Sorry, but we are almost sold out of Paul Lato’s 2019 Chardonnay & Pinot Noirs

Great NEWS, the AMAZING 2019 wines from my friend and winemaker Paul Lato are now in stock!!  The 2019 vintage is probably one of the best, if not “THE” best ever, potentially better than the amazing 2018!  Astonishing quality, but as always very small quantities.  I am very excited about Paul’s ever-expanding portfolio!  As always, Paul’s wines are first-come, first served.
A little bit of info about the winemaker:

Paul Lato was born in Poland. He worked as a certified Sommelier in one of Toronto’s most exclusive restaurants and visited California for the first time in the early 1990s.  Jim Clendenen (owner of ABC winery & Clendenen wines) told Paul to just pack up and move here, and he would show him the ropes –  a decade later he did make the move and took a job at Bien Nacido vineyards for just $10.00 per hour, he did get free “lodging” at the bunkhouse in the vineyard. The Bien Nacido owner pushed Paul to make his own wine. With some tutoring (he observed the best in the business for some years, asked a lot of questions and experimented a lot) he made his first wines and by chance met Robert Parker.  Parker asked him if “he” was the Polish Sommelier that makes wine and said that he wanted to taste it.  Parker told him that he would tell him immediately if the wine was the real McCoy or …. (slang for excrement) Parker was blown away and gave Paul Lato a rave review. From then on, Paul’s new career was born.

I met Paul in 2002 and have been a big fan since day one, and could say that we have become good friends along the way.  Paul is also the winemaker for my Melis Family wines.



CALL 415-337-4083
or email
for availability and priority allocation!

1) Paul Lato 2019 Chardonnay “It’s All Good” Talley – Oliver’s Vineyard
    GGWC 74.99 

The “It’s All Good” is the third release from a special block on the Talley vineyard. Growing in sandy clay loam in the Edna Valley, these 28-year-old vines produce Chardonnay of great balance and complexity. Opening with youthful aromas of white peach, river rock, and almond flowers on the nose. Its lively, caressing palate is a seamless balance of crisp Fuji apple and salted caramel. With its smooth and refreshing finish, this Chardonnay will charm you into saying, “It’s all good…”

I’d say that 2019 is a mirror image of 2017 & 18!

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (previous vintage) “Coming from the cooler Edna Valley just south of San Luis Obispo, the Paul Lato Chardonnay It’s All Good Talley Oliver’s Vineyard was whole cluster pressed into barrel and spent 15 months in 70% new French oak. It has a wonderfully pure, classy bouquet of sautéed orchard fruits, white peach, white flowers, spice box, and honeysuckle. With a layered, medium to full-bodied texture, subtle oak, integrated acidity, and flawless balance, it’s a thrilling California Chardonnay from an incredible winemaker. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years.”

2) Paul Lato 2019 Chardonnay “Done & Done” Talley – Rincon Vineyard

The “Done & Done” is another Premier Release for Paul Lato from a unique corner of the Rincon Vineyard from Brian Talley. The inaugural vintage of this vineyard is a classic California Chardonnay. It offers intriguing aromas of honeysuckle, apricot, and river rock. It will seductively draw you in with flavors of bright peach, honey, pear, and creamy marshmallow. This medium-bodied wine is balanced with good acidity—making it lovely on its own or perfect with food. The rich and delicious finish provides the perfect end to this delightful wine.

Jeb Dunnuck 95+ Points (previous vintage) “The Chardonnay Done & Done Talley Rincon Vineyard is slightly more masculine and chiseled, showing more caramelized stone fruits, crushed citrus, honeyed toast, and subtle minerality. It too has subtle background oak, a layered, medium to full-bodied, vibrant texture, and a great finish. It’s going to keep for upwards of a decade.”

3) Paul Lato 2019 Chardonnay “Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard
    GGWC 79.99

Paul Lato Notes: ”This wine possesses a powerful and exuberant nose of brioche and lemon zest, with nuances of vanilla and spice. It is dry, yet plenty rich in its taste, with medium-plus body, voluptuous and round texture, and nuances of minerals. The seamless integration of new French oak provides plenty of structure, and leads into a gracefully dry finish, inviting you to take another sip. It will drink wonderfully on its own with a great conversation or while reading your favorite novel. One of our favorite dishes to pair is a creamy Lobster risotto in light saffron spice.”

This wine is probably any bit as good, if not better compared to the 2017 and 2018 vintages!

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points (previous vintage) “From a site in the Santa Maria Valley and aged 15 months in 60% new French oak, the Lato Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard from Lato offers a vivid gold color as well as a rocking bouquet of lemon curd, crushed rocks, white currants, spice box, and white flowers. Rich, powerful, and layered, yet also vibrant and racy, with beautiful purity and precision on the palate, it’s one of the most seamless, flawlessly balanced wines in the lineup. It’s brilliant today yet should evolve effortlessly.”

4) Paul Lato 2019 Chardonnay “Belle de Jour” Duravita Vineyard
    GGWC 79.99

This bottling has created a real following.  I would be hard-pressed, but I can tell you that this one is every bit as good as his previous Belle de Jour bottlings, maybe a touch more focused and more elegant! A real “skilled” winemaker gem! Due to the success with the previous vintages, I have a lot of demand for this bottling and it will be sold out well before it arrives at my store!

Paul Lato Notes: “Very sleek and elegant chardonnay from the Biodynamic Duvarita vineyard, it is a classic example of the intriguing depth and complexity Biodynamic wines exhibit. It is intensely aromatic, with acacia flowers and sea breeze-like mineral notes on the nose. Medium-bodied, long in the mouth, clean, and very well balanced on the palate, finishing with the contrasting flavors of lemon zest and butterscotch. It is lively enough to be an aperitif; however, it will greatly complement seafood like shrimp, scallop, or pair well with traditional French cuisine.”

Robert Parker 96 Points (previous vintage) “This is the second vintage of this wine for Paul Lato, made using biodynamically farmed grapes and aged for 15 months in 55% new French oak. Youthfully coiled, the Paul Lato Belle de Jour Duvarita Vineyard features oodles of latent layers on the nose: warm pie spice, baked quince, Golden Delicious apples, Meyer lemon peel, dried hay, dusty earth, crushed stone and mushroom with warm white peach, jasmine, and spring honey nuances. Medium to full-bodied with that signature Lato texture, it has intense flavor layers swelling in the mouth, with juicy acidity and a very long, layered, lively finish. Give this more time in the bottle if you can keep your paws off.”

5) Paul Lato 2019 Chardonnay “East of Eden” Pisoni Vineyard
    GGWC 94.99
    2 bottle limit per person sorry

This is the Ninth release of the “East of Eden” Chardonnay from the famed Pisoni Vineyard. Only a few barrels were produced, and I was lucky to get a few cases from Paul as they were all earmarked for his mailing list and for restaurants like French Laundry, Per Se, Gary Danko, etc.  This is probably the best rendition of a 1er Cru Montrachet produced in California.  As you are aware of Paul’s meticulous wine-making skills and strategy, nothing escapes this guru of precision!

I’d say that this wine is very similar to the great 2018 vintage, which received 98 Points!

Paul Lato Notes: “Powerful yet controlled nose, with aromas of flint, lily, and Crème Brulee, California meets Burgundy. The body is long and powerful with marine-influenced salinity and a fresh boisterous finish. This wine has a larger-than-life personality, much like the man growing the grapes, Gary Pisoni. This wine will pair well with lighter dishes of seafood or chicken, but also has the potential to complement a steak.”

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points (previous vintage) “Always one of my favorites in the lineup, the brilliant Chardonnay East Of Eden Pisoni Vineyard comes from a Grand Cru site on the southern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands and barrel-fermented and aged 15 months in 60% new French oak. It reveals a medium gold color as well as a liquid rock-like minerality in its crushed citrus, lemon curd, toasted spice, and grilled bread aromas and flavors. Deep, rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, and just sensationally textured, it’s another magical wine from Paul Lato.”

6) Paul Lato 2019 Pinot Noir “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Vineyard
    GGWC 84.99

This latest Zotovich “Seabiscuit” bottling is by far one of Paul’s best efforts to date! I would say that it will rival his 97 Point rated 2017 & 18 versions!  As is the case with all of Paul’s wines, I get limited amounts of this great gem, so I can only remind you how great and limited they are!

Paul Lato Notes: “Located toward the center of Highway 246 on a gentle, even slope with northern exposure, Zotovich Vineyard has proven capable of making extraordinary wine with great aromatics and fine structure. Dark pleasant red, with rose, bing cherry, raspberry cake, and a hint of wood aromatics. It is mid-bodied, zesty and smooth on the texture with a bit of spice on the finish. The tannins are gentle but persistent and will allow this wine to age gracefully with time and will be ready to drink within a couple of years.”

This wine is very much an image of the great 2017 & 2018 vintages!

Jeb Dunnuck – 97 Points (previous vintage) “From a site in the northern part of the Sta. Rita Hills, the Paul Lato Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard (60% new French oak) reveals a medium ruby/translucent color as well as a classic bouquet of ripe red and black fruits, forest floor, white flowers, and spice. It picks up a lovely floral quality with time in the glass and is seamless, silky, and perfectly balanced on the palate, with ultra-fine tannins. I almost always find the Zotovich to be one of the most compelling wines in the lineup from Lato and this one is no exception. It’s as classic and balanced as it gets. Give bottles 2-3 years in the cellar and it’s going to evolve for 10-15 years.”

7) Paul Lato 2019 Pinot Noir “Suerte” Solomon Hills
    GGWC 86.99

Paul is not slowing down one bit, and this workhorse “Suerte” will amaze many Pinot lovers alike! It shows gorgeously young, and will even improve a lot more in the years to come!  Only a few barrels produced! This 2019 is any bit as good as the 98 point rated 2018 vintage! Only 240 cases were produced.

Paul Lato Notes: “Solomon Hills is the most westerly vineyard in the appellation, making it the coolest due to its proximity to the ocean. Suerte is a favorite of some of my most loyal supporters, including Thomas Keller and Wolfgang Puck. Dark color with a shiny hue. Pronounced brooding nose with darker fruit nuances of blueberry pie and cherry with a hint of clove and light smoke. On the body, the wine is well defined possessing zesty flavors with balanced structure and bright acidity. While the tannins are quite firm on the finish, the wine delivers plenty of pleasure and intensity. Classic Santa Maria Pinot at its best. Decant one-half an hour prior to service.”

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points (previous vintage) “Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard comes from a great vineyard just west of Bien Nacido and spent 17 months in 60% new French oak. Lots of black raspberries, spiced cherries, salty sea breeze, flowers, orange blossom, and violet notes emerge from the glass, and it’s beautifully textured, full-bodied, and incredibly sexy on the palate. It’s stunning today yet will evolve for upwards of a decade.”

8) Paul Lato 2019 Pinot Noir “Lancelot” Pisoni Vineyard
    GGWC 99.99
    2 bottle limit per person sorry

The “flagship” wine of Paul’s Portfolio!  I don’t need to tell you that the Pisoni vineyard is often compared to the best (1er Cru) vineyards in Burgundy and Paul puts a real Burgundian twist on this source!  This wine equals the best of the previous Lancelot bottlings and could even surpass it!

Paul Lato Notes: “This is another special vintage from Pisoni Vineyard.  Vibrant and deep, dark cherry color.  Booming aromatics out of the glass, with blueberry pie-like notes. Power and grace in the mouth with plenty of fruit, oak, and vanilla nuances that blend seamlessly. Touch of spice and abundance of minerality. Long finish, very impressive now and full of aging potential and evolution in the bottle. Our Grand Cru from Santa Lucia Highlands.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (previous vintage) “From a site located in the southern part of the Santa Lucia Highlands consisting of broken granite soils, the Paul Lato Pinot Noir Lancelot Pisoni Vineyard was all destemmed and spent 15 months in 70% new French oak. Ripe raspberries, strawberries, rose petals, sappy herbs, and crushed rock-like minerality all emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with medium to full body, bright, integrated acidity, building tannins, and a great, great finish. Despite seeming to be the most seamless and elegant texturally”

9)  Paul Lato 2019 Pinot Noir “Stand By Me” Drumm Canyon
    GGWC 84.99
    *formerly named C’est La Vie

This might be the very best Drum Canyon bottling to date! This rendition from the Drum Canyon Vineyard will make you (happily) dream of a 1er Cru Pommard at a much lower price point!  This latest release is Paul’s best effort to date and I have only 5 cases of this wine to offer!

Paul Lato Notes: “Our parcel at Drum Canyon Vineyard is on a severely steep hillside graced with beautiful southern exposure. Attractive, dark red. Boysenberry and cassis notes. Full of energy, wired with fine tannin and a long spicy finish. Made from two Burgundy suitcase clones, and would easily fit as a ringer wine in a Burgundy tasting. Decant one hour prior to service.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “Another Sta. Rita Hills release, the Pinot Noir Drum Canyon Vineyard (15 months in 50% new French oak) is more spice-driven and pretty, with an incredibly balanced, layered, seamless style. Notes of ripe strawberries, raspberries, white flowers, vanilla cream, spice, and hints of forest floor all give way to a gorgeously elegant, ethereal effort that has ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It’s great today and will be great in 7-8 years as well.”

Robert Parker –97 Points (previous vintage): “The Drum Canyon comes from 15-year-old vines planted in sandy loam, with the wine aged for 15 months in 60% new French oak. Pale to medium ruby-purple, the Drum Canyon has a youthfully coiled nose slowly unfurling to fresh sage, rose petal, lilac, orange peel, autumn leaves, dust, perfumed earth and black tea leaves with a core of raspberry preserves, black cherries and berries, blueberries and charcuterie hints—this is so perfumed! It’s medium-bodied with slowly blossoming fruit, earth, and spice flavor layers, with firm but elegant, wonderfully pixelated tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and packed full of perfume and spice. Wow! So elegant. So refined. 150 cases were made.”

10)  Paul Lato 2019 Pinot Noir “Victor Francis”  Santa Rita Hills
    GGWC 84.99

This might be one of Paul’s best interpretations of this great vineyard.  Intensely aromatic, lush fruit, medium to full in body, but extremely well-balanced.  Bright red stone fruit on the mid-palate with a hint of spice leading into a long silky finish.

Paul Lato Notes: “This vineyard has a stunning south-facing hillside topography.  Combined with its relatively windy locale, this vineyard produces wines of high concentration.  This wine has pronounced notes of raspberry and tart blueberry.  It has a smooth texture, fine structure, and a zesty long finish with a hint of spice. It needs three years in the bottle but will last 12+ years.  Atticus has been an international favorite from its very first vintage.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (previous vintage) “Another Sta. Rita Hills release (I think this is the first vintage for this cuvée), the 2018 Victor Francis Peake Ranch Vineyard has a pure, nicely concentrated, full-bodied style with good complexity in its spiced cherry and blackberry fruits, chocolate, leafy herbs, and forest floor aromas and flavors. I love the overall richness and texture here, and it’s one of the more meaty, powerful wines in the lineup.”

11)  Paul Lato 2019 Pinot Noir “Duende” Gold Coast
    GGWC 84.99

This is Burgundy made in California! The Gold Coast Vineyard is 30+ year-old and is own-rooted (no rootstock)!  Intensely perfumed aromatics jump out of the glass. Medium to full in body, this wine offers gobs of red stone fruit, a touch of underbrush and spice in its medium to full-bodied shell.  The wine lingers for a long time into a gorgeous, lengthy finish.

Paul Lato Notes: “This may very well by my finest vintage of Duende to date. Delicate, medium red color and fantastic perfume. Stewed strawberry and raspberry notes with very pleasant red fruit nuances from the 30-year-old vines at Gold Coast Vineyard. It has a silky texture on the tongue from the intermingling of the fruit with the finest new French oak – refreshing acidity and light tannins on the finish.  Duende is a perennial favorite of many of my long time customers.”

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points (previous vintage) “Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the Paul Lato Pinot Noir Duende Gold Coast Vineyard comes from a site in the Santa Maria Valley and spent 15 months in 50% new French oak. Black cherry and raspberry fruits as well as lovely notes of underbrush, forest floor, white flowers and hints of vanilla all emerge from this elegant, multidimensional Pinot Noir that has awesome purity and length.

The HYDE designated vineyard Chardonnay & Pinot Noir will be released in a few months, as will the new Single Vineyard Syrah(s) and Grenache.

Also check out:   Melis Family 2020 Rose of Pinot Noir (by Paul Lato).

Call 415-337-4083 or email for availability and priority allocation!

Frank’s Birthday Gift to YOU, a BIG THANK YOU!!

I appreciate all the love and support I have received from you over the years, so on my birthday I want to return my gratitude and appreciation to you and give you 10% OFF on ALL of our wines!

USE CODE FRANKBDAY during checkout at to receive your 10% discount!

Your humble Servant
St. Frank
Patron Saint of (soft) Tannins


REALLY, A STUNNING $50’s Thomas Rivers Brown Cabernet that will please palate & wallet!!

The farmer works to produce the best crop possible, knowing once it leaves their hands, they no longer have control. The winemaker, regardless of skill and ability, can only work with what comes through the winery doors.

Matt Hardin, a 6th generation Napa resident and farmer, is a partner in Barbour Vineyards, one of the most renowned vineyard management companies in Northern California.

Thomas Rivers Brown, winemaker for some of Napa and Sonoma’s most iconic labels (Schrader Cellars, Outpost and his own Rivers-Marie & Aston), has more than 20+ 100-point wines on his resume.

Working together for many years on many different projects, a friendship was developed. Out of that friendship the idea of working together to make a wine, utilizing the strengths of the other, Caterwaul was born.

Caterwaul 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Retail 54.99
FREE SHIPPING ON 12  or more
Use code CATERWAUL during checkout

This amazing Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from one of the most historic and pedigreed sites in Stags Leap. An alluring wine that is dense, plush and beautifully layered in the glass. Bright aromatics play off the super-ripe, racy fruit in a wine that conveys the essence of the vintage and this site to great effect. Hints of pomegranate and white flowers add a decidedly exotic touch to the explosive finish.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “A wine that should be one of the great values in the vintage, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley just about jumps out of the glass with its fruit-forward, undeniably delicious style that could be drunk today. Notes of cassis and berry fruits, lots of spice and flower nuances, full-bodied richness, and ripe, polished tannins all make for a no-brainer purchase geared for drinking over the coming decade.”

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

This 95 Point Value Pinot is a crowd and $ plea$er


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 & over-delivered in quality wines!

Walter Hansel 2018 South Slope Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code HANSEL during checkout

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir South Slope has gorgeous aromas of blood orange, cracked pepper, cranberris and red and black cherries loaded with earthy, amaro-like nuances. The medium-bodied palate is silky, fresh and uplifted, its concentrated fruits refreshed by loads of spicy accents, and it finishes long and detailed.”

Vinous 94 Points: “The 2018 Pinot Noir The South Slope Vineyard is a super-classic Russian River Pinot built on textural richness and volume. Ripe red cherry, blueberry, spice, mint and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking layers of nuance. A wine of substance and power, the 2018 is going to need a bit of time to unwind. It is maybe just a bit less refined than some of the other Pinots in the range, but it holds quite a bit of appeal, especially for readers who like big Pinots.”

Also check out:
Walter Hansel 2018 North Slope Chardonnay
Walter Hansel 2018 Cuvee Alyce Pinot Noir
Walter Hansel 2018 Cahill Lane Pinot Noir
Walter Hansel 2018 Cahill Lane Chardonnay
Walter Hansel 2018 Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay
Walter Hansel 2018 Estate Pinot Noir
Walter Hansel 2018 North Slope Pinot Noir

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

Get Your July 4th The Patriot Case NOW – SIX great wines for ONLY $177.6 (15% off the regular price)


Summer is now in full swing and time has come for gathering with family and friends to enjoy the weather and celebrate being together.
With Independence Day right around the corner, I have put together a great six-bottle, celebration, party, BBQ, whatever-you-want-to-call-it pack to share with your friends, family, and loved ones.  All of these selections are small, hard-to-find producers and of course a bottle of bubbly is a must on July 4th!  Order NOW so I can get them to you in time for the 4th of July celebrations.

The Fourth-of-July Six-pack includes one bottle each of:

  • Stackhouse Cabernet ($40.00)
  • B Kosuge Pinot Noir ($38.00)
  • Monthuys Champagne ($36.00)
  • Sans Liege Côtes du Coast White ($33.00)
  • Melis Family Rose ($32.00)
  • Allimant Laugner Sparkling ($27.00)

The total value is $206.00 but in the spirit of July 4th you can have this great six pack for only $177.6 (as in 1776), excluding shipping. I suggest shipping this 2 or 3 DAY so it arrives in time for Independence Day, and you do not expose it to the heat.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Diamond Creek Cabernet at 1/3 the Price & You’ll receive FREE SHIPPING as well!


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 2017 Cabernet “Estate” Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley
GGWC 74.99
Use code SUMMIT during checkout

Wine Spectator 94 Pts: “This is really packed with dark, vibrant blackberry, plum and black currant fruit that pumps along with terrific energy while being underscored with roasted alder, sweet tobacco and licorice root notes through the finish. A large-scaled wine that is rippling with energy. Best from 2023 through 2033.”

Winemaker Notes: “The intense garnet color of our Cabernet is striking. With a nose of classic Diamond Mountain as its base, the wine provides aromas of black cherry, cola and black currant. The wine is rich with flavors of Boysenberry preserves, vanilla and caramel. It has terrific depth that lingers afterward. This wine has gritty tannins that are wonderfully integrated, making this wine delicious now and well beyond 2030.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Trailer released for Champagne film featuring Stephen Fry

Trailer released for Champagne film featuring Stephen Fry

By Patrick Schmitt
from The Drinks Business

A trailer, which can be watched below, has been released for a film about Champagne starring Stephen Fry along with a range of high-profile figures from the French sparkling wine region.

English actor and comedian Stephen Fry.
Picture credit: Elliott Spencer

As first reported by db in January, the film – called Sparkling: The Story of Champagne – is described as a feature length documentary, and has been created by a London-based independent production company called Swipe Films.

Director, Frank Mannion, described the film as “a love letter to the joys and pleasures of Champagne,” commenting that it featured English actor and comedian Stephen Fry, who has some fascinating, well researched and strongly held opinions on the subject of and history of Champagne.

Also appearing in the documentary are Taittinger president Vitalie Taittinger, Lanson-BCC chairman Bruno Paillard, Louis Roederer cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Dom Perignon chef de caves Vincent Chaperon, as well as wine writers Oz Clarke and Tom Stevenson; authors, Don & Petie Kladstrup, and wine merchant, Tony Laithwaite.

A further figure in the documentary is Sir Nicholas Soames, the former Tory Party MP and grand-son of Winston Churchill.

Swipe Films will be holding a premiere at the Ciné Lumière in South Kensington on 24 June at 6.15, followed by a Q&A with Frank Mannion and then a Champagne reception sponsored by Pol Roger, Fever-Tree, Bolney, and Franco Manca.

There are a few tickets for the event, which can be purchased here, while the trailer can be watched below:

You can also click the following link

Also be sure to check out these great champagne suggestions:
A. Margaine Champagne Premier Cru “Le Brut” 93 Points
Andre Robert Champagne Brut “Reserve” Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil
Billecart 2008 Extra Brut Champagne 97 Points
Cazals 2009 Champagne Millesime 94 Points
Clotilde Brut “Grand-Cru” Champagne, France
Colin 2012 Grand Cru Champagne
Laherte Frères NV Ultradition Extra Brut Champagne
Monthuys Champagne NV Brut, 750ml
Stephane Coquillette Carte d’Or Brut Champagne 92 Points
Thienot Rose Champagne NV Reims, France
En Tirage 2010 Blanc de Blancs, Beckstoffer Carneros Napa

Screaming Eagle winemaker does it again


Former Screaming Eagle winemaker Andy Erickson does not need an introduction.  This guy really makes any vineyard shine!  Dalla Valle’s coveted wines can be found at The French Laundry for well over $1,000. The team of Andy Erickson and Michel Rolland crafted another  stunning wine and  in one of Napa’s great vintages, this represents  a stellar opportunity.

Dalla Valle 2018 Collina Dalla Valle
GGWC 114.99
FREE SHIPPING on six or more
Use code DALLA during checkout

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “Always a red blend, the 2018 Collina is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Petit Verdot. This cuvée is always made in a more up-front, fresh, drinkable style compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Maya. Rich, mouth-coating currant, dark chocolate, dried herb, and graphite notes all emerge from this beauty, which is full-bodied and has a ripe, sexy texture, great tannins, and just an undeniably delicious style.”

Vinous 94 Points: “The 2018 Collina Dalla Valle is a flat out gorgeous wine. Racy and sumptuous to the core, the 2018 captures all of the natural radiance of this eastern sector of Oakville. Soft contours and silky tannins make the 2018 an absolute delight to taste today. Readers will have a very hard time finding a Napa Valley wine that delivers this much sheer pleasure for the money.”

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

The Aston Martin of Pinot Noirs has arrived

A good twenty years ago industry leaders Fred Schrader, Chuck Sweeney, and Thomas Rivers Brown co-founded the Aston Estate on the coastal hill vineyards of the Sonoma Coast near the town of Annapolis. After Fred Schrader sold “Schrader Cellars” to a large conglomerate, Thomas RIvers Brown acquired the remaining shares of Aston Estate and is now the sole proprietor.

The vineyard is in its prime now, and will become one of the “must haves” from California.  Thomas told me that this wine has a savage quality that yields a more significant, structured style Pinot Noir a la Burgundy.

Aston Estate 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code ASTON during checkout

Thomas Rivers Brown’s Notes: “2018 was a winegrower’s dream come true. We had every available advantage leading into harvest and ample hang time for the fruit to fully mature. While still made up of all Estate fruit, this bottling comes from its own block in the vineyard. The result in the glass is a balanced, expressive Pinot Noir that resonates with all the hallmark notes of the Estate vineyard. The wine displays a red-purple hue in the glass. Aromas suggest blackberry jam, cranberry, plum, orange pith, and nutmeg. The sleek, structured palate resonates with notes of raspberry, pomegranate pulp, river rock, and lavender. This wine possesses vivacious energy and shows extremely well today.”

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

“Fruit Bombs” are Misnamed

“Fruit Bombs” are Misnamed

by Dwight Furrow
in Food and Wine Aesthetics

It is common to associate ripeness with warm climates. But there is more nuance to this relationship between heat and ripeness than is commonly assumed. One thing I’ve noticed, when I periodically delve into old world wines, is that while warm regions seem to require alcohol at 14% or above to get their grapes ripe, cooler regions, and some winemakers in California who pick early, get ripe flavors with much less alcohol. (By ripe flavors, I don’t mean raisin notes. I mean rich, clear, focused fruit flavors.)

I suspect this has to do with the fact that vines start to shut down as the temperatures approach 90 degrees. After that point, the vines produce more sugar but not more flavor. Thus, a lot of that heat in warm climate regions is “wasted” when it comes to flavor. It just produces more sugar and potential alcohol.

There is also evidence that alcohol depresses floral and fruit aromas in wine while increasing wood and spice notes.

So why do we call riper, higher alcohol wines fruit bombs and why do consumers seem to gravitate toward them? I suspect there are at least three factors:

(1)  Higher alcohol reduces the perception of sourness.
(2) Consumers like some sweetness in their wine which makes ripeness possible. Alcohol also directly contributes to sensations of sweetness at least for some people. This enhanced sweetness is interpreted as fruity by the brain unless the taster is skilled at distinguishing sugar from fruitiness.
(3) Alcohol and residual sugar contributes to a lush, full mouthfeel.

None of this is really about fruit or flavor. It’s about sugar or perceptions of sweetness and texture—sugar bombs not fruit bombs.

If all this talk about ripeness, sugar, and sweetness has your head reeling, be sure to give us a call and I will help you get all straightened out! Wine expert Frank Melis is at your service to answer all of your wine questions and help you find the wines that match your style!