The Grape Tray

June 3rd 2022 Newsletter

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2019 Beckmen Purisima Mountain Ballard Canyon Syrah

The 2019 Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard is a wild, exotic wine. Blueberry jam, chocolate, spice, leather and licorice fill out the layers effortlessly. This unctuous, heady Syrah shows just how distinctive Ballard Canyon is. A year or two in bottle should help soften some of the harder edges. $36 Our Price $26.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

2021 Tablas Creek Patelin Blanc

Winemaker Notes: A lovely floral, fruity, buttery nose, orange blossom and white peach, Viognier in full evidence. Good balance on the mouth, with Grenache Blanc coming to the fore with flavors of pineapple and preserved lemon and good acids coming out on the peachy finish. Charming and fresh, intense yet clean. $28 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 DeLille D2 Estate Red

Winemaker Notes: Mocha and milk chocolate notes from French oak integrate with beautiful cassis, dried cranberry, and cedar aromas on this 2018 D2. This wine is instantly delicious on the palate with an inviting warm, soft entry. It rapidly builds in intensity of fruit mid-palate, offering remarkable length on the finish, with Red Mountain Cabernet (16% of the blend) apparent in the texture. $45 Internet Price $37.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Lucia Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands

As with the appellation Chardonnay, I loved the 2019 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, This beauty offers everything you could want from a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Loads of framboise, ripe strawberries, leafy herbs, spring flowers, and baking spices all make an appearance on the nose, and it's a forward, medium to full-bodied, textured effort ideal for drinking over the coming 3-5 years. $48 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

2021 Spottswoode Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Layers of tropical fruits and floral aromas invite you into this intriguing and dynamic Sauvignon Blanc. Notes of fresh lime and grapefruit add tension and bring freshness on the approach, while yellow and white peach intermingle with subtle oak and a creamy meringue mid-palate. Hints of minerality and saline contribute to its long finish and complete this complex wine. Medium bodied, layered, and refreshing! $45 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2019 Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst is composed of 77.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.4% Cabernet Franc, 4.1% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot and 3.8% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple in color, it skips out of the glass with lively blueberries, redcurrants and kirsch scents, plus hints of cedar chest, fragrant earth and rose hip tea. Medium-bodied, elegant and lively in the mouth, the palate is chock-full of bright and crunchy red and black fruits, finishing long and earthy. $90 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Rossi Ranch 2019

Vibrant and expressive, with compelling cherry and raspberry flavors laced with spice, cinnamon and orange zest. Builds richness and texture toward refined, briary tannins. Drink now through 2030. —T.F.$50 Internet Price $52 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
REX HILL Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018

Sleek and structured, with vibrant cherry and guava flavors that draw in black tea and dusky spice accents, building toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029. 6,412 cases made. — TF $35 Our Price $29.99 (Available GT)

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 and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94+ Points
2019 Lucia Garys’ SLH Pinot Noir

The 2019 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard gives up slightly more savory, earthy nuances in its ripe red and black fruits as well as scorched earth, toasted Asian spices, and orange zest aroma and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, it has ripe, notable tannins, good freshness and purity, and a great finish. It will keep for over a decade. $70 (Last Call at GT) Limited

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
2018 Keplinger Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Ranch Vineyard

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Ranch Vineyard, which includes 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, is another incredible wine from this winemaker. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as a killer bouquet of cassis, currants, lead pencil, graphite, and violets, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, sumptuous, layered mouthfeel that carries lots of velvety tannins as well as remarkable freshness. It's certainly a large-scaled, voluptuous 2018, yet it still has that vintage's laser-like focus as well as structure. It benefits from a decant if drinking any time today, but it’s going to drink nicely for 20 years or more. $200 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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Friday Wine Tasting at VRW, 6/3/22 (Available 12 Noon-5:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

2020 Far Niente Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Richly aromatic with notes of white fig, and citrus blossom, this captivating Chardonnay slowly builds on the palate, progressing from silky notes of honeydew, nectarine, and lemon zest to a full finish supported by elegant, toasted oak. Crisp minerality and juicy acidity lift and support the generous fruit and provide the framework for graceful aging. This wine will continue to gain richness and complexity in the bottle and glass. $65

James Suckling 92 Points
2019 Turnbull Estate Napa Cabernet

A solid and structured cabernet with blackberries, blueberries, currants and some walnuts. Full-bodied with firm, fine tannins and a long finish. Very attractive now, but it will age nicely. $55 Our Price $44.95

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2018 EHLERS ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena 1886

Bright, ripe and forward in feel, with a gush of warm cassis and plum puree flavors lined with red licorice and sweet toast accents. The fine-grained finish lets the fruit play out easily. Drink now through 2028. 1,200 cases made. — JM $145

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Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW, 6/4/22 (Available 12 Noon-3:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

James Suckling 92 Points * Taittinger Brut La Francaise

A dry, fresh and delicious Taittinger with aromas and flavors of apples, fresh lemons and minerals. Full-bodied. Precise. White pepper and salt at the end. 40% chardonnay and 35% pinot noir, the rest pinot meunier. Three to four years on the lees. Drink now. $50

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

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2016 Robert Foley Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

 Lastly, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 30% new oak) offers a touch more elegance as well as terrific notes of blue fruits, plums, dark chocolate, and violets. Full-bodied, ripe, and polished on the palate, it stays balanced, has solid underlying structure, and a great finish. If you’re looking for a rock star Cabernet under $100, this is for you. It will evolve for 15+ years or more. $105 Our Price $90.99

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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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