The Grape Tray

June 7th 2019 Newsletter

Wine Advocate 90
2016 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

The 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is a very good introduction to the Brewer-Clifton style, wafting from the glass with a nose of ripe cherries, candied red fruit, spice and dried herbs that's more fruit-driven than this bottling often is straight out of the gates. On the palate, the wine is supple, saline and medium-bodied, with nice energy and a crunchy core of fruit. This should drink well for the better part of a decade. $45 Our Price $34.99

2017 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, Half Bottle

Winemaker Notes: Enticing aromas of vanilla, peach and mango are layered with apricots, crème brulee, butter and a slight minerality. Those scents are schoed as flavors on the creamy, rich palate, along with peach, pie crust and baking spices. The long smooth finish is marked by mouthwatering acidity. $20/375ml

Decanter 93 Points and Enthusiast 92 Points
2015 Santa Carolina
Reserva de Familia Cabernet

Decanter: A very clean and fresh medium-plus bodied wine with great complexity. Juicy, approachable and refreshing melange of black fruit and capsicum notes.

Wine Enthusiast: Elegance mixed with bold fruit is what this overachieving Cabernet is about. Aromas of blackberry, dried black plum, spice and cocoa suggest high quality. A focused palate and textural grip holds cherry and cassis flavors that are ripe and backed by notes of chocolate and coffee. Drink through 2022. $22 Our Price $16.25

2016 Ancient Peaks Renegade

Winemaker Notes: The 2016 Renegade presents heady aromas of plum, cherry, violets, vanilla bean and savory leather with a suggestion of baking spice. Juicy flavors of red and black fruits co-mingle seamlessly across a rich, expansive palate, revealing hints of wildberry jam, sage and cedar. Lively yet integrated acidity lends elegance to this otherwise powerful wine, carrying notes of black pepper into a long, balanced finish. The full-bodied yet polished character of the 2016 Renegade is an excellent match for rack of lamb, grilled pork chops, bacon-wrapped filet, and black pepper-crusted roast beef. 32% Syrah, 25% Zinfandel, 20% Malbec, 19% Petit Verdot, 4% Petite Sirah. $25 Our Price $17.99

Wine Spectator 94
CASTELLO DEI RAMPOLLA Chianti Classico 2016

Purity and intensity mark this supple, complex red, bursting with black cherry, black currant, plum, graphite, sanguine and tobacco notes that show an underlying woodsy accent. The well-integrated structure lends support as

this plays out on the long finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2021 through 2035.—B.S. 850 cases imported. $40 Our Price $31.95

Wine Spectator 90
ALLAN SCOTT Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2018

The pear and green apple flavors are succulent, bright and crisp, with plenty of verve from the fresh acidity. Details of matcha tea and lemongrass linger on the finish. Drink now. 60,000 cases made, 1,000 cases imported. — MW $18 Our Price $11.99

2017 Poseidon Vineyard Carneros Estate Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Medium light in color, this Pinot Noir teases the nose with dried raspberries, builds with allspice, clove, and nutmeg, evolving into fresh baked strawberry-rhubarb pie. Bing cherry, root beer, and vanilla provide grace notes. On the palate this is quintessentially Carneros and classically Poseidon Vineyard: medium weight, not overly aggressive, with well-balanced fruit and spice that mimic the aromas, with an added touch of soy and Sassafras. The acidity leaves the finish clean and fresh while the spice notes continue their echo. $32 Our Price $25.99

2017 Poseidon Carneros Estate Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Initially shy, the aromas of this Chardonnay blossom into pear and nectarine, supported by hints of fall spices and a touch of linoleum resin. Those same stone fruits are echoed on the palate, with a squeeze of lime and a touch of toasted brioche. A fine-grained acidity provides a counterpoint to the summer-ripe fruit, leaving a medium-long finish. $26 Our Price $22.99

2016 Frank Family Napa Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: This wine appears ruby in color, and aromas of black pepper, savory spices and ripe red fruits waft out of the glass. This bright, fresh zinfandel has a smooth, silky mouthfeel, and bold flavors of grilled plum, fruit compote and fresh raspberries entice the palate. $36 Our Price $29.95

2016 Calera Mt. Harlan Jensen Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The prized 1975 plantings of Jensen Vineyard have yielded a gorgeous Pinot Noir that strikes a seamless balance between lushness and finesse. On the nose, aromas of ripe red cherry, cedar and black raspberry rise from the glass, followed by hints clove and spice. The palate is silky and generous, with abundant layers of ripe fruit gliding to a vibrant and lingering finish. $95

Wine Spectator 95
LA JOTA Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2015

This is vivid and beautifully rendered, with a dense yet racy core of unadulterated cassis, boysenberry and blackberry puree flavors, flecked with anise, light bramble and polished ganache notes. The long finish shows a great tug of tarry earth while the fruit drives on. Best from 2021 through 2040. 1,700 cases made. — JM $125 Our Price $119.99

Wine Advocate 93-95 Points
2017 Ridge Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine

A first look at the 2017 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine revealed immense promise. Despite having been in barrel for a mere six months, it's already offering up complex aromas of raspberries, blackberries and exotic spice. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, pure and succulent, with superb concentration, a lovely line of ripe acidity and a chalky, fine-grained finish. The wine attained 14.7% alcohol, and Baugher believes it will be one of the best renditions of Geyserville in a decade. $45 Our Price $39.99 (Back in stock)

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

Wine Spectator 94
VILMART Brut Champagne Coeur de Cuvée 2010

This elegant version offers seamless integration, draping a vivid frame of acidity with a fine, satiny texture and layered flavors of black currant, chopped almond, candied lemon zest and biscuit. Focused and graceful throughout, with a lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged January 2017. Drink now through 2028. 200 cases imported. –AN $151 Our Price $138.99



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