The Grape Tray

June 21st 2022 Newsletter

Taste two vintages of Schrader Double Diamond Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, 6/21 and Wednesday, 6/22. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Double Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon

Readers looking to get a taste of the impeccable quality and style from Schrader at a more affordable price point would do well to check out the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Double Diamond. Released by Schrader as a separate brand and coming all from Oakville, it has a classic Cabernet nose of black and blue fruits, green tobacco, cedar pencil, damp earth, and chocolate. It's not over the top and has beautiful varietal character as well as medium to full body, ripe yet present tannins, good overall freshness, and a great finish. This is beautifully done and well worth a case purchase. I'd lean toward drinking bottles over the coming 10-12 years, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see it evolve longer. It's a candidate for the best Napa Cabernet under $75

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Double Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon

Released by Schrader as a separate brand, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon from Double Diamond (which is still 70% To Kalon) offers a forward, medium to full-bodied, incredibly sexy style as well as classy notes of cassis, tobacco, incense, orange blossom, and flowers. Readers looking for a touch of that Schrader magic at a slightly more affordable price are going to love this beauty. It's already drinking nicely, and I see no need to delay gratification. $75

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Taste 2018 Laird Cold Creek Chardonnay, 2020 Rochioli Russian River Pinot and 2018 Snowden The Ranch Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, 6/23. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2018 Laird Cold Creek Chardonnay

The golden straw color draws you in, but the floral nose is what keeps you around. With notes of toasted caramel, elderflower and white nectarine. The wine has a balanced palate showcasing both creamy rich and bright acid. There are flavors of buttered popcorn, lilac and lemon zest. With its bright citrus finish, it leaves you yearning for the next sip. $30 Our Price $25.99

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

Wine Spectator 93
SNOWDEN Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley The Ranch 2018

Fresh and focused, with a well-built core of red currant, plum and black cherry preserves supported by a loamy spine, with tobacco and singed alder lining the finish. Best from 2022 through 2035. 1,203 cases made. — JM $55

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WOW! 69% Off * Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2017 Copain Chardonnay Dupratt

From a small 20-acre family-farmed vineyard, the 2017 Chardonnay Dupratt has a richer, deeper bouquet of orange blossom, honeysuckle, and candied lemons. Despite the richer nose, it has racy acidity, medium to full body, and a rounded, beautifully textured mouthfeel. Brought up in 10% new French oak, it’s another beautiful wine from winemaker Ryan Zepaltas. $60 Internet Price $44.99 (GT and VRW email subscriber price $18.45) Available GT and VRW 6/22/22.

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 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 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Dana Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is cut from the same cloth, offering beautiful purity and richness. It’s slightly more pure and darker than the spicier 2017 and has notes of cassis, redcurrants, dark chocolate, tobacco, and violets. Full-bodied on the palate, it has silky tannins, terrific overall balance, and just loads of character and charm. It’s in the running for the greatest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon under $100. (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2016 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Distinctions

First released in 2014 and made with the idea to highlight richness and opulence, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Distinctions includes slightly more valley floor fruit compared to the Knights Valley Reserve and offers a forward, sexy, incredibly satisfying style as well as lots of blackcurrant fruit, ripe tannins, and impeccable balance. Despite the richer, more forward style, it’s going to evolve just fine on its balance and concentration. $49 Our Price $41.95 (Available GT and VRW 6/22/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2019 Walter Hansel Cahill Lane Pinot Noir

The 2019 Pinot Noir Cahill Lane Vineyard is elegant, understated and classy. Silky tannins and mid-weight structure give the 2019 so much appeal. As with all of these wines, the flavors are bright and punchy, with plenty of red berry, white pepper, mint and citrus character. $46 (Arrives GT 6/22/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
Walter Hansel Winery 2019 Pinot Noir
 Cuvée Alyce

The 2019 Pinot Noir Cuvée Alyce is a dark, powerful wine. Black cherry, plum, cedar, lavender, spice and menthol infuse the Alyce with notable depth. Dense and muscular, the Alyce is a decidedly potent, backward Pinot. All it needs is a bit of time to be at its best. $50 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Dana Estates Onda Cabernet Sauvignon

Onda is a blend of all four of the estate vineyards and includes a vineyard planted in 1967, just below the Lotus vineyard. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Onda is composed of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Merlot. It was aged for 21 months in French oak barrels, 73% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it delivers vibrant scents of crushed black cherries, warm cassis and wild blueberries with hints of dark chocolate, candied violets and fragrant earth. Full-bodied, rich and plush in the mouth, the purely fruited palate is layered with loads of fragrant accents, finishing with a red berry lift. 1,052 cases were made. $220 (Arrives VRW this afternoon)

2019 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of black tea, blackberry and orange rind, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of jasmine. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability—are followed by a long, velvety finish. 100% Pinot Noir produced from Ten Clones, from which the wine takes its name. $125 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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Taste 2020 Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Pinot, 2019 Phelps Napa Cabernet and 2018 Mt Brave Mt Veeder Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, 6/24. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 93 Points * 2020 Sandhi Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

The 2020 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills incorporates about 50% estate fruit and was made with destemmed fruit this vintage and bottled a bit earlier than other vintages. Medium ruby-purple, it has pretty scents of rhubarb, blueberries and tea leaves with savory notes of pipe tobacco, flint and woodsmoke. The medium-bodied palate is delicate, bright and chalky with perfumed fruits and a long, floral finish. $40 Our Price $34.99

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2019 Phelps Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is absolutely gorgeous. Succulent red cherry, red plum, mocha, spice and leather are front and center. Soft contours and silky plush tannins give the 2019 its tremendous immediacy and overall appeal. The 2019 is a superb wine in its peer group $92 Our Price $79.99

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2018 Mt. Brave Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

Lots of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as classic Mount Veeder notes of lavender, violets, bouquet garni, and rocky, mineral-like notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, full-bodied mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, it has a plush, layered texture, beautiful tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. Another head-turning wine from this label, it’s a candidate for the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon out there at the price point. $100

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Taste 2020 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2018 Scarlett Rutherford Cabernet and 2018 Cakebread Dancing Bear Howell Mt Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, 6/24. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MACROSTIE Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2020

Peach, apricot and mango notes are pure, intense and extremely juicy on a fleshy, succulent frame, with hints of spice, orange blossom and dried ginger. Drink now. 19,231 cases made. — MW $26 Our Price $20.99

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 97 Points
2018 Cakebread Dancing Bear Ranch Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Dancing Bear Ranch is composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the gate with bold crème de cassis, blackberry pie and plum preserves scents, followed by touches of star anise, bouquet garni and tar with a waft of crushed rocks. Full-bodied and packed with juicy black fruits, the palate is beautifully framed by plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long with loads of fragrant earth and exotic spice accents. $180

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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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