The Grape Tray

June 8th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2018 QUINTA DO VALE MEÃO Douro Meandro

Nicely textured, with smooth tannins, this elegant, full-bodied red is packed with dark cherry, violet, red plum and anise notes that are harmonious and well-integrated. Details of mocha, wild herb and spice cascade onto the finish. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2028. 17,500 cases made, 2,000 cases imported. — GS $20 Our Price $17.95 (Available GT and VRW 6/9/21)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2018 Peter Michael Les Pavot

Located in Knights Valley, Sonoma, the Les Pavots vineyard is located in the oldest of the estate-owned sites, planted in 1989. It is situated at 1,000-1,400 feet and is quite steep in areas. Composed of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Les Pavots is medium to deep garnet-purple in color. It needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock the intense scents of blackcurrant preserves, ripe black plums and boysenberries with touches of wild sage, tobacco leaf and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is densely packed and tightly wound with loads of black fruits, dried herbs and earthy layers, supported by firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and energetic. 3,255 cases were made. $225 (Back in stock GT 6/9/21)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MCINTYRE Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands McIntyre Estate Vineyard 2017

Dark currant, plum and raspberry tart flavors show juicy richness, loaded with toasty accents. This is creamy midpalate, with ripe minerality and underbrush accents on the finish. Drink now through 2025. 346 cases made. — KM $48 Internet Price $34.99 Email subscriber price $28.95 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 96 Points
2018 Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Proprietary Red, Half Bottle

The 2018 Lytton Springs is magnificent. Elegant, layered and so complete, the 2018 has a lot to offer, but it needs time to fully come together. Sweet red cherry, red plum, blood orange, spice, mint and rose petal open up in the glass. Bright acids and beams of tannin give the wine its vibrant energy. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2018 for at least a few years. Wow! $25/375ml. Our Price $22.99/375ml

Sommariva Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano-Valdobbiane Brut DOCG NV

Winemaker Notes: Fragrant floral tones and drying mineral notes characterize this luminous Prosecco Brut. The sparkling wine delivers frothy peach, herbal accents and a steady dose of citrus zest. $15 Our Price $12.99

Daily Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) Indoor seating for 30 people
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 Vintage Reserve Wine website.
Or, select a bottle of wine from our retail shelf or wine cellar and share it with a friend or colleague.

Wine Spectator 90 Points
DRY CREEK Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley 2020

Elegant and precise, with juicy peach, melon and blood orange flavors on a supple frame. Orange blossom and lemon sherbet notes linger on the fresh finish. Drink now. 20,250 cases made.—M.W. $20 Our Price $15.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 90 Points
2017 Frank Family Napa Cabernet, Half Bottle

Blended of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot, the 21017 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple in color with scents of herbs, crushed red and black currants, plum preserves, underbrush and pencil shavings. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is crunchy, lively, firm and chewy with an herbal lift to the finish. $30/375ml. Our Price $24.99/375ml (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
SHAFER Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District One Point Five 2018

Quite lush in feel, with creamy waves of plum sauce, melted black licorice, açaí berry reduction and sweet toast rolling through, laced with subtle alder and bay leaf notes and ending with a sanguine hint amid the fruit. The buried structure will carry this in the cellar as well. Drink now through 2032. —J.M. $98. Internet Prices: $97/750ml and $55/375ml. (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 96
TAITTINGER Brut Rosé Champagne Comtes de Champagne 2007

This harmonious rosé Champagne offers quiet grace, with a pleasing juiciness to the sleek acidity, framing finely knit flavors of raspberry, peach, brioche and candied pink grapefruit zest. Showing a raw silk–like texture, this caresses the palate through to the fresh, ginger-laced finish. Drink now through 2027. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 550 cases imported. — AN $263 Our Price $223.99 (Available GT and VRW 6/9/21)

James Suckling 94 Points
2014 Taittinger Brut Millesime

Lots of apple and lemon with biscuit and pie-crust character. Rich nose. Full-bodied with a big palate, showing lots of apple and vanilla. Round and layered texture. Flamboyant. Drink or hold. $100 Our Price $84.99 (Available VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne Réserve

An elegant Champagne, bright and mouthwatering, offering flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toasted almond candied ginger set on a silky mousse and lingering on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2023. 4,000 cases imported. — AN $69 Our Price $43.99 (Available GT and VRW 6/9/21)

James Suckling 96 Points
2018 Faust The Pact Coombsville
Napa Cabernet

This is really something, showing focus and purity that highlights the unique character of this appellation. So much blue fruit, lavender and walnut with some herbal and sweettobacco undertones It’s full-bodied, yet tight and poised. Lovely quality to the tannins. Exceptional. $125 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94
ALTAMURA Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2016

Steeped Black Mission fig, plum and blackberry flavors are melded to warm fruitcake, dark licorice and Turkish coffee notes. Despite the profile, this is defined, with a subtle sanguine hint adding detail on the seductive finish. Drink now through 2030. 3,000 cases made. — JM $120 (Back in stock GT 6/9/21)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $15 per person (Indoor seating for 30 people)

Friday Tasting, 6/11/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2019 Occidental Freestone Occidental Pinot, 2018 Occidental Occidental Station Pinot and 2016 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietray Red

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2019 Occidental Freestone Occidental Pinot

The 2019 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental has a medium ruby-purple color and pure, fragrant cranberry sauce, rhubarb, orange peel, dried flowers, saline and underbrush on the nose. The light-bodied palate is classically coastal with crisp, tangy red fruits layered with earth and saline, and a long, ethereal finish. $65 (Winemaker: Stephen Kistler)

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2018 Occidental Pinot Noir
Occidental Station Vineyard

Medium ruby in color, the 2018 Pinot Noir Occidental Station Vineyard has intense, liquid-like raspberry and boysenberry aromas, layered with notes of dusty earth, Earl Grey tea leaves, salted licorice and graphite, continuing to blossom with time in the glass. The medium-bodied palate merges intense, detailed fruit character with seamless freshness and a finely pixelated texture. It finishes with tremendous detail and perfumed flavors that seem to hang on forever in the mouth. Wow! $105 (Winemaker: Stephen Kistler)

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

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

Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW $15 per person (Indoor seating for 30 people)

Saturday Tasting, 6/12/21 (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 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

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

James Suckling 96 Points
2016 Chateau Clos St. Martin St. Emilion

Extremely perfumed and pretty with dark berries, such as blackberries and blackcurrants with fresh flowers. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Fantastic structure and composure to this young and vibrant 2016. Try from 2023. $130

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 96 Points
2011 Araujo Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon

Araujo has long made some of the more restrained Cabernets in Napa Valley. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard is one of the more Left Bank inflected wines in the estate's distinguished history. Beautifully layered and expressive, the 2011 graces the palate with exquisite finesse and total harmony. The 2011 isn't a huge, explosive wine like the 2010 or 2009, but it stands out for its exceptional length and vibrancy. Readers should not expect an obvious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I imagine the 2011 will still be marvelous at age 30, and I won't be surprised if it is one day regarded as one of the great, iconic wines of the vintage. The 2011 has been truly special since I started tasting the single blocks in the Spring of 2012. The blend is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. $400 (James Suckling 98 Points)

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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