The Grape Tray

July 14th 2020 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Melville Estate Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Coming from vines around the estate, the 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is based on a mix of clones and was 60% destemmed and brought up all in totally neutral oak. It’s a classic Melville Pinot Noir that jumps from the glass with its spiced red and black fruits, dried flower, marine-like salinity, bay leaf, and forest floor aromas and flavors. Balanced, medium-bodied, and elegant on the palate, with light tannins and nicely integrated acidity, it can be drunk today or cellared for a decade. $40 Our Price $34.99

Wine Spectator 92
HARTFORD COURT Chardonnay
Russian River Valley 2018

Luscious, rich and full of creamy white fruit flavors flanked by buttery accents. Spicy plushness lingers into the finish, with some honeyed notes. Drink now through 2024. 17,000 cases made. — KM $30 Our Price $24.99 (Back in stock 7/15/20)

Wine Advocate 94+
2017 Ilaria Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is made up of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot aged 22 months in 75% new French oak. Deep purple-black in color, it gives up expressive notes of baked blackcurrants, blackberry pie and spice cake with hints of licorice, tobacco and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it has a solid backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and background freshness, finishing on a compelling black tea note. 560 cases made. $50 (Back in stock 7/15/20)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Beringer Reserve Chardonnay

A different animal, the 2017 Chardonnay Private Reserve is richer and more opulent, with Montrachet-like caramelized lemon, tropical fruits, and brioche aromas and flavors. Nevertheless, it’s still more elegant and vibrant than past vintages, with medium body, a layered texture, and good acidity. I love its balance and it can be drunk any time over the coming 2-4 years, although there’s no need to delay gratification. $40 Our Price $33.99

Sommariva Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano-Valdobbiane Brut DOCG NV

Winemaker Notes: Fragrant floral tones and drying mineral notes characterize this luminous Prosecco Brut. The sparkling wine delivers frothy peach, herbal accents and a steady dose of citrus zest. $15 Our Price $12.99

2018 The Calling Monterey Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The bright ruby red color hints at the red raspberry, fresh red plum and wild cherry aromas with notes of white pepper and rose petal. The red plum, cherry and strawberry on the palate are complemented by orange peel, white pepper and a note of salinity. The overall effect is clean, crisp and brightly fruit-driven Pinot Noir with everything in balance. $30 Our Price $24.39

Wine Advocate 93
2017 Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot
Minervois La Ciaude

The 2017 Minervois Cazelles La Ciaude features a harmonious mix of blueberries, raspberries and cherries on the nose, all wrapped in a subtle cloak of gentle oak. A blend of 40% each Carignan and Syrah with 20% Grenache, aged entirely in oak, this medium to full-bodied wine is supple and velvety, with a degree of harmony and elegance—could that be this parcel's limestone soils?— not seen in the other Tollot & Gras wines. $40 Our Price $30.99

Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 Points
2018 Roar Garys’ Pinot Noir

Complex notes of Asian spice, underbrush, black cherries, incense, and smoke all emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard. This is another medium to full-bodied, seamless, elegant, beautifully balanced Pinot Noir from this team. $62 (Back in stock 7/15/20)

Wine Enthusiast 94
2018 Hartford Court Russian River Pinot Noir

This is an outstanding wine for the price, made from a majority of estate-grown grapes across the appellation. Given 10 months in French oak, 27% of it new, it is designed to be delicious out the gate, with a lush opulence that is soft, broad and supple across the palate. Plummy and brimming in dark cherry and cola, it finishes with moderate structure and baking spice. Editors’ Choice. —V.B. abv: 14.5% Price: $38 Our Price $29.99

Wine Advocate 95+
2015 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino

This is a terrific wine and one of the new releases from Montalcino that I happily include on a short list of top recommendations. The Argiano 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows a very lively bouquet that is already singing despite the young age of this new release. The wine opens to a dark ruby color with garnet highlights. The bouquet shows a large span of wild berry, earth, licorice spice and medicinal herb aromas. This vintage also reveals a pretty floral character with dried rose potpourri and lavender buds. After fermentation, the wine is aged slowly for 30 months in large oak botte (including 10-, 30- and 50-hectoliter capacity), thus restricting oxygen and gently slowing its evolution. However, the 2015 vintage is naturally expressive and exuberant, and that's the main takeaway here. Some 100,000 bottles were filled in May 2019, and the wine hits the market in February 2020. $65 Our Price $48.95 (Back in stock)

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If you prefer, orders can still be placed as follows:
Email stan@grapetray.com 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
~Or, place your order using our website: grapetray.com


The Grape Tray 559-226-6828
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