The Grape Tray

August 27th 2019 Newsletter

Labor Day Holiday
We will be closed on Monday, 9/2/19


2018 Domaine du Dragon
Cotes du Provence Rose Grande Cuvee

Winemaker Notes: TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Delicate pink color. Strawberries and light pepper. Textured and fruity, with flavors of red plums, lemon zest, raspberries. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Sweet/spicy Asian cuisines; barbecue. $20 Our Price $15.99 (Back in stock)

2017 Ridge Lytton Springs

Winemaker Notes: A season of extreme weather began with heavy winter rains that replenished the water table. The vines rebounded with a full crop but record high temperatures in July and August reduced yields, especially in the petite sirah. This concentrated flavor and color and after 14 months in barrel the wine is exceptionally rich and complex. It will develop more fully over the next ten years. 74% ZINFANDEL, 15% PETITE SIRAH, 9% CARIGNANE, 2% MATARO. $45 Our Price $38.99 (Arrives 8/28/19)

Wine Spectator 94
CASTELLARE DI CASTELLINA Chianti Classico 2017

A beam of pure cherry and blackberry fruit defines this intense, racy red. Firm and tensile, with fine balance and an aftertaste of vibrant fruit, graphite and tobacco flavors. Sangioveto and Canaiolo. Drink now through 2033.—B.S $22 (Arrives 8/28/19)

Wine Spectator 92
TURLEY Zinfandel California Juvenile 2017

Vibrant and zesty, with lively cherry and raspberry flavors, accented by smoky sage and peppery licorice notes. Drink now through 2026. 15,000 cases made. — TF $20 Our Price $22.99 (Back in stock)

Wine Advocate 93+
2016 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

“In 2016 we had access to vineyard sites that came with the purchase by Jackson Family Wines," Lynn Penner-Ash explains. "Those sites brought some freshness to the wines. They are fresher and livelier than what we saw from the other warm vintages." She also notes that the oak usage dropped quite a bit in 2016, down to about 19%-23% from 20%-40%. Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley opens with just the slightest touch of gunflint-like reduction on the nose, giving way to red cherries, cranberries and warm raspberry with underlying suggestions of pink peppercorn and flowers. Light to medium-bodied, it gives up great layers of warm red and blue fruits with earthy accents of forest floor, wet earth and bark. It's structured by fine-grained tannins and great juicy acidity carrying the long fruit-forward finish. This is youthfully coiled but should blossom beautifully. 10,000 cases produced. $45 Our Price $39.99

Wine Spectator 90
FIRST DROP Shiraz Barossa
Mother's Milk 2016

Appealing and aromatic up front, with rosemary, thyme and sage details to the restrained flavors of cranberry and raspberry at the core. Elegant, fresh and smooth, finishing juicy. Drink now through 2028. 15,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. — MW $20 Our Price $16.25

Wine Advocate 94-96
2016 Chateau de Saint Cosme Chateauneuf du Pape

Blended, but still aging in barrel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape will likely be bottled in March 2019. Brandied cherries and dried spices mark the nose of this full-bodied, plush wine. It's slightly warm, and certainly rich, but it remains fresh and long on the finish. It should be a beauty. $64 Our Price $55.99

2016 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Combining the lush fruit of our warmer estate vineyards with the rustic elegance of grapes from the cooler “deep end” of the valley, this wine offers a beautifully complete expression of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. On the palate, lively flavors of wild strawberry and cherry are in perfect harmony, with terroir-driven hints of saddle leather, anise, pennyroyal and wild mushrooms, as well as notes of confectionary spices and vanilla from aging in the finest French oak. $52 Our Price $44.99

Wine Spectator 90
FITZ-RITTER Riesling Pfalz Dürkheim 2017

This fruity Riesling is textured, with crunchy acidity and savory mineral details underscoring notes of yellow apple, lemon oil and coriander. Very open, with nice concentration, but shows good balance and complexity. Drink now through 2025. 250 cases made, 28 cases imported. –AZ $17 Our Price $13.99

Wine Spectator 95
DOMINUS ESTATE Napa Valley 2016

This marries a range of old-school savory, tobacco, chestnut and bay leaf notes with a dense and muscular core of dark currant and blackberry fruit, all backed by a loam-swaddled finish. Long and dense, but defined, with the fruit steadily emerging to win out in the end. Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Best from 2023 through 2040.—J.M. $335. Our Price $299.95

Vinous (91-93) pts
Domaine de l'Arlot 2017 Nuits Saint-Georges
Clos des Forêts Saint Georges

The 2017 Nuits Saint-Georges Clos des Forêts Saint-Georges is completely de-stemmed, unlike the Clos de l’Arlot, partly because of the analysis that suggested it should include stems. It has a very pure bouquet, a little more opulent than the Clos de l’Arlot, featuring black cherry, blueberry and light floral scents. The smooth, rounded palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin and denser than the Clos de l’Arlot, but then again, maybe the Clos de l’Arlot has more personality. Drinking window: 2021 – 2037. $130 Our Price $118.99

Wine Advocate 96-98 points
2016 Ridge Monte Bello Proprietary Red

The 2016 Monte Bello is stunning, bursting from the glass with aromas of crushed currants, plums, charcoal, sweet spices, black truffle and rich soil. On the palate, it's full-bodied, immensely deep and very concentrated, with an ample core of dark fruit that almost entirely conceals its rich chassis of tannin. The finish is long, tensile and chalky. Eric Baugher observes that 2016 was a drought year but that the vines were less stressed than in 2015, thanks to Spring precipitation, and it wasn't necessary to irrigate. Summer saw wild temperature swings, and though it was below average in summation, some days were very warm. The final Monte Bello blend contains 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, which represents a slight change from when I tasted it a year ago, though its profile remains very much the same. The 2016 checks in at 13.8% alcohol and pH 3.49. Cellar it for a decade and follow it for another three. $225 (Arrives 8/28/19) Limited


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