Holiday gift selections!

95 Point Rated Chardonnay of the Month

 
Farming 51 acres of rugged vineyard in the mountains of the Sonoma Coast is no small feat. Doing it organically, while running off of solar power and all bio-diesel equipment makes it even more amazing. Not surprisingly, this level of commitment to excellence is every bit reflected in the amazing quality of the Peay Wines!

The 2015 Peay Chardonnay scored highly in all of its reviews and I think that it will score highly with you as well. Here’s what the winemakers had to says about it.

“With 17 years of vine age and a moderate growing season our Estate Chardonnay has evolved into a mature, nuanced expression that Peay Chardonnay drinkers will thoroughly enjoy. The ultimate impression of the 2015 Estate Chardonnay is grace and harmony. The nose emphasizes candied lemon, lemon verbena, and iodine. The mouthfeel is medium and silky though lively and decidedly not fat. The 2015 is truly a seamless Chardonnay with a smooth transition from the front of the palate to the long finish. It is not as round and rich as the 2009 or 2012 Estate Chardonnays and has less smokiness than the 2013 and less pear fruit than the 2014. Feel free to enjoy it now as all the pieces are in unison but with each year aging in bottle I suspect more nutty and waxy notes will contribute further complexity and enjoyment. This is my favorite Chardonnay we have released to date.“

Peay 2015 “Estate” Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 62.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code PEAY during checkout

Anthony Galloni 95 Points: “The 2015 Chardonnay Estate is laced with the essence of slate, stone fruit, mint and white pepper. Bright, sculpted and nuanced, the 2015 screams with class. The 2015 deftly manages to be rich and intense, but not at all heavy. A hint of reduction adds nuance without being overpowering.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Moderate to heavy drinkers more likely to live to 85 without developing dementia!

Moderate to heavy drinkers more likely to live
to 85 without developing dementia!
BY GARY ROBBINS, The San Diego Union-Tribune

The University of California, San Diego claims in a new study that certain people who regularly consume moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol are more likely to live to 85 without developing dementia and other cognitive problems compared to people who don’t drink at all.

The long-term study was largely based on white, middle-class men and women living in Rancho Bernardo, a master-planned community in San Diego County.

The paper was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and is the latest in a series of mostly non-definitive studies that examine how everything from genetics to diet to environment factor in to the development of dementia.

The new UC San Diego paper says, in part, that “Moderate and heavy drinkers had twofold higher odds of living to age 85 without cognitive impairment relative to non-drinkers.”

In a statement, the university said that, “By its (federal) definition, moderate drinking involves consuming up to one alcoholic beverage a day for adult women of any age and men aged 65 and older; and up to two drinks a day for adult men under age 65.

“Heavy drinking is defined as up to three alcoholic beverages per day for women of any adult age and men 65 and older; and four drinks a day for adult men under 65. Drinking more than these amounts is categorized as excessive.”

The study, led by neuroscientist Linda McEvoy, focuses heavily on alcohol consumption, but it contains an important qualifer:

The university said the study “does not suggest drinking is responsible for increased longevity and cognitive health. Alcohol consumption, particularly wine, is associated with higher incomes and education levels, which in turn are associated with lower rates of smoking, lower rates of mental illness and better access to health care.”

UC San Diego studied 1,344 older adults between 1984 and 2013. All of the participants had some degree of college education, the university said.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving
 Thanksgiving is more than the festivities. It gives us time to ponder upon the lessons we learned over the year and how we can spread happiness around. It gives us time to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. This year, through all its ups and downs, I can’t begin say enough how grateful I am for the support and friendship I receive from each of you, both in business and in my personal life.

As I was pondering how to make this year’s Thanksgiving message a little different one of my children shared with me this short poem. Although it may be unconventional I hope it will bring a smile to your face and spread a little happiness too.

May your stuffing be tasty. May your turkey be plump,
may your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious, and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs!

From all of us here at Golden Gate Wine Cellars, I want to extend a special greeting of Thanksgiving to express to you our sincere appreciation for your confidence and loyalty. We are deeply thankful and send you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day.

2105 Carter Cellars new releases now in stock!!

 
The much anticipated releases of the 2015 Carter Cellars wines are finally here!

But the stock is extremely limited. As you might know, 2015 was the worst year in regards to output (yield) in California. Many were down 60+%, so that means that much less for me.  To make everyone happy, I have a very limited selection of Carter Cellars wines.

You can order up to 2 bottles each Grand Daddy and Three Kings (mixed OK), but we need to augment a little by adding some Carter Vineyard, Weitz, Fortuna or Colliseum Block so we have a “six-pack”.

On a mixed six-pack I will pay the freight (Continental US Ground Shipping only).

Quantities are extremely limited. Do NOT place your order on my site, please email frank@ggwc.com, or call (415)337-4083 directly.

Kindest Regards,
Frank

Carter Cellars 2015 Cabernet ~ Beckstoffer To-Kalon “Three Kings” 97 Points
$169.99 NET

Robert Parker 97 Points: “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon The Three Kings is a little broody at this youthful stage, offering relatively subdued blackberries and black plum notes with earth and truffles suggestions plus cigar box, black pepper and new leather. The palate is a somewhat different story, filling the mouth with exuberant earth, black fruit and spice box layers, supported by plenty of lively acidity and a firm, grainy backbone, finishing long.”

Winery Notes: “From the back of the Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard, this wine throws off an amazingly deep ruby color tinged with an vibrant purple hue. Boasting off-the-charts richness and a stunningly majestic perfume of black, blue and red fruits, it is a successful expression of Cabernet Clone 7 from the world class vineyard. With its fruit forward profile, the wine opens up immediately with floral aromatics mixed with dark currants, spices and blue/black fruit. The mid palate is bold, loaded with rounded tannins that seem perfectly embedded within the core of this wine. Seamless and loaded with waves of decadent Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, this wine once again borders on stunning. While drinking superb now, give this beautiful wine a few years in the cellar to round out and you’ll be rewarded by additional nuances for years to come.”

Carter Cellars 2015 Cabernet ~ Beckstoffer To-Kalon “The Grand Daddy” 96+ Points
$169.99 NET

Robert Parker 96+ Points: “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard The Grand Daddy features expressive cassis, blackberry tart and mocha notes with hints of pencil shavings, tilled soil and charcuterie plus a touch of menthol. Full-bodied, concentrated and laden with earthy-accented black fruits, it has a velvety texture, a hint of pepper and an herbs lift on the finish.”

Winery Notes: “From the very front of the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, this block produced exceptional wines in 2015 due to exceptional farming, perfectly balanced cropping and significant hang time. Year after year, these older clone 4 vines offer our most upfront, instantly appealing and massive wine from this vineyard. Blackberry fruits, licorice, and truffle mingle to create a lavish multi-layered wine, offering an enormous mid-palate buttressed perfectly by the wine’s natural acidity and gripping tannins. Offering a unique amount of ripeness and texture, this is an elegant wine wrapped up in a cloak of raw but refined power. While drinking great now, allow this wine to age and watch it reach its full potential.”

Carter Cellars 2015 Cabernet “Weitz” 97 Points
$149.99 NET

Robert Parker 95+ Points: “Deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Weitz Vineyard has a decadent nose of plum preserves, blueberry compote and dried mulberries with touches of Indian spices, sandalwood, lavender and cloves. Full-bodied, soft, sexy and seductive with its come-hither spicy berry preserves layers and plush tannins, it finishes on a persistent exotic spice note.”

Winery Notes: “From high up on the eastern Oakville Bench and renown for its red volcanic soil, this translucent purple wine opens with signature scents of red and black berry fruits, cassis and crushed petals. This year the wine has a fleshy opulent mouthfeel matched with notably plush tannins and natural acidity. Considerable depth and fruit will continue to develop as the structure starts to integrate with bottle age and bring tremendous purity and allure. Decanting a few hours will benefit this wine for early drinking; cellar for 5-10 years to enjoy this wine in its prime.”

Carter Cellars 2015 Cabernet “Carter Vineyard” 94+ Points
$159.99 NET

Robert Parker 94+ Points: “Inky purple-black colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Carter opens with alluring chocolate box and mocha notes over a core of blackberry pie and crème de cassis with spice box and tapenade hints. Full-bodied, concentrated and packed with black berry and savory layers, it has a firm frame of grainy tannins and a very long, spicy finish.”

Winery Notes: “This low production 100% blend of Cabernet Sauvignon comes from hand selected fruit out of our best vineyards. This is a classically young Napa Bordeaux in both structure and restraint, and while delicious in its youth, should be cellared to afford ideal integration. Boasting an inky purple color and virtually everything you would want in a great Cabernet Sauvignon, including dense flavors of blackberries, graphite and mocha all dressed in well-integrated oak profile. On the nose, fresh lively fruit dances with minerality and spices to make a signature profile that will only improve with age and be the definition of a classic Carter wine displaying both power and finesse.”

Carter Cellars 2015 Cabernet “Fortuna Vineyard” 94+ Points
$94.99 NET

Robert Parker 94 Points: “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Fortuna Block opens with dried mint, dark chocolate and fertile loam notes over a core of cassis, black cherries and warm black plums plus hints of garrigue and dried Mediterranean herbs. Full-bodied and full-on expressive in the mouth, it delivers tons of fruit contained by rounded tannins and just enough freshness, making for a wonderfully approachable and delicious wine even at this youthful stage.”

Winery Notes: “The 2015 wine from the Fortuna Vineyard is a true expression of a great Napa Valley Cabernet from the Oakville floor – a wine that exudes both depth and the concentration. This extraordinary wine offers up inky jam colored hue with wonderfully sweet notes of beautiful red and black fruit, matched with a tannic backbone, silky palate and full-bodied finish.”

Carter Cellars 2015 Cabernet blend “Hosself Colisuem” 94+ Points
$84.99 NET

Robert Parker 94 Points: “Very deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Hossfeld Coliseum Proprietary Red (composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) leaps from the glass with plum preserves, crème de cassis and dark chocolate notes plus hints of menthol, black cherry preserves and Indian spices. Full-bodied, soft, rich and sexy, this makes for a gorgeous taste of the vintage to enjoy right now, while you’re waiting for its big brothers to come ’round.”

Winery Notes: “Brilliant deep crimson colors are met by aromas of crushed dark cherries, briary fruits, and violets. The abundant natural acidity derived from the vineyard coupled with a concentrated extraction, frames an amazing midpalate that highlights ripe red fruits, cocoa and chocolate. The complex and layered finish is wrapped in ripe, lush tannins that showcase the best traits of a Merlot and Cabernet blend. Year after year this proves to be a very stunning wine.”

Quantities are extremely limited. Do NOT place your order on my site, please email frank@ggwc.com, or call (415)337-4083 directly.

Champagne Selections for the holidays

 

 

As the holiday season is in full swing, I needed to make sure there will be some SPARKS in your end-of-the-year festivities so I put together a few “bubbly” suggestions for you to choose from. And for those of you who like to make a bigger bang into the New Year, I also have some large format bottles!

Click here or on the links below for the tasting notes and pricing.

Use the code BUBBLY during checkout for FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more of ANY of the following!

My best selling Champagne below $35.00
MONTHUYS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT, 750ML

My best selling Rose Champagne
DIEBOLT VALLOIS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT ROSE

My best DOMESTIC bubbly (any bit as good as the French “stuff”
EN TIRAGE 2010 BLANC DE BLANCS, BECKSTOFFER CARNEROS

My best selling Champagne below $45.00
GONET-MEDEVILLE 1ER CRU CUVEE TRADITION

One of the best vintage Champagnes to date, and an Exclusive, only available in California!
CAZLAS, 2009 LA CHAPELLE DU CLOS, GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANCS CHAMPAGNE

Also check out these other amazing bubbly suggestions:

CLOTILDE BRUT “GRAND-CRU” CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE
ANDRE ROBERT CHAMPAGNE BRUT “RESERVE” GRAND CRU, BLANC DE BLANCS, LE MESNIL
STEPHANE COQUILLETTE CARTE D’OR BRUT CHAMPAGNE
DIEBOLT VALLOIS NV CUVEE PRESTIGE BLANC DE BLANC

Click here or on the links above to order!

Michelin awards several Napa and Bay Area Restaurants 3 STARS!

Michelin awards several Napa and Bay Area Restaurants 3 STARS!
By Diane Peterson, The Press Democrat

After a delay due to the North Bay wildfires, Michelin on Wednesday announced its star selections for the 2018 Michelin Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country, with 11 restaurants in Wine Country snagging a total of 16 stars.

For the North Bay, the biggest winner was newcomer Single Thread in Healdsburg, which was one of seven restaurants to snag two stars. The high-end restaurant, opened by chef Kyle Connaughton in early December, 2016, offers a prix fixe tasting menu inspired by Japan kaiseki dining and Sonoma farm-to-table cuisine.

Both The French Laundry in Yountville and The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena maintained their coveted three-star status. Among the five other three-star restaurants, the only newcomer was Coi of San Francisco, a quirky, fine dining restaurant in North Beach run by Chef Matthew Kirkley.

There were eight Wine Country restaurants that garnered one star. This year’s newcomer was the authentic Japanese restaurant Kenzo of Napa, opened in November 2016 by Kenzo Estate owners Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto. Solbar, located at the Solage Resort in Calistoga, lost its one-star status.

The 2018 Michelin Guide encompasses the North, South and East Bay as well as San Francisco. This year’s 67 Bib Gourmand winners, awarded to restaurants offering high-quality food and good value, were announced earlier this month. Nine of the 67 Bib Gourmand restaurants were in Sonoma County, and six were in the Napa Valley.

Here are this year’s Michelin star winners:

THREE STARS
Benu, San Francisco
Coi, San Francisco
The French Laundry, Yountville
Manresa, Los Gatos
Quince, San Francisco
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena
Saison, San Francisco
___

TWO STARS
Acquerello, San Francisco
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Baumé, Palo Alto
Californios, San Francisco
Commis, East Bay
Lazy Bear, San Francisco
Single Thread, Healdsburg

If you have been so fortunate to have dined recently at one of these fine establishments, or even if you haven’t yet, Golden Gate Wine Cellars carries many of the best local wines that are found on most of their wine lists! We can have a case shipped out to your home to make the experience last even longer! Be sure to give us a call at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com if you need any personal recommendations.

French Laundry & Saison’s Top Cabernet by Thomas Rivers Brown

For the past few years, The Hobels & Thomas Rivers Brown had been searching for a new vineyard to add to the lineup, looking for a unique vineyard that would allow them to produce a wine that would rival the quality and balance of their original Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon from the Engelhard Vineyard.  They finally found a wonderful match with the R.M. Kennedy Vineyard, a beautiful hillside vineyard located in Calistoga.

Hobel 2015 “The Figure” Cabernet Sauvignon
Retail 115.00 – GGWC 109.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code HOBEL during checkout

The 2015 Hobel “The Figure” is a voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon that has a spicy layered nose of vanilla extract, plums, cherries, toasty vanilla, rose petals and turned earth. The wine is juicy, rich and silky, with loads of glycerin. While it is easy to drink now, the depth of the materials promises great evolution.  Only 6 barrels were produced.

Winemaker Notes:  “Whereas the 2013 vintage was marked by its tannin profile and 2014 by its transparency of underlying terroir, 2015 is marked by the generosity of fruit.  Yields were down dramatically in 2015. First, cooler than normal weather during flowering and fruit set limited the berries per cluster. Second, dehydration at the end of the growing season due to the high temperatures further reduced cluster weights. Being just our second vintage from this vineyard, we made some farming adjustments in 2015 to help achieve better balance and structure. Like its 2014 predecessor, this wine is dense and really shows the vintage’s concentration.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Kosta Browne Winemakers’ HOT NEW “VALUE” Pinot

 

Entering the wine industry less than 16 years ago as a harvest intern, Shane Finley has literally started at the bottom and worked his way to the top. After spending several seasons as an intern in California, Australia, and the Northern Rhône, Shane became Cellar Master at Copain Custom Crush. While there he had the opportunity to work closely with many notable winemakers including at Dumol, Carlisle, Pisoni Estate and Copain. He later took positions as Assistant Winemaker for Paul Hobbs Winery and then Associate Winemaker at Kosta Browne Wines, eventually head winemaker and now also winemaker at Dan Kosta & Emeril Lagasse’s “Alden Alli” wine venture.

Shane 2015 Pinot Noir “The Charm” Russian River Valley
Retail 47.00 – GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SHANE during checkout

Showy and structured, the 2015 La Reine Pinot Noir exhibits an inky garnet color in the glass. It is a hedonistic Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir filled with brambly fruits and effusive spice.  Subtle blueberries, plum skin, and cardamom highlight its heady aromatics.  Firm tannins and notes of lavender, Asian spices, and cranberry support the wine’s core. The lingering finish unfurls with hints of sandalwood, ripe cherry, cola and toffee.

Winemaker Notes:La Reine has the structured core and delicate fruits of its predecessors. This years’ rendition is one-hundred percent old vine Martini clone planted in 1971.  La Reine balances Pinot Noir’s purity of fruit and seductive savory elements. Aged in fifteen percent new French oak for fourteen months, with twenty-five percent whole cluster inclusion, the 2015 La Reine is a wine with a firm backbone, juicy acidity, dark fruits and spice.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

NEWS FLASH: Wine Pirates invade the Napa Valley!

Not fake, you read it right – Pirates have invaded the Napa Valley.  Although only a small section of Napa was captured, I am happy to report that Heidi Barrett fought them and was able to fight off the savage invaders.  But it was here that she created the idea of making a “Pirate” style wine, or in English “out-of-the-box”…

Heidi Barrett does not need any intro, but for those who do not know her – she is “Lady” Napa Valley, even better the “Queen” of the Valley! Heidi just released two new wines from her La Sirena portfolio; 2014 Pirate (her multi varietal  Cabernet based blend) and a stunning (bone dry) 2016 Moscato Azul (a wine for ABC fans  – “Anything But Chardonnay” lovers).

The true treasure of the seven seas – Pirate TreasuRed.  A hearty blend of seven varieties with full ripeness and big flavors from the stellar 2014 weather. The aromatics show layers of fruit; berry, cherry, plum, black raspberry, and pomegranate with smoky, spicy, meaty tones as well, complimented by sweet caramel, vanilla, toasty French oak. It’s a mouth coating yet silky structural wine with flavors that mirror the aromas. This is a big lush red that’s fun and delicious while also being quite versatile and age worthy to boot. Drink up all ye pirates!

La Sirena 2014 Pirate TreasurRed, Napa Valley
Retail 70.00 – GGWC 67.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use code PIRATE upon check out

The 2014 Pirate offers up a deep black-ruby colored wine with intense aromatics of sweet ripe fruit layered with toasty vanilla nuances, and hints of caramel. Layers of flavor coat the palate with broad appeal, wonderful cherry texture and seamless tannins. Bold, intense fruit flavors of dense blue and black berries are laced with a touch of chocolate and spice, and a whiff of vanilla. These flavors persist a long time in a lengthy and powerful finish. A great example of the magic of Heidi Barrett’s art of blending!

Suggested pairings: BBQ ribs, pulled pork, jerk chicken, wood-fired pizza, hearty red sauce, brisket, gourmet burgers, chorizo/spicy sausage, and many others – quite a versatile wine.

Make sure to  check out Heidi’s other excellent new release:
La Sirena 2016 Moscato Azul (BONE DRY)

Click here or on the links above to order!