The Winter 2019 Newsletter Has Arrived!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRINTABLE IMAGE VERSION (complete with images & additional information)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Wine-derful New Year!
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Coaltrain is decorated for the joyous season, and our staff is full of that festive holiday spirit - not to mention our shelves, which are full of festival holiday spirits too!
It's the time of year when we stop and reflect on how thankful we are to you, our loyal customers, who have made our small business a successful community-focused establishment for over 38 years.
We appreciate your continued support, expressed by the outpouring of nominations and votes cast in the 2019 "Best of Colorado Springs" competitions in both The Independent and The Gazette. We are honored to have received multiple medals, including the Indy's Gold Medals for Best Store for Wine and Best Store for Craft Beer (with a close second for Best Store for Spirits).
We look forward to continuing to serve you and are grateful that you continue to choose Coaltrain as your go-to shop for fine libations and friendly, knowledgeable service.
Thank you, Happy Holidays & See You Soon...
WINES OF THE MONTH
2018 Negrar Appassimento Passito Rosso
Veneto, Italy | $14.99 | Sale $10.99
Cantina Valpolicella Negrar has been creating superb wines for 85 years. This blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella is made by drying grapes for a short period of time (appassimento) resulting in a smooth and rich wine. Full-bodied with aromas and flavors of plum, raisins, herbs, and cherry lingering on the finish. The label tells the story of Homer's Odyssey - fitting, as this is an epic wine for pizza, red meat dishes or just to curl up with in front of the fireplace!
2018 Count Karolyi Grüner Veltliner
Pannon, Hungary | $14.99 | Sale $10.99
Grüner what, from where?? Let us explain. Grüner Veltliner is a white grape variety grown mostly in Austria. The name translates to “Green Wine of Veltlin”. In the 1600s, Veltlin was an area in the lower Alps that is now Valtellina, Italy. It has a flavor profile of lime, lemon, grapefruit and nectarine. It can also have some herbaceous notes, spice and minerality. It has a very crisp acidity which is clean and refreshing. We stumbled upon this excellent example of Grüner Veltliner, but it wasn’t from Austria. It comes from South Central Hungary in a wine region called Pannon. Named after a Hungarian aristocrat, Lazlo Karolyi, this wine has a fragrant floral nose with ripe and crisp flavors of citrus that really explode on the palate. It is tangy with bracing minerality and hints of spice. This wine is great by itself, but pairs well with Asian and Indian cuisines, fried foods, and a variety of cheeses. We agree with the Count on this wine. An absolute steal at this price!
2016 Amici Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, CA | $25.99 | Sale $19.99
We featured Amici Cellars at our Wine Festival way back in 2004, and have considered them friends (amici) ever since. This Chardonnay spends 11 months in 40% new French oak, which comes through in the creamy mouthfeel, yet it's not overly oaky and has some nice acidity for balance. Flavors of apple, citrus and a touch of butter. "Elegant, crisp... a smoking value."
91 points | Jeb Dunnuck
2016 Ramey Fort Ross-Seaview Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, CA | $44.99 | Sale $33.99
Another friend, David Ramey, was just here for the wonderful Children's Literacy dinner, and we were so impressed with this Chardonnay. Coming from a special vineyard site, it shows great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. This vineyard has a typically cool climate, which produces beautiful Chardonnay. "Full bodied, concentrated and structured, it imparts steely, lively flavors of lemon peel and tangerine, finishing with a soft silkiness to the texture and overall balance of weight."
96 points | Wine Enthusiast
2014 Three Saints Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, CA | $19.99 | Sale $15.99
In 1996, Jim and Mary Dierberg purchased several parcels of land throughout Santa Barbara County, planted vines and established Dierberg Vineyard. With their first vintage in 2004, they established themselves as one of Santa Barbara’s premier producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. All of their wines come from estate-grown fruit. Their second label, Three Saints, comes primarily from their eponymous vineyard in Santa Maria Valley with additional fruit from their holdings in the Sta. Rita Hills. This is one of the best deals in California Pinot Noir. While previous vintages have emphasized earthiness, the 2014 is a bit more fruit forward and one of the finest Pinot Noirs in its price class. Fun fact: Winemaker Tyler Thomas did his undergraduate work at Colorado State before studying enology at UC Davis.
2018 Presqu’ile Pinot Noir
Santa Barbara County, CA | $27.99 | Sale $23.99
Since 2007, the Murphy family and winemaker Dieter Cronje have continued to produce high quality wines coming from the cool climate of the Santa Maria Valley. We have been fans of their Chardonnay for several years and have more recently discovered their Pinot Noir. Now we are fans of it as well. With crunchy red fruit and high-toned spice aromas, it has lots of appeal. Wonderful with salmon, Cornish game hens, roast pork... Saluté!
2014 iOTA Pinot Noir
Pecos Sandberg Vineyard, Eola Amity Hills, OR | $37.99 | Sale $29.99
Lush and vibrant, the 2014 iOTA Pinot Noir displays an elegant nose reminiscent of violets, underbrush and pomegranates. Its jewel-toned body features a captivating array of wild berries and ripe plums, with undertones of black tea and dark chocolate that effortlessly sail along to a smooth and lingering finish. Pair with roast pork with cranberry glaze. "Iota", meaning “small quantity”, reflects the small vineyard blocks, low yields, and attention to small details; only 486 cases produced.
92 Points | Wine Enthusiast
HEY WINO: DID YOU KNOW?
Chardonnay takes its name from the village of Chardonnay in the Mâcon region of Burgundy. It’s difficult to say exactly when the Chardonnay grape first appeared in the vineyards of Burgundy, but over the centuries it has been spelled Chardenai, Chardenay, Chardenet, Chardennet, Chardonai, Chardonnet, Chatenait, Chardonet, Chaudenay, and Chaudenet before the modern spelling of Chardonnay became its standardized name in the 1890s.
HIGH-END DOMESTIC PINOT NOIR
While we often extol the virtues of Pinot Noirs from Burgundy, which to many are the pinnacle of vinous delectation, we cannot overlook the strides made in Pinot Noir production stateside. Thirty years ago it was difficult to find a domestic Pinot Noir that was even drinkable, let alone one that showcased the depth and nuance that the varietal is capable of. Today there are Pinot Noirs from California and Oregon that are among the best in the world. Here are a few stellar examples to grace your holiday (or any day) table:
· 2016 Nicolas & Jay
Willamette Valley, OR | $59.99
Jay Boberg founded iconic New Wave record label IRS Records. Jean-Nicolas Méo is the winemaker for Méo-Camuzet, one of Burgundy’s greatest estates. “Precise, deeply structured yet graceful."
94 Points | The Wine Spectator
· 2017 Beaux Frères
Willamette Valley, OR | $58.99
One of Oregon’s most lauded wineries and highly allocated. “A great balance of fruit purity and a hedonistic lushness.”
93 Points | The Wine Spectator
Also available their single vineyard estate bottling from the Beaux Frères Vineyard, “Remarkably and seamlessly complex.”
95 Points | The Wine Spectator
· 2017 Rochioli
Russian River Valley, CA | $82.99
One of the most sought after Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, we were fortunate to get a small allocation. Their single vineyard bottlings are the things dreams are made of. Their regular estate Pinot Noir is also terrific. “A stellar wine and a real overachiever in this range. Rich, sumptuous and racy, super-expressive, delivers a rush of dark cherry, plum, spice, leather and cedar. Don't miss it.”
92 Points | Vinous
· 2017 ROAR
Santa Lucia Highlands, CA | $46.99
The Franscioni family have pioneered premium Pinot Noir in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Partnering with Gary Pisoni, they planted some of the most esteemed vineyards in the area. Their single-vineyard bottlings are highly sought after and show the ripe style of premium Central Coast Pinot Noir. Their basic Santa Lucia Highlands is outstanding as well and at a more affordable price.
91 Points | The Pinot File
2016 Oberon Merlot
Napa, CA | $22.99 | Sale $18.99
In 2004, finding themselves in some financial difficulty, the Robert Mondavi family sold their iconic Napa winery for a tad over a billion dollars to Constellation Brands, the world’s largest wine company. The following year Robert’s son Michael, using some of his newly acquired assets, founded Oberon Wines. The wines were named after the king of all fairies in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” They specialize in making wine from the classic Napa varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, at reasonable prices. Their Merlot is sourced from the Oakville District in Napa Valley, home of some of the most esteemed wines of the region. Winemaker Tony Coltrin adds a touch of Syrah and a dollop of Zinfandel to add color and body. The result is a wine that has been called a Napa Valley classic. “A classic example of Napa Valley Merlot as it offers beautifully ripened and styled red and black currant aromas and flavors.”
92 points | Wine.com
2001 Salexis Merlot
Napa, CA | $33.99 | Sale $26.99
John Gibson has been making wine in Napa for over 30 years. After graduating with a degree in Enology from UC Davis, he went to work for Chappellet Vineyards and then to Stags' Leap Wine Cellars. Over the next 10 years, John was instrumental in crafting some of Stags' Leap's most notable wines such as S.L.V, FAY, and Cask 23. With that success under his belt, John went on to consult for numerous Napa wineries. In the late 90s, John decided it was time to make his own wines and he hasn’t looked back. We really love his wines and were more than excited to grab some of his 2001 Merlot. That’s not a typo - yes, 2001 Merlot. John felt the weather for the 2001 vintage was almost perfect and crafted a stunning wine that had longevity. If you haven’t had aged wines, this is not your typical fruit-forward California Merlot. As red wines age, the bright fruit fades first, then the secondary flavors of oak drop off developing tertiary characteristics such as leather and earthy notes. In addition, tannins fall out as sediment, softening the wine. The color of the Salexis Merlot is more brick red, also an indicator of age. The aromas and flavors are of dark dried fruit, leather, coffee and dried leaves. This is a great example of a wine aged beautifully and not over the hill. It still shows some of the primary flavors of dark fruit while blending in the earthy tertiary notes. If you haven’t had an aged wine, here is an outstanding opportunity to experience one at an unbelievable price. We honestly have no idea why this wine is priced so low! Great to share with friends or give as gifts.
2016/2017 Pedroncelli Zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley, CA | $17.99 | Sale $14.99
The Pedroncelli family has been making wine in the Dry Creek valley for over 90 years. The wine is produced from Zinfandel grapes from three estate vineyards varying in age from 40 to 100 years old. This is the cooler climate style Zinfandel, where the fruit is not overblown, but balanced with spice and oak notes. A perfect pairing for slow-roasted beef brisket.
2016 Eberle Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, CA | $26.99 | Sale $22.99
More so than most other varietals, it has always been a challenge to find reasonably-priced, quality Cabernet Sauvignon. Perhaps due to its popularity, growers can charge more for their grapes, and wineries can ask more for their bottlings. The Eberle Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is blended from several vineyards in Paso Robles including his own estate vineyard. Aged in equal amounts of American and French oak (15% new), it shows that interesting Cabernet can be had for a reasonable price. “Gary Eberle declared 2016 one of the region’s best vintages. This 100% Cab, sourced from vineyards throughout the AVA, is a classic representation of the area with notes of graphite and cedar-cherry. Mocha coffee enters mid-palate with round, rich body, creating a chewy and juicy effect.”
93 Points | The Tasting Panel
2016 Le Pich Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA | $54.99 | Sale $47.99
It’s so wonderful to discover a fledging brand that’s soared into something as outstanding as Le Pich Cabernet. As the second label for Purlieu, a rising cult producer whose Cabernets range from $95-$200 per bottle, many may assume Le Pich is a lesser wine simply because of its lower price, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Le Pich accomplishes everything one could hope for in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Polished, complex and full of finesse, it has a beautiful core of blueberry and blackberry fruit, interwoven with the charm of cedar and bayleaf. Julien Fayard is the young (yet already legendary) winemaker who created this gem along with his vineyard manager, Steve Matthiasson. He honed his craft at none other than Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut-Lafite in Bordeaux, then took his talents to Napa where he worked with Quintessa, Dalla Valle (one of our very favorite Cabs), Lail and many other luxury brands. In an interview with Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, Julien stated that he took “a Burgundian approach to Cabernet Sauvignon,” which is evident in this seamlessly textured wine. Le Pich sets a new bar for how much quality can be packed into this price range! You certainly should buy multiple bottles, or better yet a case, of this Cab. It drinks well now and will only get better. We’d recommend decanting it for an hour or so.
94 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2012 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA | $129.99 | Sale $99.99
Mayacamas was built way back in 1889. After a period of disuse and the onset of prohibition, the winery was resurrected in the 1940s, but really took off in 1968, when Bob Travers purchased the estate. Since then, Mayacamas has produced many of California’s longest-lived Cabernets and established itself as a Napa classic. Atypically the wines are aged for 36 months in neutral oak and then an additional year in bottle before release. We were able to get a hold of a small quantity of the 2012 vintage at a great price. “Pliant and nuanced, the 2012 caresses the palate with a total sense of silkiness. Bright red cherries, mint, spices and flowers are all laced together in a supple, radiant Cabernet Sauvignon. The purity of the fruit here is simply striking. Rose petals, mint, sage and a hint of white pepper add an element of exoticism on the high-toned, expressive finish.”
96 points | Vinous
2016 The Dude Red
Napa, CA | $36.99 | Sale $33.99
Winemaker of ‘The Dude”, Neil Koch, is a dude himself. He trained under Philippe Melka at Seavey Vineyards, Bryant Family, and Vineyard 29, then was appointed as the enologist at Lewis Cellars where he facilitated the production of highly acclaimed Napa Valley Cabernets. Now a Napa broker, he has access to much of the best available Napa fruit. The Dude is his tribute to The Big Lebowski and to a quality Cabernet- based, Napa Valley red blend that doesn’t require a second mortgage. A classic Bordeaux blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 50% new French oak, The Dude has all the richness and depth of a Napa red at a significantly lower price. Ripe plum, blueberry, and brambly blackberry fruit with accents of fresh violets, cocoa powder and a nice dose of oak spice. The Dude abides!
2018 Jean Vullien & Fils Roussette de Savoie
Savoie | $18.99 | Sale $15.99
Roussette de Savoie is the wine appellation at the foot of the Alps, but the varietal is Altesse. When fully ripe, the Altesse grape develops a blush color hence its nickname Roussette, derived from the French word for red, "rouge". This wine is a real beauty with aromas and flavors of peach, apricot, mineral and light herbal notes. It has amazing complexity and a medium-rich body. Try this by itself or with some creamy cheese. Go on! Be adventurous, and try a new white wine this holiday season! Colorado didn’t get much of this, so we bought it all! Very limited.
2017 Lequin-Colin Bourgogne Blanc
Bourgogne | $24.99 | Sale $19.99
After studies in Champagne, and with David Ramey in California, François Lequin took over management of his family’s small 23-acre estate in Burgundy in 1996. Over the past 20 plus years, he has made substantial changes including full conversion to organic farming and the introduction of biodynamic principles. He also initiated a more natural winemaking process, letting the must ferment naturally. The idea, taken up by many younger Burgundy vignerons, is that the wine is made in the vineyard not in the cellar. These are wines of character and expression. His Bourgogne Blanc comes from two plots of Chardonnay, one in Santenay and the other just outside of Puligny-Montrachet. Half is tank-fermented and the other half is barrel- fermented in mostly used barrels. There is a sense of purity and balance here, amplified by the excellence of the outstanding 2017 vintage for white Burgundy.
2017 Frantz Chagnoleau Saint-Véran Prélude
Bourgogne | $31.99 | Sale $27.99
A rising star in the Mâcon, Frantz Chagnoleau is one of the most focused, dedicated winemakers in this region. He uses horses to plow his biodynamically-farmed vineyards, and the result is exceptional wines that demonstrate superior complexity, depth and terroir. This is a wonderful alternative to Pouilly-Fuissé, and will become a new favorite if you are a white Burgundy addict! Amazing with scallops, pork or decadent creamy cheese.
93 points | Decanter
2015 Domaine Rapet Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Frétille
Bourgogne | $59.99 | Sale $44.99
Pernand Vergelesses is one of the best kept secrets of Burgundy, if your passion is for Chardonnay. Wines from this gorgeous little region, which hugs the famed Corton-Charlemagne, are quite generous but beautifully balanced, with an energetic spine of acid running through. These wines are giving yet graceful. Ideal with risotto, Délice de Bourgogne triple crème, or roast chicken!
2017 Domaine Rougeot Meursault Sous la Velle
Bourgogne | $93.99 | Sale $87.99
In the 18th century, Domaine Rougeot was the orchard press for Hospice de Beaune, and since 2010, Pierre-Henri has quietly been making some of the most impeccable, minimal intervention wines coming from Meursault and surrounding areas. Meursault Sous La Velle comes from a 2.5 hectare plot of 50-year-old vines, clay and limestone terroir, and is aged on the lees for over a year in neutral barrels. A beautiful mouthfeel with less oak and roundness than many Meursaults. Peggy loves this wine. Its red counterpart, the 2017 Domaine Rougeot Volnay Les Santenots 1er Cru, was her favorite wine at the recent Boulder Burgundy Fest! We have it too... $119.99.
2017 Domaine Huet Vouray
Every once in a while a deal comes along that is too good to pass up. We were recently offered the opportunity to purchase several bottlings of the 2017 vintage at very compelling prices. This iconic producer has been making some of the most renowned single vineyard Vouvrays. These wonderfully- balanced white wines are capable of long term cellaring. The quantities are limited and well worth your attention. The wines available are:
Le Haut Lieu Sec · (dry)
$37.99 | Sale $26.99
Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec · (semi-sweet)
$41.99 | Sale $33.99
Le Mont Moelleux · (sweet)
$51.99 | Sale $38.99
2017 Réserve de l'Abbé Côtes du Rhône
Rhône | $15.99 | Sale $12.99
Réserve de l’Abbé Côtes du Rhône is a generous and fruit driven blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, produced at the Foncalieu winery on the right bank of the Rhône valley. This is a classic southern French red. The color is a beautiful deep garnet with purple reflections. Very fragrant, currant, strawberry and cherry aromas with subtle fruit flavors and hints of black pepper, cinnamon and licorice. Medium-bodied and silky in the mouth with mature, round tannins. It is a versatile food wine and can accompany a wide variety of dishes including meats, grilled vegetables or full-flavored cheeses. A great value in Côtes-du-Rhône.
2015 Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge Vieilles Vignes
Bourgogne | $49.99 | Sale $45.99
Chassagne-Montrachet, along with Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, is the holy grail for lovers of White Burgundy and Chardonnay. Some of the world’s finest white wines are produced there. What is less known is that there is also a substantial amount of Pinot Noir grown in Chassagne. As recently as 40 years ago, more red wine was made than white. Since the prices for their white wine are higher than their red, some of the red vines have been pulled up to plant Chardonnay; not always in the most propitious locations. Still, even today, approximately one-third of the wine made in Chassagne is red. While never achieving the heights of the greatest wines of the region, red Chassagne, when you can find it, is an excellent value for a hearty red Burgundy. Jean-Marc Pillot is one the great producers of Chassagne. He makes a bevy of white wines that are highly sought after. He also owns a two-and-a -half acre plot of organically-farmed Pinot Noir, planted in 1960, that goes into his Chassagne Montrachet Mes Vieilles Vignes. Smoky earth, up-front minerality, and ripe, energetic fruit display the richness of the acclaimed 2015 vintage.
2018 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie
Beaujolais | $26.99 | Sale $23.99
When people think of “cult” wines, their mind usually goes to some small, insanely expensive producer in the Napa Valley or a “Garagiste” from Bordeaux. Clos de la Roilette (the name of the winery operated by the iconic Alain Coudert), however, is a cult wine without the expense. Made in tiny quantities from old vines abutting Moulin-à-Vent, Alain Coudert’s Fleurie is a wine coveted by wine collectors and hoarded by sommeliers. Floral (as the name Fleurie certainly implies), red-fruited, and elegant, the Clos de la Roilette is a Burgundy lover’s Gamay. “An inviting bouquet of ripe cherries and cassis mingled with spices, violets and peonies. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, enveloping and layered, with fine-grained structuring tannins, ripe acids and a fleshy core of fruit. Gourmand and expressive.”
94 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2016 Jaboulet Vacqueyras
Rhône | $26.99 | Sale $19.99
Back in the 1960s there was only Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône (or Côtes du Rhône Villages), in the southern Rhône Valley, an area now considered one of the finest for hearty (and at times quite affordable) red wine. Slowly quality increased and was recognized in specific regions. In 1971, Gigondas was elevated to Cru status and given its own appellation. Next in line in reputation was Vacqueyras, but it was not until 1990 that it became the third southern Rhône cru. Situated just south of Gigondas, Vacqueyras is perhaps a bit lighter in body, but this is only a matter of degree. The firm of Paul Jaboulet, famous for their Hermitage bottling called La Chapelle, also has a thriving négociant business. Their Vacqueyras consists of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre. Blackberry and cassis with spicy black pepper on the nose. This is an exceptional price for Vacqueyras from the great 2016 vintage. It becomes much more expressive with some air, so uncork it an hour ahead of time, or decant, or pour it in a glass 20-30 minutes before you start to drink it.
2016 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas “Les Deux Juliettes” Vieilles Vignes
Rhône | $33.99 | Sale $29.99
This is a special cuvée made for Charles Neal, the wine's American importer. Both Neal and owner Yves Cheron have daughters named Juliette. The old vines (Vieilles Vignes) refer to the 65-year-old Grenache vines that make up 80% of the cuvée. The rest is 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre. The vineyards are located at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the best location in the appellation. It’s difficult to overstate the acclaim for the 2016 vintage in Gigondas. The depth and power of the wines make it arguably the finest vintage seen there, and the wines from the Domaine de Grand Montmirail are no exception. “Knockout aromas of ripe cherries, blueberries and dried spices. Full-bodied, round and supple, it has a wonderfully soft yet enveloping texture, with fine, silky tannins that linger on the finish."
94 Points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2017 Tellus Vinea Bordeaux Rouge
Bordeaux | $23.99 | Sale $19.99
The grapes for this wine are harvested from vineyards that border the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. The grape composition is predominantly Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc in the blend that provides additional structure to the wine. This wine is certified organic, and hand harvested by a small, dedicated picking team. The wine is very traditional, with notes of red fruit, graphite, and tobacco. Tellus Vinea is a rare opportunity to drink the type of Bordeaux that the Bordelais have been making for centuries, purposely eschewing wine trends in favor of making a sophisticated, timeless expression of the region.
2015 Château Rouget
Pomerol | $84.99 | Sale $74.99
Pomerol is the most exalted region for Merlot in the world. As the smallest premium wine region in Bordeaux, Pomerol languished in obscurity until after the second World War, when slowly the wines began to make an impact. Today they make some of the most sought after wines. Wine has been produced on the land of Chateau Rouget since the end of the Roman Empire. The estate’s owner -in the 1700s- is credited with introducing Merlot in Pomerol. The current owners have revitalized the estate and introduced sustainable farming practices with cover crops. Château Rouget now produces one of the appellation’s best value wines (by Pomerol standards). The 2015 is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. “The 2015 Rouget is a fabulous wine done in a forward, voluptuous style that is sure to find many admirers. Super-ripe dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, spice and mocha fill out the wine's ample, soft-textured frame effortlessly. Silky contours add to an impression of flamboyant elegance.”
93 Points | Vinous
2018 Monchiero Langhe Arneis
Piemonte | $19.99 | Sale $17.99
The Monchiero family started farming grapes in the Barolo zone in the 1950s. Today, the next generation is producing well-made wines from their winery in Castiglione Falletto. Arneis, the most popular white grape in the Piemonte region, means “little rascal” because it’s difficult to grow. From its perch on the left bank of the Tanaro River, this lovely example displays a nice floral nose and white
stone fruit on the palate. A perfect foil for lighter fish dishes or pasta in cream sauce.
2016 Gaja Sito Moresco
Piemonte | $65.99 | Sale $49.99
Angelo Gaja is a controversial figure in the Italian wine world, but there is no denying his impact and success. From the introduction of single- vineyard Barbarescos, to the extensive use of new oak and skyrocketing prices, he has had a significant impact on the way that Italian wine is grown, made, priced, distributed and marketed. Although his single-vineyard bottlings are priced in the hundreds of dollars per bottle, Sito Moresco is a bit more affordable. The fruit comes from vineyards in Barbaresco and Barolo, and is the only blend the estate makes (35% Nebbiolo, 25% Merlot, 25% Barbera and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon). Now that his daughter Gaia Gaja has taken over, the oak has been dialed back a bit. Dark fruits on the nose with tobacco and exotic spice. On the palate, rich, dark flavors are balanced by silky smooth tannins with an elegant, spicy note on the finish. This is an opportunity to sample the Gaja style without taking out a second mortgage.
2015 Tolaini Al Passo
Toscana | $23.99 | Sale $18.99
In 1956, Pierluigi Tolaini left Tuscany for Canada. He shared the dream of many Italians - to move to North America and become successful. Tolaini did just that. He started by driving a delivery truck and turned it into a transportation empire, but he always desired to go back to his home and make great wine. 40 years later, he bought some premium vineyards in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany and started blending Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Tolaini has built a world-class winery utilizing sustainable farming and organic winemaking practices. The 2015 “Al Passo” wine showcases all of his hard work. Blending equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine has power and finesse. Dark fruit aromas burst from the glass, while the flavors on the palate display notes of black cherry, plum, earth and crushed stone. The tannins are well integrated and the finish is rich and long. We don’t find many “Super-Tuscans” at this price so buy all you can!
93 Points | Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2017 San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico
Toscana | $43.99 | Sale $35.99
This winery in Gaiole in Chianti has certainly changed its approach over the last several years. The Martini di Cigalas brothers have abandoned the use of barrique - 250 liter barrels and now use tonno - 500 liter barrels, and larger botte - 3000 liter barrels. This change has allowed the Sangiovese to fully demonstrate its sense of place. So much so, that the previous vintage, which is long sold out, was named number three in the newly released Wine Spectator Top 100. See what all the fuss is about!
2016 Corte Armano Valpolicella
Veneto | $17.99 | Sale $13.99
Corte Armano is produced by the Campagnola family in Valgatara, a small village in the low hills near Marano in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region. It is composed of 70% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, the traditional grapes for making Amarone. After racking, a small portion of must is added from the dried grapes used to produce Amarone, prompting a second fermentation which adds more body and richness to the wine. It also adds a delicious raisiny component to the plum and almond flavors. This is a great, inexpensive wine that pairs well with hearty pasta dishes, pizza, or barbecued red meats and is perfect for a party.
2015 Il Censo "Njuro" Perricone
Sicilia | $39.99 | Sale $35.99
Il Censo is a