The Grape Tray

February 1st 2022 Newsletter

Tuesday, 2/1 - Thursday, 2/3 Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) $15 per person

Taste 2019 Pride Mountain Cabernet and 2019 Bevan Ontogeny Proprietary Red this week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW).

Available all day during operating hours Tuesday-Thursday

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
Bevan Cellars 2019 Ontogeny

The 2019 Ontogeny is another tremendous wine in this range. In fact, the 2019 is one of the very best Ontogenys I can remember tasting. Rich, sumptuous and unapologetically brash, the 2019 is a total rock-star. A touch of Malbec adds exuberance to the fruit, as if these wines needed any more richness. For readers who want to know what the fuss is about Bevan, Ontogeny is the place to start! $115

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2020 Collines de la Moure Maison Ombre Rose

Producer Notes: Ombre boasts aromas of red berries and white flowers. A fresh and rounded rose of Grenache with beautiful watermelon and a crisp finish. $14 Our Price $4.95 (Available GT and VRW) Delicious

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2017 Booker Oublié Paso Robles GSM

The 2017 Oublié is a blockbuster, ranking with the finest wines in the vintage. Based on 56% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre, 22% Syrah, brought up in 50% neutral barrels, its vivid purple color is followed by a full-bodied, powerful, yet elegant red that has a great nose of cassis, blackberries, white flowers, leafy herbs, and hints of pepper. It packs some muscle yet stays flawlessly balanced. $75 (Available VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 98-100 Points
2018 Booker Fracture Syrah

The inky colored 2018 Fracture is another wine that’s going to push at the upper limits of the grading scale. Awesome crème de cassis, charred meats, graphite, plenty of minerality, and subtle oak nuances all flow to a powerful, full-bodied, beautifully balanced Syrah. Similar in style to the 2017 with its powerful yet elegant vibe as well as good acidity, it’s a magical Paso Robles Syrah in the making. $96 (Available 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)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
FRATELLI GIACOSA Barolo Bussia 2015

Menthol and savory notes of juniper and sage mark this meaty red. Dense tannins lurk in the background, while the essence of cherry adds a fruity sweetness midpalate. Savory elements return on the lingering finish. Best from 2023 through 2042. 3,500 cases made, 500 cases imported. — BS $65 Our Price $53.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2019 Shafer One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five is such an elegant wine. Bright, red-toned fruit and effusive aromatics lend striking brilliance to a Cabernet that is gracious and light on its feet. The 2019 stands out for its freshness and red fruit profile. It is beautifully done. One Point Five remains one of Napa Valley's little hidden gems; a wine that is seldom talked about in a discussion of the very top bottlings, but a Cabernet that never disappoints. $120 Our Price $107.99 (Arrives GT 2/3/22)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
BOOKWALTER Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Readers 2019

Talk about bang for the buck—this red has structure and zesty polish, plus expressive black cherry, toasty mocha and smoked spice flavors. Drink now through 2028. 5,621 cases made. From Washington.—Tim Fish $28 Our Price TBD (Available GT and VRW 2/3/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2019 Shafer Vineyards Red Shoulder Ranch Carneros Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch is bright, fragrant and light on its feet. Lemon peel, tropical fruit, jasmine and mint lend striking aromatic nuance to a Chardonnay that balances the energy that is typical of this wine today with attractive, exotic accents that add wonderful nuance. $57 Our Price $49.99 (Back in stock GT 2/3/22)

James Suckling 92 Points * 2019 Turnbull Estate Napa Cabernet

A sold and structured cabernet with blackberries, blueberries, currants and some walnuts. Full-bodied with firm, fine tannins and a long finish. Very attractive now, but it will age nicely. $55 Our Price $44.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW 2/2/22)

2019 Silenus Tyros Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our Tyros Cabernet Sauvignon has a bright ruby red color with beautiful garnet tones reaching the rim. The nose expresses fresh ripe berries and pomegranate with hints of sweet oak. True to its classic Napa style, the palate is dominated by its fruit forward personality with secondary bright and balanced tones of black cherry, pomegranate and toasty oak. The finish is fresh and smooth with slight lingering hints of oak on its finish. Pair with lamb, beef or a well-appointed charcuterie board to enjoy all elements of the wine. $35 Our Price TBD (Available GT and VRW 2/4/22)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 2/4/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

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

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ROBERT MONDAVI Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville The Estates 2018

Rich and seductive in feel, with a lovely swath of loamy-edged steeped plum and blackberry compote flavors, backed with flashes of anise and sweet bay leaf. A loamy edge extends nicely in lockstep with the fruit on the finish. Textbook Oakville Cabernet. Best from 2022 through 2034. 9,791 cases made. — JM $90

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Cade Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes all from the estate on Howell Mountain and is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot. More blue fruits, bay leaf, candied violets, orange blossom, and floral notes emerge from this full-bodied beauty, which reveals a rounded, sexy texture, polished tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles just a few years in the cellar and it's going to keep for 15+. $160

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 2/5/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2018 Laird Cold Creek Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The golden straw color draws you in, but the floral nose is what keeps you around. With notes of toasted caramel, elderflower and white nectarine. The wine has a balanced palate showcasing both creamy rich and bright acids. There are flavors of buttered popcorn, lilac and lemon zest. With its bright citrus finish, it leaves you yearning for the next sip, easily paired with seafood or your next movie night snuggled up next to your special someone. $30

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
Cornell 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Courtship Spring Mountain

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Courtship is a new wine from Cornell crafted mostly from younger vines on the estate. Bright red berry fruit, mocha and floral notes give the Courtship a very pretty, high-toned character. Medium in body, silky and wonderfully nuanced, the Courtship is a terrific introduction to these wines. Best of all, it will drink well right out of the gate. $85

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points * 2018 Odette Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Moving to the two reds, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is brilliant all the way, offering a smorgasbord-like bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, spring flowers, cured meats, tobacco, and assorted other spicy, floral nuances. I always find a subtle red fruit and mineral character in top Stags Leap Cabernet, and this beauty has it in spades. Full-bodied on the palate, this pure, plush, sexy Napa Valley Cabernet has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. Seemingly all about sweet fruit and texture, it's nevertheless going to evolve for 20-25 years. $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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