November Wine Tasting Flight Menus
We currently have two delicious wine tasting options available for visitors–our Traditional Tasting Flight, which features our newest releases and is only available through the end of November, and our Elevated Tasting Flight! We recommend first time visitors try a tasting flight to get a feel for what McGrail wines are all about. Our tasting menus include detailed descriptions of each wine, as well as bottle pricing, in case you’d like to get something to go!
Traditional Tasting Flight
—features our newest releases and is only available through November!—
$20/person -OR- complimentary for wine club members*
*up to 4 complimentary tastings per wine club membership
INCLUDES: 2019 Charlie Rae Chardonnay, 2018 Shamus Patrick Red Blend, 2018 Austin James Cabernet Sauvignon, & 2017 James Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon.
2019 Charlie Rae Chardonnay
This is the very first vintage in which our Charlie Rae Chardonnay has been produced using only fruit from our Lucky 8 Vineyard, which is farmed to produce the highest quality of fruit. The 2019 Charlie Rae Chardonnay was barrel-fermented and sur-lie-aged for 9 months. 100% of this wine went through malolactic fermentation, giving it a very buttery and creamy mouthfeel. This crisp Chardonnay is a light yellow straw hue with notes of spicy oak, d’Anjou pear, banana, lemon marmalade, green apple candy, and a touch of honey on the nose. This wine is very classic to a traditional California-style Chardonnay. There are notes of sweet coconut, white peach, nectarine, starfruit, marshmallow cream, butter, and lemon meringue pie that round out the palate. The acidity is beautiful and the wine finishes clean. Enjoy this Chardonnay with grilled chicken and pasta in a lemon caper sauce or garlic butter fish.
BOTTLE: $36 – retail | $30.60 – 15% discount | $28.80 – 20% discount
2018 Shamus Patrick Red Blend
The 2018 Shamus Patrick is a blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Merlot and is exemplary of a California Bordeaux-style Red Blend. This wine has a beautiful opaque, deep garnet. The explosion of blueberry and plum on the nose invokes a warm, fuzzy feeling. To us, it’s the quintessential wine of autumn. The fruity aromas are matched by the earthiness on the palate. Notes of rose petal, anise, nutmeg, leather, tobacco, and toasty graham cracker can be found at the finish. It’s like a blueberry pie in a glass. This jammy wine is complex with balanced acidity and silky tannins. Enjoy this wine with a porterhouse steak topped with chanterelle mushrooms and truffle butter, aged parmesan cheese, or a delicious truffle mushroom risotto.
BOTTLE: $46 – retail | $39.10 – 15% discount | $36.80 – 20% discount
2018 Austin James Cabernet Sauvignon
With hopes of bringing out the best aspects of each vineyard, we combined the three different Clones from three different vineyards to create the Austin James. The blend is produced using approximately one third from each vineyard. McGrail Vineyards is our estate vineyard that is planted with Clone 8 and Clone 15 Cabernet Sauvignon. The C. Tarantino Vineyard is located less than a mile north of our property and is planted in Clone 337. Our Lucky 8 Vineyard is planted less than a mile northwest of our estate, on Tesla Road, and is planted with Clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon. Austin James was bottled on May 27th, 2020, unfiltered. This bold, carmine wine initially opens with a hint of mintiness, then follows into notes of bright cherry cola, vanilla, cassis, and bright red raspberry. The red fruit on the palate contains undertones of clove and dark chocolate, and is further complemented by notes of red licorice, blackberry, and a bit of tobacco. The smooth, but bold tannins linger for a bit and leave this easy sipping wine ready for another taste. Enjoy this with a filet in a cherry demi-glace, ribs in a smoky BBQ sauce, or a delicious pork loin.
BOTTLE: $54 – retail | $45.90 – 15% discount | $43.20 – 20% discount
2017 James Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon
Year after year, the James Vincent continues to be one of our favorite wines with great, jammy fruit on the front and soft, lingering tannins on the finish. Our winemaker and the McGrail family taste through all our French oak barrels and pick our favorite barrels for the James Vincent Cabernet Sauvignon. This year included two Baron, two Eclat, two Mercury, and two Gamba French oak barrels. The 2017 James Vincent was bottled on May 26th, 2020, and then bottle aged for almost six months before being released. This wine is elegant and balanced, but is still a big, bold classic California Cabernet that can stand up to any steak dinner. The initial aromas are cherry, cassis, spicy clove, vanilla, and nutmeg. As you taste this luscious wine, intense dark cherry, chamomile, toasty coconut, and dark cocoa flavors take charge and become more rich and tannic as the wine hits all parts of your palate. The finish is elegant and velvety. One sip just never seems to be enough. Enjoy with a hearty blue cheese and juicy tri tip salad or with any premium cut of beef.
BOTTLE: $79 – retail | $67.15 – 15% discount | $63.20 – 20% discount
Elevated Tasting Flight
$35/person -OR- $15/wine club member*
*up to 4 tastings per wine club membership at member price
INCLUDES: 2016 McGrail Clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 McGrail Clone 15 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, & 2017 McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon
All four wines on our elevated tasting menu are various vintages and clones of our McGrail estate Cabernet Sauvignon, thus allowing a few commonalities, but still several differences between each wine.
2017 McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
If there is such a thing as a “normal” vintage, 2017 was it. We had average rainfall, spring was warm-ish and the summer was warm-to-hot. Heat in the summer can actually slow down the ripening as the vines want to shut down to conserve water that is respiring faster than it can uptake. Yields continued in the normal range and fruit quality continued to be exceptional. The 2017 vintage of this garnet wine opens with cherry, cassis, spicy clove, dark mocha chocolate, and toasty vanilla. The palate matches the nose, but supplements it with density, great structure, and notes of plum, lavender, and remnants of the tobacco you’d find in an old Cuban cigar box. Bold, but smooth tannins frame the full-bodied mouthfeel of this classic Cabernet, leaving a lingering impression of fruit and spice. Pair this wine with an all-American burger, Italian oxtail, or a hearty, rosemary-crusted prime rib.
BOTTLE: $48 – retail | $40.80 – 15% discount | $38.40 – 20% discount
2016 McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
We welcomed an extra large dose of precipitation in 2016, which was a relief after several years of drought. This precipitation helped refill our reservoirs and flushed out our soils. The vines responded with normal yields and incredible flavors. Spring was very wet and warm. Summer was hot and dry, making for an almost perfect growing season. After several drought vintages, it was refreshing to get back to “normal”. The growing season continued its trend of harvesting on the early side of the year. The light yield led to fruit ripening early and our Cabernet was ready to pick by late September. We picked our entire vineyard between September 29th and October 2nd. The 2016 vintage of this opulent wine opens with spicy clove, dark cherry, coffee, caramel, and toasty vanilla. The palate is equally impressive with density, great structure, and notes of blackberry, anise, and a hint of tobacco. Hearty tannins frame the full-bodied mouthfeel of this classic Cabernet, leaving a lingering impression of fruit and spice.
BOTTLE: $58 – retail | $49.30 – 15% discount | $46.40 – 20% discount
2017 McGrail Clone 15 Cabernet Sauvignon
Clone 15 is an ENTAV clone from Bordeaux, France. On our property, the clone 15 vines are located at the front of the property, or the west side, and produce a wine that is slightly fruitier than our clone 8 Cab. Every couple of years we pick, ferment, and age the clones separately, so we can bottle a single clone Cabernet. We enjoy experimenting with these single clone Cabernets, because each clone has its own unique, delicious characteristics that can be compared and contrasted through a side-by-side tasting. Clone 15 Cabernet Sauvignon was bottled May 27, 2020, after having been aged in experienced French oak barrels for 30 months. Aromas of deep, dark fruit, especially dark cherry, are intense with hints of toasty vanilla and spicy clove. This tasteful, opaque purple Cabernet finishes with firm tannins and notes of dried fruit. Pair with garlic-soy-marinated steak over baby bok choy or a pumpkin-parmesan mushroom risotto.
BOTTLE: $59 – retail | $50.15 – 15% discount | $47.20 – 20% discount
2016 McGrail Clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon
Clone 8 is a Cabernet Sauvignon clone that was developed at UC Davis in the1990’s. On our estate, the clone 8 vines are located at the back of the property, or the east side, and produce a wine that is slightly earthier than our clone 15 Cab. Every few years, we find one of the clones is particularly special, so we bottle a very small amount of single clone Cabernet. There were only 26 cases produced of this vintage, so each bottle is extra special to us. Our 2016 Clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon was bottled March 17, 2020, after having been aged in new Hungarian oak barrels for 42 months. Aromas of black fruit, cassis, red pepper, wet gravel, graphite, black olive, and toasty oak can be found in this earthy wine. More fruit may be found on the palate than the nose, but the palate is still quite complex and boasts a lovely acidity. Notes of black cherry, dark plum, blackberry, cola, and porcini mushroom grace the palate. This dark, deep ruby Cabernet finishes with firm, lingering tannins, umami flavors, and an elegant earthiness. Pair with mushroom stroganoff, salsa verde grilled steak, or balsamic Brussels sprouts.
BOTTLE: $59 – retail | $50.15 – 15% discount | $47.20 – 20% discount