The Grape Tray

September 10th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93 Points * RUDD Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Crossroads 2018

Offers a ripe and zesty mix of bramble, plum paste, raspberry reduction and melted black licorice notes all swirling around together, backed by apple wood and sassafras accents through the finish. Best from 2023 through 2034. 836 cases made. — JM $80 (Arrives VRW 9/15/21)

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)

2018 D’Alfonso-Curran Pinot Noir
Rancho la viña Sta. Rita Hills

Winemaker Notes: Black cherry in color with aromatics of boysenberry and dark plum, accompanied by suggestions of fine leather and cardamom. This Pinot Noir is bold, with excellent structure and firm tannins, leading to a lasting, rich and supple finish. $64 Our Price $39.99 (Delicious) Available GT

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)

2019 Domaine de Durban
BEAUMES-DE-VENISE ROUGE

Importer Notes: If I could, I would nominate Henri Leydier, Durban’s proprietor and winemaker, for “World’s Kindest Soul.” Wouldn’t that be a nice award to give, in our current environment of loud and angry? Henri is one of those rare people with quiet, genuine goodness and old-fashioned Provençal charm, and his wines exude that easygoing grace. This Beaumes isn’t exactly a simple wine, but it’s definitely not hard to wrap your head around. It’s plush, juicy, clean, and pure—perfect for some time away from the noise. $20 Our Price $15.99 (Available GT)

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)

Chateau de Campuget Tradition Rose 2020

Winemaker Notes: The Rosé has a nice appearance with a light and fresh pink color. This particularly fruity taste of raspberries and strawberries, typical of the Campuget style, has a good and refreshing acidity. It is perfect for summertime meals, with fresh salads or around a barbecue. Syrah, 30% Grenache. $12 Our Price $9.95 (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)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points * 2019 Hartford Court Old Vine Russian River Zinfandel

The 2019 Zinfandel Russian River Valley is a gem and certainly a great candidate for those looking for a great Zinfandel, or those interested in the style and quality of this great estate. Classic red and blue fruits, sandalwood, cigar wrapper, and candied violets dominate the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with considerable structure, good purity, and a great finish. It will have 8-10 years of prime drinking. $40 Our Price $33.99 (Arrives GT 9/15/21)

Wine Advocate 93-95 Points * 2019 Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forêts St Georges

The most structured and muscular of Domaine de l'Arlot's premiers crus, the 2019 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forêts St Georges wafts from the glass with aromas of cassis, plums, dark berries, raw cocoa and sweet soil tones. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a youthfully chalky finish, this is an elegantly muscular wine built to age. $150 Internet Price $134 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

2018 Peter Michael L’Esprit des Pavot

WINEMAKER'S TASTING NOTES: The 2018 ‘L’Esprit des Pavots’ presents a nearly black color with highlights of crimson ruby. An elegant, floral nose is heightened with accents of dark cherry, caramel, truffle, blackberry, cassis, and toffee. Generous essences of blueberry, blackberry, the black cherry are hallmarks of the Les Pavots terroir, along with plum and hints of mocha and vanilla bean. The Au Paradis terroir brings notes of currant and crème de cassis with meaty nuances. The palate is full-bodied and concentrated, exhibiting savory leather, tobacco, and white pepper with chestnut, black truffle, cedar, and supple tannins with a lingering finish. $120 Internet Price $110 (Available GT)

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 (Back in stock GT) Great wine for the cellar!

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

Saturday Tasting, 9/11/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): Gosset Brut Rose Champagne Grand NV, 2018 Joseph Phelps Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and 2019 Occidental Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Wine Spectator 92 Points * GOSSET Brut Rosé Champagne Grand NV

A minerally rosé Champagne with a crisp, lacy mousse, this is tightly meshed and balanced, offering a finely detailed range of crunchy white peach, spun honey, pink grapefruit pith and ground ginger. Creamy and lingering on the chalk-tinged finish. Drink now through 2025. 800 cases imported. — AN $87

Wine Advocate 94 Points * 2018 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards

Pale ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards has alluring aromas of dried lavender and bergamot, aniseed, blood orange and amaro-like accents with a core of perfectly ripe red and black berry fruits. The palate is light-bodied, silky, soft and juicy but packed with nuanced flavor layers, and it finishes incredibly long. What an elegant, layered expression this vintage! This was aged 13 months in 39% new French oak, and 10,400 cases were produced. $60

Wine Advocate 95 * 2019 Occidental Pinot Noir
Freestone-Occidental

The 2019 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental has a medium ruby-purple color and pure, fragrant cranberry sauce, rhubarb, orange peel, dried flowers, saline and underbrush on the nose. The light-bodied palate is classically coastal with crisp, tangy red fruits layered with earth and saline, and a long, ethereal finish. $65

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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