The Grape Tray

October 17th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 91
LANSON Brut Champagne Black Label NV

This creamy Champagne is bright and citrusy, offering an expressive and well-meshed mix of ripe blackberry, pastry dough and pickled ginger flavors. Racy finish. Disgorged October 2016. Drink now through 2021. 7,000 cases imported. –AN $45 Our Price $39.99

Wine Advocate 94
2013 Bootleg • Proprietary Red

The 2013 Proprietary Red from Bootleg is a major sleeper of not only the vintage, but in its entire concept. There are just over 8,000 cases of this wine, which has been culled from KJ vineyards on Atlas Peak, Oakville, Mt. Veeder, Rutherford and Spring Mountain. The wine is a blend of 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petite Sirah, 21% Zinfandel, 12% Merlot, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot. That's like throwing in the entire kitchen sink, but the result is a stunningly delicious, complex, big-time, sexy style of wine with a deep, opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of blackberries and blueberries, with some lavender Provençal herbs, licorice and a touch of espresso. The wine has a fabulous texture, a plush, full-bodied mouthfeel, and beautiful purity and depth. It's something that could only be made in California, given the blend, but it is off-the-charts in terms of its hedonistic appeal. At the same time, it is complex enough to satisfy the intellectual senses as well. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. A big-time winner. $39 Our Price $31.99 (Back in stock 10/18/17)

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93+ pts
Walter Hansel Winery 2014 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce Russian River Valley, Sonoma

The 2014 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is one of the most open wines in this range. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon lift from the glass as this aromatic Pinot opens up in the glass. This site is heavy in clay and the berries are small, but those qualities aren't especially evident today. It will be interesting to see if the wine fills out over the next year. The 2014 went through multiple stages of expression in just the time I was able to follow it. Although not fully formed just yet, the Alyce has considerable potential. $42 (Arrives 10/20/17)

John Gilman, View from The Cellar 93 Points
2012 Stony Hill Chardonnay

The 2012 vintage of Stony Hill Chardonnay is a beautiful young wine, but this is still defined by its impeccable structure and will need time in the cellar to really start to stir and deliver on its marvelous promise. The youthful bouquet offers up a very pure and still quite tight blend of apple, a touch of beeswax, chalky soil tones, fruit blossoms, a touch of fresh almond and a very, very faint touch of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is crisp, fresh and rock solid at the core, with its full-bodied format delivering outstanding focus and grip, zesty acids and laser-like precision on the very long and very primary finish. All Stony Hill Chardonnays need extended cellaring to really blossom, but the 2012 looks likely to be a real long distance runner in the context of great recent vintages here! 2022-2065. $48 (Arrives 10/18/17)

Wine Advocate 91-92
2015 Paul Hobbs Russian River Chardonnay

The 2015 Chardonnay explodes on the nose and palate with sheer power, delivering full-throttle tropical fruit and allspice flavors with a touch of buttered toast. The full-bodied palate has a lovely savory edge that offsets the fruit beautifully, with just enough freshness and a very long finish. $55 Our Price $48.99 (Arrives 10/18/17)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 pts
Paul Hobbs 2014 Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is terrific. Bright, nuanced and savory, the straight Russian River Pinot has all the attributes of this strong vintage. Sweet floral notes round out a Pinot that is understated and silky. This is a rare appellation-level Pinot that could use another few years in bottle to fully flesh out. $63 Our Price $53.99 (Back in stock 10/18/17)

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay North Slope

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 (Arrives 10/20/17)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94
Walter Hansel Winery 2014 Pinot Noir Russian River Cahill Lane

The 2014 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane Vineyard is deep, pliant and explosive. The 2014 is defined by its striking aromatics, lovely inner perfume and sheer concentration. Violets, lavender, mint, spice and plum meld into the juicy, inviting finish. Today, the 2014 Cahill Lane is dazzling. It's a simple as that. $39 (Arrives 10/20/17)

2015 Kesner Rockbreak Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: There’s always a compelling juxtaposition in this wine, between its depth and the liveliness of the natural acids. With the 2015 that inherent tension is at the forefront. Tones of lightly grilled Meyer lemons, green orchard fruit flesh, fresh crème and struck flint. A luxurious mouthfeel that at very first blush belies the verve of the natural acids. Then they take over and thread through the finish, which lasts, and lasts. Intriguing. Fulfilling. Complete. Native fermentation in barrel, natural acids, all used Francois Frères cooperage. Sur lie 16 months. $60 (Arrives 10/18/17)

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

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 (Our last case arrives 10/18/17)

Wine Advocate 94-96
2015 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate

The 2015 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate is a little shy at this youthful stage, offering pretty peach blossom and jasmine notes over a core of ripe apricots and spiced apples, plus a waft of brioche. Full-bodied with a great backbone of freshness cutting through the concentrated stone fruit and mineral flavors, it finishes with great persistence. $95 Our Price $80.99 (Arrives 10/18/17)

Wine Advocate 97
2005 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes

The 2005 Rieussec is a blend of 90% Semillon, 8% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Muscadelle picked between 23 September and 27 October. It has a fabulous bouquet that is mineral-rich and tensile. The palate repeats its performance from last year: focused, tense, laden with botrytis-rich fruit with a crystalline and sorbet-fresh finish that seals the deal. One of the best releases from the estate in recent years. Tasted April 2016. Market $54-$171. Our Price $64.65 (Arrives 10/19/17)

Back to Our Blog