July 16th 2021 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

July 16th 2021 Newsletter


Winemaker Notes: It is a blend of 146 wines from 11 different years, the youngest of which is from 2013, while the oldest dates back to 2000. The final composition is 43% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 22% Meunier. A stay of around seven years in Krug’s cellars gives Krug Grande Cuvée 169ème Édition its distinct expression and elegance.

Tasting Impression: A light golden colour and fine, vivacious bubbles, holding a promise of pleasure. ▪ Aromas of flowers in bloom, ripe, dried and citrus fruits, as well as marzipan and gingerbread. ▪ Grilled notes and flavours of almond paste, quince, lemon, limoncello and dried fruit. $240 Internet Price $199.99 (Available VRW)

2019 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Red ruby in the glass, this wine opens with aromas of red cherry, blackberry and hints of earthiness and toasty oak. The palate is rich, with refined tannins, balanced acidity and flavors of red fruit, cherry, raspberry and notes of vanilla and plum on a long complex finish. $25 Our Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors

Based on 74% Syrah and 26% Grenache brought up in in a combination of concrete tanks (for the Grenache) and one year old demi-muids (for the Syrah), the 2018 Cotes Du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is a knockout bottle of wine. It offers loads of black fruits, roasted herbs, peppered meat, violets, and bacon fat as well as full-bodied richness, a round, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It’s one of the finest values out there. $16 Our Price $13.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2019

Aromatic and complex, with a refreshing thread of acidity weaving in and out among orange blossom, almond cake and Fuji apple notes. Lemon zest and ruby grapefruit details linger on the long, expressive finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Clairette Blanche. Drink now. 2,380 cases made.—M.W. $25 Internet Price $19.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Kunstler Hochheimer Kirchenstuck Im Stein Riesling Trocken

Very subtle mirabelle and wet-earth character. A great balance of medium body and generous structure with playful fruit and a long, firm finish that has the complexity you expect from a top GG. $42 Our Price $36.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

James Suckling 98 Points
2019 Müller-Catoir Riesling Spätlese Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten 2019

Dense apricot aromas, but none of the honey that normally accompanies this type of ripeness in this style. Serious concentration and spot-on balance. Stunning freshness at the precise, sharp finish that shoots off into the heavens. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. $52 Our Price $43.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
THREE STICKS Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Price Family Estates 2019

Powerful and rich-tasting, with concentrated dark berry and fruit flavors that are backed by fresh acidity and tannins. Minerally midpalate, with well-knit spiciness and forest floor notes lingering on the suave finish. Best from 2022 through 2027. 554 cases made.—K.M. $65 Our Price $54.95 (Available VRW)

2020 Twomey North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 Twomey Cellars Sauvignon Blanc is pale lemon in appearance. Aromas of mandarin blossom, grapefruit, kiwi, and passion fruit exude from the glass. Vibrant and fresh on the entry, balanced by soft tropical fruit and white peach flavors on the finish. $25 Our Price $22.99 (Available GT)

James Suckling 91 Points
2019 Nikolaihof Zwickl Gruner Veltliner

The haze of yeast, a result of unfiltered bottling, really gives this light gruner something special and the fruit of the 2019 vintage fits well with that. Nice, nutty apple character with a touch of creaminess from the suspended lees. Bright, crisp finish. From biodynamically grown grapes with Demeter certification. Drink or hold. Screw cap. $30 Our Price $24.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2019 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Ur-Alte Reben Mosel Feinherb

Bottled in early September, the 2019 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese feinherb "Ur-alte Reben" is very fine and subtle on the deep, intense and aromatic but pure, fresh and flinty-elegant nose with a touch of oak. Silky, refined and fresh on the palate, this is a very complex and crystalline Riesling with enormous length and complexity. A gorgeous wine that needs years to show its talents. Tasted at the domain in September 2020. $42 Our Price $36.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
2018 Saintayme St-Emilion

Emerging from the talents of Denis Durantou, the 100% Merlot 2018 Saintayme should be snatched up by readers who want a brilliant, delicious Bordeaux to enjoy over the coming decade. Terrific notes of black cherries, kirsch, flowery incense, cedarwood, and tobacco all define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with silky tannins and a ripe, hedonistic, yet balanced style that's a joy to drink. $27 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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)


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

Experience new arrivals from Frederic Esmonin on 7/16/21 (3:00 PM-5:30 PM) Each wine will be served from a decanter.

*FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN Gevrey-Chambertin Les Jouises Vieilles Vignes 2018
*FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN Gevrey-Chambertin Estournelles St.-Jacques 2018
*FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN Mazy-Chambertin 2018

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

Saturday Tasting, 7/17/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): From the following list, you can select which wines you would like to taste:

Wine Spectator 94
RAMEY Chardonnay Russian River Valley Woolsey Road Vineyard 2017

Taut, with focused green apple, Asian pear and honeydew melon flavors, backed by vibrant acidity. Savory midpalate, leading to a finish filled with lemon meringue notes and minerally richness. Best from 2022 through 2026. 769 cases made. — KM $70

Vinous 94 Points
2016 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot Noir

The 2016 Pinot Noir Altamont is a dense, beautifully resonant wine. Next to the Goldridge, the Altamont has quite a bit more textural depth and overall intensity. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and blood orange all run through this expressive, pliant Pinot Noir. Today, the 2016 is quite forbidding. I would give it a few years in the cellar to fully come together. The 8% whole clusters add aromatic top notes, but aren't especially noticeable. $62

2018 Lucienne Doctor’s SLH Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Beautiful aromas of blackberry and cherry accented with hints of sagebrush and clover. The wine’s vibrant acidity and smooth tannins lead to a silky structure and lingering finish. $50 Our Price $39.99

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

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

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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