March 22nd 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

March 22nd 2022 Newsletter

Taste Krug 169eme for $15 per person
at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
Wednesday, 3/23/22-Available 12 noon-5:30 PM

Wine Spectator 96 Points
KRUG Brut Champagne Grande Cuvée 169ème Édition NV (reviewed 2021)

A vivid Champagne, with a chiseled frame of acidity and a chalky underpinning cloaked in a fine mousse that caresses the palate with its gossamer-like texture. Lovely aromas of coffee liqueur, anise and verbena accent the layered flavors of tangerine, Macadamia nut, brioche and ripe plum, a profile that expands on the long, mouthwatering finish. There's power and expressive character to this, with a delicacy to its fine integration and length. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Disgorged winter 2019 to 2020. Drink now through 2030. — AN $195


Taste 2019 Beringer Luminus Napa Chardonnay and 2016 Byron Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW). Tasting Tuesday, 3/22- Thursday, 3/24/22. ($5 per person).
Available all day during operating hours

James Suckling 93 Points
2019 Beringer Luminus Oak Knoll Napa Chardonnay

Dried apricot, pineapple, lemon curd, crushed stones and some hay on the nose. It’s full-bodied and buttery with concentrated mineral and ripe-fruit layers. Some spice, too. Excellent length. $30. Our Price $23.95

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2016 BYRON Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard Santa Maria Valley

Pale to medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard has a bright nose of Bing cherry, wild blackberries, earth and stewed black tea leaves with saline and hints of charcuterie and potpourri. Medium-bodied and silky, it's much more giving in the mouth with black and red fruits and tons of Earl Grey tea-tinged spice, with soft, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long and layered. A delicate, earthy and pretty expression. 100 cases were made. $45 Our Price $25.99


2020 The Dude Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 The Dude Pinot noir reveals a vibrant aromas of cherry, cola and plum with exotic tones of black tea and baking spice. Beautifully layered, the palate seamlessly flows with a fresh core of ripe red fruits, fine-grained tannins and intriguing spice notes from the whole cluster and oak influence (35% New French Oak). Featuring the following Pinot Noir clones; Calera, Swan, Dijon 777 and Pommard 4. 550 cases produced $30 Our Price $19.99 (Arrives GT 3/23/22)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2018 Arkenstone • Sauvignon Blanc Estate

The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Estate is a blend of 94% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Semillon, aged for 11 months in one-third new French oak, one-third once-used barrels and one-third concrete. It springs from the glass with vibrant scents of white peaches, grapefruit and underripe pears with hints of honeysuckle, chalk dust and yuzu. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with citrus and stone fruit layers plus a crisp backbone and satiny texture, finishing long and chalky. 550 cases were made. $105 (Arrives 3/23/22)

Wine Spectator 94 Points * CLOS ST.-MARTIN St.-Emilion 2017

Features an intense beam of steeped plum, blackberry and black currant fruit, laced with racy, mouthwatering alder, mineral and tobacco accents. Shows density, but stays fresh and sleek in feel overall. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2022 through 2035. 325 cases made. — JM $145 Our Price $125.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
BENOVIA Chardonnay Russian River Valley
 La Pommeraie 2018

Powerfully crisp, this is filled with juicy acidity backing the white fruit and dried herbal flavors. Firm and a touch fleshy midpalate, with a finish that lingers with flinty notes. Pure and refreshing. Best from 2022 through 2026. 442 cases made. — KM $52 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the Southing exhibits Watermelon, Jasmine, Victoria plum; and subtle baking spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity. $220/magnum (Available VRW and GT 3/23/22)

Wine Spectator 90
SILENUS Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Tyros 2017

Quite bold and ripe, this teeters a bit, with a prune note amid the cherry, raspberry and plum confiture flavors. Features pretty spice accents, a relatively silky feel and a lingering mesquite element for added range. For fans of the style. Drink now through 2028. 5,000 cases made. — JM $35 Internet Price $24.99 GT and VRW email subscriber price $18.95

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ARGIANO Toscana NC 2019

Vibrant yet silky, boasting black cherry, blackberry, violet and iron flavors. The iron fist emerges by way of the firm tannins, and this finishes with a long aftertaste of fruit and dried herbs. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese. Drink now through 2030. 7,920 cases made.—B.S. $23. Our Price $18.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 Our Price $13.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Syrah 2018

Another value release from this terrific producer, the 2018 Syrah Tous Les Jours is all Syrah, from a mix of vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, that was mostly destemmed and brought up in neutral oak. It's deeper ruby/purple hue is followed by a ripe, textured, yet still complex, cool-climate-like Syrah that has lots of peppery herbs, smoke game, and assorted darker berry fruit aromas and flavors. It's California's answer to a terrific Saint Joseph and will evolve nicely for 4-6 years or more. $17 Our Price $14.95 (Available GT)


Friday Wine Tasting, 3/25/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2020 Lewis Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay

Lime skin, fig and green pear, followed by balsam and toasted brioche, our 2020 Napa Reserve Chardonnay opens with enticing aromas. Loaded with tree fruit and generously proportioned the palate is luxuriant and long with vanilla-laced lees at the finish. $80

Wine Spectator 93 Points
SALVESTRIN Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2019

This is chockablock with winey dark currant and juicy plum pâte de fruit notes, laced with hints of licorice root, tar and roasted apple wood. Offers ample structure, but it's racy and well-embedded in the fruit. Really vibrant throughout. Best from 2023 through 2036. —J.M. $50

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Vineyard 29 Cru Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Plums, Asian spices, tobacco, and lead pencil notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Cru, which hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a beautifully polished, elegant texture, and outstanding length. This is another gorgeous 2018 displaying notable purity, balance, and length as well as richness. It can be drunk any time over the coming 15+ years. $65


Saturday Wine Tasting, 3/26/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2019 Hartford Court Four Hearts Vineyard Chardonnay

Another Russian River release, the 2019 Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard brings plenty of ripe tropical fruit as well as medium to full body, a supple, layered mouthfeel, nicely integrated acidity, and building spice, toast, and green almond nuances. It's another thrilling, brilliant Chardonnay from this estate. Drink bottles over the coming 5-7 years. $55

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 Points
2019 Sinegal Napa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as magnificent as it was last year. A heady, statuesque wine, the 2019 captures all the pedigree of the vintage. Inky red cherry fruit, mocha, licorice and spice race across the palate. The 2019 is bright, deep and powerful, with exceptional balance and tons of class. It's a stunning wine, to say the least. The move towards a slightly less pushed style, with less overt oak signatures, has paid off big time. This is a fabulous showing. $80

2019 Lewis Reserve Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 Reserve Cabernet is an extraordinary wine that projects with the phrasing and voice of a vintage Martin D-45 guitar. Cascading berry fruits are fleshy and broad with an ornate overlay of dark chocolate, granite and espresso forte topped with Adirondack spruce. Powerful, rich and resonant at its core, the wine sustains supple character to the final note. $190


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) 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) 559-226-6828
Monday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

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