November 15th 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

November 15th 2022 Newsletter

Taste 2015 Cayuse Horsepower The Tribe Syrah at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10 per person.
Tuesday, November 15th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2015 Cayuse Horsepower The Tribe Syrah

Of these three offerings from Horsepower, the 2015 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard will require the most time, as it's the most tight-knit at this early stage, slowly unwinding in the glass with savory aromas of raw cocoa, tapenade, nori and ripe blackberries. On the palate, it's full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a rich chassis of satiny structuring tannins and a layered, umami-laden core of fruit. At 13.6% alcohol, it's also beautifully balanced. $200


Taste 2018 Vina Robles Road Reserve Cabernet, 2018 Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Cabernet and 2018 Purlieu Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, November 16th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2018 Vina Robles Road Reserve Cabernet

Saturated violet. Ripe dark berries, vanilla, baking spices, pipe tobacco and wood smoke on the deeply perfumed nose. Broad and seamless in texture, offering sweet, smoke-tinged blackberry, cherry-vanilla and spice cake flavors that firm up slowly with air. Finishes sappy, gently chewy and quite long, with repeating dark fruit character, well-judged tannins and a lingering floral nuance. $50

James Suckling 95 Points
2018 Penfolds Bin 704 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

A beautiful, aromatic wine with blackcurrant, cool fruit and hints of minerals and tar. Full-bodied, yet polished and really well manicured. Long and creamy. Shows tension, energy and refinement. Drink after 2024, but so beautiful already. Hard not to drink. $75

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Purlieu Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon comes galloping out of the glass with energetic scents of ripe black cherries, fresh black berries and blackcurrant cordial plus nuances of unsmoked cigars, cedar chest and pencil lead with a waft of wild sage. Full-bodied, rich and decadent in the mouth, the palate is beautifully poised with bags of freshness countering the concentrated flavors and a fine-grained frame, finishing long with a minty kick. $115


Taste 2019 Quinta do Vale Meandro Douro Red, 2020 Alma Rosa Sta. Rita Hills Pinot and 2018 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, November 17th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 90
Quinta do Vale Meao Douro Meandro 2019

The little brother of the wonderful Quinta do Vale Meão Estate Tinto this report, this is a scaled-back version in most respects while keeping many echoes of what is good. The fruit profile retains beautiful concentration of fruit. The texture is still caressing, and the tannins are ripe. It is quite graceful as well. Unlike its big brother, though, this also shows off a nice price point. It can be a great house pour or restaurant wine. Blend: 44% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, 15% Tinta Roriz, 6% Tinta Barroca & Alicante Bouschet. $25

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2020 Alma Rosa Winery Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

The 2020 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills comes mostly from the El Jabali Vineyard and spent 10 months in barrel. It's a darker, richer, concentrated style of Pinot Noir that gives up ample red and black fruits, spices, dried herbs, and hints of loamy earth. Beautifully textured and medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins, this is a brilliant Pinot Noir that readers will love. I'd drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years, but it will keep longer if you're so inclined. $48

Wine Spectator 97 Points
Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2018

This distinctive version leads with pine forest, sweet bay leaf and savory notes, with a core of steeped currant and bitter plum fruit, plus ample tobacco and warm stone notes in the background. The finish is chiseled in feel, with racy acidity taking just as prominent of a role as tannic grip. With range, character and energy to spare, this should cruise in the cellar. Best from 2025 through 2045. 2,650 cases made. $150


Wine Advocate 92 Points
2021 Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett

The 2021 Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett is precise and stony on the intense and well-concentrated nose that shows ripe lemon and coolish gravel aromas. Lush, refined and elegant on the palate, this is a pure and salty, tensioned, piquant and grippy Riesling with mouth-filling fruit and juiciness. Not really a Kabinett but a feinherb Spätlese in style, this is a long-distance runner with lovely digestibility. 9% stated alcohol. Screw cap. Tasted in July 2022. $32 Our Price $28.49 (Arrives GT 11/16/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Foxen Santa Maria Pinot Noir

Leading off the reds, the 2019 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley is a smoking good appellation Pinot Noir well worth seeking out. Ripe red and blackberry fruits, peppery herbs, flowers, and sous bois all show on the nose, and it’s nicely textured, fruit-forward, and ready to go. It’s going to put a smile on your face any time over the coming 3-5 years. $42 Our Price $29.99 (Available GT)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2020 Domaine Laporte La Comtesse Sancerre

This fine, aromatic wine is one of the top cuvées from this producer. Its fruit is soft, full-bodied and densely powerful. The structure is shot with minerality and citrus and kiwi fruits. It is well-balanced, intense and will be ready from 2023. Organic. $45 (Arrives GT 11/17/22)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Coho Headwaters Napa Valley 2018

Ripe but fresh, this lets alluring boysenberry and mulberry notes stretch out slowly, with a mix of singed apple wood and anise playing a supporting role. Reveals light bramble and violet hints that peek in on the well-fruited finish. Shows good embedded energy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2035. 810 cases made. $60 (Arrives GT 11/18/22)

2021 Laporte Les Grandmontains Sancerre Rose

Winemaker Notes: This 100% Pinot Noir rosé opens with delicate red berry and floral aromas, and ripe cherry, raspberry, peach, and orange zest flavors follow on the fruity palate. Sancerre's classic tangy acidity and focused minerality provide balance and finesse to this medium-bodied wine, which carries through on the fresh finish. $30 (Arrives GT 11/17/22)

2018 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Magnum

Winemaker Notes: Ruby in color, the Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has notes of cassis, caramel, juniper and pomegranate. Lifted and vibrant on the nose, this wine is fresh on the palate with a juicy, fruit-forward core. Its silky mouthfeel will provide drinking pleasure through 2044 given proper cellaring conditions. 94.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.2% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Internet Price $200/magnum (Arrives GT 11/16/22)

James Suckling 92
Tornatore Etna Rosso 2019

A mineral, fresh and savory red with aromas of sliced mushrooms, lemons, wild strawberries, asphalt and crushed shells. Medium body with lightly dusty tannins. Bright finish. Drink or hold $33. Internet Price $25.99 (Arrives GT 11/17/22)

James Suckling 92 Points
Enrico Serafino Barolo Monclivio 2017

Pretty red-fruit aromas here with raspberries, wild strawberries and a hint of vanilla cream. Medium body with firm tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Needs a few years for the tannins to sink into the wine. A slightly lighter version than the 2016, but the quality is there. Best after 2023. $54 Our Price $46.99 (Arrives GT 11/16/22)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2019 Vina Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich and thoroughly satisfying Cab, starting with aromas of roasted boysenberry, cocoa, violet and toasty oak on the nose. The palate is cohesive and neatly woven, with rich black fruit, mocha and espresso flavors that are wrapped in firm but balanced tannins $26. Internet Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 Mauro Veglio Barolo

The 2018 Barolo is a blend of fruit from Arborina and Gattera in La Morra and Castelletto in Monforte d'Alba, which are three of the estate's coolest growing sites. You get the smooth or silky disposition of fruit from La Morra blended with the power and precision of Monforte d'Alba. This wine shows nicely in this vintage thanks to dark fruit, tar, smoke and crushed rock. There is a fragrant hint of violets too. This is a production of 30,000 bottles. $43 (Back in stock GT 11/16/22)

James Suckling 93 Points
2019 K Vintners Roma Cabernet-Syrah

An inviting nose of ripe plum, blackberry, blackcurrant and fresh coffee. Medium-to full-bodied with stony mineral character. Velvety tannins. Vanilla and suede come through. Well balanced with good purity of fruit. 78% cabernet sauvignon and 22% syrah. Drink or hold. $55 Our Price $44.95 (Available GT)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2019 Vina Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich and thoroughly satisfying Cab, starting with aromas of roasted boysenberry, cocoa, violet and toasty oak on the nose. The palate is cohesive and neatly woven, with rich black fruit, mocha and espresso flavors that are wrapped in firm but balanced tannins $26. Internet Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2019 Lemelson Thea’s Pinot, 2019 Mondavi Oakville The Estates Cabernet and 2019 Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, November 18th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
LEMELSON Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Thea's Selection 2019

Detailed and refined, with handsome raspberry, forest floor and spiced tea flavors that add structure toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029. 7,300 cases made.—Tim Fish. $34

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville The Estates 2019 (#6 Wine Spectator Top 100)

Throws off some pretty gorgeous aromas of violet, anise and sweet bay leaf, with a core of ripe, streamlined boysenberry and blackberry pâte de fruit flavors following closely. The finish has a racy graphite edge, while the fruit and aromas just spill through. Approachable now, too. Drink now through 2034. 13,500 cases made. $85

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Pahlmeyer Jayson Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A plush, full-bodied red with currant, olive, walnut and chocolate-nut character. It’s full and layered with so much unctuous fruit, but not heavy nor overpowering. Delicious and satisfying now, but will age nicely. $100


Taste 2019 Reynvaan The Unnamed Series Red, 2017 Etude Napa Cabernet and 2019 Peter Franus Mt. Veeder Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, November 19th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

Wine Spectator 93 Points * ETUDE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

Packed with juicy black currant, plum and blackberry compote flavors that pump along the graphite-edged grip and a dark tobacco backdrop. Frankly toasted on the finish, but with ample fruit for balance. A serious Cab. Best from 2022 through 2034. —J.M. $100

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Peter Franus Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder Brandlin Vineyard 2019

Dense yet defined, with sappy kirsch, blackberry and boysenberry reduction laced with licorice snap, violet and apple wood notes. The long finish has heft but is very well-detailed, with an iron accent chiming in. One for the cellar. Best from 2024 through 2038. 270 cases made. $85


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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