June 8th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

June 8th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

James Suckling 96 Points
2019 Etude Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Lots of blackcurrant and crushed stone on the nose, as well as some dustiness. Full-bodied, very velvety and restrained. Beautiful energy at the end. This comes mostly from Coombsville, Rutherford and Oakville vineyards. Two or three years will bring this into the right space, but already so enjoyable to taste. $100


Taste 2021 Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay, 2019 Kenefick Ranch Chris’s Cuvee Napa Cabernet and 2021 Caymus Napa Cabernet at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, June 8th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

2019 Kenefick Ranch Chris’s Cuvee Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Aromatics of raspberry hard candies, underlined by fine dark chocolate shavings and cigar box. The palate is dark berry preserve supported by woven dusty fine tannins. Good to drink now and will cellar well for the next 10-15 years. $65

2021 Caymus Napa Cabernet

Producer Notes: Caymus has a signature style that is dark in color, with rich fruit and ripe tannins – as approachable in youth as in maturity. Since its founding in 1972, Caymus has become renowned as a consistent leader in the production of Napa Valley Cabernet. Grapes for this wine are farmed in a range of Napa’s sub-appellations – from Coombsville to Calistoga – with fruit from the valley floor creating lushness and the hillsides providing backbone. Diversification enables us to make the best possible wine in a given year, featuring layered, lush aromas and flavors, including cocoa, cassis and ripe berries. $90


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 Our Price $16.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW) Delicious!

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
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)

James Suckling 94 Points
2019 Chateau Buena Vista Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Lovely nose of blueberries, currants, hazelnuts and mint chocolate. I like the texture of the tannins, which are plush and smooth, melting into the wine. Full-bodied, creamy and already delicious. Drink from 2023. $45 Our Price $38.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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

Winemaker Notes: Our 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 (Back in stock GT 6/14/23)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
CLOS ST.-JEAN Châteauneuf-Du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2020

Leads with warm ganache and fig bread notes, followed quickly by raspberry reduction accents that take some time to unwind. Showcases plum pâte de fruit, sanguine and black licorice notes, with a flicker of Turkish coffee underscoring the finish and giving this a decidedly dark profile in the end. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse and Muscardin. Best from 2024 through 2038. 900 cases made, 670 cases imported. —James Molesworth. $65 Our Price $48.99 (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 Spectator 94
PURPLE HANDS Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Lone Oak Ranch 2021

Fragrant and gracefully multilayered, with expressive cherry and pomegranate flavors that mingle with black tea and orange peel accents. Ends with fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2031. —T.F. $30 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve Napa Valley 2019

A nice, plush style, with cassis and cherry compote notes rolling through, laced with singed vanilla and licorice. Reveals good underlying freshness, with an echo of violet through the finish as the fruit plays out. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2032. 20,877 cases made. $65 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2018 Rusack Ballard Canyon Estate Syrah, 2020 Piedrasassi Bien Nacido Syrah and 2021 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, June 9th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

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

2021 Venge Silencieux Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The highest quality crop not witnessed in years. I know, I put a lot of eggs in the basket of vintage 2018. However, friends, brace yourself for some delicious, superior quality wines coming from 2021. Across the board—from Chardonnay through to Cabernet Sauvignon— we are looking at magnificent concentrations of color and flavor that forecast a stellar vintage to come. This vintage takes Venge’s Silencieux to another level. $80


Taste 2018 Iconoclast Russian River Chardonnay, 2018 Groth Oakville Cabernet and 2021 Fait Main Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, June 10th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2018 Iconoclast Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Iconoclast Chardonnay is thoughtfully crafted. Nine months of aging in French oak reveal hints of apple pie spice. With crisp acidity, a great mid-palate and perfect balance all of which epitomize the high quality of Russian River Chardonnay. $30

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
2018 Groth Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Oakville) is fabulous. Moreover, it shows the important strides that have been made here in recent years. A wine of depth as well as energy, the Oakville Cabernet is both complete and absolutely delicious. Time brings out a whole range of leather, spice and chocolate notes to play off a core of intense, dark-fleshed fruit. I would prefer to cellar the 2018 for at least a few years. In a word: impressive. $70

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


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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