The Grape Tray

May 20th 2022 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 93 Points
VILMART Brut Champagne Grand Cellier NV

Toasty hints of brioche, coffee liqueur and vanilla bean on the nose are more subtle on the palate of this plush-textured Champagne, where flavors of persimmon, yellow peach, blanched almond and Mandarin orange peel are underscored by minerally saline and chalk. Shows lovely balance and length. Disgorged July 2018. Drink now through 2026.—A.N. $77 Our Price $66.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
2019 Livio Felluga Friulano Friuli Colli Orientali

Lightly mouthwatering, with a streak of salinity underscoring flavors of baked white peach, ginger-infused pastry cream, biscuit and verbena. Long and silky on the herb-laced finish. Drink now through 2024. $27 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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. Internet Price $115 (Available GT and VRW)

Familia Torres Pazo das Bruxas Albarino 2020

Winemaker Notes: Brilliant pale gold color. Delicate and fragrant, with fine floral, lime blossom and lemon marmalade notes. Silky and savory on the palate, elegantly structured. $20 Our Price $16.99 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2019 Juan Gil Silver Juan Gil

The 2019 Juan Gil (silver label) was produced with Monastrell grapes from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. It has 15% alcohol and a pH of 3.67, but somehow the wine does not come through as overripe; they eliminate all the raisins with their new optical sorting machine and that makes very clean wines and has increased the precision. They also reduced the toast of their barrels and that increases the integration of the oak with the fruit. Varietal, juicy, soft and very drinkable. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2021. $16 Our Price $12.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 97 Points
Bollinger Brut Champagne La Grande Année 2014

Racy acidity drives this mouthwatering Champagne, enlivening the rich panoply of flavors. Features a fine and creamy mousse that's still a lively springboard for aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, glazed tangerine, roasted hazelnut, ground coffee, pickled ginger and white blossoms. Long and satiny, with minerally salt and chalk notes gaining momentum on the lasting finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged July 2021. Drink now through 2037. —A.N. $190 Internet Price $164.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Trefethen Oak Knoll Napa
 Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This wine opens with ripe red fruit, black pepper, and anise leading to notes of dried flowers, currants, and blackberries. Those flavors carry through on the full-bodied palate which is supported by polished tannins and a lengthy finish. Though approachable now, this wine will continue to develop and evolve over the next decade. $70 Our Price $48.95 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
MERRY EDWARDS Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2019

Tasting Note: This white offers a complex mix of lime sherbet, makrut lime leaf, lemon curd and orange blossom flavors that are fragrant and complex on a fleshy, succulent frame, with notes of nectarine and ripe Crenshaw melon. Harmonious, with a fresh thread of acidity on the finish. Drink now. —M.W. $36 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Vinotemp Wine Cabinet for Sale

Model #2500HTD (Serial #T14032644)

Paid $4,500 new. Selling for $1,500 obo

Purchased new in 2014 and compressor replaced in 2018. Upgraded insulation for Fresno garage storage capability.

All wood exterior with cherry finish with locking double doors and internal lighting.

Aluminum and cedar racking 420 bottle capacity plus 24 magnums (double deep racking) 82” (h) 67” (w) 32” (d)

Contact Pat: (559) 289-4672 (limited phone service availability from 5/21/22 - 6/6/22)

James Suckling 96 Points
Hirsch San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir 2019

Wonderful purity of fruit to this with ripe-strawberry, citrus and raspberry aromas that follow through to a medium to full body with very intense, powerful tannins that show strength and structure. Vibrant acidity. This needs time to soften. Blend of various vineyards on the site. Best after 2024. $67. Our Price $59.99 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 97
2016 Staglin Family Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate bursts out of the glass with beautiful black cherry compote, warm cassis and freshly crushed blackberries scents plus touches of chargrill, violets, dark chocolate and pencil shavings and a waft of English lavender. Full-bodied, the palate features great intensity combined with fantastic freshness, textured by soft, finely grained tannins and lifted by the most gorgeous floral perfume, finishing long and layered. Beautiful wine. $285 (Back in stock GT)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 97 Points
2018 Staglin Rutherford Estate Cabernet

Staglin's 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate favors energy and tension over volume, at least at this point in its life. Bright, aromatic and sumptuous, the 2018 is fabulous right out of the gate. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, cedar and menthol race across the palate. The 2018 is bright and focused from start to finish, with impeccable balance, well-judged oak and tons of sheer appeal. It is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. Winemaker Fredrik Johansson captured the magic of the 2018 vintage and put it all into the bottle. I can't wait to see how this ages. $300 Our Price $269.95 (Back in stock GT)

2019 Pride Mountain Cabernet, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: A classic cabernet showing a panoply of gorgeous dark flavors including black cherry, ripe plum, Cubano tobacco, graphite and sandalwood with underlying notes of tar and chocolate. Textbook cabernet in the mouth with beautiful tannin that is weighty without being ponderous, refined without being delicate. This is a contemplative cabernet that also satisfies with persistent notes of black and red fruit that echo through the long finish. $40/375ml (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
HEINRICH Blaufränkisch Burgenland Leithaberg 2017

A deep, polished red, boasting black cherry, blackberry and violet aromas and flavors. Solidly built, yet with ample richness and fruit to counter the firm structure. The finish evokes earth and tobacco accents. Drink now through 2029. 134 cases made, 120 cases imported. — BS $35 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT)

2019 Banshee Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is deep, purple-ruby in color with aromas of ripe fig, cassis, vanilla and hints of pine and peppercorn. A juicy entry on the mouth delivers plush, fine tannins with a velvety texture. This approachable, medium-bodied cabernet has densely layered flavors of dark plums with rustic notes of forest floor and spice. A finale of round tannins leads tproprieo a dry, smooth finish. $20 Our Price $15.95 (Available GT and VRW)

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Friday Wine Tasting at VRW, 5/20/22 (Available 12 Noon-5:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2018 William Harrison CABERNET SAUVIGNON, RUTHERFORD ESTATE

Winemaker Notes: Marked by intense aromas of blackberry compote, with subtler notes of cocoa nib, blueberry and fennel seed. The palate is full-bodied, with dense boysenberry flavors, a hint of roast coffee and smooth, fine-grained tannins. Complementary flavors of nutmeg and tobacco are attributed to our unique barrel program. The texture is dense and youthful, with vibrant tannin structure and a lingering finish. $75

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Schrader Double Diamond
Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

An elegant, fruit-driven cabernet sauvignon with notes of red fruit and spices. Fresh herbs, such as thyme. It’s full-bodied and well balanced. The texture is pleasant and smooth with elegant tannins. The finish is long and flavorful. Internet Price $75

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

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

Wine Spectator 91 Points
RAMEY Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2019

Well-spiced baked apple and ripe pear flavors show lots of custardy notes in this white, which ends with firm acidity on the finish, with wet stone accents and savory nuances. Drink now through 2024. 11,858 cases made. — KM $42

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2018 Scarlett Rutherford Napa 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

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

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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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