The 2020 Wine Newsletter -V5 The Holiday Edition- Is Here!
What a Year! 2020... full of trials and tribulations for all, but you have continued to show your support through it all, and we greatly appreciate it!
The good news is that your outpouring of votes cast in both the 2020 Colorado Springs Independent's and Gazette's "Best of the Springs" competitions enabled us to receive triple medals in both contests… again scoring the Indy's GOLD medals for BEST STORE for WINE and BEST STORE for CRAFT BEER! Thank you so much! 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.
The bad news is that we cannot host our annual "Infamous Christmas Wine Soirée" this year, due to the coronavirus. But our awesome wine staff has put together an outstanding selection of bottles from around the world for our Christmas Wine Sale, which are featured in this Holiday Edition of our newsletter, along with our usual, highly-informative tasting notes.
As always, we are happy to wax poetic with you about any of the wines we carry, when you visit. The Christmas Wine Sale lasts through New Years, so come back often. We have something for everyone on your list and for all your holiday celebrations.
And don't forget that we offer local delivery and complimentary curbside pickup.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! We wish you good health and happiness in the upcoming year. Here's to 2021!
Peggy, Jim and our wonderful Coaltrain team!
· While we strive for perfection, we sometimes make a pricing mistake or typo. We appreciate your understanding. ·
WINES OF THE MONTH
2018 Les Trois Couronnes Côtes-du-Rhône
Côtes-du-Rhône, France · $14.99 | Sale $10.99
Hitting a home run, crossing the finish line of a marathon, reaching the peak of Mt. Everest - these are a few activities we compare to picking our Wines of the Month! Numerous days of hard work, tasting, and many sleepless nights are spent before we find the right wine. Maybe that’s a bit much, but in all seriousness, we do taste many wines to try to find a great value for our customers. It's a task we take seriously, and it's not always easy to find the perfect holiday wine. But we all did agree on the 2018 Les Trois Couronnes Côtes-du-Rhône. A harmonious blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that displays ripe flavors of blackberry, plum, spice, and hints of earth, this wine is round in the mouth with gentle, well-integrated tannins and a long, rich finish. We can't say enough about what a great value this is, and we think you'll agree. Excellent with all your holiday feasts!
2019 Domaine J. Boulon Beaujolais Blanc
Beaujolais, France · $14.99 | Sale $11.99
Ah, Burgundy! Ancestral home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and some of the most sought-after and expensive wines in the world. Fortunately, south of the prestigious Côte-d’Or region, one can find more accessible styles of Burgundian winemaking and never more so than in Beaujolais. Here in a region famous for its refreshing red wines, grown on mostly granitic soils, a small amount of white is made as well, usually grown on limestone soils. All Beaujolais Blanc must be 100% Chardonnay. Domaine J. Boulon has about five acres dedicated to Chardonnay and makes a very refreshing and affordable Beaujolais Blanc. The wine is aged briefly in stainless steel tanks. There is no oak aging. It's refreshing, with subtle aromas of stone fruits, pears and melon and a surprising minerality for a wine at this price point. This has the character of a Chardonnay from a much more prestigious (and expensive) location.
Vicente Gandía NV Hoya de Cadenas Cava Brut
Valencia, Spain · $15.99 | Sale $11.99
Cava is one of the great values in the wine world. By Spanish law, all Cava must be made using the "traditional method" or what used to be called the "méthode champenoise." These are the same procedures used in the making of French Champagne. This is a labor-intensive method, and is usually used only in more expensive bottlings. In the hills above Valencia, the Vicente Gandía winery produces a bevy of wines, including several excellent Cavas. Traditionally, the most important grape in Cava is the local varietal Macabeo. However, since the 1980s, producers have been allowed to use Chardonnay. The Hoya de Cadenas Organic Cava Brut has a significant amount of Chardonnay in the blend, and this notably adds a finesse and elegance to the wine that one doesn’t often see in Cava. This is a very clean, delicate sparkler, with beautiful bubbles and flavors of ripe apples and pear, with a touch of biscuitiness that is so prized in high-end Champagne. A perfect wine to toast the holiday season or just to enjoy with lighter fare.
2016 The Paring Sauvignon Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley, CA · $21.99 | Sale $16.99
20 years ago, Matt Dees had just graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in plant science and was searching for his next step in life. Those steps lead him to Australia, Napa and New Zealand where he landed stints working at several different wineries such as Craggy Range and Staglin. Matt now juggles winemaking responsibilities at three wineries: Jonata, The Hilt and The Paring. The Paring uses the younger vines and vineyards that don’t fit into the style of Jonata or The Hilt. Situated in Santa Barbara, the grapes are sourced from vineyards in Santa Maria, Santa Rita Hills and Ballard Canyon. The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is a richer style of the varietal due to a third of the wine being aged in new French oak. This adds depth to the citrus layers of the wine without diluting the zest. The palate has flavors of lemon, lime and hints of grapefruit with herbaceous notes in the background. It finishes clean and dry with bracing acidity. Owned by the iconic Screaming Eagle winery.
93 points | Jeb Dunnuck
2018 Dewey's Vermentino
El Dorado County, CA · $26.99 | Sale $24.99
When we tasted this wine, thoughts of holiday table and food pairings came rushing to our minds. A grape that we are used to seeing from Italy, this Vermentino is organically grown and harvested from the Barsotti Vineyard in El Dorado County outside Sacramento. Pink granite soils lend salinity and savoriness to the wine, which features ripe fruit and viscosity. The mouth-coating weight and fresh minerality balance each other perfectly, and 15 months in neutral barrel round out the production. Only 100 cases were produced, so by no means are there unlimited quantities. Drink with turkey, or serve with appetizers to introduce guests to an alternative white!
2018 Foxen Chenin Blanc
Santa Barbara County, CA · $27.99 | Sale $24.99
The anchor on the Foxen labels is an homage to the shipping heritage of Capt. William Benjamin Foxen, the great-great-grandfather of the label’s co-founder and the original owner of Rancho Tinaquaic, where Foxen Winery makes its home. This picturesque canyon in northern Santa Barbara County produces single-vineyard varietals with minimal intervention, leaving the fruit to express itself and its terroir. Grapes for the Ernesto Wickendon Chenin are whole-cluster pressed, and the juice rests on the lees in large French barrels before bottling. If you haven't tried Chenin Blanc recently, treat yourself to this bottle while it lasts. "The Foxen Chenin is one of the most distinctive wines in Santa Barbara. It is also an insane value."
94 points | Antonio Galloni · Vinous
2018 Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc
Santa Barbara County, CA · $19.99 | Sale $17.99
The wines of Au Bon Climat are nothing new at Coaltrain, and if you really enjoy exceptional wines they shouldn’t be to you, either. It was started in 1982 by Jim Clendenen, in Santa Barbara, with a vision to make classically-styled wines, and he has been nothing short of successful. His wines have been receiving critical acclaim for years, and we're definitely followers. The 2018 Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc is a refreshing white wine with layers of lime, pear and lemon with a richness from time spent in the barrel that wraps it all together. This is a great match for a roasted turkey!
2016 Smith·Madrone Chardonnay
Napa, CA · $42.99 | Sale $39.99
In the hills above St. Helena, in the northern part of Napa Valley, lies the Spring Mountain appellation. Here in 1971, in the rugged Mayacamas Mountains that separate Napa Valley from Sonoma Valley, Stu Smith purchased 200 acres of wild land, and with the assistance of his brother Charlie, they gradually planted 38 acres of vines. In these days of corporate takeovers and large trophy wineries purchased by wealthy venture capitalists, the Smith family still owns this small winery that they built from scratch, where production rarely exceeds 4000 cases. They are firm believers in dry farming and do not irrigate. They made their first splash in 1979, when their Riesling (considered by some to be Napa’s best) was declared "Best Riesling in the World" at a special tasting organized by the French food and wine magazine Gault & Millau. Very nice wood integration. Full of white pear, white peach, and a kiss of vanilla. Full-bodied Chardonnay that isn't too buttery, oaky, or fat like Napa Chardonnay can get. Oily on the palate. Spicy finish.
94 points | Wine Enthusiast
2018 Hirsch Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, CA · $76.99 | Sale $73.99
We feel very fortunate to have received some Hirsch Chardonnay this year. Hirsch makes arguably some of the best California Chardonnays, and it all started in 1980 when David Hirsch planted vines in Sonoma Coast, two miles from the ocean. Until 2001, Hirsch sold all his grapes to such noteworthy producers as Williams Selyem and Kistler, but then he decided it was time to make his own wine and he has never looked back. Hirsch has always focused on the terroir of the region, not over manipulating the fruit, and it has paid off. Their Chardonnays are incredibly well-balanced with bracing acidity, minerality and bolstered by stone fruit. This wine displays great energy and intensity. Always in demand and highly-rated, this is one not to miss. Extremely limited. Organic and biodynamic.
96 points + Chardonnay of the Year Wine & Spirits
92 points | The Wine Advocate
2017 Calera Pinot Noir
Central Coast, CA · $26.99 | Sale $19.99
In 1974, after interning at two prestigious wineries in Burgundy, Josh Jensen returned home to California and searched for the limestone soil that was so prevalent in the great vineyards of Burgundy. Although common in France, limestone was not easy to find in California. Finally, after a lengthy search, he purchased some land atop Mt. Harlan in the Gavilan Mountains east of Monterey. His subsequent Pinot Noirs have come to be recognized as some of the finest made in America. While his single vineyard estate Pinot Noirs can bring high prices, he also produces a Central Coast bottling. This is no ordinary regional wine. Fruit is sourced from some of the area’s most renowned vineyards including Bien Nacido, Pedregal, Laetitia and Garys'. "The 2017 Pinot Noir Central Coast comes from multiple vineyards throughout the Central Coast and has a touch of the elegance and purity found in the top cuvées. Impressive black raspberry fruits, white flowers, spice, and a subtle salty minerality all emerge from the glass, and it's beautifully textured, balanced, and just a joy to drink."
93 points | Jeb Dunnuck
2017 Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard
Willamette Valley, OR · $59.99 | Sale $48.99
Ken Wright sees Pinot Noir as a "gift of nature," and thus, he strives to leave his wines as untouched and individual as possible. Thirteen different single vineyard sites throughout the Willamette Valley, including Carter in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, are used to produce a collection of Pinot Noirs with the intention of demonstrating how terroir can be reflected in the bottle. This Carter selection is a mature and well-rounded wine, with beautiful blue/black fruit that features a medium-spicy profile. Firm acidity keeps the tone lively, with moderate tannins providing a smooth finish. Organic.
92 points | William Wong for Wine.com
2018 Owen Roe Abbot's Table Red
Yakima Valley, WA · $25.99 | Sale $23.99
If the interesting blend on this wine wasn’t enough to recommend it, the fact that our tasting notes say, "delicious all the way through," seals the deal. Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Blaufränkisch and Malbec come together to create a unique combination (did you say Blaufränkisch?) that blends bright red fruits and acidity, coating the palate with a pleasing and balanced wine that, for the money, can’t be beat. The fact that it is from Owen Roe only makes it more appealing; winemaker and co-founder David O’Reilly makes it his mission to use the best estate and purchased Washington fruit to create wines that serve a higher purpose… "Abbot’s Table honors the most fundamental form of hospitality through the ages - the meal." What better way to show friends and family that you care (not to mention that you have good taste)?
2016 Gilbert Cellars Malbec
Horse Heaven Hills, WA · $34.99 | Sale $31.99
Although Malbec has been around for centuries, it is still searching for its true identity. While well known for its success in Argentina, where it produces powerful and often well-oaked reds, it originally hails from Cahors in southern France, where the wines are lighter and fresher with less wood aging. As temperatures in wine-growing regions rise, Malbec has increasingly been planted in warmer regions where it can handle the heat better than many other varietals. Increased plantings in Napa Valley can attest to this trend, where it is often used to beef up Cabernet Sauvignon. In Washington state, Gilbert Cellars makes a different style of Malbec. From their own Chukar Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills, they produce a powerful Malbec with a quintessential blue fruit profile that perfectly complements the deft use of oak. This is a different style of Malbec that has surprising depth and complexity and portends well for the future of Malbec in America. "A very brambly array of plums and mulberries with a succulent and juicy edge, which makes for a compelling palate, as well as a fresh, energetic finish."
92 points | James Suckling
2014 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $52.99 | Sale $46.99
California's oldest continually-operating winery is known for its Cabs, and this one is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah comprising the rest. The mouthfeel of this wine shows a rich texture and layers of ripe dark fruits with hints of leather and chocolate. Full-bodied, dark and concentrated, with plush tannins that underpin the solid structure, this Cabernet Sauvignon is ready to drink.
92 points | James Suckling
2017 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $22.99 | Sale $19.99
Sourced heavily from Coombsville, Rutherford, and other select Napa sites, this 100% Cabernet is aged 16 months in 40% new French oak. It is a rich, medium-bodied red with berry and fresh herb notes, well-structured tannins, and subtle oak influence. Start grilling your rib-eye! This is the under $20 Napa Cab that will make your meal shine!
93 points | James Suckling
2016 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $139.99 | Sale $128.99
Not only does Larkmead own some of the most iconic vineyards in all of Napa Valley (they are one of the oldest, family-owned vineyards, having been established in 1895,) they also happen to have one of Napa’s most iconic winemakers. Dan Petroski, the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Winemaker of the Year, produces classic, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon from beautifully-farmed Napa Valley fruit. "This stellar, powerhouse wine is perfumed in aromas of pencil, leather and sage that season a core of mineral and crushed rock. The fruit is equally savory in currant and plum, with a dusting of dark chocolate."
98 points | Wine Enthusiast
2016 Stuhlmuller Zinfandel
Alexander Valley, CA · $34.99 | Sale $29.99
Dry Creek Valley, in northern Sonoma County, is home to many of the most revered old vine Zinfandel vineyards. One of the most esteemed of these is the Teldeschi Vineyard, with vines planted back in the 1890s. It is from this site that Fritz Stuhlmuller took some cuttings and planted them at his family vineyards in nearby Alexander Valley. The Stuhlmullers produce mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, the varietal that Anderson Valley is most known for, but they also have two small parcels of Zinfandel from the Teldeschi cuttings. While Dry Creek Zins are known for their red fruits and spice, the 2016 Stuhlmuller Zinfandel shows the blue fruit quality that Alexander Valley is famous for. The wine is aged in equal amounts of French and American oak (20% new). This is a lush, and equally elegant and well-balanced Zinfandel, not jammy, and with a real purity of fruit. Blueberries, plums, vanilla and black cherries with a hint of spice all figure in the flavor profile. Great for barbecue. You do grill year round, don't you?
2018 JB Adam Sec… Si Blanc
Alsace · $17.99 | Sale $13.99
The wine in the bottle is as fun as the tongue-in-cheek label, but it comes with some serious winemaking chops behind it. Jean-Baptiste Adam and his family celebrated 400 years in the wine business in 2014; daughter Laure is the 15th generation to participate in the company. The grapes for this Alsatian white are certified-organic and biodynamic; 85% Sylvaner and 15% Muscat offer floral notes on the palate and lift on the finish. Just enough fruit to allow this wine to pair perfectly with a wide range of menu options, from sushi to Indian to your Thanksgiving table.
Domaine Borgeot is located just outside of Santenay in the Côte de Beaune. Founded in 1903, brothers Pascal and Laurent, the 4th generation of the Borgeot family, now run this small family winery. Pascal is the vineyard manager and utilizes sustainable and organic practices that allow the beauty of the region to show in the wine. Laurent is the winemaker who likes to ferment in stainless steel and then usually ages the juice 10-12 months in about 25% new French oak to provide richness. Although they make approximately equal amounts of red and white wines, it is their whites that have garnered the most attention. They own significant holdings in the premium white wine villages of Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet.