May 30th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

May 30th 2023 Newsletter

Taste Sauvignon Blanc: 2021 Stag’s Leap Aveta Napa, 2019 Grieve Double Eagle and 2021 Peter Michael L’Apres-Midi at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, May 30th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
STAG'S LEAP WINE CELLARS Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Aveta 2021

Distinctive, fresh and fragrant, with notes of lemon verbena and lemongrass up front, with touches of fresh-grated ginger, yuzu and grapefruit that linger with terrific intensity on the finish. Drink now. 8,500 cases made.—M.W. $38

Wine Enthusiast 92 Points
2019 Grieve Double Eagle Sauvignon Blanc

From the producer's Lovall Valley estate, this white is given time in mostly concrete egg, with a small amount of French oak influence. Richly textured and complex, with a velvety mouthfeel and ample ripeness, it shows dense layers of anise, apple and pear. $48

James Suckling 95 Points
Peter Michael L'Apres-Midi Sauvignon Blanc 2021

This is very complex and dense, with layers of fruit, dried apricot and pine needles, as well as maple-tree highlights. Dried lemons and pears, too. Phenolic and structured. Chewy. So flavorful. 7% semillon in this. $70


Special Tuesday, 5/30/23 Pinot Tasting $15 per person.
Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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+


Taste 2020 Harvey and Harriet Red, 2020 My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet and 2019 Daou Patrimony Adelaida District Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Wednesday, May 31st. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Harvey and Harriet Red

Winemaker Notes: The 2020 vintage once again over-delivers with aromas of bing cherry, red raspberry, blueberries, roasted rhubarb, cardamom, and brown sugar. On the palate, pleasing sensations of vanilla and spice give way to grilled meats, olive tapenade, cedar, and molasses. The acid and tannin structure are perfectly balanced for either a Tuesday tipple or celebratory toast. This wine is meant to be enjoyed now. Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec. $30

Wine Advocate 95 Points
2020 My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet

Deep ruby-purple, the 2020 MFN Cabernet Sauvignon has pretty tones of green bell pepper, dried herbs, thyme, lavender and cedar over a core of red and black currant. The full-bodied palate is ultra juicy and packed with alluringly herbal fruit, and it boasts integrated oak, a soft, approachable frame and a long, perfumed finish. $50

Wine Advocate 98 Points * 2019 Daou Patrimony Adelaida District Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Patrimony Cabernet Sauvignon was made with free-run juice and matured for 30 months in 100% new French oak. It has a deep ruby color and alluring tones of truffle, brown sugar and coffee to begin, opening with time to very pure cassis, boysenberry, tobacco, garrigue and aniseed. The palate is supple and fresh with surprisingly restrained, mineral-laced fruits and a fan of spicy accents across the long finish. This ultra sleek, elegant Cabernet evolves continually in the glass and has the harmonious structure it needs to go the distance in the cellar. $300


Taste Chardonnay: 2021 My Favorite Neighbor, 2020 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills, 2020 DuMOL Ritchie at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, June 1st. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2021 My Favorite Neighbor Chardonnay

The 2021 Chardonnay is very ripe in style with scents of banana chip, apple pie, jasmine, allspice and brown sugar. The full-bodied palate is packed with ripe, spicy fruits and plenty of refreshing acidity, and it finishes long with a satiny, mouth-coating texture. It's an old-school style reminiscent of Napa that fans of ripe, oaked Chardonnays will enjoy. $60

2020 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: An elegant Chardonnay with aromas of Meyer lemon zest, fresh cut melon and honeycomb. The nose is complemented by mandarin and a slight nuttiness in the focused mid-palate and the refreshing cool climate acidity of our estate vineyard. CA Market Price $90-$150

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2020 DuMol Chloe Ritchie Chardonnay

The 2020 Chardonnay Chloe is rich with aromas of mineral-rich earth, pine resin, Meyer lemon. and yellow apple. The palate is fleshy, with orange oil, a touch of savory richness, and stony mouthfeel. It is appealing and open now, but it will certainly hold on for 10 or more years. $78


2022 Tablas Creek Patelin Blanc

Winemaker Notes: A nose equally balanced between Grenache Blanc's mineral and citrus and Viognier's stone fruit and white flowers, with additional notes of petrichor and peppery spice. On the palate, luscious flavors of stone fruit and lemon custard lifted by persistent chalky minerality and vibrant acids. The long finish brings back notes of white grapefruit, jasmine, and a briny sea spray minerality. $28 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Banshee Sonoma Cabernet

This smooth, mouth-filling but not heavy wine is scented with black plums, black cherries and maple, followed by rich, ripe fruit flavors and a very polished texture. Light tannins add to an easy touch on the palate. $25 Our Price $16.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Renato Corino Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2018

A broad, open red, revealing vibrant black cherry and blackberry flavors at the center, with accents of tar, iron, licorice and tobacco. Ends with complexity and a long fruity, savory and spicy aftertaste. Best from 2025 through 2043. 250 cases made, 100 cases imported. $85 Our Price $62.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
Hahn Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands SLH 2021

Leads with mulled cherry and plum notes, with hints of warm licorice and fruitcake, plus red tea filling in on the finish. Reveals fresh underlying acidity that extends the finish nicely. Drink now through 2026. 25,000 cases made. $30 Our Price $22.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Fontanafredda Barolo Serralunga d'Alba 2017

This aromatic red delivers rose, cherry, strawberry and eucalyptus aromas and flavors allied to nervous tannins. Vibrant and focused, with a mineral-tinged finish, this is going to be impressive when the fruit and tannins fully integrate. Best from 2025 through 2042. 17,000 cases made, 5,100 cases imported. $54 Our Price $47.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2019 Booker Vineyard Fracture Syrah

The 100% Syrah 2019 Fracture comes all from the Booker Estate Vineyard and is another pure, balanced, incredibly classy wine from this estate. Loads of darker fruits, ground black pepper, crushed stone, and scorched earth give way to a medium to full-bodied, powerful, concentrated Syrah that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for 10-15 years. $105 Our Price $94.95 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

2019 Staglin Family Salus Napa Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Welcome to High Definition Cabernet – the 2019 Salus is a generous and deliciously detailed display of exuberant dark fruits dynamically supported by a range of floral, earthy and herbaceous characters. Lifted floral notes slide into resinous rosemary underlain by tilled earth and powdered porcini mushrooms complexed with a puff of gunpowder, graphite and criollo cigar wrapper. Bursting blackcurrant and ripe raspberry deepened by crushed cacao nibs and fresh licorice root envelop the palate before sliding silkily through a delightfully delineated and lengthy exit. The hint of grip and grit on the finish portends a rewarding and delicious life for this wine. $115 (Back in stock GT 6/1/23)


Taste 2020 Chalk Hill Russian River Chardonnay, 2021 Tablas Creek Patelin Rouge and 2016 Eisele Altagracia Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, June 2nd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Chalk Hill Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: This 2020 Russian River Valley Chardonnay leads with a fresh bouquet of yellow peach, baked apple, and lemon that draw you in with underlying notes of vanilla and spice. Round, rich and versatile, this chardonnay has notes of creamy lemon custard, poached pear, almond, and baked spices with a round mouth-feel and lingering finish. Pair it with a variety of dishes such as seared scallops in an herb-butter sauce. $30

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2021 Tablas Creek Patelin Rouge

Medium ruby in color, the 2021 Patelin de Tablas is a blend of 43% Syrah, 28% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre and 6% Counoise. It has inviting aromas of blood orange, raspberry and pomegranate with touches of tar and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate is chalky and fresh with a concentrated core of crunchy fruit and a long, floral finish. Best After 2023. $23

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. $130


Taste 2022 Cotes De Provence La Bernarde Rose, 2020 Thread Feathers Mt Veeder Cabernet and 2019 Cade Howell Mt Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, June 3rd. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2022 Côtes De Provence Rose La Bernarde

Winemaker Notes: Bright and minerally focused, displaying blood orange rind, wild strawberry and delicate floral aromas in the glass. Energetic and precise on the palate, offering raspberry, red currant, pomelo, nectarine and crushed rocks notes. Blend: 40% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 25% Syrah - Certified Organic. $21

2020 Thread Feathers Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Etched in aromas of sage, cedar and pencil shaving, this wine is robust and ripe, brawny and burly in style and approach, reflecting its Mt. Veeder source. The fruit is dark and broodingly rich. Thick layers of blackberry, black cherry, toffee and earthy tobacco framed within a foundation of firm, integrated tannin, and balanced power. Structured, age-worthy, and complex, the wine finishes on sustained savory notes of cardamon, clove, and freshly tilled earth. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec. $40

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. $129


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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