The Grape Tray

April 13th 2021 Newsletter

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2019 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Napa Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay is fabulous. Next to the 2018 in this tasting, it has more resonance and overall depth. Power, depth and energy all come together in this beautifully layered, expressive Chardonnay. Lemon oil, almond, chamomile and dried flowers fill out the layers effortlessly. The 2019 is such a gorgeous wine. $50 (Arrives GT 4/15/21)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday’s Tasting, 4/16/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2017 Larry Hyde Estate Chardonnay, 2018 Joseph Phelps Napa Cabernet and 2018 Plumpjack Oakville Estate Cabernet

Wine Advocate 95+
2017 Hyde Estate Chardonnay Larry Hyde

The 2017 Chardonnay Larry Hyde opens slowly, offering subtle glimpses of lime peel, fresh grapefruit and white peaches to begin before giving way to a compelling core of Bosc pears, fennel seed, marzipan and shaved ginger. Medium-bodied with tons of elegance and latent energy, the palate delivers tightly wound layers of citrus and stone fruit plus loads of mineral accents and a racy line of freshness, finishing long and zesty. I'd give this another year or two in bottle and drink it over the following 7-8 years. $60

James Suckling 96 Points
2018 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Very pretty blackberry, blackcurrant, walnut, forest-flower and dark-walnut aromas follow through to a full body with round, juicy tannins that are fine-grained and beautiful. Lovely length and generosity, but reserved at the finish to give it tension. Mostly from the Soscol vineyard. 97% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink or hold. $80

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate

Composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a deep garnet-purple color and fragrant notes of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis and wild blueberries with nuances of red roses, Chinese five spice, camphor and black olive plus a hint of charcoal. Full-bodied, the decadently rich fruit has impressive freshness lifting the palate along with firm, finely grained tannins, finishing long and fragrant. $160

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Saturday Tasting, 4/17/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): Shafer Vineyards- 2018 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay, 2017 TD-9 Napa Red, 2018 One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet and 2017 Relentless Syrah.

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2018 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

This robust, full-bodied white holds its weight and pedigree remarkably well, offering an intensely flavored, richly layered experience that seamlessly provides freshness along the way. Apple, cinnamon and nutmeg are complemented by toasted oak and lasting structure. VB. $50

Wine Spectator 92
SHAFER TD-9 Napa Valley 2017

Rich and full of dense and spicy dark plum, dried blackberry and mocha flavors. Dark chocolate and smoky notes show on the ripe finish, with dried savory herbal accents. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Drink now through 2023. 8,000 cases made. — KM $60

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Shafer Vineyards One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

Composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five charges out of the gate with notes of crème de cassis, chocolate-covered cherries and blackberry pie plus suggestions of bay leaves, fertile loam and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the mouth is completely coated with juicy black fruit flavors, supported by plush tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with an invigorating herbal lift. $100

Wine Spectator 94
SHAFER Relentless Napa Valley 2017

Deep and powerfully built, with a rich and polished texture that highlights wild berry and blueberry flavors that show notes of espresso, smoky beef and black pepper. Finishes with big but refined tannins. Syrah and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2030. —T.F. $95

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Hirsch Vineyards Fort Ross Seaview Estate East Ridge Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate East Ridge is juicy, open-knit and seductive. Sweet red cherry, red plum, spice, mint and blood orange infuse the 2018 with tons of nuance and character. In this tasting, the East Ridge stands out for its mid-palate density and creaminess, along with slightly darker/purplish tonalities of fruit. $90 Our Price $77.99 (Arrives GT 4/15/21)

2018 Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The fruit for the 2018 Ghost Block Estate Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our family-owned Rock Cairn vineyard. The 32-year-old vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley is 100% Certified Organic. This site is comprised of deep, gravelly loam with a western exposure, and the vines produce very concentrated fruit late in the season. The 2018 growing season was slow and steady, without dramatic climate events. This allowed us to pick all varieties at their peak of ripeness and without time pressures. The resulting Estate Cabernet is balanced and focused, with dominant fruit flavors accented with herbal and spicy notes. The oak frames and defines the dense, firm tannins, leaving a long, beautiful finish. Internet Price $65 (Arrives GT 5/6/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2019 O'Shaughnessy Oakville Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay is absolutely gorgeous. Pretty scents of lemon confit and white flowers grace this silky, wonderfully nuanced wine from Betty O'Shaughnessy's Oakville ranch. Light tropical notes add character and an exotic flair that is so enticing. Drinking window: 2021 – 2026. $55 Our Price TBD (Arrives GT 4/15/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2017 O'Shaughnessy Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

A gorgeous and inviting wine, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder) is defined by its bright aromatics and laser-like focus, both of which come through brilliantly. Freshly cut flowers, mint, chalk, white pepper, blood orange and red fruit all open up in the glass. This is one of the most nuanced wines of the year. The Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet, and those deeply expressive varietal notes are a big part of what makes it so distinctive. Drinking window: 2022 – 2037. $300/magnum. (Arrives GT 4/15/21)

2018 Zulal Areni Red, Armenia

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Areni is an aromatic wine with notes of red cherries, plums, and pepper. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with refreshing acidity and concentrated flavors of berries and spices. $20 (Arrives GT 4/16/21)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2017 Roar Sierra Mar Vineyard Syrah

Medium to deep ruby purple, the 2017 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard was made with 30% whole cluster and contains 1% Viognier. It's stubbornly closed on the nose to begin, taking its sweet time to reveal scents of dried violet, crème de cassis, blackberry pie, cardamom, crushed blueberries and nuances of coffee, smoke and charcuterie. It’s full-bodied, rich and intense with a firm frame of detailed tannins and great freshness to lift the long, still tightly coiled finish. Give it another few years in bottle. 73 cases were made. $50 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 91
ROMBAUER Chardonnay Carneros 2019, Half Bottles

Buttery richness to luscious spiced apple tart and baked pear flavors. Ground nutmeg lingers into the broad, plush finish with powerful toasty notes. Drink now through 2023. —Kim Marcus. Internet Price $20/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

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
Tuesday-Friday 12 Noon-6:00 PM
Saturday 12 Noon-4:00 PM


The Grape Tray (GT)
6023 N. Palm Avenue Fresno, CA 93704
(NW Corner Bullard and Palm)
grapetray.com 559-226-6828
Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5:30PM
Saturday 10:30AM-4:00PM


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