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.”

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!

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.

Tiny producer wins blind tasting

Our Tasting Group lined up an amazing lineup of hard-to-find Grenaches:

  • Carlisle (Rossi) 93 WS
  • Keplinger 93 WS
  • Saxum (James Berry) 93 WS
  • Outpost 93 Galloni
  • Alban 94 Galloni
  • Sanguis (Verve) 93 Galloni
  • Limerick Lane 94 Galloni
  • Samsara 93 Galloni
  • A Tribute to Grace 93 Galloni
  • Draognette (Sebastiano)


Two brothers (John & Steve Dragonette) teamed up with their good buddy Brandon Sparks-Gillis to pursue their live-long dream to make wine.  They gained valuable experiences at wineries like Sine Qua Non, Torbreck, Fiddlehead Cellars before they started this awesome venture.  Over the past couple of years the press has been (rightfully so) generous to these three great guys.  They source from some of the most sought after vineyards in Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills & Santa Ynez. This bottling was sourced 100% from John Sebastiano’s vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills.

Dragonette 2013 Grenache “John Sebastiano” Santa Rita Hills
Retail 44.00 – GGWC 39.99
Use code DRAG13GREN upon checkout

On the nose, this Grenache displays its cool climate origins, with high-register red fruits, such as ripe raspberry, strawberry and loganberry mingling with complex smoky earth notes, pine and herbal notes of fresh thyme, rosemary, mint, and oregano.  On the palate the wine is energetic and lively, as red fruits (strawberries, pomegranate) mingle with citrus notes of blood orange, orange peel and fresh herbs (thyme), anise and tar.  The wine has great lift from fresh tannins and ample, mouth-watering acidity and minerality (stones and seashells), and it finishes with great length and freshness.

Superb Pinot Noir

Originally making wines on California’s Central Coast, Ken Wright saw the unique potential for winemaking in Oregon’s Willamette Valley while visiting friends in the 1980s. The different terroirs reminded him of Burgundy, and he packed up his family, belongings and 10 barrels of wine, and moved there in 1986 to focus on vineyard designate bottling. Ken’s pioneering spirit led him to open Ken Wright Cellars in historic Carlton, Oregon, in the 1990s, where he produces many different single-vineyard Pinot Noirs to best convey the distinct characteristics of each location. His deep understanding and appreciation of the Oregonian geology have earned him a cult following.

Ken Wright 2014 Pinot Noir “Savoya” Yamhill/Carlton, Willamette Valley
Retail 63.00 – GGWC 59.99
Use code KENWRIGHT upon checkout.

This is a big, burly yet extremely elegant Pinot Noir.  Bold, bright deep red and black exotic aromas jump out of the glass. Reminding me of some Russian River DuMol wines.  This Savoya greats you with hints of spicy aromas of ripe blackberry, raspberry and strawberry jam notes on the lush palate. This youngster is loaded with bright fruit, good acid and a touch of subtle oak spices and a whiff of espresso beans and tobacco.  This wine evolves with time in the glass with even greater intensity on the long finish.

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

DuMOL 2014 Designated Vineyard Releases 94-96 Points!


With lower than normal production levels, and perhaps because of them, the 2014 DuMol releases are turning out to be quite spectacular! I would say that several of these may the best releases ever from this winery. Look for some rave reviews from the wine critics! And when a winery like DuMOL is in high-demand, you can bet that this means the allocation will sell out quickly.

DuMOL 2014 Chloe Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 95 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99
$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

This has been one of my favorites for years! The Chloe offers a brilliant pale yellow gold color. The wine is richly aromatic, with nectarine, orange marmalade, mango, and a subtle edge of fragrant lilies. On the palate the wine is broad with intense fruit richness, white peach, citrus oil, toasted nuts, almond paste, brioche. Real sense of thrusting power, but perfect balance between pulsating fruit and precise acidity. Lemon zest finish.

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Chloe Ritchie-Lorenzo Old Vines is one of the biggest, most voluptuous wines in the range, but like all of the Chardonnays, the 2014 has preserved notable acidity and freshness. Here it is the wine’s overall balance that truly stands out.”

Robert Parker 2013 Review 96 Points: “The 2013 Chardonnay Chloe, which comes from two great vineyard sources, the Ritchie and Lorenzo, was treated similarly in terms of its aging 12 months on its lees, then four months in tank. Good acidity buttresses a relatively full-throttle, big, rich, honeyed wine, with plenty of apple blossom, orange marmalade, and pineapple notes. There is some underlying minerality as well. This should also drink well for at least a decade.

Winemaker Notes: Orange blossom, orange marmalade, peach and nectarine, prosciutto and melon. Oyster shell freshness and wet stone minerals. Sweet and pliant fruit-filled palate. Real depth and extract. Honey and baking spice. The deep, deep flavors linger long on the layered rising whistle-clean finish. Great pedigree. Rich, broad and powerful fruit-driven wine with old vine sinew and a clean mineral spine. Lots of nuance and detail.”

DuMOL 2014 Clare Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 93 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

The Clare bottling showcases a brilliant pale straw color. The nose offers great aromatic purity of lemon, mineral, sea spray, green apple, mint freshness that opens to poached pear and toasted almond. A very intense stone fruit palate, oatmeal richness and nutmeg. Density builds in the glass, intense salty acidity and nice waxy/oily finish.  Very limited.

Anthony Galloni 93 Points: “The 2014 Chardonnay Clare Hyde Vineyard is an attractive wine, but it also comes across as a bit less complex than the other Chardonnays in the range. There is no shortage of depth or density, but the aromatics are a bit muted today. The Hyde went into tank with all of its lees, which, along with six months in tank, explains why the wine is not as expressive as some of the other wines in the range.”

Winemaker Notes: “Brilliant pale straw color with a green tinge. Explosive aromatics: lemon zest, white nectarine, geranium, spearmint, thyme and oyster shell. Great clarity and direct focus. Deep precise flavors. Mineral, stream bed and crisp apple. Dry, tangy and pulsating. Really opens up as it grows in the glass. Oatmeal and almond paste, body and richness. Weighty, broad deep savory finish, rising grapefruit character. Incredibly dynamic wine – mineral, tense and deep with building fruit richness. A livewire with long cellaring potential.”

DuMOL 2014 Isobel Chardonnay Russian River Valley – 94 Points
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 71.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

Brilliant pale gold color. Intriguing mix of savory and sweet aromas: pear, fennel, cut grass, crisp apple, lemongrass, quince, complex herbal notes. Generous palate entry, but quite delicate, round and mellow. Tangerine, lemon and almond. Lovely progression along the palate, subtle richness, but always vibrant pin-point acidity. Complex truffle/hazelnut finish.

Galloni 94 Points 2014: “DuMol’s Chardonnay Isobel Charles Heintz Vineyard is bright, focused and vibrant on the palate, with a real sense of energy that balances the inherent richness that is so typical of this site. Apricot, peach, chamomile, sweet floral and lightly tropical notes form an attractive fabric of aromas, flavors and nuances. This is a lovely showing. The window of picking at Charles Heintz was quite long in 2014 and stretched for nearly two weeks.”

Winemaker Notes: “Sea spray, green olive, cheese rind, freshly cut grass and sage aromas. Palate richness expands: citrus oil, white stone fruits and honey. Intense, mineral and precise. Fine interplay between botanical, floral and fruit elements – chamomile, white blossom and meyer lemon. Lovely balance and fine length. Subtle leesy texture builds density. Brisk finishing acidity. Long star anise/lemongrass finish. Beautiful, savory, focused wine with subtle depth and gradually evolving texture. Pinpoint coastal signature.”

DuMOL 2014 Pinot Noir “Aidan” Russian River Valley- 96 Points
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

The Aidan offers a medium dark ruby red color. The wine offers a bright, vibrant and high-toned aroma with great energy. Rainier cherry, fresh raspberry, pine needle, fragrant roses, a touch of iron. Classic coastal palate with explosive fruits: fresh raspberry coulis, huckleberry, bing cherry. Full-bodied, rich and satisfying, but always bright and juicy. Dusty cocoa powder, tobacco finish.

Anthony Galloni 96 Points: “The 2014 Pinot Noir Aidan Wildrose Vineyard is all about tension and energy. Beautifully chiseled throughout, the 2014 is loaded with the essence of dark red/purplish fruit, wild flowers, mint, cinnamon and crushed rocks. I very much like the verve in the 2014, a wine that is shaping up to be a real gem.”

Winemaker Notes: “Aromas of dark cherry and black raspberry, tobacco leaf, sweet cedar and grapefruit peel. Taut, focused and energetic palate entry. Soaring inner mouth fragrance and direct intensity. Succulent layers of pure deep dark cherry fruit. Graphite, tarragon and anise savory complexity. Building volume and deep structural presence. Pulsating acidity. Long aging potential – 10+ years. A sophisticated, classic fruit-driven wine accented by mineral and fresh herb notes.”

DuMOL 2014 Ryan Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 95 Points
Retail 96.00 – GGWC 89.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

Ryan is becoming the flag ship of DuMOL’s designated series. The 2014 vintage offers up a deep rose color, quite dark & brilliant.  The wine shows of complex floral and seasoned aromas of juniper, bay leaf, anise then wild berry sweetness, kirsch, sassafras and tobacco. The wine offers great power and dimension to the palate. It is rich, but never soft – a lean dynamic power. Boysenberry, maple, cocoa then mint and game. Fine tannin-acid balancing act. Fresh orange zest on the finish.

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “One of the many highlights in this lineup, the 2014 Pinot Noir Ryan Widdoes Vineyard offers notable depth and concentration. There is a real sense of gravitas to the Ryan, while a dollop of whole clusters (15%) adds aromatic intrigue, something that is so typical of Martino clone Pinots. Sweet red cherry and floral notes built to the intense, richly textured finish.”

Winemaker Notes: “Dark brooding fruit flavors: black raspberry and vineyard-typical black cherry compote. Anise, rosemary and mint leaf then smoked meat. Bold fruit entry, obvious concentration and density but always fresh and pure. Blackberry sweetness, rich and broad, palate-staining. Lingering cherry pit and bergamot tea finish. A powerful muscular wine with layers of deep fruit and classic Californian broad texture, but always nuanced, complex and fresh, never heavy or simple.

DuMOL 2014 Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – 95 Points
Retail 105.00 – GGWC 99.00

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

This is the eight “Estate” release. This bottling offers a brilliant deep rose color. The nose shows penetrating floral, fruit and seasoned aroma.  On the palate you’ll encounter black cherry and raspberry, fresh herbs, fragrant flowers, toffee and cocoa powder. Great vineyard purity with tightly entwined aromas and flavors. Dark fruits, earth, fresher blueberry, orange zest, a hint of black olive. Structured back end with lifting acidity and youthful tannins.

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “A wine of density and wound up energy, the 2014 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard is very tightly coiled at this stage. All the elements are there for the Estate to develop into a splendid Pinot with proper aging, especially if the wine finds a more refined register over time. Even so, the 2014 is attractive, if a bit monolithic next to the other wines in this range.”

Winemaker Notes: “Brilliance in the glass. Cranberry, pomegranate, rhubarb and black raspberry fruit. Bay laurel, graphite and tarragon complexity. Underbrushy and woodsy, edgy and intriguing. Savory entry, red currant and sassafras, Rainier cherry and dark cassis. Broad across the palate, density and weight. Clove, lavender and forest floor. Balances succulence and structure. Youthful acidity and fresh minerals extend the finish. Slower to open. This one will age. Really fascinating, commanding pinot – a beautiful mix of red and black fruits, savory elements and chewy tannins.”

DuMOL 2014 “Jack Roberts” Syrah, Russian River Valley – 96 Points
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 81.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

This 100% Syrah is sourced entirely from the Dutton-Gregoir vineyard.  The wine offers a saturated purple color; wonderfully intense high-toned floral aromas with sage, cracked pepper, bacon and blue fruit notes. Cassis, blueberry and blackberry liqueur dominate the palate with a swirling inner-mouth violet floral perfume. Great density and volume but also sleek, focused, long and elegant. Rich tannins and snappy acidity combine on a peppery youthful finish. Cellar for at least two years or decant before serving.

Anthony Galloni 96 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Jack Robert’s Run Estate Vineyard is super-refined and polished throughout. Almost Pinot-like in its personality, the 2014 is bright, focused and light on its feet. Sweet red stone fruit, wild flowers, mint, herbs and dried flowers are some of the signatures. In 2014, the Jack Robert’s Run is all class.”

Winemaker Notes: “Wildly aromatic, deep and vivid. Black and blue fruits, white and black pepper, sage and anise, thyme blossom, lilacs and violet. Blackberry liqueur and spicy plum compote palate, intense and broad. Great floral inner mouth perfume. Bold, succulent layers of billowing texture then dense, chewy, cocoa-dusted tannins, voluptuous and gripping. Rising, dominant fruit-filled finish. Cool climate Syrah of power and intensity, delicacy and concentration. Aromatic, fruit and savory elements in gorgeous harmony.

DuMOL 2014 “Eddie’s Patch” Syrah, Russian River Valley – 94 Points
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99

$0.01 (almost) FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code DUMOL during checkout

Mix & match with other DuMOL

The big boy “Eddie’s Patch” Syrah has a saturated purple color of dense and concentrated ripe dark fruits.  Out of the glass gobs of blackberry and cassis with menthol, tapenade, mineral and iron tones greet you with pleasure. The wine maintains a floral elegance and lifted aromatic character.  It has a bright red fruit entry, lighter than the nose suggests, then dark fruit compote but not heavy or too forward, truffle notes, pepper, thyme and sage. Rich tannins round out the finish and aromatic graphite notes linger. Always decant this big boy before serving, and let it breathe for an hour or two!

Anthony Galloni 94 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Eddie’s Patch Greywacke Vineyard is the first wine from a site that will inform this wine until Hoppe-Kelly comes back on line. Tasted from barrel, the 2014 Eddie’s Patch is deep, dense and noticeably sweet through the middle, all a reflection of this relatively warm site planted with Alban clone Syrah. Today, the 2014 is a bit raw and not fully put together. It will be interesting to see what more time in barrel brings.

Winemaker Notes: “Deep blueberry, blackberry and dark cherry fruit with bay laurel, pine needle, menthol and a resonant balsamic note. The aromas directly translate to flavors. Wintergreen complexity, charcoal and a strong volcanic iron quality.  Dark core of rich, full fruit. Walnut sweetness with dried herb freshness. Weighty and concentrated but wonderfully energetic. Plum skin tanginess on the mouth filling finish. There’s long term aging potential here. Complex, multi-layered wine with fine interplay between vintage-derived deep fruit core and vineyard signature soil-driven elements.”

Click here or on the links above to order!