August 23rd 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

August 23rd 2022 Newsletter

Taste this Sake for $5.00 (Available all week at VRW)


Producer Notes: Daishichi Minowamois a junmai daiginjo made with the kimoto method, using Yamada Nishiki sake rice polished with the superflat rice polishing technique. We have succeeded in eliminating all off-flavors that in the past remained even in rice for daiginjo, and realized an unprecedented gentle, mellow texture of remarkable delicacy, and a natural, elegant aroma. $70/720ml. Our Price $49.99 (Available VRW)


Taste 2020 Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel and 2020 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10 per person.
Tuesday, August 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM 94 Points
2020 Ridge Pagani Ranch Zinfandel

Nearly all Zinfandel (90%), this has 4% Alicante blended in. Very juicy and bright, this shows ripe strawberry and bing cherry with prosciutto and green olive notes on the palate. Complex and delicious, this has a long way to go in the cellar. Vibrant, with a terrific mineral backbone, this weighs in at only 13.8% alcohol. $42 93 Points
2020 Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandel

The outstanding 2020 Ridge Vineyards ‘Lytton Springs’ Red Wine is a blend of 79% Zinfandel with 11% Petite Sirah and 10% Carignane. The beautiful red florals on the nose with potpourri, white pepper and ripe red fruits that mingle with shades of smoked brisket. The palate is plush and soft with a seamless mouthfeel and very lengthy finish. This has both the stuffing and finesse to cellar well for at least another decade.” -Owen Bargreen (August 2022) $50


Taste Billecart Salmon Brut Rose, Roederer Anderson Valley Estate Brut and Brut Rose at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, August 24th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 94 Points
Roederer Anderson Valley Estate Brut

Extremely fresh and floral with sliced apples, stones and some white peach. Bread dough, too. Fine bead. Medium to full body with crisp acidity and a steely finish. Hints of phenolics provide a fine texture. Vibrant acidity. About 15% reserve wine (mostly chardonnay) in this, from five vintages. 2.5 years on the lees. 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir. Drink or hold.

James Suckling 94 Points
Roederer Brut Rose Estate

A delicious rosé that comes across dry, with baked strawberry-pie character, in a subtle and attractive way. Some peach, too. It's full and very layered. Fine bubbles at the end that melt into the wine. Clear and beautiful. 56% pinot noir and 44% chardonnay. Drink now.

Wine Advocate 90 Points
Billecart Salmon Brut Rose

Based on the 2016 vintage, the new NV Brut Rosé from Billacart-Salmon has turned out nicely, mingling notes of red berries and plums with notions of peach, dried flowers and orange rind. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and elegant, it's bright and charming, with a generous core of fruit, racy acids and a pinpoint mousse. Giving and demonstrative, it's already drinking well.


Taste 2019 Tether Napa Chardonnay, 2019 DuMOL Wester Reach Chardonnay and 2020 Darioush Signature Napa Chardonnay at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, August 25th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Tether Napa Chardonnay

Another great release for this wine, the 2019 Chardonnay offers a pure, elegant, yet still powerful, medium to full-bodied style...It has a tropical edge as well as wonderful purity, a clean, elegant texture, and a great finish. $42 Internet Price $31.99

Wine Spectator 94
DUMOL Chardonnay Russian River Valley Wester Reach 2019

Powerfully fresh and minerally, this complex white features concentrated pear tart and apple pastry flavors that are filled with crunchy acidity, showing hints of custard. Ends with buttery accents and tropical fruit notes on the richly spiced finish. Best from 2022 through 2027. 3,540 cases made. — KM $60

2020 Darioush Signature Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The hallmark of Darioush Signature Chardonnay is its progressive style of integrating precision, richness, and complexity. Grown from the winery estate and renowned Chardonnay vineyards of Los Carneros, these cooler Southern Napa Valley climes exhibit quintessential varietal characteristics while preserving inherent freshness and vibrancy. $70 Our Price $59.99


2021 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc

Winemaker Notes: A lovely floral, fruity, buttery nose, orange blossom and white peach, Viognier in full evidence. Good balance on the mouth, with Grenache Blanc coming to the fore with flavors of pineapple and preserved lemon and good acids coming out on the peachy finish. Charming and fresh, intense yet clean. $22 (Back in stock GT 8/24/22)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
MAURO MOLINO Barbera d'Asti Leradici 2020

A distinctive red, offering raspberry, blueberry and earth flavors, matched to a supple texture. Shows intensity and balance, with a hint of wild herbs on the savory finish. Drink now through 2025. 3,500 cases made, 1,000 cases imported. — BS $18 (Arrives VRW 8/24/22)

2019 M Cellars Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Blackberry, cedar, licorice, black tea, warm brown spice, dark chocolate. Plush, generous, with a lifted finish, showcasing firm, polished tannins. $25 Our Price $20.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 $8.95)

2016 The Calling Alexander Valley Visionary Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: Bold and inviting, the nose offers compelling layers of dark black fruit with nuances of coffee, chocolate and brown spice. The palate is rich and concentrated, with flavors of ripe blackberry and blueberry that marry elegantly with notes of vanilla, cedar and dark toffee. Soft yet with a tension and firm tannins, this is a perfect wine to pair with dry aged beef and your favorite sauce. $23 Our Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 Our Price $29.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2017 Mauro Molino Barolo Bricco Luciani

The 2017 Barolo Bricco Luciani has soft floral aromas of candied cherry licorice, violets, and sweet baking spice. The palate is fresh with ripe and candied fruit that lingers on the mid-palate, with raspberry lozenge, blood orange, and cola spice. The Bricco Luciani is finessed with just a touch of modern elegance and is well-integrated, approachable, and an all-around pleasure to drink. Drink 2022-2040. $75 (Arrives VRW 8/24/22) Limited

Wine Advocate 99 Points
2019 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill

A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill is another wonderfully evocative triumph from this family-owned Pitchard Hill pioneer. Deep garnet-purple colored, it storms out of the glass with profound scents of crème de cassis, blackberry preserves, licorice and mulberries, plus hints of unsmoked cigars, wild sage and tar. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers fantastic intensity and great poise, offering fine-grained, ripe tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. $300 (Arrives GT 9/1/22)


Taste 2019 Gainey Sta. Rita Hill Chardonnay, 2017 Ehlers Portrait Proprietary Red and 2019 Darioush Signature Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, August 26th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

2017 Ehlers Estate Portrait Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: The 2017 Ehlers Estate Portrait is a special red blend of the 4 Bordeaux varietals we have planted at the Estate. The wine is showing deep layers of garnet color. With only 50% Cabernet Sauvignon to give structure to the wine, the big personalities of the Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot really shine in this blend. Aromas of red berries, fig compote, ripe strawberries, cassis and violet flowers flowered aromas of vanilla, mocha and licorice. Long and balanced, the mouthfeel is rich but with silky tannins. Full finish with a long mineral post taste. Balanced acidity promises good aging potential to the wine. Ready to drink now, but it will age extremely well for 15-20 more years. $65

2019 Darioush Signature Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The hallmark of Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is its seamlessness, the result of decades of meticulous vineyard management of our cooler climate, Southern Napa Valley sites. Our estate vineyards in the Mount Veeder and Napa Valley AVAs have hit their stride, producing fruit with splendid concentration, compelling freshness, and graceful complexity. The final composition strikes a tightrope balance of energy, structure, and restraint; our flagship wine rewards with extraordinary depth and poise. $140 Our Price $125.99


Taste 2020 Astrolabe Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Mondavi Napa Cabernet and 2018 Harlan The Mascot Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, August 27th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ASTROLABE Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Kekerengu Coast 2020

There's beautiful precision to this white, which offers yuzu, pomelo and Fuji apple flavors that are crisp and focused, with notes of green tea and white pepper, plus a hint of crunchy sea salt that lingers on the fresh finish. Drink now. —M.W. $25 Our Price $18.99

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The base 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is certainly impressive, and since there are roughly 90,000 cases, it’s an incredible achievement. Classic darker currants, tobacco leaf, truffly earth, and spicy oak all define the bouquet, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins, terrific balance, and outstanding length. Based off 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, buy a case and enjoy bottles over the coming 10-15 years. $50 Internet Price $39.99

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


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) 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) 559-226-6828
Monday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

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