The Grape Tray

June 24th 2022 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Sean Minor Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019

Rich and toasty, with hints of cedar bark to the dried red fruit and berry flavors that are well-knit. The creamy finish is long and plush, with accents of hot stone and cooking spices. Drink now through 2026. $25 Our Price $21.99 (Back in stock 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
Billecart Salmon Brut Nature

A dense, layered Champagne with a full body and lots of creamy texture. Lovely cooked apple and pie crust. 40% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir. The base was 2015, but in total it contains 10 harvests. It was bottled at the beginning of 2016 and disgorged in March 2020. Four years on lees. Fantastic release. Drink or hold. $70 Internet Price $59.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MAYACAMAS Chardonnay Mount Veeder 2020

Vibrant and intense, with a laser beam of Meyer lemon and yuzu flavors at the core, showcasing lemon thyme, ginger and sea salt minerality on the long finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,800 cases made. — MW $50 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
BENOVIA Chardonnay Russian River Valley La Pommeraie 2018

Powerfully crisp, this is filled with juicy acidity backing the white fruit and dried herbal flavors. Firm and a touch fleshy midpalate, with a finish that lingers with flinty notes. Pure and refreshing. Best from 2022 through 2026. 442 cases made. — KM $52 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
MCPRICE MYERS Beautiful Earth Paso Robles 2020

Supple, rich and plump with personality, this blend has an array of black raspberry, smoked meat, cracked pepper and black olive flavors that race toward a zesty finish. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Drink now through 2030. —T.F. $45 (Back in stock GT 6/29/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2019 Antinori Tignanello

The 2019 Tignanello is one of the most reserved, understated young wines I can remember tasting here. In so many vintages Tignanello is quite showy, but in 2019 the nervous energy and brightness of Sangiovese takes center stage. That’s intriguing, because the 2019 blend has a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon than normal, a decision made to compensate for some of the lighter qualities in the Sangiovese. With air the 2019 shows gorgeous depth and captivating inner perfume, even if it is clearly still coming together. The 2019 spent about 14 months in oak, with 50% new wood. Things are always in constant evolution at Antinori. This is the first vintage to incorporate some larger 500L barrels, an approach I think will work brilliantly. Drinking Window 2027 – 2041. $165. Our Price $154.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2011 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
Blanc de Blancs

After the tightly coiled, hyper-concentrated 2008, Taittinger's 2011 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne represents a more immediate, charming rendition of this cuvée. Bursting from the glass with aromas of orchard and stone fruit mingled with notions of pastry cream, blanched almonds and mandarin, it's medium to full-bodied, pillowy and fleshy, with a soft and enveloping profile, lively acids and a pretty pinpoint mousse. Readers might think of the 2011 as a somewhat less reductive and less intense stylistic sibling of the 2006, and as it takes on more toasty complexity with bottle age, it will make for immensely seductive drinking. $200 Internet Price $192.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
2016 Chalk Hill Russian River Estate
Pinot Noir

Offers a rich, savory edge to the dark currant and dried raspberry flavors. Notes of underbrush show midpalate, with a mineral- and slate-filled finish. Drink now through 2023. 15,000 cases made. — KM $48. Internet Price $29.99 (Email subscriber price $24.95 (Available GT)

Vinous 91 Points * 2018 Lisini San Biagio Montalcino, Tuscany

The 2018 San Biagio, a 100% varietal Sangiovese, balances tart cherry, peppery herbs, leather and dark earth tones to create a savory and wonderfully inviting display. The textures are soft; yet its fruits are ripe and fleshy, with notes of sour citrus and juicy acids maintaining freshness while keeping the energy high. This is dangerously delicious, finishing long with echoes of blackberry and spice. While I wouldn’t hold the 2018 too long in the cellar, it will make a lot of people very happy over the next few years. Drinking window: 2020 – 2024. $22 Our Price $17.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2018 Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvée

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Chris's Cuvée captures all of the intensity of this Calistoga site. Black fruit, leather, licorice, smoke, grilled herbs and chocolate all build in the glass. Ample and resonant, with tremendous richness the 2018 is positively stellar. Give the firm yet well-integrated tannins a bit of time to soften. $65 (Available GT and VRW)

Pinot File-The Prince of Pinot 99 Points
2016 Joseph Swan Vineyards Trenton Estate Vineyard Pentagon Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This one was only produced in one other year - 1997 - when it met the criteria for a separate bottling. • Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Seductive aromas of cherry, rose petal, spice box and sandy loam. The wine creates quite an impression on entry with a jubilee of well-spiced black cherry flavor. Very soft like the hair of an angel, with great purity of fruit flavor. Highly congenial at this age with immersed tannins and an extremely generous and lengthy finish. The wine packs plenty of flavor but leans more toward elegance than power. My notes say, “Fantastic!.” This is one of those wines you can still taste and remember where you drank it years later. My highest scoring Pinot Noir ever! $209 (Available GT)

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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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