May 26th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

May 26th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Enthusiast 96 Points
Domaine de la Cote 2021 La Côte Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills)

Extreme cool-climate qualities show on the nose of this bottling, including asphalt, olive tapenade and truckloads of tumbleweed, with dark-cherry elements adding a fruit tone. Flavors of Pasilla chile in tomato broth show on the utterly unique palate, where cranberry sauce and cracked rainbow peppercorn add to the attention-grabbing complexity. CA Market Price $160+


Wine Advocate 95 Points * 2016 Eisele Vineyard Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon

The Altagracia is produced almost exclusively from estate fruit this year and was bottled at the end of June 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia comes bursting forth with vivacious black cherries, blackberries, wild blueberries and cassis notes with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, forest floor, violets and dusty earth with a waft of violets. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with loads of iron and mineral accents, finishing long and perfumed. $135 (Available GT and VRW)

2022 Twomey Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The tropical fruit flavor of guava and papaya are derived from our Oakville and Calistoga estate vineyards, while fresh, crisp minerality is a classic Sonoma County expression of the grape. $38 Our Price $32.99 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 91 Points
2022 Domaine de la Solitude Cotes du Rhone Blanc

Effusive nose of ripe melon, apricot and orange blossom. Medium-bodied with ample ripeness, but a light-footed personality with lively acidity. A cuvee based on 60% Viognier. $19 Our Price $14.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Hartford Court Russian River Pinot Noir

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. $40 Our Price $33.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
2020 Matthews Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

The aromas are thoroughly captivating, with notes of scorched earth, cocoa, black currant, graphite and bittersweet chocolate. Plush, polished, seamless fruit flavors follow. There's a sophistication and intensity to it all that is mesmerizing. $32 Internet Price $27.49 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
MARK RYAN The Dissident Columbia Valley 2020

A fruit bomb that's also well-structured, this generous red offers bold black cherry and raspberry flavors laced with vanilla and toasty spice. Finishes on a zesty, plump note. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2029. 5,600 cases made. From Washington.—Tim Fish. $48 Our Price $31.99 (Available GT)

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2021 Alma de Cattleya Sonoma Pinot Noir

This appellation blend by Bibiana Gonzalez Rave is a tremendously complex and simply delicious wine for a fair price. Aromas of cinnamon, sumac and raspberry paste are juicy yet dark and serious on the nose. There's a firm grip to the sip that frames the rich black raspberry core, with flavors of thyme, sage and cracked pepper adding more nuance. $35 Internet Price $29.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points * TURLEY Zinfandel California Juvenile 2021

Jammed with fresh, lively fruit, this Zinfandel abounds with black raspberry, spice and orange zest accents that linger on the long, supple finish. Drink now through 2032. —T.F. $22 (Available GT)


Taste Pinot Noir: 2021 Flowers Sonoma Coast, 2021 EVENING LAND Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs and 2021 Kistler Russian River at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, May 25th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
FLOWERS Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2021

This has racy, mouthwatering acidity coursing underneath the core notes of mulberry, bitter cherry and blackberry. Shows the streamlined tang of a coulis, while offering a range of additional bramble, anise and savory tea details through the finish. Delicious. Drink now through 2029. —J.M. $55.

Wine Spectator 94 Points
EVENING LAND Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs 2021

A lovely, delicate Pinot, with aromas of fresh violet opening to elegantly multilayered raspberry, guava and forest floor accents, which glide on the graceful finish. Drink now through 2031. 3,388 cases made. —Tim Fish. $45

2021 Kistler Russian River Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: Offers a complex bouquet of red currants, smoked earth, ground pepper, and exotic floral and rosehip notes. Rich, medium-bodied, and seamless on the palate. $80


Taste 2021 The Calling Dutton Ranch Russian River Chardonnay, 2019 Lancaster Winemaker’s Cuvee Cabernet and 2019 Merus Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, May 26th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
The Calling Chardonnay Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch 2021

Generous and expressive, with heavy juicy tangerine, lemon curd and Honeycrisp apple flavors that sing out on a mouthwatering frame, while hints of lemon verbena, ginger, citrus zest and green tea emerge on the finish. Drink now. 9,300 cases made. $33

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Lancaster Winemakers Cuvee Cabernet

The 2019 Winemaker's Cuvee is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Malbec, and the rest Cabernet Franc and was aged for 15 months in 50% new French oak. It is rich with aromas of lavender, tobacco, and boysenberry compote and delivers ripe fruit through the mid-palate, with notes of blackcurrant, leather, and baking spice. This red has immediate appeal, but it will continue to evolve over the next 10 or more years. $105

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Merus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

A killer bottle of Napa Valley magic, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon from Merus is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot. It’s a powerful, full-bodied, uber-ripe beauty that stays lively and balanced, with beautiful blue fruits, as well as smoked tobacco, chocolate, and scored earth-like aromas and flavors. A beast of a wine with a great mid-palate and velvety tannins, it should shed its considerable baby fat over the coming 4-6 years and have two decades of overall longevity. $180


Taste 2021 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cotes de Provence Rose, 2021 Raen Sonoma Coast Royal St. Robert Cuvee Pinot and 2019 Hourglass Blueline Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, May 27th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

Wine Spectator 95 Points
Raen Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Royal St. Robert Cuvée 2021

Beautifully defined, with pinpoint damson plum, mulberry and blood orange notes stretched out over a frame of rooibos tea and savory accents. Mouthwatering through the lengthy, unadorned finish, which relies on tension and purity. Drink now through 2032. 2,075 cases made. $65

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Hourglass Blueline Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Blueline Cabernet Sauvignon is another stunning wine in the lineup. Revealing a deep purple hue as well as beautiful cassis and blue-tinged fruits, it has lots of violet and lead pencil notes, medium to full body, perfect balance, and incredible tannins. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it's going to deliver the goods for upwards of two decades. $150


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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