July 25th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

July 25th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Wine Spectator 93 Points
2021 DIATOM Chardonnay Santa Barbara County

This has a wonderful sense of restraint, with powerful Meyer lemon, yuzu and tangerine flavors mingling with peppery white flower notes and an appealing thread of sea salt crunchiness. Energetic, showing plenty of verve on the finish. Drink now. 9,000 cases made. $25

2021 Lichen Anderson Valley White Pinot

This innovative White Pinot Noir tastes like no other. Jazzy white peach and nectarine stone fruit balanced by racy acidity dance across the palate. Fermented mostly in stainless, it went on to age for a year in Hungarian and French oak puncheons, bringing a weight and texture all its own. Off dry on the entry, it finishes mouthwatering and savory. $39


Taste Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne Grand Siecle and 2013 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Brut at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $35 per person.
Tuesday, July 25th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Spectator 95 Points
Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée Nº25 NV (2022 Review)

Reveals rich and concentrated flavors of pear tart and dried mango, roasted hazelnut and ground coffee, preserved lemon and candied ginger enlivened by a spine of racy acidity and an underlying streak of minerally smoke and brine. Offers a fine and creamy mousse, with pleasing viscosity to the overall impression. Long, spiced finish. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Drink now through 2032. $250

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
2013 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Brut

The 2013 Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Brut, composed of 95% Pinot Noir, is the 20th release of this cuvée, and this version is robust, classic, and noble in its expression. The color is a medium straw, and the aromas are complex and compelling, with smoke, graham biscuit, currant, and orange marmalade. It has immediate appeal and charm. The palate is structured, yet refreshing, and savory with grip and an energetic citrus that doesn’t seem to taper. Drink 2024-2044. $360


Taste 2021 and 2022 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $10 per person.
Wednesday, July 26th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2021 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Ripe peach, citrus fruits, spice, and pie crust aromas all mingle and lift from the glass. The citrus supported by notes of apricot continues onto the palate which is concentrated with a rich, creamy middle palate, and strong supporting acidity. The finish is long and marked with hints of vanilla. This wine will continue to build richness as it ages in the bottle. $40

2022 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Pale yellow with a green tinge to the hue. Aromas of yellow peach, mango with a slight citrus note intertwine seamlessly with vanilla and spice. The palate is rich and round, with the mango and vanilla fighting for the lime light, while the cream texture, vanilla and slight butter combine seamlessly. The balanced acidity closes out the finish bringing the multiple components into balance. $40


Taste 2018 B Side North Coast Chardonnay, 2021 Caymus California Cabernet and 2021 Caymus Napa Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, July 27th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

2021 Caymus California Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: A small, inaugural release from Caymus Vineyards, this wine is a California-appellation Cabernet Sauvignon – supple, dark and rich, bearing the signature hallmarks of Caymus. It is sourced from sites throughout the state which feature climatic conditions, soils and topography that are ideally suited to Cabernet. This project stems from excitement over California’s diverse vineyard land, often in lesser-known areas, with the potential to produce exceptional Cabernet. $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


Wine Spectator 92 Points
Maldonado Chardonnay Sonoma County Parr Vineyard 2020

Packs flavors of salted butterscotch, dried honeysuckle and peach preserves that are generous and ripe, but the fresh acidity, floral highlights and notes of spices provide wonderful restraint and plenty of complexity on the finish. Drink now. 1,000 cases made. $38 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 93 Points
DOMAINE EDEN Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 2019

Rich and succulent, showing a broad range of flavors, from nutmeg-laced spices and candied orange zest to salted, toasted hazelnut, Fuji apple, lemon zest and dried thyme. Packs plenty of harmony on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2030. —M.W. $32 (Available GT and VRW)

Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Wayfarer Fort Ross Seaview Wayfarer Vineyard Chardonnay 2020

The 2020 Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard is fragrant and layered with lemon verbena, toasted brioche, and white peach. It has detail and definition in its structure, with refreshing acidity and a stony, lifted finish. Drink it over the next 10 or more years. $90 (Available GT and VRW)

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 (Available GT and VRW)

2020 Alban Patrina Syrah

Notes from John Alban: This wine is among my favorites for this offering yet produced. It is dark, full of black and blue berries, coco powder, and immediately pleasing and pure. It is, in our opinion, a wonderful and delicious expression of our farm and farming. $60 (Back in stock GT 7/26/23)


Winemaker Notes: A dense and concentrated cabernet with aromas and flavors of confectionary blackberry and stewed cassis. The lush fruit is brought into balance by high tone herbal aromatics of mint, sage, and sweet tobacco. The distinctively thick-skinned Cabernet grapes provide a long velvety finish. $52 Our Price $44.99 (Back in stock GT and VRW 7/26/23)

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
2020 Chateau Pibran Pauillac Bordeaux

Based on 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon that saw 50% new oak, the 2020 Château Pibran is a classic wine in the vintage that has a pure, layered, medium to full-bodied style as well as textbook notes of darker berries, cassis, irone, and tobacco. With ripe tannins, a good spine of acidity, and plenty of texture, it's going to evolve for 15-20 years in cold cellars. $54 (Arrives GT August 2023)


Taste Pinot Noir: 2021 Evening Land Seven Springs, 2021 Wayfarer WF2 Fort Ross Seaview Sonoma and 2019 Wayfarer Sonoma Coast Wayfarer Vineyard at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, July 28th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

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

2021 Wayfarer WF2 Fort Ross Seaview Sonoma Pinot Noir

Winemaker Notes: The 2021 jumps from the glass with notes of fresh rose, black currant, blackberry, blood orange, crushed earth, soy sauce, allspice and strawberry fields. A linear palate focuses on freshly picked strawberries and blackberries at the peak of ripeness, layered with decadent dark chocolate mousse. There is a beautiful persistence to this multifaceted Pinot Noir.

Wine Advocate 95 Points
Wayfarer Sonoma Coast Wayfarer Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard comes from all 11 clones grown on the Wayfarer property. Medium ruby-purple in color, it has broody aromas of blood orange, iron, rhubarb and cranberry sauce with notes of dusty earth and dried herbs. The palate manages incredible intensity, lift and expansive flavor layers with a very long, juicy finish that continually calls you in for another sip! $90


Taste Pride Mountain Chardonnay and Cabernet at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Saturday, July 29th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM
2021 Pride Mountain Chardonnay

Winemaker Notes: Our string of fresh exuberant chardonnays continues with the glorious 2021 vintage. Soaring aromatics of mint, sage, lemon peel, beeswax, white pepper and rain on pavement complement the classic fruit flavors of crisp apple and pear. This wine is filled with verve and energy from start to finish, possessing rounded luxuriance in the attack and an exciting crispness that builds with each second in your mouth. A beautiful wine that is precisely the chardonnay we want to be making. $48

2020 Pride Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Notes: This wine exudes elegance and inner beauty. The seamless texture has enough weight to speak of its mountaintop origin but is more about creamy, silky, enveloping pleasure with not a single component out of place. The comforting flavors of black cherry, ripe plum, licorice, spice and cocoa are uplifted and made intriguing by aromatics of sweet tobacco, sandalwood, black pepper and lavender. This gorgeous cabernet simply resonates charm today and will age gracefully for decades. $78

Vinous 93 Points
2019 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Pride wine. Effusive aromatics meld into a core of dark blue/purplish fruit. Medium in body, but with terrific depth, 2019 has a lot going on. This is an especially refined vintage for the Cabernet Sauvignon. All the elements are so nicely balanced. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and dried herbs linger. $86


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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