The Grape Tray

November 5th 2021 Newsletter

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2019 Familiar Air Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts with gregarious notions of stewed black plums, black cherry preserves and wild blueberries with hints of violets, fallen leaves, cinnamon stick and tapenade. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the palate is packed with expressive, juicy black and blue fruits, finishing very long and very fragrant. $90 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2019 Carlisle Papera Ranch Zinfandel

Vibrant ruby-purple in the glass, the 2019 Zinfandel Papera Ranch (blended with 4% Carignan) has an alluring perfume of woodsmoke, tea leaves, graphite, licorice and intense, spicy bramble fruit. The palate is delicate and perfumed this vintage, with loads of juicy lift and floral layers. 1,001 cases produced. $49 (Available GT)

James Suckling 96 Points
2017 Kosta Browne Cerise Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

This has such deep, red-fruit aromas and a beautifully sappy edge, too. The vibrant fruit here is so striking and so deep with a glossy feel and very fine, silky tannins. This is so full of pleasure. So supple and silky. Drink or hold. $180 (Available VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points * M. MARENGO Barolo 2017

Pretty cherry and currant aromas and flavors ply the dense texture in this lively, well-defined red, which shows excellent balance and energy, with floral, mineral and tobacco notes joining in and persisting on the complex finish. Best from 2024 through 2042. —B.S. $53 (Arrives GT 11/24/21)

2019 Kosta Browne Gap’s Crown
Sonoma Coast Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Our extensive history with Gap’s Crown Vineyard has resulted in some of the most spectacular wines we have produced, and 2019 is no exception. Bursting with distinct notes of blueberry, blackberry, and subtle baking spice, this benchmark wine features a beautiful union of irresistible texture and tension. Complex and generous, there is a compelling acidity that is balanced by classic, elegant intensity. $150 (Available VRW)

Wine Advocate 92-94 Points
2019 Lail Blueprint Napa Cabernet

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Blueprint has a deep garnet-purple color and sings of wild blueberries, Morello cherries and red and black currant jellies with touches of dried mint, chocolate box and cedar chest. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with crunchy black fruits, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and lifted. A barrel sample, 2,000 cases will be made. $90 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points * GIULIA NEGRI Barolo La Tartufaia 2017

A suave version, almost elegant even, offering macerated strawberry and cherry fruit, with accents of menthol, mineral and tobacco allied to a sleek frame. Balanced and persistent, stretching out nicely on the finish. Best from 2024 through 2040. 383 cases imported —B.S. $63 (Arrives GT 11/11/21)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay

The 2018 Chardonnay Russian River Valley has aromas of citrus peel, quince and almonds with a unique, super-spicy undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate offers intense, ripe fruits in a seamless, silky package, and it finishes long and lush. 13,340 cases produced $42. Internet Price $34.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92
MARGERUM M5 Santa Barbara County 2019

A racy blend, with structure and style. Offers lively cherry and raspberry flavors laced with sweet anise and white pepper. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault. Drink now through 2029. 3,153 cases made. — TF $29 Our Price $22.49 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2016 The Paring Red

The 2016 Red Wine checks in as a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. Brilliant notes of cassis, tobacco leaf, damp earth, cedary herbs, and graphite all emerge from this concentrated, remarkably pure, elegant Bordeaux blend hat has building tannins and a great, great finish. It tastes like it costs three times the price. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20%, Merlot, 20%, Cabernet Franc & 10%, Petit Verdot. Internet Price $25 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
2018 Saintayme St-Emilion

Emerging from the talents of Denis Durantou, the 100% Merlot 2018 Saintayme should be snatched up by readers who want a brilliant, delicious Bordeaux to enjoy over the coming decade. Terrific notes of black cherries, kirsch, flowery incense, cedarwood, and tobacco all define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with silky tannins and a ripe, hedonistic, yet balanced style that's a joy to drink. $27 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2017 Vietti Barolo Castiglione

This is one of the most versatile wines to emerge from Italy in recent years. A bread and butter winner for Vietti, the 2017 Barolo Castiglione is sharply contoured and bright, with an excellent quality of fruit that can be described as crisp, tonic and rich. That extra concentration comes in part from the hot vintage; however, the greater Castiglione growing area delivers consistent quality and persistence above all else. $55 Our Price $49.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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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, 11/5/21 (3:30 PM-6:00 PM): 2017 Taub Family Rutherford Cabernet, 2018 Peter Franus Mt Veeder Brandlin Cabernet and 2018 Alban Patrina Syrah.

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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, 11/6/21 (1:00 PM-3:30 PM): 2020 Peter Michael L’Apres Midi Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Drouhin Roserock Eola-Amity Hills Pinot and 2019 Peter Michael Ma Danseuse Pinot.

2020 Peter Michael L’Après-Midi Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 ‘L’Après-Midi’ is visually compelling with a translucent, silver color accented by a bright, pale golden hue. The bouquet is reminiscent of neroli, expressing vine and orange blossom along with a vibrant oyster shell and granitic minerality heightened by fresh lime, lemon fruit, and gooseberry, with a hint of pine needle and verbena. The flavors are introduced with a touch of freshness and glycerol, carrying elegant white spring flowers—jasmine and white vine rose with a resounding array of fruit, Vosges lemon candy, gooseberry, grapefruit to mandarin, and guava. The finish is balanced, precise, mineral-driven, and elegant, revealing white currant, apricot, acacia honey, and quince paste. The 2020 ‘L’Après-Midi’ will benefit from several years of cellaring to develop further complexity and express the originality of the vintage. $70

Wine Spectator 95 Points * DROUHIN OREGON ROSEROCK Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019

This version is defined by a beam of vibrant acidity and tannins that’s framed by refined blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by stony minerality and dusky spiced tea. Drink now through 2031. —T.F. $35

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Peter Michael Winery Pinot Noir
Ma Danseuse

This is wonderfully crafted with aromas and flavors of ripe strawberries and raspberries, as well as cream, light chocolate and earth. Full body, creamy texture and a long, flavorful finish. Tangy acidity drives the vivid and lively finish. Hard not to drink now. Drink or hold. $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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