The 2021 Newsletter - Volume 1 - Is HERE!
WINES OF THE MONTH
2018 Statti Gaglioppo
Calabria, Italy · $17.99 | Sale $12.99
For over 2000 years, the agricultural history of Calabria, the toe of the Italian boot, has been entwined with wine. The Statti family has been working this land since the 1700s, cultivating grapes, olives, citrus, corn and cattle. Their Gaglioppo (roughly galley-owe-poe) captivated us as something new and delightful to introduce to our customers. Once thought to be of Greek origin, more recent DNA studies have determined the Gaglioppo grape to be a crossing of Sangiovese (of Chianti fame) and another (as yet unidentified) varietal. Vinified in stainless steel, the wine is light to medium bodied, earthy with rich red fruit notes and fresh. Well-made and well-balanced, this would pair perfectly with charcuterie and cheese, legumes or any red or white meat dishes. Cin cin!
2018 Domini Veneti Bianco di Custoza
Veneto, Italy · $13.99 | Sale $10.99
Ever since Domini Veneti came on our radar when we chose their Appassimento for our Christmas 2019 Wine of the Month, thequality-to-value ratio they represent has continued to impress. Known for their many iterations of Amarone,this family-owned producer puts their all into every wine in the range. Custoza shows a blend of Garganega, Trebbiano and Fernanda and offers an enticing alternative to the Pinot Grigios found throughout its native Veneto. The fresh acid will awaken your palate and make a great pairing for light seafood dishes or Cacio e Pepe pasta.
2020 Meinklang Frizzante Rosé "Prosa"
Burgenland, Austria · $21.99 | Sale $18.99
One of the great gems of the Austrian wine world is the estate of Meinklang. Located in the province of Burgenland in extreme eastern Austria on the border with Hungary, Meinklang is a fully certified-organic and biodynamic estate that produces not only distinctive wines, but also cultivates heritage wheats and organically-raised pork and cattle. Their Prosa rosé is composed primarily of Pinot Noir (locally known as Blauburgunder) with a dollop of Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Subtle strawberry and raspberry flavors with a touch of minerality and perfect low-profile carbonation. Low in alcohol and incredibly refreshing. Perfect patio sipper or cold weather refreshment. Organic, biodynamic and vegan.
2018 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc
Paso Robles, CA · $27.99 | Sale $24.99
In 1989, American importer Robert Haas teamed up with the Perrin brothers, owners of famed Château Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, to produce Rhône style wines in California. They imported cuttings from Beaucastel and planted them in land they purchased in Paso Robles. In the ensuing decades their reputation has soared as one of the leading producers of Rhône varietals in America. Their Patelin de Tablas Blanc is their tribute to the great white wines of the Rhône Valley. It's a blend of of five white Rhône varietals: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne and Clairette Blanche from nine different vineyard sites. "Fresh, mineral-tinged honeydew melon, pit fruits and white flowers on the intensely perfumed, focused nose. Densely packed and supple in texture, offering juicy peach and melon flavors that show sharp clarity and a touch of backend spiciness. The floral and mineral qualities carry through the penetrating finish."
Organic, biodynamic and vegan.
91 points | Vinous
2018 Groth Hillview Chardonnay
Napa, CA · $36.99 | Sale $33.99
We have a hard time passing up a truly elegant Napa Chardonnay that doesn't over-oak or acidify the juice, and keeps the malolactic fermentation to a minimum; When it comes from estate-grown fruit from a winery of Groth's caliber, it's a no-brainer. The vineyard, located in the Oak Knoll AVA, lends tropical notes and freshness resulting from the cooler climate; whole cluster pressing a majority of the juice lends delicacy and softness. A kiss of oak and sur lie aging bring the richness without weight. Try it with fish or a bowl of clam chowder.
90 points | James Suckling
90 points | Wine Enthusiast
2018 Charles & Charles Riesling
Yakima Valley, WA · $12.99 | Sale $10.99
Charles and Charles is a collaboration between two well-known winemakers in the industry, Charles Bieler and Charles Smith. Bieler is a wine innovator who was named in Food & Wine magazine's "Top 40 Big Thinkers under 40" and co-manages the winery Bieler Père & Fils with his father in Provence. Charles Smith is owner and winemaker of K Vintners and Charles Smith wineries in Walla Walla, WA. Smith was named "Winemaker of the Year" in 2009 by Food & Wine. Over 10 years ago, Bieler was interested in making wine in America, and during his research he met Smith. As they say, the rest is history. They consider themselves "just two guys turning Washington's old-school dirt and New World fruit into a true original." Their 2018 Riesling is an insanely good example of Washington wine made with passion and focus. The nose is an array of citrus fruits like lime, apricot and a touch of petrol that lets you know it's Riesling. There is a medium mouthfeel with flavors of nectarine, peach and apple and just a kiss of sugar. The acid is lively and keeps the finish fresh and crisp. We honestly cannot believe what a bargain this is! Pair it with your favorite Asian dishes.
90 points | Wine Spectator
2018 Dunham Three Legged Red
Washington · $21.99 | Sale $19.99
Eric Dunham was sitting on his porch when he heard the small frantic yelps of a dog from across the road. Eric ran to find a small puppy being attacked by another dog. Eric rescued the puppy and took him to the local vet. Unfortunately, the little pup lost one of his legs. Eric adopted him and named him Port for the two legs left on his port side. Soon they became best friends. Eric Dunham is the winemaker/owner for Dunham Cellars, located in one of the best wine growing regions in Washington, Walla Walla. Eric made this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and named it after his buddy. It's packed full of lush cherry and raspberry flavors with well-integrated tannins and some bright acidity to balance it all out. It is a great value for an everyday drinking wine. So raise a glass to your furry friend and enjoy!
91 points | Wine Enthusiast
2018 McPrice Myers High on the Hog Red
Paso Robles, CA · $21.99 | Sale $18.99
McPrice Myers, a.k.a. Mac, was a 28-year-old self-proclaimed food and wine geek living in California. Mac would travel throughout the Central Coast trying new foods and wines until he decided to give it a shot himself. He didn’t attempt to be a chef, but he built a winery in Paso Robles instead. He released his first wines in 2002, paying respect not just to California wines, but the Rhône region of France, as well. His 2018 High on the Hog red blend comes from his Hard Working Wines series - a group of wines that are fruit-forward, bold and value-priced. High on the Hog is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah and Graciano aged in French oak for 20 months. Plenty of rich dark cherry and plum fruit on the palate with notes of violet, spice and a touch of oak. This wine screams for barbecue and grilled foods. At $18.99 we did feel high on the hog with this wine!
90 points | Wine Enthusiast
2012 Allis Ranch Two Husky Reserve Syrah
Grand Valley, CO · $29.99 | Sale $26.99
Just up the road in Sedalia, David Rhyne runs a little micro-winery, Allis Ranch. He is what what the French would call a garagiste. In 2012, David made a special Reserve bottling. Syrah grapes from the Western slope were co-fermented with 2% Viognier in the tradition of the great wines of Côte-Rôtie. The wine was then aged in a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak, 50% new. The oak has given the wine the structure it needed for long term aging that is not often seen in Colorado wine. Drinking beautifully now with flavors of blackberries, plums, coffee and mocha. One of Colorado's best Syrahs.
2017 J. Wilkes Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, CA · $26.99 | Sale $24.99
"Wines of character, wines of place." Jeff Wilkes launched his eponymous label in 2001 to bear witness to his conviction to the terroir and quality of the Central Coast area of California, focusing on Santa Maria and the Paso Robles Highlands. After years as a grape grower and salesman for Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Vineyards, he decided to get his hands dirty in the winery, concentrating on the Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay grapes, which flourished in the area. After Jeff's untimely passing in 2010, the brand was relaunched with a renewed fervor to pay tribute to his love of the region and its fruit. This Cabernet from the Paso Robles Highlands shows concentration of cassis, blackberry and tobacco backed by toasty oak notes and cedar. A sense of elegance and restraint keeps the palate from being too heavy handed, and a burst of acid provides a lively finish.
2018 Post & Beam Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $52.99 | Sale $49.99
A new wine adventure from the iconic Far Niente Winery located in the heart of Napa Valley comes Post & Beam, a reference to the simple beauty of "post and beam" barns that are spread across our country. Far Niente strives to make pure and uncomplicated, yet beautiful wines with Post & Beam, and to no surprise, they have succeeded. This Cab has layers of black cherry and blackcurrant with streaks of cedar and leather. The tannins are supple and the finish just lingers on and on. Perfect with filet mignon or ribeye. This is a great opportunity to try some wine from the Far Niente family at a fraction of the cost of some of their other wines.
91 points | Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
2018 1881 Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $29.99 | Sale $19.99
Any wine lover who has made the pilgrimage to Napa Valley has probably stopped into the Oakville Grocery on Highway 29 for picnic supplies or a quick snack to soak up one too many tastings. The landmark retail shop, one of the oldest still-operating businesses in California, was founded in 1881 and served the many farmers and winery workers during the early days of California's wine evolution. This wine from Jean-Charles Boisset, produced in the neighboring Victorian home of the grocery's original owner, pays tribute to the history of those early beginnings. The dark purple color you expect from a 100% Napa Cab, with full flavors of boysenberry, mulling spices and cocoa. Not overdone, the fruit on the front gives way to a long smooth finish with just enough tannins to keep it all in balance. A real value from this part of Napa!
2019 Domaine de Salvard Unique Sauvignon Blanc
Loire · $16.99 | Sale $13.99
The Domaine de Salvard is located in the appellation of Cheverny in the heart of the Loire region in central France. This is Sauvignon Blanc country, but Cheverny is unique in that the growers are permitted to use up to 20% Chardonnay. The Delaille brothers, who own the estate, produce an exemplary Cheverny, but they also make an outstanding straight Sauvignon Blanc, called "Unique," with only the Val de Loire designation. Made from a 37-acre vineyard on sandy, clay soils close to the famous châteaux of Chambord and aged on its lees with no oak. Vibrant and brimming with aromas and flavors of citrus and stone fruits with a bright minerally finish. This is a baby Sancerre at less than half the price. Practicing organic.
2019 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Demi-Sec
Loire · $19.99 | Sale $17.99
Often when our newsletter cycle straddles two seasons, we find ourselves looking for wines that can take our customers from winter into spring (or summer into fall). The versatility of Chenin Blanc is one reason it shows up so regularly, whether hailing from France, South Africa, or the United States. Domaine Pichot Vouvray comes from the Loire Valley, just outside Vouvray, and strikes a perfect balance with a weight and aroma for cool weather, accented by fresh acidity to take you into warmer months. White fruit aromas and medium sweetness mean this wine will pair with everything from goat cheese tart to lemon crème brûlée.
2019 Cherche Midi Rouge
Languedoc · $14.99 | Sale $12.99
"Cherche Midi" is a French slang term that means "Noon-Seeker" or someone who is looking to invite themselves to a free lunch. The winemaker at Aurore de Fleurieu made this delightful red blend to have on hand in case someone just pops in. Located in southern France between the Gardon and Rhône rivers, this wine is mostly Syrah with some Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon to balance it out. It has flavors of blackberry, blueberry, black pepper spice and smoked meat notes - all classic Syrah characteristics. Medium-bodied with a fairly soft texture, this is an easy drinking red, and, as a bonus, it's organic. We recommend stocking up on this because you just never know who might show up!
2016 Château de Grandchamp Bordeaux
Bordeaux · $25.99 | Sale $22.99
Just east of the prestigious appellation of Saint-Émilion lies the satellite appellation Montagne-Saint-Émilion. Here, amidst the rolling hills, the soil is remarkably similar to that of its more famous neighbor. As it can be significantly cooler, the wines don't reach quite the heights of power and concentration of the Grand Crus next door, but they do represent excellent value. This is a small estate of only about eight acres. The vineyard is farmed organically, and the blend is 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Twenty-five percent of the crop is aged in used barrels, the rest in concrete vats. This is a rich and rounded wine from the great 2016 vintage with plenty of ripe, dark fruit, silky tannins and a lush finish. Certainly the equivalent of many higher-priced Saint-Émilions. Organic and vegan.
2016 Château de Cugat Bordeaux Supérieur
Bordeaux · $17.99 | Sale $14.99
In 1966, 20 year old María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, otherwise known as Charo, married 66-year-old bandleader Xavier Cugat. Retroactively billed as a marriage of convenience, it lasted for almost 12 years. What does this have to do with Château de Cugat? Absolutely nothing.
The Entre-Deux-Mers region lies south of Saint-Émilion. This is the largest appellation in Bordeaux and provides oceans of everyday wines. The best red wines from the region require lower yields and are labeled as Bordeaux Supérieur. These represent great values. Château de Cugat sits atop a hill and has superior drainage to the vineyards on the plains surrounding it. The blend is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged mostly in tank with a few used barrels. Cherry, currant and tobacco on the bouquet with subtle blackcurrant, vanilla, spice and smoke notes on the palate, this wine over-delivers for the price and proves that Bordeaux does not always have to be a special occasion wine. Cuchi, Cuchi!
2018 Scaia Garganega/Chardonnay
Tre Venezie · $13.99 | Sale $10.99
In 1989, fours brothers Armando, Tiziano, Paolo, and Massimo Castagnedi had a dream to continue the great work their father had started with his vineyards in the northeast of Italy in Valpolicella. They started a winery, Tenuta Sant'Antonio, and created the Scaia project. "Scaia" in Veneto dialect means a chip of stone, chalk or limestone which is the composition of the soil where their vines are planted. It is a tribute to the land and tradition of the wines made near Verona. The wines here are fresh, crisp and aromatic. We fell in love with the tropical and citrus flavors of their Garganega/Chardonnay blend. It shows beautiful freshness with white flower aromatics and a bracing acidity. Perfect matches would be seafood in light sauces, risotto or roasted vegetables.
2018 iLauri Bajo Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Abruzzo · $15.99 | Sale $11.99
Montepulciano is the second-most-planted red grape in Italy (after Sangiovese) and has a reputation for well-priced, juicy "pizza-friendly" red wines. The Bajo Montepulciano from iLauri is sustainably farmed, estate grown in stony, calcareous soil, vinified in stainless steel, and aged six months in large Slovenian oak. The wine is lively, with bright red fruit and cedary spice notes. Pick up a few bottles to pair with any rich pasta dish, say lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, or sausage pizza.
2018 Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta Grignolino d'Asti
Piemonte · $22.99 | Sale $16.99
The Marchesi Incisa della Rochetta family has been producing wines in the Piemonte region of Italy for several hundred years. They were the first to experiment with Pinot Noir in this area, and some of the family moved south to Tuscany to create the iconic Sassicaia (which Coaltrain has). Today it is Filiberto and Francesca Massone Incisa della Rochetta that continue the tradition of dedication and excellence in winemaking. The 2018 Grignolino is no exception. "Grignole" is a Piemontese word that means grape seeds, which this varietal has aplenty. These grape seeds give the Grignolino wine great tannic structure. It has light ruby color and notes of lighter berry fruits and some spice on the nose. The flavors are a spectrum of cranberry, strawberry and raspberry with hints of earth. The bright acidity makes this wine savory and delightful. Any pasta dishes with tomato sauce will pair well, or try it slightly chilled on those warmer days.
2018 Pecchenino Dolcetto San Luigi
Piemonte · $18.99 | Sale $16.99
This Dolcetto from DOCG Dogliani lives up to the name of the varietal. It opens with brilliant sweet fruit, backed by a lively acidity that finishes with a bit of anise. Blending savory and spice, this wine could be your Tuesday night accompaniment to a beef roast or eggplant parmigiana. Seventy percent of the Pecchenino estate is dedicated to the Dolcetto grape, and Dogliani is particularly well-suited to its cultivation. Their other properties lie in the municipality of Monforte d'Alba where their Barolo is produced. This family-run winery has been handed down from fathers to sons since the 1700s.
2018 Rainoldi San Gregorio Rosso di Valtellina
Lombardy · $27.99 | Sale $20.99
In 1925, the Aldo Rainoldi Winery was founded in the heart of Valtellina, nestled against the Alps in Italy's far north Lombardy region. The dramatic landscape and terroir of this geographical wonder features terraced vineyards clinging to rocky hillsides, as well as Mediterranean flora such as agave and cactus growing in dense forests. The area is Italy's second largest producer of the Nebbiolo grape, known locally as Chiavennasca (from the local dialect "Ciu Venasca," meaning "more winey"), and the Rosso from Rainoldi showcases the style Valtellina is known for. Freshness and aroma are paramount, and the slightly-funky nose gives one a sense of the scrubby, rough-hewn source of this 100% Nebbiolo. A typical pale red with medium density and bright acid, it makes an excellent case for the wines of this majestic DOC.
2019 Antonella Corda Cannonau di Sardegna
Sardinia · $31.99 | Sale $26.99
Sardegna (or Sardinia) is an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea and home to Antonella Corda. Corda's grandfather is Antonio Argiolas, who was a winemaker, himself, before retiring. When he stopped making wine, he left Antonella 40 hectares of vineyards and his wine wisdom. Antonella took that knowledge, went to college and received a degree in Agricultural Sciences, and then got busy. Antonella is serious about sustainability and organic farming, so she only planted 15 hectares to vines (the rest to olive trees), preserved habitat, and used crop rotation to keep the soil healthy. We feel that her commitment to her vineyards is what makes her wines so special. The 2019 Cannanou, the Sardinian name for Grenache, is a true beauty. Aged in older oak for only a few months, the true fruit characteristics of the grapes shine. Aromas of cherries, plums and blackberries with hints of white pepper are followed by rich, dark fruit and earth on the palate with warm mouthfeel and nicely integrated tannins. Pair it with antipasto, roasted vegetables and grilled meats.
2017 Edi Simčič Duet Red
Goriška Brda · $36.99 | Sale $33.99
Winemaking has existed in Slovenia since before the days of the Roman Empire. The wines of Edi Simčič are made in the Goriška Brda region, just 500 yards from the Italian border. During the Tito era, the winery was shut down, but Edi revitalized it in 1990. To many, these are the finest wines made in Slovenia. His Duet Red is a Bordeaux blend. Aged for up to 24 months in oak barrels, this is a wine of great richness and power that rivals many new world reds at twice the price. "Mostly Merlot, about 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and the same amount of Cabernet Franc. Duet is bold, reminiscent of a Napa Valley red; big in the bottle but not on the price tag. His Duet is pure Simčič: bold, stirring, compelling. Its richness is like a restaurant-only dessert: chocolate, cherries, cheesecake, and coffee. Its silky tannins underscore a lush, ripe, fruit-full body that goes on and on. This one is an absolute stunner!"
95 points | Wine Spectrum
SPAIN & PORTUGAL
2018 Los Conejos Malditos
Tierra de Castilla, Spain
$12.99 | Sale $10.99
It took us a minute to digest the label of this cheeky production from Más Que Vinos, a winery of three friends and winemakers with a passion for the grape-growing potential they saw in the Meseta de Ocaña, an agricultural region east of Toledo in central Spain. High-altitude, blistering summer days are tempered by cool nights, with punishing winters featuring freezing temps and whipping winds. But with all the geographical and weather challenges, the main threat to the growing season are the cursed rabbits ("los conejos malditos") that are responsible for hectares of destruction each year. Hence the winery's slightly twisted homage to its nemeses on the label! 100% Cencibel (the local clone of Tempranillo) goes through carbonic maceration to produce a fresh and edgy wine with a modern profile, perfect for enjoying with chorizo and manchego.
2018 Bodegas Aragonesas Crucillón
Campo de Borja, Spain
$14.99 | Sale $12.99
Bodegas Aragonesas was founded in 1984 in one of the most arid areas of Spain, Campo de Borja. The temperature swings are extreme and the soil is mainly iron rich clay and limestone, perfect for growing Garnacha and other Spanish varietals. This region was originally planted by the Cisterian monks of the Monastery of Veruela in 1145. Bodegas Aragonesas has continued to reach new heights for the quality of wines that come from the Campo de Borja. That dedication and passion you can taste in Crucillón, their Garnacha/Tempranillo blend. Aged in stainless steel, the cherry and raspberry fruit is bright and fresh and the tannins are light. There is a dusty quality in the palate we enjoyed, sprinkled with hints of earth. A quaffable wine that doesn’t break the bank.
Best Buy | Wine Enthusiast
2018 Herdade de Sao Miguel Sul
Alentejo, Portugal · $13.99 | Sale $10.99
Alentejo is a wine producing region in southern Portugal. This region has garnered more attention from winemakers lately because of its fruit-forward and crowd-pleasing wines. But it's not just known for winemaking! Alentejo is responsible for over half of the world's cork production. There are thousands of cork oak trees growing throughout the land. Herdade de Sao Miguel pays homage to the cork trees of the area with his red blend, Sul. "Sul," which means "south" in Portuguese, is a blend of Portuguese varietals Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira and a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in French oak for six months, this wine is soft, juicy and just plain good! Full of black cherry, with light spice notes and a warm finish. Great with a variety of foods. You'll want to grab a few bottles or even a case!
Best Buy | Wine Enthusiast
2019 Stein Weihwasser Riesling
Mosel · $20.99 | Sale $17.99
Dr. Ulrich Stein is a bit of an outlier and has achieved cult status in Germany for his uncompromising zeal to retain traditional winemaking customs in his home country. He focuses on steep slate slopes from mostly unknown regions, and if at all possible, ones that are planted with ungrafted vines. When the devastating infestation of phylloxera ravaged the vineyards of Europe in the late 19th century it seemed, for a while, that winemaking would cease to exist. Finally, after years of trial and error, a solution was found. Local grape varieties were grafted onto rootstocks from indigenous American vines that were resistant to phylloxera. However, a few ungrafted vines remained, and today, with better techniques, they can produce fruit. There is a core of vintners who swear that wines from ungrafted vines have a more authentic flavor profile. "Weihwasser" meaning "holy water," comes primarily from ungrafted vines on the steep slopes above the village of St. Aldegunder, downstream from the Middle Mosel, site of the area's most famous vineyards. The grapes are traditionally fermented in very old 1000 liter barrels. Off-dry with barely perceptible sweetness, this wine's intense minerality reflects the slate in the vineyards. Incredibly refreshing and just downright delicious. Organic.
AUSTRIA & NEW ZEALAND
2016 Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz-Cabernet-Petit Verdot
Barossa, Australia · $20.99 | Sale $17.99
Barossa Valley is one of the most famous wine growing regions in Australia and home to some of the best Shiraz wines in the world. The Clarke family has been growing and selling grapes from the Barossa for over six generations. When David Clarke married Cheryl Thorn, they continued the family business but soon became bored. So in 1998, they decided to take a leap of faith and make their own wine. Their vineyards are planted mostly to Shiraz with a few plots dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot. We had the pleasure of trying the latest vintage of this wine, and it did not disappoint. Mostly Shiraz blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Deep purple in color with an abundance of dark fruit and hints of vanilla and clove on the nose. Plush blackberry, blueberries and spice fill the mouth, but there is balance unlike some overly-produced Australian reds. Grippy tannins and spice round out the finish. This is a great, value-priced wine to revisit the Land Down Under. So fire up the grill with some lamb chops or a juicy steak, mate! You won’t regret it.
2017 Elderton Cabernet Sauvignon
Barossa, Australia · $26.99 | Sale $23.99
During the late seventies, many vineyards in the Barossa fell into disrepair as the worldwide image of Australian wine as a commodity of quantity rather than quality led many producers to abandon the industry. When the Ashmead family moved to the area in 1979, they chose a homestead outside Nuriootpa which was surrounded by acres of old abandoned Cabernet and Shiraz vineyards originally planted by Samuel Elderton Tolley at the turn of the century. They were offered the plots as a bonus, and three years later, after rehabilitating the land and its vines, the first Elderton wines were produced with the help of Barossa legend Peter Lehman. The beautiful ruby purple color gives a preview of the intense yet elegant flavor of this classic Aussie red. Almost two years in used French barrels adds to and rounds the juice into a delicious full-bodied wine with hints of cassis and chocolate on the finish. Drink now or cellar for 10-12 years.
90 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2018 Groom Bush Block Zinfandel
Barossa, Australia · $29.99 | Sale $26.99
The evolution of Zinfandel is one of the more interesting stories in the world of wine. Originally believed to have come from Croatia, it settled in Puglia in southern Italy's boot heel where it produces large quantities of easy drinking reds under the name of Primitivo. How it eventually landed in California and took on the name of Zinfandel has been the subject of several treatises, all with slightly different variations of the tale. In California it finally found its true home and produces some of the state's most compelling wines. Although never easy to grow, it has exceptional longevity and often thrives in areas where other crops could not survive. Its success in the arid climates of California has prompted a handful of other winemakers to take a stab at making their own Zinfandels. Australian Daryl Groom has been named Winemaker of the Year by no fewer than seven international publications. Prior to starting his own winery, he was the senior winemaker at Penfolds and was responsible for the production of all of their premium wines including Australia's most legendary wine, Grange. Having worked in California as well, he developed a passion for Zinfandel and found that the conditions in his vineyard in the Kalimna region of the Barossa Valley were similar to those found in some of California's best Zinfandel vineyards. While the vines he planted cannot yet be called Old Vine, they do envisage a promising future for Australian Zinfandel. Big and lush, but well-balanced, and with the forward fruit of Australian wines and a finish showcasing the "brambly" character that good Zin is known for. A unique journey side trip for lovers of fine Zinfandel.
2019 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc
Marlborough, NZ · $15.99 | Sale $13.99
In 2008, when Peter Yealands created his winery, he had a vision in mind to create a truly sustainable winery that lives harmoniously within its environment. First, he picked the Awatere Valley in Marlborough because of its alluvial gravel soils and perfect climate for vines. Awatere Valley is so close to the ocean that the vineyards sometimes are misted with sea spray. The winery was outfitted with large solar panels and wind turbines and was also the first in the world to receive Toitū carboNZero footprint certification, but you're probably asking, how is the wine? The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is brilliant and zesty with classic grapefruit and fresh cut grass aromas. On the palate, there is an array of citrus fruit flavors with some herbaceous notes that end with a crisp finish. An outstanding value that is perfect with goat cheese, shrimp and of course, mussels.
90 points | Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
2019 The Gatekeepers Chenin Blanc
Swartland · $12.99 | Sale $10.99
From the Kloovenberg Winery comes the second Chenin Blanc of the newsletter... this time sprinkled with Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Verdello, in true Southern Rhône style. The owl and the falcon on the label reference the raptors that reside in stone on the gates of the estate, protecting the inhabitants within. The wine shows a lovely spice note on the front, with restrained sugar allowing the aromatics of the Chenin to demonstrate the sweetness that makes it sing. Appointing Jolandie Fouche, one of South Africa's first female winemakers, brought these wines up a notch, starting in 2015.
2018 Bodegas Salentein Killka Malbec
Uco Valley · $14.99 | Sale $11.99
Named for the gallery that stands at the entrance to the Bodega Salentein estate, this Malbec exemplifies the winery's philosophy of combining art, passion and creativity to produce not just world-class wines, but peaks of gastronomy and hospitality, as well. The blue chair on the label, or "El Sillon Azul," is a painting by Argentine artist Alonso Carlos from the gallery's permanent collection. Jose "Pepe" Galante, considered by many to be the father of modern winemaking in Argentina, has been in charge of production since 2010, after spending 34 years at Bodega Catena Zapata. He makes effective use of the grapes harvested from the high-altitude vineyards of the Bodega's Uco Valley property to create a crowd-pleasing wine of fruit and structure, fermented and aged in stainless steel to allow the purity of the grapes to shine through. A soft finish makes this a great wine for any occasion.
TAYLOR FLADGATE PORT
In case you hadn't noticed, it can get cold in these here parts! Not that you would need an excuse, but the chill in the air is a good reason to sip on a glass of port and warm up from the "inside-out!" There are few estates that can match the renown of Taylor Fladgate. This is one of the oldest Port houses in existence, founded way back in 1692. (That's pre-Betty White, for those of you without an abacus.)
All port is made by stopping the wine fermentation with the addition of brandy (a distilled wine). It's from this point that port styles are made to differ.
Tawny port is aged in barrel for extended periods, sometimes as long as 30-40 years. During this aging process the fruit in the wine dries out a bit, and flavors of caramel, chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts emerge. While tasting a 40-year-old tawny is an unforgettable experience, it can be a bit too dried out and not showcase the perfect balance between fruit and barrel aging. (It can also put a serious dent in your wallet!) To many, 10 and 20-year-old Tawnies showcase the style at its best.
Taylor Fladgate were pioneers of the Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) category that was created to fulfill the demand for vintage style ports without the high price tag and lengthy aging. Unlike Vintage Port, which is bottled after only two years in wood and ages in bottle, LBV is bottled after four to six years and is ready to drink when bottled. Their LBV is always one of the richest in this style, with jammy aromas of berries, spice and chocolate, and thick, luscious flavors of cassis, blackberry and blueberry and more chocolate nuances. The perfect après ski winter warmer.
Due to the vagaries of the marketplace in these tumultuous times, we have some outstanding deals on both of these excellent ports.
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Douro Valley, Portugal · $31.99 | Sale $24.99
Echoing the Taylor Fladgate house style, this 10-year-old tawny is more powerful than most, but still exhibits notes of chocolate, butterscotch and the nuttiness that fine tawnies are known for. (Ruby or Vintage style ports are aged for much shorter periods, usually two to four years.) The intent here is to retain the fruit flavors, and in some cases, to allow for further evolution through bottle aging.
Taylor Fladgate 2014 LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) Port
Douro Valley, Portugal · $22.99 | Sale $17.99
Taylor Fladgate's LBV port is one of the richest and most full-bodied ports in this style.
NOW CARRYING PASTA DI SOLAZZI
We are pleased to now offer a selection of fresh, locally-made pastas and sauces from Colorado Springs-original, Pasta di Solazzi. After a nearly 20-year-hiatus, husband and wife team Gregg Braha and Gina Solazzi are back in business with their children Alex, Kia, and Madeleine, who all grew up in the original pasta store, embarked on careers of their own, and are all back to support this family venture!
Find Pasta di Solazzi in Coaltrain's gourmet food section at the front of the store. Pick up your favorites with a wedge of parmesan, pair with a wonderful bottle of Italian wine, and you're good to go for dinner! Buon Appetito!