The Grape Tray

April 9th 2021 Newsletter


James Suckling 96 Points
2018 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Very pretty blackberry, blackcurrant, walnut, forest-flower and dark-walnut aromas follow through to a full body with round, juicy tannins that are fine-grained and beautiful. Lovely length and generosity, but reserved at the finish to give it tension. Mostly from the Soscol vineyard. 97% cabernet sauvignon. Drink or hold. $80 Internet Price $64.99. Email subscriber price $57.95 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Lloyd Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Lloyd Cellars 2019 Carneros Chardonnay is the newest vintage of our most popular wine. Sourced from the Kiser, Home and Green Acres Blocks from Sangiacomo Vineyard, as well as a small amount of fruit from the Truchard Vineyard, this is a fantastic expression of big, rich California Chardonnay. Layers of tropical fruits, pear and apple are supported by rich notes of vanillin leading into a powerful and succulent finish. $40 Our Price $31.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Half Bottles!
Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Shafer Vineyards One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

Composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five charges out of the gate with notes of crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries and blackberry pie plus suggestions of bay leaves, fertile loam and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the mouth is completely coated with juicy black fruit flavors, supported by plush tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with an invigorating herbal lift. $55/375ml (Available GT)

Vinous 94 Points
2016 Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino

The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a fruit-focused and high-energy effort, lifting up with a spicy and slightly exotic display, showing sour cherry, wild strawberry, savory herbs and hints of animal musk. It’s silky in texture with fleshy red berries further excited by juicy acids, giving way to salty minerals and pretty inner florals. Tannins saturate through the finish, yet this remains balanced throughout with a resonating note of black licorice. The 2016 Piancornello is very impressive. Well done! Drinking window: 2024 – 2036. $55 Our Price $46.99 (Available GT)

James Suckling 94 Points
2017 Three Sticks Durell Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Impressive complexity and powerful aromas of ripe pears and peaches here. Lots of spice, grilled almonds and clotted cream, too. The palate has a smooth delivery of supple, creamy pears and peaches, brulee custard and plenty of spiced-orange sponge cake to close. Drink or hold. $60 Our Price $49.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Today’s Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday Tasting, 4/9/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2009 Roederer Cristal, 2018 Chateau Kirwan Margaux and 2016 Domaine Du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Reservee
(Tasting notes available on instagram: vintagereservewine)

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Saturday Tasting, 4/10/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2018 Walter Hansel Cahill Lane Chardonnay, 2017 Shafer One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet and 2016 Larkmead Dr. Olmo Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2018 Walter Hansel Cahill Lane Chardonnay

The 2018 Chardonnay Cahill Lane has very pretty scents of quince and baked apples with notes of crushed hazelnuts, beeswax and white blossoms. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and packed to the gills with concentrated, layered flavors, and it finishes long with bright freshness calling you in for another sip. 907 cases produced. $30

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Shafer One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Cut from the same cloth, yet with a touch of rusticity in its tannins, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five offers a full-bodied, rounded, structured style as well as loads of sweet red and black fruits, toasted spice, and herbed de Provence like notes. It’s a powerful, concentrated wine, has loads of fruit, and is going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle
age. $100

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

2015 Studert Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese

Importer Notes: Bright gold in color. Ripe fruit and solid with notes of peaches and apricot but also petroly notes from devonslate, a perfect Riesling. Best served as an aperitif or in combination with blue cheeses or creamy cheeses like fresh goat cheese. $28 Our Price $14.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
2018 Lail Blueprint Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

From a range of sites and expertly blended by Philippe Melka and his team, this wine has 5% Petit Verdot and spent 18 months in French oak, half of it new. Black olive, pencil shaving, sage and cedar provide a savory context against which concentrated black cherry and plum play. Coffee makes an appearance on the finish. Enjoy 2028-2035. Internet Price $75

Wine Spectator 91 Points
SCHLOSSGUT DIEL Riesling Nahe Von der Nahe 2018

A lovely and expressive dry version, with a cream note that acts as a canvas for the array of citrus and orchard fruit flavors layered on top. Floral aromas add to the charm on the well-defined finish. Drink now through 2028. 168 cases imported. — AZ $23 Our Price $18.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2016 Inglenook Rutherford Cabernet

The base cuvée is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, which is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec sourced all from Rutherford. It has a classic, Saint Julien-like bouquet of crème de cassis, tobacco lead, damp earth, and spice that gives way to a full-bodied, concentrated, textured Cabernet that hits all the right marks. The top Rubicon release has a touch more elegant and precision, but this isn't far off. Drink this stunner any time over the coming 20 years or more. $90 Internet Price $69.99. (Available GT and VRW)

Vinous 92 Points
2018 Chateau Montelena Napa Chardonnay

Chateau Montelena's 2018 Chardonnay is bright and finely sculpted, with terrific energy driving the citrus and floral flavors. Blocking malolactic fermentation keeps the flavors brisk. This cool site in Oak Knoll suits the Montelena style very nicely. Readers who enjoy focused Chardonnays will find plenty to like. This is an especially fine vintage for the Montelena Chardonnay. $60 Our Price $49.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96-97 Points
2019 Peter Michael Winery
Chardonnay la Carriere

La Carriere is situated at an elevation of around 1,200-1,700 feet with a rocky, shallow, volcanic soil that gives low fertility and is among the lowest yields of all the Peter Michael vineyards. The vineyard is planted to Dijon and Hyde (Old Wente) clone selections. A tank sample due to be bottled in the next day or so, the 2019 Chardonnay la Carriere reveals delicate scents of fresh green apples, white peaches and preserved lemons with hints of chalk dust, orange blossoms and coriander seed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a satiny texture with bags of freshness lifting the mineral-tinged citrus flavors to a long finish. 2,836 cases were made. $107 (Available GT and VRW 4/16/21)

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