The Grape Tray

August 12th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2018 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet this Saturday at VRW

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Inflation Buster!
2021 Carmel Road Monterey Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our Monterey Chardonnay is so rich, it doesn’t need oak. Refreshing acidity, courtesy of the cool climate, heightens the golden mango, tangerine, Asian pear, white flower, vanilla bean and butter cream flavors, leading to a long finish complexed with a hint of yeast from sur lie aging. $18 Internet Price $10.99 (Local GT and VRW customers will receive our instant rebate for a net price of $8.99) Delicious!

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On Deck for Wine Tasting next week at VRW:
Wine Advocate 94 Points
2020 DuMOL Wester Reach Pinot Noir

The 2020 Pinot Noir Wester Reach is one of Dumol's larger cuvées, and production was normal despite the challenges of the vintage (3,750 cases). It has alluring purity on the nose, with scents of cranberries, rhubarb, tobacco leaves, orange peel and aniseed. The medium-bodied palate is concentrated and powerful without losing detail, framed by powdery tannins and refreshing acidity. It offers an array of spice and floral accents on the finish. Lovely! $75

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 DuMOL Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2019 Pinot Noir DuMOL Estate Vineyard reveals a deep ruby hue to go with classic notes of ripe black cherries, sappy underbrush, sassafras, and spring flowers. Straight-up gorgeous on the palate as well, it's medium to full-bodied and has a solid spine of acidity, wonderful depth of fruit, and a great, great finish. It has plenty of up-front appeal yet should cruise for a decade in cold cellars, if not longer. $110

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James Suckling 95 Points
2018 Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

A beautiful, aromatic wine with blackcurrant, cool fruit and hints of minerals and tar. Full-bodied, yet polished and really well manicured. Long and creamy. Shows tension, energy and refinement. Drink after 2024, but so beautiful already. Hard not to drink. $75 Internet Price $63.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
RIDGE Geyserville Alexander Valley 2020

Deeply structured and briary, with a mix of red and black fruit accented by licorice, dill and savory underbrush flavors. Finishes with medium-grained tannins. Zinfandel, Carignan, Petite Syrah, Alicante Bouschet and Mataro. Drink now through 2030. 8,900 cases made. — TF $50. Internet Price $44.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
MACROSTIE Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2020

Distinctive and aromatic, with jasmine, orange blossom and fresh lime zest flavors that are fragrant and precise, plus terrific intensity and juiciness on a sleek, mouthwatering frame. Features succulent notes of lemon curd and peach at the core. Drink now through 2032. 350 cases made. — MW $38 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Elegant aromas and flavors of melon, honeysuckle, apricot, pineapple, citrus zest, and flint. This abundance of exotic fruit is completed with bright acidity, seamless balance, and a long, mouth-coating finish. $65 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2017 Taub Family Rutherford Cabernet

Nicely compact, with a core of steeped red currant, plum and blackberry fruit that should unwind in the near future. Alder and licorice notes score the finish, with good latent energy. Best from 2022 through 2031. 1,500 cases made. — JM $75 Internet Price $64.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2018 Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Amentet Vineyard is a heady, explosive Mount Veeder wine. Iron, sweet red cherry, mint, dried flowers, licorice, mocha and rose petal all grace this wonderfully expressive, nuanced Cabernet. Best of all, the 2018 won't need more than a few years in bottle to be approachable. It's a gorgeous wine, that much is clear. The best is yet to come. $120 Our Price $94.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The base 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is terrific, and while I don’t know the price, I suspect it’s a great value. Deep purple-hued, with terrific mulled currant and blackberry fruits, it has lots of ripe herbal, chocolaty spice notes, full-bodied richness, sweet tannins, and a great finish. This is pure Napa Valley goodness to drink over the coming 10-15 years. $85 (Arrives GT 8/18/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 Points
2018 Shafer Vineyards Relentless

A blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Petite Sirah, the 2018 Relentless looks to be just about sensational, offering a dense purple color as well as rich, loaded notes of blackberries, currants, smoked meats, peppery spice, and violets. Reminding me of a great Cornas on steroids with its gamy, exotic character paired with beautiful richness, it has fabulous purity, ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. This will undoubtedly be a great vintage for this cuvée, and my money is on it being one of the best yet. $100 Our Price $89.95 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
La Cabanne 2018 Pomerol

The 2018 Château La Cabanne is another pretty, perfumed, incredibly pure Pomerol with loads of blueberry and cherry fruit as well candied violets, spice, and leafy herbs. I love its purity, it has great tannins, a layered, deep mid-palate, and an outstanding finish. It's great today, in a youthful, vibrant fashion, yet will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15 years. It's a gorgeous wine and one of the finest I've tasted from this address, surpassing even the 2016. $47 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Chateau Quinault L'Enclos Bordeaux

I continue to love this wine, and I think it's undervalued in the market. Coming from a walled vineyard near Libourne and managed by the incredible team at Cheval Blanc, the 2019 Château Quinault L'Enclos reveals a deep purple/ruby hue to go with a gorgeous seamless, medium to full-bodied, perfectly balanced profile that epitomizes the style of the vintage. The tannins are flawlessly integrated, it has a great mid-palate, and it offers up a wonderful bouquet of darker cherries, currants, leafy herbs, and chocolate. It can be drunk today with incredible pleasure given its balance and purity, but it’s going to cruise in cold cellars for at least two decades. $52 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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Taste 2021 Ghost Block MorgaenLee Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Marietta Arme Cabernet and 2019 Detert Oakville Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, August 12th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Ghost Block MorgaenLee Yountville Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Beautiful aromatics of grapefruit and white peach jump from the glass followed by subtle tropical fruit notes of guava and papaya. Upon entry, the wine is smooth and rich and fills out mid-palate with the weight of the Semillon and sur lies aging, then evolves into bright acidity with undertones of white grapefruit and lemon zest creating a clean and silky finish. $25

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2019 Marietta Armé Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Armé Cabernet Sauvignon has a medium ruby-purple color and layered aromas of red and black currants, violet, iron, underbrush and mushrooms. The medium-bodied palate is pleasantly rustic and a touch chewy, with bright acidity, pretty floral perfume and an earth-laced finish. $35

Wine Spectator 94 Points
DETERT Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2019

Purely rendered, with a gorgeous beam of cassis and plum fruit driving from start to finish. Features flashes of violet, anise and black tea as well as an underpinning of warm earth, all allied to nicely coiled energy. The beautiful fruit takes a two-song encore as a final statement. Best from 2023 through 2036. —J.M. $100

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Taste 2017 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot Noir, 2016 Beringer Distinctions Napa Cabernet and 2018 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, August 13th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2017 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Altamont

The 2017 Pinot Noir Altamont is a wine of real breadth. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, spice and hard candy all flesh out in the glass. Rich, plush and enveloping, the Altamont captures all of the natural intensity of the year. A touch of stems adds character, but is not especially evident. $62

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2016 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Distinctions

First released in 2014 and made with the idea to highlight richness and opulence, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Distinctions includes slightly more valley floor fruit compared to the Knights Valley Reserve and offers a forward, sexy, incredibly satisfying style as well as lots of blackcurrant fruit, ripe tannins, and impeccable balance. Despite the richer, more forward style, it’s going to evolve just fine on its balance and concentration. $49

2018 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Ruby in color, the Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of cassis, caramel, juniper and pomegranate. Lifted and vibrant on the nose, this wine is fresh on the palate with a juicy, fruit-forward core. Its silky mouthfeel will provide drinking pleasure through 2044 given proper cellaring conditions. 94.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Internet Price $90

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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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