The Grape Tray

January 7th 2020 Newsletter

2013 Villa San-Juliette Paso Robles
Estate Merlot

Winemaker Notes: Just peering into the dark purple depths of a gorgeous glass of this wine shows that it is hardly another gentle or forgettable quaffer. Its aromatics intrigue, with heady notes of clove, hickory smoke, and beef au jus. Dominant on the palate, big anise, olive oil, and maple flavors interweave with firm tannins that melt with rich, saucy beef dishes and juicy tenderloin. $17 Our Price $2.99 Great Value!

2015 Montsant Bruberry Red

Winemaker Notes: This distinctive wine shows a clear and brilliant deep crimson color. On the nose there are touches of roses and wild red fruits, balanced by notes of soft spices and fresh aromas of grass and Provence herbs. On the palette, it presents a silky structure of red currant, raspberry jellies, and dark berry fruits. Integrated and elegant, with great intensity, it finishes with a persistent freshness. Grenache 80%, Syrah 11% and Carignan 9%. $27 Liquidation Price $19.95 (Limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 92
2017 ALMA DE CATTLEYA Sonoma County Red

A handsome red, well-built and polished, with expressive blackberry, peppered meat and licorice notes that gather richness toward refined tannins. Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2028. 268 cases made.—Tim Fish. $26 Our Price $22.99 (Arrives 1/8/20)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2017 Walter Hansel Russian River
 Estate Pinot Noir

The 2017 Pinot Noir The Estate Vineyard offers an intriguing combination of the raciness of the vintage, but with plenty of underlying structure and more than enough freshness to keep things in balance. Dark cherry, plum, spice and floral notes are all nicely delineated in this vibrant, super-expressive Pinot Noir from Hansel. I really like the energy here. $40 (Arrives 1/8/20)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 pts
2017 Walter Hansel Cuvée Alyce
Russian River Chardonnay

The 2017 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is dense, powerful and creamy, delivering tremendous textural richness and resonance. Apricot, orchard fruit, dried flowers, chamomile and mint all flesh out in this deep, beautifully layered Chardonnay. Today, the 2017 is quite closed, but that should not be an issue when the wine is eventually released in a few years' time. $36 (Arrives 1/8/20)

Vinous 93 Points
Lucienne 2017 Pinot Noir
Lone Oak Santa Lucia Highlands

Vivid red. A highly aromatic bouquet displays ripe red and blue fruit, candied rose and exotic spices, along with a bright mineral overtone. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that become more lively with air. Delivers an impressive blend of power and finesse and finishes with harmonious tannins, resonating spiciness and bright, minerally persistence. $50 Our Price $39.99 (Arrives 1/8/20)

Wine Advocate 92
2015 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple and gives very pretty notes of crushed red currants, black cherries and black currants with touches of camphor, pencil shavings, lilacs and cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a taut structure of grainy tannins and great freshness supporting the muscular red and black fruits, finishing with a lingering minty lift. 2,500 cases produced. $35 Our Price $30.55

2017 Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Pale yellow straw color. Aromas of white flowers, stone fruit, lemon zest and a hint of vanilla, lead to a rich and enveloping palate of lychee fruit and toasted almonds, with bright, mouth-watering acidity. $36 Our Price $30.99

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 pts
2017 Walter Hansel The North Slope Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2017 Pinot Noir The North Slope Vineyard is one of the more voluptuous, racy wines in this range. Ample and creamy, with tremendous resonance, the 2017 has a lot to offer. Plush fruit and silky tannins add to the wine's considerable immediacy and overall appeal. $45 (Arrives 1/8/20)

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

Krug Grande Cuvee 168 eme

Producer Notes: Over 20 years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee, created beyond the very notion of vintage to offer the most generous Champagne in the world with exceptional finesse. As you taste it, notes of hazelnut, toasted bread, nougat, barley sugar, and jellied fruits may take you by surprise. You may even taste hints of apples still on the tree, flowers in bloom, ripe and dried fruit, almonds, marzipan, gingerbread, sweet spices and even brioche and honey. You may also notice its exceptional freshness in the mouth, with rich and tangy flavors of lemon and grapefruit enhanced by the subtlety of its fine and elegant bubbles. Krug Grande Cuvee can age beautifully.

Krug Grande Cuvees fullness is such that everyone can find something in it to stir their emotions. Its generosity also means that it lends itself to to a plethora of culinary combinations, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, from an extra mature Parmesan to a dish of turbot a la truffe. $207 Our Price $159.95 (Arrives this afternoon)

2016 Altamura Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Producer Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, produced from our hillside and valley floor estate vineyards in Wooden Valley that are at elevations of 700 to 1000 feet. Soil types on the ranch which are similar to the Rutherford Bench and the mountainous regions of Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill and Mount Veeder called for several different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon on a number of different rootstocks upon planting in 1986. The vines are dry-farmed and vertically trellised. $118


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