The Grape Tray

April 26th 2022 Newsletter

Taste Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Domaine Carneros Brut at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) $10 per person.
Tuesday, 4/26/22. Available 12 noon -5:30 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
CLOUDY BAY Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2021

Intense and fresh, with green apple, dried pineapple, candied ginger and lemon curd flavors that show a hint of ripe melon, followed by details of lemon verbena on the finish. Drink now. 77,000 cases imported. —MaryAnn Worobiec. $33

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Domaine Carneros Brut Carneros 2018

A vivacious sparkler that's elegant and polished, offering Asian pear and lemon flavors that take on hints of fresh ginger, blanched almond and brioche flavors that glide on the long, vibrant finish. Drink now. —T.F. $37

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Taste 2014 Stag’s Leap Cask 23 Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person
Wednesday, 4/27/22. Available 12 noon-5:30 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2014 Stag’s Leap Cask 23 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 is a smoking effort from this team. Revealing a deep purple color and stunning notes of blackcurrants and black raspberries like fruit, it offers loads of spice, cedar and dried flower nuances, full-bodied richness, a ripe, full-bodied, majestic texture, beautiful tannin quality, and a great finish. This sensational 2014 has a rare mix of power and elegance and will keep for 20-25 years. $300 ******************************

Taste 2017 Byron Fiddlestix Pinot and 2018 Cirq Russian River Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person
Thursday, 4/28/22. Available 12 noon-5:30 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2017 Byron Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard

Leading off the Sta. Rita Hills releases, the 2017 Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard comes from clones 777 and 667 and was completely destemmed and aged 16 months in 32% new French oak. Bright berry fruits, leafy herbs, spring flowers, candied violets, and subtle incense notes all emerge from the glass, and it's medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, elegant, and seamless on the palate. This is a classy, balanced Sta. Rita Hills effort that leads with its fruit. $38

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2018 Cirq Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir sports a medium ruby, plum, almost opaque hue as well as a killer bouquet of ripe black raspberries, redcurrants, roasted herbs, loamy earth, and sandalwood. Rich, almost full-bodied, and beautifully textured, with silky, polished tannins, this is another rock star of a Pinot Noir from Michael Browne that will deliver the goods over the coming 7-8 years, probably longer, although I have no idea why you would delay gratification. $225

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Wine Spectator 95 Points
DOMAINE HUET Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont 2020

This refined white shows lovely purity, with persimmon, coriander, yellow apple and creamed peach notes, backed by vivid acidity. Elements of flint, marzipan and honeysuckle unwind on the long, alluring finish. A striking Chenin Blanc. Drink now through 2036. 400 cases made. — GS $45 Our Price $42.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
CLOS ST.-JEAN Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2019

Rich and seductive in style, featuring waves of warmed plum sauce and blackberry purée flavors laced with singed alder, licorice root and tobacco notes, with flashes of ganache and warm earth in the background. Everything stays well-defined through the finish, which offers a late echo of minerality. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin. Best from 2023 through 2038. —J.M. 900 cases made. $60 Internet Price $49.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Decanter Journal 92 Points
2018 BYRON Chardonnay, Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley

Slightly restrained nose with nice stone fruit and floral character underneath. Light lemon sherbet notes with toasted pineapple on the palate, pleasingly dry and youthful finish. $33 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2016 Laird Jillian’s Blend

Winemakers Notes: This stunning red blend says “hello” immediately with a vivid purple hue with the slightest maroon rouge rim. The nose has balanced notes of boysenberry, ripe blueberry, baking spice and vanilla. The palate is plush and balanced with flavors of dark red cherries, mocha, and clove. The lasting, indelible finish leaves you yearning for the next sip. A perfect wine to drink on its own or as an accompaniment to your next cookout. Drink now through 2028. Internet Price $44 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RIDGE Three Valleys Sonoma County 2019

An engaging blend, well-knit and distinctive for its savory raspberry and cherry flavors that draw in bay leaf, Asian spice and smoked pepper notes. Tannins are ripe and briary. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. $30 Our Price $25.69 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors

Based on 74% Syrah and 26% Grenache brought up in in a combination of concrete tanks (for the Grenache) and one year old demi-muids (for the Syrah), the 2018 Cotes Du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is a knockout bottle of wine. It offers loads of black fruits, roasted herbs, peppered meat, violets, and bacon fat as well as full-bodied richness, a round, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It’s one of the finest values out there. $16 Our Price $13.99 (Available GT and VRW) Last Call!

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RUINART Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV

Steeped apricot and candied ginger flavors are an aromatic entry for this graceful Champagne, backed by finely cut acidity and layered with accents of kumquat, toast point and salted Marcona almond. It's fresh and racy, yet there's an effortless quality to the integration that makes this hard to stop sipping. Long, minerally finish. Drink now through 2027. — AN Internet Price $70 (Available GT and VRW)

Decanter 95 Points
2017 Marengo Barolo La Morra

Marco Marengo manages little more than four hectares in La Morra. These grapes were sourced from Brunate, Bricco Viole, Pugnane and Fontanezza. It exhibits leafy lightness with orange peel and cocoa powder. The attack is firm, muscular yet ripe. Dense on the mid palate, it has bracing acidity combined with eminently savory orange fruit. The finish is chiseled, with a good length of fruits and licorice. $50 Our Price $43.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

JAMES SUCKLING 97 Points
2019 EISELE VINEYARD ‘ALTAGRACIA’ CABERNET SAUVIGNON

There’s purity and focus to this wine with blackberry, blackcurrant and spices, such as nutmeg. Ink pot, bark and asphalt, too. So long and polished. Chewy tannins. Hints of stone and ash. 88% cabernet sauvignon. 7% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. Give it time to soften, but already a beauty. Drink after 2026. $170 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

JAMES SUCKLING 97 Points
2020 EISELE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC

Lots of tropical fruit with mango and pineapple character. Ripe pear with some crushed stone. Lavender and green papaya, too. Full-bodied, lightly chewy and phenolic. Structured. Needs time to open, but a fantastic finish. Bitter-lemon and salty notes at the end. Better in 2024. $120 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator Grand Tour returns to LAS VEGAS on SATURDAY, JUN 4, 2022, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
RESORTS WORLD LAS VEGAS
3000 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Enjoy an evening of exceptional wines from the world’s best wine-growing regions in three exciting locations. All wines are rated 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator’s editors. Meet the winemakers, enjoy a delicious selection of food and take home a souvenir Riedel wine glass. All included in your ticket price.
Registration: http://grandtour.winespectator.com/

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Friday Wine Tasting, 4/29/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2020 Domaines Ott Bandol Rose Chateau Romassan

The pale, peachy-colored 2020 Bandol Rose Chateau Romassan is mainly Mourvèdre, with smaller proportions of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Scents of crushed stone accent notes of peach, strawberry and lime on the nose, while the medium-bodied palate is silky in texture, streamlined in shape and extremely long on the finish. It can be drunk now or over the next few years. $59

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ROBERT MONDAVI Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville The Estates 2018

Rich and seductive in feel, with a lovely swath of loamy-edged steeped plum and blackberry compote flavors, backed with flashes of anise and sweet bay leaf. A loamy edge extends nicely in lockstep with the fruit on the finish. Textbook Oakville Cabernet. Best from 2022 through 2034. 9,791 cases made. — JM $90

Wine Advocate 94
2016 Anthem Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color and reveals expressive black cherries, blackberries and warm blackcurrants with hints of violets, black olives, Indian spices and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and powerful, the palate is filled with well-poised black fruit layers and firm, grainy tannins, matched by bold freshness and finishing long. $125

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Saturday Wine Tasting, 4/30/22 (Available all day during operating hours) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 90 Points
GEOFFROY Brut Champagne Expression NV

Creamy, offering flavors of Asian pear, biscuit and pickled ginger, with a minerally smoke- and chalk-laced underpinning, all backed by well-cut acidity. Snappy finish. Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged October 2019. Drink now. 350 cases imported. — AN $49

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

JAMES SUCKLING 97 Points
2019 EISELE VINEYARD ALTAGRACIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON

There’s purity and focus to this wine with blackberry, blackcurrant and spices, such as nutmeg. Ink pot, bark and asphalt, too. So long and polished. Chewy tannins. Hints of stone and ash. 88% cabernet sauvignon. 7% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. Give it time to soften, but already a beauty. Drink after 2026. $170

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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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