October 20th 2020 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

October 20th 2020 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 90
ROTH Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2017

Plush, with spicy accents to the flavors of cherry compote, red plum and dried raspberry. Notes of sandalwood show midpalate, leading to minerally details on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 3,000 cases made. —KM. $24 Our Price $19.49 (Back in stock 10/21/20)

Wine Spectator 93
Carlisle Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands Sierra Mar Vineyard 2018

Plump and polished, with well-structured blackberry, cracked pepper, meat and espresso flavors that glide on a rich finish. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. 276 cases made. $45

Gaja Sito Moresco 2016

Winemaker Notes: Sun kissed thyme and marjoram notes turn to forest floor earthiness before merging with juicy red berry – strawberry, cherry, plum – and citrus fruits, like blood orange. The wine gets volume in the palate with remarkable fruit concentration sustained by silky, smooth tannins and bright acidity. The wine then turns to a spicy finish, smoky notes and a lovely salinity. 35% Nebbiolo, 25% Barbera, 25% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. $75 Our Price $63.99

Wine Spectator 94
Ribera Del Duero 2017

This full-bodied red is generous yet structured, featuring depth and balance. Ripe flavors of plum and currant mingle with cocoa, clove and mineral notes, supported by mouthcoating tannins and balsamic acidity. Harmonious and long. Best from 2022 through 2037. —Thomas Matthews $40 Our Price $27.95 (Arrives 10/21/20)

Wine Spectator 92
CRAGGY RANGE Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Hawkes Bay 2018

Sophisticated, with touches of black walnut liqueur, kirsch and spicy tobacco. Cardamom, blueberry and cedar notes linger, with dense, toothsome tannins. Fragrant and balanced on the finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2035. —M.W. $22 Our Price $16.95 (Arrives 10/23/20)

2018 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Strawberries and blackberries aromas slowly rise out of the glass. Overtime, more of the anise and clove will mix with these other aromas. Currently, the wine is young with mouth filling intensity and suppleness. Complexity will increase as the wine ages, but this wine should stay "fresh" for 6 or 7 years. Like all Au Bon Climat wines, this is a food wine. In its youth, match this wine with lamb or dried meats. After a few years, as the flavors coalesce, it will pair better with salmon or mild red sauce with pasta. We have enjoyed this wine with many food choices from spicy Indian dishes to all-American sandwiches, and the wine worked well with most anything. The possible food pairings are almost endless. $25 Our Price $20.99

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2018 Peay Vineyards
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

The 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast is very expressive, with warm blackberries, cranberry sauce, blood orange, black tea leaves, forest floor and an undercurrent of dark spices and earth. Medium-bodied and concentrated, it offers Goldilocks ripeness and angostura-laced flavor layers, finishing long and seamlessly fresh. 1,450 cases produced. $45

Wine Advocate 96
Krug Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition

Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition is a classic in the making, wafting from the glass with aromas of dried fruits, pear, toasted nuts, orange zest, honeycomb and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, generous but incisive, it's deep and elegantly fleshy, with a beautifully refined mousse and an enveloping core of fruit that's complemented by the characteristic Krug patina of nutty complexity imparted by barrel fermentation. Even if this is more open out of the gates than the 2011-based 167ème edition, the 168ème edition is also the more concentrated and intense of the two. It's based on the 2012 harvest, complemented by fully 42% reserve wines—a blend of 198 wines from 11 different vintages dating back to 1996. $195 Our Price $159.95 (Back in stock this afternoon)

James Suckling 98 Points
2007 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs

This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that's highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold. $150 Our Price $133.99 (Limited)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2015 Laird Family Estate Mast Ranch Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon

Voluptuous and racy in the glass, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Mast Ranch is another very pretty, appealing wine from Laird. Soft curves and voluptuous fruit bring out quite a bit of raciness in the dark cherry, plum, mocha, licorice and lavender flavors. Drink it over the next decade or so. 2017 – 2028. $70. (Arrives 10/21/20)

Wine Spectator 92
LAIRD FAMILY Chardonnay Carneros Cold Creek 2017

This glistens with intense creaminess to the tropical fruit, pear tart and lemon curd flavors, focused and powerful. White chocolate and light smoky notes show on the long, powerful finish. Drink now through 2023. 2,200 cases made. — KM $30 (Arrives 10/21/20)

James Suckling 92 Points
2015 Laird Jillian’s Blend

A linear and fresh 2015 with firm tannins and pretty blackberry, blueberry and chocolate character. Full body, tight and focused. 67% Cabernet, 18% Syrah, 12% Merlot, 2% Flat Rock Malbec and 1% Flat Rock Petite Verdot. Matured in 40% new oak. 2389 cases. $40 (Arrives 10/21/20)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Paul Hobbs Russian River 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

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 $8.45

Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 Points
2018 Bevan Tench Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Iron, crushed rocks, spice, and scorched earth notes all dominate the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard, a rich, powerful yet balanced wine. Showing the purity of fruit that's classic in the vintage, ripe tannins, terrific balance, and a big finish, it's going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. $200

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