The Grape Tray

February 8th 2022 Newsletter

Tuesday, 2/8 - Thursday, 2/10 Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) $15 per person
Taste 2017 Booker Oublie GSM and 2018 Booker Fracture Syrah this week at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW).
Available all day during operating hours Tuesday-Thursday

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

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

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Vinous 91 Points * 2018 Lisini San Biagio Montalcino, Tuscany

The 2018 San Biagio, a 100% varietal Sangiovese, balances tart cherry, peppery herbs, leather and dark earth tones to create a savory and wonderfully inviting display. The textures are soft; yet its fruits are ripe and fleshy, with notes of sour citrus and juicy acids maintaining freshness while keeping the energy high. This is dangerously delicious, finishing long with echoes of blackberry and spice. While I wouldn’t hold the 2018 too long in the cellar, it will make a lot of people very happy over the next few years. Drinking window: 2020 – 2024. $22 Our Price $17.99 (Available GT and VRW 2/10/22)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2017 Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay Estate

The 2017 Chardonnay Estate is beautifully expressed this vintage, scented of warm citrus, honeycomb and a singular undercurrent of spices. The palate is satiny with full, ripe fruit energized by bright freshness and mineral character, and the wine finishes very long, pure and uplifted. It improved slowly over several days and will benefit from time in the cellar or a long decant. 1,832 cases produced. $60 (Available GT)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 Points
Mount Eden Vineyards 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains, Central Coast

Mount Eden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon represents the essence of what Cabernet Sauvignon is all about in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Deep, powerful and explosive, the 2016 simply has it all. A wine of tremendous depth and intensity. Readers, take note. This is world class Cabernet Sauvignon that in any other region would cost 2-3 times as much. Savory and expansive, with tons of mountain character and remarkable richness from low yields in 2016, the Cabernet Sauvignon is simply off the charts. It’s another utterly breathtaking wine from Mount Eden. $95 (Available GT)

WOW-Discounted 65%!
2019 Orto Vins Les Argiles Rosat
(Rose from Spain)

Winemaker Notes: Lighter pink. (Clay soil) Restrained nose or black fig, rose petal, apple skin. Simple,fresh,cleanonthepalate,hintsofaloe, cranberry and orange zest on palate. Produced from 100% Garnacha. $15 Liquidation Price $5.25 (Limited to stock on hand) Available GT and VRW

2015 Center of Effort Edna Valley Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This Chardonnay is a great representation of the fresh, pure crispness flavors that are achieved from our estate vineyard. Complex notes of tart citrus, smoke, and marine and sea breeze like nuances give this delicious wine a sense of place. The palate reinforces the fresh character, with bright, precise acidity leading through to a nice long finish. $30 (Arrives VRW 2/9/22)

Ostro Prosecco Brut

Producer Notes: TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Fine bubbles. Bright gold. A vinous Prosecco, with citrus blossom, apple, toast aromas. Light and lively. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: As an aperitif; with spicy or salty foods; fried fish. $15 Our Price $13.49 (Back in stock GT 2/9/22)

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 $23.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Raeburn Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Raeburn Chardonnay shows an array of complex fruit tones ranging from pear and Gravenstein apple to nectarine. The fruit is beautifully complemented with toasted oak, vanilla, and hints of Crème Brûlée with a balanced and elegant finish. $17 Our Price $14.29 (Arrives GT and VRW this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2018 Cirq Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir sports a medium ruby, plum, almost opaque hue as well as a killer bouquet of ripe black raspberries, redcurrants, roasted herbs, loamy earth, and sandalwood. Rich, almost full-bodied, and beautifully textured, with silky, polished tannins, this is another rock star of a Pinot Noir from Michael Browne that will deliver the goods over the coming 7-8 years, probably longer, although I have no idea why you would delay gratification. $225 (Available GT)

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 Our Price $25.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 2/9/22)

2019 Bernardus Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The Bernardus 2019 Monterey Chardonnay exhibits bright white fruit aromas accented by caramel and subtle toasty oak notes. The palate is intense and beautifully focused with vibrant peach and tropical fruit flavors along with accents of crème brûlée. The long finish is supported by a refreshing acidity. An extraordinary example of Chardonnay from Monterey County! $30 Our Price $20.79 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 2/11/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 94 Points * RÉSONANCE Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019

Vibrant and impeccably structured, with floral raspberry, crushed stone and savory tea accents that build tension toward refined tannns. Drink now through 2031. —T.F. $35

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2018 WRATH Pinot Noir Monterey Swan/828

This plush red offers mouthwatering flavors of red fruits and berries that are well-knit, with notes of Asian spice. The creamy finish shows hints of slate and white pepper, with a note of chocolate mousse. Drink now through 2024. 685 cases made. — KM $35

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate

Composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a deep garnet-purple color and fragrant notes of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis and wild blueberries with nuances of red roses, Chinese five spice, camphor and black olive plus a hint of charcoal. Full-bodied, the decadently rich fruit has impressive freshness lifting the palate along with firm, finely grained tannins, finishing long and fragrant. $160

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 2/12/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2020 Tempier Bandol Rose, Magnum

Notes from Anthony Lynch: They say great wine is evocative of place. With Tempier rosé, all it takes is one sniff to be carried back to Provence, conceiving a dreamy fantasy of sunshine and ice-cold pink wine. Suddenly we are in the shade of a massive umbrella pine tree at Domaine Tempier, refreshed by a soothing breeze and generous sips of rosé. The cigales chirp buzzingly in the background, while the sound of laughter complements their constant hum. Your glass of Bandol, evocative of rosemary, ripe peaches, and citrus, is the perfect elixir to wash down the assortment of snacks that has spontaneously materialized: garlic-rubbed toasts with cured anchovies, olives marinated in herb-infused oil, and slices of salty saucisson. This is what Tempier rosé is all about—celebration, gaiety, and delicious simplicity. $125/magnum.

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

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

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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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