The Grape Tray

September 29th 2017 Newsletter

We will be closed on Monday, 10/2/17

Wine Spectator 90
MER SOLEIL Chardonnay Monterey County Silver Unoaked 2014

A seductive style that captures effusively ripe peach and nectarine flavors. Features a juicy texture that's broad and layered. Despite using no oak, this leaves the impression of spicy, jazzy wood on the lingering finish. Drink now. 41,095 cases made. –JL $24 Liquidation Price $15.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Advocate 90

The real emphasis at MacPhail from owner and winemaker James MacPhail are their Pinot Noirs. The outstanding 2013 Pinot Noir Mardikian Estate Vineyard is dark ruby/purple, shows forest floor, black cherry and blackcurrant notes, spice, medium to full body, excellent purity and richness. It’s an impressive wine - 100% from the Sonoma Coast. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. $85 Our Price $60.95

2015 Rombauer Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Our classic California Zinfandel is dark purple-ruby, with a bright crimson hue. On the nose, concentrated aromas of blackberry and raspberry meld with clove and spice. Lush flavors of blackberry, cherry, licorice and vanilla flood the palate, followed by touches of pepper in the background. Plush and round tannins and great length make for a fresh and enticing finish. $32 Our Price $27.39

2015 La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Floral, lemon, green apple, subtle oak and spice aromas. Lemon drop, white stone fruit, yellow plum and honeydew melon flavors. Richly textured and concentrated, with balanced acidity that drives a lingering finish. $23 In-Store Price $12.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

2014 Davis Estates Hungry Blonde Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our Hungry Blonde Chardonnay is the perfect expression of cool-climate Napa Valley Chardonnay from the Carneros region. Balanced acidity and hints of lemon zest, graham cracker, fresh felt and forest floor marry with French oak notes that swirl out of e very elegant glass. $30 Our Price $25.99

Wine Spectator 92
HAHN Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands SLH 2014, Magnum

The texture is plush, with lots of complex flavors, ranging from plum to anise to dusty, cedary oak. Satisfying from start to finish, ending with nutmeg-scented tannins. Drink now. 26,500 cases made. –JL $60/magnum. (2 mags available at $49.99/magnum)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 96 pts
Haut-Bailly 2014 Haut-Bailly Pessac Léognan Cru Classé De Graves, Bordeaux, Half Bottles

The 2014 Haut-Bailly has turned out beautifully. Dark, sumptuous and expressive, the 2014 exudes depth and finesse. Ample and resonant on the palate, with striking depth, the 2014 possesses exceptional balance and class. Hints of smoke, tobacco and licorice infuse the deep, creamy finish. Drinking window: 2020 – 2039. Our Price $39.75/375ml

2014 Vice Versa Le Petit Vice Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This wine shows the extraordinary pedigree of its vineyards. Dark red. Pure, refined and enticing aromas of ripe black and blue berries, dark chocolate, bay leaf and spice. The palate is quite impressive with it's concentrated, expansive and mouth-coating texture. Pliant, mineral and pure with sophisticated ripe tannins leading to a long beautiful finish. $75

Wine Enthusiast 93
J. Lohr 2014 Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

This appealing wine is widely available. Blueberry, vanilla cream and gingerbread make for an inviting nose. The palate packs layers of intriguing, ripe and easily lovable flavors: baked strawberries, vanilla ice cream, blueberry sauce and baking spice. $35 Our Price $25.95

2013 Cloak and Dagger CRYPTOLOGY GOLD MEDAL -­ 2016 Craft Competition International Awards

Winemaker Notes: Due to the covert nature of the blend, we can divulge very little about Cryptology. As always, the specific grape types we used are a closely guarded secret. However, we can disclose that the finished wine is both rich and balanced. Bold black fruit and dark chocolate flavors. Aromas of cocoa and cherry. A beguiling mystery in your glass. To unlock Cryptology's secrets, some in-depth investigation will be required on your part. Select an accomplice carefully. Swirl, sniff, sip and savor. We are confident the mission will be very rewarding. Drink now or cellar and let the flavors and aromas develop further for the next 7 to 10 years. $38

Wine Advocate 91
2014 Jeff Cohn Cellars Smoke & Mirrors

One of the larger production releases at just under 1,400 cases, the 2014 Smoke And Mirrors is an eclectic blend of 28% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah, 33% Syrah, 11% Grenache, 6% Mourvedre and 2% Alicante raised in a mix of concrete tanks, foudre and various sized barrels. Reminiscent of classic wine from the Languedoc region of the south of France with its spicy, scrub brush, berry fruits and leathery bouquet, this charming, forward, soft and straight up quaffable red will offer plenty of pleasure over the coming 2-3 years. $25 Our Price $22.95

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 (Back in stock)

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

Vinous 93 pts
ROAR Wines 2014 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

Deep ruby. Sexy dark berry aromas pick up suggestions of Asian spices and smoky minerals as the wine opens up. Pliant, palate-staining blackberry liqueur and floral pastille flavors are given lift and focus by zesty acidity and a suggestion of white pepper. The spice and floral qualities repeat strongly on the impressively tenacious finish, which features smooth tannins and resonating dark berry character. $58 Limited

Wine Advocate 94
2013 Jones Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, which spends 20 months in about 80% new French oak, is a beauty. This wine has broad blackberry and black raspberry flavors, a judicious touch of toasty oak, soil notes and broad, savory, rich, full bodied flavors. This comes from northern Napa Valley from a south-facing hillside overlooked by the esteemed combo of winemaker Thomas Brown and vineyard managed by David Abreu. Drink this over the next 15 or so years. $150

Wine Spectator 96
DOMAINE DE CRISTIA Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance 2015

This has an intense core of crushed plum, raspberry and boysenberry fruit flavors, draped with melted licorice notes and backed by a wave of warm fruitcake. Hedonistic for sure, but accents of anise, violet and singed apple wood dart around, adding extra facets of intrigue to hold your attention. Grenache and Mourvèdre. Best from 2020 through 2040. From France.—J.M 150 cases imported. $75 Our Price $64.99

2015 Realm The Bard

Winery Notes: "This blessed plot, this earth, this realm..." Immortal lines from William Shakespeare’s King Richard II, the source of Realm’s – and this wine’s – name. We’ve made this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend since 2003, our tribute to the great wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. We consider The Bard to be the quintessential wine of Realm: a dense, weighty and concentrated wine that year in and year out showcases the very best Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley. Beckstoffer To Kalon and Dr. Crane, Blair Vineyard, Weitz Vineyard, Fortuna Vineyard and Beckstoffer Orchard have all found a place in The Bard. While the composition of the wine varies from year to year, Cabernet Sauvignon typically comprises over 70% of the blend, joined by lesser percentages of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and/or Petit Verdot. $142 (Limited)

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