The Grape Tray

September 8th 2020 Newsletter


2015 Paraiso Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of peach, lemon-lime and green apple with flavors of toasted nuts, nectarine and apple. A rich mouth feel with a long full flavored finish. $25 Our Price $7.45 (Discounted 70%)

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

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

Wine Advocate 95
2015 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino

The Altesino 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows beautiful depth and latitude, with broad fruit aromas of dark cherry and cassis that recall the warmth and golden sunlight of the vintage. The wine is deceivingly streamlined in terms of mouthfeel, but that slim and buttoned-down backbone supports a broad range of flavors and sensations, from lavender essence and camphor ash to moist soil and toasted spice. All of these elements are delivered with impressive harmony and unity, and I expect that this wine will continue on a slow, steady and satisfying aging trajectory over the next 10 years or more. Fruit is sourced from across 21 hectares of vines with tufaceous limestone soils and Alberese rock, which contributes to the freshness and balanced structure of the wine. The wine was bottled in June 2019 (with 150,000 bottles made), and this wine was released in January 2020. $65 Our Price $56.99

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Rose

Winemaker Notes: A bright sparkling pink color. Pleasant and powerful on the nose with a strong presence of ripe red berries. Round and full on the palate. $10 Our Price $8.45

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Hirsch San Andreas Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot

Starting off the 2017s, the 2017 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault Estate is another relatively large production cuvée by this estate's standards, with just under 4,000 cases. A perfumed, medium-bodied, beautifully elegant Pinot Noir, it has classic Sonoma Coast aromas and flavors, with lots of spiced cherries, strawberries, sappy herbs, and floral notes defining the bouquet. As with all of Hirsch's Pinot Noirs, it's more mid-weight, yet it still carries a vibrancy and tension that's going to age beautifully. $67 Our Price $56.99 (Arrives 9/10/20)

Wine Spectator 92
GREEN & RED Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Catacula Vineyard 2017

Striking, vibrant and expressive, offering a powerful mouthful of peach, mango and orange sherbet flavors that reveal a honeyed edge. Crisp, vibrant acidity and honeysuckle details show on the finish. Drink now. 325 cases made. — MW $24 Our Price $18.99

2018 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch
Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This 25th vintage of Shafer's Chardonnay offers abundant, exotic aromas and flavors of citrus blossom, apricot, pineapple, grapefruit zest, and honeydew melon all held together with seamless structure, elegant balance, and energy that comes from pure, clean acidity. $50

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Shafer One Point Five
Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Cut from the same cloth, yet with a touch of rusticity in its tannins, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five offers a full-bodied, rounded, structured style as well as loads of sweet red and black fruits, toasted spice, and herbed de Provence like notes. It’s a powerful, concentrated wine, has loads of fruit, and is going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age. $100

Wine Spectator 90
YALUMBA Viognier South Australia The Y Series 2019

Generous and fragrant, with orange blossom, melon, pear and ripe peach flavors that are succulent, refined and very refreshing, finishing with a touch of fresh chamomile. Drink now. 45,000 cases made, 15,000 cases imported. — MW $14 Our Price $9.99

Vinous 92 Points
2018 Hermann Dönnhoff Riesling
Oberhäuser Leistenberg Kabinett

The relatively cool Leistenberg is ideally suited to a wine of brightness and levity even in a growing season as precocious and warm as that of 2018. Lime, pear and apple deliver stimulating aromatic penetration as well as zest and crunch on a polished, downright delicate palate. The penetrating, animating, ultra-refreshing finish is strikingly transparent to underlying wet stone. Drinking window: 2020 - 2030 $28 Our Price $25.99 (Arrives 9/11/20)

Wine Spectator 94
COLLE BERETO Chianti Classico 2017

Aromas of blood, iron and raw beef lead off, followed by flavors of cherry, plum and leather. Rich and harmonious, with a dense underlying structure and terrific length. Approachable now, but this should evolve well over the next few decades. Drink now through 2040. —B.S. $28 (Arrives late September)

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 (Back in stock 9/11/20)

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