The Grape Tray

November 15th 2019 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 96, Top 100 #2
Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
Mount Veeder 2015

Youthfully compact, with tightly wound black currant, bitter plum and dark blueberry notes, this needs time to meld with the charcoal, bay leaf and tar streaks, but the mouthwatering cut on the finish suggests that won't be a problem. Offers a long echo of juniper at the end. Best from 2023 through 2040. 2,250 cases made. — JM$125 Our Price $119.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 
TAITTINGER Brut Champagne Prélude NV

There's a pleasing viscosity to this elegant Champagne, with sleek acidity creating a mouthwatering frame for the flavors of wild cherry, toast point, preserved lemon and honeycomb. Offers a lingering, creamy finish. Drink now through 2023. 300 cases imported.–AN  $95 Our Price $76.95

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Carlisle Two Acres Russian River Valley Mourvedre Blend

I’ve always loved the Two Acres cuvée from Officer, and his 2017 Two Acres doesn’t disappoint, although I think it’s a small step back from the 2016. Mostly Mourvèdre from deep loam and clay soils, it offers tons of smoked dark fruits, licorice, olive, and plenty of meatiness to go with a ripe, textured, sexy style on the palate. It has plenty of tannins and it certainly offers pleasure today, but 2-3 years of bottle age are going to be your friend. $45

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Carlisle Rossi Ranch Zinfandel

From a well-known site in Sonoma, the 2017 Zinfandel Rossi Ranch offers ripe blackberry and cherry notes as well as complex ground herbs, underbrush, and earthiness. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and flawlessly balanced, it has fine tannins as well as a great, great finish. $48

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot

Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is the appellation release from Hobbs, and it's brought up all in French oak. Black raspberries, bouquet garni, crushed flowers, and honeyed strawberry notes all emerge from this beautifully polished, medium-bodied, seamless effort. With lots of upfront fruit, plenty of underlying depth and structure, and a great finish, it's a winner. Drink it over the coming decade. $60 Our Price $54.99

Wine Advocate 91 Points
2017 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis

From a hot vintage, the 2017 Roero Arneis is a rich and pulpy white wine with bright fruit definition. The bouquet delivers tropical fruit, papaya and apricot. The mouthfeel is rich with thick fruit flavors. This vintage shows superior structure. But an expert winemaking hand is clearly at play, because that sunny ripeness falls short of tasting jammy or too heavy. Bruna Giacosa tells me that because of reduced yields, it proved challenging to source enough fruit to make this wine. Drink this fruit-forward white wine within the next few years. $32 Our Price $25.55

2017 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of candied cherry, ripe strawberry with hints of mushroom, white pepper and toasty oak. An explosion of red fruit including strawberry, cherry and raspberry welcome the palate, finishing with a touch of earthy notes, refined tannins and a soft mouthfeel. $25 Our Price $19.99

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

Wine Spectator 94
MAZZEI Chianti Classico
Ser Lapo Riserva 2016

A vibrant yet brooding red, with bracing acidity driving the cherry, currant, iron, tobacco and almond flavors. Complex and intense, this needs a few years to absorb the tannins. Delivers fine presence and length. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2022 through 2043. 10,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. — BS $28 Our Price $26.99

Wine Spectator 94
PAUL HOBBS Chardonnay Russian River Valley Edward James Estate 2017

Offers a silky mouthfeel, with crunchy acidity behind the vibrant dried pineapple, baked apple and lemon curd flavors. The fine-textured finish lingers, revealing juicy richness and crisp spiciness. Drink now through 2022. 622 cases made. — KM $85

Wine Advocate 95
2016 Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Mount Veeder

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Mount Veeder aged for 22 months in 75% new French oak. No 2017 vintage of this wine will be made. Deep garnet-purple colored, it delivers a very serious nose of baked plums, crème de cassis, dried mulberries and dark chocolate with nuances of tapenade, chargrill, licorice and menthol with a waft of tree bark. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness supporting the taut, muscular black fruit, finishing on a provocative mineral note. 3,000 cases produced. $75 Our Price $52.99



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