November 4th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

November 4th 2022 Newsletter

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Matthews Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

The aromas are thoroughly captivating, with notes of scorched earth, cocoa, black currant, graphite and bittersweet chocolate. Plush, polished, seamless fruit flavors follow. There's a sophistication and intensity to it all that is mesmerizing. $32 Our Price $27.49 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
CLOS ST.-JEAN Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2020

Leads with warm ganache and fig bread notes, followed quickly by raspberry reduction accents that take some time to unwind. Showcases plum pâte de fruit, sanguine and black licorice notes, with a flicker of Turkish coffee underscoring the finish and giving this a decidedly dark profile in the end. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin. Best from 2024 through 2038. —J.M. $65 Our Price $48.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Fess Parker Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This hand crafted wine represents the best of what Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir has to offer. Bursting with flavors of spice, cranberry, light blueberry and strawberry, it displays great balance and a lingering finish. 47% Rio Vista Vineyard, 25% Ashley’s, 14% Parker West Vineyard, 14% Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. $35 Our Price $24.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2019 Booker My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is more elegant and focused, with medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors of cassis, redcurrants, green tobacco, and cedary spice. I love its texture, it has ripe, polished tannins, plenty of sweet fruit, and a great, great finish, all while staying in a relatively compact, and again, elegant package. As I’ve written in the past, it would cost three to four times the price from Napa. It’s worth noting the change in appellation from Paso Robles to San Luis Obispo County, which probably allows for a wider range of fruit. Internet Price $50 (Back in stock GT)

2019 Checkerboard Impetuous Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 vintage is a fresh fruit explosion. There are oodles of bing cherry, wild blackberry, and cassis along with caramel, savory herbs, blueberry and white rock. The wine broadens on the palate and stuns with a finish of fruit and baking spice-laden barrique. Yes, please! - Martha McClellan. $90 (Arrives GT 11/8/22) Delicious!

Petit & Bajan ‘Nuit Blanche’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of lemon blossoms, light herbs, brioche, light cream, lemon rind. Bright, lacy, deeply flavorful; very long. As an aperitif; with sushi or other fresh seafood and grilled white meats. Internet Price $70 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah

Winemaker Notes: Sporting richly hued shades of dark ruby and near purple, the 2020 Luli Syrah is a hidden gem crafted from a notoriously difficult vintage in this prestigious California appellation. Each swirl in the glass brings new life to this savory and spicy offering, with notes of freshly ground coffee, dark chocolate, new leather, and spiced plum filling setting the stage. As this deliciously pure Syrah coats the palate, waves of blackberry crumble, red cherry, and black pepper pair with hints of dried herbs de Provence and subtle meaty undertones to create a complex mélange of flavors. Approachable to its core, this wine still possesses structured tannin and remarkable acidity which suggests it will continue to age for years to come. $22 Our Price $18.99 (Available GT)

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 Our Price $22.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Rouge

Winemaker Notes: A wine full of charm: bright ruby color and a nose rich with aromas of red fruit (raspberry, red currants, wild strawberry). On the palate, the wine is pleasant, fruity and refreshing, with light tannins and great elegance. $27 Our Price $23.99 (Available GT)

A to Z Wineworks Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The delicately colored 2019 A to Z Oregon Chardonnay has a fresh, lively nose like fresh cut apples and distinct tropical notes (honeydew, kiwi, quince, kumquat, Meyer lemon, pineapple) and undertones of spring flowers, lemongrass and marjoram. $15 Liquidation Price $8.95 (Available GT and limited to stock on hand)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
DeLille D2 Columbia Valley 2019

Polish meets structure in this red, which offers well-defined black cherry, toasty spice and bay leaf accents as this slowly unfurls toward fine-grained tannins. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2030. 15,000 cases made. $50 Internet Price $38.99 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2020 Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, 2020 Mark Ryan The Dissident Red and 2019 Lewis Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, November 4th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

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

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


Taste 2021 Peter Michael L’Apres-Midi Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Patz and Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and 2018 Switchback Ridge Peterson Vineyard Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, November 5th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

2018 Patz and Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Eighteen small, independent family-owned vineyard sites come together in this gorgeous display of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This is an approachable Pinot Noir showing alluring freshness and purity. The nose displays intense aromas of Bing cherry, strawberry, dried rose petal and licorice notes. Nicely dense and full on the palate, the fresh acidity and bright red fruit flavors resolve on a juicy, detailed finish. This 2018 offering has the essential elegance, purity and complexity that defines great Pinot Noir.

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 (Available GT)


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) 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) 559-226-6828
Monday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

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