January 7th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

January 7th 2022 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 90 Points

FOLEY JOHNSON Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Estate 2018

Steeped plum and blackberry fruit melds nicely with touches of vanilla, cedar and warm earth through the finish, with a polished feel overall that makes this accessible now too. Drink now through 2026. 10,036 cases made. — JM $50 Liquidation Price $TBD (Available GT)

James Suckling 93 points
2018 O’Shaughnessy Howell Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon

Blue flowers and fruit on the nose, as well as licorice, tea leaf and dark chocolate. It’s medium-bodied with firm, tight tannins and fresh acidity. A distinct, saline streak cuts through the dark fruit. Try from 2023. $100 (Available GT)

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma County Red Blend

Lots of ripe blackberries, peppery herbs, and assorted meaty notes emerge from the deep purple 2019 Red Wine, which offers medium to full body, a kiss of iron and minerality on the palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This is one heck of a delicious, textured red to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years or so. $27 (Back in stock GT) Delicious!

Vinous 94 Points
2019 Domaine de la Taille aux Loups Les Hauts de Husseau Montlouis Sur Loire, Loire Valley

It's not Mont Blanc, but Les Hauts de Husseau is the highest point in the Montlouis appellation (at 90 meters in altitude), and so the local limestone is close to the surface, which is palpable in the chalky texture and fine line of the 2019. It comes from a cold site that's picked around a week and a half later than the domaine's other sites, but boy, is it worth the wait. It’s a little closed compared with its stablemates, but this is an exciting wine with underlying power that goes on and on, offering excellent distance. While there are subtle custard apple and crème caramel characters (likely a result of fermentation in old oak and extended time on fine lees), this is a wine whose most intriguing aspect is its texture and structure. There’s no hurry to drink this one. $40 (Arrives GT 1/12/22)

2019 Morgan Cotes du Crow's

Winemaker Notes: This Rhone-style blend has a rich ruby color, highlighted by purple edges. Raspberry jam and sweet herbs jump out of the glass. The wine is medium-full bodied with soft tannins, offering flavors of strawberry hard candy and fresh plum. Its weight and balance make it a perfect pairing for anything off the grill. $22 Our Price $17.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2012 Champagne André Robert
Brut Collection d'Auteur

Disgorged in September 2020 with three grams per liter dosage, the 2012 Brut Collection d'Auteur is deep and vinous, unwinding in the glass with notes of pear, white flowers and freshly braked bread mingled with subtle hints of citrus zest and bee pollen. Full-bodied, elegantly muscular and seamless, with a deep and concentrated core, bright acids and a pretty pinpoint mousse, it's a seamless, understated blanc de blanc derived from holdings in prime lieux-dits Les Vaucherots, Les Coullemets du Midi, Les Finciarts and Les Chétillons. Internet Price $145 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 94 Points

2013 Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

Both 2013s are clearly the finest Eisele wines made under the administration of François Pinault and his top lieutenant, Frédéric Engerer, who also runs the show at Château Latour. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia is a beauty. Dense, opaque purple, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with forest floor and violets is followed by a lush, medium to full-bodied wine with terrific concentration, light tannin and an approachable style even for a 2013. It should drink well for 15 or more years. $130 (Arrives GT 1/11/22)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2016 Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

The Altagracia is produced almost exclusively from estate fruit this year and was bottled at the end of June 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia comes bursting forth with vivacious black cherries, blackberries, wild blueberries and cassis notes with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, forest floor, violets and dusty earth with a waft of violets. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with loads of iron and mineral accents, finishing long and perfumed. $130 (Arrives GT 1/11/22)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MORGAN Chardonnay
Santa Lucia Highlands Highland 2019

Decadently spiced, with accents of roasted hazelnut and caramel to the well-knit baked apple and pear tart flavors. Dried mango hints line the open-textured finish. Drink now through 2025. 4,937 cases made.—K.M $28 Our Price $22.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
SALVESTRIN Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Dr. Crane Vineyard 2018

Bright and fresh, with lots of red currant, plum and black cherry fruit notes driving along nicely, while a subtle tug of iron runs underneath. Late floral and warm earth flashes on the finish add more range and contrast. Focused, detailed and really well built. To be released October 2021. Best from 2022 through 2035. 1,260 cases made. — JM $80 (Available GT)


Friday Wine Tasting, 1/7/22(Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 93 Points * COLENE CLEMENS Pinot Noir Chehalem Mountains Dopp Creek 2019

Slowly unfurls, opening with taut raspberry and stony mineral, then drawing in a rich and plush texture that glides toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2030. 4,408 cases made. —Tim Fish. $32 Our Price $27.99

Wine Spectator 96 Points
ZENA CROWN VINEYARD Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Slope 2018

A wine of presence and personality, with dynamic black raspberry and guava flavors that take on stony mineral and dusky spice accents as this gathers richness and tension toward broad-shouldered tannins. Best from 2022 through 2032. 487 cases made.—T.F $75

Wine Advocate 95+ 2019 Realm The Tempest

Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose offers gorgeous notes of baked blueberries, black cherries and mulberries with hints of menthol, dark chocolate and licorice. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, the mouth is packed with loads of spicy layers, while bright sparks of red fruit offer compelling energy, culminating with a long, perfumed finish. This is a wonderfully poised, polished Merlot. 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. $150


Saturday Wine Tasting, 1/8/22(Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Decanter 95 Points
2017 Marengo Barolo La Morra

Marco Marengo manages little more than four hectares in La Morra. These grapes were sourced from Brunate, Bricco Viole, Pugnane and Fontanezza. It exhibits leafy lightness with orange peel and cocoa powder. The attack is firm, muscular yet ripe. Dense on the mid palate, it has bracing acidity combined with eminently savory orange fruit. The finish is chiseled, with a good length of fruits and licorice. $50 Our Price $43.99

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

Wine Advocate 95
2015 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Magnum

The Altesino 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows beautiful depth and latitude, with broad fruit aromas of dark cherry and cassis that recall the warmth and golden sunlight of the vintage. The wine is deceivingly streamlined in terms of mouthfeel, but that slim and buttoned-down backbone supports a broad range of flavors and sensations, from lavender essence and camphor ash to moist soil and toasted spice. All of these elements are delivered with impressive harmony and unity, and I expect that this wine will continue on a slow, steady and satisfying aging trajectory over the next 10 years or more. Fruit is sourced from across 21 hectares of vines with tufaceous limestone soils and Alberese rock, which contributes to the freshness and balanced structure of the wine. The wine was bottled in June 2019 (with 150,000 bottles made), and this wine was released in January 2020. $130/magnum


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 12:00 Noon -6:00 PM
Saturday 12:00 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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