The Grape Tray

April 16th 2021 Newsletter

2020 DOMAINE DU FIGUEIRASSE
‘Gris de Gris’ Vin des Sables

Winemaker Notes: For more than a century, the Saumade family has cared for vines on the shores of the Camargue delta in France. ‘Gris de Gris des Sables’ is a rosé de pressurage and blend of Grenache (gris, noir and blanc) and Cinsault grapes. Vineyards are 200 yards from the sea. Grapes are harvested at night when temperatures are coolest. All tank made. Certified organic. $15 Our Price $10.99

Today’s Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday 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

(Tasting notes available on instagram: vintagereservewine and www.vintagereserve.biz)

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.

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Hirsch San Andreas Fault Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Lots of pure fruit here with crushed strawberries, flowers, dried mushrooms and bark on the nose, following through to a full body with loads of ripe fruit and chewy tannins. It’s an intense red with lots of fruit-driven character but, it’s got freshness and energy. Give it another two or three years of bottle age. Try after 2022. $67 Our Price $57.69 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 96 Points
2018 Carlisle Radiant Ridge Vineyard Mourvedre

The 2018 Mourvèdre Radiant Ridge Vineyard is even better than the Syrah! More than that, it is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Mike Officer in a decade of following Carlisle. Wow! Outrageously vivid and delicious in the glass, the 2018 dazzles with complexity and layers of nuance that unfold in the glass. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, wild flowers, spice and a good deal of whole-cluster savoriness give the Radiant Ridge Mourvèdre its beguiling exoticism. Previously, the Mourvèdre was used for the Integral bottling, but my sense is its real personality is expressed like this, on its own. Readers will not want to miss this exceptional wine from Mike Officer and Carlisle. $40 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

2020 DOMAINE DU DRAGON Côtes de Provence Rosé ‘Grande Cuvée’

While much of Provence is a patchwork of different terroirs, the estate’s high-altitude vineyards, located in the hills above the Côte d’Azur, are singular in that soils are rich in limestone, like Burgundy. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvédre, Syrah and Cinsault. Rosé de pressurage; fermented on indigenous yeasts in tank. Malolactic conversion allowed. $20 Our Price $15.29 (Available GT and VRW)

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 Email subscriber price $18.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
2018 Coudoulet de Beaucastel
Cotes du Rhone

From a vineyard just across the A7 interstate, on the northern edge of Châteauneuf Du Pape and not far from the estate, the 2018 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel offers a pretty, medium to full-bodied, elegant profile that’s a great introduction into the 2018 vintage. Complex notes of garrigue, peppery spice, and dark fruits all emerge from this nuanced, balanced effort that will drink well right out of the gate. $30 Our Price $26.99 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 92
2017 Hayfork Lewelling Ranch
Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch, containing 4% Petit Verdot, was aged 20 months in 75% new French oak. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it springs from the glass with energetic red and black currants, blackberry preserves and black forest cake notes with hints of bay leaves and fragrant earth. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is filled with juicy black fruit and red fruit accents, framed by ripe, grainy tannins, finishing with lovely freshness. 620 cases made. Internet Price $75 (Available GT and VRW)

Back in stock!
James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Schrader Double Diamond
Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

An elegant, fruit-driven cabernet sauvignon with notes of red fruit and spices. Fresh herbs, such as thyme. It’s full-bodied and well balanced. The texture is pleasant and smooth with elegant tannins. The finish is long and flavorful. Internet Price $75 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93
HUDSON VINEYARDS Chardonnay
Napa Valley Carneros 2018

Big and rich, featuring a plush texture to the concentrated pear tart, apple pastry and dried apricot flavors. Viscous midpalate, with savory snap to the finish, which delivers minerally and toasty notes. Drink now through 2025. 1,500 cases made. — KM $65 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 97-98 Points
2019 Peter Michael Winery
Chardonnay Belle Cote

An eastern-facing slope on white, dusty soil, this vineyard is the latest of the Peter Michael Chardonnay vineyards to ripen each year. The site is planted mainly to Old Wente and See clone selections with a little Rued clone. Planted in 1990, these are the oldest vines on the estate. A tank sample due to be bottled within the next couple of days, the 2019 Chardonnay Belle Cote’s nose needs a little coaxing to reveal elegantly expressed scents of lemon curd, lime leaves and Bosc pears plus suggestions of baker’s yeast, toasted almonds and crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is beautifully poised if a little youthfully closed, revealing glimpses at loads of citrus, savory and mineral nuances with a racy line and creamy texture, finishing on a lingering zesty note. 2,396 cases were made. $115 (Available VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2015 Immortal Slope Sonoma
 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 Slope is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot, and it’s not far off the flagship with its awesome bouquet of blackcurrants, crushed rocks, graphite, and tobacco. It's deep, concentrated, has beautiful sweetness of fruit, and the classic earthiness and minerality that common from the wines of this great estate. Aged 28 months in 75% new French oak, it can be drunk today with incredible pleasure or cellared for two decades. $75 Our Price $64.99 (Available GT this afternoon)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 97 Points
2018 Carlisle Russian River Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel

The 2018 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard is even better from bottle than it was from tank last year. What a wine! In 2018, the Carlisle Zinfandel is off the charts. Exotic floral notes, crushed red berry fruit, spice and wild flowers give the 2018 magnificent inner sweetness and perfume that just gains in intensity with time in the glass. The blend of 86% Zinfandel and 14% Mixed Blacks works so well. For readers who want to know why 2018 is so magical in the Russian River and Sonoma more broadly, the 2018 Carlisle pretty much sums it up. $50 (Arrives VRW this afternoon) Limited

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) www.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)
www.grapetray.com 559-226-6828
Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5:30PM
Saturday 10:30AM-4:00PM


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