The Grape Tray

December 4th 2018 Newsletter

2014 Ravenswood Belloni Vineyard
 Zinfandel Russian River Valley $40 Our Price $12.95

Tasting Panel 93 Points: This single vineyard designate combines 25% of other "mixed black" varieties to create a wine that implodes with fruit. On the nose, black cherry, mocha and violets are intense and heady. The floral tones subdue on the palate, dried lilacs, violets and mountain brush meld with blackberry and spiced cedar. The acid keeps it lively through the long finish.

Wine Enthusiast 90 Points: This is a peppery, plummy wine with plenty of grip on the palate. Structured and meaty, it rides its ripeness with ease, showing a taste of vanilla soda on the finish. Mixed black grapes account for 25% of the whole and originate from vines planted around 1900.

Wine Spectator 93
CASTELLO BANFI Bolgheri Aska 2015

Dusty black currant, olive, gravel, graphite and spice flavors combine for a positive effect in this tightly wound red. Needs a bit of time to relax, but all the components are well-proportioned. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 5,800 cases made. –BS $33 Our Price $19.95

Wine Spectator 91
NEYERS Zinfandel California Vista Luna 2017

Refined and well-structured, yet showing a briary streak, with appealing black cherry, sweet anise and white pepper flavors. Drink now through 2025. 1,172 cases made.—T.F. $30 Our Price $19.75

Wine Spectator 93
Eola-Amity Hills 2016

Silky and vibrant, with spirited raspberry and violet aromas that open to effortlessly complex flavors of black cherry, black tea, cardamom and other dark spices. Drink now through 2024. 2,632 cases made. –TF $32 Our Price $26.95 (Arrives 12/5/18)

2016 Orin Swift Papillon Red

Winemaker Notes: An inky, dark garnet sits in the glass with bursting aromatics even from afar—ripe blackcurrant and blackberry with hints of Kirsch, Madagascar vanilla and cigar box. Velvety and rich on entry and through the mid, the wine offers flavors of dark plum, blueberry and notes of fennel, fresh leather and a subtle minerality. Plush, layered and dense, the wine finishes with dusty tannins and a lingering touch of black cherry. $70 Our Price $64.99 (Arrives 12/5/18)

Wine Spectator 92
ORIN SWIFT Machete California 2016

Potent, plump and heady dried berry, violet and sandalwood accents power toward broad-shouldered tannins. Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2024. 25,000 cases made. –TF $55 Our Price $44.99 (Arrives 12/5/18)

Wine Spectator 92
ASTROLABE Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Valleys 2016

Vibrant and mouthwatering, with generous flavors of Key lime pie, fleshy green papaya and savory roasted herb. Focused and intense on the long, refreshing finish. Drink now. 3,000 cases made. –MW $25 Liquidation Price $13.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 90
POSEIDON Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros 2016

Offers concentrated flavors of Fuji apple, Key lime pie and ruby grapefruit that are supported by fresh acidity. Lemon meringue notes extend on the spicy and lightly buttery finish. Drink now through 2022. 3,460 cases made. –KM $28 Our Price $21.99

2017 Mastro Scheidt Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: From the western slope of Dry Creek Valley, this  Cabernet Sauvignon offers up bright tones of black and blue fruit, noticeable blackberry and spice. The new oak is specifically from Minnesota tight grain, cold weather forests, the remainder is French. A near opaque color, there is deft weight and concentration in each glass. A combination of punch-downs and pump-overs were used for extraction during fermentation. $29 Our Price $18.99 (Arrives this afternoon) 

Wine Spectator 91
PALI WINE CO. Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Huntington 2016

Dark cherry and dried blueberry flavors are richly spiced in this juicy style. Notes of dried beef intensify on the finish, which features chocolate and mint accents. Drink now through 2020. 8,207 cases made. –KM $25 Our Price $20.49 (Back in stock)

2016 Three Sticks
Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The influence of fog and wind on the iconic Gap’s Crown vineyard creates a site that produces world-class Pinot Noir with perfect balance of blue fruits and mouthwatering acidity. The nose of the 2016 Pinot Noir hints at its cooler origin, evoking fresh blackberry galette with undertones of hibiscus and red licorice. On the palate, the texture is inviting and bright, yet structured with silky tannins creating a wine that is built to age well. Our mix of Heritage and Dijon clones lend an elaborate blend to the wine, showing a blue/black fruit core with pipe tobacco spiciness. As evidenced by the beautiful balance and strength of this opulent Pinot, the Gap's Crown Vineyard shows how well Pinot Noir performs in some of these cooler areas of our county. $70 Our Price $59.99

Wine Spectator 94
Douro Reserva Old Vines 2015

This powerful red is rich in steeped cherry, red plum and currant flavors that are matched to herb, graphite and olive elements, aided by aromas of tea and anise that dovetail into the tangy finish. Drink now through 2026. 7,500 cases made. –GS $47 Our Price $36.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 93
2015 Altamura Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon rocks up with gregarious black cherries, blackcurrants and warm plums with hints of menthol, chocolate box and fragrant earth. Big, rich and full-bodied, with loads of minted black berry and earthy layers, it has a firm, grainy frame and fantastic length. $125 (Arrives 12/5/18) Limited

Wine Advocate 94+
2016 Orin Swift Cellars Zinfandel Blend Eight Years In The Desert

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Zinfandel Blend Eight Years (a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah) comes bounding out of the glass with notes of raspberry pie, blackberry preserves and fruitcake with touches of hoisin and Chinese five spice plus and waft of underbrush. Full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it packs in the black fruit preserves, framed by chewy tannins and finishing on a savory note. 2,600 cases were made. $125

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