The Grape Tray

June 5th 2018 Newsletter


37% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre, 26%, 7% Petit Verdot 100% Estate grown fruit from L’Aventure Vineyard. $35

2013 Joullian Carmel Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Brilliant, very dark cherry-garnet color with a ruby rim. Perfumed, deep spicy black cherry, cassis, anise, white truffle and cedar nose. Rich cherry, black currant, and blackberry fruit is complexed by nuances of spicy anise, dark coffee and cocoa that finish with refreshing acidity and ample round, fine tannins. $35 Liquidation Price $22.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Hayfork Wine Co Cabernet Sauvignon Llewelling Ranch

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Llewelling Ranch offers up notions of crème de cassis, black pepper, cedar chest and dried herbs with touches of tilled earth, menthol and mossy bark. Big, rich and full-bodied, it has a firm, chewy texture, lively backbone and long, spicy finish. $75

2016 Amalaya Salta Malbec

Winemaker Notes: In Salta's high desert, Amalaya vineyards begin a mile above sea level, far above the Calchaqui Valley floor. For centuries, farmers made offerings in hope for a miracle - as Amalaya translates in the local language - for a bountiful harvest. Extreme conditions stress the sustainably farmed vines, delivering fruit of intense flavor concentration and uncommon depth. Rich red fruits and a hint of spice, balanced with approachable tannins, make Amalaya enjoyable on its own or with a variety of bold dishes. $17 Our Price $11.95

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 89
2016 Chateau de Saint Cosme
Cotes du Rhone Rouge

Even Saint Cosme's "lowly" 2016 Cotes du Rhone looked good on my recent visit. It's mostly Syrah, blended from vineyards in Vinsobres and the Gard, offering lovely floral and peppery aromas, dark fruits, medium to full body and a softly dusty finish. It should drink well for 6 years. $15 Our Price $12.99

Wine Spectator 94
DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2016

Delicious pear, green apple and green melon flavors show both a creamy and a racy feel, while light meringue, acacia and honeysuckle notes fill in through the finish. Thoroughly delicious. Drink now through 2022.—J.M. 200 cases imported. $50 Our Price $40.99

Wine Advocate 94
2015 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady offers up intense crème de cassis, blueberry pie and dark chocolate notes with hints of smoked meat, incense, cigar boxes and charcoal. Concentrated and packed with black fruits and spice layers in the mouth, it has a beautiful, lively backbone and firm, grainy tannins to support, finishing long and savory. $185 (3 bottles available 6/6/18. Please email


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 $36

Wine Enthusiast 94
2015 Carlisle The Derivative White

This is yet another stellar vintage of this unique blend, a mix of Muscadelle, Sémillon, Colombard and Palomino. Floral as a garden brimming in gardenia, it's dry and gravelly, with distinct flavors of quince and melon. Light on its feet, it's well worth seeking. $28 Limited

2015 Austerity Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our robust Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon features ripe cherry aromas followed by licorice and sweet oak. The layered palate features bright red fruits with a bold framework of structured tannins. The depth of flavor is underscored by a long finish. $17 Our Price $13.99

Wine Advocate 97
2015 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon
Las Piedras Vineyard

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Las Piedras is scented of freshly crushed plums and blackberries with a loam, underbrush and crushed rock undercurrent, plus a waft of allspice. Full-bodied and tightly wound in the mouth, it has a rock-solid backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long with serious mineral layers. $210 (3 bottles available 6/6/18. Please email

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 pts
Harlan 2007 Harlan Estate Oakville, Napa

The 2007 Harlan Estate is fabulous. Explosive and dense, with tremendous persistence, the 2007 has all of the opulence and raciness that makes the wines from this vintage so distinctive. Scents of tobacco, leather and mocha develop in the glass, but above all else, the 2007 is a wine of sumptuous richness. It will continue to deliver considerable pleasure over the next two decades or so. What a wine! Empting describes 2007 as a warm, but not excessively hot, year with a long growing season. The wines presented naturally high dry extracts. Because of that, Levy and Empting opted for macerations that were a bit longer than usual. Drinking window: 2017 - 2032 (January 2017) CA Market Price $1095-$1350 (2 bottles available at $1095/bottle)

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