The Grape Tray

September 24th 2021 Newsletter

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2019 Walter Hansel Russian River
 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce

The 2019 Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce is a total knock-out. Rich, ample and explosive, the 2019 possesses tremendous depth and textural elegance to burn. Citrus confit, white flowers, chamomile and light tropical notes lend an exotic flair to this striking, beautifully delineated Chardonnay from Hansel. $38 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points * BODEGA NUMANTHIA Tinta de Toro Toro Termes 2017

This red shows concentration and grace, offering spice-laced cherry and red plum notes infused with anise, espresso and graphite elements. Refined, plush tannins give a nice feel throughout. Drink now through 2028. 12,500 cases made, 10,000 cases imported.—Gillian Sciaretta. $24 Our Price $16.99 (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)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
2019 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Concentrated dark fruit and berry flavors are backed by medium-grained tannins and fresh acidity, with loamy and minerally accents on the ripe finish. Drink now through 2024. 28,000 cases made. — KM $30 Our Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Pont Neuf Pont Marie Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: We look forward to making this elegant and perfumed wine each year. Our grapes are meticulously farmed to the highest standards. Cold fog from the Pacific Ocean, only five miles to the west, tempers the warmth of summer, and ripens the grapes slowly and evenly. Powdery white soils provide optimal drainage and allow the grapes their best expression. Harvested at night to preserve freshness and to minimize damage to the fruit, the juice was extracted slowly and allowed to settle and clear prior to fermentation. The chilled juice was moved to all new gradually toasted French barrels for fermentation and then allowed to complete primary and malo-lactic fermentation, slowly and naturally. The following spring the wines were stirred gently on the lees. The wine remained quiet, developing for twelve months until it was bottled un-fined and unfiltered. In 2018 Mary selected three superb barrels for our “Pont Marie” Chardonnay. Elegant and textural, the wine is lively and supple with aromas of mineral, brioche, and white peach supported by a vibrant acidity, concentrated flavors and rich textures on the palate. We feel that this single-vineyard lot, comprised uniquely of Montrachet clone, is the ultimate in opulence. Best now-2035. 75 cases produced. $80 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors

Based on 74% Syrah and 26% Grenache brought up in in a combination of concrete tanks (for the Grenache) and one year old demi-muids (for the Syrah), the 2018 Cotes Du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is a knockout bottle of wine. It offers loads of black fruits, roasted herbs, peppered meat, violets, and bacon fat as well as full-bodied richness, a round, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It’s one of the finest values out there. $16 Our Price $13.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
 SPARKMAN Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley Holler 2018

Gutsy yet polished, with deeply structured blackberry, mocha espresso and dusky spice flavors that build tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. $32 Our Price $25.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Lafage Cuvee Centenaire Blanc

Based on 60% Grenache Blanc and 20% each Grenache Gris and Roussanne, from very old vines, the 2019 Côtes Catalanes Cuvée Centenaire is another thrilling white from Jean-Marc Lafage. Caramelized grapefruit, crushed citrus, mint, white flowers, and lots of salty minerality emerge from this medium-bodied white that has both richness and freshness. This cuvée can evolve (it has good acidity as well as concentration) yet I see no need to delay gratification and would enjoy bottles over the coming year or three. $18 Our Price $14.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2018 Mending Wall Tournahu
 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Mending Wall Tournahu jumps out of the glass upon first swirl, with a substantial amount of pure fruit. This wine brings depth and complexity through the begging middle and end stages of the pallet. This 2018 shows as a full-bodied red with great Tobacco and herbal undertones, which complement the natural tannin and minerality in this wine. A wine that is ready to drink now, with the backbone to carry it through bottle aging. Single Vineyard Cabernet. $126 (Available GT and VRW)

Vinous 94 Points
Jean-Marc Brocard 2019 Chablis Vaulorent 1er Cru

The 2019 Chablis Vaulorent 1er Cru has an expressive nose of crushed stone, mirabelle and light honeysuckle aromas, one of the classiest from Brocard in 2019. The palate is fresh and saline on the entry, with driving acidity, superb tension and a judicious kiss of salinity on the racy finish. A great Chablis from Brocard. Recommended. $60 Our Price $51.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
PECCHENINO Barolo Bussia 2015

A sleek red, displaying cherry, strawberry, floral, earth and tobacco flavors. Starts out with a fleshy feel, firming up as this winds down on the finish. Balanced and refreshing, lingering with earth, tobacco and spice notes in the end. Best from 2022 through 2038. 500 cases made, 200 cases imported. — BS $60 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94
COLLE BERETO Chianti Classico 2017

Tasting Note: Aromas of blood, iron and raw beef lead off, followed by flavors of cherry, plum and leather. Rich and harmonious, with a dense underlying structure and terrific length. Approachable now, but this should evolve well over the next few decades. Drink now through 2040. —B.S. $28. Our Price $21.99 (Limited quantity available GT and VRW)

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

Saturday Tasting, 9/25/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2018 Rudd Oakville Crossroads Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Bond The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Schrader Double Diamond Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon.

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

2016 Bond 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

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Schrader Double Diamond
Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

An elegant, fruit-driven cabernet sauvignon with notes of red fruit and spices. Fresh herbs, such as thyme. It’s full-bodied and well balanced. The texture is pleasant and smooth with elegant tannins. The finish is long and flavorful. Internet Price $75

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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