The Grape Tray

December 1st 2017 Newsletter

75 Wine Company Sum Red 2015

Winemaker Notes: The wine is ruby red in the glass. Aromas of strawberry preserve and black mission fig are complimented by a touch of thyme. Rich flavors of Bing cherry and black raspberry linger in the mouth for a long and luxurious finish. $25 Liquidation Price $16.99 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 90
BUENA VISTA Chardonnay Carneros 2015

An attractive style, reliant on spicy, toasty oak as well as a zesty core of melon, green apple and white peach, maintaining an elegant mouthfeel throughout. Drink now through 2021. 5,698 cases made. –JL $25 Our Price $15.95

2014 Renteria RUSSIAN RIVER 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

2013 Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: Rich, juicy blackberry, blueberry and cassis with dark chocolate and cedar spice notes. The dark fruit and minerality shine and are inherent of Coombsville AVA, where our Faust Estate Vineyard is located. A beautiful entry and mid palate are followed by rich aromas and flavors and a sweet fruit finish. $30. Our Price $25.69/375ml

Wine Advocate 94
2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Chardonnay

The 2014 Chardonnay is light gold-colored with a greenish hue and beautiful, fresh tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, pear, honeysuckle and a touch of citrus. It is not as dense and concentrated as the 2013, but I love its vibrancy and beautiful subtleties and nuances. It is another top-notch effort from Pahlmeyer to drink over the next 7-8 years. $80 Our Price $69.99

Wine Spectator 92
CARLISLE Zinfandel Russian River Valley Carlisle Vineyard 2015

Supple and refined, with floral blueberry, mint and clove aromas and layered black raspberry and savory pepper flavors that take on complexity on the finish. Drink now through 2027.—T.F 788 cases made. $47

Wine Spectator 93
CHURCHILL Late Bottled Port 2011

Alluring, with a singed juniper note out front, followed by broad and fleshy waves of fig, boysenberry, plum and blackberry compote. Lots of licorice root and bittersweet ganache flavors coat the finish, while the fruit keeps pace. A dense, character-filled LBV that shows the quality of this vintage. Best from 2019 through 2025.—J.M 300 cases imported $29 Our Price $23.99

2015 Rombauer Zinfandel, Magnum

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. $74/magnum. Our Price TBD. (Arrives 12/6/17)

Wine Advocate 95
2009 Doisy-Vedrines Barsac

Tasted at the château, the 2009 Château Doisy-Védrines already exudes impressive breeding on the nose with complex, beguiling scents of dried honey, quince, walnut and just a touch of barley sugar. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of viscous, honeyed fruit, superb acidity and wonderful precision on the finish. There is a sense of completeness and harmony to this Doisy-Védrines. The 2009 represents the apogee for the estate and a Barsac destined to generously repay long-term cellaring. $60 Our Price $51.99

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Kenefick Ranch Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvee Estate Napa

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Chris’s Cuvée is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest equal parts Petit Verdot and Merlot. Rich and chocolaty, with plenty of blackberry and cassis fruit, this is pedal-to-the-metal, balls-to-the-walls sort of Cabernet, with no hard edges, velvety tannins, and a remarkable opulence and voluptuous texture. Drink it over the next 10-15 years. $65 (Arrives 12/6/17)

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

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

Wine Spectator 95
PAHLMEYER Napa Valley 2014

A remarkable effort, engagingly rich and concentrated, with a deep, firm mix of licorice-shaded blackberry, currant, graphite, dried herb and cedary oak notes. The flavors hold and gain, leading to a persistent finish that keeps echoing the core elements. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. 5,000 cases made. $175 Our Price $159.99 (Grape Tray email subscribers will receive instant holiday rebate on this wine)

Wine Advocate 95+
2013 Michel Rolland Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Michel Rolland's enormous experience and obvious knowledge of great viticulture and winemaking has turned out a 300-case cuvée (14.7% natural alcohol) of exceptional wine. Notes of graphite, créme de cassis, blackberry, and a touch of coffee and white chocolate are present in this wine, which offers elegance, full body, beautiful purity, and sweet, well-integrated tannins. As the wine sits in the glass, some blueberry liqueur notes also develop. This plush, full-bodied wine should hit its prime in 4-5 years and last for 20 or more. 225 cases produced. Vineyard Sources: To Kalon, Missouri Hopper, Dr. Crane and Stagecoach $150 Our Price $134.99

James Suckling 99 Points
Continuum Napa Valley Sage Mountain Vineyard 2014

Fabulous aromas of blueberries, blackcurrants, sage and mint. Lead pencil and graphite, too. Full body and ultra-fine tannins that are slowly transformed to ripe and beautiful fruit. Super polished and textured. Great finish. Drink in 2022, but it's hard not to drink now. This harkens back to the great Mondavi reserves of the 1970s in texture and construction. $225 (Limited)

Wine Advocate 100
2012 Lokoya Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder is as compelling a Cabernet Sauvignon as one could ever hope to taste. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a high-elevation site boasts an inky/purple color, and smells of ink, blueberry liqueur, blackberries, black raspberries, mulberries, licorice, charcoal and camphor. With magnificent fruit richness, a layered, full-bodied mouthfeel, and incredible length, this seamlessly constructed 2012 should provide immense pleasure for 25+ years. Kudos to winemaker Chris Carpenter as he is clearly at the top of his game. Market $330-$538 (3 bottles available at $340/bottle. Please email

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