January 6th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

January 6th 2023 Newsletter

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Chalk Hill Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2021

Features pear drop, Fuji apple, ripe Bartlett pear and lemon blossom details that are elegant and restrained, but they weave in and out on a light, fresh frame that's quite impressive. Gains a savory element, thanks to a touch of toasted sesame seed. Drink now. 98,000 cases made. $25 Our Price $15.59 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2018 Arkenstone Napa NVD Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 NVD Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged for 22 months in French oak barrels, 80% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose reveals notes of warm plums, baked black currants and black cherries with suggestions of clove oil, black tea, Chinese five spice and cedar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with firm, crunchy black berry flavors with bags of freshness and plush tannins, finishing with compelling energy. 1,200 cases were made. $95 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2021 Kali Hart Monterey Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Kali Hart is the most fruit-forward expression in Talbott's portfolio. Approachable and bright with a beautiful garnet color in the glass, the 2018 Pinot Noir is ripe and intense. Aromas of Bing cherry, cola, boysenberry and hints of vanilla lift from the glass, and layers of rich blackberries are underscored by soft, silky tannins. A luscious finish follows with accents of minerality, dried herbs and French oak. Kali Hart Pinot Noir is an elegant representation of its cool climate terroir of our estate vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands in California. $22 Our Price $18.49 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine and Spirits 92 Points
2019 Method Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

An open, racy cabernet, this has the cool feel of stone in a deep well, that tannic depth completely filled by ripe plum fruit. Brighter notes of cherries and cranberries emerge with air, and the wine retains its lively feel, suggesting it will improve over the next several years in bottle. $32 (Arrives GT 1/11/23)

2020 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spatlese

Winemaker Notes: A highly aromatic late-picked Riesling with an intensely elegant mineral structure balancing moderate sweetness. The late-picked Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spätlese has fine, forceful fruit in the aroma, a linear focus on the palate and a pure slate finish. $36 Our Price $30.99 (Available GT)

2015 Nielson Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The wine shows aromas of blackberries, rose petals, dried herbs, and earth. Flavors are driven by a dark fruit core, complemented by sandalwood, black pepper, and crushed stone. $20 Internet Price $13.99. GT and VRW Insider Price $8.95 (Available GT and VRW)


Winemaker Notes: A dense and concentrated cabernet with aromas and flavors of confectionary blackberry and stewed cassis. The lush fruit is brought into balance by high tone herbal aromatics of mint, sage, and sweet tobacco. The distinctively thick-skinned Cabernet grapes provide a long velvety finish. $52 Our Price $44.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2019 Unknown Brother Santa Barbara Syrah

Winemaker Notes: The wine opens with scents of warmed blackberry cobbler, red and black currant jelly, a bouquet of lilacs and violets, with nuances of black pepper and orange zest. On the palate the wine is bright and fresh but oh so layered, with waves of blueberry compote building to a crescendo of shaved chocolate, cranberry sauce with hints of garden mint and sweet pipe tobacco. Already drinking fabulously upon release, this wine will gain complexity in your cellar if you have the patience. $55 (Available GT)

2016 Joseph Carr Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Napa’s acclaimed Rutherford AVA. Located in the center of Napa, Rutherford is bordered by the Mayacamas Mountains on the west and the Vaca Range on the east. The wine was aged in French Oak for 18 months and features notes of black currant, tobacco, coffee, black cherry, and toffee. Full bodied, plush tannins and integrated acidity lead to a persistent finish. $48 Our Price $28.95 (Available GT and VRW 1/7/23) Limited

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2019 Gemstone Alluvial Yountville Cabernet

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alluvial Selection comes from more cobbly, rocky soils closer to the Silverado Trail, and it's a bigger, richer wine, offering lots of iron, mineral, black herbs, leather, and assorted red and black fruits. This full-bodied, concentrated, balanced 2019 will keep for upwards of 20 years. $165 (Available GT)

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)


Taste 2020 Talbott Sleepy Hollow SLH Chardonnay, 2019 Crossbarn Napa Cabernet and 2017 Purlieu Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, January 6th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
2020 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

Zesty lemon-wedge aromas cut through a plump core of white peach, pineapple and sea salt on the nose of this bottling. Vibrant acidity enlivens the sip, where grapefruit peel and brisk apple lead into a nutty tone on the finish. $45 Our Price $31.99

James Suckling 94 Points
2019 Crossbarn Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Blueberries, purple fruit and lavender. Crushed stones and raspberries, too. Medium-bodied and so fresh and vivid, with creamy tannins and a really long finish. Touch of vanilla. Just delicious. $60 Our Price $49.99

Wine Advocate 93+
2017 Purlieu Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper features flamboyant notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and red currant jelly with nuances of sautéed herbs, tar and underbrush with a waft of pencil lead. Full-bodied, firmly textured and laden with muscular fruit, it has loads of earthy accents and a chewy finish. $190 Our Price $129.99


Taste 2020 Domaine Drouhin Roserock Chardonnay, 2019 Detert Oakville Cabernet and 2018 The Setting Alexander Valley Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, January 7th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Drouhin Oregon Roserock Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills 2020

Opulent and refined, with a vibrant core of acidity framed by pear, cantaloupe and toasty spice flavors that build depth and richness on the savory finish. Drink now. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,557 cases made. $38

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

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2018 The Setting Alexander Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet-black in color, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley has an extraordinary perfume of cassis laced with an array of classic Cabernet scents: cured meats, pencil shavings, violet, lilac, bay leaves and exotic spices. The palate is pure and lifted, with ripe, dusty tannins and bursts of freshness that highlight its perfume and perfectly ripe fruits, finishing very long and very layered. 575 cases were 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) 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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