The Grape Tray

June 11th 2021 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Lafage Cuvee Centenaire Blanc

Based on 60% Grenache Blanc and 20% each Grenache Gris and Roussanne, from very old vines, the 2019 Côtes Catalanes Cuvée Centenaire is another thrilling white from Jean-Marc Lafage. Caramelized grapefruit, crushed citrus, mint, white flowers, and lots of salty minerality emerge from this medium-bodied white that has both richness and freshness. This cuvée can evolve (it has good acidity as well as concentration) yet I see no need to delay gratification and would enjoy bottles over the coming year or three. $18 Our Price $14.99 (Available GT)

James Suckling 96 Points
Best's Great Western Riesling 2020

Such expressive and fragrant aromas of fresh lemons, sliced pears and apples, as well as wet stones. Lots to like here. The palate has a very intense, mouthwatering core of citrus and white peach, driven by intense acidity. Low-yielding vintage with high-quality grapes. Will age very well. Drink or hold. Screw cap. $25 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2019 Domaine Vincent Dampt Vaillons Premier Cru Chablis

Yeasty funk on this wine's otherwise shy nose speaks of youth and complexity. The palate comes in with vivid freshness that pervades a creamy, concentrated and layered midpalate that has a pithy, mouthwatering texture and real focus. The finish is alive and lasting, with pure lemon freshness. $40 Our Price $31.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

2020 Villa Maria Taylor’s Pass
Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc has lifted aromatics of fresh garden peas and blackcurrants mingled with herbs such as coriander. On the palate are concentrated flavours of jalapeño and lemongrass, with a punchy finish of lime zest and a hint of gunflint. A key point of interest in this wine is the chalky texture reminiscent of wet river stones. $25 Our Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90
TEXTBOOK Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018

Ripe and juicy, with a forward profile of dark plum and blackberry fruit backed by hints of anise, mocha and singed vanilla. A flash of savory in the background keeps this honest. Drink now through 2026. 14,640 cases made. — JM $33 Our Price $25.95 (Back in stock GT. Last Call!)

2020 Murgo Etna Rosato

Winemaker Notes: Hand-harvested. Destemmed and cold macerated for 24 hours. Free-run juice is bled off (rosé de saignée) and fermented on selected yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. Aged in tank for five months. Aromas of wild strawberries and red fruits. Juicy and harmonious, with a clean, tangy finish. $20 Our Price $14.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Vinous 91 Points
2019 Frescobaldi Ammiraglia Alie Rose

The 2019 Rose “Alie” Ammiraglia from Frescobaldi is an alluring blend of Syrah and Vermentino, displaying a pale pink color in the glass, while wafting up with zesty citrus, savory spice, brush and crushed sea shell minerality, as if you really can smell the seashore off the Tuscan coast. Silky textures give way to a mix of orchard fruits, soft and round yet perfectly framed by brisk acidity, as it sizzles with salty tension, just begging you to take another sip. $20 Our Price $17.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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. $42 (Available GT and VRW)

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 $17.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Pont Neuf Pont Royal Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Pont Royal reveals a brilliant clarity both in appearance and focused flavors. The vineyard character shows in the forward citrus, fresh peach, custard and honied beeswax which are consistent hallmarks of Pont Royal. The texture is crisp, but with a satisfying fullness and great persistence of flavors. French oak takes a back seat to the fruit, adding nuanced aromas of toasted brioche and fine structure to the wine. We employed 80% new oak from the Vosges forest, contributing the delicate toast and vanilla aromas and playing perfectly with bright citrus fruit. Barrel-fermented, aged on the lees and bottled un-fined and unfiltered, this natural fermentation showcases the vineyard and the vintage. 90 cases produced. $60 (Available GT and VRW)

2017 Pont Neuf La Source Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 "La Source" Pinot Noir exhibits brilliant, deep redviolet glints in the glass. More terroir-driven than ripe and easy Californian in nature, with pure aromas of cassis and fragrant raspberry fruit mingled with woodsy, truffled aromas, accents of cinnamon and violets. Luxurious and powerful, La Source has impressive weight, texture and presence in the glass. The wine is un-fined and unfiltered, using natural ferments. The clonal material is from Vosne-Romanée. 100% French Oak from the Tronçais Forest is employed, air-dried 4 years, for the ultimate in balance and finesse. Grown on a rolling ridge dividing Russian River and the Sonoma Coast, the wine enjoys the best of both climates, that gentle, seductive fruit classic to Russian River and the world-class structure and texture of wines from the near ocean vineyards. $80 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Frank Family Carneros Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Bright ruby in color, the 2018 Carneros Pinot Noir is lively and fresh with a beautiful exploration of rose petal, pomegranate, and cranberry. It shows a wealth of flavor and texture with a full-bodied figure of ripeness and structured acidity. $38 Our Price $32.99 (Available GT)

2020 DOMAINE DU FIGUEIRASSE
‘Gris de Gris’ Vin des Sables

Winemaker Notes: For more than a century, the Saumade family has cared for vines on the shores of the Camargue delta in France. ‘Gris de Gris des Sables’ is a rosé de pressurage and blend of Grenache (gris, noir and blanc) and Cinsault grapes. Vineyards are 200 yards from the sea. Grapes are harvested at night when temperatures are coolest. All tank made. Certified organic. $15 Our Price $10.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92
HARTFORD COURT Chardonnay
Russian River Valley 2018

Luscious, rich and full of creamy white fruit flavors flanked by buttery accents. Spicy plushness lingers into the finish, with some honeyed notes. Drink now through 2024. 17,000 cases made. — KM $30 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Friday Wine Tasting at VRW $15 per person (Indoor seating for 30 people) Must be 21 or older to attend

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 Proprietary Red

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) Must be 21 or older to attend

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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