The Grape Tray

October 26th 2018 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 90

FIRESTONE Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Ynez Valley 2016

Rich and broad-shouldered, with ample minerality to the dried cherry and spiced cherry flavors. Lithe midpalate, with a savory push that extends into the firmly tannic finish. Drink now through 2022. 2,446 cases made. –KM $22 Our Price $15.95 (Great Value!)

Jeb Dunnuck 90 Points
2017 Le Paradou Provence Rose

Light pink in color, the 2017 Côtes de Provence Rosé from Le Paradou is a juicy, yet textured, lively rosé that does everything right. Offering lots of white cherry, strawberry, and floral notes, with an almost salty minerality, this beauty hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity, and a clean, dry finish. This is what Provençal rosé is all about and it's worth a case purchase. Drink it anytime over the coming summer months. $18 Our Price $14.65

Wine Spectator 90

This well-balanced red is medium-bodied and fresh, with flavors of cherry, grilled plum, tea rose and smoke framed by sculpted tannins. Drink now through 2023. 10,000 cases made. AN $21 Our Price $19.95

Connoisseurs' Guide 96 Points
Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose

Elegant and fruity at the same time with a quick invitation from bright, pure cherryish notes and then filled out handsomely by whiffs of chalky soils and well-integrated, rich and uplifting yeast-driven scents, this wine manages to be both vigorous and layered at one and the same time. Its bubbles are insistent, finely carved and add to the early sensations of lightness and energy yet also carry the wine long into a balanced, refined finish. And its latter palate grip is exactly what one should expect from the genre. While service with light foods would be our first choice, this one has the beauty to stand alone. $80 Our Price $66.99. Magnums $157.99

2015 Provenance Rutherford
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This elegant, voluptuous wine demonstrates the distinctiveness of the appellation with dark cherry and blackberry fruit flavors and typical 'Rutherford Dust' notes of cocoa on the finish. $45 Our Price $36.99

Wine Spectator 93
DONUM Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Single Vineyard 2015

Fresh, vibrant, rich and graceful, with a firm core of dusty raspberry, anise, earth, cedar and graphite flavors. Impressive, showing depth without weight. Best from 2020 through 2028. 600 cases made. –JL $72

Wine Spectator 93
CARPINETO Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2012

This is dense, with black cherry, blackberry, tobacco and leather flavors, picking up mineral and spice details on the long aftertaste. Shows ample tannins, fine depth and complexity. Drink now through 2023. 12,500 cases made. –BS $31 Our Price $26.95

2016 Hunt & Harvest Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The nose is layered with black cherry, blueberries, cassis, and has touches of dark spices, black tea, and charred oak. The palate is fruit forward, supple in the middle and finishes with long, soft tannins. Aging in 25% new French oak barrels adds structure and complexity to the fruit. Blend: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot, 2% Petite Sirah, 2% Malbec. $28 Our Price $23.99

2016 Pisoni Estate Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A wine that harnesses the essence of our rocky, wind-swept vineyard in an excellent vintage, the 2016 Pisoni Estate Chardonnay entices the senses. Tightly wound when it is first uncorked, layer after layer emerges as this wine opens, releasing aromas of acacia flower, white peach, lemon peel, and Bosc pear. Extended aging of 14 months in 75%-new French oak barrels gives this vintage added texture and complexity even as the wine maintains its focused acidity and a generous mouthfeel. The 2016 Pisoni Estate Chardonnay is a wine that expands seamlessly from start to finish even at this young age and that will continue to promise this harmonious development for years to come. $75 Limited

Wine Advocate 93
2015 Hayfork Wine Co Llewelling Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Llewelling Ranch reveals warm black plums, black cherries and mulberries notes with touches of eucalyptus, cigar box, tapenade and truffles. Medium to full-bodied with impressive intensity and a pleasantly chewy frame, it finishes on a lingering savory note. $75

Wine Spectator 98
GRAHAM Vintage Port 2016, Half Bottles

This offers a distilled plum and boysenberry essence, with a racy feel, as spearmint and graphite notes drive through. As the finish kicks in, this turns toward the dark side, with ganache, charcoal and tar elements. Has the showy ripeness of the vintage but is backed by a decidedly dry feel on the finish, imparting a sense of precision despite the heft. Best from 2030  through 2055. From Portugal.—J.M. $75/375ml. Our Price $52.95/375ml 

Wine Spectator 98
DOW Vintage Port 2016, Half Bottles

This packs a lot of fun, with a wallop of blackberry, fig, boysenberry and açai berry compote flavors working together, laced with a mouthwatering licorice snap note and driven by a fresh, well-detailed finish. A roasted apple wood accent is integrated as well, lending textural contrast through the vivacious finish. Best from 2030 through 2055. From Portugal.—J.M 183 cases imported. $70/375ml Our Price $55.95/375ml (Limited)

Vinous 95 pts
2016 Pisoni Estate
Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Lurid ruby-red. Heady oak-tinged cherry and Chambord aromas are complemented by vibrant floral Asian spice and smoky mineral nuances. Juicy and sharply delineated on the palate offering concentrated red berry liqueur and rose pastille flavors that deepen steadily with air. Fine-grained tannins lend gentle grip to the finish which hangs on with superb clarity and floral-tinged persistence. 2023 – 2030. $90 Limited

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 97+
Taittinger 2006 Comtes de Champagne

The 2006 Comtes de Champagne is striking, especially in the way it brings together elements of ripeness and freshness in a hypothetical blend of the 2002 and 2004. Smooth and creamy on the palate, the 2006 is all about texture. There is a real feeling of density and weight in the 2006, qualities I expect to see grow with time in the bottle. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. The 2006 has been nothing short of magnificent both times I have tasted it. Comtes de Champagne remains the single best value (in relative terms) in tête de cuvée Champagne. I suggest buying a case and following it over the next 20-30 years, which is exactly what I intend to do. There is little doubt the 2006 Comtes de Champagne is a magical Champagne in the making. Drinking 2016 – 2046. $200 Our Price $129.99

Wine Spectator 95
COLENE CLEMENS Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains Dopp Creek 2015

Impressive for the polished texture and elegant complexity, offering vibrant raspberry, orange peel and spice flavors that gain momentum toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2023. From Oregon.—T.F $26 (24 bottles in stock. Please email

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