The Grape Tray

September 15th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 91
HAHN Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands SLH 2015

Vibrant and rich-tasting, offering a complex array of fig, quince, pear and ripe citrus flavors. Well-structured, with notes of lemon meringue on the plush, focused finish. Drink now through 2022.—K.M. $20 Our Price $15.39

Wine Advocate 89 – 91
2016 Domaine de Bila Haut Côtes de Roussillon Villages les Vignes de Bila Haut

An inky colored effort, the 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila Haut offers a beautiful freshness and purity as well as fabulous notes of jammy blackberries, violets, pepper and hints of leather. Rich, concentrated and tasting like it costs four times the price, drink it over the coming 4-5 years. $14 Our Price $12.25 (Arrives 9/19/17)

2015 Joullian Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Brilliant, pale green straw-gold color. Perfumy mango, white peach, pineapple and citrus rind aromas jump out of the glass. These same tropical characteristics are reflected in a rich, fruit driven flavor profile that finishes with refreshing acidity and hints of minerality and roasted grain. Cellar thru 2020 at 55° F. $25 Our Price $16.99

2014 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2014 is strikes a beautiful balance between both red and blue fruits, notably Bing cherry and Asian plums. Interwoven with the fruit characteristics is coastal moss, fresh wild mushrooms and spice. The wine has good carry-through from front to finish, with lively acidity to keep it light on its feet. $23 Our Price $21.99

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 Spectator 90

A ripe style, with enticing raspberry and black currant confiture notes studded with singed spice and black tea details. A good tobacco underpinning keeps this honest, though the relatively fleshy edge will give this more immediate appeal. Best from 2018 through 2024. –JM $35 Our Price $24.35

Wine Advocate 92
2014 The Grade Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon the Grade Winfield Vineyard exhibits impressively saturated bluish/purple color, reminiscent of a moonless night. The wine has impressive fruit quality, loads of cassis, blackberries, floral notes and a hint of earthy minerality. The wine, full-bodied and rich, was aged 20 months in French oak prior to bottling. It is a generous wine and wonderfully endowed. This can be drunk now or cellared for up to 10-15 years. $100

Wine Spectator 90
LE P'TIT PAYSAN Rosé Pierre's Pirouette Central Coast 2016

A charmer, with pretty watermelon aromas and lively strawberry and spice accents. Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault. Drink now. 1,050 cases made.—T.F. $19 Our Price $15.39

Wine Spectator 92
CHÂTEAU D’EPIRÉ Savennières Cuvée Spéciale 2014

Has a hint of maturity, with light almond and salted butter notes framing the core of creamed yellow apple, quince and pear flavors. A twinge of mirabelle plum on the finish lends lift and contrast. There’s plenty of life here for more cellaring. Drink now through 2027.—J.M. 383 cases imported $30 Our Price $24.99

2016 Ambrose Rose of Syrah

Winemaker Notes: Crisp, cool, clear... pairs well with an afternoon breeze. Delicate enough for a picnic blanket: charcuterie, soft cheese, & roasted peppers. Complex enough for a table cloth: ginger pork, garlic chicken, & oysters à la mignonette. $20 Our Price $16.99

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

Wine Spectator 92
2015 CARLISLE Petite Sirah Napa Valley Palisades Vineyard

Deeply structured and packing some muscle, but wrapped in a rich and supple texture, offering wild berry, cracked pepper and orange zest flavors. Drink now through 2024.—T.F. 584 cases made. $50

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

2015 One Flock Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: Where its grapes are grown is the ultimate arbiter of a wine’s quality. This rich California Red Wine offers a barrage of intense red fruit with soft and approachable tannins. A flock of California's finest spicy Zinfandel, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and inky Syrah come together to form a premium quality, easy-drinking wine with some complexity that everyone can enjoy. Newly released with a limited production of only 467 cases available, be sure to grab a hold of this quality wine at one great price! $15 Our Price $12.99 (Arrives 9/19/17)

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

Wine Spectator 95
LE VIEUX DONJON Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015

Rich and dark, with delicious, velvety layers of warm fig, black currant and blackberry confiture flecked with hints of ganache, roasted apple wood and tar. The finish has cut to match the heft. A real brick house. Best from 2020 through 2040.—J.M. $65 Our Price $TBD (Arrives first week of October)

Wine Advocate 97
2014 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

The bigger, richer 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petite Sirah aged 16 months in 50% new French and American casks. This is a bigger wine and close to 2% higher in alcohol at 15.5%. There are 11,000 cases of this big, full-bodied, boisterous Cabernet Sauvignon that has a dense ruby/purple color, notes of underbrush, forest floor, tobacco leaf and oodles of blackcurrants and black cherries, with a touch of woodsmoke. The full-bodied wine hits the palate with a cascade of glycerin, fruit and purity. This is a beauty – dense, rich, and structured, but capable of lasting 20 or more years. Market Price $29-60 Our Price $34.95 (Limited)

Wine Advocate 96
2013 Saxum • Syrah Broken Stones

Incorporating more Petite Sirah than normal, and the first time there's been less than 50% Syrah, the 2013 Syrah Broken Stones is made from 48% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah, 17% Grenache, 6% Mourvedre the rest Tempranillo and Roussanne. Its deep, inky color is followed by a structured, seriously mineral-laced and full-bodied red that offers lots of fruit (cassis, black cherries and raspberries), smoked earth and chocolate aromas and flavors. The tannin is front and center, yet they're beautifully ripe and polished. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy through 2028. Market $119-$195 (3 bottles available at $130/bottle. Please email

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