The Grape Tray

April 2nd 2021 Newsletter

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
2017 Alma Rosa Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

Especially for an appellation blend, this is a wondrous, regionally indicative bottling, starting with clean and fresh aromas of honeysuckle, Asian pear and lime pith. There’s a flashy sizzle of acidity on the sip, where lily and honeysuckle lavors meet with kiwi and restrained guava, wrapped up in a delicate texture. Editors’ Choice. — Matt Kettmann $30. Internet Price $18.99. Email Subscriber Price $14.95 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

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. Internet Price $100/magnum. Email Subscriber Price $60/magnum (Limited) Available GT and VRW

2018 Carmel Road Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Our Cabernet is an exceptional varietal expression with rich, concentrated flavors of ripe black cherry, blueberry and deep red plum. The structured palate is balanced by aging in French and American oak barrels, imparting notes of baking spices and vanilla bean in its long, silky finish. $15 Our Price $9.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW) Delicious!

2018 Lemelson Tikka's Run Pinot Gris

Winemaker Notes: Tikka’s Run Pinot gris is sourced from Wascher Vineyard, a lower elevation site and Chestnut Hill Vineyard, a higher elevation site. Both sites have very different microclimates and soil types which makes for unique growing conditions and distinctive wine characteristics that work very well with each other once blended. The wine has bright pear, lemon peel, melon and white flower notes that go into a long, mineral and citrus-driven finish. A good fraction of this wine was barrel fermented, which really helps round out the richness of the wine and bring it into balance with the wine’s crisp, acidic backbone. $22. Our Price $17.99 (Available GT)

Today’s Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday Tasting, 4/2/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Winery. 2019 Napa Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Russian River Pinot Noir and 2018 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

2019 Twomey Napa Sauvignon Blanc
2018 Twomey Russian River Pinot Noir
2018 Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Saturday Tasting, 4/3/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2018 Bevan Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2017 Peter Franus Mt. Veeder Brandlin Cabernet and 2017 Barnett Spring Mt. Rattlesnake Cabernet

2018 Bevan Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

The 2018 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay has amazing richness and concentration. Citrus flavors lead the charge, but tropical notes come on after a single swirl of the glass. Pineapple and key lime are wrapped up in toasty marshmallow accents. The entry shows some crisp acid, but an instant afterward the wines richness and power take over. Incredibly concentrated, this wine delivers on the finish. $50

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

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Barnett Rattlesnake Cabernet Sauvignon

Easily the standout in the lineup, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Rattlesnake is all Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate on Spring Mountain. It has a wonderful bouquet of crème de cassis, spring flowers, lead pencil, and damp earth. This gives way to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that has a terrific sense of purity, nicely integrated acidity, fine tannins, and beautiful balance. It will benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age (it's far from unapproachable today) and keep for 15-20 years $200.

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2014 Law Estate Beguiling

The 2014 Beguiling is a blend of 86% Grenache and 14% Syrah and has a medium to deep garnet-purple color with a gregarious nose of kirsch, red currant jelly and red roses with nuances of potpourri, Chinese five spice and white pepper. Full-bodied, concentrated and packed with perfumed red berry preserves flavors, it has a gorgeous, plush texture and a refreshing lift on the finish. Drink 2017 – 2028. (3 bottles available at GT for $78/bottle)

Wine Advocate 95+
2014 Law Estate Sagacious

Composed of 42% Mourvèdre, 38% Syrah and 20% Grenache, the 2014 Sagacious sports a deep garnet-purple color and is scented of blackberry preserves, crème de cassis, tapenade and black licorice with underlying hints of forest floor, black soil, chargrill and sautéed herbs. Full-bodied, concentrated and laden with earth-laced black fruit flavors, it has a rock-solid structure of chewy tannins and a lively line, finishing with anise and herbal notes. Drink 2017 – 2029. (2 bottles available at GT for $78/bottle)

Wine Spectator 94
RAMEY Chardonnay Russian River Valley Woolsey Road Vineyard 2017

Taut, with focused green apple, Asian pear and honeydew melon flavors, backed by vibrant acidity. Savory midpalate, leading to a finish filled with lemon meringue notes and minerally richness. Best from 2022 through 2026. 769 cases made. — KM $70 Our Price $64.99 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2019 Turley Juvenile Zinfandel

The 2019 Zinfandel Juvenile has a medium ruby color and aromas of earth-laced red and black berries. The palate is soft and alluring with a wealth of ripe fruit and juicy acidity, and it finishes long and uplifted. It's a very approachable style this vintage. 15,670 cases produced. $26 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2019 Turley Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard

Medium ruby in color, the 2019 Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard has alluring black fruits on the nose with accents of salted licorice, earth and blood orange. The medium-bodied palate is grainy and fresh with spicy black fruits and a long finish with appealing earthy nuances. It's youthfully coiled and deserves another 2-3 years in bottle. 1,410 cases produced. $50 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2019 Turley Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard

The 2019 Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard, medium ruby-purple in color, offers bright red cherry perfume with notes of tar, potpourri and aniseed. Medium-bodied, the palate is soft and grainy with loads of juicy acidity, bright fruit character and a long, uplifted finish. 1,700 cases produced. $52 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
CASTELLO ROMITORIO
Brunello di Montalcino 2016

A core of pure black cherry marks this compressed red, which is fresh and balanced in its rigid way, with wild thyme, rosemary, iron and tobacco flavors. The aftertaste lingers with the fruit and balsamic elements. Best from 2025 through 2048. —B.S. $75 Our Price $60.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)


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