October 14th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

October 14th 2022 Newsletter

On Deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2020 Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

The 2020 Chardonnay has a detailed, pretty perfume of white peaches and quince, with touches of lemongrass, green herbs and white flowers. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and fragrant, with a supporting streak of fresh acidity, and there's a touch of phenolic texture that draws out the long finish. $30

2019 Theorize Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark ruby with touches of royal red and garnet. A beautiful balance of spices like nutmeg, thyme with cherry pie, cedar, vanilla bean, touches of coconut and molasses, gingerbread. Fresh but lush entrance evolving on ripe sweet fruit like cherry preserve macerated strawberries lingering on tannins and cinnamon. $50

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2019 Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The 2019 Pinot Noir has a medium ruby-purple color and lush scents of dried blueberries and cranberries, with nuances of blood orange, forest floor and violet. The medium-bodied palate has grainy tannins and rounded acidity to support its layered fruits, and it finishes long and flavorful. $38

James Suckling 95 Points
2018 Tolaini Al Passo Toscana

This is a fantastic red with so much cherry, currant, ash, tobacco, earth and walnut aromas. It’s full and layered with firm tannins that provide form, texture and structure. Linear and long. Really excellent for the vintage. Give it two or three years to come together, but already a beauty. Try after 2024. $30


Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2018 Dana Estates Vaso Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vaso is cut from the same cloth, offering beautiful purity and richness. It’s slightly more pure and darker than the spicier 2017 and has notes of cassis, redcurrants, dark chocolate, tobacco, and violets. Full-bodied on the palate, it has silky tannins, terrific overall balance, and just loads of character and charm. It’s in the running for the greatest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon under $100 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Titus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a terrific value and has a classic Napa style in its ripe plum and mulberry fruits as well as toasty oak and chocolate-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has ripe, supple tannins and the classic forward, delicious style of the vintage. Drink it over the coming 10-12 years as well. $50 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
REYNVAAN Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley The Unnamed Series 2019

Expressive and multilayered, with vibrant red currant, black olive, violet and licorice tones that build polish and richness toward refined tannins. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2030. 525 cases made. From Washington.—Tim Fish. $28 Our Price $25.99 (Arrives GT 11/4/22)

2019 Darioush Napa Caravan Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Cabernet Sauvignon leads the way with its plush, velvety texture while Merlot and Cabernet Franc add savory top notes of bay leaf, hawthorn, and sandalwood. A flourish of rich, round fruits sweep across the midpalate, then culminate in an aromatic finish accentuated by dark chocolate reminiscent of a fine dusting of cocoa powder. $54 (Back in stock VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2018 Shea Willamette Valley Shea Estate Pinot Noir

Deeply structured but not weighty, with dynamic blueberry and raspberry flavors that take on notes of black tea and licorice as it moves towards refined tannins. Drink now through 2028. $45 Our Price $39.99 (Available GT and VRW)


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 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 Points
2019 McGah Scarlett Rutherford Cabernet

Beautiful, sweet cassis and blue fruits as well as lots of violet and floral notions emerge from the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied, rich, concentrated barrel sample with wonderful purity of fruit, a good sense of freshness, and serious length on the finish. This promising, elegant yet powerful wine is going to shine with short-term bottle age and keep for two decades. $70 (Arrives GT this afternoon)


Taste 2019 FEL Anderson Valley Savoy Pinot Noir, 2017 Laird Jillian’s Blend Napa Red and 2018 Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa Red at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.

Friday, October 14th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2019 FEL Anderson Valley Savoy Pinot Noir

Handsome black-fruit flavors give a wonderful focus to this concentrated, well-balanced and moderately tannic wine. It's a baritone of deep black cherries that can also hit higher notes of toasted oak, spice and sage. Best from 2025. $80 Our Price $69.99

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

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


Taste 2021 Cliff Lede Napa Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Darioush Napa Signature Merlot and 2018 Cliff Lede Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Magic Nights
 at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, October 15th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2021 Cliff Lede Napa Sauvignon Blanc

This is an outstanding white blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc with 9% Sémillon and 1% Sauvignon Vert. Bright and fresh in peach and wet stone, it is nicely textured, with just enough weight and breadth to add complexity and structure. $34 Our Price $29.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Darioush Merlot Napa Valley Signature 2019

A spirited red that's a touch exotic, offering polished yet well-structured black cherry, sandalwood and mocha-espresso flavors that sail toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 1,975 cases made. $74

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Cliff Lede Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Magic Nights

Blended of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Magic Nights prances out of the glass with showy notes of crème de cassis, blueberry coulis and chocolate-covered cherries plus hints of garrigue, pencil lead and beef drippings. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with muscular, energetic black fruits, supported by firm, ripe tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and savory. $110


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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