July 11th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

July 11th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

James Suckling 90 Points
Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis 2021

An aromatic wine for a regular Chablis, with plenty of fresh-lemon, white-peach and tarte-au-citron character. Cooler and crisper on the palate than the nose suggested, but that makes it very clean and refreshing. Good length, the finish nicely supported by a touch of tannin. Drink now. $42

Wine Spectator 91 Points
Albert Bichot Chablis Les Vaillons Domaine Long-Depaquit 2020

Intense and complex, featuring lemon cake, apple, yellow plum and mineral flavors. Bright and fresh, with a lemon-infused aftertaste. Drink now through 2027. 1,173 cases made, 987 cases imported. $63


Taste 2022 Sauvignon Blanc: Craggy Range, Astrolabe and Greywacke at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10 per person.
Tuesday, July 11th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 93 Points
CRAGGY RANGE Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough Te Muna 2022

This has an appealing supple, fleshy texture to the mango, salted melon and white peach notes, with a hint of litsea oil and feijoa fruit. Finishes with a touch of dried sage and fresh acidity. Drink now. 62,980 cases imported.—MaryAnn Worobiec. $20

Wine Spectator 94 Points
ASTROLABE Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2022

Checking all the boxes, this stunning version is fresh and vibrant yet also complex and full of flavor, from toasted green tea and lemon thyme to mouthwatering passion fruit, yuzu and mango. Ends with hints of white pepper, lemon blossoms and sea salt on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. —M.W. $23

Wine Spectator 95 Points
GREYWACKE Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2022

Distinctive, succulent and wonderfully complex, with honeysuckle, honey-preserved ginger, creamy lemon curd, ripe mango and floral notes, plus stone fruit flavors on a rich, smooth and mouthwateringly juicy frame. Reveals hints of spices that linger on the long, expressive finish. Drink now. From New Zealand.—M.W. $23


Taste Chardonnay: 2020 Jordan Russian River, 2020 MacRostie Russian River and 2021 Kistler Sonoma Mountain at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Wednesday, July 12th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2020 Jordan Russian River Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Delicate aromas of Fuji apple, Asian pear, freshly cut persimmon and citrus blossom entice the nose. Upon first sip, mouthwatering grapefruit and bright lime interplay on the palate. The lively acidity balances seamlessly with French oak nuances, enticing you to take another sip. More expressive in its youth than previous vintages. $30

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2020 MACROSTIE Chardonnay Russian River

Distinctive and aromatic, with jasmine, orange blossom and fresh lime zest flavors that are fragrant and precise, plus terrific intensity and juiciness on a sleek, mouthwatering frame. Features succulent notes of lemon curd and peach at the core. Drink now through 2032. 350 cases made. — MW $38

2021 Kistler Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay offers pure, elevated aromatics, deep underpinnings and a distinct sense of weight without being heavy. It is marked by lofted aromas of ripe yellow and green stone fruits, nuanced tones suggestive of morning white flowers that are a clear personality of the site and a broad and compact yet well-structured presence on the palate. $75


Taste Napa Cabernet: 2019 Girard Napa, 2019 Chateau Buena Vista Napa and 2018 Paul Hobbs Coombsville Napa at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, July 13th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

James Suckling 94 Points
2019 Girard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

An intense nose with lots of ripe black and blue fruit, vanilla, licorice and a touch of leafiness. Full-bodied and dry with firm tannins and delicious fruit. Creamy and succulent with a touch of minerality. Long chocolatey finish. Light austerity at the end that makes it balanced and fresh. Better in a year or two. $36

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

Wine Advocate 94+
2018 Paul Hobbs Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville

This is the first vintage for this label. In fact, this replaces the "Napa Valley" label, but since all the wine now comes from the Coombsville AVA (and mostly from their estate), it now carries the Coombsville name.

Deep garnet-purple in color, the nose of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Coombsville is redolent of Morello cherries, boysenberries and cassis with hints of lilacs, cinnamon stick and dried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate has vibrant black fruit flavors with a a soft texture and nice tension, finishing with a red fruit lift. 6,677 cases were made. $120


Dönnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken 2022

Producer Notes: Mostly from Oberhäuser Felsenberg and Kieselberg • Soil Type: Stony, weathered volcanic soils of porphyry and melaphyr, with certain amounts of slate and quartzite • Fermentation & Élevage: A combination of stainless & used large oak • The idea here is to make a village wine, basically, though it’s sold and marketed as a Gutswein or Estate bottled basic wine • The Estate wine combines the two major soils that dominate the holdings for the estate, giving the drinker a look into what Dönnhoff is all about. $25 (Arrives GT 7/12/23)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
SUAVIA Soave Classico Monte Carbonare 2020

Silky and mouthwatering, this well-honed white expands on the palate with rich flavors of pineapple, blood orange granita, clover honey and lime blossoms, while remaining graceful and focused throughout. Delivers delicate spice and mineral notes on the long finish. Drink now through 2028. 3,500 cases made, 1,500 cases imported.—Alison Napjus. $30 Our Price $26.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 92 Points
SEGHESIO Zinfandel Sonoma County Sonoma 2021

Plush in texture, this Zin is generous with blackberry and cherry flavors that draw in accents of briar patch, black pepper and toasty cinnamon as it finishes with zesty tannins. Drink now through 2031. 95,000 cases made.—T.F $26 Our Price $21.95 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
2019 Beringer Knight’s Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Rich, softly tannic and saturated with black fruits, tobacco and dark chocolate, this full-bodied wine has a long life ahead. Ample flavors are gently but firmly held by fine-grained tannins that will need time to resolve and let more complexity shine through. Best after 2037. $50 Our Price $44.99 (Available GT and VRW)

Wine Spectator 91 Points
TABLAS CREEK Patelin de Tablas Blanc Paso Robles 2022

Sleek yet generous, with fragrant honeydew, orange blossom and nectarine flavors that finish on a dry but succulent accent. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Vermentino, Roussanne, Picpoul Blanc and Bourboulenc. Drink now. 4,080 cases made.—T.F. $28 Our Price $21.99 (Available GT and VRW)


Taste 2021 Groth Estate Oakville White, 2020 Dalla Valle Collina Napa Cabernet and 2019 McGah Scarlett Rutherford Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, July 14th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 92 Points
Groth Estate White Oakville 2021

Distinctive, aromatic and wonderfully elegant, this white shows details of beeswax, litsea oil and a whiff of smoked sea salt, which adds complexity to the core of tangerine, peach and lemon curd. Long, long finish. Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Drink now. 600 cases made. $50

California Wine Advisors 97 Points
2020 Dalla Valle Collina Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

This highly-anticipated boutique Cabernet blend impresses with a silky smooth texture, plush tannins, and seriously delicious, dark fruit that remind us of best-selling trophy wines. We have judged the last ten Collina vintages and this is a strong candidate for the best-ever upon release. Flavors of dark chocolate and espresso lead to seductive layers of tightly-wound fruit complimented by seamlessly integrated French oak. This impressive new offering truly defies its humble price tag and may be enjoyed tonight (decant 1⁄2 hour). Our team rates this a solid 96+ rating now and predict it will evolve into 97 points over the next decade in our judgement. $115

Jeb Dunnuck 93-95 Points
2019 McGah Scarlett Rutherford Cabernet

Beautiful, sweet cassis and blue fruits as well as lots of violet and floral notions emerge from the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied, rich, concentrated barrel sample with wonderful purity of fruit, a good sense of freshness, and serious length on the finish. This promising, elegant yet powerful wine is going to shine with short-term bottle age and keep for two decades. $70


Taste 2021 Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 2021 Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot and 2018 Faust The Pact Coombsville Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Saturday, July 15th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

James Suckling 93 Points
2021 Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

A crisp and complex chardonnay with sliced apple, pie crust and hints of white peaches. Medium body. Lovely length. Delicious flavors. Excellent complexity. $27

Wine Spectator 94 Points
BEAUX FRÈRES Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2021

Sleek, graceful and elegantly proportioned, with expressive violet, raspberry, guava and black tea flavors that jump out of the glass and gather richness toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2032. —T.F. $75 (Available GT and VRW)

James Suckling 96 Points
2018 Faust The Pact Coombsville Napa Cabernet

This is really something, showing focus and purity that highlights the unique character of this appellation. So much blue fruit, lavender and walnut with some herbal and sweet tobacco undertones It’s full-bodied, yet tight and poised. Lovely quality to the tannins. Exceptional. $125


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

Back to Our Blog

Are you 21 years old, or older?