The Grape Tray

August 17th 2021 Newsletter

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

Taste the 2017 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Tapestry Reserve and 2018 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet.

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 8/17- Friday, 8/20/21.

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

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

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 Our Price $69.95

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2019 Bernardus Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The Bernardus 2019 Monterey Chardonnay exhibits bright white fruit aromas accented by caramel and subtle toasty oak notes. The palate is intense and beautifully focused with vibrant peach and tropical fruit flavors along with accents of crème brûlée. The long finish is supported by a refreshing acidity. An extraordinary example of Chardonnay from Monterey County! $30 Our Price $20.79 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay Private Reserve is certainly the richest and most opulent of the whites here, although it shows a fresher, less oaky, toasty character than older vintages (which I think is what they’re looking for). Impressive stone fruits, white flowers, orange blossom, toasted almond, and a touch of minerality all define the bouquet, and this beauty builds nicely, offering full-bodied richness, a layered, opulent texture, terrific balance, and a great finish. $42 Our Price $33.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 8/18/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Beringer Knights Valley
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley Reserve is a beauty and is all Cabernet brought up in 51% new French oak, which is on the lower end for this estate. Its deep purple color is followed by a classic, nicely structured Knights Valley Cabernet with lots of savory red and black fruits, loamy earth, tobacco leaf, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. With beautiful richness and mid-palate depth, ripe yet present tannins, and outstanding length, it’s going to drink nicely for 10-15 years. $52 Internet Price $44.99 (Available GT and VRW 8/18/21)

Wine Advocate 97 Points
The Setting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville from The Setting Wines comes from the Skellenger vineyard and was aged 24 months in 80% new and 20% one-year-old Taransaud and Darnajou barrels. This vintage offers purity and finesse, with a perfume that opens slowly to violets, blueberries, graphite, dark chocolate and sparks of aniseed and exotic spices. The palate is intense with a velvety texture opposed by juicy lift and mineral sparks, finishing on a violet note. Only 200 cases were made and despite the $100+ price tag, compared to the price of its Oakville neighbors, it offers great value this vintage. $125 (Arrives GT 8/19/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 Points
2019 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

I've always loved the Chardonnay from this team, and their 2019 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch has that classic richer, full-bodied style while staying balanced and light on its feet. Buttered lemons, tangerines, green almond, and toasty notes all make an appearance, and it's incredibly textured, with nicely integrated acidity and one heck of a finish. This powerful Chardonnay is going to impress right out of the gate. $52 Our Price TBD. (Arrives GT 8/26/21)

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 (Back in stock GT 8/18/21)

Wine Spectator 92
J. LASSALLE Brut Champagne Cachet Or NV

There's an open-knit, almost airy feel to this vibrant Champagne, which carries a concentrated range of juicy pear and black raspberry fruit, with hints of crystallized honey. Shows gingersnap biscuit and verbena flavors on the chalky texture, gaining momentum on the racy, zesty finish. Drink now through 2022. 2,945 cases imported. — AN $39 Our Price $31.99 (Back in stock GT 8/20/21)

2020 Tempier Bandol Rose

Notes from Anthony Lynch: They say great wine is evocative of place. With Tempier rosé, all it takes is one sniff to be carried back to Provence, conceiving a dreamy fantasy of sunshine and ice-cold pink wine. Suddenly we are in the shade of a massive umbrella pine tree at Domaine Tempier, refreshed by a soothing breeze and generous sips of rosé. The cigales chirp buzzingly in the background, while the sound of laughter complements their constant hum. Your glass of Bandol, evocative of rosemary, ripe peaches, and citrus, is the perfect elixir to wash down the assortment of snacks that has spontaneously materialized: garlic-rubbed toasts with cured anchovies, olives marinated in herb-infused oil, and slices of salty saucisson. This is what Tempier rosé is all about—celebration, gaiety, and delicious simplicity. $56 (Our last case arrives GT 8/20/21)

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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, 8/20/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2017 Paul Hobbs Goldrock Estate Pinot Noir, 2019 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 The Setting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Spectator 93 Points
PAUL HOBBS Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Goldrock Estate 2017

Ripe and intense, with broad-brushed flavors of dark plum, blackberry and cherry tart that are lathered in exotic spiciness. Mocha and dark chocolate details show on the plush, creamy finish. Drink now through 2024. 1,519 cases made. — KM $75

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

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2018 The Setting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville from The Setting Wines comes from the Skellenger vineyard and was aged 24 months in 80% new and 20% one-year-old Taransaud and Darnajou barrels. This vintage offers purity and finesse, with a perfume that opens slowly to violets, blueberries, graphite, dark chocolate and sparks of aniseed and exotic spices. The palate is intense with a velvety texture opposed by juicy lift and mineral sparks, finishing on a violet note. Only 200 cases were made and despite the $100+ price tag, compared to the price of its Oakville neighbors, it offers great value this vintage. $125

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

Saturday Tasting, 8/21/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2018 Arista Russian River Chardonnay, 2012 Araujo Eisele Vineyard Syrah and 2018 Vineyard 29 Ceanda Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ARISTA Chardonnay Russian River 2018

Baked apple, pear tart and dried apricot flavors glide across the palate, with lemon curd accents. Shows light buttery and spicy accents on the plush finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,500 cases made. — KM $67

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ARAUJO Syrah Napa Valley Eisele Vineyard 2012

Powerfully built, with a brooding personality lingering under the structure of tannins. Aromas of currant and river rock combine with complex, dense flavors of blackberry, licorice and espresso. Hands off for now. Best from 2017 through 2029. 300 cases made. — TF $150

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Vineyard 29 Ceanda Cabernet Sauvignon

Another St. Helena release, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Ceanda checks in as 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot, all brought up in French oak. Black fruits, chocolaty herbs, graphite, violets, and acacia flower notes all emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with a seamless, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. I'd be thrilled to drink a bottle any time over the coming 20 years or more. $150

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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