May 22nd 2020 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

May 22nd 2020 Newsletter

Memorial Day Holiday
We will be closed on Monday, 5/25/20

2018 Thread Feathers
Rockpile AVA Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Notes: The Rockpile AVA is located in the northwest corner of Dry Creek Valley, encompassing nearly 15,000 acres, of which less than 160 are planted to vineyard. This makes Rockpile one of the smallest AVAs in the United States in terms of acreage planted. Approximately 2,500 of the acres of the Rockpile AVA overlap the Dry Creek Valley viticultural area to the Southeast. Vineyards range in elevation from 800' to nearly 2100'. 200 Cases produced.

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Rockpile Cabernet Sauvignon has all the hallmarks of the Rockpile AVA, with blueberry, blackberry, currant, and exotic spice on the nose. On the pallet the wine is dark, rich and jammy with blueberry, strawberry compot, spice, cocoa bean, vanilla outlined in sweet American Oak. $50 Internet Price $25 (Arrives 5/27/20)

Wine Spectator 91
BUCKLIN Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Bambino Field Blend Old Hill Ranch 2017

Lively and briary, with expressive raspberry, smoky tarragon and cracked pepper flavors that pick up speed toward well-groomed tannins. Drink now through 2028. 569 cases made. — TF $24 Our Price $21.99

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Paul Hobbs Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

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. $62 Our Price $52.99 (Back in stock)

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

James Suckling 97 Points
2016 Larkmead Dr. Olmo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Impressive aromas of dried flowers, crushed blackberries and plums. Some sweet-tobacco undertones. Full-bodied, dusty and juicy with chewy tannins that are supple and savory, combining with the fruit. Flavorful and intense. So structured. $160

Just Released!
2016 Caymus Special Selection
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: We set aside the best barrels of our Cabernet to produce Special Selection – the only wine in the world honored twice as Wine Spectator magazine’s “Wine of the Year.” Pushing the limits of richness and concentration, this Cabernet is enjoyable upon release or improves with aging a decade or more. Fine, luxurious tannins give structure to intense flavors of supple cacao bean, chocolate and dark fruits. $200 Our Price $179.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Vinous 92 Points
Lucienne 2017 Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

Brilliant red. Intense, spice-accented black raspberry, cherry and licorice aromas are enlivened by a suggestion of smoky minerals. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering lively dark berry and bitter cherry flavors that slowly open up and become sweeter with air. Shows very good depth as well as energy and finishes smoky and quite long, with building florality and chewy tannins that build steadily. $50 Our Price $39.99

DOMINUS Estate 2017 $250. Our Price $214.99
Arrives 6/4/20

Antonio Galloni 98+ Points

The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists.

Wine Advocate 97+ Points

There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with longlasting earthy notes. 2,800 cases were made.

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points

The grand vin is the 2017 Dominus, which is based on 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 21 and October 3, and aged in 40% new French oak. Château Lafite-like notes of black currants, lead pencil shavings, cedary tobacco, and gravelly earth all

emerge from the glass, and it’s full-bodied, has a terrific sense of elegance, lots of tannins, and a great finish. This tight, powerful, concentrated Dominus will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 2017 doesn’t get much better.

Our retail door will be closed this week, but we should be able to allow a limited number of customers in the store on 5/26/20. A mask will be required and social distancing maintained.

Orders can still be placed as follows:
Email or call 559-226-6828
~Local orders: Email or call with your order and we will contact you when the order is ready for curbside pick-up
~We will continue to ship to the Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona.
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