The Biggest Boldest Petite Sirah Ever Seen!

It all started with 7 barrels stashed in his employer’s cellar. What started as a modest homage to his rancher grandfather has become a beacon to those seeking opulent, structured Syrah and Grenache. To maintain balance while giving flavor full stage, Russell works with 30 top-tier vineyards in over 7 distinct growing regions between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. Vineyards of particular note include: Bien Nacido, Slide Hill, Larner, Shadow Canyon, Chelle Mountain, Luna Matta and White Hawk. ­ese are no nonsense, balls to the walls wines that are not for the faint of heart or the pinky raising set.
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Herman Story 2017 Petite Sirah “First Time Caller” Santa Barbara
GGWC 54.99
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This isn’t just any rinky-dink poker night, it’s the hottest game in town. Th­e blinds are as big as the balls being broke, and if you aren’t going big, you should probably go home. You take your seat and your chips and brace yourself. ­ The flop is huge with brambles and black pepper. Violet and orange muscat on the turn has you feeling strong. You catch a blend of nectar and honey on the river, which sweetens the pot. You can spot the tell across the table, so you make the call. And you go home a legend.

Winemaker Notes:  Ultra extracted by California sunshine and a bit of that classic Russell P. From “don’t pick it till you’ve finished your Christmas shopping” magic, this is the most dangerous wine I’ve made yet. For anyone who drinks French roast and likes their bacon extra crispy.

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Measuring the body’s response to aromas in wine

Measuring the body's response to aromas in wine

Researchers are studying people’s physiological reactions to wine aromas
From MorningAgClips.com

 

Fresno State researchers are studying people’s physiological reactions to wine aromas using technology that can record facial muscle movements, the sweat on fingertips, respiration cycles and heart rate.

Winemaking involves a lot of science, but finding out whether someone likes a specific kind of wine or not often involves just one sip and a few questions.

Traditionally, consumer reaction to wine is measured with a rating system tied to a question. For example, on a scale from one to nine, how much do you like this wine?

Fresno State researchers and undergraduate students are now taking it a step further to capture actual data. They are studying people’s physiological reactions to wine aromas using technology that can record facial muscle movements, the sweat on fingertips, respiration cycles and heart rate.

Such data has not been recorded or included in the scientific literature of wine before, said Dr. Miguel Pedroza, assistant professor of enology in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at Fresno State.

 “Wine is a very emotional beverage,” Pedroza said. “Historically, mankind has been attracted very heavily to wine, and we believe that this is due to the aromas which might be the link between emotions and wine. We want to understand a bit more how our body reacts.”

Several hundred aroma molecules can be found in a single bottle of wine, but people can accurately identify only about a handful through smell. The idea is to identify the smells that are perceived, in a positive or negative way, using body signals, he said.

Pedroza is collaborating with three other professors in the Food Science and Nutrition, Psychology and Computer Science departments. The two-year project is funded through the Agricultural Research Institute from the California State University system.

Testing is conducted in the sensory lab at the Jordan Agricultural Research Center, where participants are hooked up to small electrodes to record body signals and given aromas (or odors) to smell, such as rose, clove or spices.

The electrodes can detect the slightest movements, like the start of a frown, which usually indicates something one doesn’t like, or a smile indicating something one does like, said Dr. Martin Shapiro, professor of psychology, who specializes in decision making and has a physiology lab that measures responses in the body. Heart rate levels and sweat can tell about arousal levels and stress, he said.

Information collected from the aroma tests are uploaded into a database where computer science professor Dr. Hubert Cecotti helps the research team process the information.

“These people are great people to work with. They’re a lot of fun, and we have these great ideas,” Shapiro said. “I’m learning about wine, they’re learning about physiology and we’re learning ways of measuring it all.”

Dr. Carmen Licon-Cano, assistant professor in food science and nutrition, is excited to continue the work she started in her post-doctoral studies.

The goal is to create a database identifying the molecules that most often give a positive bodily reaction so “maybe the winemaker or cheesemaker or whoever is processing food can make it a target to include these specific compounds in their wine or product,” she said.

The project will be conducted in three phases with thirty participants in each phase. 
 


If you'd like to take part in your own "study", please join us each Saturday from 1-5 PM in our tasting room as we smell and sample some of the best wines Napa has to offer! See the calendar below!

CELIA WELCH’S MOST UNDERSTATED & UNDER THE RADAR CABERNET

This fully ripe Cabernet Sauvignon shows intensely aromatic tones of spiced plums, cranberry, cherry tobacco, and a note of warm toasty vanilla. On the palate the texture is immediately broad and plush, with bright, fresh berry notes and dusty mocha/dark cherry flavors both simultaneously enveloping the palate. The finish displays surprisingly resolved tannins given the overall weight of the wine, and fades to a lingering impression of fresh cherry.

Keever 2015 “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 134.99
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96 Points: An awesome bouquet of sweet cassis, cedarwood, incense, and dried flowers. As with all the wines from Celia Welch, this beauty is impeccably balanced, has medium to full-bodied richness and depth, subtle background oak, and a great finish. It shines for its purity and elegance as well as its depth of fruit and intensity. Drink it over the coming two decades or more.

Vinous 94+ Points: “The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a very beautiful wine, especially within the context of the year. Sweet red cherry and purplish berry fruit, lavender and spice are nicely woven together in this very pretty, understated wine. Medium in body and classy, Keever’s Cabernet has so much to offer. Above all else, the 2015 has a good bit of freshness, something that is rare in this vintage.”

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97 Point Rock Star Red

Matthias Pippig is not your everyday mainstream winemaker. He’s an “artist” in the true sense of the worth.  A creator, a dreamer, a visionary, a poet, a chef, a scientist.  Mix this all together and you have Sanguis.  Matthias moved here from Germany some 30 years ago with plans to make it big in the Rock & Roll scene.  Life took a different turn, as he had to make a living and  he eventually stumbled onto the L.A. food scene.  He worked as a waiter, and in time met Manfred Krankl, of La Brea Bakery fame, which whom he’d partner and work for several years.  Krankl, created the infamous Sine Qua Non label and that inspired Matthias to go a similar route and the rest is history.  Sanguis is not a quaffing wine, but complex and sophisticated.

Sanguis 2016 Syrah “Bossman” Santa Barbara
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99
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Winemaker Notes: “An eccentric gentleman, like the men of early car racing – Confidently humble, determined and patient, smart, beautiful (but not in the Hollywood or GQ sort of way), generous…probably in his mid-fifties but not the sort of 50’s that we’d find in a Viagra commercial and also not the Dos Equisman (though I like him very much).  As a wine, this just about has it all – a dark brooding core enrobed by bright and vibrant energy and an incredibly generous    manner.  It is as pure and lively an expression of Syrah as we’ve been able to coax from nature and put in a bottle – beautiful now and promising a long interesting life ahead.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “One of the gems in the lineup as well as in the vintage is the Bossman. Made from a mix of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and Petite Sirah aged 25 months in 60% new oak, its vivid ruby/purple color is followed by a huge perfume of blueberries, bacon fat, black olives, and smoked herbs. It’s deep, full-bodied, layered, and multi-dimensional on the palate, with no hard edges and a sensational finish. Hats off to winemaker Matthias Pippig for this awesome Santa Barbara County blend!

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Impressive White for those on a budget

The Kristy Vineyard grows on the western bench over the Salinas River on the broken sediment of ancient sea beds, fully exposed to winds off the Monterey Bay. Kristy is special because Albariño in the vineyard reaches full phenological ripeness at low potential alcohol and bright natural acidity.

FYI: Pronunciation  – Albariño (“alba-reen-yo”)

La Marea 2018 Albariño Kristy Vineyard, Monterey County
GGWC 27.99
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Pale yellow gold in color with an intense aroma of citrus zest, quince and white peaches. On the palate this very pleasant youngster offers lush citrus and bright orchard fruit flavors that become more intense towards the end.  The wine shows a nice mineral lift without being sharp in acidity.  The wine has a long and impressive finish with hints of floral notes at the tail end.  Low alcohol (13%)

The classic dish to pair with Albarino is pulpo, or octopus. Other good bets are grilled or spicy fish, shellfish, or mussels. It also goes well with roasted vegetables, and because it is generally crisp and refreshing is excellent on its own or as the first wine of a long night of drinking.

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A 95 Point Modern Marvel

Matthias Pippig is not your everyday mainstream winemaker. He’s an “artist” in the true sense of the worth.  A creator, a dreamer, a visionary, a poet, a chef, a scientist.  Mix this all together and you have Sanguis.  Matthias moved here from Germany some 30 years ago with plans to make it big in the Rock & Roll scene.  Life took a different turn, as he had to make a living and  he eventually stumbled onto the L.A. food scene.  He worked as a waiter, and in time met Manfred Krankl, of La Brea Bakery fame, which whom he’d partner and work for several years.  Krankl, created the infamous Sine Qua Non label and that inspired Matthias to go a similar route and the rest is history.  Sanguis is not a quaffing wine, but complex and sophisticated.

Those who purchased the 97 Point rated Bossman will not be disappointed with this latest “Modern“ botting!

Sanguis 2015 “The Modern” Proprietary Red, Santa Barbara
GGWC 84.99
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The Syrah-based 2015 The Modern is done in an especially opulent, flamboyant style, and yet all the elements fall into place effortlessly. Sumptuous and deep, but not at all heavy, the Modern is showing very well today. The 40% whole clusters are pretty much buried by the sheer richness of the fruit.

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “Based on Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier, the 2015 The Modern is another beautiful wine from this estate. Plums, blueberries, ground pepper, and olive tapenade notes all flow to a richly textured, medium to full-bodied beauty that has sweet tannins, loads of fruit, and impeccable balance.”

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97 Point, Full-Throttle, under $85 Must have Cab

Bob Betz MW (Master of Wine, only a few hundred of those in the whole world), has had a long career in the wine industry, going back to 1974 when he received his first “training” in France. Fast forward to 28 years at the helm of a prominent winery, and creating Betz Winery with his wife in 1997, to building a state-of-the-art winery in 2005. His path has crossed many regions of the world, and it shows in his winemaking skills!

Betz 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon “Pere de Famille”
GGWC 84.99
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Winemaker Notes:2015 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon shows its lineage clearly, while also expressing the conditions of the vintage. It’s a deep magenta through to the core. A knockout aroma of black currant and black cherry comes next, enhanced by bay leaf and thyme. Black olive notes share the stage with baking spices. Aromas of white flowers and red currants tease their way out with time in the glass. The palate impression is one of early integration between the oak and grape tannins. The inclusion of Merlot and Petit Verdot help create a seamless texture, and extend the length of flavor on the palate. Expect 2015 Père de Famille to be delicious young, but to offer up to two decades of cellar life.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “The 2015 Père de Famille is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 4% Merlot that’s mostly from Red Mountain aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. This inky colored effort is packed and stacked, with deep blackberry and currant fruits intermixed with lots of graphite, crushed rock, and minerals as well as smoky, violets aromas and flavors. This full-bodied beauty has gorgeous purity and elegance. It needs 2-4 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades.”

Parker 96 Points: “A blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille exhibits complex aromas of pencil lead, inky dark fruit, wild blueberries, black truffle, incense and anise. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, layered and very concentrated, with a deep core of sappy fruit, rich structuring tannins and a long, penetrating finish. This will need some time in the cellar, but it’s very complete and full of promise.”

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Inaugural Release of Maritana a.k.a. Life after Patz & Hall… The Remake… 2.0

After 29 vintages with his previous company Patz & Hall, Donald Patz moved on in May of 2017. It was a perfect moment to quit or take some time off. That’s not really his style. Donald hit the ground running on May 1, 2017 to implement a new wine brand. “I had some things I still wanted to do in the wine business. I love sharing my wines. This time being free to rethink and take my wines in a slightly different direction was exciting and refreshing!”  He created Maritana.

Maritana Chardonnay “La Rivière” 2017, Russian River Valley
GGWC 59.99
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La Rivière (meaning the River) is a  blend of 55% (Dutton Ranch) Shop Block 1967; 42% Big River Vineyard; 3% (Dutton Ranch) Hansen Hill Vineyard Chardonnay and includes – Old Wente Clone from both Hansen Hill and Big River, Clone 04 from Big River and a combination of an old Massale selection and Dijon Clone 76 at Shop Block 1967.  It is entirely barrel fermented in 90% once-used French Oak barrels and 10% new French Oak barrels – sur lies aged – 100% ML complete.   There is a lot of pear, apple, citrus to go with a gentle background note of lees and barrel spice. It’s got excellent acidity and presents a bright fully refreshing character.

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Screaming Eagle Value Cabernet

Arietta is the name for wines born of a passion for music. The name Arietta, meaning short aria or art song, expresses our belief that all great wines must sing. Both wine & song should “take flight,” in the course of which the qualities of balance, vibrancy, depth, overtones, and complexity resonate and give us a sense of exaltation.  Add ANDY ERICKSON, the longtime Screaming Eagle winemaker and you have the keys to success!

Arietta 2016 “Quartet” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
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Robert Parker 94 Points: “The 2016 Quartet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it features youthful, vivacious black and red currants notions with an undercurrent of black plums, mulberries, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus wafts of tobacco and new leather. Full-bodied and laden with decadent black fruit and spicy layers, it has a velvety backbone and long spicy finish.”

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Explosive 6 Barrel Pinot Noir

Bohème was originally chosen for its geographical reference to the Bohemian Highway that runs through the town of Occidental, on the Sonoma Coast.  The road’s name arose in the late 1800s when San Francisco’s Bohemian Club followed this summertime route to a grove in the redwoods.  In 2000 Chuck Wagner (owner of Caymus) asked Kurt Beitler (Boheme’s winemaker/owner) to manage his Pinot noir vineyard near Occidental.  Some years later he had an epiphany about the transformative wines that surrounded him and he decided that right then the Sonoma Coast became the place of inspiration for Boheme winery.

Bohème 2015 Pinot Noir Stuller Vineyard Sonoma Coast
GGWC 57.99
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The Boheme 2015 Pinot Noir from the venerable Stuller Vineyard offers up pleasant flavors and aromatics of red fruits and white pepper that explode quietly on the palate as it develops. The  medium to full body is laced with lush and bright flavors of red stone fruits revealing elements of cranberry, pomegranate and wild strawberry that dance along the palate.  The wine finishes with lots of flavors and silky-grained tannins.

Footnote: Alc. 13.4% .  Only 144 cases (6 barrels) were produced

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