February 22nd, 2019 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

February 22nd, 2019 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 94
BUCKLIN Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Bambino Field Blend
 Old Hill Ranch 2015

This distinctive and plump yet focused and refined version shows personality, with flavors of blackberry, fruitcake spices, black licorice and smoky pepper. 700 cases. Drink now through 2025.—T.F $24 Our Price $21.99

Wine Spectator 94
ALZINGER Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau Ried Mühlpoint 2017

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 Advocate 95
2015 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Land’s Edge Vineyards

One of the brilliant efforts from Hartford Court is the 2015 Pinot Noir Land’s Edge Vineyards. From a site located only four miles from the Pacific Ocean, this wine has a saturated ruby/purple color and a beautiful concentration of blueberry, black raspberry and black cherry, some crushed rock and spring flowers. The terrific fruit on the attack and mid-palate, the full-bodied finish and intensity are all promising in this brilliant effort. Drink it over the next decade. $50 Our Price $42.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

2016 FAMILLE BRUNIER Le Pigeoulet Vaucluse

Winemaker Notes: The Bruniers’ vineyards in the La Crau cru of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are the most pedigreed of the appellation, producing wines of exceptional quality and longevity. Since purchasing Domaine La Roquète in 1986, the family has complemented their portfolio with additional wines, offering more affordable cuvées that showcase the diversity of terroirs within their holdings. The “Pigeoulet” and “Mégaphone” are fresh, rich in fruit, pleasantly representative of their terroir, and easy to appreciate young. 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and 5 $19 Our Price $15.95

2017 William Harrison Sangiacomo Los Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our 2017 Chardonnay is comprised of two different vineyard blocks grown just west of the town of Sonoma. Three generations of the Sangiacomo family have farmed wine grapes since 1927, and helped establish Carneros as a world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir region. Half of this vintage completed malolactic fermentation, which creates a creamy texture to the wine, held together by its naturally bright acidity. Tropical aromatics consist of lemon curd, orange zest, a hint of pineapple and crème brulee. With time in the glass, a faint vanilla bean character becomes more prominent. On the palate, Meyer lemon reigns, backed by stone fruits, toasted cashews and a trace of ghee. The firm acidity cleans up its medium-length finish. $40

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

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

2017 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 offers lush, luxurious aromas and flavors of melon, honeysuckle, apricot, pineapple and flint all held together with effortless structure, elegant balance, and energy that comes from pure, Chablis-like acidity. $57 Our Price $51.99 (Arrives 2/26/19)

Wine Spectator 92
JOH. JOS. PRÜM Riesling Kabinett Mosel Graacher Himmelreich 2016

Seductive, with floral and mineral elements, and nectarine and custard aromas and flavors that interchange on the vibrant frame, underscored by bright acidity. Precise and pure, with a light feel and a long, vanilla-tinged aftertaste. Drink now through 2025. 850 cases made. –AZ $38 Our Price $27.99 (Arrives 2/23/19)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
Outpost 2016 Zinfandel
Howell Mountain, Napa Valley

The 2016 Zinfandel is another superb wine from Outpost. Dark, ample and full-bodied, the 2016 is imbued with tremendous character as well as complexity. Dark cherry, plum, chocolate, leather and smoke all build as this super-expressive Zinfandel shows off its personality. In 2016 the Outpost Zinfandel is outrageously beautiful, not to mention a huge overachiever. $50

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2017 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese Riesling Mosel

Pristine aromas of lemon and lime introduce this crystalline spätlese. It’s lip-smackingly sweet, marked by concentrated honeysuckle and hibiscus flavors. Electric grapefruit acidity leads a long pure finish. Delicious already, it will only improve through 2030, and likely hold much further. $40 (Arrives 2/23/19)

Wine Advocate 93
2016 Joseph Phelps Napa
Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is made up of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc aged for 18 months in 48% new French and American oak and bottled in May/June of 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of crushed blackcurrants, blackberry pie and blueberry compote with suggestions of cigar box, menthol, rose hip tea and baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with vibrant black fruit laced with plenty of spicy sparks, framed by grainy tannins and oodles of freshness and finishing long with a menthol kick. $80 Our Price $64.99

Clos des Papes Le Petit Vin d'Avril Rouge NV

Winemaker Notes: This wine shows a deep, rich purple robe in the glass with distinct aromas of wild berries, herbs and spices, bitter almond, cloves and star anise. Smooth on the palate and of fine structure. Bewitching to the finish. $25 Our Price $19.95

Wine Advocate 96+
2015 Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour

Blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec aged 22 months in 100% new French oak, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is very deep purple-black in color and reveals bags of crushed blackberries, black cherries and warm cassis notes with mocha, Sichuan pepper and hoisin plus unsmoked cigars and cedar chest hints. Full-bodied and absolutely laden with layers of black fruits and spices, it has a firm, grainy frame and seamless freshness, finishing very long. 6,240 cases produced. $150 Internet Price $125.99. Grape Tray email subscriber price $99.95 (Please email stan@grapetray.com) Delicious!

Wine Advocate 97
2016 Chateau de Beaucastel
Chateauneuf du Pape

Bottled only a week before my visit, I was blown away by how well Beaucastel's 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing. It's full-bodied, creamy, lush and rich, with layers of raspberry fruit, garrigue and spice that unfold across a seamless palate. No doubt it will go through cycles of being open and closed throughout its lifespan, but it would be a mistake to simply order a case, put it into storage and forget about it without trying one first and swooning over the sheer lusciousness and youthful complexity. $90 Our Price $79.95

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