The Grape Tray

April 2nd 2019 Newsletter

2016 Taken Proprietary Napa Red

Winemaker Notes: Dark garnet red with a purple hue. The nose of this opulent blend is incredibly flashy with abundant aromas of red currant, raspberry, blackberry cobbler, spice and a hint of underbrush. The French oak is subtle, yet present. This powerful wine boasts copious amounts of juicy, ripe red fruit characteristics and is extraordinarily soft and supple. In addition, hints of lingering milk chocolate and cherry truffle notes dance on the back palate. $40 Our Price $24.95

2017 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: With a brilliant garnet hue, the 2017 Luli Pinot Noir bursts from the glass with powerful aromatics of Bing cherry, strawberry cream, and baked plum. The morning fog and coastal breezes that pour into the Santa Lucia Highlands envelop the palate in the form of rose petal, blackberry crumble, red currant, and sage undertones. These rugged slopes stress the vines, producing fruit of exceptional complexity and structure, which reflect in the wine’s lively acidity and elegant tannin. This wine’s expansive, lingering finish allows for pairing with a wide variety of dishes. $24 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives 4/3/19)

2017 Red Car Rose of Pinot Noir, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir was harvested at a cool 21° Brix and immediately whole cluster pressed, crafted in true vin gris style, fermented like a white wine without skin or seed contact. This enticingly aromatic wine is bone dry, delicate in structure, with racy acidity, and 12.9% alcohol. Consistent with the 2016 vintage, we blended two cool-climate appellations: Sonoma Coast (38%) and Mendocino Ridge (62%). The Manchester Ridge Vineyard and Mariah Vineyard from the Mendocino Ridge appellation sit at about 2000 feet elevation, situated extremely close to the vast Pacific Ocean, offering us unparalleled acidity. The vineyards from the Sonoma Coast appellation are all located within 8 miles of the coastline, set in the rolling hills of the West Sonoma Coast. Fruit from these vineyards perfectly complement those from Mendocino, offering ideal conditions to achieve the crisp, lively style of Rose we strive to produce. $55/magnum. Our Price $44.95/magnum

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (90-93) pts
2017 Carlisle Sonoma County Zinfandel

The 2017 Zinfandel (Sonoma County) is pliant and super-expressive, not to mention incredibly delicious. A beam of bright acids gives the wine energy and a surprising amount of vitality as well. Medium in body and supremely gracious, the Sonoma Zinfandel over-delivers big time. The Sonoma County is built on a core of fruit from the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley, plus touches of Rossi, Du Pratt and Dry Creek Zinfandels and drops of Two Acres Petite Sirah. More importantly, the 2017 is an absolutely gorgeous wine. It's as simple as that. $31 (Arrives 4/5/19)

2016 Levendi Sweetwater Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: A big, exuberant nose of mocha and black cherry aromas, cradled with notes of five-spice and black licorice. The palate had a pleasant jammy entry with plum and black cherry fruit. Plushy, velvety fruit on the finish with soft tannin to remember that it is really Cabernet. $55 Our Price $47.99

Wine Spectator 94

Dense and muscular, yet graceful, this red balances ripe blackberry and cassis flavors with savory black olive, bitter chocolate and mineral notes. The firm tannins are well-integrated, and lively acidity keeps this fresh through the spicy and floral finish. Drink now through 2028. 420 cases made. –TM. $30 Our Price $26.99

Wine Spectator 93
CAROL SHELTON Coquille Blanc
Paso Robles 2017

Fresh and spicy pear, lime and green apple flavors show details of matcha, peach blossom and honeysuckle in this white, which offers nice complexity and balance, with plenty of fresh acidity. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne. Drink now through 2024. 1,203 cases made.—M.W. $24 Our Price $19.95

Wine Spectator 94
ROCCA DELLE MACÌE Chianti Classico
Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva 2015

A dark version, featuring intense flavors of blackberry, black cherry, spice and tar up against a wall of tannins. All the elements are here, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Terrific length. Best from 2023 through 2040. 25,000 cases made. –BS $26 Our Price $21.95 (Arrives 4/3/19)

Wine Advocate 95+
2017 Turley Wine Cellars • Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard

From fruit planted at an elevation of 2,400 feet at the top of Howell Mountain, the deep purple-black 2017 Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard features black cherry liqueur, crème de cassis, dried violets, warm baking spice and baked blue fruits on the nose. Full-bodied, it packs in the black and blue fruits with very pretty perfumed earth notes, framed by firm tannins and great freshness, finishing very long and dense. 1,450 cases produced. $50 (Arrives 4/3/19)

Wine Advocate 91+
2017 Turley Wine Cellars • Zinfandel Juvenile

This is a blend of young-vine fruit from 13 different counties in California. Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Zinfandel Juvenile is scented of cinnamon toast and licorice with warm red currants, cranberries, warm black berries and cherries with blue fruits and spicy hints. Light to medium-bodied, it has a good core of fruit in the mouth with loads of warm spices coming through, framed by softly textured tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and spicy. 15,000 cases produced. $22 (Arrives 4/3/19)

Wine Advocate 96+
2017 Paul Hobbs • Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard

The 2017 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard charges forth with notes of spiced apples, pear tart and brioche with touches of butterscotch, lime blossoms and coriander seed plus a waft of mandarin peel. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is still very tightly wound, with a compelling backbone of freshness cutting through the intense citrus and savory layers, finishing long and mineral laced. 597 cases produced, to be released in March 2019. $90 Our Price $79.99 (Arrives 4/3/19)

Wine Advocate 95
2017 Paul Hobbs • Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard

Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2017 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard sings of ripe cranberries, kirsch and black raspberries with hints of rhubarb, underbrush, spice cake and fragrant soil. Medium to full-bodied, it has a wonderfully soft texture and tons of bold red berry layers, extending to a long, compelling finish with a touch of minerality. 1,015 cases produced, to be released in March 2019. $97 Our Price $84.99 (Arrives 4/3/19) Limited

James Suckling 99 Points
Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Private Reserve 2015

The spice and walnut aromas are so enticing. Undertones of blackberries and black truffles. Full-bodied, dense and layered with fantastic tension and seamless tannins. It goes on for minutes. All about classic structure and beauty. Try in 2021. $170 Our Price $149.99

Wine Advocate 99 Points
2016 Continuum • Proprietary Red

The 2016 Proprietary Red is blended of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 18% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it emits an incredible array of seductive floral notes—violets, lavender and rose hip tea—with a core of warm cassis, redcurrant jelly, dark chocolate, cigar box, tapenade and crushed rocks plus hints of bay leaves, beef drippings and yeast extract. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with vivacious black fruit sparked by red fruit, herbal and mineral accents. It is framed with a rock-solid line of firm, grainy, super ripe tannins and finishes with fantastic fragrance and freshness. Wow! $265 (Arrives 4/3/19) Limited

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