December 28th 2020 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

December 28th 2020 Newsletter

Grape Tray Holiday Hours
Monday- Wednesday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Thursday, 12/31/20 10:30 AM-4:00 PM
Friday, 1/1/21 Happy New Year!
Saturday, 1/2/21 Closed
Sunday, 1/3/21 Closed
Monday, 1/4/21 10:30 AM- 5:30 PM

Vintage Reserve Wine Holiday Hours
Tuesday- Wednesday 11:00 AM-6:00 PM
Thursday, 12/31/20 11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Friday, 1/1/21 Happy New Year!
Saturday, 1/2/21 Closed
Sunday, 1/3/21 Closed
Monday, 1/4/21 Closed
Tuesday, 1/5/21 12:00 PM-6:00 PM
Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
1552 E. Champlain Drive, Ste 109 Fresno, CA 93720.
559-878-3953 Via Montana Center (NE Corner Shepherd and Champlain) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Wine Spectator 97
2016 Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru, Burgundy

Marked by oak spice, this is nonetheless an elegant style, featuring floral, wild strawberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Sleek and firm, showing tension, picking up a mineral element as this stretches out on the finish. Best from 2024 through 2050. 967 cases made, 70 cases imported. Our Price $234.95 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 93 Points
2018 Domaine Faiveley Clos des Myglands Mercurey Premier Cru Burgundy

This is always beautiful with dried strawberries, flowers and hints of rosebush. Medium-to full-bodied with a round yet poignant tannin background and fresh acidity. Lively Mercurey. Drink or hold. $55 Our Price $47.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Anthem Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color and reveals expressive black cherries, blackberries and warm blackcurrants with hints of violets, black olives, Indian spices and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and powerful, the palate is filled with well-poised black fruit layers and firm, grainy tannins, matched by bold freshness and finishing long. $125 (Back in stock at GT 12/29/20)

Wine Spectator 97
 Cristal 2012

A classic beauty, fresh-faced and focused today but with a harmonious grace of form suggesting a long career ahead. There's a creamy, viscous quality to the mousse that swathes the palate, carrying finely detailed flavors of poached quince, Mandarin orange preserves, toasted almond and pickled ginger. Mouthwatering throughout, with a pleasing, soft zestiness to the mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2035. From France. —A.N. $279 Our Price $249.95 (Available GT and VRW)

2017 Dry Creek Winery
Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottle

Winemaker Notes: This impeccable Cabernet Sauvignon initially displays lively aromatics of black cherry, blackcurrant, and dried cranberry. Additional airing reveals nuances of dried flowers, nutmeg, white pepper, and cedar. The palate is full-bodied and rich with elegant flavors of ripe raspberry, blackcurrant, and fresh boysenberry with notes of cocoa powder, bay leaf, sage, and sweet pipe tobacco. The wine is complex and youthful, with bright fruit characters and vibrant spice. It offers intensity and richness and reflects the terroir of Dry Creek Valley beautifully. Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot. $16/375ml. Our Price $12.99/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

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. Our Price $173.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94
RUINART Brut Rosé Champagne NV

Tasting Note: This offers all the trim sleekness of a well-built racing sailboat, while the flavors unfurl on the palate like a full spinnaker sail. Macerated raspberry and poached apricot fruit is underscored by smoke and toast notes, and pleasing hints of crystallized honey, tangerine zest and dried thyme echo on the outhwatering finish. Drink now through 2030.—A.N. Internet Price $79.99. (Available GT and VRW)

WOW-Discounted 70%
2016 Artezin Collins Russian River Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: This ruby red Zinfandel offers enticing aromas of fresh blackberry and boysenberry, which intertwine with subtle notes of star anise and black pepper. Flavors are abundant and driven by raspberries, sweet red cherry and currant. A plush, balanced and well-rounded mounthfeel leads to a lingering finish of finely integrated tannins. $40 Our Price $11.95 (Back in stock at GT 12/29/20)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2018 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett

The 2018 Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett is darker toned and ripe on the flinty nose, with its crushed stone aromas. Richer and more intense on the palate, this is an almost creamy-textured and persistently salty Leistenberg that is quite rich but still playful and stimulating. It's just more generous and solemn on the palate. Perhaps more a Spätlese style but very stimulating in fact. Tasted in July 2019. This is riper and more powerful than the 2017. $30 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine and Spirits 92 Points
2018 Lujon Walla Walla Cabernet

Lujon is a small father and son operation out of Carlton, Oregon devoted to mostly Willamette Valley fruit except for this succulent Walla Walla Cabernet. It’s a steal for the price, spicy, briary and lean with an effortless balance between smoked purple plum fruit and lean angular tannins with just the right amount of flesh for pork shoulder. $28. Our Price $19.99 (Available at GT)

Wine Spectator 96
MOËT & CHANDON Brut Champagne Dom Pérignon 2010

A graceful Champagne, featuring fragrant notes of toasted brioche and grilled nut that are more subtle on the palate, transitioning to a rich underpinning layered with a pure chime of tangerine and accents of candied ginger, toasted saffron and lime blossom. This bundles a lot of concentrated flavor into a lithe frame. The fine mousse caresses the palate through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2035. From France. —A.N. $188 Our Price $164.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 90 Points
2019 Donnhoff Estate Riesling

The 2019 Riesling (Estate) is bright, clear and fresh on the nose, even flinty. Round, pure and lush on the palate, this is a medium-sweet Riesling with great finesse and the typical Mosel lightness and piquancy. Beautifully straight and full of character. Tasted as a sample in Bremen, April 2020. $28 Our Price $20.99 (Available at GT)

Wine Spectator 92
PIPER-HEIDSIECK Brut Rosé Champagne Sauvage NV Half Bottles

A deeply-hued, vinous rosé, almost garnet in color, this distinctive version offers dried cherry and currant flavors, accented by delicate dried thyme, graphite and singed orange peel notes. Well-recommended for food, this is firm and lightly chalky in texture, with a lingering, mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2023. 20,000 cases made, 2,500 cases imported. — AN $32/375ml Our Price $14.95/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Valley Ghost Madera Aglianico

Winemaker Notes: Aglianico is an obscure variety normally grown in the boot of Italy and tends to be a really big wine. This Central Valley version while not as dark in color still has many of the same attributes of white pepper, rose petals and fresh cherries with a hint of minerality and earth on the back palate. This is a great summertime wine that will hold up well with barbecue and other spicy foods. Our Price $10.99 (Available at GT)

(Notes from Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy “Along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, [Aglianico] is generally believed to be on of Italy’s three best wine grapes, but in my opinion it is far more…”)

Wine Spectator 95
RED STITCH Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley 2015

A real head-turner, ultrarich and powerful, sharply focused, deftly balanced, ending with a mouthcoating mix of black licorice, fresh herb and earth, and cedary oak notes. Best from 2020 through 2035. 300 cases made. — JL $105 (Back in stock at GT 12/30/20)

2018 Pride Mountain Cabernet Franc

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Cabernet Franc is a gorgeous expression of this grape that can be challenging in some settings but just excels on our mountaintop. The 2018 is intensely aromatic with ripe red raspberry and currant comingling with blackberry and black mission fig. Graphite, cedar, and bay leaf blend with hibiscus flowers, bergamot citrus, and exotic spices like star anise and Szechuan pepper. The palate has no hard edges, being rich and caressingly smooth, with a persistent finish that allows the vibrant fruit and spice nuances to linger like a slow-moving sunset. 2018 is a really beautiful Cabernet Franc! $75 (Available at GT: 4 bottles)

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