April 27th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

April 27th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points and Editor’s Choice
2019 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine substantially over delivers on its price point, presenting a dark fruit profile, generous tannin and oak, and an expansive full-bodied style. Blended with 8% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, it is approachable while never forgetting its structured, complex roots. $80

2020 Sea Smoke Southing Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the Southing exhibits Montmorency cherry, sage, hibiscus and subtle baking spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s characteristic cool climate acidity. CA Market Price $75 Auction-$198


Taste 2020 Raventos i Blanc Conca del Riu Anoia, Schramsberg Brut Mirabelle 31st and Bollinger Special Cuvee at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, April 27th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 92 Points
2020 Raventós i Blanc Conca del Riu Anoia Brut Blanc de Blancs 2020

The impressive 2020 Blanc de Blancs comes from a catastrophic vintage when they lost a huge amount of grapes due to mildew, which forced them to purchase more grape from growers. This is very expressive, their youngest wine, from a vintage of concentration and power, a blend of 45% Xarel.lo, 40% Macabeo, 12% Parellada and 3% Malvasía de Sitges, a grape they are using to give the wine more freshness, as the variety keeps the acidity. This ages for a minimum of 18 months sur lie, but it might be more; all bottles carry the disgorgement date on the back label. This is tasty, saline and profound beyond the price point. This is the old l'Hereu, a value Cava that is now their flagship wine that showcases the complexity, freshness and depth, very much alive. 200,000 bottles.

Wine Spectator 92 Points
SCHRAMSBERG Brut North Coast Mirabelle 31st Bottling NV

Plush and expressive, featuring fresh apple and cherry flavors, with brioche and hazelnut accents that glide on the alluring finish. Drink now. 8,600 cases made.—Tim Fish. $30

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Bollinger Brut Champagne Special Cuvée NV (2022)

A graceful Champagne, with flavors of black cherry, Asian pear, toast point and salted almond dancing across the palate. Bright and buoyant, with a fine, lacy mousse and delicate notes of lime blossom, ground coffee and exotic spices playing on the finish. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Drink now. 15,000 cases imported. $90


Wine Spectator 90 Points
PEDRONCELLI Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Mother Clone 2020

A gutsy red that's easy to drink, with lively blackberry, licorice and savory peppercorn flavors that build toward zesty tannins. Drink now through 2030. 6,500 cases made.—Tim Fish $24 Our Price $17.49 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points * RÉSONANCE Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2021

Precise and elegantly structured, with detailed raspberry, savory tea and crushed stone accents that gather richness and tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2031. 10,870 cases made.—T.F. $40 Internet Price $32.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Château de Trinquevedel 2021 Tavel Rose

Pale garnet in color and gorgeously perfumed with blossoms and watermelon, this crisp, blackberry-flavored rosé juxtaposes zesty black fruit flavors against a deep, penetrating undertone of crushed stone and spice. A stately expression of Tavel that's likely to drink beautifully year-round and for at least another vintage or two to come. $21 Internet Price $18.99 (Arrives GT 5/2/23)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cotes de Provence Rose

Producer Notes: Using a similar blend to the Cassis rosé, Sack has crafted what is perhaps the quintessential Provençal refresher—an uplifting nectar of bright citrus, fresh berry fruit, wild herbs, and salty sea air—that is a far cry from the countless technological, mass-marketed examples in production throughout the region. $32 Internet Price $27.99 (Arrives GT 5/2/23)

Wine Spectator 93 Points

WILLIAM FÈVRE Chablis Vaillons Domaine 2020

Ripe and juicy, featuring peach, lemon, floral and mineral aromas and flavors. Vibrant and steely on the long finish, this is harmonious and lingers with elements of fruit, fresh herbs and stone. Drink now through 2033. —B.S. 125 cases imported. $85 Our Price $76.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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 Our Price $56.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 4/28/23)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2021

Graceful and precise, with dynamic cherry and red plum flavors highlighted by fresh violet and brown spices, which glide on the long, sleek finish toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2032. 10,500 cases made. —Tim Fish $42 Our Price $36.95 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2021 Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica, 2019 Beringer Knight’s Valley Reserve Cabernet and 2021 Fait Main Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, April 28th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 91 Points
Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica 2021

Aromatic, with apple blossom and peach skin notes, this lightly zesty white reveals mouthwatering acidity, a briny streak of salinity and a pretty range of ripe Honeycrisp apple, pickled ginger and nectarine accents. Drink now through 2026. 7,226 cases made, 1,000 cases imported. $24

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2019 Beringer Knight’s Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Rich, softly tannic and saturated with black fruits, tobacco and dark chocolate, this full-bodied wine has a long life ahead. Ample flavors are gently but firmly held by fine-grained tannins that will need time to resolve and let more complexity shine through. Best after 2037. $50

2021 Fait Main Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: his unapologetically juicy, hedonistic wine celebrates all the corners of the Napa Valley. The nose shows rich strawberry, blackberry and chocolate notes that open up on the palate to a silky ripeness with excellent density. Velvety tannins support the full body and allow the long, fruit-filled finish to bloom. $120


Taste 2021 Riverain Silver Eagle Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2017 Beringer Distinctions Napa Cabernet and 2017 Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, April 29th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

2017 Beringer Distinctions Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A ruby hue sets up aromas of pomegranate, crème de cassis and acai, with notes of oak, cloves and black olive. Flavors showcase blue fruit led by blueberry alongside blackberry, a bit of licorice, walnuts and hazelnut. Opulent, well-balanced and high-toned, the wine shows good depth and a distinctive, lingering finish. Built for immediate enjoyment, the ample tannins frame the possibility that the Cabernet will continue to evolve and grow more complex as it ages. Enjoy over the next decade and longer. $50

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


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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