The Grape Tray

April 27th 2021 Newsletter

2018 Thread Feathers
Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

VWR Notes: The 2018 Thread Feathers Rutherford Cabernet has just been released and again the fruit source is a prominent Rutherford winery who’s flagship Cabernet captures a price just south of $300. The 2017 Thread Feathers Rutherford Cabernet was a hit and the 2018 is a much stronger vintage, so we can’t wait to experience the flavors of the 2018! Winery Price $75 Internet Price $34.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 4/28/21)

Wine Advocate 90 Points
AVANCIA Godello Valdeorras
Cuvée de O 2019

A round, polished white. Offers a vibrant acidity that cuts through the quince, tangerine and ginger flavors, underscored with chive, spice and heather elements, followed by a long, mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2024. 3,000 cases made, 1,750 cases imported.—G.S. $20 (Arrives VRW 5/5/21)

2019 Carlisle Sonoma Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Medium to medium-dark ruby-red. A perfumed nose of red cherry, briar, and brown tobacco leaf. Classic Zinfandel! Medium-full to full-bodied on the palate, flavors of cherry, red currant, and peppery spice build through the long and softly tannic finish. A wine I’d be happy to drink any day of the week, even twice on Sunday! Enjoy from release through 2028. $30 (Available GT)

2019 Castello Monaci Piluna Primitivo

Winemaker Notes: Broad, ripe black fruit and spice aromas, with notes of pepper, toasty vanilla and Mediterranean scrub. On the palate, the wine has a robust, concentrated character, a firm structure, and small black fruit and licorice notes on the aftertaste. $19 Our Price $10.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 90
SEGHESIO Zinfandel
Sonoma County Sonoma 2018

Generous, with fresh fruit, accented by cherry jam, dried sage and white pepper flavors, lingering on a sleek finish. Drink now through 2027. 92,700 cases made. — TF $26 Internet Price $19.99 (Email subscriber price $18.95) Available GT and VRW

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Zulal Vayots Areni Reserve 2018

Winemaker Notes: Areni is an ancient red grape variety indigenous to Armenia. Zulal, meaning ‘pure’ in Armenian, was created to express the purest characteristics of Armenia’s indigenous grape varieties such as Areni. The barrel aging of the 2018 Areni Reserve adds a round mouthfeel and deep spice note to the expressive red berry flavors of the Areni grape. $30 Our Price $23.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Leviathan Proprietary Red

Always a great value, the 2018 California Red Wine is a Bordeaux blend put together by Andy Erickson. The wine reveals a ruby/purple hue as well as complex notes of red and black fruits, green tobacco, cedary spice, and spring flowers. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, elegant wine that offers good overall concentration, seamless tannins, and a great finish. Very much in the style of the 2018 vintage with its more streamlined, elegant style, it’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age (although it’s far from unapproachable today) and keep for a solid 10-12 years or more. This is one of the more age-worthy examples of this cuvée that I recall. $40 Liquidation Price $23.95 (Limited to stock on hand) Available GT and VRW

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday Tasting, 4/30/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2018 Pahlmeyer Napa Chardonnay, 2018 Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Pinot and 2018 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot

Wine Advocate 94+ Points
2018 Pahlmeyer Napa Chardonnay

The 2018 Chardonnay offers up vivacious scents of fresh grapefruit, lemon meringue pie and fresh pineapple with hints of struck match, wet pebbles and cedar plus a hint of preserved ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with citrus and tropical layers, supported by a lovely creamy texture and plenty of freshness, finishing long and mineral sparked. 2,347 cases were made. $100

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Lucia Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard is a little more dense, focused, and tight, with beautiful black cherry and currant fruits as well as notes of camphor, new leather, violets, and earthy notes. I love its balance. Medium to full-bodied, it has nicely integrated acidity, subtle oak, and a great finish. It’s going to keep for 7-8 years, easily. Along with the 2016, it’s the finest vintage of this release I’ve tasted! $70

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot

Brought up mostly in French oak, with a small amount in concrete, the 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast has that classic Sonoma Coast pretty red fruit-driven style as well as subtle white flower, spice, and even a kiss of minerality. It's beautifully balanced and medium-bodied, with an elegant, ethereal style that still has solid structure. It will drink well for a decade. $100

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

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Saturday Tasting, 5/1/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2020 Cattleya Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Three Sticks Durell Chardonnay, 2018 Mount Veeder Napa Cabernet and 2017 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet

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

James Suckling 94 Points
2017 Three Sticks Durell Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Impressive complexity and powerful aromas of ripe pears and peaches here. Lots of spice, grilled almonds and clotted cream, too. The palate has a smooth delivery of supple, creamy pears and peaches, brulee custard and plenty of spiced-orange sponge cake to close. Drink or hold. $60

James Suckling 95 Points
2018 Mount Veeder Napa Cabernet

Plenty of blueberry and chocolate aromas and flavors. It's full-bodied with round, fresh tannins. Lots of blue fruit and walnuts. $45

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2017 Spottswoode Estate Napa
Cabernet Sauvignon

Made of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple in color and prances out of the glass with vivacious blackberries, crushed black cherries, warm black currants and red currant jelly scents plus exotic hints of cassia, cardamom, fenugreek and star anise with a waft of underbrush. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic energy and beautiful poise, with bags of bright, crunchy black and red fruit plus a firm, fine-grained texture, finishing long and spicy. $225

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
Opus One Center (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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