February 22nd 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

February 22nd 2022 Newsletter

DuMol and Anthem Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) $15 per person. Tuesday, 2/22 - Thursday, 2/24/22
Available all day during operating hours

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DUMOL Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Wester Reach 2019

Fine-grained, powerful and well-spiced, with floral accents to the raspberry and cherry flavors that are backed by fresh acidity. The juicy finish lingers with rich minerality and hints of white pepper. Drink now through 2025. 3,693 cases made. — KM $75

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Anthem Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color and reveals expressive black cherries, blackberries and warm blackcurrants with hints of violets, black olives, Indian spices and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and powerful, the palate is filled with well-poised black fruit layers and firm, grainy tannins, matched by bold freshness and finishing long. $125


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 Our Price $29.95 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Hartford Russian River Chardonnay

Readers looking for a pure, impeccably made Russian River Chardonnay should check out the 2019 Chardonnay Russian River Valley from Hartford Court. It has classic pineapple and honeyed orchard fruits, a rich, medium-bodied mouthfeel, good acidity, and subtle toasty, nutty background nuances. It's ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years $30 Our Price $23.99 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Faust Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Very attractive aromas of blackcurrants, black olives and dark leather with some cedar. It’s full-bodied with firm, silky tannins and a refined, polished finish. Shows finesse and focus. Grows on the palate. Really delicious now, but will improve with age. Drink or hold. $55 Internet Price $44.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2019 Failla Chardonnay Platt Vineyard

The 2019 Chardonnay Platt Vineyard is laced with hints of jasmine, lemon confit, mint, orchard fruit and tangerine oil. Time in the glass brings out light tropical overtones that take on a Riesling-like feel that is hugely appealing. $55 (Arrives GT 12/15/21)

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 Our Price $76.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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)

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)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
HARTFORD COURT Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Land's Edge Vineyards 2018

A refined and minerally style, with lithe acidity supporting well-knit flavors of cherry and raspberry. The plush finish lingers with creamy accents and plenty of spicy and toasty notes. Drink now through 2026. —K.M. $50 Internet Price $42.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
STAGLIN Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2018

Rich and seductive, with velvety dark plum, mulberry and boysenberry fruit flavors gliding through, infused with anise, roasted apple wood and black tea notes. The fruit echoes persistently through the finish, where a violet notes adds additional charm. A very suave wine that nearly flaunts its texture. Drink now through 2035. 2,300 cases made. — JM $285 Our Price $269.95 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
LOUIS JADOT Beaune Clos des Couchereaux Domaine des Héritiers 2019

This intense red delivers an extra layer of vibrant cherry, berry and floral flavors, with stone and spice notes. Though linear in profile, it's well-delineated and has depth, ending in an aftertaste that echoes cherry, spice and mineral notes. Best from 2025 through 2043. —B.S. 75 cases imported. $64 (Available VRW) limited


Mike Reedy (AKA Winemaker Mike) is moving to Nevada. Friday and Saturday will be our last time to taste wine with our buddy!

Friday Wine Tasting, 2/25/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93+ Points * 2018 Capiaux Old Vine Russian River Pinot Noir

Sean Capiaux's 2018 Pinot Noir Old Vine is a blend from Widdoes and Starscape, both planted with Martini clone, which tends to give an especially aromatic, exotic Pinot. Blood orange, mint, spice, star anise and kirsch all lift from the glass. Like all of these Pinots, the Old Vine is a bit clenched today, and yet its potential is evident. This is such a pretty and distinctive wine with a ton of underlying energy that just needs a bit of time to be at its most expressive. $38

2018 Wren Hop Ghost Story Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Let's get this pun out of the way. This wine is scary good. There, we said it. This Pinot Noir arrives via the Petaluma Gap, an area known for creating natural acidity and an extended growing season. The marine layer creates apparition-like fog and eerie shadows before being ghost-busted by the sun.

All important for the flavor development cycle of grape clusters. Aromatically, the wine displays black raspberry compote, and graham cracker, while the palate unveils silky dark red fruit, blood orange, and Santa Rosa plum. Blow off the departed, this Pinot is for the living. $80

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Fait Main Teeter Totter Napa Cabernet

Readers looking for a great value in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should jump on the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a rich, plum and blue-fruited Cabernet with medium to full-bodied richness, plenty of classic cedarwood, chocolate, and tobacco aromatics, silky tannins, lots of opulence, and a great finish. It tastes as if it cost two to three times the price, and I'd be thrilled to drink bottles any time over the coming 10-12 years. $65


Saturday Wine Tasting, 2/26/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 La Colline Aux Fossiles Chardonnay

All Chardonnay brought up in used demi-muids, the 2019 La Colline Aux Fossiles sports a medium gold hue to go with terrific stone fruits, caramelized citrus, white flowers, and honeysuckle-like aroma and flavors as well as a beautiful sense of minerality that emerges with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied and beautifully textured, with a layered mouthfeel and a great finish, it's another knockout Chardonnay from the team of Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage. $17

Wine Spectator 94 Points
LOUIS JADOT Beaune Clos des Couchereaux Domaine des Héritiers 2019

This intense red delivers an extra layer of vibrant cherry, berry and floral flavors, with stone and spice notes. Though linear in profile, it's well-delineated and has depth, ending in an aftertaste that echoes cherry, spice and mineral notes. Best from 2025 through 2043. —B.S. 75 cases imported. $64

2017 Pont Neuf La Source Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A mere 53 cases were produced of this exceptional Pinot Noir. The 2017 Pont Neuf La Source’ Pinot Noir, like in previous vintages, was produced from Silver Eagle Vineyard - a single vineyard on Stoetz Ridge, which is the last ridge before the Sonoma Coastline. It’s a rolling terrain which separates the Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. The Pinot Noir selections originated in Chambolle Musigny and Vosne-Romanée. They perform in great harmony in this vineyard and capture the elusive quality of Pinot Noir; its ability to deliver power and elegance. La Source is comprised of French clones 115 and 943 and offers balance of spice, forest floor, and berry fruits. It unfolds in the glass with a burst of energy, exotic aromas and a complete range of subtle small black fruits including cassis. This is one of the best Pinot and Chardonnay houses today, yet most haven’t heard of Pont Neuf. But when guests at the tasting room can taste them, they are wowed by their quality. $80


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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