LAST CALL 4 LIMITED Cali-Rhone Sensation

Sans Liege

I was excited to hear that Prophetess was one of the top wines Robert Parker has ever tasted, and I have to wholeheartedly agree! Curt Schalchlin has been crafting some of the most amazing, well-priced, widely-praised Rhone blends for over a decade. His wines have made him (and me) many friends. The Prophetess bottling, Curt’ smallest bottling (215 cases only), sells out within weeks of its release! So don’t procrastinate!

Sans Liege XVIII/XIX Prophetess, Santa Barbara                   
GGWC 49.99  
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SANSLIEGE checkout

A multi-vintage blend that’s from 2018 & 2019, XVIII/XIX Prophetess is a blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, fermented with a touch of stems (only from the Syrah) and aged in 40% new barrels. It’s deep ruby/purple/opaque color is followed by killer notes of black raspberries, cassis, smoke meats and dried flowers. Probably the finest wine I’ve tasted from Kurt, it has full-bodied richness, an elegant, silky, seamless personality and no hard edges. It’s already impossible to resist.

Winemaker Notes: “You sit among the night violets near a freshly fallen tree and stare up at the midnight sky, waiting. Scents of huckleberry, cinnamon plum and dusty stones hang in the air. The din of chattering campers in the distance diminishes as you cradle a mug of mocha to stay warm. You hear a pinecone fall and then nothing. Calmness spreads now throughout the valley allowing you to see the meaning which looms in the patterns of the stars.


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

Wine Stars: Bill and Will Harlan

Harlan Estate

As father passes torch to son, the Napa vintners share their vision for carrying their cult Cabernet dynasty into the next century


By Colin Dreizen


Harlan Estate founder Bill Harlan announced in April
that his son Will had been appointed managing director.


For most of his life, Will Harlan has known of his father’s “200-year plan” for the family business, though he jokes it was a difficult concept to wrap his head around as a 5-year-old. Speaking to the Wine Experience audience, Harlan Estate founder and Meadowood resort proprietor Bill Harlan summarized the plan as “a story of place, of people and culture.”

This past April, Bill Harlan—Wine Spectator’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award winner—announced he was stepping away from the wine business, appointing Will as managing director for Harlan Estate and Bond; Will had already been running the family’s Promontory estate since 2017. “The dream was to produce wines that one day might be welcomed at the table of the fine wines of the world,” recalled Bill, who founded Harlan Estate in 1984. “We’ve been able to create an amazing culture.”

“I feel fortunate to be building upon a very strong foundation,” Will said while leading a tasting of Harlan Estate Napa Valley 2017 (97 points, $1,620), hard-won from a vintage challenged by wildfires. Like his father, Will has a long-term vision, one focused on maintaining a deep relationship with Harlan’s natural environment and translating its character through wine. “It takes generations to truly understand a piece of land,” he said, echoing his father’s philosophy. ”The common thread that runs through our story,” Bill said, “is that we view wine growing as the art of man and nature.”

Check out these Harlan made wines:
Promontory 2016
Penultimate 2016
Mascot 2016
Harlan Estate 2018 (Futures)


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The Pirates invaded us…. But Left All the Wine Here…

la sirena pirate treasured

Captain Heidi Barrett: “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 – 2017 is the first time we used just 4 varietals , so this year, for the first time, we present the ‘Treasure of the Four Seas’! It’s a big, dark, raucous blend, completely mouth filling and bold, yet made with finesse. It’s been a wonderful 11 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!”

La Sirena 2017 Pirate TreasurRed, Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
Use coupon code PIRATE during check out

The 2017 Pirate TreasuRed is a dense garnet colored wine with layered, complex aromas of both black and red fruit, accented with spice notes and hints of leather, fragrant cedar wood, and sweet tobacco. A complex blend with interesting layers playing off of each other – each component playing its part in the symphony. A silky rich explosion across the palate, with medium tannins that are well-integrated, and a lingering finish that will make you want to come back for more. This intriguing blend is truly yummy and fun to drink, perfect for pairing with a variety of full-flavored food or bringing a swashbuckling spirit to any party or gathering.

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97 Points – Bastard Tongue, an Hedonistic Pinot Noir

Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir


The Bastard Tongue, a blend of Swan, Pommard and Dijon 115 clones, offers up dark raspberry, strawberry and cherry notes that give the wine a dark-red-fruit character, but there are also loamy soil undertones, underbrush, spice box and a rich, medium to full-bodied, fleshy mouthfeel. This is a complex Pinot Noir to drink now and over the next decade.

Argot 2019 “Bastard Tongue” Pinot Noir,
Sonoma Coast

GGWC 89.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code ARGOT during checkout

OK to mix & match with other Argot wines

A selection of barrels displaying the magnificence of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — that specific balance of opulent fruit, inherent spice and earthen notes. 2019’s cuvee brings forth a significant emphasis on Sonoma’s oldest heritage selection, the Swan Clone. 

Winemaker Notes: “With its late start, 2019 was always destined to have a fast and furious harvest. Following 2018’s unprecedentedly late season, it came as quite a surprise when harvest 2019 kicked off even later in the year. These two vintages however, could not have arrived at more different conclusions. While 2018’s harvest season was a glorious, top-down Sunday drive along the coast; 2019’s was an all-out drag race to the end (deploy the parachute, and all!)… with this wine definitively exemplifying the spirit of its season.

Pouring a deep-hued magenta, 2019’s BT is nothing short of full-tilt-boogie Pinot Noir. From the jump, a heady swirl of ripe raspberries and succulent blackberries explode from the glass. Textures caress the palate with other-worldly talent as the wine unfurls in a tsunami of red and black fruits, all while accompanied by the hallmark notes Bastard Tongue lovers have come to appreciate and expect — white flowers, forest floor, conifer tree, allspice and that tell-tale Oriental plum sauce. A wine of unbridled intensity and power, seamless textures and an unerring purity. A pinnacle Bastard Tongue that is the culmination of nearly a decade of producing this cuvée. We can not wait for you to experience this wine!”

FMW 97 Points: “This Bastard Tongue is riveting, and reminds me of amazing Grand Cru Burgundies. This wine is striking, bursting from the glass with aromas of wild berries, grilled game, dark chocolate, cinnamon and violets. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, lush and yet elegant, with a bottomless core of fruit, rich but supple structuring tannins, and a long, muscular finish. This wine is the rock star of Sonoma County Pinot Noir that delivers the goods. Drink it any time over the coming 8-10 years.”

Also check out:

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With the holidays fast approaching, here are a few bubbly suggestions that will please both your palate as well as your wallet!Henri Billiot Rosé Champagne NV, Reims France
RETAIL 74.99 –  GGWC 69.99 net item

Champagne BILLIOT has existed since 1937, owned by Mr. Louis Billiot who then separated it between his descendants, brothers and sisters of Henri Billiot. But it was 1960 that the Champagne H Billiot & Fils was established by Henri himself, who invented and created the cellars at 1 place de la Fontaine and was later on managed by Mr. Serge Billiot who developed the reputation of their wines and diversified the range and imagined their Special Cuvées. Today, it is now managed by Laetitia Billot, proud to be the 5th Generation who is in charge of the management of the exploitation, production and development of their wines after 18 years of family work. The Billiot cellars dominate the main square of Ambonnay, one of the grand cru villages of the Montagne de Reims, a region famous for its Pinot Noir, the dominant grape of the Billiot wines. The wines are fermented in enamel-lined steel vats, aged in old oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation is blocked, as the wines are already quite rich due to the maturity of the vines. The wines are neither fined nor filtered.

Vinous 93 Points: “The NV Brut Rosé is a knock-out. A Champagne of notable intensity, Billiot’s Rosé possesses tremendous richness and power. Sweet red berry fruit, kirsch, rose petal and mind infuse this deeply-colored Rosé with tons of flavor. This is an especially heady, vinous style built on serious texture, with Pinot Noir very much front and center.”

Wine Spectator 93 Points: “Rich and mouthwatering, with fragrant grilled nut and lime blossom on the nose layered with notes of pureed raspberry, kumquat, ground cardamom and graphite. There’s opulence here, but it’s well-checked and balanced by a firm spine of acidity and a salty streak of mineral that shows on the finish. Disgorged June 2020. Drink now through 2025.”

Moussé Fils, Champagne Brut Blanc de Noirs Perpetuelle L’Or d’Eugéne (NV) France
RETAIL 65.00 — GGWC 61.99 net item

Located in Vallee de la Marne in the village of Cuisles, Jonquery, Châtillon-sur-Marne

The Story: The Moussé family has been living in the Marne river valley as growers from father to son since 1629 and as winemakers for 4 generations. They came to Cuisles in 1880, cultivating vines and selling the grapes to the large champagne houses. Born in 1896, Eugène Moussé first took the same step. Later in the 1920’s, when he got tired of the ever-fluctuating grape price and fed up with his dependency on the whims of the buyers, he became one of the first two growers of the canton to start vinifying his own Champagne. The first bottling happened in 1923, which he started commercializing in 1926.

Sales were developing until the 1939 conflict. The 2nd world war endangers all Eugène’s hard work, as he tragically died in the Neuengamme concentration camp in 1945. His wife Suzanne bravely carried on until their son Edmond had recovered and came back from the same camp where he was also deported. In 1947 son Edmond came back from Neuengamme concentration camp. From then, the Champagne Moussé Fils adventure took on a new lease of life. Edmond was a remarkable wine enthusiast and connoisseur. He not only preserved the family traditions, but also took the quality of the wine to a whole new level. Sadly, he got ill and passed away in 1990, which means he never got the chance to keep expanding the company with his son Jean Marc, who joined him on the estate.

The NV Brut Blanc de Noir L’Or d’Eugène Perpétuelle is 80% Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir based on 2018, plus reserve wines. Sweet, perfumed aromatics immediately convey a feeling of sensuality and exoticism. Mirabelle plum, rose petal, spice and mint are all beautifully lifted. Soft, silky and open-knit, the L’Or d’Eugene is a fabulous choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. The fruit profile of the red grapes is front and center. Dosage is 3.5 grams per liter.

Robert Parker 94 Points: “A blend of 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir drawn from a solera established in 2003. Wafting from the glass with a deep and complex bouquet of golden orchard fruit, honeycomb, mirabelle plum, candied peel and fresh pastry, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, with a rich and sapid core of fruit, lively acids and a delicate pinpoint mousse.”

En Tirage 2010 Blanc de Blanc, Beckstoffer Napa Valley  
–GGWC 49.99 net item —
SPECIAL OFFER TODAY ONLY!!! 10% OFF when you buy 6 bottles and 15% OFF on a FULL case (You’ll have to CALL ME for the SPECIAL PRICING, as it is NOT available online!!) 

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 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 2010 En Tirage “Blanc de Blancs” sparkling wine, sorry cannot call it “Champagne” here, but hey, this is worthy of being called Champagne in my book!  Only 322 cases were produced, so this one will go very quick!  For those sensitive ones, only 12% ABV

“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.

Dosnon Rose Brut Récolte, Champagne Avirey-Lingy
Côtes de Bars France

GGWC 69.99 net item

La Maison Dosnon is located in Avirey-Lingy, in the heart of a unique territory called La Côte des Bars, located in the southern part of the Champagne region, the vineyards are situated on rolling hills of hard limestone soils like Chablis. This terroir, dominated by clay-limestone soils, inspires particularly rich aromas and flavors in the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which acquire an exceptional finesse and fruitiness as they age.

Their knowledge of the most suitable terroirs for this wine, as well as discerning selection of grapes and crus, allows them  to craft complex and enticing wines.

The base wine for the Récolte Rose starts as a Blanc de Noirs of Pinot Noir with an addition of Pinot Meunier giving it its salmon-pink hue. Pinot Meunier is not as common in the Côte des Bar as Pinot Noir but Davy feels that it brings a lovely spice and fruit to his Rosé. With the base wine fermented and aged in used Puligny-Montrachet barrels and a minimum of 2 years aging in bottle with a dosage of 5g/L (the same as the Récolte Noire) it bears all the hallmarks of the Donson style – pure, focused, intensely mineral but with a clear, spicy, red-fruit and orange peel lift to the flavors.

Wine Spectator 94 Points: “Delicate spice, floral and graphite aromas lead to flavors of white peach, fresh ginger, biscuit and lemon peel in this harmonious rosé, with a firm and chalky frame. Offers a lasting, mouthwatering finish. 250 cases imported.”

Vinous 94 Points: “Light, bright orange. Redcurrant, orange zest, jasmine and a hint of dusty minerals on the seductively perfumed nose. Juicy, vibrant and taut, offering powerful, spice- and mineral-accented flavors of red berries and candied orange peel. Silky and expansive on a finish resounding with orange and mineral notes.”

Click on the links  for some other bubbly suggestions:
Colin 2012 Grand Cru Champagne
A. Margaine Champagne Premier Cru “Le Brut” 93 Points
Laherte Frères NV Ultradition Extra Brut Champagne
Dosnon Rose Brut Récolte, Champagne France
Thienot Rose Champagne NV Reims, France
Stéphane Coquillette Carte d’Or Brut Champagne 92 Points
Gonet-Médeville 1er Cru Cuvée Tradition Champagne 93 Points
Clotilde Brut “Grand-Cru” Champagne, France
Cazals 2009 Champagne Millesime 94 Points
Andre Robert Champagne “Extra Brut” Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, Le Mesnil
Billecart Salmon Brut Sous Bois Champagne
Monthuys Champagne NV Brut, 750ml 
Monthuys Champagne Brut NV in MAGNUM
Carboniste 2020 Rose of Pinot Sparkling
Allimant Laugner Crémant Rosé d’Alsace

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

Major Study Of Older People Reveals Moderate Drinking Protective Against Heart Disease

Wine Prescription Rx

Major Study Of Older People Reveals Moderate Drinking Protective Against Heart Disease

By Eurasia Review


A landmark study by Monash University researchers has found that moderate drinking of alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a lowering of  mortality from all causes – when compared to zero alcohol consumption. The study in more than 18,000 people in the US and Australia over the age of 70 is the first to look at the heart health implications of alcohol intake.

Excess alcohol consumption is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease and a major risk factor for mortality. Yet, prior studies suggested that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.

This Monash University study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology is the first to investigate the risk of CVD events and mortality, from all causes, associated with alcohol consumption in initially healthy, older individuals.

Populations around the world are ageing. The Monash University- led ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) clinical trial was a large-scale, long-term multi-centre, bi-national study of aspirin and health in older adults, with the purpose to discover ways to maintain health, quality of life and independence as we age.

This study, led by Dr Johannes Neumann, from the Monash University School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, analysed data from almost 18,000 ASPREE participants – Australians and Americans mostly aged 70 years and older.

Participants in the study did not have prior CVD events, diagnosed dementia or independence-limiting physical disability. CVD events included coronary heart disease death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, fatal and non-fatal stroke, non-coronary cardiac or vascular death, and hospitalisation for heart failure. Information on alcohol consumption (days of drinking per week and average standard drinks per day) was assessed by a self-reported questionnaire at baseline. The study excluded former alcohol consumers who may have stopped alcohol consumption for various health reasons, possibly introducing bias from reverse causality.

Based on this information, the alcohol intake was calculated as grams per week – for US participants a standard drink was equivalent to 14 g and 10 g for Australian participants.
In the study, alcohol consumption was categorised as 0 (never drinks) and those who drink 1–50; 51–100; 101–150, and >150g/week. For Australians that is up to 5; 5-10; 10-14 and over 15 standard drinks per week. For Americans – that is up to 3.5; 3.5-7; 7-10 and over 10 standard drinks per week.

Of the almost 18,000 eligible participants with median age 74 years:

  • 57% were female
  • 43.3% were current or former smokers and 
  • mean BMI was 28.1 kg/m2 
The participants reported that 
  • 18.6% ingested no alcohol every week
  • 37.3% reported 1–50 g/week
  • 19.7%reported 51–100 g/week
  • 15.6% reported 101–150 g/week
  • 8.9% reported >150 g/week
The participants were followed for an average of 4.7 years and the study found that there was a reduced risk of CVD events for individuals consuming alcohol of 51–100, 101–150, and >150 g/week, compared to never consuming alcohol, regardless of gender.

Consumption of 51–100 g/week was also associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality.

Lead author, Dr Neumann, says the findings need to be interpreted with caution, as study participants were all initially healthy without prior CVD or other severe diseases, and may have been more physically and socially active than the wider ageing population.

Furthermore, prior evidence showed that excess alcohol consumption increases the risk of other chronic diseases, such as cancer, liver disease or pancreatitis.

In summary, modest alcohol intake in this group of healthy older adults was not harmful for CVD or overall mortality. According to Dr Neumann, further research is warranted to evaluate causal biological effects of alcohol on health and possible behavioural advantages of social drinking and engagement.

Frank’s conclusion…. Order lots of wine today ….

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving turkey dinner table

“What I love about Thanksgiving is that it’s purely about getting together with friends or family and enjoying food. It’s really for everybody, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from.”
– Daniel Humm

As you spend time with your family and friends on this Thanksgiving Day, I hope you to take a moment to reflect on the blessings and all you have to be thankful for. I can not express enough how grateful I am for the blessings of support that I have received from each of you this year. Thank you for your continued support, and most of all our friendship over all the years!

Let’s raise a toast in honor of a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving!

95 Point Pinot Noir From Rising Star!

Kimberly Hatcher


Kimberly Hatcher is the longtime assistant to Russell Bevan and has kept her eyes and ears wide open, and she is on a roll as of late! Robert Parker and Jeb Dunnuck have “noticed” her and the press is out! That said, Kimberly’s OWN wines are very small productions, and with high scores… they will sell out fast! She makes the wines at the Tench Caves, and I am sure Russell might be looking over her shoulder once in a while (… or maybe not).

Morgado 2018 Pinot Noir Rita’s Crown, Santa Rita Hills
GGWC 64.99
Use code MORGADO during checkout

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “The 2018 Pinot Noir Rita’s Crown comes from a great vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills and is a powerful, full-bodied, concentrated wine that’s very much in the style of the estate. Smoked earth, chocolate, brambly herbs, and savory red and black fruits pack the nose, and it’s already drinking nicely, yet I suspect it will evolve for at least 4-5 years, probably longer.”
Winemaker Notes: “Sourced from the peak of Rita’s Crown, this Pinot Noir stains the glass with a deep garnet hue. The nose is a kaleidoscope of lusciously enticing aromas. As you swirl, the Oolong tea, rose petals, ripe red nectarine and yuzu rise above the glass. Confidently flamboyant this wine gives you more layers with each return to it. Tree ripened mission fig, black plum, orange zest, and wild sage knit together with dense black cherry to a succulent, complete finish. The decadent nature of this Pinot Noir is buttressed by focused acidity that is inherent to this wildly celebrated site.”
Also check out: Morgado 2018 Sugarloaf Mountain Proprietary Red, 96 Points

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Call 415-337-4083 or email for priority allocation.

In case you missed this: Super-Expressive Napa Chardonnay à la Chablis, well-priced


The first impression with both aromatics and flavor is fresh, stony and a touch reserved. One can tell more is to come. Deeper notes of pear, green apple and a touch of citrus emerge. No wood up front, only fresh yeasty fermentation/fruit aromas are present at first. The wine seriously evolves with aeration and a little warming in the glass. The first sip, and wow, this is the sappy fruity freshness I am always so eager to achieve. One sip begs another; no heaviness or blunt over-ripeness here. Maybe a touch of barrel in the background but definitely only as an additional aroma/flavor, never dominating, only enhancing. What a wonderful food accompaniment. The 2019 Forman Chardonnay will age beautifully for many years and will grow old very gracefully, but oh how very nice it is young as well.

Forman 2020 Chardonnay Estate/Star Vineyard Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 49.99
Use code FORMAN during checkout

Ric Forman, Winemaker Notes: “In California and Australia, wines made from Chardonnay tend to be bold with ripe fruit and a lavish splash of new oak and even in some cases, a touch of residual sugar. In Europe they are somewhat more restrained, subtle and with a sappy fresh acid/fruit balance which makes the wine very enjoyable with food. I am lucky at Forman Vineyard to only make a small quantity of wine from Chardonnay; about 500 cases annually, and therefore I don’t have to please a large audience. The style I like most is Chablis. Can I make wine from Chardonnay in Napa Valley that is exactly like Chablis? Well, the short answer is ‘no.’ What I try to do each vintage, however, is get as close to some of the flavor and aromatic components of Chablis as I can, given the fruit I have to work with from the Star Vineyard, which has always been my sole source of Chardonnay, is situated in the Rutherford Bench and grows on very well-drained bale loam soil which has been infused with round stones from the ancient creek activity throughout. Is it like Chablis? Again, well ‘no.’ I have worked with this fruit now for 37 years. I know by now how best to recognize the blocks I like as well as the proper time to harvest. I try as best I can to make a wine that comes close to pleasing me as much as Chablis does. I think this vintage comes closer than ever before to achieving the style I am after.”

Vinous 94 Points: The Forman Chardonnay is compelling. In this vintage, the Chardonnay balances natural richness from aging on the lees with a touch of new oak (20%) with the energy that is the result of picking early and also blocking the malolactic fermentation. Lemon confit, marzipan, tangerine oil and white flowers all open up as this super-expressive Chardonnay shows off its character. Best of all, it can be enjoyed upon release. It is an incredibly delicious and rewarding wine to drink today.

Also check out:                                                                                                            
Forman 2019 “Château La Grande Roche” Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Napa Valley
Forman 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Napa Valley 96 Points

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END OF THE LINE! Carte Blanche Cabernet 97+ Points = “THE” Haut-Brion from Napa (really)


After the great success with her own Keplinger label, Helen Keplinger is out of control (in a very good way)! The latest release of the 2018 Carte Blanche Cabernet showcases Helen’s amazing talents. Only a few hundred cases of this mind boggling wine were produced from this “next” Haut Brion of the Napa Valley! This wine over-delivers and the 97+ points is 2 ½ points shy of what it deserves!

The Dillon family has been in the wine business for nearly a century, since Nick Allen’s great grandfather, Clarence Dillon, acquired Chateau Haut-Brion in 1935 and the family company, Domaine Clarence Dillon subsequently purchased Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion in 1983. This was Nick’s inspiration to produce his own boutique label in Napa – Carte Blanche.

Carte Blanche 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer” Napa Valley
GGWC 154.99 net item

Robert Parker 97+ Points: “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Featuring a deep garnet-purple color, it sashays out of the glass with gregarious notions of baked plums, warm cassis and blueberry compote with suggestions of kirsch, dusty soil and Indian spices. The palate is full-bodied and laden with bright, lively, energetic black fruits, supported with firm, super ripe tannins and finishing on a persistent exotic spice note.”

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: “Lastly, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard comes from a great site in Oakville that continues to fly slightly under the radar yet produces brilliant wines. Incredible cassis, graphite, damp earth, and violet notes emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty offers plenty of high-end oak, ripe, seamless tannins, and flawless balance. It just screams of Cabernet. There’s no harm drinking bottles today, but I’d nevertheless recommend a solid 4-5 years of bottle age. It should keep for two-plus decades.”

Winery Notes: “The 2018 Carte Blanche Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% varietal makeup. Sitting in the southwest corner of Oakville and at the base of the Mayacamas, Missouri Hopper Vineyard, owned by Andy Beckstoffer, is the home of our Cabernet Sauvignon. A super perfumed nose shows violets, red currant, black cherry, and boysenberry, underpinned by savory graphite and beautiful cassis. A silky and plush entry opens broadly across the palate showing high notes of red currant and hints of cherry, to dark fruited blackberry and boysenberry, all seamlessly integrated with forest floor, graphite and cacao woven through the everlasting finish.”

Helen Keplinger (winemaker) Notes: “Stunning color in the glass, an electrifying nose showcases black currants, cassis, cigar box and red fruit. The palate is opulent, plush and structured with integrated sweet tannins showcasing notes of dark blackberry, black cherry, and bittersweet chocolate dance through an everlasting and strong finish.”

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



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 Offering” is by far the best release to date!    

Sans Liege 2019 GSM “The Offering” Santa Barbara                                
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SANSLIEGE during check out

”The Sans Liege “The Offering” (a blend of 42% Grenache, 38% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre) is a wine that captures the imagination and challenges expectations, it displays a beautiful purity and depth that is reminiscent of having a summer picnic in an ancient church. Resinous scents of black cherry cola, frankincense, fresh-peeled Clementine orange and vanilla extract lead to a well-structured and balanced palate of curried mix-berry cobbler, turmeric, dark chocolate cocoa nibs and black pepper with rocky, persistent tannins.”

Winemaker Notes: “Sitting atop a wool blanket in the midst of the redwood forest you sip water with muddled raspberries & a sprig of thyme. Slivers of daylight shine down through the towering giants which surround you and the fall breeze brushes your face. It carries scents of sassafras, wild strawberry and tobacco leaves. After weeks of feeling stuck you finally begin to sketch, smelling the graphite from your pencil as it flicks across the page. The forest is replete with inspiration and offers all that you need.”

Vineyard Sources:
Grenache: Alta Mesa, Kopack, Alta Colina, Derby, Jesperson, Spanish Springs. 
Syrah: Slide Hill, White Hawk, Zotovich, Old Potrero, Spanish Springs.
Mourvedre: Alta Colina, Derby, Santa Barbara Highlands, Old Potrero
Also check out these other great Sans Liege wines:


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Autumn Wine
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 a 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. On that note, here are a few suggestions for your Thanksgiving Dinner:

MONTHUYS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT, 750ML Our Best selling Bubbly!

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A British couple settled in the hills of Mendocino where they found land with schist-like Cote–Rotie soils on a windblown cool mountain top overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which would become their “estate” vineyard. With the assistance of Justin Smith (Saxum), Crole Meredith & Steve Lagier (Lagier-Meredith), Mike Officer (Carlisle) and Wells Guthrie (Copain) they set out to plant what has become a much regarded Rhone-varietal vineyard. Wells helped develop and maintain the vineyard. Under the tutelage of the great Roar winemaker (Scott Shapley) they have put some very good quality and well-priced wines on the wine map!

Halcon 2019 Esquisto GS(M), Estate Mendocino
GGWC 37.99 
Use code HALCON during checkout

Vinous 94+ Points: “The 2019 Esquisto, 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, is gorgeous. All the elements come together so effortlessly. Deep and pliant, with terrific energy, the 2019 opens beautifully in the glass. Blue/purplish fruit, spice, lavender, mint and licorice all flesh out. In 2019, the Esquisto is especially fine.”

WS 95 Points: “Arresting raspberry and rosemary aromas lead to lip-smacking, fresh crushed-berry flavors in this medium- to full-bodied wine made with an unusually high 40% of whole clusters. Its moderate tannins and good acidity lift the gorgeous fruit flavors nicely. Best from 2024.”

Also check out these other great Halcon wines:
Halcon 2019 Syrah “Alturas” Estate Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino 95 Points
Halcon 2019 Petite Sirah “Tierra” Theopolis Vineyard Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino 93 Points
Halcon 2019 Pinot Noir “Oppenlander Vineyard” Mendocino 91+ Points

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Sourced from one of the most historic vineyard sites in Napa Valley, the Lewelling Ranch in Saint Helena, the Unwritten Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 has complex and inviting aromatics. The wine is an opaque purple in the glass, visually demonstrating the wine’s youthfulness. The nose erupts with floral aromas of clove, sandalwood, and baking spice. This wine is not shy; it covers your palate with red and black fruits and is replete with succulent flavors of black cherry, creme de cassis and plum compote. Gorgeous, taut tannins give the wine definition and weight, elongating its already lengthy finish. The 2018 will evolve slowly into a more subtle and nuanced experience; but is lusciously bold at the time of its release.

Unwritten 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon,
St. Helena Napa Valley

GGWC 149.99 net item
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code UNWRITTEN during checkout

Winery Notes: “2018 was a winemaker’s dream. Ample spring rains and even temperatures throughout the season made for a delightfully predictable as well as superior vintage. The 2018 Unwritten Cabernet Sauvignon once again hails from the Lewelling Ranch in St. Helena, with just a tiny touch of cabernet from the heart of Oakville (just down Highway 29). This wine has intoxicating scents of clove, anise, rosemary, and incense. A heady, ambrosial quality, evocative of sweet resin, is counterpointed by notes of bergamot and citrus blossom. The entry suggests all the berries: blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, even huckleberry. It’s the proverbial “mixed berry” compote with a pod of cardamom steeped in for edge and complexity. The palate moves gently from fruit to a chewy resistance formed by the dense and rich tannin structure. Chock full of gravitas, the 2018 is a study in succulence; enjoyable now, yet ageable for decades.”

FMW 97 Points: “This 2018 Unwritten Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely gorgeous. Full in body with  powerful aromas of blueberry and blackberry preserves, and a hint of crème de cassis that jumps out of the glass. The wine is super-expressive and understated, with a palate that is lusciously  packed with juicy black fruits and hints of chocolate and espresso. The wine offers tons of finesse and is framed by soft silky tannins. Sadly only 150 cases were produced.”

Vinography 9.5/10: “Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of bright sweet cherry fruit. In the mouth, juicy and bright cherry and cola notes are mouthwatering in their purity and freshness. Faint tannins and hints of floral and plum notes dance around the palate thanks to fantastic acidity. A little on the candied side of things, but it’s hard not to love the purity of the fruit and the absence of significant new oak influence. The acidity is so bright there’s even an orange-peel note in the finish.”

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The Côtes du Coast offers more exotic pineapple, tangerine, marmalade, and honeyed notes, with a pure, medium to full-bodied, elegant, incredibly pure style on the palate. This is a sensational white that is underpriced in today’s market. The wine is aged in 26% New French oak, 54% neutral French oak, and 20% stainless steel.

Sans Liege 2020 Côtes du Coast, White Blend Paso Robles
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SANSLIEGE during checkout

Winery Notes: “Returning from a stroll in the early ocean air you smell the honeysuckle and lilac which delicately climb the front wall of the cottage. White strawberries emerge from their calyxes along the pathway made of river rock which leads you to the door. You are met with aromas of vanilla bean, melon, lime zest & guava as you approach and take pause, beholden to this wonderful space on the coast.”
Vineyard Sources: The Cotes du Coast is a blend of 45% Viognier, 33% Marsanne, 13% Roussanne, 6% Grenache Blanc, 3% Clairette and were sourced from the Bien Nacido, White Hawk, Alta Colina, Last Frontier, Watch Hill and Kopack vineyards
Also check out these other great Sans Liege wines:                                        
SANS LIEGE 2019 “THE OFFERING” SANTA BARBARA                                      

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Honoring Our Veterans

Veterans Day
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!

A Fun, BUT SERIOUS Holiday White, this Bride is ready for you

After many years the Bridesmaid wines are being rebranded of sorts. Pam Starr (former Spottswoode winemaker) has been producing the Crocker & Starr/Bridesmaid wines for many years now. Crocker & Starr was always estate grown, Bridesmaid only partially. That has changed and so has the packaging. Gorgeous new labels and the same stunning wines, sort of a new (married) life for the Bridesmaid.

2020 A.V.A. Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc A.V.A. stands for American Viticulture Area and for us, it represents the culmination of sustainable viticulture, resurrection of the 1870’s winery and classic winemaking. The bouquet on the front of the label ties into our rich history as it and Charlie’s 1870’s Victorian home originate from a Sears & Roebuck catalog. Our A.V.A. Napa Valley blend of Sauvignon Blanc serves as the perfect introduction to the Crocker & Starr portfolio. Founding Partner/Winemaker Emeritus Pam Starr and winemaker Evyn Cameron capture the diverse terrain of the Napa Valley within this elegantly handcrafted wine. 

Crocker Starr 2020 “Bridesmaid” Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
GGWC 31.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or More
Use code BRIDE during checkout

This brilliant Sauvignon Blanc blend is pale straw yellow in the glass and the aroma is loaded with honeysuckle, lychee, lime leaves, and laced with the slight salinity of oyster shell. Mouthwatering flavors of lemon meringue pie, key lime, honeydew melon, and white peach gleam on the palate. And the Semillon adds jelly richness to the wine’s medium-bodied, perfectly balanced center. The wine shines all the way through the savory finish, which is lined with crushed seashell. You will love this so much that a case simply won’t be enough. 

Winemaker Tasting Notes: Layered aromatics of ripe tangerine, apricot, and seashells entice the nose while flavors of meringue, lemon curd, and elderflower burst across the palate. Vibrant acid and creamy texture create a harmonious mouthfeel that begs for another sip. This blend of Sauvignon Blanc is sure to keep you coming back for another glass

Winemaker 2020 Harvest Report: The 2020 season will be remembered for factors beyond the normal measurements. Here in St. Helena, it was a warm, dry winter and we didn’t start to see rain and cold weather until the end of March. While the mild spring season gave us a great early start, we worked under extensive safety protocols due to the COVID pandemic. Summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days. This build-up to harvest was interrupted by two wildfires as we turned to the fall; The Glass Fire started on September 27. The white wine harvest started August 15th and is showing excellent development, reflecting the fine vintage year. Lucky we had all of our white grapes in before the fires started!

Also check out:  Crocker Starr 2018 Proprietary Red AVA St. Helena, Napa

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Understanding Clay Soils in Wine

Understanding Clay Soils in Wine

By Emily Saladino


Found everywhere from Napa and Bordeaux to Barossa, Australia, clay has certain traits that make it ideal for grape-growing. Like all soils, however, the success of clay in the vineyard depends on myriad climatic conditions.

Like sand or silt, clay is a composite of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

Sand is the coarsest, with particles that measure approximately two millimeters across, according to Alex Maltman, author of Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology. “Finer ones are called silt, and the very finest clay,” Maltman writes.

Due to this fine-grained texture, clay retains more water than sand or silt. This is especially useful for winemakers in hot, dry climates.



“On the winemaking side, I can’t think of any negativity to clay,” says Sam Parra,

Clay soils tend to be rich in nitrogen, he says, which benefits wines in several ways.”

“Grapevines use nitrogen to build essential compounds, including proteins, enzymes, amino acids, nucleoid acids and pigments,” says Parra. “This is great for winemakers. The vineyard is healthy, and the fruit comes in near perfect where minimal additions in winemaking are needed.”

Clay soils also provide the potassium that vines need to form sugars and starches, says Parra, and phosphorus to encourage bud initiation. “This is really good for minimal-intervention winemaking,” he says.

Plus, because clay retains water, it maintains cool, consistent temperatures below the vine. That’s helpful in sunny vineyards, where fruit might otherwise ripen quickly and lose acidity.



On the other hand, clay soils have poor drainage. In maritime microclimates and areas with ample rainfall, grape vines grown in clay can become waterlogged.  

Clay is heavy, too, and requires more labor.

“On the viticulture side, clay makes me think of the long hours my uncle and grandfather would put in,” says Parra, whose relatives worked in vineyards in Napa Valley. Clay soil can strain tractor discs, he says.

Some wine professionals believe clay best serves grape vines in conjunction with other soil types.

“An excess of clay can stifle the vine’s root system, but a proportion of small clay particles mixed with other soils can be advantageous,” writes Tom Stevenson, author of The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, in a post on

World-renowned wines hail from such soils. Tempranillo is grown in limestone-clay soils in Rioja and Ribera del Duero, Spain; as is Pinot Noir in Vosne-Romanée, Bourgogne. In Bordeaux, Pomerol has a mixture of gravel, sand and clay.  

Napa and Barossa Valley also have notable clay vineyards.  

“Some of the most significant domestic Syrahs and Merlots I’ve ever had were grown in Carneros in a type of clay called Diablo,” says Parra. “Clay produces powerful wines, but still with finesse.”

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ONLY A FEW CASES REMAIN.. Thomas Rivers Brown’ stunning mid $ 50s Cab

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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LAST CALL For this Stunning 97 Point “Rockstar” MUST have wine!

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

Planted in the early 2000’s by vineyard manager Ulises Valdez, El Diablo vineyard sits on a ridge above Eastside Road in Russian River Valley. Early in their relationship, he told the Senses team that “when you work hard, the fruit always tastes better.” That holds very true for El Diablo.

Senses 2019 “UV-El Diablo” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
GGWC $79.99 net item
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code SENSES during checkout

The 2019 Chardonnay UV – El Diablo Vineyard is one of the most opulent wines in the Senses lineup. Apricot, tangerine oil, crème brûlée, crushed rocks and sage lend tremendous depth throughout. Tropical accents appear later, adding very pretty aromatic breadth. This heady, potent Chardonnay oozes character.

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points: Another rock star of a Chardonnay is the 2019 Chardonnay UV – El Diablo. From a site that’s partially named after the renowned grower Ulises Valdez, it’s also known as Eastside Vineyard (Aubert) and just El Diablo by others (Arista, KB, etc). As with the other Chardonnay here, it was barrel fermented and spent 14 months in 25%-40% new French oak. Beautiful buttered orchard fruits, honeysuckle, green almond, pear, and crushed stone notes are just some of the nuances here, and this complex, full-bodied Chardonnay has nicely integrated acidity, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, flawless balance, and a great finish. This is another magical Chardonnay from the team that does everything right. Enjoy bottles over the coming 5-7 years.

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