98+ Rated 2016 Carter Cabernets have arrived!

Late fall is always a time of excitement, many great Cabernets reach the “shores” of Golden Gate Wine Cellars. Among them Carter Cellars, crafted by my friend and ace-winemaker Mike Smith. The current “stash” of 2016 although amazing in quality, are unfortunately very small in the quantity department. I came up with some “mixed offer packs” of these stunning wines.  I know I will not make everyone happy, but I try my hardest. Please don’t take it out on the messenger! Mother nature yielded way less for Carter, so I got less! Most of the 2016 Carter wines scored 96-98 points, a few 95, so not a bad run!

We have 3 different FOUR-PACKS and 3 SIX-PACK to select from (sorry, cannot change the “blend” of these boxes)

CARTER CELLARS 2016 CABERNET “FOUR-PACK A”
$599.99
FREE SHIPPING – use code 500shipfree at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon Grand Daddy  98+ Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  97+ Pts
  • Weitz  95 Pts
  • Hossfeld Coliseum  95 Pts

Average score 96.50/100

CARTER CELLARS 2016 CABERNET “FOUR-PACK B”
$624.99
FREE SHIPPING – use code 500shipfree  at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon Grand Daddy  98+ Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  97+ Pts
  • Carter  97+ Pts
  • Fortuna  96 Pts

Average score 97.5 /100

CARTER CELLARS 2016 CABERNET “FOUR-PACK C”
$619.99
FREE SHIPPING – use code 500shipfree at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon The Grand-Daddy  98+ Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings  97+ Pts
  • Weitz  95 Pts
  • Carter  97+ Pts

Average score 97.25/100

CARTER CELLARS 2016 CABERNET “SIX-PACK A”
$849.99
FREE SHIPPING – use code 500shipfree at checkout

Consists of 1 bottle each of:

  • To-Kalon Grand Daddy  98+ Pts
  • To-Kalon The Three Kings   97+ Pts
  • Weitz   95 Pts
  • Carter  97 Pts
  • Fortuna  96 Pts
  • Hossfeld Coliseum 95 Pts

Average score 96.5/100

CARTER CELLARS 2016 CABERNET “SIX-PACK B”
849.99
FREE SHIPPING – use code 500shipfree at checkou
t
Consists of

  • To-Kalon Grand Daddy  98+ Pts
  • Weitz   95 Pts
  • Carter  97 Pts  (2 bottles)
  • Hossfeld Coliseum 95 Pts  (2 bottles)

Average score 96.5/100

CARTER CELLARS 2016 CABERNET “SIX-PACK C”
799.99
FREE SHIPPING – use code 500shipfree at checkout

Consists of

  • To-Kalon Three Kings  97+ Pts
  • Fortuna   96 Pts
  • Carter  97 Pts  (2 bottles)
  • Hossfeld Coliseum 95 Pts  (2 bottles)

Average score 96.5/100

TASTING NOTES / REVIEWS FOR ALL THE CARTER WINES:

Robert Parker – Grand Daddy 98+ Points: “Very deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard The Grand Daddy comes charging out of the glass with gregarious scents of blackberry pie, warm cassis, black raspberries and Black Forest cake plus hints of camphor, cigar box, pencil lead and incense. Full-bodied, super intense and opulently fruited in the mouth, it delivers a powerful black fruit core with a firm yet plush frame and very long, multilayered finish.”

Robert Parker “Three Kings” 97+ Points: “The very deep purple-black colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Three Kings features compelling black cherries, warm black berries and crème de cassis notes with nuances of plum pudding, mincemeat pie, sautéed herbs, charcuterie, tapenade and Indian spices. Full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, it fills the palate with exotic spices and black fruit preserves, framed by approachable grainy tannins and finishing very long and very spicy.”

Robert Parker “Carter” 97+ Points: Very deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Carter begins just a little closed and youthfully reticent before revealing loads of black fruit and earth-inspired notes, including baked black cherries, cassis, blackberry pie and tilled soil with hints of fungi, underbrush, scorched earth and mossy bark. Full-bodied and densely packed with black fruit and earth layers, it has a firm backbone of grainy tannins and a lively line, finishing long and mineral laced. This needs at least 5-7 years and then should drink for the next 30+ years.”

Robert Parker “Fortuna” 96 Points: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Fortuna Vineyard has a very deep purple-black color and reveals a drop-dead gorgeous nose of baked plums, blackcurrant cordial, blackberry tart and kirsch with nuances of Chinese five spice, dusty soil, wild sage and truffles. Full-bodied and sporting bags of black fruit and earthy layers, it has a fantastic burst of freshness in the plushly textured mid-palate, continuing onto a compelling herbal lift on the finish..”

Robert Parker “Weitz” 95 Points: “Very deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Weitz Vineyard opens with notions of baked blackcurrants, preserved plums, blackberry compote and licorice plus touches of tar, chargrill, pan fried herbs and iron ore. Full-bodied and laden with taut, muscular fruit, it has a solid line of grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with an herbal lift.”

Robert Parker “Hossfeld Coliseum” 95 Points: “Composed of 80% Merlot blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Hossfeld Coliseum Proprietary Red is very deep purple-black in color and gives up a very pretty perfume of potpourri, dried lavender, aniseed and cinnamon stick over a core of warm plums and blueberry preserves plus a touch of garrigue. Full-bodied, softly textured, seductive and with bags of spicy black fruit preserves, it finishes long and perfumed.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

California Wine Country Meets Spain…

Chris and his wife JoAnn Cherry moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant, partake in the burgeoning wine scene and raise their children in the country. In 2001 they purchased their first grapes to make wine for their restaurant. And so began Villa Creek Cellars, a real expression of west Paso Robles’ Rhone grape varieties. A sort of “farm-to-table” i.e farm-to-bottle venture.

Villa Creek 2015 Garnacha “Denner Vineyard”
GGWC 57.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

94 Point Galloni: ”Brilliant ruby. Heady, spice-laced raspberry liqueur, spicecake and rose pastille scents are complemented by white pepper and smoky mineral nuances. Fleshy and concentrated but surprisingly graceful as well, offering intense red berry, cherry and floral flavors and suggestions of licorice and allspice. Finishes creamy, seamless and very long, with supple tannins building slowly.”

Winemaker notes: “This year’s Garnacha is composed solely of Denner Grenache brought up in 500 liter French puncheons. Deep ruby in color, the sensual berry aromas transcend to a juicy palate of mountain berries, anise, and spice. Layers of sweet fine tannins, pure fruit, and glycerin make for a beautiful wine that is delicious now but will evolve nicely in the cellar. Enjoy with braised short ribs or aromatic white bean ragout drizzled with olive oil. Drink now – 2027”

Click here or on the links above to order!

The Petrus from the Napa Valley

This might be the best Merlot Coho has produced yet to date.  A blend of 98% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the great Michael Black vineyard in Coombsville (which is now officially an Appellation).

COHO 2014 MERLOT “MICHAEL BLACK VINEYARD” NAPA VALLEY
RETAIL 60.00 – GGWC 54.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or MORE
Use code SHIPFREE6 at check out
Mix & Match with other Coho wines is OK

On the nose this wine shows of its great character immediately.  One is greeted by lush black and red currants, hints of coffee and a touch of anise.  The palate of this multi-layered wine is amazingly polished and well-balanced.  Gobs of black currant and chocolate coat this intense sultry body, leading into a very complex and long fish.  This incredible undertaking will turn lots of heads! As always very limited!

Click here or on the links above to order!

2018 Holiday Specials!

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100 Point Vineyard Source, striking 95 Point GSM

Chris and his wife JoAnn Cherry moved to Paso Robles in 1996 to open a restaurant, partake in the burgeoning wine scene and raise their children in the country. In 2001 they purchased their first grapes to make wine for their restaurant. And so began Villa Creek Cellars, a real expression of west Paso Robles’ Rhone grape varieties. A sort of “farm-to-table” i.e farm-to-bottle venture.

The James Berry Vineyard (100 Point Source) from Saxum fame is a little bit the “Chateau Margaux of Paso Robles” – If you cannot make spectacular wine from this source, you should stay out of the kitchen.

Villa Creek 2015 Willow Creek GSM
GGWC 57.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

AG 95 Points: “Opaque ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes red fruit liqueur, Indian spices and incense, while a floral element gains power with air. Fleshy, seamless and concentrated, offering intense raspberry, cherry compote, spicecake and floral pastille flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. The floral note caries strongly through a sweet, gently tannic, strikingly long finish that shows outstanding clarity and cut.”

WS 95 Points: “Cris Cherry is on the leading edge of Paso Robles vintners who push the ripe boundaries while remaining in compelling balance, and this blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre is an excellent example. Aromas of blackberry paste, fresh lilacs and hoisin sauce drop into a palate where blueberry and baked black-plum flavors are decorated with cola, sarsaparilla and black-pepper spices.”

Winemaker Notes:  WOW, what a sexy wine! Willow is a blend of Denner Grenache and Mourvedre, and James Berry Mourvèdre and Syrah, with a hint of Luna Matta Syrah. The final blend aged in French puncheons and barriques. This deep plum colored wine is loaded with black and red fruits, framed by baking spices, caramel and Provencal herbs. Wonderful concentration and richness and a dusty dark chocolate finish make it a nice accompaniment to your wood fired oven or bbq feast. Drink Now -2027.

Click here or on the links above to order!

2018’s Top 25 Wines!

  

It has been an amazing year of tasting, smelling & swishing wines. We tasted over 2700 wines this year, so to come up with our “own” Top 25 wines that are “the greatest” is not easy. But as always, we try to do our best! My tasting group of 16 wine swishers, wine smellers, wine “evaluators”, and my friends of Bacchus carefully evaluated the wines and came up with the following final list – For the first we could not decide on the Number 1 wine – we looked at all the criteria (Quality, Availabitliy, Dollar Cost Average) and each time our scores were the same. So we decided to award the “Wine Of the Year” to 3 Finalists! (PAUL LATO ,CARTE BLANCHE YOUNT RIDGE )

Order $500.00 or more and we’ll pay the shipping – Enter code 500shipfree during checkout

1 (TIED) – PAUL LATO 2016 PINOT NOIR “SUERTE” SOLOMON HILLS  – 96+ POINTS

1 (TIED) – CARTE BLANCHE 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY – 100 POINTS

1 (TIED) – YOUNT RIDGE 2017 “ESTATE” SAUVIGNON BLANC, NAPA VALLEY

4 – DuMOL 2016 CHARDONNAY RITCHIE VINEYARD “CHLOE” RUSSIAN RIVER – 97 Points

5 – HUDSON 2016 CHARDONNAY “ESTATE” CARNEROS NAPA VALLEY 96 Points

6 – HALCON 2016 PETITE SIRAH “TIERRA”– 96 Points

7 – TEXTBOOK 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON “MISE EN PLACE” NAPA VALLEY – 95 Points

8 – CROCKER STARR 2015 PRORIETARY RED “BRIDESMAID” NAPA VALLEY– 94 Points

9 – ARBE GARBE 2017 PROPRIETARY WHITE BLEND, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY – 94 Points

10 – CATTLEYA 2016 Pinot Noir “Donum Vineyard” 96 POINTS

11 – BEVAN TENCH 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA  ~ 98-100 Points

12 – REWA 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON “ESTATE” COOMBSVILLE, NAPA  – 96 Points

13 – BOOKER “MY FAVORITE NEIGHBOR” CAB BLEND 97 Points

14 – CASTIEL 2015 “CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA (CELIA WELCH WINEMAKER) – 96 Points

15 – FOXTROT 2015 PINOT NOIR “ESTATE – FOXTROT VINEYARD” – 94 Points

16 PAUL LATO 2016 CHARDONNAY “BELLE DE JOUR” ~ 96 Points

17 – MC4 2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON“Estate” NAPA VALLEY 94 Points

18 – GB CRANE 2016 “EL COCO” PROPRIETARY RED NAPA VALLEY 95 Points

19 – WALTER HANSEL 2015 CHARDONNAY “NORTH SLOPE” RUSSIANRIVER VALLEY

20– SCARLETT 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON ESTATE RUTHERFORD NAPA VALLEY

21 – 12c “G3” CABERNET SAUVIGNON BECKSTOFFER VINEYARD NAPA VALLEY

22 – MIKE & MOLLY 2015 “R.W. MOORE” ZINFANDEL, NAPA VALLEY

23 – SANS LIEGE XIV/XV PROPHETESS, SANTA BARBARA – 94 Points

24 – LA SIRENA 2017 MOSCATO AZUL (DRY), NAPA VALLEY

25 – LIMERICK LANE 2016 “ESTATE” ZINFANDEL RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY95 Points

A Holiday Book Suggestion

Kevin Zraly ~ Windows on the World Complete Wine Course’s Latest Edition

My old friend Kevin Zraly has a new book out, just in time for the holidays! Jo Diaz of Wine-Blog.org wrote this wonderful review:

Wine is infinitely more intriguing than most other balls in the air we juggle during life, especially for the curious. Much of our inquisitiveness will be addressed within the pages of Kevin Zraly‘s 2018 edition of his Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. This is most especially true for us when we have more curiosity and less time to travel, when we could be weaving our own tapestries. Just step onto his pages and travel into the depths of how we taste and what we taste in reds, whites, and rosés, with Kevin Zraly.

I caught up with Kevin Zraly at Castello di Meleto in Gaiole, in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, where we were their guests for he castle’s five-course lunch, with copious wines.  I hadn’t seen him since 2006, when he was honored by the former Wine Appreciation Guild in San Francisco. Kevin Zraly was the recipient of their prestigious author for the 2006 Wine Literary Award. I was sitting next to him during lunch, which I knew was pretty exciting. Now, 12 years later, we were in Chianti sharing food and wine.

When we both returned to our home states, he sent his latest copy of Windows on the World to me, as a review sample. I have Zraly’s 2006, his 2011 editions, and now his 2018 Edition. “What’s going to be the difference?” I wondered.

So, the book…

I was genuinely stuck by Kevin Zraly’s touching dedication.

“This book is called Windows on the World Complete Wine Course for a reason. Windows on the World was a restaurant atop One World Trade Center in New York City. I worked there from the day it opened in 1976 and for the next 25 years, until September 11, 2001. I continue to title this book with the same name of the restaurant to continue its legacy.

“I dedicate this edition to all those who worked at Windows on the World, celebrated their birthdays, anniversaries, or bar mitzvahs there, dined there, or just had a glass of wine at the bar…”

(You’ll read further in your copy…)

The regions of wine covered in the 2018 edition, have immeasurably expanded in a continuing anthology of wine grape varieties, bottles and glasses, how to read a label, wine aromas and tastes, and a 60-second wine expert, for instance.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom:

Kevin’s new book (the one to the left in this photo) is massively expanded and really well done. I was immediately relieved in by his explanation of “Kinds of Tasters.” He references Janet Zimmerman’s article “Science of the Kitchen: Taste and Texture…” I never knew about Janet’s SCIENCE OF THE KITCHEN: TASTE AND TEXTURE article (so, now I know the original source of explanation for my palate). Finally we can all understand the specifics of tasters, from non-tasters to super tasters… I’m a super taster, and that’s not a bragging right. It’s a curse. I eat very little as a result. Kevin has condensed Janet’s taster types:

  • Non-tasters ~ Average taster = 96 taste buds per square centimeters ~ far from picky and less engaged with what they eat and drink
  • Half-tasters ~ 184 taste buds per square centimeters ~ Tend to enjoy a wild array of food and drink
  • Super Tasters ~ 425 taste buds per square centimeters ~ Tend to taste everything more intensely (so, less is more, from my personal experiences)

Kevin Zraly is an exceptional scholar; and, academics love to not only learn, but they also love to teach. And, whenever possible, teachers like Kevin love to record what they’ve learned, so it lives on… Taking his wine courses is the difference of gliding along like a Cessna 172, or actually taking off with him in a Sukhoi Superjet 100super jet.

When the opportunity arises to get into one of his classes, it’s a chance of a lifetime. It will deepen your knowledge of wine and expand your appreciation. For the rest of us, until we can get into one of his classes, just buy his latest Windows on the World (2018) Complete Wine Course. Begin your journey, one chapter at a time. The pleasure you derive from wine will grow exponentially, through the amount of knowledge in Kevin’s sharing. Kevin Zraly’s life experiences of wine tasting and traveling to wine regions… the understanding of wine’s structure, historical developments, and the relationships he’s nurtured along the way are yours to also explore via Kevin’s written pages.


If you would like to get a copy of Kevin’s book for yourself, you can find it hereon Amazon.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

A Most Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving, we want to share our genuine appreciation with you. Without you, we would not be where we are today, and we’re so thankful for all of your support throughout the year. We hope you have a joyous holiday and wish you and yours the very best.

Black Friday comes Early!

 

Why wait until Friday?

We were feeling a little festive this year here at Golden Gate Wine Cellars, and wanted to share the love with you too! As a token of appreciation we wanted to start Black Friday a few days early.

Receive 10% OFF all of our wines Today, Thursday & Friday

Use code BLACKFRIDAY during checkout
at GoldenGateWineCellars.com

4 Barrel Napa Cab Gem from 100 Point Vineyard Crew

As the 6th generation farmer of his family’s Napa Valley ranch, Matt Hardin has a natural appreciation of the exceptional place that is the Napa Valley. Matt manages his full-time work as vineyard manager and partner in Barbour Vineyards with his commitment to managing the family ranch. In his time with Barbour Vineyards, Matt has farmed some of the most renowned vineyards in Napa including Hundred Acre, Herb Lamb and Checkerboard.  Many of these vineyards produced 100 point rated wines!

Matthew Wallace 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 76.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

The latest Matthew Wallace was sourced from his in-law’s vineyard in the Stag’s Leap District and a small vineyard on Howell Mountain. The 2015 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine offers up an amazing bright aroma of black stone fruit.  On the palate the wine is rich and lush loaded with bold black stone fruit, dark chocolate, a touch of spice and a hint of toasty vanilla.  The wine really show well and the unctuousness of Howell Mountain grapes  balance well with the elegance and silkiness of the Stag’s Leap vineyard.  The wine is well-balanced and finishes with silky tannins.  Sadly only 104 cases were produced – so act fast!

Winemaker Notes: “A true testament to an impressive vintage, the 2015 Matthew Wallace Cabernet Sauvignon is rich, lush and intense. The combination of small berries in a warm vintage on a western hillside deliberately ripened the fruit to a dark and opulent black. Layers of chocolate truffle, earthy spices and cigar leaf enhance the melted tannins- a signature of the 2015 vintage- and lend themselves to a seductive and lengthy finish. – Julien Fayard, Winemaker – ”

Click here or on the links above to order!