The Grape Tray

August 24th 2021 Newsletter

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

Taste the 2019 Private Reserve Chardonnay, 2018 Knights Valley Cabernet and 2018 Knights Valley Reserve Cabernet.

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 8/24- Friday, 8/27/21.

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

James Suckling 93 Points
2018 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of fresh blackcurrants, dark chocolate, roasted coffee and tobacco. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, sleek tannins. Fresh and tight with a cool, stony finish. Try from 2022. $35 Our Price $26.95

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

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James Suckling 93 Points
2018 Stag’s Leap Artemis
Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A chewy red with blackberry, blackcurrant and dark-chocolate character. Full-bodied with polished tannins and a savory finish. Drink or hold. $70 Our Price $58.95 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Sean Minor Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019

Rich and toasty, with hints of cedar bark to the dried red fruit and berry flavors that are well-knit. The creamy finish is long and plush, with accents of hot stone and cooking spices. Drink now through 2026. $25 Our Price $16.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 8/26/21)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
BANSHEE Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2019

Ripe apple and pear flavors show lots of custardy notes, filled with creamy richness. Pastry accents fill the open-textured finish. Drink now through 2023. 11,000 cases made.—K.M. $22 Our Price $16.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90
SILENUS Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley Tyros 2017

Quite bold and ripe, this teeters a bit, with a prune note amid the cherry, raspberry and plum confiture flavors. Features pretty spice accents, a relatively silky feel and a lingering mesquite element for added range. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2028. 5,000 cases made. — JM $35 Internet Price $24.99 Email subscriber price $18.95 (Back in stock GT 8/25/21)

2016 Joseph Carr Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Napa’s acclaimed Rutherford AVA. Located in the center of Napa, Rutherford is bordered by the Mayacamas Mountains on the west and the Vaca Range on the east. The wine was aged in French Oak for 18 months and features notes of black currant, tobacco, coffee, black cherry, and toffee. Full bodied, plush tannins and integrated acidity lead to a persistent finish. $39 Our Price $26.95 (Back in stock VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 96 Points
DOMAINE HUET Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu 2020

This broad, striking white is elegant and rich with complexity, featuring green melon, yellow fig, ginger and verbena notes, underscored with heather, stone, flint and spice details. Offers great energy and tension, showcasing expert craftsmanship. Drink now through 2036. 4,100 cases made.—G.S. $42 (Arrives GT 8/27/21)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne Réserve

An elegant Champagne, bright and mouthwatering, offering flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toasted almond candied ginger set on a silky mousse and lingering on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2023. 4,000 cases imported. — AN $69. Internet Price $43.99

Decanter Journal 92 Points
2018 BYRON Chardonnay, Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley

Slightly restrained nose with nice stone fruit and floral character underneath. Light lemon sherbet notes with toasted pineapple on the palate, pleasingly dry and youthful finish. $33 Our Price $21.99 (Arrives VRW 8/25/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2016 BYRON Pinot Noir, John Sebastiano Sta. Rita Hills

The 2016 Pinot Noir John Sebastiano Vineyard is another of the more powerful, deep wines in this range. The 33% whole clusters are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the dark-fleshed stone fruit. Lavender, licorice, menthol and dark spice notes add to the wine's imposing personality, an impression that is reinforced by the potent tannins. There is no shortage of character, but the wine needs a few years in bottle to be at its finest. $45 Our Price $25.99 (Arrives VRW 8/25/21)

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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, 8/27/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2019 Lewis Napa Reserve Chardonnay, 2018 Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Napa Cabernet and 2018 Bevan Tench EE Red

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2019 Lewis Cellars Reserve Napa Valley Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay Reserve is similarly light gold-hued and has a vibrant nose of white peach, caramelized apple, gunflint, and honeyed flowers. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated Chardonnay that brings plenty of Napa opulence yet also terrific freshness, purity, and length. It's not for the Chablis crowd, but it's a rock star of a Napa Chardonnay. $75

Wine Spectator 93 Points
SPOTTSWOODE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Lyndenhurst 2018

There's a well-endowed core of warmed cassis and steeped plum fruit here, splashed with a sassafras note and backed by roasted applewood and melted black licorice on the finish. Rich in feel throughout. Best from 2022 through 2034. —J.M. $85

Jeb Dunnuck 98-100 Points
2018 Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard EE Red

The same 60/40 split of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, brought up in new oak, the 2018 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine is another incredibly pure, complex, yet powerful 2018. Rocking levels of crme de cassis, spring flowers, chocolate, and graphite give way to a full-bodied, pure, and seamless wine that has incredible potential. $200

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

Saturday Tasting, 8/28/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): Ramey Wine Cellars: 2017 Woolsey Road Russian River Chardonnay, 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir, 2015 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and 2017 Sonoma Coast Syrah

Wine Spectator 94 Points
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

Wine Advocate 92-94 Points
2017 Ramey Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

A finished tank sample, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is made using about 25% whole-cluster fermentation—the first time, David Ramey says, that they've experimented with whole cluster. Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, it has a gregarious, youthful nose with tangerine peel, soft baking spices, forest floor and a wicked vein of floral nuance with warm red and black fruits at the core. The palate gives good concentration of spicy fruit, with grainy tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and spicy. 2,400 cases are expected to be made and released in September 2019. $50

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2015 Ramey Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 7% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep ruby, it has an incredible nose of licorice, dried flowers and mint chocolate over black berries and black cherries, cedar shavings and pencil lead, plus spicy clove and star anise touches. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with plush flavor layers wrapped in chocolate-textured, pixelated tannins and great freshness to counter, finishing long and luscious. 7,177 cases produced. $62

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2017 Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast

The 2017 Syrah Sonoma Coast is blended with 11% Viognier and comes from Cole Creek and Rodgers Creek vineyards this year. Medium to deep ruby, the aromatics of warm blackberries and blueberries are complemented with lovely notes of pepper, blue flowers, bacon fat, garrigue and mint. It has a medium weight and floods the mouth with concentrated red and blue berry fruits, finely grained and with just enough freshness to lift the finish. 871 cases produced. $40

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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