Pinot Noir of the Month

Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1998 on an historic site in the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The old ranch property was first settled in the late 1800s. Wine grape cultivation had been started by French immigrants by the early 1900s and continued until 1965 when the property was sold by Justin Lacau, who had named the property “Frenchy’s Ranch”, to a timber company. By the 1990s, all that remained of the vineyards were redwood stakes and scattered vines hidden by brush and poison oak bushes.  Bradley Brown’s mission was to restore the historic vineyard site using modern, organic viticultural methods.  The entire property is now certified organic.

Big Basin 2013 Pinot Noir “Alfaro” Santa Cruz Mountains
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 56.99
Use code BB13PN at checkout

Robert Parker 94 Points: “A more pretty, elegant and seamless effort than the Lester Vineyard, the 2013 Pinot Noir Alfaro Family Vineyard is a rock star Pinot Noir that does everything right. Offering up classic red and black raspberry fruits, crushed flowers, peppery spice and wet rock like minerality, it’s perfectly balanced on the palate, with a lively, ethereal texture, vibrant, yet integrated acidity and a great finish. This is pure class, and while it saw a similar level of whole cluster inclusion to the Lester Vineyard Pinot Noir, it’s much more integrated here.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Napa’s First Growth White Bordeaux

In 1972 Jack and Mary Novak purchased the orginal “Spottswoode” property  In 1977, when Mary Weber Novak’s husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving her with five young children and a newly replanted vineyard, she became one of the first women to run a major Napa Valley winegrowing estate. In the years since, through her hard work, insight and perseverance, she has established Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Wineryas one of the valley’s great family-owned wineries and first growth-caliber properties.  The first commercial wine was produced in 1982 by Tony Soter (Etude & Soter wines).  Many other great winemakers have passed the review, all making highly rated wines from this great estate. Today the winery is run by the daughters Beth & Lindy.

Spottswoode 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa/Sonoma
Retail 42.00 – GGWC 39.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SPOTTSB at checkout

Made using grapes from a who’s who of the finest vineyards, including Hyde, Farina, Ink Grade, Pelkan and the Spottswoode Estate Vineyard, the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is a complex and richly textured wine, with vivacious acidity and dazzling aromas of white peach, passion fruit, lemongrass and wet stone. To accentuate its layered complexity, this blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Sauvignon Musque was fermented in a combination of small stainless steel barrels, new and neutral French oak and concrete “cuvees.” Regrettably, there is less of this exciting wine to go around this year due to lower yields in the vineyards all over the valleys.

Winemaker Notes: Fresh and juicy, with great complexity. A powerful wine that’s layered and textured with citrus and stone fruits filling the palate. Fresh pear and white peach mingle with passion fruit and lemon meringue. The mouthwatering vivacious acidity and complex subtle vanilla and creaminess gives great length to this impressive wine.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Happy Father’s Day


God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,
He called it … Dad

Happy Father’s Day!


Being regarded as a pioneer in her field was business as usual for Nan McEvoy. Her grandfather, Michael De Young (as in the The Young’s Museum), founded the San Francisco Chronicle in 1865 and Nan started there as a cub reporter (a rare position for a female at the time), gradually working her way up and eventually serving as Chairwoman of the Board from 1981 to 1995. When a director’s bylaw forced her into retirement at age 72, Nan set about doing what she does best—making things happen—and McEvoy Ranch was born. Always an activist with a spirit of adventure, she was an early member of the Peace Corps and John D. Rockefeller’s Population Council. Nan was named Food Artisan of the Year by Bon Appetit in 2003. Nan passed away in March 2015 at the age of 95, and the reins of McEvoy Ranch have since been taken into the very capable hands of her son Nion.

McEvoy 2012 “Evening Standard” Pinot Noir, Estate – Petaluma Gap
Retail $48.00 – GGWC 44.99
Use code MCEVOY upon check out

The 2012 McEvoy Pinot Noir “Evening Standard” is a wine of elegance and structure — a cool-climate coastal wine with a balanced, old-world style that embodies the pioneering spirit of Nan Tucker McEvoy. This vintage is brilliant ruby in color, with aromas of cherry, pomegranate and cranberry, along with notes of black plum, rose and a touch of anise. It’s full in body and lively in the mouth with flavors of complex red and black stone fruits, and anise, with additional savory notes and a slight touch of minerality. Ready to drink now and capable of aging many years.

Also check out the MCEVOY “ROSEBUD” ROSÉ

Click here or on the links above to order!

Blind Tasting Winning GSM

In a recent “Rhone Varietal” blind tasting my tasting group awarded Alta Colina with a solid first place. We tasted the following wines:
  • Herman Story GSM (94 RP)
  • Booker “Vertigo” (95 RP)
  • Frequency (93 AG)
  • Tenet (95 RP)
  • Big Basin (93 AG)
  • DuMOL “Eddie’s Patch” (95 AG)
  • Keplinger “Sumo” (94 AG)
  • Keplinger Fuego (95 AG)
  • Herman Story “On the Road (94 AG)
  • Herman Story “Nuts & Bolts” (95 RP)
  • Alta Colina GSM
Alta Colina received 9 out of 12 first, 2 out 12 second and 1 third place votes, ahead of Keplinger Fuego with 2 first, 6 second place votes and Booker Vertigo 1 first, 4 second place votes.


Since the 1970’s, Bob Tillman has looked for the site where he could plant a world-class vineyard. He didn’t find that property until he moved to the Central Coast of California and tasted Paso Robles wines. Finally, he and his wife Lynn knew they were in the place where they could produce the kind of wines they love to drink.  In 2000 they located this awesome hilltop property and the rest as they say is history!  Alta Colina has had five vintages and had great success among their customers.  I can tell you that the 2012 vintage will out perform the 2010 & 2011 vintage, but with the production so small and again some nice Robert Parker scores, you’ll have to hurry!

Alta Colina 2012 GSM “Estate” Paso Robles
Retail 52.00 – GGWC 49.99
Use code ALTA  at checkout

The Alta Colina GSM blend is traditionally dominated by Grenache, and the stunning 2011 is no exception. The blended wine offers a gorgeous and complex nose. Cherry, strawberry, and dried rose petal aromas combine with berry notes–leading to a bright, fruit-forward mouth. Smoky oak flavors emphasize the velvety tannins. The wine’s exceptional balance progresses nicely to a clean finish, both mineral and fruity.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “A beautiful wine that would stand nicely beside top quality Chateauneuf du Papes, the 2012 GSM (52% Grenache, 26% Syrah and 22% Mourvedre) was completely de-stemmed and spent 18 months in 67% new French oak (Syrah), 25% new French oak (Mourvedre) and 8% new (Grenache). It offers lots of wood smoke, plum, blackberry, olive and wild herbs characteristics in its plump, full-bodied, supple and sexy personality. While certainly a fruit-driven effort, it still has a pretty, elegant and lightly textured style and is always a joy to drink. Drink it anytime over the coming 7-8 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Forbes’ Winemaker To Watch!

Gavin Chanin, who was named one of FORBES’ “30 under 30” in Food and Wine, and the “Winemaker to Watch” by San Francisco Chronicle, began his winemaking career as a harvest intern at Au Bon Climat and Qupé, under the tutelage of winemakers Jim Clendenen and Bob Lindquist, working his way up to assistant winemaker at both labels. Taking the fall quarter off each year from his studies at UCLA to work harvest in California, Gavin also worked harvest in South Africa and New Zealand. He then the traveled extensively in Burgundy and Italy before returning to launch Chanin Wine 2007.
Retail  58.00 – GGWC 55.99
Use code CHANIN at checkout
Winemaker’s Notes: This wine displays classic Los Alamos characteristics of crushed red fruit, raspberry and ripe strawberry on the nose. As the wine opens up, aromas of leather and cinnamon add depth. There’s a very linear focus to this wine, with a refreshing, energetic mouthfeel and long finish. We expect this wine to age quite well, though it’s tasting great right now. Robert Parker 93 Points: “The 2013 Pinot Noir Los Alamos was my favorite of the Pinot Noirs and its transparent ruby color is followed by a beautiful bouquet of subtle strawberries, Asian spices and crushed flowers. Medium-bodied, perfumed and elegant, with a seamless, fine texture, it shines for its purity and class more than for power or richness. Aged 16 months in 10% new French oak, it’s a Pinot Noir with class that will drink nicely over the coming 4-5+ years.”
Click here or on the links above to order!

Hot New Napa Cab by 98 point winemaker

It started in 1914 when Eliza & Pads Peterson purchased a 100-acre property in the Napa Valley. It hosted a small Zinfandel vineyard, but with the onset of Prohibition in 1920, prunes became the cash crop. It remained an orchard, large vegetable garden and also hosted  numerous farm animals. Not until the 1990s was the orchard replaced by vines again. The current Peterson generation has been growing Petite Sirah, Cabernet and Merlot on the property. Under the guidance of ace-winemaker Robert Foley, the Petersons have been producing amazing wine from the property called “Switchback Ridge” named for the winding trails in the hills above the vineyard. Today Kelly Peterson continues the legacy that began with her great-grandfather, Mads 102 years ago. Her daughter Ashley is being groomed to take over the reins one of these days as well.Switchback Ridge 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 95.00 – GGWC 89.99
Use code SR13CS during checkout

A rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a beautiful expression of power and grace. Sweet black cherries and cassis aromas continue on the palate with a flood of mouth filling viscosity and gentle tannins. An incredibly lush mid-palate leaves an impression of berry, all-spice and chocolate covered cherries, leading to a long, velvety finish.

Robert Parker on 2012 (96 Points): “As difficult as it may be to believe, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard may be even better than the Merlot. Glorious notes of forest floor, blackcurrants, blackberries, mocha and espresso emerge from this full-bodied, majestically concentrated wine boasting an expansive, broad texture, stunning purity, a 50-second finish, enormous body, and no sense of overbearing, over-ripeness or heaviness. Alcoholphobes should not be concerned about the wine’s 15.5% alcohol content as there is not a trace of heat in the fresh flavors. Drink this beauty over the next 10-15 years.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Syrah of the month!

The Buoncristaini Winery was created by four brothers in 1999.  All four have been working for various high-end wineries in the Napa Valley, and continue to do so today, while devoting time to the “family brand”. Their goal is to make high-quality wine at palatable price point, and I say that they have been able to that with great success!

In a recent side-by-side tasting it beat out 4 other Syrahs – Carlisle “Sierra Mar” (94 RP), Alban Patrina (94 RP), Betz “Serenne” (96 RP), Ojai “Roll Ranch” (4 RP) and Buoncristiani.  The Winner = Buoncristiani!

Buoncristiani 2012 “Artistico” Syrah, Napa Valley
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 61.99
Use code BUON at checkout

The Buoncristiani 2012 Syrah was sourced from two of Napa Valley’s best vineyards  The 2012 blend was handcrafted from small lots harvested exclusively from the Buoncristiani block 1800 ft above sea level at Stagecoach Vineyards, and Larry Hyde’s Hyde Las Trancas Vineyard in Napa. Sourcing and blending Syrah from these ultra premium vineyards helps them create a profile of uncompromising quality.

Tasting Notes: Amazing Wine!  On the nose find wild blackberry, violet, blueberry, dark chocolate, white pepper, exotic spice, bright fruit and the Buoncristiani signatures of balance, depth on the mid palate, and a lengthy persistent finish. Seventeen months aging in 40% new French oak barrels rounded out the palate even further, while adding more texture, aroma, and flavor components. The Buoncristiani brothers created the series “Artistico” to fuse winemaking passion with other forms of art expression. The different vineyard and barrel components are blended in several phases creating optimum complexity while retaining balance, varietal character, and superior quality.

Click here or on the links above to order!

ZinSation of the Month

Gamba Vineyards is a small, family owned vineyard and winery in Sonoma County. The  110 year old 27 acre Gamba Estate Vineyard parcel rests on the Eastern edge of the beautiful Russian River Valley on gently rolling bench land above the valley floor. Planted to Zinfandel in 1900, the Gamba Estate Vineyard consists primarily of Old Vine Zinfandel, as well as small separate blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon. This organic and dry-farmed 35 acre vineyard is owned by Gus and Paulette Gamba. Guided by a family heritage of six generations of wine grape growing, it is a firm belief at Gamba that wines are made in the vineyard.
Gamba 2014 Zinfandel “Estate” Russsian River Valley
Retail 48.00 – GGWC 45.99
Use code GAMBA at checkout
A delightfully brilliant, dark ruby-garnet greets your eyes. Aromas in the nose offer a buoyant perfume of ripe cherry, raspberry compote, cocoa and sweet toasted oak. Full to medium bodied on the palate, with deep and vibrant flavors of black cherry, dark berry bramble fruit, black olive, and a cascading spice, are wrapped in lavish, creamy toasty oak, and framed by a proportionate balance of acidity. Mouthfeel is rich and decadent, with a silky polished texture, rounded out with glycerin-like seamlessness that gracefully dances with finely integrated tannins. Sensuous, layered flavors of dark berry fruit and compelling, sweet toasty oak persist in a long, enjoyable finish.
Click here or on the links above to order!

Mindboggling Merlot (Only 120 cases produced)


Yannick Rousseau was born in the Gascony region in the South-West of France known for its ‘French paradox’ of delicious, rich food, daily wine consumption and impressive longevity of the inhabitants. His life-long journey in wine and food started when he was 5 years old and drank his first glass of homemade wine with Pépé (his grandpa). Pépé hunted his own food, made his own wine, and was an artisan butcher. Every day, Yannick lived the simple life where his family took the time to enjoy their food, wines and the company of family and friends.

High a top Mt Veeder in the Napa Valley you’ll cross into Sonoma.  The appellation might change, but the soil and quality does not.  It is mountain grown, high-quality “stuff” – right by sources like O’Shaughnnesy, Kamen,  etc.  In the late 1800’s this area was known as the Cavedale Resort, a mineral hot spring, which was surrounded by farms – not too many trucks around in 1880 to drive from the valley with produce for the resort guests!  The resort closed in the early 1900’s and the area eventually became prime vineyard land!

Rousseau 2013 Merlot Cavedale Vineyard.  “Pépé” Moon Mountain
Retail 55.00 – GGWC 51.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use discount code ROUS upon checkout

This is a textbook wine.  Dazzling aromatics of black fruits and chocolate that are firm, ripe and expressive jump out of the glass. Grown on the western slopes of Mt. Veeder, this amazing MERLOT shows of and the color is a real indicator (dark purple hue).  Stunning and elegant on the mid-palate, this wine is loaded with nicely balanced red and black cherries, plum and a touch of roasted meat and black pepper. This wine rolls over the palate like a ballerina doing an arabesque. The finish is long and flavorful. Only 5 barrels (120 cases)!

Click here or on the links above to order!