May 4th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

May 4th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Advocate 97+ Points

2019 DAOU Vineyards Soul Of A Lion Cabernet

The 2019 Soul Of A Lion is a blend of free-run Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Cabernet Franc (14%), and Petit Verdot (9%), aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque ruby in color, it offers aromatic contrast between dark, savory cherry fruit, chargrill and graphite, and top notes of green pepper and rose petals. The palate explodes with detailed flavors and its tannins are already resolved and chocolaty, with seamless acidity and exotic spicy layers emerging on the extended finish. Wow! $180. Internet Price $149.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)


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-50% Off!
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points * 2018 Rusack Ballard Canyon Estate Syrah

Focused aromas of elderberry and blackberry are spiced by licorice, white pepper and graphite on the ripe nose of this bottling, which includes 10% Petite Sirah. There is a thick presence to the palate, where heavy flavors of stewed berry, plum and smoked wood show. $36 Our Price $17.95 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
2019 Livio Felluga Friulano Friuli Colli Orientali

Lightly mouthwatering, with a streak of salinity underscoring flavors of baked white peach, ginger-infused pastry cream, biscuit and verbena. Long and silky on the herb-laced finish. Drink now through 2024. $27 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * DOMAINE CARNEROS Brut Carneros Estate 2018

Creamy and sumptuous, with delicately layered baked apple, brioche and toasty spice flavors that glide on the vibrant finish. Drink now. 4,250 cases made. —Tim Fish. $38 Our Price $32.69 (Available GT and VRW)

2022 Cliff Lede Napa Sauvignon Blanc

Notes from Christopher Tynan, Director of Winemaking: Vivid and inviting, the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc brims with energy and an elegant vivaciousness. The refreshing aromatics soar on layers of casaba melon, pineapple, and honeysuckle flowers. Flavors of kiwi, white peach, mango, and cucumber glide seamlessly along the palate with accents of sea salt, warm brioche, and persimmon tinged on the long and brightly tuned finish. A splendid note of flinty minerality persists on the tongue as this wine of poise and contemplation bids the taster for another sip. $34 Our Price $29.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas 2020

Winemaker Notes: Bright ruby color. Ripe wine, loaded with red fruits on the nose. The mouth feel is concentrate, with soft tannins, and tastes of raspberry, cassis, blueberries and blackberries, with a great length. $20 Our Price $16.99 (Back in stock GT this afternoon)

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

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 Our Price $64.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
Knights Valley La Carrière 2021

Exquisite, with power and delicacy to the butterscotch pudding, marmalade and fresh peach flavors at the core. But this white is just getting started, showing lemon zest, fresh rosemary flowers and candied ginger notes that add complexity and length, plus litsea oil accents, vibrant acidity and a supple texture. Drink now through 2029. —M.W. Internet Price $129.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent 96 Points * KRUTZ 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is deep garnet-purple in color. Notes of cassis, baked plums, and boysenberries waft from the glass, followed by hints of dusty soil, Indian spices, and wild sage. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers bright, fresh, youthful fruit with a grainy texture and spicy lift on the finish. $52 (Arrives GT 5/5/23)

WOW*58% Off!
2019 Les Vins des Vienne Cote du Rhone Amet

Their new range of organic wines “Amet,” a roman word referring to environmental conservation. A beautiful blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah from 30-year-old vines in Rochegude, just north of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The terraced vineyard is composed of pebbles overlaying red clay soils. The handpicked grapes are de-stemmed and fermented by the natural yeasts at harvest. Certified Organically Grown. $19 Our Price $7.95 (Arrives GT 5/12/23)


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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