The Grape Tray

June 20th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Advocate 91
2013 Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

Another outstanding wine is the 2013 Protagonist (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) which spent 18 months in 50% new puncheons. It has a full-bodied, fresh, yet beautifully textured style to go with classic Cabernet notes of cassis, graphite, tobacco leaf and a kiss of bouquet garni. Like most of 2013s from Bookwalter, it’s relatively forward and charming, yet I suspect it will still evolve gracefully for at least a decade. Note, this cuvee comes from vines planted in 1987 and 1988. $60 Online Price $48.99. Grape Tray Insider Price $24.99 (Great Value!)

Wine Enthusiast 93
2014 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

This is a gorgeously light coastal offering, a subdued expression of the variety that unravels its layers slowly and methodically. Red cherry, lavender and blueberry are revealed on the palate as perfumed shocks of rose and salty air permeate the nose. Vibrantly crisp, it has a slight grip to the velvety texture. $50 Liquidation Price $32.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Advocate 95
2014 Paul Lato Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard

Eclipsing the seriously good 2013, the 2014 Pinot Noir The Contender Drum Canyon Vineyard comes from Swan and Calera clones and spent 15 months in 75% new French oak. More structured and tannic (Paul says it's the Gevrey of the lineup), with a darker edge to its black raspberry, blackberry, underbrush, red plum and spice aromas and flavors, this beauty hits the palate with a big mouth full of fruit, a layered textured and a great finish. Give it a year or two and enjoy through 2026. $75

Wine Spectator 92

This dense red delivers a mouthful of flavor, with rich notes of plum pudding, baking spices, coffee and toasty vanilla. The full, plush texture is supported by well-integrated tannins and just enough acidity to stay fresh. A modern style. Drink now through 2022. –TM $25 Our Price $21.95

Wine Spectator 93
REINHOLD HAART Riesling Spätlese Mosel Goldtröpfchen 2015

A juicy style, with intense apricot, white currant and crunchy apple flavors, supported by supple acidity. Offers a complex mix of spice and fruit tart notes midpalate. The finish lingers with honeyed accents. Drink now through 2032. 350 cases made. –KM $45 Our Price $39.99

Wine Spectator 90
PALI WINE CO. Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Riviera 2015

Juicy and generous, featuring a rich, smooth core of plum and raspberry flavors, highlighted by zesty floral scents that accentuate the aroma and fruitiness. Agreeably supple, with easygoing tannins. Drink now through 2022. 3,200 cases made.—J.L. $22 Our Price $18.59 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 91
2014 C. von Nell-Breuning Kaseler Dominikanerberg Kabinett Riesling (Mosel)

Breathtaking lime acidity pierces through this ebulliently fruity kabinett. The palate is a crush of sweet, fresh yellow peach and apricot flavors, lined by a steely edge of minerality. It's fleeting and frail in mouthfeel yet packs a firm punch through a lingering finish. Drink now through 2020 to enjoy its youthful vitality. $17 Our Price $13.99

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir Estate

The 2014 Pinot Noir Estate is another realistically priced wine from Stephen Hansel and is a super value with its sweet cherry and raspberry fruit, allspice, subtle background oak and a medium to full body. It is a beautiful wine made mostly from Rochioli cuttings and a small amount of the Joseph Swan clone. Like most of these Pinot Noirs, it sees about 60% new French oak and the rest used barrels. All of these Pinot Noirs are bottled unfined and unfiltered just like the Chardonnays. $35

California Wine Advisors 95 Points
Altamura Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2013

This is a one-of-a-kind Sauv Blanc that possesses tremendous depth and complexity. Crafted in a full-throttle, bold style, it offers plenty of lychee, quince paste, golden apple, and vanilla bean. Already cellared at the winery for several years, this is a prime-time experience. Truly a stunning experience to savor over the next 2-3 years. $48

Wine Advocate 94
2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Merlot

The 2014 Merlot is a blend of 94.5% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec. It has a dense purple color, although not as saturated as the 2015 or 2013, with a beautiful fruited nose of blackberry, plum, chocolate, mocha and espresso. The aromatics are killer and then the wine hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied lushness and an expression that says, "Kiss me!" This is a delicious, front-end loaded, full-bodied Merlot to drink over the next 15 or so years. $85 Our Price $76.99

Wine Spectator 94
DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD Châteauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard 2014

A fleshy and layered red, with gorgeous spice cake, melted licorice, singed alder and warm espresso notes leading the way for a core of steeped blueberry, raspberry and plum fruit. Everything pulls together, with velvet-coated grip extending the finish. Best from 2019 through 2029. 500 cases made. –JM $78 Our Price $60.99

2014 Hindsight Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: 2014 was the third outstanding vintage in a row in Napa Valley. Cool foggy mornings, warm afternoons , and crisp cold evenings resulted in an outstanding vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This lush, full-bodied wine that shows black cherry and currant flavors and aromas with hints of vanilla, oak, coffee and cocoa. Aged in new and neutral French oak, the luscious dark fruit flavors combine with elegant structured tannins to create a wine with great weight, mid-palate, and a long, lingering finish. While ready to drink now, the 2014 Hindsight Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will age gracefully for 5 to 8 years. $40 Our Price $25.69 (Arrives 6/21/17)

2015 Rombauer Zinfandel, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: Our classic California Zinfandel is dark purple-ruby, with a bright crimson hue. On the nose, concentrated aromas of blackberry and raspberry meld with clove and spice. Lush flavors of blackberry, cherry, licorice and vanilla flood the palate, followed by touches of pepper in the background. Plush and round tannins and great length make for a fresh and enticing finish. Our Price $14.49/375ml (Back in stock 6/21/17)

Wine Advocate 94
2013 Marciano Estate Proprietary Red Blend Massiglia

Another cuvée they make that is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon is the 2013 Proprietary Red Blend Massiglia, which is a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. This is a gorgeous wine, with notes of crushed rock, white flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur as well as touches of forest floor and underbrush. It is deep, full-bodied, layered and ideal for drinking over the next 20 years. $125

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 pts
2012 Morlet Family Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier emerges from a site in Knights Valley, an area Luc Morlet knows well from his time at Peter Michael. Graphite, smoke, game, licorice, black cherry and plum - all signatures of this fabled sector of Sonoma County - come through loud and clear. Beams of supporting tannin and acidity give the wine its structural backbone. Powerful and searing in the glass, the 2012 is going to need a few years to come into its own. Dollops of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot round out the blend. $185

Wine Spectator 97
CASTELLO DEI RAMPOLLA Toscana d'Alceo 2012

A focused, balanced style, evoking pure cherry, raspberry, mineral and floral aromas and flavors, this is elegant and fluid yet dense and well structured, ending with lively acidity and dusty tannins. The finish goes on and on. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2025. 1,833 cases made. –BS $242 Our Price $189.99 (Arrives 6/21/17) Limited

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