The Winter 2019 Newsletter Has Arrived!
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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 f