October 28th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

October 28th 2022 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

2020 Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This wine is tremendously complex, with intense aromas of green apple & sea spray, flavors of flint & citrus, and is structured by vibrant acidity. As the wine opens, notes of roasted almonds, pineapple, lemon and butter become more evident. Big, lavish, full-bodied and mouth-watering, this is a true California-style Chardonnay. $75

2018 Switchback Ridge Peterson Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with captivating aromas of blackberry, black cherry and dark currant. These flavors continue onto the palate with just a trace of cocoa vanilla and deliver a mouth-coating explosion of flavor! The tannins are abundant, yet chewy and ripe, and resolve in a long, elegant finish. $105


Boudin Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume 2020

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of fresh apricots, lemon oil, white blossoms, chalk dust. Medium-bodied yet lively; lemons, limes, sea salt. Pair with oysters or other fresh shellfish; white fish in cream sauces; ripe-rind cheese. $39 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2019 Cattleya Wines Chardonnay Cuvee Number Five

Another classic Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, the 2019 Chardonnay Cuvee Number Five reveals a lighter gold hue as well as a thrilling nose of crushed citrus, lemon curd, white flowers, and honeyed minerality. Young, tight, medium-bodied, and vibrant, on the palate it has beautiful acidity and outstanding length. As with the 2019 Beyond The Threshold Chardonnay, it will benefit from a year or two of bottle age to gain additional complexity, and it should have a solid decade of prime drinking. $55 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
Pico Maccario Barbera d'Asti Lavignone 2020

Graphite, blackberry and plum aromas and flavors highlight this juicy red, which is balanced and plushly textured, with just the slightest hint of oak. Drink now through 2025. 18,000 cases made, 8,000 cases imported. $20 Our Price $15.99 (Available GT)


Producer TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of orchard fruit, light herbs, brioche, pepper. Fruity and juicy, with ripe citrus and apple flavors. Vibrant and very long. $40 (Back in stock GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 Points
2020 Chateau De Beaucastel Cotes Du Rhone Coudoulet De Beaucastel

A year-in, year-out winner, the 2020 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel offers outstanding quality as well as classic notes of darker fruits, roasted herbs, truffly earth, and some meaty, peppery, gamey nuances. With wonderful purity of fruit, ripe tannins, and a balanced, elegant mouthfeel, it will have over a decade of longevity. $30 Our Price $26.99 (Available GT)

2021 Pico Maccario Lavignone Rosato

Winemaker Notes: Pale salmon in appearance, Lavignone Rosato is beautiful to look at. It is even better to drink, however, as the nose and palate are met by playful aromas of wild strawberry, watermelon, cranberry, fresh-cut grass, and river stone. A refreshing, but modest, backbone of acidity supports a round mouth-feel and velvety texture. The dry and balanced finish leaves the palate feeling clean and refreshed. $18 Our Price $15.49 (Available GT)

DOMAINE MICHEL TURGY Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Reserve Selection NV

Winemaker Notes: Hand-harvested. Pressed in an ancient wooden upright press, and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled,

stainless steel tanks. Aged for three years in bottle. Dosage 3 grams/L. Aromas of gardenia, honeysuckle, brioche. Flavors of lemon curd, sea salt, toast. Fine-grained and savory $52 Our Price $45.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MARK RYAN The Dissident Columbia Valley 2020

A fruit bomb that's also well-structured, this generous red offers bold black cherry and raspberry flavors laced with vanilla and toasty spice. Finishes on a zesty, plump note. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2029. 5,600 cases made. From Washington.—Tim Fish. $48 Our Price $31.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Grand Cru Brut ‘Ambrosie’ NV

Aromas of small red berries, spring flowers, light herbs, golden toast. Silky texture, mouth-filling, ripe; lacy flavors of citrus, summer fruit. 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. $54 Our Price $49.99 (Available GT)

Domaine Jean Vesselle Brut Reserve Champagne

Producer Notes: Estate-owned vineyards are located in and around the village of Bouzy. Soils are the classic, chalky terroir of the Montagne de Reims. 15-30 year old vines and hand-harvested. Fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Aged for three years in bottle. Dosage less than 11 grams/L. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Blond toast, red apples and wildflowers; silky and long. Red berries, minerals, a hint of white pepper. 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: As an aperitif; or with soft, creamy cheeses. $50 Internet Price $39.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2012 Dom Perignon Brut

The 2012 Dom Pérignon has turned out very well indeed, unwinding in the glass with notes of Anjou pear, smoke, toasted nuts, freshly baked bread and crisp stone fruit. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's still tightly wound, its incipiently fleshy core of fruit framed by racy acids and chalky grip, complemented by a classy pinpoint mousse. A touch drier and a touch less reductive than the 2008 out of the gates, these two vintages are clearly destined to be compared for some time to come; but at this early stage, my instinct is that the 2012 will have the edge in the long term. $240 (Back in stock GT and VRW)


Taste 2017 Byron Fiddlestix Pinot, 2019 Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Cabernet and 2019 Venge Igneous Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, October 28th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2017 Byron Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard

Leading off the Sta. Rita Hills releases, the 2017 Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard comes from clones 777 and 667 and was completely destemmed and aged 16 months in 32% new French oak. Bright berry fruits, leafy herbs, spring flowers, candied violets, and subtle incense notes all emerge from the glass, and it's medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, elegant, and seamless on the palate. This is a classy, balanced Sta. Rita Hills effort that leads with its fruit. $38

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2019 Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst is composed of 77.7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.4% Cabernet Franc, 4.1% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot and 3.8% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple in color, it skips out of the glass with lively blueberries, redcurrants and kirsch scents, plus hints of cedar chest, fragrant earth and rose hip tea. Medium-bodied, elegant and lively in the mouth, the palate is chock-full of bright and crunchy red and black fruits, finishing long and earthy. $90

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


Taste 2020 Paul Lato Le Souvenir Chardonnay, 2019 Paul Hobbs Goldrock Estate Pinot and 2017 Taub Rutherford Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, October 29th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

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

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


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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