The Grape Tray

June 1st 2021 Newsletter

Daily Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)

Tuesday-Saturday Wine Tasting (Available anytime during operating hours)
Each week we will feature new arrivals. The featured wines are listed on Instagram, Facebook and our website.
Or, select a bottle of wine from our retail shelf or wine cellar and share it with a friend or colleague.

2019 LE CANTINE MURGO ETNA ROSATO

Winemaker Notes: Delicate aromas of ripe red fruits. Light, soft and fruity in the mouth, with strawberry notes and a fresh, dry finish. Drink as young and fresh as possible, up to 4 years after release. Match with tomato-based pasta dishes, meaty fishes and Asian cuisine. $15 Liquidation Price $10.95 (Limited to stock on hand at GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Booker My Favorite Neighbor
 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (this was reviewed as the “My Favorite Neighbor” in last year’s report) is similarly deep purple/ruby-hued and has slightly more red fruits with lots of black raspberry, cassis, toasted spice, unsmoked tobacco, and incense aromas and flavors. It almost has a Margaux-like perfume and is medium to full-bodied, seamless, and wonderfully balanced on the palate. Some chalky minerality comes through with time in the glass, and it has plenty of tannins and a great finish. It’s not an over-the-top blockbuster and impresses just as much for its elegance as its richness. $80 Internet Price $49.99 Additional Score: Wine Advocate 93-95 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This wine is bottled shortly after harvest to showcase the youthful, fresh and vibrant characteristics of Marlborough. Initially, the cool climate Awatere aromas jump out of the glass, such as lemongrass, jalapeño peppers and fresh herbs. In contrast, the Wairau Valley has warmer summer months, influencing vineyards to produce a pungent Sauvignon Blanc with ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavours. A perfect aperitif wine, serve chilled on warm summer days. Fresh herbal flavours match well with most salads, whereas the riper tropical flavours match well with any fish recipes. $15 Our Price $11.99 (Available GT)

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Schrader Double Diamond
Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

An elegant, fruit-driven cabernet sauvignon with notes of red fruit and spices. Fresh herbs, such as thyme. It’s full-bodied and well balanced. The texture is pleasant and smooth with elegant tannins. The finish is long and flavorful. Internet Price $75 (Back in stock VRW 6/2/21)

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2015 Murphy Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Our Liar's Dice is a juicy expression of a Classic California Zinfandel. The soft tannins invite ripe yet fresh flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, and blackberry jam. This wine is made to be a second glass Zin! If you have one, you are sure to have a second. $22 Our Price $10.45 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: We have to go back to the 2013 to find an Ontogeny that is this enthralling. The wine’s pedigree is special: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. We didn’t grow a single grape specifically to go into Ontogeny. Instead, we selected barrels from our vineyard designates to produce something enchanting, and this wine shows that we accomplished that. It cascades across your palate with seamless ease. Explosive notes of crème de cassis, lavender and huckleberries give the wine a luxurious fruit component. The mouthfeel is all about controlled power, the tannins come in waves, but they hit with incredible grace. $99.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2016 Hewitt Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Starting with the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, this ripe, sexy red comes all from Rutherford and has a big nose of sweet blueberries, plums, dark chocolate, tobacco, and spice. It's not for those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, yet it wears its ripe fruit well, showing full-bodied richness, good purity, and a lively feel on the palate. Drink this hedonistic blockbuster over the coming 10-15 years. $150 Our Price $99.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90
ROTH Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2017

Plush, with spicy accents to the flavors of cherry compote, red plum and dried raspberry. Notes of sandalwood show midpalate, leading to minerally details on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 3,000 cases made. —KM. $24 Our Price $19.49 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $15 per person (Limited seating inside)

Friday’s Tasting, 6/4/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2017 K Vintners Roma River Rock Cabernet/Syrah, 2017 Cade Howell Mountain Cabernet and 2017 O’Shaughnessy Mount Veeder Cabernet

Wine Spectator 95 Points
K Roma River Rock Vineyard
Walla Walla Valley 2017

Impressive for its structure and polish, a wine that seamlessly marries Cabernet and Syrah while retaining the best of both, with blackberry, black olive, smoky cured meat and lots of cracked pepper flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink now through 2030. From Washington. —T.F. 713 cases. $55

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2017 Cade Howell Mountain Cabernet

Coming from estate fruit on Howell Mountain and made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers a darker, more mineral-driven style compared to the Napa release. It has beautiful blackcurrant, cassis, forest floor, graphite, and tobacco leaf-like aromas and flavors. Deep, full-bodied, beautifully polished and elegant, it's another remarkable effort from this team. As Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it's a brilliant value! Internet Price $110

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2017 O'Shaughnessy Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

A gorgeous and inviting wine, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder) is defined by its bright aromatics and laser-like focus, both of which come through brilliantly. Freshly cut flowers, mint, chalk, white pepper, blood orange and red fruit all open up in the glass. This is one of the most nuanced wines of the year. The Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet, and those deeply expressive varietal notes are a big part of what makes it so distinctive. Drinking window: 2022 – 2037. $338/magnum.

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

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $15 per person (Limited seating inside)
Saturday Tasting, 6/5/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM):

The choice is yours! From the following list, you can select which wines you would like to taste:

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MARGERUM M5 White Margerum Estate Vineyard Los Olivos District 2019

Mouthwatering and vibrant, oozing with perfectly ripe white nectarine, Casaba melon, mango and dried pineapple flavors, with hints of candied ginger on a fresh, fleshy body. Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier, Roussanne and Picpoul Blanc. Drink now. —M.W. $29

Wine Spectator 92
FORT ROSS Chardonnay Fort Ross-Seaview Fort Ross Vineyard 2018

Powerful, with savory richness to the mix of intense fresh cut apple and pear flavors. Crunchy acidity fills the finish, which features buttery hints to dried sage and tarragon accents. Drink now through 2025. 608 cases made.—Kim Marcus. $44

Wine Spectator 93
ELLENA GIUSEPPE
Barolo del Commune di La Morra 2016

Aromatic, offering floral, licorice, tar and spice notes surrounding a core of cherry. The fruit is more prominent on the palate, where accents of mint and leather also peek through. On the elegant side, with fine balance and length. 500 cases imported. Best from 2023 through 2042. —B.S. $40

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2017 Stack House Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Made by Anna Monticelli, the 2017 Stack House Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc. Coming 90% from mountain fruit and brought up in 85% new French oak, it's one of the best values in the vintage and has beautiful cassis, toasted spice, gravelly earth, and hints of graphite. It's beautifully done, medium to full-bodied, and textured, and drinks way above its price point. Anna commented that this was the finest vintage of this cuvée she’s made. $35

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Booker My Favorite Neighbor
Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (this was reviewed as the “My Favorite Neighbor” in last year’s report) is similarly deep purple/ruby-hued and has slightly more red fruits with lots of black raspberry, cassis, toasted spice, unsmoked tobacco, and incense aromas and flavors. It almost has a Margaux-like perfume and is medium to full-bodied, seamless, and wonderfully balanced on the palate. Some chalky minerality comes through with time in the glass, and it has plenty of tannins and a great finish. It’s not an over-the-top blockbuster and impresses just as much for its elegance as its richness. $80 Additional Score: Wine Advocate 93-95

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

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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