The Grape Tray

March 19th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
2018 Ancient Peaks Santa Margarita Ranch Paso Robles Cabernet

A deep blackberry aroma meets with licorice and mushroom on the fresh and savory nose. The palate’s blackberry and blueberry core is partnered harmoniously with notes of chipped wood and toasted herbs as well as jubilant acidity. $20 Our Price $16.49 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
TAYLOR FLADGATE Late Bottled Port 2015

This is on point now, with gently mulled plum, blackberry and black currant fruit flavors forming the core, while bittersweet cocoa, roasted apple wood and briar patch notes underscore the finish. This still has kick too, so no rush. Drink now through 2027. 125,000 cases made, 8,000 cases imported.—J.M. $25 Our Price $19.25

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person
Today’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

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person
Saturday Tasting, 3/20/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2018 Pride Mountain Cabernet and 2017 Maybach Amoenus Napa Cabernet

2018 Pride Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Black currant, Morello cherry and just-ripe black mission fig dance with the aromas of sage, candied violets, star anise and black truffle. The palate is dense and compact with incredible structure. Layers of complex black and red fruit fill the mouth, while sandalwood, bay, graphite and forest aromatics linger with the velvety tannins on the long and dynamic finish. This is a showstopper! $76

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2017 Maybach Amoenus Napa Cabernet

From a single vineyard in Calistoga, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Amoenus isn’t far off what the estate produced in 2016. It’s a pure, full-bodied, powerful 2017 that does everything right. Loads of blueberries, cassis, Asian spice, and flowery incense define the bouquet, and it has a pure, classic, focused style on the palate. I love its purity of fruit, it has ripe, present tannins, and while it needs 2-3 years of bottle age, it’s going to evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. $165

Wine Spectator 90 Points
ZENATO Valpolicella Superiore 2017

A hint of toasty smoke is layered with flavors of black cherry, dried fig and Mediterranean herbs in this round, light- to medium-bodied red, with light, silky tannins. Drink now through 2025. 15,000 cases made, 8,000 cases imported.—A.N. $20 Our Price $14.95

DOMAINE DU FIGUEIRASSE 2020 ‘Gris de Gris’ Vin des Sables

Winemaker Notes: For more than a century, the Saumade family has cared for vines on the shores of the Camargue delta in France. ‘Gris de Gris des Sables’ is a rosé de pressurage and blend of Grenache (gris, noir and blanc) and Cinsault grapes. Vineyards are 200 yards from the sea. Grapes are harvested at night when temperatures are coolest. All tank made. Certified organic. $15 Our Price $TBD (Arrives 2nd week of April)

DOMAINE DU DRAGON 2020 Côtes de Provence Rosé ‘Grande Cuvée’

While much of Provence is a patchwork of different terroirs, the estate’s high-altitude vineyards, located in the hills above the Côte d’Azur, are singular in that soils are rich in limestone, like Burgundy. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvédre, Syrah and Cinsault. Rosé de pressurage; fermented on indigenous yeasts in tank. Malolactic conversion allowed. $20 Our Price $TBD (Arrives 2nd week of April)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RIDGE Zinfandel Paso Robles 2019

Sleek and multilayered, with dynamic yet elegant raspberry, grilled fennel and cracked pepper flavors that build structure and richness on the long finish. 4,300 cases made. Drink now through 2030. —T.F. $35 Internet Price $31.99 (Available GT)

Back in stock!
2017 Dry Creek Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottle

Winemaker Notes: This impeccable Cabernet Sauvignon initially displays lively aromatics of black cherry, blackcurrant, and dried cranberry. Additional airing reveals nuances of dried flowers, nutmeg, white pepper, and cedar. The palate is full-bodied and rich with elegant flavors of ripe raspberry, blackcurrant, and fresh boysenberry with notes of cocoa powder, bay leaf, sage, and sweet pipe tobacco. The wine is complex and youthful, with bright fruit characters and vibrant spice. It offers intensity and richness and reflects the terroir of Dry Creek Valley beautifully. Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot. $16/375ml. Our Price $12.99/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Arkenstone Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Arriving in 2006, winemaker Sam Kaplan continues to fashion rock star wines from this Howell Mountain estate. One of the best whites from Napa, as well as one of the most ageworthy, the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Estate gives up serious notes of stone fruits, lime, orange blossom, and some obvious minerality on the nose. Made from 94% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Semillon aged in a mix of barrel and concrete eggs, it’s full-bodied, concentrated, and textured, all while staying pure and incredibly precise on the palate. It’s a brilliant wine that I suspect will evolve for two decades. $105 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW on 3/24/21)

Wine Advocate 93
2016 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals bombastic blackberry pie and blueberry compote notes with underlying cassis, dried herbs and unsmoked cigars scents plus a waft of pencil shavings. Full-bodied and jam-packed with black fruits and earthy layers, it has a solid, grainy frame and a long finish with a lively herbal lift. 6,576 cases produced. $125 Internet Price $99.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)


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