WINEMAKING: SCIENCE OR ART?

WINEMAKING: SCIENCE OR ART?

Contributed by Dwight Furrow 
 
Winemaking has undergone a scientific revolution over the past several decades. Young winemakers now graduate from university programs laden with chemistry courses. Sugar levels in the vineyard can be precisely measured to determine picking schedules.

Technology allows winemakers to control fermentation temperatures and precisely adjust the amount of color, alcohol, acidity, and tannins. Machines accelerate the aging process. Winemakers add flavor components through choice of commercial yeasts or subtract them through elaborate filtration devices. The presence of unwanted bacteria can be detected and removed before they destroy the cuvee.

Science and technology have removed some of the intuition and guesswork from winemaking. The result is a more consistent product and a higher average quality level. Wine lovers should celebrate.

Has winemaking become less of an art because of all this science? No, because there is one crucial part of the winemaking process that science cannot replace—the winemaker’s judgment. Science cannot tell us what a wine should taste like. That is up to the winemaker. Science helps winemakers achieve their artistic aim, but science cannot determine what that aim should be.

It is up to the winemaker to form an idea of what a vintage should taste like, and the potential of this year’s grapes to realize that intention. It is up to the winemaker to understand terroir and judge whether the signal of terroir is apparent or not as the wine develops. Although precise measurement of wine components may help a winemaker know what she is creating during various stages of the winemaking process, only aesthetic tasting and aesthetic judgment can determine whether that is good or bad, in keeping with her aims or not. Knowledge of science helps winemakers avoid mistakes in deciding where to take a wine, but they are still left with a variety of decisions that thoroughly depend on aesthetic judgment.

There is a reason why winemakers constantly taste their wine at various stages of the winemaking process. Their sensibility, their ability to discern components of the wine through their senses, is their most valuable tool.

Has the development of the music synthesizer harmed the artistic potential of music? Has the development of camera technology harmed the artistic aspirations of filmmakers? I doubt it. Technology need not replace artistic vision and it is artistic vision that determines whether something is art or not.

As long as winemakers continue to bite into a grape in the vineyard and imagine lush fruit framed by a touch of oak, supple texture, and a bracing, long, flavorful finish, winemaking will be an art.
 

Visit us at GoldenGateWineCellars.com!
As always, don't hesitate to call us at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for selection advice or assistance!

 

Get the NEW Melis Family 2021 Rose while it is hot!



The Melis 2021 Rosé is not an afterthought, but a serious contender. The new Melis 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 2021 Rosé of Pinot Noir by Paul Lato
GGWC 32.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code MELISROSE during checkout


Notes by Paul Lato: “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 especially on the Fourth of July.”

Also, check out:
Melis Family 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford Napa Valley


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

Napa’s answer to Petrus at a fraction the cost


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

Arietta 2019 Merlot “Hudson Ranch” Carneros,
Napa Valley

GGWC 84.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code ARIETTA during checkout


Wine Enthusiast 97 Points: “Always a standout from this winning combination of site and producer, this is a 100% varietal vineyard-designate, from the cool landscape of Carneros. Rainier cherry, cassis and a dusting of baking spice highlight a seamless body of integrated tannin and oak, the wine offering power but also enduring elegance. While enjoyable now, it will benefit from further aging; enjoy best 2029–2039.”

Vinous 94 Points: “The 2019 Merlot Hudson Vineyard is packed with dark plum fruit, chocolate and a whole range of cool-climate savory notes that add complexity as well as nuance. The Hudson Merlot is one the most distinctive wines in Napa Valley but it needs cellaring to be at its best. These are the oldest vines on Lee Hudson’s property.”

Andy Erickson, Winemaker: “The wine seems supercharged, with a pointedly robust midpalate, intense black fruit aromas, and strength and length that is downright exciting. This eminently enjoyable wine is deep and layered, but also buoyant and uplifting.”

Also check out:
Arietta On the White Keys
Arietta Quartet
Arietta Cabernet


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

Tiny Producer, Big Scores, Small Price


The wrath of Juno sent Aeneas wandering the Mediterranean in Vergil’s Aeneid. For the ancient Romans, ira or wrath, was a tool of a god, an unstoppable anger driven by forces greater than man. One can argue that we see such fury in both the might of nature and the passion of art. Wrath appears in the edgy power of Robert Plant’s voice and the raw wail of Eric Clapton’s guitar. It is frozen into Jackson Pollock’s violent splatters of paint. Wrath is in the wall of maritime fog that rolls into the Salinas Valley and the relentless afternoon winds that scream through our grape trellises.

Wrath 2019 Pinot Noir “San Saba Vineyard”
Monterey – 95 Points

GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12

Use code WRATH during checkout (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)

Vinous 95 Points: “Glistening magenta. Displays an array of fresh red fruit, blood orange, floral and exotic spice aromas that are complemented by smoky mineral, vanilla nuances. Stains the palate with finely detailed spice-laced red currant, cherry-cola and raspberry flavors that show superb depth with no excess fat. Turns sweater on the strikingly long finish, which shows outstanding tenacity, harmonious tannins and repeating red fruit, spice and floral notes."

Winery Notes: “Deep and full-flavored, the 2019 San Saba Pinot Noir has aromas of spice box, apple peel and minerals that join flavors of cooking spices, blackberry fruit and cherry cola along with a pleasing earthiness and acidity that knits everything together in a wonderful glass of wine.”

Only 375 cases were produced!!

Wrath 2019 Pinot Noir “Boekenoogen Vineyard”
Santa Lucia Highlands – 94 Points

GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code WRATH during checkout (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)


Vinous 94 Points: “ Brilliant Red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red-fruits, star anise and cola along with a smoky mineral overtone. Juicy, lithe and precise on the palate, offering sweet, mineral-laced Chambord, rose pastille and spice cake flavors that deepen slowly with air. Delivers a suave blend of power and delicacy. Finishes gently tannic and sappy, with outstanding clarity and persistence."

Winery Notes: “We love the fruit from the high altitude Boekenoogen Vineyard and we feel privileged to make wine with it. This wine's gorgeous bouquet and bright, energetic character is distinctive among all our other Santa Lucia Highlands' bottlings. It begins with a captivating nose of violets and red fruit, followed by layers of blackberries, dark plum and spices (think cloves and nutmeg). There is an underlying minerality that is classic Santa Lucia Highlands. Bright acidity lifts the dark flavor notes and adds energy and interest.  “

Only 350 cases were produced!!

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

A fun Bordeaux Blend that will not break the bank!



Vailia From owner/winemaker, might be the wife of Russell From the owner/winemaker of Herman Story, but she is her “own” woman in this man’s world! Desparada is the culmination of 19 years of traveling and working for and in wine. Vailia has seen every side of the industry, from winemaking to harvesting, to importing, cold calling for sales, to managing brokerages, to working on restaurant floors, and managing a mobile bottling line. There’s something in wine that keeps her going. She’s a traveler by nature, and Desparada is what carries her. A no-nonsense lady, making no-nonsense, well-priced and good quality wines with a twist.

Desparada 2020 Sackcloth & Ashes Bordeaux Blend
GGWC 54.99 
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code DESPARADA during checkout


A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the Sackcloth and Ashes is a straight up delicious red that’s loaded with notions of cassis, incense, peppery herbs and hints of lead pencil. Medium to full-bodied, polished, elegant and with tons of fruit, drink this sexy, yet elegant wine over the coming 7-8 years.

Winery Notes: “Counter at Saks, chocolate Corinthian leather, dark raspberry omen, contraband in the trunk of your Aston Martin, rooftop confession The 2020 Sackcloth and Ashes is a blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 34% Petit Verdot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Merlot

Also check out these other Desparada wines (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)

Desparada 2019 Soothsayer Cabernet

As well as the wines from her husband’s Herman Story winery (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)

Herman Story 2019 “On The Road” Grenache
Herman Story 2020 “Nuts & Bolts” Syrah
Herman Story  2020 “First Time Caller” Petite Sirah
Herman Story 2020 “Tomboy” Viognier


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

Frank’s OWN Melis Family 2019 Cabernet is here!

Frank Melis

I am starting off with some very exciting and less exciting news…The 2019 Melis Family Cabernet is one of my best efforts to date, sadly… there is not much of it! Then the real bad news…There is NO 2020 vintage due to the Napa fire. That said, this release will sell very quickly!

Melis Family 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon G3 Rutherford
Napa Valley

GGWC 119.99 – THIS WEEK FOR SPECIAL PRICING $109.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code MELISFAMILY during checkout


The Wine: I am very proud to release our 2019 Melis Family Cabernet sourced from the G3 vineyard. The grapes were sourced from this famed vineyard in Rutherford at optimum ripeness and under amazing conditions. The 2019 vintage might be the BEST one we have produced to date. Our Melis Family 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon offers intense aromatic notes of chocolate, black currant and a touch of licorice. The wine is dense and full in body with remarkable richness, great length and a complex long but silky grained finish. This is a wine that should cellar well for 10+ years. Those who like to enjoy it now, I highly recommend decanting a few hours in advance. The 2019 Melis Family Cabernet is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5% Cabernet  Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot

Also check out: Melis Family 2021 Rose Of Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, made by Paul Lato

The Melis 2021 Rosé is not an afterthought, but a serious contender. The new Melis 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!! 

Notes by Paul Lato: “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 especially  on the Fourth of July.”

Also check out the new PAUL LATO releases 

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

How to Pour Wine Without Spilling a Drop

How to Pour Wine Without Spilling a Drop

Contributed by Emily Saladino 
 
If you’ve ever wondered how to pour wine without leaving a Jackson Pollock-style aftermath on your counter, rest assured, you’re not alone. Pouring wine like a sommelier is an art—the Court of Master Sommeliers actually evaluates the skill on its Level 2 exam.  Whether you’re pursuing formal certification or simply want to use fewer paper towels at the dinner table, learning how to pour without spilling is crucial for anyone who loves wine.

Hold the Wine Bottle From the Base

It might feel natural to hold a wine bottle just below the neck, but if you do, physics works against you. Bottles are heaviest at the bottom. “The best position for your hand on the bottle is at the base of it, the part of the bottle with the most girth,” says Nicole Erica Rodriguez, a Baltimore-based sommelier and founder of Wine Culture with Nicole. “Your strength and control come from holding it at the heaviest part.”

The undersides of many wine bottles have an indentation called a punt. Those with larger hands may find the punt a useful place to put your thumb while you grip the base. If that feels awkward, however, or if your bottle lacks a punt, simply put your hand beneath the bottle as if you are palming a grapefruit.

Twist to Avoid Spills

You can pour red, white or sparkling wines the same way: Hold the bottle at its base and position the neck at a 45-degree angle above the glass. Stop pouring sparkling wines early to allow for the carbonation to subside. The last few seconds of any pour can help you avoid spills.
Photo by Douglas Lopez on Unsplash


“When you’re ready to stop pouring, you want to quickly twist the bottle counterclockwise,” says Rodriguez. You don’t want to jerk your wrist, she explains, “but slightly pull it up so you catch the little droplets of wine.” She recommends doing this directly over your wine glass, so that even if there are some drips, all fall into the glass. 

In many fine dining restaurants, a sommelier will wipe down the bottle between each pour with a serviette, or folded white napkin, that they keep on their forearm. While that’s certainly not required for Friday nights on your couch, you might want to have some sort of towel or napkin handy in case drips occur. “Even when I’m pouring a glass of wine at home and no one’s looking at me, I still have the serviette or towel,” says Rodriguez. “Try to safeguard yourself as much as possible.”

How Much Wine to Pour in a Glass

The standard pour for professional wine service is 5–6 ounces per glass, which means each 750-milliliter bottle of wine contains approximately five glasses. 
According to some wine scholars, there’s historical precedent for this size.
“Hugh Johnson, the esteemed British wine expert, notes that throughout history three drinks have been considered the model for moderation,” writes Karen MacNeil in The Wine Bible. “Johnson goes on to suggest that from this historic counsel is derived the wine bottle, which just happens to contain 750 milliliters, or about three glasses each for two people.”

In modern restaurants, a 5–6-ounce pour allows staff to standardize service and pricing. Plus, since many wine glasses have capacity for 16–20 ounces of liquid, a 5–6-ounce pour gives the drinker ample space to swirl their wine without it sloshing over the sides. Of course, when you’re enjoying wine at home, you can pour however much or little you choose. Rodriguez tends to start small and work her way up to a full pour, but there are mitigating factors, she says. “I gravitate toward a 3-ounce pour, but if it’s been a long day, then I’m going to have to go for those 6 ounces.”
 

Visit us at GoldenGateWineCellars.com!
As always, don't hesitate to call us at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for selection advice or assistance!

 

Last call for this amazing 97 Point Pinot Noir


Winemaker Notes : “Mimi’s Mind 2019 has stunning lift and slowly unveiling layers of flavor that evolve and deepen with age. It reveals a complex of herbs, floral notes of rose and violet, and has a solid structure under- pinned by the inclusion of some whole cluster fruit. This is the roundest textured vintage of Mimi’s Mind due to lower yields, gentle handling, and harmonious weather in 2019.  Mimi Casteel’s vineyard is a role model for regenerative farming, with thoughtful vineyard practices to improve the environment around and beyond her farm. It’s an impressive take on biodynamic and organic principles combined with science. 2019 Mimi’s Mind selection is 40% PN667 and the remainder classic Pommard Clone.”

Lingua Franca 2019 Pinot Noir “Mimi’s Mind” Eola-Amity Hills 97 Points
GGWC 94.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code MIMI during checkout


Vinous 97 Points: ”Vivid ruby-red. Highly perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark fruits, incense and potpourri, along with an exotic spice nuance and a hint of smoky minerality. Palate-staining black raspberry, cherry and fruit cake flavors show sharp definition and deepen steadily as the wine stretches out. Deftly plays richness of elegance and finishes impressively long and chewy, with repeating cherry and floral character and building tannins adding final grip. 8% whole clusters and 26% new French oak.“

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

The Nuts & Bolts to make a good wine…


For many, Nuts & Bolts functions as the Herman Story Gateway Drug. Each vintage delivers a Syrah of exceptional structure, body and power. Nuts & Bolts is built of the most opulent, expressive Syrah barrels in the cellar.

Herman Story 2020 Syrah “Nuts & Bolts”
Paso Robles

GGWC 59.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code HERMAN during checkout


RUSSEL FROM (OWNER/WINEMAKER): “It’s well past sundown at the Chamber of Commerce charity ball and there’s a rattlesnake on the dance floor. Stilettos pierce blackberry soufflés and balsamic-drizzled olives as socialites in violet and dark plum evening gowns head for high ground. It’s all resinous-herb energy, coiling and uncoiling to Moon River. But you’re unfazed as you shed that tuxedo vest, find the shovel in the ballroom’s back closet, and give the tumultuous crowd what they want, all without spilling your drink.”

Also check out these other Herman Story wines (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)
Herman Story 2019 “On The Road” Grenache
Herman Story 2020 “Tomboy” Viognier
Herman Story  2020 “First Time Caller” Petite Sirah

As well as the wines from his wife – Desparada (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)
Desparada 2019  “Soothsayer” Cabernet  
Desparada 2020 “Sackcloth and Ashes”


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

A $50s Napa Bordeaux Blend that will rock your world!



Hourglass was created by Ned Smith in 1976, who loved making Zinfandel from this property. In 1992 his son Jeff Smith took over the land and business and enlisted Robert Foley as his winemaker. They started Hourglass 2.0. by making Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc from this amazing property. Jeff purchased what is now the Blueline Vineyard as well. As of a couple of years, Tony Biagi (formerly with Spottswoode, Cade, etc.) has taken over the winemaking reins at the winery.

Hourglass HG III 2019 Napa Valley
GGWC 52.99 net item
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code HOURGLASS during checkout


The Hourglass HG III is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah. It offers up a deep purple-black color that opens with notions of warm black plums, mulberries and Black Forest cake with touches of fallen leaves, baking spices and hoisin plus a waft of wild sage. The wine is full-bodied with loads of spiced plums flavors on offer in the mouth, it has a plush texture and long, silky finish.

Winemaker Notes: “The 2019 vintage for HGIII is a knockout – an unequivocal example of how this expansive, rich and deeply textured wine over delivers. Tony’s ingenious blend, the core trio of varieties all offer distinction and harmony to the final blend: Merlot leads with finesse and approachability, Cabernet Sauvignon elevates with structure and polish, and Petite Syrah grounds the blend with gravitas and bass. With red and black currant forming the aromatic core, dried herb and fennel are their verdant, savory counterparts. A ripe juicy frame of dark sour and red cherry mingles with inky black cassis laced with fine streaks of dark Belgian chocolate. Undeniably approachable now, and yet with the structure, density, and complexity for great ageability.”

Also check out:  
Hourglass 2019 “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon 98 Points (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)


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

Last call for this 94 Points, UNDER $70 MUST HAVE Napa Cab


 
In 1960 Henri Vandendriessche came to America from France to study economics at UC Berkeley. He and Claire met in 1967 and fell in love with Napa, as well as with each other. In 1977 they purchased the 64-acre estate just north of the town of Napa with two goals in mind: reviving an 1870’s winery estate to its ancient glory and raising their family on an estate that would reflect and encompass their values. They moved their young family into the converted old winery and made the farm their home. They replanted as much original vineyard as they could, and dug a cave system where they would make and cellar the wine. Always a family business, Henri oversaw all aspects of the enterprise, including the vineyard management, while Claire marketed and sold the wines. Their three children lived along with the seasons, helping and participating at each stage when time permitted. Today, the children run the winery. Christopher makes the wines, and Michael manages the vineyards. The sister Anne Marie is an accomplished cheese-maker for a local artisan creamery.

White Rock 2019 Claret (Bordeaux-Blend) Estate Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code WHITEROCK during checkout


This White Rock 2019 Bordeaux Blend (Claret) shows off a ruby/purple hue.   Gorgeous aromas of sweet plums, blackcurrant notes jump out of the glass. The wine is full in body, the tannins are silky soft, the wine is lush and  fleshy, yet powerful and extremely elegant. The palate is loaded with bold red stone fruit, a whiff of cocoa and mint. This Claret is gorgeous and ready to drink now and will do so for a good 10 years. This cuvée is a blend of  71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot all from the White Rock Estate.

Vinous 94 Points: “The 2019 is fabulous. A deep, potent wine, the 2019 possesses tremendous density, not to mention tons of pedigree. Deep red fruit, white pepper, chalk, blood orange and mint lend notable depth to this powerhouse. The tannins are pretty imposing, but there is plenty of fruit to keep things in balance. What a gorgeous, gorgeous wine this is.”
 
Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation!

LAST CALL – 4 Christmas in May… Let’s celebrate and break out the bubbly


When you think you’ve seen (tasted) it all, something else “pops” up. The Beckstoffer family has been growing some of the most amazing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Carneros (Napa) for years and my old friend Don Baumhefner owner of the elusive Chateau Beaux Hauts Bubbly produced one of the best bubblies to ever come from California. He just released his recently disgorged En Tirage “Blanc de Blancs” sparkling wine after aging for 11 years. Sorry but I cannot call it “Champagne”, but hey, this is worthy of being called Champagne in my book! This release is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir with a dosage of 4 grams per liter, this makes it probably the driest sparkling wine on the market. This bottling was recently disgorged, offering up amazing freshness. Sadly, only 300 cases were produced, so this one will sell very fast! For those sensitive ones, only 12.5% Alcohol by volume
 
En Tirage 2010 Blanc de Blancs “Beckstoffer” Carneros,
Napa Valley “Recently Disgorged”

GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code ENTIRAGE during checkout


“The pale straw color and very subtle sparkling appearance of this wine, veil what lies beneath. Aromas of warm butter croissant, lemon curd, baked apple, and dried honeycomb give the impression you just walked into a French bakery. Toasty and doughy flavors paired with tart citrus fruit and subtle nuttiness convey the maturity and complexity of a wine developing though lees aging. On the palate, these rich flavors are layered upon each other in a savory mille-feuille of structured decadence. Silky effervescence provides the textural background for an elevated acidity to pierce through the gravity of this wine which perfectly expresses the ethos of En Tirage.” – Desmond Echavarrie, Master Sommelier.

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

New Wave Petite Sirah Stunner, 94 Points VERY LIMITED ALLOCATION



The new wave of Petite Sirah wine making going on these days is drawing attention and changing the way this grape is regarded. Surging forward is the recognition by winemakers, insiders, wine judges and critics that Petite Sirah is a time-tested noble grape that is truly deserving the status as a classic California varietal. Robert Biale has been producing this varietal for years, and I would say that this might be the best one he has ever produced.

Biale 2019 Petite Sirah “Royal Punishers”
Napa Valley 94 Points

$54.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code BIALE during checkout (OK to mix & match with other Biale wines)


Dense and thickly tannic, but with plenty of oomph to the juicy, ripe blackberry and boysenberry flavors, offering white pepper, sage and cedar notes that create a terrific chorus. Despite its boldness, this maintains a sense of refinement, with a long finish. 

Winemaker Notes: “A deep, blackish blue color profile with aromas of currants, red plum, quince, violets, figs, molasses and blackberry. Medium bodied with a broad mid-palate structure that builds to complex layers of texture and flavors. The oak profile integrates the fruit and tannins which are wide grained and lead to a long, lingering finish.”
 
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points: “Juicy black fruit presents on the palate as soft, supple and well integrated in this memorable wine, which was aged in Burgundian oak for 17 months. It shows touches of baking spice, black pepper and violet, with plenty of structure and texture.”

Also check out these other Biale wines (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING)
Biale 2018 Zinfandel Old Kraft Vineyard Napa Valley 94 Points
Biale 2020 Zinfandel Black Chicken Napa Valley


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

The Enduring Myths of Wine

The Enduring Myths of Wine

Contributed byRandy Caparoso 
 
The wine world has always been full of myths—mystique and imagination play as big a part in our enjoyment of wines as facts and figures. People like mystique.

Yet, almost all myths are eventually dispelled; at which point they become more like inconvenient truths, things that many cannot or will not accept.

When I first started in the industry in the late 1970s, it was “common knowledge” that the finest wines in the world came from France, and California wines were, at best, pale imitations.

Well, events like the Judgment of Paris in 1976 quickly put an end to that.
 
The French wine judges at the historic 1976 Judgment of Paris
Photo Courtesy L’Académie du Vin
In retrospect, the Judgment of Paris demonstrated that taste in wine is highly subjective, based primarily on experience. Or, in the case of the Judgment of Paris, the lack thereof. You can bet the French judges in 1976 truly believed, when handing in their scores, they were rating French wines higher than California wines. The problem: they had zero experience tasting California wines; they simply awarded the most points to the wines with greater intensity. Not a problem for modern day California wines.

Today we understand the “best” wines are about more than intensity. There are factors like balance, harmony, sense of place, pedigree, and other terroir-related distinctions. After 1976, the wine-drinking world learned that California examples can be just as interesting as any other, especially in terms of intensity.

Americans have taken this to the bank. We are proud inventors of the 100-point rating system—a myth of another sort. No matter how you slice it, numerical scoring is a way of measuring intensity, largely in lieu of other sensory factors. We may truly want to believe that a 95-point wine is better than an 89-point wine, but logic tells you that the critics or magazines conjuring these scores are as partial as anyone. All quality ratings are personal—the opposite of objective. It would be like giving The Beatles’ “Yesterday” 95 points and The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” an 89, when in reality you may very much prefer “Paint It Black” and despise “Yesterday.” That is the absurdity of numerical ratings—they never tell you what wines are better for you.

One-hundred-point apologists will always say that this is still the best way to advise consumers and celebrate wines. It’s not.
Photo by Vale Arellano / Unsplash


The New York Times‘ “Times Critics’ Top Books of 2021,” is a round-up of over three dozen works of fiction and nonfiction chosen by five staff critics. Instead of numerical ratings, these writers used what all wine critics should seriously consider when making their assessments: words. They used words to summarize each book, parse distinctions, and highlight their significance—even while pointing out strengths and weaknesses. The benefit: readers receive the information necessary to make their own choices.

It seems perfectly possible to evaluate wines the same way, without erroneous use of numbers. We just have to start demanding this from the wine media.

Earlier in 2021 a brainy colleague of mine, Deborah Parker Wong, brought up another myth that has always been repeated as gospel: When storing wines, all bottles must be laid on their side to keep corks moist and preventing wines from oxidizing. Research papers going as far back as 2005, however, have clearly demonstrated that this is simply not true. Not only is there more than enough humidity in bottles to keep corks intact and wines fresh, researchers found that wine bottles are probably better off stored upright. If, however, you are storing wines for long-term maturation, you still need to keep bottles as close to optimal temperatures (55° to 60° F) as possible, because temperature, more than anything, is what affects wine quality during long-term cellaring.

Wine geeks, however, are funny people. I seriously doubt any of them have been rushing down to their cellars to stand their bottles up. It’s wine geeks, especially, who will also swear until their dying day by the basic wine maxim called “breathing”—the opening and/or decanting of young red wines a considerable amount of time before consumption.

I like to cite the December 1997 issue of Decanter—the self-proclaimed “World’s Best Wine Magazine”—reporting on a double-blind tasting involving Hugh Johnson, Steven Spurrier, Serena Sutcliffe MW, and Patrick Léon (the latter, at the time, the winemaker for Mouton-Rothschild), who were asked to assess the quality of a 1961 Mouton-Rothschild, a 1982 Clerc-Milon, a 1980 d’Armailhac, and a 1990 Mouton-Cadet. Each of these wines were:
  • Uncorked a few minutes ahead of time, and then poured and tasted
  • Uncorked a few hours ahead of time, and then poured and tasted
  • Uncorked and poured into a decanter a few minutes ahead of time, before poured into glasses and tasted
  • Uncorked and poured into a decanter a few hours ahead of time, before poured into glasses and tasted
  • Uncorked, and then immediately poured into glasses and tasted (that is, no “breathing” at all)
Guess which wines, across the board, were the ones that this impartial panel of immortals preferred the most. Answer: The bottles that were uncorked, immediately poured and tasted. It turns out that “breathing,” whether for a few minutes or a few hours, doesn’t really “improve” wines at all. If anything, it can be detrimental.
 
Decanters used in Guard & Grace restaurant in Denver to enhance
guest experiences of red wines / Randy Caparoso Photography

So how do we account for contrary opinions? I chalk it up to the stimulus of neural activity in medial orbitofrontal lobes, the “pleasure center” of our brains. There have been a number of studies demonstrating that wines tagged with higher prices consistently result in sensations of more pleasure than that of lower priced wines. (In these studies, price tags are typically switched, and the results remain the same: Price, not wine, inflates pleasure.)

The same stimulus occurs whenever we are served wines of a certain level of prestige; or when wines are handled with great care, such as being poured from attractive decanters. (As sommeliers in restaurants, we have always been acutely aware of this shrewd yet sure-fire way of making guests feel they are getting more for their money.)

I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that sensory perception can be flawed in many ways. We not only question ourselves, but also question facts and truths. It’s like there’s an override built into our nervous system. When our senses are prepared to perceive that a wine will taste better, it truly does taste better. Errare humanum est.  Which is exactly why wine myths will never go away. When it comes to pleasure, or for the sake of reasonably consistent belief systems, it is simply more convenient to keep our myths around.
 

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The “Doctor” is in the house – One glass per day keeps me away = 96 Points



Testarossa’s location at the historic Novitiate Winery in downtown Los Gatos, California, is both a state-of-the-art working winery and a truly dramatic setting for visitors. The old stone cellars and beautiful grounds of the state’s fourth oldest continuously operating winery. The old Novitiate Winery was originally built in 1888 by Jesuit Fathers and Brothers from Santa Clara College (now Santa Clara University); it was intended to help fund their new seminary college, built on the grounds the same year. The term Novitiate means ‘house of the novices’, the name used for seminary students. For nearly 100 years, the Jesuits made altar wines, as well as sweet, fortified wines at the Novitiate Winery. They were best known for their fortified Black Muscat dessert wine (similar to a tawny port), which was a perennial gold medal winner at the California State Fair. The original 19th Century, three-floor, gravity-flow winery is still in use today to make Testarossa wines.

Testarossa 2018 Pinot “Doctor’s Vineyard”
Santa Lucia Highlands

GGWC 74.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code DOCTOR during checkout


Somm Journal 96 Points: “Deep red hue. Scents of chokecherry, pomegranate, sage, and jasmine start out the aroma profile. With some time, notes of orange zest and cherry cola flood the glass. Once on the palate, all of these qualities persist in unison along with dimensional and subtle textures. With modest acidity and balanced structure, this Pinot Noir should continue to slowly unravel its potential for this decade. Enjoy now through 2030." 

FYI: Somm Journal is a group of Master Sommeliers around the world that give their honest, non-biased opinion

Vinous 94 Points: “Shimmering magenta. Fragrant red and blue fruit, potpourri, incense and vanilla scents are complemented by hints of cola and baking spices. Alluringly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering spice-laced cherry cola, raspberry and floral pastille flavors and an undercurrent of smoky minerality. Fine-grained tannins frame and shape a sappy finish that lingers with strong persistence and a sweetening touch of vanilla. 57% new French oak.”

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Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

In case you missed it….100 Point  Bevan “Bordeaux Selections”!

Bevan Cellars Outdoor Lifestyle
 
Sorry, the 2019 Bevans are almost sold out! There is NO 2020 vintage due to the Napa fires, so the next release will not be until late 2023 early 2024! I suggest to jump on this while I have it in stock!

Bevan 2019 Ontogeny Proprietary Red, Napa Valley
GGWC 119.99 (Max. order 6)


Winery Notes: ”This is the first wine we blend every year, and this year’s result is powerful. As you have come to expect each release, the core of this blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, and in 2019 it comes from some of the rockiest blocks at Tench Vineyard. It has a fabulous meaty quality and all the fruit to back it up. It was quite an undertaking to craft a wine that could stand up to the ’18 Ontogeny that was so yummy, but what we have in ’19 is an even bigger beast.

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points : “A blend put together by Bevan from the single vineyards, the Ontogeny cuvée is year-in, year-out one of the greatest values in Cabernet Sauvignon. His 2019 Ontogeny is no exception, revealing a dense purple hue as well as rock star notes of crème de cassis, violets, tobacco leaf, and chocolate. It’s a big, classic Bevan wine and has remarkable purity, silky, polished tannins, and not a hard edge to be found. Don’t miss it!”

FMW 98 Points: The 2019 Ontogeny offers a deep purple hue, and an exquisite bouquet of black and stone fruits, crushed flowers and cocoa.The wine is intense, full in body with layer upon layer of lush flavors on the palate, showcasing incredible purity of fruit. It’s a gorgeous wine that’s showing well today, better tomorrow and should please for 10-15 years!


Bevan 2019 Tench EE Red (Cabernet Blend) Napa Valley – 99 Points 
GGWC 219.99 (Max. order 4)


Winery Notes: “The Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend comes from Block 2A at the Tench Vineyard, which is all red dirt. This soil profile gives us more blue fruits then black, but the tannins are also a little gentler, which we balance by blending in Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc has massive tannins. That addition adds concentration and structure, pulling the wine back on the palate for a mouthwatering finish. There is no doubt the concentration we achieved blending the EE in 2019 is phenomenal.”

Robert Parker 99 Points: “Made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2019 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It leaps out of the glass with crème de cassis, blueberry pie and black cherry cordial with nuances of potpourri, kirsch and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied, the palate is bright and refreshing with bags of juicy fruit and a soft texture, finishing with a floral lift.”

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points: “Lots of smoked black raspberry, cassis, sappy herbs, and forest floor notes emerge from the 2019 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine, a soft, supple, incredibly opulent barrel sample that hits all the right notes. With terrific purity, ripe, supple tannins, and outstanding length, it should be one of the more accessible wines on release yet still have a long evolution given its balance.”


Bevan 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard Oakville
Napa Valley –  99+ Points
 
GGWC 219.99 (Max. order 3)


Winery Notes: “‘The incredibly rocky soils of the Tench block this wine comes from, consistently develops incredible, intense flavors: acidity on the tip of your tongue, weight that pushes from start to finish, blackberry and currant fruit, with great texture and finesse. A massive wine that maintains a sense of grace and elegance.”

Robert Parker 99+ Points: “A barrel sample, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is deep garnet-purple colored and skips out of the glass with bright cherry, blackberries, crushed blackcurrants and plum preserves scents with hints of menthol, bay leaves and candied violets. Full-bodied, the palate is bombastic and juicy with plush tannins and lively acid, finishing long.”

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points: “A stellar looking barrel sample, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench offers a vivid purple hue as well as pretty blue fruits, iron, white flowers, and a liquid violet-like character. It’s more elegant and streamlined compared to the more opulent 2018, with beautiful balance.”


Bevan 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Sugarloaf Napa Valley – 100 Points
GGWC 219.99 (Max. order 2)


Winery Notes: “Dark chocolate, violets, tobacco, spring flowers, this wine is a hedonist’s delight. The Cabernet Franc provides robust tannins, where the Merlot gives an insane, mouth-coating lusciousness. This wine continually amazes us with how gracefully it ages. The 2012 Sugarloaf is just now hitting its sweet spot. 2019 will no doubt prove the same age-worthiness.”

Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points: “Checking in as a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the 2019 Proprietary Red Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard is one of the top wines in 2019 (at least at this stage). Offering an incredible nose of black raspberries, cassis, wildflowers, violets, and wood smoke, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, ultra-fine, seamless texture, great tannins, and a great, great finish. The purity is just about off the charts.”

Also check out the remaining “Burgundy” releases:

Bevan Ritchie Chardonnay
Bevan Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir
Bevan Rita’s Crown Pinot Noir


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Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation!

Stealing is wrong, but you can Pickpocket this one and even get rewarded

Sans Liege


Owner and Winemaker Curt Schalchlin has been producing high-quality Rhone blends at a very respectable price level for years. Curt worked for some of the best winemakers in industry and went solo about over a decade ago, and the rest is history. Today Sans Liege has a worldwide fan base among my clients, as far as Japan, Europe and South America. The 2019 Sans Liege “The Pickpocket” Grenache is by far the best release to date!

Sans Liege 2019 Grenache “Pickpocket” Santa Barbara
GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code SANSLIEGE during checkout


Medium ruby-colored with a lighter rim, the 100% Grenache comes from sites on the westside of Paso Robles and offers beautiful notes of kirsch, blackberries, dried earth, and herbes de Provence-like characteristics. It's elegant, full-bodied, and seamless on the palate. It’s already hard to resist yet should keep nicely for 4-5 years.

Winery Notes: “A candle flickers in the dimly lit library. The air is thick with scents of cinnamon,
smashed raspberries and anise lulling you into drowsiness as the words blur on the page. Something brushes past you. When you turn, all that’s left in its wake is the aroma of light florals with a hint of oregano. Fully alert now, you venture out onto the dry earth of the courtyard looking for signs of the disturbance. You see the shape of the dark cherry trees, but all is still. Turning back, you put your hands in your pockets and realize the old coins are gone.  

Sourced from the Derby, Spanish Springs and Old Potrero vineyards.

Also check out:
Sans Liege The Offering Red Rhone Blend
Sans Liege Prophetess
Sans Liege Côtes du Coast White Rhone Blend
Groundwork Syrah 
Groundwork Grenache Blanc


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

The science of old vines

The science of old vines

Contributed by Jamie Goode
 
It’s wonderful to see an old vineyard. The vines, with their gnarly trunks, have been growing and producing grapes for a human generation or more. They are highly valued, and in many wine-producing countries there are now registers of old vineyards.

You’ll often see the phrase ‘old vines’, or ‘vieilles vignes’, or ‘viñas viejas’, or ‘vinhas velhas’ on the label, although this is not a regulated term. In South Africa, the Old Vine Project defines ‘old’ as 35 years. In Australia, the Barossa has an Old Vine Charter that starts at the same age, but then has separate tiers for survivors (70 years) and centenarians (100 years).

But what’s the science of old vines? They are widely credited with making better vines. Is this really true? And if so, what mechanisms are involved.

There are a number of suggestions. Skeptics say that there’s a confounding factor at play here: if a vineyard is in a great location and the vines are making excellent wines because of that location, they are unlikely to be pulled up, even when yields start to dip. Hence the vineyard becomes old, making excellent wine. There’s some truth to this, but I wouldn’t say this is the only explanation.
 
The head of an old vine showing a history of pruning cuts
There’s the carbohydrate reserve hypothesis. Depending on the vigor of the site, old vine trunks can grow quite large. Their root systems can grow extensively, too. [Less vigorous sites can have old vines without impressively large trunks; more vigorous sites can grow big fat vines even by age 20.] These trunks and roots act as carbohydrate reserves. Early in the season, the vines rely on these reserves to get going, and grow leaves, and it takes quite a while until these leaves are generating more carbohydrates than their growth is requiring. So older vines have an advantage here because of their reserve capacity.

Then there’s the teenage hypothesis. The first crop or two from a new vineyard is often of very high quality. That’s because there’s a nice balance between foliage and crop load. Then, as the vine gets going it enters its teenage years, and starts producing a big canopy. It takes a lot of viticultural work – and smart work – to get the balance between canopy (the leaves and shoots) and fruit (the bunches of grapes) right. Then, as the vine enters adulthood and leaves its teenage ways behind, the balance comes back. It throws an appropriate crop (of course, depending on it being a good site) and the canopy grows enough to provide the photosynthesis necessary to ripen the grapes, but not too much that there’s excessive shading and a refusal to stop growing. In vigorous vineyards where the canopy grows too much, winegrowers have to pass through and trim it. This can encourage the growth of lateral buds which end up shading fruit. The vine really needs to stop growing more leaves at the right time so it can focus on ripening fruit: this is what old vines often end up doing, and could be one reason why they are prized.
 
This is a venerable vine from Arribes in Spain,
close to the Portuguese border

Of course, we mustn’t forget about the roots. As a vine ages, the roots explore more of the soil. Of course, a lot depends on the nature of the vineyard soil and subsoil. But in an ideal world, these roots sink deep, providing access to a steady but limited supply of water, and also adequate nutrients. This means that old vines tend to be more consistent, and can cope with variations in seasonal conditions. As the roots go deeper, then the terroir is more likely to be expressed. Winegrowers I’ve spoken to say that often younger vines give lovely fruit expression, whereas once they reach the age of about 10, they see more terroir expression. The site begins to speak more clearly.

Now we get to some more esoteric, but potentially equally valid explanations. The first of these is about epigenetics, and it has best been explored by the PhD research from viticulturist Dylan Grigg. It’s hard to put into simple terms, but basically epigenetics is the way the environment writes itself onto the genetics of an organism. It’s not through changes in the DNA – this isn’t possible. But it’s through changes in the proteins that surround DNA in the nucleus, and cause some genes to be expressed or muted through alterations in packing material around the genetic code, such as histone deacetylases. Some of these outside-the-genetic (epigenetic) changes can even be heritable. They help a plant adapt to the environment, and Dylan has shown them to be present in old vines in the Barossa. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that if you take cuttings from these venerable old Barossa vines the epigenetic changes are re-programmed. But if you propagate by layering, they can be preserved.

The second is an idea I’ve not seen applied to vineyards before, but which I’ve taken from studies of old growth forests, and it concerns the common mycelial network. We are just discovering that there is an unseen world living under our feet. Far from soils just being a medium for plants to grow in, there is now a realization that they are living. And this ecosystem is complex, and vital to how plants grow. Mycorrhizae are networks of fungi that live in association with plant roots – around 80% of plants have these symbiotic associations. They vastly expand the reach of plant roots, and the plants feed them with their photosynthates in exchange for the extended reach they get exploring the soil for nutrients. It has been shown, though, that these mycelial networks actually connect plants – even plants of different species. There is a sharing of resources, and also a sharing of alarm signals from attack by diseases or herbivores, allowing neighbors to switch on defenses. Suzanne Simard from the University of British Columbia made this wood wide web of common mycelial networks famous, and there’s every reason to suspect that it might also operate in established vineyards. We need more research on this. It’s also a good reason to care about soil health (cue regenerative viticulture).
 
An old vine in Stellenbosch: this is Pinotage, and although it is virused,
makes quite a famous wine

Finally, there are a few other important areas of scientific research with regard to old vineyards. The first is grapevine trunk diseases, which are on the rise. Lots of old vineyards are being lost to ESCA, in particular, which has several fungal species associated with it. The cause of this rise? One suggestion is the widespread use of the omega graft since the mid-1970s, which has some issues with vascular conduction through the graft join. This is quite controversial. The second is because of the way that vines are pruned, with no respect for sap flow, and with cuts too close to the main trunk inducing cones of desiccation, where there is die-back from the cut that impacts on vascular tissue in the trunk. Then there is the threat to old vines caused by grapevine viruses. These are a significant problem, and where they are transmitted easily (for example, through mealybugs), they limit the life of the vine. Old vines are rightly prized. But ultimately, once a vine has passed its vigorous youth and has established a decent root system, the main factor is place. Some terroirs are simply better than others. Give me a 15 year old vine on a great site versus a 50 year old vine on the fertile valley floor any day. The discussion of the science of old vines continues.
 

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As always, don't hesitate to call us at 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for selection advice or assistance!

 

100 YEARS OLD AND STILL KICKING


Shepherded by a family heritage of over six generations of grape farming – it is a firm belief at Gamba that wines are made in the vineyard. Every Gamba made wine is an individual expression of the vineyard with each unique vintage. 

The limited production, handcrafted wines are a tribute to the art of farming, as much as they are to generations of old world, traditional winemaking. As the few remaining old vine vineyards slowly continue to disappear from the landscape, Gamba holds dear and strives to preserve what is quickly becoming a limited commodity – truly Old Vine Zinfandel.

Gamba 2019 Starr Road Old Vine Zinfandel,
Russian River Valley

Retail 59.00 –  GGWC 49.99 – FREE SHIPPING on 12, use code GAMBA during checkout


The 2019 Starr Road Old Vine Zinfandel offers a beautiful deep garnet color in the bowl of the glass, with a lush, creamy and dark berry note on the nose, with a hint of black tea and exotic spices. Notes of cola, leather, vanilla and black fruits fill the senses, and round the wine’s feel on the palate. A refined and compelling polished texture is complemented with a bright yet proportional acidity that delicately lifts and balances the wine. The pleasant spicy finish lingers on the palate, woven with a fine texture of subtle woody tones.

Winery Notes: 2019 was an exceptional wine growing season in Sonoma County. Mild temperatures early in the growing season acclimated the grapes, with ideal temperatures that continued throughout the season. This led to the year’s unhurried harvest, producing outstanding grapes. The historic Starr Road Ranch is a century old vineyard located in the beautiful foothills of the Russian River Valley AVA. The vineyard is organically grown and dry farmed, offering exceptional fruit quality with extremely low yields from this heritage 1920 original planting site. It is cultivated without the use of herbicides or pesticides and relies on winter rains as its sole source of irrigation, as it has for the past 100 years. Foggy mornings, warm days and cool nights provide ideal growing conditions at this exceptional vineyard site in the Russian River Valley. This treasured old-vine-vineyard consistently produces intense benchmark wines, bold yet refined in character, year after year, praised and sought after by producers, wine lovers, and collectors alike.

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Almost Sold out!  INAUGURAL RELEASE OF A STUNNING NEW VHR MADE CAB

VHR Winemaker Francoise Peschon-1024x743


 
For those familiar with Vine Hill Ranch and the Phillips Family I do not need to tell you that whatever they do is first rate!

I am proud to introduce their NEW venture called Baker & Hamilton, all sourced and produced from the Vine Hill Ranch Estate vineyard. RH Hamilton was Bruce Phillips’ great-great-grandfather! He started the Baker and Hamitlton company in 1849. Bruce is the owner/partner of VHR. The Original Baker & Hamilton started in a tent near the "Mormon Island" claim above Fort Sutter east of Sacramento in 1849, supplying miners hardware such as picks, shovels, knives, saws, hammers, axes and nails… By 1860 B&H had a thriving block-long store in Sacramento, and in 1867 they opened their first store in San Francisco, down on Front Street. After merging with Pacific Hardware & Steel Co. in 1918, they moved into 700 7th Street at the corner of the evolving Mission Bay area (which is now home to the SF Giants, Warriors, UCSF, and various tech companies among others). The family eventually purchased what is now the Vine Hill Ranch property, and the rest…

Baker & Hamilton by VHR 2019 Estate Cabernet Napa Valley
GGWC 129.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code BH19CS during checkout


The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a new wine made by the Phillips family, owners of Vine Hill Ranch, and winemaker Françoise Peschon. It is without question one of the most impressive debuts I tasted this year. Silky and gracious, the 2019 is a wonderfully understated, classy Cabernet that shows the more restrained side of the year in its super-classic mid-weight feel. Cedar, tobacco and sweet floral notes add gorgeous inner perfume. With the Baker & Hamilton Cabernet, the Philips's aim to make a wine that will work well in restaurants and retail shops, so all of the wine is sold through distribution rather than direct. You don't have to have a Nobel Prize to figure out what the vineyard source is. Let's leave it at that.

FMW 96 Points: The Baker &Hamilton 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is beguiling, stunning from the get go! The wine offers up an intense aroma of bright dark stone fruit, flowers and spices that jumps out of the glass on impact. The palate is lush and full, and loaded with layers of dark red and black stone fruits, a whiff of vanilla and licorice. This wine is gorgeous and beautifully delineated with a lot of pizzazz. Vibrant fruit and elegance are the keywords here! This youngster finishes with a great crescendo of silky tannins and a  perfumed finish.

Also check out these other wines by the same winemaker:
Heimark 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Napa Valley 97 Points
Cornell 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate" 98 Points


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Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for priority allocation.