The Grape Tray

February 20th, 2018 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 Liquidation Price $11.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Clos des Papes Le Petit Vin d'Avril Rouge

Winemaker Notes: This wine shows a deep, rich purple robe in the glass with distinct aromas of wild berries, herbs and spices, bitter almond, cloves and star anise. Smooth on the palate and of fine structure. Bewitching to the finish. $25 Our Price $19.95 (Clos des Papes blends several vintages to create this delicious Rhone) Back in stock 2/21/18

Wine Advocate 90
2015 Sarah's Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir

Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Estate Pinot Noir gives up notes of violets and black raspberries with hints of smoky bacon, garrigue and forest floor. Medium-bodied, softly spoken and fresh in the mouth, it has a lovely sating texture and great mineral nuances on the finish. $22 Our Price $18.29 (Arrives 2/21/18)

Wine Spectator 95
SAN FILIPPO Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucére 2012

A dense, backward red, with plenty of cherry, plum, spice and eucalyptus flavors. A broad swath of tannins and juicy acidity carry the long finish, but patience is required for all the facets to emerge. Shows excellent potential. Best from 2021 through 2035. 700 cases made. –BS $80 Our Price $72.95 (Arrives 2/21/18)

PinotFile 97 Points
2015 Three Sticks Gap’s Crown Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The vineyard is located on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain in the recently approved Petaluma Gap AVA. The area enjoys the cooling effects of both wind and fog plus a sweeping western exposure. Swan, “828,”, 115 and Rochioli selection of Pommard. 20% whole cluster. Open-top fermentation, aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 55% new. Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely mix of aromas including boysenberry jam, underbrush, tobacco and biscuit. Delicious mix of purple and black fruits in a middleweight style that offers exquisite balance. The sexy, satiny texture makes the eyes light up as does the extremely long finish that never seems to quit. An extraordinary wine. $70 Our Price $59.99

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2014 McPrice Myer Beautiful Earth

Always one of my favorite wines from this estate, the 2014 Beautiful Earth doesn’t disappoint and is a beauty. Blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks and peppery herbs all give way to a ripe, rounded, mouth filling Syrah that has terrific polish and elegance. Drink it anytime over the coming 7-8 years. The 2014 is 78% Syrah, 15% Grenache and the balance Mourvèdre, fermented with 40% whole clusters and aged 20 months in 20% new French oak. $42

Wine Advocate 90
2015 Morgan Chardonnay Highland

The 2015 Chardonnay Highland has an alluring nose of honeyed peaches, lightly buttered toast, spiced apples and ginger with a touch of chopped almonds. Medium-bodied with a toasty/savory palate, it gives a great core of stone fruit and spicy flavors, finishing long and refreshing. $27 Our Price $22.99

2015 Far Niente Estate Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2015 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon has deep concentrated aromas of chocolate-covered cherries alongside bright floral notes. The entry of this wine is juicy with a silky-smooth texture that builds through the mid-palate. Mouthwatering dark cherry flavors are supported with well-integrated oak. This wine is an excellent balance of lush, mouth-filling tannins and bright, fresh acidity on the finish. $170 Our Price $146.99

Vinous 94 points
Patricia Green Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Vineyard Wadensvil Block Ribbon Ridge

(no stems and 7% new oak) Deep red. A heady, exotically perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red and dark berries, potpourri and Asian spices, along with suggestions of cola and smoky minerals. At once concentrated and lithe, showing superb energy and clarity to the juicy raspberry, cherry cola and spicecake flavors. A floral quality emerges with air and carries through the very long, gently tannic finish, which leaves sweet red berry and spicecake notes behind. I guessed that there was a good amount of whole clusters in play here, given the wine's spiciness, but I was wrong. $50 Limited (Arrives 2/22/18)

2016 Linne Calodo Sticks and Stones

Winemaker Notes: A decadent Grenache forward blend that screams “Drink Me!”. Rich, Ripe and fragrantly hypnotic, the wine lures you into a trance as you discover that aha moment. Black Cherries, ripe raspberries, cinnamon and cocoa fill the olfactory senses as the wine slowly and seductively wraps around your tongue. It’s not a dream! This wine is that Good! Sticks and Stones represents the best Grenache that we farm here at Linne Calodo. A quest to let our Willow Creek District fruit express it’s true colors. Drink now through 2027, but I suggest drinking it sooner than later when it is this good. MT. 74% Grenache, 19% Mourvedre, 17% Syrah. $93 Limited

2016 Linne Calodo Problem Child

Winemaker Notes: Know One, Have One, or are One. An opulent Zinfandel blend from the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles. We take dry farmed, head trained Zinfandel, manicure the vines and clusters for perfection and pick when the time is just right. Blended with a modest amount of Syrah to widen the palate, the wine moves up the sophistication ladder but crescendo comes from the splash of Mourvedre which rounds out the edges. The Problem Child in all honesty is inappropriately named and should be call The Gifted Child. Drink now though 2025 MT. 77% Zinfandel, 17% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre. $76 Limited

Wine Advocate 96
2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary

They appear to be immune to some of winedom’s less than intelligent trends and fads that we see from time to time, and the result is a spectacular 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary offering. Its dense purple/black color is followed by copious quantities of crème de cassis and blackberry fruit, silky tannins, a voluptuous texture and stunning purity as well as length. This full-bodied effort is a fabulous example of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a tribute to this amazing family. It is so good now, why wait? However, I’m sure that like most vintages of Caymus, it will last for 20-25 years. Amazing! Market Price $199-$300 (3 bottles available at $225/bottle. Please email

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