The Best Quality to Value Ratio California Pinot Noir

Byron Kosuge has been making wine for over 3 decades now.  He honed his skills at various great wineries in California and France.  While working in Carneros he befriended two guys who ran a vineyard management company.  When they planted a small vineyard next to their work shop, Byron came up with the name “The Shop” and the rest (15 years later) is history.  Byron has created a good following for his brand, and so have many of my customers. But his Chardonnay making goes back 30 years and has been his big passion, although he did not add this to his portfolio till 2008.  The 2015 is truly amazing and a great wine for your Buck!

B Kosuge 2015 Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros
Retail 38.00 – GGWC 34.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use shipping code SHIPFREE12 during check out 

The wine emerges from the glass with dark red stone fruit a hint of spice, nuttiness and licorice. This is lush and  fleshy, Pinot Noir that is loaded with class and pedigree. The wine is medium to full in body and flavor and finishes long and strong!

Winemaker notes: The 2015 Shop, like the 2014, is pretty ripe and open. The 2015 is pretty, sweet and alluring and have been from the beginning. And although 2015 was an early, warm vintage, the wines are fresh and fairly modest in alcohol. The Shop is always one of the biggest and fleshiest of my offerings and the 2015 is no different; a bit of tannin on the finish gives it a pleasing lift and persistence. The combination of spice and fruit signals that the wine is from Carneros.

Also check out these other B. Kosuge wines:
B. KOSUGE 2015 CHARDONNAY, SONOMA COAST
B. KOSUGE 2013 PINOT NOIR HABITAT SONOMA

Click here or on the links above to order!

Diamond Creek’s neighbor at 1/3 the Price!

Michael Klopka purchased the 150 acre estate in 1998 atop Diamond Mountain, but it wasn’t a palatial estate – even a “Diamond in the rough” was an understatement.  It was densely forested, nearly inaccessible woodland tract that choked sunlight.  It took a while to clear, and create 2 parcels (Cori and Sophie) totaling six acres of Bordeaux varietals.  Most of the fruit is sold, but a special section is kept for the SVR wines – only 150 cases are produced! The first harvest was in 2004 (they sold it all to Coho for 10 years), and  the Inaugural Summit Vine Ranch offering was the 2013 vintage.

FYI: Diamond Creek is next door to Michael’s SummitVine Ranch vineyard, and at this low $70s price, you have yourself a real bargain from this mountaintop estate!

SummitVine Cabernet “Estate” Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley
GGWC 71.99 net
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

Wine Spectator 94 Pts: “Pure, rich, juicy and supple, offering a wonderful core of black cherry, blackberry, plum and licorice flavors, with graceful tannins that invite early consumption. Drink now through 2032. 149 cases made.”

Winemaker Notes: “Our 2015 Cabernet catches your eye right away with its deep garnet red color and the nose is classic Diamond Mountain with red fruits, some zing and caramel. In tasting the wine, it is rich and complex with great depth of flavors. Along with spice, this wine has notes of blackberry, cassis, black cherry, rhubarb and a hint of Diamond Mountain earth. With its wonderful mouth feel, It has a long, lingering finish that ends with a touch of caramel. The plush, beautifully integrated tannins make this wine so approachable now and will provide pleasure through 2032. Still in its youth, we recommend opening one hour before serving.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Taste is Expensive… Price Tag is very Inexpensive!

Walter Hansel has become synonymous with great quality at a great price!  Year after year these wines seem to impress me and my clientele alike.  The first vines were planted in 1978 just a up the block from Kistler!  The actual winery did not start till 1996 when they produced 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 10 barrels of Chardonnay, and the rest as they say, is history!  Stephen Hansel (Walter’s son) had one of the best winemakers as his tutor (Tom Rochiolli) so it is no surprise that they are still putting out great wines decades later.  Year after this winery has produced amazing “Dollar Cost Average” under priced wines!

Walter Hansel 2016 “Estate” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SHIPFREE12 during checkout

The 2016 Walter Hansel “Estate” Chardonnay is pretty, understated and polished, with all of the signatures that make the these wines distinctive.  Medium to full in body and very gracious, with lovely aromatic lift and balanced from start to finish.  The grapes from the estate part that was planted between 1976 and 1988 and is a blend of Dijon Clones 95 & 97 and a Hanzell clone.

Robert Parker 92 Pts:  “The 2016 Chardonnay Estate offers up notes of white peaches, apple pir and green guava with hints of lightly browned toast and allspice.  Medium to full-bodied, it is beautifuly silky in the mouth with great vivacity and a long, pure citrus and stone-fruit layered finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Merlot of the Month!

I know what you are thinking, another wimpy merlot, soft and silky – WRONG!!  The 2015 Switchback Ridge (produced by Robert Foley), is a big, bold red blend of Merlot and Cabernet. Switchback Ridge wines are sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The rich, rocky soils of this beautiful vineyard property consistently produce low yields of intensely flavored fruit, resulting in extremely concentrated, fruit driven wines that are the hallmark of Switchback Ridge.

Switchback Ridge 2015 Estate Merlot, Napa Valey
GGWC 61.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

The 2015 Merlot is a rich, mutli-layered and well-structured wine.  On the nose you’ll encounter floral red currant, black cherry and anise aromas.  On the palate this wine is bold and complex with luscious flavors of blackstone fruits, chocolate, anise and a hint of spice that lead to big but silky tannin finish. Drink now through 2025

Winemaker Notes: “A rich and powerful Merlot with dark cherries, blackberry compote and exotic spice. Juicy, ripe and lush on the palate, framed by ample tannin structure and a long, elegant finish with a hint of chocolate and vanilla bean on the end.”

Also check out their other great offerings:
SWITCHBACK RIDGE 2015 PETITE SIRAH “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY
SWITCHBACK RIDGE 2015 CABERNET “ESTATE” NAPA VALLEY

Click here or on the links above to order!

20% OFF Napa Cabernet Gem & FREE SHIPPING TOO!

 

Ilaria 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
– SPECIAL PRICING –
20% OFF & FREE SHIPPING on FULL CASE

(NOW $56.00 per bottle INSTEAD OF $70.00)
Use code SHIPFREE12 during checkout

The 2015 Ilaria Cabernet Sauvignon possesses gorgeous aromas of black current liqueur, blackberries and huckleberry compote and is complemented by notes of scorched volcanic earth, roasted herbs and charcoal. This wine coats the palate with seductive viscosity. The velvety tannins dance on the palate and contribute to the enduring finish.  The wine is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Cabernet Franc 6% Merlot

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points: ” Checking in as a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot, from a mix of Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain and St. Helena, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley from Anna Monticelli is a rich, full-bodied, opulent 2015 that shows the sexy, ripe, sweet character of the vintage beautifully. Cassis, tobacco leaf, graphite, and hints of minerality all emerge from this beauty and it’s balanced, pure, and long. Drink it over the coming 15+ years.”

Robert Parker 92+ Points: “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 6% Merlot coming mainly from the Atlas Peak foothills with some Howell Mountain and St. Helena fruit) gives up notes of crème de cassis, dried herbs and black soil with hints of cardamom and rare beef. Full-bodied and packed with plenty of expressive black fruits and herbal accents, it has nice, ripe, approachable tannins and a spicy finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

GORGEOUS WINE AT A GORGEOUS PRICE

For 3 generations the Holtermann Family has been one of the premier importers of wines, varying from hard-to-find, leading wineries to very large producers from all over the world.  Their longtime relationships with growers, enolgists, winemakers and vineyard managers provided them with a unique perspective of the wine industry. So the next step was panting their own vineyards, which they did in the remote ridge tops of Annapolis on the Sonoma Coast.  Add winemaker Carroll Kemp to the mix and you’ll wind up with great quality estate-grown wines at a great price point!

Alma Fria 2016 “Plural” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

The 2016 Alma Fria “Plural” Pinot Noir is a  blend of the best barrels from three amazing West Sonoma Coast vineyards – Holtermann, Dona Margarita and Zephyr Farms.

The wine offers up gorgeous black raspberry and wild plum flavors, combined with highlights of Gravenstein apple peel, clay, and a hint of spice to form a medium-bodied wine with refreshing acidity and smooth texture. Aged in 10% new French oak. 13.4% alcohol. Only 195 cases were produced.

Click here or on the links above to order!

French Laundry’s Top Rated Chardonnay = Our Chardonnay of the year for 2018!

What do the French Laundry & Golden Gate Wine Cellars have in common… Hudson Chardonnay.

The French Laundry pours the Hudson Chardonnay by the glass and pairs it with a butter-poached Lobster Tail – mouthwatering, delectable, scrumptious – MUST HAVE!

Winemakers John Kongsgaard and Christopher Vandendriesche did it again! Only a few hundred cases of the stunning, very Burgundian-like Hudson Chardonnay were produced! If this vineyard would be in Burgundy, it would have the Premier-Cru designation! Lee Hudson is probably one of the best winegrowers in the valley.  Many great wineries (Kongsgaard, Kistler, etc.) have been sourcing from this vineyard for decades!

Hudson 2016 Chardonnay “Estate” Carneros Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more!
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

96+ Points Robert Parker:  “Produced from the “Shot Wente” heritage selection clone and all naturally fermented in French oak, 85% new, where it was aged for 12 months, the Chardonnay Hudson Vineyardreveals intense grapefruit, pineapple and honeysuckle notes with hints of brioche, ginger and shaved almonds. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is bursting with spicy, tropical fruit flavors, framed by plenty of freshness and a satiny texture, finishing with great length and depth…This famous vineyard in Carneros was first started by the Hudson family in 1981. These are some of the strongest wines I have yet tasted from them, thanks to winemaker Christopher Vandendriessche and Ace consultant John Kongsgaard.”

Winemaker Notes: “We experienced ideal growing conditions for our Chardonnay block. Cool summer temperatures extended the growing season culminating in exceptional phenolic ripeness. A total of 5 blocks were independently harvested from late August into early September. Upon arriving to the winery, the lots are individually whole cluster pressed and barreled down for fermentation. Our standard Chardonnay protocol employs a slow primary fermentation process that uses only native yeasts and lasts 12 to 14 months. This extended fermentation process produces cerebral Chardonnay that stands up to our naturally concentrated shot-Wente selections. The barrels are topped and stirred once a week during élevage and racked for the first time after 16 months.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

100 Pointer Luc Morlet does it again!

The 2014 growing season was easygoing.  Grapevines found their happy place quickly, as warm spring soils brought an early budbreak, and the rest of the season was mild and relaxed, with high temperatures dancing in the mid 80’s.  The vines and grapes developed smoothly, soaking up the dreamy vacation-like weather.  Wine country got a little shaken in late August by an impressive earthquake, but the vineyards only felt a tickle on their roots and harvest proceeded with the same mellow vibe as the rest of the vintage.

REMEMBER ONLY 125 CASES PRODUCED OF THIS LITTLE GEM!!

Linked 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Knight’s Valley
GGWC 124.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code SHIPFREE4 during checkout

Robert Parker wrote: “Luc Morlet is not only a fabulous winemaking talent, he knows how to bring the French savoir faire of complexity, elegance and precision to the ripe, concentrated, intense fruit of California.” No sense arguing with Bob, he captured this vintage to a tee. A swirl of the glass reveals aromatics of red and black cherries mingled with cedar. The palate is teased by impeccable tannins, round and soft, with notes of blackberry, leather and cocoa, and the finish boasts a captivating yet laid back character.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

SCREAMING EAGLE ORIGINAL WINEMAKER’S HEAD TURNING CAB!

 

The crown jewel of La Sirena, Cabernet Sauvignon is Heidi’s favorite varietal to work with, and the wine she is best-known for throughout her career. This Cabernet has all the makings of Heidi’s classic, elegant and balanced style, produced from some of the finest vineyards in Napa Valley.

La Sirena 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 179.99
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code SHIPFREE4 during checkout

The 2015 Cabernet is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga/St. Helena, blended with 9% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cab Franc and 3% Malbec. Only 388 cases were  produced

Suggested drinking range: Delicious upon release, cellaring for 5-10 years is great, but also has potential to last 20+ years stored properly. This wine ages beautifully.

Suggested pairings: Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, Kobe/Wagyu beef (any high quality red meat), roast duck with pomegranate sauce, ribs, veal chops, portobello mushrooms, grilled summer vegetables, Caprese salad.

Heidi Barrett Notes: “This gorgeous 2015 Cabernet is dense and concentrated, starting with very dark ruby color in the glass. Aromas are Napa Valley at its best – layers of ripe berries, cherries, red currants, and toasty refined French oak accents. Open and expressive, with velvety and explosive flavors across the palate. Blackberry-like ripe Cab flavors with amazing silky textural tannins and a persistent long finish. Power packed concentration from this low production vintage. Already delicious upon release, and will surely be an appealing wine for collectors – its powerful structure and rich flavors ensure this wine will be a favorite for years to come.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

100 Point Winemaker’s 290 case producer wins BLIND TASTING against the big ones!

In one of our last tasting group meetings we blind tasted Domestic Rhone Varietal and Rhone Blends. The lineup included:

The WINNER Was Keplinger “SUMO”, followed by DUMOL “Eddie’s Patch” Halcon “Elevación” and Keplinger “LITHIC” –  Our tasting group of 15 tasters voted as follows:

Keplinger Sumo 8 first, 3 second and 3 third place votes
Dumol “Eddie’s Patch”  2 first, 5 second, 2 third place votes
Halcon “Elevación”  2 first,  3 second, 2 third place votes
Keplinger Lithic 2 first, 2 second, 2 third place votes 

Keplinger 2016 “Sumo”
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 76.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

Parker: “The 2016 Sumo is blended of 93% Petite Sirah and 7% Viognier, aged 16 months in 66% new French oak. It is very deep purple-black in color and a little closed, revealing notes of crushed raspberries, black cherries and warm plums plus hints of wild blueberries, spice box and roses. The palate is full-bodied with a firm frame of very ripe, plush tannins and oodles of freshness lifting the red and black berry flavors to a long perfumed finish. 295 cases produced.”

Winemaker: “The aromatics are incredibly vibrant, with layers of candied red fruit, lavender, gunmetal, garrigue, French violet candy, blackberry, and dried thyme. Broad, plush tannins frame the palate; savory notes laced with brambly blue and red fruit, dried herbs and heady floral notes carry the finish. 280 cases produced.”

Keplinger 2016 “Lithic”
Retail 80.00 – GGWC 76.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

Parker: “The 2016 Lithic is a blend of 41% Grenache, 32% Mourvedre and 27% Syrah aged 16 months in 30% new French oak. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it delivers compelling lilacs, kirsch and redcurrant jelly notes with red licorice and hints of anise, cinnamon stick, tar and smoked meats. Medium to full-bodied, firm and with wonderful freshness, it has a fine-grained texture and very long, spicy finish. 280 cases produced.”

Winemaker: “The 16 Lithic has a complex, thrilling evolution. The aromatics are incredibly vibrant, with layers of candied red fruit, lavender, gunmetal, garrigue, French violet candy, blackberry & dried thyme. Broad, plush tannins frame the palate; savory notes laced with brambly blue & red fruit, dried herbs & heady floral notes carry the finish. 280 cases produced.”

Click here or on the links above to order!