The Grape Tray

December 19th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93
THE FOUR GRACES Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2015

Expressive and supple, with a complex core of lively tannins and acidity, plus accents of black cherry, cinnamon and spice that linger toward a minerally finish. Drink now through 2024.—T.F $32 Our Price $20.35

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

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)

2015 McPrice Myers High on The Hog Red

Winemaker Notes: Aromatics-Black tea, mocha, licorice, ripe plums, raspberries On the Palate-Black cherry, white pepper, smoked meat, lush tannins and very soft texture Enjoy with Pulled Pork Bahn Mi. $22 Our Price $17.99

2016 Walt La Brisa Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The WALT "La Brisa" Sonoma County Pinot Noir articulates the signature characters of Sonoma: vibrant and opulent with an underlying brightness and length to the palate. Teeming with ripe red berries and spicy toasted aromas, the wine is lush and persistent on the mid-palate while long-lasting and delicate on the finish. $46 Our Price $37.75

Wine Advocate 93
2013 Hayfork Wine Co Cabernet Sauvignon Llewelling Ranch

The exciting 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the respected Lewelling Ranch in St. Helena is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak, this has a relatively realistic price point for Napa. There are 700 cases of this opaque purple wine, which exhibits classic Pauillac notes of Christmas fruitcake, allspice, cedar wood, black and red currants as well as hints of underbrush and earth. It is medium to full-bodied, deliciously fruity and pure, with light to moderate tannin in the finish. Drink it over the next 15+ years. $75 (Back in stock 12/20/17)

Connoisseurs' Guide 96
Points LAURENT-PERRIER Brut Cuvée Rosé Champagne, Magnum

Elegant and fruity at the same time with a quick invitation from bright, pure cherryish notes and then filled out handsomely by whiffs of chalky soils and well-integrated, rich and uplifting yeast-driven scents, this wine manages to be both vigorous and layered at one and the same time. Its bubbles are insistent, finely carved and add to the early sensations of lightness and energy yet also carry the wine long into a balanced, refined finish. And its latter palate grip is exactly what one should expect from the genre. While service with light foods would be our first choice, this one has the beauty to stand alone. $180/magnum Our Price $152.99/magnum

Wine Advocate 94
2014 Tor Kenward Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Herb Lamb Vineyard comes from the lower hillsides of Howell Mountain. Tor Kenward uses the middle section of this vineyard that was earlier used by Ann Colgin for her Herb Lamb bottlings. This wine has always been noted by its blueberry component, touch of licorice and underbrush. This wine has all of that, medium to full body, beautiful acidity and loads of fruit. It is drinking well now and should continue to do so for 15-20 or more years. $175

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

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Department 66 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66

A blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and a splash of Carignan, the 2014 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66 IGP spent ten months in roughly 30% new barrels. This inky colored, downright sexy 2014 offers terrific notes of blueberries, blackberries, violets and chalky minerality. Big, concentrated and textured, yet still playing in the more elegant style of the 2014 vintage, this beauty will drink well for a decade. $38

2015 Pont Neuf Pont Royal Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This year’s PONT ROYAL chardonnay demonstrates all the classic characteristics of the Zio Tony Vineyard, honeyed, beeswax infused wine with lemon drop and citrus peel. It is accented with toasty brioche and pastry aromas as well as rich custard and passion fruit. The chardonnay has lingering flavors and rich body but is not too heavy on the palate. The fruit keeps moving and evolving in this young wine, holding our interest as it unfolds. 70 cases produced. $55

Wine Spectator 93
BOOKWALTER Conflict Conner-Lee Vineyard Columbia Valley 2014

Sleek and refined, showing floral red currant and orange zest aromas, and deeply layered, plush cherry, mocha and spice notes that sail to a long finish, with polished tannins. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2022. 1,455 cases made. –TF $60 Internet Price $44.99 Grape Tray Insider Price $24.99 (Delicious!) Back in stock this afternoon

Wine Spectator 94
BRICK HOUSE Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge Les Dijonnais 2015

Such a mouthful of lithe, supple fruit, offering delicate yet expressive notes of raspberry, stony mineral and savory spice. Long, lingering finish is framed by refined tannins. 575 cases made. Drink now through 2024.—T.F 2014 $52 Our Price $47.99

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 Advocate 94
2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Merlot

The 2014 Merlot is a blend of 94.5% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec. It has a dense purple color, although not as saturated as the 2015 or 2013, with a beautiful fruited nose of blackberry, plum, chocolate, mocha and espresso. The aromatics are killer and then the wine hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied lushness and an expression that says, "Kiss me!" This is a delicious, front-end loaded, full-bodied Merlot to drink over the next 15 or so years. $85 Our Price $74.99

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