December 15th 2020 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

December 15th 2020 Newsletter

Back in stock at VRW on 12/17/20
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

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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

Wine Spectator 92
FORT ROSS Chardonnay Fort Ross-Seaview Fort Ross Vineyard 2018

Powerful, with savory richness to the mix of intense fresh cut apple and pear flavors. Crunchy acidity fills the finish, which features buttery hints to dried sage and tarragon accents. Drink now through 2025. 608 cases made.—Kim Marcus. $44 Our Price $37.99 (Arrives 12/16/20)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Roar Rosella’s Pinot Noir

From one of the cooler sites theyd work with, the 2018 Roar Rosella’s Vineyard shines with it’s vibrant, pure yet complex style. Giving up lots of mulberry and black cherry as well as ample sappy flower and spice notes. This beauty is medium to full-bodied, has a juicy, elegant texture, perfectly integrated acidity and has a great finish. Drink it over the next decade as well. $63 (Back in stock this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2018 Lucienne Santa Lucia Highlands Smith Vineyard Pinot Noir

Rich, opulent aromas of black-cherry cordial and caramel are thick but delicious on the nose of this bottling. Sandy tannins frame the creamy cherry and blackberry flavors, which are lifted by star anise and licorice accents and lead into an oaky finish. $50 Our Price $39.99

Wine Advocate 94+
2016 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir
Katherine Lindsay Estate

Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Katherine Lindsay Estate is a little closed with notions of scorched earth, black soil, pepper and cumin over a core of redcurrants, black cherries and warm plums. Full-bodied, firm and with a grainy texture, this is a more structured Pinot, possessing many earth and spice layers and great length. 749 cases were made. $120 Our Price $109.99

Wine Spectator 96 Points
DOMAINE DU PÉGAÜ Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 2016

A singed chestnut accent leads off here, followed by a sappy core of steeped cherry, raspberry and plum fruit, infused liberally with tobacco, brick dust and garrigue notes. Reveals a brawny edge, but there's ample fruit in the end. A rock-solid old-school style that should cruise in the cellar. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2021 through 2040. 5,400 cases made. — JM $115 Our Price $93.99 (Arrives this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2018 Cardano Napa Cabernet 1913

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon 1913 is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose bursts with bold notes of warm cassis, blackberry pie, chocolate mint and tobacco with wafts of cedar chest and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, it has a solid frame of lovely, ripe, grainy tannins to support the bags of black fruit, finishing with impressive purity. 1,972 cases were made. $50 Our Price $38.99

Wine Spectator 98
GRAHAM Vintage Port 2000, Half Bottle

Smells like freshly picked orchids, with loads of ripe, clean fruit. Full-bodied, medium sweet and very powerful and racy. It lasts for minutes on your palate. Yet there's a balance and class to this young Vintage Port. This is the greatest glass of Graham I have ever tasted, young or old. Best after 2014. 9,000 cases made. — JS Our Price $55.99/375ml

Churchill’s White Port, 500ml

Producer Notes: A field blend of mostly Malvasia Fina with the balance in Rabigato, Codega and Viosinho. Fermentation in granite lagares until reaching 40 g/L of residual sugar (this is far and away their driest bottling) before fortification with neutral grape spirit to 19.5% alcohol. Ages for ten years in oak casks. Filtered for sediment. $24 Our Price $20.49 (Arrives 12/16/20)

Decanter 94 Points
Churchill 10 Year Tawny, 500ml

Sourced from old vines in Churchill’s Cima Corgo estates. Made in the drier, robust, spicy house style, this is a characterful 10-year-old, with peppery, licorice-laced, dried plum, roast hazelnuts, salted caramel praline and pan-singed marmalade. The long, involving finish is clean and dry. Potent, with 101g/L residual sugar. Drink 2020-2025. $30 Our Price $26.99 (Arrives 12/16/20)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 99 Points
2016 Pontet-Canet Pauillac Grand Cru Classé, Bordeaux

The 2016 Pontet-Canet is absolutely breathtaking. Powerful, ample and racy in the glass, the 2016 is one of the most exquisitely well-balanced young Pontet-Canets I can remember tasting. Savory, high-toned aromatics and brisk mineral notes lend energy and delineation as this vivid wonderfully alive wine opens up in the glass. The flavors are dark and incisive, but it is the wine's total sense of harmony that is most compelling. All of the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 is tremendous. It's as simple as that. As is often the case, Pontet-Canet is one of the most singular wines in Bordeaux. Alfred Tesseron could have chosen to play things safe when he took over the management of the estate in the mid-1990s. Instead, he chose a very different path. No proprietor in Bordeaux has taken more risks over the last two decades than Alfred Tesseron. A commitment to biodynamic farming, sustainability across the entire estate more broadly, and the adoption of new concepts for Bordeaux, such as aging a portion of the wine in terra cotta, set Pontet-Canet apart from other properties in Pauillac and the Left Bank. Not surprisingly, the wine is also starkly different from the wines of neighboring estates. Drinking window: 2026 – 2066. $169.95 (Arrives 12/16/20)

2018 Xavier Monnot Les Chevalieres Meursault

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Meursault Les Chevalières has a fresh, perfumed bouquet with orange blossom, hints of fresh pear and nectarine. The palate is well balanced on the fresh opening, and nicely balanced, revealing hints of lychee on the quite saline finish. $52 Our Price $44.99

Jeb Dunnuck 99 points
2017 Calera Jensen Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir

My favorite in the lineup, the 2017 Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard is stunning in every way. Gorgeous black raspberry fruits, lots of floral, scorched earth, and sappy herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and a great finish all make for one of the most captivating Pinot Noirs in the vintage. It’s brilliant today yet should easily evolve for 15 years or more. $100 (Limited)

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