The 2020 Wine Newsletter -V3- is Here!


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A NOTE OF THANKS TO OUR CUSTOMERS:

Dear Friends,

We celebrated our 39th Anniversary on July 3, and we continue to be grateful for your support and patronage all these years, and especially in the last four months of this Covid-19 pandemic.

It is our pleasure to serve you, and our goal is to keep you and our employees safe during your shopping experience. In that spirit, we will be offering any patron a mask if they don't have one upon arrival.

As a reminder, the store is still open to guests with adjusted hours of operation:

Monday-Saturday · 9am-9pm | Sunday · 11am-7pm

We are also offering curbside pickup of orders and delivery of our entire inventory, including pastas, sauces, meats, cheeses and snacks via Drizly.com or the free Drizly mobile app.

For all our updated policies and offerings, please visit coaltrainwine.com/covid-19-policies.

Since we are not able to conduct tastings and classes in our Tasting Room, we have participated in a few private and online events with great success. Call us if you would like to brainstorm on a private event with one of our wine, beer or spirits experts.

Hope to see you soon,

Jim & Peggy

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WINES OF THE MONTH

RED

2015 Neil Ellis Left Bank Red Blend

Stellenbosch, South Africa · $16.99 | Sale $12.99

In the 1980s, after working at several wineries, including Groot Constantia, Neil Ellis became the first South African winemaker to go out on his own without ownership of any vineyards. Since then Neil Ellis Wines has established a reputation as one of South Africa’s finest wineries (or wine farms, as the locals call them). He now makes wines from a combination of purchased fruit and vineyards that he has acquired over the course of the last three decades. The Left Bank was created to be an affordable red blend based on the wines of the left bank of the Gironde River in Bordeaux where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme. Although the percentages vary from vintage to vintage, Left Bank is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. The fruit is sourced from multiple sustainably-farmed vineyards throughout the Western Cape Region. This is really an exceptional wine for the money. Give it 20 to 30 minutes to open up, and the Cabernet comes to the fore with aromas of saddle leather and rich black fruits. Medium to full-bodied with good depth of fruit and a nice, slightly-smoky finish. Excellent with grilled meats.

WHITE

2019 Sixpence Sauvignon Blanc Sémillon

Breedekloof, South Africa · $12.99 | Sale $10.99

East of Paarl and Stellenbosch, about an hour and a half drive from Cape Town is the Slanghoek Valley. Here, in another perfect valley for wine grape cultivation, is the Opstal Wine Farm. Founded in 1847, the estate has become famous for its Carl Everson Chenin Blanc, one of South Africa’s finest. They also make a line of wines they call Sixpence; a red and a white for everyday drinking they call their Lifestyle Range. The white is a blend of equal parts Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, similar to a white Bordeaux. The Sémillon adds tropical fruit nuances and a touch of lemon, while the Sauvignon Blanc gives acidity and freshness. If you want a summer porch pounder with a bit more substance, look no further. Recommended pairing: chicken salad and seafood.

ROSÉ

2019 Pannonica Rosé

Burgenland, Austria · $13.99 | Sale $11.99

In Burgenland, Austria, at the base of the rolling Leithaberg Hills is the beautiful Lake Neusiedl. On the shores of this lake are the family-owned vineyards of Höpler Winery. We were fortunate enough to have Louise Höpler visit us and host a very successful tasting back in March. One wine in particular we just couldn’t get enough of was their Pannonica Rosé. Pannonica is how Romans referred to Burgenland. Pannonica Rosé is a blend of Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent (Austrian varietals) and Pinot Noir. Light and refreshing with flavors of strawberry, pomegranate and a splash of minerality, it finishes crisp and clean. This is your summer rosé, although we recommend drinking it year round! Best enjoyed on the patio, by the pool, golfing, camping…you get what we’re trying to say.

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UNITED STATES

2017 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling

Finger Lakes, NY · $20.99 | Sale $15.99

Over the past few decades, the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York has really evolved into arguably the best region for Rieslings that this country has to offer. This one is bright and crisp, yet has a delightful minerality which gives it depth and texture. The producer has labeled it as a “dry” Riesling; however, it’s slightly off-dry, with just a hint of residual sugar; not enough to send you into dessert land, but just enough to make this a great drink to have outside on a warm late-spring afternoon. It has acidity and slightly sweet characteristics, which make this wine a great companion to spicy food. It will pair well with Asian cuisine, poultry or shellfish.

90 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

2017 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling

Finger Lakes, NY · $20.99 | Sale $15.99

Over the past few decades, the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York has really evolved into arguably the best region for Rieslings that this country has to offer. This one is bright and crisp, yet has a delightful minerality which gives it depth and texture. The producer has labeled it as a “dry” Riesling; however, it’s slightly off-dry, with just a hint of residual sugar; not enough to send you into dessert land, but just enough to make this a great drink to have outside on a warm late-spring afternoon. It has acidity and slightly sweet characteristics, which make this wine a great companion to spicy food. It will pair well with Asian cuisine, poultry or shellfish.

90 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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FEATURE: SOLÉNA ESTATE

While attending college in Bordeaux, Laurent Montalieu discovered his passion for winemaking. He graduated with a degree in agricultural engineering and soon landed an internship with Mumm Napa. When that ended, Laurent didn’t return to France; instead he fell in love with the terroir of Oregon and moved there. He obtained a job as winemaker for Bridgeview Vineyards, followed by a stint at WillaKenzie. When he married Danielle Andrus, Gary Andrus’s daughter of Pine Ridge and Archery Summit fame, they purchased 80 acres of premium vineyards in Yamhill-Carlton AVA and developed the property into Soléna Estate. Their winery is devoted to wines that show balance, vibrant acidity and the terroir of Oregon.

2018 Soléna Chardonnay

Willamette Valley, OR · $24.99 | Sale $19.99

The 2018 Soléna Chardonnay shows finesse and layers of complexity. Notes of melon, peach and citrus are found on the nose and in the palate, and graced by a light touch of French oak on the finish. When we tasted this, we knew we weren’t in California. This wine shows the delicate softer style of Oregon Chardonnays. Perfect by itself or with a variety of lighter foods. An amazing value!

2018 Soléna Grande Cuvée Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, OR · $29.99 | Sale $20.99

Finding affordable Oregon Pinot Noir is on par with finding hidden treasure. It takes a lot of time, patience and in this case, tasting many not-so-great wines. Well folks, we struck gold! The 2018 Soléna Grande Cuvée is your answer for delicious Pinot Noir. Elegantly structured with notes of raspberries, strawberries and a touch of spice, it demonstrates a wonderful blend of fruit, earth and minerality. The finish is soft, long and held together by well-integrated tannins. Many wine critics are also hot on this Pinot. Don’t miss out on it!

92 points | Wine Spectator

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2017 Holloran Stafford Hill Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, OR · $22.99 | Sale $16.99

The Holloran Stafford Hill is based on barrel selections from a combination of the estate’s vineyards. These sites are based on volcanic and sedimentary soils, and are located in the Willamette Valley, primarily in the Dundee Hills and the Eola-Amity Hills. All of these sites are farmed with organic and biodynamic practices. Red and black fruits dominate, with an undercurrent of citrus.

2018 Sobon Estate Old Vine Zinfandel

Amador County, CA · $15.99 | Sale $13.99

The Sobon Estate winery started in 1989 when Leon and Shirley Sobon purchased one of the oldest wineries in California. The old vine Zinfandel was retained, and this bottling is estate-grown and sustainably-farmed in the highest elevations in the Shenandoah Valley. From a vintage of unparalleled quality, this wine exhibits sharp focus and balance. Notes of licorice on the nose give way to black and red fruits with depth, yet the wine is light in body and not overly jammy. A perfect summer barbecue wine.

2014 White Rock Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa, CA · $59.99 | Sale $49.99

This Napa winery is one of the first that gave Cabernet the reputation it has in this special region. It is estate-grown, produced, and bottled one mile off Silverado Trail, east of Yountville on the south end of the Stags Leap Range with east and west facing hilltops, white volcanic ash soils in a microclimate a few degrees cooler than the valley floor. Gorgeous, well-integrated French oak (only 35%), sturdy but well-knit tannins and long, complex finish. Notes of cassis, black currant and cedar make this old-worldsy Napa reminiscent of Bordeaux, with a little more fruit.

92 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

2015 Easton Zinfandel

Amador County, CA · $23.99 | Sale $19.99

In the late 1980s, Bill Easton created the Terre Rouge winery in Amador County with the intention of producing primarily Rhône varietals. His wines quickly garnered a following, and his Syrahs, in particular, are considered to be some of California’s finest. A few years later, after seeing the wealth of old vines growing in Amador County, he created the Easton line for non-Rhône varietals, featuring this bottling, along with a selection of old vine Zins. He uses only French oak, but never overdoes it. He holds onto his wines for a year or two after bottling, until he feels they are ready for release. The current release is this 2015 which has received much acclaim. "A velvety texture and extremely concentrated black-fruit flavors make this full-bodied wine delicious to savor. It has beautiful big tannins that are well integrated, luxurious blackberry, sage and cedar flavors, plus great length on the finish."

92 points + Top 100 Wines - No. 45 | Wine Spectator

91 points + Editor’s Choice | Wine Enthusiast

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FRANCE

2018 Lequin-Colin Bourgogne Blanc

Burgundy · $25.99 | Sale $22.99

The 2017 sold out quickly, and due to the limited amounts available we were unable to obtain more. Fortunately, the 2018 has just arrived, and we can safely say that it continues the tradition established by its predecessor. 100% Chardonnay, the grapes come from a vineyard in Santenay and one adjacent to Puligny-Montrachet and are certified organic. Half is fermented in used oak, the rest in tank. Only 5% is aged in new barrels. The 2018 is a bit lusher due to the warmer growing season, but it still retains the freshness that the estate is known for. Unfortunately, due to the imposition of tariffs, the price is a bit higher. Nonetheless, this is an outstanding example of white Burgundy at a reasonable price.

2018 Aurélien Chatagnier Saint-Joseph Blanc

Rhône · $31.99 | Sale $28.99

One of our favorite estates in the Rhône is that of Aurélien Chatagnier. He owns about 15 acres of vines and does almost all of the work in the cellar and vineyards by himself. His wines show beautiful purity and elegance and reflect their origins. We have featured his Saint- Joseph Blanc in the past, and the recent release of the 2018 has done nothing to dispel our enthusiasm. The wine is a blend of roughly equal parts of Marsanne and Roussanne and comes from two acres of organically-farmed vineyards. It is aged for eight to nine months in used barrels and never loses a sense of freshness that can evade all but the best northern Rhône whites. Total production is only about 400 cases, so we treasure every bottle we receive. It showcases notes of almond, honey and apricots with hints of green apple and white peaches. Despite the richness on the palate, the wine is bright and fresh. “The bouquet produces a cocktail of tropical fruit. The palate is pretty robust which sets it up for sauced dishes, no holding back on that front. It’s nicely voluptuous and embracing, gives a fun, gourmand glass.”

4 stars | John Livingstone-Learmont of Drink Rhône

2018 de Ladoucette Pouilly-Fumé

Loire · $42.99 | Sale $39.99

Along the banks of the Loire River in central France lies the appellation of Sancerre, home to some of the most sought after wines made from Sauvignon Blanc. Across the river but less well known is the smaller Pouilly-Fumé appellation; here the Sauvignon Blanc grape can reach equal and at times superior heights. One of the most prestigious estates in Pouilly-Fumé is that of the Baron de Ladoucette. (Yes, he still uses the title... safely, since the guillotine was retired in 1977!) His is one of the great wines of Pouilly-Fumé. With the advent of warmer temperatures, the wines are a bit more full-bodied than in the past, but they still retain the acidity and minerality that characterizes the great Sauvignon Blancs of the Loire Valley. They also make an excellent everyday Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards in Touraine called Les Deux Tours. “The 2018 de Ladoucette Pouilly-Fumé is one of the best examples of Sauvignon Blanc I have tasted this year. This wine fills the palate and stays long in the finish. Its aromas and flavors of dried herbs and ripe fruits, as well as its elevation on the palate, should pair it superbly with a piping bowl of freshly-steamed clams and mussels.”

93 Points | Wilfred Wong of Wine.com

2018 Le Petit Canet Vin de Pays d'Oc Rouge

Languedoc-Roussillon · $14.99 | Sale $12.99

This charming red is a blend of 50% Carignan and 25% each Syrah and Grenache sourced from vineyards around Minervois in southern France. A collaboration with Laurent Graell, a partner at Domaine de la Dourbie in the village of Canet, the grapes come from Dourbie’s own certified-organic vineyards, and are blended to highlight the traditional Carignan-based blends of the region. All of the wines are vinified with native yeast and aged in tank to ensure a fresh, easy to enjoy bottle. Black fruits, with savory garrigue notes and a touch of spice on the finish, this wine provides a lot of bang for your buck.

2017 Elian Da Ros "Le Vin est une Fête"

Côte du Marmandais · $23.99 | Sale $21.99

This is the escapist wine we all need now - "Wine is a Party." From right outside Entre-Deux-Mers, the blend is “like Beaujolais meets the Loire made by a Burgundy lover near Bordeaux.” Merlot and Cabernet Franc are joined by Abouriou, a native grape of the tiny Marmandais appellation, whose darker skins contribute color and structure to the finished product. The Merlot and Cab Franc are de-stemmed and fermented in open concrete tanks. The Abouriou sees semi-carbonic maceration, giving the wine that “je ne sais quoi” that makes it perfect for lovers of every French region! Certified organic and practicing biodynamic.

2017 Château de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion Côtes-du-Rhône

Rhône · $23.99 | Sale $19.99

Louis Barruol’s family has owned the Saint Cosme estate since 1570. In the ensuing centuries it has come to be regarded as one of the best estates in Gigondas. They purchase fruit from throughout the Rhône to produce wines for their affordable Saint Cosme label. Estate bottlings are called Château de Saint Cosme and consist primarily of their Gigondas bottlings and this premium Côtes-du-Rhône called Les Deux Albion. The grapes for Les Deux Albion come from organically-farmed vineyards in the appellation of Cairanne and two appellated Côtes-du-Rhône Villages; Plan de Dieu and St. Maurice. Made from 50% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 15% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Clairette, this is a wine of great power. Deeply-colored, rich and full-bodied, this can rival many Gigondas at twice the price. If you wish to challenge your culinary expertise, the winery recommends pairing it with Moroccan tagine of pigeon! “...a very attractive, dark-stone and black-fruit nose with rich and intense blackberries and licorice and some savory, rust-like, sanguine elements. The richness and depth are impressive and there’s a wealth of intense, rich and very concentrated fruit on offer.”

93 Points | James Suckling

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ITALY

FEATURE: THE WHITE WINES OF ITALY

Lost in our adulation of Chardonnay (as in White Burgundy), Sauvignon Blanc and wines from the Loire is the almost limitless bounty of wonderful and unique white wines from Italy. Italy is the world’s largest wine producer by volume, and despite the renown of its reds, 57% of production is white. Quite a bit of this is the oceans of innocuous Pinot Grigio produced primarily in the Veneto region, but there are literally hundreds of other white wine varietals planted throughout the country. Most are indigenous only to Italy. Summer is white wine time, and this is an opportunity to explore the multitude of options available. Here are a few premium selections for your delectation:

2017 Vie di Romans Flors di Uis

Friuli · $29.99 | Sale $26.99

From Friuli, one of Italy’s great white wine regions, comes this rich blend of Malvasia, Friulano and Riesling Renano. “Sliced apples and limes with hints of honey and lemon tea. Full body. Very intense flavors with powerful acidity and brightness on the palate. Flavorful finish.”

95 points | James Suckling

2017 Manni Nössing Kerner

Alto Adige · $32.99 | Sale $29.99

Kerner is a cross between Riesling and Schiava. The viticulturist who conceived of it named it after an obscure poet, Justinus Kerner, who once wrote a poem entitled “Arise, Still Drunk!” Not a behavior we advocate, but we do recommend Kerner, grown in the Valle Isarco in Alto Adige. Only about 50 acres of Kerner are grown in Italy, and Nössing’s is one of the best. Scents of mountain flowers and white fruits. Full- bodied with good acidity, and despite its Riesling heritage, not sweet! Wonderful stuff.

2016 La Colombera Derthona

Piemonte · $30.99 | Sale $25.99

Derthona is made from the Timorasso grape, grown almost exclusively in one corner of Piemonte. Rescued from extinction just a generation ago, it now produces one of Italy’s most fascinating white wines. Timorasso is a thick-skinned varietal, and the resulting wine is full- bodied with alluring floral scents, creamy apricot and apple flavors and bright acidity. Capable of aging for years, it eventually develops dried fruit and honey notes with an intriguing smoky nuance.