The Grape Tray

March 12th, 2019 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 90 Points
Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio
Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2017

This balanced, light-bodied white offers a lively mix of peach, passion fruit, floral and pink grapefruit zest notes, with tangy acidity and a floral finish. Drink now through 2021. From Italy. 25,800 cases made —Alison Napjus $16 Our Price $13.25 (Arrives 3/13/19)

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Wine Spectator 94
CARPINETO Chianti Classico Riserva 2015

Smells like a little Cabernet Sauvignon enhancing the Sangiovese in this black currant- and cherry-flavored red (but it's actually Canaiolo, with a bit of Mammolo and Colorino). Cedar, thyme, iron and sanguine notes round out the palate as this cruises to a lingering aftertaste. Shows excellent structure and balance. Best from 2020 through 2035. 17,800 cases made. –BS $28 Our Price $23.95 (Arrives 3/13/19)

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 (Back in stock)

Wine Advocate 94
2014 Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Mt. Veeder

Composed of 81% Cabernet, 16% Malbec and a dollop a Petit Verdot, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Mt. Veeder has a very deep purple-black color and nose of crushed blackcurrants, blackberries and plums with hints of cedar chest, dried Provence herbs, rose petals and menthol with a hint of rare beef. Full-bodied, concentrated and vibrant in the mouth, it has tons of energy framed by grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and earthy. $65 Our Price $49.95

2015 Bogle Phantom

Winemaker Notes: Enticing and enveloping, this mysterious apparition of ripe berry and relentless spice, returns to tantalize wine lovers. Emerging from the shadows with concentration and intensity, this wine will haunt you with every sip.

Black pepper, juniper and cranberry spark your senses, while a rustic jamminess soothes your soul with its familiarity. Full bodied flavors of black plums and berries bewitch the palate. Touches of cedar boxes and spice surround the finish, as long tannins linger, languish and settle around you like a fog. 44% Petite Sirah, 44% Zinfandel, 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. $18 Our Price $14.45

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

2018 Bevan Dry Stack Vineyard
Rosemary’s Block Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Our 2018 Dry Stack Sauvignon Blanc is pure sunshine in a glass. Tropical notes of fresh pineapple, passionfruit and papaya are present on the palate. It is one of the most lively and refreshing Sauvignon Blancs we have made to date. But (and here is where things get exciting…) she also has significantly more extraction than any of our previous Sauvignons. The resulting wine is incredibly powerful, yet light on her feet at the same time. $38 (Arrives 3/15/19)

2017 Bevan Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: From day one, the 2017 Petaluma Gap has reminded us of our 2013 Black-eye Bill. There is a fabulous core of red and blue fruits, but like Black-eye Bill, this wine has an amazing sauvage or animal quality to it. It is as dark as most Cabernets, with deep purple going all the way to the rim. Just by looking at it you know that this is a very serious wine. It grabs your attention and holds it. $83 (Arrives 3/15/19)

2017 Bevan Russian River Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 Richie Vineyard Chardonnay has a beautiful gold green hue to it. As you pour this wine it aromatically takes over the room. Your goal might have been to look at the color and viscosity in and on the glass, but the wine forces you to smell her. Pineapple, key lime and freshly grilled toast envelop you. Texturally the wines acidity hits the pallet and lights up your tongue which is immediately followed by her amazing richness. She is all silky power. $70 (Arrives 3/15/19)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2016 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged 20 months in 50% new barrels, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Silencieux is a perfumed, exotic Cabernet that has lots of blackberries, blueberries, violets, damp earth, and sappy green herbs. It's fresh and vibrant yet beautifully concentrated, with silky yet present tannins. As with all these releases from Venge, it has fabulous purity and impeccable balance. $67 Our Price $54.99

Wine Spectator 94
SAN LORENZO Zinfandel Alexander Valley Rock Garden 2016

Red Dynamic, expressive and structured, with floral blackberry and licorice aromas that open to plump and polished black cherry, crushed stone and smoky pepper flavors that build richness on a long finish. 338 cases made. Drink now through 2027.—T.F $48 (Arrives 3/15/19)

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