The Grape Tray

June 29th 2021 Newsletter

July 4th Holiday
We will be closed at both locations on Monday, 7/5/21


Special Tasting This 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.

Daily Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
Tuesday-Saturday Wine Tasting (Available anytime during operating hours)
+Enjoy a glass of Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.
+Or, select a bottle of wine from our retail shelf or wine cellar and share it with a friend or colleague.

Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 Points
2019 Caterwaul Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A 3,000-case blend that should be one of the great values in the vintage, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley just about jumps out of the glass with its fruit-forward, undeniably delicious style that could be drunk today. Notes of cassis and berry fruits, lots of spice and flower nuances, full-bodied richness, and ripe, polished tannins all make for a no-brainer purchase geared for drinking over the coming decade. $50 (Arrives GT 6/30/21)

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points and Editor’s Choice
2018 Fortress North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

Showing excellent depth and impressive concentration, this full-bodied and well balanced wine impresses with focused black-fruit flavors, a creamy texture and beautifully integrated tannin's that afford a velvety mouthfeel. So delicious now, but it will be best after 2024. $25 Internet Price $18.99 (Available GT and VRW 6/30/21)

Decanter Magazine 97 Points
2019 Amalaya Malbec Calchaquíes, Salta

Perfumed attractive nose with layers of spice, crunchy strawberries, ripe red plums and fresh violets. Vibrant on the palate with a lovely freshness in harmony with a dense chocolatey character, ending in an elegant spicy finish. 85% Malbec, 10% Tannat, 5% Petit Verdot. $14 Our Price $10.95 (Available GT and VRW 6/30/21)

Wine Spectator 97
BOLLINGER Brut Champagne
 La Grande Année 2012

This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037. 850 cases imported. From France. —A.N. $175 Our Price $129.99 (Arrives GT 7/1/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 BLACK SLATE, PORRERA VI DE LA VILA, CAL PLA

Plums, blueberries, licorice, violets, candied rose, and a beautiful spice character all emerge from the 2017 Black Slate Porrera, and it’s increadibly complex and nuanced aromatically. This carries to a medium to full-bodied, powerful red with incredible finesse, elegant, silky tannins, and a gorgeous finish. Its another heavenly wine selling way below what it’s worth. $23 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives GT 7/1/21)

2019 Chappellet Mt. Cuvee

Winemaker Notes: Blended from the traditional Bordeaux varietals, including our own coveted grapes, the Chappellet Mountain Cuvee Proprietor's Blend builds on our five decades of experience crafting great Napa County mountain-grown wines. Each component varietal in the cuvée contributes nuances that complement each other. The resultis a complex array of aromas and flavors that deliver pure pleasure in a glass. Made for more near-term enjoyment, this is the wine to choose when you're looking for vivid, mouthfilling fruit flavors. Alluringly dark and spicy, this wine displays beautiful aromas of currant, cassis, sage and thyme, as well as hints of cinnamon and clove from barrel aging. On the palate, the tannins are impeccably balanced, adding depth to the lush ripe berry flavors, with layers of cola and grenadine emerging as the wine evolves in the glass. Blend: 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. $40 Internet Price $29.99 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 94 Points
2017 Three Sticks Durell Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Impressive complexity and powerful aromas of ripe pears and peaches here. Lots of spice, grilled almonds and clotted cream, too. The palate has a smooth delivery of supple, creamy pears and peaches, brulee custard and plenty of spiced-orange sponge cake to close. Drink or hold. $60 Internet Price $49.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
FORGE Riesling Seneca
 Lake Dry Classique 2019

Vibrant mustard flower, white peach and chamomile notes make this white racy and vivid, with mouthwatering cut on the finish. Drink now through 2025. 9,306 cases made.—J.M. $18 Our Price $14.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 92+
2015 Tolani Valdisante

This Tuscan blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet Franc is all about richness and fullness, with 18 months in French oak affording it expansive notes of spice and tobacco. The 2015 Valdisanti is a very nice red to enjoy with a nice plate of your favorite grilled meats. $35 Our Price $26.99 (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, 7/2/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2017 Merry Edwards Coopersmith Russian River Pinot Noir, 2019 Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir and 2014 Mayacamas Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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

Wine Spectator 95
MAYACAMAS Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2014, Magnum

This packs in a lot of juicy black currant and blackberry paste notes, with lively licorice snap and bramble accents filling the available space. A roasted apple wood accent lends a mouthwatering edge while a tarry echo at the very end adds range and length. Should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2045. 4,396 cases made. — JM $280/magnum

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, 7/3/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): From the following list, you can select which wines you would like to taste:

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

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2018 Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso

The Le Macchiole 2018 Bolgheri Rosso (with 160,000 bottles made) is an informal blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The wine sports a buoyant and cheerful personality with plenty of fruity freshness, focused mostly on plum, black cherry and cassis. The wine's medium-bodied mouthfeel is freshened up by the balanced acidity that comes so easily in this cool but classic vintage. There are delicate hints of Mediterranean herb and dried mint on the close. This wine would make a fine partner to ravioli stuffed with ricotta and cooked in butter. $35

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir

Made with about 10% whole cluster, the 2018 Pinot Noir has a medium ruby-purple color and a nose of cranberry sauce, rhubarb, tea leaves and earth with a spicy undercurrent. Medium-bodied, it's concentrated and grainy with appealing juicy fruits and a long, lifted finish. 7,612 cases produced. $65

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

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Vineyard 29 Ceanda Cabernet Sauvignon

Another St. Helena release, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Ceanda checks in as 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot, all brought up in French oak. Black fruits, chocolaty herbs, graphite, violets, and acacia flower notes all emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with a seamless, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. I'd be thrilled to drink a bottle any time over the coming 20 years or more. $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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