The Grape Tray

August 16th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2021 Groth Napa Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Tuesday, August 16th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
GROTH Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2021

Tasting Note: Distinctive, with lanolin, honeysuckle and litsea oil accents to the ripe peach, citrus and apricot flavors at the core. Reveals mouthwatering acidity and sea salt minerality on the finish. Drink now. —M.W. $26 Our Price $23.99

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
2017 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

In the running for the wine of the vintage, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is an incredible success and offers more depth, opulence, and purity than just about every other wine out there. Revealing a dense purple color as well as a killer nose of blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries, scorched earth, tobacco, violets, and exotic spices, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a seamless, pure, incredibly layered mouthfeel, building tannins, and a great, great finish. As with most top 2017s, it stays tight and compact on the palate, with notable structure and impressive concentration. It has some up-front appeal given its purity of fruit and balance, yet it’s going to take 7-8 years to hit prime time and will be a long-lived bottle of Napa Cabernet. Hats off to Doug Shafer and the team for yet another magical Cabernet Sauvignon! $325

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Taste 2020 DuMOL Wester Reach Pinot Noir and 2019 DuMOL Estate Pinot Noir at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, August 17th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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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Taste 2020 MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2018 Lucienne Lone Oak Chardonnay and 2021 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, August 18th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MACROSTIE Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2020

Peach, apricot and mango notes are pure, intense and extremely juicy on a fleshy, succulent frame, with hints of spice, orange blossom and dried ginger. Drink now. 19,231 cases made. — MW $26 Our Price $20.99

Vinous 93 Points
Lucienne 2018 Chardonnay Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

Limpid yellow-gold. Vibrant, mineral- and spice-accented citrus and orchard fruit and jasmine qualities on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, offering Meyer lemon, pear nectar and quinine flavors and a touch of buttered toast. Closes minerally and impressively long, delivering a resonating floral note and firm, spicy lift. Drink 2021 – 2027. $40 Internet Price $35.99

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

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Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2019 Gainey Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay Estate is soft, creamy and open-knit, all of which make it a fabulous choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. Apricot, white flowers, mint, lemon confit and light tropical accents all grace this exquisite Chardonnay from Gainey. As always, the Estate is a fabulous value. The partially-blocked malo style helps keep the flavors fresh. $20 Our Price $17.49 (Available GT and VRW 8/17/22)

2021 J Vineyards Pinot Gris

Winemaker Notes: This Pinot Gris has an enticing bouquet of Fuji apple, ripe cantaloupe, and apricot. The crisp, clean mouthfeel is bursting with flavors of lemon and lime. A hint of kiwi and sweet orange blossom honey on the palate complements the fruit and acid. The lingering finish invites you to relax and enjoy another taste. In fact, it is the perfect sipper when entertaining with friends. This layered and well-balanced wine is a great accompaniment to a variety of foods, from Japan and Mexico, to India and China, all accented with a variety of spices. $17 Our Price $12.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * RIDGE Three Valleys Sonoma County 2019

An engaging blend, well-knit and distinctive for its savory raspberry and cherry flavors that draw in bay leaf, Asian spice and smoked pepper notes. Tannins are ripe and briary. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro. Drink now through 2029. —T.F. $30 Our Price $25.69 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Twomey Napa/Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This early and compressed harvest—coupled with lower yields and smaller berries—led to a finished wine that walks a delicate line between rich, textural depth and fresh, vibrant energy, hitting the topical, floral, citrus and mineral notes that we love from our Sauvignon Blanc. $32 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
BILLECART-SALMON Brut Rosé Champagne NV

Delicate notes of yellow plum, marzipan, verbena and fleur de sel are set in this firm and finely meshed rosé Champagne. Creamy finish. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Drink now. — AN $90 Our Price $84.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Harlan The Mascot Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker 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 ethereal power of the 2018 vintage, displays itself in our wine. First in the deep, brooding aromas of dark fruit, black tea, and herbal notes. The texture expands around a lifted structure, as powdery tannins gently resolve. This diused, enigmatic softness is anchored on the mid-palate by a gratifying density, which prepares the senses for a flourish of hidden energy and vivid detail that illuminates the finish. $175 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

WOW*55% Off! * 2015 Nielson Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The wine shows aromas of blackberries, rose petals, dried herbs, and earth. Flavors are driven by a dark fruit core, complemented by sandalwood, black pepper, and crushed stone. $20 Internet Price $13.99. GT and VRW Insider Price $8.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

James Suckling 94 Points
Billecart Salmon Brut Nature

A dense, layered Champagne with a full body and lots of creamy texture. Lovely cooked apple and pie crust. 40% pinot meunier, 30% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir. The base was 2015, but in total it contains 10 harvests. It was bottled at the beginning of 2016 and disgorged in March 2020. Four years on lees. Fantastic release. Drink or hold. $70 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT)

Ployez Jacquemart Champagne EXTRA BRUT Rose

Winemaker Notes: We produce our Rosé in very good year for quality black grapes. They are all developed with this base: the assembly of Champagne Extra Quality Brut (blend of the first presses of premier and grand crus wines with a majority of black grapes) to which we add a small amount of champagne red wine from

Avenay or Mailly Champagne vinified in oak. Each vintage brings structures and intensities of different colors. The chance to work with the addition of red wine allows us to be more stable and accurate in color. It contributes to create an expressive blend delicately combining the expression of red fruit aromas with richness and long finish, keeping things lively. Our red wines are

made in our oak barrels unveiling an elegant touch lightly wooded. We use only very low dosages to let express all fruits and aromas of the wine. Tasting Impression: Very nice foam. The pink color is a pretty cool. The nose is fruity and fresh. The mouth is frank, the dosage is not noticeable . $56 Our Price $50.99 (Available GT)

2017 Ovid Experiment 2.7 Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: Winemaker Notes: The 2017 Experiment N2.7 is the second vintage from this series. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with small, nearly equal amounts of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the wine intrigues with notes of blackberry, cola, cocoa nibs, licorice and pencil shavings. Richness and purity of expression grace the palate in this neighborly adventure that should delight for years to come. 70% Cabernet, 12% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot and 7% Cab Franc. $192 (Available GT and VRW)

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Taste 2020 MacRostie Russian River Chardonnay, 2019 Dehlinger Goldridge Pinot Noir and 2019 Chappellet Signature Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, August 19th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2020 MACROSTIE Chardonnay Russian River

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

Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
2019 Dehlinger Goldridge Russian River Pinot Noir

Juicy layers of berry and cherry are met by spicy acidity in this deliciously well-made, structured and highly enjoyable wine, grown in the plentiful, generous soils for which it is named. Dusty texture provides a grip that takes on a stone-like minerality and pleasing complexity. $60

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Chappellet Signature Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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Taste 2018 Willakenzie Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2018 Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Paul Hobbs Napa Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, August 20th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
WILLAKENZIE Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018

Captures the best of Willamette Valley, with a layered structure that’s crisp yet supple with plump raspberry, orange peel and Darjeeling accents that glide toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 6,930 cases made. — TF $30

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

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville

This is the first vintage for this label. In fact, this replaces the "Napa Valley" label, but since all the wine now comes from the Coombsville AVA (and mostly from their estate), it now carries the Coombsville name.

Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville is redolent of Morello cherries, boysenberries and cassis with hints of lilacs, cinnamon stick and dried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate has vibrant black fruit flavors with a a soft texture and nice tension, finishing with a red fruit lift. 6,677 cases were made. $120

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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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