March 14th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

March 14th 2023 Newsletter

2020 Screaming Eagle Napa Cabernet Sauvignon *CA Market Price $3300-$4000.

We have a local collector who has one bottle for sale at $2700. If interested in purchasing, please email


This week’s special. Enjoy this Napa Cabernet for $15:

Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
2019 Ballentine Vineyards Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Lots of blue fruits, violets, tobacco, and a touch of chocolate define the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, an elegant, balanced, seamless Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that represents a great value. Drink it over the coming 10-12 years. $60


Taste 2020 Saxum James Berry Proprietary Red at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Tuesday, March 14th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 Points
2020 Saxum James Berry

The 2020 James Berry Vineyard offers up a more savory, complex, full-bodied style to go with both red and black fruits, notes of peppery herbs and loamy earth, a layered, opulent mouthfeel, and quality tannins. This was a challenging vintage, but this estate did a great job, and this classic Paso red should drink nicely right out of the gate as well as keep for 10-15 years. The blend is 49% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah, 9% Graciano, 6% Grenache Blanc, and the rest Counoise. There were 1,470 cases produced. $165


Taste Louis Roederer Brut Collection 243, 2020 Wayfarer WF2 Fort Ross Seaview Pinot and 2021 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, March 15th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Louis Roederer Brut Collection 243

The NV Champagne Collection 243 Brut is the third release and is based on the 2018 vintage, with the addition of 30% of the perpetual reserve started in 2012 and 10% reserve wine that has been aged in oak. It is ripe and balanced, with yellow flowers, honeycomb, and plum, and it has elegant concentration and underlying tension, precise mousse, and rich salinity, with lingering notes of croissant and delicate smoke. $68

2020 Wayfarer WF2 Fort Ross Seaview Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 vintage opens with aromas of vibrant dark fruit, blueberry and blackberry compote, subtle forest floor and savory earth. Delicious pomegranate enters the palate, at once refreshing, dense and powerful. Rich notes of dark chocolate round out the finish. Enjoy as the wine continues to open in the glass. $55

2021 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Our goal in crafting our Pinot Noirs is to capture the elusive Pinot character expressed in each of our exceptional coastal sites. We strive to produce elegant, harmonious wines which are impressive for their purity, balance, and lingering perfume. From these sites there is a progression of color and length of character as we move towards the coast. $75


Taste 2021 Bernardus SLH Pinot, Austin Barrel 21 Cabernet and 2020 L’Aventure Estate Cuvee at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, March 16th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Bernardus Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot

Winemaker Notes: Our 2021 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir exhibits all the characteristics that have demonstrated the superb quality of this special viticultural region. The aromas display bright ripe cherry, plum, strawberry aroma, along with subtle hints of French oak notes. The palate is very rich and expressive of intense red fruit flavors and spice notes supported by a long, silky finish. This is a wonderful example of the widely recognized quality of this unique growing region! $45

Austin Barrel 21 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: True to Paso Robles’ signature style, this fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon has enticing aromas of dark fruit, fresh vanilla bean and hints of coffee. On the palette, the dark brooding fruit flavors are balanced with savory notes of black pepper, baking spices along with a touch of tobacco to add warmth and dimension. Lovely notes of sweet oak, lively acidity & fine dusty tannins complete this wine, making it the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy daily. $20

Wine Advocate 99 Points
2020 L'Aventure Winery Estate Cuvée

A blend of 45% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Estate Cuvée is another outstanding wine from L'Aventure in the challenging 2020 vintage, offering singular concentration and elegance. Deep ruby-purple, it has a pure core of cassis and slowly unfolding accents of licorice, cured meats, tobacco leaves, cedar and truffle. Full-bodied, juicy and alluring, it floods the mouth with layers of blue fruit, floral perfume and spice. It is supported by powdery tannins and boasts a tremendously long, detailed finish. $120


2021 Lewis Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A soaring, sensational wine the 2021 Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay is our best in years. Shot-through with citrus and tropical fruits, blossoms and exotic spices the fragrance is sublime. Casting a wide arc of vibrant fruit, mineral intrigue and vivid detail the wine comes full circle with a superb succulent finish. $65 Our Price $58.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
EVENING LAND Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs 2021

A lovely, delicate Pinot, with aromas of fresh violet opening to elegantly multilayered raspberry, guava and forest floor accents, which glide on the graceful finish. Drink now through 2031. 3,388 cases made. —Tim Fish. $45 Our Price $39.99 (Arrives GT 3/15/23)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
CRAGGY RANGE Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough Te Muna 2022

This has an appealing supple, fleshy texture to the mango, salted melon and white peach notes, with a hint of litsea oil and feijoa fruit. Finishes with a touch of dried sage and fresh acidity. Drink now. 62,980 cases imported.—MaryAnn Worobiec. $20 (Available GT and VRW 3/16/23)

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)

Wine Spectator 94
PURPLE HANDS Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Lone Oak Ranch 2021

Fragrant and gracefully multilayered, with expressive cherry and pomegranate flavors that mingle with black tea and orange peel accents. Ends with fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2031. —T.F. $30 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2020 DuMOL Chardonnay Wester Reach

The 2020 Chardonnay Wester Reach is one of Dumol's larger cuvées—usually about 3,000 cases are produced—although there will only be 1,000 cases of the 2020 vintage available. Among Dumol's 2020s, it stands out for its transparency and delicacy rather than the density and concentration of the rest of the portfolio. It offers delicate scents of fresh apples and quince, toast, pie crust, spring blossoms and a stony undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate is bright, spicy and energetic, with a gently oily texture that drives the long, mineral finish. Drink it on its own, or paired with a wide range of dishes, over the next 3-5 years. $62 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Pont Neuf Pont Royal Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2019 Pont Royal reveals a brilliant clarity both in appearance and focused flavors.

Consistent vineyard characters show in the forward citrus, fresh peach, custard and honied beeswax, hallmark traits of this vineyard. The texture is crisp, with a satisfying texture and great persistence of flavors. Pont Royal is a chameleon; one moment floral and lilting, bold, rich and deep the next. French oak takes a back seat to the fruit, adding nuanced aromas of toasted brioche and fine structure to the wine. We employed 80% new oak from the Vosges forest, aged 4 years, contributing the delicate toast and vanilla aromas and playing perfectly with bright citrus fruit. Barrel-fermented, aged on the

lees and bottled un-fined and unfiltered, this natural fermentation showcases the vineyard and the vintage. 90 cases produced. $65 (Available GT)


Taste 2018 The Paring Red, 2019 Goldschmidt Hilary Oakville Cabernet and 2019 Sojourn Oakville Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, March 17th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

2019 Goldschmidt Hilary Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Purple edges lead to a bright red garnet hue. Delicate aromas of strawberry with hints of plum and raspberries. Sweet vanilla opens up on the mouth with highlights of caramel. Essence of mineral and graphite show on the length of the mouth mingling with more vanilla and pomegranate in the finish. $50

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Sojourn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville is sunny with cassis, violet candy, and sweet tobacco. The palate is full and reveals a gripping structure that lifts cleanly off the palate. Black plum and graphite fill out the mid-palate, with dried herbs on the finish. Hold 2-4 years and drink 2024-2032. $90


Taste 2022 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 Odette Adaptation Napa Cabernet and 2020 L’Aventure Cote at Cote at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, March 18th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2022 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc put New Zealand on the map with its captivating flavor. Their signature style is famous for its vibrant nose, mouthwatering palate and long finish. Stone fruit and citrus stand out, while minerality (think rain on river stones) provides balance. $40

2018 Odette Adaptation Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2018 Adaptation Cabernet Sauvignon is opaque purple in color, presenting notes of wild blackberries, luxardo cherries, plums, crème de cassis with hints of fresh spring flowers. This full-bodied expression displays beautiful ripeness with elegant, very fine, well integrated elegant, fine tannins and a gorgeous silky texture. Built for near term appreciation and long-term potential, this forward, upfront, and approachable style can be enjoyed over the next decade+. $80

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2020 L'Aventure Winery Côte a Côte

The 2020 Côte a Côte is a beautiful blend of 45% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre and one of the most successful wines I tasted from the challenging 2020 vintage. Deep ruby-purple, it offers pure aromas of blackcurrant, boysenberry, tar and pipe tobacco, continually unfolding with each return to the glass. The full-bodied palate offers wave after wave of perfumed fruit and tremendous spicy accents. It's powerful yet harmoniously structured with powdery tannins and seamless acidity, and it offers a very long, detailed finish. $105


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
Tuesday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

Back to Our Blog

Are you 21 years old, or older?