Feb
5
2019

The French say that the ‘crazy’ English invented the fizzy wine…

The French say that the ‘crazy’ English invented the fizzy wine…

By David Chazan, The Telegraph

The head of one of France’s most prestigious Champagne houses has weighed in to the long-running debate about the origin of the sparkling wine by saying that “it was invented by the English”.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, head of the illustrious family-owned producer, Taittinger Champagne, made the comment in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.

“I love England, it’s a big market for bubbles. They love Champagne,” said Mr Taittinger, 65, an unabashed anglophile.

“They created Champagne because of a mistake. Benedictine monks were supplying them with still wines from Champagne, red and white wines… The English left these inexpensive still white wines on the London docks and the wines got cold so they started undergoing a second fermentation, causing them to become carbonated.”

“Like all great mistakes, it led to a great invention.”

Mr Taittinger added: “As the English have a little ‘crazy’ side, they invented the whole thing, the playful side… They invented the consumption of champagne, as well as clarets from Bordeaux, Burgundy, cognac, in short, everything that’s made the reputation of France in the world.”

According to popular belief, sparkling Champagne was invented by a monk, Dom Pierre Pérignon, in the 17th century. In fact, he helped to develop still wines from the Champagne region.

It was an English physician, Christopher Merret, who first described the process of adding sugar to a wine to carbonate it by creating a second fermentation.

He documented what is now known as the “méthode champenoise” in a scientific paper in 1662, although he did not claim to have invented it.
Fizzy white wine only became the distinctive wine of the Champagne region much later, in the 19th century.

The first sparkling champagne is believed to have been created accidentally.

The high pressure in bottles of champagne wine often caused them to explode, or the corks to pop, which led to it being dubbed “the devil’s wine”.
Initially, the presence of bubbles was seen as a mistake, but drinkers gradually came to appreciate them. The “muselet”, the wire cage to prevent the cork from popping, was invented in the 19th century.

No Matter who invented it… here are some Bubbly Suggestions for Valentine’s Day:
CLOTILDE BRUT “GRAND-CRU” CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE
FRANCOISE BEDEL NV BRUT CHAMPAGNE “ORIGNI-ELLE”
HENRI DOSNON BRUT ROSE CHAMPAGNE
MONTHUYS CHAMPAGNE NV BRUT, 750ML
EN TIRAGE 2010 BLANC DE BLANCS, BECKSTOFFER CARNEROS
ALLIMANT LAUGNER CREMANT ROSE D’ALSACE
CAZLAS, 2009 LA CHAPELLE DU CLOS, GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANCS CHAMPAGNE
STEPHANE COQUILLETTE CARTE D’OR BRUT CHAMPAGNE
ANDRE ROBERT CHAMPAGNE BRUT “RESERVE” GRAND CRU, BLANC de BLANCS, LE MESNIL
LOUIS DE GRENELLE PLATINE CREMANT DE LOIRE

Click here or on the links above to order!

Feb
4
2019

Barbour 2016 Cabernet by 100 Point Winemaker Celia Welch is their BEST EVER

Jim Barbour was raised on his family ranch in Rutherford where he learned the life of framing, a passion for land, and the understanding that hard work breeds success. After graduating from UC Davis, Jim returned to Napa to begin a career that would lead him to become on Napa Valley’s most sought-after and successful viticulturists.  He has been dedicated to his craft, producing premium wine grapes using traditional and contemporary hand-farming methods.  Jim has planted and managed many prominent vineyards in the valley, including Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, Blankiet, Revana, Gandona Estate, The Vineyardist, Keever, Pillar Rock, DR Stephens, Husic, Grace Family, and more.

In 1992 he planted his own vineyard and in 1995 produced his first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon of just 50 cases.

His winemaker is no other than Celia Welch (Miss 100 Points), known for her great skills putting wineries on the map of success.  Her list is long, but in case you didn’t know – Scarecrow, Corra, Keever, Kelly Fleming, Lindstrom, Rewa, Castiel, 2480 Hollywood & Vine, etc. She took over from the “other” 100 point winemaker, Heidi Barrett and the rest… is history!

Barbour 2016 “Estate” Cabernet, Napa Valley
GGWC 154.99 net item
FREE SHIPPING on 4 or more
Use code SHIPFREE4 during checkout

The 2016 Barbour “Estate” Cabernet is amazingly opulent from start to finish.  The wine’s aromas of black stone fruit, anise, mocha and chocolate jump out of the glass on impact.  This full-bodied wine is loaded with generously layered dark berry, plum, chocolate and exotic spices that tickle the lush concentrated palate. A MUST HAVE!!

Winery Notes: “Barbour Vineyard in St. Helena always seems to yield spectacular fruit with a very lifted, slightly perfumed flair to the purple boysenberry and blackberry notes. The 2016 vintage seems to emphasize those lifted, aromatic qualities even more intensely. In addition to the purple fruit, notes of plum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet earth add complexity. The mouthfeel is full, fruit-forward and elegant, with approachable tannins and just enough grip to lend weight to the core. The finish echoes the aroma, with forward, juicy fruit notes.”

Jeb Dunnuck (formerly with Robert Parker) 95 Points: “Made by superstar winemaker Celia Welch (this wine was made by Heidi Barrett up until 2009), the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is an elegant, layered, ultra-fine Cabernet Sauvignon that has classic cassis, graphite, and crushed rock aromas and flavors. Coming from estate fruit in St. Helena, it’s a powerful, young, concentrated, and primordial 2016 that’s begging for bottle age. Give it 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Feb
3
2019

Objectivity and Loving Attention: The secret to wine tasting…

Objectivity and Loving Attention

By Dwight furrow
in Edible Arts

The key to objectivity, for human beings not Gods, is attending to an object for what it is, as something that demands I attend to it with discipline. For instance, a difficult piece of music demands of a pianist who wants to master it that she pay attention to each nuance rather than skip over or modify the difficult passages. She allows the object to guide what she does and how she approaches it. She has desires and interests but puts them aside for the moment and allows the object to dictate her standards for acting.  Wine tasting is no different. When evaluating a wine, the first question is not “do you like it?” Instead the questions are “what is this wine about?” Where did it come from? What are the full range of properties it exhibits?”

Those who claim that wine tasting is subjective don’t like this kind of response to skepticism. They ask “How can you be certain you’re not being influenced by unconscious desires or influence?”

Well, you can’t be certain about anything. Why does certainty matter so much to you? The skeptic about objectivity wants a foolproof method, a logical certainty, that we have real contact with the world and is disappointed when none can be supplied. But that demand is misplaced.

It’s perfectly possible for us to achieve a robust connection to objects in the world. But the connection is not a logical achievement. It’s an ethical achievement, the product of discipline, knowledge, self-reflection and a kind of steadfast attention associated with love. These are human scale qualities and it’s all we have.

Often they are sufficient.

Feb
1
2019

CULT WINE TASTING ANOUNCEMENT — RSVP TODAY!

100 POINT CULT WINE TASTING

Screaming Eagle, Colgin, Verite, Kapcsandy, Bevan,
and a Surprise “Brown Bag” Wine

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16 – 1:00 PM SHARP
in our tasting room at 2337 Ocean Avenue

Join us to taste some of the most sought after wines in the world!

TASTE SCREAMING EAGLE “THE FLIGHT”!
100 POINT RATED COLGIN, VERITE & BEVAN, AS WELL AS THE HIGHLY RATED KAPCSANDY AND  A “BROWN BAG” SURPRISE

RESERVATION ONLY – SORRY NO WALK-INS

We plan to start the tasting at 1:00 PM SHARP!!
Tickets are $175.00 per person.

For more info on any event call 415.337.4083 or email frank@goldengatewinecellars.com

ONLY 7 TICKETS LEFT!

 

Or paste this link into your browser:
https://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/740694/blast

We hope to see you at the event!

Golden Gate Wine Cellars
2337 Ocean Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127

Jan
31
2019

JEWEL OF THE VALLEY

“There is no doubting BT’s breakout status. Vintage-to-vintage, a wine that delivers all the joy Sonoma County Pinot Noir is capable of. With its growth in notoriety, so too have expectations come to loom large. Putting together the puzzle of barrels that comprise this wine each vintage is the most fun, challenging and exciting part of the year.  Bastard Tongue is a selection of the best barrels displaying the magnificence Sonoma County’s terroir can deliver through the prism of Pinot Noir — a specific balance of opulent fruit and the variety’s inherent spice and earthen notes. The grapes were harvested at night, by hand across the first 3 weeks of September, hand-sorted, fully destemmed, no crushing.” ~Justin Harmon, Argot Winemaker

Argot 2016 “Bastard Tongue” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
GGWC 79.99
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

Tasting Notes: 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.

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
29
2019

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 2015 is truly amazing and a great wine for your Buck!

B Kosuge 2015 Pinot Noir The Shop, Carneros
Retail 38.00 – GGWC 34.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use shipping code SHIPFREE12 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: The 2015 Shop, like the 2014, is pretty ripe and open. The 2015 is pretty, sweet and alluring and have been from the beginning. And although 2015 was an early, warm vintage, the wines are fresh and fairly modest in alcohol. The Shop is always one of the biggest and fleshiest of my offerings and the 2015 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 these other B. Kosuge wines:
B. KOSUGE 2015 CHARDONNAY, SONOMA COAST
B. KOSUGE 2013 PINOT NOIR HABITAT SONOMA

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
28
2019

UNDER $30 RED MIGHT BE BEST WINE OFFERING TO DATE YET!

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 2016 Sans Liege “The Offering” is by far the best to date!

Sans Liege 2016 “The Offering” Santa Barbara
Retail 32.00 – GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more!
Use code SHIPFREE12 during check out

The Sans Liege 2016 “The Offering” (a blend of of 48% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 19% Mourvedre, 1% Viognier) 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: “When you arrive the celebration is raging, much like the huge bonfire in the center of the crowd. You are met with scents of anise, mulling spices, kirsch and leather. A friend claps you on the back and hands you a bowl crafted from juniper proclaiming “wassail!” “Drink hail” you chorus with the rest of the group, taking a gulp and passing it on. Treats of olive tapenade and plums with cinnamon are shared as the merriment continues into the night.

FYI: The 2016 Offering was sourced from some of the most amazing vineyards —  Alta Colina, Larner, Alta Mesa, Derby, John Sebastiano and Zotovich.

Also check out these other great Sans Liege releases:
SANS LIEGE 2017 COTES DU COAST, WHITE BLEND
SANS LIEGE 2015 PICKPOCKET TEMPELTON GAP, PASO ROBLES

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
26
2019

Two Knock-Out Cabernets by Mike Smith 2.0

 

Scarlett Wines 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 Cellars and rebranded in 2015 in honor of its flagship wine, Scarlett, which is named after the founder’s daughter.

Scarlett 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 69.99
FREE SHIPPING ON SIX
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

The wine’s aroma is AMAZING! The color STUNNING! The flavors MINDBOGGLING! The wine is loaded with black stone fruit and chocolate aromas. On the palate the wine gushes with more chocolate, black currant, jam and some delicate Rutherford dust. The wine is full in body, yet elegant and refined! Gorgeous from start to finish Only 200 cases of this gem were produced, so better jump on this now! Massively scaled for a Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.  Great effort from Mike Smith!

Scarlett 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Estate Rutherford Napa Valley
GGWC 129.99
FREE SHIPPING ON SIX
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

A total knock-out, stunner Cab.  The wine is loaded with dark, black stone fruit, offering up hints of licorice, a touch of smoke a good whiff of spice. Offering an extraordinary equilibrium between acidity, alcohol, tannin and wood, stunning purity, a finish that goes on for close to a minute, and a dazzling palate presence from what appears to be an incredible terroir make this an amazing effort in Cabernet Sauvignon Very well balanced with the right acid/fruit ratios.  This is a wine for the ages.  VERY LIMITED

Also check out:
SCARLETT 2016 SAUVIGNON BLANC, RUTHERFORD NAPA VALLEY
SCARLETT 2015 PETIT VERDOT ESTATE RUTHERFORD NAPA VALLEY
SCARLETT 2016 ZINFANDEL “ESTATE” RUTHERFORD

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
25
2019

Diamond Creek’s neighbor at 1/3 the Price!

Michael Klopka purchased the 150 acre estate in 1998 atop Diamond Mountain, but it wasn’t a palatial estate – even a “Diamond in the rough” was an understatement.  It was densely forested, nearly inaccessible woodland tract that choked sunlight.  It took a while to clear, and create 2 parcels (Cori and Sophie) totaling six acres of Bordeaux varietals.  Most of the fruit is sold, but a special section is kept for the SVR wines – only 150 cases are produced! The first harvest was in 2004 (they sold it all to Coho for 10 years), and  the Inaugural Summit Vine Ranch offering was the 2013 vintage.

FYI: Diamond Creek is next door to Michael’s SummitVine Ranch vineyard, and at this low $70s price, you have yourself a real bargain from this mountaintop estate!

SummitVine Cabernet “Estate” Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley
GGWC 71.99 net
FREE SHIPPING on 6
Use code SHIPFREE6 during checkout

Wine Spectator 94 Pts: “Pure, rich, juicy and supple, offering a wonderful core of black cherry, blackberry, plum and licorice flavors, with graceful tannins that invite early consumption. Drink now through 2032. 149 cases made.”

Winemaker Notes: “Our 2015 Cabernet catches your eye right away with its deep garnet red color and the nose is classic Diamond Mountain with red fruits, some zing and caramel. In tasting the wine, it is rich and complex with great depth of flavors. Along with spice, this wine has notes of blackberry, cassis, black cherry, rhubarb and a hint of Diamond Mountain earth. With its wonderful mouth feel, It has a long, lingering finish that ends with a touch of caramel. The plush, beautifully integrated tannins make this wine so approachable now and will provide pleasure through 2032. Still in its youth, we recommend opening one hour before serving.”

Click here or on the links above to order!

Jan
24
2019

Taste is Expensive… Price Tag is very Inexpensive!

Walter Hansel has become synonymous with great quality at a great price!  Year after year these wines seem to impress me and my clientele alike.  The first vines were planted in 1978 just a up the block from Kistler!  The actual winery did not start till 1996 when they produced 3 barrels of Pinot Noir and 10 barrels of Chardonnay, and the rest as they say, is history!  Stephen Hansel (Walter’s son) had one of the best winemakers as his tutor (Tom Rochiolli) so it is no surprise that they are still putting out great wines decades later.  Year after this winery has produced amazing “Dollar Cost Average” under priced wines!

Walter Hansel 2016 “Estate” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
GGWC 29.99
FREE SHIPPING on 12 or more
Use code SHIPFREE12 during checkout

The 2016 Walter Hansel “Estate” Chardonnay is pretty, understated and polished, with all of the signatures that make the these wines distinctive.  Medium to full in body and very gracious, with lovely aromatic lift and balanced from start to finish.  The grapes from the estate part that was planted between 1976 and 1988 and is a blend of Dijon Clones 95 & 97 and a Hanzell clone.

Robert Parker 92 Pts:  “The 2016 Chardonnay Estate offers up notes of white peaches, apple pir and green guava with hints of lightly browned toast and allspice.  Medium to full-bodied, it is beautifuly silky in the mouth with great vivacity and a long, pure citrus and stone-fruit layered finish.”

Click here or on the links above to order!