August 7th 2018 Newsletter


WOW! Discounted 66%
2014 Estancia Reserve Meritage Red Paso Robles

Winemaker Notes: Deep crimson in color, with aromas mocha, ripe plum, and blackberry, with cocoa and a mélange of baking spices. Displays a rich, exquisite mouthfeel, velvety tannins, and ripe fruit balanced with notes of chocolate and French vanilla, Velvety tannins complement a lengthy, utterly elegant finish. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 18% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec. $35 Our Price $11.95

2015 Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Big and bold in style, Carnivor Cabernet offers intense, dark fruit aromas and deep, inky color. A plush, velvety mouthfeel frames rich flavors of dark berries, coffee, mocha and toasted oak, all backed by a distinctive smoothness and a lingering, silky finish. $13 Our Price $9.75

Pre-Arrival
Wine Advocate 96-98 2015 Opus One

Blended of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec and displaying a medium to deep garnet-purple color, the Opus One 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is a sexy, beautiful spice-bomb, with tons of cinnamon stick, cloves, fenugreek and pepper notes springing forth over a core of mulberries, plum preserves, blackberry pie and fragrant earth plus a waft of lavender. The palate is big, voluptuous and totally decadent, with velvety tannins and just enough freshness framing the rich, spicy black fruits, finishing with a lovely perfumed lift. This wine was tasted as a tank sample, but it is due to be bottled soon. $350 (If you would like to be added to the pre-arrival list, please email stan@grapetray.com)

James Suckling 100 Points
2008 Roederer Cristal Brut

Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025. $300 Our Price $248.95 Limited

Wine Advocate 93-95
2015 Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forêts St-Georges

The 2015 Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Fôrets Saint Georges includes around 55% whole bunch and is actually a blend of six different cuvées. What is interesting is that the whole bunch contribution is far less tangible in this compared to the Clos de l'Arlot. It is very well defined, quite sensual in style with very pure red berry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin: tart red cherry fruit, wild strawberry, saline in the mouth with a sappy finish that keeps drawing you back in. This is an outstanding contribution to the vintage, courtesy of winemaker Géraldine Godot. $130 Our Price $99.95

2016 Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The high elevation of our Mason Vineyard in Lake County's Kelsey Bench and arc of rich, red volcanic soils, provides a unique growing region for ripe Sauvignon Blanc flavor and body year after year. The Sauvignon Blanc opens with aromas of fragrant orange blossom, ruby grapefruit, and white peach flavors set on a light body with pops of lime zest and passion fruit. $12 Our Price $8.75

2016 JAX Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our grapes are handpicked, sorted and cold-soaked immediately after picking. Following fermentation, this wine was aged for 21 months in French oak, 70% new. This wine offers dark, concentrated depth and character. Given a few minutes or hours after opening a bottle, the aromatics will continue to evolve and improve. 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc $50 (Arrives 8/14/18)

Wine Advocate 92
2016 Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc Estate

The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Estate delivers intense passion fruit, white peach and grapefruit notes with touches of musk perfume, wet slate and bay leaves. Medium-bodied, the palate offers bags of stone fruit and citrus flavors, with a racy backbone and long mineral-tinged finish. 7,500 cases produced. $33 Our Price $19.45

2016 Austerity Arroyo Seco Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This creamy, layered Chardonnay features aromas of crème brulee, golden apples and toasted marshmallows. The palate reveals tropical fruit and pineapple flavors complemented by a velvety texture and rich, buttery finish. $17 Our Price $13.99 (Back in stock 8/8/18)

Wine Advocate 95+
2014 Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake is their reserve wine and has been called this since 1991, no doubt because of the number of rattlesnakes that populated the property. It is usually their greatest wine, when they declare it. They only made 69 cases in 2014, so this is a tough one to find. The color is opaque ruby/purple and the wine has a few extra gears in it, with plenty of blueberry, cassis, forest floor and white flowers, followed by a full-bodied, beautifully built style of wine. This wine goes on and on – it is incredible rich, but with no defects or hard edges. A full-bodied, lush, elegant, yet powerful wine, this is a classic Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 20+ years. $175 Our Price $169.99 (Back in stock this afternoon)

2015 Duckhorn Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Beginning with a gorgeous nose of boysenberry, cherry, strawberry, cedar, sage, and licorice, this lush and lively Cabernet captures the rich diversity of Napa Valley. On the palate, the alluring fruit flavors are underscored by bright acidity, firm polished tannins, and notes of fig, licorice, and cinnamon that linger on the well-structured finish. Blend: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. $75 Our Price $62.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 93
2014 Center of Effort Edna Valley Pinot

This bottling shows deep black plum, elderberry, rose and purple flower aromas. The palate is dense, with black plum and tart cranberry enhanced by Earl Grey tea and potpourri. Thanks to a strong tannic backbone and buoyant acidity, these flavors are interesting now but will meld together more compellingly in the years to come. Drink 2019–2034. $40 (Arrives 8/8/18)

Half Bottles
2017 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Enticing aromas of vanilla, peach and mango are layered with apricots, crème brulee, butter and a slight minerality. Those scents are schoed as flavors on the creamy, rich palate, along with peach, pie crust and baking spices. The long smooth finish is marked by mouthwatering acidity. $20/375ml

Wine Spectator 96
CASTELLO DI VOLPAIA Chianti Classico Riserva 2015

Though saturated with black currant and blackberry fruit and backed by opaque tannins, this red is pure and balanced. Thyme, iron, leather and tar notes give this complexity, while the finish goes into overtime. Best from 2023 through 2040. From Italy.—B.S 2,500 cases imported $35 Our Price $26.95 (Back in stock 8/8/18)

Arrives 9/4/18
Wine Advocate 97-100
2015 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red

A barrel sample blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec coming from six vineyards and reared in 100% new French oak, the 2015 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine has a very deep inky-purple color and nose of crushed red and black currants, blackberry pie and plums with hints of dried herbs, sandalwood, spice box and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a knock-out core of intense, energetic fruit with chewy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with epic length and freshness. 12,500 cases are expected to be bottled. $285 (Pre-Arrival pricing available. Please email stan@grapetray.com)


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