The Grape Tray

June 4th 2021 Newsletter

Last Call!
2016 Paraiso Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of peach, lemon-lime and green apple with flavors of toasted nuts, nectarine and apple. A rich mouth feel with a long full flavored finish. $19 Our Price $4.95 (Available GT and VRW) 15 Cases in stock at each location.

Wine Spectator 95 Points
MOCALI Brunello di Montalcino
Le Raunate 2016

A fruity style, this red boasts cherry, raspberry, earth, wild thyme, vetiver and tobacco flavors. Graceful and vibrant, displays finesse, despite robust tannins. All the elements are there, but need a few years to harmonize. Best from 2025 through 2045. 150 cases imported —B.S. $58 Our Price $46.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2017 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Coopersmith

Medium ruby-purple, the nose of the 2017 Pinot Noir Coopersmith gives up oodles of violet and lilac perfume with savory notions of olive, prosciutto, crushed black cherries and red berry sparks. It’s medium-bodied and intense with perfumed flavor layers opening in the mouth, firmly framed by grainy tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and perfumed. This just needs some more time in bottle. 730 cases were made. $65 (Arrives GT 6/9/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
2018 Saintayme St-Emilion

Emerging from the talents of Denis Durantou, the 100% Merlot 2018 Saintayme should be snatched up by readers who want a brilliant, delicious Bordeaux to enjoy over the coming decade. Terrific notes of black cherries, kirsch, flowery incense, cedarwood, and tobacco all define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with silky tannins and a ripe, hedonistic, yet balanced style that's a joy to drink. $27 (Arrives GT 6/9/21)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay

The 2018 Chardonnay Russian River Valley has aromas of citrus peel, quince and almonds with a unique, super-spicy undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate offers intense, ripe fruits in a seamless, silky package, and it finishes long and lush. 13,340 cases produced. $42 Our Price $34.99 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 93-95 Points
2018 My Favorite Neighbor
Harvey and Harriet Red

The barrel sample of 2018 Harvey and Harriet is made up of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 14% Petite Sirah, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot, aging in 75% new French oak. Deep ruby-black in color, it has a very layered nose with aromas of exotic spices, crème de cassis, blackcurrant bud, tar and tilled black soil with hints of violet, lilac, cardamom and baking spices. The medium to full-bodied palate is silky and has a great interplay of fruit and spice. It has a firm, pleasantly chalky frame and just enough freshness, finishing long with a youthful cloaking of oak spice. About 9,400 cases will be made. $45 Our Price $29.99 (Available VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2018 Merry Edwards Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is a fabulous introduction to these wines. Bright and juicy, the 2018 captures all of the natural radiance of the Russian River while retaining terrific nuance and vibrancy. Ripe red/purplish fruit, rose petal, spice and mint all race out of the glass. Perfumed floral notes resonate on the finish. The 2018 is so delicious - it is the sort of bottle that is opened and then immediately finished. Drinking window: 2020 – 2028. $55 (Back in stock GT and VRW 6/9/21)

Vinous 91 Points
2018 Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino

The 2018 Soave Classico Calvarino lifts up with a rich yet perfumed display of musky peach, apricot and dusty yellow florals. It’s silky in texture, contrasted by mineral-tinged orchard fruits and hints of green citrus. This turns savory and even salty through the finale, tapering off to hints of ginger and spice. The 2018 Calvarino is already very easy to like, but it would also benefit from a few years of cellaring. $35 Internet Price $29.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 95+
2018 Occidental Pinot Noir
 Freestone-Occidental

The 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental comes mostly from younger vines at the Occidental property but is made with the same attention to detail as the other wines in the portfolio, using free-run juice. Its nose is an aromatic well, offering crushed blueberries, charcuterie, Earl Grey tea leaves, graphite, saline, bitter orange peel and potpourri aromas. In the mouth, it explodes with lush fruits that give way after their initial rush to bitter, citrusy, minerally accents. It has a fine grain, seamless freshness and long, layered finish. It's enjoyable now but will age well over the next five to eight-plus years. $65 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Back in stock!
2016 Joseph Carr Rutherford
Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Napa’s acclaimed Rutherford AVA. Located in the center of Napa, Rutherford is bordered by the Mayacamas Mountains on the west and the Vaca Range on the east. The wine was aged in French Oak for 18 months and features notes of black currant, tobacco, coffee, black cherry, and toffee. Full bodied, plush tannins and integrated acidity lead to a persistent finish. $44 Our Price $26.95 (Available GT and VRW, but limited quantity available)

Wine Advocate 96+
2016 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red

The 2016 Oakville Estate Proprietary Red Wine is blended of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and a 1% splash of Petit Verdot aged for 21 months in 78% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with exuberant blackcurrant pastilles, wild blueberries and black cherries scents with touches of licorice, garrigue, tilled soil and cedar chest plus hints of tobacco and dried Provence herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is built like a brick house with a solid, muscular black fruit core and firm, ripe, grainy tannins plus a wonderfully refreshing line, finishing with loads of energetic earth and herbal sparks. 630 cases produced. $250 (Arrives VRW 6/9/21)

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

Today’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 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



Back to Our Blog