The Grape Tray

March 4th 2022 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
La Cabanne 2018 Pomerol

The 2018 Château La Cabanne is another pretty, perfumed, incredibly pure Pomerol with loads of blueberry and cherry fruit as well candied violets, spice, and leafy herbs. I love its purity, it has great tannins, a layered, deep mid-palate, and an outstanding finish. It's great today, in a youthful, vibrant fashion, yet will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15 years. It's a gorgeous wine and one of the finest I've tasted from this address, surpassing even the 2016. $47 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Paradigm Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This 2018 Cabernet has very dark garnet color with aromas of blackberry jam, black cherry, and cassis. Big and rich across the palate, it is delicious. A nice ripe vintage produced a wine with berry and dark cherry pie flavors layered with hints of caramel toast, French Oak, spice, and depth of flavor. The texture is dense with medium weight, tannins, and oak infl uence. Flavors persists several minutes after tasting. A blockbuster wine that will greatly improve with a few more years in the bottle. Heidi Barrett. $85 (Available GT and VRW 3/9/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
Walter Hansel Winery 2019 Pinot Noir
 Cuvée Alyce

The 2019 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is a dark, powerful wine. Black cherry, plum, cedar, lavender, spice and menthol infuse the Alyce with notable depth. Dense and muscular, the Alyce is a decidedly potent, backward Pinot. All it needs is a bit of time to be at its best. $50 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
2016 Chalk Hill Russian River Estate
Pinot Noir

Offers a rich, savory edge to the dark currant and dried raspberry flavors. Notes of underbrush show midpalate, with a mineral- and slate-filled finish. Drink now through 2023. 15,000 cases made. — KM $48. Internet Price $29.99 (Available GT) Email subscriber price $24.95

Wine Spectator 93 Points
BODEGAS TRADICIÓN Oloroso Jerez 30 Years Old VORS NV (reviewed 2014)

Almost plump, with a juicy core of orange, date, persimmon and toasted mango. The edges are dry, with bitter almond and musk accents lending contrast. The finish features an echoing iodine hint. Distinctive. Drink now. 400 cases made, 20 cases imported. — JM $95 Our Price $79.99 (Arrives GT 3/9/22)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MORGAN Chardonnay
Santa Lucia Highlands Highland 2019

Decadently spiced, with accents of roasted hazelnut and caramel to the well-knit baked apple and pear tart flavors. Dried mango hints line the open-textured finish. Drink now through 2025. 4,937 cases made.—K.M $28 Our Price $22.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Wren Hop Dark Carnival Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2017 Pinot Noir Dark Carnival offers a medium to full-bodied, balanced, incredibly charming style that carries classic cherry and strawberry fruits as well as notes of forest floor and spice. Coming from the Wren Hop vineyard in the Russian River, destemmed and brought up in new oak, it has a rich, opulent texture, good freshness, and a great finish. It’s a classic, powerful Russian River Pinot Noir to enjoy over the coming 5-7 years. $80 (Back in stock GT)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
LEMELSON Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Thea's Selection 2018

Refined and structured, offering pinpoint black cherry, savory spice and black tea flavors that build tension and tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2029. 9,700 cases made.—T.F. $34 Our Price $25.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
BEAULIEU VINEYARD Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018

A polished and inviting style, with warm cassis and gently mulled plum fruit flavors gliding through atop pretty mocha, singed vanilla and loam accents, while a gentle savory echo adds range through the finish. Approachable now, but there's no rush. Drink now through 2032. 42,975 cases made. —James Molesworth. $33 Our Price $26.95 (Available VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2019 Forman Napa Valley Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay is compelling. In this vintage, the Chardonnay balances natural richness from aging on the lees with a touch of new oak (20%) with the energy that is the result of picking early and also blocking the malolactic fermentation. Lemon confit, marzipan, tangerine oil and white flowers all open up as this super-expressive Chardonnay shows off its character. Best of all, the 2019 can be enjoyed upon release. It is an incredibly delicious and rewarding wine to drink today. $45 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 96 Points
ZENA CROWN VINEYARD Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Slope 2018

A wine of presence and personality, with dynamic black raspberry and guava flavors that take on stony mineral and dusky spice accents as this gathers richness and tension toward broad-shouldered tannins. Best from 2022 through 2032. 487 cases made.—T.F $75 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94 Points * 2019 Raúl Pérez • Ultreia Saint Jacques

The nose of the 2019 Ultreia Saint Jacques is nothing short of spectacular. It shows the varietal character and the juicy and round style of the Valtuille vineyards. It's harmonious, clean and expressive. They are using more and more stems with long macerations, malolactic in tanks and aging in 30% oak vats (he purchased from Alión) and 70% of the wine in used 225-liter oak barrels for one year. There is only one master blend, which is put into oak vats and bottled by 25,000- to 30,000-bottle lots. In 2019 he produced 110,000 bottles of this wine. $30 Our Price $18.99 (Available GT and VRW)

(Mencía, known as Jaen in Portugal, is a grape variety native to the western part of the Iberian Peninsula. In Spain)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 3/4/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2019 La Storia Alexander Valley Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 La Storia Cab has a dense ruby-purple color followed by abundant varietal aromas and flavors of blueberries, blackberry, and black licorice with hint of herbs and minerals. The predominately French oak aging contributes aromas of cocoa dust, vanilla and smokey maple. The mouth feel is medium dense, fresh and juicy with balanced acidity and very soft tannins for a young wine. The alcohol content is balanced and the acidity is relatively high suggesting excellent longevity for this wine. Drink now or age for 5-7 years. Cheers. $30

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

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Dana Estates Onda Cabernet Sauvignon

Onda is a blend of all four of the estate vineyards and includes a vineyard planted in 1967, just below the Lotus vineyard. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is composed of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot. It was aged for 21 months in French oak barrels, 73% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it delivers vibrant scents of crushed black cherries, warm cassis and wild blueberries with hints of dark chocolate, candied violets and fragrant earth. Full-bodied, rich and plush in the mouth, the purely fruited palate is layered with loads of fragrant accents, finishing with a red berry lift. 1,052 cases were made. $220

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 3/5/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir

Vivid strawberry and dried-flower aromas here with hints of sandalwood. Medium to full body with firm, creamy tannins and a tangy finish. Opulent. Tight and focused. Pumice and black and white-pepper notes. A pretty wine already, but give it a year or two to open and soften. $43

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve

This is layered, with chewy tannins and attractive blackcurrant and blackberry character. Chocolate and walnut highlights. Full and flavorful, but not heavy in any sense of the word. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Better in a year or two. $65

Wine Advocate 96+ Points
2018 Rudd Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Samantha's

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Samantha's was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels, 68% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it slips slowly out of the glass with captivating scents of black raspberries, Morello cherries, black currant pastilles and rose oil, followed by suggestions of cedar chest, pencil lead and black olives. The full-bodied palate is charged with amazing energy, featuring vivacious red and black berry layers and a firm backbone of grainy tannins, lifted by refreshing acidity and bags of crunchy fruit on the long finish. 617 cases were made. $205

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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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