May 2nd 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

May 2nd 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
2015 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard

Coming from Napa, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Pedregal Vineyard steps up on the richness scale and has Pauillac-like notes of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, mineral, and both red and black fruits. With full-bodied richness, a silky, layered texture, and straight-up brilliant purity, it’s a blockbuster Napa Cabernet that stays firmly in the classic style of David Ramey. Drink it over the coming two decades. $210


Taste 2020 William Fevre Chablis Vaillons and 2020 Louis Jadot Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, May 2nd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2020 Louis Jadot Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode

The 2020 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode (Domaine Louis Jadot) is excellent, offering up aromas of raspberries and plums mingled with sweet spices, woodsmoke and raw cocoa. Medium to full-bodied, velvety and concentrated, with lively acids and a long, penetrating finish, it's seamless and complete. It's another fine rendition of a cuvée that's regularly among the domaine's high points. $75


Taste Champagne: Piper Heidsieck Extra Brut Essentiel, Delamotte Brut and Piper Heidsieck Sauvage Brut Rose at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, May 3rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points * Piper-Heidsieck Extra Brut Champagne Essentiel NV (2022)

Toasty on the nose, with hints of grilled nut, smoke and spices transitioning on the palate to accent flavors of baked nectarine, candied ginger and mandarin orange peel. Harmonious and expressive, with a fine, raw, silky mousse and pretty lime blossom and graphite accents on the finish. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Disgorged November 2021. Drink now. 1,347 cases imported. $70

Wine Spectator 91 Points * Delamotte Brut Champagne NV (2022)

A minerally Champagne, with a streak of smoke, chalk and oyster shell notes supporting flavors of Asian pear, star fruit and candied lemon peel as they ride the creamy mousse. Racy, focused finish. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Drink now. 35,400 cases made, 6,250 cases imported. $66

Wine Spectator 93 Points * Piper-Heidsieck Brut Rosé Champagne Sauvage NV (2022)

A rich and toasty rosé Champagne backed by a steely spine of mouthwatering acidity, with a satiny mousse wrapping the firm structure and carrying a finely meshed range of raspberry coulis, blood orange granita, roasted hazelnut, candied ginger and a tangy streak of salinity, which cleans the palate on the racy finish. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Drink now. 2,247 cases imported. $72


Taste Chardonnay: 2020 Ferren Sonoma Coast, 2020 Beringer Private Reserve and 2021 Kistler Sonoma Mountain at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, May 4th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 94 Points
FERREN Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2020

Seamless, showing round lemon curd, ripe peach, melon and baked apple flavors, with hints of brown sugar, spices and salted butter. Before the flavors settle, this reveals a freshness from the mouthwatering acidity and savory minerality that turns up the intensity and focus, creating more verve on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. —M.W. 272 cases made. $70

Wine Spectator 92 Points * Beringer Chardonnay Napa Valley Private Reserve 2020

Peach, apricot and mango flavors are juicy and fleshy at the core of this white, with honeyed overtones. Salted butter, spice and toasted pastry notes emerge on the finish, as does a touch of dried ginger. Drink now. 8,714 cases made. $48

2021 Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay offers pure, elevated aromatics, deep underpinnings and a distinct sense of weight without being heavy. It is marked by lofted aromas of ripe yellow and green stone fruits, nuanced tones suggestive of morning white flowers that are a clear personality of the site and a broad and compact yet well-structured presence on the palate. $75


WOW-46% Off!
2022 Pedroncelli Dry Creek Rose

Winemaker Notes: Very aromatic! The aromas of rose petals and fresh strawberries are followed by flavors of strawberry and watermelon with a touch of spice. Nicely balanced between crisp acidity and refreshing fruit flavors. Our Rosé is made to be enjoyed upon release. $22 Liquidation Price $11.95 (Limited to stock on hand at GT)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
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 Our Price $66.99 (Available GT and VRW)

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 Our Price $45.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Bedrock Zinfandel California Old Vine 2021

Spry and briary, this Zinfandel is fun to drink, with lively black cherry, licorice and dried sage flavors, which take on richness and cracked pepper accents toward zesty tannins. Drink now through 2031. 4,000 cases made. $35 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
SANDHI Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2021

Complex and seamless, there's plenty to admire in this white wine. Shows spiced, poached pear, dried apple, grilled lemon and fresh tangerine flavors that are juicy and generous, with details of sage, white pepper and toasted sesame seed on the finish. Drink now. 4,536 cases made.—MaryAnn Worobiec. $35 Our Price $29.99 (Arrives GT 5/2/23)

James Suckling 94 Points
Jean-Paul Droin Chablis Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2018

Fermented 30% in oak. This is more classic and minerally and offers a blend of lemons and yellow nectarines with a very flinty spark on the nose, too. The white peaches here are stunning, so deliciously ripe, sweet yet fresh in the mouth. Good weight and concentration in this vintage. Smooth resolve at the finish. Drink on release or hold. $70 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT)

Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
2021 Morgan Metallico Chardonnay

Tightly woven aromas of lime pith, Meyer lemon, chalk and jicama draw the nose into this unoaked bottling. There’s a firmly stony expression on the palate, giving a mineral edge to the honeysuckle and riper apple flavors. $24 Our Price $18.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 5/3/23)

2019 Tempier Bandol Rouge

Winemaker Notes: There is something about the dark, inky Mourvèdre, plus the salty sea air caressing the vines every night, that typifies classic Bandol. This wine is complete, and ready to serve cooled down a touch. Blend: 75% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, 2% Carignan. $70 Our Price $59.99 (Available GT)

2021 Fait Main Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Cabernet Sauvignon

Notes from Winemaker Benoit Touquette: 2021 Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Cabernet Sauvignon is superbly fresh and charismatic, with a beautiful frame and soft, silky roundness. The complex nose shows dark red fruits laced with spices. Pretty floral notes and a gentle touch of graphite complement the abundance of fresh red, blue and purple fruits at the core. Powerful, elegant and savory, this wine delivers density and structure with perfect oak integration. $175 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste Cabernet: 2019 Black Stallion Napa, 2020 Ghost Block Oakville Estate and 2019 Cliff Lede Stag’s Leap at (VRW) for $20 per person.
Friday, May 5th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 92 Points
2019 Black Stallion Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A fragrant nose of mulberries, plums, cedar, cloves and vanilla. Medium-to full-bodied with fine, firm tannins and vivid acidity. Structured, with fruity character and a creamy texture. Chewy finish. Try from 2023. $36

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

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


Taste Pinot Noir: 2019 Bouchaine Carneros, 2021 Resonance Willamette Valley and 2020 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, May 6th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Wine Spectator 91 Points
Bouchaine Pinot Noir Napa Valley Carneros Estate 2019

This is nicely rendered—compact and energetic, without being too dense or overly fruity—offering juicy red currant and raspberry notes mixed with black tea and savory hints, with everything knitting nicely through the finish. Drink now through 2026. 3,900 cases made. $40

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

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 at auction-$198


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) 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) 559-226-6828
Tuesday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

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