The Grape Tray

January 21st 2022 Newsletter

2020 Party Line Zin in stock at GT!


Wine Spectator 92 Points
BODEGAS MONTECILLO Rioja Reserva 2013

This plump red offers mulled cherry and plum flavors, with notes of cinnamon, sandalwood and cedar. Light tannins are well-integrated, while orange peel acidity keeps this fresh and focused. Harmonious and generous. Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2028. 26,500 cases made, 15,900 cases imported. — TM $18 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
BODEGAS BERONIA Rioja Gran Reserva 2012

Velvety tannins give way to dark cherry, mocha and loamy earth notes, enhanced with black tea, anise and graphite accents. Broad, but keeps focused, with solid, integrated acidity. Drink now through 2029. 5,100 cases made, 2,500 cases imported. — GS $30 Our Price $25.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * MAZZEI Chianti Classico Ser Lapo Riserva 2018

Featuring black cherry, blueberry, mint, iron and Tuscan scrub flavors, this solid red is built for aging, with ripe fruit returning on the long finish. All the components are there—this just needs time. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2024 through 2040. 19,100 cases made, 4,000 cases imported. —Bruce Sanderson. $34 Our Price $30.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RIDGE Three Valleys Sonoma County 2019

An engaging blend, well-knit and distinctive for its savory raspberry and cherry flavors that draw in bay leaf, Asian spice and smoked pepper notes. Tannins are ripe and briary. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. $30 Our Price $25.69 (Back in stock VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92+ Points
2017 Behrens Family Winery The Anchor Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 The Anchor is rich, flamboyant and super-exotic. Crème de cassis, menthol, lavender and sweet spice all race out of the glass. This rich, sumptuous Cabernet is one of the many 2017s here that offer tremendous immediacy. It could use some time to soften, and yet there is good structure underneath. Blood orange, mint, sweet spice and rose petal overtones add dramatic lift on the finish. Drinking window: 2022 – 2032. $65 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 90 Points * TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2020

Shows precision and wonderful balance, with crisp, minerally notes that add a savory element to the lime, white grapefruit, dried thyme, nectarine and citrus zest flavors. Features a fresh frame. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Clairette Blanche. Drink now. 2,290 cases made. — MW $25 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives GT 1/26/22)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
MOCALI Brunello di Montalcino 2016

Complex aromas of cherry, mint, camphor, leather, vetiver, iron and cigar box draw you in, while the flavors repeat these themes. Firmly structured, with a dense matrix of tannins and lively acidity for support. Best from 2025 through 2050. 4,166 cases made, 1,350 cases imported. — BS $50 Our Price $41.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * 2018 MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Martin & Croshaw Vineyard 2018

This delivers a pure, savory and licorice-flecked beam of cassis and plum puree flavors, with a glint of iron on the sleek finish. Concentrated, but streamlined in feel. Drink now through 2032. 250 cases made. — JM $75 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points * BARNETT Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District 2018

This shows lots of punchy violet, blackberry, boysenberry and apple wood character, all coated with a melted licorice note and backed by a warmed fruitcake accent on the gently mulled finish. Drink now through 2032. 3,675 cases made. — JM $80 Internet Price $74.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 89 Points
FAMILLE PERRIN Côtes du Rhône White Nature 2020

Plump and friendly, offering a mix of shortbread, honeysuckle, acacia and lemon sorbet flavors that stay focused on the breezy finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Drink now. 2,000 cases made, 2,000 cases imported. — JM $15 Our Price $13.99 (Arrives GT 1/26/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 90 Points
2016 Podere Scopetone Rosso di Montalcino

The 2016 Rosso di Montalcino is very pretty, understated and very delicious. Readers will find an soft-spoken Rosso that is all about persistence, delicacy and class. The 2016 is not an obvious wine, but it is compelling. Sweet floral and red cherry notes perk up the brilliant finish in this light to medium-bodied Rosso from Scopetone. Drinking window: 2019 – 2026. $24 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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. — TF $25 Internet Price $19.99 (Back in stock GT 1/26/22)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
LA SERENA Brunello di Montalcino 2016

This supple, fluid Brunello offers a compelling mix of bright cherry, black currant and violet aromas and flavors meshed with balsamic notes of juniper, eucalyptus and licorice. Balanced, showing ample structure, with a lingering aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2040. 2,916 cases made, 950 cases imported. — BS $45 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors

Based on 74% Syrah and 26% Grenache brought up in in a combination of concrete tanks (for the Grenache) and one year old demi-muids (for the Syrah), the 2018 Cotes Du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is a knockout bottle of wine. It offers loads of black fruits, roasted herbs, peppered meat, violets, and bacon fat as well as full-bodied richness, a round, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It’s one of the finest values out there. $16 Our Price $13.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2016 Hewitt Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Starting with the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, this ripe, sexy red comes all from Rutherford and has a big nose of sweet blueberries, plums, dark chocolate, tobacco, and spice. It's not for those looking for lightweight aromas and flavors, yet it wears its ripe fruit well, showing full-bodied richness, good purity, and a lively feel on the palate. Drink this hedonistic blockbuster over the coming 10-15 years. $150 Our Price $104.95 (Available GT and VRW) Delicious!

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

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points * 2019 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir

Moving to the reds, the 2019 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley offers a medium ruby/purple hue to go with a beautiful perfume of mulberries, black cherries, Asian spices, and roasted herbs. Playing in the medium-bodied end of the spectrum, it still brings plenty of fruit, with a great mid-palate and outstanding length on the finish. It’s common in 2019 for the Russian River Valley Pinots to show a beautiful sense of freshness and elegance, and this wine delivers those qualities in spades. It can be drunk any time over the coming 7-8 years. $65

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points * 2019 Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Cuvée

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Cuvée is a new entry-level wine in this range. The addition of Merlot works so well in softening some of the young Howell Mountain contours. Even so, there is plenty of energy underpinning the bright red cherry fruit. Mint, pine and floral accents resonate across the persistent finish. The 2019 is a jewel of a wine and a fabulous value. $50

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

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

2016 Gambal Work Francesca Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Francesca has what we call a “cool” profile that is dominated by a flinty nose followed by white flowers. Its attack is subtle but builds, fills the mouth and is linear in nature. The wine’s natural salinity awakens your taste buds and one can imagine this with hard cheeses or with a main dish such as seared scallops. The wine is delicious today, but we expect it will show its full potential in three to five years (2021-2023). $65

Wine Spectator 94 Points * ALEXANA Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Revana Vineyard 2018

This vibrant red is coiled with tension, offering dynamic raspberry and blueberry flavors that gather notes of spiced cinnamon and orange oil, building toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2030. 1,858 cases made. — TF $55

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points * 2018 Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Amentet Vineyard is a heady, explosive Mount Veeder wine. Iron, sweet red cherry, mint, dried flowers, licorice, mocha and rose petal all grace this wonderfully expressive, nuanced Cabernet. Best of all, the 2018 won't need more than a few years in bottle to be approachable. It's a gorgeous wine, that much is clear. The best is yet to come. $120

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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
Tuesday-Friday 12:00 Noon-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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