Thomas Rivers Brown’s 97 Point Napa Valley “Pauillac”


 

Proprietors Mark Pulido and Donna Walker have a long history in Napa Valley, building relationships and putting down roots in the community. In the early 1980s, Donna and Mark began making regular trips to the Valley, meeting vintners at iconic cellars where they often tasted from the barrel. They were drawn into tasting room discussions about harvest and the rhythms of crafting wine. Pulido~Walker is a natural outgrowth of the couple’s passion, as collectors, for the place and its promise. Their Mt. Veeder Estate is a testament to the family’s long-term commitment to Napa Valley and view toward the future. They hooked up with Thomas Rivers Brown to create their own brand, and the rest as they say… is history.

Pulido Walker 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon “Panek” Napa Valley
GGWC 229.99
FREE SHIPPING on 3
Use code PULIDO during checkout

Winemaker Notes: “Yield was smaller than average in 2017 throughout the Valley, and the Panek Vineyard was no exception. While quantity was down, the quality of all five clones planted to this site continues to impress. We saw superb maturation across the board, with clone 337 coming into its own and clone 6 putting on its best showing ever. The 2017 Pulido~Walker Panek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is blended from the three clones we have traditionally used, along with clone 337, to bring you a wine of excellent quality from a vineyard where quality has become consistently high. This vintage is balanced and light on its feet, with fresh fruit characteristics. Somewhat more red fruited than is typical even for this site, the wine is a refreshing one to drink now. We have seen fleshier vintages certainly, and much as we anticipate the ways those wines will develop with age, we greatly appreciate the 2017 Panek Cabernet Sauvignon for giving us something delicious to uncork right away.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “Lots of dark fruits, scorched earth, tobacco, and some Pauillac-like lead pencil notes emerge from the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is 100% varietal from a great vineyard in St. Helena. With medium to full-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and impressive balance, this savory, meaty Cabernet is going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and drink beautifully for 15-20 years or more.”

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

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
FREE SHIPPING on 12
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:  
HALCON 2018 SYRAH “ALTURAS” ESTATE MENDOCINO (94 Points)

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

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

Super Sauvignon from Hedonistic Producer


 

In 1972, Jack and Mary Novak purchased the original “Spottswoode” property  In 1977, when Mary Weber Novak’s husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving her with five young children and a newly replanted vineyard, she became one of the first women to run a major Napa Valley wine-growing estate. In the years since, through her hard work, insight and perseverance, she has established Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery as one of the valley’s great family-owned wineries and first growth-caliber properties. The first commercial wine was produced in 1982 by Tony Soter (Etude & Soter wines). Many other great winemakers have passed the review, all making highly rated wines from this great estate. Today the winery is run by the daughters Beth & Lindy.

Spottswoode 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code SPOTTSB during checkout

Tasting Notes: “Highly acclaimed and considered one of the “Super Sauvignons” (a term coined by wine writer Karen MacNeil to describe a rare class of wines considered to be among the world’s utmost expressions of this noble grape), Spottswoode’s exceptional, classically styled Sauvignon Blanc has been produced since 1984. Crafted using grapes from their own Spottswoode Estate, as well as those from other iconic family-owned vineyards. Fermented in a combination of French oak, small stainless steel barrels, a clay amphora, and one ceramic and two concrete cuvees, the resulting wine is an eminently drinkable yet cellar-worthy Sauvignon that is both stately and sublime, with extraordinary aromas, effortless poise, and remarkable complexity. It is why noted wine writers have written that “Spottswoode has turned Sauvignon Blanc into an art form,” and have hailed this wine as one of America’s or the world’s “best Sauvignon Blancs,” calling it the “aristocracy of domestic Sauvignon Blanc”.

Winemaker Notes: “This Sauvignon Blanc jumps out of the glass with pink grapefruit, Asian pear, white peach, lemon oil, lime leaf, and lemongrass aromatics. The palate confirms the nose and is extremely bright and tense, showing great balance. Bright guava, juicy stone fruit, and hints of pineapple pair with a grapefruit acidity that lead to a long finish. Frequent lees bâtonnage adds a level of creaminess and more layers of complexity. Showing beautifully now, this wine also has the structure and sophistication to age gracefully for enjoyment in the future.”

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

Understated, Vivid & Intense 94 Point BEST “Dollar-Cost-Average” Chardonnay


 

Walter Hansel has been synonymous with great quality at a great price! Year after year these wines impress me and my clientele alike. The first vines were planted in 1978 just up the block from Kistler!  The first vintage 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 year this winery produces amazing “Dollar Cost Average” under-priced, and over-delivered quality wines!

Walter Hansel 2018 Cuvée Alyce Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
$41.99 Net item
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code HANSEL during checkout

OK to mix & match with other Hansel wines

Vinous 94 Points:The 2018 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is rich and vivid, yet also light on its feet. A wine of real personality and character, the Cuvée Alyce is intense and yet not at all heavy. Lemon peel, almond, dried flowers and sweet spice are all nicely lifted in a class, understated Chardonnay that will drink well with minimal cellaring.”

Tasting Notes: The Cuvée Alyce opens with new oak aromas of toast, smoke, nutmeg and a gunflint hint with pie crust, spiced red apples, warm yellow peaches and loads of savory nuances—honey, hazelnuts, dried hay—at the core. Medium to full-bodied, it packs a wallop of flavor in the mouth, giving up oodles of warm fruits, spices and savory flavors, with great freshness to lift the very long, layered finish. This is fabulous! Give it another couple years in the bottle.

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

BEVAN’S NEW 2018 CABERNET/BORDEAUX BLEND RELEASES ARE FINALLY HERE!


 

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
FREE SHIPPING on 6
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
FREE SHIPPING on 6 
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
FREE SHIPPING on 6 
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
FREE SHIPPING on 6 
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
FREE SHIPPING on 6
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:

BEVAN 2018 CHARDONNAY “RITCHIE” RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY
BEVAN 2019 SAUVIGNON BLANC “DRY STACK” BENNETT VALLEY, SONOMA
BEVAN 2018 PINOT NOIR “PETALUMA GAP”
BEVAN 2018 PINOT NOIR RITA’S CROWN, SANTA RITA HILLS

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

What is a Beautiful Wine?

What is a Beautiful Wine?

By Dwight Furrow
In FoodAndWineAesthetics.com
 
Does the wine world need the idea of beauty to explain what makes a great wine great? That is not an easy question to answer.

The logic of the idea of beauty is peculiar. Identifying beauty is not like recognizing the stop sign is red or the wine is full bodied. It’s not an ordinary property that we simply and reliably perceive, and there is no straightforward way of demonstrating “this Pinot Noir is beautiful” to someone who disagrees. No gathering of evidence will suffice.

Neither is a claim to beauty a report about whether one prefers or likes an object. To call a Puligny Montrachet beautiful is not equivalent to saying “I like Puligny Montrachet”, which would be an unremarkable claim and entirely subjective. In calling an object beautiful we are doing something more than expressing a preference. We are inviting others to see what we see (or taste what we taste) with the expectation that they might also share the experience. Claims about beauty seem to occupy a logical space perched tenuously between objectivity and subjectivity. To say something is beautiful invites a demand for evidence and argument that simply would not be demanded of a claim such as “I like Chardonnay”. Yet as noted there seems no way of demonstrating such a claim by gathering empirical evidence. There is therefore plenty of room for a skeptic to doubt there is such logical space.

Thus the skeptic about beauty might well argue we don’t need the term to describe our experience. Talking about how much pleasure we get from an experience suffices in most contexts to communicate something about that experience. “I really enjoyed this sensual Pinot Noir” conveys our judgment of the wine without inviting argument or the expectation that others should enjoy it as well. What does the idea of beauty add?

Thus, to justify invoking the concept of beauty to convey something important about the aesthetic experience of wine, we need to identify the need it fulfills, especially because the claim seems to be making demands on others.

Of course, we would rightly think someone was crass or nuts if they claim to care nothing for beauty. On what grounds would someone legitimately claim to be indifferent about it? Yet, it’s a peculiarity of beauty that we are supposed to care deeply about it but no one can say quite what it is. We can point to examples of beauty but when forced to say what all the examples have in common we come up empty. I suspect this is why some people are skeptical about the whole idea. That we are just talking about the ordinary pleasure we take in the appearance of something with no need to make some further claim. One gets the impression that the art world has come to this conclusion. After the disruptions of 20th Century art, it seems most people in the art world are disillusioned by the concept of beauty. For much of the art world it’s a fusty old term genuflecting toward conventions we no longer take seriously”, something false or inflated that reflective people no longer believe in. Such a view need not reject aesthetic pleasure but merely reject the idea that there is some special property over and above pleasure in appearance that we call beautiful.

However, there is reason to think that beauty is not just about pleasure. When I’m enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, no one can coherently question whether I’m having a pleasurable or painful experience. This is not something I can be mistaken about. I could not say that a wine gave me great pleasure but it turns out I was mistaken about it. That wasn’t pleasure at all.

But such a claim is not absurd with regard to beauty. I does make sense to say “I thought that was beautiful but upon further scrutiny I think I was wrong.” This suggests that there is something more than just perception that beauty captures. Beauty is something that investigation or thought can discover or reject. Thus, it seems the skeptic is wrong that beauty is just an expression of subjective preference. But we still have to uncover what the idea of beauty can add to a discussion about wine quality.

The stories we have told about beauty through the ages give us some clues about what the idea might add to our concept of wine quality.

LAST CALL for 95 Point “Secret Blend” from Napa


 

Secret Indulgence is a joint venture (Jean-Charles Boisset, the eccentric Burgundian wine entrepreneur, and Kimberly Jones, wine broker extraordinaire (Scarecrow, Pulido-Walker, Memento Mori, Ovid, Maybach, Post Parade). The two concocted another great Napa Cab blend that will wow you big time!

Secret Indulgence 2017 “Secret Blend” Napa Valley
GGWC 89.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SECRET during checkout

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “The warm and luscious 2017 Secret Blend is a brilliant blend from Stephanie Putnam. A Bordeaux-style blend, you are greeted with notes of blueberry, bramble and leather on the nose. This alluring blend makes you dive into the glass, where your palate is intrigued by the addition of notes of assam tea, bergamot, and a hint of marmalade. The bright beginning spreads across your palate into a long, rich finish. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot.”


Robert Parker 95 Points: “The very deep purple-black colored Secret Blend gives up a vivacious nose of crushed blackberries, blackcurrants and black plums with hints of spice box, tilled soil, tobacco and new leather. Full-bodied, firm and grainy with lovely vibrancy, it gives loads of crunchy black fruits and a minty kick to the finish.”

Tasting Notes: Ratcheting up the quality level, the Secret Blend Red Wine saw an extended maceration and 20 months in 49% new French oak. Sourced from five sites in St. Helena and Rutherford, this beauty offers a sensational perfume of cassis, toasted spice, lavender, and sandalwood. With terrific complexity, full-bodied richness, and a seamless, elegant texture, it can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years.

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