The Grape Tray

July 8th 2022 Newsletter

+On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW+

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2009 Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots

The 2009 Les Pavots, a 3,440-case blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot, comes from Knights Valley. It exhibits a distinctive truffle, chocolate, blackberry and cassis-scented bouquet, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and fabulous concentration, purity and density. This magnificent effort’s open-knit style was surprising as most Northern California 2009s made from Bordeaux varietals are somewhat austere and closed at present. This wine should drink well for another two decades or more. Market Price $200

Wine Spectator 94 Points
GREYWACKE Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2021

This stunning white is aromatic, fresh and intense, with notes of lemon curd, yuzu, peach, ripe melon and honeysuckle that are effortless and mouthwatering, backed by lemongrass and candied ginger notes on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. —M.W. $23 Our Price $19.99

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New Vintage! 2021 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Ripe peach, citrus fruits, spice, and pie crust aromas all mingle and lift from the glass. The citrus, supported by notes of apricot, continues on the palate which is concentrated with a rich, creamy middle palate, and strong supporting acidity. The finish is long and marked with hints of vanilla. This wine will continue to build richness as it ages in the bottle. $40 Internet Price $36.99 (Arrives GT and VRW 7/13/22)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2018 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Laurène

Medium ruby, the 2018 Pinot Noir Laurène opens with pure raspberry, rhubarb and aniseed perfume with accents of bergamot and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate is concentrated, super spicy, firm and very fresh, finishing uplifted and loaded with perfumed fruits. Give it another 2-3 years in bottle. $80 Our Price $71.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 The Hilt Pinot Noir Radian Vineyard

In the same realm, the 2019 Pinot Noir Radian Vineyard offers more red and blue fruits (black raspberries, cherries, blueberries) as well as ample minerality and graphite. It too is medium-bodied, utterly seamless, flawlessly balanced, and concentrated. As with all of these 2019s from Dees, it has slightly more texture and suppleness than past vintages and is going to drink nicely for a decade. $105. Internet Price $94.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
HARTFORD COURT Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Land's Edge Vineyards 2018

A refined and minerally style, with lithe acidity supporting well-knit flavors of cherry and raspberry. The plush finish lingers with creamy accents and plenty of spicy and toasty notes. Drink now through 2026. —K.M. $50 Internet Price $42.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma County Red Blend

Lots of ripe blackberries, peppery herbs, and assorted meaty notes emerge from the deep purple 2019 Red Wine, which offers medium to full body, a kiss of iron and minerality on the palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This is one heck of a delicious, textured red to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years or so. $27 (Available GT and VRW) Delicious!

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Hourglass Blueline Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Blueline Cabernet Sauvignon is another stunning wine in the lineup. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as beautiful cassis and blue-tinged fruits, it has lots of violet and lead pencil notes, medium to full body, perfect balance, and incredible tannins. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it's going to deliver the goods for upwards of two decades. $150 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
2018 L'Aventure Cote a Cote

Straight-up sexy, the 2018 Cote A Cote is a Grenache-dominated blend that includes 26% Mourvèdre and 23% Syrah, all aged in 35% new French oak. Stunning notes of black raspberries, ground pepper, Asian spices, and candied violets all flow to a full-bodied, concentrated wine that reminds me of a great vintage of Domaine de la Janasse's Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes cuvée. It shows more chalky minerality with time in the glass and is pure, seamless, and beautifully put together. Drink it over the coming 10-12 years. $105 (The 2019 vintage was so good, we snagged a case of the 2018 vintage) Available VRW

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 97 pts
Staglin Family Vineyard 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Staglin's 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate favors energy and tension over volume, at least at this point in its life. Bright, aromatic and sumptuous, the 2018 is fabulous right out of the gate. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, cedar and menthol race across the palate. The 2018 is bright and focused from start to finish, with impeccable balance, well-judged oak and tons of sheer appeal. It is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. Winemaker Fredrik Johansson captured the magic of the 2018 vintage and put it all into the bottle. I can't wait to see how this ages. Drinking window: 2026 – 2043. $270 (Back in stock GT)

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2019 Continuum Proprietary Red Napa

Continuum's 2019 Proprietary Red is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot, all from the estate vineyard on Pritchard Hill. Aged in two-thirds new French oak, with the balance in second or third-use barrels and a single concrete amphora, it's remarkably dark in hue, a deep, saturated purple in the glass. On the nose, it's floral and herbal yet fruit-driven, with violets, sage and bay leaf adding nuance to black cherries, while the palate is full-bodied, plush and silky. There's an enticing yin-yang to the interplay between high-toned herbals and bass notes of dark chocolate in this dense, concentrated effort that finishes lush and long. It's a magnificent wine that should drink well for at least two decades. $300 (Arrives GT 7/13/22) Limited

James Suckling 99 Points
2019 Peter Michael Les Pavots

This is very perfumed with blackberry and pine-cone aromas, as well as raspberries and black cherries. Full-bodied with firm, velvety tannins that are tight-grained. Creamy and beautiful. Currant and graphite flavors come through. Lightly chewy at the end. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 14% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. Drink after 2025. $256 Our Price $229.95 (Available GT) 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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