The Grape Tray

September 28th 2018 Newsletter

2016 A to Z Pinot Gris

Winemaker Notes: The 2016 A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris offers beautiful floral aromas reminiscent of jasmine, elderflower and white roses along with complex fruit notes of nectarine, melon, pear, yellow plums and yellow apples, lemon, lime, even grapefruit zest and a touch of guava, clover honey and handmade marshmallows. The wine is lush and layered on the palate structured with moderate acidity and alcohol. The finish is layered and fresh, with a lingering pear and spice note. $19 Special Price $9.95

Wine Spectator 92
BERINGER Chardonnay Napa Valley Private Reserve 2015

Beautifully crafted, rich and layered, with tiers of smoky oak, buttery fig and tangerine, showing touches of fig and melon. Adds up to a delightfully lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2020. 8,051 cases made. –JL $48 Internet Price $35.99. Grape Tray email subscriber price $29.95

Wine Spectator 95
CHÂTEAU DE ST.-COSME Gigondas 2016

Perfumy and stylish, with rooibos tea, blood orange and cherry aromas and flavors weaving through, infused with sandalwood, anise, bay leaf, sage and pepper notes along the way. A very fine and persistent chalky spine supports it all. Best from 2020 through 2035.—J.M $58 Our Price $49.95

New form J!
J Vineyards California Cuvee Sparkling Wine

The inaugural release of our vibrant and approachable California Cuvée opens with a pop of tart pineapple and orange blossom on the wonderfully aromatic nose. The palate is lively and rich with layered notes of Asian pear and honeysuckle, overlaying hints of fresh mandarin peel and marzipan before a zesty, focused finish. $30 Our Price $23.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 90
BUENA VISTA Chardonnay Carneros 2015

An attractive style, reliant on spicy, toasty oak as well as a zesty core of melon, green apple and white peach, maintaining an elegant mouthfeel throughout. Drink now through 2021. 5,698 cases made. –JL $25 Liquidation Price $13.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 92
ROMBAUER Chardonnay
Carneros 2016, 3 Liter

Rich and creamy, with seductive vanilla-scented oak that adds texture and nuance to the solid core of green apple, pear and melon flavors. Drink now. 200,000 cases made. –JL $160/3 Liter

Wine Advocate 92-94
2015 Chateau Siran Margaux

The 2015 Siran is a blend of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot picked between 17 September to 12 October. It is raised in 25% new oak plus one-year barrels. It is a little richer and more opulent than its neighbor, the 2015 Dauzac, due to the higher proportion of Merlot. It veers to more red fruit here, wild strawberry and later cassis. The palate is smooth and sensual on the entry, very well defined with a keen thread of acidity. It grips the mouth, implying that there is more Cabernet than there actually is. I like the volume here, and unlike previous vintages that seemed to show some warmth on the finish, here the finish is much more linear and controlled, fanning out gracefully but with power emanating from that Merlot. This is likely to be proprietor Edouard Miailhe's best wine in recent years. $44 Our Price $34.95

Vinous 90 Points
2013 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay

Bright yellow-gold. Aromas of ripe pear, nectarine, honey and toasty lees, with a subtle floral nuance emerging with aeration. Smooth and open-knit, offering sappy pit and orchard fruit flavors and a bracing punch of bitter citrus pith on the back half. Nicely blends opulence and vivacity and finishes with very good cling and subtle smokiness. $40 Liquidation Price $25.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Carlisle Winery Syrah Papa's Block

Made up of 100% Syrah, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Syrah Papa's Block comes bounding out of the glass with gregarious crushed blackcurrants and black plums with touches of dried herbs, black pepper, aniseed and tilled soil plus a waft of underbrush. Full-bodied with a firm backbone of grainy tannins and a lively line supporting the generous fruit, it has a very long, savory finish. 561 cases produced. $45

Vinous 92 pts
Mendel 2014 Unus Malbec

(aged for 16 months in all new French oak): Bright dark ruby. Deep, brooding aromas of blackcurrant, boysenberry, licorice, espresso and sweet oak, all lifted by violet and minerals. At once powerful and seamless, with harmonious acidity providing terrific definition and lift to the densely packed flavors of dark berries, flowers, licorice and spices. A more vibrant and penetrating wine than the 2015 Mendoza Malbec, conveying an impression of chalky energy. Finishes long and lively, with firm tannins to support a graceful evolution in bottle. $48 Our Price $38.95

2016 Broadside Paso Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2016 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon highlights the strong vintage with plenty of dark berry-focused fruit, earthy notes, and toasty mocha/caramel oak. $19 Our Price $13.99

Wine Advocate 91-94
2015 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay The Meadows Vineyard

The 2015 season resulted in tiny clusters and small berries with production levels off by a minimum of 25%. The following 2015s will be bottled unfined and unfiltered. The 2015 Chardonnay the Meadows Vineyard is in the northern part of the Hansel estate and at their lowest elevation as it is a meadow next to Santa Rosa Creek. Again, this is dry-farmed and planted with 100% Hanzell clones. Yields are always low and this Chardonnay offers up a light-gold color, concentrated notes of honeysuckle, baked apple pie, cinnamon and plenty of spice in a medium to full-bodied, refreshing, zesty style. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. $27

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
Ridge Vineyards 2016 Lytton Springs Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma

The 2016 Lytton Springs is a powerful, dense wine. Black cherry, plum, lavender, new leather, cloves, licorice and menthol flesh out. Deep, plush and richly textured, the 2016 Lytton Springs packs a real punch. The 23% Petite Sirah is felt in the wine's darkness and overall gravitas. There is more than enough richness and structure to support many years of fine drinking. What a gorgeous wine this is. $45 Our Price $37.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 97
2015 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard

The 2015 Syrah Armada Vineyard is superb, wafting from the glass with a complex and savory bouquet of dark chocolate, peat, candied violets, plums and marinading meat. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and layered, with a deep core of sapid fruit framed by powdery, fine-grained tannins and concluding with a saline finish. Seamlessly integrated and elegant, the 2015 was harvested on September 9 and fermented with 60% to 70% whole clusters, finishing with 13.7% natural alcohol. It was matured in foudres and demi-muids, seeing 10% new oak and—as has been the case since 2011—no smaller cooperage. $175 (Arrives this afternoon) Limited

Jeb Dunnick 97-99 pts
2016 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux

Moving to the Syrahs and always the largest production release, the 2016 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard includes a small amount of co-fermented Viognier and is raised in all puncheons. Cold campfire/ash, plums, dried violets, and pepper all flow to a rich, full-bodied, incredibly opulent that has a stacked, thick mid-palate, bright acidity, and a great, great finish. It is another killer vintage for this vineyard and it’s going to be one of the Syrahs of the vintage. $175 (Arrives this afternoon) Limited

James Suckling 99
Dönnhoff Riesling Nahe Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese 2017

Most people who drink wine know what a ripe peach tastes like. However, this wine gives you a completely new appreciation of the meaning of the word “peach”. Beyond that, it possesses subtlety that is extremely rare anywhere in the world of food and wine. From organically grown grapes. Fair'n Green certification. Absolutely delicious now, but could be held for decades. $72 Our Price $64.99 (Arrives 10/31/18)

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