August 26th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

August 26th 2022 Newsletter

On Deck for wine tasting next week at VRW

2016 William Harrison Cabernet Franc

Winemaker Notes: The fruit gives off aromas of black currant and Bing cherry, accompanied by Rutherford “dust”. Mineral and spice qualities that distinguish Cabernet Franc from the other Bordeaux varieties are also present, such as sage, graphite and wet stone. A mild hint of anise is layered in the background, lending a nice complexity. The mouthfeel is full and structured, securing a long life for this wine. $75

2020 William Harrison Los Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This wine includes the Sangiacomo family’s Southern Sonoma vineyard, planted with the coveted “Hyde Clone” of Chardonnay. Along with the Robert Young selection from Catarina Ranch, and the workhorse Clone 4 from their El Novillero vineyard, we source a trifecta of their beautiful fruit. Barrel fermented and aged in 30% new oak, this wine boasts classic aromas of lemon zest and pineapple up front, with a subtle nuance of creme brulee underneath. 50% malolactic fermentation gives this Chardonnay a slightly rounder texture, offsetting its naturally bright acidity. $42


2019 Tempier Bandol Rouge

Winemaker Notes: There is something about the dark, inky Mourvèdre, plus the salty sea air caressing the vines every night, that typifies classic Bandol. This wine is complete, and ready to serve cooled down a touch.

Blend: 75% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 2% Carignan. $70 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2019 Vina Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich and thoroughly satisfying Cab, starting with aromas of roasted boysenberry, cocoa, violet and toasty oak on the nose. The palate is cohesive and neatly woven, with rich black fruit, mocha and espresso flavors that are wrapped in firm but balanced tannins $26. Internet Price $21.99. GT and VRW email subscriber price $17.99 (Arrives GT 8/31/22)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Sean Minor Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019

Rich and toasty, with hints of cedar bark to the dried red fruit and berry flavors that are well-knit. The creamy finish is long and plush, with accents of hot stone and cooking spices. Drink now through 2026. $25 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
EHLERS ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018

Really solid, this red has a brambly edge, with plum, blackberry and red currant preserve notes showing good energy, thanks in part to a buried sassafras streak, all backed by a roasted apple wood- and licorice snap-fueled finish. Drink now through 2030. 2,541 cases made. — JM $72 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

2019 Forman Formation Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A FORMATION from the Formans. Each year, the best lots of fruit from the vintage are blended to create this beautiful Bordueax style blend. Our 2019 FORMATION leads with bright cherry, blackberry, and soft dried herbs. Aromas of currants, tobacco, and hints of oak continue to waft from the glass... Sweet blackberry and brambly red and black fruits soften into sweet oak and cigar box with a hint of cocoa. On the palate, the wine is velvety and soft with well integrated tannins that drive a long lingering finish. Perfect pairing with your favorite cut of meat now or for 7 years to come. $60 Our Price $31.99 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2021 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose

Not included in the blind tasting at the local syndicat, Tempier's 2021 Bandol Rose nevertheless looked good when I tasted it at the estate. It's a very fine, elegant example of Bandol rosé, with notes of passion fruit and pink grapefruit leading the way in a tightly knit, medium-bodied package that adds promising hints of white peach and anise on the lingering finish. $60 (Available GT and VRW) Limited

Wine Spectator 95 Points
BAKER & HAMILTON Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2019

This is packed with vivid boysenberry, mulberry and black currant fruit that bursts forth with energy, while being held in check by graphite, anise and apple wood notes that lend good underlying tension. Features bramble and warm stone accents on the finish, as the fruit races through. Best from 2023 through 2038. —J.M. 789 cases made. $125 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Cade Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate comes all from the estate on Howell Mountain and is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, and the balance Merlot and Petit Verdot. More blue fruits, bay leaf, candied violets, orange blossom, and floral notes emerge from this full-bodied beauty, which reveals a rounded, sexy texture, polished tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles just a few years in the cellar and it's going to keep for 15+. $120 (Back in stock GT)

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Estate

Composed of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays a deep garnet-purple color and fragrant notes of Black Forest cake, crème de cassis and wild blueberries with nuances of red roses, Chinese five spice, camphor and black olive plus a hint of charcoal. Full-bodied, the decadently rich fruit has impressive freshness lifting the palate along with firm, finely grained tannins, finishing long and fragrant. $160 (Back in stock GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 Points
2019 Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon continues to show brilliantly. (I rated it 97-100 from barrel last year.) It has a quintessential Cabernet nose of pure crème de cassis, crushed stone, lead pencil, graphite, and tobacco that gains depth and richness with time in the glass. Deep, full-bodied, rich, and incredibly textured, yet still fresh, light on its feet, and beautifully balanced, this gorgeous Cabernet shows what's possible with the variety from Paso Robles. $300. Internet Price $275 (Arrives 10/1/22)


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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