The Grape Tray

May 13th 2022 Newsletter

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Dalla Valle Napa Collina Cabernet

The base 2019 Collina was originally made from the younger vines of the estate, yet those vines aren’t so young anymore, and this easily stands alone as a brilliant Bordeaux blend. Black cherries, currants, leafy herbs, and subtle floral notes all define the bouquet, and it’s darker, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully balanced on the palate. It’s undeniably delicious and perfect for drinking over the coming 10-15 years. $115 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2018 Scarlett Wines Cabernet Sauvignon

Looking at the two wines from bottle, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon sports a dense purple color as well as impressive cassis fruit intermixed with lots of graphite, crushed stone, violets, and spice. This rich, full-bodied beauty has a ripe, seamless texture, plenty of opulence, silky tannins, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming 15-20 years. Internet Price $70 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Occidental Freestone Occidental Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 Freestone-Occidental wine shares the same winemaking techniques as Occidental's vineyard designated Pinot Noirs. Crystalline, bright, mouthwatering, and a bit salty with a saline mineral finish, the 2020 Freestone-Occidental evokes juicy red berries and a near perfect balance of finesse and energy – of bright, primary red fruits and saline elements. It conveys outstanding precision and lift in the mouth and finishes vibrant and long with beautifully sculpted tannins. Its modest alcohol (13.3%) makes this wine a perfect complement to any meal. It is delicious now and will develop nicely in bottle. $65 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2019 Turley Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard

The 2019 Zinfandel Dusi Vineyard, medium ruby-purple in color, offers bright red cherry perfume with notes of tar, potpourri and aniseed. Medium-bodied, the palate is soft and grainy with loads of juicy acidity, bright fruit character and a long, uplifted finish. 1,700 cases produced. $52 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Ghost Block Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our 2019 vintage embodies the beauty of Oakville, with lovely aromas of blackberry and ripe plum along with sultry tones of dusty earth and leather with hints of sweet bay leaf and baking spices. On the palate, alluring layers of cassis, boysenberry and black cherry are met with subtle notes of tobacco leaf. The refined, beautifully integrated tannins create a harmonious experience that fills out your palate completely ending with a long elegant finish that leaves you with one word...exceptional. Internet Price $75 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Turnbull Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Reserve

A killer value that’s up with the best at the price point, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Reserve offers medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of currants, plums, chocolate, iron, and a touch of tobacco. Nicely concentrated, beautifully balanced, and elegant, it’s a terrific wine well worth seeking out. Drink bottles over the coming 10-12 years or so. $95 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2019 Turnbull Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label

The deep purple-hued 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label is another beauty that just screams “Oakville” with its darker currants, tobacco, black olive, and iron-laced aromas and flavors. Full-bodied on the palate, it has good acidity, a classic, focused mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It has 20-25 years of prime drinking. $165 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve

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. $65 Our Price $56.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Hayfork Lewelling Ranch Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch was aged for 20 months in oak, 75% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with lovely ripe blackcurrants, black raspberries and kirsch scents plus hints of dried herbs, pencil lead, menthol and Marmite toast. The full-bodied palate is coated with black fruit preserves, textured by velvety tannins. It has a delightful refreshing quality and finishes long and spicy. $75 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Hayfork Field Select Cabernet Sauvignon

A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Field Select was aged for 20 months in oak, 90% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with exuberant notes of baked black plums, Black Forest cake and mulberries plus suggestions of fragrant earth, Provence herbs and tree bark. The palate has a firm backbone of grainy tannins and lively acidity framing the full-bodied, muscular black fruit, finishing long with a lifted perfume. 100 cases were made. $125 (Back in stock GT)

Wine Advocate 93+ Points
Roederer Brut Collection 242

Roederer's Brut Premier was created in the 1980s to prove to consumers that we could deliver consistent quality with a blend that compensated for less than perfectly ripe vintages," explains Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. "We were blending in pursuit of maturity, of ripeness. The concept behind the Brut Collection is the opposite: we're looking for freshness—and we are embracing singularity, something we're emphasizing by enumerating each year's blend." This project has been in the making since 2012, when Lecaillon set aside 21,000 liters of wine to constitute a perpetual reserve aged in large tanks without malolactic fermentation. Sourcing has evolved too: less must is coming from cooperatives, and only vineyards cultivated without the use of herbicides inform the blend. A dedicated team oversees all this, visiting every grower three times per year. And vinification is parcel by parcel to deliver a maximum of blending components. Iteration 242 is based on the 2017 vintage (56%), supplemented by 34% reserve wines from the perpetual reserve established in 2012 and 10% foudre-aged reserve wines. $55 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
FERREN Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2019

The salted butter, lemon bar, orange blossom and ripe melon flavors at the core of this white show generous purity and focus, with fresh acidity and with a hint of Himalayan salt on the long, expressive finish. The texture is smooth and lush, practically melting in your mouth. Drink now through 2031. 190 cases made. — MW $60 (Back in stock GT)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96-98 Points
2019 Orin Swift Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Mercury Head

Medium to deep garnet-purple, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Mercury Head barrel sample has bold, ripe black cherry and black berry scents with an undercurrent of raspberry leaves, ripe red and black plums, pencil shavings and a waft of iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has wonderful intensity and depth with loads of mineral sparks among the crunchy black and blue fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins, finishing long and earthy. Impressive! 6,500 cases are to be made. $135 Our Price $119.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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Friday Wine Tasting at VRW, 5/13/22 (Available 12 Noon-5:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2017 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Altamont

The 2017 Pinot Noir Altamont is a wine of real breadth. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, spice and hard candy all flesh out in the glass. Rich, plush and enveloping, the Altamont captures all of the natural intensity of the year. A touch of stems adds character, but is not especially evident. $62

James Suckling 95 Points * 2018 Larkmead Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Pretty aromas of currants, walnuts and fresh tobacco follow through to a full-bodied palate with dusty, chewy tannins and lots of berry, coffee and lightly toasted-oak undertones in the aftertaste. Needs some time to resolve the tannins. Very drinkable now, but better after 2025. $135

2018 Justin Isosceles

Winemaker Notes: Full-bodied, with ripe black fruit, complex baking spice and amazingly ready to drink right out of the gate, you can try a bottle or two now, but make sure to save a few to enjoy this wine as it continues to evolve after some time in the cellar. $76

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Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW, 5/14/22 (Available 12 Noon-3:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 96 Points
HDV Chardonnay Napa Valley Hyde Vineyard 2019

Stunning, showing a pure beam of white nectarine, mango and ripe Bartlett pear flavors that mingle with pound cake, toasted, salted hazelnut and nutmeg on a supple, rich frame, which draws focus from a bright thread of acidity. Drink now through 2030. —M.W. $78

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

Jeb Dunnuck 100 points * 2019 Patria Oakville Ranch Avoyelles Prop Red

The 2019 Avoyelles Oakville Ranch checks in as 55% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot, all from the Oakville Ranch Vineyard and aged 22 months in French oak. It has an insanely good bouquet of chocolaty red and black fruits, dried herbs, chocolate, and obvious minerality as well as full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Complex, layered, multi-dimensional, and perfectly balanced, it's an incredible Cabernet Franc-dominated blend that will benefit from just a handful of years in the cellar and keep for 15-20 years. $150

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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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