The Grape Tray

April 6th 2018 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 90

Santa Barbara County 2016

Offers rich white fruit and spice flavors, supported by bright acidity. Green apple, fig and ripe melon dominate on the palate, mixing with buttery accents and ending with hints of sage honey on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 11,500 cases made. –KM $18 Our Price $12.99

Wine Advocate 93
2013 Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Ethos Reserve

One of the standouts in the lineup is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Ethos Reserve, which comes from a number of sites in the Columbia valley and incorporates 10% Merlot. Aged in 53% new French and American oak, this full-bodied, rich, unctuously textured and concentrated Cabernet is loaded with notions of currants, blueberries, smoked herbs, and licorice. Possessing low acidity, a plump, sexy profile and no hard edges, it can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade. $44 Our Price $35.95 (Back in stock!)

2016 Duckhorn Napa Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Alluring aromas of lychee, pineapple cake, and nectarine leap from the glass, along with zesty notes of grapefruit and lime. On the palate, this beautifully structured wine strikes a seamless balance between its rich, silky texture and the crisp acidity that adds poise and freshness to the abundant layers of bright citrus fruit. Blend: 84% Sauvignon Blanc, 16% Semillon. $30 Our Price $22.95

Wine Spectator 92
SAGET LA PERRIÈRE Vouvray Marie de Beauregard 2015

Juicy and ripe, with pear, quince and fig flavors laced with light ginger and honeysuckle notes. Shows a flash of hazelnut through the finish. On the hedonistic side, but has the freshness for balance. Drink now through 2024.—J.M. $18 Our Price $14.95

2016 Pual Lato "Lancelot" Pisoni Vineyard Pinot

This is another special vintage from Pisoni Vineyard. Vibrant and deep, dark cherry color. Booming aromatics out of the glass, with blueberry pie-like notes. Power and grace in the mouth with plenty of fruit, oak, and vanilla nuances that blend seamlessly. Touch of spice and abundance of minerality. Long finish, very impressive now and full of aging potential and evolution in the bottle. Our Grand Cru from Santa Lucia Highlands. $94 Limited

2016 Trefethen Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The nose opens with bursts of green apple, toasted brioche, honeysuckle and lemon cream pie. The palate is full yet bright, offering a pleasant viscosity and subtle notes of clove and tropical fruit. The clean finish adds an exclamation point with elegance. $30 Our Price $24.99

2016 "Suerte" Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot

Dark color with a shiny hue. Pronounced brooding nose with darker fruit nuances of blueberry pie and cherry with a hint of clove and light smoke. On the body, the wine is well defined possessing zesty flavors with balanced structure and bright acidity. While the tannins are quite firm on the finish, the wine delivers plenty of pleasure and intensity. $83 Limited

2016 Copain Tous Ensemble Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Light golden yellow color. Floral aromatics of honeysuckle, jasmine, white blossom, pineapple mint; Meyer lemon, verbena, mandarin and tangerine, pink lady apple. Simple, pleasing texture in mouth, with lively acid thathits up front and is followed behind by fuji apple and asian pear flavors. $28 Our Price $24.99

Wine Spectator 92
FORGE Riesling Finger Lakes Classique 2015

Weighty for a Riesling, with a rounded feel and layers of creamed yellow apple, white peach and persimmon flavors. Delivers energy and cut throughout, with lemon pith, citrus oil and chamomile accents filling in. Shows length and range through the finish. Drink now through 2021. 1,800 cases made. –JM $19 Our Price $16.69

Wine Spectator 93
TOR Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
Durell Vineyard Wente Clone 2016

Heavily oaky, toasty and smoky, leesy too, folding in with fig, melon, apricot and charry oak notes, ending full, deep and persistent. Drink now through 2023. 325 cases made. –JL $65 (Arrives this afternoon)

Back in stock!
2017 Alpes De Haute Lavendette Provence Rose

Winemaker Notes: Pale pink color with an elegant nose reminiscent of fresh berries. This wine is supple and fresh on the palate, with good level of acidity.

This rose is produced from traditional regional grapes, including Syrah, a red grape variety, which gives the wine its structure, its color and its aromas of red berries, with a scent of violets. The vineyards of this winery are planted mainly on very dry slopes of Jean Giono in Provence. Viticulture is very respectful of the environment and the wines benefit from modern winemaking technology. Wine production in the Alpes de Haute Provence takes place between Durance to Verdon where grows lavanders. Blend 15% Cinsault, 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah. $10 Our Price $8.45

2015 Calera Jensen Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: From vines planted in 1975, this gorgeous Pinot Noir effortlessly straddles the line between power and elegance, displaying silky, harmonious tannins and remarkable concentration and complexity. Layers of cherry, cola, violets, vanilla and fresh-cracked pepper linger long on the palate, supported by subtle oak and an elegant framework of acidity, which adds poise and definition to a long, complex finish.

100% Pinot Noir. $90 Limited

2016 Bevan Cellars Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley

Winemaker Notes: Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay is our consistent stunner. The long, even-growing season in 2016 allowed us to leave the fruit on the vine longer than we normally do. This, combined with the fact that we only got 1.6 tons per acre, allowed the fruit to develop incredibly thick skins, which equates to power and richness. The nose is more Cote du Beaune than any Chardonnay we have ever made, but the mouth is all California. It is oily and layered. Fruit dominates, but there is a minerality to it that also plays a major role. There is also a slight green tint to the wine as we aggressively fought to limit oxygen exposure, so we could capture as much of the wines verve as possible. You can drink her now or wait for five to seven years and she will still be a beauty. $65 (Arrives 4/13/18) Limited

Wine Spectator 93
ANTHEM Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard 2012

A classically styled Cabernet that's firm in structure and taut in focus and flavor, with a direct core of gravel and cedary oak—scented dark berry, licorice and savory herb flavors. Ends with drying, gripping tannins but also dense fruit and oak flavors. Drink now through 2028. 400 cases made. –JL $95 (Back in stock-Delicious!)

Wine Advocate 100
2011 Alvear Pedro Ximénez de Añada, Half Bottle

Alvear’s 2011 Pedro Ximenez de Anada is the most amazing Pedro Ximenez I have ever tasted. It may also be one of the first to be vintage-dated. The grapes were hand-harvested in September, then allowed to dry in the sunshine until they began fermentation, which is ultimately arrested by the addition of spirits. The wine spent six months in large American oak prior to being bottled. It is an amazing effort that looks like molasses. Notes of macerated figs, chocolate and caramelized tropical fruits emerge from this full-bodied, unctuously-textured wine. While sweet, it has enough acidity to balance out its richness. This astonishing 2011 Pedro Ximenez will last as long as any reader of this newsletter. Market Price $22-$119 (4 bottles available at $35/375ml bottle)

Wine Advocate 95-97
2015 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir The North Slope

The 2015 Pinot Noir North Slope, 100% from Dijon clone 115, also performed spectacularly, no doubt because of the extremely tiny yields. This wine has a dense purple color, a gorgeously compelling nose of forest floor, spring flowers, blue, red and black fruits, followed by a full-bodied, layered and concentrated Pinot Noir that is as light as a ballerina on the palate, but at the same time, intense and rich. The finish just goes on and on. Drink it over the next decade or more. $42 (Please email

Arrives 4/13/18) Limited

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