December 28th 2021 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

December 28th 2021 Newsletter

VRW Hours This Week
Tuesday-Thursday 12 Noon-6:00 PM
Friday, 12/31/21 12 Noon-4:00 PM

GT Hours This Week
Monday-Thursday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Friday, 12/31/21 10:30 AM-3:00 PM


Three Wine Tastings at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) New Years week: Available all day during operating hours. Tuesday, 12/28/21 – Friday, 12/31/21. $15 per person.

Plus Special Hundred Acre Tasting on Friday -Reservation Required (See last page for details)

#1. Tuesday, 12/28 and Wednesday, 12/29/21:

2016 Laird Jillian’s Napa Blend

Winemakers Notes: This stunning red blend says “hello” immediately with a vivid purple hue with the slightest maroon rouge rim. The nose has balanced notes of boysenberry, ripe blueberry, baking spice and vanilla. The palate is plush and balanced with flavors of dark red cherries, mocha, and clove. The lasting, indelible finish leaves you yearning for the next sip. A perfect wine to drink on its own or as an accompaniment to your next cookout. Drink now through 2028. $44

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2018 Cardano Estate Black Fruit Napa Cabernet

While a small step up in price, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Fruit is worth it and is one of the top values found in the vintage. A blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, it has classy, complex notes of blueberries, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, leather, and white truffle. It’s one of those wines you could smell all night, and it doesn’t disappoint on the palate either, offering full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and ultra-fine tannins. Enjoy bottles any time over the coming 15 years or more. Internet Price $75

2019 Lewis Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Layered with ripe berry, red currant and ambrosial “on the vine” character, our 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet is deliciously complex. Inflected with dusty ripe fruit and chocolaty floral aromas, the wine is concentrated yet classic with remarkable silky texture spanning the palate and augmenting the finish. $100 Our Price $89.99


#2. Thursday, 12/30/21:

Wine Spectator 97 Points
PIPER-HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne Rare 2008

Like a stallion out of the gate, this shows an initial explosion of power, in the form of mouthwatering flavors and fine texture, before quickly settling into an elegant gait. The racy acidity is seamlessly knit, buoying the lacy mousse and flavors of cassis, toasted brioche and tangerine, with accents of candied ginger, hazelnut and fleur de sel lingering on the long, creamy finish. Drink now through 2035. 2,000 cases imported. — AN $215 Internet Price $179.99

Wine Advocate 92 points
2019 Aurelien Verdet Le Prieure Hautes-Cotes de Nuits Burgundy

Bursting from the glass with notes of sweet berries, petals, peonies and raw cocoa, the 2019 Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits Le Prieure is medium to full-bodied, velvety and charming, with lively acids, melting tannins and a succulent, spice-inflected finish. Deeper than the 2017 and more elegant than the 2018, this gets my nod as the finest Le Prieure of the three. Drink 2021-2033. $54 Our Price $45.99

Wine Advocate 95 Points
CLOS ST.-JEAN Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2019

Rich and seductive in style, featuring waves of warmed plum sauce and blackberry purée flavors laced with singed alder, licorice root and tobacco notes, with flashes of ganache and warm earth in the background. Everything stays well-defined through the finish, which offers a late echo of minerality. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin. Best from 2023 through 2038. —J.M. 900 cases made. $60 Internet Price $49.95


#3. Friday, 12/31/21:

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 Advocate 93+ Points
2017 Salvestrin Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Crane Vineyard

Blended with 10% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Crane Vineyard gives up warm red and black fruits, earth and iron ore with notes of meats and cedar. The palate is full-bodied, firm and chewy with a good core, finishing long and mineral laced. $70

James Suckling 97 Points
2016 Larkmead Dr. Olmo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Impressive aromas of dried flowers, crushed blackberries and plums. Some sweet-tobacco undertones. Full-bodied, dusty and juicy with chewy tannins that are supple and savory, combining with the fruit. Flavorful and intense. So structured. $160


Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Hartford Court Velvet Sisters Anderson Valley Pinot

Coming from the Anderson Valley, the 2018 Pinot Noir Velvet Sisters has textbook savory, herbal, mineral style as well as wonderful darker cherry and exotic blueberry fruits, medium to full body, loads of floral and violet nuances, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's up-front and fruit-forward, yet it has plenty of tannins as well as remarkable purity and freshness. Drink this singular Pinot Noir over the coming 7-8 years. $70 Internet Price $64.99 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils
 Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières

A rich and generous Meursault with plenty of ripe-apricot and melon character, which is very neatly underlined by the vanilla oak. Full body with quite some creaminess, then comes the long finish with excellent mineral freshness. Everything fits extremely neatly! Drink or hold. $160 Our Price $138.99 (Arrives GT 12/29/21)

Bollinger Special Edition 007 Special Cuvee Brut

Producer Notes: To the eye: a golden colour, distinctive of black grape varieties; very fine bubbles. To the nose: a beautiful aromatic complexity ; ripe fruit and spicy aromas ; hints of roasted apples, apple compote and peaches. To the palate: a subtle combination of structure, length and vivacity ; bubbles like velvet ; pear, brioche and spicy aromas, notes of fresh walnut. $75 (Available GT)

2018 Thread Feathers Spring Mountain Napa Cabernet

Tasting Impressions: A beautiful display of red fruit beginning with bing cherry on entry and black cherry mid-palate. Forward and bold, with full-bodied richness yet considerable elegance and purity. It has ripe tannins and a beautiful spice note. $85 Internet Price $38.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * HALL Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018

This packs in some serious plum compote and cassis flavors, liberally wrapped in dark licorice and finishing with a swath of sweet toast and tobacco on the broad finish. Nice mineral underpinning keeps it honest. Fairly accessible despite its heft. Drink now through 2034. 55,000 cases made. — JM $65 Internet Price $49.95 (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 (Available GT and VRW)

Opus One Overture 2021 Release

Winery Notes: Overture reflects the winemaker’s artistry by showcasing the talent of blending five traditional Bordeaux grape varieties and capturing terroir characteristics of the same variety grown in different soils. However, Overture’s third blending aspect – that of marrying multiple vintages – yields a softer, rounder expression of our estate that can be enjoyed upon release.

Winemaker Notes: A timeless expression of our estate vineyards, Overture is full bodied but approachable in its youth. Overture shows generous dark fruit aromas and flavors with a soft, supple mid-palate. $150 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 97
2016 Staglin Family Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate bursts out of the glass with beautiful black cherry compote, warm cassis and freshly crushed blackberries scents plus touches of chargrill, violets, dark chocolate and pencil shavings and a waft of English lavender. Full-bodied, the palate features great intensity combined with fantastic freshness, textured by soft, finely grained tannins and lifted by the most gorgeous floral perfume, finishing long and layered. Beautiful wine. $285 (Back in stock GT 12/29/21)


Special Hundred Acre Wine Tasting at VRW Friday, 12/31/21 at 3:00 PM. $50 per person. Reservation Required

We have a group of customers who would like to taste a 100 point Napa Cabernet. Each person will receive a 2 oz serving of this $650 wine. If you would like to join the group, please call Stan at 559-226-6828 or email to confirm your reservation.

Wine Advocate 100 Points
2018 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard

Sporting an opaque garnet-purple color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock fabulously evocative notions of pure cassis, ripe, juicy black plums and wild blueberries, plus suggestions of candied violets, cinnamon stick and fenugreek, with a touch of fallen leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with poise and sophistication, shimmering with energetic black and blue fruit layers and a perfectly plush texture, finishing with a dazzling display of minerals and floral fireworks. A hands-down, jaw-dropping beauty! $650


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) 559-878-3953

The Grape Tray (GT)
6023 N. Palm Avenue Fresno, CA 93704
Opus One Center (NW Corner Bullard and Palm) 559-226-6828

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