November 22nd 2021 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

November 22nd 2021 Newsletter

Three Wine Tastings at VRW Thanksgiving week:
Available all day during operating hours Monday, 11/22 – Wednesday, 11/24/21. $15 per person.

#1. Monday Tasting, 11/22/21

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

2018 Shibumi Knoll Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Cabernet is OMG! The nose is delicious, velvet rose petals begging to be inhaled again and again. Upon the first sip, you are hooked- a smooth, beautiful wine mature beyond its time. On the nose, there are hints of cranberry and allspice with a warm, lingering luscious sensation on the palate. This elegant, beautiful ruby colored wine is destined to be an absolute favorite! $105

2016 The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (Harlan Estate)

Winemaker Notes: The Mascot is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made from distinct hillside vineyards; specifically the younger vines of BOND, Harlan Estate, and Promontory. It started out as a small project shared among the family, winemaking team, and close friends. Drawing fruit from blocks of recently replanted vineyards, The Mascot shares a glimpse into the evolution of its parent estates: a youthful snapshot of their future.

Aromas suggest cool, fragrant mists, an intermingling of bright fruit with gentle florals, and traces of fresh, wild herbs. A sip reveals a polished core—a soft, inviting texture bonded by strength. These playful curves resolve towards an elevated finish, as well as light, colorful notes that dance on the palate—and entice the imagination. $150


#2. Tuesday Tasting, 11/23/21

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ALFRED GRATIEN Brut Champagne NV (2021)

Spice and graphite notes play with the ripe black cherry, Mandarin orange peel, brioche, verbena and chopped hazelnut flavors on display in this well-cut Champagne with a lively mousse. Chalky finish. Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Drink now through 2024. 25,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. —Alison Napjus. $50

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

Josh Raynolds, Vinous 95 Points * 2018 Lucia Vineyards Soberanes Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Deep, shimmering ruby red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red and blue fruits, baking spices and potpourri, and a zesty mineral overtone builds with air. Juicy, seamless and energetic on the palate, offering vibrant, mineral-accented raspberry, boysenberry and cherry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen through the midpalate. Conveys a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes with slow-mounting tannins, fine delineation and impressive, floral- and mineral-driven persistence. $70


#3. Wednesday Tasting, 11/24/21

2018 Plumpjack Reserve Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 PlumpJack Chardonnay is packed with the fresh aromas of Meyer lemon, pomelo, green pear, honeysuckle, and orange blossom with a touch of toast and apple cinnamon. The palate is creamy, silky, and bright, giving the sensations of great weight and vibrant freshness.Our Chardonnay grapes are sourced from two vineyards in the Napa Valley – one in Los Carneros and the other in St. Helena. At just 30 miles apart, Los Carneros can be 10 -15 degrees cooler than St Helena. Due to this difference in temperature along with other differences, such as soil type, these two vineyard sites vary greatly in character and expression but add layers and layers of flavor to the nose and palate. $54

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2017 Cade Howell Mountain Cabernet

Coming from estate fruit on Howell Mountain and made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% each of Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers a darker, more mineral-driven style compared to the Napa release. It has beautiful blackcurrant, cassis, forest floor, graphite, and tobacco leaf-like aromas and flavors. Deep, full-bodied, beautifully polished and elegant, it's another remarkable effort from this team. As Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon goes, it's a brilliant value! Internet Price $110

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Anthem Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color and reveals expressive black cherries, blackberries and warm blackcurrants with hints of violets, black olives, Indian spices and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and powerful, the palate is filled with well-poised black fruit layers and firm, grainy tannins, matched by bold freshness and finishing long. $125


Grape Tray (GT) Thanksgiving Week Hours
Monday, 11/22/21 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Tuesday, 11/23/21 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Wednesday, 11/24/21 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday, 11/25/21 Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, 11/26/21 Closed
Saturday, 11/27/21 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
6023 N. Palm Avenue Fresno, CA 93704 * Opus One Center (NW Corner Bullard and Palm)


Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) Thanksgiving Week Hours
Monday, 11/22/21 1:00 PM-6:00 PM
Tuesday, 11/23/21 1:00 PM-6:00 PM
Wednesday, 11/24/21 1:00 PM-6:00 PM
Thursday, 11/25/21 Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, 11/26/21 Closed
Saturday, 11/27/21 Closed
1552 E. Champlain Drive, Ste 109 Fresno, CA 93720 * Via Montana Center (NE Corner Shepherd and Champlain-Two doors south of Big 5) 559-878-3953


WOW-44% Off!
2018 Kendall Jackson Appellation Series Mendocino Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our proprietary approach to winemaking has earned us our world-renowned reputation for wines that consistently exhibit intense layers of favor with complexity and balance. 100% Chardonnay sourced from cool coastal vineyards in Mendocino County. Crafted in small vineyard lots throughout the entire winemaking process. Our winemakers masterfully blend these exemplary rich, deep and complex wines to capture the elegant character of Chardonnay and deliver intensely concentrated favors. Whole cluster pressed to retain the fresh fruit qualities. Flavors of Bosc pear, green apple and honey round out the palate. $20 Our Price $11.25 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 90
SILENUS Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley Tyros 2017

Quite bold and ripe, this teeters a bit, with a prune note amid the cherry, raspberry and plum confiture flavors. Features pretty spice accents, a relatively silky feel and a lingering mesquite element for added range. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2028. 5,000 cases made. — JM $35 Internet Price $24.99 GT and VRW email subscriber price $18.95

Sommariva Prosecco Superiore di Conegliano-Valdobbiane Brut DOCG NV

Winemaker Notes: Fragrant floral tones and drying mineral notes characterize this luminous Prosecco Brut. The sparkling wine delivers frothy peach, herbal accents and a steady dose of citrus zest. $15 Our Price $12.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Thread Feathers Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Extracted, rich and earthy, this 2019 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is full- bodied, and richly ripe in black fruit, coniferous nose with violet, redcurrant and red-plum aromas, leading to a succulent palate that carries attractive tannin structure. Focused and powerful. Elements of sage, dried herb and cedar provide contrast the complexity. Wine Specs: Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec. Internet Price $38


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 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
ROEDERER ESTATE Brut Anderson Valley NV

Lovely yeast roll and apple aromas lead to supple yet lively citrus, blanched almond and spice flavors, that linger on the finish. Drink now. 103,000 cases made. — TF $28 Our Price $19.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas
 Paso Robles 2019

A zesty red, with plenty of easygoing personality, offering black cherry, cracked pepper and spice flavors that glide toward polished tannins. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. Drink now through 2028. 3,500 cases made.—Tim Fish $25 Internet Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

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. $39 Internet Price $36.99 (Available GT and VRW) Magnums $75.99

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 GT and VRW) Limited

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 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Roth Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

Winemaker Notes: Bold, full-bodied and rich. Dark in color, it displays mighty aromas of intense dark fruit, cassis and cocoa powder. The palate displays exceptional balance with rich and layered flavors of black cherry, plum, mocha, toasted and a subtle minerality. $30 Our Price $20.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * QUINTA DO VALE MEÃO Vintage Port 2015

This gets your attention, with ebullient açai, blueberry and plum fruit aromas and flavors. Light, brambly grip is well-embedded throughout, while hints of melted licorice and milk and baker's chocolate fill in. Shows rock-solid grip through the finish. Best from 2030 through 2055. 580 cases made, 160 cases imported. — JM $80 Our Price $49.99 (4 bottles available at GT)

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