July 25th 2017 Newsletter

James Suckling 93 Points
2015 Ritual 15 Chardonnay

A bright and stoney chardonnay with clarity and beauty. Full body, bright and tangy acidity with lime and green pineapple character. Vertical tension to this. Long and flavorful finish. Drink now. Screw cap. $20 Our Price $11.99

Wine Advocate 92
2015 Domaine de la Mordoree Tavel la Dame Rousse

Flat out gorgeous, with layers of framboise, Bing cherry, strawberries and flowers, the 2015 Tavel la Dame Rousse is medium-bodied, silky and elegant on the palate, with both textural richness and freshness. Drink this beauty, with a meal, over the coming year or two. $30 Our Price $23.95

2015 Kali Hart Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A pure fruit expression of our vineyard, Talbott Chardonnay, Kali Hart is lush and lively. Minimal winemaker influence allows Kali Hart Chardonnay to showcases the strength of Talbott’s estate vineyards. The rich, inviting nose shows bright tropical notes that continue on the palate, where refreshing flavors of pineapple and honeydew are complimented by refreshing acidity. A generous mid-palate leads to a long citrus and tropical fruit finish with hints of French oak and minerality. Kali Hart Chardonnay is named after Robb Talbott’s youngest daughter. $20 Our Price $14.99

2012 Windracer Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Beautiful aromas of clove, dark chocolate, blackberry, and rose petals demonstrate the unique, bold personality of the Russian River Valley. On the palate, distinct flavors of dark plum, espresso bean, and black licorice lead to a broad, balanced wine withfood-friendly acidity. The Russian River's warm, sunny days and cool foggy nights are optimal for Pinot Noir – the wines have great texture and weight without being overdone or losing their natural acidity. The classic deep, rich, dark aromas and flavors the Russian River is known for, shine through this wine. $57 Liquidation Price $26.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 91
ST.-COSME Côtes du Rhône White 2015

Juicy, with good weight to the core of heather, peach, nectarine and tangerine notes, laced with piecrust and almond details. Stays fresh and racy through the finish, revealing a buried quinine accent. Drink now. 2,500 cases made. –JM $22 Our Price $18.99

2014 Neyers Conn Valley Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon, made from the grapes grown on our property, is wonderfully aromatic, combining as it does a touch of cassis with hints of blackberry and crushed violets. There's a strong mineral component, and we can detect an element of pencil lead and cedar. Although it's rich, there is an endearing softness to it; its flavors are more lush than lean. It finishes with a reminder that this is serious Cabernet Sauvignon. $60 Our Price $48.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93
DOMAINE DU PÉGAÜ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2014

A gutsy style, with a frame of brick dust around a core of steeped cherry, plum and blackberry fruit. The back end pulls in dried sage, savory and tobacco notes. The finish lingers over a singed chestnut hint. Rock-solid and unabashedly old-school. Best from 2020 through 2030. 5,800 cases made. –JM $75 Our Price $48.95

Wine Spectator 93
QUINTA DO CRASTO Douro Superior 2013

Very plush, with concentrated dark plum, Asian spice and dark currant flavors that are creamy and rich-tasting. Medium-grained tannins on the long finish are filled with dark chocolate and black licorice notes. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2020. 15,000 cases made. –KM $30 Our Price $23.99

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Descendientes de José Palacios Pétalos del Bierzo 2014

Pétalos del Bierzo was already up for tasting as they sell the wine quite quickly even if the volumes are not small, but the wine had only been in bottle for one week and it might have been a little closed, especially when compared with the aromatic 2013. However, the aromas, if subtle, are phenomenal, very complete and balanced, with an extra degree of complexity when compared with the 2013. The harvest was a little healthier without being easy (or dry). There is great volume in the palate, fleshy, juicy and rich without being heavy, medium-bodied, somehow similar to the 2012 even if it still needs to develop further complexity. There's always a subdued minerality, a texture and mouthfeel difficult to find in wines of this price level. This is approachable now, but it will be better in one year and should develop nicely in bottle. There are some 380,000 bottles of this wine, as they are limited by the space they have in the current winery. They will be able to grow when the new one is ready. $21 Our Price $19.29


Wine Advocate 94
2013 Bootleg • Proprietary Red

The 2013 Proprietary Red from Bootleg is a major sleeper of not only the vintage, but in its entire concept. There are just over 8,000 cases of this wine, which has been culled from KJ vineyards on Atlas Peak, Oakville, Mt. Veeder, Rutherford and Spring Mountain. The wine is a blend of 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petite Sirah, 21% Zinfandel, 12% Merlot, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. That's like throwing in the entire kitchen sink, but the result is a stunningly delicious, complex, big-time, sexy style of wine with a deep, opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of blackberries and blueberries, with some lavender Provençal herbs, licorice and a touch of espresso. The wine has a fabulous texture, a plush, full-bodied mouthfeel, and beautiful purity and depth. It's something that could only be made in California, given the blend, but it is off-the-charts in terms of its hedonistic appeal. At the same time, it is complex enough to satisfy the intellectual senses as well. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. A big-time winner. $39 Our Price $31.99 (Back in stock)

2015 PONT NEUF “La Vouge” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard, French clones 115

Winemaker Notes: Our first tasting after bottling shows immense potential for our 2015 Pont Neuf “La Vouge” Pinot Noir. The best wines of Burgundy’s Cotes de Nuits immediately come to mind. Aromas of sweet earth and red fruits, leather, Hen of the Woods mushrooms with bits of soil, truffles, and Cep (Porcini) mushrooms bring to mind a forager’s basket. Leafy forest floor, aromatic spices, leather and fresh cut wood are well integrated and are appetizing accents. The fruit flavors of “La Vouge” also come from a walk in the woods; small, wild red berries, currants, wild cherries, and Damson plums with their soft, sweet flesh yet perfectly balanced acidity. This wine needs time to breathe so we decanted it 45 minutes to 1 hour for it to begin to open fully. $55 (Arrives 7/26/17)

Wine Spectator 92
LEWIS Alec's Blend Napa Valley 2014

Rich, focused and powerfully structured, with black cherry and mocha aromas complementing layered flavors of dark plum, mineral and licorice that linger toward firm tannins. Hands off for now. Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2019 through 2026. 1,200 cases made. –TF $62 Our Price $55.99 (Arrives 7/26/17)


Wine Spectator 97
CROFT Vintage Port 2011,
Top 100: 2013, Rank: 13

Effusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish. Best from 2020 through 2045. 5,000 cases made. –KM $93 Our Price $63.99

Wine Spectator 95
BEAUX FRÈRES Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge

The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2015 Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich and expressive blueberry and cherry flavors. Drink now through 2025.—T.F $95 Our Price $84.99 (Back in stock)


Wine Advocate 100
2012 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder is as compelling a Cabernet Sauvignon as one could ever hope to taste. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a high-elevation site boasts an inky/purple color, and smells of ink, blueberry liqueur, blackberries, black raspberries, mulberries, licorice, charcoal and camphor. With magnificent fruit richness, a layered, full-bodied mouthfeel, and incredible length, this seamlessly constructed 2012 should provide immense pleasure for 25+ years. Kudos to winemaker Chris Carpenter as he is clearly at the top of his game. Market $295-$683 (3 bottles available at $340/bottle. Please email stan@grapetray.com)


Back to Our Blog