The Grape Tray

October 22nd 2019 Newsletter

Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Shannon Ridge 2017 High Elevation Lake County Collection Petite Sirah

This full-bodied, full-flavored wine practically bursts with flavors of cocoa powder, blackberry and blueberry. It is dark, rich and concentrated, supported by a massive layer of fine-grained tannins but not so heavy that one couldn't drink it now with a nice, juicy cut of meat. Best after 2027. $23 Our Price $8.99 (Arrives 10/23/19)

2017 Cakebread Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This wine has a pretty, floral nose with fresh citrus, orange blossom and white peach, but the real treat is in the mouth. The viscosity coats the palate; it is weighty on the tongue yet well balanced with acidity. The finish is clean with a nice zing and lingering minerality intertwined with pear and apple lemon. $45 Our Price $36.95

Wine Advocate 92
2015 Galerie Pleinair Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Pleinair Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon delivers pronounced baked berries, prunes and warm black currant cordial notes with touches of baking spices, olives and dried herbs. Medium to full-bodied, it has concentrated baked black berry and savory layers with soft, velvety tannins and balanced freshness, finishing on a spicy note. 1,540 cases produced. $60 Our Price $49.95

2016 Sterling Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The power of Napa shows in the rich, deeply red garnet color with aromas and flavors of dark red and black fruits, including black cherry, raspberry, blackberry and ripe plum. Notes of mocha, oak spice and cassis are accented with sea salt caramel and vanilla bean. Intense and full-bodied, the wine is balanced and well structured with seamless acidity and evident but pleasing tannins. Approachable and welcoming now, the wine will continue to evolve and reveal more of its personality over the next decade. $32 Our Price $25.99

Decanter Magazine 93 Points
Domaine Besson Givry Rouge ‘Le Haut Colombier’ 2016

Impressive, sappy and alluringly perfumed with plenty of summer pudding fruit, notes of rose petal and violet and subtle vanilla oak. The tannins are very fine here, complemented by chalky minerality. Textured, youthful and long on the palate, this would reward cellaring. $30 Our Price $26.49

2017 Hungry Blonde Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The perfect expression of cool-climate Napa Valley Chardonnay from the Carneros region. Inviting aromas of lemon zest and white flowers make way for waves of bosc pear, Tahitian vanilla, and baked apple tart. All held together with fresh acidity and a supple texture. $30 (Arrives 10/23/19)

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Rose

Winemaker Notes: A bright sparkling pink color. Pleasant and powerful on the nose with a strong presence of ripe red berries. Round and full on the palate. $10 Our Price $7.95

Wine Spectator 96
DOMAINE DE LA CHARBONNIÈRE Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Hautes Brusquières Cuvée Spéciale 2016

This sports the dark and intense fruit of the vintage’s overall profile, with a range of black currant, fig and boysenberry pâte de fruit notes that meld with flavors of licorice snap, fruitcake, singed mesquite and smoldering black tea. The long finish is well-structured and focused, infused with a perfume that lingers beautifully. Best from 2022 through 2038. 850 cases made, 100 cases imported.—J.M. $65 Our Price $59.99

2016 Twenty Rows North Coast
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Sourcing fruit from diverse vineyards creates complex aromas and rich structure for the Napa Valley Cabernet. The mountain fruit provides smooth, velvety tannins with aromas and flavors of black cherries and blackberries, while the valley floor fruit provides dusty cocoa, currants, and brown sugar. $21 Our Price $18.45 (Back in stock 10/23/19)

Wine Spectator 94
ANTHEM Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard 2014

Offers wonderful richness and focuses on juicy, structured blackberry, cedar, anise and light loamy earth flavors. A very complete and compelling display of power and finesse, showing deft balance. Ends with a long, persistent finish that picks up anise and fresh dirt details. Drink now through 2034. 250 cases made. –JL $110

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

Wine Spectator 94
CLIF FAMILY Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Kit’s Killer Cab 2015

Tight and backward now, this ripples with sage, sassafras and bay leaf notes, while the core of black currant and blackberry paste flavors waits its turn to unfurl. Lots of bramble and tar notes score the finish, giving this ample grip, though there’s more than enough fruit to keep pace. Needs cellaring. Best from 2023 through 2040.—J.M. $75

2017 TOR Kenward
Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

WINEMAKER’S NOTES: Our first Oakville designate Cabernet is an auspicious debut, classic Oakville East with its pure cassis,

cherries, raspberries, licorice, dark chocolate, espresso, violets, dried Mediterranean herbs, and warm red rock minerality. Sumptuous yet fresh, with a fleshy, juicy mid palate and ripe, chewy tannins. Just a lovely Cabernet to drink, now and for the next 15-20 years. $95

Wine Advocate 96
2016 TOR Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Hillside

Drive the Oakville Cross Road to the Silverado Trail, then look directly forward and up and you see Tierra Roja, a small four-acre jewel of a hillside vineyard. The vineyard is dotted with big rocks, and the soil is roja (very red). This wine comes from the upper steep terraces of the vineyard, directly below Dalla Valle. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Hillside features red, black and blue fruits with floral and earthy nuances plus pencil shavings and a meaty/savory undercurrent. The palate is full-bodied, firm, grainy and lively with loads of earth and mineral layers. 447 cases produced. $155


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