The Grape Tray

April 4th 2018 Newsletter

2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Rose

Winemaker Notes: This is a dry elegant style rosé with a beautiful light pale pink color. The fresh and lively wine offers bright aromas of watermelon, raspberry, and lemon with flavors of wild strawberry, citrus zest, hints of melon. It is soft and flavorful on the palate with a long crisp finish. This versatile and flavorful wine would be enjoyable on its own or with food. Try it with light pasta and rice dishes, grilled fish, and a wide array of cheese. Blend: 98% Syrah, 2% Merlot $13 Our Price $9.65

Wine Advocate 90
2017 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc may not go down as an all-time classic Cloudy Bay, but in a difficult vintage, the wine has turned out excellent. Hints of snow pea pods accent tropical fruit notes in a wine that is soft, round and harmonious, showing ample concentration and length despite the rain-plagued harvest. Unlike the 2005, a freakish vintage that continues to drink well, I'd opt for drinking the 2017 over the next year or two. $32 Our Price $24.95

2017 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Gris de Gris Rosé Corbieres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

This rose shows a crystalline salmon color with amethyst tints. It gives off aromas of raspberry, cherry, and freshly picked strawberries, followed by exotic aromas of pineapple and mango. On the palate, there is a direct and considerable freshness -- the density and richness of the fruit mingle with superb acidity. Stunningly balanced. 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, 5% Cinsault and 5% Mourvèdre $16 Our Price $12.39 (Arrives 4/5/18)

J Vineyards Cuvee 20 Brut

Winemaker Notes: This J non-vintage Brut gracefully opens up with crisp lemon peel, honeysuckle and delicate yeast aromas. Upon entry, these notes follow through to a mix of Fuji apple and grapefruit interlaced with toast, caramel and almond flavors on the mid-palate. The acidity adds just enough liveliness and the citrus zest leads to a lingering, warm pear and lush finish. Demonstrating an illustrious combination of yesterday and today, its fresh exuberance showcases layers of depth and complexity. $35 Our Price $27.99

2014 Frank Family Napa Cab, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: A classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine shows its Rutherford base with bountiful aromas of cocoa, red currant, cinnamon and blackberry; full bodied with moderate tannins and a long finish, the wine sings with flavors of chocolate, kirsch, and eucalyptus. $28 Our Price $23.49/375ml

Wine Spectator 94
REYNVAAN Syrah Walla Walla Valley In The Hills 2013

Graceful, broad-shouldered and expressive, focusing the tapenade-laced plum and spice flavors on a supple frame against powdery tannins. Lingers effortlessly on the expressive finish. Drink now through 2023. 375 cases made. –HS $70 Our Price $56.95

Costco Professional Corkscrew Wine Opener 6 piece Set

 (Includes opener, foil cutter, 2 augers, pourer, stopper)
One new set available $19

Wine Spectator 92
SAUVION & FILS Sancerre 2016

A real zinger, with racy lemon and pink grapefruit zest, gooseberry gelée and honeysuckle notes that are brightly defined. The long, focused, steely finish is very pure. Drink now through 2021. 80,000 cases made. –JM $27

Wine Spectator 94
MOCALI Brunello di Montalcino
Vigna delle Raunate 2013

There is a core of sweet, ripe cherry fruit shaded by spice, earth and tar flavors in this dense red, which is rich and vibrant, with a long, tension-filled aftertaste echoing fruit and spice. Best from 2022 through 2037. 120 cases imported —B.S. $55 Our Price $42.95

Wine Spectator 90

LAFOND Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills SRH 2015

Buttery, with plenty of creamy accents to the ripe apple, pear tart and lemon curd flavors. The richly spiced finish has hints of savoriness and toasty notes. Drink now through 2021. 2,390 cases made. –KM $23 Our Price $18.99

Wine Spectator 92
DUCKHORN Merlot Napa Valley 2014

Plush and rich-tasting, with finely interwoven flavors of dark cherry, plum tart and blackberry that are accented by cocoa powder notes. Asian spice accents fill the lush finish. Drink now through 2022. 52,000 cases made. –KM $54 Our Price $41.95 (Back in stock 4/4/18)

Varichon and Clerc Blanc de Blancs Privilège

Winemaker Notes: This pale and brillant gold wine has white fruit aromas with numerous fine bubbles.The palate is elegant, longlasting and well balanced between freshness and fruit. Lively mineral attack giving way to aromas of white flowers and exotic fruit. $13 Our Price $10.49 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 91
Dr. H. Thanisch (Erben Müller-Burggraef) 2016 Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett Riesling

Earth, smoke and slate contrast sweet, juicy bursts of white peach, raspberry and grapefruit in this spry kabinett. It's unctuously fruity yet zesty, finishing on a long, chalky mineral tone. While integrated and irresistible already, it's likely to maintain fresh appeal till at least 2025. $22 Our Price $16.99

Wine Enthusiast 90
Bollig-Lehnert 2015 Piesporter Kabinett Riesling

Smoke and flint notes on the nose introduce this energizing Riesling. On the palate, zingy lemon and tangerine flavors are softened by a sweet veil of honey and stone fruit. It's a slender, fine-footed wine but offers exhilarating refreshment. $17 Our Price $11.99

Wine Advocate 94+
2015 Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep purple-black in color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon springs from the glass with lifted crème de cassis, violets and chocolate box notes plus hints of lilacs, raspberry leaves, anise and cardamom. The perfumed black fruit preserves and chocolate-laced notes completely pack the full-bodied palate, with soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. Definitely one for hedonists seeking immediate gratification. $98 Our Price $74.95

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

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2015 Black Slate La Vilella Alta Doca Priorat Proprietary Red

Part of the Black Slate label that focused on the different villages of Priorat, the 2015 Black Slate La Vilella Alta is a blend of 39% Cariñena, 23% Garnacha, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Syrah and Merlot that spent 14 months in 30% new French oak, with a good portion of the blend brought up all in concrete. Incredible notes of blackcurrants, wood smoke, iris flowers, chocolate, and obvious minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, beautifully pure, elegant red that knocks it out of the park on the value front. You just don’t find this level of quality at this price point anywhere in the wine world today. There’s roughly 2,400 cases and readers should not miss this sensational wine. $22 Our Price $17.95 (Arrives 4/20/18) Please email stan@grapetray.com if you would like to be added to the pre-arrival list.

Wine Spectator 94
MACAULEY Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve 2012

The jazzy oak coats flavors of espresso, vanilla bean, mocha and tobacco amid velvety blueberry, cassis and berry pie notes, ending with a long, broad, full-bodied aftertaste. Drink now through 2028. 212 cases made. –JL $150 Our Price $139.99 (Arrives 4/4/18)

James Suckling 95 Points
2014 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet

Aromas of tar, blackberries, cloves and dark chocolate. Perfumed. Full and focused with a beautiful center palate and length. Mostly from Nathan Combs in Coombsville with some Yountville-sourced fruit. Best ever. Drink or hold. $100


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