The Grape Tray

December 21st 2021 Newsletter

VRW Hours This Week
Tuesday-Thursday 12 Noon-6:00 PM
Friday, 12/24/21 12 Noon-4:00 PM


GT Hours This Week
Monday-Thursday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Friday, 12/24/21 10:30 AM-3:00 PM

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Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW):

Taste 2018 Pont Neuf Russian River Pont Royal Chardonnay, 2018 Staglin Salus Rutherford Cabernet and 2018 The Setting Alexander Valley Cabernet this week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15.

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday, 12/21 – Thursday, 12/23/21.

2018 Pont Neuf Pont Royal Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Pont Royal reveals a brilliant clarity both in appearance and focused flavors. The vineyard character shows in the forward citrus, fresh peach, custard and honied beeswax which are consistent hallmarks of Pont Royal. The texture is crisp, but with a satisfying fullness and great persistence of flavors. French oak takes a back seat to the fruit, adding nuanced aromas of toasted brioche and fine structure to the wine. We employed 80% new oak from the Vosges forest, contributing the delicate toast and vanilla aromas and playing perfectly with bright citrus fruit. Barrel-fermented, aged on the lees and bottled un-fined and unfiltered, this natural fermentation showcases the vineyard and the vintage. 90 cases produced. $60

2018 Staglin Family Salus Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The poised 2018 Salus Cabernet Sauvignon feels like a modern portrait of yesteryear’s traditions. Well composed flavors of cassis and boysenberry redolent with raspberry liqueur, milled spices and subtle earth flow seamlessly into a balanced midpalate full of finely crafted detail. Filigreed tannins produce a delightfully delicate and textured wine with a finessed and silky structure that is drinking well right out of the gate yet hints at layers yet to be fully revealed. $115

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2018 The Setting Alexander Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-black in color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley has an extraordinary perfume of cassis laced with an array of classic Cabernet scents: cured meats, pencil shavings, violet, lilac, bay leaves and exotic spices. The palate is pure and lifted, with ripe, dusty tannins and bursts of freshness that highlight its perfume and perfectly ripe fruits, finishing very long and very layered. 575 cases were made. $85

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2016 Poppy Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This is a wonderful expression of Pinot Noir, coming from this area. Our Reserve offers distinctive aromas of raspberries, dried strawberries, backing spices and violets in a lovely coat of mocha, sweet vanilla and a splash of bacon fat resting on the plush, silky finish. $18 Liquidation Price $11.95 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Syrah 2018

Another value release from this terrific producer, the 2018 Syrah Tous Les Jours is all Syrah, from a mix of vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, that was mostly destemmed and brought up in neutral oak. It's deeper ruby/purple hue is followed by a ripe, textured, yet still complex, cool-climate-like Syrah that has lots of peppery herbs, smoke game, and assorted darker berry fruit aromas and flavors. It's California's answer to a terrific Saint Joseph and will evolve nicely for 4-6 years or more. $17 Our Price $14.95 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
THE HESS COLLECTION Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2018

Lush and deeply fruity, with crushed plum, mulled blackberry and açaí berry compote flavors that meld nicely together, while melted black licorice, black tea and mulling spice notes add range and detail. Features a lushness that makes this approachable now, but shows a strong underlying iron spine that will let this evolve with cellaring. Best from 2023 through 2036. —J.M. $75 Our Price $63.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

2017 True Myth Edna Valley Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Displaying aromas of ripe pear, pineapple, tangerine and caramel, this is a classic Chardonnay from the Edna Valley. Rich and creamy and bursting with tropical fruit flavors. Refreshing acidity keeps the wine lively on the finish, a signature of Paragon Vineyard. $18 Internet Price $12.99 (Available VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points

2019 Livio Felluga Friulano Friuli Colli Orientali

Lightly mouthwatering, with a streak of salinity underscoring flavors of baked white peach, ginger-infused pastry cream, biscuit and verbena. Long and silky on the herb-laced finish. Drink now through 2024. $27 Our Price $21.95 (Available GT and VRW 12/22/21)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
PAUL HOBBS Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Goldrock Estate 2018

Rich and contoured, with ferrous notes to the well-structured red currant, dark cherry and dried blackberry flavors. Supple minerality shows on the spicy finish, where light creamy accents linger. Best from 2021 through 2026. 801 cases made. — KM. Internet Price $85 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 97 Points
2018 O'Shaughnessy Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

This is such an outstanding wine at any price, but here we’re talking about outstanding value as well. Notes of iron and crushed rock lead to a lengthy balance of juicy red fruit and clove. With small amounts of Merlot, Malbec, Saint-Macaire and Cabernet Franc, it shows a deft hand at blending, with lasting notes of black pepper and nuanced oak. $75 Our Price $69.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2018 The Setting Alexander Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-black in color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley has an extraordinary perfume of cassis laced with an array of classic Cabernet scents: cured meats, pencil shavings, violet, lilac, bay leaves and exotic spices. The palate is pure and lifted, with ripe, dusty tannins and bursts of freshness that highlight its perfume and perfectly ripe fruits, finishing very long and very layered. 575 cases were made. $85 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Tether Napa Chardonnay

Another great release for this wine, the 2019 Chardonnay offers a pure, elegant, yet still powerful, medium to full-bodied style...It has a tropical edge as well as wonderful purity, a clean, elegant texture, and a great finish. $42 Internet Price $31.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 97 Points
The Setting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville from The Setting Wines comes from the Skellenger vineyard and was aged 24 months in 80% new and 20% one-year-old Taransaud and Darnajou barrels. This vintage offers purity and finesse, with a perfume that opens slowly to violets, blueberries, graphite, dark chocolate and sparks of aniseed and exotic spices. The palate is intense with a velvety texture opposed by juicy lift and mineral sparks, finishing on a violet note. Only 200 cases were made and despite the $100+ price tag, compared to the price of its Oakville neighbors, it offers great value this vintage. $125 (Available GT and VRW)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 12/24/21(Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RUINART Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV

Steeped apricot and candied ginger flavors are an aromatic entry for this graceful Champagne, backed by finely cut acidity and layered with accents of kumquat, toast point and salted Marcona almond. It's fresh and racy, yet there's an effortless quality to the integration that makes this hard to stop sipping. Long, minerally finish. Drink now through 2027. — AN $73

2019 Lewis Mason’s Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: With high school behind him and college on the horizon it’s all sunshine and blue sky for Mason. His 2019 bottling is 100% Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, seriously fruited with hi-tone boysenberry, cassis and café mocha. Plush and poised on the palate, the future is bright for this Mason’s Cabernet. $65

Wine Advocate 97 Points
The Setting Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville from The Setting Wines comes from the Skellenger vineyard and was aged 24 months in 80% new and 20% one-year-old Taransaud and Darnajou barrels. This vintage offers purity and finesse, with a perfume that opens slowly to violets, blueberries, graphite, dark chocolate and sparks of aniseed and exotic spices. The palate is intense with a velvety texture opposed by juicy lift and mineral sparks, finishing on a violet note. Only 200 cases were made and despite the $100+ price tag, compared to the price of its Oakville neighbors, it offers great value this vintage. $125

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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


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



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