Thomas Rivers Brown’s own Rivers Marie!

Thomas Rivers Brown does not need any intro.  He’d be able to convert horse manure into gold flakes!  In the past 15 years he has made more than 25 wines that have received perfect scores from Robert Parker or Wine Spectator.

As of this fall he oversees a total of 40 wineries, making multiple cuvées for most, at five different facilities. His current roster includes Chiarello, Outpost, Schrader, Aston Estate, Boars’ View, Maybach, Rivers-Marie, Seaver Vineyards, Hestan, Casa Piena, Saunter, Wallis, Black Sears, Harris Estate, Kinsella, Jones Family, Travail, Stone the Crows, Pulido-Walker, Post Parade, Riverain, Shibumi Knoll, Hobel, Revana, Ampère, 4 Winds, the Grade, Round Pond, Theorem, Senses, Mending Wall, Sodhani, Vermeil, Gemstone, and QTR.

Rivers Marie 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
79.99 net
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Thomas Rivers Brown Notes: “The composition of our 2016 Napa appellation wine is very similar to the 2015 version:  clones 4 and 6 from Panek, the lower block of Lore, Pellet Vineyard in St Helena and two blocks from Kennedy Vineyard on Franz Valley School Road in Calistoga.  Even with no Herb Lamb or Larkmead in the blend, the wine still provides an early drinking insight into the character of the four vineyard designated bottlings from 2016. If 2015 was defined by fruit sweetness, this vintage is framed by ripe tannin.  The fruit is a bit darker as well, leaning toward black fruits and thus a more serious seeming offering.  The various defining attributes of the vineyard sources pop up throughout while experiencing the wine.  The abundant fruit and acid cut of Panek’s valley floor location, the all black fruit, crushed rock minerality of Lore’s east Oakville range, the loamy purple fruit of Pellet’s west St. Helena corridor and the blue fruited cool climate savory-ness of Kennedy’s western Calistoga siting.  Completeness best describes the overall experience.   Fruit, tannin and acidity all come in waves of equal proportion while the tasting experience follows seamlessly from start to finish.”

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The RW MOORE VINEYARD is one of California’s oldest and best known Zinfandel vineyards.  Turley labels it under the “EARTHQUAKE” bottling. Molly is the niece of Bill Moore (RW Moore) and of course Mike is an Hendry, as in Hendry Winery.  Mike and Molly Hendry married in 2009 and produced their first vintage from the Moore Vineyard that year.  Mike manages the vineyard and sales for the HENDRY WINERY and Molly is an attorney for Napa County.

Bill Moore is Molly’s uncle, and has owned the Moore Vineyard since 1986.  At a time when many old zinfandel vineyards were being pulled and replanted to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, Bill had the foresight to preserve this important piece of Napa’s history and the wines that it produces.   Today, less than 2.5% of Napa’s vineyard acreage is planted to Zinfandel. The Moore (earthquake vineyard) has been a Turley source for decades, so it was only fitting that Mike and Molly used it too.

Mike & Molly 2015 “R.W. Moore” Zinfandel, Napa Valley
GGWC  42.99
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The wine’s floral aromas of huckleberry and anise jump right out of the glass!  This full-bodied, densely concentrated wine leads to lush, complex layers of blackberry, chocolate, ripe plum and black pepper flavors that are well-balanced and not overpowering.  This full-bodied, but not overly concentrated wine finishes equally lively and complex as it started.  I can see why Turley loved this vineyard source.

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Celia Welch can easily be voted as one of the best winemakers in the world. That said, give this lady some of the best fruit and you have some of the best wine in the world.

The 2017 Rewa Sauvignon Blanc (Inaugural release) is flat out stunning! Remarkable, a MUST HAVE! Very limited production wine.

Rewa 2017 Sauvignon Blanc “Estate” Napa Valley
GGWC 64.99
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On the nose bright floral aromatics meld seamlessly into a core of generous orchard fruit as this ample, richly-textured white that shows off its considerable personality. It is 100% Sauvignon Blanc, and the wine has a spectacular bouquet of caramelized citrus, honeysuckle, orange blossom and brioche. It is amazingly rich and dense, with the bold, yet very elegant texture. If you wouldn’t know you are drinking a Napa white, you might believe it to be a great Grand Cru White Burgundy!

Check out these other great Celia Welch wines:
Rewa Cabernet Sauvignon
Yount Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
Yount Ridge Sauvignon Blanc

Castiel Cabernet Sauvignon
2480 Cabernet Sauvignon
Corra Cabernet Sauvignon
Corra Proprietary White

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LAST CALL Bevan’s 100 POINT 2016 Cabernets & Bordeaux Blends!

We conducted a Bevan tasting this last Saturday to great approval from the attendees. As a result, there is not much left in stock! Fortunately for you, I’ve got a small amount remaining, so hurry if you want to get your hands on these very coveted wines. Call or email me asap for remaining availability!

Tench 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ 98-100 Points Robert Parker:

”Deep purple-black colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard features cassis, ripe plums and mulberries with hints of black forest cake, peach blossoms and bay leaves plus a touch of black pepper. Full-bodied with elegantly played, very fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, it fills the mouth with perfumed black fruit layers, finishing long and minerally. 125 cases were produced.”

Russell’s Notes: “Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon has massive blue fruit qualities. The textures are pure Tench: massive and lively.”

Tench 2016 EE Proprietary Red ~ 97-100 Points Robert Parker:

“Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, the 2016 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard reveals a deep garnet-purple color and reticent nose of crushed black and red cherries, mulberries with wafts of dried herbs, lavender and fresh roses plus hints of pencil shavings and tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, very fine and very fresh in the mouth, it has drop dead gorgeous poise and sophistication with a long, graceful finish that cannot fail to impress.”

Russell’s Notes: “Our EE Red Blend combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It has a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon than ever before making it even livelier than the 2013 EE, a vintage which produced some of our most massive wines. The Cabernet Franc provides an amazing violet quality and the Merlot adds a little extra richness. The result is luxurious, intense dark fruit.

Sugarloaf 2016 Proprietary Red ~ 97-100 Points Robert Parker:

“Very deep purple-black colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard (a barrel sample) gives up profoundly ripe, expressive black berry and cassis scents with underlying chocolate box and spice cake hints plus wafts of roses and dried herbs. Full-bodied, rich, ripe and full on full throttle when it comes to flavors, it has a firm, fine-grained backbone and an epically long finish. 300 cases produced.”

Russell’s notes: “Sugarloaf Mountain Proprietary Red Wine. Wine Advocate has scored the last four vintages of this wine 100, 98+, 100, 99. The 2016 Sugarloaf is better than any of the previous vintages. Drop the mic, walk off. Good night.”

Ontogeny 2016 Proprietary Red NYR (but I’d say 96-98)

Russell’s Notes: “Ontogeny. Like our EE, this is more Cabernet Sauvignon than ever before. Less mineral, more pure fruit. It also has a layer of richness that the previous Ontogeny wines didn’t have. The fruit profile from the additional Cabernet Sauvignon is blackberry, boysenberry and there is a hint of mocha that really pops on the finish. Deep purple, incredibly seductive. This is as decadent as Ontogeny has ever been.”

The 2015 received a 96 Pt rating: “Composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Ontogeny Proprietary Red Wine gives a gorgeous nose of spice box, violets and mocha with a core of crème de cassis, ripe plums and black cherries plus a touch of underbrush. Full-bodied, ripe and expressive, it is beautifully open for business right now with a soft, approachable texture and a long, spicy finish.”

Due to the always limited availability these are available on a first-come, first served basis.

In addition, small amounts of these other great Bevan wines are still in stock:
Petaluma Gap 2016 Pinot Noir
Rita’s Crown 2016 Pinot Noir
Ritchie Vineyard 2016 Chardonnay
Dry Stack 2017 Sauvignon Blanc

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Screaming Eagle Winemaker’s hot new gem!


Andy Erickson does not need an introduction, the man worked with John Kongsgaard, Paul Hobbs, Bob Levy at Harlan Estate, Staglin, etc. and of course Screaming Eagle!  He currently makes Arietta, Ovid, Dalla Valle and his own labels Leviathan and Favia.  The Arietta wines have been on fire as of late and this latest release is yet another gem in the rough.

Arietta 2015 “H Block” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
GGWC 149.99
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Vinous 95 Points: “Arietta’s 2015 H Block Hudson Vineyards, 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot co-fermented, is another gorgeous wine from Arietta in this vintage. Resonant, open-knit and seductive, the 2015 has much to offer. I would prefer to give the 2015 at least a few years in bottle to allow the aromatics to open up a bit more. Even so, the 2015 is pretty special today.”

Arietta’s winemaker Andy Erickson notes: “A co-fermented blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot from Hudson Vineyards, the Arietta Red Wine H Block Hudson Vineyards is poised to stand with some of the best vintages produced in the last 20 years. The wine offers all that is special about Cabernet Franc grown in the perfect setting—black-purple color, a broad-shouldered stature, and a plush, velvety texture, along with notes of black currant, raspberry, blueberry, clove, and dried flowers. On the palate, more layers are revealed, including hints of fresh blueberry, pencil lead, and dried sage. The 2015 Arietta H Block Hudson Vineyards is incredibly focused and well-proportioned, and if anything is somewhat shy at present. This signals a long life ahead in bottle, with more nuance and suppleness being unveiled at each successive tasting. It should age easily for 20+ years.”

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6 Barrel, 95 Point Rated Pinot!

Justin Harmon, owner/winemaker was born in Chicago, to a large Irish family where wine did not play a role in his life while growing up. Milk was the beverage of choice at the dinner table, and the industrial beers of the Midwest, fueled family parties. He does not pinpoint a specific moment that his passion for wine was ignited but, instead, attributes it to a series of experiences, places visited, bottles opened and friendships forged. At this point in life, he can not imagine a life without the joys of all things wine!

Argot 2015 Pinot Noir “Estate” Sonoma Mountain
GGWC 74.99
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Robert Parker 95 Points: “This Pinot leaps from the glass with exuberant notes of red currant jelly, black raspberries, and kirsch followed up by potpourri, lavender, dark chocolate, black soil, and wild thyme scents.  Medium to full bodied, the palate totally over delivers on the fruit vivacity, with intense layers of fragrant earth and red berry notions and a firm yet plush frame, finishing very long and lively.”

Winemaker Notes: “Tending towards the darker side of Pinot Noir with brambly black and red fruits, clove and spruce tips. Somehow, this wine presents density, darkness, elegance and lift, all in concert with one another. Textures are rounded out by rich spice notes of mocha, vanilla and cinnamon. True to 2015, this is a deep and intense wine that shows the pedigree of both its terroir and vintage. This will evolve in the cellar for years to come. A magnificent expression of what Pinot Noir is capable of on the slopes of Sonoma Mountain!”

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Top 100 wine # 3, receives 95 Point rating & FREE SHIPPING

The Beaux Frères Vineyard was a creation of Robert Parker and his brother-in-law (Beaux Frere) Mike Etzel.  The winery/vineayard is located on an 88-acre farm atop Ribbon Ridge in the Chehalem Valley near Newberg (Yamhill County, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA). Tall and stately Douglas fir trees cover nearly 50 acres of the farm, with homestead and winery buildings occupying another 8 acres. The vineyard is situated on 30 acres of steep, contiguous southeast, south and southwest facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils at elevations of around 400 feet. Planting began in 1988 with tightly planted Pinot Noir vines spaced at a density of about 2200 plants to the acre. The oldest vines in the vineyard are now a seasoned 29 years of age, and the vineyard as a whole is a mixture of own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil clones and younger Dijon clones on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.  Recently Robert Parker & Mike Etzel each sold a chunk of their ownership to a French producer.  However, Mike Etzel will remain on a President and winemaker.

Beaux Freres 2016 Pinot Noir “Beaux Freres Vineyard”
GGWC 94.99
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Vinous 95 Points: “Deep lurid red. Intensely perfumed aromas of raspberry liqueur, vanilla, Indian spices and potpourri, along with a hint of smoky minerals that builds in the background. Densely packed and alluringly sweet, showing impressive depth and a bright mineral core to the sappy red berry, spicecake and floral pastille flavors. Gains power with air while maintaining energy and focus. Smooth tannins build slowly and harmonize with the vibrant fruit on an impressively persistent, floral-driven finish.”

Wine Spectator 95 Points: “Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich, expressive blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by savory spice and espresso details. Builds depth as this dances toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025.”

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Get this wine for a steal & I give you FREE SHIPPING!

I would never condone stealing, except when it comes to this Pickpocket from our Sans Liege friends. All joking aside, Sans Liege has made a name for itself as one of the best Rhone Varietal producers in the state, and this latest release might be one of the best ones yet-to-date.

Sans Liege 2015 “Pickpocket” Templeton Gap, Paso Robles
GGWC 49.99
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The 2015 Pickpocket (100% Grenache) was sourced from the Alta Colina & Derby vineyards. As the light is stripped softly from the bookcases, heavy curtains and sullen marble floors of this country manor, your host is likely to pour you a nightcap from some inky carafe. You are met with a rich perfume of brandied cherry Ceylon tea, fresh plum, nutmeg shard and black chocolate. A final cup of fine ground coffee is served. The sunken glass of the windows waxes to obsidian, and a prick begins worming in your mind: this place has magic. The sense comes quickly and carries with it a taste of old growth forest, burnt cinnamon, tiny sweet strawberries, creek fresh mint and fog. Now in comfortable repose in your room, you notice the creep of long shadows. It is a hours till dawn, and the sheets will make a poor shield from the darkness to come. This wine has great aging potential. I would advise to decant this wine a good two hours before consumption and serve slightly below room temperature.

Only 8 barrels (200 cases were produced), so this will be gone in no time.

Winemaker Notes: “It’s been hours since another soul has entered the room. You take a deep breath and notice once again the comforting scents of clove, ceylon tea, birch beer and cherry coulis with cocoa. As you prepare to depart, the library door groans open. A figure appears, looking suspicious with an old leather bound book tucked protectively under his arm. In his haste, he doesn’t notice the pressed sprig of lavender that falls to the floor. With an anxious glance over his shoulder he slips behind a shelf of books and disappears.”

Also be sure to check out: 

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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 2016 Zinfandel “Old Vine” Starr Road
GGWC 54.99
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Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2016 Zinfandel Old Vine Starr Road Ranch is deep garnet-purple colored with a nose of baked cherries, raspberry preserves and stewed plums with hints of baking spices, potpourri, licorice and chocolate box plus a waft of dried herbs. Very big, rich and full-bodied, it packs in the berry preserves and spice box flavors with a firm, chewy frame and oodles of tart freshness, finishing long. 440 cases produced.”

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “The 2016 Starr Road Ranch Old Vine is also gorgeous. Black raspberries, cedary spice, ginger, and exotic flower notes, full body, sweet, present tannin, and a beautiful finish all make for a downright irresistible Zinfandel that delivers serious pleasure.”

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Sexy Beckstoffer Cabernet Release!

Mike Smith, who we sometimes call “Mr. 100 Pointer” (Carter Cellars, Myriad, Scarlett, etc.), has taken the Beckstoffer Georges III vineyard’s stunning fruit and produced an equally stunning wine for 12C.  Incidentally, 12C get’s its name from Twelve degrees Centigrade or Fifty-five (55) degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimum storage temperature for wine.

12c “G3” Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer Vineyard Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 124.99
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The 2016 12c “G3” has a dark opaque purple color with amazing aromatics of  of bright blackberry and blueberry fruits and a whiff of bitter chocolate and graphite. Bold flavors on the palate make for a lush and elegant wine that offers up a sexy, full-body loaded with delicious flavors that lead into a long complex finish.  This is a wine that should drink well over the next 10-15 years.

Winery Notes: Twenty-Sixteen was an incredible year for our Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard G3 Wine. An alluring mix of aromatics consisting of dark fruits, acacia flowers, and Belgium chocolate intertwine with a mid palate that is loaded with layers of pedigree.  The beauty of this site is how it captures and marries subtle but exuberant ripeness with the dusty earth of the Rutherford appellation.  The finish combines the above notes and extends into an abyss of dark fruit notes accompanied with baking spice’s, blueberry cobbler and plush tannins that envelope the senses. This wine is immediately approachable yet will to gain further complexities for 3-8 years.  Extended aging may add a touch of magic.  What a wine!

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