quantities are produced from the estate.
Kenefick Ranch 2013 “Estate” Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
Retail 27.00 GGWC 23.99  FREE SHIPPING on 12+
Use code KEN13SB upon checkout
One of the most remarkable Sauvignon Blancs I have tasted the past couple of years. The wine is absolutely gorgeous from start to finish.  Stunning aromas of honeysuckle, bright orchard fruit, white flowers and a touch of spice jump out of the glass.  The wine is amazingly intense  with terrific acidity and bright fruit offered up in a great body that is rich, yet extremely well-balanced.  Stunning mouthfeel and a lengthy finish make for a picture perfect SB!
Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Top Notch under $44 Napa Cab

Le Pich is the culmination of several seasoned and determined wine professionals’ efforts to produce the finest Cabernet Sauvignon possible from the best estate vineyards in Napa Valley including Pritchard Hill all under the guidance of winemaker Julien Fayard (assistant winemaker at Lafite Rothschild, Dalla and Philippe Melka’s projects) and ace viticulturist Steve Matthiasson.  The production is minimal, so it will not be around for a long time!

Purlieu “Le Pich” 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 
Retail 48.00 – GGWC 43.99 FREE SHIPPING on 6+
Use CODE LEPICH upon checkout

This might be “FIND” of the month! Sourced from the To-Kalon, Pritchard Hill & Teucer vineyards.  Tthis wine offers a deep, rich purple color and amazing aroma and body.  A gorgeous nose of black currants and chocolate jump out of the glass.  The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with stunning flavors of dark fruits, black plum, espresso and chocolate that leads to an explosive finish.  The wine arouses you on impact with sweet subtleties that tickle your palate.  The wine, full in body, is very elegant yet explosive without being a tannic monster, although I would suggest to decant this for an hour or two, this wine will age gracefully for a good 15 years!

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!

Must have 2012 Syrah under $25

Karen Culler has been crafting great wines for 2+ decades now (Wolf, Culler, etc).  Her “value” label Casaeda has been lots of fun to work with.  She sourced this 2012 from two stellar vineyards (Dehlinger and Sawi).    Sawi is located at 1450 feet elevation and planted 15+ years ago to the Cote Rotie seletion of Syrah.  This is a late ripening vineyard, producing amazing fruit intensity, concentration due to its small berry size.  Dehlinger is somewhat the “First Growth” of the Russian River Valley (only 3 acres planted).

Casaeda 2012 Syrah Russian River Valley
Use code CAS12SYR upon checkout

A real crowd pleaser, this “Value” wine from Karen Culler.  Very classy wine!  This youngster offers great complexity and an abundance of fruit and flavors.   Floral, licorice,  peppery aromas jump out of the glass on impact.  A touch of bacon fat underlines this great clonal selection.   The wine is full in body with the right touch of acidity, a hint of sweet black stone fruit and savory touches make for a hard-to-resist wine.  Small production!

Click here or on the links above or call 415-337-4083 to order!