The Grape Tray

October 1st 2021 Newsletter

Wine Advocate 93 Points
Roederer Brut Collection 242

Producer Notes: This debut release is very impressive indeed, wafting from the glass with notes of pear, peach, ripe citrus fruit, toasted almonds, fresh pastry and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and textural, it's concentrated and layered, with lively acids, an enlivening pinpoint mousse and a long, sapid finish. Brut Premier was already a very persuasive wine, but the new Brut Collection nevertheless represents a step up. $65 Our Price $TBD (Arrives VRW 10/7/21)

2018 Justin Isosceles

Winemaker Notes: Full-bodied, with ripe black fruit, complex baking spice and amazingly ready to drink right out of the gate, you can try a bottle or two now, but make sure to save a few to enjoy this wine as it continues to evolve after some time in the cellar. $76 Internet Price $64.99 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Coming from the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, the 2018 Chardonnay Camp Meeting Ridge is more mineral-laced, with a touch of marine-like iodine in its orchard and citrus fruits. Nicely textured and medium to full-bodied, with bright acidity, it's going to benefit from a year (or two) in bottle and should keep for a solid 7-8 years or more. $85 Our Price $78.99 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

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 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)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Tether Napa Chardonnay

Another great release for this wine, the 2019 Chardonnay offers a pure, elegant, yet still powerful, medium to full-bodied style...It has a tropical edge as well as wonderful purity, a clean, elegant texture, and a great finish. $42 Internet Price $31.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93-95 Points
2019 Sinegal Estate Details
Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Details emerges mostly from one of the top vineyards on Moon Mountain. Rich and beautifully layered, the 2019 has all of the mineral and savory intensity that makes wines from this corner of Northern California so compelling. Inky dark fruit, sage, menthol, licorice, smoke, gravel and spice infuse the finish. Internet Price $40 (Available GT and VRW)

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Rose

Winemaker Notes: A bright sparkling pink color. Pleasant and powerful on the nose with a strong presence of ripe red berries. Round and full on the palate. $10 Our Price $7.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MCINTYRE Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands McIntyre Estate Vineyard 2017

Dark currant, plum and raspberry tart flavors show juicy richness, loaded with toasty accents. This is creamy midpalate, with ripe minerality and underbrush accents on the finish. Drink now through 2025. 346 cases made. — KM $48 Internet Price $34.99 Email subscriber price $28.95 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Cherrier La Croix Poignant
Sancerre Rose

Winemaker Notes: Hand-harvested. Rosé de pressurage (red grapes pressed directly, extracting a light blush color from the skins) and fermented on indigenous yeasts in tank. Aged in tank. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of light spice, red berries, red plum skin, wild strawberries, blood orange. Fresh, mineral, refined. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: As an aperitif; with regional goat’s cheese; airdried saucisson; fresh spring vegetables. $25 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
PAUL HOBBS Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Goldrock Estate 2018

Rich and contoured, with ferrous notes to the well-structured red currant, dark cherry and dried blackberry flavors. Supple minerality shows on the spicy finish, where light creamy accents linger. Best from 2021 through 2026. 801 cases made. — KM $75 (Arrives GT 10/7/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points * 2018 Peter Michael Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Au Paradis

Coming from Oakville, the Au Paradis gives up a deep ruby/purple hue as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, green tobacco, lead pencil, sandalwood, and dried flowers. Flawlessly balanced, full-bodied, with silky yet present tannins, it's one of those elegant, seamless wines that surprise you with its richness and depth. It reminds me of a great vintage from Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou and is a brilliant, elegant, complex Cabernet that will evolve for two decades or more. $250 (Available GT and VRW) Limited

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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, 10/2/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2019 Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce Russian River Chardonnay, 2019 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and 2018 Larkmead Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

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

2019 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of black cherry, tuberose and fig, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of jasmine. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability—are followed by a long, velvety finish. $100

James Suckling 95 Points * 2018 Larkmead Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Pretty aromas of currants, walnuts and fresh tobacco follow through to a full-bodied palate with dusty, chewy tannins and lots of berry, coffee and lightly toasted-oak undertones in the aftertaste. Needs some time to resolve the tannins. Very drinkable now, but better after 2025. $135

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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