87 Case Pinot Envy

Three Siblings (Robert RO, Michael MI and LILLY) make up ROMILILLY.  Producing wine from great vineyards is their motto. And the 2013 Vanderkamp was sourced from this amazing vineyard at 1400 feet elevation on the Sonoma Mountains.  The vineyard was originally planted for Sparkling Wine, but its history goes back centuries.  The Miwoks dub this mountain  “The House of the Moon”

Romililly 2013 Pinot Noir “Vanderkamp” Sonoma Mountain
Retail 50.00 – GGWC 45.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code ROMILILLY upon checkout

The grapes for the 2013 RoMiLilly Vanderkamp come from 2 blocks on the vineyard.  One is a “suitcase” clone from the famous Burgundy LA TACHE vineyard (you might have heard stories that vintners would smuggle vine clippings from famous properties and then propagate them) and Clone 828 a hardy and highly aromatic clone.  The wine has a beautiful licorice red tone and a gorgeous aroma of honey-branded cherries, holiday spice and anise.  On the nose you are greeted by gamey, spicey and bing cherry notes which are typical for this vineyard. On the palate, this well-made youngster offers up an array of carmalized apple notes, vanilla and marsaschino cherries.  The wine’s texture is silky soft but is loaded with bold flavors that linger into a linger fine grainy tannin finish.  Sadly only 87 cases of this wine were produced, so it will go fast!

Click here or on the links above to order!

A Specatcular White by the Scarecrow Winemaker

The Kelly Fleming Estate is located next door to Napa collectible Araujo on Pickett Road in Calistoga. The estate might be 300 acres, but only 12 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, while the other 288 acres are its own natural wildlife preserve.  Planted in 2002, this winery is slowly but surely turning into a “who is who” in Napa.  Add “star” winemaking consultant Celia Welch, and the key to success is there!  Only a few hundred cases each of Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc are produced each year, so my advice – jump on it now!  FYI: Kelly is married to famed restaurateur Paul Fleming, creator of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse restaurants.

Kelly Fleming 2014 Sauvignon Blanc “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 35.99
Use code KF14SB

This expressive and fresh wine entices with aromas of honeydew melon, grapefruit, and ripe pear. The palate entry is coating and viscous yet there is a vibrant, mineral-driven acidity that focuses the wine from entry to finish. Flavors are bright and floral, perfumed with white flowers, peach cream and lime zest.  A hint of spice adds depth and complexity to this pretty, aromatic white wine.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Stand in Solidarity

We are terribly saddened by the terrible events that unfolded in Brussels today. Our hearts go out to those who lost their loved ones and to all of Belgium.
My flight yesterday was delayed, but I am still traveling as planned to be with my family and show solidarity with our Belgian families, friends, and clients. Fortunately, my family is safe. My brother-in-law was on the subway when the attack happened but he is unharmed.

Stay strong Belgium, the US is on your side!


96 Point Cabernet Gem by Thomas Rivers Brown

The vineyard dates back to the days of Robert Louis Stevenson – Foremost among the books about the lore of Napa Valley is “The Silverado Squatters” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  In the passage above from this book you found the name for the winery, THE GRADE Cellars.  As he “entered on ‘the grade’ ” Stevenson describes the vineyard location at the beginning of the Old Toll Road outside the small town of Calistoga.  The vineyard is located in the northern Calistoga District of the upper Napa Valley where the lower volcanic slopes of Mount Saint Helena rise out of the Valley’s alluvial floor.  This confluence of geologic landscapes, combined with the unique micro-climate of the upper valley, create a terroir ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown (Schrader, Revana, Pulido Walker, Post Parade etc. – Winemaker of the Year) does not need any intro, as his name is synonymous with perfect, amazing, stunning, outrageously good wines, including the latest: The Grade Winfield.

The Grade 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Winfield” Napa Valley
GGWC 109.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 bottles or more
Use code GRADE upon checkout

The wine offers an opaque purple color with ruby edges.  On the nose you are greeted with purple flowers, cocoa, cedar and a touch of spice. The wine is mouth coating, lush, dense and chewy, with bold flavors of black plum, black cherry and dark chocolate. Great grip and texture, with fine tannins. A fantastic Cabernet!

Galloni 96 Points: “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is just as fabulous as it was last year. Nuanced, chiseled and finely cut, the 2013 possesses remarkable precision throughout. White pepper, flowers and mint add a super-appealing upper register that balances some of the wine’s darker leanings. This is a fabulous showing from The Grade.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

French Laundry’s favorite UNDER $50 White by Luc Morlet


Luc Morlet has been on a roll as of late, and this latest venture “Cabaud” is just one of the many accolades this great winemaker can add to his portfolio.  Luc who was born in France, but is best known for his success at Peter Michael Newton, Staglin, Carte Blanche, Linked, his own Morlet label and of course the Cabaud Wines.

Passionate for both the expression of the various California terroirs, as well as the continuous pursuit of the ultimate quality, Luc calls his winemaking philosophy “neo-classical laissez-faire without compromise.” His is a non-interventionist winemaking style driven by an ongoing search for quality improvement. With over two decades of vintages under his belt (he worked 9 years in France, before coming to California), and with his own zest for innovation, Luc uses century old principles and classic Burgundy and Bordeaux methods, while adapting to California’s natural conditions.

FYI: Meadowood and French Laundry both feature this amazing Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion blend. This wine is very similar to the Peter Michael L’Apres Midi and Morlet’s own Proportion Doree (which all received big scores!)

Cabaud 2013 White Blend “La Brume de la Mer”
Retail $50.00 – GGWC 46.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code CAB13W upon checkout

A Classic Sauvignon Blanc with a French nose and a new world mouth feel. This beautiful wine is mineral driven with hints of honey suckle, citrus oil and oyster shell. On the mid-palate you’ll encounter flowers and tropical flavors that are layered between a great body with just the right touch of acidity showing of its freshness and lively character. The finish is full bodied with seamless character.  The wine is sourced from the same vineyard as the Morlet Proportion Doree.  Only 1 cluster per shoot, so amazing concentration here!

Click here or on the links above to order!

Killer Dave Phinney Cabernet Gem

Jim Kaplan’s winery Aftermath (AFTER MATH) is a story of Math Professor turned Winery Owner, the story of what he is doing “After Math”

Jim Kaplan has a phD in Applied Mathematics and was a professor at Northwestern and Boston Univeristies.  A consulting gig morphed into an investment advisory business, JL Kaplan Associates which grew to manage $5.3 Billion! He sold the business to Wachovia in 2002 and started another business Cubic Asset Management, which he still runs today.  In the meantime, his hobby wine turned into a real winery venture.  He purchased an amazing 15 acre vineyard in the Silverado Bench roughly 200 feet above the valley floor. Only 8 acres are planted to Cabernet and a small amount of Petit Verdot.

His winemaker Dave Phinney does not need an intro, as his name resonates quality for many years now.  His viticulturist is Steve Matthiasson, probably one of the most sought after vineyard managers guys like Dave Abreu and Jim Barbour.

The first vintage 2011 was probably one of the best 2011 from Napa!  The 2012 sadly “collapsed” in the Napa earthquake.  But luckily the 2013 was saved, and what a wine it is!

Aftermath 2013 Cabernet “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 75.99
Use code MATH upon checkout

This 100% Estate-grown Cabernet offers up an amazing bouquet of classic dark Cabernet fruit that jumps out of the glass upon impact.  This 2013 youngster is lush, full in bodied and surprisingly well-balanced.  The wine is multi-layered loaded with gorgeous black currant, dark chocolate, a whiff of anise, cassis and a touch of spice on the opulent palate.  Extremely well-balanced and in-sync wine that will please the big Cab lover.  This is a killer wine, but unfortunately a very limited production.

Click here or on the links above to order!

95 Point/4 Barrel Pinot Sensation

Waits Mast is a husband and wife Pinot Noir venture that started in 2000 when two Pinotphiles decided to start their own venture. Under the guidance of their consulting winemaker Shalini Shehkar (Roar, William Selyem)  and the staff at Roar they started production of their own label, and the rest as they say…. is history.

Waits Mast Pinot Noir 2012 “Deer Meadows” Mendocino
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 54.99
Use code WMPN12 upon checkout

The best word to describe this wine is exotic. Wonderful floral and damp earth aromatics integrate with a slight caramel edge and Asian spice on the nose. The palate is brisk with bright cherry, orange peel and coriander. Intense red cherry and great acidity punctuate the finish. With such great structure, the wine will unfold after a few hours after being opened; with bottle aging, it will develop even more complexity over time.

Wine Spectator 95 Points: “This full-bodied wine has a treasure trove of flavor complexity and great balance. The color is a deep red with an auburn rim. Aromas present a fascinating medley of cherry, black tea, rhubarb and pine forest, while the flavors weave together ripe Bing cherry, crisp raspberry and subtle Asian spices. It’s delicious, and best to drink after 2017.

Click here or on the links above to order!


Steve Rasmussen, the longtime winemaker at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande (Santa Barbara), has been a big fan and friend of the band Foghat for years when they decided to launch their own label “Foghat Cellars”.  Foghat drummer and founder Roger Earl and his wife Linda play an active day to day role in the winery as well, so it is more than just a name. They help with the growing and picking, and adding a classic spirit, while Steve sources fruit from some well-regarded vineyards and turns them into well-priced and delicious wines. 

Foghat Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Halter Ranch Paso Robles
Retail 29.00 – GGWC 26.99
Use code FOGHAT upon checkout
Can mix and match with Foghat Pinot Noir

The 2012 Foghat Cabernet has a dark ruby color with tantalizing aromas of dark chocolate, cinnamon, espresso beans and black cherries, leading to a concentrated palate of blackberry, black raspberry and cassis. The tannins are fine grained and velvety, providing a full bodied wine with a lingering finish of baking spices, vanilla and black cherry. Well balanced and delicious, this Cabernet is perfect for your summer BBQ or your winter beef stew. It should drink well for the next 5-7 years.!

Foghat Cellars Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley
Retail 30.00 – GGWC 26.99
Use code FOGHAT upon checkout
Can mix and match with Foghat Cabernet

The Foghat Pinot Noir is a bold, rich and layered and complex Pinot Noir. Hints of earthiness, a whiff of spice gorgeous red stone fruit with floral aromas accentuating this latest release. Medium to full in body, great finish!

Make sure to check out Foghat on the Stephen Colbert Show –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV76aZE5OI8&feature=youtu.be

Click here or on the links above to order!

RIP to a dear friend

Dear Friends,

It was with sadness in my heart to let you know that Sue Pey co-owner of Textbook, Pey-Marin and Spicerack wineries passed away on March 1.
Sue and I have been friends for 20 years.  We were tasting partners for the San Francisco Chronicle Tasting panel in the mid 1990’s for many years.
Sue was an amazing individual! A great person, a great wife and mother and a winery owner I loved to work with every day.
Sue leaves behind her husband Jon and three daughters Lauren, Alex and Cameron.
The Pey Family requested not to bombard them with emails, calls or social media.
My heart goes out to the Pey and Korol Families.
My Sincerest Condolences,
Frank Melis