The Grape Tray

February 23rd 2021 Newsletter

Wine Tasting at VRW
Try before you buy at VRW 2PM-5PM $5
On-Deck for Today: Beaux Frères Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2018
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

This Friday, 2/26/21: 2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary
Jeb Dunnuck’s Top Napa Cabernet Sauvignon under $100. Rated 99 Points!
2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: We have to go back to the 2013 to find an Ontogeny that is this enthralling. The wine’s pedigree is special: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. We didn’t grow a single grape specifically to go into Ontogeny. Instead, we selected barrels from our vineyard designates to produce something enchanting, and this wine shows that we accomplished that. It cascades across your palate with seamless ease. Explosive notes of crème de cassis, lavender and huckleberries give the wine a luxurious fruit component. The mouthfeel is all about controlled power, the tannins come in waves, but they hit with incredible grace. $99.95

Tasting Alerts: Instagram-Vintage Reserve Wine
Vintage Reserve Wine Hours
Tuesday-Friday 12 Noon-6:00 PM
Saturday 12 Noon-4:00 PM
Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
1552 E. Champlain Drive, Ste 109 Fresno, CA 93720
Via Montana Center (NE Corner Shepherd and Champlain-Two doors south of Big 5) vintagereserve.biz. 559-878-3953


2016 QUILT Napa Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Rich notes of chocolate, black currant, ripe blackberry and marionberry intertwined with notes of caramel and leather. Internet Price $110 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92
JOEL GOTT Sauvignon Blanc California 2019

The lemon blossom, Asian pear, lime sherbet and candied orange peel notes are pure, fragrant, silky smooth and juicy, with intensity and a lift of freshness on the finish from a lemon verbena accent. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. —M.W. $12 Our Price $9.45 (Back in stock VRW this afternoon)

Tasting Panel 94 Points
2018 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

The majority of grapes for this blend, which includes some Petit Verdot and Malbec, were sourced from the cooler El Pomar District, with an additional selection off a 1,700-foot-high site in the warmer Creston District. Scents of blackberry preserves, pepper, and tobacco are at the forefront. Polished tannins and a juicy mouthfeel meld with notes of tilled soil, black olive, and black currant. One of the deeper and darker vintages, it shows a maturity and more finesse than we have ever experienced from this wine, revealed in balanced acidity and fruit that’s bright and poignant—intense but not overbearing. $32 Our Price $27.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Cardano Estate Black Fruit Napa Cabernet

While a small step up in price, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Fruit is worth it and is one of the top values found in the vintage. A blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, it has classy, complex notes of blueberries, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, leather, and white truffle. It’s one of those wines you could smell all night, and it doesn’t disappoint on the palate either, offering full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and ultra-fine tannins. Enjoy bottles any time over the coming 15 years or more. $75 (Arrives GT and VRW 2/25/21)

2019 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This Sauvignon Blanc jumps out of the glass with pink grapefruit, Asian pear, white peach, lemon oil, lime leaf, and lemongrass aromatics. The palate confirms the nose and is extremely bright and tense, showing great balance. Bright guava, juicy stone fruit, and hints of pineapple pair with a grapefruit acidity that lead to a long finish. Frequent lees bâtonnage adds a level of creaminess and more layers of complexity. Showing beautifully now, this wine also has the structure and sophistication to age gracefully for enjoyment in the future. 98% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Semillon. $44 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Capiaux Garys’
Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Garys' is bright and focused, with terrific energy driving the sweet red berry and floral notes. White pepper, mint, blood orange and a kiss of new French oak (40%) add layers of nuance and dimension. The 2018 finishes with a real sense of saline-infused briskness that is hugely appealing. This is another stellar wine in Sean Capiaux's range. Drinking window: 2022 – 2033. $45 (Arrives GT 2/24/21)

Wine Advocate 94+ Points
2018 DuMOL Chardonnay Wester Reach

The 2018 Chardonnay Wester Reach comes from the Dumol estate plus fruit from Ritchie, Charles Heintz, Lorenzo and Dutton vineyards. It offers gentle scents of honey, oats, nuts and dried white flowers over a peachy core. The medium-bodied palate has an understated savory character, balancing yeasty and mineral touches and bright acidity, finishing long and mineral-driven. $57 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Capiaux Widdoes Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Widdoes emerges from a site in the Green Valley district of the Russian River Valley, where the cooler micro-climate yields Pinots of real energy. Sweet black cherry, plum, mint, graphite, spice and licorice imbue the 2018 with a distinctly brooding feel. I would give the Widdoes a few years in bottle to fully come together, as the Martini clone aromatics are not quite as expressive today as they typically are. Drinking window: 2020 – 2033. $42 (Arrives GT 2/24/21)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2018 DuMOL Pinot Noir Wester Reach

The 2018 Pinot Noir Wester Reach has a medium ruby color and a nose of cranberry sauce, blackberries, cinnamon stick, forest floor, black tea leaves and accents of potpourri. Made entirely with free-run juice, the medium-bodied palate bursts with juicy berry fruits, perfumed and fresh, finishing very long. $72 (Available GT and VRW)


Back to Our Blog