The Grape Tray

August 10th 2021 Newsletter

Duckhorn Vineyards Wine Tasting This Week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10:

Taste the 2019 Napa Chardonnay, 2016 Napa Merlot and 2018 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 8/10- Friday, 8/13/21.

2019 Duckhorn Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This alluring wine displays aromas of yellow peach, lemon cream, pear and mango, along with French oak-inspired notes of brioche, sweet baking spices and crème brûlée. The luxurious peach and pear notes are echoed on the silky palate, where they mingle with layers of lush nectarine apricot, clove, and lemongrass, with graceful underlying acidity carrying the wine to a long resonant finish. $30 Our Price $25.65

2016 Duckhorn Napa Merlot, magnum

Winemaker Notes: The 2016 growing season yielded a beautifully complex expression of Napa Valley Merlot, with inviting aromas of fresh black raspberry, vanilla, tea leaves, pie crust and licorice. On the palate, luxurious red-fruit flavors of strawberry, plum, Bing cherry and loganberry are supported by silky tannins and a bright, mouthwatering acidity that carries the wine to a lingering finish, with hints of maple, cedar and sweet spice. $112/magnum. Our Price $95.99/magnum

2018 Duckhorn Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The exceptional 2018 growing season produced a stunning expression of Napa Valley Cabernet, with alluring aromas of black Mission fig, black raspberry, and chocolate, as well as notes of sage, cardamom, crème brûlée, and anise. On the palate, flavors of elderberry, plum, blueberry, red licorice, and violet glide across silky tannins, with bright, balanced acidity contributing to a long, focused finish. $70 Our Price $62.99

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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 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: This will be the first of our Cabernets to be released from the stellar 2019 vintage and it will certainly be a wine that stands among the greats within our history of producing Silencieux Cabernet Sauvignon. What I love most about this wine is its diversity of vineyard selections and the impact upon quality each has on the finished wine. Wow! This wine is incredibly satisfying to behold as it opens in the glass. Wonderfully aromatic and expressive, the 2019 vintage opens with scents of sweet cassis, anise, blackberries, roasted coffee, blue herbs and barrel vanillin. On the palate, the tannins are firm, upfront and balanced throughout, with all pockets of the mouth left yearning for another sip. Full-bodied and extracted with ripe black fruit, blueberries, charred caramel and a delightful hint of fresh herbs that concentrate into a lengthy finish. This wine is approachable upon release and cellar worthy in proper aging conditions. Best now through 2032. $60 Our Price $49.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ANTHEM Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2016

Lush and well-fruited, with lots of boysenberry, blackberry and plum flavors rolling through, laced with apple wood, anise, violet and sweet tobacco notes. Shows a tarry edge on the finish but the fruit keeps pace easily. Solidly built. Best from 2021 through 2032. 930 cases made. — JM $125 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 96 Points
CAPARZO Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Ripe, sweet cherry and raspberry fruit are accented by floral, mineral and wild herbs in this alluring red. A backbone of dense, dusty tannins provides support, and the ripe fruit returns on the savory finish. Excellent length. Best from 2023 through 2043. 15,000 cases made, 8,500 cases imported. — BS $49 Our Price $39.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92
MARGERUM M5 Santa Barbara County 2019

A racy blend, with structure and style. Offers lively cherry and raspberry flavors laced with sweet anise and white pepper. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault. Drink now through 2029. 3,153 cases made. — TF $29 Our Price $22.49 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2019 Turley Juvenile Zinfandel

The 2019 Zinfandel Juvenile has a medium ruby color and aromas of earth-laced red and black berries. The palate is soft and alluring with a wealth of ripe fruit and juicy acidity, and it finishes long and uplifted. It's a very approachable style this vintage. 15,670 cases produced. $26 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2017 Anthem MT. VEEDER MERLOT

Winemaker Notes: Our 2017 ultra-premium Merlot from our own Mt. Veeder is structured and complex with a nose of black fruits, spice, and olive. It shows its earthy hillside terroir on the palate with hints of black cherries, roasted meats, and chocolate, and has a long, lingering finish. Drink between now and 2027. $80 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Anthem Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color and reveals expressive black cherries, blackberries and warm blackcurrants with hints of violets, black olives, Indian spices and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and powerful, the palate is filled with well-poised black fruit layers and firm, grainy tannins, matched by bold freshness and finishing long. $125 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The alluring color of honeysuckle, this wine features scents of creamy citrus, calling to mind the meringue on top of lemon squares. The freshness of the nose evokes a walk through the vineyard or the minerality of wet granite encountered on a hike. Entry on the palate is round and soft, infused with flavors of apricot, Meyer lemon, and the crispness of the first peaches of the season. Initial broadness on the palate tapers into bright acidity on the finish, a lingering invitation to take another sip. $18 Internet Price $16.99 (Available VRW)

2018 Duckhorn Three Palms Napa Merlot

Winemaker Notes: Once again, the famed Three Palms Vineyard has yielded a fascinating and luxuriously full-bodied Merlot. Aromas of huckleberry, black cherry, chocolate and fig rise from the glass, followed by hints of graphite, graham cracker, bay leaf and sage. On the mouth-watering palate the flavors are intense and complex, with velvety tannins and voluptuous fruit balanced by earthy undertones and Three Palms’ classic minerality, all of which carry the wine to a rich and remarkably long finish. $110 Internet Price $99.95 (Arrives GT 8/11/21)

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

Friday Tasting, 8/13/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2018 Chappellet Napa Merlot, 2016 Purlieu Napa Cabernet and 2016 Ridge Montebello Proprietary Red

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

Wine Advocate 95
2016 Purlieu Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon gives up exuberant notions of blackcurrant pastilles, blackberry compote and stewed red plums with touches of kirsch, potpourri, fragrant earth and cigar box. Full-bodied and opulently fruited in the mouth, the powerful flavors are well framed by firm, ripe tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and spicy. $105

Wine Advocate 96-98 points
2016 Ridge Monte Bello Proprietary Red, Magnum

The 2016 Monte Bello is stunning, bursting from the glass with aromas of crushed currants, plums, charcoal, sweet spices, black truffle and rich soil. On the palate, it's full-bodied, immensely deep and very concentrated, with an ample core of dark fruit that almost entirely conceals its rich chassis of tannin. The finish is long, tensile and chalky. Eric Baugher observes that 2016 was a drought year but that the vines were less stressed than in 2015, thanks to Spring precipitation, and it wasn't necessary to irrigate. Summer saw wild temperature swings, and though it was below average in summation, some days were very warm. The final Monte Bello blend contains 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc, which represents a slight change from when I tasted it a year ago, though its profile remains very much the same. The 2016 checks in at 13.8% alcohol and pH 3.49. Cellar it for a decade and follow it for another three. $450/magnum

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

Special Feature: Live acoustic guitar duo (Phillips and Sagardia) from 2:30-3:30 PM

Saturday Tasting, 8/14/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2016 Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino, 2016 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino and 2016 Caparzo La Casa Brunello di Montalcino.

Wine Spectator 94 Points
CASTELLO ROMITORIO Brunello di Montalcino 2016

A core of pure black cherry marks this compressed red, which is fresh and balanced in its rigid way, with wild thyme, rosemary, iron and tobacco flavors. The aftertaste lingers with the fruit and balsamic elements. Best from 2025 through 2048. —B.S. $75

Wine Spectator 96 Points
CAPARZO Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Ripe, sweet cherry and raspberry fruit are accented by floral, mineral and wild herbs in this alluring red. A backbone of dense, dusty tannins provides support, and the ripe fruit returns on the savory finish. Excellent length. Best from 2023 through 2043. 15,000 cases made, 8,500 cases imported. — BS $49

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

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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