June 27nd 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

June 27nd 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

2022 Sans Liege Groundwork Grenache Rose

Winemaker Notes: Pale rose gold hue. Delicate aromas of citrus and sweet green herbs. Bright and mouthwatering, with layered flavors of tart red cherry, cantaloupe, blood orange and grapefruit, and notes of fresh sage, thyme and cumin spice. A more textural style of rose with a charming savory component and a juicy, lip-smacking finish. 450 cases produced. $19

Vinous Media 92 Points
2019 Charles Krug Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is gorgeous. Bright and vibrant, the 2019 offers a compelling mix of inky red fruit, blood orange and exotic spice, all in a style that marries richness with energy. In that sense, it is a superclassic 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet. Drink 2024-2032. $40

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2019 Chappellet Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Signature

Always a smoking value that readers shouldn't miss, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Signature sports a dense purple color to go with beautiful cassis and blueberry-like fruits as well as bouquet garni, spice, and obvious, rocky mineral-like aromas and flavors. Rich and medium to full-bodied, with notable structure and good acidity, it's going to keep for two decades in cold cellars. It's a candidate for the best Napa Cabernet under $100. 18,000 cases. $90


Taste 2021 Zinfandel: Bedrock Old Vine, Seghesio Old Vine and Venge Scouts Honor at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Tuesday, June 27th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

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

Jeb Dunnuck 90 Points
2021 Venge Vineyards Red Blend Scouts Honor

Leading off the 2021 barrel samples, the 2021 Red Blend Scouts Honor checks in as 76% Zinfandel, 14% Charbono, and the rest Petite Sirah and Syrah, with 69% of the blend coming from Napa Valley and the rest from Sonoma. Blue fruits, candied violets, wild strawberries, and cigar notes define this medium to full-bodied, sweetly fruited, forward, Zinfandel bomb of a wine. It's perfect for enjoying over the coming 4-6 years or so. $45


Taste Chardonnay: 2019 Archery Summit, 2021 Brewer Clifton Sta. Rita Hills and 2021 Chappellet Calesa Vineyard at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, June 28th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Archery Summit Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills 2019

Precise and polished, with green apple, floral lemon and toasty spice flavors that glide on the lingering finish. Drink now. 769 cases made. $48

Wine Spectator 93 Points
BREWER-CLIFTON Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2021

There's terrific focus and intensity to the bright citrus flavors at the core of this white, with yuzu, ruby grapefruit, Meyer lemon and lime zest notes, plus plenty of salty, minerally accents that add a mouthwatering minerality, followed by hints of lemon basil that linger on the finish. Drink now. 5600 cases made. From California.—MaryAnn Worobiec. $35

Wine Advocate 95 Points * 2021 Chappellet Chardonnay Calesa Vineyard

The 2021 Chardonnay Calesa Vineyard, matured in 35% new French oak, features intense lemon jelly and nectarine aromas on the nose with wafts of chalk and beeswax. The medium-bodied palate is wonderfully satiny and concentrated, its ripe fruit complemented by energetic acidity and well-integrated oak spices, and it boasts a lengthy, mouth-coating finish with soaring citrus flavors. 1,210 cases were made. $55


Taste 2021 Alban Central Coast Viognier, 2020 Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Napa Cabernet and 2021 Caterwaul Napa Cabernet at VRW for $15 per person.
Thursday, June 29th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2022 Alban Central Coast Viognier

Winemaker Notes: Something I hope you’ll enjoy sharing with your customers is our 2022 Central Coast Viognier: Medium straw color, deep rich nose of apricot, peach, and mango with ginger and exotic spices. Round and dense entry with classic Viognier oiliness, mouth coating while maintaining freshness with lush fruit, spice, creaminess, long with a surprising, gentle and bright upturn of acidity at the very end. The ’22 CCV cries out for some crab or shellfish but it will pair nicely with a wide array of cheeses or chicken dishes. $30

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

2021 Caterwaul Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Dark, complex and structured, the 2021 vintage delivers an unforgettable Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon profile that comes from having access to some of the finest vineyards in the Valley. The wine displays a completely opaque dark purple hue in the glass. Densely layered aromatic notes suggest plum reduction, quince, oolong tea, and cedar bark. The palate experience has an interwoven dark fruit core with lively peripheral notes that lean more towards brambly red fruit. Notes of blackberry paste, leather and cocoa nib dominate the mid palate while the lengthy finish expresses brighter notes of raspberry, dark cherry and blueberries. The sleek mouthfeel is framed by finely integrated tannins and a balanced acidity, allowing for immediate enjoyment or a little nap in the cellar. $55


2021 Lucia Pinot Noir, Garys’ Vineyard

Winemaker Notes: Yet another sublime chapter in the long and increasingly fabled history of this renowned vineyard, the 2021 Lucia by Pisoni Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir wastes no time as its deep ruby hue paints the edges of the glass. Loads of black cherry, crushed strawberry, and sandalwood take center stage while secondary aromas of fresh cedar, clove, and sage create a stunning olfactory experience. Capitalizing on the mild summer temperatures created by ever-present fog and coastal wind, the vines rooted deeply in the sandy loam soils ripened these berries slowly and methodically. The slow ripening process produced a wine of exception depth and concentration, giving way to delicate notes of baking spice and toasted vanilla. Over time in the glass, the wine’s structured infancy evolves to soft and elegant approachability as tannin begins to soften. The delicious Pinot Noir has all the components to age and evolve beautifully over the next decade and beyond. $80 (Arrives GT 6/28/23)

Burgundy Pre-sell
Domaine De L'Arlot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Clos Des Forets St Georges 2021

Winemaker Notes: With its well-defined character, this wine perfectly illustrates the identity of the Nuits Saint Georges vineyard. Complex aromas of blackcurrant mingled with spicy blackberry are revealed on the nose with, depending on the vintage, darker notes of liquorice, leather and blood orange. The well-built mouth affirms itself with density and strength around a tight structure with rich, well-wrapped tannins. It becomes increasingly seductive over time, which comes from the elegance, intensity and purity of the fruit. $182 (Arrives GT September 2023)

WOW – 51% Off!
Tasting Panel 91 Points
2018 B Side North Coast Chardonnay

Opulent aromas of chamomile, buttered pecan, and lemon chiffon make an outstanding first impression. The palate does not disappoint: Rich with honeyed pear tart and bright lime, its plump body is balanced out by its fine acid structure. Aged 12 months in French oak. $20 Our Price $9.75 (Back in stock GT and VRW)

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 Our Price $39.99 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Biale Party Line Zinfandel

Winemaker Notes: Party Line is a fun and light hearted red wine that is made to enjoy now. Layered with aromatics of dusty strawberries, red licorice, black cherries and raspberry taffy. The entry is soft and weighty with succulent mid palate tannins that make for a long and juicy finish. $25 (Available GT)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2021 McPrice Myers Cabernet Sauvignon Bull By The Horns

Deep ruby, the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Bull By The Horns has pleasingly herbal touches of bay leaves and dried herbs over a core of blackcurrant, game meat, tar and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate has abundant, grainy tannins, uplifting, juicy acidity and a long finish with iron and herbal tones. This overdelivers for the price! $25 Our Price $19.95 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 95 Points
2019 Beringer Knight’s Valley Reserve Cabernet

Aromas of black tea, blackberry and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied with velvety, slightly tense tannins. Lovely black-fruited palate with dried-flower and herb character. Roses, violets and sage. Nicely balanced and long. Lovely density in the center-palate. $50 Our Price $44.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW)


Taste Cabernet Sauvignon: 2021 Amici Olema Sonoma, 2021 McPrice Myers Bull by the Horns Paso and 2018 Altamura Napa at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, June 30th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

Wine Advocate 94 Points
2021 McPrice Myers Cabernet Sauvignon Bull By The Horns

Deep ruby, the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Bull By The Horns has pleasingly herbal touches of bay leaves and dried herbs over a core of blackcurrant, game meat, tar and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate has abundant, grainy tannins, uplifting, juicy acidity and a long finish with iron and herbal tones. This overdelivers for the price! $25

2018 Altamura Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: Our hillside and valley floor estate vineyards in Wooden Valley are at elevations of 700 to 1000 feet. Soil types on the ranch which are similar to the Rutherford Bench and the mountainous regions of Howell Mountain, Pritchard Hill and Mount Veeder called for several different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon on a number of different rootstocks upon planting in 1986. The vines are dry-farmed and vertically trellised. $135


Taste 2022 Rochioli Russian River Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2021 Rochioli Russian River Estate Pinot and 2021 Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, July 1st. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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

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

Wine Advocate 98 Points
2021 Occidental Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental

The 2021 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental is incredibly expressive and detailed! Its aromas open slowly from blueberry, rhubarb and cranberry to tones of bitter orange, amaro, mossy bark and lavender, continuing to reveal new accents with each return to the glass. Light-bodied, it floods the mouth with fragrant, detailed fruit supported by chalky tannins and focused, shimmery acidity that calls you in for another sip. It has a haunting finish loaded with spicy layers, and it's very difficult to put this delicious wine down. Drink it now for its transparency and perfume, or allow it to develop savory complexity in bottle over the next decade. $65


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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