The Grape Tray

June 10th 2022 Newsletter

Give the gift of wine! Gift Certificates available at GT and VRW


WOW*55% Off! * 2015 Nielson Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The wine shows aromas of blackberri2)es, rose petals, dried herbs, and earth. Flavors are driven by a dark fruit core, complemented by sandalwood, black pepper, and crushed stone. $20 Internet Price $13.99. GT and VRW Insider Price $8.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir

Vivid strawberry and dried-flower aromas here with hints of sandalwood. Medium to full body with firm, creamy tannins and a tangy finish. Opulent. Tight and focused. Pumice and black and white-pepper notes. A pretty wine already, but give it a year or two to open and soften. $43 Internet Price $35.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2019 Roger Neveu SANCERRE BLANC PIERRE FRANÇOIS XAVIER VIEILLES VIGNES

Importer Notes: Assembled in great years from the Neveu family’s best parcels around Verdigny, Chavignol, and Sancerrre, “PFX”—as it is affectionately known by the family—is raised in oak rather than stainless steel (the former being the historical norm in Sancerre). The three principal terroirs of Sancerre are incorporated: terres blanches, silex, and caillottes. Caillottes are the small, sharp limestone rocks that litter the surface of many Sancerre vineyards, including the Neveu family’s largest vineyard, “Les Embouffants.” The oak adds a grain and level of class and backbone that raises this cuvée a step above the domaine’s classic Sancerre bottling. PFX ages more slowly and gracefully than most Sancerres, and it makes a great cellar diversification play. —Dixon Brooke. $36 Our Price $28.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Amici Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Made with the goal of great Napa Cabernet at $50 bucks, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley succeeds admirably, offering gorgeous cassis, violet, and chocolaty aromatics as well as medium to full-bodied richness, a balanced, layered mouthfeel, and silky tannins. It competes with wines at three times the cost. The blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% each of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, aged 20 months in 75% new barrels. $45 Our Price $39.99 (Available GT)

2021 Roger Neveu & Fils Sancerre
Le Colombier Rose

Importer Notes: Pale in color with a wonderful delicacy in the mouth, the lip-smacking acidity of this rosé of Pinot Noir is utterly refreshing. If you prefer a really crisp style of Rosé, look no further. $28 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT)

2019 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: I love the layered aromas of fresh apple, jasmine, meadowfoam honey, and delicate baking spice. This wine has vibrancy and verve, and finishes with a refreshing sensibility. $28 Our Price $25.99 (Available GT)

2021 Rochioli Russian River Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This wine is a blend of three vineyard sites including our rare and special clone of Old Vine Sauvignon Blanc. With aromas of passion fruit, melon, and citrus tones this is a light and sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc. $50 Our Price $45.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2018 Aston Estate Pinot Noir White Label Sonoma Coast

The 2018 Pinot Noir White Label shows a much more feminine, pretty, fruit-driven style carrying lots of red berries intermixed with peppery herbs, violets, and spicy nuances. Medium-bodied on the palate, it has a wonderfully polished, seamless mouthfeel, light tannins, and nicely integrated acidity. Enjoy this beautiful Pinot Noir over the coming 5-7 years. $45 (Available VRW)

2019 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This lush and alluring Pinot Noir offers a beautiful bouquet of raspberry, cherry, and wild strawberry aromas, with hints of sagebrush and dried herbs adding nuance and complexity. The vibrant red berry layers are echoed on the plush, mouthcoating palate, where a beam of cool-climate acidity adds poise and definition, carrying the flavors to a long, elegant finish. $30 Our Price $25.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
BODEGAS Y VIÑEDOS VALDERIZ
Ribera del Duero 2018

This velvety red offers generous layers of cherry reduction, espresso, clove and loamy earth notes that are flanked with licorice, graphite and floral hints. Shows freshness and concentration. Drink now through 2039. 5,000 cases made. — GS $40 Our Price $28.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2018 Cobb Rice-Spivak Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The 2018 Pinot Noir Rice Spivak Vineyard is pure and expressive this vintage, with layered scents of red cherries, orange peel, saline and earth. The palate is soft, fresh and super spicy, its charming, juicy red berry fruits calling you in again and again for another sip. $82 Our Price $74.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2019 The Setting Oakville
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Beautiful red and black fruits morph into a silky, rich texture that seamlessly glides across your palate. The natural bright acidity leaves you with mouthwatering memories of berries, dark chocolate, and black cherries. Skellenger Vineyard. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 245 cases produced. $135 (Available GT) Limited

Wine Spectator 93 Points
CALERA Pinot Noir Mount Harlan Jensen Vineyard 2019

Very fresh, featuring raspberry, blood orange and mulberry fruit that's well-defined and backed by mouthwatering acidity. Offers rose petal and savory notes along the way. A nice piercing minerality extends the finish. Best from 2023 through 2032. —J.M. $105 (Available GT) Limited

Wine Spectator 94 Points
ROCHIOLI Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2020

Racy from the get-go, this delivers a delicious mix of linzer torte, blood orange and plum flavors inlaid with incense, black tea and mineral threads that add tension and range through the finish, dovetailing nicely with a pretty gloss of spicy toast. Best from 2023 through 2030. —J.M. $90 Our Price $86.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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Friday Wine Tasting at VRW, 6/10/22 (Available 12 Noon-5:45 PM) $20 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 94 Points
CARPINETO Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana Farnito 2015

A core of cherry and black currant flavors is wrapped in spicy black pepper, toasty oak and iron notes, all supported by dense, pointed tannins and lively acidity. Offers a long, smoky finish. Enjoy this now for the fresh primary fruit, or let mature into more tobacco, leather and woodsy elements. Best from 2022 through 2038. 16,500 cases made, 1,200 cases imported. — BS $39 Our Price $34.99

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 Points
2019 Sinegal Napa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as magnificent as it was last year. A heady, statuesque wine, the 2019 captures all the pedigree of the vintage. Inky red cherry fruit, mocha, licorice and spice race across the palate. The 2019 is bright, deep and powerful, with exceptional balance and tons of class. It's a stunning wine, to say the least. The move towards a slightly less pushed style, with less overt oak signatures, has paid off big time. This is a fabulous showing. $80

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

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Saturday Wine Tasting at VRW, 6/11/22 (Available 12 Noon-3:45 PM) $15 per person and must be 21 or older to attend.

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DOMAINE DROUHIN Chardonnay Dundee Hills Arthur 2020

Expressive and delicately complex, with apple blossom, orange peel and zesty spice flavors that finish with a fresh lift of acidity. Drink now. —T.F. $40

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

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points * 2018 Odette Stag’s Leap Cabernet

Moving to the two reds, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is brilliant all the way, offering a smorgasbord-like bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, spring flowers, cured meats, tobacco, and assorted other spicy, floral nuances. I always find a subtle red fruit and mineral character in top Stags Leap Cabernet, and this beauty has it in spades. Full-bodied on the palate, this pure, plush, sexy Napa Valley Cabernet has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. Seemingly all about sweet fruit and texture, it's nevertheless going to evolve for 20-25 years. $160

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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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