The Grape Tray

September 8th 2017 Newsletter

2015 Columbia Crest Grand Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 

Winemaker Notes: This bold style Cabernet Sauvignon displays great complexity and structure. There are aromas of dark berry fruits and plum on the nose with chocolate and vanilla on the palate. Blended with over 75% Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. $12 Our Price $6.25

Wine Spectator 93
2015 Bedrock CA Old Vine Zinfandel

Rich and supple, this is an explosion of pure, decadent fruit. Floral huckleberry and Chinese five-spice powder aromas open to layered blackberry, dark chocolate and licorice flavors that linger. Drink now through 2026. $25

Vinous 93+ pts
Mount Eden 2014 Estate Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast

The 2014 Pinot Noir is a pliant, deep and expressive wine. Sweet red cherry, rose petal, mint and wild flowers gradually reveal themselves, but the wine needs a few years in bottle to shed some of its baby fat and for the tannins to soften. In this vintage, Mount Eden's Pinot Noir is a wine of real gravitas and power, with perhaps a bit less of the immediate charm other recent vintages have shown. $65

Last CALL! One Case in stock
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

Wine Spectator 96
ALTESINO Brunello di Montalcino Our 40th Harvest 2012

Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. 10,000 cases made. –BS $65 Our Price $45.95 (Back in stock this afternoon)

James Suckling 93 Points
Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Oakville 2013

Subtle and complex with mint, black currant and licorice aromas. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a fresh finish. Clean and refined. A delicious cabernet to drink now or later. Yes. $53 Our Price $43.25

Wine Enthusiast 93
2014 Sinor-La Vallee Syrah- SLO County

This feral and gamy wine shows roast lamb, rosemary, dried fennel, rose petal and forest floor aromas on its dynamic nose. The palate leads with explosive acidity, before waves of Concord grape and blackberry flavor take hold. It's light on its feet but has some textural firmness, finishing on rosemary, lavender and game notes. $28 Our Price $23.99

Antonio Galloni Vinous 94+
2015 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel

The 2015 Lytton Springs is very, very closed. Readers should not think about opening a bottle anytime soon. Intensely aromatic, but also tightly wound, the 2015 only hints at its true potential. Deceptively medium in body, the 2015 packs a real punch. 74% Zinfandel,16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataro $40 Our Price $35.99 (Arrives this afternoon)


Wine Advocate 91-93
2015 Domaine de Bila Haut • Haut Cotes de Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut

The jaw-dropper in the lineup was the quality of the 2015 Haut Cotes de Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut. While the entry level wine from this estate, the quality here is incredible, especially at the price point. Made from 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignan from a mix of the estate’s terroirs, aged in concrete tanks and stainless steel, it offers a rich, concentrated and serious feel to go with fabulously pure notes of blackberries, black raspberries, crushed rock and melted licorice. Thick, unctuous and luxuriously textured, this will certainly be the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date. $15 Our Price $12.25

Wine Advocate 95
2014 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

The sensational 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain (which is reasonably priced, given how superb it is) is her largest cuvée of just under 3,300 cases. It is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest tiny quantities of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Petit Verdot, and a real head scratcher, St. Macaire. Inky purple to the rim, with notes of white flowers, licorice, forest floor and graphite, this wine exhibits classic mulberry, blackberry and blackcurrant fruit notes, some background, vague oak, a full-bodied, beautifully proportioned mouthfeel, and a layered finish. Like most 2014s, it can be drunk now, but it has at least two decades of cellaring potential. $105 (Delicious!)

Wine Advocate 92-94
2015 Scarlett Cabernet Sauvignon McGah Family Vineyard

As for the 2015s, as you might expect from this high-quality vintage in Northern California, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon McGah Family Vineyard is a fruit bomb. Blackcurrants, blackberry, spring flowers and pen ink, in a full-bodied, in-your-face and rather flamboyant, dramatic style, are all part of its appeal and personality. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. $69 (Arrives 9/13/17)

James Suckling 97 Points
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Napa Valley Insignia 2014

The blackberry, dark-chocolate and walnut aromas are persuasive. Full body, a dense and fruity center palate and beautiful depth and intensity. The tannin texture is exceptional. Great wine. Drink in 2020 and onwards. $260 Our Price $199.95

98 Points - Owen Bargreen, International Wine Report
2014 Kathryn Hall Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet has amazing balance on the mid-palate, alongside lovely weight. While this is obviously a heavy Cabernet, the elegance here is amazing. Mocha, tar, cigar box, creme de cassis and Turkish coffee flavors persist alongside some moderate tannins. There is a seamless quality to this wine that is hard to describe. $185

93-96 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate 

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall has an opaque purple color, beautiful licorice, chocolate and espresso notes intermixed with creme de cassis and blackberry. This is a beauty, with full-bodied power, stunning purity and a long finish. It should turn out to be sensational. $185 Grape Tray Insider Price $148.75 (Arrives 9/12/17)

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

Wine Advocate 94+
2014 Arkenstone Proprietary Red Obsidian Estate

The 2014 Proprietary Red Obsidian Estate is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 3% Malbec from their estate vineyards. It is aged 22 months in 90% new French oak and is one of their larger cuvées of 720 cases. This is also an impressive, but backward wine with a dense purple color, loads of crushed rock in the nose of blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with white flowers, licorice and forest floor. It is multidimensional, full-bodied, pure, dense and will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, while keeping for 20-25. $175 Limited (Arrives 9/27/17) Please email stan@grapetray.com

 


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