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The Collector Wine Club - June 2017

By Tom De Grezia 26 days ago No comments

Order The Collector Wine Club by before the end of month and get these selections.

GKG Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

GKG Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot, and 1% Malbec, the aromatics offer up a combination of black currant and espresso with an underlying hint of toasted oak. Full bodied with

strong flavors of black fruit, currants and cherries flood your palette on entry with further hints of espresso, dark chocolate and plums playing on your mid palette-coating the roof of your mouth with elegant integrated flavors of blackberry and cassis. Great acidity and sweet firm tannins round out a long finish and certainly make this vintage very age worthy. Only 268 cases were produced!

Robert Parker 94 Points "This blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec from the Lewelling Vineyard in St. Helena was made by photographer Greg Gorman. This wine, aged 17 months in new French oak, is a beautiful, supple Cabernet Sauvignon, very much in keeping with this vintage’s hallmark lushness. Offering silky tannins, low acidity and oodles of ripe blue and black fruits, it is layered, full-bodied, delicious and sexy. Drink it over the next 10-15 years."

"For over four decades, Greg Gorman has continued to master the art of photography. From celebrity portraits and advertising campaigns to magazine layouts and fine art work, Greg has developed and showcased a discriminating and unique style in his profession. Greg’s work documents that peculiar obsession of the 21st century celebrity. One day he received a call inquiring whether or not he might be interested in photographing a project with Dave Phinney of Orin Swift fame. Being a huge fan of Mercury Head, one of their extraordinary wines, Greg was anxious to meet the man behind the juice. He liked the concept for his new wine, Papillon, and from there the collaboration began. Greg and Dave completed the shoot photographing Vince Tofanelli's hands and than headed over to Dave's for dinner...you know that label!"

"The following year Greg approached Dave in regards to helping Greg make his own wine. Dave not only agreed but was very encouraging. Dave also really pushed Greg by bringing in all the samples blind and tasting through the different varietals until Greg had found the various components to make his blend. It certainly was trial and error coming up with what worked for Greg's palette-but what a learning experience!"

Now, just before this wine was released, we heard from a few "insiders" that this was the best Cabernet Dave Phinney has ever produced. that's a pretty big statement, especially knowing all the wines that Dave has made over the years. So as soon as the wine landed, we opened up a bottle and had the entire attending wine staff taste it. We couldn't believe it...this is, in our honest opinion, the best Cabernet Sauvignon we have ever tasted from Dave Phinney and Orin Swift Cellars! " - Robert Parker Jr.

Flanagan Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2012

The 2012 vintage was classic in every way. Perfect weather meant that in 2012, we were able to achieve ideal ripeness with perfectly clean fruit. The resulting wines are spectacular! The defining attributes of our 2012 Flanagan Cabernet are its ripe, seamless palate and its power. This wine displays our classic profile of a floral bouquet of violets and irises, but it is the palate that really displays the richness of the 2012 vintage. Deep black fruits, warm rock, mocha, and savory notes of olive and bay leaf flow seamlessly together in a truly beautiful glass of wine.

90 Points The Wine Advocate - "The primordial, broodingly backward 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon will benefit from 4-5 more years of bottle age. Lots of blackberries, barbecue spice, licorice and creosote characteristics along with serious tannins are present in this big, brooding Cabernet that will be somewhat controversial. Forget it for five years and drink it over the following 15+ years." - Robert Parker Jr.

Flanagan Winery Notes:

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Liquid Farm 'White Hill' Chardonnay 2015

Winery Notes: The leaner and more Chablisiane reminiscent of our two main Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay bottlings, White Hill highlights the unique salinity that comes through in the ancient soils of Sta. Rita Hills. This vintage - HOLY ACID BATMAN! The 2015 has by far the most acidity (as does the '15 La Hermana) of both wines to date. It is going to be a rock star but, will benefit from some time in bottle so please try and be patient with this one!

NOTES: Floral and fragrant, fresh tangerine, beeswax, jasmine. Up front minerality follow by a slightly creamier mid-palate with hints of baked lemon curd.

PAIRING IDEAS: high fat dishes where the acid will cut through like a dream. soft & semi-soft cow or sheeps milk cheese. raw fish: sushi and/or oysters.

DRINK: 2017-2024

ACCOLADES: 94pts Antonio Galloni (2014 vintage - 2015 to be reviewed Summer 2017)

The Explorer Wine Club - June 2017

By Tom De Grezia 26 days ago No comments

SAMsSARA 'Santa Rita Hills' Pinot Noir 2014

Winery Background: Samsara is a Sanskrit word meaning “the eternal cycle of life.” Husband and wife Chad and Mary Melville started Samsara in 2002 after traveling around the world. Chad farms 3/4 acre plots of personally-selected rows in various Santa Rita Hills vineyards. His philosophy of clean, pristine, and healthy fruit allows for a non-manipulated winemaking process. Due to the region’s long, unique growing season, this enables Chad to pick ripe stems and seeds allowing whole cluster fermentation, which absorb overt fruitiness. Along with the climate and soil, these diverse, handcrafted wines are a rare combination of full ripeness, concentration, excellent structure, minerality, high acidity, and moderate alcohol levels.

Tasting Notese: Expressive floral aromas and savory notes. Sharp blue fruit flavors with notes of bitter cherry. Silky tannins add to the wine’s approachability. Outstanding quality.

Robert Parker 90 Points "The peppery, herbal, black cherry and smoked earth-scented 2014 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is rich, textured and balanced on the palate, with bright acidity and a clean, gulpable style that keeps you coming back to the glass. It has excellent complexity, plenty of fruit and will drink nicely for 4-5 years."

Winery Notes:

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Two Hands Angels’ Share Shiraz 2015

Winemaker Notes: "Assertive aromas, bursting with blackberry, bramble and white pepper. Glossy dark cherry, mulberry fruit with fresh acidity and fine tannins. A classy wine that brings to the fore the best attributes of McLaren Vale Shiraz."

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep dark red with a black core.

Aroma: Notes of fresh blueberries, plum conserve, dried lavender, woody herbs with background notes of coal dust and sweet spice.

Palate: Pop of up-front on entry with blueberry pie, plum and ‘fruits of the forest.’ Tannins are round and soft yet tighten through the back palate. Complexing notes of dried Herb de Provence, mocha and lavender weave through the finish.

Wine Making:

The grapes were crushed into and fermented in five, seven and 10 tonne open fermenters. During the peak of fermentation the batches received regular pump overs three times daily to extract colour, flavour and tannin. The average time on skins was 16 days. Once the parcels were dry, the fermenters were drained off and the skins pressed, with the pressings combined with the free run. After 24 hours the individual batches were racked to barrel where malolactic fermentation proceeded. The final blend was unfined and unfiltered prior to bottling.


Aged for 12 months in 6% new French puncheons and hogsheads and the remainder in one to six year old French and American oak.

Cellar Potential

5-10 Years

91 Points Wine Advocate: "The deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Shiraz Angel’s Share opens with classic blueberry tart, chocolate box and licorice notes with a fragrant perfume of violets. Full-bodied, rich and decadent in the mouth, and yet eminently drinkable, it’s delivers a lot of fruit supported by velvety tannins and freshness that carries through the long finish."

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran 2015

Site: at the southern end of Burgundy, just north of Beaujolais. The appellation Saint-Véran is actually larger than the territory of the commune.

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran 2015

History & tradition: the actual village of Saint-Vérand is spelled differently (note the final "d"). Established by decree in 1971, it is the latest appellation in the Mâconnais region.

Soil: Jurassic limestone, a continuation of the chalky strata found in the Côte d'Or, ideal for growing Chardonnay grapes.


Plantation density: 8,500 vine stocks/hectare.

Pruning: Guyot.

Yield: purposely low in order to extract all possible nuances from the terroir.

Supply: grapes and must purchased from regular suppliers (long term contracts).


Pressing: very slow so as to respect the fruit. Juices from the last pressings are not retained.

No artificial yeasts or enzymes are used.


Type: in stainless steel vats

Length: 6 to 8 months

Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation. The data obtained is completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.

Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin

"A wine that smiles and makes you smile! It is stylistically close to Pouilly-Fuissé, with its golden hue, its greenish reflection and its refreshing taste. The aromas are reminiscent of the ripe Chardonnay grape, with subtle notes of musk. A pleasant roundness coats the palate".


It is a great vintage and, despite their unctuous character, all the wines keep their typicity of origin.


Temperature: 12/13°C (53-54°F).

Cellaring: 1 to 3 years.

The Entertainer Wine Club - June 2017

By Tom De Grezia 26 days ago No comments

Beran 2013 Zinfandel California

90 Points. Wine Spectator - "Deep and intense, with aromas of wild berry and licorice to the bold, ripe flavors of dark plum, smoky cracked pepper and grilled herb. The tannins are firm. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made."

Winery Notes:

JOSEPH WAGNER Owner/Winemaker

As a fifth generation Napa Valley winemaker and the youngest son of Chuck Wagner, founder of Caymus Vineyards, Joe learned his way around a vineyard long before he was able to drink wine. By the time he was 19, he knew that he would continue his family’s winemaking legacy. He started Belle Glos wines and then followed up with the creation of Meiomi. In 2014, he took the big step of forming Copper Cane Wines & Provisions. Joe and his wife Amber live in Napa Valley with their six children, keeping a healthy balance between family life and a passionate dedication to their shared business venture.

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Averaen Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2015

Antonio Galloni 91 Points: "Lurid red. Vibrant, sharply focused scents of ripe red berries and candied flowers are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and allspice. Lithe and appealingly sweet on the palate, offering intense raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out with air. The floral note comes back strong on the clinging, spice-laced finish, which is given shape by harmonious, slow-building tannins. This wine delivers outstanding value and is an auspicious inaugural offering for this project, which is owned by the proprietors of California Pinot Noir specialist Banshee."

Winery Notes:

Averaen was born out of our love for cool climate Pinot Noir. Oregon's Willamette Valley offers an ideal growing climate, where strong winds blow from the nearby Pacific Ocean, and the mix of ancient volcanic soils and marine sediments from a prehistoric ocean floor lend intense minerality and complexity to the Pinot Noir grapes grown on them. Simple sustainable farming, hands-off winemaking and a passion for Pinot Noir dictate our mission.

A mild winter led to early bud break, and early flowering. Weather was perfect around bloom, giving way to excellent fruit set. The hot, dry summer brought accelerated ripening. Warm/early sites came off the vine first week of September, breaking records for red-wine harvest timing. Warm, windy and wet in the middle of September bought us a bonus couple of weeks in cooler, high-elevation sites, yielding more complex, mature flavors in later picks."

Winery Notes:

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Honig Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2016Honig Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2016

Bright acidity and crisp freshness, with flavors of juicy peach, passion fruit, and grapefruit, and the enticing aromas of jasmine and lemon zest. Medium-bodied, with a lingering finish. 95% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Semillon 1% Muscat.

The Sauvignon blanc grapes are treated using two different methods. To enhance the delicate tropical fruit flavors, a portion of the fruit goes directly into the press as whole clusters. The remaining fruit is de-stemmed and left in contact with the skins for several hours before pressing, amplifying the grapefruit/citrus components. All of the juice is fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks using a variety of yeast strains selected to bring out the aroma and flavor profiles of Sauvignon Blanc.


"In 1964, Louis Honig purchased a 68-acre ranch in Rutherford, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The vineyard was planted with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, which he sold to neighboring wineries. Louis worked to create a family gathering place at the ranch, for his children and grandchildren, while he dreamed of the day he could retire from his San Francisco advertising agency and make wine from his vineyard.

Louis passed away before he could realize his dream, leaving the estate to his family. In 1980, as a tribute to his legacy, his family produced a few hundred cases of Louis Honig Sauvignon Blanc in the vineyard’s old tractor barn. After the wine won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair, the family decided to increase production, and Honig Vineyard & Winery was born.

In 1984, at the age of 22, grandson Michael Honig took over management of the vineyard and winery. In 1989 the family began producing small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. As the business grew, family members Regina Weinstein, Steven Honig, and Stephanie Honig joined Michael in the winery.

The Honig family are leaders in sustainability, both in the vineyard and the winery, and what began as a small “garage” winery has today become a successful family enterprise, with everyone working collaboratively to run an inspiring and socially responsible business.

Winemaker Kristin Belair focuses production solely on Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Honig wines can be found on the wine lists across the country. Louis Honig’s vision of bringing his family together to share in the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley, while producing outstanding wines, has become a reality."

Winery Notes:

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The Collector Wine Club - May 2017

By System Administrator 2 months ago No comments

Order The Collector Wine Club by before the end of month and get these selections.

Plumpjack 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes - Mother Nature defines each vintage for a fine wine, and the 2013 vintage is no exception. In the winter of 2013, we saw above average temperatures and little rainfall in the Napa Valley. Needless to say, these grapes resulted in spectacular wines.

95 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate - The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, is a beauty. Bigger-boned and framed than many 2014s, with more structure, this is classic Oakville material, with an opaque purple color and a big, sweet kiss of graphite, blackcurrants, Christmas fruitcake and spice box. Full-bodied and opulent, with moderate tannin, this is a gorgeous wine to drink now and over the next 20 or more years.

Winery Notes:

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Harris Estate Vineyards Indulgence Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Sourced from the Calistoga AVA, this beautiful fruit forward Cabernet has a brightness and full-bodied balance that we have come to expect from the hand of Thomas Brown. This wine is versatile for easy sipping and pairs well with a variety of foods. The acid and tannic structures reflect the style of our estate grown wines in an approachable manner and can be enjoyed for years to come.

Winemaking Team



One of the country’s most accomplished winemakers, Thomas Brown has brought his unique natural winemaking approach to Harris Estate Vineyards since 2006. Beginning his winemaking career at Turley Cellars in 1997 he is now responsible for producing some of Napa Valley’s most celebrated and sought after wines. Thomas and his staff work tirelessly throughout the year to make wines that reflect the unique locations of where their grapes are grown.



Raised in Napa Valley, Josh Clark has been walking and working the vineyards of this area since he was a teenager. After gaining experience working the vineyards of Paso Robles, Josh returned to the Napa Valley in 1999 and continued his family’s farming tradition. Clark Vineyard Management specializes in small, high quality vineyard sites and currently farms a number of Napa Valley’s most respected vineyards.

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Hartford Court Four Hearts Vineyards Chardonnay 2015

96 Points Robert Parker Jr. Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard is largely from three clones - the old Wente clone of Chardonnay, the Sees and Rued selections. This wine displays plenty of wet gravel and crushed rock along with pineapple, white peach and marmalade. It is a deep, precise, exuberant and concentrated wine to drink over the next 7-10 years. Under owner Don Hartford, winemaker Jeff Stewart continues to produce a stunning succession of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (as well as Zinfandels) under the Hartford Court moniker from generally cool-climate sites. His is one of the bright stars in the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of small estate wineries. Production of the 2015 Chardonnays was tiny because of poor flowering, especially on the Sonoma Coast, and quantities of all of the following Chardonnays varies from a low of 165 cases for the Jennifer’s to a full 1,200 cases for the Four Hearts (the only one actually in bottle). All of these wines are barrel-fermented, aged in 100% French oak (usually around 27-43% new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. These exquisite wines can hold their own against the likes of Marcassin, Aubert, Kongsgaard, etc."

Winery Notes:

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