The Grape Tray

March 29th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2008 Piper Heidsieck Rare Brut at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person
Wednesday, 3/30/22-Available 12 noon-5:30 PM

Wine Spectator 97 Points
PIPER-HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne Rare 2008

Like a stallion out of the gate, this shows an initial explosion of power, in the form of mouthwatering flavors and fine texture, before quickly settling into an elegant gait. The racy acidity is seamlessly knit, buoying the lacy mousse and flavors of cassis, toasted brioche and tangerine, with accents of candied ginger, hazelnut and fleur de sel lingering on the long, creamy finish. Drink now through 2035. 2,000 cases imported. — AN $215 Internet Price $179.99

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Hartford Russian River Chardonnay and Donum Carneros Pinot Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) $10 per person.
Tuesday, 3/29/22 - Thursday, 3/31/22. Available all day during operating hours

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

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DONUM Pinot Noir Carneros Single Vineyard 2018

Lithe and powerfully spiced, with a mix of wild berry, plum tart and dried cherry flavors that are backed by firm acidity and fine-grained tannins. Finishes with a pure, minerally essence. Drink now through 2024. 1,700 cases made. — KM Internet Price $80

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2020 Turley Buck Cobb Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Red fruits, black cherries, dried florals, ink and perfume with characteristic Amador granite dust. Approachable in its youth, though we nevertheless recommend decanting. $35 (Arrives GT 3/30/22)

James Suckling 93 Points
2019 Shafer TD-9 Napa

Aromas of blackberries with old spice, dark cherries and cloves, following through to a medium to full body with a sold core of ripe fruit and a creamy and stony underlying character. Juicy and rich, yet not overbearing. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. Drinkable now, but better in 2025. $60

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma County Red Blend

Lots of ripe blackberries, peppery herbs, and assorted meaty notes emerge from the deep purple 2019 Red Wine, which offers medium to full body, a kiss of iron and minerality on the palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This is one heck of a delicious, textured red to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years or so. $27 (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 GT and VRW)

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve, Half Bottles

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. $33 Our Price $28.49/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

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 GT and VRW) Limited

2018 Justin Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottle

Winemaker Notes: With attractive aromas of black fruit and spice, this smooth, ready-to-drink Cabernet Sauvignon is made with the same care as the highest quality, traditionally crafted Bordeaux styled wines. The grapes are hand-picked and berry-sorted for consistent quality and flavor. Justin Cabernet Sauvignon then spends more than a year in traditional small oak barrels to impart depth and complexity, highlighting the exceptional balance of flavors and textures that the unique climate and soils of Paso Robles add to the classic Cabernet character in this exceptional wine. $18. Our Price $14.99/375ml (Available GT and VRW)

2019 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptionally dark in color with aromas of blackberry, black currant, and toasted pastry crust. Dense and soft on the palate, with elegant layers of black and red currants leaving a bright finish. $20 Our Price $15.99/375ml (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 (Back in stock GT 3/30/22)

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)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * ETUDE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

Packed with juicy black currant, plum and blackberry compote flavors that pump along the graphite-edged grip and a dark tobacco backdrop. Frankly toasted on the finish, but with ample fruit for balance. A serious Cab. Best from 2022 through 2034. —J.M. $100 Internet Price $81.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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Friday Wine Tasting, 4/1/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

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

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

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

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 4/2/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

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

Wine Enthusiast 97 Points
2018 O'Shaughnessy Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

This is such an outstanding wine at any price, but here we’re talking about outstanding value as well. Notes of iron and crushed rock lead to a lengthy balance of juicy red fruit and clove. With small amounts of Merlot, Malbec, Saint-Macaire and Cabernet Franc, it shows a deft hand at blending, with lasting notes of black pepper and nuanced oak. $75

Wine Advocate 97+ Points
2019 Corra Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon explodes with vivacious scents of crushed blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries and blackcurrant pastilles with hints of menthol, unsmoked cigars and cardamom. The concentrated, full-bodied palate (15% alcohol) has a solid foundation of firm, fine-grained tannins with seamless freshness and a long, spicy finish. 350 cases were made. $160

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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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