October 4th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

October 4th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2018 Frederic Esmonin Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St. Jacques and 2020 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, October 4th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St.-Jacques 2018

Well-defined aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry, rose and stone are the hallmarks of this expressive red. It firms up nicely, yet remains poised and sophisticated, with fruit, tobacco and iron accents lingering on the finish. Best from 2024 through 2042. 100 cases imported. $85

2020 Sea Smoke Ten Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of black tea, blackberry and orange rind, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of jasmine. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability—are followed by a long, velvety finish. CA Market Price $110-$165


Taste Chardonnay: 2020 Joseph Carr Carneros, 2018 Ramey Ritchie Russian River and 2019 Pont Neuf Le Pont Russian River at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, October 5th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Joseph Carr Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The bouquet is vivid with aromas of lemon zest, fresh stone fruit and meringue. Flavors of ripe white peach, sweet lemon curd and hint of coconut emerge on the palate and linger through a refreshing finish. $22

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Ramey Ritchie Russian River Chardonnay

Always one of the standouts from Ramey, the 2018 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is no exception and has a Grand Cru Burgundy nose of chalky minerality, exotic flowers, brioche, and assorted stone and orchard fruits. These all carry to a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that's concentrated, has a structured mouthfeel, integrated yet bright acidity, and a great finish. It will be best with 2-4 years of bottle age (it's delicious even today) and will drink well over the following decade if stored properly. $80

2019 Pont Neuf Le Pont Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A handsome wine, always rich and assertive, Le Pont Neuf evolves slowly in the bottle with new aromas and flavors emerging as the young wine develops. The tasting experience is one of energy and movement where a subtle hint of one aroma is replaced by one after another as it evolves in the glass. Seductive aromas of honeycomb, crystallized lemon peel, and Freesia are accompanied by a pliant and luxurious mouthfeel. A fine thread of minerality runs through this wine, giving structure and making it fit to age for at least a decade. Le Pont Neuf is a wine that leads to inspired cooking. In Burgundy, we would opt for a creamy lemon and thyme-scented blanquette de veau, roast pork or fine recipes of meatier, flavorful fish. Drink now - 2035. 70 cases produced. $80


Taste Champagne: Taittinger La Francaise, Roederer Brut Collection 242 and 2016 Vilmart Grand Cellier d’Or Brut at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, October 6th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 90 Points
Taittinger Brut La Française

A toasty Champagne in an aperitif style, creamy on the palate and showing flavors of poached apricot, preserved lemon and grated ginger underscored by a hint of smoke. Drink now. 750,000 cases made, 47,000 cases imported. $50

Wine Advocate 93+ Points
Roederer Brut Collection 242

Roederer's Brut Premier was created in the 1980s to prove to consumers that we could deliver consistent quality with a blend that compensated for less than perfectly ripe vintages," explains Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon. "We were blending in pursuit of maturity, of ripeness. The concept behind the Brut Collection is the opposite: we're looking for freshness—and we are embracing singularity, something we're emphasizing by enumerating each year's blend." This project has been in the making since 2012, when Lecaillon set aside 21,000 liters of wine to constitute a perpetual reserve aged in large tanks without malolactic fermentation. Sourcing has evolved too: less must is coming from cooperatives, and only vineyards cultivated without the use of herbicides inform the blend. A dedicated team oversees all this, visiting every grower three times per year. And vinification is parcel by parcel to deliver a maximum of blending components. Iteration 242 is based on the 2017 vintage (56%), supplemented by 34% reserve wines from the perpetual reserve established in 2012 and 10% foudre-aged reserve wines. Internet Price $55

Wine Spectator 96 Points
VILMART Brut Champagne Grand Cellier d'Or 2016

Gorgeous aromas and flavors of nectarine, chopped almond, dried white cherry, ground cardamom and ginger, lime blossoms, graphite and espresso crema are immediately present on the mouthwatering palate of this elegant Champagne. Buoyed by bright, well-integrated acidity, the flavors glide along on the fine, creamy mousse, underscored by a racy streak of salinity that drives the clean-cut finish. Shows beautiful harmony and expression. Disgorged October 2020. Drink now through 2036. From France.—A.N. $110 Our Price $106.99


Wine Spectator 92 Points
Laird Family Jillian's Blend Napa Valley 2017

Bursts with fan-friendly boysenberry, plum and blackberry compote flavors all wrapped in black licorice. Features flashes of singed apple wood and bramble, which add cut and contrast on the fruit-driven finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. 2,401 cases made. $48 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Opus One Overture (2022 release)

Winemaker Notes: A timeless expression of our estate vineyards, Overture is full bodied but approachable in its youth. Overture shows generous dark fruit aromas and flavors with a soft, supple mid-palate. $150 (Arrives GT and VRW 10/5/22)


Winemaker Notes: You may have heard that we didn’t make a 2020 vintage of Teeter-Totter Cabernet because of the wildfire smoke situation in Napa Valley. Instead of sitting around twiddling his thumbs, Benoit poured all that extra time into getting the 2021 ready ahead of schedule. The vintage is powerful, well-balanced, and carries beautiful aromatics. Fresh raspberries, blackcurrants, floral notes and spice get swaddled in ripe, polished tannins for some rich and full-bodied satisfaction. Balanced acid gives it incredible length and a killer finish. The perfect plus one for any occasion. This is a phenomenal vintage, don’t wait - open it up...now! $65 (Arrives GT 10/6/22)

2021 Teeter Totter Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 vintage will be remembered for low yields and intensely flavored fruit. This year was made with declassified fruit from one

of Benoit’s go-to single vineyard sources, and has great golden orchard fruit and stunning minerality. With grapes packed full of flavor, our eighth Chardonnay release maintains the same characteristics the wine has been known for: pure, powerful, bright fruit paired with toast, honey and brioche. The full body palate finishes smoothly and leaves you lingering for more. $35 (Arrives GT 10/6/22)

2021 Lewis Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A soaring, sensational wine the 2021 Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay is our best in years. Shot-through with citrus and tropical fruits, blossoms and exotic spices the fragrance is sublime. Casting a wide arc of vibrant fruit, mineral intrigue and vivid detail the wine comes full circle with a superb succulent finish. $65 Our Price $58.99 (Arrives GT 10/5/22)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas

Saint Cosme's 2018 Gigondas is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 14% Syrah and 1% Cinsault, aged in a combination of new and used oak, with 30% of the volume matured in concrete. Full-bodied and generous, it's round and supple, with no hard edges to hamper the easy flow of asphalt, red raspberries and black cherries across the palate. Boasting ample but not excessive concentration, it's a lovely, seductive example of Gigondas to enjoy over the next decade or so. $59 Our Price $50.95 (Available GT)

2021 Riverain Gamble Ranch Yountville Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The wine has a wonderful roundness while still maintaining the classic Sauvignon Blanc flavors of gooseberry, lemon, lime and a bit of a fennel note. $37 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2021 Lewis Napa Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: From the standout 2021 vintage our Napa Valley Chardonnay is showy, serious and seductive. Green pear, white flower, vanilla custard and a hint of flint on entry, the palate expands with creamy texture and a touch of butterscotch. Framed with native acidity and integrated oak this wine leaves you with a long, languid tail. $65 Our Price $58.99 (Arrives GT 10/5/22)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Pahlmeyer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Jayson 2018

This has a lovely feel, with creamy plum sauce and blackberry compote notes gliding through, gently inlaid with alder, anise and sassafras hints. A subtle loamy edge carries the finish, letting the fruit linger nicely. Drink now through 2028. 4,155 cases made. $100 Our Price $74.99 (Arrives GT 10/5/22)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa Valley 2018

Powerful and well-structured, with zesty acidity to the dried red berry and currant flavors. Minerally richness lingers into the crunchy finish, with plenty of savoriness. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2025. 6,100 cases made. $65 Our Price $51.99 (Arrives GT 10/5/22)


Taste 2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve, 2018 Vineyard 29 Cru Napa Cabernet and 2018 Hundred Acre Fortunate Son The Dreamer Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, October 7th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve

This is layered, with chewy tannins and attractive blackcurrant and blackberry character. Chocolate and walnut highlights. Full and flavorful, but not heavy in any sense of the word. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Better in a year or two. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon Cru Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Plums, Asian spices, tobacco, and lead pencil notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Cru, which hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a beautifully polished, elegant texture, and outstanding length. This is another gorgeous 2018 displaying notable purity, balance, and length as well as richness. It can be drunk any time over the coming 15+ years. $65

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2018 Fortunate Son Cabernet Sauvignon The Dreamer (Hundred Acre)

Coming from a vineyard close to Hundred Acre's Few and Far Between vineyard and planted to 85- to 90-year-old vines, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon The Dreamer is made from around 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with a small proportion of unknown red varieties interplanted. Deep garnet-purple in color, it bursts with flamboyant notes of redcurrant preserves, cassis, dark chocolate, violets and red roses, plus fragrant hints of Indian spices and camphor, with a suggestion of iron ore. The medium to full-bodied palate is fabulously velvety, delivering beautiful freshness and loads of spicy layers, finishing very long. $125


Taste 2019 Sparkman Holler Cabernet, 2019 Dominus Napanook Proprietary Red and 2019 Ghost Block Single Vineyard Yountville Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, October 8th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2019 Dominus Napanook

Exuberantly fruity on the nose, the 2019 Napanook is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Despite seeing 40% new French oak, what shines on the nose are the ripe cherries, delicately brushed with wisps of tobacco, sage and bay leaf. It's medium to full-bodied, supple and silky in feel on the palate, while the finish lingers easily, adding notes of pencil shavings and mocha. To get this sort of pedigree for less than $100 is a rarity in Napa these days, making it a notable value. $94 Our Price $81.99

2019 Ghost Block Single Vineyard Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Sourced from our famous Ghost Block Vineyard, the 2019 vintage has bold aromatics of dark cherry, ripe plum and blackcurrant that are met with delicate floral notes of lavender and violet, and finishes with spicy black pepper and clove. On the palate, blackberry, black cherry, and cassis are supported with layers of dark chocolate and cacao and rounded out with herbal notes of bay leaf and tobacco giving the wine stunning richness and depth. Medium to full-bodied with fine grained tannins and nicely balanced acidity create a beautiful long, lengthy finish that shows off the unique terroir of the iconic vineyard from where it originates. $120


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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