April 13th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

April 13th 2023 Newsletter

On Deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Spectator 96 Points
HDV Chardonnay Napa Valley Hyde Vineyard 2020

A stunning, expressive white, with a savory, minerally edge that's distinctive and crisp, imparting elegance and restraint on the core of Honeycrisp apple, Meyer lemon and pureed mango flavors. Reveals hints of lemon thyme, nutmeg, toasted sesame seed and additional spices that linger on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2031. From California.—M.W. $85

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2020 DuMol Chloe Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Chardonnay

The 2020 Chardonnay Chloe is rich with aromas of mineral-rich earth, pine resin, Meyer lemon. and yellow apple. The palate is fleshy, with orange oil, a touch of savory richness, and stony mouthfeel. It is appealing and open now, but it will certainly hold on for 10 or more years. $78


2021 Hartford Court Russian River Pinot Noir, Half Bottle

Winemaker Notes: Aromas of black cherry, blueberry, black currant, allspice and loam are followed by flavors of wild raspberries, dark berries and a crushed rock minerality. The dense entry is followed by a sweet and juicy mouth feel, supported by acidity, silky tannins and a subtle earthy finish. $20/375ml. Our Price $15.99/375ml (Arrives GT this afternoon)

2021 Brewer Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay shows aromas of lemon, kiwi, orange blossom, and sweet basil. Flavors of jasmine, lime, ginger, and mineral notes. On the palate, orange zest and fresh sea salt. $40 Our Price $32.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
2020 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay

This medium-bodied, barrel-fermented wine offers light, toasted oak aromas, attractive baked apple flavors and accents of butter and vanilla. Good balance keeps it going sip after sip, revealing spice and almond nuances. JIM GORDON. $17 Liquidation Price $9.95 (Limited to stock on hand at GT)

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)

Wine Spectator 94
LUCIA Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Cuvée 2021

A stunning white, succulent and juicy, like biting into a perfectly ripe Bosc pear, with details of apple, mango, peach and dried apricot that add complexity, while grace notes of salted butter, honeysuckle, lanolin and spices linger on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2030. —M.W. $50 (Arrives GT 4/18/23)

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2021 Harvey & Harriet White Blend

The 2021 White Blend, a blend of Albariño, Chardonnay, Viognier and Pinot Gris, has intense aromas of peach, lemongrass, fresh citrus, honey and flint, opening to new aromatic nuances with each return to the glass. The medium-bodied palate is bursting with perfumed fruit, loaded with juicy acidity, and it finishes with a touch of anchoring texture. It's a delicious yet serious white with alluring generosity that keeps you coming back for more. $35 Our Price $28.99 (Available GT and VRW 4/14/23)

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)

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 (Back in stock GT and VRW)


Taste 2021 Purple Hands Lone Oak Pinot Noir, 2019 Method Napa Cabernet and 2019 Venge Igneous Napa Cabernet at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, April 13th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Method Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A structured and powerful wine with blackcurrant, dark chocolate and hazelnut. Crunchy seeds. Flowers. It’s full and juicy. Plenty of fruit and a fresh finish. Clearly shows the excellence of the vintage with the pure fruit. Drink or hold. $32

Jeb Dunnuck 94+ Points
2019 Venge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Igneous

Classic Cabernet black fruits, tobacco, crushed rock, violets, and subtle herbal nuances all emerge from Venge’s 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Igneous, a medium to full-bodied, balanced Calistoga Cabernet that has beautiful purity of fruit. I like it today, yet it should age for 15+ years as well. $105


Taste 2020 Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir, 2019 Buena Vista Napa Cabernet and 2019 Alpha Omega Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, April 14th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This textured Pinot Noir showcases notes of red berry, warm spice, and earth tones with a pronounced minerality that reflects the cool coastal growing region. $15

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

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Alpha Omega Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Lots of blackberry and forest-floor aromas with pine needles and bark that follow through to a full body with a pretty framing of chewy yet medium-grained tannins and a flavorful finish. Fresh too. Try after 2025. $150


This Saturday. Live Acoustic on the patio!
Phillips and Sagardia Acoustic Fusion Guitar will perform at Vintage Reserve Wine on Saturday, 4/15 from 1:30 PM-2:30 PM.

Taste 2020 Pali SB-SC Pinot Noir, 2017 Taub Family Napa Cabernet and 2017 Etude Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, April 15th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

Wine Spectator 92 Points
2017 Taub Family Rutherford Cabernet

Nicely compact, with a core of steeped red currant, plum and blackberry fruit that should unwind in the near future. Alder and licorice notes score the finish, with good latent energy. Best from 2022 through 2031. 1,500 cases made. — JM $75

Wine Spectator 93 Points * ETUDE Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

Packed with juicy black currant, plum and blackberry compote flavors that pump along the graphite-edged grip and a dark tobacco backdrop. Frankly toasted on the finish, but with ample fruit for balance. A serious Cab. Best from 2022 through 2034. —J.M. $100


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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