The Grape Tray

June 15th 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 Thread Feathers Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Extracted, rich and earthy, this 2019 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is full- bodied, and richly ripe in black fruit, coniferous nose with violet, redcurrant and red-plum aromas, leading to a succulent palate that carries attractive tannin structure. Focused and powerful. Elements of sage, dried herb and cedar provide contrast the complexity. Wine Specs: Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec. Internet Price $38 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 94 Points * 2019 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

The 2019 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett is bright, precise and elegant on the complex, refined, beautifully clear and flinty nose. Lush, refined and salty-piquant on the palate, this is a salty, crunchy and stimulating Kabinett with a long and intense finish. Bottled with 9.5% alcohol and 60 grams of residual sugar. Tasted at the domain in September 2020. $27 Our Price $21.99 (Arrives GT 6/16/21)

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2018 Marchesi Antinori • Tignanello

The wine brought to mind precise imagery of tailcoats, striped dress pants, wingtip collar shirts and other gentlemen's fashion choices from the Roaring Twenties. Sporting a retro but classic personality, the Marchesi Antinori 2018 Tignanello is quite the dapper and jovial wine that hits the market just as much of the world is emerging from a dark chapter of lockdowns and coronavirus curfews. I love the optimism that springs bright with such clarity and detail from within this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The 2016 vintage was a benchmark for sure, but I prefer the 2018, thanks to that tinge of nostalgia or emotion that is so deftly rendered in this cool, long growing season.

The 2018 vintage offers a deconstructed Tignanello upon first inspection because you can clearly make out the varietal typicity of the grapes, especially the green spice and white pepper of the two Cabernets, along with aromas of crushed limestone that recall the white rocks carefully placed in the vineyards to protect the rows. The wine's fruit weight is contained and polished, and there are no exaggerations, excesses or loose ends. The results are calculated and exacting, especially if you consider the tannic management (with aging in both new and used Hungarian and French oak for up to 16 months) and the quality of the elegant mouthfeel. With time in the glass, those deconstructed elements converge to create unity and balance. The Tignanello vineyard is 57 hectares and sits at a breezy 390 meters above sea level with alberese and galestro soils. Those elevations proved important for shedding excess humidity at the end of this 2018 growing season. Production for this excellent wine is an impressive 345,000 bottles. $150 Our Price $128.95 (Arrives GT and VRW 6/16/21)

2017 Joseph Carr Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The bouquet is intensely aromatic and features notes of ripe peach and lemon. Flavors of toffee and almonds emerge on the palate, bolstered by lively acidity, a creamy mouthfeel, and a long finish. $22 Internet Price $15.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

2017 Joullian Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Brilliant, pale green straw-gold color couple with perfumy mango, white peach, pineapple and citrus rind aromas that jump out of the glass. These same tropical characteristics are reflected in a rich, fruit driven flavor profile that finishes with refreshing acidity and hints of minerality and roasted grain. Cellar thru 2024 at 55° F. $20 Our Price $17.99 (Arrives GT 6/16/21)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
ANDREW MURRAY Syrah Santa Ynez Valley Tous Les Jours 2017

Sleek and polished, with elegantly layered raspberry, orange peel and licorice flavors that turn up the peppery elements on the finish. Drink now through 2027. 12,500 cases made. — TF $20 Our Price $14.95 (Arrives GT 6/16/21)

James Suckling 91 Points
DESIDERIO BISOL & FIGLI Brut Rosé Prosecco Jeio 2019

A juicy and flavorful rosé sparkling wine with dried cherry and strawberry aromas. Medium body, soft and fresh. Clean and lively. Drink now. $18 Our Price $14.69 (Available GT)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
Arnot-Roberts 2018 Chardonnay Trout Gulch Santa Cruz Mountains

The 2018 Chardonnay Trout Gulch is loaded with personality and class. Citrus, dried flowers, mint and sage are some of the many nuances that grace this Chardonnay from the southern reaches of the Santa Cruz Mountains. In 2018, the Trout Gulch has more overt body and less of the sizzling cut it has had in some previous editions, which means it will drink nicely with just another year or two in bottle. There is still plenty of energy, but more mid-palate depth and less austerity than in some years. $ Drinking window: 2020 – 2028. $45 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

2019 Raeburn Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our Russian River Valley Chardonnay shows an array of complex fruit tones ranging from white pear and apple to nectarine. The fruit is beautifully complemented with toasted oak, vanilla and hints of warm Creme Brulee with a balanced and elegant finish. $19 Internet Price $13.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW) Email subscriber price $10.85

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

Friday Tasting, 6/18/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2018 Ridge SCM Estate Chardonnay, 2016 Altamura Napa Cabernet and 2018 Peter Michael Les Pavot Red

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains
Estate Chardonnay

Coming all from the estate Monte Bello Vineyard, the 2018 Chardonnay Estate offers a medium gold hue as well rocking notes of caramelized apples, white flowers, honeysuckle, and crushed rocks. These all carry to a medium-bodied Chardonnay with bright acidity, a focused, chiseled texture, terrific minerality, and just a kiss of background oak. It's going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and have two decades of longevity, if not longer. $55

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

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

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, 6/19/21 (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
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

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

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

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

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

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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