The Grape Tray

July 7th 2017 Newsletter

ROAR 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands
Pinot Noir, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: Drawing on aspects of all of our vineyards, our 2015 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir is a wonderful expression of what the region has to offer. Dark fruit, leather, and toasted oak with light overtones of honey evolve into blackberry, cola and cherry, opening to include chocolate shavings and floral accents. A woody, almost evergreen, perfume enriches the lower-tone fruit through a long, dense, meaty finish full of tobacco, leather, cherry and blackberry. $24/375ml

2015 Federalist Lodi Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: The Lodi Zinfandel has aromas of red fruits (plum, cherry) and cinnamon spice, a good density, firm tannin structure, and a long, smooth finish. $19 Liquidation Price $12.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

Tasting Panel 93
Points Terlato Family Vineyards Friuli Pinot Grigio 2015

No doubt this prestigious region in northeast Italy shines when it comes to white wines; an envious position on the world wine stage. This pretty, crisp white certainly shows ripeness in its concentrated notes of pear, peach and grapefruit but its stoney frame is a nod to the iconic mineral rich sloped terraced vineyards responsible for its pizazz and charm. The finish is clean, punctuated with an apricot accent. $22 Liquidation Price $15.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Merlot 2013

Winemaker Notes: The nose opens to a medley of red cherry and raspberry, Satsuma plum and sage, with a hint of cocoa powder in the background. The palate is sleek and savory, framed by vibrant acidity and seamless tannins with notes of black slate and graphite that carry through to a lengthy yet elegant finish. $26 Our Price $20.95

2014 Sinor-LaVallee Syrah Black Label-Bassi Vineyard

Winemaker Notes: Rich, ripe blackberries and plums with a hint of smoke in the nose. The mid has lush ripe black currents and black licorice qualities. For such a ripe wine it still has firm tannins and almost lean finish. A balanced wine at a high level. $52 Our Price $44.99

James Suckling 92 Points
Cecchi Chianti Classico Storia di Famiglia 2014

Very bright and fruity with clean and lively fruit as well as spice. Medium body, silky tannins and a pretty finish. Drink now. $16 Liquidation Price $11.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

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 Advocate 90
J Vineyards and Winery Brut Rose

The N.V. Brut Rosé is 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier. The wine shows a light/pale pinkish color, crisp acids and dry medium-bodied cranberry and strawberry notes with a hint of wild cherry. It is fresh, lively, pure and should drink nicely for 1-2 more years. $40 Our Price $29.95

Wine Spectator 92
MATANZAS CREEK Chardonnay Sonoma County 2015

Creamy vanilla and smoky, oaky flavors shade the mix of pear, fig, apricot and melon notes, making for a complex, layered effort that's deep and persistent. Drink now through 2022. 8,987 cases made.—J.L. $26 Our Price $20.35

2015 Kermit Lynch Cuvee Cotes du Rhone Rouge

Winemaker Notes: This label retains the title of our best value in red. We offer it in the spirit of the great "bistro wines" you would drink by the carafe in Europe with simple yet satisfying food, and be swept away by the joy of it all. Blend: 62% Grenache, 26 % Syrah, 5% Carignan, 4% Cinsault, 3% Mourvèdre. $15 Our Price $11.99 (Back in stock)

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

Wine Advocate 92+
2014 Lucienne Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard

Another terrific wine from this estate is the 2014 Lucienne Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard. Fresh, focused and vibrant, with nicely integrated acidity giving plenty of lift to notes of black cherries, sappy herbs and spring flowers, it has fine grained tannin, excellent concentration and a great finish. It will be better in a year or two (which is a rarity in 2014) and keep through 2024. $50 Our Price $35.99

Back in stock!
Wine Spectator 94
JUSTIN Justification Paso Robles 2014

Smooth-textured, graceful and refined, with a tenderness to the texture and tannins. Features a warm, inviting mix of red and dark berry flavors and subtle shades of licorice, light mocha and savory herbs, revealing floral scents and a long, persistent finish that echoes the core essence. Drink now through 2035.—J.L 11,000 cases made $50 Our Price $38.99

Wine Spectator 95

This cuts a wide swath, with mouthwatering tobacco and warm ganache notes leading the way, followed by a wave of fig, blackberry and black currant preserves. Shows remarkable definition already, even though the structure is strident. Tempting now, but just put this in the back of the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035. 4,083 cases made. –JM $63.95

Wine Advocate 96
2013 Saxum Syrah Broken Stones

Incorporating more Petite Sirah than normal, and the first time there's been less than 50% Syrah, the 2013 Syrah Broken Stones is made from 48% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah, 17% Grenache, 6% Mourvedre the rest Tempranillo and Roussanne. Its deep, inky color is followed by a structured, seriously mineral-laced and full-bodied red that offers lots of fruit (cassis, black cherries and raspberries), smoked earth and chocolate aromas and flavors. The tannin is front and center, yet they're beautifully ripe and polished. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy through 2028. Market $118-$195 (2 bottles available at $125/bottle. Please email

Wine Advocate 97
2014 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine

The 2014s, where the production of Napanook was only 2,200 cases and Dominus slightly more than the 2015 at 4,000 cases, was another early harvest, although somewhat later than 2015. The 2014 Dominus, which is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot really struts its stuff. Moueix’s belief in dry farming seems to be paying off with stronger and stronger vintages, each successive year, and the 2014 is a sexy, opulent, layered, multidimensional wine with notes of red and blackcurrant, cedar wood, tobacco leaf , spice box and licorice. The color is a dense plum/ruby/purple, much like the Napanook. This is a beauty that is already drinking gorgeously – as most 2014s are – and will continue to evolve for 25 or so years. $195-$325 (3 bottles available at $230/bottle. Please email

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