Herman Story descendant 3 barrel production

Giovanni Grandinetti worked his way up the wine ladder, learning the wine trade literally from the ground up.  He operated the crushpad, worked the vineyards, cleaned the barrels, etc.  But it was not until he started working for some smaller, boutique wineries that he found his passion – making wine.  He went back to school to expand his wine education and landed a job at Herman Story, where he is still the #2 guy behind Russell From.  Russell took him under the wings and guided him to his own label “Lost Blues”.Lost Blues 2013 “Walking Boss” Syrah Paso Robles
Retail 47.00 – GGWC 43.99
Use code LOSTBLUES upon checkout

This wine is a real stunner sourced from two amazing Paso Robles vineyrads (Terra Bella & Shadow Canyon).  This wine excels from the minute you pull the cork.  Gorgeous, bold aromas jump out of the glass upon impact.  This full-bodied youngster shows full-bodied richness with a silky and elegant texture.  The wine is loaded with intense black stone fruit, violets, and a touch of meatiness, anise and hints of dark chocolate.  This wine could benefit from a good decanting.  I’d suggest to open it in the morning when you brew your pot of coffee and enjoy at night, or double decant aggressively a good 2 hours before dinner.  This wine is hard to resist now and will only evolve into its next phase with some time in the bottle.  Only 3 barrels (70 cases) were produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Philippe Melka’s Hot New Cab-vaganza – Includes FREE SHIPPING!

When you have two of the best people in industry at the helm, you can only expect the best of the best.  Philippe Melka (winemaker) and Jim Barbour (vineyard manager extraordinaire) have turned the old Long Vineyards (remember this great vineyard site from some years ago?) into a top notch Cabernet producer.  Gandona(humble man in Portuguese) is rooted in tradition and a passion for transforming land into something extraordinary. It’s born from an estate that rests upon a sloping hillside high above the beauty of Napa Valley and Lake Hennessey – its vineyards, carved from the steep terrain and planted in four blocks, each possess their own distinct personality.

The site of Gandona Estate had its beginnings (just) a few years earlier, when in 1862 Daniel K. Dille homesteaded the property, located just downhill from Pritchard’s future home. California had just experienced the silver rush and Napa County had recently been formed. Here, Dille worked as a laborer and maintained the land. The property sold several times throughout the years until the Bob Long family purchased it in 1966 and planted the site’s first vineyard. In 1977, they entered the wine business in earnest and founded a small winery called Long Vineyards. Sandi Belcher (Arns) produced great Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a late harvest Johannesburg Riesling from the estate. In 2006, Manuel Pires and his wife, Cristina, purchased an estate on Pritchard Hill and began development of what would become Gandona Estate.

Gandona 2013 “Encosta” Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Pritchard Hill Napa Valley
Retail 98.00 – GGWC 94.99
Use shipping code ENCOSTA13 upon checkout

Encosta (“slope”) Cabernet Sauvignon originates from the steeply terraced hillsides of the Gandona Estate and its terra cotta-colored, volcanic soil.  The 2013 vintage is a wine celebrating the very soul of hillside fruit capturing the essence of the vine’s interaction with earth and sun. It opens with aromas of bright red cherry and cranberry with underlying notes of cassis and tobacco.  On the palate, the wine shows a juicy, full mouth feel reminiscent of fresh black and ripe cherries. Rounding out the mid-palate are finely grained, sweet mountain tannins that reveal a beautiful marriage between them and well integrated oak.  The lingering finish is laced with nuances of rich cocoa powder and supported by a strong acid backbone demonstrating a wine worthy of aging.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2013 Gandona Vineyards Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, is an all estate wine made by Philippe Melka. This wine is on a fast evolutionary track, with complex notes of cedar wood, licorice, blackcurrants and tobacco leaf, all from a medium-bodied wine with light tannin, luscious fruit and a delicious, supple mouthfeel. Drink it over the next decade.”

NFL Quarterback’s Hail Mary Cabernet

Rick Mirer, the former stand-out Quarterback at Notre Dame and NFL player with the Seahawks, 49ers, Raiders, Bears & Jets turned another longtime hobby into a profession – wine! This Mirror 2012 Cabernet is his ninth release and I would say the best-effort yet-to-date! His friend Jeff Smith (owner of Hourglass winery) did not need to convince him that there was life after the NFL (New Found Love). He was already a big Hourglass fan, and when they hooked up to discuss his future, Mirror was born – the rest, as they say, is history. The wines are made by Rob Lawson (Ghostblock). The name Mirror comes from the two St. Helena vineyards that “mirror” each other across the Napa Valley. The western half is just of Hwy 29, the eastern half perched above the Silverado Trail.

Mirror 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.99
Use code MIRROR upon checkout.

The aromas of this Cabernet Sauvignon are an ever evolving blend of dry rose petals, ripe blackberries, dark chocolate and baking spices. The palate offers layers of complexity – a soft, ripe entry of dark cherry with hints of leather followed by a concentrated core of ripe plum, highlights of vanilla, cinnamon and espresso beans.  The balanced acidity delivers a seamless harmony of fruit and rich tannins that integrate into a clean and long lasting elegant finish.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Grand Re-Opening and High-End Cabernet Tasting!

No need to drive to Napa in this stormy weather. Just come to Golden Gate Wine Cellars instead.

Check out our newly remodeled store, and experience a phenomenal selection of hard-to-find Napa Cabernets!


Join us TODAY from 1-5 PM
2337 Ocean Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94127
High-End Napa Cabernet Tasting
$15.00 per guest

Seven Barrel Exquisite Syrah by Pax Mahle

Pax Mahle has been at it for a few decades now.  It started out on the East Coast as a sommelier.  After taking a position as a wine buyer on the West Coast, it did not take long for the winemaking bug to hit him and that was the end of one career and the beginning of a very interesting new one.  The Barrel & Ink venture is unique as each varietal is made by a different winemaker. For instance their Cabernet is made by Aaron Pott.  Only 175 cases of this great Syrah were produced, which was sourced from two well-regarded vineyards Griffin’s Lair and Alder Springs, both sources of tremendous wines.

Barrel & Ink 2013 Syrah
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
Use code INK13 upon checkout

This wine explodes from the start.  Loaded with bright and bold blue and black stone fruit, a touch of lychee and fresh flowers jump out of the glass.  On the palate this youngster will blow you away with a Cote Rotie like quality and flavors of exotic fruit.  The Wine is rich, full in body and very complex awith layer upon layer of lush fruit that is well-refined.  The finish is long and complex and not too tannic for such a bold wine.  The 2013 Barrel & Ink is a blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Grenache. Sadly only 7 barrels were produced, so this wine will go fast!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Petite Sirah Stunner, 94 Points ONLY 5 CASES ALLOCATED!

The new wave of Petite Sirah winemaking going on these days is drawing attention and changing the way this grape is regarded. Surging forward is the recognition by winemakers, insiders, wine judges and critics that Petite Sirah is a time-tested noble grape that is truly deserving the status as a classic California varietal.  Robert Biale has been producing this varietal for years, and I would say that this might be the best one he has ever produced.

Robert Biale 2012 Petite Sirah Thomann Station, Napa Valley 
Retail 56.00 – GGWC 53.99
Use code BIALE upon checkout
OK to mix and match with Biale Zinfandel

Another great undertaking by Biale. The 2012 “Thomann Station”offers up dark, rich, concentrated fruit. The aromas are ripe black currents with hints of sweet vanilla. The palate has a soft entry with flavors of dark plum and currents that leads to a long supple finish.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “One of the classics from Biale is their 2012 Petite Sirah Thomann Station Vineyard, a vineyard that was planted and managed by the Martini family. The color of the 2012 is a dense ruby/purple, and the wine exhibits pure blueberry and black raspberry fruit, a full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning richness, depth, and intensity, and a majestic finish. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!


Over the past 25 years Kistler has been synonymous with Top Chardonnay, kinda the White Burgundy Grand Cru version of California.  Kistler wines sell for $100+.  The past 5+ years Jason Kesner has been at the helm of this much sought after winery. But did you say $100+?  I have good news Jason has been making his own wine for many years as well and it is “the” wine by the glass at Top Restaurants like Benu, French Laundry, etc.  He just released the 2013 Bacigalupi bottling from this equally famed Russian River Valley vineyard, at ½ the price of a Kistler bottling.

Kesner 2013 “Bacigalupi” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
Retail 66.00 – GGWC 62.99
Use code KESNER at checkout
mix & match OK with other Kesner Wines

This vineyard was one of THE SOURCES for the 1976 Paris Tasting!  That said, The 2013 Bacigalupi exhibits all of the markers of a perfectly balanced California Chardonnay. Soft floral tones and creme soaked pears with a hint of honeysuckle and a light chalky sense of minerality lift from the glass. Green and golden orchard fruits threaded with corn silk resonate through the body of the wine, which is luxuriously mouth filling yet poised, and held tight by the well integrated naturally occurring acids.

Also check out these other stunning Kesner wines. Mix & Match for FREE SHIPPING:
Kesner 2013 Chardonnay “Heintz Vineyard” Sonoma Coast
Kesner 2013 Pinot Noir “King’s” Russian River Valley

Click here or on the links above to order!

Chardonnay of the Month

Walter Hansel has become synonymous with great quality at a great price!  Year after year these wines seem to impress me and my clientele alike.  The first vines on the estate were planted in 1978 just a up the block from Kistler!  The actual winery did not start till 1996 when they produced 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 10 barrels of Chardonnay, and the rest as they say, is history!  Stephen Hansel (Walter’s son) had one of the best winemakers as his tutor (Tom Rochiolli) so it is no surprise that they are still putting out great wines decades later!  Cuvee Alyce is named for Stephen’s mom, Alice.

Walter Hansel 2013 Chardonnay “Cuvee Alyce” Russian River Valley
Retail 43.00 – GGWC 41.99
Use code WH13CA upon checkout

The 2013 Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce is loaded with lively fruit.  On the nose you’ll encounter gobs of apricots and bright passion fruit. Lush from start to finish and well-balanced with layers of fruit and acidity intertwined and gorgeous into a nice finish.  This might be the most finessed wine Hansel has produced to date!

Galloni 94 Points: “The 2013 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is a great example of the Hansel house style. Rich, textured and voluptuous to the core, the 2013 boasts stunning depth and pure resonance. Honey, white flowers, butter, orange blossoms and an element of exoticism on the creamy finish. What a gorgeous wine this is.

Parker 93 Points: “Named after Steve Hansel’s mother and my favorite of his Chardonnays, the 2013 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is made from the Hyde and Hudson selections of the Old Wente clone blended with Clone 95. It sees 40% new oak, and comes across as the richest, most intense of the Hansel Chardonnays. Clean, pure, white peach, honeysuckle and crème brûlée notes are followed by a touch of brioche and subtle oak. This is a beautifully crafted, medium to full-bodied, rich, stunningly proportioned wine to enjoy over the next 7-8 years.”

Golden Gate Wine Cellars is remodeling!

News Flash:

Golden Gate Wine Cellars is remodeling our store
to make it “earthquake safe.”

On TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY we are offering 10% OFF on ALL wines
in preparation for remodeling work.
Use code 
REMODEL10OFF upon checkout.
This code cannot be used with other discount codes.

The grand re-opening will be on Saturday January 23rd.
We will celebrate with a High-End Napa Cabernet Tasting 
that you will not want to miss!

FYI, All of my existing solid redwood wine racks are for sale!
If you are interested in sprucing up or expanding your wine cellar, be sure to call me ASAP!

Aaron Pott & Michel Rolland’s Inaugural hot new 2012 Cabernet

Jericho Canyon was created some 25 years ago by Marla and Dale Bleecher, but it was not until they hired “hot shot winemaker” Aaron Pott and the in-demand consulting winemaker Michel Rolland that the winery received some notice from the wine world.

From the Winemaker:  The Chimera is a mythical beast enjoying the wings of Pegasus, the body of a lion, the tail of a serpent, and the fire breathing head of a dragon. OurChimera is a proprietary blend harnessing the individuality and strengths inherent to each of our estate grown Bordeaux varietals; the result is a wildly imaginative, dazzling representation of the property.

Jericho Canyon 2012 “Chimera” Cabernet, Napa Valley
Retail 120.00 – GGWC 109.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more bottles
Use code JERICHO upon checkout
Benefitting from 2012’s near perfect growing season, Aaron Pott, & Michel Rolland gently guided the fruit for the inaugural Chimera into a flawless release.  The wine has an intense dark color with stunning aromatics of black cherries and blackberries jumping out of the glass accompanied by hints of fig, vanilla and a touch of dark cocoa beans. On the palate this complex wine serves up a dose of black stone fruit, figs, crème brulee and a whiff of cedar and earth.  The lush palate leads into a long intense finish with velvety-like tannins.