January 19th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

January 19th 2023 Newsletter

Taste the 2018 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet/Shiraz and 2019 Booker Fracture Syrah at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, January 19th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 97 Points
2018 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet/Shiraz

A blend of 57% cabernet sauvignon and 43% shiraz, this has a very impressively complete feel, a hallmark of the 2018 vintage wines, and there's a myriad of characters with cabernet's cedary and gently herbal notes sitting atop a core of rich red-plum and dark-berry shiraz fruit aromas. So integrated. The palate has a very silky texture, so plush and polished with a wealth of rich and intense dark-plum, dark-berry and blackcurrant flavors. The oak is completely soaked with ripe, fresh fruit. This is a great Bin 389. Drink over the next two decades. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Booker Vineyard Fracture Syrah

The 100% Syrah 2019 Fracture comes all from the Booker Estate Vineyard and is another pure, balanced, incredibly classy wine from this estate. Loads of darker fruits, ground black pepper, crushed stone, and scorched earth give way to a medium to full-bodied, powerful, concentrated Syrah that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 10-15 years. $105


Wine Spectator 93 Points
Bruna Grimaldi Barolo Camilla 2018

Juicy and firm, setting the stage for macerated cherry and raspberry fruit complemented by hay, iron and earth. Compact and dense, despite a linear profile, with fine length. Best from 2025 through 2042. 2,500 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. $55 Our Price $38.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Advocate 92+
2021 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Klamm Riesling Kabinett

The 2021 Niederhäuser Klamm Riesling Kabinett is from volcanic soils and comes pure and refined yet intense and spicy on the nose, with notes of crushed stones and salts. Lush and racy on the palate, this is a light yet intense and juicy, piquant and stimulatingly grippy Kabinett that is also a bit too rich for the predicate, but it's a fascinating Riesling again. 9% stated alcohol. Screw cap. Tasted in July 2022. $30 Our Price $25.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Groth Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) is fabulous. Moreover, it shows the important strides that have been made here in recent years. A wine of depth as well as energy, the Oakville Cabernet is both complete and absolutely delicious. Time brings out a whole range of leather, spice and chocolate notes to play off a core of intense, dark-fleshed fruit. I would prefer to cellar the 2018 for at least a few years. In a word: impressive. $70 Our Price $62.99 (Available GT and VRW 1/20/23)

Wine Advocate 97 points * 19 Chateau Brane-Cantenac, Margaux

Derived exclusively from the château's holdings on the deep gravel soils of the plateau of Brane, the 2019 Brane-Cantenac has turned out brilliantly and merits a special effort to seek out. Wafting from the glass with aromas of wild berries, pencil shavings, violets, sweet loamy soil and cardamon, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with lively acids, ripe tannins and a beautifully seamless, perfumed profile. Retaining all the estate's signature elegance but with an extra dimension of depth and intensity, it's the finest Brane-Cantenac of the modern era and one of the great successes of the 2019 vintage. $89 (Back in stock GT 1/20/23) Delicious!

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Vins Auvigue Pouilly-Fuissé Les Villages 2020

Creamy in texture, this white evokes peach, floral and pastry aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, unfolding gracefully to a long citrus- and mineral-infused aftertaste. Very approachable now, but should develop over the next decade, too. Drink now through 2030. 1,100 cases made, 1,089 cases imported. $35 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 Points
2020 Chateau De Beaucastel Cotes Du Rhone Coudoulet De Beaucastel

A year-in, year-out winner, the 2020 Côtes Du Rhône Coudoulet De Beaucastel offers outstanding quality as well as classic notes of darker fruits, roasted herbs, truffly earth, and some meaty, peppery, gamey nuances. With wonderful purity of fruit, ripe tannins, and a balanced, elegant mouthfeel, it will have over a decade of longevity. $30 Our Price $26.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2021 Lucia Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

A stunning melange of three truly unique vineyard sites (52% Pisoni, 18% Garys’, and 30% Soberanes), the 2019 Lucia Pinot Noir exhales deeply as its ruby hue trickles down the side of the glass. Notes of spiced plum, black cherry and sage quickly fill the glass. This wine is initially tightly wound, but each passing minute allows for new layers and aromas to unfold. At first, subtle notes of dried raspberry and sous bois were most prominent, but time in the glass promotes the expression of richer, more powerful notes of black cherry, crushed strawberry, sandalwood, and baking spice. The trademarked coastal fog and stiff afternoon winds of the Santa Lucia Highlands provide the refreshing acidity necessary for a long life in bottle. $55 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

Tasting Panel 93 Points
2021 Raeburn Russian River Chardonnay

Ripe pear and lemon blossom perfume the air, while the luxe mouthfeel of honeyed melon is a caress. Intermingling notes of wet stone, charred caramel, and yellow apple connect to an arch of bright acidity. The finish is juicy with a twist of tangerine. $22 Our Price $14.99 (Back in stock GT)

2018 Silver Oak Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is ruby in color with notes of strawberry, fresh carnation, black pepper and vanilla. is wine builds in strength and body across the mid-palate with a blackberry character on the ¬nish and bright cherry return.With integrated tannins, it’s expressive yet luxurious with an even, balanced ¬nish. Given proper cellaring conditions, this wine will continue to improve through 2043. The 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet is comprised of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15.2% Merlot, 5.1% Cabernet Franc, 3.2% Petit Verdot and 0.5% Malbec Internet Price $175 (Arrives GT 2/8/23)

Wine Enthusiast 95–97 Points (Barrel Sample)
2019 Chateau Kirwan Margaux

With its new cellars, the estate is performing at top speed and this vintage keeps up the fine track record. Firm tannins and beautifully perfumed fruit are blending together to give a wine that has style as well as structured fruitiness, with all the elegance of great Margaux. Think long-term aging for this wine. ROGER VOSS. $60 (Back in stock GT 1/20/23)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
GROTH Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2021

Tasting Note: Distinctive, with lanolin, honeysuckle and litsea oil accents to the ripe peach, citrus and apricot flavors at the core. Reveals mouthwatering acidity and sea salt minerality on the finish. Drink now. —M.W. $26 Our Price $23.99 (Available GT and VRW 1/20/23)


Taste 2021 Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot, 2019 Kenefick Ranch Chris’s Cuvee Napa Cabernet and 2019 AXR Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, January 20th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 94 Points
BEAUX FRÈRES Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2021

Sleek, graceful and elegantly proportioned, with expressive violet, raspberry, guava and black tea flavors that jump out of the glass and gather richness toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2032. —T.F. $75

2019 Kenefick Ranch Chris’s Cuvee Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Aromatics of raspberry hard candies, underlined by fine dark chocolate shavings and cigar box. The palate is dark berry preserve supported by woven dusty fine tannins. Good to drink now and will cellar well for the next 10-15 years. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 AXR Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Readers looking for a great value in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will love the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully fruited and textured 2019 offering sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It way over-delivers. 1115 cases. $90


Taste 2019 Bodegas y Vinedos Valderiz, 2021 Capiaux Chimera Pinot and 2018 Mayacamas Mt Veeder Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, January 21st. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Bodegas y Viñedos Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2019

A harmonious red that marries power with finely detailed grace, offering a dense core of tannins tightly meshed with flavors of ripe black currant, fig cake, wild sage and mocha that slowly unfurl on the palate. Sleek and silky in texture, with a firm, lingering and well-spiced finish. Best from 2024 through 2032. 6,500 cases made. $40

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2021 Capiaux Cellars Chimera Pinot Noir

The 2021 Pinot Noir Chimera is a rich, heady wine. A burst of dark red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and blood orange are all dialed up. This bold, generous Pinot delivers the goods, big time. It's a fabulous entry-level offering from Sean Capiaux, if that term can even be used here. The Chimera is mostly young vines from Starscape, with dollops from Widdoes, Pisoni and Garys’. $36

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


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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