The Grape Tray

September 12th 2017 Newsletter

2014 Pahlmeyer Jayson Red

Winemaker Notes: The intensity of this wine is first revealed by its garnet core, then from concentrated aromas of dark black cherry and coffee, nicely lifted by notes of candied red fruits, sarsaparilla and a hint of leather. Upon entry, the showy, plush Merlot and floral, fleshy Malbec leap forward, followed by more subtle dried grass and teaflavors from the Cabernet Franc, immediately balanced by the grip of savory old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and brooding Petit Verdot. A cooling swath of pebble reaches across the palate, as the fine-grained tannins culminate in a lingering and satisfying finish. This wine is ready to enjoy upon release and can age for up to seven years. $55 Our Price $46.99 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94
DOMAINE ST.-PRÉFERT Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015

Energetic, with a big ball of kirsch wound tightly with licorice, graphite and raspberry coulis notes. Shows lots of bright spice accents through the finish, which is carried by finely beaded acidity. Offers serious latent grip. Best from 2020 through 2035. 2,740 cases made. Published Retail $44. Actual $52 Our Price $46.99

Wine Spectator 93
FERRATON PÈRE & FILS St.-Joseph White La Source 2015

A light honeyed edge adds intrigue to the core of apricot, yellow apple and star fruit flavors, while heather and salted butter notes fill in on the finish. Provides opulence without sacrificing freshness. Drink now through 2019. 800 cases made. –JM $30 Our Price $26.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94
DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2016

Delicious pear, green apple and green melon flavors show both a creamy and a racy feel, while light meringue, acacia and honeysuckle notes fill in through the finish. Thoroughly delicious. Drink now through 2022.—J.M. 200 cases imported. $50 Our Price $40.99

Wine Spectator 95
CHÂTEAU DE ST.-COSME Gigondas 2015

A textbook version of the brawny side of Gigondas, this offers a grippy alder bass line underneath layers of dark currant and fig fruit, while lots of tobacco, rosemary and bay fill in throughout. Muscular and energetic, this is built for the cellar. Best from 2019 through 2030.—J.M $43 Our Price $38.99

In stock!
Wine Advocate 96+
2014 Pont Neuf Chardonnay
Pont Marie

The 2014 Chardonnay Pont Marie opens with beautiful peach blossoms, apricot and crème brulee scents with hints of lemon peel, crushed stones, cedar and acacia honey. Medium to full-bodied with great opulence of spicy fruit and a decadent creaminess to the texture, this Chardonnay delivers impressive layers of flavors, finishing long with honey-nut suggestions. $75

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 pts
Ridge Vineyards 2015 Zinfandel Geyserville 50th

It's hard to believe that Ridge's iconic Zinfandel Geyserville celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2015. Today, the wine is quite deep, powerful and unyielding. Of course, the low yields of the vintage have a lot to do with that. I am not surprised winemaker Eric Baugher decided to give the 2015 a few more months in barrel, as there is a lot of stuffing here. The interplay of fruit, aromatics and acidity is compelling. Red cherry jam, pomegranate, rose petal and woodsmoke infuse the finish. The 2015 is going to need time to be at its best, but it is impressive. $40 Our Price $34.99

2015 Tuck Beckstoffer 75 Wine Company Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: The wine is ruby red in the glass. Aromas of strawberry preserve and black mission fig are complimented by a touch of thyme. Rich flavors of Bing cherry and black raspberry linger in the mouth for a long and luxurious finish. $27 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives 9/13/17)

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. –TF $22 Our Price $16.99

James Suckling 92 Points
2015 Vina Cobos Felino Cabernet Sauvignon

Chocolate and berry aromas with hints of spices and walnuts. Medium to full body. Very fine tannins and a clean and fresh finish. Winemaker Notes: An exquisitely balanced cabernet sauvignon to be highlighted. Its spicy and fruity character outstands. The intense ruby red color anticipates a complex, appealing wine. On the nose, the freshness of the red fruit and the herbal notes like freshly cut grass complements the spicy notes of black pepper, clove, and cinnamon, as well cedar and tobacco. Great freshness on the palate, good acidity, sweet tannins and great intensity for a very well-integrated wine with a persistent finish. $18 Our Price $14.65 (Back in stock this afternoon)

2015 Rombauer El Dorado Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: This wine is ruby red with a bright hue, and aromas of red berries and mountain berries mixed with brown sugar, tobacco and a hint of violet. On the palate, it’s expansive and dense with flavors of plums, raspberry, blackberry jam, vanilla and dried florals. The finish builds and lingers on and on. $38

Wine Spectator 95
DOMAINE DE LA SOLITUDE Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2016

This is dreamy, with creamed melon, pear and green fig flavors gliding along, framed by light brioche and meringue flavors. The long finish just lets the fruit hang beautifully. Offers refined opulence. Drink now through 2022. 800 cases made. –JM $50 Our Price $41.99

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

2016 Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon is a soft, smooth wine with well integrated oak. Flavors of dark fruit, black cherry, clove and cinnamon are met with cola and vanilla toast in the mid-palate. This opulent wine is enhanced with spice, clove and pepper notes from the Petite Sirah. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Sirah. $20 Our Price $14.95

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay North Slope Vineyard

The 2014 Chardonnay The North Slope comes from sandy, rich and fertile Goldridge soils. This wine exhibits plenty of honeyed brioche, with a greenish hue to its light-gold color, followed by notes of buttery hazelnuts, poached pear, pineapple and citrus oil. This is French in style as well, but with an almost lavish richness like a top-flight French Bâtard-Montrachet. It should drink well for 5-6 years. $35

2015 Lewis Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Like an Aston Martin V-12 our 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet is a silky powerhouse of fruit at wide-open-throttle. Black currant, plum and juicy ripe berries rev freely on the palate with seductive oak spice, candle wax and semi-sweet chocolate aromas. Fine-tuned and polished, the wine is deceptively powerful with supple, sweeping tannins. 1,700 cases produced. $100 Our Price $89.99 (Arrives 9/15/17)

Wine Advocate 97

2013 Meteor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Perseid

The opaque blue/purple 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Perseid, from vineyard in the southeast sector of Napa Valley, really is strutting its stuff. It's backward, shows loads of minerality and earth, but the tannic structure is strong, the wine inky purple with plenty of blackberry and cassis. The mouth layers are incredible and the finish just goes on and on. This is a remarkable effort that should age effortlessly for 25-30 years. In fact it probably won't be even hitting its plateau for another 5-6 years. $125 Our Price $110.99 (Back in stock) Limited

Wine Spectator 97
DOMAINE ST.-PRÉFERT Châteauneuf-du-Pape Auguste Favier Réserve 2015

Vibrant and captivating, with exuberant fruitcake, cinnamon and black tea aromas leading the way for a fleshy core of raspberry pâte de fruit, plum sauce and cassis, all allied to a lovely velvety texture. Maintains intensity through the finish, showing a long echo of pastis. Best from 2020 through 2040. 1,300 cases made.—J.M Published Retail $55. Actual Retail $72 (Arrives early November) If interested, please email

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