The Grape Tray

August 1st 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92
Andrew Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Stone Cairn 2013

Supple, generous and expressive, with blueberry, currant, black tea and spice flavors that come together against nubby tannins as the finish extends impressively. Best from 2018 through 2023.-H.S 585 cases made. $40 Liquidation Price $27.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

2016 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, 3 Liter

Winemaker Notes: Enticing aromas of vanilla, melon and mango are layered with apricot, creme brulee, butter and a slight minerality. Those scents are echoed as flavors on the creamy, rich palate, along with peach, pie crust and baking spices. The long, smooth finish is marked by mouthwatering acidity. $165/3L. Our Price $TBD/3L (Arrives 8/2/17)

Antonio Galloni Vinous 91 pts
Bedrock Wine Co. 2015 Syrah North Coast

Inky blue and purplish fruit, bacon fat, licorice, smoke, exotic spice and black pepper are some of the many notes that run through the 2015 Syrah North Coast. A huge, richly textured wine, the 2015 North Coast Syrah offers unreal quality for the money. The 50% whole clusters are pretty much buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. $28

Wine Enthusiast 92
2015 Tenshen Red

A project by Joey Tensley and Alex Guarachi, this is a whopper of a wine for the price tag. Black cherry, oregano, eucalyptus and dried sage show on the nose. The palate packs a mix of herbal seasonings, including anise and spearmint, alongside black cherry and baked blueberry fruit. $25 Our Price $19.69 (Arrives this afternoon)

2015 Lloyd Carneros Chardonnay

Picked at the peak of ripeness, this Chardonnay is then barrel fermented and left on the lees until we get ready to bottle. Flavors of tropical fruits, pear and apple are supported by rich notes of vanillin, leading into a powerful and succulent finish. Vineyard sources: Sangiacomo and Truchard. $40 Our Price $33.99

Wine Spectator 90
HAHN Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands SLH 2015

A graceful style that's medium-weight, with spicy, floral flavors of wilted rose and raspberry. Well-focused and persistent, maintaining its graceful balance and ending clean, with fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2022. 15,941 cases made.—JL. $30 Liquidation Price $16.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

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)

2014 Annabella Carneros Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2014 Annabella Carneros Pinot Noir shimmers a bright ruby color in the glass, with youthful purple undertones. Fragrant from the minute you pop the cork, the evocative nose is layered with flavors of golden raspberry and nectarine, orange peel, rose petal, and a slight forest-floor earthiness that makes this wine characteristically Carneros. The mouth is dense and supple, with smooth, creamy tannins that give the wine a deliciously delicate weight. Flavors of clove and vanilla resonate in the mouth, and the lengthy finish is reminiscent of richly roasted coffee. $18 Our Price $14.99

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

2016 Teres Mediteranee Rosé

Winemaker Notes: Settled in the heart of Frejus, Provence, Les Teres' beautiful vineyards are surrounded by forest and protected from the northern winds by the red rock mountains of Esterel. The estate has a few hectares of noble varietals planted on red sandstone and volcanic rock that is representative of the archetypal terroir of Frejus. At only 15 km from the sea, the vineyards benefit from the cool air that flows in from the Mediterranean. Brilliant rosé. Pale pink hues, lovely colour. On the nose, we can find small red fruit notes. On the palate the wine is light and elegant. Crispy rosé! Enjoy as Apéritif, salads, grilled meat and cuisine using flavoured herbs. Grenache 30%, Cinsault 60 and Tibourenc 10%. $15 Our Price $12.99 (Back in stock!)

James Suckling 96 Points
Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Howell Mountain Savory Estate 2014

Aromas of seaweed, oyster shell and iodine with subtle currants. Full to medium body and firm and chewy tannins, yet this remains reserved and polished. Shows wonderful complexity and length. Don't miss it. From only 1.3 acres. Try in 2020. $128

Wine Spectator 95
PAHLMEYER Napa Valley 2014

A remarkable effort, engagingly rich and concentrated, with a deep, firm mix of licorice-shaded blackberry, currant, graphite, dried herb and cedary oak notes. The flavors hold and gain, leading to a persistent finish that keeps echoing the core elements. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. 5,000 cases made. $175 Our Price $159.99 (If you have purchased previous vintages of this wine from The Grape Tray, you will receive a $15/bottle instant rebate)

Wine Advocate 97
2013 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve

One of the great efforts of recent years, and not surprisingly so, is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, a blend of 81% from Howell Mountain, 11% from St. Helena and the rest Calistoga and Mount Veeder. It is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aged 20 months in 84% new French oak. At 15.2% natural alcohol, this is a big boy, but also classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with crème de cassis, graphite, licorice, and a touch of spicy oak. Winemaker Laurie Hook, who has since departed as winemaker, really hit a home run with this beauty. The wine could benefit from 7-10 years cellaring and probably last 30 to 40. When all is said and done, this is an instant classic, the wine full-bodied with oodles of crème de cassis, pen ink, graphite and baking spices. It is multi-dimensional, layered, and one of the all-time great Beringer Private Reserves – and there have been many. $165 Our Price $139.95

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