March 23rd 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

March 23rd 2023 Newsletter

On Deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Advocate 95+ Points
2016 Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard comes galloping out of the glass with notes of crème de cassis, warm plums, cast-iron pan and bouquet garni, plus touches of lavender and olives. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is chock-full of muscular fruit, framed by firm, grainy tannins, finishing with an herbal lift. 2,200 cases were made. $150

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Frédéric Esmonin Ruchottes-Chambertin 2018

A deep, velvety red, this bursts with cherry, black currant, violet and graphite aromas and flavors, shrouded in smoky oak. It's intense and linear in profile, with excellent balance and a long, detailed finish. Best from 2024 through 2045. 100 cases imported. $185


Taste 2012 Gloria Ferrer Anniversary Cuvee, Domaine Carneros Pompadour Brut Rose and Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, March 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2012 Gloria Ferrer Anniversary Cuvee

VinePair Notes: After spending five years aging on the lees, this Pinot Noir-dominant sparkling wine is broad, succulent, and toasty, with plenty of nutty notes and warm spice to round out red and yellow apple fruit. There’s enough acidity, along with a fine line of earth, to provide tension in this well-crafted, limited-release bottle. $30

Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
Domaine Carneros NV Cuveé de la Pompadour Brut Rosé Sparkling

Yeasty and brimming in brioche and custard, this is a rich, generous and textured sparkling wine, made from blending 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay and given a minimum of two years of aging. Dried cherry and a hint of dried herb provide complementary contrast. $45

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Moët & Chandon Brut Champagne Impérial NV (2022) Magnum

An elegant version, fine and creamy in texture and backed by lively, orange peel acidity. A streak of smoke-tinged minerality underscores flavors of almond madeleine, poached pear, anise and preserved lemon. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Drink now. $160/magnum.


Wine Advocate 95 Points
2014 Arrowood Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale has a black forest cake and crème de cassis-scented nose with touches of charcoal, black soil, mocha and salami plus a hint of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with black fruit and savory layers with beautifully ripe, fine-grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with great persistence. 1,103 cases produced. $100 Our Price $68.99 (Delicious!) Arrives GT this afternoon

Antonio Galloni's Vinous 93 Points
2020 Chakana Estate Malbec

The 2020 Malbec Chakana Estate Selection (From Paraje Altamira & Gualtallary, Uco Valley) was a third aged in used barrels and a third in foudres. A mild purple huge. The nose presents gentle notes of fresh plum, violets, and hints of thyme over a pleasant bed of oak. indulgent with slightly reactive tannins, the flow is juicy and fairly compact - Joaquín Hidalgo. $25 Our Price $19.49 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

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 Our Price $94.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2018 Keever Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

I also loved the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, which brings another level of purity and class, offering gorgeous crème de cassis, lead pencil shavings, white flowers, tobacco leaf, vanilla bean, and damp earth-like aromas and flavors. Pure, clean, full-bodied, and just a classy, flawlessly balanced beauty, it has fine tannins, the freshness of the vintage, and a great finish. Enjoy bottles over the coming 15-20 years. $135 (Arrives GT 3/24/23)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2015 Chateau Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien)

This 17-hectare estate has been rejuvenated by owner Jean-Louis Triaud and is certainly producing some of the top wines from the appellation today. I tasted the deep, inky-colored 2015 Château Saint-Pierre twice and it’s reminiscent of the 2010, only with more elegance. In 2015 the wine is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc and it spent 14 months in 50% new and 50% once used barrels. Chocolate covered dark fruits, damp earth, tobacco leaf, and lead pencil shaving-like notes emerge from this huge, concentrated beauty that has building tannin and a huge mid-palate. It’s an incredible wine that builds with time in the glass, has no hard edges and is going to 3-4 decades of life. Bravo! CA Market Price $58-$100. Our Price $65.99 (Arrives GT 3/29/23)

Back in Stock! WOW-72% Off!
Wine Enthusiast 88 Points
2020 Domaine du Salut Graves Bordeaux Blanc

Softly textured and with a gently ripe character, this wine is well crafted. Still young with a tangy texture, the wine needs a few months to bring out the balanced freshness. Drink from 2023. ROGER VOSS. $18 Our Price $4.95 (Back in stock GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 K Vintners Roma

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah Roma is another outstanding wine. Based on 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Syrah, it has lots of classy red and black fruits as well as some Rocks funk in its notes of iron, black olive tapenade, and roasted herbs. Nicely textured on the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, has ripe tannins, and a satisfying, layered style perfect for drinking over the coming decade or more. $55 Our Price $44.95 (Available GT)


Taste 2021 Evening Land Seven Springs Pinot, 2019 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Pinot and 2019 Barnett Spring Mountain Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, March 24th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2019 Hahn Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands SLH Reserve

Elegant and burnished, with concentrated dark cherry, plum and berry flavors backed by rich acidity and medium-grained tannins. Asian spice notes and underbrush accents fill the finish. Drink now through 2026. 1,540 cases made. $43

Decanter 93 Points
2019 Barnett Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon

Expressive dark fruit, graphite and cigar box aromas. Pure, rich and fresh palate of ripe blackberries, chalk-like minerality, earth and pops of mint and thyme. Fine-grained tannins and tangy blood orange-like acidity persist to a cocoa-dusted finish. $80


Taste 2019 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, 2021 Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and 2019 O’Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet at (VRW) for $20 per person.
Saturday, March 25th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points
2019 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

The 2019 Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands is also terrific. Coming from a great, cooler region south of Monterey, it has a vibrant nose of melon and ripe orchard fruits as well as some spice and toasty notes. Balanced, medium-bodied, and nicely textured, with a juicy spine of acidity, it's well worth seeking out and would be one heck of a house white to drink over the coming couple of years. $25

2021 Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Fruit-driven and wrapped in leather and sagebrush, this blend melds elements from all of our vineyards. This approachable Pinot integrates the best of north and south within the Santa Lucia Highlands. $55

Jeb Dunnuck 98+ Points
2019 O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is an incredible wine, and it flirts with perfection. Full-bodied and concentrated, it has flawless balance and elegance as well as just textbook Howell Mountain notes of blue fruits, cassis, violets, graphite, and background oak. I love its tannins, it has remarkable purity of fruit, and a great, great finish. It has some appeal today yet deserves 4-5 years of bottle age and should have over two decades of longevity. $110


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

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