January 11th 2019 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

January 11th 2019 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
BOOKWALTER Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Protagonist Conner-Lee Vineyard 2015

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Protagonist Conner Lee Vineyard is similar to the Conflict, yet offers slightly more earth, lavender, and tobacco, with terrific black and blue fruits. Full-bodied, elegant and silky, with fine, polished tannin, it's another impeccably made red that's going to keep for 10-12+ years. This cuvée is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec, aged in 50% new French oak. $60 Internet Price $39.99. Grape Tray email subscriber price $30.45 (Arrives this afternoon)

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Wine Spectator 90
2013 Taken Proprietary Red, Magnum

This strikes a balance between dark fruit, licorice, dark plum and enticing mocha-laced oak flavors. Clean and pure throughout, ending with tannins that provide good grip. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 10,000 cases made. –JL $78/magnum. Our Price $49.99/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 Spectator 95
POGGIO BONELLI Chianti Classico 2015

Offers enticing aromas of black cherry, leather, tobacco, iron and earth. Well-structured and full of ripe fruit, this builds to a vibrant, tannic finish, with a lingering aftertaste of iron, cherry and leather. Should develop beautifully. Best from 2020 through 2032. 1,200 cases imported. From Italy.—B.S $25 Our Price $18.95 (Back in stock 1/16/19)

James Suckling 90
Château Brondelle Graves 2015

Surprisingly firm and linear with a focused berry and cherry character, as well as hints of chocolate and spices. Medium to full body, bright acidity and a chewy finish. Give it one or two years to round out the tannins. Try in 2020. $22 Our Price $17.95

Wine Spectator 96
LEWIS Cuvee L Napa Valley 2015

This has a dense and inky feel, as well as a sense of polish and poise, with layers of creamed raspberry, boysenberry and plum fruit rolling through, infused with singed vanilla, tobacco and warm ganache notes. Everything folds together seamlessly through the finish, though this still cuts a very wide swath. Cabernet Sauvignon. 95 cases made Best from 2022 through 2035. From California.—J.M. $500/magnum

Wine Spectator 94
DOMAINE FAIVELEY Nuits-St.-Georges 2016

A touch of gaminess in the aroma gives way to blackberry, black cherry, earth and iron flavors in this rich, solidly structured red. Vibrant and balanced, though this needs a little time to integrate. Terrific length. 150 cases imported. Best from 2023 through 2042.—B.S $68 Our Price $64.95

Wine Spectator 91
WRATH Pinot Noir Monterey 115/667 2016

Firm acidity supports a rich array of dried date, cherry and raspberry flavors that are finely textured. Hints of cocoa powder show on the decadently spiced finish. Drink now through 2023. 427 cases made.—K.M. $35 Our Price $26.99

2017 Donnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken

Winemaker Notes: Characterful Riesling from the steeply sloping vineyards of the middle Nahe region. The vines grow in stony, weathered volcanic soils of porphyry and melaphyr in particular, with certain amounts of slate and quartzite. A dry Riesling wine, very typical of our wine estate. Wonderfully fresh and well defined, elegant with a tingling minerality. A delicious wine for every day with moderate alcohol and very soothing acidity. $27 Our Price $21.99

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 Our Price $44.99

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
2015 Lafond Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

This is one of the more elegant and satisfyingly dark expressions of Pinot Noir in its price range, starting with aromas of sugarplum, hibiscus, dark berries, crushed slate and moist earth. The palate combines rose petals, baked boysenberry and dark cocoa with a strong streak of earthy minerality, all upheld by chalky tannins. $27 Our Price $21.99

Wine Spectator 92
Campo de Borja Veraton 2015

Round and juicy, this lively red shows ripe flavors of kirsch and mulled plum, with chocolate and licorice accents. Heady but not heavy, with bright acidity and spicy and floral notes on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 6,000 cases made. –TM $30 Our Price $23.95 (Back in stock)

Varichon and Clerc Blanc de Blancs Privilège

Winemaker Notes: This pale and brillant gold wine has white fruit aromas with numerous fine bubbles.The palate is elegant, longlasting and well balanced between freshness and fruit. Lively mineral attack giving way to aromas of white flowers and exotic fruit. $13 Our Price $10.49

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

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