The Grape Tray

October 6th 2017 Newsletter

James Suckling 90 Points
CUNE Rioja Crianza 2014

A fresh and easy Rioja that shows plum and cherry character. Hints of cream. Mushroom, too. Medium body, low tannins and a crisp finish. Delicious now. $14 Our Price $9.75

2015 Rombauer Zinfandel, Half Bottles

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. Our Price $14.49/375ml

Wine Spectator 92
ERNIE ELS Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch 2015

Fleshy and inviting, showing layers of cassis, raspberry and blackberry paste inlaid with anise, singed apple wood and mint notes. Nice charcoal frame on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2023. 500 cases imported.—J.M. $24 Our Price $18.95 (Limited)

2014 Renteria RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This 2014 Pinot Noir is a beautiful wine that captures the terroir of the Russian River Valley. Generous notes of red cherry and fresh wild strawberry sail over a hint of baking spices, dusty earth and sweet tannin. The mouthfeel is rich, round and juicy, the bright acidity carrying the nuanced flavors through an echoing finish. $48 (Delicious)

In Stock! 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 $49.95

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. $44 Our Price $46.99 (Back in stock)

Back by popular demand! Troublemaker Red

Winemaker Notes: Inspired by varieties that flourish in Paso Robles and California's Central Coast, Troublemaker is a truly distinct Paso blend consisting of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Syrah and Zinfandel. By using a multi-vintage approach, winemaker Austin Hope allows the wine to show uncanny complexity in its youth, yet rich and fruit-forward characteristics that make it ready upon release. With rich aromatics that display hints of smoke and violets, bright fruit on the palate and a long finish, Troublemaker shows amazing depth and structure. $20 Liquidation Price $11.99 (Limited to 5 cases in stock) Great Value!

Wine Advocate 87
2015 Bodegas Ateca Honoro Vera Garnacha

The 2015 Honoro Vera Garnacha is the entry-level red produced with the local grape variety from vines surrounding the village of Ateca which names the project. It fermented in open-top stainless-steel vats with neutral yeasts and matured in oak barrels for a couple of months. Garnacha can achieve high alcohol, and in a vintage like 2015 it's easy to see 15% on the labels, as is the case here. It has a very ripe nose with hints of raisins, notes of candied berries and a spicy touch. It has a juicy palate with very ripe fruit notes and some fine-grained tannins. I'd like it a little less ripe. Better with food. 600,000 bottles produced. $9 Our Price $7.99

2015 Hess Collection Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The Su’skol Vineyard Chardonnay is carefully farmed with multiple clones to emphasize fruit with wonderful acidity and balance. Crisp and clean, our low oak Chardonnay showcases an aromatic musqué, resulting in aromas and flavors of apple, white pear and a slight touch of tropical fruits, accented by aromas of honeysuckle. $22 Liquidation Price $15.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

2016 Hess Select Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: California’s North Coast unique growing region offers a relatively mild Mediterranean climate allowing our new world Sauvignon Blanc to offer a nod to New Zealand with grassy aromas with plenty of citrus and tropical fruit flavors alongside a crisp, bright freshness and a full, rich mouth-feel. $11 Liquidation Price $5.99 (4 bottles in stock)

2016 Twenty Rows Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Sourcing fruit from diverse vineyards, we create complex aromas and rich structure for our North Coast Cabernet. The mountain fruit provides smooth, velvety tannins with aromas and flavors of black cherries and blackberries, while the valley floor fruit provides notes of dusty cocoa, currants and brown sugar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah. $24 Our Price $18.99

J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Brut

Winemaker Notes: This J non-vintage Brut gracefully opens up with crisp lemon peel, honeysuckle and delicate yeast aromas. Upon entry, these notes follow through to a mix of Fuji apple and grapefruit interlaced with toast, caramel and almond flavors on the mid-palate. The acidity adds just enough liveliness and the citrus zest leads to a lingering, warm pear and lush finish. Demonstrating an illustrious combination of yesterday and today, its fresh exuberance showcases layers of depth and complexity. $35 Our Price $28.99

2014 Lewis Cuvee L Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: Our 2014 Cuvee L carries a cargo of fruit more laden than a Spanish galleon. Awash with crushed berries, clove and black truffle the wine superbly melds redolent ripe fruit with sweet oak spices. Broad and round on entry, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon swells at mid-palate and packs a plush yet potent finish like a chocolate-coated cannonball. 100 cases produced. $250 (Arrives 10/20/17) 94 Points and Wine of the Day
2013 Dos Lagos Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak, Napa Valley

Tom and Marcie Dinkel’s Dos Lagos Vineyards high on Atlas Peak is a tiny estate vineyard, farmed by famed vineyard manager Hector Lopez (ex-Caymus, Switchback Ridge and Padis) and handcrafted wines made by ex-Pride man Robert Foley, is always a pleasure to taste, and this 2013 is a huge and opulent Cabernet that perfectly translates vintage and place, this is pure mountain Napa in the glass with textural richness and incredibly deep and dark flavors. Grown on volcanic tuff, compressed ancient ash, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is filled with dense fruit, especially blackberry, plum, cherry and sweet currant in the form of creme de cassis as well as sweet scents of acacia, vanilla and toasty barrel, mocha and cola bean as well as ripe gripping tannin, spicy cigar wrapper, flinty mineral. A light dusting of coco, liquid violets, cedar and sage adds to the hedonism found in this massive wine, this full bodied effort is loaded and should give years of pleasure filled drinking, maybe decades. $125

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