The Grape Tray

April 20th 2021 Newsletter


Wine Spectator 92 Points
2018 WRATH Pinot Noir Monterey Swan/828

This plush red offers mouthwatering flavors of red fruits and berries that are well-knit, with notes of Asian spice. The creamy finish shows hints of slate and white pepper, with a note of chocolate mousse. Drink now through 2024. 685 cases made. — KM $35 Our Price $26.99 (Arrives GT 4/21/21)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
WRATH Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Tondré Grapefield 2018

Big, rich and powerful, with lively underbrush notes to the dense dark fruit and spice flavors. The ripe finish has creamy aspects, with hints of cocoa. Drink now through 2025. 343 cases made. — KM $49 Our Price $37.99 (Arrives GT 4/21/21)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2020 ALMA DE CATTLEYA
 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County

Mouthwatering and aromatic, with lime blossom, ruby grapefruit, passion fruit and Meyer lemon notes. There's a touch of saline for a savory edge, along with a distinctive body that's sleek, smooth and juicy. Drink now. 3,000 cases made.—MaryAnn Worobiec $22 (Arrives VRW 4/21/21)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2016 Mount Peak Rattlesnake Napa Zinfandel

The 2016 Zinfandel Rattlesnake contains 10% Petite Sirah and was aged in new French (41%) and American (7%) oak barrels for 14 months. Medium garnet-purple colored, it leaps forth with baked raspberries, kirsch and blackberry pie notes pus nuances of dusty soil, cinnamon stick, dried roses and oolong tea with a hint of spearmint. Full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it has a plush texture and fantastic freshness, finishing with a minty lift. 4,200 cases produced. $40 Our Price $34.99 (Back in stock VRW this afternoon)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2017 O'Shaughnessy Howell
Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain) is a powerful, dense wine endowed with tremendous concentration. Even so, the Howell Mountain tannins are nicely tamed. Ripe black cherry, black plum, espresso, spice, leather, graphite and dried flowers give the wine its mysterious, somber feel. Readers will find a gorgeous Cabernet that offers superb depth, but also more plushness and early appeal than is typical of Howell Mountain wines. One of the most distinctive signatures of the Howell Mountain Cabernet is the significant presence of blenders - in this vintage, all seven of the Bordeaux red varieties. The blend is 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Saint-Macaire, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% Carménère. $100 (Available GT)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 96 Points
2018 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Proprietary Red, Half Bottle

The 2018 Lytton Springs is magnificent. Elegant, layered and so complete, the 2018 has a lot to offer, but it needs time to fully come together. Sweet red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice, mint and rose petal open up in the glass. Bright acids and beams of tannin give the wine its vibrant energy. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Wow! $25/375ml. Our Price $22.99/375ml (Arrives GT 4/21/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Ridge Vineyards Estate Chardonnay

The 2018 Chardonnay is classy, translucent and so vivid. Apricot, tangerine oil and light tropical overtones open up first, but the 2018 only starts to show all it has to offer with some aeration. The layers start to fill out, and yet the 2018 never loses its sense of transparency and overall detail. A real sense of phenolic weight gives the wine its distinctive mountain feel. $55 (Arrives GT 4/21/21)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ALMA DE CATTLEYA Sonoma County Red 2019

Refined and nicely structured, with handsome dark plum, licorice and peppered beef flavors that finish with fine-grained tannins. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2029. 1,200 cases made. — TF $27 (Arrives GT 4/21/21)

2016 Paraiso Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of peach, lemon-lime and green apple with flavors of toasted nuts, nectarine and apple. A rich mouth feel with a long full flavored finish. $19 Our Price $4.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW 4/21/21)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday’s Tasting, 4/23/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2017 Paul Hobbs Russian River Chardonnay, 2018 Rochioli Russian River Pinot Noir and 2018 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Paul Hobbs Russian River Chardonnay

Leading off the Chardonnays from Hobbs, the 2017 Chardonnay Russian River Valley comes from multiple sites and spent ten months in 55% new French oak. Its medium gold color is followed by a rich, upfront bouquet of Caramelized pineapple, tangerine, honeysuckle, spice, and a touch of toasted nuts. It's rich, concentrated, has beautiful mid-palate heft, and nicely integrated acidity. It's a rocking wine as well as a great introduction into the wines of this great winemaker. $60

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2018 Rochioli Russian River Estate Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Estate is such a pretty wine. Crushed red berries, rose petal, mint, spice and blood orange infuse the 2018 with tremendous character, especially at this level. A Pinot of precision and nuance, the 2018 Estate brilliantly shows the direction Tom Rochioli has taken his wines in recent years. Readers will find an especially compelling edition of the Estate in 2018. $90

2018 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Our approach to Pinot Noir is very similar to Chardonnay but we have two clones. For the last 25 years we've been working on selecting which of the two we preferred and we finally came to the conclusion that the answer was both. We've been planting our newer Pinot Noir Vineyards with a field mix of the two selections of late, giving deference to neither and laying the groundwork for our next generation of Pinot Noirs to be as transparent to site, and their relativity to each other, as are our Chardonnays. Both selections are marked by very low yields, small berries, great concentration and color in the fruit and a propensity to hold their natural acids during ripening. $75

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

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Saturday Tasting, 4/24/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2017 Ramey Woolsey Road Russian River Chardonnay, 2018 O’Shaughnessy Napa Cabernet and 2015 Immortal Slope Cabernet

Wine Spectator 94
RAMEY Chardonnay Russian River Valley Woolsey Road Vineyard 2017

Taut, with focused green apple, Asian pear and honeydew melon flavors, backed by vibrant acidity. Savory midpalate, leading to a finish filled with lemon meringue notes and minerally richness. Best from 2022 through 2026. 769 cases made. — KM $70

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2018 O'Shaughnessy Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is a fabulous wine that overdelivers big time. Inky dark fruit, graphite, lavender, spice, menthol and licorice give the 2018 its distinctly savory, soil-driven personality. Time in the glass brings out attractive floral overtones. The tannins need time to soften, but there is a lot to look forward to. This is a very serious, polished wine. O'Shaughnessy's Napa Valley Cabernet remains one of the hidden jewels in Napa Valley. $80

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

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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