June 1st 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

June 1st 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2021 The Setting Wines Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc

The 2021 Sauvignon Blanc is a gorgeous oak-matured example reminiscent of top-quality Bordeaux Blanc. It's surely a relief for winemaker Jesse Katz, who chose not to make this cuvée in 2020. "This vineyard is out in Dry Creek and it was too close to the fires," Katz explains. "Everyone says that whites weren't affected, but no—we skipped the vintage there, even for the whites." Aged six months in 38% new French oak, it opens with alluring tones of matchstick that quickly give way to luxurious white peach, lemongrass, kiwi and tarragon plus wafts of river stone and exotic spice. The medium-bodied palate surprises with its concentrated, expansive flavors and boasts an ultra satiny texture. Energetic yet seamless, it calls you back for another sip on the long finish and is a pleasure to drink! 494 cases were made. $55

Wine Advocate 97
2016 Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate bursts out of the glass with beautiful black cherry compote, warm cassis and freshly crushed blackberries scents plus touches of chargrill, violets, dark chocolate and pencil shavings and a waft of English lavender. Full-bodied, the palate features great intensity combined with fantastic freshness, textured by soft, finely grained tannins and lifted by the most gorgeous floral perfume, finishing long and layered. Beautiful wine. $300


Taste Chardonnay: 2021 My Favorite Neighbor, 2020 Sea Smoke Sta. Rita Hills and 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


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 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

James Suckling 95 Points
2020 Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of blackcurrant, hazelnut and chocolate, with hints of mint and sage that follow through to a medium to full body, with wonderful soft and fine tannins that give a velvety texture and persistent finish. So balanced and refined. Subtle. Didn’t include wine from vineyards in Atlas Peak this year. An excellent 2020. Drinkable, but will improve so well in the cellar. $90 (Arrives GT 6/6/23)

2022 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Pretty and pure with aromas of citrus, white peach, and juicy pear, this beautiful Sauvignon Blanc is layered and complex. Apple clafoutis and floral aromatics invite you in. Rich and textural, this wine perfectly balances viscosity and acidity. Sea spray and salted lemon with some grapefruit pith carries through its long finish. Delicious and refreshing! $45 (Arrives GT 6/6/23)

WOW-50% Off!
2017 Mercer Homestead Collection Red Blend

Winery Notes: Flavor Profile: Blackberry, Plum, Sage and Sweet Vanilla. Barrel: 20 months In French and American Oak. Blend: 49% Syrah, 22% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Mourvèdre. Pair This Wine With: Beef Kebabs, Grilled Vegetables or Lamb Shanks. $20 Our Price $9.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
CASTELLO ROMITORIO Brunello di Montalcino 2018

A graceful red hallmarked by cherry, strawberry, rose, mineral and Mediterranean herbs. Lacy and succulent yet firm, ending on the minerally side. Vibrant and long. Best from 2025 through 2042. —B.S. $77 Our Price $68.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Pali Wine Co. 2020 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County-Sonoma County)

This blend of grapes from the winery's estates in Santa Barbara and Sonoma shows of how distinct sides of the state can contribute to a complex wine. Aromas of dark plum, herb and light peppercorn on the nose lead into pomegranate, black raspberry, red rose and lavender flavors on the palate. MATT KETTMANN . $25 Our Price $19.49 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 96 Points
2020 Piedrasassi Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard

Elegant and floral, the medium ruby-purple colored 2020 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard has alluring, layered scents of blackcurrant, blueberry, menthol, bitter chocolate and violet, gaining nuance with each return to the glass. Full-bodied yet light on its feet, it has a deep core of crunchy black fruit, abundant, powdery tannins, fireworks of fresh acidity and a very long finish replete with floral and herbal tones. This was vinified using around 30% whole clusters and comes from the Z and X blocks of Bien Nacido Vineyard. $63 Our Price $54.99 (Available GT)


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) 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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