August 24th 2023 Newsletter - The Grape Tray

August 24th 2023 Newsletter

On deck for wine tasting next week at VRW:

Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
2019 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve To Kalon

The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve To Kalon shows beautiful elegance and poise, with classic cassis and currant fruits supported by complex dried herb, unsmoked tobacco, and flowery incense nuances. Coming from gravelly, well-drained soils, it’s full-bodied, has classic To Kalon opulence, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s an utterly classic Napa Valley beauty to enjoy over the coming 30-40 years. $225


Taste 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon: Daou Paso Robles Discovery, J. Lohr Hilltop and Daou Reserve at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Thursday, August 24th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

Wine Advocate 93 Points
2021 Daou Paso Robles Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2021 Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 11% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc and matured 10 months in 50% new French oak. Deep ruby, it has pure aromas of cassis, prosciutto, sage, thyme and pencil shavings with a classy frame of new oak spice. Medium-bodied, refreshing and supple, it offers generous, mineral-laced fruits and a long finish. This is easy to drink! $25

2021 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet

Winemaker Notes: Exhilarating blackberry and blueberry aromas are enhanced by crushed violet, herbes de Provence, and spiced tea. On the palate, dense and soft, with finely textured tannins. Juicy layers of black and red currants lead to a bright finish, accented by pastry notes from extended barrel aging. $30

Wine Advocate 94-96 Points
2021 Daou Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is blended with 23% Petit Verdot, made entirely with free-run juice, and it will be matured for 16 months in 50% new French oak. Opaque ruby, it offers pure aromas of cassis, violet, grilled meats, desert sage and bell pepper. The full-bodied palate is powdery, energetic and detailed with a long, layered finish. $65


WOW-57% Off!
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
2017 Copain Pinot Noir Edmeades Vineyard

The first vintage for this cuvée from Ryan, the 2017 Pinot Noir Edmeades Vineyard comes from mid-valley and was brought up in 27% new French oak. It's a beautiful wine with blueberry and wild strawberry fruits as well as complex spice, dried flowers, and some loamy soil notes. Medium-bodied, seamless, and silky on the palate, it's a lovely, layered wine that shines for its texture and balanced. $60 Our Price $25.95 (Arrives GT 8/25/23)

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92 Points
2021 Walter Hansel Estate Pinot Noir

The 2021 Pinot Noir The Estate Vineyards is gracious, elegant and silky. Crushed red/purplish berry fruit, spice and mint are nicely laced together in a juicy, mid-weight Pinot that delivers the goods. The 2021 offers tons of immediacy, but marries that with a good bit of energy. This is a very serious wine with a bright, bright future. $42 (Available GT)

2022 Walter Hansel Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: Produced from fruit purchased from a variety of sites and clone. The fermentation was very slow but steady and continued for well over a month. The result is a fabulous representation of this varietal with a vibrant nose and long, lingering finish. 506 cases produced. $20 (Available GT)

Wine Spectator 95 Points
ANTINORI Chianti Classico Marchese Antinori Riserva 2020

A sleek, elegant red, with fine purity to the aromas of cherry, black currant, iron, olive and tobacco. Shows new oak on the palate, lending both spiciness and structure offset by ample fruit and texture. Ends with a balanced, complex finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2026 through 2047.—B.S. $50 Our Price $42.99 (Available GT and VRW 8/25/23)

Wine Advocate 94 Points
G.D. Vajra Barolo Coste di Rose 2018

With fruit from above the village of Barolo, the G.D. Vajra 2018 Barolo Coste di Rose shows a large aromatic scope and ample substance. This vineyard is characterized by very high density Diano sandstone (typical of the area), which explains the wine’s bigger sensorial impact. Its texture is velvety and smooth, and the wine offers lots of purple and red fruits with soft earth and perfumed flower. The vintage is open knit and broad in scope, perhaps lacking some of the brilliant focus you get in the cooler years. $90 (Arrives GT 8/29/23)

Wine Advocate 97 Points
2019 Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve

Medium ruby, the 2019 Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve has pure, layered aromas of cranberry, pomegranate and raspberry with accents of tobacco leaves, graphite, mushroom and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate is harmoniously structured and seamless with delicate, perfumed fruit and a very long, spicy finish. This strikes a fine balance between a fruity, savory and earthy character. $110 Our Price $88.99 (Available GT and VRW 8/25/23)

Jeb Dunnuck 98+ Points
2018 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is based on a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that spent 22 months in 81% new French oak. It’s a wonderfully complete, borderline perfect wine that shows the class of this estate as well as the vintage, revealing a seamless, full-bodied style that carries lots of blackcurrant, graphite, lead pencil, and tobacco aromatics, a deep, layered mid-palate, ultra-fine tannins, and flawless balance. As with most of Chris’s 2018s, it’s a wine that builds slowly with time in the glass, offering a layered, singular character. It’s a gorgeous 2018 that can be drunk today with ample pleasure, but it will ideally be given 4-6 years of bottle age, at which point it should evolve gracefully for 30-40 years. $365 Our Price $299.95 (Arrives GT 8/25/23)

Wine Advocate 98-100 Points
2020 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasted blind, in a lineup that included vintages back to 2010, a barrel sample of Spottswoode's 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon stood out as being one of the most exciting efforts. Full-bodied, ripe and rich without being overbearing, it delivers concentrated black cherry and cassis fruit framed by supple, velvety-textured tannins. It's long on the finish, with an attractively soft, dusty-loamy texture and no overt signs of a fire-troubled Napa vintage. $255/750ml and $540/magnum (Arrives 9/29/23)


Taste 2022 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Dehlinger Altamont Pinot and 2021 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $15 per person.
Friday, August 25th. Available 12:00 noon -5:45 PM

2022 Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc

Winemaker Notes: The stunning 2022 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc is the result of impeccable farming along with our practices of barrel fermentation and lees-stirring. The maritime influence at our vineyards means that even when we have unprecedented heat, as we did in 2022, our grapes are able to hold onto delicate flavors and juicy acidity. This wine opens with enticing aromas of Meyer lemon, white pineapple, lime zest and white blossoms. On the palate, ripe yellow stone fruit and lemon grass mingle with notes of honeydew and marzipan. The texture is silky, but the bright acidity keeps the wine fresh and lively. — Winemaker Heidi von der Mehden. $50

2019 Dehlinger Altamont Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2019 Pinot Noir Altamont is a gorgeous wine. At present, the Altamont is quite closed, as if all of its energy is focused inward. Wild red cherry, lavender, rose petal, kirsch, mint and blood orange all run through the 2019. There's lovely depth and density here. $65

Antonio Galloni, Vinous 95 Points
2021 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir

The 2021 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is dense, heady and explosive. All the classic Russian River exuberance comes through, but amplified in all of the good ways and none of the bad. Even with all of the richness and intensity, the 2021 retains good freshness as well as energy. A touch of whole clusters brightens the finish nicely. $80


Taste Champagne: Louis Roederer Brut Collection 243, Bollinger Special Cuvee and Gosset Grand Brut Rose at Vintage Reserve Wine (VRW) for $20 per person.
Saturday, August 26th. Available 12:00 noon -3:45 PM

Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Louis Roederer Brut Collection 243

The NV Champagne Collection 243 Brut is the third release and is based on the 2018 vintage, with the addition of 30% of the perpetual reserve started in 2012 and 10% reserve wine that has been aged in oak. It is ripe and balanced, with yellow flowers, honeycomb, and plum, and it has elegant concentration and underlying tension, precise mousse, and rich salinity, with lingering notes of croissant and delicate smoke. $68

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Bollinger Brut Champagne Special Cuvée NV (2022)

A graceful Champagne, with flavors of black cherry, Asian pear, toast point and salted almond dancing across the palate. Bright and buoyant, with a fine, lacy mousse and delicate notes of lime blossom, ground coffee and exotic spices playing on the finish. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Drink now. 15,000 cases imported. $90

Wine Spectator 93 Points
Gosset Brut Rosé Champagne Grand NV (2022)

A minerally rosé Champagne, with a chalky underpinning to the delicate weave of apricot, crunchy pear, blanched almond and clementine. This fresh version offers good precision and focus in an elegant, integrated package. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Drink now. 315 cases imported. $90


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) 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) 559-226-6828
Tuesday-Friday 10:30 AM-5:30 PM
Saturday 10:30 AM-4:00 PM

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