The Grape Tray

January 25th 2022 Newsletter

Tuesday, 1/25/22 Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine $10 per person.
Tasting available all day during operating hours.

2020 Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Deep ruby red in color with scarlet highlights, Clark & Telephone opens with bountiful aromas of red fruits of cranberry and raspberry jam, laced with clove, cedar, and holiday baking spices. Bold and complex flavors of crushed ripe cherry, cranberry and blueberry pie linger on the palate. The texture is rich and lively and leads into a warm and structured finish.

2020 Belle Glos Dairyman Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Dark ruby red in color with satisfying aromas of boysenberry, dark cherry, and mulberry along with delicate hints of baking spices, dill, cola, nutmeg, and vanilla. On the palate, bold flavors of cranberry, ripe plum, cherry, and super-ripe strawberry are uplifted by gentle notes of cocoa powder and sweet fig for a generous and silky mouthfeel. This tremendously complex and broad-shouldered wine finishes with grace.

NV Austin Hope “Austin” Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: True to Paso Robles’ signature style, this fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon has enticing aromas of dark fruit, fresh vanilla bean and hints of coffee. On the palette, the dark brooding fruit flavors are balanced with savory notes of black pepper, baking spices along with a touch of tobacco to add warmth and dimension. Lovely notes of sweet oak, lively acidity & fine dusty tannins complete this wine making it the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy daily.

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Wednesday, 1/26 and Thursday, 1/27 Wine Tasting at VRW $15 per person

Taste Opus One Overture and 2018 Barnett Spring Mt Cabernet this week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW).

Available all day during operating hours this Wednesday and Thursday

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

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

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2017 Silver Oak Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby in color with notes of blackberry, blueberry, roasted coffee beans, coriander and a hint of nutmeg. Smooth upon entry, this wine is broad and plush on the mid-palate. It has an elegant density throughout and a long, generous finish. Given proper cellaring conditions, this wine will show beautifully through 2041. Internet Price $140 (Arrives GT 2/8/22)

2018 Alto Moncayo Moncayo Campo De Borja

Winemaker Notes: Opaque red-black. Scarlet rim. The wine opens to an amalgam of minerals and unctuous super-ripe berries. On the palate the wine is deep, rich and ripe. Black fruits (cherries, plums) give way to hints of liquorice, molasses and a hint of cinnamon. Solid tannins and focused acidity with a long finish. $45 Our Price $38.49 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

2019 Pride Mountain Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: A classic cabernet showing a panoply of gorgeous dark flavors including black cherry, ripe plum, Cubano tobacco, graphite and sandalwood with underlying notes of tar and chocolate. Textbook cabernet in the mouth with beautiful tannin that is weighty without being ponderous, refined without being delicate. This is a contemplative cabernet that also satisfies with persistent notes of black and red fruit that echo through the long finish. $80 (Arrives GT 1/26/22)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2016 Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino

The Fossacolle 2016 Brunello di Montalcino opens to a charming level of intensity and purity. This wine really jumped out at me thanks to the chiseled and sharp quality of fruit and the lingering acidity and power one receives on the finish. It undergoes both its primary and secondary fermentation in cement and is racked into French and Slavonian oak (of various sizes) for two years. Everything just works here, and the wine delivers great harmony between its fruit, spice, acidity and structure. Drink 2024-2040. $65 Our Price $59.99 (Arrives VRW this afternoon) Limited

Wine Enthusiast 93 points
2018 Pali Huntington Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

Aromas of roasted black-cherry, blistered plum and cola make for a hearty nose. The palate combines roasted strawberry with toasted sage and thyme, finishing on a fresh hibiscus kick. $25 Our Price $21.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 96 Points * CLOS DU MONT-OLIVET Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet 2019

Dark in profile, but very seductive, with the cassis, crushed plum and cherry reduction notes carried by the substantial yet very silky structure. Light floral, incense, black tea and warm earth details score the finish. Tantalizing now for its mouthfeel and expressiveness, but there's no rush at all. Drink now through 2038. —J.M. 100 cases imported. Internet Price $85. GT and VRW email subscriber price $73.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points * Pride Mountain Vineyards 2019 Merlot

The 2019 Merlot is very pretty in this vintage. Floral and spice notes give the Merlot a striking aromatic upper register that is both distinctive and alluring. Sweet red cherry, cinnamon and rose petal all build nicely in the glass. Best of all, the Pride Merlot will drink well right out of the gate. $65 (Arrives GT 1/26/22)

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2020 Pride Mountain Chardonnay

The 2020 Chardonnay slowly unfurls to reveal notes of key lime pie, yuzu and lemongrass, plus minerally suggestions of wet pebbles, chalk dust and brine. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers exhilarating tension and a zippy backbone, breaking through to fantastic citrusy intensity and a long chalky finish. 1,945 cases were made. $45 (Arrives GT 1/26/22)

2016 Laird Jillian’s 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. Internet Price $44 (Back in stock GT and VRW 1/26/22)

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 Internet Price $70 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 97 Points
BARICCI Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 2016

Fresh and vivid, this red features cherry, raspberry, plum, floral, black tea and mineral aromas and flavors. The well-defined fruit character is nicely balanced by earthy, savory elements, lively acidity and refined tannins. This is complete, with terrific finesse and complexity. Best from 2024 through 2048. 1,300 cases made, 275 cases imported. — BS $95 Our Price $83.99 (Back in stock VRW this afternoon)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 1/28/22(Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 93 Points
WILLAKENZIE Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018

Captures the best of Willamette Valley, with a layered structure that’s crisp yet supple with plump raspberry, orange peel and Darjeeling accents that glide toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 6,930 cases made. — TF $30

2019 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of black cherry, tuberose and fig, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of jasmine. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability are followed by a long, velvety finish. $100

Wine Advocate 92-94 Points
2019 Lerner Project Project 18 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Project 18 has a deep purple-black color and pronounced notions of plum preserves, blueberry compote and cassis with hints of baker's chocolate, lavender and tobacco leaf. Rich, full-bodied and wonderfully pure in the mouth, it has lovely fine-grained tannins and impressive freshness, finishing with a skip in its step. Launched in 2016, Russell Bevan is the winemaker and a partner in this project. Produced from some of Bevan's favored vineyards, including Tench and Sugarloaf, these wines are unique enough from his own label and yet undoubtedly possess that Bevan sparkle. The addition of Armstrong Ranch vineyard on Diamond Mountain makes for an absolute jewell. $100

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 1/29/22(Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

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

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

2017 The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery 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.

The growing season’s relative warmth is absent in the glass, replaced by freshness and a piquant tension. The nose draws forward notes of red fruit and elements—earth, warm spice, leather—often deferred to the finish. Lithesome tannins and vibrant acidity attend a crystalline structure that is finely wrought and radiantly transparent. $160

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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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