December 31st 2020 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

December 31st 2020 Newsletter

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2008 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne

Taittinger's 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is being released this year, and it will be worth a special effort to track down. I wrote in August 2019 that this is the finest Comtes de Champagne since the brilliant 2002, and this tasting confirmed that. Offering up a deep and complex bouquet of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, warm brioche, crushed chalk, blanched almonds and smoke, it's full-bodied and incisive, with excellent concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. While this is already immensely impressive out of the gates, this 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades' longevity won't be a challenge. $225 Our Price $198.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Additional Scores: James Sucking 99 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 Points

Grape Tray Holiday Hours
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
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 95 Points
2009 Louis Roederer Cristal
Champagne, Magnum

White peach and acacia blossom aromas accent the flavors of poached apple, gingersnap biscuit, pastry cream and spun honey in this harmonious Champagne. The satiny mousse caresses the palate, while firm, focused acidity drives the lasting finish. Drink now through 2030. $600/magnum. Our Price $449.95/magnum (Available at VRW)

Additional Scores: JS 97, WA 95+ and WE 97

Wine Advocate 92
Pol Roger Brut Reserve, Magnum and 3 Liter

The latest rendition of Pol Roger's NV Brut Reserve is based on the 2013 vintage and incorporates 25% reserve wines from the 2012, 2011 and 2010 vintages. Disgorged six months ago, the wine wafts from the glass with an alluring bouquet of green apple, brioche, pastry cream and buttered toast. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, impressively layered and complete, with a crisp but fleshy core of fruit, a youthfully frothy mousse and bright acids, concluding with a delicately chalky finish. This is one of the very finest—as well as among the most consistent—non-vintage brut bottlings from any of the Grandes Marques, and this release comes very warmly recommended. While it will be drinkable on release, it will reward some bottle age too. $117/magnum. Our Price $95.95/magnum. 3 Liter Retail $300. Our Price $238.95/3 Liter. (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2019 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, 3 Liter Bottles

Winemaker Notes: Pale yellow with a green tinge to the hue. Aromas of yellow peach, mango with a slight citrus note intertwine seamlessly with vanilla and spice. The palate is rich and round, with the mango and vanilla fighting for the lime light, while the cream texture, vanilla and slight butter combine seamlessly. The balanced acidity closes out the finish bringing the multiple components into balance. $173/3 Liter (Available GT and VRW)

NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier, Magnum

Based on the 2015 vintage, complemented by 25% reserve wines, the latest rendition of Laurent Roederer's NV Brut Premier is showing nicely, opening in the glass with aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, Anjou pear, white peach, pastry cream and subtle hints of freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, with a delicate pinpoint mousse, ripe but racy acids and exquisite balance, this is a beautiful Brut Premier that will age in style; indeed, it will be even better with some bottle age. This is among the finest examples in its category and comes warmly recommended. $120 Our Price $89.99/magnum (Available GT and VRW)

Additional Score: Decanter 94 Points

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label
 Brut Champagne, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: We blend 30-45% reserve wines with grapes from as many as 50 to 60 different crus. The Pinot Noir predominance (50-55%) provides the structure that is so typically Veuve Clicquot, while Chardonnay (28-33%) adds the elegance and finesse essential in a perfectly balanced wine, and a touch of Meunier (15-20%) rounds out the blend. The long aging in our Crayères (3 years minimum for Yellow Label) gives silkiness to the Champagne. $170 Our Price $129.95/magnum (Available at VRW)

2017 Lujon Walla Walla Syrah

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 Walla Walla Syrah is co-fermented with 3.5% Viognier and was sourced from Cougar Crest Vineyard. The grapes were harvested 9/30/2017 and stemmed into 1.5 ton fermenters with mostly whole berries. Cold soaked for 2 days at which point inoculation occurs. We use various yeast for fruit expression and moderate tannin extraction. Fermentation lasts approximately 3 weeks at which point the free run is racked and barreled separately from the press wine. It’s aged for 23 months in French oak barrels with approximately 10% new oak. This is a beautiful fruit forward style set in a firm but elegant frame. Blueberry, plum and vanilla entice the nose into full and round mouth feel with soft tannins that linger on the finish impeccably. $25 Our Price $18.99 (Delicious) Available at GT.

Wine Spectator 92
OAKVILLE WINERY Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2017

Nicely rendered, with red and black currant fruit mixed with sassafras, sage and warm earth notes. There's good grip through the finish, while the fruit keeps pace, leaving a late echo of crushed currant and loam. Best from 2022 through 2029. —J.M. $60 Our Price $43.99 (Back in stock at GT and VRW)

Back In Stock!
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 (Available GT and VRW)

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