The Grape Tray

March 15th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2017 Salvestrin Dr. Crane Napa Cabernet and 2019 Aperture Soil Specific Sonoma Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW). Tasting Tuesday, 3/15- Thursday, 3/17/22. $15 per person.
Available all day during operating hours

Wine Advocate 93+ Points
2017 Salvestrin Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Crane Vineyard

Blended with 10% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Crane Vineyard gives up warm red and black fruits, earth and iron ore with notes of meats and cedar. The palate is full-bodied, firm and chewy with a good core, finishing long and mineral laced. $70

Wine Advocate 95-97 Points
2019 Aperture Soil Specific Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Still in barrel, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with 3% Merlot and 1% Malbec) has a deep ruby color and bursts from the glass with detailed aromas of violet, tar, cassis, liquid cherries and graphite. This young wine has a stunning perfume! The palate is pure and grainy. Bursts of freshness lift its perfume, and its pure flavors linger a long time in the mouth. 2,800 cases are expected to be made. $70

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Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2018 Krutz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

A terrific value, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is all varietal and spent 22 months in 50% new barrels. This medium to full-bodied, elegant red has a deep purple hue, outstanding notes of currants, spring flowers, bouquet garni, and violets, moderate tannins, and a silky texture. It competes with wines at three times the cost. $40 (Arrives GT 3/16/22)

2020 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This lively wine with a golden-green hue sports an aromatic nose of tangerine, guava, honeydew and cantaloupe melons along with notes of white blossoms and marzipan. On the palate, sweet oak is balanced by crisp acidity, with a juicy finish featuring a splash of zesty grapefruit. $36 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Emerson Brown Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The appellation 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is a big winner and another remarkable achievement from Keith Emerson. It’s another finesse-driven effort offering beautiful red and black fruits as well as floral, dusty earth, and spicy nuances. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with silky tannins and a great mouthfeel, I finished my notes with “crazy good at the price.” It will keep for a solid decade, although there’s no need to delay gratification. $50 (Arrives GT 3/16/22)

2021 Rombauer Napa Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This wine is brilliant pale yellow with a bright green hue. It exudes aromas of key lime, mango, papaya and white nectarine with a hint of fresh-cut grass. The palate is fresh and enticing, as grapefruit, pineapple and passion fruit intertwine with Meyer lemon and lime, making the mouth water. Balanced yet lively acidity lingers on the palate inviting another taste. Boxwood on the finish gives the wine length and vibrant freshness. $26 Our Price $22.99 (Available GT and VRW 3/16/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2018 Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvée

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvée captures all of the intensity of this Calistoga site. Black fruit, leather, licorice, smoke, grilled herbs and chocolate all build in the glass. Ample and resonant, with tremendous richness the 2018 is positively stellar. Give the firm yet well-integrated tannins a bit of time to soften. $65 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 90 Points * MERCER Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills Mercer Bros. 2018

A spunky red that's well-structured and polished, with vibrant black cherry, orange peel and toasty mocha flavors. Drink now through 2026. 15,960 cases made. — TF $20 Our Price $14.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2018 Tether Cabernet Sauvignon

The deeply hued 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from winemaker Anna Monticelli is a beauty and in the running for the value of the vintage. Lots of cassis, flowers, and tobacco notes emerge from the glass, and it’s balanced and medium to full-bodied, with integrated acidity and great finish. The real deal, it has the structure to evolve for at least 10-12 years. This is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec, aged 18 months in 50% new French oak. $47 (Back in stock GT and VRW 3/17/22)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2019 Ilaria Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it skips out of the glass with lively notes of wild blueberries, black cherries and menthol, plus hints of pencil shavings and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied, it has a serious structure with flirtatious, flamboyant fruit, offering plenty of layers and an earthy finish. $70 (Arrives GT 3/16/22)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 3/18/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2020 Peter Michael L’Après-Midi Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 ‘L’Après-Midi’ is visually compelling with a translucent, silver color accented by a bright, pale golden hue. The bouquet is reminiscent of neroli, expressing vine and orange blossom along with a vibrant oyster shell and granitic minerality heightened by fresh lime, lemon fruit, and gooseberry, with a hint of pine needle and verbena. The flavors are introduced with a touch of freshness and glycerol, carrying elegant white spring flowers—jasmine and white vine rose with a resounding array of fruit, Vosges lemon candy, gooseberry, grapefruit to mandarin, and guava. The finish is balanced, precise, mineral-driven, and elegant, revealing white currant, apricot, acacia honey, and quince paste. The 2020 ‘L’Après-Midi’ will benefit from several years of cellaring to develop further complexity and express the originality of the vintage. $70

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2018 Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvée

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvée captures all of the intensity of this Calistoga site. Black fruit, leather, licorice, smoke, grilled herbs and chocolate all build in the glass. Ample and resonant, with tremendous richness the 2018 is positively stellar. Give the firm yet well-integrated tannins a bit of time to soften. $65

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2013 Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

Both 2013s are clearly the finest Eisele wines made under the administration of François Pinault and his top lieutenant, Frédéric Engerer, who also runs the show at Château Latour. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia is a beauty. Dense, opaque purple, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with forest floor and violets is followed by a lush, medium to full-bodied wine with terrific concentration, light tannin and an approachable style even for a 2013. It should drink well for 15 or more years. $130

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 3/19/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2017 Switchback Ridge Peterson Vineyard Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Intense dark fruit aromas of black cherry and black currant indicate the ripeness and purity of this beautiful Cabernet. The structural framework is sturdy, while tannin grips very gently, carrying the fruit flavors with a trace of vanilla into a long, graceful finish. $105

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2016 Robert Foley Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

 Lastly, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 30% new oak) offers a touch more elegance as well as terrific notes of blue fruits, plums, dark chocolate, and violets. Full-bodied, ripe, and polished on the palate, it stays balanced, has solid underlying structure, and a great finish. If you’re looking for a rock star Cabernet under $100, this is for you. It will evolve for 15+ years or more. $105

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2019 Ilaria Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it skips out of the glass with lively notes of wild blueberries, black cherries and menthol, plus hints of pencil shavings and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied, it has a serious structure with flirtatious, flamboyant fruit, offering plenty of layers and an earthy finish. $70

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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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