March 26th 2021 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

March 26th 2021 Newsletter

2018 Pride Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottle

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! $38/375ml (Available GT)

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
2019 Château Suau Bordeaux Blanc

Light aging on lees has given this organic wine depth as well as an attractive spicy character. It is ripe in white fruit flavors, lifted by a citrus edge. It would be best with food and is ready to drink. $15 (Available GT and VRW 3/27/21)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person
Today’s Tasting, 3/26/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2018 Kongsgaard Napa Chardonnay, 2017 Ilaria Napa Cabernet and 2016 Anthem LPV Cabernet

Wine Advocate 93-95 Points
2018 Kongsgaard Napa Chardonnay

Wine Advocate 94+
2017 Ilaria Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Anthem Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person
Saturday Tasting, 3/27/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2018 Paul Hobbs Ross Station Chardonnay, 2018 Capiaux Garys’ Pinot and 2017 Kosta Browne SRH Pinot

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Ross Station Estate

The 2018 Chardonnay Ross Station Estate opens with toast and flint, segueing to golden apple, white flowers and salted almonds. The medium-bodied, satiny palate is singing, bursting with juicy, savory flavors and finishing very long. 317 cases produced. $85

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Capiaux Garys’ Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Garys' is bright and focused, with terrific energy driving the sweet red berry and floral notes. White pepper, mint, blood orange and a kiss of new French oak (40%) add layers of nuance and dimension. The 2018 finishes with a real sense of saline-infused briskness that is hugely appealing. This is another stellar wine in Sean Capiaux's range. Drinking window: 2022 – 2033. $45

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2017 Kosta Browne Santa Rita Hills Pinot

Aged 15 months in 42% new French oak, the 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills has a medium ruby-purple color and gives up cinnamon toast, raspberry coulis, macerated strawberries and rosewater perfume with accents of musk, lilac, blood orange and scorched earth—what a gorgeous perfume! Medium-bodied, it slowly builds in amplitude in the mouth, releasing gobs of perfumed red berry fruits. It has a sturdy but finely grained frame and seamless freshness, finishing very long, layered and fantastically perfumed. Wow! $100

2018 Blue Rock Baby Blue
Alexander Valley Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: A stunning vintage, the 2018 Baby Blue showcases impressive poise and style. Baby Blue offers an abundance of pleasure right from the start, but as you sip and savor, you will be given a glimpse into the stunning seriousness and sophistication captured by the 2018 wines. This may be a “baby,” but its refinement and pedigree will impress on every level! Striking Cabernet aromatics leap from the glass, deep black and blue fruits dance on the palate, followed by a soft and silky texture, fine grained tannins and glorious structure to complete ensemble. Blend: 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 14% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc. $30 Our Price $24.99

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Very attractive aromas of blackcurrants, black olives and dark leather with some cedar. It’s full-bodied with firm, silky tannins and a refined, polished finish. Shows finesse and focus. Grows on the palate. Really delicious now, but will improve with age. Drink or hold. $55 Internet Price $44.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Leviathan Proprietary Red

Always a great value, the 2018 California Red Wine is a Bordeaux blend put together by Andy Erickson. The wine reveals a ruby/purple hue as well as complex notes of red and black fruits, green tobacco, cedary spice, and spring flowers. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, elegant wine that offers good overall concentration, seamless tannins, and a great finish. Very much in the style of the 2018 vintage with its more streamlined, elegant style, it’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age (although it’s far from unapproachable today) and keep for a solid 10-12 years or more. This is one of the more age-worthy examples of this cuvée that I recall. $40 Internet Price $33.99 (Available GT)

Tasting Panel 90 Points
Dueling Pistols Paso Robles Red Blend 2016

Black cherry color; ripe and succulent with over-the-top flavors of sweet plum and cherry; thick and intense with a smooth texture, good acid structure, and a long finish. 50% Petite Sirah, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. $50 Liquidation Price $25.95 (Limited to stock on hand) Available GT

James Suckling 97 Points
2018 Bodegas Aleanna "El Enemigo" Chardonnay Mendoza

This is another rock-star Chardonnay from here with dried-apple, pear-skin, crushed-stone and peach-pit character. Full body. Creamy texture. Phenolic form and a long, flavorful finish. Drink or hold. $26 Internet Price $23.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 91
LAFOND Syrah Sta. Rita Hills SRH 2016

This sleek red is compelling, with fresh black raspberry flavors that show a whiff of smoky meat and cracked pepper. Drink now through 2026. 2,000 cases made. — TF $24 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Pride Mountain Merlot

Winemaker Notes: The incredible quality of the 2018 vintage is on full display in our Estate Merlot. The wine is sensationally dense with ripe plum, boysenberry, and blackberry that leap out of the glass and coat the palate. The smooth, rich fruit is complemented by milk chocolate, fresh tobacco, sandalwood, black licorice, violet, and mocha. The choreography of how the voluptuous fruit wraps around the volcanic minerality while merging with the velvety tannins makes for an intriguing ballet in the mouth that simply leaves you wanting more. Decant for one hour to let this beautiful peacock strut its stuff! $65 (Back in stock GT)

2017 Provenance Rutherford Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Our 2017 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon reveals its provenance with layers of fresh, delicate, dark berry fruits. Aromas of blackberry, mulberry, boysenberry, and black currant are present on the nose along with seductive savory notes of potpourri and rosemary. On the palate there is a darker brooding brambly berry fruit supported by pleasing sweet baking spice notes of cinnamon, cedar and clove that surround the core of black currant, chocolate covered cherries and cassis. The depth of flavor culminates in a finish with earthier black tea, bittersweet chocolate, graphite, and espresso notes. The firm cocoa-powder tannins—a signature of Rutherford dust character—enhance the velvet texture and well-balanced structure, providing a mineral rich finish, as well as giving this Cabernet its cellar worthiness.$50 Our Price $34.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
PETER FRANUS Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder Brandlin Vineyard 2017

Very solidly built, with a frame of warm earth and singed juniper around a core of steeped plum, blackberry and blueberry fruit flavors. Lots of sassafras and sweet bay leaf notes gild the finish, leaving a mouthwatering echo. Drink now through 2032. —J.M. 184 cases made. Internet Price $75 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

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