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
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 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, or call (415)337-4083 directly.

Kindest Regards,

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, 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

My best selling Rose Champagne

My best DOMESTIC bubbly (any bit as good as the French “stuff”

My best selling Champagne below $45.00

One of the best vintage Champagnes to date, and an Exclusive, only available in California!

Also check out these other amazing bubbly suggestions:


Click here or on the links above to order!

Under $60 ~ 96 Point Syrah Gem


“Just from the color you can tell the 2014 Les Titans Syrah will be magnificent; it has an electric psychedelic purplish glow hinting at the energy present in the wine. The nose is a complete knockout with iron, grilled meat, hickory smoke, ink, and pain grillé aromas. The mouth is consistent with the nose combining power and precision. The finish is long and clean with great acidity and lingering notes of violets and squid ink. The Les Titans has everything you could hope for in cold climate Syrah with grace and focus and none of the one dimensional, heavy, leaden quality found in lesser wines. I suggest you drink a bottle upon release to see what is so exciting and then open a few every few years to watch it evolve into the single best Les Titans – and maybe even Syrah – we have ever made.”
~Peay Vineyards

Peay 2014 Syrah “Les Titans” Estate
Retail 60.00 – GGWC 57.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code PEAY during checkout

Galloni 96 Points: “The 2014 Syrah Estate Les Titans is very tightly wound today. The signature blue/purplish fruit profile comes through, but the savory, peppery notes that are typical of this site need time to develop. Today the 2015 is raw and in need of time, but its potential is evident. Black pepper and lavender overtones develop with time in the glass, providing a glimpse of what will develop over time. There is so much to look forward to.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Thomas Rivers Brown “Parades” his skills again



Three great friends – One goal: to create something worth appreciating, like the time they’ve spent together. They searched for an area rich in heritage, resources, and committed winemakers which took them 2,297 miles west from their homes in Kentucky to Napa Valley. They traveled to California time and again. Wine was shared, stories were told, and their idea was born.  At the helm is Thomas Rivers Brown, one of Napa Valley’s most distinctive and acclaimed winemakers. (FYI: Post Parade refers to the moment when thoroughbred horses walk onto the racetrack minutes before stepping into the starting gate.)

Post Parade 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Retail 105.00 – GGWC 99.99
Use code PP14CS at checkout

Amazingly intense wine from start to finish. Dark purple hue and stunning aromas of black stone fruit, chocolate and a touch of toastiness greet you on impact. This is an extraordinarily well-crafted wine that is lush on the palate, loaded with gorgeous jammy black stone fruits, chocolate, a touch of espresso and toasty vanilla that are in-sync with the right touch of acid.  The wine lingers on the finish for a good 30 seconds!  Only 400 cases produced.

Robert Parker 95 Points:  “For a wine of this quality, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Post Parade is a fabulous bargain by Napa Valley standards. There are 430 cases of this wine, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 20 months in 90% new French oak (50% of which was Taransaud and 40% Ermitage). Coming from the Tench Vineyard, an Oakville vineyard made famous by Russell Bevan, this wine has an opaque purple color and a glorious nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with charcoal, camphor, a touch of toast and plenty of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. It is full-bodied and displays terrific intensity and purity as well as velvety tannins. This heady, multi-layered wine is already drinking beautifully but should continue to do so for another 15+ years.”

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:

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

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 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!