The Grape Tray

September 20th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2020 Thread Feathers Mt Veeder Napa Cabernet and 2019 Maybach Amoenus Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, September 20th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Thread Feathers Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Etched in aromas of sage, cedar and pencil shaving, this wine is robust and ripe, brawny and burly in style and approach, reflecting its Mt. Veeder source. The fruit is dark and broodingly rich. Thick layers of blackberry, black cherry, toffee and earthy tobacco framed within a foundation of firm, integrated tannin, and balanced power. Structured, age-worthy, and complex, the wine finishes on sustained savory notes of cardamon, clove, and freshly tilled earth. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec. $40 Our Price $33.99

Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
2019 Maybach Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Amoenus

First made in 2009 (the first vintage of Maybach was in 2004), the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Amoenus offers an incredible, full-bodied, pure, seamless style, and I suspect this is the finest vintage of this cuvée ever made. Gorgeous red and black fruits, toasted spice, brioche, violets, and flowers are just some of the nuances here, and it's one of those wines that brings massive richness and depth while staying pure, seamless, and as graceful as they come. Don't miss it! $190

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Taste 2020 Kistler Les Noisetiers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and 2019 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, September 21st. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Kistler Les Noisetiers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: One heritage Californian selection of Chardonnay planted across fifteen vineyards, from Carneros to Sonoma Valley, to the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. From those sites we produce eleven vineyard designate Chardonnays. We are wholly dedicated to the ideal of wines of site. It’s an unparalleled approach in the new world. $75

2019 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: An elegant Chardonnay with aromas of orange zest, ripe melon and honeysuckle. Complemented by mango and a slight nuttiness in the focused mid-palate and the refreshing cool climate acidity of our estate vineyard. CA Market Price $105-$140

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Taste the wines of Staglin Family Vineyard at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $30 per person. Hollis Nelson, Staglin Family Vineyard California Sales Manager will be at VRW to walk us through the new releases.
Thursday, September 22, 2022. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Staglin Family Salus Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 Salus Chardonnay provides an adventure for the senses. It welcomes with perfectly ripened citrus, delicate florals, and limestone minerality. The expressive aromas deliver baked pear tart, a hint of fresh nutmeg and twist of Meyer lemon. The palate showcases juicy apricot, brûléed white grapefruit drizzled with fir honey, and the surprising texture of silky mango. The richness of sun warmed fruit is beautifully balanced by acidity focusing the entire experience. Each sip induces a longing for another. $60

2019 Staglin Family Salus Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Welcome to High Definition Cabernet – the 2019 Salus is a generous and deliciously detailed display of exuberant dark fruits dynamically supported by a range of floral, earthy and herbaceous characters. Lifted floral notes slide into resinous rosemary underlain by tilled earth and powdered porcini mushrooms complexed with a puff of gunpowder, graphite and criollo cigar wrapper. Bursting blackcurrant and ripe raspberry deepened by crushed cacao nibs and fresh licorice root

envelop the palate before sliding silkily through a delightfully delineated and lengthy exit. The hint of grip and grit on the finish portends a rewarding and delicious life for this wine. $115

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 97 Points
2018 Staglin Rutherford Estate Cabernet

Staglin's 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate favors energy and tension over volume, at least at this point in its life. Bright, aromatic and sumptuous, the 2018 is fabulous right out of the gate. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, cedar and menthol race across the palate. The 2018 is bright and focused from start to finish, with impeccable balance, well-judged oak and tons of sheer appeal. It is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. Winemaker Fredrik Johansson captured the magic of the 2018 vintage and put it all into the bottle. I can't wait to see how this ages. $300 Our Price $269.95

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2019 Staglin Rutherford Estate Cabernet

A broad, loamy and frankly toasted style, with a steady rolling wave of warmed cassis and plum sauce supported by freshly plowed earth, sweet tobacco and licorice root. A little toothy through the finish, with a plum skin note hinting at overextraction, but the fruit wins out and fans of the muscular style will be pleased with this. Drink now through 2038. $325

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Wine Spectator 91 Points
SEAN MINOR Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Signature Series 2021

Bright, high-pitched style, withy blood orange and damson plum notes racing through, flecked liberally with savory and thyme hints. Nice sleek feel on the finish. Drink now through 2027. 7,500 cases made.—J.M. $28 Our Price $19.49 (Arrives GT 9/22/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
2018 Chateau Leoville Poyferre

Every bit as good as the 2009, and I think better than the 2010 and 2016, the 2018 Château Léoville Poyferré is a total thrill that tops out my scale. Based on 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, its dense purple hue is followed by an incredible, full-bodied monster of a wine that, despite massive amounts of fruit, tannins, and extract, still stays weightless and ethereal, with incredible purity. Loaded with notions of crème de cassis, spring flowers, tobacco, violets, charcoal, and cedar pencil, it's extraordinarily concentrated, flawlessly balanced, and has a finish that won't quit. This is a legendary wine in the making. Give bottles 7-8 years, a decade would be even better, and it will keep for 40-50 years. Hats off to the Cuvelier family for another extraordinary wine! $157 (Arrives GT 9/21/22)

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 9/21/22)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RUINART Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV

Steeped apricot and candied ginger flavors are an aromatic entry for this graceful Champagne, backed by finely cut acidity and layered with accents of kumquat, toast point and salted Marcona almond. It's fresh and racy, yet there's an effortless quality to the integration that makes this hard to stop sipping. Long, minerally finish. Drink now through 2027. — AN. Internet Price $70 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 92 Points
2016 Farella Estate Napa Merlot

Fresh with lots of polished and chewy tannins that give the wine focus and texture. Berry, chocolate and spice character. Medium to full body. Flavorful finish. Drink or hold. $60 Our Price $29.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Roger Neveu SANCERRE BLANC PIERRE FRANÇOIS XAVIER VIEILLES VIGNES

Importer Notes: Assembled in great years from the Neveu family’s best parcels around Verdigny, Chavignol, and Sancerrre, “PFX”—as it is affectionately known by the family—is raised in oak rather than stainless steel (the former being the historical norm in Sancerre). The three principal terroirs of Sancerre are incorporated: terres blanches, silex, and caillottes. Caillottes are the small, sharp limestone rocks that litter the surface of many Sancerre vineyards, including the Neveu family’s largest vineyard, “Les Embouffants.” The oak adds a grain and level of class and backbone that raises this cuvée a step above the domaine’s classic Sancerre bottling. PFX ages more slowly and gracefully than most Sancerres, and it makes a great cellar diversification play. —Dixon Brooke. $36 Our Price $28.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT)

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Taste 2021 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot, 2019 Tether Napa Cabernet and 2017 Purlieu Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, September 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winery Notes: Luli Wines came about from a very special partnership between Sara Floyd and the Pisoni Family. Sara is a Master Sommelier from the San Francisco Bay Area with many years of experience in the restaurant and wine business. The Pisoni Family is from Monterey County, where they farm their eponymous vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. $25

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Tether Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Another gem from winemaker Anna Monticelli, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is based on 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, and the rest Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Aged 21 months in 60% new French oak, it’s a medium to full-bodied, round, seamless effort with real class in its darker currant fruits as well as tobacco, violets, and toasted spice aromas and flavors. It will keep for a decade. $47

Wine Advocate 93+
2017 Purlieu Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper features flamboyant notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and red currant jelly with nuances of sautéed herbs, tar and underbrush with a waft of pencil lead. Full-bodied, firmly textured and laden with muscular fruit, it has loads of earthy accents and a chewy finish. $190 Our Price $129.99

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Taste 2021 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Purlieu Napa Cabernet and 2019 Outpost Howell Mt Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, September 24th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2021 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden: The special care we take to bring out the very best in this variety shows in our results. We use a specific mix of clones – two-thirds Shenandoah (Clone 1) and one-third Sauvignon Musqué – that results in a wine brimming with floral and tropical fruit aromatics with a citrusy, juicy core. Barrel fermentation and twice-weekly lees stirring help us create the characteristic creamy texture and rich body that you’ve come to know and share with your friends and family. $40

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Purlieu Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon comes galloping out of the glass with energetic scents of ripe black cherries, fresh black berries and blackcurrant cordial plus nuances of unsmoked cigars, cedar chest and pencil lead with a waft of wild sage. Full-bodied, rich and decadent in the mouth, the palate is beautifully poised with bags of freshness countering the concentrated flavors and a fine-grained frame, finishing long with a minty kick. $115

Wine Advocate 94-96+ Points
2019 Outpost Howell Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon

Sporting a deep purple-black color, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon needs a little coaxing to begin, soon unfurling to reveal notions of crushed black cherries, wild blueberries and fresh blackcurrant, plus suggestions of tar, wet slate, fertile loam and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied palate is charged with wonderful energy, delivering loads of black fruit layers and a firm, grainy frame plus and lively backbone, finishing long and mineral laced. (Tasted as a barrel sample) $115 Our Price $94.95

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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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