Greg Gauthier is an amazing wine maker that you may never have heard of. For over 30 years Greg Gauthier’s passion has been wine making. He’s worked closely with a number of well known wine makers, including Rodney Strong and Ted Seghesio. He’s also worked with Mike Richmond at Acacia vineyards for many years, and Mike helped out on this very personal project.
I had dinner at a steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona this past summer. We spent 3 hours sipping wine, filling our bellies with steak and desserts, and did I mention..wine? We talked a lot about Greg’s history in the wine business, how he worked at Acacia and how he came to work at Bouchaine Vineyards in Carneros. Over the course of the evening I was able to pick up on Greg’s vibe and this is it. He’s a funny guy, though not clownish. He has an understated dead pan sense of humor. He’s a thoughtful and deliberate man, pragmatic and also very aware of detail. These are very useful traits to have in the wine business, if you know anything about all that can go wrong and right during the wine making process. Listed below are the four wines Greg brought to the dinner for me to take home and sample at my own leisure.
G-Squared – Riesling 2012, Santa Lucia Highlands
The grapes for this wine come from the Hillside Vineyard which was originally planted by Robert Mondavi in 1970. The Santa Lucia Highlands are located in the Salinas valley southeast of Monterey Bay. The region achieved A.V.A. status in 1991. Although it is considered a cool region, the area does have a relatively dry climate and offers a long growing season with bud break starting in late February early March and harvest occurring mid September through late October.
This wine is nice and crisp with lots of green apple notes with minerality on the back end. Nice floral aroma. Alcohol is 11% and the retail price is $18. This is a good deal for $18
G Squared 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Yountville Napa Valley
This wine is a great combination of two very different styles. The wine blends the lemon grass style of New Zealand with the ripe smoothness of Napa Valley. Not just a summer sipper, this wine is a bit too refined to merely gulp down in the afternoon. This wine should be treated more like a weekend reward! Retail price is $18, and it is a great value.
G Squared, 2012 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast “Rockin’ H Ranch Vineyards”
Rockin’ H Ranch is a 150 acre ranch located about 8 miles south east of Petaluma. If you don’t know where that is, think of the southern end of Sonoma Valley right near San Pablo Bay. The Rockin’ H Ranch has about 50 acres under vine, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.
This Pinot is a big meaty Pinot with loads of spice and firm tannins. If you like Syrah and Grenache, you’ll probably like this wine. Cranberry, cinnamon and cherry. Retail price $35.
G – Squared 2012 Grenache, Sonoma Coast “Rockin’ H Ranch Vineyard”
I really loved this wine! Again, big and bold, with loads of fruit on the front end. Dark and rich, but with only 13.9% alcohol none of the alcoholic heat that can come from hot climate Grenache.