The Grape Tray

August 3rd 2021 Newsletter

Paso Robles vs. Napa Wine Tasting This Week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10:

Taste the 2018 Quilt Napa Cabernet, 2018 Justin Paso Cabernet, 2019 Daou Paso Cabernet and 2019 Thread Feathers Howell Mt. Napa Cabernet

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 8/3- Friday, 8/6/21.

2018 Quilt Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of cassis, hazelnut, cocoa, blackberry preserves and charry meat with notes of dark licorice, stewed rhubarb, strawberry, spice and vanillin. Flavors of chocolate brownie, yogurt and molasses in perfect balance with high-toned fruit. $45 Special Price $

2018 Justin Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: With attractive aromas of black fruit and spice, this smooth, ready-to-drink Cabernet Sauvignon is made with the same care as the highest quality, traditionally crafted Bordeaux styled wines. The grapes are hand-picked and berry-sorted for consistent quality and flavor. Justin Cabernet Sauvignon then spends more than a year in traditional small oak barrels to impart depth and complexity, highlighting the exceptional balance of flavors and textures that the unique climate and soils of Paso Robles add to the classic Cabernet character in this exceptional wine. $30 Special Price $

Wine Advocate 90-92 points
2019 Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon from Daou's Discovery Series is blended with 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. It is still in barrel but will age around 10 months in 60% new French oak. It has a deep ruby-purple color and a nose of cassis, garrigue, charcuterie and sweet baking spices. The palate is medium-bodied, lifted and gently structured with grainy tannins and good freshness, finishing long. $30 Special Price $

2019 Thread Feathers Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Extracted, rich and earthy, this 2019 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is full- bodied, and richly ripe in black fruit, coniferous nose with violet, redcurrant and red-plum aromas, leading to a succulent palate that carries attractive tannin structure. Focused and powerful. Elements of sage, dried herb and cedar provide contrast the complexity. Wine Specs: Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec. Internet Price $38

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Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Galerie Pleinair Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Made by Laura Diaz (formerly at Lokoya) and coming mostly from valley floor fruit, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Pleinair is a sexy, flamboyant beauty that boasts a deep purple color, a huge nose of cassis and blueberry fruits, a complex floral character, full body, and a pure, elegant, yet pleasure-bent style that’s already a joy to drink. $65 Internet Price $39.99 (Arrives GT and VRW 8/4/21)

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
2019 Morgan Metallico Unoaked Chardonnay

Rounded aromas of Asian pear and soft peach are cut by sharp grapefruit pith and chalk on the vibrant and very fresh nose of this stainless-steel expression. The palate is very grippy in texture at first, slowly giving way to the more broad stone-fruit flavors. $22 Our Price $18.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Morgan Cotes du Crow's 2018

Winemaker Notes: This Rhone-style blend has a rich ruby red color, highlighted with purple edges. Raspberry compote and maraschino cherry aromas jump out of the glass. The wine is medium-bodied with soft tannins, offering a mouthful of black fruit and rose petal. Its weight and balance make it a perfect pairing with anything off the grill. $21 Our Price $TBD (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 Points

CHAPPELLET Merlot Napa Valley 2018

Rich and full-bodied, this is loaded with concentrated creaminess to the dark fruit and Asian spice flavors. The long, open-textured finish offers loads of dark chocolate and toast accents. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.—Kim Marcus. $50 Our Price $44.95 (Arrives GT 8/4/21)

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)

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)

2019 Girard Napa Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The nose is vibrant with aromas of Meyer lemon, pineapple and kiwi. The palate is well-structured with vibrant acidity and flavors of orange, mango and a hint of honeydew melon. The finish is refreshingly bright, displaying a taut balance between lush fruit and mineral notes. $19 Our Price $14.99 (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, 8/6/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2016 Galerie Pleinair Cabernet, 2017 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet and 2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Galerie Pleinair Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Made by Laura Diaz (formerly at Lokoya) and coming mostly from valley floor fruit, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Pleinair is a sexy, flamboyant beauty that boasts a deep purple color, a huge nose of cassis and blueberry fruits, a complex floral character, full body, and a pure, elegant, yet pleasure-bent style that’s already a joy to drink. $65

2017 Silver Oak Alexander
Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our 2017 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of 95.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.6% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 0.3% Petit Verdot and 0.1% Malbec. In early 2018, the final blend was transferred to American oak barrels from our cooperage, The Oak, where it aged for 24 months. Half the barrels for our 2017 Alexander Valley vintage were new, providing a subtle, layered expression of bay leaf, coconut and vanilla to our wines. Blending before barrel aging—a signature of our winemaking style—allows blends to be based on the inherent qualities of their vineyard components before oak influence. Vintage to vintage, the resulting Cabernets emerge integrated and ready to drink upon release. $84

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
2018 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: We have to go back to the 2013 to find an Ontogeny that is this enthralling. The wine’s pedigree is special: Tench, Sugarloaf, Harbison, Wildfoote, Saunders and Sage Ridge. We didn’t grow a single grape specifically to go into Ontogeny. Instead, we selected barrels from our vineyard designates to produce something enchanting, and this wine shows that we accomplished that. It cascades across your palate with seamless ease. Explosive notes of crème de cassis, lavender and huckleberries give the wine a luxurious fruit component. The mouthfeel is all about controlled power, the tannins come in waves, but they hit with incredible grace. $100

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

Saturday Tasting, 8/7/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): Henriot Brut Rose, 2016 The Paring Red, 2018 Stewart Napa Cabernet and 2018 Shafer One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet.

Wine Spectator 91 Points
Henriot Brut Rose, Magnum

Apple blossom and graphite notes are an aromatic entry for this mouthwatering rosé Champagne, which features a creamy mousse and a well-knit range of white peach, licorice, sun-dried cherry and chalk flavors. Drink now through 2021. $165/magnum

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2016 The Paring Red

The 2016 Red Wine checks in as a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Brilliant notes of cassis, tobacco leaf, damp earth, cedary herbs, and graphite all emerge from this concentrated, remarkably pure, elegant Bordeaux blend hat has building tannins and a great, great finish. It tastes like it costs three times the price. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20%, Merlot, 20%, Cabernet Franc & 10%, Petit Verdot. Internet Price $25

Wine Spectator 92 Points
STEWART Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2018

This red has a nicely polished and ripe feel, with cassis and plum preserve flavors gilded lightly with vanilla and backed by subtle tobacco, dark licorice and warm earth accents. Gains a darker, deeper feel through the finish, giving it some sneaky length. Drink now through 2029. 1,500 cases made. — JM $60

Wine Spectator 94 Points
SHAFER Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District One Point Five 2018

Quite lush in feel, with creamy waves of plum sauce, melted black licorice, açaí berry reduction and sweet toast rolling through, laced with subtle alder and bay leaf notes and ending with a sanguine hint amid the fruit. The buried structure will carry this in the cellar as well. Drink now through 2032. —J.M. $98

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 1:00-6:00 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 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM



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