April 4th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

April 4th 2023 Newsletter

Pre-Arrival Notice:
2020 Ghost Block Oakville Estate Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: This wine offers a harmonious of rich dark fruit, blackberries and plums with hints of violet, chocolate, vanilla and spices with aromatics on the palate. Fine grained tannins frame the velvety mid-palate with a crisp lingering finish. The wine is well structured and complex and will pair perfectly with grilled lamb chops. $75 (Arrives GT 4/20/23)


Taste 2018 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet and 2019 Fortunate Son The Dreamer Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Tuesday, April 4th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2018 Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Rich aromas of ripe black cherry, Mission fig, and dark chocolate mingle with a spice box of clove and nutmeg. The palate is filled with flavors of juicy blackberry and boysenberry that are enveloped in silky tannins, showing complexity beyond its years. Enticing flavors of fresh vanilla bean and hazelnut carry through a velvety richness that lingers on the finish. Enjoy now after decanting for 45 minutes or cellar through 2038.

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2019 Fortunate Son Cabernet Sauvignon The Dreamer

Coming from two vineyards, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon The Dreamer sports a vivid purple hue to go with beautiful aromatics of darker currants, ripe cranberries, leafy tobacco, and spring flowers. I love its balance, it's medium to full-bodied, has gorgeous tannins, and a great finish. $175. Produced by Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre.


Taste Brunello and Barolo: 2018 Fanti Brunello di Montalcino, 2018 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino and 2018 Bruna Grimaldi Barolo Camilla at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, April 5th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Fanti Brunello di Montalcino 2018

Sleek and focused, with a supple feel to the cherry, raspberry, hibiscus and chalky mineral flavors. Well-balanced, finishing with a crisp feel now that should stretch out nicely in time. Best from 2025 through 2042. —B.S. $49

Wine Spectator 95
ARGIANO Brunello di Montalcino 2018

Rose, strawberry and cherry aromas and flavors are the main themes in this red, along with wild herb, mineral and cut hay accents. Racy and full of energy, with a long, saturated finish. Best from 2025 through 2042. —B.S. 3,504 cases imported $90

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


Taste 2019 Schramsberg Brut Rose, 2021 Roar SLH Chardonnay and 2019 Arista UV El Diablo Chardonnay at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, April 6th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
SCHRAMSBERG Brut Rosé North Coast 2019

Offers pretty peach and strawberry flavors and a luscious, lingering texture as this takes on spice and orange peel accents on the crisp yet plush finish. Drink now. 19,350 cases made. From California.—T.F. $48

2021 Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: A harmonious blend of tropical fruit, toasty texture, and minerality. It seemlessly melds the different faces of northern and southern vineyards for a quaffable staple that will make you all warm inside. $52

Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
2019 Arista Winery Chardonnay UV El Diablo Vineyard

The 2019 Chardonnay UV El Diablo Vineyard is flush with fresh green apple fruit, Meyer lemon, dusty earth, and flinty reduction. Full-bodied and rich with texture, the palate is ripe with pineapple candy, vanillin, and baking spice. This was a solid wine to start the flight. Drink over the next 15 years. $100


Wine Spectator 94 Points
Viña Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Puente Alto Vineyard 2019

This standout red offers svelte entry but quickly accelerates to a rich and well-structured palate, built around flavors of black cherry, plum and baking spices that never waver, gaining dimension from fresh mineral acidity and subtle loam and bay leaf nuances. Ends with rich, well-integrated and mouthcoating tannins as well as hints of cocoa. Drink now through 2028. 11,500 cases made, 4,000 cases imported. $150 Our Price $122.99 (Available GT)

WOW-Discounted 61%
2016 The Calling Alexander Valley Visionary Proprietary Red

Winemaker Notes: Bold and inviting, the nose offers compelling layers of dark black fruit with nuances of coffee, chocolate and brown spice. The palate is rich and concentrated, with flavors of ripe blackberry and blueberry that marry elegantly with notes of vanilla, cedar and dark toffee. Soft yet with a tension and firm tannins, this is a perfect wine to pair with dry aged beef and your favorite sauce. $23 Our Price $8.95 (Available GT and VRW 4/5/23)

Antonio Galloni 95 Points
2021 Mayacamas Mt Veeder Chardonnay

The 2021 is a rich, phenolic wine that shows how distinctive this site is. Rich and layered with striking intensity, the 2021 is lights out today. Lemon oil, almond, dried flowers and earthy undertones open beautifully with aeration. $69 (Arrives GT 4/5/23)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 91-93 Points
2021 Turley Buck Cobb Zinfandel

The 2021 Zinfandel Buck Cobb Vineyard is a wonderfully complex, nuanced wine. Expressive floral and savory notes run through a core of red/purplish fruit. This midweight, savory mountain Zinfandel planted on granitic and volcanic soils at 1,500 feet in elevation has a ton to offer. There is so much going on here. Drinking Window: 2024-2036. $36 (Arrives GT 4/5/23)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 90 Points
2021 Turley Juvenile Zinfandel

The 2021 Zinfandel Juvenile, Turley's young vines bottling, is terrific. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, spice, mocha, chocolate, tobacco and dried herbs give the Juvenile tons of flavor intensity to fill out its plush contours. This racy Zinfandel is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Best of all, it will be easy on the budget, too. Drink 2023-2029. $27 (Arrives GT 4/5/23)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
RIDGE Three Valleys Sonoma County 2020

Opens with a juicy burst of cherry fruit, then turns brooding midway, with dark berry flavors accented by savory white pepper and bay leaf. Ends with broad-shouldered tannins. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2031. 21,000 cases made. —Tim Fish. $32 Our Price $27.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta 2018

A rich, concentrated red, expressing plum, cherry, earth, iron and tobacco aromas and flavors. Shows sweetness from the ripe fruit midpalate, along with a balanced, harmonious texture. Features fine length backed by vibrant acidity and refined tannins. Best from 2025 through 2043. 620 cases made, 170 cases imported. $150 (Arrives GT 4/5/23)

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2009 Saint Pierre St Julien Bordeaux

The all-time greatest wine I have ever tasted from Saint-Pierre, this estate, the smallest of the grand cru classes of St.-Julien, has an opaque purple color and a spectacular nose of subtle charcoal, creme de cassis, blackberry, and incense. Full-bodied, with striking intensity and flamboyantly rich, exuberant flavors bursting with extract, the St. Pierre has no hard edges, but rather massive, incredibly well-endowed blockbuster style, which should prove to be monumental. Give it 6-8 years to take on more definition and calm down, but this is a 30- to 40-year wine. Bravo! (RP). CA Market Price $105 Auction-$250. Our Price TBD (Arrives GT 4/7/23)


Taste 2019 Titus Napa Cabernet, 2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve and 2020 Ledge Bien Nacido Syrah at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, April 7th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points
2019 Titus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a terrific value and has a classic Napa style in its ripe plum and mulberry fruits as well as toasty oak and chocolate-like aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has ripe, supple tannins and the classic forward, delicious style of the vintage. Drink it over the coming 10-12 years as well. $50

James Suckling 94 Points
2018 Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Reserve

This is layered, with chewy tannins and attractive blackcurrant and blackberry character. Chocolate and walnut highlights. Full and flavorful, but not heavy in any sense of the word. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. Better in a year or two. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
2020 Ledge Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard

The 2020 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard is pure gold and one hell of an impressive Syrah that readers should snatch up. Sporting a dense purple hue as well as incredible aromatics of blue fruits, cassis, ground pepper, violets, and smoked game, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a deep, opulent mouthfeel, silky tannins, and a great finish. Coming from 100% destemmed Syrah that spent 19 months in 80% new French oak, it's going to blow you away any time over the coming decade, if not longer. $85


Taste 2020 Jordan Russian River Chardonnay, 2021 Roar Sierra Mar SLH Pinot and 2019 Shafer One Point Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, April 8th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2020 Jordan Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Delicate aromas of Fuji apple, Asian pear, freshly cut persimmon and citrus blossom entice the nose. Upon first sip, mouthwatering grapefruit and bright lime interplay on the palate. The lively acidity balances seamlessly with French oak nuances, enticing you to take another sip. More expressive in its youth than previous vintages. $30

2021 Roar Sierra Mar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Dark mountain berries and spice dominate this Pinot, with a stream of fine minerality snaking through. Wild, savory elements interplay with plump fruit flavors. A delicate, yet mysterious red that plays well with many cuisines. $76

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2019 Shafer One Pt. Five Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five is a gem of a wine that readers will love to have in their cellars. Sweet cassis, violets, and graphite define the bulk of the aromas, and it’s a classic Napa Valley Cabernet on the palate with its full-bodied richness, velvety tannins, and opulent yet balanced style. A blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot, raised 20 months in new barrels, it’s going to keep for a solid two decades. There are 9,000 cases of this beauty made. $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) 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
Tuesday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

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