The Grape Tray

August 13th 2021 Newsletter

James Suckling 96 Points
2018 Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

This is so aromatic with redcurrants, flowers and crushed stones. Some bark and rose stem, too. Full-bodied, yet so refined and textured with a lovely finish of fruit and hints of berry and light chocolate. So delicious now, but will develop nicely in the bottle. $85 Internet Price $69.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Tasting Panel 94 Points
2018 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

The majority of grapes for this blend, which includes some Petit Verdot and Malbec, were sourced from the cooler El Pomar District, with an additional selection off a 1,700-foot-high site in the warmer Creston District. Scents of blackberry preserves, pepper, and tobacco are at the forefront. Polished tannins and a juicy mouthfeel meld with notes of tilled soil, black olive, and black currant. One of the deeper and darker vintages, it shows a maturity and more finesse than we have ever experienced from this wine, revealed in balanced acidity and fruit that’s bright and poignant—intense but not overbearing. $32 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 LE CLOS DU CAILLOU Côtes du Rhône Rosé

Importer Notes: Wines from Le Clos du Caillou are Rhône blends at their most intense. Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre grapes are handharvested then pressed (rosé de pressurage). Fermented on indigenous yeasts in tank. Certified organic. $25 Our Price $19.49 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

2016 The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The Mascot is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made from distinct hillside vineyards; specifically the younger vines of BOND, Harlan Estate, and Promontory. It started out as a small project shared among the family, winemaking team, and close friends. Drawing fruit from blocks of recently replanted vineyards, The Mascot shares a glimpse into the evolution of its parent estates: a youthful snapshot of their future.

Aromas suggest cool, fragrant mists, an intermingling of bright fruit with gentle florals, and traces of fresh, wild herbs. A sip reveals a polished core—a soft, inviting texture bonded by strength. These playful curves resolve towards an elevated finish, as well as light, colorful notes that dance on the palate—and entice the imagination. $150 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 92 Points
2017 Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Cabernet

A firm and silky red with blackberries and currants, as well as iodine and redwood undertones. Medium-bodied, creamy and delicious. Shows real Napa character. 84% Cabernet Sauvignon with Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Franc and Charbono. $35 Our Price $28.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 90 Points
2018 Kendall-Jackson
Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay

Fruity, smooth and slightly spicy, this medium-bodied wine is a crowd-pleaser. Still one of the best Chardonnays with the broad California label designation, it offers delicious peach, ginger and vanilla flavors, and a good balance between ripeness and crispness. $17 Liquidation Price $9.95 (Limited to 4 cases in stock) Available In-Store at GT.

James Suckling 93 Points
2016 Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry

A tight and deep wine with a beautiful center palate of currants, berries, lemon rind and silky tannins. Rich and opulent, yet fresh. Lightly chewy with a caressing texture. 78% cabernet sauvignon and 11% merlot with malbec, petit verdot and cabernet franc. $65 Internet Price $49.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ALLAN SCOTT Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough 2021

Strikes a terrific balance between mouthwatering acidity, fresh herbal notes of lemon verbena and thyme, and core flavors of Key lime, Meyer lemon, pineapple and tangerine. Gains momentum on the finish, where the flavors sing in harmony and complexity. Drink now. 100,000 cases made, 45,000 cases imported. — MW $17 Our Price $13.49 (Arrives GT 8/18/21)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2019 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre

The 2019 Sancerre opens with a clear and highly attractive ripe peach aroma with coolish flint stone notes. Full-bodied and intense, with lingering salinity and sustainable structure, this is an already accessible Sancerre with a long and grippy finish. $40 Our Price $35.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

2020 MAS DE GOURGONNIER
 Les Baux de Provence Rosé

Importer Notes: The Cartier family has run this farm in Provence since the 18th century. The estate was one of the first certified organic estates in Provence in the 1970s. A blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre. Cold macerated for a half-day; a rosé de saignée (free-run juice is “bled” off from macerating grapes). Unfined and unfiltered, with little added sulfur. Certified organic. $25 Our Price $19.49 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
Rocca di Montegrossi 2016 Geremia

The 2016 Geremia is a total knock-out. An exotic mélange of sweet dark cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice, spice and menthol races out of the glass. The 2016 is deep, dense and full of character. It is also easy to drink with minimal cellaring. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work so well here in the way they express richness and structure, all with a real sense of Tuscan raw power. $60 Our Price $49.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DUCKHORN Cabernet Sauvignon
 Napa Valley 2018

This is streamlined in feel despite the obvious power here, thanks to a bright mineral and sanguine spine that courses underneath the mix of plum, cassis and cherry reduction flavors. Roasted applewood note through the finish adds energy. Rock solid. Drink now through 2031. —J.M. $78 Our Price $62.99 (Available GT)

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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

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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