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WineRelease.com's January 15, 2018 Monthly Newsletter.

Greetings from WineRelease.

This month we had 53 winery updates and 29 wineries releasing wine.

Happy New Year!

I have had two exceptional nights so far this year.

My brother Ken treated me to Kenzo's new Japanese restaurant in Napa. The owner Kenzo, also has Kenzo winery, so we opted for the Prix-Fixe Kaiseki menu (other option is the Prix-Fixe Sushi Kaiseki) and paired it with Kenzo wines (asatsuyu Sauvignon Blanc, yui Rosé, rindo Bordeaux blend, asuka Cabernet Franc, ai Cabernet Sauvignon and Murasaki Bordeaux Blend).



It was a ten plus course meal with exceptional flavors with the Salmon, Wagyu Sirloin, Duck Breast and Golden Eye Snapper qualifing for “the best I have ever had’ dishes. The sushi was good, although my favorite sushi is still Okoze in San Francisco (on Union @ Hyde). Although pricey, I recommend Kenzo as an alternative treat to the standard “Californian Cuisine” in the Valley.




Last week we finally booked a tasting appointment at Quintessa. Quintessa is one of those wineries that I’ve driven by a hundred times on my weekly trek up valley and thought about tasting at least a dozen times, and never booked that appointment in time. Last weekend the stars were aligned and Monnens Party of Four (not an announcement – it was my wife, me and another couple) spent a really nice afternoon with Jacqueline, our Quintessa host.

She started by asking us our interests – would we like to see the property? Yes, please. After a small trek behind the winery, we were at the top of a ridge, overlooking the lake and about 200 acres of Quintessa’s property. This is where she shared the family history and reminded me that Augustin Huneeus had recently sold “The Prisoner” to Constellation.

Next, she took us into the press/production area, where gravity does all of their pressing. Jacqueline shared that the reason the wine is so smooth is that there is no pressure on stems, skin or seeds as it all gently presses itself. We saw the steel vats, along with their new concrete “egg” and then we popped into the caves.

The tour culminated in the tasking room where we began with their 2016 Illumination Sauvignon Blanc and moved to their 2012, 2014, and 2015 Quintessa Cabernet based blends. All tasting quite well.



As the afternoon was still young, and the babysitter still on tab, we next hit The Saint, Saint Helena’s newest wine bar and one of my favorite new spots in the valley for a glass of something typically pretty amazing (accompanied by a fantastic cheese & charcuterie plate).

After trying a few wines and nibbles, we closed out our evening with dinner at Archetype, which is my wife’s favorite restaurant in the valley. Chicken and dumplings, whole fish, avocado toast, beet salad and countless other dishes, with which we shared a really nice 2005 Noble Cabernet Sauvignon from my cellar that was drinking perfectly. The whole group loved the wine so much that I texted my brother, as he is friends with George Noble, and we secured two cases of his Cabernet between the four couples. The night ended with Archetype’s signature donuts. I’d call that a great day in the valley…






And now, onto the wine releases...


January 2018 Wine Releases

  • Abacela Winery; 2015 Graciano (80 cases, $30), 2015 Malbec (475 cases, $28), 2015 Tannat (219 cases, $30)
  • Arns Winery; 2013 Pritchard Hill Syrah (200 cases, $65)
  • Bella Grace Vineyards; NV Anderson Valley Brut Chardonnay/Pinot Noir Sparkling Blend, NV Rose Spumante Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Sparkling Wine
  • Betz Family Winery; 2015 Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon ($75), 2015 Clos de Betz Bordeaux Blend ($60), 2015 Heart of the Hill Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($110)
  • Cameron Hughes Wine; 2015 North Coast Lot 550 Petite Sirah (560 cases, $12)
  • Cameron Winery; 2015 Arley's Leap Pinot Noir (225 cases, $49), 2015 Rouge de Gris (75 cases, $35)
  • Casa Larga Vineyards; 2017 Muscat Ottonel Petillant Naturel (46 cases, $20)
  • Coquerel Wines; 2015 Chardonnay ($32), 2014 Terroir Sauvignon Blanc ($32)
  • Dashe Cellars ; 2017 Dry Rose of Barbera, 2015 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
  • Denner Vineyards; 2015 Estate Viognier ($48), 2016 Theresa Roussanne/Grenache Blanc/Vermentino/Picpoul/Marsanne ($48), 2014 Bassetti Vineyard Syrah (98 cases, $70), 2015 Mourvèdre ($70), 2015 Syrah ($65), 2015 Mother of Exiles Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot/Merlot ($75), 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($85), 2016 Zinfandel ($65)
  • Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery; 2015 Traditional Method Sparkling Pinot Blanc (75 cases, $47), 2016 Shake Ridge Ranch Mourvèdre (142 cases, $47), 2016 Enz Old Vines Vineyard Mourvèdre (49 cases, $47), 2016 Alder Springs Merlot (94 cases, $50), 2016 Fred & Dora’s Old Vines Petite Sirah (75 cases, $42)
  • Dutton-Goldfield; 2016 Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir
  • Gargiulo Vineyards; 2015 Aprile Super Oakville Blend
  • Hertelendy Vineyards; 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (706 cases, $135), 2015 Signature Mountain Blend (283 cases, $135), 2014 Napa Valley Audere Red Blend (223 cases, $75), 2015 Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (241 cases, $85)
  • Iron Hub Winery; 2016 Semillon, 2015 Rose
  • Lewis Cellars; 2015 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($175), 2016 Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay ($75), 2016 Russian River Valley Barcaglia Lane Chardonnay ($75)
  • Martinelli Winery; 2016 Russian River Valley Giuseppe & Luisa Zinfandel ($58)
  • Myriad Cellars; 2016 Napa Valley Myriad Cellars Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Cabernet Sauvignon ($125), 2016 Napa Valley Myriad Cellars Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Elysian Cabernet Sauvignon ($165)
  • Oakville East Exposure; 2015 Harter Family Double H Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Rough Road Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Franc 'N Stern Cabernet Franc
  • Optima Winery; 017 Dry Creek Valley Gewürztraminer, 2017 Dry Creek Valley Rosé
  • Outpost Estate Wines; 2015 True Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (310 cases, $135), 2015 True Vineyard Immigrant Bordeaux Blend Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Merlot (258 cases, $110), 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (650 cases, $85)
  • Peterson Winery; 2017 Estate Rose
  • Ridge Vineyards; 2013 Dry Creek Valley Lytton Estate Syrah/Grenache ($36)
  • Scott Harvey Wines; 2015 J&S Reserve Barbera
  • Story Winery; 2016 Primitivo ($24)
  • Vörös Cellars; 2015 Sonoma Knight’s Valley Blau Vineyard Malbec
  • Wonderment Wines; 2015 Dutton-Campbell Vineyard Pinot Noir (240 cases, $44), 2016 Hyde Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (51 cases, $34)
  • Wrath Wines; 2015 Boekenoogen Pinot Noir (186 cases, $49), 2015 McIntyre Pinot Noir ( 164 cases, $49), 2015 KW Ranch Pinot Noir (42 cases, $49), 2015 San Saba Pinot Noir (270 cases, $49), 2015 Tondre Grapefield Pinot Noir (214 cases, $49), 2015 San Saba Syrah (235 cases, $39), 2015 KW Ranch Syrah (23 cases, $39), 2015 San Saba Chardonnay (117 cases, $49)

Febuary 2018 Wine Releases



WineRelease.com's Winery Newsletters and Mailing Lists Sign Up Page: Click here.

The following 53 winery information pages have been updated since December 15, 2017:

Wine Quote of the Month: "Wine and wenches empty men's purses" English Proverb


Till next month.


Neil Monnens


Special thanks to the following sponsors of WineRelease.com: Arbios Cellars, Bacio Divino, Bonaccorsi Wine Company, Cellars33, Gamba Vineyards and Winery, Herb Lamb Vineyards, Lucia Vineyards, Parry Cellars, Rocca Family Vineyards, School House Vineyard, Snowden Vineyards, Selene Wines, Seven Stones Winery, Stein Family Wines, Steltzner Vineyards and VIADER Vineyards & Winery. They help make WineRelease possible.



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