The Grape Tray

October 5th 2021 Newsletter

Taste $100 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir This Week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10: Taste the 2019 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir, 2017 McIntyre Estate SLH Pinot Noir and 2019 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills Southing Pinot Noir.

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 10/5 – Thursday, 10/7/21.

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

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

2019 Sea Smoke Southing Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the Southing exhibits fresh strawberry, geranium, Montmorency cherry; and subtle baking spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity. $100

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Opus One Overture 2021 Release

Winery Notes: Overture reflects the winemaker’s artistry by showcasing the talent of blending five traditional Bordeaux grape varieties and capturing terroir characteristics of the same variety grown in different soils. However, Overture’s third blending aspect – that of marrying multiple vintages – yields a softer, rounder expression of our estate that can be enjoyed upon release.

Winemaker Notes: A timeless expression of our estate vineyards, Overture is full bodied but approachable in its youth. Overture shows generous dark fruit aromas and flavors with a soft, supple mid-palate. $150

Wine Spectator 92 Points
JULES TAYLOR Pinot Noir Marlborough 2019

Bold, with English breakfast tea, dense tannins and dried sage flavors in balance with licorice-laced plum and black cherry flavors. A smoky thread of palo santo lingers on the finish, where the tannins firm up. Drink now through 2030. 2,000 cases made, 500 cases imported. — MW $24 Our Price $18.25 (Arrives GT 10/6/21)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2018 Alto Moncayo Veraton

Brilliant purple. Intensely perfumed, spice-tinged black and blue fruits, vanilla, candied flowers and cola on the nose, along with a smoky element that builds with air. Broad and fleshy on entry, offering juicy cherry cola, blueberry and mocha flavors sharpened by a jolt of spicy white pepper. Strongly echoes the blue fruit and spice notes on the very long, focused finish, which features lingering floral and mineral flourishes. $38 Our Price $29.99 (Arrives GT 10/7/21)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2016 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany

The Camigliano 2016 Brunello di Montalcino offers a more robust bouquet compared to its peers, with its dark and saturated fruit. One thing Camigliano has going for it is that it always delivers the characteristics of its environment. In this case, the vines are located in a warm, sun-drenched corner of Tuscany, and the warm ripeness of the fruit is a testament of place. You also get aromas of scorched earth, grilled porcino mushroom and a touch of burnt rubber or summer asphalt. Drink 2023-2038. $46 Our Price $39.99 (Available GT and VRW 10/7/21)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
VITICCIO Chianti Classico Riserva 2016

Supple, exuding cherry, blackberry, violet, graphite and tobacco flavors. Succulent, this moves spryly across the palate, ending with a dusting of tannins. Shows fine balance and length. Best from 2021 through 2040. 4,200 cases made, 3,000 cases imported. — BS $35 Our Price $26.99 (Arrives VRW 10/7/21)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * ETUDE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

Packed with juicy black currant, plum and blackberry compote flavors that pump along the graphite-edged grip and a dark tobacco backdrop. Frankly toasted on the finish, but with ample fruit for balance. A serious Cab. Best from 2022 through 2034. —J.M. $100 Our Price $81.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Cliff Lede Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District charges out of the gate with exuberant scents of boysenberries, blackcurrant cordial and warm black plums plus touches of bay leaves, damp soil, pencil shavings and sandalwood. The medium to full-bodied palate is bold, expressive and open for business with bags of juicy black fruit flavors and a velvety texture, finishing with an earthy kick and a burst of freshness. $80 Our Price $72.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

James Suckling 94 Points
2017 Tolaini Al Passo Toscana

A beautiful, ripe wine, offering plums and chocolate, as well as tile and walnuts. It’s full and layered with beautiful fruit and caressing tannins. Rock on. $27 Our Price $20.99 (Arrives VRW 10/7/21)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Paul Hobbs Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Starting with the 2018 Chardonnay Russian River Valley, this quintessential Russian River Chardonnay offers loads of white currants, caramelized peach, honeysuckle, and spicy oak aromas and flavors. With good acidity, beautiful purity, and a layered, opulent texture, it's a gem of a wine well worth seeking out. This cuvée comes 80% from estate fruit. $65 Our Price $49.99 (Arrives VRW 10/7/21)

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Pahlmeyer Napa Chardonnay

This is a fantastic young chardonnay with crushed-stone, dried apple and pear and light vanilla-bean character. It’s full-bodied, but very tight with firmness and energy at the end. The cement and stone character is intense on the finish, giving spiciness to the fruit. Drink or hold. $90 Our Price $79.99 (Arrives GT 10/8/21) Limited

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

Friday Tasting, 10/8/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2018 Stewart Napa Cabernet, 2018 Cliff Lede Stag’s Leap Cabernet and 2018 Hayfork Field Select Cabernet.

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

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Cliff Lede Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District charges out of the gate with exuberant scents of boysenberries, blackcurrant cordial and warm black plums plus touches of bay leaves, damp soil, pencil shavings and sandalwood. The medium to full-bodied palate is bold, expressive and open for business with bags of juicy black fruit flavors and a velvety texture, finishing with an earthy kick and a burst of freshness. $80

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Hayfork Field Select Cabernet Sauvignon

A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Field Select was aged for 20 months in oak, 90% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with exuberant notes of baked black plums, Black Forest cake and mulberries plus suggestions of fragrant earth, Provence herbs and tree bark. The palate has a firm backbone of grainy tannins and lively acidity framing the full-bodied, muscular black fruit, finishing long with a lifted perfume. 100 cases were made. $125

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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, 10/9/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2016 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot, 2018 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot and 2019 Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot.

Vinous 94 Points * 2016 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot Noir

The 2016 Pinot Noir Altamont is a dense, beautifully resonant wine. Next to the Goldridge, the Altamont has quite a bit more textural depth and overall intensity. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and blood orange all run through this expressive, pliant Pinot Noir. Today, the 2016 is quite forbidding. I would give it a few years in the cellar to fully come together. The 8% whole clusters add aromatic top notes, but aren't especially noticeable. $62

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir

Made with about 10% whole cluster, the 2018 Pinot Noir has a medium ruby-purple color and a nose of cranberry sauce, rhubarb, tea leaves and earth with a spicy undercurrent. Medium-bodied, it's concentrated and grainy with appealing juicy fruits and a long, lifted finish. 7,612 cases produced. $65

Wine Spectator 92 Points
KOSTA BROWNE Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2019

There's good grip to the dark cherry and plum paste flavors that feature savory and dark chocolate accents, with a creamy texture on the firmly tannic finish, showing tapenade hints. Drink now through 2026. 7,048 cases made. — KM $115

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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