November 21st 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

November 21st 2022 Newsletter

Thanksgiving Week Hours

Grape Tray (GT)
Monday-Wednesday 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday-Friday Closed
Saturday 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
Tuesday-Wednesday 12 noon – 6:00 PM
Thursday-Friday Closed
Saturday 12 Noon – 4:00 PM


Taste 2020 Kongsgaard Napa Chardonnay, 2018 Willakenzie Willamette Valley Pinot and 2019 Chateau Talbot St. Julien Bordeaux at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, November 22nd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Kongsgaard Napa Chardonnay

Wine Spectator 93 Points
WILLAKENZIE Pinot Noir Willamette
 Valley 2018

Captures the best of Willamette Valley, with a layered structure that’s crisp yet supple with plump raspberry, orange peel and Darjeeling accents that glide toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 6,930 cases made. — TF $30

Wine Spectator 95 Points
Château Talbot St.-Julien 2019 (#4 Wine Spectator Top 100)

Well-built and rather refined for the vintage, with a deep well of red and black currant paste and plum reduction flavors supported by a deeply inlaid iron note, all of which run the length of the wine. Offers subtle savory, tobacco and singed cedar notes that add range, with a savory echo that leaves a mouthwatering feel in the end. Built to cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2025 through 2040. 23,333 cases made, 1,167 cases imported. CA Market Price $79-$120.


Taste 2021 Rochioli Russian River Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Coho Headwaters Napa Red and 2018 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, November 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
ROCHIOLI Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2021

Rich and succulent but also extremely elegant, with perfectly ripe nectarine and peach flavors and notes of melon at the core, plus details of lemongrass, dried ginger and a touch of sea salt. This has plump roundness, which is offset by vibrant, crisp acidity. 560 cases made Drink now. —M.W. $50

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

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville

This is the first vintage for this label. In fact, this replaces the "Napa Valley" label, but since all the wine now comes from the Coombsville AVA (and mostly from their estate), it now carries the Coombsville name.

Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville is redolent of Morello cherries, boysenberries and cassis with hints of lilacs, cinnamon stick and dried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate has vibrant black fruit flavors with a a soft texture and nice tension, finishing with a red fruit lift. 6,677 cases were made. $120


Wine Advocate 93 Points
2018 La Spinetta Garretti Barolo

The La Spinetta 2018 Barolo Garretti is underlined by a dark and savory quality that appears throughout this experience. Blackberry and dried cherry give the wine solid grounding and a long-lasting taste profile. Those dark fruit tones are amply surrounded by spice, toasted hazelnut and black truffle. Best After 2024. $75 Our Price $64.99 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
González Byass Pedro Ximénez Jerez Noe VORS 30 Years NV (2019)

Singed black sesame, rye, buckwheat honey, Black Forest cake and blackberry reduction notes form a large-scaled core, with a viscous texture and a long, palate-coating finish. A light echo of peanut toffee adds just enough cut on the finish. Drink now. 455 cases made, 43 cases imported. $50/375ml (Arrives VRW 11/22/22)

Jeb Dunnuck 96+
2018 Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot Saint Emilion

This estate makes an incredibly classic, elegant Saint-Emilion. The 2018 Château Beau-Séjour Bécot is based on 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon that was brought up in 65% new French oak. Coming from a beautiful terroir on the upper plateau, it reveals a deep purple/ruby color as well as perfumed cassis and mulberry fruits intermixed with ample spring flowers, chalky minerality, violets, and graphite. Medium to full-bodied and nicely concentrated on the palate, it has terrific mid-palate depth, flawless balance, background oak, and polished yet significant tannins. If you want to know what limestone soil gives to a wine, try this! It has the polish and balance to offer pleasure today, yet the cellar will be your friend. This warrants 5-7 years of bottle age and will have 30+ years of prime drinking. CA Market Price $62-$100. Our Price $79.95 (Available GT) Limited

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2019 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir The Belles Soeurs

The 2019 Pinot Noir The Belles Soeurs is elegant with the perfume of raspberry, cherry pie, dried roses, and cinnamon. The palate is vibrant and tension-driven with rose hip, hibiscus, and orange zest. I love this for its focused and direct nature, which will warrant some time in cellar to unfold. Drink 2024-2037. $100 (Arrives GT 11/23/22)

Wine Advocate 90 Points
Delamotte Brut Champagne

The latest release of Delamotte's NV Brut is especially charming, bursting with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, peach and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, pillowy and enveloping, it's a fleshy, giving wine that's ample and pliant, with a pinpoint mousse and a nicely defined finish. $50 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 94 Points
NV Charles Heidsieck Brut Champagne Reserve

Remarkable depth of mature aromas - tons of candied lemon peel, dried pear and brioche - plus wonderful textural richness on the palate make this stand out amongst the regular Brut NVs. Then comes the intense and very long, mineral finish to crown this prince of the category. Based on 2016 base wines, but with 52% reserve wines, almost a third of which were 10 to 20 years of age. Drink or hold. $50 (Available GT and VRW)

Opus One Overture (2022 release)

Winemaker Notes: A timeless expression of our estate vineyards, Overture is full bodied but approachable in its youth. Overture shows generous dark fruit aromas and flavors with a soft, supple mid-palate. $150 (Back in stock GT 11/22/22)

Domaine Jean Vesselle Brut Reserve Champagne, Magnum

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 Our Price $86/magnum (Available GT and VRW)

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 Internet Price $32.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
DETERT Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2019

Purely rendered, with a gorgeous beam of cassis and plum fruit driving from start to finish. Features flashes of violet, anise and black tea as well as an underpinning of warm earth, all allied to nicely coiled energy. The beautiful fruit takes a two-song encore as a final statement. Best from 2023 through 2036. —J.M. $100 (Available GT and VRW) Limited

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 Internet Price $81.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Hourglass Blueline Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Blueline Cabernet Sauvignon is another stunning wine in the lineup. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as beautiful cassis and blue-tinged fruits, it has lots of violet and lead pencil notes, medium to full body, perfect balance, and incredible tannins. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it's going to deliver the goods for upwards of two decades. $150 (Back in stock GT 11/30/22)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2016 Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

The Altagracia is produced almost exclusively from estate fruit this year and was bottled at the end of June 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia comes bursting forth with vivacious black cherries, blackberries, wild blueberries and cassis notes with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, forest floor, violets and dusty earth with a waft of violets. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with loads of iron and mineral accents, finishing long and perfumed. $135 (Arrives GT 11/30/22)


Taste 2017 The Paring Red, 2021 Silver Ghost Napa Cabernet and 2018 Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Cabernet Sauvignon at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, November 26th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 91 Points
2017 The Paring Red

The Paring's Red overdelivers big time in 2017, as it so often does. A burst of dark red fruit tobacco, menthol, leather and spice open up first. Juicy and ample, with tons of voluptuousness, the 2017 is so expressive today. Hints of tobacco, cedar, licorice and grilled herbs add layers of aromatic complexity. $25

2021 Silver Ghost Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Silver Ghost is a full-bodied, rich and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon crafted from some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley. Deep in color, aromas of blueberry, crème de cassis and plum leap from the glass. On the palate Silver Ghost offers layers of red and black fruit intermingled with mocha, toast and a savory spice. The luxurious texture and depth continue through the long finish. $45

Jeb Dunnuck 97+ Points
2018 Bacio Divino Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard reveals a dense purple/blue color to go with more closed, backward (yet classic Missouri Hopper) notes of chocolaty dark fruits, tobacco leaf, espresso roast, and a hint of violets. Beautiful on the palate, it's a powerhouse that offers a monster mouthfeel, ripe, silky tannins, and a great finish. Despite all its concentration, it stays nicely balanced and has a wonderful sense of freshness, which is the hallmark of the 2018 vintage. This beauty will evolve for 25+ years. $165


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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