The Grape Tray

June 27th 2017 Newsletter

Fourth of July Holiday
We will be closed on Monday, 7/3 and Tuesday 7/4

Custom Wine Cellars
Reed S. Carey Construction 559-285-5927

Vinous 93 pts
Le Salette 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Fumane, Veneto

Very deep ruby. Spiced strawberry, violet and peony aromas are complicated by hints of candied violet and cinnamon. Then juicy, bright and dense with sneaky concentration and density to the very suave red cherry and sweet spice flavors. Finishes very long, and remarkably light and lively on the palate, with wonderful acid-sugar-tannin balance. Marvelous Amarone that is more about grace than power, though it’s certainly no shrinking violet. I love its easy to drink quality. (15% alcohol) $75 Our Price $58.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

2013 Nickel and Nickel Darien Russian River Syrah

Winemaker Notes: Syrah is naturally dark in color, and the 2013 Darien Vineyard Syrah is ink in the glass. This wine opens with wild berries and spice aromas. Juicy plum, boysenberry, leather and anise are rich on the palate, melding with understated meat and char notes. The velvety texture and the balanced acidity support the fruit flavors through the long finish. $60 Our Price $52.99

Wine Spectator 92
LA CREMA Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015

Pure and lively, with flavors of lemon meringue, green apple, honeydew and spice. Though rich and dense, this is also elegant. The vibrancy keeps the flavors dancing. Drink now through 2021. 21,104 cases made. –JL $30 Our Price $24.35

Wine Spectator 91
SAINTAYME St.-Emilion 2014

This sports a slightly exotic core of raspberry and blackberry fruit, backed by a roasted apple wood note and a jolt of licorice on the finish, imparting up-front appeal and a bit of mid-term aging capacity. Drink now through 2024. 2,000 cases made. JM Our Price $18.95

Wine Spectator 90
MOHUA Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015

All the pieces fall into place, with lime, mango and green apple flavors that are bright and juicy, revealing a touch of pineapple on the vivid, bright finish. Drink now. 47,000 cases imported. –MW $14 Our Price $8.49

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 (Back in stock this afternoon)

2014 Picayune Cellars Padock Napa Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: Dark Ruby color, deep layers of black cherries, cassis, blackberries, cocoa, currants and bit of truffle on the nose, the wine is beautiful and seductive. An elegant, round, and rich mid palate with attractive texture and excellent acidity, Padlock, our Bordeaux blend, is sexy but well balanced with good depth and length. Varietal: 73% Merlot - 21% Malbec - 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. $29 Our Price $24.99 (This wine is featured at the French Laundry in Yountville!)

Wine Spectator 92
LUIGI EINAUDI Dogliani 2015

A beam of bracing acidity at the core of this intense, saturated red helps delineate the blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and graphite flavors. Has grip and complexity, just needs a little time. Best from 2018 through 2024. 9,000 cases made.—B.S $16 (Arrives 6/29/17)

Wine Spectator 93
SHAFER Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Red Shoulder Ranch 2015

Rich and spicy, featuring an elegant mix of baked apple, honeydew melon, pear and light minerally notes. Ends full and persistent, with a long, layered aftertaste. Drink now through 2021.—J.L. 6,700 cases $52 Our Price $

Vinous 90 pts
Morgan 2014 G17 Syrah

Inky ruby. Spice-tinged dark berries, licorice and pungent flowers on the nose, joined by a smoky nuance that builds with air. Shows very good energy and focus in the mouth, offering juicy blackberry and olive flavors and a subtle touch of cracked pepper on the back half. Closes sweet and long, displaying sneaky tannins and bright, peppery persistence. I was reminded a lot of a Crozes-Hermitage. Drinking window: 2017 - 2021 $21 Our Price $18.49 Half Bottles $9.99

Wine Advocate 94
2013 Quilceda Creek Palengat Vineyard

More Merlot dominated in 2013 (they plan to move this back to a more Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend in the future), the 2013 Palengat Vineyard is another terrific 2013 that makes the most of vintage. Sexy, voluptuous and rounded, with no hard edges, it gives up classic notes of plums, graphite and licorice in its full-bodied, mouth-filling and impossible to resist style. While I'd happily drink a glass (or three) today, it will drink well for another 10-15 years. $140

Wine Advocate 97
2014 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

The bigger, richer 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petite Sirah aged 16 months in 50% new French and American casks. This is a bigger wine and close to 2% higher in alcohol at 15.5%. There are 11,000 cases of this big, full-bodied, boisterous Cabernet Sauvignon that has a dense ruby/purple color, notes of underbrush, forest floor, tobacco leaf and oodles of blackcurrants and black cherries, with a touch of woodsmoke. The full-bodied wine hits the palate with a cascade of glycerin, fruit and purity. This is a beauty – dense, rich, and structured, but capable of lasting 20 or more years. Market Price $29-60 Our Price $34.95 (Limited) Back in stock 6/28/17

2014 Nickel & Nickel Rock Cairn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

Winemaker Notes: A wine of great distinction and elegance, the 2014 Rock Cairn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon carries concentrated aromas of cherry and geranium. Black cherry and plum mingle with savory notes of dried leaves, green olive and succulent herbs to offer an exotic profile. Velvety and approachable, well-integrated tannins carry these flavors into a gentle, lingering finish. $115 Our Price $94.99

Wine Spectator 95
CAYUSE Syrah Walla Walla Valley Cailloux Vineyard 2014

Impressively well-built and expressive, with evocative raspberry and smoky bacon aromas and sleek, dynamic black cherry, crushed rock and green olive flavors that build momentum toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025. 857 cases made. –TF $132 (Arrives 6/30/17) Limited

Wine Advocate 95
2014 Vice Versa Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a beauty, with an opaque purple color, an exceptional nose of blueberries, blackberries, charcoal and white flowers. The purity comes through big-time, the wine is dense, supple and, like so many 2014s, opulent, plush and endearing. This wine spent 20 months in 100% new French oak and was accessed from four of the best-known Napa vineyards: Las Piedras, Dr. Crane and Moulds Family vineyards and the large Stagecoach Vineyard. Drink it over the next 20+ years. $150 (Arrives 6/30/17)

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