The Grape Tray

July 19th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2019 Penner Ash Shea Vineyard Pinot and 2017 The Mascot Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, July 19th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 94 Points
2019 Penner Ash Shea Pinot Noir

Strawberries and black cherries with stones and flowers. Medium body, firm and round tannins and a stone and mineral aftertaste to the fruit. Tight at the end. Best after 2024. $75

2017 The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Notes: The Mascot is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon made from distinct hillside vineyards; specifically the younger vines of BOND, Harlan Estate, and Promontory. It started out as a small project shared among the family, winemaking team, and close friends. Drawing fruit from blocks of recently replanted vineyards, The Mascot shares a glimpse into the evolution of its parent estates: a youthful snapshot of their future.

The growing season’s relative warmth is absent in the glass, replaced by freshness and a piquant tension. The nose draws forward notes of red fruit and elements—earth, warm spice, leather—often deferred to the finish. Lithesome tannins and vibrant acidity attend a crystalline structure that is finely wrought and radiantly transparent. $160

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Taste 2018 Freemark Abbey Napa Cabernet and 2019 Continuum Proprietary Red at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Wednesday, July 20th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Freemark Abbey Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of blackcurrants, spearmint, licorice and lead pencil follow through to a medium body with firm tannins and a fresh finish. Hints of chocolate and almonds. Really polished. Very drinkable now, but will age beautifully. $65

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

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Taste Austin Hope Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, July 21st. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Austin Hope Austin Barrel 20 Cuvee Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Our second release of the AUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon remains focused on our goal to produce a wine true to "Paso Robles". On the nose savory aromas intertwine with rich dark fruit nuances. On the palate, flavors evolve into layers of juicy blackberry, spicy nutmeg, toasted coffee and fresh vanilla bean. This medium to full bodied wine is finished with refined tannins and a distinguishable zing of acid to balance. $20

2020 Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The Austin Hope Cabernet displays a beautiful ruby hue. Enticing aromas of fresh black cherry, burnt sugar and a slight smokiness fill your glass. On the palate, flavors evolve with vanilla foam, ripe dark fruit, roasted coffee & nuances of spice. This full-bodied wine is rounded out with smooth supple tannins that are brightened with a touch of acidity to balance this crowd pleasing Cabernet Sauvignon. $56

Just Released!
2019 Austin Hope Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This 2019 Reserve continues to push the boundaries of what Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is capable of producing. On the nose, fresh blueberry cobbler, burnt sugar, vanilla bean and a touch of earth evolve onto the palate and seamlessly display flavors of coco powder, baking spices with additional silky vanilla. The beautifully integrated tannins frame this robust Cabernet Sauvignon to reveal a luxurious full mouth feel that allows this wine to linger. $140

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Antonio Galloni 93 Points
2019 Forman Chateau La Grande Roche Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Forman's second wine, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau La Grande Roche is absolutely gorgeous. Effusive aromatics and vibrant fruit make a very strong opening statement. Readers will find all the Forman signatures in this mid-weight, classically-built Cabernet Sauvignon. Rose petal, cinnamon and sweet red plum fruit flow across the palate effortlessly, lifted by bright floral accents that lend freshness. This is beautifully done, and a real charmer. Don't miss it. $45 (Arrives GT 7/20/22)

2019 Riverain Silver Eagle Generations Sonoma Coast Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Offering scents of Christmas spice, cherry, cranberry and some forest floor, the wine’s balance really shines through to a long detailed finish. More Burgundian than the 2018, this has the ethereal quality we love in Pinot Noir. We are thrilled to be working with the Valdez Family and this historic site for many “Generations" to come. $80 (Arrives GT 7/20/22)

Decanter 92 Points
2018 Byron Nielson Vineyard Chardonnay

Slightly restrained nose with nice stone fruit and floral character underneath. Light lemon sherbet notes with toasted pineapple on the palate, pleasingly dry and youthful finish. $30 Our Price $21.99 (Back in stock VRW 7/20/22)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
JOEL GOTT Sauvignon Blanc California 2021

Light and fresh and overtly citrusy, with lime zest, tangerine and makrut lime leaf flavors that are light on their feet but plenty intense, showing notes of lemon verbena and lemongrass on the finish. Drink now. 92,000 cases made.—M.W. $16 Our Price $10.99 (Available GT and VRW 7/20/22)

“96 Points” Lodi Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Toasty American Oak integrates with blueberries, dark plum and blackberries. Bold sweet tannins hold up a velvety mouthfeel, leading to a juicy finish with dark cherries, violets and baking spice. $12. Liquidation Price $7.95 (Limited to stock on hand at GT)

ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS
2018 Merus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a dense, full-throttle wine. A blast of inky dark fruit, chocolate, spice, new leather, lavender, graphite, and dried herbs makes a strong opening statement. There's not a ton of subtlety, but the 2019 is undeniably beautiful and vivid. It's unapologetically flamboyant though, and will be appreciated most by readers who enjoy this style. $155 (Arrives GT this afternoon) Limited

Jeb Dunnuck 95+
2019 Riverain Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

I was able to taste two wines from Riverain, both from the Tench Vineyard in Oakville. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is rock-solid, with classic red, blue, and black fruits as well as notes of iron, rosemary, and leather. It's focused, medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and nicely structured on the palate. I like it today, but the cellar is going to be your friend as well. $150 (Arrives GT 7/20/22) Limited

Wine Spectator 90 Points
ROMBAUER Sauvignon Blanc Napa-Sonoma Counties 2021

Crisp, clean and bursting with intensity to the Bartlett pear, lime sorbet and fresh ginger flavors, with lingering details of lemon blossom and orange zest. Drink now. 30,632 cases made.—M.W. $26. Our Price $22.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 7/20/22)

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 (Back in stock GT 7/20/22)

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Taste 2019 Foxen Julia’s Vineyard Pinot, 2018 David Arthur Napa Proprietary Red and 2018 MC4 St. Helena Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, July 22nd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DAVID ARTHUR Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2018

Racy and focused, with sanguine and iron notes piercing through the core of red currant and damson plum fruit. The long finish has mouthwatering cut as the minerality stays vibrant. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2032. 2,830 cases made. — JM $80

Wine Spectator 93 Points * 2018 MC4 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Martin & Croshaw Vineyard 2018

This delivers a pure, savory and licorice-flecked beam of cassis and plum puree flavors, with a glint of iron on the sleek finish. Concentrated, but streamlined in feel. Drink now through 2032. 250 cases made. — JM $75

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Taste 2019 El Enemigo Chardonnay, 2018 Lail Blueprint Napa Cabernet and 2018 Booker Fracture Syrah at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, July 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

James Suckling 96 Points
2019 El Enemigo Chardonnay

Cooked apple, lemon curd and light vanilla on the nose, together with stone, mineral and some dried flowers. Medium to full body with a creamy texture and beautiful fruit. Hints of vanilla and pie crust in the aftertaste. Always great quality for the price. Drink or hold. $25

WA 92- 94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2018 Lail Blueprint Napa Cabernet

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Blueprint has a deep garnet-purple color and sings of wild blueberries, Morello cherries and red and black currant jellies with touches of dried mint, chocolate box and cedar chest. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with crunchy black fruits, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and lifted. A barrel sample, 2,000 cases will be made. $95

Jeb Dunnuck 98-100 Points
2018 Booker Fracture Syrah

The inky colored 2018 Fracture is another wine that’s going to push at the upper limits of the grading scale. Awesome crème de cassis, charred meats, graphite, plenty of minerality, and subtle oak nuances all flow to a powerful, full-bodied, beautifully balanced Syrah. Similar in style to the 2017 with its powerful yet elegant vibe as well as good acidity, it’s a magical Paso Robles Syrah in the making. $96 Our Price $89.95

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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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