The Grape Tray

December 10th 2019 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The base 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is brilliant, and as Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it’s a value that’s hard to beat! Classic black and blue fruits, damp earth, violets, and tobacco notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied effort that stays pure, impeccably balanced, and vibrant on the palate. It’s the real deal, and if it was from Napa, it would sell for 3-4 times the price. $17 Our Price $13.95

James Suckling 92 Points
2017 J Vineyards CA Chardonnay

Green apples, chamomile, apple and lemon curd and hints of cloves and dried nutmeg. Medium body, pretty acidity and a minerally finish. Drink now. $21 Our Price $17.95 (Arrives 12/11/19)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 90 Points
2015 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford
Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford is plush, sensual and inviting, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Hints of cedar, tobacco, menthol, chocolate and licorice add aromatic nuance to a core of fleshy dark fruit. Drink it over the next decade or so. Drinking window: 2017 – 2025. $80/magnum. Our Price $48.95/magnum

Wine Advocate 92+ Points
2015 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi
Nipozzano Riserva

The 2015 Chianti Rufina Riserva Nipozzano has a pretty garnet ruby color and offers lots of cherry and nice fruit intensity. With rich, inner ripeness and dense texture, this wine delivers a great quality-to-price ratio within the greater Frescobaldi portfolio. The quality of Sangiovese from Chianti Rufina is always a little bit brighter and sharper compared to other parts of Tuscany, even in a hot vintage such as this. $25 Our Price $14.95

Wine Spectator 92
ROCO Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley Gravel Road

Vibrant and well-structured, with refined cherry, stony mineral and green tea accents that build richness and polish toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2028. 4,790 cases made. From Oregon.—T.F. $25 Our Price TBD (Arrives 12/11/19)

2018 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: Pale yellow with a green tinge to the hue. Aromas of yellow peach, mango with a slight citrus note intertwine seamlessly with vanilla and spice. The palate is rich and round, with the mango and vanilla fighting for the lime light, while the cream texture, vanilla and slight butter combine seamlessly. The balanced acidity closes out the finish bringing the multiple components into balance. $85/magnum

2017 Penner-Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A perfumed nose showcases strawberry, anise and tea spice aromatics. Experience ripe, fresh raspberry, red plums and strawberry compote with a hint of subtle cedar. The fine texture and silky tannins enhance the vanilla, brown sugar, and leather notes on the finish. $45 Our Price $38.99

2017 Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: Caymus has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe, velvety tannins – as approachable in youth as in maturity. We farm Cabernet grapes in eight of Napa’s 16 sub-appellations, with diversification enabling us to make the best possible wine in a given year. Our Cabernet offers layered, lush aromas and flavors, including cocoa, cassis and ripe dark berries. $190/magnum. Our Price $163.99

Wine Advocate 92
2014 Brane-Cantenac Margaux

The 2014 Brane-Cantenac has a very classy bouquet, very well defined with blackberry, cedar and tobacco scents, that trademark graphite scent emerging with a few swirls of the glass. It is exactly what you expect from this Margaux estate. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well-judged acidity, graphite and cedar towards the linear finish that will clearly need several years to unfold. Classic Margaux really, but wise owls will cellar it away for several years. $57.95 (Arrives 12/11/19)

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

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2017 Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois

The saturated purple-hued 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée De La Reine Des Bois is another brilliant wine from this estate. Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Syrah and Vaccarèse (as well as a few other varieties) brought up in 80% stainless steel and 20% old barrels, it offers an extraordinary bouquet of blackcurrants, chocolaty herbs, ground pepper, and graphite. Deep, rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, it stays pure and flawlessly balanced on the palate, with silky tannins. I love everything about this wine, which reminds me of a slightly plusher example of the 2010. It has some upfront charm today and will continue drinking brilliantly for 15 years or more. $100 Our Price $84.99 (Arrives 12/13/19)

Wine Spectator 92
ALBERT BICHOT Puligny-Montrachet Les Perrières 2017

This is sumptuous, featuring peach and melon fruit wrapped in appealing toasty oak. This harmonious white starts out on the soft side, gaining structure as the long aftertaste extends. Drink now through 2023. 80 cases imported. — BS $137 Our Price $125.99 (Back in stock 12/11/19) Limited

Wine Advocate 98+
2010 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

This is an extraordinary performance once again from the Cathiard family, the proprietors of Smith-Haut-Lafitte. They think the 2010 is even better than the 2009. (I disagree, but only slightly.) This wine has laser-like definition in its an remarkable nose of a subtle charcoal fire interwoven with spring flowers, creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur and spicy wood. Full-bodied, stunningly concentrated, long, rich and moderately tannic, this wine is set for an exceptionally long life of 30-40 years but can be drunk in 5-7. $166.95 (Arrives 12/11/19)


Back to Our Blog