The Grape Tray

May 7th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Enthusiast 100 Points
2018 Ramey Rochioli Chardonnay

This wine is a testament to an outstanding site in the hands of an outstanding producer. It is a celebration of fresh Meyer lemon and Gravenstein apple woven against an elegant structure and quenching acidity. $72 (Arrives GT 5/12/21) Limited

Wine Spectator 91 Points
LIVIO FELLUGA Pinot Grigio Collio 2018

An elegant white, light- to medium-bodied and svelte, with lightly mouthwatering acidity and a streak of minerality layered with a creamy mix of pineapple, ground ginger, almond blossom and Meyer lemon zest flavors. Drink now through 2026. 15,000 cases made, 14,255 cases imported. — AN $27 Our Price $18.95 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
2018 Ramey Woolsey Road Chardonnay

Crisp and zesty, with a lively mix of green apple, Key lime and fresh-crushed savory spice flavors that are backed by vibrant acidity. Shows light buttery nuances on the intensely spicy finish. Best from 2022 through 2027. - April, 2021, Kim Marcus. $72 (Arrives GT 5/12/21) Limited

Wine Advocate 95+
2016 La Gaffeliere St Emilion

Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 La Gaffeliere opens with compelling wild blueberries, freshly crushed plums and kirsch scents plus hints of garrigue, underbrush, rose hip tea and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully elegant with a soft, velvety texture and seamless freshness carrying the multilayered fruit to a long finish. $93 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Hartford Court
Russian River Pinot, Half Bottles

Starting with the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, which comes from multiple sites and was brought up in 27% new French oak, it has a vivid ruby hue to go with classic Russian River notes of mulled cherry and raspberry fruits, cola, spice box, and dried herbs. Medium-bodied, round, and beautifully textured, it's a totally charming, balanced, elegant Pinot Noir that punches way above its weight. $19 Our Price $15.99/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
Henriot Brut Souverain

A sleek, well-knit Champagne. It offers hints of toasty smoke and grilled nut on the nose underscoring the palate's poached pear, lemon cream and star anise notes. Creamy. Drink now through 2023. 6,000 cases imported. — AN $45 Our Price $38.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
Mayacamas 2016 Merlot Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley

The 2016 Merlot is a fabulous wine from Mayacamas. It is also very clearly a wine from Mt. Veeder first and foremost. A whole range of floral, savory and mineral notes give the 2016 striking layers of nuance and complexity. Sweet red fruit, white pepper, mint and dried flowers all grace this sublime, super-expressive Merlot. There is so much going on. Readers will find a wine of superb complexity, nuance and character. Best of all, the 2016 can be enjoyed with only minimal cellaring. I loved it. $60 (Available GT)

2018 Lewis Reserve Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: From an outstanding vintage, our 2018 Reserve Cabernet is a full-throttle bottle, packed with fruit yet balanced with a fine-tuned chassis. Showy and complex, the wine is obsidian dark, layered with black currant, berries, coffee and sweet oak spices. Fleshy on entry, the palate soars with brazen youth in a firmly framed structure that tails away with chocolaty fine-grained tannins. $175 Our Price $159.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92
ARCHERY SUMMIT Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2018

Structured and vibrant, with a dynamic backbone of acidity and tannins, framed by layered raspberry, cherry and green tea flavors. Drink now through 2027. 3,992 cases made. — TF $65 Internet Price $49.99. Email subscriber price $30.95 (Available GT)

2019 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Full-bodied and complex with bright aromatics. Our flagship wine is sourced from several sustainably farmed vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. As with all Luli wines, the Pinot Noir is hand-harvested and hand-sorted. After the fruit undergoes a fermentation with native yeast, the wine is aged in barrels for 9-10 months. Bottling is done without fining or filtration to maintain the purest sense of the wine. $20 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Bouchaine Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The orchestration of different yeasts coupled with sur lie aging in stainless steel tanks as well as French oak barrels of different ages, toast levels, and origins create an array of unique wines. Only the finest wines are combined in late spring into the vibrant final blend, showcasing the best of our estate. You will find layered, lovely aromas of Fuji apple, clementines, kaffir lime, and jasmine. A rich, yet tangy palate showcases flavors of nectarine, lemon curd, and brioche with a long lip-smacking finish. Pair this with a roast chicken, a thick pork chop, or just good friends. $34 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT)

Today’s Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

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

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 (1:00 PM-3:30 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

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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