The Grape Tray

April 19th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2019 Fait Main LPV Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person
Wednesday, 4/20/22-Available 12 noon-5:30 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Certainly in the same league as the 2018, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is another full-bodied, ripe, incredibly sexy wine that has an incredible bouquet of red and blue fruits, sandalwood, crushed stone, and exotic spices. As with the 2018, it's flawlessly balanced and has a round, lush texture, supple tannins, and a great finish. The 2018 is more straight and classic, and the 2019 is more up-front, sexy, and exuberant. Both are incredible wines. $240

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Taste Quilt Napa Cabernet and Caymus Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) $15 per person.
Tuesday, 4/19/22 - Thursday, 4/21/22. Available all day during operating hours

2019 Quilt Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: While the majority of the fruit comes from the floor of the Napa Valley to achieve the richness and elegance desired, we also relied on some grapes grown in the well-drained gravelly soils of the side slopes and at low elevations in the more mountainous areas for a blend with more structure and complexity than we could have achieved had we used fruit grown solely in a single region. Napa Valley AVAs: Oakville, St. Helena, Atlas Peak, Coombsville, Calistoga, and Howell Mountain. $55

2020 Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A dark, scarlet red color, with powerful aromas of sweet ripe cabernet grapes. Initial impressions are fantastically appealing, brooding to expansive textural sensations of finely grained cacao tannins. The whole of the wine is balanced, rich, expressive and impressively complex. The backbone of fine tannin and sweet ripeness is a carryover from perfectly mature fruit. $95

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Wine Spectator 90 Points
ALMA DE CATTLEYA Pinot Noir Sonoma County Rosé 2021

Pretty, sleek and floral, with peach and watermelon flavors that finish on a crisp, spicy accent. Drink now. 1,000 cases made. From California.—Tim Fish. $22 Our Price $18.99 (Arrives GT 4/20/22)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
LUCY Rosé Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2021

A lovely blush, crisp yet richly fruity version, with floral raspberry and peach flavors that linger. Drink now. 2,527 cases made. From California.—T.F. $22 Our Price $18.99 (Arrives GT 4/20/22)

2019 Duckhorn Three Palms Napa Merlot

Winemaker Notes: With lush, juicy layers of tantalizing red berry fruit and a lovely core of cool-climate energy, this wine captures the essence of Carneros Merlot. On the palate it is vibrant and flowing, with supple, polished tannins adding poise and purity to the luxurious Bing cherry and cranberry flavors. As it draws to a lingering finish, a medley of sweet baking spice notes emerge that will keep you coming back for more! $115 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ALLAN SCOTT Pinot Noir Marlborough 2020

Delivers a core of juicy, vibrant cherry, cranberry and pomegranate notes, with tomato leaf, spice, white pepper, tobacco and a hint of cocoa on the velvety finish. Drink now through 2040. 20,000 cases made, 1,000 cases imported. — MW $22. Our Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Ledge MCA Cuvee

The MCA Cuvée from Ledge is one of the great values out there and it always delivers the goods. The 2018 sports a dense ruby hue as well as a beautiful, elegant, medium to full-bodied style. With lots of juicy red and black berry-like fruit, notes of peppery herbs and flowers, no hard edges, and the purity and freshness that's common in the vintage, it's ideal for drinking any time over the coming 7-8 years. $40 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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)

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)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Tether Napa Chardonnay

Another great release for this wine, the 2019 Chardonnay offers a pure, elegant, yet still powerful, medium to full-bodied style...It has a tropical edge as well as wonderful purity, a clean, elegant texture, and a great finish. $42 Internet Price $31.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 4/20/22)

2018 Staglin Family Salus Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The poised 2018 Salus Cabernet Sauvignon feels like a modern portrait of yesteryear’s traditions. Well composed flavors of cassis and boysenberry redolent with raspberry liqueur, milled spices and subtle earth flow seamlessly into a balanced midpalate full of finely crafted detail. Filigreed tannins produce a delightfully delicate and textured wine with a finessed and silky structure that is drinking well right out of the gate yet hints at layers yet to be fully revealed. $115 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Hartford Three Virtues Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Three Virtues Vineyards Chardonnay is handcra¬fted from three vineyards located in the heart of the Russian River Valley AVA.

Exotic honeysuckle aromatics and a rich texture. Ripe pear and apple aromas and flavors with citrus and focused fruit characters are framed by nice acidity. $40 Our Price $23.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2006 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape

As I stated last year, there is no Hommage a Jacques Perrin in 2006, but Beaucastel’s 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is performing even better from bottle than it did last year. Its dense plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a big, sweet perfume of black truffles, camphor, earth, incense, new saddle leather, and loads of peppery, blackberry, and herb-infused, meaty, black cherry fruit. Deep, full-bodied, and dense, with sweet tannin, this explosively rich Chateauneuf is a stronger effort than the 2005, 2004, or 2003. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028. $110 (Arrives GT 4/20/22) Limited

Pinot File-The Prince of Pinot 99 Points
2016 Joseph Swan Vineyards Trenton Estate Vineyard Pentagon Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This one was only produced in one other year - 1997 - when it met the criteria for a separate bottling. • Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Seductive aromas of cherry, rose petal, spice box and sandy loam. The wine creates quite an impression on entry with a jubilee of well-spiced black cherry flavor. Very soft like the hair of an angel, with great purity of fruit flavor. Highly congenial at this age with immersed tannins and an extremely generous and lengthy finish. The wine packs plenty of flavor but leans more toward elegance than power. My notes say, “Fantastic!.” This is one of those wines you can still taste and remember where you drank it years later. My highest scoring Pinot Noir ever! Score: 99. (We purchased 6 bottles from the Swan library collection and it will arrive at GT in a couple weeks) Our Price TBD

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

Wine Spectator 93 Points
HDV Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros
Hyde Vineyard 2018

Elegantly fruity, with tropical nuances to the rich white fruit and spice flavors that are well-structured. Tangerine hints midpalate lead to a spicy finish that offers brioche accents. Drink now through 2024. 2,275 cases made. — KM $75

2016 Burgess Cellars CONTADINA Napa CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Winemaker Notes: A dense and concentrated cabernet with aromas and flavors of confectionary blackberry and stewed cassis. The lush fruit is brought into balance by high tone herbal aromatics of mint, sage, and sweet tobacco. The distinctively thick-skinned Cabernet grapes provide a long velvety finish. $52

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville

This is the first vintage for this label. In fact, this replaces the "Napa Valley" label, but since all the wine now comes from the Coombsville AVA (and mostly from their estate), it now carries the Coombsville name.

Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville is redolent of Morello cherries, boysenberries and cassis with hints of lilacs, cinnamon stick and dried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate has vibrant black fruit flavors with a a soft texture and nice tension, finishing with a red fruit lift. 6,677 cases were made. $120

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 4/23/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DONUM Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Single Vineyard 2018

Rich and well-structured, with an effusive blend of red fruit and spice flavors that feature loamy richness. Dark chocolate notes midpalate lead to a finish that lingers with hints of vanilla bean. Drink now through 2026. 730 cases made. — KM Internet Price $85

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

2016 Heitz Cellars Lot C-91 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Brittany Sherwood, Director of Winemaking: While Joe pioneered the single vineyard movement in the Napa Valley, he recognized that you could convey a most pure and unique expression of place through the art of assemblage or blending. Lot C-91 was his proclamation, his testament to combining the power, elegance, and longevity of Cabernet Sauvignon coming exclusively from the single vineyards of Heitz Cellar. (Martha’s Vineyard-Oakville, Trailside Vineyard-Rutherford and Linda Falls-Howell Mountain)

Aged for nine months in large neutral casks and a combination of new and used French oak, the 2016 Lot C-91 exhibits the density and length of which only the truly great wines of the world are able to achieve. The presence of savory elements such as sage, rosemary, cured meats, and black pepper distinguishes this cuvée from any other. The conclusion of the Lot C-91 on the palate displays incredible complexity and harmony, and those who can afford to be patient will be rewarded for decades to come. $100

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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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