December 23rd 2022 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

December 23rd 2022 Newsletter

Holiday Hours

Grape Tray (GT)
Friday, 12/23 10:30 AM- 5:30 PM
Saturday, 12/24 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday, 12/25 Merry Christmas
Monday, 12/26 Closed
Tuesday, 12/27 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW)
Friday, 12/23 12:00 noon – 6:00 PM
Saturday, 12/24 12:00 noon – 4:00 PM
Sunday, 12/25 Merry Christmas
Monday, 12/26 Closed
Tuesday, 12/27 12:00 noon – 6:00 PM


Wine Spectator 92 Points
Antinori Chianti Classico Villa Antinori Riserva 2018

An intense red, with an accent of vanilla shading the cherry, raspberry, woodsy and tobacco flavors. On the long finish, a resinous note emerges as this winds down. Although balanced, this still needs time to integrate the oaky elements. Drink now through 2033. 6,000 cases imported. $35 Our Price $29.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Rosé Champagne Réserve NV

A graceful rosé Champagne, with a creamy mousse caressing the palate while juicy acidity creates a mouthwatering frame for the white cherry, grilled nut, candied pink grapefruit zest, ground ginger and cardamom spice flavors. Long and lovely on the finish, drawing you back for sip after sip. Disgorged 2018. Drink now through 2027. 510 cases imported. — AN $87 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Merus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is a dense, full-throttle wine. A blast of inky dark fruit, chocolate, spice, new leather, lavender, graphite, and dried herbs makes a strong opening statement. There's not a ton of subtlety, but the 2019 is undeniably beautiful and vivid. It's unapologetically flamboyant though, and will be appreciated most by readers who enjoy this style. $155 (Back in stock GT and VRW this afternoon)

2021 Morgan Metallico Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Metallico’s aromatics are intense with white peach, citrus blossom, and pineapple. The palate has ripe fruit flavors of green apple and lemon meringue. This wine encompasses a light-medium body with bright acidity and a long finish. It’s a perfect accompaniment to shellfish and lighter summertime fare. $22 Our Price $18.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Elizabeth Rose Chockablock Napa Red

Winemaker Notes: 2020 vintage marks the 6th vintage of this beautiful wine that started as a Merlot dominant red wine blend. This vintage offers incredibly perfumed aromas of rose, violet, strawberry, red cherry, black plum, and hints of white pepper, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. On the palate, beautiful balance, medium body texture with firm fine-grained tannins resulting in an extraordinary mouthfeel. In addition, it displays an outstanding long finish with bright acidity. $30 Our Price $18.29 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
ZENATO Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa 2018

Enticing smoke and spice notes on the nose underscore flavors of baked blackberry, cured tobacco, bacon fat and rich earth in this sculpted red. Packs a rich profile on a medium- to full-bodied frame, yet this is well-balanced and poised, thanks to fresh acidity, a minerally underpinning and fine-grained tannins. Corvina, Rondinella and Corvinone. Best from 2023 through 2030. From Italy.—A.N. $32 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
J Cuvée 20 Russian River Valley NV Sparkling Wine

Steely and full of snappy acidity, with accents of red apple, gingerbread and lemon tart that build richness and plushness on the lingering finish. Drink now. From California.—T.F. $40 Our Price $29.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 94 points
2019 Morgan Twelve Clone Pinot Noir

Bright aromas of pomegranate, orange peel, pepper and sea salt show on the nose of this clonal combination. Zesty, energetic flavors of lemon and orange zest meet with a tart and snappy red-currant flavor on the palate, with oregano and cardamom adding complexity toward the finish. $36 Our Price $29.95 (Available GT and VRW)

2018 Caymus Special Selection Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Each year, we set aside the best barrels of our Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley to produce Special Selection. Distinguished by extremely fine, velvety tannins and enjoyable upon release or with aging. A wine of structure with intense concentration of supple flavors and dark fruits. Special Selection is the only wine in the world honored twice as Wine Spectator magazine’s “Wine of the Year.” $265 Our Price $225 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 95+ Points
Krug Champagne Grande Cuvee 170eme Edition

From vintages spanning from 1998 to 2014, the NV Champagne Grande Cuvee 170eme Edition is decadent and nuanced, with a rounded perfume of toasted brioche, lemon curd, and honeydew melon. Ripe yellow orchard fruits fill the palate with nectarine, fresh grapefruit pith, and a core of acidity. This is showing wonderfully now, although it still has the tension to go for the next 20 years. $200 (Back in stock GT and VRW 12/27/22)


Taste 2021 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma Pinot Noir, 2019 Stag’s Leap Artemis Napa Cabernet and 2019 Rudd Oakville Crossroads Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, December 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2021 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma Pinot Noir

This appellation blend by Bibiana Gonzalez Rave is a tremendously complex and simply delicious wine for a fair price. Aromas of cinnamon, sumac and raspberry paste are juicy yet dark and serious on the nose. There's a firm grip to the sip that frames the rich black raspberry core, with flavors of thyme, sage and cracked pepper adding more nuance. $35

James Suckling 93 Points
2019 Stag’s Leap Artemis Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Cassis, dried blueberries, violets, ink, graphite, dried leaves and cigar box on the nose. Full-bodied with firm, polished tannins. Smooth and supple with excellent balance and length. Drink from 2023. $83

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Rudd Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Crossroads 2019

A solid, direct style, with red and black currant preserves that meld steadily into a backdrop of singed vanilla, cedar and warm earth. Features flashes of humus and menthol, too, which provide range. Drink now through 2032. 3,420 cases made. $80


Taste 2021 Cliff Lede Napa Sauvignon Blanc, 2020 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir and 2018 Altamura Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, December 24th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2021 Cliff Lede Napa Sauvignon Blanc

This is an outstanding white blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc with 9% Sémillon and 1% Sauvignon Vert. Bright and fresh in peach and wet stone, it is nicely textured, with just enough weight and breadth to add complexity and structure. $34

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2020 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River

The quintessential 2020 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is flush with cola spice, grenadine, and sappy forest floor, while the palate opens with generous ripe red fruits of cherry, beet root, and cinnamon. $70

2018 Altamura Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our hillside and valley floor estate vineyards in Wooden Valley are at elevations of 700 to 1000 feet. Soil types on the ranch which are similar to the Rutherford Bench and the mountainous regions of Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill and Mount Veeder called for several different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon on a number of different rootstocks upon planting in 1986. The vines are dry-farmed and vertically trellised. $135 Our Price $129.99 (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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