The Grape Tray

September 6th 2022 Newsletter

On Deck for wine tasting next week at VRW

Wine Advocate 95 Points * 2019 Arkenstone Estate Sauvignon Blanc

The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Estate is composed of 94% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Semillon. The nose features notes of fresh peaches and green guava with hints of struck match and honeysuckle, plus a waft of elderflower. Medium-bodied, elegant and refreshing, it coats the palate with stone and tropical fruit layers, with a long minerally finish. $125

Wine Advocate 94-96 Points * 2017 Kathryn Hall Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A barrel sample of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Kathryn Hall is opaque purple-black colored and bursts flamboyantly from the glass, revealing notes of spice cake, potpourri, Ceylon tea and incense notes over a core of black currant cordial, black forest cake and baked blackberries with a waft of dusty soil. The palate is full, rich, spicy and seductive with a velvety texture and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed. $200 Our Price $154.99

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Taste 2019 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet and 2019 Peter Michael Les Pavot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, September 6th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

The Somm Journal 94 Points
2019 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet

Notes of mountain brush and crushed violet integrate with this wine’s firm structure. It’s heady and plush, with chewy tannins and broad shoulders, and there’s an elegance to the uplifted and ripe notes of deep, dark boysenberry. Melted dark chocolate is so satisfying on the long finish. $60/magnum

James Suckling 99 Points
2019 Peter Michael Les Pavots

This is very perfumed with blackberry and pine-cone aromas, as well as raspberries and black cherries. Full-bodied with firm, velvety tannins that are tight-grained. Creamy and beautiful. Currant and graphite flavors come through. Lightly chewy at the end. 60% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 14% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. Drink after 2025. $256 Our Price $229.95

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Taste Chardonnay: 2018 Hyde de Villaine Carneros, 2020 Lloyd Carneros and 2020 Far Niente Napa at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, September 7th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
HDV Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros
Hyde Vineyard 2018

Elegantly fruity, with tropical nuances to the rich white fruit and spice flavors that are well-structured. Tangerine hints midpalate lead to a spicy finish that offers brioche accents. Drink now through 2024. 2,275 cases made. — KM $75

2020 Lloyd Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Layers of tropical fruits, pear, and apple wrap around refreshing acidity and fresh lemon, all supported by rich notes of vanillin leading into a powerful, yet elegant finish. $40 Our Price $34.99

2020 Far Niente Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Richly aromatic with notes of white fig, and citrus blossom, this captivating Chardonnay slowly builds on the palate, progressing from silky notes of honeydew, nectarine, and lemon zest to a full finish supported by elegant, toasted oak. Crisp minerality and juicy acidity lift and support the generous fruit and provide the framework for graceful aging. This wine will continue to gain richness and complexity in the bottle and glass. $65

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Taste 2019 Vina Robles Estate Cabernet, 2018 Vina Robles Road Reserve Cabernet and 2018 Justin Isosceles at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, September 8th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2018 Vina Robles Road Reserve Cabernet

Saturated violet. Ripe dark berries, vanilla, baking spices, pipe tobacco and wood smoke on the deeply perfumed nose. Broad and seamless in texture, offering sweet, smoke-tinged blackberry, cherry-vanilla and spice cake flavors that firm up slowly with air. Finishes sappy, gently chewy and quite long, with repeating dark fruit character, well-judged tannins and a lingering floral nuance. $50

2018 Justin Isosceles Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: Full-bodied, with ripe black fruit, complex baking spice and amazingly ready to drink right out of the gate, you can try a bottle or two now, but make sure to save a few to enjoy this wine as it continues to evolve after some time in the cellar. $76 Internet Price $64.99

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2020 Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, Half Bottles

Winemaker Notes: A dark, scarlet red color, with powerful aromas of sweet ripe cabernet grapes. Initial impressions are fantastically appealing, brooding to expansive textural sensations of finely grained cacao tannins. The whole of the wine is balanced, rich, expressive and impressively complex. The backbone of fine tannin and sweet ripeness is a carryover from perfectly mature fruit. $50/375ml. Our Price TBD (Available GT and VRW 9/7/22)

2019 Bouchaine Carneros Chardonnay

The orchestration of different yeasts coupled with surlie aging in stainless steel tanks as well as French oak barrels of different ages, toast levels and origins create an array of unique wines. Only the finest wines are combined in late spring into the vibrant final blend, showcasing the best of our estate. You will find layered, lovely aromas of fuji apple, clementines, kaffir lime and jasmine. A rich, yet tangy palate showcases flavors of nectarine, lemon curd and brioche with a long lip-smacking finish. Pair this with a roast chicken, a thick pork chop or just good friends. $36 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
2019 Kathryn Hall Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

 Rich and fleshy in feel, but with a nice juicy edge for balance, this lets creamed plum and blackberry fruit spill forth, laced liberally with mocha, singed alder, sweet tobacco and melted black licorice. For the hedonist crowd. Drink now through 2035. 6,300 cases made. $225 Our Price TBD (Available GT late September)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2019 Juan Gil Silver Juan Gil

The 2019 Juan Gil (silver label) was produced with Monastrell grapes from their own old, non-irrigated vines fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels for around 12 months. It has 15% alcohol and a pH of 3.67, but somehow the wine does not come through as overripe; they eliminate all the raisins with their new optical sorting machine and that makes very clean wines and has increased the precision. They also reduced the toast of their barrels and that increases the integration of the oak with the fruit. Varietal, juicy, soft and very drinkable. 312,000 bottles. It was bottled in June 2021. $16 Our Price $12.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2019 Beckmen Purisima Mountain Ballard Canyon Syrah

The 2019 Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard is a wild, exotic wine. Blueberry jam, chocolate, spice, leather and licorice fill out the layers effortlessly. This unctuous, heady Syrah shows just how distinctive Ballard Canyon is. A year or two in bottle should help soften some of the harder edges. $36 Our Price $26.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Vinous 91 Points * 2018 Lisini San Biagio Montalcino, Tuscany

The 2018 San Biagio, a 100% varietal Sangiovese, balances tart cherry, peppery herbs, leather and dark earth tones to create a savory and wonderfully inviting display. The textures are soft; yet its fruits are ripe and fleshy, with notes of sour citrus and juicy acids maintaining freshness while keeping the energy high. This is dangerously delicious, finishing long with echoes of blackberry and spice. While I wouldn’t hold the 2018 too long in the cellar, it will make a lot of people very happy over the next few years. Drinking window: 2020 – 2024. $22 Our Price $17.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva

Winemaker Notes: A noble and austere sparkling cava. Greenish yellow in colour with golden glints, it's clear and star bright. A persistent, elegant stream of bubbles rise to form a perfect rosary on the surface. Complex aromas of white fruits with hints of wood. Fresh, well-balanced and elegant on the palate with an excellent final sensation. $10 Our Price $7.95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
VILMART Brut Champagne Grand Cellier NV

Toasty hints of brioche, coffee liqueur and vanilla bean on the nose are more subtle on the palate of this plush-textured Champagne, where flavors of persimmon, yellow peach, blanched almond and Mandarin orange peel are underscored by minerally saline and chalk. Shows lovely balance and length. Disgorged July 2018. Drink now through 2026.—A.N. $77 Our Price $66.95 (Available GT and VRW)

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Taste 2018 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir, 2019 Emerson Brown Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and 2018 Plumpjack Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, September 9th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2018 Bouchaine Carneros Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A tangy fresh cherry nose opens to cocoa, cola, and notes of nutmeg. The juicy lip-smacking entry shows lovely cherry and wild strawberry flavors with gorgeous rose petals and baking spices in the background. Smooth tannin and vibrant acidity make this a perfect wine for food pairings. $35 Our Price $27.99

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Emerson Brown Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

The appellation 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is a big winner and another remarkable achievement from Keith Emerson. It’s another finesse-driven effort offering beautiful red and black fruits as well as floral, dusty earth, and spicy nuances. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, with silky tannins and a great mouthfeel, I finished my notes with “crazy good at the price.” It will keep for a solid decade, although there’s no need to delay gratification. $50

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

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Taste 2019 Bouchaine Carneros Chardonnay, 2019 Wine and Soul Douro Pintas and 2019 O’Shaughnessy Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, September 10th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2019 Bouchaine Carneros Chardonnay

The orchestration of different yeasts coupled with surlie aging in stainless steel tanks as well as French oak barrels of different ages, toast levels and origins create an array of unique wines. Only the finest wines are combined in late spring into the vibrant final blend, showcasing the best of our estate. You will find layered, lovely aromas of fuji apple, clementines, kaffir lime and jasmine. A rich, yet tangy palate showcases flavors of nectarine, lemon curd and brioche with a long lip-smacking finish. Pair this with a roast chicken, a thick pork chop or just good friends. $36 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
WINE & SOUL Douro Pintas 2019

High-toned and floral on the nose, this expressive red offers a lovely core of crushed black and red berry and cherry fruit underscored by a rich streak of loamy minerality. Tightly meshed, with dense tannins providing weight and definition, while accents of garrigue, balsamico and spice box lend fine detail. Like a racehorse at the gate, this is raring to go. Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Rufete. Best from 2024 through 2034. 49 cases imported —A.N. $120 Our Price $93.99 (Available GT)

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 (Available GT) $62

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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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