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Having difficulty viewing this email? View it here.'s August 15, 2015 Monthly Newsletter.

Greetings from, now 2,103 winery listings strong.

Tonight is the last night of our summer in the Napa Valley. School starts Monday for us, although I know that many of the East Coasters have already returned to school over the last week or so. As I write this, it's a balmy 97 degrees in St. Helena. We'll be returning to abnormally high temperatures in San Francisco in the mid 70's tomorrow. Over the past eight weeks, we've been fortunate to do a fair amount of wine tasting and have had some great experiences.

Some of the favorites include an afternoon at Girard in Yountville. In all my years of visiting wineries, I have to say that I haven't met anyone with as much passion about what he does as our host at Girard, Chris Foster. We had a nice table outdoors, and our host was great as we enjoyed the delicious wines at Girard. As we spent more time with him, he shared that he regularly frequents other wineries, to observe and learn. Our experience was great and one I would highly recommend if you find yourself in Yountville. He told us he was going to sell us wine and he did just that. My friends each bought a case.

Also in Yountville, we spent some time at an old favorite, Hestan. It was a hot day in the Valley and our hosts were gracious enough to taste us on their library wines. Fantastic experience with delicious wines.

One of the wineries that we frequented the most this summer was T-Vine, in Calistoga. They have a nice little tasting room a few blocks off the main street and don't require an appointment. They are known for their Zins, but really anything they're pouring is always really nice. Their tasting room is staffed by a great team.

A few years ago, when my first niece turned 30, I hosted a gourmet dinner (with wine pairings, of course) for her and her friends. That was the start of a family tradition. Another niece turned thirty this year and will be getting married in September. We turned her 30th birthday bash into a bachelorette weekend for my niece, her sisters, cousins and lifetime friends. In addition to the dinner, we took the girls wine tasting in Paso Robles.

Two wineries were gracious enough to offer our group a really nice experience. We started at Sextant and had a great tasting of their white and red line up. Next we went to Peachy Canyon and that team really rolled out the red carpet. We were told to taste whatever we wanted so the girls appreciated that since some liked whites while others preferred reds. Next we had a great lunch at Di Raimondo's Italian Market & Cheese Shop off the Square in Paso Robles. I ordered the cheese and meat sampler and it was excellent. The girls adored the sandwiches.

There is a peach orchard about 1/2 mile from our house in St. Helena, which has been producing some amazing fruit. Our garden has had a great tomato crop, as well as quite a bit of basil. Most nights find us dining in the backyard, with every entr�e accompanied by our new signature dish, peaches, fresh mozzarella (made locally everyday), tomatoes from the garden and my home made pesto. The best part? Having an excuse to pull some great wines out of the cellar most nights of the week....

Whether you're on the heels of summer in your area, or it's just getting started (as our San Francisco readers will be experiencing their 'Indian summer' in September and October), I hope you've been able to enjoy some fabulous local produce and delicious wines...

Housekeeping note: I will be publishing our Napa Valley Reader's Choice this week and I will be sending out survey requests for Sonoma Valley Reader's Choice this week as well.

Wineries: We are ready to add 2016 releases. I will be sending out a link to update/add new 2015 and 2016 releases this week. Keep a look out for the email.

And now, onto the wines...

August 2015 Wine Releases

  • Alloro Vineyard; 2013 Pinot Noir, 2013 Riservata Pinot Noir, 2013 Justina Pinot Noir
  • Arista Winery; 2013 Russian River Valley Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay, 2013 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2013 Mendocino Ridge Perli Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2013 Anderson Valley Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2013 Russian River Valley Two Birds Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2013 Russian River Valley Harper�s Rest Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2013 Russian River Valley Banfield Vineyard Zinfandel
  • August West; 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($34), 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($34)
  • Avennia; 2013 Arnaut Boushey Vineyard Syrah ($50), 2013 Justine Red Rhone Style Blend ($40), 2014 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc ($28)
  • Bacio Divino; 2013 Bacio Divino Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Janzen Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Lucie Chardonnay
  • Bedrock Wine Co.; 2013 Montecillo Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Griffin�s Lair Syrah, 2013 Weill a Way Mixed Blacks, 2013 Lorenzo�s Heritage Wine Zinfandel/Petite Sirah/Carignane/Valdigue/Cinsault, 2014 Carlisle Zinfandel, 2014 Pagani Ranch Heritage Wine, 2014 Evangelho Heritage Wine Zinfandel/Carignane/Mataro/Palomino/Alicante Bouschet/Mission, 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel, 2012 Cuvee Karatas White Wine Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Alta Vista Gewurtzraminer (60 cases), 2014 Compagni Portis Heritage Wine Gew�rztraminer/Trousseau Gris/Roter Veltliner/Riesling/Chardonnay
  • Benessere Vineyards; 2014 St. Helena Pinot Grigio ($22), 2014 St. Helena Rosato di Sangiovese ($18)
  • Big Basin Vineyards; 2013 Santa Cruz Mountains Bald Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay (42 cases, $55), 2013 Santa Cruz Mountains Lester Vineyard Pinot Noir (240 cases, $48), 2013 California Homestead Rhone Varietal Blend (645 cases, $36), 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Grizzly (240 cases, $55)
  • Blackjack Ranch Winery; 2013 Black Cap Reserve Chardonnay
  • Bremer Family Winery; 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cameron Hughes Wine; 2013 Arroyo Seco Lot 475 Chardonnay (1,000 cases, $15), 2012 Lodi Lot 477 Field Blend (7,400 cases), 2013 Monterey County Lot 462 Pinot Noir
  • Challen Winery; 2012 Scarlett Pinot Noir ($38)
  • Clark-Claudon Vineyards; 2012 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (500 cases, $82)
  • C�te Bonneville; 2013 Syrah ($65)
  • Darioush Winery; 2014 Sage Vineyard Estate Sauvignon Blanc (345 cases, $45)
  • Dominus Estate; 2012 Proprietary Red Wine
  • Donelan; 2014 Venus Roussanne/Viognier, 2013 Cuv�e Moriah, 2012 Cuv�e Christine Syrah, 2012 Richards Family Vineyard Syrah
  • Donkey and Goat; 2014 El Dorado Sluice Box White Wine Blend, 2014 Napa Valley Linda Vista Vineyard Chardonnay, 2014 El Dorado Grenache Noir, 2014 Anderson Valley Helluva Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2014 Mendocino Testa Vineyard Old Vine Carignane, 2012 Anderson Valley Broken Leg Vineyard The Recluse Syrah
  • Forlorn Hope Wines; 2014 Suisun Valley King-Andrews White Wine Chenin Blanc/Vermentino/Trousseau Gris/Green Hungarian (47 cases, $26), 2014 Kirschenmann Ramato Pinot Gris (52 cases, $30), 2014 Dragone Ramato Pinot Gris (177 cases, $30), 2014 The Kerrigans Carignan (261 cases, $28), 2014 Grenache (27 cases, $35)
  • Gemstone Vineyard; 2012 Napa Valley Yountville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (750 cases, $150), 2013 Napa Valley Yountville Estate Chardonnay ($100)
  • Jean Edwards Cellars; 2012 Napa Valley Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Napa Valley Seventy Four-Forty One Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Napa Valley Rutherford G3 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Joseph Phelps Vineyards; 2013 Napa Valley Insignia Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot/Malbec/Merlot/Cabernet Franc ($240)
  • Keplinger Wines; 2013 El Dorado Caldera Caldera/Mourvedre/Grenache/Counoise (175 cases, $70), 2013 Amador Lithic Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah (320 cases, $70), 2013 Fair Play Diamond Bar (80 cases, $70), 2013 Amador Sumo Petite Sirah/Syrah/Viognier (220 cases, $70)
  • Knudsen Vineyards; 2013 Pinot Noir (200 cases, $55)
  • Kutch; 2013 McDougall Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($59), 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($39)
  • Law Estate Wines; 2012 Beyond Category Syrah/Grenache/Cabernet Sauvignon/Mourvedre/Petite Sirah, 2012 Audacious Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon/Grenache, 2012 Sagacious Mourvedre/Syrah/Grenache, 2012 Intrepid Syrah, 2012 Black Label The Nines Grenache (180 cases)
  • Lewis Cellars; 2013 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Hillstone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Merlot, 2014 Napa Chardonnay, 2014 Sonoma Chardonnay, 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1,200 cases, $145)
  • Littorai Wines; 2013 Anderson Valley Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir ($70), 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($52), 2014 Anderson Valley Les Larmes Pinot Noir ($52)
  • Lula Cellars; 2013 Mendocino Ridge Mariah Vineyards Zinfandel ($29)
  • Martin Ray Winery ; 2014 Tower White Viognier/Rousanne/Marsanne/Semillon (44 cases, $22)
  • Martinelli Winery; 2012 Sonoma County Bella Vigna Chardonnay (495 cases), 2012 Sonoma Coast Charles Ranch Chardonnay (192 cases), 2012 Russian River Valley Martinelli Road Chardonnay (258 cases), 2013 Russian River Valley Lolita Ranch Pinot Noir (271 cases), 2013 Russian River Valley Moonshine Ranch Pinot Noir (434 cases), 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (634 cases), 2012 Russian River Valley Lolita Ranch Syrah (124 cases), 2013 Russian River Valley Lolita Ranch Zinfandel (253 cases), 2013 Russian River Valley Vellutini Ranch Zinfandel (343 cases)
  • Medlock Ames; 2012 Kate�s & B�s Cabernet Sauvignon (220 cases, $75)
  • Newton Vineyard; 2013 Unfiltered Chardonnay ($60)
  • Nichelini Winery; 2014 Old Vine Muscadelle
  • Nichols Winery & Cellars; 2000 Nichols Vinas del Sol Vineyard Reserve Merlot (350 cases $48), 2004 Nichols D'Anbino Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (310 cases $52)
  • Penner-Ash Wine Cellars; 2013 Pas de Nom Pinot Noir ($100)
  • Red Car Wine; 2013 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay (280 cases, $62), 2013 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (500 cases, $58), 2013 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (610 cases, $72), 2013 Bohemian Station Vineyard Heaven and Earth Pinot Noir (570 cases, $70), 2012 Estate Vineyard Syrah (400 cases, $55)
  • Rideau Vineyard; 2013 Central Coast Ch�teau Duplantier Cuv�e Red Wine ($49)
  • ROAR Wines; 2013 Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir ($65), 2013 Rosella�s Vineyard Pinot Noir ($58), 2013 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir ($52), 2013 Rosella�s Vineyard Chardonnay ($45)
  • Robert Foley Vineyards; 2013 Charbono, 2013 Griffin Merlot/Petite Sirah/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Petit Verdot, 2013 Kelly's Cuvee Syrah, 2012 Claret Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot, 2012 Merlot, 2012 Pinot Noir
  • Robert Karl Cellars; 2011 Gunselman Bench Cabernet Sauvignon (75 cases, $35), 2011 Phinny Cabernet Sauvignon (50 cases, $35)
  • Rochioli Vineyards & Winery ; 2013 Sweetwater Pinot Noir ($74), 2013 Little Hill Pinot Noir ($74), 2013 River Block Pinot Noir ($84), 2013 Three Corner Pinot Noir ($84), 2013 West Block Pinot Noir ($108)
  • Rosehall Run; 2012 The Swinger Syrah ($39)
  • Saunter Wines; 2013 Napa Valley Swagger Cabernet Sauvignon (200 cases, $55)
  • Saxum; 2013 James Berry Vineyard Red Wine (1,400 cases, $98), 2013 Paderewski Vineyard Red Wine (600 cases, $98), 2013 Terry Hoage Vineyard Red Wine (300 cases, $98)
  • Seven Stones Winery; 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Shane Wine Cellars; 2013 Russian River Valley Charm Pinot Noir, 2013 Santa Lucia Highlands Villain Syrah.
  • Silver Oak Cellars; 2011 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($70)
  • Small Vines Wines; 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2013 MK Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2013 Russian River Valley Baranoff Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • Sojourn Cellars; 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (500 cases, $42), 2013 Russian River Valley Wohler Vineyard Pinot Noir (525 cases, $48), 2013 Sonoma Coast Silver Eagle Vineyard Pinot Noir (325 cases, $59), 2013 Sonoma Coast Ridgetop Vineyard Pinot Noir (425 cases. $59), 2013 Sonoma Coast Campbell Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir (300 cases, $59), 2013 Sonoma Coast Durell Vineyard Chardonnay (325 cases, $48), 2013 Sonoma Coast Campbell Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay (175 cases, $45), 2012 Napa Valley Proprietary Cuv�e Cabernet Sauvignon (150 cases, $125), 2012 Napa Valley Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon (300 cases, $69)
  • Talley Vineyards; 2013 Mano Tinta Sauvignon Blanc
  • Trujillo Wines; 2014 White Wine Cuv�e Sauvignon Blanc/Gew�rztraminer (85 cases, $22.50), 2014 Ros� Syrah/Rhone Varietals/Gew�rztraminer (80 cases, $22.50)
  • Tudor Wines; 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands Nacina Riesling
  • Turtle Rock; 2013 Westberg Chardonnay ($32), 2013 Paso Robles Westberg Zinfandel ($34), 2012 Willow's Cuvee Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah ($46), 2013 Willow's Cuvee, 2013 Maturin
  • VIADER Vineyards & Winery; 2012 Proprietary Red Blend, 2012 V Petit Verdot Blend
  • Winter's Hill Vineyard; 2014 Pearly Everlasting Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc ($25)
  • Wonderment Wines; 2014 Napa Valley Carneros Hyde Vineyard Semillon (57 cases, $35)
  • Woodhouse Wine Estates; 2012 Kennedy Shah Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($52), 2012 Kennedy Shah Reserve Cabernet Franc ($45)

September 2015 Wine Releases

  • Alpha Omega Winery; 2013 Napa Valley Chardonnay
  • Anomaly Vineyards; 2012 Napa Valley Designation Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Apsara Cellars; 2013 Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Amoenus Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bacigalupi Vineyards; 2013 Fondare, 2013 Zinfandel, 2013 Petite Sirah
  • Baer Winery; 2012 Columbia Valley Ursa Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec (1,219 cases, $39)
  • Blue Hall Vineyard; 2011 Napa Valley Howell Mountain Camiana Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Boeschen Vineyards; 2012 Carrera Estate Blend ($85)
  • Brown Estate Vineyards; 2013 Napa Valley Chiles Valley Estate Grown Zinfandel, 2013 Westside Zinfandel, 2013 Mickey's Zinfandel, 2013 Rosemary's Zinfandel
  • Capture; 2014 Tradition Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Les Pionniers Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Alliance Red Wine
  • Cavus Vineyards; 2012 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Charles Smith Wines; 2012 Wahluke Slope Stoneridge Vineyard Royal City Syrah ($100)
  • Diamond Creek Vineyards; 2013 Napa Valley Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Napa Valley Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Napa Valley Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Dunstan; 2013 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay
  • Foretell; 2012 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Gallica; 2013 Soberanes Vineyard Syrah, 2013 Shake Ridge Ranch Grenache Blend
  • Gamba Vineyards and Winery; 2013 Gamba Family Ranches Zinfandel
  • GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery ; 2012 Squire's Toast Estate Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon (300 cases, $46), 2012 Estate Syrah, (300 cases, $46), 2013 Estate Syrah Port (250 cases, $34), 2014 Parmelee-Hill Hog Wilde Chardonnay (300 cases, $36)
  • Hafner Vineyard; 2013 Alexander Valley Chardonnay
  • Hartwell Estate Vineyards; 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Heibel Ranch Vineyards; 2012 Napa Valley GBH Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Hunnicutt; 2013 3-Barrel Select Chardonnay, 2013 Luvisi Vineyard Zinfandel, 2013 Napa Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 9-3-5 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • J.K Carriere; 2013 Willamette Valley Vespidae Pinot Noir (1,200 cases, $42), 2013 Willamette Valley Lucidite' Chardonnay (250 cases, $32)
  • K Vintners; 2012 Walla Walla Valley Charlie Grenache/Syrah/Cinsault/Picpoul ($50), 2012 Walla Walla Valley Adolf Klein Vineyard Syrah ($70)
  • Kinkead Ridge Vineyard and Winery; 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Cabernet Franc, 2013 Petit Verdot
  • Lagier Meredith Vineyard; 2013 Mondeuse, 2013 Malbec, 2013 Syrah
  • Lail Vineyards; 2012 Howell Mountain Mole Hill Cabernet Sauvignon ($300)
  • Levensohn Vineyards; 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (46 cases, $125)
  • Lewis Cellars; 2012 Cuvee L
  • Lucia Vineyards & Winery; 2013 Susan's Hill Syrah
  • Meander Cellars; 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Nemerever Vineyards; 2011 Napa Valley Oakville Block 3 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Napa Valley Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Nichols Winery & Cellars; 2000 Nichols Cienega Valley Vineyard Cabernet Franc (270 cases $48), 1999 Soleil and Terroir Reserve Vinas del Sol Merlot (320 cases $48), 1999 Soleil and Terroir Reserve Vinas del Sol Cabernet Sauvignon ( 300 cases $52)
  • Oak Cliff Cellars; 2014 Napa Valley Hayne Vineyard Pinot Noir (170 cases, $48)
  • Pedras (formerly Ristow Estate Vineyards); 2012 Napa Valley Ristow Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (100 cases)
  • Phifer Pavitt; 2012 Date Night Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pisoni Vineyards and Winery; 2013 Estate Pinot Noir
  • Robert Biale Vineyards; 2013 Aldo's Vineyard Zinfandel, 2013 Monte Rosso Zinfandel, 2013 Royal Punishers Petite Sirah
  • Rocca Family Vineyards; 2012 Napa Valley Vespera Proprietary Red Blend
  • Saxon Brown Wines; 2012 Sangiacomo Green Acres Chardonnay (197 cases, $48), 2012 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay (223 cases, $58), 2012 Durell Vineayard Chardonnay (105 cases, $58), 2012 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir (99 cases, $48), 2012 Glass House Pinot Noir (327 cases, $48), 2012 Sangiacomo Robert's Road Pinot Noir (157 cases, $48)
  • Shafer Vineyards; 2013 Merlot, 2012 Relentless Syrah, 2011 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Snowden Vineyards; 2013 Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (675 cases, $80), 2013 The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (1,575 cases, $50), 2013 Lost Vineyard Merlot (267 cases, $40), 2013 Davis Vineyard Levi Philander Petit Verdot (25 cases, $50), 2014 Sunninghill Sauvignon Blanc (188 cases, $30)
  • T-Vine Cellars; 2012 Frediani Vineyard Zinfandel
  • Three Sticks Winery; 2013 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay, 2013 Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2013 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
  • Torrin; 2012 Paso Robles Akasha Syrah, 2012 Paso Robles Tsundere Red Blend, 2012 Paso Robles James Berry Vineyard Syrah/Grenache
  • Tudor Wines; 2013 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
  • Young Inglewood; 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon's Winery Newsletters and Mailing Lists Sign Up Page: Click here.

The following 82 winery information pages have been updated since July 15, 2015:

Wine Quote of the Month: "It can be as sleek as a mink or as big as Babe the Blue Ox. Start with this: If Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc had a baby, it would be Gruner Veltliner. Terry Theise, Wine Importer

Till next month.

Neil Monnens

Special thanks to the following sponsors of 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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