The Grape Tray

July 5th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2019 Peter Michael L’Apres Midi Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Figgins Proprietary Red at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, July 5th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
PETER MICHAEL Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley L'Après-Midi 2019

Effusive and elegant, focused and intense, with honeysuckle overtones to the lemon curd, ruby grapefruit and Fuji apple flavors. Hints of pineapple and candied ginger linger on the fresh finish. Drink now. 2,393 cases made. — MW $64

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2017 Figgins Proprietary Red Wine

The 2017 Estate Red Wine is more Cabernet Sauvignon dominated and spent 23 months in a mix of new and neutral French oak. It's a stunning effort that has classy cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as notes of cedar pencil, dried flowers, graphite, and dried earth. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant on the palate, it's not a massive wine yet has terrific concentration, beautifully balanced tannins, and acidity, and a great finish. It will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for 20 years or more. $105 Our Price $90.99

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Taste 2018 Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot and 2020 Domaine de la Cote La Cote Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, July 6th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 Points
2020 Domaine de la Côte ‘La Côte’, Pinot Noir

The 2020 Pinot Noir La Côte is a wine of tremendous density and power. Red cherry/plum fruit, crushed rocks, herbs and rose petal fill out the layers, but La Côte mostly stands out for its huge core of fruit. Here, too, readers will have to be extremely patient. La Côte is a Pinot of real substance. In some vintages, it has been a bot excessive on the savory side, but Sashi Moorman and rajat Parr nailed the balance in 2020. $140

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Taste 2018 Cobb Rice-Spivak Sonoma Coast Pinot and 2019 Calera Jensen Mt Harlan Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, July 7th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

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

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Jeb Dunnuck 95 Point
2019 Foxen Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard

The 2019 Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard is more elegant and finesse-driven, with a beautiful perfume of framboise, wild strawberries, violets, and sappy flowers. All about red fruits and flowers, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a seamless, flawlessly balanced mouthfeel, good acidity, and just a hint of classic Santa Maria salinity on the finish. Aged 16 months in 21% new French oak, this brilliant Pinot Noir is up with the crème de la crème in the vintage. $72 Our Price $62.99 (Arrives GT 7/6/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
2019 DuMOL Chardonnay Chloe

The 2019 Chardonnay Chloe comes from the Russian River, yet it shows an almost Sonoma Coast-like vibrancy and minerality. Deep stone fruits, brioche, honeysuckle, and flower oil notes all define the nose, and it's beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied, and incredibly textured, with a drop-dead gorgeous finish. This is another incredible Chardonnay from this estate that ranks with the crème de la creme of the vintage. $78 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 93-95 Points * 2019 Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forêts St Georges

The most structured and muscular of Domaine de l'Arlot's premiers crus, the 2019 Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Forêts St Georges wafts from the glass with aromas of cassis, plums, dark berries, raw cocoa and sweet soil tones. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with lively acids, powdery tannins and a youthfully chalky finish, this is an elegantly muscular wine built to age. $150 Internet Price $134 (Available GT)

2019 DOMAINE DE CHANTEMERLE Chablis La Chantemerle

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of fresh herbs, white blossoms, chalk dust. Refined, pure, lively; flavors of lemons, limes, sea salt. As an aperitif; with oysters or other fresh shellfish; soft ripe French cheese. $29 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 89 Points
MERCER Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills Homestead Collection Robert Willis 2017

Sleek and plump, with vibrant fruit, offering notes of cherry, toasty, mocha and spice. Drink now through 2024. 3,004 cases made. — TF $20 Our Price $10.95 (Arrives GT 7/6/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Chappellet Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Signature

Always a smoking value that readers shouldn't miss, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature sports a dense purple color to go with beautiful cassis and blueberry-like fruits as well as bouquet garni, spice, and obvious, rocky mineral-like aromas and flavors. Rich and medium to full-bodied, with notable structure and good acidity, it's going to keep for two decades in cold cellars. It's a candidate for the best Napa Cabernet under $100. 18,000 cases. $95. Internet Price $83.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 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 (Available GT)

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 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 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
RAMEY Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Hyde Vineyard 2019

Powerful and sleek up front, showing Honeycrisp apple, lemon blossom, Asian pear and Sumo orange flavors that are bright, fresh and heightened by crisp acidity. Offers sea salt, white tea and nutmeg details on the finish, with a touch of fresh lemon thyme for aromatic flair. Drink now through 2040. 960 cases made. — MW $75 (Available GT and VRW) Limited

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Taste 2020 Mayacamas Mt Veeder Chardonnay, 2020 McPrice Myers Beautiful Earth and 2016 Pina Firehouse Rutherford Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, July 8th . Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

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

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Piña Cabernet Sauvignon Firehouse Vineyard Rutherford 2016

From a rocky vineyard in Rutherford, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Firehouse Vineyard is a regal, majestic Cabernet that has beautiful notes of crème de cassis, black raspberries, and toasted spices, with an almost mountain fruit-like quality in its aromatics as well as its structure and texture on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, seamlessly constructed, tannic and backward, yet also perfectly balanced, do your best to hide bottles for 4-5 years and it should cruise over the following two decades. $95

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Taste Guido Berlucchi Franciacorta Brut Nature, Roederer Brut 242 and Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, July 9th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
GUIDO BERLUCCHI Brut Nature Franciacorta '61 2012

This bursts with ripe pineapple and tangerine fruit, followed by almond skin and honeycomb notes, with a rich streak of racy salinity. Lacy in texture and well-balanced, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2024. 8,000 cases made, 700 cases imported. — AN $62

Wine Spectator 93 Points
CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Rosé Champagne Réserve NV

A graceful rosé Champagne, with a creamy mousse caressing the palate while juicy acidity creates a mouthwatering frame for the white cherry, grilled nut, candied pink grapefruit zest, ground ginger and cardamom spice flavors. Long and lovely on the finish, drawing you back for sip after sip. Disgorged 2018. Drink now through 2027. 510 cases imported. — AN $87

Wine Advocate 93+ Points
Roederer Brut Collection 242

Roederer's Brut Premier was created in the 1980s to prove to consumers that we could deliver consistent quality with a blend that compensated for less than perfectly ripe vintages," explains Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. "We were blending in pursuit of maturity, of ripeness. The concept behind the Brut Collection is the opposite: we're looking for freshness—and we are embracing singularity, something we're emphasizing by enumerating each year's blend." This project has been in the making since 2012, when Lecaillon set aside 21,000 liters of wine to constitute a perpetual reserve aged in large tanks without malolactic fermentation. Sourcing has evolved too: less must is coming from cooperatives, and only vineyards cultivated without the use of herbicides inform the blend. A dedicated team oversees all this, visiting every grower three times per year. And vinification is parcel by parcel to deliver a maximum of blending components. Iteration 242 is based on the 2017 vintage (56%), supplemented by 34% reserve wines from the perpetual reserve established in 2012 and 10% foudre-aged reserve wines. Internet Price $55

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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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