The Grape Tray

June 19th 2020 Newsletter

2018 Valley Ghost Madera Aglianico

Winemaker Notes: Aglianico is an obscure variety normally grown in the boot of Italy and tends to be a really big wine. This Central Valley version while not as dark in color still has many of the same attributes of white pepper, rose petals and fresh cherries with a hint of minerality and earth on the back palate. This is a great summertime wine that will hold up well with barbecue and other spicy foods. $11

(Notes from Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy “Along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, [Aglianico] is generally believed to be on of Italy’s three best wine grapes, but in my opinion it is far more…”)

Wine Spectator 90
LAGAR DA CONDESA Albariño Rias Baixas O Fillo da Condesa 2018

This white shows richness, with honeyed orange and ginger notes deepening the pear and guava flavors. Briny and mineral elements add interest, while firm acidity keeps this focused. Drink now through 2022. 5,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. — TM $12 Our Price $8.99

2015 Flor de Campo Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

Winery Notes: Flor de Campo, Spanish for “wildflower”, seeks to capture the best of cool climate viticulture from Santa Barbara County. The 2015 Flor de Campo Pinot Noir is a blend of three mature, cool climate vineyards. They include two vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation and a vineyard to our north in the Los Alamos Valley. Vineyard sourcing allows Flor de Campo Pinot Noir to capture to the true essence of this region and the Pinot Noir grape gaining earthy tones and spice from the Sta. Rita hills and bright fruit from Los Alamos. Flor de Campo Pinot Noir is extremely versatile, it pairs well with a wide variety of cuisines.

Winemaker Notes: Garnet with ruby hue. Bursting with bright red fruits such as raspberry and bing cherry with a hint of cola, pepper and a hint of Santa Barbara earthiness. Medium-bodied and balanced wine delivering bright fruit and spice on the palate. 100% Pinot Noir. $22 Our Price $14.95 (Great Value!)

Wine Spectator 91
FORGE Riesling Seneca Lake Dry
Classique 2017

Jasmine and mustard seed notes lead the way here, backed by a mix of yellow apple, mirabelle plum and citrus oil flavors. Shows good intensity through the finish. Drink now through 2022. 5,773 cases made. — JM $19 Our Price $16.99

Wine Advocate 93+
2018 Descendientes de José Palacios Pétalos del Bierzo

Their regional wine achieves unheard of levels of complexity and nuance with the 2018 Pétalos del Bierzo. It's a blend from over 90 hectares of vineyards in different part of Bierzo, 20% of the grapes from their own vineyards in Corullón, including some 4% white grapes. The rest is purchased from 180+ families with whom they have a long-term relationship. Some of these vineyards are not yet certified organic, but the objective is to achieve it in the next five years. It's mostly Mencía, but there are other grapes varieties in the vineyards; they estimate about 3% of other reds, Alicante Bouschet, Gran Negro, Pan y Carne, Negreda, etc. and around 4% whites, Valenciana, Jerez and Godello, half from Corullón and the other half from other villages. The grapes were partly destemmed and fermented in open-top stainless steel and oak vats with 25 days of maceration where the wine underwent a slow three-month malolactic. It matured in barrel for 12 months. This is the wine that showcases the house style and the character of the vintage, which, in this case, is delicate and very much from the zone. There is an aromatic purity and elegance that is very captivating with a faint flinty background, the cherry essence (Mediterranean) and a touch of fern (Atlantic) plus a honeyed twist that shows up after a couple of hours in the glass. It has a silky texture, soft and caressing, with very fine tannins and the faint bitter twist in the finish. In an ideal world, this should be the first wine people drink from Bierzo, and fortunately, in many cases, it is, given the availability, even if they did a more severe selection. This is approachable now but would be better in one year, and it's going to live in bottle. 282,038 bottles and 2,500 magnums produced. It was bottled between December 2019 and January 2020. $24 Our Price $18.99

Wine Spectator 94
BODEGAS JUAN GIL Jumilla Blue Label 2017

This brawny red shows a savory character, with loamy earth, black tea and tobacco notes framing a rich core of currant and blackberry flavors. The muscular tannins are balanced by juicy acidity. Dense, balanced and expressive. Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink now through 2032. —T.M. $35 Our Price $29.99

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2016 Yao Ming Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a brawny, generous and powerful wine that holds its full-bodied concentration in check, showing a balanced approach to oak and tannin. Black cherry, currant and cocoa powder are accented by toasted oak and lingering black pepper, nutmeg and cedar on the finish. $95 Our Price $65.99 (Back in stock) Delicious!

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva

Winemaker Notes: A noble and austere sparkling cava. Greenish yellow in colour with golden glints, it's clear and star bright. A persistent, elegant stream of bubbles rise to form a perfect rosary on the surface. Complex aromas of white fruits with hints of wood. Fresh, well-balanced and elegant on the palate with an excellent final sensation. $10 Our Price $7.95

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Email stan@grapetray.com or call 559-226-6828

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The Grape Tray 559-226-6828
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