The Grape Tray

October 31st 2017 Newsletter

2015 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our Riva Ranch Single Vineyard Chardonnay is a beautifully rich, yet balanced California-style Chardonnay that represents what the Arroyo Seco appellation has to offer. In addition to classic Chardonnay flavors of apple and pear, Arroyo Seco fruit consistently provides aromas and flavors of tropical and stone fruits. 90% barrel fermented, this is a distinctly robust and full-bodied Chardonnay perfectly balanced with ample acidity and ripe fruit character. $22 Our Price $12.95

Wine Spectator 90
SEGHESIO Zinfandel Sonoma County Sonoma 2015

This is loaded with zesty blackberry and raspberry fruit, offering a vibrant structure and appealing accents of toasted sage, white pepper and licorice. Drink now through 2027. 102,000 cases made. –TF. $26 Our Price $19.99 (Back in stock 11/1/17) Grape Tray Insider Price TBD

2013 The Paring Red

Winemaker Notes: A dark and brooding cabernet sauvignon-based beauty. Gobs of smoky black fruit. Dusty and herbal notes emerge with air. With more time in the glass, attractive notes of baking spice arise. Remarkably powerful fruit on the attack followed closely by massive structure. Ample fine-grained tannins that completely coat the palate with a gentle hold. The next day this wine becomes luxurious and hints at the epic future ahead. An enormous, yet ultimately refined wine for the classic California cabernet lover, the tannin fanatic, the steak aficionado and the patient cellar tender. $25

2015 Lewis Napa Merlot

Winemaker Notes: In his '56 hit recording of "Blueberry Hill," Fats Domino could have been singing about our 2014 Merlot - a dream girl of perfumey fruits and cedary-oak spices. Fleshy, polished and ripe with plenty of youthful drive the wine is beautifully balanced, finishing with long, supple legs. 175 cases produced. $80 Our Price $71.99

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 $11.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 90
STÉPHANE AVIRON Morgon Côte du Py Vieilles Vignes 2014

Floral and peach aromas line the ripe strawberry and cherry flavors in this concentrated, harmonious red. Backed by plenty of spice and juicy acidity, this eases into a lingering, spice- and mineral-infused finish. Drink now through 2018. 250 cases imported. –GS $24 Our Price $19.45

Wine Spectator 90
PALI WINE CO. Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Riviera 2015

Juicy and generous, featuring a rich, smooth core of plum and raspberry flavors, highlighted by zesty floral scents that accentuate the aroma and fruitiness. Agreeably supple, with easygoing tannins. Drink now through 2022. 3,200 cases made.—J.L. $22 Our Price $17.99

2014 Hayfork Lewelling Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Made from grapes grown on our family ranch in St. Helena, the 2014 Hayfork Lewelling Ranch Cabernet is proving itself with layers of tannin, notes of licorice, dark plum and spice. It is 96% Cabernet, 4% Petit Verdot, and 100% Lewelling Ranch. $75

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

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93
2013 Keenan Napa Cabernet

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep and powerful from the get go, with beams of supporting tannin and acidity that give the wine its sense of proportion. There is plenty of nuance in the dark fruit, along with terrific aromatic complexity, but today the tannins are imposing, to say the least. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2013 for at least a few years, but even that may not be enough. This is another terrific example of the vintage. $56 Our Price $47.99

2015 Carlisle Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Dark to very dark ruby-garnet. Much deeper in color than many other Zinfandels in this vintage. An intense nose of blood orange, raspberry (zinberry!), and licorice allsorts. Very expressive and very striking. Totally seamless and polished on the palate with flavors of orange rind and red berry fruit. This is an incredibly nuanced and texturally alluring Zinfandel that is more expressive and approachable than the 2014 rendition. $47 (Arrives 11/1/17)

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)

Wine Spectator 90-93
SAINTAYME St.-Emilion 2015

Delivers a blast of dark plum, fig and boysenberry fruit pushed from behind by ganache and licorice notes, with a long finish. Not shy in style, but integrated and caressing in feel. –JM $24 Our Price $19.95

Wine Advocate 93+
2014 Forman Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The softer, more sexy and up-front style of the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon makes it already drinking and appealing. Deep ruby/purple, with notes of black and red currants, cedar, licorice and forest, the wine has terrific fruit, medium to full body, ripe, well-integrated tannins and adequate acidity. Drink it over the next 15 or so years. $120 Our Price $109.99 Limited


Winemaker Notes: Powerful opulence. The 2014 GB Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon opens with layered aromatics of overripe cassis, blackberries and plum. Shades of tarragon, sage and fragrant Californian chaparral follow closely. The entry is, as expected, rich and lush with a balanced mid-palate rife with juicy stone fruit, black cherries and traces of graphite, clove and licorice. The soft, refined tannins bring the experience to a slow, elegant close—flavors persisting at length. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 5% Petit Sirah. Production: 299 cases. $225 Limited

Back to Our Blog