The Grape Tray

March 16th 2021 Newsletter

Discounted 72%!
Wine Enthusiast 90 Points
2018 McIntyre Rose of Pinot Noir

A clean pale-pink in color, this bottling offers bright berry aromas alongside citrus spray and wet cement. There is a great chalky core to the sip, where squeezed tangerine meets with a touch of pressed raspberry. $22 Our Price $6.25 (Arrives GT and VRW this afternoon)

VRW Daily Wine Tasting Tuesday-Thursday
Available all day during operating hours. $2

Wines featured this week: 2018 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma Pinot and 2015 Carmel Road Panorama Pinot

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2018 Alma de Cattleya Pinot Noir

A blend of sites and clones, all from Sonoma County, the 2018 Pinot Noir was destemmed and brought up in neutral French oak. There were 2,000 cases made. Revealing a medium ruby/translucent purple hue to go with a beautiful nose of spiced strawberries, raspberries, crushed flowers, and violets, it's beautifully textured and medium-bodied, with good acidity and outstanding length. You're going to be hard pressed to find a better Sonoma County Pinot Noir at the price, and it's going to drink brilliantly for 2-4 years. $28 Internet Price $26.99

2015 Carmel Road Panorama Pinot

Winemaker Notes: The 2015 Panorama Pinot Noir is absolutely delicious. The wine has intense aromas of black cherry and blackberry with hints of baking spices and black tea. It is rich and juicy on the palate with layers of oak complimenting the black cherry core. Silky, well integrated tannins exude wonderful balance, elegance and a long finish. Made with 100% Pinot Noir. $35 Our Price $13.95

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10/person
Friday’s Tasting, 3/19/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2018 Roar Rosella's Pinot and 2018 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot

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

2018 Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the Southing exhibits Watermelon, Jasmine, Victoria plum; and subtle baking spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity. $100

Wine Spectator 92 Points
BEDROCK Zinfandel California Old Vine 2019

This Zin packs in a lot of structure and personality, with vibrant black cherry, smoky garrigue and green peppercorn notes that build toward broad-shouldered tannins. Drink now through 2029. 4,000 cases made.—Tim Fish $25 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

2019 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Full-bodied and complex with bright aromatics. Our flagship wine is sourced from several sustainably farmed vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. As with all Luli wines, the Pinot Noir is hand-harvested and hand-sorted. After the fruit undergoes a fermentation with native yeast, the wine is aged in barrels for 9-10 months. Bottling is done without fining or filtration to maintain the purest sense of the wine. $20 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
ST. FRANCIS Zinfandel
Sonoma County Old Vines 2018

Jammy and bold, with ripe raspberry, toasty spice and smoky fennel accents that finish on a zippy note. Drink now through 2028. 50,800 cases made.—T.F. $22 Our Price $19.25 (Arrives VRW 3/17/21)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DOMAINE CARNEROS Brut Carneros 2016

Vibrant and refined, with elegantly rich Asian pear, brioche and strawberry blossom accents that take on polish and richness on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2022. 30,660 cases made. — TF $33 Internet Price $29.95 (Available VRW and GT)

GOLD Medal San Francisco
Chronicle Wine Competition
2018 Valley Ghost Madera Aglianico

Winemaker Notes: Aglianico is an obscure variety normally grown in the boot of Italy and tends to be a really big wine. This Central Valley version while not as dark in color still has many of the same attributes of white pepper, rose petals and fresh cherries with a hint of minerality and earth on the back palate. This is a great summertime wine that will hold up well with barbecue and other spicy foods. Our Price $10.99 (Available at GT)

(Notes from Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy “Along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, [Aglianico] is generally believed to be on of Italy’s three best wine grapes, but in my opinion it is far more…”)

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
2017 Law Estate Audocious

Based on 35% Grenache, 32% Carignan, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 47% new oak, the 2017 Audacious reveals a ruby hue to go with a perfumed nose of blueberries, wild strawberries, new leather, flowery incense, and herbes de Provence. Gorgeous on the palate as well, with full-bodied richness, a weightless texture, and no hard edges, it will drink brilliantly over the coming 7-8 years, if not longer. It's in the same class as the brilliant 2016 and should be snatched up by readers! $77 (Arrives GT 3/18/21)

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2018 Maybach Amoenus Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Amoenus Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes galloping out of the glass with energetic crème de cassis and blueberry pie scents, with hints of Indian spices, eucalyptus and chocolate box plus a waft of iron ore. Full-bodied, concentrated and wonderfully decadent, it has a firm, grainy texture and lively line of freshness, finishing long and minerally. $225 (Arrives GT 3/18/21)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Denner Vineyards Ditch Digger

The Grenache-based 2018 Ditch Digger is blended with 20% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah and 5% splashes of Cinsault, Counoise and Graciano. The nose is deep and nuanced, with red and black fruits accented by notes of white pepper, exotic spice, tea leaves and blood orange. It offers impressive depth of fruit on the palate, which is medium-bodied, finely grained and juicy, and it finishes with tremendous spice. It deserves another 2-3 years in the cellar. 1,036 cases produced. $80 (Arrives GT 3/17/21)

Jeb Dunnuck’s Top Napa Cabernet Sauvignon under $100. Rated 99 Points!
2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: We have to go back to the 2013 to find an Ontogeny that is this enthralling. The wine’s pedigree is special: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. We didn’t grow a single grape specifically to go into Ontogeny. Instead, we selected barrels from our vineyard designates to produce something enchanting, and this wine shows that we accomplished that. It cascades across your palate with seamless ease. Explosive notes of crème de cassis, lavender and huckleberries give the wine a luxurious fruit component. The mouthfeel is all about controlled power, the tannins come in waves, but they hit with incredible grace. $99.95 (Back in stock 3/18/21)



Back to Our Blog