Bevan’s stunning new 2018 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir releases are now in stock and you are not going to want to miss them!

Bevan 2018 “Ritchie Vineyard” Chardonnay, Russian River
Retail 74.99 – GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BEVAN during checkout

The Bevan Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard has intense pink grapefruit, guava and warm pineapple on the nose with suggestions of ginger ale and brioche. The palate is full-bodied and rich with yeasty/toasty notes, finishing very spicy and very long and layered.

Winemaker Notes: “The Richie Vineyard Chardonnay has a beautiful gold green hue to it. As you pour this wine it aromatically takes over the room. Your goal might have been to look at the color and viscosity in and on the glass, but the wine forces you to smell her. Pineapple, key lime and freshly grilled toast envelop you. Texturally the wines acidity hits the pallet and lights up your tongue which is immediately followed by her amazing richness. She is all silky power.”

Bevan 2018 “Petaluma Gap” Pinot Noir, Sonoma
Retail 84.99 – GGWC 81.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code BEVAN during checkout

The Bevan Petaluma Gap is a rich, powerful Pinot that delivers exactly what you’d expect from Bevan, tons of fruit in a balanced, seamless package. Black cherries, blackcurrants, graphite, and roasted herb notes all emerge from this full-bodied, powerful effort that has good acidity and length.

Winemaker Notes: “The Petaluma Gap is made up of four different clones and all of them are expressed on different levels. The power and massive textures come from the Pommard clone, the floral aromatics from the Swan, roasted earth from the Calera and bright fruit from the 828 clone. The combination is a powerful, deep wine that in the glass looks like Cabernet but in the nose is all Pinot Noir seduction. In the world of Pinot Noir this is an 800-pound gorilla.”

Also check out these other outstanding Bevan Wines
(Mix & match OK for FREE SHIPPING)


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95 Point Napa Gem $70s, but taste like a $200 Cabernet


Benoit Touquette might no longer be the #1 undiscovered talent in Napa. Garnering great reviews with Realm, Hartwell and his own Fait-Main label.

He was Andy Erickson’s right hand man, at Screaming Eagle producing many 98-100 point wines! Benoit is also the protégé of the world’s top consulting winemaker Michel Rolland.  All three were at the helm of Ovid producing their wines for some years. His “Fait-Main” label, which translates to “Hand-Crafted” is a small case production Cabernet  project.  I’d say that a new star is born!

Fait-Main 2017 Cabernet “Teeter-Totter” Napa Valley
GGWC 71.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code TEETER at checkout

The 2017 Fait-Main “Teeter Totter” Cabernet Sauvignon Blend with its opaque ruby/purple-color exhibits tons of fruit on the nose: crème de cassis, blackcurrants and blackberries intermixed with notes of baking spices, lavender, graphite and licorice. It is big, bold and full-bodied, round and juicy loaded with black stone fruit, a touch of cigar spice and a hint of figs on the long, silky finish.  This is a wine that could be drunk now or over the next decade.  Limited production!

Winery Notes: “The Teeter Totter Cabernet Sauvignon as it will easily compete with wine that costs 3-4 times its going rate. Made from mostly Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from throughout the valley, this beauty boasts a saturated purple color as well as a classic bouquet of crème de cassis, licorice, toasted spices, and tobacco. Deep, full-bodied, and powerful, it still has the class and purity of the 2017 vintage front and center. It’s a no-brainer to enjoy over the coming decade.

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points: “Another terrific value, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% each Petite Sirah and Cab Franc. Production is way down, but it’s an amazing wine with its bright, juicy blackberry and cassis fruit interwoven with plenty of graphite and toasted spice. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and sweetly fruited, it has ripe tannins and is well worth seeking out.”

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Zinfandel of the Year!


Scarlett is a family operation owned by the McGah family, who are most notably known for co-founding the Oakland Raiders. Representing over four generations of wine growers, the family’s personal touch can be felt from the soil to the glass. The winery previously operated under the name McGah Family and rebranded in 2015 in honor of its flagship wine, Scarlett, which is named after the founder’s daughter.

Mike Smith became a self-taught winemaker early in his career by making wine as a side project in Oregon. He decided to leave his desk job in 1999 to purse wine full-time, and worked numerous crushes (for free) in Napa Valley. Mike ended up spending seven years working with Thomas Rivers Brown, who’s the genius behind the likes of Schrader, Rivers Marie, Outpost, Maybach and others. In 2006, Mike decided to branch out on his own. Today, Mike is and has been the winemaker for an incredible number of estates in the Valley, Including Carter Cellars, Becklyn, Maybach Family, Bench, Scarlett, and 12c, among others.

Scarlett 2017 “Estate” Zinfandel, Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 49.99
Use code SCARZIN during checkout

Dark and opulent ruby hues greet the eye as a classic Zin nose flush with red fruit, licorice root, bramble berry take center stage. Glass coating glycerin, a natural acidity lift, and a medium plus weight frame this garnet beauty throughout. The mid palate is loaded with mixed dark fruits, spice cake and root beer. An undeniable streak of anise right down the middle glides into to a 20 second plus finish. Full bodied and structured, a 1 hour decant works magic with this wine or lay it down for a few years to uncover hidden layers and complexities.

Winemaker Notes: “The Scarlett Zinfandel Heritage Vineyard is a perennial favorite in our portfolio. Packed with cherry compote, white flowers, black pepper, licorice, and dried lavender, this deep ruby Zinfandel elicits excitement from the get-go. Full-bodied and fresh with a gorgeous purity of fruit, it is buttressed by deceivingly silky but substantial tannins and equally substantial alcohol that lurks in the background. This wine has such a great mid-palate density and length there’s no doubting its outstanding quality. This handcrafted beauty shows off until the very end with a layered finish that effortlessly carries on for hours. Because this wine is fairly heady, I would favor drinking it over the next couple of years to provide enough time for all the hidden components to weave together.”

Also check out these other great Scarlett wines:


People to know… Andy Erickson

by Karen McNeil


Andy Erickson is the consulting winemaker for Dalla Valle, Arietta, Dancing Hares Vineyard, Mayacamas and Ovid and is the co-owner and winemaker for Favia Wines and Leviathan. After working his first harvest at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Andy went on to study enology at the University of California, Davis, while working at Spottswoode and Saintsbury wineries. He then spent ten years working for three of Napa Valley’s most prestigious estates: Harlan Estate, Staglin Family Vineyards and Screaming Eagle.

Karen MacNeil: What was the first wine that truly inspired you?
Andy Erickson: I’ll have to say it was Dalla Valle’s 1991 “Maya”.  It was an eye-opening wine, and something that for me stood out from a lot of the other wines in Napa Valley.  It is probably what sent me down the path of searching for great cabernet franc.
KM: Did you have a mentor? Tell us about her/him.
AE: Even better, I’ll give you three.  I was extremely lucky early on in my career to work with John Kongsgaard when he was still at Newton Vineyard.  John really showed me a way of viewing wine as it relates to farming, nature and life.  His non-interventionist approach is something I still strive for.  David Abreu is someone I have worked with for many years, and his connection with the vineyards is inspiring.  That, and his pursuit of balance and precision in grape growing.  Also Michel Rolland, whom I continue to work with after more than 18 years, has helped me to fine tune my palate, and the way I look at blending to achieve great texture in wines.

 KM: What does your average day look like?
AE: It really depends on the time of year, which makes it exciting for me.  I work with several properties, all in the Napa Valley, and they are all different.  During the growing season I might be meeting with the vineyard team in the morning, working on final blends of the previous vintages’ wines, and maybe hosting a tasting in the afternoon.  Right now we have just finished our last bottlings, and are putting the final touches on vineyards, pre-harvest, and we’ve already harvested some sauvignon blanc for a client.  In the winter, I like to ski in Tahoe.
KM: If you couldn’t make wine in Napa Valley, where would your next choice be?
AE: I have always loved the wines from Saint Émilion in Bordeaux, and it would be a dream to work with those vineyards.  Bolgheri, on the Tuscan Coast, would also be pretty spectacular.  The funny thing is, way back when, when I decided to make wine, in my mind I thought, at the very least, even if it never leads to anything lucrative, at least I will live in a beautiful place, because everywhere I had ever been that grew grapes and made wine was amazing.  So you almost can’t go wrong.  But I would want there to be cabernet franc there.
KM: You are a consulting winemaker to some of most prestigious wineries. How is being a consulting winemaker different from being a regular winemaker?
AE: I’m lucky to work with proprietors who are one hundred percent committed to extracting the best that is possible from their vineyards, so it is very collaborative and vineyard-focused, and also small-scale.  With our own wines, Annie and I are similarly focused, so in terms of the nuts and bolts there is not too much difference in the actual work being done.  With consulting, I try to tune in to what the proprietor wants, since in the end, it is their winery, not mine.
KM: How often do you drink your own wine? Are you a hard critic of wines you’ve made?
AE: We drink our own wines fairly often because wine is meant to be shared, and we entertain quite a bit at our home and winery. Luckily I think, I can compartmentalize and enjoy our wines when we are just enjoying them, but then yes I can be a very hard critic when we are having a technical tasting or blending.  We always need to keep improving.
KM: I’m not going to ask what’s your favorite type of wine. But what wine or type of wine do you like the least?
AE: I like wines from all over the world, from many different varieties.  I see it as a great way to connect with different cultures and people from all over the globe.  The wines I like the least are flawed wines.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a movement to celebrate flawed wines, and I’ll be honest and say that I find it perplexing.  I can’t think of another industry where the success of some producers is predicated on the tearing down of what others in the same industry are doing.  I’d love to debate some of these people.  I’d say we’re as committed or more to organic, sustainable, and natural practices in what we do, but we are also committed to consistently bottling the best possible wine every year from every vineyard.
KM: What’s the last wine book you’ve read?
AE: I still think of The Billionaire’s Vinegar, by Benjamin Wallace, which I read a few years ago.  What a story, and a great read.  I also read quite a few technical journals, but won’t bore you with the details.
KM: What is it about wine that moves you?
AE:  I love tasting a wine that immediately makes me wonder where it is from, where the grapes are grown.  The concept of “wines of place” is an idea that I love.
KM: Tell us something about you that would surprise most people to learn.
AE: My daughter just left for college last week.  This still blows my mind.
KM: In addition to wine, what’s your other favorite beverage?
AE: Easy; beer.   It’s a great time to be a beer lover.
KM: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
AE: We have raised two amazing daughters, and I feel so proud every time I look at them or hear someone else talking about them.

Would you like to get to know Andy Erickson a little better? Sample a few of his wines, available now at GoldenGateWineCellars.com



By winemaker Jennifer Williams, former winemaker at Spottswoode. She was named one of the rising stars of Napa Valley winemaking.

The 2016 Black Label is produced with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Lewelling, Criscione, and Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyards. This wine took spot number 8 in our annual list of the best wines Napa has to offer! Only 202 cases were produced.

Arrow & Branch 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate “Black Label” Napa Valley
GGWC 124.99
Use code ARROW during checkout

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points: “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label come mostly from the Lewelling and Criscione Vineyard (which was planted by Tony Soter in early 2000s), with a touch from Dr. Crane vineyard outside of Saint Helena. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 22 months in barrel, this rocking, sexy 2016 gives up loads of black currents and black raspberry-like fruit intermixed with intriguing notes of tobacco, spice and incense aromas and flavors. It’s complex, full-bodied, elegant, and just does everything right. I’d be thrilled to drink bottles over the coming 15 years or more, and while it’s not expensive it’s not inexpensive, as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it’s an incredible bottle of wine.”

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96+ Point “White Burgundy” grown in California

If the Hyde Vineyard would be located in Burgundy, it would for sure be classified as Premiere Cru – no doubt!  But even in California this vineyard is very much sought out by wineries, and everyone that gets to buy some of this terrific fruit winds up making amazing wines!

Hyde 2016 Chardonnay, Estate – Carneros Napa Valley
GGWC 64.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code HYDE during checkout

From a site in Carneros owned by the Hyde Family (aka the King of Carneros), the 2016 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard offers up a deep, rich, yet beautifully fresh style as well as perfumed notes of lemon peel, juicy citrus, and honeyed apples. It picks up a hint of pineapple with time in the glass, has building richness, and powerful yet elegant texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. It’s a beautiful 2015 Chardonnay that’s drinking great today.

Winery Notes: “The 2016 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is bright, pure and focused, especially within the context of the year. Our winemaker did a terrific job in capturing a compelling interplay of freshness and textural richness. Lemon peel, white flowers, white orchard fruit and mint give the wine its lifted personality, but there is plenty of palate weight and depth. This is a classy, super-polished Chardonnay.”

Robert Parker 96+ Points: “The 2016 Chardonnay brazenly sashays out of the glass with bold notions of mandarin peel, lemongrass, green apples and fresh pears plus hints of beeswax, honeysuckle and toasted almonds and a waft of nutmeg. Medium-bodied, the palate is very tightly knit with great freshness and loads of mineral sparks intertwined beautifully with all those citrus layers, finishing long and chalky. Elegant yet intense with amazing tension and exquisite poise, this should age incredibly! Only a few hundred cases were made. This wine is mostly sold through the cellar door and a few wine stores in California.”


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Vibrant, Complex & Elegant 95 Point Pinot Noir – A real gem and real “pretty”

The Maggy Hawk Vineyard has been Family owned since 1994, and planted in 2000, the estate vineyard is tucked away in what locals call “The Deep End” of Anderson Valley, northwest of Philo. Here, coastal fog and redwoods frame the steep vineyard slopes where the vines root deeply to survive. The decomposed sandstone soils offer few nutrients but excellent drainage, resulting in small yields of well-structured fruit that can go the distance in the cellar.

FYI: Jolie = Pretty 

Maggy Hawk 2017 “Jolie” Pinot Noir (Estate) Anderson Valley
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6 or more
Use code JOLIE at checkout

Expressive, silky, and refined. Jolie is an elegantly transparent Pinot Noir – sharing the beauty of Block 9’s hillsides in every bottle. The wine opens with light-footed red fruit and rhubarb, then blooms into bright raspberry, strawberry, and oral notes. A perfectly balanced acidity accompanies the delicate fruit notes across the palate and into a soft finish.

Wine Spectator 95 Points: “Fine-grained red fruit and berry flavors are refined and etched with rich spice and sandalwood accents. The juicy finish lingers with vibrant minerality and hot stone notes. Complex and elegant, exhibiting a vibrant balance. Drink now through 2025.”

Winemaker Notes: “Our 2017 Jolie Pinot Noir is crafted only from Block 9 and clone 115. The exceptional quality and style of the fruit from this vintage were a perfect fit for Jolie, and worthy of standing alone. Block 9’s north-facing and south-facing slopes were harvested and vinified separately on parallel tracks. After an initial five-day soak, the fruit fermented in three-ton fermenters with pump-overs twice daily. The grapes were pressed after fermentation was complete, and aged in 45% new French oak before the final blend was assembled. Unrefined and unfiltered.”

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Want to live longer… Drink Wine

Moderate Wine Consumption Linked to Greater Life Expectancy

By Shawn Zylberberg
in Wine Spectator
A new Harvard study found that people who exercised regularly,
ate a healthy diet and drank in moderation lived longer

Wine and a healthy diet are two of the lifestyle habits the researchers tracked. Both were linked to longer life.

Which is healthier? Dry January or year-round moderation? A new study out of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that adherence to a healthy lifestyle, including moderate alcohol consumption, exercising, eating a healthy diet and not smoking, is associated with a longer life expectancy.

For the study, published in The BMJ, Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology Dr. Frank Hu and a team of researchers from Chicago, Switzerland, the Netherlands and China analyzed data from the 34-year Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 28-year Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), which together collected health information on nearly 112,000 participants, specifically health professionals.

The NHS cohort consisted of female nurses ages 30 to 55, while the HPFS group was male health professionals ages 40 to 75. Questionnaires were sent out every two years to gather health information. The researchers looked at rates of three chronic diseases—diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer—and also tracked five lifestyle factors—smoking, body mass index (BMI), regular moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake and quality of diet.

“Based on human data and long-term studies, moderate drinking as a practice has a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and can enhance cognitive function,” Harvard associate professor of nutrition and study co-author Dr. Qi Sun told Wine Spectator. “That’s why we consider moderate drinking one of the five low-risk factors in the study.”

The results were promising for moderate drinkers. “When we included only four lifestyle factors without alcohol, women who adhered to all four low-risk lifestyle factors had 9.5 years’ (men: 8.8 years) longer life expectancy free of the major chronic diseases than those with none of these factors,” the authors write. “After further inclusion of moderate alcohol consumption, women who adhered to all five low-risk factors had 12.5 years’ (men: 9.6 years) longer life expectancy free of the major chronic diseases than those with none of these factors.”

Additionally, the study found a significant correlation between alcohol intake and serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). “It’s fair to say HDL is good cholesterol and moderate drinking is associated with higher levels of it,” said Dr. Sun. As expected, heavy smokers and obese men and women had the lowest life expectancy free of cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Every study that relies on self reporting and questionnaires has limitations. Dr. Sun is cautious about the study’s ability to be generalized and emphasizes being conservative with the results. Also, the data comes almost entirely from white professionals, but Dr. Sun argues that the data suggests this would be a healthy lifestyle for other populations as well.

The team defined moderate alcohol intake by U.S. guidelines as one drink a day for women and two for men. But one co-author, Harvard epidemiology and nutrition professor Dr. Eric Rimm, says he believes the “greatest evidence shows moderate drinking three to five days a week or every other day to be most beneficial.”

While the researchers did not establish whether moderate drinkers lived longer because of alcohol consumption or because of other factors, their findings add to the growing evidence supporting moderate alcohol consumption’s positive impact on longevity.

The study comes at a time when some Americans are taking a break from their usual tipple for Dry January. Dr. Sun argues that science has not determined yet whether going sober for a month has any negative or positive effects on health, but suggests it may be a good choice for heavy drinkers. Both Dr. Sun and Dr. Rimm firmly agree that there is a link between moderate alcohol consumption and greater life expectancy, when it is part of a healthy lifestyle.


Visit our store at www.GoldenGateWineCellars.com to get your hands on some great wines!

The Best Quality to Value Ratio California Pinot Noir

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 work shop, Byron came up with the name “The Shop” and the rest (15 years later) is history.  Byron has created a good following for his brand, and so have many of my customers. But his Chardonnay making goes back 30 years and has been his big passion, although he did not add this to his portfolio till 2008.  The 2016 is truly amazing and a great wine for your Buck!

B Kosuge 2016 Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros
Retail 40.00 – GGWC 36.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use shipping code KOSUGE during check out

The wine emerges from the glass with dark red stone fruit a hint of spice, nuttiness and licorice. This is 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: I’m loving where my 2016 Pinot Noir is now. The 2016 Shop is a very different wine than the 2015. The 2015 Shop was pretty, forward and delicious from the beginning. The 2016 was the opposite–brooding and standoffish. But it has come out of its shell, and emphatically so. It may be my favorite Shop ever.  The Shop is always one of the biggest and fleshiest of my offerings and the 2016 is no different; a bit of tannin on the finish gives it a pleasing lift and persistence. The combination of spice and fruit signals that the wine is from Carneros

Also check out this other great B. Kosuge wine:

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Thomas Rivers Brown’ smallest Cabernet Project & It is stunning!

The story of Hobel Wine Works began in 1998, when Cameron Hobel first met friend and winemaker Thomas Brown in Napa. Cameron was working as the Director of Business Development of a wine auction site and Thomas was working as Assistant Winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars. Their mutual love of great wine led to many shared dinners and glasses of wine, where they discussed the prospect of finding a project that would allow them to work together in producing a world-class wine. The opportunity finally arose eleven years later, with the premier release of the 2009 Hobel Cabernet.  This nineth release, the 2017 vintage crafted by Thomas Rivers Brown will really wow you, it is AMAZING!

For the past few years, The Hobels & Thomas Rivers Brown had been searching for a new vineyard to add to the lineup, looking for a unique vineyard that would allow them to produce a wine that would rival the quality and balance of their original Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon from the Engelhard Vineyard.  They finally found a wonderful match with the R.M. Kennedy Vineyard, a beautiful hillside vineyard located in Calistoga, they also added the Ciminelli Vineyard to add complexity to the program

Hobel 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon “The Grain” Napa Valley
GGWC  129.99
Use code HOBEL17 during checkout

OK to mix & match with other Hobel

Winery Notes: “Starting on October 8, 2017, massive fires raged through the Napa Valley, causing widespread destruction and filling the valley with smoke. We were fortunate that our fruit for the 2017 The Grain was harvested on September 28, 2017 before the fires began and the wines were safely in tank. Our fearless winemaking team led by Thomas Brown worked at the winery throughout to ensure the wines were doing well and following their typical course during production”

Winemaker Notes: “The Grain has always been one of the most complete and exceptional wines in the program. It combines all the natural California sunshine with a savory note provided by the clonal mix at the Ciminelli Vineyard. Always an interesting and multi‐layered wine, the 2017 might be the most complex version to date. We are all very sad to see this wonderful fruit source go, but it is wonderful to be able to end our many years with this vineyard on a high note!  Only 134 cases produced!

Hobel 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon “The Figure” Napa Valley
GGWC  109.99
Use code HOBEL17 during checkout

OK to mix & match with other Hobel

Winery Notes: “The 2017 The Figure is a wonderful classic Cabernet that exhibits many of the qualities from this vineyard site we have come to love over the years.  Just like the 2016, the 2017 Figure is black and dark purple in color.  Aromas have higher toned notes of cedar, tobacco leaf and eucalyptus, all enveloped by black fruit – plums, cherries, boysenberries.  There is great fruit density on the palette which is nicely framed by dusty tannins. Partially due to the increased attention to farming by our team and additional vine age, the 2017 Figure shows great complexity and shares the same broad shoulders which are typically characteristic of The Grain.  The 2017 Figure is a blend of clones 6 and 30 and the wine was raised in 75% new French oak from Darnajou, Taransaud, Remond and Baron.”

Winemaker Notes: “ In 2017, we finally saw the Kennedy Vineyard come into maturity. It has always had an exuberant fruit expression but now with some vine age, it has added complexity and structure to complement its forwardness. Judging from what is in barrel for 2018, the upward qualitative trajectory looks promising and we are excited to keep The Figure as a cornerstone for the project”  Only 91cases produced!

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