The Grape Tray

May 26th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 94
LANCASTER Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2014

Big and rich, with firm, structured tannins that are powerful and edgy, framing the core of blackberry, black cherry, plum and espresso flavors. An impressive effort. Best from 2019 through 2029.—J.L $75 Our Price $59.95

Wine Spectator 93
TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2015

This vibrant and mouthwatering white shows green apple, Meyer lemon and dried pineapple favors that are fresh and juicy. Lemon verbena and lime sherbet notes reverberate on the long, detailed finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. Drink now. 2,920 cases made. –MW $25 Our Price $20.99

Wine Advocate 92
2014 Joseph Phelps Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Phelps is now producing three cuvées of Cabernet Sauvignon – their Napa Valley, their flagship proprietary red Bordeaux blend called Insignia (which they debuted in 1974), and their Oakville steep hillside vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon called Backus. The basic Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. It saw 18 months in a combination of both French and American casks. This is their biggest cuvée (27,000 cases) and it is a beauty. The 2014 is supple, with silky tannins, dark plum, blackcurrant and licorice-infused fruit with a touch of spice, a lushness on the attack and mid-palate, and a silky finish. This wine was meant for early drinking, but there is no doubt it has the concentration and overall balance to age nicely for 15-20 years. $75 Our Price $56.95

Memorial Day Holiday
We will be closed on Monday, 5/29/17

2014 Mondavi Maestro Red

Winemaker Notes: Highly inspired by the response to our limited-release 50th Anniversary Maestro, we once again let artistic direction in the vineyard lead us to a unique blend in this second rendition of Maestro, where a crescendo of dark, juicy plum and cassis fruit, violet, cinnamon, and unsweetened cocoa linger on sumptuous sips full of vibrant flavor and plush tannins. Blend: 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. $50 Our Price $38.99

2014 La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris

Winemaker Notes: Bright aromas of lemon zest, complemented by subtle notes of honeysuckle, Asian pear and spice. The balanced, broad palate is layered with flavors of ripe apricot, lemons and cantaloupe, with Monterey's classic mineral undertones of wet riverstone. $20 Liquidation Price $11.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Advocate 93
2013 Puramun Malbec Uco Valley Reserva

If I liked the 2012, I liked the 2013 Malbec Reserva that I tasted a couple of weeks later even better. The profile is similar but it has the extra zip and freshness of the vintage. Nicely crafted and proportioned, it drinks well, but the oak is a little evident and should show better with little more time in bottle. Drink: 2016-2023. $30 Our Price $21.99

Vinous 91 Points: Bright ruby-red. Very ripe, slightly liqueur-like aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and chocolaty oak. Silky, fat and sweet; in a distinctly ripe style, offering terrific breadth to its redcurrant, raspberry and spice flavors. Spreads out to saturate the palate, burying the serious, ripe, glossy tannins under plush red berries and spices. Puramun is the first personal project of José (Pepé) Galante, who directed winemaking for decades at Catena Zapata and currently is winemaker at Bodegas Salentein. Drink: 2016-2020. $30

Vinous 92 pts
Tablas Creek 2015 Grenache Blanc Adelaida District, Paso Robles, Central Coast

Green-hued yellow. Highly perfumed, nervy aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits are complicated by suggestions of white flowers and smoky minerals. Sappy Meyer lemon, pear and melon flavors show a suave floral quality and a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes silky and broad, featuring a resonating floral note and excellent persistence. Drink 2017 - 2022 $30 Our Price $25.69 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 90

A harmonious Champagne, with a vibrant backbone of acidity and a well-knit mix of poached pear, lemon preserves, smoke and toast. Very accessible. Drink now through 2018. 22,000 cases imported. –AN $48 Our Price $34.99

2015 Raeburn Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2015 Raeburn Chardonnay shows an array of complex fruit tones ranging from pear and Gravenstein apple to nectarine. The fruit is beautifully complemented with toasted oak, vanilla and hints of Creme Brulee with a balanced and elegant finish. $18 Our Price $14.49

2013 Hook and Ladder Los Amigos Ranch Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Our single vineyard Cabernet is aged for up to 17 months in a combination of European and American oak. The wine contains a small amount of Merlot, also from our Los Amigos ranch, to enhance the silky texture of this exquisite Cabernet. This dark maroon Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits bright aromas of blackberry, raspberry, cherry and hints of cinnamon spice. The multi-layered flavors of red and black berries, currants, juicy cherry and spices combine well with a long, lingering finish of mixed berry, cherry and light oak. The rich flavor and deep character of this balanced wine displays well-developed tannins which pair well with a multitude of dishes, especially beef, and allow this Cab to be cellared for many years. $29 Our Price $23.99

2015 Pra Otto Soave Classico DOC

Winemaker Notes: The color is light yellow and its aromas are rich in floral qualities (hawthorn and jasmine) and yellow fruit (drupa, peach and apricot). The palate shows a net mineral freshness and a strong flavor. An excellent aperitif wine accompanied by appetizers delicate or sweet raw Parma ham and fresh cheese. Also ideal with pasta dishes, risotto with lake fish, soups and fresh vegetables. $19 Our Price $16.95

Wine Spectator 96
ALTESINO Brunello di Montalcino Our 40th Harvest 2012

Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. 10,000 cases made. –BS $65 Our Price $45.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 94
2015 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Anrecht

Picked in one passage and without any pre-selections at the end of October, the 2015 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Anrecht is super deep, intense and spicy/fresh on the flinty, concentrated nose. Full-bodied, pure and lush, this is a very complex and elegant, highly mineral and salty Riesling. It has good grip and a very long, mineral finish. This is great Riesling that is indicated as Auslese only, because of the sugar weight, but not because of the selective yeasts. $40 Our Price $35.99

Wine Spectator 95
LEWIS Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve 2014

A mix of harmony, finesse, seductive oak and rich fruit adds up to a delightful mouthful of Cabernet, from the initial aromas of creamy, mocha-scented oak to the structured currant, blackberry and licorice flavors. Ends with a return to the oak theme. Drink now through 2030. From California.—J.L 1,400 cases made. $175 Our Price $159.99

Wine Advocate 98+
2013 Aubert • Chardonnay Lauren Estate

The 2013 Chardonnay Lauren Estate is made from 15-year-old vines from the old Wente and Mt. Eden clones of Chardonnay planted in Goldridge soils. This wine offers loads of nectarine, honeysuckle, liquefied rock, quince and white currants. The wine has incredible richness, no real evidence of any of the 100% new oak it is aged in, and a multi-dimensional, long finish. This compelling Chardonnay is still young and capable of lasting 10-15 years. Market $145-$254. (2 bottles available at $170/bottle. Please email

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