The Grape Tray

July 18th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92
LEMELSON Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Thea's Selection 2014

Polished, expressive and deftly balanced, this is generous with its baby powder-accented cherry, lingonberry and floral flavors. Remains open and inviting through the long finish. Drink now through 2022. 9,950 cases made. –HS $30 Our Price $25.99 (Back in stock)

Wine Spectator 94
LOUIS CHÈZE St.-Joseph White Ro-Rée 2015

This glistens with creamed pear, yellow apple and white peach flavors, while light honeysuckle and chamomile accents flash through the background. A twinge of mirabelle plum on the finish gives this delightful contrast. A beauty. Drink now through 2025. 2,100 cases made. –JM $29 (Published) Actual Retail $38 Our Price $31.99

2014 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Nestled amongst the coastal redwoods of the majestic Anderson Valley, Goldeneye's estate vineyards yield wines that exude the characteristics of their surroundings. Charming, but with a hint of wildness, plush yet rustic, this captivating Pinot Noir effortlessly balances layers of cherry, ripe cranberry and wild blackberry with notes of leather, earth and spice. Touched with a kiss of the finest French oak, it carries through to a velvety finish that is both long and lush. $56 Our Price $44.99 (Back in stock 7/19/17)

Wine Spectator 92
DRY CREEK Zinfandel Sonoma County Heritage Vines 2015

Zesty and expressive, with jammy black raspberry and licorice aromas and supple, layered blackberry, toasty dill and pepper flavors. Drink now through 2026. 17,500 cases made.-T.F $22 Our Price $16.99

Wine Advocate 91
2013 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Chianti Rufina Riserva Nipozzano

The 2013 Chianti Rufina Riserva Nipozzano is a soft and supple red wine that proudly displays its winemaking pedigree. There are no rough edges here. Instead, this wine offers a seamless link of red cherry, spice and toasted nut aromas. The mouthfeel is on the lean side, but the wine is immediately approachable and easy to pair with any kind of grilled meat dish. $24 Our Price $15.99

Vinous 91
2016 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel Rose

Deep orange-pink. Pungent, expressive aromas of dried red berries, orange pith and succulent herbs; floral and mineral elements emerge as the wine opens up. Concentrated cherry and blood orange flavors show very good clarity and energy thanks to a core of juicy acidity. Lingers with strong tenacity on the sappy finish, which leaves a suave candied lavender note behind. $19 Our Price $14.99 (Back in stock 7/19/17) Great Value!

2013 William Harrison Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This wine’s aroma is heavily cherry oriented with sprinklings of red and black currant, bay leaf and strawberry preserve. Flavors on the palate are of dried cherry, fruit leather, and thistle. The strong structure is very apparent on the front palate and moves to a textured mid and back palate, with a long finish. $40 Our Price $ Delicious!

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Department 66 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66

A blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and a splash of Carignan, the 2014 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66 IGP spent ten months in roughly 30% new barrels. This inky colored, downright sexy 2014 offers terrific notes of blueberries, blackberries, violets and chalky minerality. Big, concentrated and textured, yet still playing in the more elegant style of the 2014 vintage, this beauty will drink well for a decade. $38 (Back in stock 7/19/17)

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 7/19/17)

91 Points~Anthony Dias Blue 2015
Raeburn Russian River Chardonnay

Smooth and lush with vanilla; ripe and long; fresh and balanced with length and style. $20 Our Price $14.49

Wine Enthusiast 94
Oakville East 2009 Oakville Core Stone Red

Very rich and voluptuous, this has ripe blackberry fruit that has a roasted character, as if the berries spent a moment on the grill. It's deep and impressive, showing tiers of complexity, but it's also very tannic, with a dry, astringent kick that makes it seemingly undrinkable now. Made from mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with a drop of Petit Verdot, it's a wine that needs considerable time in the cellar. Hold until after 2018. $125 Our Price $59.99 Limited

Wine Spectator 96
LOUIS CHÈZE Condrieu Pagus Luminis 2015

This has power, with a large core of creamed peach, nectarine and yellow apple fruit. Lengthy, pure and vibrant, with a mineral streak running underneath and chamomile and honeysuckle notes gilding the finish. Dreamy wine. Drink now through 2022. 1,200 cases made. –JM $69 Our Price $44.99

Wine Advocate 94
2014 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Reserve

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Reserve is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. This has a more saturated purple color, a glorious extract and richness, built with a solid inner core of essence that is pure, dark and impressive. Some dusty/loamy undertones are present, but the dark blackberry and cassis fruit dominate this full-bodied beauty. It still has tannins to shed, but this wine should hit its peak in another 5-7 years and last a quarter-century or more. $95 Our Price $84.99 Limited

Antonio Galloni Vinous 97 pts
Krug NV Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition

Krug's NV Grand Cuvée 164 Edition is a total knockout. Based on the 2008 vintage, the 164th Edition shows all the crystalline tension and energy that is such a signature of the year. At times, the 164 reminds me of the 2008 vins clairs I tasted after harvest. The flavors are brisk, delineated and pulsing with energy, while the more oxidative notes that are such a signature of Krug Champagnes are not especially evident. A wine of total pedigree and class, the 164 reminds me of some of the great Grand Cuvées of the 1960s and 1970s I have been lucky to taste over the years. No Champagne lover will want to be without this spectacular, captivating wine. All that said, readers should be patient, as the 164 is painfully young, austere and in need of serious cellaring. $190 Our Price $154.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

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