The Grape Tray

October 26th 2021 Newsletter

Taste 2018 Far Niente Napa Cabernet This Week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10: Taste the 2018 Far Niente Napa Cabernet and 2018 William Harrison Rutherford Cabernet.

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 10/26 – Thursday, 10/28/21.

2018 William Harrison CABERNET SAUVIGNON, RUTHERFORD ESTATE

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

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points * 2018 Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Including small amounts of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon sports a deep purple color as well as classic Cabernet notes of blackcurrants, new leather, tobacco leaf, flowers, and lead pencil. Beautifully done on the palate and made in a seamless, elegant style, it has a kiss of Pauillac in its nicely integrated acidity, ripe, building tannins, a touch of earthiness, and a great finish. It's not a blockbuster, just seamless and elegant, with a thrilling character. It should keep for 20+ years. $100

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Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Alban Patrina Syrah

Scheduled to be bottled in February of next year, the 2018 Patrina reveals a deep purple color as well as stunning red and black fruits, smoked meat, violets, and gamey, floral notes. Full-bodied, gorgeously textured, and flawlessly balanced, it's going to be a winner. $54 (Arrives GT 10/27/21)

2020 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: On the nose, beautiful aromas of ripe yellow peach, meyer lemon, and chamomile mingle together with hints of clove and vanilla. The peach, lemon, and vanilla spices continue onto the palate which is rich and concentrated, the flavors blending seamlessly supported by a creamy round mouthfeel. The lush back palate is lifted by both sweet fruit flavors and balanced acidity, ending with a lingering finish that will leave you wanting another sip. $90/magnum. Our Price $75.99/magnum

Wine Spectator 96 Points * MOËT & CHANDON Brut Champagne Dom Pérignon 2010

A graceful Champagne, featuring fragrant notes of toasted brioche and grilled nut that are more subtle on the palate, with a rich underpinning layered with a pure chime of tangerine and accents of candied ginger, toasted saffron and lime blossom. This bundles a lot of concentrated flavor into a lithe frame, with the fine mousse caressing the palate through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2035. — AN $188 (Available VRW) Limited

Discounted 74%!
2019 McIntyre Rose of Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This Rosé is sure to please any occasion, food or mood that may occur. While it is never easy to compensate for Mother Nature’s vicissitudes, this wine was undoubtedly enhanced by the work we did in the vineyard. The vines for this Rosé are now 48 years old, own rooted and grown on a Lyre trellis system. The crop was thinned to encourage even ripening and more concentrated fruit flavors. North/south row orientation ensured even sun exposure from dawn to sunset. $24 Our Price $6.25 (one case available GT)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2018 Tether Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple in color. It leaps from the glass with warm cassis, baked plums and wild blueberries scents, plus hints of clove oil and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is chock-full of crunchy fruit, framed by plush tannins and tons of freshness, finishing with a spicy kick. 2,039 cases were made. $50 Internet Price $46.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 * DOMAINE CARNEROS Brut Carneros 2017

Sleek and steely, with precise lemon, fresh ginger, blanched almond and strawberry flavors that build richness on a long finish. Drink now. 32,500 cases made. — TF $33 Internet Price $29.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2020 Dry Creek Fume

Fresh and effusive, with lemongrass, lemon verbena and fresh ginger notes to complement the core of juicy lemon-lime, green apple and ruby grapefruit flavors. Juicy and mouthwatering on the vibrant finish. $16 Our Price $12.99 (Available GT)

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 Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay,
 Half Bottle

Winemaker Notes: A vibrant citrus-led nose delves into nuanced flavors of baked apple, toasted oak, and brioche on the full-bodied palate. The rich mouthfeel is harmonized by a lasting thread of bright acidity that lifts and maintains freshness on the long finish. $19/375ml. Our Price $16.39/375ml (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Saxum Heartstone

The 2019 Heartstone vineyard is mostly Graciano, Grenache and Syrah, but has a small amount of Mataro, Petite Sirah, Viognier and Touriga Nacional. Rocking levels of red and blue fruits, white pepper and sandalwood emerge from the glass and it’s full-bodied with a pure, polished mouthfeel, silky tannins and one heck of a great finish. It has some up front appeal, yet I see no reason it shouldn’t evolve for 15 years or more. $140 (Arrives GT 11/3/21) Very Limited

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
2019 Saxum Broken Stones

The more Syrah dominated 2019 Broken Stones (60 % Syrah, 20% Graciano, 11% Mourvedre and the rest Grenache and Carignan) sports a deep purple hue as well as incredible black fruits and notes of ground pepper, smoked game, scorched earth and truffle. It’s another pure blockbuster style wine from this estate that has some early charm yet the class to evolve 15 years. $140 (Arrives GT 11/3/21) Very 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, 10/29/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2019 Bosquet Des Papes Chante Le Merle Vieilles Vignes Chateauneuf, 2017 Ilaria Napa Cabernet and 2018 Odette Stag’s Leap Cabernet.

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

Wine Advocate 94+
2017 Ilaria Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is made up of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot aged 22 months in 75% new French oak. Deep purple-black in color, it gives up expressive notes of baked blackcurrants, blackberry pie and spice cake with hints of licorice, tobacco and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, rich and spicy in the mouth, it has a solid backbone of ripe, grainy tannins and background freshness, finishing on a compelling black tea note. 560 cases made. $50

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points * 2018 Odette Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Moving to the two reds, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is brilliant all the way, offering a smorgasbord-like bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, spring flowers, cured meats, tobacco, and assorted other spicy, floral nuances. I always find a subtle red fruit and mineral character in top Stags Leap Cabernet, and this beauty has it in spades. Full-bodied on the palate, this pure, plush, sexy Napa Valley Cabernet has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. Seemingly all about sweet fruit and texture, it's nevertheless going to evolve for 20-25 years. $160

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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 Wine Tasting, 10/30/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): J. Lassalle Cachet Or Brut, 2018 Hartford Court Sonoma Coast Lands Edge Pinot and 2019 Realm The Bard Proprietary Red.

Wine Spectator 92
J. LASSALLE Brut Champagne Cachet Or NV

There's an open-knit, almost airy feel to this vibrant Champagne, which carries a concentrated range of juicy pear and black raspberry fruit, with hints of crystallized honey. Shows gingersnap biscuit and verbena flavors on the chalky texture, gaining momentum on the racy, zesty finish. Drink now through 2022. 2,945 cases imported. —AN $39

Wine Spectator 94 Points
HARTFORD COURT Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Land's Edge Vineyards 2018

A refined and minerally style, with lithe acidity supporting well-knit flavors of cherry and raspberry. The plush finish lingers with creamy accents and plenty of spicy and toasty notes. Drink now through 2026. —K.M. $50

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
2019 Realm The Bard Napa Proprietary Red

The 2019 The Bard checks in as 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, and it’s another dense, rich, powerful wine from this team that readers are going to absolutely love. Coming from throughout the valley (it’s always a great representation of the vintage), it offers up a brilliant nose of crème de cassis, ripe plums, graphite, scorched earth, and chocolate. About as seamless as they come on the palate, it’s full-bodied and has a thrilling texture, building tannins, and a gorgeous finish. It’s one of those wines where I feel like I’m overusing adjectives, but it’s warranted $160. Internet Price $150

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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