The Grape Tray

May 18th 2018 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93
ARGIANO Brunello di Montalcino 2013

An elegant style, offering ripe cherry, plum, leather, almond and subtle chocolate flavors. Harmonious and long, with an aftertaste evoking cherry, iron and tobacco. Fine balance. Best from 2021 through 2033. 9,166 cases made. –BS $60 Our Price $47.99


Producer Notes: Settled in the heart of Frejus, Provence, Les Teres’ beautiful vineyards are surrounded by forest and protected from the northern winds by the red rock mountains of Esterel. The estate has a few hectares of noble varietals planted on red sandstone and volcanic rock that is representative of the archetypal terroir of Frejus. At only 15 km from the sea, the vineyards benefit from the cool air that flows in from the Mediterranean.

Brilliant rosé. Pale pink hues, lovely colour. On the nose, we can find small red fruit notes. On the palate the wine is light and elegant. Crispy rosé! 60% Cinsault, 30% Grenache 10% Tibourene. $17 Our Price $13.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

2016 Chappellet Mountain Cuvee

Winemaker Notes: Lush, layered and complex, this Bordeaux blend begins with concentrated aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, and dark chocolate. As the wine evolves in the glass, notes of anise, clove and bay leaf emerge, creating an inviting combination of fruit and spice. On the palate, a creamy texture underscores the wine’s richness, while accentuating flavors of ripe plum, vanilla, and roasted coffee that glide to a long, lingering finish. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. $35 Our Price $28.99

Wine Spectator 93
CARLISLE Petite Sirah Napa Valley Palisades Vineyard 2016

Spirited, dark and potent, yet polished, with blackberry, smoky anise and licorice flavors that build speed toward big but refined tannins. Drink now through 2025. 575 cases made —T.F $50

2015 Outlot Sonoma Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Light golden yellow in color, the Outlot Chardonnay has a nose reminiscent of warm apple pie with hints of cardamom, toffee, and acacia blossoms. The luscious, creamy entry on the palate leads to waves of honeycomb, honey-crisp apple, peach, and a touch of apricot, finishing with rich butterscotch flavors and a kiss of vanilla. A truly handsome wine. $20 Our Price $15.95 (Delicious)

James Suckling 93
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015

Lots of burnt orange with currant and dust undertones. Some rose petal, too. Full body, chewy and tannic with lots of tension and intensity. Needs two or three years to soften but already a very impressive wine for the vintage. Drink in 2020. $77 Our Price $64.99

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

Wine Spectator 92
LORING Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2016

Powerful, focused and well-spiced, with flavors of dark cherry, plum tart and dried beef that lengthen out nicely. Pastry notes linger midpalate, leading to a finish of cola nut and chocolate nib accents. Drink now through 2022.—K.M $38 Our Price $30.99

2014 Bon Anno Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A deep ruby red, this seductive Cab shows classic Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of spice and sage followed by a mix of blueberries and blackberries with fresh raspberry notes. With a nice balance of acid and well integrated tannins, this wine is smooth, supple and sleek in the mouth: it is well balanced across the palate showcasing flavors of dark fruit, currants and hints of mineral and anise. $24 Our Price $21.99

Wine Spectator 93
FROSTWATCH Chardonnay Bennett Valley 2015

Delightfully rich and lively, medium-weight yet packed with flavors highlighting tangerine, nectarine and spicy oak, with a long, layered aftertaste that keeps you coming back for more. Drink now.—J.L. 665 cases made. $30


Notes from winemaker Jessica Boone: I am floored by the elegance and finesse of this arrangement. It’s red fleshy fruit and layers of intricacy are reminiscent of the overflowing abundant burgundy petals of the peony flower. This Pinot Noir is a mélange of vineyard sites in the southern end of the Russian River Valley. The climate is a bit cooler, and the fog hangs just a bit longer at this end of the valley, which means the grapes get just a bit more time on the vines to develop complex flavors while still maintaining freshness and vibrancy.

What I love most about “The Peony” is the juxtaposition of femininity on the nose, balanced with a broad depth of palate. The aromatics showcase red cherry, dried raspberry, and bottlebrush, while the palate brings layered elegant supple tannin boasting hints of baking cocoa, cedar, and cinnamon. This blend lingers on the palate, not with a heavy hand, but with elegance and velvety weight. This Pinot pairs beautifully with food, but also goes lovely with great friends and good conversation. 242 cases of this blend were made. $50 Our Price TBD (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 95-97
2013 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard

The 2013 Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard is the largest production Syrah of the three vineyard designates. It's another beautiful looking 2013 that has tons of upfront appeal, full-bodied richness, incredible purity and a building, yet sweet, sweet tannin. It picks up more and more smoked meat characteristics with time in the glass, and like all of John's 2013s, will offer tons of pleasure in its youth, yet also evolve gracefully. $99 (Back in stock 5/23/18)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2015 Chappellet Signature Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

 Looking at the two releases from Chappellet, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature is the larger production cuvee and sees 22 months in 50% new French oak. Its deep, inky color is followed by an incredibly pure bouquet of crème de cassis, hints of blue fruits, graphite, and cedar. With gorgeous minerality, full-bodied richness, building tannin and notable purity, it's an incredible wine, as well as a sensational value. $70 Our Price $55.95

Wine Advocate 97-99
2016 L'Aventure Winery Estate Cuvee

52% Syrah, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Petit Verdot, the 2016 Estate Cuvee is all black cherries, crème de cassis and chocolate box on the nose with a Chinese five spice and potpourri undercurrent. The full-bodied palate is rich, opulent and firmly structured, with great purity and depth, finishing with lingering spice and dried herbs notes. $115 (Arrives 5/23/18)

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