A limited produced, 95 Point MUST HAVE  “Holiday” Champagne


I had the opportunity to visit with the Renoir family  ….. and tasted father and son’s bubblies (very impressed!)

Vincent and Adrien Renoir organically cultivate a mere 6 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards, in the heart of the Montagne de Reims, the house of Champagne Renoir has been growing vines and making wines for 4 generations. Independent vine growers for many years, have always guaranteed quality to their customers. The vines are located in the village of Verzy, one of 17 Grands Crus in the Champagne area. Vincent and Adrien grow their vines with care and passion, from pruning to grape harvesting and then picking their grapes by hand and pressing them at the property. The wines then rest in the cellars for several years. A lengthy aging process in the cellars give their champagnes their specific features.

Adrien Renoir Grand Cru Les Terroir,
Verzy Champagne France
 
GGWC 89.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code ADRIEN during checkout


“Extra Brut’ Champagne. A lot of apples and pears while maintaining a good level of dryness. Clean and fresh. Slightly reductive, long-lasting finish and good body, very enjoyable Champagne. The wine is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.

Robert Parker 95 Points: "Disgorged in May 2019 with 2.5 grams per liter dosage, Renoir's NV Extra-Brut Grand Cru Le Terroir is a 50-50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the slopes of Verzy, some 20% of which was vinified and matured in barrel. Unwinding in the glass with a lovely bouquet of Meyer lemon, pastry cream, yellow pear, dried white flowers, and shortbread, it's full-bodied, powerful, and vinous, with a textural attack that segues into a deep and incisive mid-palate, complemented by an elegant pinpoint mousse. Long and penetrating, this is a beautifully balanced Champagne from this promising emerging talent”

Also, check out these other great bubbly suggestions

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

Winemaking is NOT Rocket Science… or is it?


John Caldwell grew up in Napa in a family that ran a shoe business. John eventually turned one business into many more. Living in Napa and making money, he purchased 54 acres of land and had plans to develop some homes. Unfortunately, that backfired and now he was “stuck” with 54 acres of dirt. He had been on trips to France, and one thing led to another that he was going to start a vineyard. On one of his trips, he decided that the only way to get vines from France was to smuggle them into the country. With the help of some friends in New York and Canada, he started to bring in vines from Haut Brion. Unfortunately on his last of 5 trips, he got caught by customs agents. They wound up confiscating his last load, but John got lucky that via a lawyer friend he was released with a warning and a fine. His 4300 vines were in a barn in Napa and that started the success story that Caldwell Vineyard would become years later.

In the mid-late 90’s I met John and we tasted through various barrels when he said: “you know this is not Rocket Science”! At that time Philippe Melka was his winemaker, and the next day Melka asked him what that “blend” was all about that he made the day before. That said, John created “Rocket Science” under my eyes and a new brand was born. So many years later, I am still a big fan of this wine and I was his first retail account!  Today I believe I am one of his only ones!

Caldwell 2020 “Rocket Science” Red Napa Valley
GGWC 79.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12  or more
Use code ROCKET during checkout


A voluptuous nose is dominated by black raspberry, black currant, ripe blueberries, black olive, cassis, clove, and white pepper. A raspberry attack leads to a full, juicy mouth of ripe plums and cherries. The structured cocoa tannins give way to a long finish of chocolate-covered strawberries.

Winemaker’s Notes: “Made exclusively of Caldwell Vineyard estate fruit, it’s an engineering feat combining art, science, and a little fifth-dimension magic for a heady ride through time and space. Bursting with dark matter tannins and full-throttle fruit flavors, it offers maximum taste velocity balanced by light, ethereal notes indicative of its earthbound Coombsville coordinates. Larger than life, it’s expansive on the palate with cranberry, pomegranate, and blackberry-cinnamon fruit, it’s got plenty of integrated oak tannin, meaty Syrah-inspired spice, and mid-palate weight. You’d have to be a rocket scientist to find a better Napa wine at this price.  Small crop as we only made what we harvested before the fires started”

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

Blind Tasting Pinot Winner


In a recent blind Pinot Noir tasting, the small Ancien winery turned out to be the winner in a group of great producers.

The lineup included:
Kosta Brown “Keefer Ranch” 96 Points
Addax “Silver Eagle” (Russell Bevan winemaker) 95 Points, 
Brewer Clifton “Hapgood”  95 Points
Dragonette “Fiddlestix” 95+ Points
Hyde de Villaine “Ygnacia” 94 Points
Rochioli “Big Hill” 97 Points
Beaux Frères “The Upper Terrace” 97 Points
Littoria “Hirsch” 96 Points
Ancien “Jouissance” 94 Points

We tasted these wines with a group of 12 people, and the result was as follows:
Ancien received 6 first, 2 second, and 2 third place votes, ahead of Littoria 3 first, 4 second, and 3 third place votes.
Beaux Freres received 2 First, 2 Second, and 3 third place votes.

Ancien 2019 Jouissance Vineyard, Russian River Valley
GGWC 59.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code ANCIEN during checkout


A deeper, earthier expression of this vineyard upon release. Brambly black cherry, allspice, and hints of earth mingle with the usual notes of strawberry and pie cherry. The palate is broad and giving, showing early complexity which echos the fruit notes and is accompanied by sweet vanillin, toasted hazelnut, tea, herbs, and coffee as an introduction to this joyfully juicy blend of rich fruit and earthy spice. Sassafras, herbal notes, and baking spices are revealed in the satisfying finish.

Wine Spectator 94 Points: “Enticing, with succulent griotte, loganberry, and anise notes driving through, while lightly singed apple wood and bramble accents underscore the finish, where the fruit takes a full encore. Drink now through 2030. 308 cases made.”

Vineyard: A two-acre vineyard in the southwestern corner of the appellation, only nominally protected by the coastal hills and open to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean, is the single source for these grapes. The soils here are sandy loam and very well-drained, typical for the Russian River Valley. The cooler sections of the Russian River, near Sebastopol, are known for producing explosive and aromatic fruit flavors balanced with lively acidity and earthy aromas. All seventeen rows are planted with Dijon 115 clone, which tend to add perfumed aromas and light spice notes to the lush fruitiness derived from the soils.

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 Thanksgiving Wine Suggestions if you want them BEFORE TURKEY DAY

Thanksgiving turkey dinner table

If you want your Turkey Dinner to be accompanied by some great wines, don’t wait till the last day to order those Thanksgiving Wine goodies and get them out to you in time!

Dear Friends,
It is that time of year – the holidays are around the corner, we will have time to reflect on things and hope for the best for everyone and continue to live the dream! A time to say “Thank You” and spend time with your family, friends, and loved ones. Remember and cherish the ones that aren’t among us, the ones that are, and especially those serving our country locally and abroad. 

Buy a case of 12 ($700 or over, and receive FREE SHIPPING)
Use code THANKS at checkout


Here are a few suggestions for your Thanksgiving Dinner:

Argot 2019 Pinot Noir “Bastard Tongue” Sonoma – 97 POINTS!
Cattleya 2021 Pinot Noir Cuvee Number One, Russian River Valley
Cattleya 2021 Pinot Noir Cuvee Number Eight Sonoma Coast Inaugural Release
Coho 2018 Pinot Noir “Stanly Ranch” Carneros Napa Valley SADLY, THE LAST RELEASE EVER!!
Alma de Cattleya 2019 Red Blend, Sonoma County 93 Points
Crocker Starr 2019 Proprietary Red AVA St. Helena, Napa
Hudson 2019 Phoenix “Bordeaux-Blend” Estate Carneros Napa Valley – 96 Points
LaRue 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 95 Points
Luli 2021 Pinot Noir Monte Linda Santa Lucia Highlands (only 100 cases produced)
Paul Lato 2020 Pinot Noir “Stand By Me” Drumm Canyon Santa Rita Hills 96 Points
Sans Liege 2019 Grenache Pickpocket Templeton Gap, Paso Robles 93 Points

Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay “East of Eden” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands – 97 Points
Arbe Garbe 2020 Proprietary White, Russian River Valley
Cattleya 2019 “Call to Adventure” Chardonnay Russian River Valley 95 Points
Crocker Starr 2021 White Blend of Sauvignon Blanc, A.V.A. Napa Valley
Gallica 2020 Albariño Rorick Heritage Vineyard
Kirchhoff 2020 Estate Chardonnay (he is the Hudson winemaker)
Hudson 2020 Chardonnay “Estate” Carneros Napa Valley 95 Points
Lucy by Pisoni 2021 “Pico Blanco” Proprietary White, Monterey
Massican 2021 “Annia” White Blend Napa Valley
Nid Tissé 2019 Chardonnay “Hyde Vineyard” Carneros Napa 97 Points
Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay “Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Barbara 97 Points

A. Margaine Champagne Premier Cru “Le Brut” 93 Points
Carboniste 2020 Rose of Pinot Sparkling
Henri Dosnon Brut Rosé Champagne NV Cotes de Bar
Lorenza 2021 Rose (Rhone Blend)
Melis Family 2021 Rose of Pinot (by Paul Lato) Santa Rita Hills

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

A Whole Bunch of Choice

An increasing number of winemakers are now experimenting with whole-cluster fermentation
Contributed by Margaret Rand 

 
© Concha y Toro | Although not fully understood, leaving
the stems during fermentation can lead to a wide range
of effects on the resulting wines.
 
Can you imagine a technique that some producers would use to increase the weight of their wines, while others would use it to make them fresher, even lighter? It's whole-cluster fermentation, and it involves, as you might expect, putting the whole grape bunch into the vat just as it is. In the past, if you go back far enough, most people wouldn't have given it a name, because it was just what you did. Until crusher-destemmers became almost ubiquitous in the 1980s (although they were invented in the late 19th century), if you wanted to keep the stems out of your fermentation you had to do it by hand, rubbing the bunches over a wickerwork grid before they went into the vat. And at a large estate how feasible would that have been, even in an era of cheap labor?

The early crusher-destemmers were fairly crude, but they gave you a choice, and if your stems were green in an unripe year you would have been glad to have been able to press a button to keep green tannins out of your wine. You could de-stem everything and add some stems back, if you wanted, choosing the proportion according to the year. You might add some (ripe) stems back to give a bit more tannic oomph to your wine, or to help break up the cap, but adding stems back after they've been removed does not seem to have the same effect as putting in whole bunches. And it's the latter that has this miraculous double effect. It's not miraculous at all, of course. The effect of whole-cluster fermentation on your wine depends on your terroir as well as your grape variety and, most importantly, on how you use it.
 
The grapes
 
© Wikipedia | Stems can range from green to brown
and from the main stalk to the more delicate stems.

Let's look at the grapes part of the equation first. With whole-cluster you're getting intra-cellular fermentation in the unbroken grapes – an enzyme process rather than a yeast fermentation. It's the same as the carbonic maceration that is the classic technique of Beaujolais. As the grapes break open, more sugar is released into the juice, and this gradual release prolongs the fermentation, increasing the glycerol level of the wine. Some practitioners of whole-cluster find there are still a few unbroken grapes in the vat even at pressing. This intra-cellular fermentation produces specific flavours: Jasper Morris MW, whose updated new edition of Inside Burgundy comes out on September 15th, identifies esters like ethyl cinnamate and eugenol, which give, respectively, ripe strawberry and spice notes – though he cautions that they might come from the stems rather than from the intra-cellular fermentation. As you might infer, what is actually going on in whole-cluster fermentation is still a matter of study.

The stems

So, the stems; the magic stems. Stems consist of the main stalk of the cluster, the bit you pick up when you buy grapes at the market, which is called the rachis, plus the pedicels, which are the tiny stems that attach each grape to the main stem. They all consist mostly of water, but they have tannins as well, and it is these tannins that made producers rush to buy crusher-destemmers when summers were cooler than they are now and the stems less likely to be ripe. Ripe stems are brown; unripe stems are green. It's not for nothing that we describe unripe tannins as tasting "green". Removing the stems in unripe vintages lessened the impact of green tannins. But the stems do more than just contribute tannins and thus structure. Wines made with whole-cluster have darker, spicier flavors. That dark, serious, weighty aspect was what was noticeable in a lot of red Burgundies in the years when many producers were seeking more imposing wines, in line with fashion. Now fashion demands elegance and freshness, and the wonder of whole-cluster is that it can deliver this, too. Whole-cluster ferments tend to be slightly lower in alcohol and have a little less color; they also may have slightly less acidity, but more perceived freshness; just a touch of greenness from the stems can be helpful here. As ever, wine is contradictory. For every producer using a whole-cluster for more weight and structure, there'll be another using it for elegance and freshness.

The Vineyards

For example: Alvaro Palacios makes Priorat of an elegance and finesse that is whole galaxies away from the stand-a-spoon-up Priorat that you might have found from other producers in earlier years. He works mostly with Garnacha, a naturally pale, low-acid, low-tannin grape. What he needs is, he says, "more structure, more vinosity, more dry extract, more physical dimension – but you have to be careful not to overdo it. You don't want to lose freshness. In Rioja, you can feel whole-cluster [in the wine]. In Priorat, there is such a force of the soil in the wine that you don't feel the flavors but you do feel the texture of the stalks. You get color and concentration and structure."
 
Photo by Dylan de Jonge on Unsplash

Soil matters. Donovan Rall in South Africa says that "the most important thing is to identify vineyard-specific sites which will not be overpowered by whole-cluster. The obvious mistake is to over-extract, and it can easily be done." One old Cinsault vineyard, for example, gives really ripe stems at harvest, and here he uses 100 percent whole-cluster. "In another Cinsault vineyard, I would only go up to 50 percent because the effect is twice as much as in the first vineyard." Grape variety matters, too. Says Rall, "Syrah is a very easy grape, one of the easiest on earth. Even if you pick early, it has pretty ripe stems… Some Syrah vineyards, especially on granite, tend to have less structure than on schist. Then I add stems for structure. On schist, I do whole-cluster but I don't touch it: just one page a day, to be very wary of over-extracting. Cinsault, even if you pick at 12.5-13 percent, produces less acid and higher pH than Syrah picked at 14 percent. In Cinsault specifically, I like a bit of green from the stems." It gives a perceived freshness that is different from acidity. "It enhances it. But you have to be very careful; it's a very delicate balance. But I don't think my Cinsault would be as fresh and lively if not for the stems."

This is a whole cluster used to frame delicacy, if you like, rather than whacking in a lot of extraneous weight. It's the way that Dani Landi uses it in Gredos for his Garnacha, where the skins and stalks are treated so gently in fermentation that it's hardly more than a marinade. If you look at old-style Domaine Dujac, says Morris, which was all whole-cluster, it's light and ethereal. Château Rayas, famously, is made with whole cluster, but doesn't feel like it.

Does limestone in the soil tend to increase the effect of whole-cluster on the palate? Palacios suggests it does in Rioja. In Burgundy that could be the case, too, although equally, some producers will say that because they get lower acidity on more clayey soils they don't want to lose any more acidity so will avoid whole-cluster.

"The great point with whole-cluster is not to use sulfur at vinification," says Morris. "The results are fresher and more floral. Sulfur is more likely to leach anything bad or herbaceous from the stems." And indeed, the most successful whole-cluster wines – the ones where you don't notice it – are almost certainly made with indigenous yeasts, spontaneous fermentation, call it what you will. "The sort of person who would use whole-cluster is not likely to be using commercial yeasts," says Morris. "The safety-first brigade wouldn't use it."

Changing tastes
 
Photo by Dailos Medina on Unsplash

Are there any grapes for which it is a complete no-no? The obvious answer might be the Bordeaux varieties, because of their greater tendency to green flavors. But Rall points to old South African reds from the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, "which were mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Syrah because that was the blend, and people pull them out of their granddads' cellars and they're drinking like Burgundy, delicate, with no green flavors. And it must have been the stems that gave them longevity because there was no de-stemming then."

And indeed some châteaux in Bordeaux have been using some whole-cluster for the last few years. Carmes Haut-Brion and Smith-Haut-Lafitte have both tried it, for freshness rather than for structure, and always treat the ferments very gently. You can layer some whole bunches with crushed grapes in the vat; you can put some at the top of the vat, or at the bottom. You might de-stem with one of the new breeds of destemmers which can leave the grapes intact, just minus the stems, and then add a few stems back to the vat. The permutations are enough to keep winemakers happy for years. And probably to accommodate the next change in fashion, too.

 

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 4  for TWO stunning  Pinot Noir releases by Winemaker of the Year


Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisoni. Born and raised in Colombia and trained as a winemaker in France, she moved to California in 2007 to settle into making extraordinary wines. In her words: “Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine. At a very young age, I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.” She  also made the wines at Pahlmeyer, and produces “Shared Notes” wines with her husband Jeff Pisoni. All those ingredients together and you have one of the best winemakers in the country!

Cattleya 2021 “Cuvee Number One” Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley

GGWC 69.99 
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code CATTLEYA during checkout (OK to mix & match with #8)


A very opulent, broad-shouldered wine that is loaded from start to finish with lush fruit. Stunning aromas and a lush body loaded with red cherry jam and a touch of licorice, exotic spices, tangerine, and dried flowers. The wine is Medium to full in body, layered with bright and forward fruit, leading into a long and very elegant finish. The Russian River Valley exemplified in a single bottling, this Pinot Noir packs incredibly perfumed notes of macerated dark berries, fresh rhubarb, and baking spice into its deeply ruby-hued core. Built upon pillars of vibrant acidity and soft tannins, supple flavors of blackberry tart and Bing cherry lead the way into a voluminous, velvety, and distinctly concentrated finish.

Winemaker Notes: “Cuvée Number One delicately balances the finest attributes of two distinct areas within the Russian River appellation: Green Valley and Santa Rosa Plain. This cuvée is comprised of small, individual row selections of two Russian River Valley vineyards, each influenced by their own unique relationship with the cool, maritime microclimate of this hallowed AVA. Clusters ripen slowly, allowing them to achieve perfect ripeness, intense aromatics, velvet-like tannins, and an array of red fruits of earthy characters.”


Cattleya 2021 “Cuvee Number Eight” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast “Inaugural Vintage”
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code CATTLEYA during checkout (OK to mix & match with #1)


The vineyard is at a high elevation on Sonoma Coast. The wine offers a deep ruby-purple color. Gorgeously perfumed aromas, with notes of red roses and red cherries, jump out of the glass. The palate is lush and silky textured. Loaded with nicely balanced fruit and the right amount of acidity. Flavors of pomegranate, black raspberries, and wild strawberries are beautifully balanced within this full-bodied Pinot, which offers very generous fruit and enough freshness. The wine has a long silky finish.
 
Winemaker Notes: “Sporting shades of deep purple not normally seen from this thin-skinned varietal, this Pinot Noir from the high elevation slopes of the Sonoma Coast opens with restrained notes of sweet spice and sandalwood before adding layers of dark berry compote and toasted vanilla. Dense and immensely concentrated, the palate offers superb structure surrounded by youthful notes of juicy blackberry, black tea, and Sous-Bois.”
 
Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Honoring Our Veterans

Veterans Day
 
Honoring Our Veterans

Today, we salute the heroes
who have fought for the integrity of this country and the freedoms we enjoy.
Our hearts and minds are filled with thanks and respect.
We are forever grateful for their sacrifice of life, limb, and time
for the greater good so that we might have a better life
and a place to call home.
 
Let us raise a toast to our veterans.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
 
 
   

The Bridesmaid Returns with a 95 Point rating



Former and longtime Spottswoode winemaker Pam Starr has not skipped a beat. For decades now she has been producing top-notch Napa Valley wines. This 2019 vintage is another example of Pam’s Fine Art of making great wine!

Crocker Starr 2019 AVA Cabernet Franc Blend, Napa Valley
GGWC 72.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code CROCKER during checkout


Deep ruby in color, this wine displays a gorgeous nose of dark ripe plum, cocoa powder, hot tamale candy, and sandalwood spice. Silky friendly tannins and medium body elegantly frame the fruit on the palate which lingers through the wine’s lengthy and seamless finish.This blend of Cabernet Franc is drinking beautifully now and will cellar well over the next ten years.

Robert Parker 95 Points: “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2019 Cabernet Franc has a subdued, earthy nose of truffles and mossy tree bark with a core of black raspberries, warm plums and mulberries, plus a hint of dusty soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tightly knit with lots of beautifully fragrant nuances and a solid structure of firm, fine-grained tannins, finishing long and lifted”

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: “The deep ruby/purple-hued 2019 A.V.A. Red Blend of Cabernet Franc checks in as 68% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec. It’s a ripe, medium to full-bodied, incredibly silky expression of this variety and has lots of darker, almost black fruits (currants, blackberries) as well as perfumed notes of spring flowers, tobacco, graphite, and earth. Aged 22 months in 60% new French oak, it’s balanced, has polished tannins, and has a great finish. Drink bottles any time over the coming 15 years or more.”  

 
Pam Starr: “A.V.A. stands for American Viticulture Area and for us it represents the culmination of sustainable viticulture, the resurrection of our 1870s winery, and classic winemaking. The bouquet on the front label ties into our rich history, as it and our 1870s Victorian home originate from a Sears & Roebuck catalog. Inspired by the great wines of the right bank of Bordeaux, our A.V.A. St. Helena’s blend of Cabernet Franc serves as the perfect introduction to the Crocker & Starr portfolio. “

Also check out her fun Crocker Starr 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, A.V.A. Napa Valley
(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

NEWSFLASH – Pirates of the Napa Valley, staring Heidi Barrett, not Johnny Depp

la sirena pirate treasured


The 2018 Pirate is a deep ruby red color with open aromas of ripe fruit – plums and cherries – with complex notes of savory spices, vanilla, toasted French oak, cardamom, and olive tapenade. Delicious, round, and silky smooth across the palate with seamless, layered flavors and barely-there structural tannins. Flavors last several minutes with a nice balance and finish. Easy to drink and easy to love – perfect for pairing with a variety of full-flavored food or bringing a swashbuckling spirit to any party or gathering.

La Sirena 2018 Pirate TreasurRed, Napa Valley
GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use coupon code PIRATE during checkout


Captain Heidi Barrett Notes: “Avast, mateys – it’s a new vintage of Pirate TreasuRed! The first year I worked on this wine, 2007, the result was not what I expected, but something even better. Because the original blend used seven varietals, the ‘Treasure of the Seven Seas’ idea was a natural inspiration for the Pirate name. Each year the blend changes slightly – in 2018 I used 6 varietals to create this big, bold, raucous blend that stands out because of its finesse and complexity. It’s been a wonderful 12 vintages of spreading good Pirate cheer and of course, simply the best grog this side of Davey Jones’ Locker. We hope you love this latest edition of Pirate TreasuRed. Arrrrrr!

Make sure to  check out Heidi’s other excellent new releases
(OK to mix & match for free shipping)

La Sirena 2021 Moscato Azul, Napa Valley  (BONE DRY)
La Sirena 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
La Sirena 2016 “Aviatrix” Methode Champenoise Blanc de Noir, Napa Valley
La Sirena 2020 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

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

DuMol’s Highly RATED Designated Vineyards JUST arrived 


DuMol 2020 “Chloe” Chardonnay,
Russian River Valley -97 Points

GGWC 79.99 


97 Points Jeb Dunnuck: “The 2020 Chardonnay Chloe is rich with aromas of mineral-rich earth, pine resin, and Meyer lemon. and yellow apple. The palate is fleshy, with orange oil, a touch of savory richness, and a stony mouthfeel. It is appealing and open now, but it will certainly hold on for 10 or more years.”

96 Points Wine Advocate: “The 2020 Chardonnay Chloe, from the El Diablo Vineyard and Lorenzo Vineyard, offers an incredible combination of concentrated flavors and energetic acidity. It has intense aromas of apricot and quince with nuances of elderflower, brioche, cashews, and honey, pleasing, flinty reduction, and classy new oak spices. The full-bodied palate explodes with layers of ripe fruits supported by a satiny texture and focused acidity, and it has a dynamic finish that segues from stone fruits to flowers and spicy accents."


Winemaker Notes: “Complex aromatics combine Asian pear, chamomile, and clove with peach skin and floral notes. There’s an edge of spicy pepper and flint. The wine’s deep core is driven by white peach and nectarine flavors—ebullient, ripe, and concentrated. As the wine grows in the glass honeyed citrus flavors come forth. The texture is oily, deep, and broad, then cut with vibrant lilting acidity. A wine of balance and harmony despite its considerable richness.”
 
DuMol 2020 Dutton-Jentoft Vineyard “Ryan” Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley – 95 Points

GGWC 99.99 


95 Points Jeb Dunnuck: “ The 2020 Pinot Noir Dutton-Jentoft is packed with medicinal herbs, forested earth, and red plum. The palate is tangy and full of tension, with cranberry and rocky earth. With its driven acidity, this is a wine that commands to have food at the table. Drink 2024-2039.”

Winemaker Notes: “Deeply aromatic coastal Pinot Noir full of complex dark aromas of Asian spice, soy, and bouillon. It brightens with air to reveal hibiscus, lilac, and orange zest freshness. Beautifully sleek red and black fruit flavors that are penetrating and tangy. Lacy texture and silky featherweight tannins with lively natural acidity. Long mineral-flecked finish with mint, tobacco, and apple skin edges. Serve at 60F.”

DuMol 2020 DuMOL “Estate” Pinot Noir,
Russian River Valley – 98 Points

GGWC 99.99 


98 Points Jeb Dunnuck: “The 2020 Pinot Noir DuMOL Estate Vineyard is resinous with pine, forested earth, and kirsch. The palate has another gear of intensity and is full with ripe tannins and a long finish. The palate gives way to cherry pit, rocky soil, and spice. Hold for a few years and drink over the following 15 or more years.”

Winemaker Notes: “Aromatically layered and complex with fresh raspberry and red cherry fruits, then rose petal and thyme, and an underlying mossy, woodsy edge. The wine’s fruit is initially crunchy and crisp before turning darker to sleek and succulent cassis and black cherry. As the wine expands, it grows in volume and mineral focus then finishes long, persistent, and penetrating, with great clarity of flavor and spicy intensity. Drink between mid-2023 and 2035. Serve at 60F.”

Also check out:
Dumol 2020 Chardonnay “Wester Reach” Russian River Valley 96 Points
Dumol 2020 Pinot Noir “Wester Reach” Russian River Valley 96 Points
Dumol 2020 Syrah “Wild Mountainside” Russian River Valley 95 Points
DuMOL 2019 Pinot Noir “Estate” Russian River Valley 97 Points
DuMOL 2019 Pinot Noir “Ryan – Jentoft” Russian River Valley 96 Points
DuMOL 2019 Syrah “Eddie’s Patch” Russian River Valley 96 Points

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

Golden Gate Wine Cellars receives 3 Awards

 I was surprised and humbled to have received 3 awards from Wine-Searcher.

We received the following accolades:
 
     GOLD      2022   Best American List in San Francisco
SILVER    2022   Best Californian List in San Francisco
BRONZE    2022   Best Overall List in San Francisco


 
Thank you for your continued support.  I could not have done it without you!
 
St. Frank – The Patron Saint of Tannins
Golden Gate Wine Cellars

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

SORRY,  LAST CALL FOR 25th Anniversary Zin Release


The Story: In 1980 the Brown family (parents) purchased an abandoned ranch in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley. They rehabilitated the crumbling homestead and planted viniferous grapes — which for a decade we farmed and sold to local winemakers. In 1995 “the kids” decided to make their own wine…

They established the Brown Estate label officially in 1996 when they harvested what would become their first bottling of Brown Zin. In January 2000 they debuted the first three vintages at the annual ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Grand Tasting in San Francisco. Fast forward to August 2021… when they bottled their 25th vintage.  Time flies…

Brown Estate 2021 Zinfandel, Napa Valley
GGWC 49.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code BROWN during checkout


Aromas of kumquat, exotic spice, wild strawberries, raspberries, and Ranier cherry. Time in glass reveals guava nectar, orange creamsicle, bay laurel, and traces of smoked meat, saddle, and graphite. Medium body, silky mouthfeel, beautifully integrated with an endless finish.

Winery Notes: “And just like that we present vintage no. 26 of our flagship Napa Valley Zinfandel, having regrettably skipped our milestone vintage no. 25 due to 2020 wildfire impacts. The wine offers a garnet core, and ruby rim. On the nose, you’ll experience the hallmark characteristics of dried hibiscus flowers and rose petals, Asian spice, violets, cedar, vanilla-allspice-ginger spice-box, and subtle cedar.  On the palate, you’ll encounter a medium body, soft, smooth, and supple with a lush, creamy mouthfeel. The wine should drink well now through 2035+.”
 
Click here or on the links above to order!
Call 415-337-4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com for availability and priority allocation

Fun Napa Red Blend, under $45! Only 150 cases produced


The Story: Shypoke calls the Calistoga, Napa Valley AVA home. Their Estate vineyard is sited in the North-Western corner of the world famous Napa Valley on a bed of alluvial soil. The dirt to bottle history in California began in 1904 when Winemaker Peter Heitz’ Great Grandparents immigrated from Alsace, France and literally planted roots and built bonded winery #130 for the production of fine wines. Through nine generations of Alsatian and now five generations of California Vignerons, the Heitz family has built upon and honored the craft of tending unique soils and fusing the resulting fruit into uniquely elegant and honest wines of place and vintage.

Shypoke 2018 “Keep” Red Rhone Blend
GGWC 44.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code SHYPOKE during checkout


“The origin of the ‘Keep’ name stems from an embarrassment of stunning Grenache. So what to do these fantastic barrels of Grenache asked the winemaker? An infusion of Charbono for baritone tannins, a fist pump of Malbec juicy fruit and the blue persuasion of old vine Petite Sirah weave their tales so nicely, all while exhausting to the red wafts of that Grenache perfection. Shypoke Keep is both interesting and delicious. Enticing aromatics lead to savory, red fruit tones while remaining fresh and focused.”

Winemaker Notes: “Deep dense color. Dominant blackberry and cherry flavors, hint of tar on the finish. Intense. Picked and fermented together aiming toward the blend that we have been honing in on for the past decade. Our estate grown Grenache, century old Charbono, ‘back breaker’ Petite Sirah and a fist pump of Malbec juicy fruit. The blue persuasion of old vine Petite Sirah & Charbono weave their tales so nicely, all while exhausting to the red wafts of that Grenache perfection. The result is both interesting and delicious. Enticing aromatics lead to savory, red fruit tones while remaining fresh and focused. Only 6 barrels were produced. Our personal go-to wine from the cellar, always delicious and pairs perfectly with life.”

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

A well under $40 Napa Gem


The Story: Byron Kosuge has been making wine for over 3 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 workshop, Byron came up with the name “The Shop” and the rest (almost 20 years later) is history. Byron has created a good following for his brand, and so have many of my customers. The 2019 Pinot Noir is truly amazing and a great wine for your Buck!

B Kosuge 2019 Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 37.99 
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use shipping code SHOP during check out


The wine emerges from the glass with dark red stone fruit a hint of spice, nuttiness, and licorice. This is a lush and fleshy, Pinot Noir that is loaded with class and pedigree. The wine is medium to full in body and flavor and finishes long and strong.

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 The Shop Carneros Pinot Noir is in some ways a throwback to the riper, juicier style of the early Shop wines, but that is a product of the great 2019 vintage, rather than a change in style. I continue to pursue a fresher, more vibrant style for this wine in particular, and 2019 was no exception. Aged in a combination of concrete and neutral oak.

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

A  Scarecrow Cabernet at ⅓ the cost


It was 1993 when Dave Decesaris, gazed into his crystal and spied Freemark Abbey, as Mesopotamian mythology’s controller of karma and time, he saw an opportunity and slyly orchestrated a chance meeting with Kathleen. Over a tasting of fine wine. They bonded and eventually married. Years later and after a lifetime of equally serendipitous moments, Dave and Kathleen discovered a property on Howell Mountain filled with promise but in need of tender loving care. They envisioned a winegrowing estate and began restoration to return the land to its natural habitat and develop a vineyard to serve as inspiration for future vintages of Castiel Estate (pron. Cast-ee-all). They assembled a team to realize their vision, including ACE WINEMAKER Celia Welch (Scarecrow, Corra, Barbour, Keever, Rewa, etc) and ace and “guru” viticulturist Jim Barbour.

Castiel Estate 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain Napa Valley
GGWC 189.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code CASTIEL during checkout


Robert Parker 97 Points: After 22 months in 70% new French oak, there’s scarcely a trace of it to be found on the nose of the stunning 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s a touch of bay leaf, perhaps the slightest hints of bell pepper and pine, but also masses of cassis. Dark, dense, and sturdy, this full-bodied masterpiece is rich, round, and supple, with a long finish that leaves a lingering trail of mocha and dark chocolate that somehow avoids any sense of heaviness or excess.”
 
Celia Welch (Winemaker notes): “During the growing season of 2019, decent winter/spring rains followed by a relatively cool, even growing season gave the vineyards a lovely, moderate glide path into full maturity. The finished wine reflects its seasoning with the aromas of fully ripe currant, warm black cherries, and fresh sage. On the palate, the entry is fresh and bright, evolving into a mid-palate that shows density and blackberry flavors. As the wine fades, the lingering impression is of satiny tannins and juicy black cherry notes.

Winery Notes: The 2019 vintage comes entirely from the steep higher-elevation slopes of Howell Mountain. These vineyards see cooler summertime temperatures, and slightly warmer temperatures during autumn nights than the valley floor, which leads to a longer hang time with slightly higher acidity.

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

Paul Lato’s VERY FIRST Cabernets are here – VERY LIMITED


The much-anticipated releases of Paul Lato’s Bordeaux releases (Napa Valley Cabernets) have arrived, and they are stunning!  As always, Paul Lato’s releases are small productions. As is the case with his other varietals in his portfolio, this release will sell out quickly…

Paul Lato 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon “Festina Lente”
Howell Mountain 95 Points

Retail 169.99 – GGWC 159.99


Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is all varietal and was brought up in 70% new French oak. It’s a deeper, richer wine and offers a beautiful nose of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and tobacco. Full-bodied, rich, and textured on the palate, it brings a great mid-palate, focused, classic mountain tannins, and a seamless texture. It’s a beautiful mountain Cabernet made with a Pinot Noir-like sense of elegance and prettiness, which may seem slightly strange, yet it works beautifully in this case.”
 
Lisa Perrotti Brown TWI 95 Points: “Aged in 66% new oak, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Festina Lente is deep garnet-purple in color. Comes barreling out with notes of warm cassis, boysenberry preserves, and chocolate box, plus suggestions of crushed rocks, wild sage, and cedar chest. The full-bodied palate is completely coated with blackberries and earthy sparks, framed by firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and layered.”  (Lisa Perrotti-Brown was the longtime editor for Robert Parker)


Paul Lato 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon “Cavatina”
Napa Valley 94 Points

Retail 109.99 – GGWC 104.99


Lisa Perrotti-Brown TWI 94 Points:” The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Cavatina comes from Oak Knoll and Howell Mountain and is aged in 40% new oak. Deep purple-black colored, it needs a little coaxing to bring out notes of fresh black currants, crushed blackberries, and wild blueberries, plus hints of pencil shavings, menthol, and cardamom. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is elegantly crafted, with lots of bright, crunchy black fruit layers and a lively backbone, framed by firm, grainy tannins, finishing long and lifted”
 
Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points: “Coming from Oak Knoll and brought up in 50% new oak, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley sports a deep purple/ruby, almost opaque purple color to go with lots of classic cassis, green tobacco, graphite, and cedar-laced aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, and classically structured, with plenty of textbook Cabernet herbal character as well as beautiful California fruit, it should have 15+ years of longevity.”


We have small amounts of Paul Lato’s Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay remaining.

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

What Does ‘Flinty’ Mean in Wine?

What Does ‘Flinty’ Mean in Wine?
By Jaime Brown

 
IIllustration by Jess Cruickshank
 
The term ‘flinty’ may not be terribly familiar to the average wine drinker. An uncommon terroir profile note found in many white wines has significant contributions, although imbibers may have a hard time describing it outside of the usual fruit aromas.

“Flint is found in dry, crisp, acidic white wines and has a minerally taste impression,” says Stu Woodward, wine manager of Mystic Wine Shoppe in Arlington, Massachusetts. “The aroma would be like striking a flint (match) against hard metal.”

France’s Loire Valley Sauvignon Blancs like Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé are excellent varietal examples that showcase the Loire’s signature flinty terroir. The region’s stony soil is the result of millions of years of erosion that have brought about the varied soil characteristics that comprise the Loire Valley landscape.

Gilles Tamagnan, founder and winemaker of Domaine des Pierrettes in Touraine, France, agrees that flint soils bring a positive character to his wines.  

“Although the term ‘minerality’ is a very broad profile note amongst white wines, our particular terroir helps varieties like Sauvignon Blanc develop Pierre à fusil type flavors (gun flint),” says Tamagnan. “We can literally taste the flint stone!”

 
Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash
In Touraine, flint stones are associated with clay, which bring a soft and silky texture to white wines. These stones have hard, reflective surfaces that can retain heat from the sun during the day and give it back to the vines at night. This process promotes a steady, even ripening. The silex (another name for flint stones) gives an incomparable mineral expression and righteousness to the wines, as well as spiciness in older vintages.

Wines grown from flinty soils can be marvelous with food, as many of them are medium bodied with high acidity. Lighter fish dishes like shellfish and oysters are obvious. But these wines are no one trick pony. They can take on cuisines with creamy and buttery sauces, as well as heavier meats like veal, pork, turkey and chicken. They’re also perfect to drink by themselves sans food.

Sauvignon Blancs are wonderfully expressive and balanced, displaying citrus flavors with a hint of acidity as well as very present smoky flint aromas,” says Tamagnan. “For us, all is in the name ‘Domaine des Pierrettes,’ which means ‘little stones’ in French. Here, the Sauvignon Blanc, aka the King of the Valley, is without a doubt the variety showcasing the most of our flinty soil.” 
 

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!

 

VERY LAST CALL 4  “THE BEST” California Old-Vine Zin, BAR NONE = 10% OFF


The 2019 vintage of Bella Lily Hill is sourced from Bella’s 1.2 acre old vine “Lily Hill Estate” vineyard which was planted in 1915. This stunning Zinfandel release draws together a beautiful balance of bold black and red stone fruit and a hint of subtle spiciness. An elegant bouquet of brambly raspberries, chocolate and plum underscores the classic style of this great estate. The palate delivers cocoa and candied fruit, finishing with savory qualities, juicy acidity and soft silky tannins. Only 6 barrels of this wine were produced!

Bella 2019 Zinfandel “Lily Hill” Dry Creek
Retail 59.99 – NOW 54.99  
FREE SHIPPING on 12
Use code BELLA during checkout


With a pretty floral nose of dark ripe fruit, the 2019 Lily Hill Zinfandel exhibits classic and lively Dry Creek flavors of blackberries, black cherries, licorice and exotic spices. The wine has a silky texture with a full mouthfeel, intertwined with a smoky finish. The incorporation of a small amount of petite sirah pushes the finish into rich, substantial length.

Winery Notes: A pure expression of beauty in a classic Dry Creek Valley zinfandel style, this wine begins with youthful aromatics of dark red fruits with a touch of spice that will get more pronounced with age. Palate shows characteristics of cedar, cloves, juniper, and cassis with notable tannins that match the expressive aromatics.

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

A “Turkey Day” wine suggestion 


Russell From Owner/Winemaker: Doesn’t matter what your stepdad said, this cherry-licorice-lacquered Harley was made for sweet sunset joyrides. So when Liz Basinger’s eyes go wide at the engine’s meaty cinnamon growl, you’ve got no choice. Pistons dripping molasses, dual tailpipes blowing grilled-herb smoke, with pines whizzing by on either side. Her arms wrapped around your purloined leather jacket, strawberry sweet nothings in your ear—you’re going faster, faster, intoxicated by the open road. Now if you can just figure out how to break.

Herman Story 2018 Late Bloomer Grenache,
Paso Robles

GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code HERMAN during checkout
(OK to mix & match with all Herman Story wines)


Based all on 100% Grenache from multiple sites in California and aged 4 years in 30% new French oak, the Grenache Late Bloomer offers a Domaine de Marcoux-like perfume of kirsch liqueur, white flowers, melted licorice, and dried flowers. Exuberant, full-bodied, and incredibly sexy on the palate, it’s another rockingly singular, sexy Grenache from Russell. It’s great today but should keep for 5-7 years.

DRINK NOW: 30-minute decant CELLAR: Now through 4-6 years

Also check out these other goodies (OK to mix & match for FREE SHIPPING:

Herman Story 2020 Casual Encounter GSM 750ml
Herman Story 2019 “On the Road” Grenache Santa Barbara
Herman Story 2020 “First Time Caller” Petite Sirah, Paso Robles Highlands District
Herman Story 2020 Viognier “Tomboy” Santa Barbara
Herman Story 2020 “Nuts and Bolts” Syrah Paso Robles
Herman Story 2017 Cabernet “Chelle Vineyard” Paso Robles
Herman Story 2019 Mourvedre One Hit Wonder
Desparada 2020 Sackcloth and Ashes Bordeaux Blend


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

In case you missed it.  The Highly Rated Paul Lato’s “Rhône” releases are here – VERY LIMITED


The much-anticipated releases of Paul Lato’s Rhône releases (Syrah & Grenache) have arrived, and they are stunning!  As always, Paul Lato’s “Rhône” releases are the smallest productions of his portfolio and sell out even faster than his highly-rated “Burgundy” offerings a.k.a Chardonnay & Pinot Noirs.

Paul Lato 2020 Syrah IL Padrino Bien Nacido 98 Points
Retail $110.00 GGWC $99.99 


This has been one of the best California Syrahs for years in a row. This wine will put many of the big Rhone names to shame! I only get a few cases of this gem, so jump on it NOW, as this will sell out fast! This wine gets an average of 96-100 points every release!

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points: “The 2020 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard also saw a touch of stems (5%) and was aged 19 months in two-thirds new French oak. Coming from a cooler site, it has a deep ruby/plum color and a great nose of ripe blackberry and mulberry fruits, notes of charred meat, iron, and baking spices, full-bodied richness, ripe and integrated tannins, and a great, great finish. Out of the two Syrahs, this beauty is a touch more balanced and elegant and has slightly more mid-palate density. Regardless, both are brilliant, singular wines that readers will love.”

Vinous 96 Points: “The 2020 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Il Padrino is a brute. Most of the wines in this range are quite racy, but the Padrino is simply impenetrable at this stage. Blue/purplish fruit, lavender, mocha, gravel, dried fruit herbs, and menthol are some of the many notes that develop. There is some whole cluster influence, which adds complexity”


Paul Lato says: “Once again, Bien Nacido Syrah produces one of our most complex and intriguing wines, creating harmony between many worlds of flavor. Ripe blueberry, lavender, incense, and leather all emerge as a symphony of aromas from this full-bodied, structured wine. Deep, rich, fabulously concentrated, and pure on the palate, it stays tight and compact, with notable precision and length. Whether it’s a few minutes in the glass or several years in the cellar, this wine becomes increasingly layered with time.”

Paul Lato 2020 Syrah “Cinematique” Larner Vineyard, Santa Ynez 97 Points
Retail $110.00 GGWC $99.99 


This is in my book one of “THE” best Cinematique to date bar-none! I firmly believe that this wine is equal to all of Paul’s great previous releases, if not better!

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “Moving to the two Syrah releases, the 2020 Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard comes from a site in Ballard Canyon and was 95% destemmed and brought up in 40% new French oak. It's one ripe, sexy Syrah, with tons of ripe blackberries and black raspberry-like fruit as well as ground herbs, pepper, violets, and spicy aromas and flavors. These carry to a full-bodied red with beautiful purity of fruit, a layered, ripe, opulent mouthfeel, some firmer underlying tannins, and a big finish. It needs plenty of air if drinking any time soon and is another magical, balanced, opulent wine from Lato to drink over the coming decade.”

Vinous 96 Points: “The 2020 Syrah Larner Vineyard CInematique is so alluring. A touch of Viognier and a dollop of whole clusters bring out a striking aromatic presence to play off a host of dark blueberry, lavender, menthol, and spice. This is one of the most complex, riveting wines I have ever tasted from Paul Lato. Impressive!”


Paul Lato says: “This Blockbuster Syrah has a larger-than-life presence in the glass. Plums, blackberries, blueberries, ground pepper, and olive notes all flow to a powerful, full-bodied Syrah that has a luxurious, layered character. Fine and elegant tannins lead to a long, seamless finish, a true expression of the beautiful 2019 vintage. After you finish this bottle, you’ll be asking for an encore.”

Paul Lato 2020 Grenache “Ora Labore” Bien Nacido 94 Points
Retail $85.00 GGWC $79.99


This is a big, bold Grenache that offers lots of cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with underlying notes of wet gravel, peppery herbs, licorice, and pepper. Full in body, seamless, elegant and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a weightless mouthfeel, its acidity is nicely integrated and it never puts a foot wrong. Given its balance and overall purity, it’s a killer drink today, but it will evolve beautifully.
 
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points: The Grenache Ora et Labora Bien Nacido Vineyard isn’t far off the Lumiere Larner Vineyard and certainly has a similar level of polish and elegance. However, there’s more minerality and marine-like influence. Black cherries, peppery herbs, crushed stone, and floral notes all show on the nose, and it’s medium to full-bodied, structured, and concentrated. Where the Larner is up-front and ready to go, this is going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age. It should still be drinking nicely at age 10 as well.

Paul Lato says: “This wine has a seductive nose of kirsch, potpourri, and white pepper with touches of garrigue and dried lavender. The palate is full-bodied, rich, and concentrated with notes of blackberry preserves and layers of spice. With a focused style and a structured backbone, this wine finishes with smooth flavors of cranberry and vanilla. Lay this bottle down for 2 to 3 years and it will truly shine.”

Paul Lato 2020 Space Cadet Syrah/Grenache Blend Larner Vineyard 97 Points
Retail $99.99 GGWC $94.99 


Vinous 97 Points: The 2020 Space Cadet is the star in this range from Paul Lato. Silky and aromatic, the 2020 is hauntingly beautiful from the get-go. Inky red/purplish fruit, sage, cedar, tobacco, incense, and dried flowers are some of the many notes that race across the palate. All the elements are so well balanced. Space Cadet is mostly Syrah, but the Grenache really seems to drive the profile today.

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “A 65/35 split of Syrah and Grenache, the Space Cadet is a rich, structured, beautifully textured red from Lato that offers classic Syrah notes of masculine dark fruits, crushed stone, iodine, and ground pepper, with just hints of flowers and rose petal in the background. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it’s beautifully textured, with building tannins, plenty of freshness, and a great finish.”


The wine was aged for 24 months in 20% new French oak. Still youthfully coiled and with lots of latent layers, the Syrah/Grenache Space Cadet has a medium to deep ruby-purple color and scents of cassis, blueberry jam, warm chocolate, baked blackberries, black cherries, and grilled meats with nuances of crushed stone, warm baking spice, cracked pepper, flowers, and red fruit sparks. Full-bodied, dense, rich, and hedonistic in the mouth, it gives up luscious fruits, spices, and chocolate box notions, with substantial, finely pixelated tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and flavorful. Yowza! This is only made in exceptional years.
 
Also, check out these other Paul Lato wines we still have in stock:

Paul Lato 2020 Pinot Noir “Duende” Gold Coast Santa Maria Valley 
Paul Lato 2020 Pinot Noir “Victor Francis” Santa Rita Hills  
Paul Lato 2020 Pinot Noir “Stand By Me” Drumm Canyon Santa Rita 
Paul Lato 2020 Pinot Noir “Suerte” Solomon Hills Santa Maria 
Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay “Souvenir” Sierra Madre Vineyard Santa Barbara
Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay "Done and Done” Talley – Rincon Vineyard Retail
Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay “East of Eden” Pisoni Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay “It’s All Good” Talley’s Oliver Vineyard Edna Valley 
Melis Family 2021 Rose of Pinot (by Paul Lato) Santa Rita Hills 
Paul Lato 2020 Chardonnay “Goldberg Variations” Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley
Paul Lato 2020 Pinot Noir “Magic Moment” Hyde Vineyard, Napa Valley 
Paul Lato 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon “Cavatina” Napa Valley 94 Points
Paul Lato Cabernet Sauvignon “Festina Lente” Howell Mountain 95 Points
Melis Family 2019 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford Napa Valley
Melis Family 2021 Rose of Pinot (by Paul Lato) Santa Rita Hills

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