The Grape Tray

February 1st, 2019 Newsletter

Wine Storage @ The Grape Tray
Secure location with alarm and sensors.
Temperature and humidity controlled
Please call 559-226-6828 or email stan@grapetray.com
Visit: Winecellar.vin

Wine Spectator 93
TENSLEY Syrah Santa Barbara County 2017

Vibrant and layered, with expressive raspberry and blueberry flavors accented by garrigue notes, hints of mineral and smoked cracked pepper accents that take on richness toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2025.—T.F $28

Wine Advocate 93
2016 Bosquet des Papes "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

A terrific example of this bottling, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Tradition is a blend of 75% Grenache, 12% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah and tiny amounts of Cinsault, Counoise and Vaccarèse. About 40% was destemmed in this textbook vintage, the fruit coming from 40 different parcels around the appellation. Floral and raspberry notes emerge on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied but silky textured, ending on subtle shadings of Provence herbs and licorice. It's a relative bargain that's easy to drink now, but it should easily go a decade or more in a cool cellar. The wines here seem to be going from strength to strength, with quality inching up nearly every vintage and prices still reasonable given the fairly large volumes involved. This is a property to buy from before pricing jumps. $50 Our Price $38.95

Wine Spectator 98
WARRE Vintage Port 2016

Gorgeous, with warm plum reduction and gently steeped raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors forming the core, all inlaid withwarm ganache and smoldering tobacco accents. Very plush in feel, but has no lack of energy, as everything sails beautifully through the long finish. A late echo of anise completes the seduction. Best from 2035 through 2055. From Portugal.—J.M. $98 Our Price $80.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 92
2016 Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is blended of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller portions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, aged for 19 months in 30% new French oak. The core of the fruit comes from the Coombsville estate blended with some mountain and valley floor fruit from elsewhere. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it offers a beautiful core of ripe blackcurrants, blackberries and lavender with nuances of cedar chest, pencil lead and camphor plus a waft of tilled soil. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a nice, firm backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and well-played freshness delivering a long, vibrant finish. $60 Our Price $49.95

2015 Outlot Sonoma Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Light golden yellow in color, the Outlot Chardonnay has a nose reminiscent of warm apple pie with hints of cardamom, toffee, and acacia blossoms. The luscious, creamy entry on the palate leads to waves of honeycomb, honey-crisp apple, peach, and a touch of apricot, finishing with rich butterscotch flavors and a kiss of vanilla. A truly handsome wine. $20 Our Price $15.95

2016 Rombauer El Dorado Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: This wine is ruby red with a bright hue, and aromas of red berries and mountain berries mixed with brown sugar, tobacco and a hint of violet. On the palate, it’s expansive and dense with flavors of plums, raspberry, blackberry jam, vanilla and dried florals. The finish builds and lingers on and on. $42

Wine Spectator 90
MUD HOUSE Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017

Intense and focused, offering a lip-smacking, tangy expression of lemon-lime, passion fruit and green apple flavors. Very juicy on the finish. Drink now. 90,000 cases made. –MW $16 Our Price $9.95 (We have one case left)

2013 Lamadrid Single Vineyard Bonarda

Winemaker Notes: Bright red color with blue hints. In the mouth, it is unctuous, full of red-fruit jam which can also be perceived in the nose. $20 Our Price $16.25

Wine Spectator 95
TENSLEY Syrah Santa Barbara County Colson Canyon Vineyard 2017

Deeply structured yet rich and polished, with smoked meat, huckleberry and garrigue notes that jaunt toward big but refined tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2028. From California.—T.F $42

Wine Spectator 96
DENNER Dirt Worshipper Central Coast 2016

Impressively combines concentrated and bold fruit with a polished, refined structure, offering spirited black plum, licorice and smoked pepper flavors, accented by crushed stone and fresh earth details. The tannins are broad but harmonious. Syrah, Roussanne and Viognier. Drink now through 2027. 1,123 cases made. From California.—T.F $75 Our Price $69.99

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Domaine Olivier Hillaire
Chateauneuf du Pape

The young estate has turned out some crazy good 2016s, including the "basic" 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape, a blend of 90% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Syrah, all from the lieu-dit of Grand Pierre. Aged in concrete and neutral barrels, it shows terrific balance, matching black cherries and raspberries with hints of garrigue, and ample weight and richness on the palate with fine, silky tannins. Concentrated, flavorful and long. $50 Our Price $38.95 (Arrives 2/5/19)

Does the Coravin Wine Preservation System Actually Work?

We have been using the Coravin for several years and it has become a very valuable tool. However, we have noticed occasionally when the wine is dispensed using the Coravin the wine does not show as well as it would if we had just pulled the cork the old fashion way. We have over 5 cases of wine which have been “Coravined” sitting in the cellar. Some of the bottles are 75% full and others 50%. Several of the bottles were initially tasted (using the Coravin) over two years ago. Beginning today, we will revisit these wines to see if the wines still taste the same or possibly even better.

Partial List: 2013 Ehlers St. Helena Cab, 2014 Lewis Ethan’s Syrah, 2015 Lemelson Thea’s Pinot Noir, 2014 Denner Ditch Digger, 2013 Mocali Brunello, 2015 Foxen Santa Maria Pinot, 2010 Farella Combsville Cab, 2014 Ramey Napa Cab, 2013 Rudius Farella Napa Cab, 2013 Beau Vigne Romeo Napa Cab, 2016 Morgan Twelve Clones SLH Pinot, 2015 Meyer Napa Cab.

Would you like to taste these wines? Come by and we will pour you a glass! Tasting fee: 25 cents


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