July 7th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

July 7th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Decanter Magazine 94 Points
2021 Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino Rias Baixas

One of the oldest, most respected Albarino producers in the Rias Baixas. Fefinanes no longer has the field to itself, but its wines are still a cut above most competition on the high street. This is Albarino at its most beguilingly refined, with a moreish contrast of concentrated stone-fruited fleshiness, delicate blossom, mint and classic Albarino saline freshness. $36


Wine Spectator 91 Points
Ployez-Jacquemart Brut Champagne Extra Quality NV (2021 Review) Magnum

A nose of smoked almond and saline transitions on the creamy palate to flavors of white cherry, preserved lemon and clover honey in this graceful Champagne. A bright backbone of acidity and a note of chalky minerality drives the finish. Disgorged November 2020. Drink now through 2024. 40,000 cases made, 7,200 cases imported. $116/magnum. Our Price $103.99/magnum (Available GT)

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva

Winemaker Notes: A noble and austere sparkling cava. Greenish yellow in colour with golden glints, it's clear and star bright. A persistent, elegant stream of bubbles rise to form a perfect rosary on the surface. Complex aromas of white fruits with hints of wood. Fresh, well-balanced and elegant on the palate with an excellent final sensation. $10 Our Price $7.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Campo Viejo Cava Brut Rose

Winemaker Notes: A bright sparkling pink color. Pleasant and powerful on the nose with a strong presence of ripe red berries. Round and full on the palate. $10 Our Price $7.95 (Available GT and VRW)

2021 Chamisal San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: A vibrant and fresh Pinot Noir wine influenced by the proximity of the cool California coast. The close proximity to the coast is vital for the freshness and vibrancy of this wine that generates bright notes of red cherry and raspberry with light tannins and a vibrant acidity. $25 Our Price $19.99 (Available GT and VRW this afternoon)

Wine Spectator 94 Points
M. MARENGO Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2019

A rich red, with cherry and blackberry flavors framed by toasty oak. This has hints of eucalyptus and tar that are buried for now, yet should become more expressive as time goes on. Shows lovely texture and harmony. Best from 2026 through 2043. —B.S. $200 cases imported $68 Our Price $55.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

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 $68.99 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 92 Points
2022 La Cana Rias Baixas Albarino

A vibrant albarino with aromas of waxed lemons, thyme, fresh peaches, white pepper and grapefruit. Crunchy and zesty, with a medium body and delicious mineral undertones. Drink now. $22 Our Price $18.99 (Arrives GT this afternoon)

James Suckling 92 Points * 2019 JAX Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Aromas of blackberries, blueberries, dark cherries, dried thyme and baking spices. It’s full-bodied with fine tannins and lively acidity. Creamy, with a flavorful, fresh finish. Drink or hold. $50 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

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. $135 (Back in stock GT 7/11/23) Our favorite 2016 Napa Cab!


Taste 2021 The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, 2019 Stewart Tartan Napa Proprietary Red and 2019 Chappellet Signature Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, July 7th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
The Calling Chardonnay Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch 2021

Generous and expressive, with heavy juicy tangerine, lemon curd and Honeycrisp apple flavors that sing out on a mouthwatering frame, while hints of lemon verbena, ginger, citrus zest and green tea emerge on the finish. Drink now. 9,300 cases made. $33

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2019 Stewart Tartan Napa Proprietary Red

Checking in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the balance Malbec and Petit Verdot, the 2019 Red Blend Tartan is one heck of an impressive red blend, as well as a smoking value. Cassis, sappy herbs, chocolate, and spicy notes all give way to a round, medium to full-bodied, expansive beauty with remarkable purity and freshness. Drink it over the coming decade. $50

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 2022 Sans Liege Groundwork Grenache Rose, 2019 Charles Krug Napa Cabernet and 2019 Cakebread Benchland Select Napa Cabernet at (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, July 8th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

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 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Benchland Select

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Benchland Select is another gem, offering lots of cassis and darker cherry fruits as well as notes of lead pencil and crushed stone. Flawlessly balanced, medium to full-bodied, and as elegant and seamless as they come, it’s already impossible to resist (as are most 2019s) but I’ve no doubt this will evolve for 15-20 years in cold cellars. $140


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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