Could this be the formula for preventing Alzheimer’s?

Could this be the formula for preventing Alzheimer’s?

A combination of sleep, exercise, and alcohol could help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists have discovered that a good night’s sleep, increasing heart rate through exercise, and 25ml of wine per day can help stimulate the brain’s cleaning system. Previous studies have shown that Alzheimer’s disease is associated with the toxic build-up of proteins in the brain, which causes the neuron cells to die. Studies are now focusing on the link between the brain’s self-cleaning, known as the glymphatic system, and the formation of proteins that lead to the cell death linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Ian Harrison, from University College London, told the Cheltenham Science Festival that research was now focusing on finding ways of preventing the glymphatic system from failing.
He said studies on the cerebrospinal fluid of mice had shown that a combination of sleep, exercise, and alcohol stimulated the brain’s self-cleaning.
“A paper came out a couple of years ago where the researchers studied the brains of mice when they are asleep and mice when they are awake,” he said.

“What the researchers did was inject a dye into the cerebrospinal fluid and see where it goes.
“In the mice that were awake, that cerebrospinal fluid starts to go into the brain but only resides on the surface and doesn’t go deep into the brain tissue.

“In the same animal when it fell asleep, that cerebrospinal fluid goes far deeper into the brain.

“When they quantified this in the animals that were asleep, this glymphatic system was far more active – 60% more active than in the animals that were awake. “This is good evidence that the glymphatic system is active during sleep. If that is anything to go by we should all be sleeping a lot more than we are.
“That kind of makes sense because, if you think about it, when your brain is active during the day these brain cells are going to be actively producing all these waste products, so it is only at night when our brain switches off that it has the chance to switch on our glymphatic system and get rid of all these waste products.”

Dr. Harrison said there were comparable results with exercise.

“In the sedentary animals, the cerebrospinal fluid penetrates the brain but when the animals have voluntary access to exercise there is a massive increase in the amount of lymphatic function,” he said.

“The research has postulated that it is the increase in heart rate that drives this cerebrospinal fluid into the brain.”

They also treated mice with low-level, intermediate, and high-level doses of alcohol for 30 days and looked at the impact on the glymphatic function.

He said that with low-level doses of alcohol – the equivalent of a third of a unit a day – there was a 30% to 40% increase in the brain’s self-cleaning but a corresponding reduction following exposure to both intermediate and high levels of alcohol.“So 25ml of wine could increase your glymphatic system, according to this mouse study,” Dr Harrison said.“But the intermediate dose of one unit of alcohol – a small dose of wine – suggests that if the mouse data can be extrapolated the lymphatic system can be lowered.

“So, sleep more, exercise and, as the data suggests, you can have a drink, but only a third of a unit of wine per day.”

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“The” PERFECT 97+ Point Cabernet

This might be one of the very best Cabernets to come from Knight’s Valley. The venture is owned by Norma Hunt (wife of the late Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt – who pretty much invented the Super Bowl). This gorgeous property is well-situated, and when you bring in the BEST Quarterback – Wide Receivers Trio of wine (Philippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky,and Jim Barbour), you can only achieve one thing – SUPER BOWL-like fame with the accompanying quality. The property borders Bidwell Creek, thus the name of the vineyard. So after winning this year's Super Bowl, one can only celebrate with this “Perfect Season” Cabernet!

Perfect Season 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Knight’s Valley
GGWC 154.99
Use code PERFECT during checkout

The 2021 vintage of Perfect Season Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted by winemakers Philippe Melka, Maayan Koschitzky, and the Atelier Melka team from grapes farmed by viticulturist Jim Barbour. In its youth, it benefits from 2 hours of decanting. We hope you enjoy.

FMW 97+ Points: “Only 242 cases of the PERFECT SEASON 2021 Cabernet were produced, so it won’t be around for a long time. This 100% Estate Grown Cabernet is well-crafted and offers up unique aromas of red and black stone fruits, a hint of chocolate, and a whiff of spice cabinet as I call it. A stunning wine with a voluptuous body loaded with intense concentrated, yet very well-manicured and balanced fruit. Black stone and espresso/mocha on the mid-palate merge into a long-lasting and lingering finish of elegant tannins. THIS IS A MUST-HAVE CABERNET FOR YOUR CELLAR!”

Philippe Melka & Maayan Koschitzky Winemakers note: “The 2021 Vintage of Perfect Season represents another beautiful vintage from our estate vineyard. Full, inky dark, and massively expressive of its place.  The wine offers a nose of blackberry, plum, blueberry, cherry compote, dusty cocoa, and holiday baking spice that follow through on the bold palate. There’s a beautifully silky texture with youthful tannins which are tamed with a quick decant. The finish is lingering and dominated by dark fruits. Only 242 cases were produced.”
Also check out: Arrowhead 2021 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 95+ Points

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Byron Kosuge has been making wine for well over 2 decades now. He honed his skills at various great wineries in California and France. While working in Carneros he befriended two guys who ran a vineyard management company. When they planted a small vineyard next to their work shop, Byron came up with the name “The Shop” and the rest (10 years later) is history. Byron has created a good following for his brand, and so have many of my customers.

B Kosuge 2021 Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 37.99 
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use shipping code SHOP during check out

FMW 95+ Points: “The 2021 The Shop showcases a ruby color and offers up bright aromas of bing cherries, orange zest, a touch of rose petals, and raspberries. The wine is medium to full in body, with a very well-balanced fruit/acid ratio, hints of red fruits, a whiff of savory spices, and great freshness. The wine has a long, silky-grained tannin finish. A real crowd pleaser, and a great value all together. Only 4 barrels were produced of this great vintage”

Byron Kosuge notes: “I don’t make The Shop the same way I used to. For the first 10 years, my goal was to take the most unpretentious approach possible. Moderate ripeness, modest levels of new oak, focus on aroma and balance, not a lot of winemaking tricks. The kind of wine I wanted to drink. Although it is still the kind of wine I want to drink I have pretty much reinvented how I make it. Some of the elements are the same–native yeast fermentation, liberal use of whole clusters, and little or no new oak. For the last 10 years now I have been aging it in a combination of concrete, regular-sized oak barrels, and larger format barrels. these things have been important but the main thing is that my focus has shifted towards freshness, purity, and energy. I’ve always somewhat taken color and richness for granted in Carneros–it’s warm there, and those things come easily–but now I rarely give those things a second thought. Much more important are those elusive aforementioned qualities. 2021 shows quite well how this wine has evolved. I suspect a few of my early supporters may no longer like the style of the wine, but hopefully most of those who have been drinking this wine in the nearly 20 years I have been making it will appreciate how the wine, and its maker, have evolved. The crop was light in 2021, only 104 cases of this wine were made."

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In Remembrance of a Good Friend…

Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this.

My longtime employee, and good friend Jared passed away yesterday, he was only 51.

Jared leaves behind his wife Sue and three boys: Jacob (20), Tristan (16), and Beckett (12).

Jared has been with me since I started Golden Gate Wine Cellars almost 20 years ago.

As many of you know me well, I share my stories with you, and Jared was an integral part of Golden Gate Wine Cellars behind the scenes, and I will miss him.

Jared was an avid outdoorsman, hiker, skier, and surfer, a great husband and dad to his three boys.

I will be donating 5% of all sales from today through Friday to assist Jared's family with the funeral and other immediate expenses.

Please, help me to raise a toast to my good friend Jared.


A 97-Point MUST HAVE Chardonnay GEM

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 and Chardonnay viticulture on the far Sonoma Coast

Cobb 2021 Chardonnay “H. Klopp Vineyard” Sonoma Coast
RETAIL 75.00 – GGWC 69.99
Use code COBB during checkout

Robert Parker 97 Points: “The 2021 Chardonnay H. Klopp Vineyard, from vines planted in classic Goldridge soils, is bursting with alluring, layered aromas: quince paste, honey, and white peach are complemented by accents of roasted almonds and graham cracker, and the palate matches that intensity with its highly concentrated, honeyed flavors. All that flavor is supported by a spine of vibrant acidity, and a touch of textural grip drives a very long finish. This is so delicious! 300 cases were made.“

Winemaker Notes: “What a tremendous site for a cool climate, elegant Chardonnay. This 8-acre parcel is just south of the town of Sebastopol and was planted to Chardonnay in collaboration with the Klopp family. Now in our fourth year with this site, this wine is super aromatic with all manner of citrus, nutmeg, and stone fruit on the nose. On the palate, it’s decidedly medium-bodied with crisp acidity, minerality, and notes of chamomile and apple.”

Vineyard: H. Klopp is hidden right in the midst of the lower Sebastopol Hills, just south of downtown. Sitting atop the ubiquitous Goldridge Series loam that Sonoma Coast is famous for, this vineyard is planted to four clones of Chardonnay: Robert Young, Old Wente, Mt. Eden and UCD4. Year in and year out, the wines from H. Klopp have done nothing but impress.

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What is a Microclimate?

What is a Microclimate?
Microclimate is a word English teachers love: the definition is self-explanatory. But while it seems easy to understand, the wine jargon that often accompanies wine tastings and tours makes microclimates seem complex and confusing. In truth, microclimates are easy to see and even easier to feel.
Unlike “malolactic fermentation” and other mysteries of winemaking, microclimates are quite tangible. One day, I left San Francisco en route to Napa and it was 60 degrees and foggy. I drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and drive through Sausalito and the sun tries to peak out. Before long, I am driving into Marin and the temperature gauge goes from 60 to 70. As I go East and enter Carneros the temperature has gone to 74. As I drive from Carneros along Highway 29, every mile the temperature seems to going up. I work my way to the Silverado Trail and by the time I reach Yountville it reads 78 – as you can see the “micro-climates” at work. That day I wind up in Calistoga (30 miles north) and it was a balmy 90 by 11:30 AM!
Simply put, microclimates are the smallest measure of climate, conveniently situated under macro- and meso climates. Macroclimates describe large areas defined by certain weather patterns or landforms like mountains, such as Napa Valley or the Cascades in Washington. Mesoclimates refer to smaller, medium-sized areas, like large estates or subregions of an AVA, like St. Helena, Santa Lucia Highlands, or even a Single Vineyard like Bien Nacido in Santa Barbara. Microclimates define small areas, like an individual row of vines or a section of a vineyard. While the term can refer specifically to that environment directly over a vine and its individual canopy, the word typically refers to groups of vines. Usually, these areas are defined by soil or elevation changes, proximity to water, or weather patterns like intense winds or cold pockets, for example. FYI, The Bien Nacido is hundreds of acres of vines and has over 15 distinct micro-climates.

Beyond dictating whether shorts or hats are appropriate attire in midsummer, microclimates heavily impact grapes and their resulting wines. These tiny spaces have a different balance of warmth or cold, humidity or dryness than their surrounding areas. Though minute, these factors have a huge impact on how grapes ripen.

For instance, fog blankets grapevines in the Russian River Valley in a cool morning mist, slowing their ripening compared with sun-drenched neighboring vineyards. For delicate Pinot Noir grapes, this slow and gentle ripening is ideal, but other grapes, like Grenache, demand more sunlight to yield delicious vino, making sunny, dry slopes ideal for their cultivation.
 Similarly, various soil types provide different levels of water retention to grapevines, making the vines struggle more or less to produce fruit. As a result, vines may yield more fruit or have smaller, more concentrated clusters. These factors combined give winemakers a different base product at harvest, forming the baseline for singular, delicious wines.

Along with one-of-a-kind virtues, microclimates provide vintners with similarly unique challenges. For example, the same moisture that brings cool temperatures to Sonoma mornings creates perfect conditions for rot, requiring growers to protect their fruit. Sometimes, the conditions even present botrytis, a rare form of rot that makes Sauternes and other dessert wines so amazing, but destroys grapes destined for dry wines.

Together, the balance between these factors forms the basis of terroir, and you can taste it. Cool or cold areas produce wines with lower alcohol than more balmy neighbors. Small clusters from struggling vines contribute more tannins than plump, juicy berries. Likewise, soils with a low pH create grapes and wines with more bright acidity.

They say good wine is made in the vineyard, but more specifically, it’s made by the microclimate. For once, it’s part of winemaking that’s easy to see, feel, and understand. And in wine regions, always remember to pack a sweater!

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The Haut-Brion from Napa (REALLY) 2 x 97+ POINTS

The Dillon family has been in the wine business for nearly a century, since Nick Allen’s great grandfather, Clarence Dillon, acquired Chateau Haut-Brion in 1935 and the family company, Domaine Clarence Dillon subsequently purchased Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion in 1983. This was Nick’s inspiration to produce his own boutique label in Napa – Carte Blanche.
After the great success with her own Keplinger label, Helen Keplinger is out of control (in a very good way)! The latest release of the 2021 Carte Blanche Cabernet “Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper” showcases Helen’s amazing talents. Only a few hundred cases of this mind boggling wine were produced from this “next” Haut Brion of the Napa Valley! This wine over-delivers and the 97+ points is 2 ½ points shy of what it deserves!

Carte Blanche 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon
“Missouri Hopper – Beckstoffer” Oakville Napa Valley

GGWC 179.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code CB21CS during checkout

Vinous 97+ Points: “The 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper is a total dream. Sumptuous and racy with notes of blackberry jam, cloves, menthol, licorice, and chocolate. The blend of three blocks and three clones (4, 144, and 337) is so complementary. The 2021 is magnificent. An archetype of modern Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2021 is super elegant, polished, and refined from start to finish. What a Knockout.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “Winemaker Helen Keplinger came here in 2014 and has consistently been making beautiful wines. The 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard offers a pretty, medium to full-bodied, more elegant style as well as a terrific array of red, blue, and black fruits supported by floral and violet notes. It has perfectly integrated background oak, fine, polished tannins, and a great finish. It’s incredibly impressive, and while it already has some appeal, it’s going to evolve for 20 years in cold cellars.”

Helen Keplinger Winemaker: “The nose leaps from the glass showing violets, red currant, black cherry, and boysenberry, underpinned by savory graphite, lead pencil and tobacco. Ultra-silky on the palate, showing high notes of red currant and hints of cherry, to dark fruited blackberry and boysenberry, all seamlessly integrated with forest floor, graphite, and spice box woven through the everlasting finish. “

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It is time to come to your WINE “Senses” … 97+ Points

Senses Wines is the dream of three childhood friends. Chris, Max, and Myles partnered with celebrity winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown, to produce world-class wines from renowned vineyards owned by their families. Since its founding, Senses production has grown to include many coveted vineyard sites throughout Sonoma County.

Senses 2022 Chardonnay “Charles Heintz Vineyard” Sonoma Coast
GGWC 89.99 
Use code SENSES during checkout (OK to mix & match with other Senses)

FMW 97+ Points: “Sourced from 40-year old vines from Charley Heintz’ site just east of Occidental. This 2022 radiant Chardonnay offers up a deep, rich, lush style body with electrifying notes of bright orchard fruits, brioche, and a whiff of minerality.  Incredibly well-balance, with a touch of  amalgamated acidity, it showcases a lush and rich mid-palate and a long, sophisticated finish. This is a classic Sonoma Coast Chardonnay that can be enjoyed now, and should drink and cellar well for a good decade!

TWI (Lisa Perrotti-Brown) 97 Points: “The 2022 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay is a little closed to start, slowly unfurling to reveal notes of lemongrass, lime leaves, and Granny Smith apples followed by nuances of wet pebbles, brine, and yuzu with a touch of white pepper. The medium to full-bodied palate is soft-spoken and savory, with beautifully knit acidity and a silkiness to the texture, finishing long and minerally.”

Vineyard Notes: The Heintz family has owned the ranch for over 100 years. Ideal Goldridge soil, healthy, mature vines, warm days balanced with cool nights, and a grower who has been working the land since 1982 all contribute to Robert Parker’s assessment of the vineyard as “…one of the great grand cru Chardonnay sites in California.”

Senses 2022 Pinot Noir “Kanzler Vineyard” Russian River Valley
GGWC 89.99 
Use code SENSES during checkout (OK to mix & match with other Senses)

FMW 96 Points: “This 2022 release is awesome! The wine has a very supple mouthfeel and lush flavors of fresh blueberries and cherries with a hint of exotic spices. A medium to full-bodied wine with fresh and bright flavors that are extremely well-balanced. The tannins are fine-grained and silky and the finish is long and pleasant. This youngster will not disappoint!”

TWI (Lisa Perrotti-Brown) 96 Points: “The 2022 Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir sports a medium to deep ruby-purple color and flashy scents of fresh raspberries, Bing cherries, and strawberry and rhubarb pie, leading to hints of underbrush, wet slate, and dried thyme. Medium to full-bodied, the palate shimmers with energetic red berry flavors, supported by fine-grained tannins and a refreshing ling, finishing on a lingering earthy note.”

Vineyard Notes: When it was planted in 1996, Kanzler was one of the first vineyards in the rolling hills southwest of the small picturesque town of Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. Only eight miles from the Pacific Ocean, the area was long thought to be too cool and foggy for grape growing.  

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Frank’s  new Melis Family Rose by “ACE” winemaker Paul Lato = Not an April’ s Fool Joke!

The Melis Family Rosé is not an afterthought, yet a serious contender. The 2023 Melis Family Rosé of Pinot Noir (a blend of 2 great Santa Rita Hills vineyards) offers up ample and layered fruit on both nose and palate. On the nose, you’ll encounter crushed flowers, cranberry, and bright red cherry notes which continue on the pleasant palate laced with a touch of bright acidity champagne like. The wine is nicely polished and finishing gorgeously (my winemaker, Paul Lato would not have it any other way). A crowd-pleasing limited production Rosé!! 

Melis Family 2023 Rosé of Pinot Noir (by Paul Lato), Santa Rita Hills
GGWC 39.99
Use code MELISROSE during checkout

Delightfully pink in color, this lively and vivacious Rosé opens with aromas of lilac, cranberry, and pomegranate. Dry on the palate with champagne-like acidity, it exhibits a unique balance of grapefruit zest, light spice, and a smooth raspberry finish. Rosé of Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile food wines. It pairs well with a variety of vegetarian dishes, as well as pasta, chicken, and fresh Californian cuisine. This is a great wine for celebrations like birthdays, weddings, sipping on a nice Spring or Summer day, and on National Holidays like Memorial Day and the  Fourth of July.

Paul Lato Notes: “With ripe fruit at the core, this beautiful Rosé jumps out of the glass with booming notes of strawberry and watermelon, while brilliant floral aromas of hibiscus and jasmine develop with more time in the glass. Refreshing and quenching, it’s perfect for a sunny afternoon or with grilled meats and vegetables.”
Also, check out:

Melis Family 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “A2” Rutherford, Napa Valley
Paul Lato 2022 vintage –  new releases

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Archeologists Reveal How Roman Wine Would Have Tasted

Archeologists Reveal How Roman Wine Would Have Tasted
Archeologists have revealed how Roman wine would have looked, smelled, and tasted around 2,000 years ago.

It is no secret that Ancient Romans loved their wine. Its consumption has been depicted in ancient texts as well as drawings and other archeological finds. But the intricacies of its production have so far been a mystery.

To discover more, researchers Dimitri Van Limbergen from Ghent University and Paulina Komar from the University of Warsaw compared ancient dolia—a type of vessel or vase used to hold wine back in Ancient Roman times—with similar containers used in modern-day winemaking. Dolia was utilized not just for holding the wine but for producing and aging it.
Dolias, or Roman pots for wine, in the ground.
This is how they would have been stored during the fermentation process.

Their findings, which are published in the journal Antiquity, included that Roman wine likely tasted slightly spicy and had aromas similar toasted bread and walnuts.

"The results of our study force us to question several long-held assumptions about Roman winemaking," Van Limbergen told Newsweek. "[Firstly], by using the techniques we describe in our paper, the Romans were able to make much better, more tasty, and much more stable wines than is commonly assumed.

 "The widespread nature of wine cellars with earthenware containers (dolia) in the Roman world between the 3rd or 2nd century AD and the 3rd or 4th century AD suggests the development of a wine industry on a scale never attained before, and with a level of expertise and a sensory profile long obscured," Van Limbergen said.

"Modern wine classification ideas are unhelpful to capture the nature of Roman wine. Wine colors, for example, were not standardly subdivided between white and red (as is done today), but for the Romans, they belonged to a wide spectrum of colors ranging from white and yellow to goldish, amber, brown, and then red and black, all based on grapes macerated on the skin."
According to the study, this is the first time the role of the vessels in Roman winemaking has been "scrutinized" meaning these are the first insights to ever come from such research.

Nowadays, most wine is made in large metal containers, which allows more wine to be mass-produced.

But the dolia are comparable to qvevri, which are pots used to create wine in Georgia. The process used in this wine-making process is very similar to how the Romans would have made their wine in Dolia.

According to the study, the narrow base of the fermentation vessel means solids from the grape are separated from the wine. Unlike a lot of the typical wines we consume, this fermentation process gave the liquid an orange color.
A dolia, a vessel that Romans made their wine in.
Researchers found that the wine would have made the mouth dry due to the clay vessel.


The spicy flavor was created by burying the dolia into the ground, the study said. This meant that pH and temperature were well controlled while the wine aged. Yeasts had more of an opportunity to force, producing a compound known as sotolon.

"Winemaking in qvevri and dolia is both extremely straightforward and an ingenious way of producing wine," Van Limbergen said. "Big wine cellars filled with dolia were investments of a kind that could only occur under economically favorable circumstances, and their presence attests to economic prosperity in the Roman world in Late Republican and Early Imperial times.

"At the same time, many households could afford one dolium, and winemaking was probably part of daily life in many families, making wine a product consumed across a broad social scale (many households today in Georgia make their own wine and keep it next to the kitchen or in a cellar inside a qvevri, this must have been quite similar in the Roman world)."

The texture of this wine would also have been different from the wine we consume today. The clay of the vessel gave the wine a "drying sensation" when in the mouth. According to the researchers, this was popular with Roman palates.

Not only does this research teach us how the wine tasted and smelled, but it also gives archeologists new details about how Romans lived. From the fermentation process, it is clear that the Romans knew many different techniques for creating wine and could vary how it tasted and smelled. They varied the tastes and smells by altering the shape of the dolia, and how they were stored.

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The Hendry family has been farming their vineyards for decades, and the quality/price ratio has always been one of their most important factors of producing great wines along the way.

The latest two releases are yet another good example.

Hendry 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
Use code HENDRY during checkout (OK to mix & match with other Hendry)

James Suckling 95 Points: “Aromas of blue plums, fruit cake and violets followed by box tree and crushed gravel with vanilla and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, soft acidity and finely grained tannins. Beautifully structured yet refined and harmonious.”

WE 95 Points: “A good-old Napa Cab character comes through in this blackberry and black-olive scented wine that shows great balance despite elevated alcohol. A full body, medium tannins, and lots of dark fruit with little noticeable oak keep it focused and delicious. “

WS 94 Points: “Ripe and focused, with good intensity to the boysenberry and blackberry coulis notes, which are carried by a graphite edge. Reveals violet accents through the lightly toasted finish, adding nice lift, with a curl of alder smoke at the end for more nuance. Drink now through 2037. 219 cases made.”

Winemaker Notes: “Opaque, deep ruby color. Immediate berry fruit on the nose backed with spice, dried herbs, and leather. Full-bodied, with pleasing deep berry roundness and depth in the mid-palate. Fine-grained tannins with a bittersweet chocolate edge and dark, stewed fruit on the finish. New aromas of violets, licorice and more continue to emerge with air, making this a good candidate for further bottle development. Like its immediate predecessors, this wine seems very approachable upon release. Try with slow-roasted lamb shanks, braised short ribs, Wagyu sliders (fancy!), salumi and charcuterie, risotto made with an intensely flavored cheese like Pecorino. Even a simple burger with blue cheese will be elevated in the company of this appealing wine.”

Hendry 2021 Chardonnay “Barrel Fermented” Estate, Napa Valley
GGWC 37.99 
Use code HENDRY during checkout (OK to mix & match with other Hendry)

WE 96 Points: “Creamy but complex, this elegant wine made from mature vines glides across the palate, sharing subtle oak smoke, toasted almond, butter and Bosc pear flavors in fascinating layers. Silky in texture, nicely dry, and long on the finish, the wine is something for a special occasion with a great meal."

Winemaker Notes: “Pale to medium yellow. Aromas of tangy baked apple, floral and toasty, spicy Cadus oak. Balanced, with pink apple, plenty of structure, and lingering acid on the long finish. Warm, full-bodied. George’s favorite pairing options include Manchego, grilled or roasted salmon, garlicky white pizzas, and coq au vin blanc, slow-braised chicken made with white wine. Their Chardonnays can be very long-lived, becoming more elegant with each passing year.”

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Kimberly Hatcher has worked as a firefighter in San Francisco since 1998. Her flexible schedule allows her to put boots on the ground in all of the vineyards she works with as the canopy develops during the summer months. She then uses all of her vacation time during harvest to make her artisanal wines.  

Kimberly attended the “Russell Bevan School of Winemaking” and has kept her eyes and ears wide open. She has been on a roll as of late! Robert Parker and Jeb Dunnuck have “noticed” her and the press is out! That said, Kimberly’s OWN wines are very small productions, all with high scores… they will sell out fast!

Morgado 2019 “Sugarloaf” Proprietary Red, Napa Valley  
Retail 105.00 – NOW 89.99 
Use code MORGADO during checkout

From the rocky exposed face of Sugarloaf Mountain, the 2019 Sugarloaf Mountain Bordeaux blend has an intense purple hue. On the nose, you are greeted by cocoa, black stone fruits, and a whiff of roses. The wine is full in body with lush and rich black stone fruits dominating the chorus. Mouthwatering acidity carries the density of this wine, which is lush, yet velvety and multi-layered with power and grace energy leading to a long and fragrant finish. While delicious upon release, this wine possesses a mystically restrained core that will reveal itself opulently over decades.
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “The 2019 Red Wine Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard is cut from the same cloth as the 2018 and has a rich, full-bodied, nicely layered style revealing big, chocolatey fruits as well as notes of scorched earth and graphite.”
Winemaker Notes: “On the palate, you will taste blackberry, boysenberry, and Santa Rosa plum along with cedar and rich mocha notes. The textures are refined and voluptuous, guiding your tastebuds to a focal point of fruit. This blend is both captivating and bold carrying itself with graceful confidence.“
Unfortunately ONLY 182 cases were produced.

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NEWS BULLETIN: The much-anticipated wines from my friend and winemaker Paul Lato have arrived!!

The 2022 vintage is probably THE BEST he has produced to date, with an astonishing quality, but some the smallest quantity ever. If you liked the 2021 vintage, you are going to want to JUMP on the 2022s as they are even more amazing, but VERY limited produced!

As always, the Paul’s wines are offered on a  first-come, first-served basis, and as you know sell out quickly.

Paul Lato 2022 “Goldberg Variations No. 5” Chardonnay – Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley 
Retail  99.99 – GGWC 94.99

Paul Lato Notes: “Larry Hyde has dedicated his entire life to viticulture at its highest level. Now his son Chris continues this tremendous legacy. This very fine wine comes from one of the oldest Chardonnay blocks on the Hyde Estate Vineyard in Carneros. The wine possesses complex aromatics of acacia flowers, lime zest, and subtle tropical fruits. Orange blossoms flavor, velvety texture with laser-beam acidity, refreshing, energetic, and electrifying. Finishing long with refined tannins. Superb.”

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points (2021): “From one of the iconic sites in Carneros, the 2021 Chardonnay Goldberg Variations No. 4 Hyde Vineyard will give a great vintage from Aubert a run for its money. Ripe pineapple, honeyed lemon, candle wax, green almond, and toasted bread all define the aromatics, and it’s full-bodied, with a pure, seamless mouthfeel, tons of richness, and a great finish. It’s one of the finest Chardonnays in this report. Drink bottles over the coming 7-8 years.”

Paul Lato 2022 “Le Souvenir” Chardonnay –  Sierra Madre Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley
Retail 89.99 – GGWC 84.99

Paul Lato Notes: “A staple in our portfolio since 2007, this small parcel of Wente clone from Santa Maria Valley has been mistaken for a Grand Cru of Burgundy in many blind tastings. It is dry but rich with great velvety texture, nuances of linden flower, caramelized apple, chamomile tea, and crushed rocks. Finishes long and satisfying with refreshing acidity.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (2021): “Coming from a site in the Santa Maria Valley, the 2021 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard offers more minerality and salinity, with crisp citrus and orchard fruits, medium to full body, bright, juicy acidity, terrific mid-palate depth, and complex notes of minty herbs and green almonds. It will benefit from a year of bottle age (you’ll be forgiven for opening bottles today) and will keep through 2031.”

Paul Lato 2022 “East of Eden” Chardonnay – Pisoni Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands
Retail  99.99 – GGWC 94.99

Paul Lato Notes: “Complex, beautiful, refined, perfumed. Vibrant flavors harmonize seamlessly with floral notes of linden and jasmine, and fruit aromas of lemon drop and apricot, held together by crushed stone minerality. An abundance of flavor condensed into a refined, yet powerful package, this wine will inspire you from beginning to end.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (2021): “From a site in the southern, slightly warmer portion of the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2021 Chardonnay East of Eden Pisoni Vineyard is one of the tighter, more mineral-drench, backward Chardonnays in the lineup. Crushed citrus, flinty minerality, orange blossom, and spicy wood notes all define the aromatics, and it’s pure and medium to full-bodied, with integrated acidity and a focused, layered style that will benefit from a year or two of bottle age. It will drink beautifully through 2031.”

Paul Lato 2022 “Seabiscuit” Pinot Noir – Zotovich Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills 
Retail 89.99 -GGWC 84.99

Paul Lato Notes: “The “Seabiscuit” is a delightful wine, showing bright red fruit flavors of cranberry and raspberry, with subtle notes of sandalwood. The palate is refined and zesty, with a lovely balance of fruit and acidity. The finish is long and complex, revealing additional layers of elegance and nuance.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (2021): “Lighter ruby-hued, the 2021 Pinot Noir Seabiscuit Zotovich Vineyard comes from a great site in the Sta. Rita Hills was destemmed and raised in new French oak. Wild strawberries, raspberries, rose petals, baking spices, and loamy soil notes all define the aromatics, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a pure, layered, incredibly elegant mouthfeel and fine-grained tannins. It will evolve for 10-12 years, although it’s fabulous today as well.”

Paul Lato 2022 Lancelot Pinot Noir –  Pisoni Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands
Retail 120.00 – GGWC 109.99

Paul Lato Notes: “Aromas of cherry and boysenberry, along with hints of crushed stone and lavender jump out of the glass. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep, and concentrated, with a viscous core of dark fruit, youthful yet polished tannins, and a long sapid finish. Enjoy the robust fruit now, or watch it age gracefully for many years to come.”

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points (2021): “I always find an incredible sense of minerality from this site, and the 2021 Pinot Noir Lancelot Pisoni Vineyard has bright red fruits, white flowers, crushed stone, and violet-like aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, tight, and structured, it’s flawlessly balanced and has a great finish. Hide bottles for 2-3 years and enjoy through 2033.”

Paul Lato 2022 ”Suerte” Pinot Noir –  Solomon Hills, Santa Maria Valley
Retail  99.99 – GGWC 94.99

Paul Lato Notes: “The nose is intense, with notes of blueberry, potpourri, and forest floor. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, with flavors of dark fruit, red velvet, and baking spices. The tannins are fine-grained, and the finish is long and satisfying. “

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points (2021): “I always love Lato’s Pinot Noir from this site, and his 2021 Pinot Noir Suerte Solomon Hills Vineyard is no exception. Revealing a ruby hue as well as gorgeous notes of wild strawberries, black tea, toasted spice, and exotic flowers, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, layered, supple texture, integrated tannins, and outstanding length. Drink this more up-front, fruit-loaded, gorgeous Pinot Noir over the coming 5-7 years.”

Paul Lato 2022 “Atticus” Pinot Noir – John-Sebastiano Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills
Retail  99.99 – GGWC 94.99

Paul Lato Notes
: “John Sebastiano is a beautiful vineyard on the eastern side of Sta. Rita Hills with a variety of micro-climates. The relatively windy location limits yields resulting in concentrated flavors. I use clones 115 and 667 to produce Pinot Noir of great depth and character.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points (2021): “Another Sta. Rita Hills release, the 2021 Pinot Noir Atticus John-Sebastiano Vineyard was destemmed and spent 16 months in 66% new French oak. It reveals a translucent ruby hue followed by an awesome bouquet of redcurrants, framboise, dried rose petals, and savory herbs. Medium-bodied, balanced, and elegant, it has incredible tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. Give bottles a year or two and enjoy over the following decade.”

Paul Lato 2022 “Victor Francis” Pinot Noir,  Peake Ranch Santa Rita Hills
Retail 89.99 -GGWC 84.99

Paul Lato Notes
: “Aromas of red and black cherries, violets, and rose petals leap from the glass. The palate is layered and plush, with a long, lingering finish. The “Victor Francis” is a gorgeous wine that showcases the beauty and complexity of the Sta. Rita Hills, and will only improve with age. “

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points (2021): “Wild strawberries, rose petals, forest floor, and orange blossom are just some of the nuances in the 2021 Pinot Noir Victor Francis Peake Ranch Vineyard, a beautifully pure, medium to full-bodied, spicy, floral Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. It has the same level of purity and elegance found in the other efforts here and is a joy to drink. Completely destemmed and aged 17 months in two-thirds new French oak, it will have a solid 7-8 years of longevity, but don’t be afraid to open bottles.”

Paul Lato 2022 “Duende” Pinot Noir – Gold Coast Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley
Retail 89.99 -GGWC 84.99

Paul Lato Notes
: “Our 21st vintage of Pinot Noir from Gold Coast Vineyard opens with the classic fragrant perfume of Santa Maria. Wild strawberry, Bing cherry, and a touch of spice engage the senses for this soft and supple wine. On the palate, Duende displays silky texture and vibrant acidity, leading to a long and velvety finish.”

Robert Parker 95 Points (2021): “The 2021 Pinot Noir Duende Gold Coast Vineyard comes from 33-year-old, own-rooted Martini clone vines. It has a pale ruby color and alluring Earl Grey tea leaves, orange peel, and Angostura accents with a core of cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries. The light-bodied palate features concentrated, crunchy, fruits, bright acidity, and a chalky texture, and it finishes with tremendous floral layers. All that fruit on such a drinkable frame is addicting! It was matured for 12 months in 50% new French oak, and 100 cases were made”

Also check out: Melis Family 2023 Rose of Pinot Noir & Melis Family 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “A2” Rutherford

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Call 415-337-4083 (landline, please do not text here – we will not receive
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Good Bugs Helping Grape Growers Win Against Weeds.

Good Bugs Helping Grape Growers Win Against Weeds.

By Thomas Skernivitz
Beneficial insects typically battle bad insects. That is almost always the biocontrol storyline out of vineyards and orchards. Case in point: The Palisade Insectary, in Palisade, CO, was established in 1945 to help local peach farmers fight oriental fruit moth. Its original facility was even dubbed “The Bug House.”  

Almost 80 years later, John Kaltenbach, a Biological Control Specialist with the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), is here to remind growers, particularly vineyardists in this case, that beneficial insects are also tasked to hold their own against a different but equally problematic pest — weeds.

Presenting to a Colorado State University Extension audience, Kaltenbach singled out some of the state’s most prominent vineyard weeds while promoting the best biological counteragents that the CDA’s Palisade Insectary offers to growers:

Bindweed Gall Mite (Aceria Malherbe)
Photo by Photo: USDA ARS , USDA Agricultural Research Service,

“Probably the biggest problem that growers have in their vineyards is field bindweed. It is a noxious weed, but it’s pretty much everywhere. It’s just a hard plant to control, similar to morning glories. Our best agent for field bindweed is a microscopic Aceria Malherbe. It is a galling mite. The mites overwinter in the roots. In late August or early September, they start migrating their way toward the roots. I have seen over in Grand Junction plants that are gnarled, that barely come out of the ground because of the galling that the mites can cause. They also seem to work better in drier conditions. When the field bindweed has a lot of water, it seems to grow and kind of slough off any of the galls. It might take some effort to see if they work in a vineyard.”

Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Photo: Simona –
Canada Thistle Rust Fungus (Puccinia punctiformis)
Photo: kazakovmaksim –

“Canada thistle is probably one of the worst weeds around the world. We have a rust fungus that we started working with around 10 years ago. It’s a very effective agent. It was the first plant pathogen suggested as a biocontrol agent way back in 1893. We’ve figured out how to work with it within the state. Unfortunately, there are some discussions going on between the EPA and USDA at the federal level, and basically USDA would like to get back the regulatory control of this rust fungus. So we’re kind of in a holding pattern. Eventually we will get to use it again. It’s a very effective agent at controlling Canada thistle.”

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Photo: 3dillustrations –

Gall Wasp (Aulacidea acroptilonica), Gall Midge (Jaapiella ivannikovi)
Photo: Sandra Standbridge –

“Russian knapweed is one of our growing problems in the state as a noxious weed. It can survive in a variety of soils. It outcompetes other things and is a very difficult plant to control with herbicides. We do have a couple of agents that are now available for this. Gall wasps were introduced in the last 10 years in Colorado. They’re pretty small wasps. Gall midges lay their eggs in the terminal growing end of the Russian knapweed. A gall basically is a physiological response of a plant. The larvae of an insect is growing, and the plant forms this massive tissue around it that is called a gall. Within a gall could be 20 of the midge larvae in there, maybe more.”

Russian Knapweed (Rhaponticum repens)
Photo: Elena Volgina –

Seed Weevil (Microlarinus lareynii), Stem Weevil (Microlarinus lypriformis)
Photo: USDA ARS – European Biological Control Laboratory,

“These were originally released in the 1960s and were not found north of Amarillo, TX. It was thought that they were not cold hardy, but then some CDA employees found it down in Baca County in 1978. Since about 2010, we’ve actually been able to collect most of our puncturevine weevils from the Denver metro area. Either we have a cold-hardy strain or climate change has changed things. I would say we definitely don’t have the deep freeze we used to have. We used to have a couple weeks at a time where we wouldn’t get above zero (degrees), and that would really do a good number on some pests and would also kill off something like these agents. Puncture vine doesn’t compete with other plants too well, so cover crops are something to keep in mind.”

Puncture Vine (Tribulus terrestris)
Photo: Albin,

Lesser Knapweed Weevil (Larinus minutus), knapweed root weevil (Cyphocleonus Achates)
Photo: silukstockimages,

“The lesser knapweed weevil lays its eggs in the seed head, and larvae carve out the seed head. It prefers diffuse knapweed over spotted but will feed on both. The larvae of knapweed root weevil feed on the roots, reducing flowering and the ability of the plant to grow. It can kill plants eventually and is pretty effective, although we don’t get very many of those to redistribute. It’s my favorite insect. It’s pretty big; about the size of a pinto bean. August is their month to be out and about. It’s kind of camouflaged when it lays on the ground.”

Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa), Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)
Photo: emilio100,

Rosette Weevil (Trichosirocalus horridus)
Eric Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture,

“Also a root weevil, it feeds right in the root crown of the thistle and can kill musk thistle. We actually have been having trouble collecting this one. Most of these agents we’re talking about, what we do is rear them in what we call nursery sites. We go out to field areas and release them and go back in subsequent years and hope that the population has built up enough to collect them and redistribute them in those areas. But with musk thistle, a lot of our areas where we’ve tried to use them at nursery sites, they’re so effective that they wipe out the musk thistle, and we have had limited T. horridus numbers the last couple of years.”

Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)
Photo: Mark Lotterhand,

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HOT FROM THE PRESS: A KILLER 99 Point Pinot and 98 Point Syrah

Husband and wife, Nick Peay & Vanessa Wong, grow and make the wine and brother Andy Peay manages the business. With minor exceptions, all wines are made from grapes grown on their 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean at Sea Ranch. Doing it organically, while running off of solar power and all biodiesel equipment makes it even more amazing. Not surprisingly, this level of commitment to excellence is every bit reflected in the amazing quality of the Peay Wines!

Peay 2021 “Scallop Shelf” Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
GGWC 89.99

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points: “More mineral aromas emerge in the 2021 Pinot Noir Scallop Shelf, with notes of wet stone, black raspberry, and fresh herbs. Medium-bodied and more tension driven, it’s taut with orange zest, clove, and gravelly, saline earth. It’s going to need time to unpack. Drink 2026-2046.”

Winemaker Notes: “The Scallop Shelf has evolved over the last 15 years into the most mineral-driven and understated of our Pinot noirs. The 2021 is perfectly proportioned and harmonious with aromas of sassafras, wet slate, and apple skin with a floral and savory note popping in and out. The elements of the wine are already remarkably well-integrated with notes of cedar, forest floor, and ras el hanout spice framing the fruit. The finish is bright and the flavors go on and on. A wonderful Scallop Shelf from a superb vintage.”

Peay 2020 “Les Titans” Estate Syrah Sonoma Coast
GGWC 79.99

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points: “The 2020 Syrah Les Titans is ripe and more brooding, with savory tones of olive, blackberry, plum, and ripe earth. Full-bodied and pure, it has a fantastic, gripping structure and is more grounded but weightless. Drink 2025-2040."

Winemaker Notes: “The 2020 Les Titans Estate Syrah is packed with all the aromas that make lovers of cold climate Syrah seek high and low in a never-ending search for more. The nose smells like a juicy hangar steak with aromas of tarragon, iron, black olive, and blood intermingling with blue fruit. The wine is soft and round in the mid-palate and much more approachable on release than is typical for our Syrah due to a warmer 2020 vintage. There is still refreshing acidity and brightness on the finish but it is not as wound up. It tastes a little like an excellent Cornas in a cool year.”

Also check out: Peay 2021 Pinot Noir Pomarium West Sonoma Coast 99 Points

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Call 415-337-4083 (landline, please do not text here – we will not receive
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Silver Ghost is a tribute to the founder and winemaker Weston, great-grandfather John Montagu, a British automotive pioneer during the early twentieth century. His friends Henry ROLLS and Charles ROYCE asked John’s assistant to model for their new car company, and now their new car company, and the ICONIC hood ornament known as the SPIRIT OF ECSTASY was born. 

Silver Ghost 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SILVERGHOST during checkout

Inspired by his favorite car, the 1909 Silver Ghost, he crafted a wine as iconic and sophisticated as its name sake

The wine is a blend 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. The grapes were sourced from sustainably farmed and practicing organic vineyards in Oakville, Yountville & Sugarloaf Mountain (Bevan Cellars).  

Winemaker Notes: “Silver Ghost is a full-bodied and richly expressive Cabernet crafted from some of Napa’s finest vineyards. The wine is deep in color  with a vibrant nose of blueberries, violets, and creme de cassis. The palate reveals layers of lush red and blue fruits, mocha and dark spice. The luxurious texture and depth continue through the long finish.”

Vinous 93 Points: “The Silver Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon opens with soaring floral and savory overtones. Inky, deep and flavorful, this dense yet mid-weight Cabernet delivers the goods. I would prefer to drink it on the young side, while the inky, jammy fruit remains vibrant”

James Suckling 93 Points: “This red is ripe and spicy on the nose with notes of blueberries and cassis, licorice, vanilla and coffee. Full-bodied and rich with ripe, mellow fruit. The round tannins turn firm at the end. Savory aftertaste.”

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Drought-Free Status for California Through 2025? Forecasters Think So

Drought-Free Status for California Through 2025? Forecasters Think So
When it rains, it pours. In this case, it’s a positive for drought-weary produce growers in California. 

Precipitation has been plentiful lately across the Golden State thanks to consecutive winter seasons of powerful storms and atmospheric rivers. A recent blizzard just added more to the already-ample snowpack. With all this, meteorologists with AccuWeather are predicting California to be free of widespread drought through the end of 2025.

According to AccuWeather, six key reservoirs across California have water levels at or well above the historical average. Levels in these reservoirs are expected to climb as the wet pattern continues for the time being and snowmelt follows.

It doesn’t seem that long ago when California was embroiled in a prolonged drought. Actually, it was almost two years ago exactly when farms and cities that draw drinking and irrigation water from the state’s major rivers were ordered to prepare for mandatory cutbacks. The State Water Resources Control Board announced it was sending letters to approximately 20,000 water right holders — farmers and cities with historical legal claims to river water. Part of the letter read as follows: “We are experiencing historic dry conditions: February is usually California’s wettest month, but January and February 2022 were the driest we’ve seen in recorded history …”

Growers were forced to adjust and get creative to beat the heat and protect their crops.

Fast forward to March 2023 where California growers were enjoying a groundwater recharge, but still keeping an eye on storms during bloom time. Can you have too much of a good thing? The extra precipitation hasn’t come without challenges. Instances of elevated plant disease activity came in waves on the heels of atmospheric river events. Data backs this up. In 2023, California farmers treated the most acres since 2020.

Back to present day where additional water releases might be needed and almond growers warned to watch for unusual disease outbreak.

So, what flipped the script from drought to deluge? A major factor in California’s abundance of precipitation over the last year plus is El Niño. The climate pattern is notorious for bringing wild weather to the West Coast. This go-round has been no exception. Forecasters though are expecting El Niño to be phasing out and replaced by its counterpart La Niña this summer.

Does that mean California will be left high and dry again? Not anytime soon at least, thanks to the precipitation surplus.

A strong La Niña though could set the table for what could be a highly active Atlantic hurricane season. More on that to come. Extended forecasts release next month

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Tiny Production  96+ Point UNDER $60 MUST HAVE RED

STORY: Waits-Mast Family Cellars was founded by Brian Mast and Jennifer Waits in 2005. Before they started making wine they were passionate wine consumers. Many weekend getaways were spent exploring wineries across California and a few special trips exposed them to wines in France, Switzerland and New Zealand.

Under the guidance of their winemaker Shalini Shekhar (formerly with Roar, Copain, William Selyem) and the staff at Roar they are making great wines, and the rest as they say…. is history.

Waits Mast 2021 Pinot Noir “Oppenlander” Mendocino
GGWC 59.99
Use code WAITSMAST during checkout

FMW 96+ Points: This single vineyard Oppenlander Pinot Noir, offers up a bright and complex aroma of black-cherry, and cranberry fruit notes. The 2021 vintage shows off an amazing body, with great balance, lively acidity, and concentrated black and red stone fruit flavors that make this a very special and appealing wine. The aromas are vibrant, the juicy, mouthwatering cherry and black fruit flavors are gleaming and the wine finishes with a long-lasting silkiness. This wine should cellar well for a good 8-10 years.
Winemaker Notes: “Showing a beautiful medium ruby hue with a tinge of violet on the edges, the 2021 Oppenlander opens up with aromas of black cherry, raspberry candy, and hints of lilacs and black tea. Rich dark fruit envelops the palate, complemented by notes of clove, rhubarb, sandalwood, and a subtle interplay of vanilla and cocoa. The aromatics on this wine also smell like harvest – that complex mix of earthy, flowery, and sweet fragrance that can evoke nostalgia as we enter a cooler time of year. How appropriate as we release this ninth vintage of our Pinot Noir made from this coastal-influenced site.  The structure and subtle fine-grain tannins of this wine result in a long, fruit-driven finish and ensure years of complexity unfolding as the wine ages gracefully. As you think about autumn dishes like roasted pork with butternut squash or herb-crusted lamb chops, this wine will provide inspiration for some great food pairing.“

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ICYMI Pisoni’s “FINEST” Lucia Pinot EVER

The Pisoni family has been farming Monterey County soil since the turn of the 19th century, when their ancestors immigrated to California. In 1951, Eddie and Jane Pisoni founded Pisoni Farms, a commercial produce operation in the Salinas Valley. They purchased land in 1979 high above the valley floor to graze cattle. At the time, this seemed all it was suited for. But their son Gary had other ambitions for the highland property. He wanted to make wine. His parents said he was nuts for wanting to plant grapes and that people go broke looking for water. This all may have been partly true. In 1982, with no water source, Gary planted his first five-acre vineyard block on an east-facing slope at 1,300 feet. After eight years of searching, he finally discovered groundwater beneath hundreds of feet of granite. He planted another seventeen acres to Pinot Noir, and it wasn’t long before California artisan winemakers started lining up to buy his grapes.

The first vintage of Lucia debuted in 2000 with the Lucia Pinot Noir from the Garys’ Vineyard. It was the beginning of a new chapter for the Pisoni family, with Mark and Jeff Pisoni joining their father Gary to pursue a shared dream of building the family wine business and adding winemaking to grape growing.

Today, with Mark as grower and Jeff as winemaker, Lucia wines are considered among the finest in California. In the Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck wrote: “The Pisoni Family’s Lucia label continues to be a source of incredible wines that always over-deliver.”

Lucia by Pisoni 2022 Pinot Noir ”Estate Cuvee”
Santa Lucia Highlands

GGWC 64.99
Use code LUCIA during checkout

FMW 95 Points: “The fruit for this 2022 bottling was sourced from the Pisoni Estate, Garys’ and Sobernes properties. The 2022 is a complex wine that gets out of the starting cage with bright notes of strawberries, cured meats, and a touch of earthiness, and light floral notes. This well-structured wine is layered, with red stone fruit, sandalwood, and a touch of cranberries on the palate. The wine finishes  with long and silky smooth tannins.”

Jeff Pisoni Notes: “Entirely estate-farmed and sourced from these premier vineyard sites within the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2022 Lucia Estate Cuvée of Pinot Noir represents our continued dedication to excellence in farming and winemaking. A sumptuous blend of 60% Pisoni Vineyard, 23% Garys’ Vineyard, and 17% Soberanes Vineyard, this wine offers up enticing aromas of strawberry compote, juicy cranberry, sandalwood, and black tea leaves, all contained within the embrace of its deep ruby hue. Carefully monitored fermentation temperatures and methodical extraction techniques have produced a wine of remarkable depth, concentration, and complexity. Layers of black cherry, Mission fig, spiced plum, and berry crumble provide a stepping stone for more subtle hints of fresh sage, clove, and vanilla bean to make their voices heard. A true snapshot of these wind-swept vines, this Pinot Noir finishes with vibrant acidity and a distinct, yet noticeably approachable structure. Don’t be surprised to see this wine continuing to amaze for years to come.”

The Vineyard source: Grown exclusively from the Pisoni, Garys’, and Soberanes vineyards, the Lucia appellation-based wines are a wonderful representation of their estate vineyards, of which each block is cultivated to the same high standards. These wines offer excellent value and Jeb Dunnuck has previously described these AVA blends as “a perfect example of the incredible quality that’s consistently coming from this estate.”

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