The Grape Tray

December 11th 2018 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93
SEGHESIO Zinfandel
Sonoma County Sonoma 2016

Plump and loaded with rich, jammy fruit, this Zinfandel is a pleasure to drink. Bold accents of wild berry, spicy cinnamon and licorice glide dynamically toward plush tannins. Drink now through 2025.—T.F $26 Internet Price $19.99 (Grape Tray email subscriber price $17.95)

Wine Spectator 96
WARRE Vintage Port 2011

Offers seamless flavors of kirsch, chocolate, dark plum and allspice, fresh and elegant, with a towering structure and intense red berry accents. Unctuous and long on the finish, showing loads of grip. Best from 2030 through 2060. 3,000 cases made. –KM Market Price $69-$102. Our Price $71.95

Wine Advocate 91-94
2015 Walter Hansel Cahill Lane Chardonnay

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 Cahill Lane is made from 100% Old Wente clone and planted in one of the few areas of his vineyard that has adobe-clay soil intermixed with sandy Goldridge material. The yields tend to be relatively large, so Stephen Hansel crop-thinned by at least 30%. The result is a big, beautiful wine that reminds me of a Corton-Charlemagne. Plenty of deep, poached pear, white peach, nectarine, tangerine oil and caramelized citrus are all present in ths wine that shows virtually no oak, full body and loads of texture. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. $32

2016 Joseph Carr Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Napa’s acclaimed Rutherford AVA, features notes of black currant, tobacco, coffee, black cherry, and toffee. Full bodied, plush tannins and integrated acidity lead to a persistent finish. $40 Our Price $30.95 (Back in stock this afternoon)

2017 Frank Family Carneros Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Opens with aromas of cinnamon stick, cardamom, and fresh raspberries. The palate offers a soft, balanced structure framed by elegant tannins with flavors of cherry pie, violets, and baking spices followed by a long, decadent finish. $37 Our Price $31.99

Wine Spectator 94
CLOS ST.-JEAN Châteauneuf-du-Pape White 2015

Distinctive, with a bright yellow apple note leading the way, backed by lots of verbena, chamomile and honeysuckle notes before a creamy melon edge drapes the finish. Shows lovely range. Drink now through 2018. 100 cases imported. –JM $50 Our Price $46.99

Wine Advocate 94
2015 Far Niente Estate
Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate (composed of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot) has notions of fragrant earth, dried leaves and Chinese five spice over a core of black cherries, black currants and blueberries plus a waft of bouquet garni. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers intense, crunchy, youthful black fruits framed by fine-grained tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with an herbal lift. $170 Our Price $139.95

2015 William Harrison Sangiacomo Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Brilliant gold in color, this wine has expressive aromas of vanilla, all spice and citrus blossom. With an underlining hint of minerality, the clean and pristine palate leads with layers of Meyer lemon, lime rind and baked apple. Hints of white peach, Asian pear and stone fruits underscore the racey acidity. Leaving you with a memorable and crisp finish. $38 (Back in stock)

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 (Back in stock 12/12/18)

Wine Advocate 95+
2016 Realm The Tempest Merlot/Cabernet

Composed of 66% Merlot and 34% Cabernet Sauvignon mostly from Calistoga, with some Oakville, Estate (Stags Leap) and Oak Knoll fruit, the 2016 The Tempest is very deep garnet-purple in color and bursts forth with exuberant notes of preserved plums, blueberry pie, mincemeat, charcuterie and sautéed herbs with touches of wild sage, licorice and baking spices. The palate is full-bodied, rich and totally seductive with wonderfully plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long and spicy. $125

2015 Lewis Cuvee L Napa Valley, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: Straight from James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, Last of the Mohicans, comes our 2015 Cuvee L – a noble savage from an outstanding vintage with great depth of character. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with the strength of a grizzly and the soul of a chief this onyx and indigo wine is cloaked in tiers of blackberry with a quiver of clove and cedary oak spices. Broad paths of richly rendered fruit trail into hand-hewn tannins reflecting nature’s winding ways. $500/magnum

Wine Spectator 92
BODEGAS JUAN GIL Jumilla Blue Label 2015

This red has density and polish, in the modern style. Cocoa and spice flavors mingle with blackberry and currant fruit, backed by well-integrated tannins and balsamic acidity. Plush and harmonious. Drink now through 2025. 1,250 cases imported.—T.M. $35 Our Price $29.99

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

James Suckling 97 Points
Bryant Family Napa Bettina 2013

There's a phenomenal nose to this wine with crushed berry, wet earth, wet slate and hints of flowers. Full body with a chewy tannic structure, yet soft and polished. Powerful and rich. Muscular and toned. Has form. Slightly austere tannins. This needs at least four to seven years of bottle age. The high percentage of merlot from Howell Mountain gives this wine a real edge and beauty. A blend of 62.3% cabernet sauvignon, 30.2% merlot and 7.5% petit verdot. Sourced from David Abreu’s three vineyards, Madrona, Thorevilos and Howell Mountain. $375

James Suckling 97 Points
2014 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Onda Napa Valley

One of the most serious Ondas I have had. Medium to full body and firm and polished tannins. Very long and poised. Excellent length. Fabulous focus and beauty. This needs two or three years to soften, but it's already superb. Try in 2022. $215

JEB DUNNUCK 100
2015 CHAPPELLET
 PRITCHARD HILL CABERNET

Also inky colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill comes from the estate vineyard on Pritchard Hill and spent 22 months in new French oak. It has a similar level of purity, as well as incredible minerality, to go with notes of crème de cassis, scorched earth, crushed rock, and graphite. Reminiscent of liking a rock with its insane level of minerality, this full-bodied beauty is tight and closed on the palate, yet is just loaded with potential. It’s only for those with cold cellars and needs forgotten for 7-8 years, but will keep for 4-5 decades. Bravo! $254 Our Price $234.99


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