February 9th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

February 9th 2023 Newsletter

Taste 2021 Pride Mountain Chardonnay and 2020 Pride Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, February 9th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Pride Mountain Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our string of fresh exuberant chardonnays continues with the glorious 2021 vintage. Soaring aromatics of mint, sage, lemon peel, beeswax, white pepper and rain on pavement complement the classic fruit flavors of crisp apple and pear. This wine is filled with verve and energy from start to finish, possessing rounded luxuriance in the attack and an exciting crispness that builds with each second in your mouth. A beautiful wine that is precisely the chardonnay we want to be making. $48

2020 Pride Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This wine exudes elegance and inner beauty. The seamless texture has enough weight to speak of its mountaintop origin but is more about creamy, silky, enveloping pleasure with not a single component out of place. The comforting flavors of black cherry, ripe plum, licorice, spice and cocoa are uplifted and made intriguing by aromatics of sweet tobacco, sandalwood, black pepper and lavender. This gorgeous cabernet simply resonates charm today and will age gracefully for decades. $78


Wine Spectator 91 Points
SEAN MINOR Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Signature Series 2021

Bright, high-pitched style, with blood orange and damson plum notes racing through, flecked liberally with savory and thyme hints. Nice sleek feel on the finish. Drink now through 2027. 7,500 cases made.—J.M. $28 Our Price $19.49 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2020 Ornellaia Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia

The Ornellaia 2020 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia (a proprietary blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot) is a generous and darkly toned red blend that has the extra fruit fiber, sweetness and generous plumpness of a warm vintage. The fullness of the fruit is on full display, but in a very relaxed and natural manner. The wine never feels like too much. The tannins are yielding and velvety, and this purebred Tuscan red wraps thickly over the palate. It's poised for near- and medium-term drinking. $75 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT and VRW 2/11/23)

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)

International Wine Report 93 Points * SOJOURN Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2021

The 2021 Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir sees 50% new French oak and is fermented entirely with native yeast. Presenting a blue-ruby core with a silvery rim, it starts with lovely aromas of crushed blueberry, red and blue plum, dried violet flower, and wet autumn leaves. A well-balanced palate gifts perfect levels of acidity, rounded sweet tannins, and a blue-fruit and earth-driven finish. 2600 cases were made. $45 Our Price $40.99 (Available GT and VRW)

International Wine Report 96 Points * SOJOURN Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast Sangiacomo Vineyard 2021

The 2021 Sangiacomo Pinot Noir from Sojourn is one of my favorites from the tasting. It’s aged in 50% new French oak, which helps it deliver a more rich and spicy experience on the palate. Explosive red and black cherry fruit, dried mint, pine needle, mountain sage, dried red rose petal, and a hint of Blood orange pounce out of the glass. Silky tannins and acidity lend raciness to the wine, yet there is plenty of minerality and brightness to be found on the finish. Drink now with a heavy decant or over the next decade. 1025 cases made. Highly recommended. $65 Our Price $51.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 90 Points
2018 The Paring Red

The 2018 Red is a joyous, vibrant red. Succulent dark cherry, leather, chocolate, tobacco, spice and cedar complement a core of super-ripe dark berry fruit. Bold and exuberant to the core, the Red has so much to offer. Pretty earthy and savory notes lend tons of aromatic nuance. Best of all, the 2018 is an insane value. $25 (Available GT and VRW 2/10/23)

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 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 (Available GT)

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 Spectator 92 Points
SCHRAMSBERG Brut Blanc De Blancs North Coast 2019

Crisp yet luxurious and creamy, with vibrant lemon tart, apple and toasted almond flavors that glide on a long, plush finish. Drink now. 39,513 cases made. —Tim Fish. $42 Our Price $34.99 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2018 Keenan Napa Cabernet, 2019 Mondavi Oakville Cabernet and 2019 Sinegal Estate Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, February 10th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2018 Keenan Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Bold and juicy, Keenan's 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is super-expressive today. Dark cherry, plum, grilled herbs, mocha, spice and licorice are all front and center. The 2018 is deep and fleshy yet retains a classic, mid-weight feel that works so well. Drink it over the next decade. $65

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville The Estates 2019

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

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 98 Points
2019 Sinegal Napa Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as magnificent as it was last year. A heady, statuesque wine, the 2019 captures all the pedigree of the vintage. Inky red cherry fruit, mocha, licorice and spice race across the palate. The 2019 is bright, deep and powerful, with exceptional balance and tons of class. It's a stunning wine, to say the least. The move towards a slightly less pushed style, with less overt oak signatures, has paid off big time. This is a fabulous showing. $80


Taste 2020 Pride Mountain Merlot, 2019 Mondavi Napa Cabernet and 2016 Eisele Altagracia Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, February 11th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2020 Pride Mountain Merlot

Winemaker Notes: Not only is this a great merlot, it is as beautiful a merlot as we have ever made. What makes it so special? As mandated by merlot, the 2020 is foremost about the fruit, with ripe mulberry and kirsch taking center stage to provide pure smile-inducing pleasure. But this is no simple fruit bomb. It permeates your senses with tangy elderberry, verbena, lemon grass and savory black pepper notes. It is fresh, nuanced and cerebral in addition to providing the comforting fruit pleasure and luxuriant mouthfeel we require from merlot. The finish rises with verve and excitement resulting in complex choreography if you look for it, but indulgent relaxed pleasure if you are just stretched out on the couch. This year’s 2020 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot defines the essence of what makes merlot such a great varietal. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The base 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is certainly impressive, and since there are roughly 90,000 cases, it’s an incredible achievement. Classic darker currants, tobacco leaf, truffly earth, and spicy oak all define the bouquet, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins, terrific balance, and outstanding length. Based off 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, buy a case and enjoy bottles over the coming 10-15 years. $50

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


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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