October 21st 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

October 21st 2022 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Peter Michael Au Paradis

Hailing from Oakville, the 2019 Au Paradis is nuanced, with ripe redcurrant, fresh tobacco, and sweet baking spice. The palate is fully dry and has lift through its dark fruited profile. The midpalate is flush with roses and ripe red plum, giving way to a well-balanced, tannic structure. Drink 2024-2044. $260

James Suckling 95 Points
Peter Michael L'Apres-Midi Sauvignon Blanc 2021

This is very complex and dense, with layers of fruit, dried apricot and pine needles, as well as maple-tree highlights. Dried lemons and pears, too. Phenolic and structured. Chewy. So flavorful. 7% semillon in this. $70


Wine Spectator 92 Points
2017 Taub Family Rutherford Cabernet

Nicely compact, with a core of steeped red currant, plum and blackberry fruit that should unwind in the near future. Alder and licorice notes score the finish, with good latent energy. Best from 2022 through 2031. 1,500 cases made. — JM $75 Internet Price $64.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Lewis Alec's Blend Napa Valley 2019

Structured like Cabernet but racy like Syrah, this red offers bold black raspberry, toasty mocha and savory spice flavors that finish with refined tannins. Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2030. 1,000 cases made. $65 Our Price $57.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

The deep purple-hued 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rocking fruit bomb of a wine that boasts loads of cassis and jammy berry fruits, notes of graphite, scorched earth, and tobacco, full-bodied richness, and a great finish. Drink this sexy, pleasure-bent beauty over the coming 10-12 years. $100 Our Price $89.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

2020 Turley Old Vine Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Old Vines is composed of a variety of old sites from California that are either too small to be made into a vineyard designate wine or are “new” to the Turley family (and way of farming). Vines are anywhere from 41 to 129 years old, and a true representation of California old vine Zinfandel, hailing from vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lodi, Contra Costa, Amador and Paso Robles. $30 (Arrives GT this afternoon)


Winemaker Notes: One of the finest wines we make, this organic, old-vine Petite Syrah has serious pedigree. An abundantly fragrant nose, including bouquet garni, sage, bay leaf, India ink, nutmeg, meat marinade, rose petal, and lavender. Savory and satiating on the palate, potently flavored with plenty of acidity and downright delicious. Will reward patience; lay it down for as long as you can stand it, or decant for a few hours ahead of time then serve at 60°-65°F. $78 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2020 Paul Lato Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard

From a great site outside of Santa Maria, the 2020 Chardonnay Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard is another ripe, powerful Chardonnay revealing musky notes of melon, honeyed lemon, toasted bread, and hints of almond paste and chalky minerality. Full-bodied, concentrated, and layered on the palate, it stays remarkably light on its feet, has good acidity, and a great finish that picks up some classic Santa Maria salinity and minerality. It's not for those looking for Chablis, but it’s beautifully done and a gorgeous California Chardonnay to drink over the coming 4-6 years. $80 (Available GT and VRW 10/22/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 94+ Points
2019 Venge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Igneous

Classic Cabernet black fruits, tobacco, crushed rock, violets, and subtle herbal nuances all emerge from Venge’s 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Igneous, a medium to full-bodied, balanced Calistoga Cabernet that has beautiful purity of fruit. I like it today, yet it should age for 15+ years as well. $105 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 Points
2020 Saxum Broken Stones

The 2020 Broken Stones offers more classic Syrah character in its ripe blue fruits, black cherries, roasted herbs, and spice-driven aromatics. It's another full-bodied, powerful wine in the lineup delivering terrific balance as well as the firmer, chewy, yet ripe tannins of the vintage. $TBD (Arrives GT November 2022) Limited

2021 Venge Scouts Honor Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: The small, individual lots of fruit were destemmed into a combination of stainless steel tanks and open top fermenters, where whole-berry fermentation took place for an average of 20 days. The wine was barrel aged for 14 months in 50% new American Oak and the balance in once used tight grain French Oak. No conventional pumps were used in the making of this wine. Only diaphragm air pumps, forced air pressure movement, or bulldogging, and transfers by gravity were employed to preserve the pure fruit integrity in the wine. $42 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
RUFFINO Toscana Modus 2018

A ripe, opulent style, this red is saturated with black cherry, plum, cedar and spice flavors, yet remains fluid and lithe on the palate. Quickly gives way to tannins with the feel of bitter chocolate, with the fruit and floral notes enduring. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2024 through 2038. 17,000 cases made, 12,000 cases imported.—Bruce Sanderson. $28 Our Price $22.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2019 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Goldrock Estate

Medium ruby-purple, the 2019 Pinot Noir Goldrock Estate unfolds slowly to blueberries, cranberries, tangerine peel, forest floor and mushroom, plus loads of spices in the undercurrent. Medium-bodied, it offers fragrant fruits, an abundance of finely grained tannins, seamless acidity and a long, perfumed finish. $85 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2018 Venge Vineyards Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon explodes with crème de cassis, baked plums and Black Forest cake scents, plus hints of candied violets, clove oil, cedar and unsmoked cigars. Big, full-bodied and richly fruited, the palate has a firm and grainy frame to support the generous black fruits and spicy accents, finishing very long. $205 (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 and VRW)


Taste 2019 Theorize Napa Cabernet, 2019 Titus Napa Cabernet and 2018 Dana Vaso Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, October 21st. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

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

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


Taste 2019 Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Pinot, 2021 Teeter Totter Napa Cabernet and 2019 McGah Scarlett Rutherford Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, October 22nd. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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


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

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


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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