The Grape Tray

April 9th 2019 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92
LEWIS Chardonnay Napa Valley 2017

Powerful and refined, with lilting flavors of ripe pear, apple pastry and butterscotch supported by fresh acidity. The long finish is succulent, with marzipan hints. Drink now through 2023. 1,200 cases made. –KM $55 Our Price $49.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93
VILMART Brut Rose Champagne Cuvée Rubis NV

Smoke and graphite notes underscore the ripe strawberry and cherry fruit in this lacy, finely meshed rosé Champagne, accented by ginger biscuit and ground clove notes. Fresh and mouthwatering, presenting a lasting, chalky finish. Drink now through 2021. –AN $97 Our Price $83.99

Wine Spectator 92
BERNHARD OTT Niederösterreich
Am Berg 2017

Lovely aromas of lily, rose, vanilla and coconut accent the peach and pineapple flavors in this white. A firm structure and dense texture make this complete. Multidimensional, with enough acidity for balance, and the body helps out. Persistent saline finish. Grüner Veltliner. Drink now through 2027. 1,320 cases imported.—A.Z. $21 Our Price $18.69

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 Spectator 90+
2016 Santa Carolina
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva de Familia

I prefer the younger 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva de Familia compared to the 2015. This is balsamic and juicy, with nice balance, perfect ripeness and good freshness. Very tasty, representing the variety, place and vintage. Production was somewhat lower than in 2015, with 180,000 bottles in 2016. $20 Our Price $16.25 (Arrives 4/11/19)

From winemaker Andy Erickson, the 2016 Leviathan is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot aged in 25% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with exuberant black cherries, black raspberries and blackcurrants with hints of pencil shavings, black pepper, tobacco and forest floor plus a waft of tapenade. Full, firm and grainy, with gorgeous mid-palate generosity and packed with layers of black fruit and savory sparks, it has a rock-solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long. Approachable now yet structured to cellar, this seriously affordable, serious California blend should age 15-20 years or more. $40 Our Price $34.95

2016 David Hill Estate
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Our 2016 Estate Pinot Noir features aromatics of bright cassis, and underlying tones of black currant, anis, and leather. Forward fruit highlights a soft mid-palate with notes of boysenberry through to the finish. Structured tannins and complex oak finish contribute to the current pproachability of this wine. $24 Our Price $16.75

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

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir The North Slope

The 2016 Pinot Noir The North Slope is medium ruby-purple in color and scented of crushed red plums, mulberries and black cherries with touches of baking spices, violets and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, it offers bags of rich berry flavors in the mouth with a sexy, plush texture and scintillating freshness, finishing long. 1,120 cases produced. $42 (Back in stock 4/10/19)

Wine Advocate 95
2016 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce

The 2016 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce is scented of fresh grapefruit, pineapple and warm apricots with hints of chalk dust, fresh ginger, brioche and cashews. Medium to full-bodied, it packs in tons of opulent tropical and spice flavors, with a pleasant oiliness to the texture and a very long finish. 1,120 cases produced. $36 (Arrives 4/10/19)


Winemaker Notes from Thomas Rivers Brown: The 2016 Hobel The Grain marks our eighth release from this exceptional vineyard. Once again, this wine shows super-expressive savory notes of olive, bay leaf, black walnut, grilled meat and wood spice. Swirling releases beautiful dark fruit - plums, blackberries and black cherries. This wine is less forward than the 2015, yet it holds just as much or more in reserve. The palate is extremely dense, led by plum and followed by cassis, chocolate and chewy, dusty, spicy tannin. As with prior vintages, we think this wine always benefits from some bottle age. The 2016 Grain is a blend of clones 4, 6 and 30. The wine was raised in 75% new French oak from Remond and Baron. $125 (Arrives 4/11/19)

Wine Spectator 95
Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015

Sports an intense and pure beam of raspberry and cassis flavors, flanked by sage, incense and black tea aromas and backed by mouthwatering licorice snap notes and a bramble-filled finish. A beautiful example of mountain fruit. Best from 2022 through 2040. 4,030 cases made. –JM $85 Our Price $76.99

2016 Lewis Cellars Reserve
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: There is distinct power and complexity to our 2016 Reserve Cabernet. Navy blue-black yet brilliant in color the wine is front-loaded with ripe fruit of crushed currants and berries. Secondary notes bring mineral and earth aromas laced with sweet anise and oak spice. Packed with fruit on entry, a dusky, sinewy character develops on the palate with fine-grained tannins tailing to the finish. $175 Our Price $159.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 95-97
2017 Peter Michael Winery Chardonnay Belle Cote

A barrel sample (Rued clone and Old Wente), the 2017 Chardonnay Belle Cote has a simply gorgeous perfume of honeysuckle, spiced peaches, lychees and roses with touches of lime blossoms, mandarin peel and beeswax plus a hint of croissant. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rich, bold and seductive in the mouth with many aromatic layers and an epically long, vibrant finish. 2,320 cases are expected to be produced, to be released in February 2019. Market Price $120-$180. (3 bottles available at $139.99/bottle)

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