The Grape Tray

June 25th 2021 Newsletter

Special Tasting Next Week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) with Caymus Family: Taste 2018 Mer Soleil SLH Reserve Chardonnay, 2017 Mer Soleil SLH Reserve Pinot, 2018 Emmolo Napa Merlot and 2019 Caymus Napa Cabernet at VRW for $10! Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 6/29 – Saturday, 7/3/21.


2018 Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A light yellow hue, like stalks of straw glinting in the sun, the 2018 vintage is bright and layered on the nose. Scents of lemon squares offer both irresistible freshness and the promise of creaminess. The nose warms to reveal additional notes of honeycomb, toasted wood and floral aromas. With a round viscosity, the palate is also defined by citrus - flavors of Meyer lemon enliven the mouth, while a lush texture imparts the smoothness of honey. The finish features traces of lemon meringue pie crust along with hints of apricot, an echo of this wine's distinctly lush, bright fruit and character.

2017 Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: With the alluring color of dark plums, this wine features scents of ripe cherries with cocoa, pomace, blueberry, toasted wood and a soft, powdery whiff of old-fashioned lipstick. The palate is all about texture – entry is soft, with a round, complete quality. Flavors of cherry cobbler mingle with cola notes and hints of anise. Tannins are structured yet extremely fine, providing a lush, lingering mouthfeel. On the finish, a wisp of acidity adds balance and freshness, a reminder of this wine’s origins in a cool, coastal region of California.

2018 Emmolo Napa Merlot

Winemaker Notes: A vibrant red, the 2018 vintage is earthy and alluring, featuring scents of ripe plums, wild berry pie, and freshly we soil. Notes of new leather, sweet cigar, sage, and a whiff of mint add intriguing layers to the nose. The palate quickly builds and expands, offering flavors of mulberry, espresso, toasted wood, and sweet spice. Tannins are extremely smooth, giving this wine a supple, soft texture. The lingering finish fills the mouth with the richness of lush fruit and Mexican chocolate, with rustic accents of cinnamon and clove.

2019 Caymus Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Caymus has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe, velvety tannins – as approachable in youth as in maturity. We farm Cabernet grapes in eight of Napa’s 16 sub-appellations, with diversification enabling us to make the best possible wine in a given year. Our Cabernet offers layered, lush aromas and flavors, including cocoa, cassis and ripe dark berries.

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Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2018 Chateau Leroy Beauval
Bordeaux Superieur

Lots of cedary spice, spring flowers, cured meats, truffle, and green tobacco define the bouquet of the 2018 Chateau Leroy-Beauval, and it's medium-bodied, with a silky, elegant texture, fine tannins, and a beautiful finish. This classic, elegant, complex Bordeaux has real character as well as the ability to keep for 10-15 years in cold cellars. This estate is located in the Entre-de-Mer region and the wine is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Cabernet Franc, brought up in new barrels, made by Matthieu Richard, who handles the wines of Badette. $27 Our Price $22.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Sean Minor Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019

Rich and toasty, with hints of cedar bark to the dried red fruit and berry flavors that are well-knit. The creamy finish is long and plush, with accents of hot stone and cooking spices. Drink now through 2026. $25 Our Price $16.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon) Delicious!

2020 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Rose

Notes from Emily Spillmann: Last year, when she introduced this wine, Ghislaine Dupeuble recommended serving it in a carafe with a handful of fresh strawberries. This year, there’s no need. The perfectly pink wine is already bursting with wild strawberry aromas and flavors, and a lively mineral backbone keeps it crisp. Straightforward, easygoing, delicious. $17 Our Price $13.49 (Available GT and VRW)

2016 The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The Mascot is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made from distinct hillside vineyards; specifically the younger vines of BOND, Harlan Estate, and Promontory. It started out as a small project shared among the family, winemaking team, and close friends. Drawing fruit from blocks of recently replanted vineyards, The Mascot shares a glimpse into the evolution of its parent estates: a youthful snapshot of their future.

Aromas suggest cool, fragrant mists, an intermingling of bright fruit with gentle florals, and traces of fresh, wild herbs. A sip reveals a polished core—a soft, inviting texture bonded by strength. These playful curves resolve towards an elevated finish, as well as light, colorful notes that dance on the palate—and entice the imagination. $145 (Arrives GT July 2021)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
KOSTA BROWNE Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley 2019

There's good grip to the dark cherry and plum paste flavors that feature savory and dark chocolate accents, with a creamy texture on the firmly tannic finish, showing tapenade hints. Drink now through 2026. —K.M. $115 (Available GT)

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 and VRW)

2017 Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Capturing the rustic elegance of the Anderson Valley, this wine begins with lively aromas of fresh-picked wild strawberry, dusty earth and sweet tobacco leaf. The dynamic strawberry aromas are echoed on the palate, where they are supported by supple tannins and a bright underlying acidity that adds energy and zest to a long, nuanced finish. $50 Our Price $42.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW) Limited

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ROCCA DI FRASSINELLO Maremma Toscana Le Sughere di Frassinello 2016

Wild rosemary, thyme and camphor aromas lead off, with concentrated flavors of blackberry and black currant. An iron edge sinks in as this unfolds to the long, staining finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032. 11,000 cases made, 5,500 cases imported. — BS $22 Our Price $17.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91
DEUTZ Brut Champagne Classic NV

A harmonious and mouthwatering Champagne, with a lovely mix of white cherry, pastry, grated ginger and smoky mineral riding the elegant mousse. Racy finish. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases imported. — AN $45 Our Price $39.95 (Back in stock 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, 6/25/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): Pol Roget Brut Reserve, 2019 Rochioli Russian River Pinot and 2014 Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet.

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, 6/26/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM):
The choice is yours! From the following list, you can select which wines you would like to taste:

2020 Cherrier La Croix Poignant Sancerre Rose

Winemaker Notes: Hand-harvested. Rosé de pressurage (red grapes pressed directly, extracting a light blush color from the skins) and fermented on indigenous yeasts in tank. Aged in tank. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of light spice, red berries, red plum skin, wild strawberries, blood orange. Fresh, mineral, refined. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: As an aperitif; with regional goat’s cheese; airdried saucisson; fresh spring vegetables. $25

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Tether Napa Chardonnay

Another great release for this wine, the 2019 Chardonnay offers a pure, elegant, yet still powerful, medium to full-bodied style...It has a tropical edge as well as wonderful purity, a clean, elegant texture, and a great finish. $42

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

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2017 Altagracia Eisele Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

This vintage has a bit less Petit Verdot than usual, but basically remains about 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia leaps from the glass, offering bold, expressive notes of blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and warm cassis with hints of garrigue, mossy tree bark, dusty soil and black pepper plus a fragrant waft of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a great core of rich, spicy black fruit preserves, framed with firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing earthy. $150

2018 Austin Hope Reserve Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: This 2018 Reserve Cabernet’s depth of character is visible at first glance with an inky crimson color. On the nose, fresh muddled blueberries, burnt sugar, vanilla bean and a hint of wet leather evolve onto the palette with flavors of layered dark fruit, coco powder, grated clove and additional vanilla; a result from the extended New French Oak ageing. Firm, integrated tannins frame the structure of this Cabernet making it an exceptional example of Paso Robles terroir. $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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