The Grape Tray

July 26th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2019 Penner Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and 2019 Riverain Tench Oakville Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, July 26th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
PENNER-ASH Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019

Savory, bright and elegantly structured, with hints of underbrush, raspberry and pomegranate building tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 5,600 cases made. — TF $55

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

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Taste 2013 Doyard Extra Brut, Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve and Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose Reserve at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, July 27th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2013 Doyard Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

The 2013 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru has also turned out beautifully, unwinding in the glass with notes of citrus oil, peach, white flowers and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, it's taut and chiseled, with serious reserves of concentration and a long, mineral finish. Disgorged in spring 2021, while its quality is apparent, this is predictably a little introverted out of the gates, so I look forward to revisiting it later this year. $125 Our Price $109.99

James Suckling 94 Points
NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne Reserve

Remarkable depth of mature aromas - tons of candied lemon peel, dried pear and brioche - plus wonderful textural richness on the palate make this stand out amongst the regular Brut NVs. Then comes the intense and very long, mineral finish to crown this prince of the category. Based on 2016 base wines, but with 52% reserve wines, almost a third of which were 10 to 20 years of age. Drink or hold. $50

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

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Taste Wines from Thomas Rivers Brown at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, July 28th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Riverain Gamble Ranch Napa Sauvignon Blanc $38
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

2020 Caterwaul Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Dark purple all the way to the rim, the wine opens with aromas of creosote, blackberries, espresso roast and toast. Now fully recovered from bottling, it has picked up density and weight adding a rich blueberry core to the palate complemented by baker’s chocolate, tobacco and licorice. This is the Napa Cabernet bottling we imagined offering when we started this project. $50

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WOW-65% Off!
Rocca Maura Roche Noire Cotes du Rhone 

The global production for Roche Noire is a small 5 hectares of vines, which are registered agriculture raisonee. The vines are planted on a stony hillside, with close proximity to the Rhone River, and this soil type yields a freshness and elegance to the blend. The wines also benefit from good structure due to the age of the vines. Traditional winemaking practices, with only indigenous yeasts and cement tanks for fermentation, at about 24 degrees Celsius. Maturation for the Grenache is in cement, and Syrah is matured for one year in cask and one year old barrels, light filtration. $20 Our Price $6.95 (Available GT 7/27/22)

2018 The Calling Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Pale straw, aromas of lemon curd, key lime and pineapple rind. Key lime and lemon meringue flavors mingle with white peach and a pleasing salinity reminiscent of sea spray and oyster shell. $29. Liquidation Price $18.95 (Limited to stock on hand at GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
JULES TAYLOR Pinot Noir Marlborough 2019

Bold, with English breakfast tea, dense tannins and dried sage flavors in balance with licorice-laced plum and black cherry flavors. A smoky thread of palo santo lingers on the finish, where the tannins firm up. Drink now through 2030. 2,000 cases made, 500 cases imported. — MW $24 Liquidation Price $15.45 (Available GT) Limited to stock on hand

Dr. Loosen Dr. L Dry Riesling 2020

Winemaker Notes: This well-rounded Riesling is the dry counterpart to the lightly sweet Dr. L Riesling. Together, these two wines provide a glimpse into the unique stylistic diversity of Riesling, capturing the elegant and racy characteristics of steep, slate-soil Mosel vineyards at a very reasonable price. They are produced with grapes from contracted growers throughout the Mosel River valley who work closely with brothers Ernst and Thomas Loosen to achieve excellent quality in every vintage. $13 Our Price $11.39 (Available GT)

James Suckling 92 Points * 2019 Turnbull Estate Napa Cabernet

A sold and structured cabernet with blackberries, blueberries, currants and some walnuts. Full-bodied with firm, fine tannins and a long finish. Very attractive now, but it will age nicely. $55 Our Price $44.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW 7/27/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2018 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon RLC

Another cuvée from the estate in St. Helena, the 100% varietal 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon RLC spent 20 months in 60% new barrels. This medium to full-bodied, elegant red has classic blackberry and black cherry fruits, notes of tobacco leaf, cedarwood, and chocolate, silky tannins, and a terrific sense of purity and balance, which are the hallmarks of the vintage. It’s ideal for enjoying over the coming 10-15 years. $75 (Arrives VRW 7/27/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Wayfarer Seaview Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

A beautiful, Burgundian nose of orchard fruits, white flowers, chalky minerality, and honeysuckle emerge from the 2019 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard, a riveting, pure, flawlessly balanced Chardonnay that shines on all accounts. Picking up a kiss of green almond and toast with time in the glass, it has beautifully integrated acidity, a layered, rich yet light on its feet mouthfeel, and a great finish. This is just about as good as it gets in 2019 with regards to Chardonnay. Give bottles a year or two in the cellar and enjoy through 2032. $100 Our Price $89.99 (Available GT and VRW 7/27/22)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Dehlinger Chardonnay Estate

The 2018 Chardonnay Estate is an absolutely beautiful wine and classic Chardonnay from Goldridge soils. Orchard fruit, lemon confit, flowers and mint all grace this exquisite, wonderfully nuanced Chardonnay from Dehlinger. Bright saline notes confer energy. The 2018 is one of the most beautiful, nuanced Chardonnays I can remember tasting here. $42 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RUINART Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV

Steeped apricot and candied ginger flavors are an aromatic entry for this graceful Champagne, backed by finely cut acidity and layered with accents of kumquat, toast point and salted Marcona almond. It's fresh and racy, yet there's an effortless quality to the integration that makes this hard to stop sipping. Long, minerally finish. Drink now through 2027. — AN Internet Price $70 (Available GT and VRW)

New Vintage in Magnum Format!
2021 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, Magnum

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. $90 Our Price $TBD (Available GT and VRW 7/27/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 points
2018 Mending Wall Tournahu St Helena Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

From a site next to Panek Vineyard, in St. Helena, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tournahu Vineyard has a great nose of jammy dark fruits and blueberry liqueur as well as plenty of chocolate, spice, and earthy goodness. It’s full-bodied, concentrated, and powerful, yet beautifully balanced. $125 (Arrives GT 7/27/22)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas

Saint Cosme's 2018 Gigondas is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 14% Syrah and 1% Cinsault, aged in a combination of new and used oak, with 30% of the volume matured in concrete. Full-bodied and generous, it's round and supple, with no hard edges to hamper the easy flow of asphalt, red raspberries and black cherries across the palate. Boasting ample but not excessive concentration, it's a lovely, seductive example of Gigondas to enjoy over the next decade or so. $59 Our Price $50.95 (Available GT)

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Taste 2016 Farella Estate Napa Merlot, 2019 Sparkman Holler Cabernet and 2018 Merus Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, July 29th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 92 Points
2016 Farella Estate Napa Merlot

Fresh with lots of polished and chewy tannins that give the wine focus and texture. Berry, chocolate and spice character. Medium to full body. Flavorful finish. Drink or hold. $60 Our Price $29.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points
SPARKMAN Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Holler 2019

Broad-shouldered and generous, this red layers in deep blackberry and cherry flavors, picking up mocha espresso and dusky spice accents as this moves toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. $35

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

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Taste 2021 Cattleya Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce Pinot and 2013 Eisele Altagracia Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, July 30th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ALMA DE CATTLEYA Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County 2021

Aromatic, intense and distinctive, delivering mouthwatering lemongrass, Meyer lemon, pomelo and white grapefruit flavors, with an intriguing touch of litsea oil that lingers on the fresh finish. Drink now. 2,000 cases made.—MaryAnn Worobiec. $22. Internet Price $19.99

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

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2013 Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

Both 2013s are clearly the finest Eisele wines made under the administration of François Pinault and his top lieutenant, Frédéric Engerer, who also runs the show at Château Latour. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia is a beauty. Dense, opaque purple, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with forest floor and violets is followed by a lush, medium to full-bodied wine with terrific concentration, light tannin and an approachable style even for a 2013. It should drink well for 15 or more years. $130

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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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