The Grape Tray

July 9th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93 Points * SPARKMAN Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Holler 2018

Gutsy yet polished, with deeply structured blackberry, mocha espresso and dusky spice flavors that build tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. $32 Our Price $25.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 Internet Price $34.99 Email subscriber price $28.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jouises Vieilles Vignes 2018

This red is high-toned and well defined, revealing cherry, raspberry, peony and earth flavors. It's firm, with a lining of dusty tannins on the tactile finish. Best from 2023 through 2037. 110 cases imported. — BS $55 Our Price $46.99 (Arrives 7/15/21)

Wine Spectator 95
FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN Mazy-Chambertin 2018

Bright cherry and berry fruit introduces this elegant red, along with floral, mineral and a hint of earth notes. It's sleek and tensile, with superb balance and poise. The cherry and strawberry theme continues through the long finish. 75 cases imported. Best from 2024 through 2045. —B.S. $185 Our Price $159.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 7/15/21)

Wine Spectator 96 Points
DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard 2018

A gorgeous wine here, brimming with gently steeped plum, blackberry and açaí berry flavors, while fruitcake, black licorice and black tea notes swirl through. The terrific graphite underpinning keeps everything moving in unison through the finish, with focus and definition. Best from 2023 through 2038. From France. 75 cases imported —J.M. $100 Our Price $79.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94
BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS VALDERIZ
Ribera Del Duero 2017

This full-bodied red is generous yet structured, featuring depth and balance. Ripe flavors of plum and currant mingle with cocoa, clove and mineral notes, supported by mouthcoating tannins and balsamic acidity. Harmonious and long. Best from 2022 through 2037. —Thomas Matthews $40 Our Price $28.49 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Domaine Gachot-Monot
CÔTE DE NUITS-VILLAGES

Notes from Anthony Lynch: Damien Gachot’s winery is in Corgoloin, one of the five villages in the Côte de Nuits that comprise this appellation. These villages are scattered in between those whose reputation precedes them, such as Nuits, Vosne, Chambolle, Vougeot, Morey, and Gevrey. Corgoloin is on the southern end of the Côte de Nuits, and we find great value here in addition to the dark, meaty Pinot that we expect from the Côte d’Or’s northern slice. Vigilant pruning, debudding, and green harvesting limit yields to ensure richly perfumed wines with lovely, concentrated flavor. Damien also manages finesse in this bottling, which is no small achievement and the reason that he has such a devoted following. $33 Our Price $29.99 (Available GT and VRW)

WOW-52% Off! Back in Stock!
2015 Murphy Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Our Liar's Dice is a juicy expression of a Classic California Zinfandel. The soft tannins invite ripe yet fresh flavors of black raspberry, black cherry, and blackberry jam. This wine is made to be a second glass Zin! If you have one, you are sure to have a second. $22 Our Price $10.45 (Available GT and VRW)

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 Our Price $21.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN Gevrey-Chambertin Estournelles St.-Jacques 2018

Well marked by sweet oak, this red nonetheless offers ample black cherry, plum, earth and iron flavors that should emerge with bottle age. It also has a solid grip of tannins that curtail the finish for now. Best from 2025 through 2045. 100 cases imported. — BS $85 Our Price $73.99 (Available GT and VRW 7/16/21)

2019 Rombauer Zinfandel, 375ml

Winemaker Notes: When poured, our classic California Zinfandel is a purple-ruby color with a bright crimson hue. On the nose, there are concentrated aromas of dried cherries that meld with warm vanilla, mocha and mulling spices. Lush flavors of ripe plum and raspberry jam flood the palate, followed by touches of dark chocolate in the background. Subtle and round tannins and great length make for a fresh and enticing finish. $18 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN
Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.-Jacques 2018

Well-defined aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, rose and stone are the hallmarks of this expressive red. It firms up nicely, yet remains poised and sophisticated, with fruit, tobacco and iron accents lingering on the finish. Best from 2024 through 2042. 100 cases imported. — BS $85 Our Price $73.99 (Available GT and VRW 7/16/21)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2020 Dry Creek Fume

Fresh and effusive, with lemongrass, lemon verbena and fresh ginger notes to complement the core of juicy lemon-lime, green apple and ruby grapefruit flavors. Juicy and mouthwatering on the vibrant finish. $16 Our Price $12.99 (Available GT)

WINE ADVOCATE 93 Points
2018 Chev Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Chev has a medium ruby color and lovely aromas of cranberry sauce, black tea leaves, black cherries and dusty earth with a streak of graphite. The palate is medium-bodied, intense and layered, with a silky, seamless structure and very long finish. 2,900 cases produced. Chev is produced by Michael Browne, renowned wine maker and co-founder of Kosta Browne. $100 (Arrives GT 7/16/21) Limited

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95+ Points
2016 Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain offers good density, but in more of a medium-bodied style that is quite a bit more approachable than is the norm here. A whole range of inky Howell Mountain fruit, graphite, grilled herb, licorice, spice, chocolate, and lavender nuances open up in a brooding, resonant Cabernet that needs a few years in bottle to start drinking well. There is plenty of the structure readers have come to expect from Dunn, but less youthful austerity, which is not a bad thing at all. Drinking window: 2024 – 2046. $150 Our Price $142.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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


Friday Tasting, 7/9/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM): 2012 Bollinger La Grande Annee, 2015 Cain Five Proprietary Red 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, 7/10/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): From the following list, you can select which wines you would like to taste:

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2017 Dehlinger Russian River Estate Chardonnay

Not surprisingly, in 2017 Dehlinger's Chardonnay Estate is quite racy and luscious. Orchard fruit, citrus confit, and wild flowers take on an extra level of sheer richness, while tropical accents add to the real feeling of exoticism. $42

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

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

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Cardano Estate Black Fruit Napa Cabernet

While a small step up in price, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Fruit is worth it and is one of the top values found in the vintage. A blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, it has classy, complex notes of blueberries, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, leather, and white truffle. It’s one of those wines you could smell all night, and it doesn’t disappoint on the palate either, offering full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and ultra-fine tannins. Enjoy bottles any time over the coming 15 years or more. Internet Price $75

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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