The Grape Tray

February 11th 2022 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92 Points
PAUL BERTRAND Malbec Cahors Crocus L'Atelier 2018

A fluid red, with blackberry, blueberry and plum flavors accented by vanilla and clove. Firmly structured, with a sense of grace and harmony despite the chalky tannins. Drink now through 2028. 2,800 cases made, 1,400 cases imported. — BS $20 Our Price $17.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
SEGHESIO Zinfandel Rockpile Rockpile 2019

Spirited yet refined and robust, with vibrant cherry, smoky dill and cracked pepper flavors that take on structure toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2030. —T.F. $55 Our Price $41.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 points
RED CAR Syrah Sonoma Coast 2018

A handsome red, expressive and elegantly layered, with cherry and red currant flavors accented by rose petal and savory garrigue. Drink now through 2030. 350 cases made. — TF $35 Our Price $30.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
CARLISLE Syrah Russian River Valley Papa's Block 2019

A wine that offers a true sense of place, this Syrah is loaded with personality, featuring blackberry and currant flavors that take on licorice, smoky game and black pepper accents, finishing with big but polished tannins. Drink now through 2032. 313 cases made. — TF Internet Price $50 (Available GT)

Zinfandel Chronicles 93 Points
2019 Schoolhouse Creek Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

Winemaker Notes: Crimson in color, medium to full bodied with mouth watering acidity and exceptional balance. Dark, brooding and chewy. Blackberry, black cherry liqueur, chocolate and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish with prominent tannins. The Petite Sirah in the blend is unmistakable and compelling. Give this wine some time in the cellar. Best over the next 5-7 years. 88 cases produced. 77% Zinfandel and 23% Petite Sirah $35 Our Price $19.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Hartford Old Vine Russian River Zinfandel

The 2019 Zinfandel Russian River Valley is a gem and certainly a great candidate for those looking for a great Zinfandel, or those interested in the style and quality of this great estate. Classic red and blue fruits, sandalwood, cigar wrapper, and candied violets dominate the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with considerable structure, good purity, and a great finish. It will have 8-10 years of prime drinking. $40 Our Price $33.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

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. $20 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points * BODEGA NUMANTHIA Tinta de Toro Toro Termes 2017

This red shows concentration and grace, offering spice-laced cherry and red plum notes infused with anise, espresso and graphite elements. Refined, plush tannins give a nice feel throughout. Drink now through 2028. 12,500 cases made, 10,000 cases imported.—Gillian Sciaretta. $24 Our Price $16.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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+. $120 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 100 points * 2019 Patria Oakville Ranch Avoyelles Prop Red

The 2019 Avoyelles Oakville Ranch checks in as 55% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot, all from the Oakville Ranch Vineyard and aged 22 months in French oak. It has an insanely good bouquet of chocolaty red and black fruits, dried herbs, chocolate, and obvious minerality as well as full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Complex, layered, multi-dimensional, and perfectly balanced, it's an incredible Cabernet Franc-dominated blend that will benefit from just a handful of years in the cellar and keep for 15-20 years. $150 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2018 Cardinale Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, the 2018 Cardinale was aged in French oak barrels for 22 months, 81% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it prances out of the glass with gregarious notions of warm cassis, black cherries and wild blueberries, followed by emerging earth scents with a tobacco and garrigue undercurrent. Medium to full-bodied, gracefully styled and refreshing, the vibrant black and blue-fruited palate offers a wonderfully fine-grained texture and bags of energy, finishing long with a skip in its step. 5,107 cases were made. $325 (Available VRW)

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 Our Price $43.99 (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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