The Grape Tray

July 2nd 2021 Newsletter

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


Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Bollinger Special Cuvee

Bollinger's NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, creme brulee, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It's a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff. $70 Internet Price $54.99 VRW Tasting Club Price $49.95

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Walter Hansel Pinot Noir South Slope

Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir South Slope has gorgeous aromas of blood orange, cracked pepper, cranberries and red and black cherries loaded with earthy, amaro-like nuances. The medium-bodied palate is silky, fresh and uplifted, its concentrated fruits refreshed by loads of spicy accents, and it finishes long and detailed. 1,083 cases produced. $45 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94+ Points
2014 Law Estate Wines • Prima

Made from 100% Mourvèdre, the 2014 Prima displays a very deep purple-black color and offers up a nose of black currant cordial, preserved plums and baked blackberries with underlying charcoal, sage, black olives and damp soil hints. The full-bodied palate is full-on savory, firm and fresh, with lovely herbal layers and a long earthy finish. Drink 2017-2027. 4 bottles available at GT for $99/bottle

Wine Advocate 95+ Points
2014 Law Estate Wines • Intrepid

The 2014 Intrepid, blended of 95% Syrah, 3% Roussanne and 2% Clairette Blanche, offers a deep garnet-purple color and a very bright, lifted red and black currant nose with a lovely floral undercurrent of violets and roses plus hints of tapenade, dried herbs and fragrant earth. Full-boded, concentrated and built like a brick house, it has a cooler climate (pepper and spices) character in a warmer climate package, finishing with plenty of layers. Give it three to four more years in bottle and drink it over the next 15+. Drink 2020-2035. 3 bottles available at GT for $99/bottle

2020 Tempier Bandol Rose

Notes from Anthony Lynch: They say great wine is evocative of place. With Tempier rosé, all it takes is one sniff to be carried back to Provence, conceiving a dreamy fantasy of sunshine and ice-cold pink wine. Suddenly we are in the shade of a massive umbrella pine tree at Domaine Tempier, refreshed by a soothing breeze and generous sips of rosé. The cigales chirp buzzingly in the background, while the sound of laughter complements their constant hum. Your glass of Bandol, evocative of rosemary, ripe peaches, and citrus, is the perfect elixir to wash down the assortment of snacks that has spontaneously materialized: garlic-rubbed toasts with cured anchovies, olives marinated in herb-infused oil, and slices of salty saucisson. This is what Tempier rosé is all about—celebration, gaiety, and delicious simplicity. $56 (Arrives GT 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

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW) Delicious!

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2017 Roar Garys' Vineyard Syrah

The 2017 Syrah Garys' Vineyard, containing a 1% splash of Viognier and made with 30% whole cluster, has a medium to deep ruby-purple color and a layered nose of crème de cassis, olive, game meats, red cherry liqueur, roast coffee, dark chocolate and clove aromas and a classy framing of new oak. The full-bodied palate has explosive flavor layers and a firmer, albeit finely grained frame, with just enough freshness to lift the very long, dense finish. This will benefit from another 2-3 years in bottle. 85 cases were made. $50

Wine Spectator 95 Points 

CAPARZO Brunello di Montalcino La Casa 2016

This red displays a mix of macerated plum, cherry, mint, earth, iron and sanguine flavors. In the savory camp, without the purity of many of its peers, at least today, yet harmonious and long, with dusty tannins on the finish. Be patient Best from 2023 through 2040. 1,600 cases made, 250 cases imported. — BS $70 Our Price $63.95 (Arrives GT 8/3/21)

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 (Available GT)

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)

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 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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