Malolactic Fermentation in Red Wines

Malolactic Fermentation in Reds Wines
– Best Explanation Ever –

by Jo Diaz, The Wine Blog

Winemaker Patrick Melley of Russian Hill Estate Winery  just answered this question of Malolactic Fermentation. And for wine beginners (or intermediates, like me), this doesn’t get any better. As one of our clients, I get to edit for the winery on occasion. This was one of those times, but only on the technical business writing side for this one. not for winemaking.

In the past on this blog, I’ve discussed Malolactic fermentation, but only as it relates to white wines. For your benefit, I’ve reduced Malolactic fermentation, but only as it applies to white wine. (I’ve never had to explain ML regarding red wines, because I’ve always know it’s just done; no pomp and circumstance necessary… just done.)

So, White Wine and Malolactic Fermentation, According to Jo

It’s as easy as A + B = C

Acid + Bacteria = Cream
(Malic Acid + Bacteria = laCtic Acid, the same acid in Cream and milk.

If you didn’t know, now you’ve no got it.

But, this doesn’t apply to red wine in the same thinking, I’ve just learned… not the same way as it does for white wine. So, what is it about with red wines? Patrick explained to me that it’s different for red wines, because we can’t say they have a “Creamy” texture. They are, however, softened. Patrick’s explanation.

PATRICK MELLEY ~ On Malolactic in Red Wines

It seems that many people are unsure what it is; although, it’s often referred to when discussing wine. It’s commonly referred to as either “ML” or “Malo.”

While most people know about primary fermentation, where yeast converts grape sugar into alcohol with the byproducts of heat and CO2 production, most don’t yet understand the role of Malolactic fermentation.

It’s similar to primary fermentation, in that there’s a biological conversion of one product into another. In the case of “ML,” the process is done by bacteria rather than the yeast, which does the work in primary fermentation. In ML the bacteria will naturally convert the Malic acid, which is found in grapes, into Lactic acid. The bacteria usually work at a slightly slower pace than yeast, so the conversion usually takes longer to finish than that of the primary fermentation.

Some of the reasons that a winemaker wants to convert the malic acid into lactic acid is that it makes the wine have a softer feel. And more important, it makes the wine more stable during its ageing and bottling.


If there’s remaining malic acid in the wine prior to bottling, the wine can become fizzy during certain conditions, such as exposure to heat. The warmth will activate the bacteria, which is normally in wine, and allow it to begin converting any remaining malic acid into lactic acid. If it happens while in a bottle, the cork will not allow the CO2 gases to escape. When the bottle is opened, it appears to be fizzy due to the trapped CO2.

The whole ML process has some very complex chemistry, and the above explanation is a very broad overview of the process. I hope this helps to get a handle on Malolactic fermentation. In the meantime, keep enjoying Russian River wines!!

So there you have it, straight from “Ask the Winemaker”

They are softer, but we can’t call a red wine creamy, now can we?

96 Point, Stellar, Bold, Rich & Explosive Pinot


In 2001, two generations of the Cobb family came together to explore a shared passion for Pinot Noir with the founding of Cobb Wines. Focused exclusively on crafting single-vineyard, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs, Cobb Wines combines the winegrowing expertise of David Cobb — one of the pioneers of Pinot Noir  viticulture on the far Sonoma Coast — with the winemaking talents of his son, noted pinot noir specialist, Ross Cobb. The original seeds for Cobb Wines were planted in 1989, when David began cultivating pinot noir vines at his sustainably farmed Coastlands Vineyard. A marine ecologist by trade, David spent years studying soils and climatological charts in his search for the ideal place to found his vineyard. His search led him to the ridgetops of the Sonoma Coast, where he believed he would be able to grow grapes perfectly suited to a more complex and graceful style of California pinot noir. On weekend and summer breaks from college, David would be joined in the vineyard by his son Ross, who quickly grew to love the hands-on work of growing wine grapes. And the rest, as they say… is history!

Cobb 2017 Pinot Noir, Emmaline Ann Sonoma Coast
GGWC 79.99 Net Item

Use code COBB during checkout

Vinous 96 Points: “The 2017 Cobb Pinot Noir Emmaline-Ann Vineyard is another stellar wine in this range. Bold, rich and explosive, the 2017 possesses tremendous depth and nuance. Black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice and sage infuse the 2017 with tons of character. The 2017 is marked by a real sense of vertical energy and statuesque beauty. The 50% whole clusters are not especially evident. What a wine!”

Winery Notes: “The 2017 Emmaline Ann displays a pure, vibrant nose of lavender, rose water and conifer. Ripe red cherries and cranberries make up the core of the palate, and the weightless, deft texture this site tends to exude is here in spades. A woodsy, dried-mushroom note hangs in the background of this vintage, making this a slightly more savory and forward iteration of the usually restrained and always gorgeous Emmaline Ann”

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Andy Erickson’s Vivacious, Impeccable UNDER $70 Cabernet Blend

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, Dalla Valle, etal winemaker and you have the keys to success!

Arietta 2017 Quartet (Bordeaux Blend) Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code QUARTET during checkout

Winemaker Andy Erickson’s Notes: “The aromas coming from the glass after pouring the 2017 Quartet are delicate yet exuberant. Floral notes and red fruit aromatics are fresh and focused. Notes of red cherry, rose petal, black tea and bay laurel are among the first scents noted. The color of the wine is dark black-purple with a red note around the rim. This opaque dark hue belies the bright energy and focus of the wine. On the palate, the wine has a remarkable intensity, though it is balanced and well proportioned. Red raspberry, baked cherry, vanilla bean and crushed stones are some of the impressions as the wine hits the palate. The flavors build into an intense, long finish with polished tannins and lingering red fruit flavors. While this wine will age for a decade or more, it is immensely appealing immediately after opening.”

The wine is a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot

Anthony Galloni: “The 2017 Red Blend Quartet is a delicious, easygoing Cab blend from Arietta. Expressive floral and savory notes add character and meld into a core of ripe red plum fruit. Cedar, sweet pipe tobacco, mint, crushed flowers and sweet spice all come together in a pliant, aromatic wine that is impeccable in its balance. This is a very pretty and expressive wine from Arietta that over delivers.”

Robert Parker 94 Points: “Deep purple-black in color, it features youthful, vivacious black and red currant 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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When I tasted the latest Bevan wines I was speechless how good they were, even at this young stage! I opened, and decanted the wines at 1 PM, and tasted them at 4 PM. Every sip was stunning, amazing, wild! One bottling after another I was blown away, probably the best wines Russell has ever made! Top Notch! Unfortunately production levels are as always low, and not a large amount was allocated to me, but I am very excited to share the following highly rated wines from Bevan Cellars:
Bevan 2018 Ontogeny Proprietary Red, Napa Valley – 99 Points 
NET ITEM 104.99
Use code BEVAN18 during checkout
Mix & match with other BEVAN wines OK

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points: “The 2018 Ontogeny should be up there with the 2017 and has lots of cassis and currant fruits as well as plenty of graphite, tapenade, salted chocolate, and leafy herbs. It’s a rich, full-bodied, deep, sexy beasty.”

Winemaker Notes: “We have to go back to the 2013 vintage to find an Ontogeny that is this enthralling. The wine’s pedigree is special: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. We didn’t grow a single grape specifically to go into Ontogeny. Instead, we selected barrels from our vineyard designates to produce something enchanting, and this wine shows that we accomplished that. It cascades across your palate with seamless ease. Explosive notes of crème de cassis, lavender and huckleberries give the wine a luxurious fruit component. The mouthfeel is all about controlled power, the tannins come in waves, but they hit with incredible grace.”

Bevan 2018 Tench EE Red (Cabernet Blend) Napa Valley  – 100 Points – 
NET ITEM 204.99
Use code BEVAN18 during checkout
Mix & match with other BEVAN wines OK

Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points: “The same 60/40 split of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, brought up in new oak, the 2018 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine is another incredibly pure, complex, yet powerful 2018. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, spring flowers, chocolate, and graphite give way to a full-bodied, pure, and seamless wine that has incredible potential.”

Winemaker Notes: “The 2018 EE Red Wine shows the vineyard’s complexity and depth. Where the Cabernet Sauvignon is about power and persistence, the EE mesmerizes and seduces you. The Cabernet in EE comes from Block 2A on the Tench Vineyard. which is made up of beautifully homogenized red soil that gives finesse and more refined textures. When combined with Cabernet Franc and a kiss of Petit Verdot, you get a wine that has complexity and a breadth of flavors and aromatics of fruit as well as ripe tobacco, violets and cedar. Complexity and harmony, the 2018 EE is magic.”

Bevan 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard Oakville, Napa Valley –  98 Points 
NET 204.99
Use code BEVAN18 during checkout
Mix & match with other BEVAN wines OK

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points: “Iron, crushed rocks, spice, and scorched earth notes all dominate the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard, a rich, powerful yet balanced wine. Showing the purity of fruit that’s classic in the vintage, ripe tannins, terrific balance, and a big finish, it’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age.”

Winemaker Notes: “The Tench Cabernet Sauvignon is the purest version of this wine we have crafted to date. The fruit flavors are obvious from the second you pull the cork until you have consumed the last sip. Blackberry and boysenberry flavors drive this wine, but hints of spice and mocha complement them. Blocks 1A and 1B go into this wine, and their rocky, red soils give this wine its power. It has an captivating intensity that pushes it to a level that previous vintages have not achieved”
Bevan 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Napa Valley –  98 Points  
NET 204.99
Use code BEVAN18 during checkout
Mix & match with other BEVAN wines OK

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points: “A 50/50 split of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the 2018 Sugarloaf Mountain Proprietary Red just pops on the nose with its blue fruits, wildflowers, violets, and wild strawberry aromas and flavors. Juicy and full-bodied, it has beautiful fruit, a plush, sexy texture, and notable freshness and purity.”

Winemaker Notes: “ The Sugarloaf Mountain Proprietary Red is back for 2018 and it is a true anomaly. In the Bevan portfolio, this wine is always the last to come around and show its stuff. In 2018 I feared it would be the slowest vintage ever to find its way, but it has already found its charm and grace. Once this wine was put in the tank it was off to the races. The intoxicating Cabernet Franc (60%) aromatics of exotic spices, dark cocoa, and floral perfume cannot be held back. The Merlot (40%) pushes the mid-palate and gives the waves of flavors and incredibly plush landing zone. This is yumminess to the limit.”

Bevan 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Wildfoote Vixen Stag’s Leap, Napa Valley 
NET 204.99
Use code BEVAN18 during checkout
Mix & match with other BEVAN wines OK

Tasting Notes: Very deep garnet-purple colored this Vixen Block Wildfoote Vineyard displays broad aromatics of cassis, black & blueberries,  with hints of spice, lavender & dark chocolate.  The lush wine is full in body,  loaded with bold flavors of black stone fruit, a touch of vanilla and a whiff of earthiness. Intense on impact, this wine is like a linebacker at first with its big frame, but elegant like a ballerina finishing with  finely grained tannins and just enough freshness.

Winemaker Notes: “In 2018 the Wildfoote Vineyard Vixen Block was magic in the tank. The fruit flavors were so red and blue, the floral components were so heady and intoxicating. The textures are what you hope for from Stag’s Leap, polished and supple, but in 2018 the wine has an extra level of intensity. The tannins are a little more powerful and the acid a dash crisper. The energy and verve in this wine makes it singular and unique in our portfolio.”

Also check out:


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Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.

An UNDER $70 Napa Cabernet, But it tastes like a $200 one!

Benoit Touquette might no longer be the #1 undiscovered talent in Napa. Garnering great reviews with Realm, Hartwell and his own Fait-Main label. He was Andy Erickson’s right hand man, at Screaming Eagle producing many 98-100 point wines! Benoit is also the protégé of the world’s top consulting winemaker Michel Rolland.  All three were at the helm of Ovid producing their wines for some years. His “Fait-Main” label, which translates to “Hand-Crafted” is a small case production Cabernet  project.  I’d say that a new star is born!

Fait-Main 2018 Cabernet “Teeter-Totter” Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code TEETER at checkout

The 2018 Fait-Main “Teeter Totter” Cabernet Sauvignon with its opaque ruby/purple-color exhibits tons of fruit on the nose: crème de cassis, blackcurrants and blackberries intermixed with notes of baking spices, lavender, graphite and licorice. It is big, bold and full-bodied, round and juicy loaded with black stone fruit, a touch of cigar spice and a hint of figs on the long, silky finish.  This is a wine that could be drunk now or over the next decade.  Limited production!

Winery Notes: “The Teeter Totter Cabernet Sauvignon as it will easily compete with wine that costs 3-4 times its going rate. Made from mostly Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from throughout the valley, this beauty boasts a saturated purple color as well as a classic bouquet of crème de cassis, licorice, toasted spices, and tobacco. Deep, full-bodied, and powerful, it still has the class and purity of the 2018 vintage front and center. It’s a no-brainer to enjoy over the coming decade.

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “Another terrific value, the Teeter Totter Cabernet Sauvignon is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% each Petite Sirah and Cab Franc. Production is way down, but it’s an amazing wine with its bright, juicy blackberry and cassis fruit interwoven with plenty of graphite and toasted spice. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and sweetly fruited, it has ripe tannins and is well worth seeking out.”

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.

Magnificent, 94 Point Côte Rôti from California

A British couple settled in the hills of Mendocino where they found land with schist-like Cote–Rotie soils on a windblown cool mountain top overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which would become their “estate” vineyard. With the assistance of Justin Smith (Saxum), Crole Meredith & Steve Lagier (Lagier-Meredith), Mike Officer (Carlisle) and Wells Guthrie (Copain) they set out to plant what has become a much regarded Rhone-varietal vineyard. Wells helped develop and maintain the vineyard. Under the tutelage of the great Roar winemaker (Scott Shapley) they have put some very good quality and well-priced wines on the wine map!

Halcon 2018 Syrah “Alturas” Estate, Mendocino
GGWC 35.99
Use code HALCON during checkout

Mix & match OK with other Halcon wines

The Alturas is a wonderful wine, offering up a youthful but superb bouquet of violets, cracked pepper, grilled meat and crunchy cassis. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, concentrated and tensile, with fine-grained tannins, a deep core of crunchy fruit and a long, sapid finish. While this is already delicious, it’s emphatically a young wine, and the real fireworks will begin when it has five years on the clock. Cropped at 1.25-tons per acre and fermented with 50% whole clusters, this lovely Syrah from Halcón wouldn’t be out of place in a flight of great Cornas. It’s also shockingly good value.

Vinous 94 Points: “A stellar, alluring wine, the 2018 Syrah Halcón Vineyard captures the essence of this site in its combination of inky dark fruit and savory, perfumed explosiveness. Blueberry, sage, mint, lavender and spice all race out of the glass in a magical, deeply expressive Syrah that hits all the right notes. Th Alturas 2018 is just magnificent!”

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “Leading off the two Syrahs, the 2018 Syrah Alturas (there’s normally a splash of Viognier) offers a beautiful, Côte Rôtie-like bouquet of black raspberries, spring flowers, bacon fat, and scorched earth. Made in a fresh, lively style, it has good concentration, medium body, bright acidity, and plenty of polished tannins. It displays beautiful elegance as well as complexity.”
Also check out:

Award Winning (Domestic) Rhone Varietal Tasting with Halcon owners Paul & Jackie Gordon


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Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.

Cabernet Franc Is on the Rise in Napa

Cabernet Franc Is on the Rise in Napa

by Shana Clarke

Cabernet Sauvignon

Courtesy of Caladan

is indisputably Napa’s premier red grape. But lately, Cabernet Franc has been gaining fresh attention among winemakers in the region. In the past few years, the grape has been making its way in more single-varietal bottlings and blends. Now, as growers plant more vineyards to Cabernet Franc and demand rises, grape prices have followed suit.

Cabernet Franc’s presence in the valley may still be small, but winemakers say they see the grape’s potential. “We have an opportunity to make a really great Cab Franc in the Napa Valley,” says Chris Carpenter, winemaker at La Jota Vineyard Co., which makes a $95 varietal bottling of Cabernet Franc. “We have the right climate, the right soils, and people are starting to pick up on it.”

For consumers, Cabernet Franc hits on multiple levels: It appeals to both classic Bordeaux aficionados, as well as a younger generation that is drawn to the leaner, herbal style found in the Loire. Carpenter reports that drinkers of his Cabernet Francs are recognizing the longevity of the variety and are beginning to think of it as a collectible wine, much like Cabernet Sauvignon.
For wine drinkers interested in getting in on Napa’s Cabernet Franc trend early, here’s what to know.

The first known Cabernet Franc in the region was planted in 1949 in Detert Vineyard, which was originally part of the To Kalon Vineyard. The original 18-acre site was predominantly Cabernet Franc — approximately 17 acres — largely due to the influence of Robert Mondavi, who purchased much of the fruit.
Although a replant of the west block of that vineyard in 2015 saw a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon plantings go in, third-generation vintner Tom Garrett of Detert Family Vineyards says he has seen an uptick of interest in Cabernet Franc, such as their Oakville Cabernet Franc, which sells for $100. “From our perspective, both from making our own wine and selling grapes, we — as you can imagine — have seen the growth and interest in Cabernet Franc just continue to slowly grow,” says Garrett. “There are a lot of really passionate Cabernet Franc enthusiasts out there.”

Cabernet Franc

Courtesy of Gentl & Hyers

plantings are small in the region, but are growing. There are currently 1,211 acres of Cabernet Franc to Cabernet Sauvignon’s 24,354 acres. However, Cabernet Franc plantings increased by 13.5 percent from 2006 to 2016, and new projects indicate more to come.

At La Jota Vineyard Co., Carpenter started with a block of Cabernet Franc planted on St. George rootstock. “We still farm that particular piece and it is probably one of the oldest Cabernet Franc blocks in the Napa Valley,” he says. “But we’ve also planted additional Cab Franc up there as the popularity of that particular wine in the La Jota range has grown.” To meet customer demand, La Jota’s initial production of 200 cases quadrupled to almost 900 cases.

Carpenter’s conviction for Cabernet Franc in Napa is reflected in his newest project, Caladan. Aiming to create what he calls a “Right Bank expression” of Cabernet Franc in Napa Valley, he sources his fruit from four distinctive mountain sites — Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Diamond Mountain, and Spring Mountain — to produce a notably complex wine that sells for $150.

One of the biggest indicators of Cabernet Franc’s growing popularity is grape prices. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture 2019 Grape Crush Report, Cabernet Franc commands an average $9,493.79 per ton versus Cabernet Sauvignon at $7,865.52 per ton. This is not a one-off; Cabernet Franc has commanded a higher price point since 2016. While much of that is driven by supply and demand, the fact that there is such a demand speaks to the growing popularity of the grape.


Somewhat a fickle grape, Cabernet Franc “has a mean streak, and it’s a green streak,” says Dan Petroski, winemaker at Larkmead Vineyards. The challenge is this: Pushing Cabernet Franc to full ripeness causes it to lose its nuanced aromas and flavors. But when the grape is underripe, it can be unpleasant.

“There’s a weird love-hate relationship with Cabernet Franc in Napa Valley,” Petroski says. “I think we’d all say we love it, but we’re all afraid to champion it because we’re worried about the flavor profile not matching the Napa Valley profile.”

However, Petroski adds, “I think people are opening up to the idea that green is good, that these are more complex and nuanced flavors in our wines.”

Cabernet Franc’s

Courtesy of Larkmead

role as a blending grape also plays into its growing popularity. At Larkmead, Petroski changed the cepage of the winery’s LMV Salon, which sells for $185, so Cabernet Franc leads the blend rather than Cabernet Sauvignon.
From a business perspective, grape variety gives more options within a portfolio. “I’m using it personally at Larkmead to diversify our lineup,” says Petroski. “The majority of our vineyards was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon — over 70 percent. It’s not in our best interest to offer six red wines that are all Cabernet Sauvignon.”

One Cabernet Franc specialist in the region, Lang & Reed, has seen significant success with its sales, even during the pandemic. Owner John Skupny, who has been bottling single varietal Cabernet Francs since 1993, says he was initially quite concerned about sales at the onset of Covid-19, given that most of his wines are sold on-premise. However, he pivoted to direct-to-consumer sales channels and was able to sell through the vast majority of his wines, including the renowned $85 ‘Two-Fourteen’ Cabernet Franc, recouping “80 to 90 percent” of expected sales.

Whether this success — and those of the producers interviewed — is indicative of changing consumer tastes or a desire to buy beyond Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa, is anyone’s guess. Cabernet Franc plantings overall remain small and Cabernet Sauvignon continues to dominate. But the growing number of Cabernet Franc bottlings indicates an enthusiasm for the grape and a glimpse at what may be a growing interest in varietal diversity in the region.


95 Point UNDER $35 BIG RED


A British couple settled in the hills of Mendocino where they found  land with schist-like Cote–Rotie soils on a windblown cool mountain top overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which would become their “estate” vineyard. With the assistance of Justin Smith (Saxum), Crole Meredith & Steve Lagier (Lagier-Meredith), Mike Officer (Carlisle) and Wells Guthrie (Copain) they set out to plant what has become a much regarded Rhone-varietal vineyard. Wells helped develop and maintain the vineyard. Under the tutelage of the great Roar winemaker (Scott Shapley) they have put some very good quality and well-priced wines on the wine map!

Halcon 2018 Petite Sirah “Tierra” Theopolis Vineyard
GGWC 34.99
Use code HALCON @ checkout

Can mix & match with other Halcon wines

Vinous 95 Points: “The 2018 Petite Sirah Tierra Theopolis Vineyard is a deep, powerful wine. Black cherry, black plum, black pepper, menthol, licorice and chocolate infuse the Petite with tons of complexity and nuance. This is such a gorgeous, captivating expression of Petite. In a word: superb!”

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “The 2018 Petite Sirah is another exceedingly elegant, seamless wine from Gordon’s estate vineyard. Deep purple-hued with notes of blueberries, California bay leaf, violets, and bouquet garni, it’s medium-bodied, elegant, and lightly textured, with the fresh, focused, streamlined style that’s present in all these new releases. It’s going to be reasonably approachable on release yet keep for 15 years, if you’re so inclined.”

Also check out:  


Make sure to sign up for the HALCON VIRTUAL WINE TASTING on Friday September 11

Award Winning (Domestic) Rhone Varietal Tasting with Halcon owners Paul & Jackie Gordon

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.



These wines are made by two friends from different continents. Union Sacré exists at the meeting of worlds. Two long time friends, Xavier & Philip, who arrived at the Central Coast from opposite ends of the world. Xavier is a WSET certified, oenology degree holder from France, Philip is a self-taught designer from Michigan. Between the two of them, Xavier and Philip have 25+ years experience working at various Central Coast wineries.

Union Sacre 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Le Confident” Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara
GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code UNION18 during checkout

Le Confident from Union Sacré offers up sweet aromas of blackberries, herbs and licorice, followed by a medium-bodied, ample and layered palate, with a sweet core of fruit, good balance and a flavorful finish.  This is truly a well-priced wine!

Winemaker Notes: “The wine opens with bold, generous, aromas of ripe blackcurrant, fresh raspberry, baking spice and a touch of dried herb.  On the palate, it feels as big, bold, rich and deep, but is even smoother and more finessed.  Flavors range from dark currant, blackberry, and raspberry fruit to cured tobacco, exotic spice, and just a touch of toasty oak.  Those flavors keep on pumping through a long, generous, and smooth finish with just enough fine tannin to give shape and help the wine stand up to steak or aging. Delicious now with a decant (try 30-45 minutes) and sure to improve for 7-10 years. A great value!”

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Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.

Paloma “The Petrus from Napa” is now in stock!

Barbara and Jim Richards always had an interest in wine, both in its making and its consumption, and in food and gardening. In 1980, they were living in Midland, Texas, and began thinking about a second home and decided to start looking for a small property in the Napa Valley where they could build a home and plant a small vineyard. This dream was realized in 1983 when a friend of theirs, Dan Duckhorn, called and told them about the property now known as Paloma Vineyard.  The property is located five miles northwest of St. Helena at the top of Spring Mountain. In the last half of the 19th century it was a vineyard, but was allowed to return to forest around the turn of the century. The purchase of this raw land was the beginning of an odyssey that is ongoing, ever changing, but with one goal—to grow the best grapes possible and make a wine that reflects the terroir of Paloma Vineyard, Spring Mountain and Napa.  Sadly both Jim (2009) and Barbara (2016) passed away, but their son Sheldon has been groomed since 2003 to take over the reigns, and continue the legacy of Paloma for years to come.
The 2016 vintage was one of the smallest on record for our friends of Paloma, courtesy of many drought years.  So there is not much to go around this year!

Paloma has become synonymous with Merlot for Cabernet Lovers.  Like some of its First Growth French counterparts, Paloma’s Merlot could be called a proprietary red blend as it is a blend of 85% Merlot & 15% Cabernet.  I also want to let those Cabernet-philes know that one the most sought after, highly rated and probably (one of) the most expensive wines in the world is NOT Cabernet, but Merlot (i.e. Chateau Petrus)…. So Paloma, might be Napa Valley’s Petrus, but at a fraction the price!

Paloma 2016 Merlot Estate Spring Mountain, Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
Use code PALOMA upon checkout

The 2016 Paloma is a Merlot that will give many Cabernets a run for their money as this is not your wimpy, soft, silky wine, but a well-balanced, complex, dark, concentrated, full-bodied mountain-grown gem! The wine’s aroma is amazing, and jumps right out of the glass on impact. This wine is layered with dense black stone fruit laced with dark chocolate and a whiff of toasty vanilla. It is a big, lush youngster that pleases from start to finish. It is well-balanced and elegant at the same time. But I suggest putting this one down for 6-12 months prior to imbibing. Very small production.

Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.