The Grape Tray

April 28th 2017 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 96
Château Coutet Barsac 2014, 375ml

This shows the vivid, racy side of Barsac, with streaming flavors of pineapple, yellow apple, green plum and white ginger, displaying lovely energy from start to finish. Ends with enough honeysuckle and orange blossom notes to balance the richness. Best from 2020 through 2035.-J.M 4,000 cases made $36. Half bottles $24.99

Wine Advocate 91
2012 Priest Ranch Petite Sirah Somerston Vineyards

 The 2012 Petite Sirah, which is aged in larger puncheons, shows fabulous fruit, dense purple color and is 100% Petite Sirah, tipping the scales at 15% natural alcohol, which is relatively high for this varietal. Deep blueberry and black raspberry fruit with camphor, white flowers and licorice are present in the full-bodied, very young, grapy and primary wine, but with plenty of upside and aging potential. It should drink well for the next 15 or more years. $40 Our Price $32.99

2013 Rudius Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Laying only miles apart, the two sites that come together in our 2013 Oakville Cabernet bottling are complete opposites, and yet, the best bedfellows. The power and flash of the eastern Oakville terraces finds its counterpoint in the bright aromatics and exotic spice of the western foothills, and the marriage is stunning! This Cabernet makes its opening remarks with fragrant holiday spice and inky, brambly fruit. A teasing entry, with a surprising slate-driven coolness born in the cobblestone stone soils to the west, is bolstered by plush boysenberry and long-sun-soaked tannins made in the hot afternoons on the east side. We fell in love with this complex interplay soon after the wine went to barrel two years ago, and have continued to be impressed with its maturation each passing month. You can confidently pop the cork and enjoy the Oakville Cab soon after receiving it, but don't be shy about aging this one. It will undoubtedly be evolving and showing yet undiscovered layers for at least 8-10 years. $68

2015 Cliff Lede Napa Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is loaded with aromas of Meyer lemon and candle wax atop layers of honeysuckle, ginger, and tangerine. Spring blossoms of wisteria, lupin, and California buckeye abound in the upper register of the seductive perfume. The full-bodied, coating mouthfeel expands out on the palate with a rich crème brulee like texture as unctuous notes of bosc pear, orange marmalade, and lavender honey coalesce along the long, satisfying finish. $27 Our Price $21.95

Wine Advocate 94+
2013 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard St. Helena

A vineyard made famous by Thomas Rivers Brown, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from clone 337 in St. Helena. This is a stunner with a beautiful floral fragrance interwoven with blueberry and blackberry fruit, graphite and incense. It is dense, full-bodied with the blue and black fruits continuing across the full-bodied palate. The wine has superb purity and moderate tannin. This wine should drink well for 20-25 years. $88

Wine Advocate 93+
2013 Hartford Family Winery Pinot Noir Maclean Block

The 2013 Pinot Noir MacLean Block comes from a vineyard east of the town of Occidental and saw 36% new French oak prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is from Dijon clone 667 and 777 from a relatively high-elevation site that needs plenty of time to ripen fully. About 30% whole-clusters were used in this wine, which is dense ruby/purple with loads of spice, damp earth, forest floor and mushrooms as well as raspberry and black cherry fruit. It should drink well for up to a decade. $65 Our Price $59.99

Wine Advocate 92-94
2013 Hartford Family Winery Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard

From the Sonoma Coast, the 2013 Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard (396 cases) emerges from a mountain ridge north of Fort Ross. This cuvée sees about 35% new French oak, and the 2013 clearly shows the tropical fruit side of Chardonnay with lots of pineapple, mango and candied tangerine-like notes. Full-bodied with fabulous fruit intensity as well as purity, super focus, and an underlying liquid minerality that gives it an extra-special character, it should drink well for 10 years. $65 Our Price $58.99

Wine Advocate 92
2014 Hartford Family Winery Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyard

The only 2014 tasted was the early-bottled 2014 Pinot Noir Land’s Edge Vineyards, which come from a vineyard four miles from the Pacific Ocean. Aged in 32% new French oak, the wine displays raspberry and blueberry fruit, damp earth, fresh porcini mushrooms and plenty of minerality. This is a juicy, tightly knit, but concentrated and promising Pinot Noir that has that forward fruit of this vintage well displayed. $50 Our Price $39.99

Wine Advocate 93
2013 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District

One of the best-run and now superstar wineries in all of Napa is Cliff Lede. Starting with their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap, a beautiful example of this AVA, the wine has a dense ruby/purple color, floral notes intermixed with crème de cassis , graphite and forest floor. It is full bodied, but with the elegance, finesse and lightness of being, despite its intensity. The wood is pushed to the background, and the wine is beautifully pure and long. Drink it over the next 20 years. $80 Our Price $69.99

Wine Spectator 93
2015 Bedrock CA Old Vine Zinfandel

Rich and supple, this is an explosion of pure, decadent fruit. Floral huckleberry and Chinese five-spice powder aromas open to layered blackberry, dark chocolate and licorice flavors that linger. Drink now through 2026. $25 (Arrives 5/5/17)

Wine Advocate 96
2014 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red

The 2014 Insignia is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and the rest Malbec and Cabernet Franc (no Merlot whatsoever). Production was slightly higher at 14,500 cases. This wine has an inky bluish purple color, a big, sweet kiss of crème de cassis, blackberry, blueberry, and hints of graphite and charcoal. It is floral, full-bodied, with tremendous opulence and richness. It is more approachable than the more structured and muscular 2013, but its is certainly no wimpy wine, given its level of extract and richness. It is another beauty, with the oak well-disguised by the extravagant fruit extract. Drink it over the next 30+ years. $250 Pre-sell pricing available (Please email if you would like to be added to our pre-sell list)

Wine Advocate 97
2014 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Scarlet Love Cabernet

Another Stags Leap cuvée, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Scarlet Love is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Hints of graphite, blackberry, blueberry, floral notes, charcoal and incense jump from the glass of this sensational Cabernet Sauvignon. Inky purple, with fabulous concentration, a full-bodied mouthfeel and incredible finish with no hard edges, this is a magnificent 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 25 or more years. $110 Limited (Arrives this afternoon)

Back to Our Blog