The Grape Tray

September 22nd 2017 Newsletter

2014 Ferrari Carano Merlot

Winemaker Notes: Select lots of grapes are chosen from their vineyards in Sonoma County to create this beautifully-balanced and medium-bodied Merlot. This is a velvety wine with a complex nose of plum, chocolate spice, dark berries, coffee, caramel and cedar. A fleshy mouthfeel is followed by flavors of bright, upfront, red fruit, a structured mid-palate and a firm backbone of ripe tannins. This wine has impressive length and a lasting, elegant finish. $22 Liquidation Price $14.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 88
CUNE Rioja Crianza 2014

This firm red shows black cherry, plum, toast and tar notes, with light but assertive tannins that give way to a fresh and juicy finish. Drink now through 2022. 10,000 cases imported. –TM $13 Our Price $9.75 (Delicious and great with pizza!) Arrives this afternoon

Wine Spectator 93
HENRIOT Brut Rosé Champagne NV

A beautiful range of aromatic spices accents the white raspberry, pastry and pink grapefruit notes in this harmonious rosé . There's tension to the knit of vibrant acidity and chalky texture, driving this to a lasting, minerally finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,000 cases imported. –AN $70 Our Price $58.99

Wine Spectator 90
KAIKEN Malbec Mendoza Ultra Las Rocas 2015

Dense and rich-tasting, with a muscular mix of dark currant and black olive flavors that are supported by firm tannins. Cocoa powder and slate notes fill the finish, along with peppery hints. Drink now through 2022. 8,000 cases imported.—K.M. $20. Our Price $16.95 (Arrives 9/26/17)

Wine Spectator 90
MATUA Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Succulent, fleshy peach and nectarine flavors are accented by Key lime, mango and ruby grapefruit notes. Shows nice intensity on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. 589,000 cases made.—M.W. $12 Our Price $9.75 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94
CHÂTEAU CANON St.-Emilion 2014

A fresh, pure style, with lots of floral and black tea notes out front, followed by a tightly focused beam of red currant, plum and raspberry coulis flavors. The finish sports a mouthwatering chalky spine and lovely perfume that should develop more with time. For fans of minerality. Best from 2022 through 2032. 6,665 cases made. –JM Our Price $74.99

James Suckling 96 Points
2014 Larcis Ducasse St. Emilion 1er Grand Cru Classé

The nose is really glorious with strawberry, wet-earth, blackberry and dark-mushroom character. Full body, a solid core of fruit and beautiful tannins. It’s polished and velvety. Better in 2022 but gorgeous. CA Market Price $49-$63. Our Price $54.95

2015 William Harrison Sangiacomo Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Brilliant gold in color, this wine has expressive aromas of vanilla, all spice and citrus blossom. With an underlining hint of minerality, the clean and pristine palate leads with layers of Meyer lemon, lime rind and baked apple. Hints of white peach, Asian pear and stone fruits underscore the racey acidity. Leaving you with a memorable and crisp finish. $38 Our Price TBD

Wine Advocate 95
2014 Martinelli Zinfandel Lolita Ranch

The 2014 Zinfandels are richer and fuller. The 2014 Zinfandel Lolita Ranch (16.4%) displays fabulous fruit, loads of plum, Asian soy, black cherry, forest floor and smoked barbecued meats. The great fruit, extraordinary ripeness and full-bodied power should translate into at least a decade of drinking pleasure. $60

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

Wine Spectator 92
LEWIS Chardonnay Napa Valley 2015

Builds intensity and nuance from a firm core, with the light spicy oak joining hands with rich fig, melon and peach notes. This is young and unevolved, so short-term cellaring will be a plus. Drink now through 2020. 1,800 cases made. –JL $55 Our Price $49.99

2013 Cherry Pie Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Saturated ruby hue, concentrated black cherry and red fruit aromas introduce a full creamy palate. Layers, upon layers of fresh red fruit, strawberry jam, cocoa and toast. Mouthwatering, ripe red fruit and buttery vanilla linger on the palate. Beautifully textured and ready to enjoy. $52 Our Price $42.65

2013 Stewart Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Complex and age-worthy, the 2013 Stewart Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has ripe aromas of plum, cherry and a hint of white pepper. Flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, and toasty, French oak are exactly what you would anticipate in this classic Napa Valley Cabernet. The wine’s smooth body and structure are evident, with the acidity acting as a building block in unison with the tannins giving a full and bold palate. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. $68 Back in stock

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

James Suckling 97 Points
2014 Opus One Oakville, Napa Valley

Mesmerizing aromas of flowers, bark, currants and blackberries. So perfumed. You just want to smell it. Exquisite tension and finesse with an almost Burgundian texture, yet it’s Napa in its soul with ripe fruit, stones, spices and Chinese tea leaf flavors. Savory and delicious. Drinkable but better in 2020. Available on October 2017. $320 (Arrives 10/3/17) Limited. Please email

Wine Advocate 96-100
2014 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard

The first-growth 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard flirts again with a potential perfect score when it is finally in bottle. Opaque purple in color, with notes of charcoal, graphite, incense, blueberry and blackberry fruit, and a touch of new oak followed by a full-bodied, massively concentrated mouthfeel. This is an amazing wine for a 2014, and the good news is that there are 800 cases of it, compared to only 638 in 2013. It should drink well for 20 or more years. $565 (2 bottles available. Please email

Wine Advocate 94
2014 Donum Pinot Noir Reserve Russian River Valley

Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve Russian River Valley has a youthfully subdued nose of black cherries, redcurrants and garrigue with hints of dried Provence herbs, menthol and potpourri. The full-bodied palate is densely packed with rich red berry and earthy flavors with a firm structure of ripe, fine-grained tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long with an herbal lift. $90 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 93-95
2014 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is earthy and spicy, with notes of chocolate, loamy soil scents and underbrush. It has terrific density, an opaque purple color, and wonderful fruit. It should drink well for 15 or more years. $345 (2 bottles available. Please email

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