The Grape Tray

May 18th 2021 Newsletter

2018 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir

Made from a handful of the finest vineyards on the Central Coast, this Pinot Noir displays alluring aromas of ripe black cherry, raspberry, sandalwood and orange zest. On palate the flavors turn dark and luxurious, with layers of blackberry jam and cassis gliding across supple tannins to a lingering cedar and spice finish. $30 Our Price $24.99 (Arrives VRW 5/20/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2018 Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel Black Chicken

The 2018 Zinfandel Black Chicken is dense and explosive in the glass. Inky dark fruit, chocolate, cloves, new leather, licorice and earthy notes abound. This is an especially potent, brooding Zinfandel, with all of its elements in total harmony. Drink it over the next 10-20 years. $50 Our Price $42.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Showcasing the vibrant charm of Chardonnay grown on the cool, windswept Central Coast, this wine displays enticing aromas of lemon zest, green apple, cedar and passionfruit. On the palate, mouthcoating waves of tropical fruit are balanced by a beam of natural acidity, with French oak inspired hints of toasted brioche emerging on the finish. $25 Our Price $16.99 (Arrives VRW 5/20/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 99 Points
2016 Pontet-Canet Pauillac Grand Cru Classé, Bordeaux

The 2016 Pontet-Canet is absolutely breathtaking. Powerful, ample and racy in the glass, the 2016 is one of the most exquisitely well-balanced young Pontet-Canets I can remember tasting. Savory, high-toned aromatics and brisk mineral notes lend energy and delineation as this vivid wonderfully alive wine opens up in the glass. The flavors are dark and incisive, but it is the wine's total sense of harmony that is most compelling. All of the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 is tremendous. It's as simple as that. As is often the case, Pontet-Canet is one of the most singular wines in Bordeaux. Alfred Tesseron could have chosen to play things safe when he took over the management of the estate in the mid-1990s. Instead, he chose a very different path. No proprietor in Bordeaux has taken more risks over the last two decades than Alfred Tesseron. A commitment to biodynamic farming, sustainability across the entire estate more broadly, and the adoption of new concepts for Bordeaux, such as aging a portion of the wine in terra cotta, set Pontet-Canet apart from other properties in Pauillac and the Left Bank. Not surprisingly, the wine is also starkly different from the wines of neighboring estates. Our Price $169.95 (Back in stock GT 5/20/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Vineyard 29 Ceanda
Cabernet Sauvignon

Another St. Helena release, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Ceanda checks in as 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot, all brought up in French oak. Black fruits, chocolaty herbs, graphite, violets, and acacia flower notes all emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with a seamless, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. I'd be thrilled to drink a bottle any time over the coming 20 years or more. $150 Our Price $TBD (Arrives VRW 5/20/21)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
MERRY EDWARDS Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2019

Tasting Note: This white offers a complex mix of lime sherbet, makrut lime leaf, lemon curd and orange blossom flavors that are fragrant and complex on a fleshy, succulent frame, with notes of nectarine and ripe Crenshaw melon. Harmonious, with a fresh thread of acidity on the finish. Drink now. —M.W. $36 (Back in stock GT and VRW 5/19/21)

DOMAINE FRANCIS ORBAN Extra Brut

Producer TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of orchard fruit, light herbs, brioche, pepper. Fruity and juicy, with ripe citrus and apple flavors. Vibrant and very long. $40 Our Price $35.99 (Back in stock VRW 5/19/21)

2020 AZIENDA VINICOLA ROCCA DI MONTEGROSSI Toscana Rosato

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of violets, fresh raspberries, crushed stones. Fresh, medium-bodied and fruity; light tannins. Pair with grilled fish or chicken; salumi; olive tapenade. $22 Our price $17.95 (Arrives GT 5/19/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Dehlinger Russian River Estate Chardonnay

The 2018 Chardonnay Estate is an absolutely beautiful wine and classic Chardonnay from Goldridge soils. Orchard fruit, lemon confit, flowers and mint all grace this exquisite, wonderfully nuanced Chardonnay from Dehlinger. Bright saline notes confer energy. The 2018 is one of the most beautiful, nuanced Chardonnays I can remember tasting here. (Arrives GT 5/19/21)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2019 Turley Juvenile Zinfandel

The 2019 Zinfandel Juvenile has a medium ruby color and aromas of earth-laced red and black berries. The palate is soft and alluring with a wealth of ripe fruit and juicy acidity, and it finishes long and uplifted. It's a very approachable style this vintage. 15,670 cases produced. $26 (Back in stock GT and VRW 5/19/21)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
LUJON Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2018

A gutsy red that retains a sense of refinement, offering snappy blackberry, black tea and dusky spice flavors. Drink now through 2027. 667 cases made.—T.F. $28 Our Price $19.99 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 93
2016 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon reveals bombastic blackberry pie and blueberry compote notes with underlying cassis, dried herbs and unsmoked cigars scents plus a waft of pencil shavings. Full-bodied and jam-packed with black fruits and earthy layers, it has a solid, grainy frame and a long finish with a lively herbal lift. 6,576 cases produced. $125 Internet Price $99.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)


FREE-Opus One Wood Crates at VRW
One box per customer please.
Limited to 15 boxes on hand


Wine Spectator 90*DELAMOTTE Brut Champagne NV

Crisp and minerally, with smoke and chalk accents underscoring the rich notes of lemon curd, glazed apricot and spring blossom, this chiseled Champagne is elegant and well-knit. Drink now through 2022. 6,500 cases imported. — AN $65 Our Price $39.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $10 per person

Friday’s Tasting, 5/21/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2016 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot, 2017 Kosta Browne Gap’s Crown Pinot and 2018 Beaurenard Boisrenard Chateauneuf du Pape

Vinous 94 Points
2016 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot Noir

The 2016 Pinot Noir Altamont is a dense, beautifully resonant wine. Next to the Goldridge, the Altamont has quite a bit more textural depth and overall intensity. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and blood orange all run through this expressive, pliant Pinot Noir. Today, the 2016 is quite forbidding. I would give it a few years in the cellar to fully come together. The 8% whole clusters add aromatic top notes, but aren't especially noticeable. $62

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2017 Kosta Browne Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir

I always love this site, and the team at Kosta Browne have made a killer bottle of wine with their 2017 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard, especially remarkable in a challenging vintage like 2017. The wine saw 10% stems and 10 months in 35% new French oak, with a small amount in concrete and larger oak. Great notes of mulberries, blackberries, black cherries, violets, and spice all give way to a rich, medium to full-bodied Pinot Noir that has ripe tannins, an expansive texture, loads of charm, and great finish. It's another beautiful, beautiful wine to enjoy over the coming decade or more. $150

Wine Spectator 96 Points
DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard 2018

A gorgeous wine here, brimming with gently steeped plum, blackberry and açaí berry flavors, while fruitcake, black licorice and black tea notes swirl through. The terrific graphite underpinning keeps everything moving in unison through the finish, with focus and definition. Best from 2023 through 2038. From France. 75 cases imported —J.M. $100

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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