The Grape Tray

October 15th 2019 Newsletter

Wine Advocate 93
2016 Martinelli Chardonnay Martinelli Road

Scented of poached pears, baker's yeast, stone and spring blossoms, the 2016 Chardonnay Martinelli Road is medium-bodied and creamy textured with a good core of fruit and uplifting freshness, finishing long and savory. 195 cases produced. $60


Wine Spectator 93
FROSTWATCH Chardonnay
Bennett Valley 2015

Delightfully rich and lively, medium-weight yet packed with flavors highlighting tangerine, nectarine and spicy oak, with a long, layered aftertaste that keeps you coming back for more. Drink now.—J.L. 665 cases made. $30

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

Wine Advocate 92
2016 Plumpjack Napa Merlot

Containing a 4% splash of Malbec, the deep purple-black colored 2016 Merlot opens with notions of chocolate-covered cherries, plum preserves, spice cake and black pepper with hints of garrigue and wild sage. Full-bodied and boldly fruited in the mouth, the juicy black fruit is well framed by rounded tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and spicy. $60

Wine Advocate 94+
2016 O'Shaughnessy
Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 3% St. Macaire, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it reveals notions of scorched earth, tar, tilled black soil and fungi over a core of blackcurrant cordial, aniseed, dark chocolate and espresso plus a waft of tobacco. Full-bodied, concentrated and very earthy in the mouth, the rich, black fruits are superbly framed by firm, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. $80 Our Price $74.99

Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
2017 Chateau de Beaucastel Coudoulet Rouge

The 2017 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel is a textbook example of this cuvée, and while it tends to be a relatively expensive Côtes Du Rhône, it merits the price. Complex garrigue, ground pepper, and earthy dark fruits all flow to a medium to full-bodied wine that has a polished, elegant texture as well as the sunny, Provençal style of the vintage. It’s capable of lasting for 15 years or more. $32 Our Price $27.99 (Limited)

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Shafer Vineyards Red Blend TD-9

The 2016 Red Blend TD-9 is blended of 58% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec. It has a very deep purple-black color and displays ready-for-biz, fragrant scents of warm plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry compote with touches of baking spices, bay leaves and potpourri. Full-bodied with a serious, firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, the palate delivery loads of black fruit and spicy layers with bags of vivacity and panache. $65

Vinous 90 pts
2017 Tenuta San Leonardo Sauvignon Blanc Vette di San Leonardo

Pale straw-yellow. Perfumed nose of herb-accented aromas of green fig, tomato leaf and white flowers is in a pungent New Zealand-like style. Bright floral and white pepper notes add lift to the lively but simple citrus fruit flavors. A subtle herbal nuance lends complexity on the long finish but what this wine is really all about is early juicy appeal. Drinking window: 2018 – 2020. $25 Liquidation Price $13.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Thanksgiving wine!
2018 Francois Crochet Sancerre Rosé

Importer Notes: It’s never easy to pick a favorite wine, especially if you’ve made it a habit to drink your way around Europe. We couldn’t say which rosé in our collection tops our list, but if we were to choose the most complex, it might be François Crochet’s Sancerre rosé made of Pinot Noir.

A textbook example of finely wrought Sancerre rosé, François’ are hard to keep your hands off, but age effortlessly. (Tip: Don’t believe what people say about the ageability of rosé—Pinot Noir rosés, especially those from northern France, are even better the following year, and it'd be wise to plan for your future summer rosé parties by putting a few of these away till next year!) A short maceration on the skins laces this wine’s charming but deeply layered nose with the essence of elegant green citrus, dark pink rose, passionfruit, and a sweet green herbs. On the palate, mineral and acidic freshness are gifted from this great wine land of the north, making it a pleasant, electric experience. $30 Our Price $26.99 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Rivers-Marie Bearwallow Anderson Valley Chardonnay

From the well-known site in Anderson Valley owned by Rhys, the 2017 Chardonnay Bearwallow Vineyard is a fresh, focused, beautifully balanced Chardonnay that has complex notes of lemon curd, white flowers, chamomile, and tons of salty, mineral-like nuances. Brought up in 25% new French oak, it’s a balanced, chiseled Chardonnay that will benefit from a year in bottle and keep for upwards of a decade if well stored. $50 (Arrives 10/17/19)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Rivers-Marie Bearwallow Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

The 2017 Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard comes from two separate blocks in the vineyard and slightly younger vines. Aged 10 months in 25% new French oak, it has terrific purity in its dark fruits, crushed flowers, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. It’s medium to full-bodied, balanced, has fine, integrated tannins, and is a long, complex, classic Pinot Noir to drink over the coming decade. $60 (Arrives 10/17/19)

Wine Advocate 96+
2016 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is composed of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Saint Macaire, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carménère. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has provocative notes of baked blackberries, stewed plums and crème de cassis with earthy/savory hints of fertile loam, chargrill, wood smoke and new leather plus a touch of sautéed herbs. Full-bodied with fantastic concentration and bags of savory layers, it has a rock-solid line of grainy tannins and a compelling herbal lift on the finish. $110



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