The Grape Tray

June 8th 2018 Newsletter

  Wine Spectator 90 

M. CHAPOUTIER Côtes du Roussillon White Les Vignes de Bila-Haut 2016

A creamy, broad white, featuring fresh peach and melon notes woven together with lanolin and blanched almond details, backed by a solid acidity. Spice accents linger into the finish flanked by herb and mineral hints. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Macabeu and Marsanne. Drink now through 2020. 4,000 cases imported.—G.S. $15 Our Price $12.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92
2016 RIDGE Zinfandel Paso Robles

Appealingly old-school, with briary black cherry and smoky pepper beef flavors and a whiff of coconut that build zestiness on the long finish. Drink now through 2024.—T.F. $35 Our Price $29.99

2015 Iconoclast Russian River
Chardonnay (A hand crafted wine made for the Four Seasons Hotel)

Winemaker Notes: Iconoclast Chardonnay is thoughtfully crafted. Nine months of aging in French Oak reveals hints of apple pie spice. With crisp acidity, a great mid palate and perfect balance, all of which epitomize the high quality of Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Iconoclast makes each moment memorable. $22 Our Price $16.95 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 91
ROTH Cabernet Sauvignon
 Alexander Valley 2015

Complex aromas of creamy oak, mocha, gravel and dark berry combine for a dense, rich and concentrated effort that's firmly tannic, with a seam of elegance. Drink now through 2030. 18,635 cases made.—James Laube $28 Our Price $22.25 (Back in stock this afternoon)

2015 Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2015 Monterey Pinot Noir is spectacular. The wine has bright cherry aromas that are layered with notes of spice, Earl Grey tea, and hints of vanilla and toasted oak. On the mouth, you get juicy black cherry flavors, with hints of mocha and well-balanced tannins. A silky texture leads to a long finish. $20 Liquidation Price $11.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Advocate 93
2015 Clos Solène Fleur de Solène

A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Grenache, the 2015 Fleur de Solène reveals expressive aromas of luscious cassis, cocoa and ripe blackberry. On the palate, it's full-bodied, supple and succulent with juicy acids—despite its lavish, textural attack—and fine-grained, surprisingly chalky structuring tannins. Follow it for the coming decade. $70 (Arrives 6/13/18)

2017 Sans Liege Groundwork Grenache Rosé

Winemaker Notes: White chamomile blossoms, watermelon rind, cherry 7up, rosewood, crisp granny smith, kiwi, lime perrier finish. 100% Grenache Rosé. 40% saignée from Old Potrero, Alta Mesa, Alta Colina, Derby, Larner & Bien Nacido Vineyards. 60% grapes grown, picked & pressed for rosé from Kopack Vineyard. $13 (Arrives 6/13/18)

2015 Roth Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Bright, fruit-forward aromas and a rich, full palate of raspberry, Bing cherry and clove spices. Balanced by sweet oak and lush tannins, this bold and complex wine is a direct expression of its Sonoma Coast origins. $28 Our Price $18.45

Wine Advocate 93+
2015 Dominus Napanook Proprietary Red

Bottled in July 2017, Dominus’ more approachable, less tannic sister wine, Napanook, is a blend this year of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine is redolent of crème de cassis, potpourri, plum preserves and violets with hints of dark chocolate, menthol, licorice and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by firm, ripe, fine-grained tannins and finishing with great length. $85 Our Price $79.99

2016 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Hahn SLH Chardonnay greets the nose with citrus, stone fruit and hints of banana and vanilla. A viscous mouthfeel with welcoming acidity that showcases stone fruits, citrus and hints of apple and spices. $25 Our Price $16.45

2015 Sobon Rezerve Primitivo

Winemaker Notes: Originally planted in the early 90’s on well-drained bench land, this dry farmed, sustainably grown block

is now producing some of the most flavorful high quality fruit on the entire estate. Primitivo is the Italian clone of Zinfandel, and delivers a wine leaning more in the direction of rich plum-like flavors rather than blackberry. A full bodied wine of great richness and depth with a ripe mouth-filling viscous structure, and a smooth almost feminine silkiness that belies its bold character. Heady aromatics give way to a lush warm finish that makes this wine the ideal complement to the most savory and heartiest fare. FOOD PAIRING: Serve with leg of lamb, braised short ribs, duck confit and beef tournedos, or pasta with spicy sauces.$25 Our Price $15.95

Wine Advocate 93
2014 Galerie Cabernet Sauvignon Pleinair

The 2014 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon called Pleinair is a blend of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest tiny quantities of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is aged 20 months in 58% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine has a similarity to a top-flight St.-Julien from Bordeaux. Loads of Christmas fruitcake, cedar wood, tobacco leaf, black currants and spice box all jump from the glass and from the flavors of this round, juicy, medium to full-bodied wine with silky tannins. Drink it over the next 15 or so years. $60 Our Price $49.99

Wine Spectator 92
A.P. VIN Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Garys' Vineyard 2016

Plump and juicy, with tiers of lively plum, blackberry, black cherry and licorice. Perfectly charming and ready to enjoy, this is hard to put down. Drink now through 2024. 225 cases made. –JL $56 Our Price $51.99

Wine Spectator 95
PAHLMEYER Napa Valley 2014

A remarkable effort, engagingly rich and concentrated, with a deep, firm mix of licorice-shaded blackberry, currant, graphite, dried herb and cedary oak notes. The flavors hold and gain, leading to a persistent finish that keeps echoing the core elements. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. 5,000 cases made. $175 Our Price $155.95

Wine Advocate 94+
2014 Arkenstone Proprietary Red
Obsidian Estate

The 2014 Proprietary Red Obsidian Estate is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 3% Malbec from their estate vineyards. It is aged 22 months in 90% new French oak and is one of their larger cuvées of 720 cases. This is also an impressive, but backward wine with a dense purple color, loads of crushed rock in the nose of blackberry and cassis fruit intermixed with white flowers, licorice and forest floor. It is multidimensional, full-bodied, pure, dense and will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, while keeping for 20-25. $175

Wine Advocate 97+
2014 Realm Cabernet Sauvignon
 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard

Another 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard, coming from clones 4 and 337 from that famous first-growth Oakville vineyard of 90 acres. Remarkably, the Robert Mondavi winery still owns even larger portion of the To Kalon Vineyard, but certainly doesn’t exploit it to the extent that most purchasers of Beckstoffer To Kalon fruit do. This cuvée of 450 cases is closer to a Château Latour in a great vintage than you might believe, since it’s from Napa Valley. Notes of graphite, charcoal, blackcurrant liqueur and cedar wood are followed by a muscular, full-bodied wine with fabulous purity, a skyscraper-like texture and a long, long finish, with moderately sweet, ripe tannin. Give it several years of cellaring and drink it over the following three decades, as it is a fabulous effort. Market Price $300-$500. (2 bottles available at $345/bottle. Please email

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