April 6th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

April 6th 2023 Newsletter

Save the date: Next Saturday
Phillips and Sagardia Acoustic Fusion Guitar will perform at Vintage Reserve Wine on Saturday, 4/15/23


On Deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

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

Wine Spectator 94 Points
CASTELLO ROMITORIO Brunello di Montalcino 2018

A graceful red hallmarked by cherry, strawberry, rose, mineral and Mediterranean herbs. Lacy and succulent yet firm, ending on the minerally side. Vibrant and long. Best from 2025 through 2042. —B.S. $77


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


WOW-76% OFF! Magnum
Wine Enthusiast 90 Points
2018 The Calling Russian River Pinot Noir, Magnums (Etched Gold Label)

High-toned acidity boosts a tannic mid-palate of grippy intensity and oak in this appellation wine, made by James MacPhail. Rich red fruit bursts from the seams, finding accents of nutmeg, cola and vanilla along the way. $125/magnum. Our Price $29.95/magnum. (Available GT and VRW) Limited

James Suckling 94 Points
2019 Chateau Buena Vista Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Lovely nose of blueberries, currants, hazelnuts and mint chocolate. I like the texture of the tannins, which are plush and smooth, melting into the wine. Full-bodied, creamy and already delicious. Drink from 2023. $45 Our Price $38.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93+
2017 Purlieu Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper features flamboyant notes of crème de cassis, blueberry pie and red currant jelly with nuances of sautéed herbs, tar and underbrush with a waft of pencil lead. Full-bodied, firmly textured and laden with muscular fruit, it has loads of earthy accents and a chewy finish. $190 Our Price $129.99 (Available GT)

Jeb Dunnuck 97+ Points
2018 Bacio Divino Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard reveals a dense purple/blue color to go with more closed, backward (yet classic Missouri Hopper) notes of chocolaty dark fruits, tobacco leaf, espresso roast, and a hint of violets. Beautiful on the palate, it's a powerhouse that offers a monster mouthfeel, ripe, silky tannins, and a great finish. Despite all its concentration, it stays nicely balanced and has a wonderful sense of freshness, which is the hallmark of the 2018 vintage. This beauty will evolve for 25+ years. $165 (Available GT)

2018 Patz and Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Eighteen small, independent family-owned vineyard sites come together in this gorgeous display of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. This is an approachable Pinot Noir showing alluring freshness and purity. The nose displays intense aromas of Bing cherry, strawberry, dried rose petal and licorice notes. Nicely dense and full on the palate, the fresh acidity and bright red fruit flavors resolve on a juicy, detailed finish. This 2018 offering has the essential elegance, purity and complexity that defines great Pinot Noir. $48 Our Price $37.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Pali Wine Co. 2020 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County-Sonoma County)

This blend of grapes from the winery's estates in Santa Barbara and Sonoma shows of how distinct sides of the state can contribute to a complex wine. Aromas of dark plum, herb and light peppercorn on the nose lead into pomegranate, black raspberry, red rose and lavender flavors on the palate. MATT KETTMANN . $25 Our Price $19.49 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Maldonado Chardonnay Sonoma County Parr Vineyard 2020

Packs flavors of salted butterscotch, dried honeysuckle and peach preserves that are generous and ripe, but the fresh acidity, floral highlights and notes of spices provide wonderful restraint and plenty of complexity on the finish. Drink now. 1,000 cases made. $38 (Arrives GT 4/12/23)

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 $154.95 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon) Limited


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

Back to Our Blog

Are you 21 years old, or older?