The Grape Tray

December 18th 2020 Newsletter

Available at Vintage Reserve Wine
 and The Grape Tray!
Editors’ Choice and Enthusiast 100 #19
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2018 Vina Robles The Arborist Estate Paso Robles Red Blend

This is a screamingly good deal, offering both hedonistic pleasure and complexity through a blend of 41% Syrah, 35% Petite Sirah, 12% Grenache and 12% Tannat. Aromas of roasted cherry, smoked meat and cola spice lead into a hearty palate of black currant, roasted game and licorice. It’s balanced by bright acidity, making for a sip that will satisfy many. $20 Our Price $15.49

Our Northeast Fresno Location is open!
Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
1552 E. Champlain Drive, Ste 109 Fresno, CA 93720. 559-878-3953 Via Montana Center (NE Corner Shepherd and Champlain)

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Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 AM-6:00 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM-4:00 PM

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Juan Gil Silver Label

I also tasted the following vintage, the 2018 Juan Gil (silver label), from a cooler and rainier, more continental vintage than the 2017 I tasted next to it. The origin is the same, Monastrell from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. This is the first vintage that is certified organic. There were some challenges, but they resulted in a fresh and balanced wine with integrated oak and a juicy and round palate. They have introduced optical sorting of the grapes, and perhaps that's why there is more precision and purity. They cannot do manual sorting at this price point, but optical sorting seems like a good alternative. 2018 is a more difficult vintage than the 2017, yet this wine is better, juicier and seems to absorb the oak better, with just a smoky touch that reminded me somehow of a Northern Rhône. Really impressive. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2020. $16 Our Price $12.95

For Sale
Vinotemp 1000+ bottle
Walk In Wine Vault With Racking
Dimensions: L 7.6’ x W 6.8’ x H 6.8’
Purchased new for $6500. Asking $3000 or Best Offer. Contact: Carl 559-696-2571. Wine Vault is located in Fresno, CA

2019 LE CANTINE MURGO ETNA ROSATO

Winemaker Notes: Delicate aromas of ripe red fruits. Light, soft and fruity in the mouth, with strawberry notes and a fresh, dry finish. Drink as young and fresh as possible, up to 4 years after release. Match with tomato-based pasta dishes, meaty fishes and Asian cuisine. $15 Our Price $12.99

James Suckling 94 Points
2015 San Carlo Brunello di Montalcino

Aromas of black cherries and rust with some terracotta and stone. Full body and soft, round tannins that follow through with energy at the end. Structured and intense. Long finish. Better in 2021. $55 Our Price $45.99

2019 DOMAINE DU DRAGON
Côtes de Provence Rosé ‘Grande Cuvée’

Winemaker TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Delicate pink color. Strawberries and light pepper. Textured and fruity, with flavors of red plums, lemon zest, raspberries. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Sweet/spicy Asian cuisines; barbecue. BLEND: 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Grenache, 20% Mourvédre, 19% Syrah and 13% Cinsault. $20 Our Price $17.99

Wine Spectator 94
COL D'ORCIA Brunello di Montalcino 2015

This combines the best characteristics of Sangiovese, with cherry and strawberry fruit, earth, leather and iron notes and balsamic elements of wild thyme, rosemary and Mediterranean scrub. Shows a bit of heat on the finish, yet remains fresh and long. Best from 2023 through 2042. $55 Our Price $45.99

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Russian River, Half Bottles

A crazy good value, the 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir is the appellation release from this team and it comes from all of the estate vineyards across Green Valley, Laguna Ridge and Sebastopol regions. Complex notes of strawberries, cranberries, violets, pine forest all flow to a medium bodied Pinot Noir that has a kiss of salinity and marine notes, ripe tannins and a great finish. This beautiful wine competes with wines costing 2-3 times the price. $18/375ml. Our Price $15.99/375ml (Back in stock)

We received another case!
Wine Advocate 93-95 Points
2018 Kongsgaard Napa Chardonnay

A barrel sample, the 2018 Chardonnay bursts from the glass with bold notes of warm peaches, spiced pears and applesauce with hints of candied ginger, honeycomb and lime cordial. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has electric intensity, with a refreshing line of racy acid cutting through the tightly wound stone fruit and spicy layers, finishing long and honey laced. $115

Wine Spectator 90
SILENUS Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley Tyros 2017

Quite bold and ripe, this teeters a bit, with a prune note amid the cherry, raspberry and plum confiture flavors. Features pretty spice accents, a relatively silky feel and a lingering mesquite element for added range. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2028. 5,000 cases made. — JM $35 Internet Price $24.99 Grape Tray email subscriber price $18.95

2017 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Capturing the rustic elegance of the Anderson Valley, this wine begins with lively aromas of fresh-picked wild strawberry, dusty earth and sweet tobacco leaf. The dynamic strawberry aromas are echoed on the palate, where they are supported by supple tannins and a bright underlying acidity that adds energy and zest to a long, nuanced finish. $50 Our Price $42.99. Half Bottles $21.99

Antonio Gallani, Vinous 96 Points
2018 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Proprietary Red

The 2018 Lytton Springs is magnificent. Elegant, layered and so complete, the 2018 has a lot to offer, but it needs time to fully come together. Sweet red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice, mint and rose petal open up in the glass. Bright acids and beams of tannin give the wine its vibrant energy. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Wow! $45 Our Price $35.99

We have both vintages in stock and they are sold as a set (2018 and 2017)


Wine Spectator 95, Top 100 #9
Beaux Frères Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2018

A wine of presence and expression, impeccably structured yet elegantly layered, with evocative raspberry, rose petal and brown baking spice notes that pick up richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029.—Tim Fish $95

Wine Spectator 95
BEAUX FRÈRES Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2017

Combines structure with verve, offering richly expressive raspberry, violet and orange peel flavors that take on polish and complexity toward well-buffed tannins. Drink now through 2028. 3,600 cases made. — TF $95


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