The Grape Tray

December 12th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 90

TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles 2015

A spunky blend, with personality, offering a lively core of blackberry, licorice and smoky cracked pepper flavors. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. Drink now through 2023. 5,000 cases made. –TF $25 Our Price $19.99

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. Our Price $39.75/375ml

Wine Spectator 90
TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2016

A lovely mix of peach, pear and mango flavors that are succulent and juicy, with details of lemongrass and peach blossom lingering in the background. Finishes with terrific harmony and juicy presence. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Clairette Blanche. Drink now. 3,000 cases made.—M.W. $25 Our Price $19.99

2013 Navone Family Saint Helena Cabernet $75. Featured at The French Laundry Arrives 12/14/17

Wine Spectator 93
CERETTO Barolo 2013

Red Taut and gritty, with austere and dense tannins locking down the cherry, menthol and tobacco flavors. Offers a glimpse of sweet cherry, but only time will yield the hidden facets. Offers a long, licorice-tinged finish. Best from 2023 through 2040.—B.S. 250 cases imported $40 Our Price TBD (Arrives this afternoon)

Vinous 91 Points
2015 Bishop’s Peak Pinot Noir

Bright red. Heady cherry and red berry scents show excellent clarity and pick up hints of smoky minerals, succulent herbs and candied flowers with air. Sappy, incisive black raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors show very good clarity and develop a sweet hint of vanilla on the back half. Powerful yet lithe, showing firm closing bite and lingering rose and allspice qualities. $16 Our Price $13.99 (Back in stock 12/13/17)

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva

Winemaker Notes: A noble and austere sparkling cava. Greenish yellow in colour with golden glints, it's clear and star bright. A persistent, elegant stream of bubbles rise to form a perfect rosary on the surface. Complex aromas of white fruits with hints of wood. Fresh, well-balanced and elegant on the palate with an excellent final sensation. $12 Our Price $6.95

2016 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, 3 Liter

Winemaker Notes: Enticing aromas of vanilla, melon and mango are layered with apricot, creme brulee, butter and a slight minerality. Those scents are echoed as flavors on the creamy, rich palate, along with peach, pie crust and baking spices. The long, smooth finish is marked by mouthwatering acidity. $165/3L. Limited

Wine Advocate 94
2015 Casarena Cabernet Sauvignon Owen's Vineyard

Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen's Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced. $30 Our Price $23.75

Wine Spectator 91-94

Offers showy flavors of boysenberry, raspberry and fig, gaining excellent definition from singed spice, graphite and anise notes that add considerable range. –JM Our Price $42.95 (Delicious!)

Wine Advocate 94+
2014 K Vintners Morrison Lane Syrah

The 2014 Syrah Morrison Lane Vineyard from Walla Walla offers a perfumed bouquet of incense, white pepper, plum and hoisin sauce, as well as full-bodied richness, building tannin and a great finish. It needs short term cellaring to integrate those tannin, but is an impressive Syrah. $45 Our Price $37.95

Wine Advocate 93
2015 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Signature

The deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature delivers mocha, cassis and black soil notes with touches of black cherries, charcoal and fried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with black berry and earthy flavors, textured by chewy tannins and finishing earthy/savory. $65 Our Price $54.95

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 (Back in stock 12/13/17)

Wine Spectator 95
BEAUX FRÈRES Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge, Magnum

The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2015, Magnum Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich, expressive blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by savory spice and espresso details. Builds depth as this dances toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025. 2,700 cases made. –TF $198.99/Magnum

Wine Advocate 95
2015 Martinelli Zinfandel Lolita Ranch

At the higher end of the alcohol spectrum, these Martinelli Zinfandels are powerful wines for sure, but I hasten to add that they are beautifully balanced and in terms of flavor, tannin and complexity, they represent the pinnacles of ripeness in every sense. Medium garnet colored, the 2015 Zinfandel Lolita Ranch sports notes of baked black cherries, dark chocolate, Indian spices and potpourri with savory hints of grilled meat and yeast extract. Big, buxom and gloriously full-bodied (and then some), the tannins are marvelously velvety and the richness is nicely offset by lively acidity, finishing with epic length. $60

2014 Hedges Red Mountain Estate Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Deep purple color, yet not opaque. A sense of finesse in the color which suggests liveliness on the palate. The mouth feel is angular, with grace and precision. The 2014 vintage produced a savory character in the wines, like that of fennel, salt, tar and steel. Highly integrated tannins, dusty in a sense, alongside protective acidity guarding against premature oxidation. This wine, like other Red Mountain AVA wines before, will develop beautifully for up to 25 or more years with proper cellaring. While a fine wine now with food, should develop well for drinking on its own as it slowly evolves. $45 Our Price $38.49

CWA 99 Points
Checkerboard Cabernet Sauvignon “Aurora” Estate Reserve 2013

A truly obsession-inducing new release from Napa’s unanimously acclaimed 2013 vintage. The cashmere-like texture reminds us of some of the best Harlan and Hundred Acre we’ve sampled. Intensely satisfying hints of inky dark fruit (currants, plums, blackberry) combine with tantalizing notes of balsamic, sage, pipe tobacco, and baking spices (cinnamon). The 60 second finish includes statuesque tannins ballanced with luxurious new oak plus baking chocolate guaranteed to dazzle now (decanting recommended) through 2030. $350

Wine Advocate 96+
2014 Spottswoode Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

This first-growth estate in St. Helena has produced a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon that is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. It is certainly one of the wines of the vintage. Gorgeously opaque purple, it offers up notes of spring flowers, blueberries, blackcurrants, some baking spice and graphite. It is full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with layers of fruit. The wine builds and builds on the palate, with a great finish of 45+ seconds. This is a sensational 2014 to drink over the next 20+ years. $400/magnum

Back to Our Blog