The Grape Tray

May 4th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93
MARGERUM Grenache
Santa Barbara County 2019

A lovely and expressive wine, offering floral raspberry, rose petal and smoky, grilled pepper flavors that build structure and tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 900 cases made. — TF $40 Our Price $34.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

2017 Paradigm Oakville Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: This wine is deeply pigmented with ruby/garnet color. First sniff is Oakville Cabernet all the way. Nice layers of ripe berry and cherrylike fruit with a matching complement of toasty French Oak from an assortment of Coopers and different barrel ages. Gorgeous across the palate with a silky yet dense mouthcoating impression. Ripeness is key and the result is a wine with perfect balance and flow - just plain delicious. It’s a big, beautiful wine now but has tremendous aging potential. $80 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92
MARGERUM M5 Santa Barbara County 2019

A racy blend, with structure and style. Offers lively cherry and raspberry flavors laced with sweet anise and white pepper. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault. Drink now through 2029. 3,153 cases made. — TF $29 Our Price $22.49 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 points
2018 Frédéric Esmonin Nuits St-Georges Les Hauts Pruliers

Gorgeous aromas of black cherry, black currant and violet signal this silky, forthcoming red. It's linear and pure, with fine balance and a long finish. Well-integrated tannins linger. $55 Our Price $45.99 (Arrives GT 5/5/21)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday Tasting, 5/7/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): Krug Grande Cuvee 168eme Brut, 2018 Walter Hansel South Slope Pinot Noir and 2018 Vice Versa Napa Cabernet

Wine Advocate 96
Krug Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition

Krug's NV Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition is a classic in the making, wafting from the glass with aromas of dried fruits, pear, toasted nuts, orange zest, honeycomb and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, generous but incisive, it's deep and elegantly fleshy, with a beautifully refined mousse and an enveloping core of fruit that's complemented by the characteristic Krug patina of nutty complexity imparted by barrel fermentation. Even if this is more open out of the gates than the 2011-based 167ème edition, the 168ème edition is also the more concentrated and intense of the two. It's based on the 2012 harvest, complemented by fully 42% reserve wines—a blend of 198 wines from 11 different vintages dating back to 1996. $195

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Walter Hansel Winery
Pinot Noir South Slope

Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir South Slope has gorgeous aromas of blood orange, cracked pepper, cranberries and red and black cherries loaded with earthy, amaro-like nuances. The medium-bodied palate is silky, fresh and uplifted, its concentrated fruits refreshed by loads of spicy accents, and it finishes long and detailed. 1,083 cases produced. $45

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Vice Versa Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

There were 32 barrels of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley produced. It’s a great wine, offering full-bodied richness and depth in a rich, concentrated, satisfying package. Classic Cabernet notes of cassis, tobacco, and chocolate all emerge from the glass, and it has ripe tannins, no hard edges, and the purity that’s the hallmark of the vintage front and center. A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, enjoy bottles any time over the coming 20 years or more. $170

Tasting notes available on instagram: vintage reserve wine and www.vintagereserve.biz

Saturday’s Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Saturday Tasting, 5/8/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2019 Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay, 2017 O’Shaughnessy Howell Mt Cabernet and 2016 Keenan Spring Mt Reserve Cabernet

Wine Advocate 96-97 Points
2019 Peter Michael Winery
Chardonnay la Carriere

La Carriere is situated at an elevation of around 1,200-1,700 feet with a rocky, shallow, volcanic soil that gives low fertility and is among the lowest yields of all the Peter Michael vineyards. The vineyard is planted to Dijon and Hyde (Old Wente) clone selections. A tank sample due to be bottled in the next day or so, the 2019 Chardonnay la Carriere reveals delicate scents of fresh green apples, white peaches and preserved lemons with hints of chalk dust, orange blossoms and coriander seed. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a satiny texture with bags of freshness lifting the mineral-tinged citrus flavors to a long finish. 2,836 cases were made. $107

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 96 Points
2016 Keenan Spring Mountain
 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is dense, powerful and incredibly inviting. The 2016 brings together dense, unctuous fruit and terrific freshness. A classically built medium-bodied wine of the style that are seldom found in Napa Valley today. Hints of sage, lavender, espresso and menthol add aromatic intrigue, but it is the wine's balance and sense of proportion that I find most alluring today. This is a fabulous showing from Robert Keenan. Drinking window: 2022 - 2036 $120

2019 Eisele Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: At first the nose expresses subtle scents of white flowers, hawthorn blossom and honeysuckle. A gentle swirling unlocks incredibly intense notes of white peaches, peppery grapefruit and mandarin zest, with a hint of candied Meyer lemon. This is an even more complex and precise Sauvignon Blanc than its earlier versions. The palate is fresh, suave and beautifully delineated. Tension and minerality carry through a long and savory finish. A new benchmark for the estate. 70% Sauvignon Blanc Musqué and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. $100 (Arrives GT 5/7/21)

Wine Spectator 94
BEDROCK Bedrock Vineyard Heritage Sonoma Valley 2019

Bold aromas of rose petal and orange blossom open to dynamic blackberry, licorice and smoked pepper flavors, building tension toward medium-grained tannins. Zinfandel, Carignan and Mataro. Drink now through 2030. —T.F. $50 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 95+
2018 Eisele Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep purple-black in color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia slowly grows on the nose, developing into profound scents of black currant cordial, baked plums and wild blueberries with suggestions of bouquet garni, black pepper, pencil lead and fertile loam plus a touch of beef drippings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is delicately played with beautiful definition and lots of red berry and earthy accents intertwined with the black fruits. Supported by velvety tannins and just enough freshness, it finishes long and mineral laced. $150 (Arrives GT 5/7/21)

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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