June 22nd 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

June 22nd 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Spectator 94 Points
SEGHESIO Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vine 2021

That rare Zinfandel with finesse and briary fruit, offering wild berry, mocha and black licorice flavors that gather richness and zest toward lively tannins. Drink now through 2031. —T.F. $40

2021 Rochioli Russian River Estate Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: This Estate is a blend of our many different vineyard sites, with fifty-six percent Little Hill, sixteen percent from Sweetwater, sixteen percent from West Block, eight percent Big Hill, and four percent East Block. This full bodied wine is complex and rich with the typical Rochioli character and the Classic Russian River Valley charm. Aged in French oak for 15 months, the wine displays a full body and silky texture finish, with a balanced structure. $100

2022 Rochioli Russian River Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Sixty five percent is from the original Sauvignon Blanc vineyard planted in 1959, twenty percent is from our rare clone 376 and fifteen percent is from our 36-year-old hillside vineyard. This wine is stainless tank fermented at a cool temperature to preserve its intense varietal character and firm acidity. Classic Sauvignon Blanc character with gooseberry, touch of grass and citrus. Stainless steel aged with no wood and pure flavors. Crisp, clean and rich on the finish. $55


Taste 2020 Cabernet from Bordeaux, Washington and Napa Valley at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, June 22nd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2020 Chateau Kirwan Margaux

Lots of smoky oak, ripe blackcurrants, blueberries, tobacco, and chocolaty notes emerge from the 2020 Château Kirwan, a richly textured, medium to full-bodied Margaux. A wine that blossoms with time in the glass, it's a plush, sexy, yet brilliantly balanced 2020 offering velvety tannins and a great finish, and while the oak is preset right on opening, it integrated beautifully with air. This beauty is going to put a smile on your face any time over the coming 20-25 years. $65

2020 Caymus Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A dark, scarlet red color, with powerful aromas of sweet ripe cabernet grapes. Initial impressions are fantastically appealing, brooding to expansive textural sensations of finely grained cacao tannins. The whole of the wine is balanced, rich, expressive and impressively complex. The backbone of fine tannin and sweet ripeness is a carryover from perfectly mature fruit. $80


2021 Amici Olema Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 Olema Cabernet Sauvignon opens with aromas of black cherry, plum and hints of cedar box. Full-bodied and balanced, this wine shows flavors of wild berries, licorice, and black olive on the palate. Silky tannins are matched with a rich fruit core throughout the long finish. Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 5% Petite Sirah, 4% Merlot. $25 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 93 Points * Piper-Heidsieck Extra Brut Champagne Essentiel NV (2022)

Toasty on the nose, with hints of grilled nut, smoke and spices transitioning on the palate to accent flavors of baked nectarine, candied ginger and mandarin orange peel. Harmonious and expressive, with a fine, raw, silky mousse and pretty lime blossom and graphite accents on the finish. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Disgorged November 2021. Drink now. 1,347 cases imported. $70 Internet Price $64.95 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
Bedrock Zinfandel California Old Vine 2021

Spry and briary, this Zinfandel is fun to drink, with lively black cherry, licorice and dried sage flavors, which take on richness and cracked pepper accents toward zesty tannins. Drink now through 2031. 4,000 cases made. $35 Our Price $24.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Advocate 99 Points
2020 L'Aventure Winery • Estate Cuvée

A blend of 45% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Estate Cuvée is another outstanding wine from L'Aventure in the challenging 2020 vintage, offering singular concentration and elegance. Deep ruby-purple, it has a pure core of cassis and slowly unfolding accents of licorice, cured meats, tobacco leaves, cedar and truffle. Full-bodied, juicy and alluring, it floods the mouth with layers of blue fruit, floral perfume and spice. It is supported by powdery tannins and boasts a tremendously long, detailed finish. $120 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
J Cuvee 20 Brut

Steely and full of snappy acidity, with accents of red apple, gingerbread and lemon tart that build richness and plushness on the lingering finish. $30 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 90 Points
PEDRONCELLI Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Mother Clone 2020

A gutsy red that's easy to drink, with lively blackberry, licorice and savory peppercorn flavors that build toward zesty tannins. Drink now through 2030. 6,500 cases made.—T.F. $24 Our Price $17.49 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red

A pinpointed red with currants, cherries, plums, chocolate with walnut undertones. Medium to full body. Creamy tannins. Attractive length. Blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon and rest cabernet franc. Drink or hold. $300 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2021 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, 2019 Arista Lucky Well Pinot Noir and 2021 Caterwaul Sonoma Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, June 23rd. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Winery Notes: Luli Wines came about from a very special partnership between Sara Floyd and the Pisoni Family. Sara is a Master Sommelier from the San Francisco Bay Area with many years of experience in the restaurant and wine business. The Pisoni Family is from Monterey County, where they farm their eponymous vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. $25

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2019 Arista Winery Pinot Noir UV Lucky Well Vineyard

Medium ruby, the 2019 Pinot Noir UV Lucky Well Vineyard offers a lovely aromatic blend of fruit and earth, with layers of blueberries, orange peel, mushrooms, violet, moss and tobacco. The medium-bodied palate is structured with powdery tannins and energetic acidity that highlight its citrus and earthy nuances on the persistent finish. $100

2021 Caterwaul Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: The fruit for this bottling was sourced from the southeast corner of Sonoma County, almost touching the Napa County line. We were awestruck when we had the opportunity to purchase such high-quality old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from a site defined by gravelly loam soils in the shadow of Mount Saint Helena. This wine starts with opulent, mouth-coating, sleek dark fruit. The wine shows off an inky purple hue in the glass with a saturated violet halo. Vivid aromas suggest notes of roasted meat, cigar box, and crushed blueberries. The sumptuous palate expresses notes of currant reduction, cocoa, wild sage and dried black cherry. The plush, round mouthfeel is framed by exotic notes of baking spices and a fine tannin framework. We are so excited to see this wine come to life and believe this will be a benchmark for exceptional quality Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon at a fabulous price point. $45


Taste 2022 Turnbull Oakville Sauvignon Blanc, 2017 Beringer Distinctions Napa Cabernet and 2019 Groth Reserve Oakville Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, June 24th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

2022 Turnbull Oakville Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: This aromatic and refreshing wines shows delicate aromas of white stone fruit blossoms, passion fruit, and a hint of wet flint. On the palate, the wine displays a soft entry with crisp acidity, adding structure and lift. Flavors of fresh white peaches couple with lemon zest and mineral notes to add complexity. $29

2017 Beringer Distinctions Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A ruby hue sets up aromas of pomegranate, crème de cassis and acai, with notes of oak, cloves and black olive. Flavors showcase blue fruit led by blueberry alongside blackberry, a bit of licorice, walnuts and hazelnut. Opulent, well-balanced and high-toned, the wine shows good depth and a distinctive, lingering finish. Built for immediate enjoyment, the ample tannins frame the possibility that the Cabernet will continue to evolve and grow more complex as it ages. Enjoy over the next decade and longer. $50

Jeb Dunnuck 94+
2019 Groth Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

The deeper purple-hued 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a terrific Oakville effort loaded with pure cassis fruit as well as notes of spicy oak, scorched earth, and tobacco. Classic Napa Cabernet in every way, it’s medium to full-bodied, has ripe, polished tannins, a terrific spine of acidity, and the balance and purity to evolve for 20-25 years if well stored. $170


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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