January 18th 2019 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

January 18th 2019 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 94
ALZINGER Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau Ried Mühlpoint 2017

White A rich, smoky Grüner, luscious and creamy up front, but with underlying acidity that pierces its way through, revealing persimmon, vanilla and cardamom notes. Features a really lovely texture, almost velvety, coating the palate, but still remains fresh. Complex and long. 212 cases imported. Best from 2020 through 2030.—A.Z $42 Our Price $38.99

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

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2016 Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir opens beautifully offering layers of red-fruit aromas; Bing cherry, cranberry, and sun-ripened raspberry. The aromas ring true on the silky textured palate where the juicy fruit core intermingles with baking spice, black tea, and wet stone minerality. The wine offers a fine balance with perfectly ripened Pinot Noir fruit and bright ‘Los Carneros’ acidity, underpinned by the carefully selected oak barrel regiment. This is a refined and elegant style of Pinot Noir offering a graceful and long-lasting finish. $22 Our Price $17.95


Winemaker Notes: A terrific Côtes du Rhône, the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Beatus Ille is made from mostly Grenache, with 15% Cinsault, and aged all in concrete; it sports a lighter ruby, semi-translucent color to go with notes of strawberries, blueberries, violets and flowers. Medium-bodied, juicy, balanced and straight up delicious, drink it over the coming couple of years. $30 Our Price $24.95 (Arrives 1/22/19)

Vinous 92 Points
2014 Roar Soberanes Chardonnay

Bright yellow. Pear and peach nectar, honey and smoky lees on the powerfully scented nose, joined by slowly emerging floral and mineral nuances. Silky and concentrated on the palate, offering hefty orchard and pit fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of quinine. The floral and smoke notes return on the spice-tinged finish, which hangs on with impressive tenacity. $45

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Domaine Saint Préfert "Classique" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Loaded with scents of roses and exotic spices, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a super entry-level effort. It's 85% Grenache aged in concrete, with the balance Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah that's aged in demi-muids. Full-bodied, velvety and long, it delivers opulent black raspberry fruit framed by silky tannins. The energetic Isabel Ferrando, while positive about the 2016s in the bottle, was also enthusiastic about the 2017s in barrel. "Seventeen is a fantastic vintage. '16 is a monster, '17 is a dancer. And in your life, which do you prefer?" she asked. Unfortunately, many of the 2017s were still fermenting in June when I visited. I did taste a fantastic Cinsault destined for the Auguste Favier, which showed incredible complexity and silkiness, and a demi-muid of Grenache boasting great tea and rose-like aromas, but given the late-running fermentations, I felt it was premature to rate or review any of the 2017 reds. Fortunately, the 2016s were singing from bottle. "I believe in using stems," Ferrando said. "It gives a sensation of freshness and menthol." Like other winemakers in the region, Ferrando has taken to Stockinger as a supplier of oak for maturation, claiming that the Austrian cooperage results in more freshness and tension in the wines. If you're a fan of 100% Grenache wines, don't miss her Domaine Ferrando 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Colombis, which she makes at Domaine Saint-Préfert, but which is reviewed under its own heading. $60 Our Price $49.95 (Arrives 1/22/19)

Wine Advocate 93
2015 Hall Winery Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon offers an earthy/savory nose with notes of fertile loam, tree bark and smoked meat over a cassis and black cherry core with touches of roses and menthol. The full-bodied palate delivers great expression and plenty of character, supported by chewy tannins and finishing on a savory note. $60. Our Price $49.99

2014 William Harrison Rutherford
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is roughly split between the two best blocks on Bill’s Rutherford estate, replanted in 1991 and 1997. Affectionately known as the “Old” and “Young” blocks, respectively, they are entirely grafted with Clone 7, but on different rootstocks. The aroma profile is fruit-driven, dominated by Bing cherry, blackberry and cocoa powder, which carry through to the palate. Complementary flavors of cola, baking spices and tobacco are attributed to our unique barrel program. The texture is vibrant and youthful, with balanced natural acidity and fine-grained tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon 76%, Petit Verdot 10%, Malbec 10% and Merlot 4%. $50

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 92
BOOKWALTER Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Readers 2015

Polished yet appealingly brawny, with floral black cherry, toasted spice and bittersweet chocolate flavors that take on momentum toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2026. 3,405 cases made. –TF $28 Our Price $20.95

Wine Spectator 95
BEDROCK The Bedrock Heritage Sonoma Valley 2017

Brooding but not a bruiser. Finesse combines with power, offering fervent blackberry, fruitcake spice, ground pepper and orange zest accents that build intensity toward big but polished tannins. Zinfandel, Carignan, Mataro, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. 750 cases made. Drink now through 2026.—T.F $50 (Limited)

Wine Spectator 96
CARLISLE Zinfandel Russian River Valley Papera Ranch 2016

A stunning wine, jammed with fruit and personality yet retains a sense of refinement. Aromas of blackberry and violet open to complex cherry and licorice notes and a hint of garrigue. Tannins are broad but polished. Drink now through 2027. From California.—T.F $47 (Arrives 1/22/19)

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