The Grape Tray

May 24th 2022 Newsletter

Memorial Day Holiday, Monday, 5/30/22
The Grape Tray and Vintage Reserve Wine will be closed

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Taste 2020 Allan Scott Pinot, 2019 DuMOL Jentoft Ryan Pinot and 2020 Kosta Brown Russian River Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday and Wednesday, 5/24 and 5/25/22. Available 12 noon -5:45 PM

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.

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2019 DuMOL Pinot Noir Jentoft Vineyard Ryan

Another Russian River cuvée, the 2019 Pinot Noir Jentoft Vineyard Ryan is a deeper ruby, translucent color and has a gorgeous array of black raspberry and cherry fruits supported by ample spice box, savory flowers, rose petals, and dried bouquet garni-like nuances. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and fleshy, with the more rounded, supple style of the vintage, it's ideal for enjoying over the coming 7-8 years, probably longer, but there's no need to delay gratification more than a year or two. $94

2020 Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Perfectly clean and precise with bright red fruits. Cranberry, boysenberry, and layered baking spices complement the alluring hint of vanilla. On the palate, this wine has a polished, expressive texture and bountiful red fruit. A pleasing tension on the palate finishes with inspiring length and integrated tannins. $112

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Staglin Estate Wine Tasting at Vintage Reserve Wine on Thursday, 5/26/22. $28 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.
Hollis Nelson, Staglin Family Estate will arrive at 3:00 PM

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2020 Staglin Estate Napa Chardonnay

The 2020 Chardonnay Estate offers terrific brightness to play off the natural vigor of this Rutherford site. Orchard fruit, mint, white flowers, white pepper and crushed rocks are all finely sculpted in a Chardonnay that impresses from start to finish. This is the first vintage aged partially in sandstone, which seems to add vibrancy and delineation. I am very curious to see how it ages. $150

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

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 97 pts
Staglin Family Vineyard 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

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. Drinking window: 2026 – 2043. $270

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Wine Spectator 97 Points
BARICCI Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 2016

Fresh and vivid, this red features cherry, raspberry, plum, floral, black tea and mineral aromas and flavors. The well-defined fruit character is nicely balanced by earthy, savory elements, lively acidity and refined tannins. This is complete, with terrific finesse and complexity. Best from 2024 through 2048. 1,300 cases made, 275 cases imported. — BS $95 Our Price $83.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2015 Courier Cotes Catalanes Red

The 2015 Courier checks in as normal blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Carignan, with the Grenache coming from 70-year-old vines and the Carignan from 100-year-old vines. Yields are on the order of an insanely low ¼ ton per acre. Aged three years in neutral, 500-liter barrels, it offers a similar weightless, elegant texture as well as beautiful notes of blackberries, currants, gamey garrigue, and olive tapenade. It’s more structured than the 2014 and I suspect will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for upwards of a decade. Hats off to Kimberly Jones for having the courage to follow her own path and creating a singular, unique wine. $30 Liquidation Price $15.95 (Available GT) Limited to stock on hand

Gregory Graham Red Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Winemaker Notes: The Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Crimson Hill Vineyard in the Red Hills district of Lake County. The vineyard is at 2,000 feet elevation and overlooks the southern end of Clear Lake. This 13-acre block was planted in 1995 with clone 7 Cabernet on 110R rootstock. The crimson red, volcanic soil provides the perfect site for growing great red wines. The climate is ideal for late season reds due to the vineyard basking in daily full sun with warm temperatures which are tempered by daily afternoon mistrals. The majority of the vineyard is contracted to Napa Valley wineries. $30 Our Price $23.99 (Back in stock GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
HARTFORD COURT Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Land's Edge Vineyards 2018

A refined and minerally style, with lithe acidity supporting well-knit flavors of cherry and raspberry. The plush finish lingers with creamy accents and plenty of spicy and toasty notes. Drink now through 2026. —K.M. $50 Internet Price $42.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

James Suckling 98 Points
2019 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red

Lots of crushed stone, lead pencil and licorice aromas that are extremely aromatic and bright. Black cherries, cloves and purple fruit, too. Full body and a round and ripe center-palate with a juicy interior. It opens at the end with a savory and juicy finish. Layered and beautiful. Drinkable now, but better in three or four years. $355 Internet Price $309.99 (Arrives GT and VRW this afternoon)

James Suckling 92 Points * 2020 Jermann Pinot Grigio

A fresh pinot grigio, showing sliced pineapple and mango with some lemon and green-apple undertones. It’s medium-bodied with pretty fruit and a zingy finish. Drink now. $24 Our Price $19.95 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
HENRI GOUTORBE Brut Champagne Cuvée Prestige NV

Ripe and juicy aromas and flavors of dried cherry, licorice and candied lemon zest are balanced by crisp acidity in this bright Champagne, creating a mouthwatering impression through to the lightly spiced finish. Disgorged October 2019. Drink now through 2024. — AN $51 Our Price $47.99 (Available GT)

2020 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge

Winemaker Notes: A cool, spicy, nose of blackberry and wintergreen, teriyaki and black pepper. On the palate, brilliantly juicy, with flavors of elderberry, graphite, tangy black cherry and bittersweet chocolate. The long, firmly tannic finish lingers with crunchy black fruit and foresty spice. Delicious now, but with the substance and balance to age for up to a decade. Blend: 36% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 19% Mourvedre, 8% Tannat, 3% Counoise. $28 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
Gaston Chiquet 2014 Brut Millésime Carte d’Or Dizy, Champagne

The 2014 Brut Millésime Carte d’Or is fabulous. Bright and beautifully sculpted, the 2014 is so impressive right out of the gate. Lemon peel, dried herbs, flowers, mint and sage all develop over time. Translucent and so expressive, the 2014 is a real knock-out. Disgorged: November, 2020. Drinking window: 2021 – 2028 $68 Our Price $62.99 (Available GT)

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 Adaptation by Odette Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Adaptation Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque purple in color, presenting notes of wild blackberries, luxardo cherries, plums, crème de cassis with hints of fresh spring flowers. This full bodied expression displays beautiful ripeness with elegant, very fine, well integrated tannins and a gorgeous silky texture. Built for near term appreciation and long term potential, this forward, upfront and approachable style can be enjoyed over the next decade. Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 2% Petite Sirah. $78 (Available GT)

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Friday Wine Tasting at VRW, 5/27/22 (Available 12 Noon-5:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Advocate 92
Pol Roger Brut Reserve

The latest rendition of Pol Roger's NV Brut Reserve is based on the 2013 vintage and incorporates 25% reserve wines from the 2012, 2011 and 2010 vintages. Disgorged six months ago, the wine wafts from the glass with an alluring bouquet of green apple, brioche, pastry cream and buttered toast. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, impressively layered and complete, with a crisp but fleshy core of fruit, a youthfully frothy mousse and bright acids, concluding with a delicately chalky finish. This is one of the very finest—as well as among the most consistent—non-vintage brut bottlings from any of the Grandes Marques, and this release comes very warmly recommended. While it will be drinkable on release, it will reward some bottle age too. $55

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

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

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Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW, 5/28/22 (Available 12 Noon-3:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

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

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2016 Laird Family Estate Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon Mast Ranch

The deep purple-black colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mast Ranch offers up cassis, blackberry pie, blueberry compote and licorice with wafts of earth, sage and toasted nuts. Medium to full-bodied, it has a velvety texture with lovely expression and a fruity finish. $80

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2017 Hewitt Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, plush wine. Raspberry jam, white chocolate, blood orange and sweet spice give this unctuous, flamboyant Cabernet tons of immediacy and overall appeal. This is an especially extroverted Cabernet done in a style that turns the volume up to eleven, or more. $135

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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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