April 18th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

April 18th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

2021 Riverain Silver Eagle Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes from Thomas Rivers Brown: Offering scents of Christmas spice, cherry, cranberry, and some forest floor, the wine’s balance really shines through to a long detailed finish. More Burgundian than 2018 and 2019, this has the ethereal quality we love in Pinot Noir. We are thrilled to work with the Valdez Family and this historical site for many “Generations” to come. $82

2021 Rochioli Russian River Estate Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This wine is a blend from our top Estate Chardonnay vineyards. The blend consists of fifty-six percent from the Mid-40, thirty percent from the River Block, ten percent Little Hill and four percent from Sweetwater. It is a fine example of the unique characters from our property and the Russian River Valley. Floral aromas of apple, hazelnut, vanilla and a touch of spice combine with the rich apple flavors and crisp acidity. As most know, those with the patience to cellar this wine will be rewarded. $64


Taste 2020 Peter Michael Les Pavot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $25 per person.
Tuesday, April 18th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2020 Peter Michael Les Pavot

The 2020 Les Pavots is made up of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 3% Petite Verdot and includes fruit from some of the oldest vines at Peter Michael, planted in 1989. Unusually, there is no Cabernet Franc in the blend this vintage, as it was affected by the wildfire smoke. Deep ruby-purple in color, it is shy to begin, taking time to reveal pure red plums, chocolate, graphite, green bell pepper and tobacco leaves. The medium-bodied palate offers generous, alluringly herbal fruits, a luxurious, silky frame and seamless acidity, finishing long and latent. It develops dramatically in the glass, suggesting it will require a few hours in the decanter to show at its best. 1,910 cases were made; this will be released in February of 2023. $280


Taste Chardonnay: 2021 Flowers Sonoma Coast, 2018 HdV Carneros Hyde Vineyard and 2021 Peter Michael La Carriere at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Wednesday, April 19th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Cool coastal influence abounds in this Chardonnay, brimming with fresh energy. Perfumed citrus swirls with pear, crushed almond, and an earthy, wet-stone minerality expressing the region's savory appeal. Juicy citrus on the palate gives way to complex layers of white stone fruit and herbs, while a backbone of vivid acidity carries the wine through a beautifully textured finish. $45

Wine Spectator 93 Points
HdV Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Hyde Vineyard 2018

Elegantly fruity, with tropical nuances to the rich white fruit and spice flavors that are well-structured. Tangerine hints midpalate lead to a spicy finish that offers brioche accents. Drink now through 2024. 2,275 cases. $75

Wine Advocate 95-97 Points
2021 Peter Michael Winery Chardonnay La Carrière

I tasted the 2021 Chardonnay La Carrière as a finished tank sample the day before it was bottled. It comes from vines planted in 1994 on volcanic soils and was matured for 12 months in about 40% new French oak. It opens soft and creamy on the nose, gaining in intensity as it blossoms to scents of matchstick, saline, Meyer lemons and wafts of lemongrass. The medium-bodied palate has a satiny texture and focused acidity to support its expansive, perfumed fruit, and its classy new oak character is already well integrated. I love this juxtaposition of concentrated flavor and shimmery, energetic acidity. 2,128 cases were made. This will be released in February 2023. $130


Taste 2022 Cade Napa Sauvignon Blanc, 2021 Roar Garys’ SLH Pinot and 2019 Duckhorn Napa Cabernet at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, April 20th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2022 CADE Napa Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Our 2022 CADE Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, has aromas of green apple, green melon, guava, floral, honeydew melon, lemon, pineapple, ripe pear, and yuzu. On the palate are flavors of lemon curd, key lime pie, grapefruit, lemon zest, and citrus. The wine is bright and fresh and has a remarkable vibrant acidity on the finish. The grapes from Oso Vineyard bring out lemon, apple, and pear flavors, which we feel are great additions to this wine. The 2022 vintage was the largest production of CADE Sauvignon Blanc ever made because of the acquisition of Oso Vineyard. The addition of Sémillon adds notes of kiwi with slight minerality, and a touch of Viognier offers textural viscosity on the palate and floral notes on the nose. $38

2021 Roar Garys’ Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Leather, tobacco, and cola in a dense, masculine cloak of ripe dark berries makes one imagine sipping this in an old 19th-century library. This wine has a refined richness that stands out, and ages beautifully. $80

James Suckling 92 Points
2019 Duckhorn Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of wet stone, gravel and blackcurrant. Full-bodied with fine, velvety tannins. Juicy, bright and fresh. Lovely dark fruit, with gravel and wet-stone notes adding very nice definition. Chocolate finish. Drink or hold. $75


2020 Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley

Winemaker Notes: The Mother Clone is a classic Dry Creek Zinfandel with aromas of ripe red berries with a touch of cinnamon and white pepper. Jammy berry and cherry flavors combine with vanilla, licorice, and baking spice. The dynamic berry-spice combination brings together round tannins and a zesty finish which are a hallmark of Pedroncelli's style. $23 Our Price $17.49 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Chalk Hill Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2021

Features pear drop, Fuji apple, ripe Bartlett pear and lemon blossom details that are elegant and restrained, but they weave in and out on a light, fresh frame that's quite impressive. Gains a savory element, thanks to a touch of toasted sesame seed. Drink now. 98,000 cases made. $25 Our Price $15.59 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 93 Points
2017 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Cinq Cepages

The 2017 Cinq Cépages is jam-packed with inky-dark fruit, crème de cassis, chocolate, cloves and licorice. Dense and full-throttle, the Cinq packs a serious punch. The Cinq is undoubtedly racy, but not as opulent as it can be. This is a fine showing for the Cinq. $85 Our Price $72.99 (Back in stock GT 4/19/23)

2020 Alban Patrina Syrah

Notes from John Alban: This wine is among my favorites for this offering yet produced. It is dark, full of black and blue berries, coco powder, and immediately pleasing and pure. It is, in our opinion, a wonderful and delicious expression of our farm and farming. $60 (Back in stock GT and VRW 4/19/23)

Decanter 92 Points
2018 Byron Nielson Vineyard Chardonnay

Slightly restrained nose with nice stone fruit and floral character underneath. Light lemon sherbet notes with toasted pineapple on the palate, pleasingly dry and youthful finish. $30 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2020 Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

The 2020 Chardonnay has a detailed, pretty perfume of white peaches and quince, with touches of lemongrass, green herbs and white flowers. The medium-bodied palate is satiny and fragrant, with a supporting streak of fresh acidity, and there's a touch of phenolic texture that draws out the long finish. $30 Internet Price $26.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2021 Sandhi Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills

The 2021 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills has a medium ruby color and pretty scents of cinnamon stick, aniseed, iron, underbrush and charcuterie with a core of red cherries and cranberries. Medium-bodied yet very concentrated, it has a powdery frame, sparks of refreshing acidity and a very long, graphite-driven finish. Precise and detailed, it deserves to spend another 2-3 years in bottle. $40 Our Price $34.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

2021 PlumpJack Reserve Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 PlumpJack Chardonnay boasts aromatics of baked pear and apple layered with tropical notes of kiwi, lychee, and melon while allowing the more delicate aromas of white peach and honeysuckle to shine through. The palate has ample weight and a creaminess reminiscent of lemon curd, beautifully balanced by a bright and lively acidity that lends this wine its energy and length. $60 (Available GT and VRW 4/19/23)

Wine Advocate 94+
2019 Cade Howell Mt Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cade Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is blended of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the glass with vibrant black cherry preserves, wild blueberries and mulberries scents, giving way to a core of cassis and star anise plus a waft of chocolate box. Full-bodied, concentrated and packed with bright black fruits, it has a fine-grained texture and long, energetic finish. $135 (Available GT and VRW 4/19/23)


Taste 2020 Maldonado Parr Vineyard Chardonnay, 2016 Miner Family Sierra Mar SLH Pinot Noir and 2019 Cade Howell Mt Estate Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, April 21st. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

2016 Miner Family Sierra Mar Pinot Noir

Producer Notes: Sierra Mar, meaning Mountain Sea in Spanish, sits at just over 1,000 feet and is one of the highest altitude vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands. This high elevation paired with the naturally thin soils pave the way for low yields of highly intense fruit. This powerful wine offers dark fruit and violet aromas with a smooth, toasted oak finish. $75

Wine Advocate 94+
2019 Cade Howell Mt Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cade Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is blended of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec. Deep garnet-purple in color, it charges out of the glass with vibrant black cherry preserves, wild blueberries and mulberries scents, giving way to a core of cassis and star anise plus a waft of chocolate box. Full-bodied, concentrated and packed with bright black fruits, it has a fine-grained texture and long, energetic finish. $135


Taste 2018 Patz and Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot, 2019 Louis Martini Napa Cabernet and 2019 Sojourn Oakville Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, April 22nd. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

Wine Advocate 90 Points
2019 Louis Martini Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Martini's 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley comes from a multitude of Gallo-owned properties and includes about one-fourth purchased fruit. Marked by notes of almost peppery-spicy oak and ripe cassis, it's full-bodied, ripe and generous, still not that rich or textured but a clear step up from Martini's Sonoma County Cabernet, with a long, mouthwatering 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


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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