October 15th 2021 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

October 15th 2021 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Hartford Court
Russian River Pinot, Half Bottles

Starting with the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, which comes from multiple sites and was brought up in 27% new French oak, it has a vivid ruby hue to go with classic Russian River notes of mulled cherry and raspberry fruits, cola, spice box, and dried herbs. Medium-bodied, round, and beautifully textured, it's a totally charming, balanced, elegant Pinot Noir that punches way above its weight. $19 Our Price $15.99/375ml (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94 Points * RUINART Brut Rosé Champagne NV

A classy rosé that glides across the palate, with flavors of raspberry coulis, yellow peach, chamomile and blanched almond that expand on the creamy mousse and linger on the lightly spiced finish, powered by mouthwatering acidity. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Drink now through 2026. — AN. Internet Price $84.95 (Back in stock VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 96 Points * CLOS DU MONT-OLIVET Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet 2019

Dark in profile, but very seductive, with the cassis, crushed plum and cherry reduction notes carried by the substantial yet very silky structure. Light floral, incense, black tea and warm earth details score the finish. Tantalizing now for its mouthfeel and expressiveness, but there's no rush at all. Drink now through 2038. —J.M. 100 cases imported. Internet Price $85. GT and VRW email subscriber price $73.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94-96 Points
2019 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Katherine Lindsay Estate

A barrel sample, the 2019 Pinot Noir Katherine Lindsay Estate offers lush black and red berry preserves aromas with notes of toasted coconut and spice. The palate is medium-bodied, seamlessly structured and very intense, its powerful fruits lingering on the finish. I can't wait to see this in bottle when those youthful fruits give way to more nuance. Around 450 cases will be made. $120 (Available GT)

2020 Luli Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: An exciting departure from its distant northern neighbor the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 2020 Luli Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir marks the first vintage from this famed, coastal California AVA. A vibrant ruby core dances in the glass with each swirl, while vibrant notes of cherry pie, raspberry, and fresh cranberry fill the air with an intoxicating melange of aromas. This distinct freshness carries over onto the palate as this wine remains light on its feet. Bright, juicy flavors of redcurrant, kirsch, and strawberry compote play beautifully with more savory notes of cedar, violets, sassafras and crushed lavender. On the finish, bright acidity and fine-grained tannin marry to complete this exquisite Pinot Noir. $25 Our Price $22.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2018 WRATH Pinot Noir Monterey Swan/828

This plush red offers mouthwatering flavors of red fruits and berries that are well-knit, with notes of Asian spice. The creamy finish shows hints of slate and white pepper, with a note of chocolate mousse. Drink now through 2024. 685 cases made. — KM $35 Our Price $26.99 (Available GT and VRW)


Winemaker Notes: Marked by intense aromas of blackberry compote, with subtler notes of cocoa nib, blueberry and fennel seed. The palate is full-bodied, with dense boysenberry flavors, a hint of roast coffee and smooth, fine-grained tannins. Complementary flavors of nutmeg and tobacco are attributed to our unique barrel program. The texture is dense and youthful, with vibrant tannin structure and a lingering finish. $75 Internet Price $TBD (Arrives GT 10/22/21)

James Suckling 99 Points
Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino 2016

The complexity and beauty to this is really something with cherry, walnut, tobacco and cigar-box character. Sweet cherries. It’s full-bodied and deep with super intensity and power. Layered and beautiful. Really refined tannins. Some whole-berry fermentation gives this added character. Goes on for minutes. $65 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Banshee Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is deep, purple-ruby in color with aromas of ripe fig, cassis, vanilla and hints of pine and peppercorn. A juicy entry on the mouth delivers plush, fine tannins with a velvety texture. This approachable, medium-bodied cabernet has densely layered flavors of dark plums with rustic notes of forest floor and spice. A finale of round tannins leads tproprieo a dry, smooth finish. $20 Our Price $15.45 (Back in stock VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points *BOSQUET DES PAPES Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes 2019

Steeped plum and cherry compote notes are the main marker here, though chestnut, sweet bay, singed alder and tobacco flavors all make their presence known. Tar and licorice root accents underline the finish, giving this a toothy, old school edge. Rock solid, throwback-styled Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2024 through 2038. —J.M. $89 Our Price $69.95 (Arrives GT 10/20/21)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas

Saint Cosme's 2018 Gigondas is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 14% Syrah and 1% Cinsault, aged in a combination of new and used oak, with 30% of the volume matured in concrete. Full-bodied and generous, it's round and supple, with no hard edges to hamper the easy flow of asphalt, red raspberries and black cherries across the palate. Boasting ample but not excessive concentration, it's a lovely, seductive example of Gigondas to enjoy over the next decade or so. $59 Our Price $50.95 (Available GT)


Importer Notes: Damien Gachot’s winery is in Corgoloin, one of the five villages in the Côte de Nuits that comprise this appellation. These villages are scattered in between those whose reputation precedes them, such as Nuits, Vosne, Chambolle, Vougeot, Morey, and Gevrey. Corgoloin is on the southern end of the Côte de Nuits, and we find great value here in addition to the dark, meaty Pinot that we expect from the Côte d’Or’s northern slice. Vigilant pruning, debudding, and green harvesting limit yields to ensure richly perfumed wines with lovely, concentrated flavor. Damien also manages finesse in this bottling, which is no small achievement and the reason that he has such a devoted following. $38 Our Price $29.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
GIRARD Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2019

Fragrant and floral, with honeysuckle and peach blossom on a supple, juicy frame, showing complex notes of poached pear and honeycomb, with a fresh thread of acidity keeping the flavors in precision. Drink now. 4,590 cases made.—M.W $19 Our Price $14.99 (Available VRW)

2018 Lewis Cuvee L Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: From the outstanding 2018 vintage our Cuvee L is a league champion wine with serious World Series potential. The line-up card includes cascading black fruit, Mission fig and Turkish arabica coffee laced with cedary, oak-infused spices. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon the wine is lifted and expansive, leaving the yard with velocity and polish. $250 (Available GT) Limited

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

Friday Tasting, 10/15/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): Roederer Brut Collection 242, 2019 DuMol Wester Reach Russian River Pinot Noir and 2018 TOR Kenward Tierra Roja Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon.

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

Saturday Tasting, 10/16/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2019 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet, 2019 Turnbull Estate Napa Cabernet and 2018 Faust The Pact Coombsville Napa Cabernet.

2019 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: This will be the first of our Cabernets to be released from the stellar 2019 vintage and it will certainly be a wine that stands among the greats within our history of producing Silencieux Cabernet Sauvignon. What I love most about this wine is its diversity of vineyard selections and the impact upon quality each has on the finished wine. Wow! This wine is incredibly satisfying to behold as it opens in the glass. Wonderfully aromatic and expressive, the 2019 vintage opens with scents of sweet cassis, anise, blackberries, roasted coffee, blue herbs and barrel vanillin. On the palate, the tannins are firm, upfront and balanced throughout, with all pockets of the mouth left yearning for another sip. Full-bodied and extracted with ripe black fruit, blueberries, charred caramel and a delightful hint of fresh herbs that concentrate into a lengthy finish. This wine is approachable upon release and cellar worthy in proper aging conditions. Best now through 2032. $60

2019 Turnbull Estate Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Notes of dusted blackberries, plum, and cherry lead to a back-drift of toast and fleeting tobacco. Supple creamy tannins widen the dark fruit mid-palate, lending to a lifted and layered finish. This wine widens and rises in amplitude and velocity with elegance and balance, howcasing the incredible beauty of the 2019 vintage. $55

James Suckling 96 Points
2018 Faust The Pact Coombsville Napa Cabernet

This is really something, showing focus and purity that highlights the unique character of this appellation. So much blue fruit, lavender and walnut with some herbal and sweettobacco undertones It’s full-bodied, yet tight and poised. Lovely quality to the tannins. Exceptional. $125

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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