August 14th 2020 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

August 14th 2020 Newsletter


Winery Notes: Grown on the slopes of Mount Etna. The 500m altitude and volcanic soils produce a wonderfully light, fresh style of rosé, which transcends Sicily's Mediterranean climate.

Winemaker Notes: Delicate aromas of ripe red fruits. Light, soft and fruity in the mouth, with strawberry notes and a fresh, dry finish. Drink as young and fresh as possible, up to 4 years after release. Match with tomato-based pasta dishes, meaty fishes and Asian cuisine. $15 Our Price $12.99

Wine Spectator 90
SILENUS Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley Tyros 2017

Quite bold and ripe, this teeters a bit, with a prune note amid the cherry, raspberry and plum confiture flavors. Features pretty spice accents, a relatively silky feel and a lingering mesquite element for added range. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2028. 5,000 cases made. — JM $35 Internet Price $24.99 Grape Tray email subscriber price $18.95

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 The Paring Syrah
Santa Ynez Valley 2017

A blend of 94% Syrah, 5% Petite Sirah, and a splash of Viognier, the 2017 Syrah gives up a terrific bouquet of blackberries, plums, ground pepper, and meaty, earthy notes to go with a medium to full-bodied, plump, sexy style on the palate. It's beautifully done and a stunning value. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years or so. Readers looking for a great Syrah at a great price should snatch this up. $25 (Arrives this afternoon)

Back in stock!
Wine Spectator 90
WindRacer Chardonnay Anderson Valley 2015

Lithe and spicy, with creamy accents to the apple pastry, pear tart and dried tropical fruit flavors. Long, rich finish. Drink now through 2020. 1,502 cases made. — KM $40 Internet Price $19.99 Grape Tray email subscriber price $15.95

2018 CARAVAGLIO Occhio di Terra
Malvasia Secca Isola di Salina

WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested and sorted in the fields. Gentle, full-cluster press; fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Aged in tank on fine lees for three months. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of Meyer lemons and sea salt, bright acidity; a flavorful reflection of sea-inspired terroir. 90% Malvasia delle Lipari, 10% other indigenous grapes. $25

Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
2018 Venge Scouts Honor Proprietary Red

This is a lively proprietary red wine made from 63% Zinfandel, 16% Charbono, 12% Petite Sirah and 9% Syrah. From many oldvine sites, it explodes in juicy plum, jammy blackberry and cherry, all wrapped in soft tannins. The oak adds a generous and rich vanilla tone. $30 Our Price $25.99

Ostro Prosecco Brut

Producer Notes: TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Fine bubbles. Bright gold. A vinous Prosecco, with citrus blossom, apple, toast aromas. Light and lively. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: As an aperitif; with spicy or salty foods; fried fish. $15 Our Price $13.49

Wine Advocate 93
Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru NV

With this release, based on the 2014 vintage and disgorged in June-July 2019, what was formerly Egly's Brut "Tradition" becomes simply his NV Brut Grand Cru, a simplification that paves the way for several new cuvées from this reference-point grower that I'll be reporting about in due course. Changes in nomenclature aside, the wine in the bottle has never been better, and the latest release soars from the glass with an expressive bouquet of golden orchard fruit, honeycomb, citrus zest and freshly baked bread. On the palate, it's full-bodied, deep and layered, with real concentration and intensity, built around racy acids and chalky dry extract. The finish is long and lingering. $107 Our Price $82.99

Domaine Jean Vesselle Brut Reserve Champagne

Producer Notes: Estate-owned vineyards are located in and around the village of Bouzy. Soils are the classic, chalky terroir of the Montagne de Reims. 15-30 year old vines and hand-harvested. Fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Aged for three years in bottle. Dosage less than 11 grams/L. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Blond toast, red apples and wildflowers; silky and long. Red berries, minerals, a hint of white pepper. 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: As an aperitif; or with soft, creamy cheeses. $50 Internet Price $42.99 (Grape Tray email subscriber price $35) Magnums $83.99

2017 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Arrives 9/2/20. Retail Price $310. Our Price $249.95

Jeb Dunnuck 95-97 Points: Not yet bottled, the 2017 Insignia (which includes no Petit Verdot due to the frosts) offers both red and black fruits as well as lots of spice box, gravelly earth, and integrated oak. It opens up beautifully with time in the glass, is medium to full-bodied, has beautiful mid-palate depth and concentration, and a great finish. It’s a classic, undeniable success in this challenging vintage.

James Suckling 96 Points: A beautiful, focused wine with a tight center palate of blackberries, blueberries and dark chocolate. Very subtle. Hints of mint and sage, too. Medium to full body and fine, racy tannins. A reserved and very pretty Insignia. Fresh finish. Hard not to drink now, but better in 2022.

2017 Opus One

Arrives 10/1/20. Retail Price $380.

Wine Advocate 95 Points: Opus One had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration. The 2017 Opus One, bottled in July 2019, is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows on the nose, revealing compelling notes of baked black cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, warm cassis and blackberry pie with nuances of spice cake, yeast extract, tapenade, licorice and dusty soil with a waft of wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruit and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points: A remarkable wine for the year, the 2017 Opus One is a dense, full-throttle beauty. Plush fruit and soft, silky contours give the 2017 its racy personality. Exotic, beautifully perfumed and impeccable in its balance, Opus One is one of the most complete wines of the vintage. In 2017, Opus One has a distinctly red-toned fruit profile that distinguishes it from the surrounding vintages.

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