The 2021 Newsletter -Volume 3- Is Here
WINES OF THE MONTH
2018 Perrin+Dobbs Vineyards Pitch Black Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles, California · $42.00 | Sale $14.99
This is undoubtedly one of the best values we have ever offered! After decades working for some of the finest wineries in Napa, winemaker Chad Alexander finally got around to starting his own winery. Unfortunately, then came the onslaught of Covid and the subsequent collapse of the marketplace. As a result, we were able to purchase this outstanding Cabernet at an outstanding price. Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) is blended with Syrah (15%) for added depth and spice. This blend is often used in some of the most esteemed wines from Australia. Flavors of blueberries and blackberries with a rich, earthy spiciness and amazing depth for a wine at this price. The tannins are well-integrated and it's drinking beautifully now. $42 at the winery · $14.99 at Coaltrain! This is an amazing deal!
2020 Le Triporteur Blanc
Vaucluse, France · $13.99 | Sale $10.99
This delightful white wine comes from the region of Vaucluse in the heart of the southern Rhône Valley. It's an intriguing blend of six different varietals; Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussane and Sauvignon Blanc. With the exception of Sauvignon Blanc, these are the classic white wine varietals of southern France. Grenache Blanc brings roundness on the palate. Clairette is featured in the great white wines of Cassis and many whites from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It adds body along with herbs and a hint of grapefruit. Roussanne and Marsanne are staples of the Northern Rhône and bring richness and stone fruit flavors. The addition of Sauvignon Blanc is most likely for acidity and citrus flavors. Altogether, the total is greater than the sum of the parts. Excellent accompaniment for all seafood, end-of-summer charcuterie, or just by itself.
2020 Domaine La Florane À Fleur de Pampre Visan Rosé
Rhône, France · $15.99 | Sale $13.99
Visan lies about 15 miles north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the northern reaches of the southern Rhône Valley. Here, the climate is a bit cooler; perfect for rosé. It is also the home of the Domaine La Florane. Half of the estate is devoted to olive trees and lavender. The other half is vineyards, which have been farmed organically for years and recently became Demeter certified, establishing its biodynamic credentials. The À Fleur de Pampre Visan Rosé is a blend of Cinsault and Grenache with a dollop of Syrah. The grapes were picked in the cool of the night to retain freshness and see no oak. Styled similarly to a Provençal rosé, with a touch more watermelon on the palate. Also notes of melon, citrus, rose petal and mineral water. Great with bouillabaisse or other light seafood fare, or best of all as a summer porch pounder. It's a rare treat to see a biodynamic wine of this quality at this price point.
2019 Marca Oro "Valdo" Prosecco Rosé Brut
Veneto, Italy · $14.99 | Sale $12.99
If you were keeping track of sparkling rosés this year, you might have noticed a new entry in that category: Prosecco Rosé. Yes, it's new and it's here. Up until the end of 2020, Prosecco was not allowed to be rosé, according to rules of the controlled designation of origin (DOC) in Italy.Well, thank goodness that's over, and what better way to introduce this new category then by having a Prosecco Rosé as our sparkling wine of the month? Made with 90% Glera - the designated grape of Prosecco - and 10% Pinot Nero (aka Pinot Noir) to give it that nice pink hue. We chose Marca Oro "Valdo" Prosecco Rosé Brut for its delicious flavor profile and quality. Layers of strawberry, raspberry and apple fill the mouth while closing with a crisp, dry finish. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks, which give it a nice round quality.This is a perfect sparkling wine to enjoy during these hot summer days, so stock up!
WARM WEATHER REDS
The onset of warmer temperatures does not necessarily portend the end of red wine consumption. While a hearty red certainly goes well with grilled meats (like venison from the buck you fell from 300 yards with the crossbow you smuggled out of the William Tell Museum) there are many reds wines that are easily enjoyed on a warm summer day. Here you will find a small sample of what may satisfy one's red wine cravings as the earth keeps cooking:
2019 Alois Lageder Schiava
Alto Adige, Italy · $18.99 | Sale $14.99
In the alpine valleys of Alto Adige, some of the finest white wines in all of Italy can be found - especially Pinot Grigios and Pinot Biancos. Despite the lofty reputation of the region's white wines, the most widely planted varietal is the red grape, Schiava. Defined by its thin skins and large berries, Schiava makes a lightly-colored, slightly fruity red wine with flavors of strawberries, currants and a hint of almonds. One of the most prestigious estates in Alto Adige is that of Alois Lageder. The Lageder family has been involved in the wine industry for nearly 200 years, beginning when Alto Adige was still a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The estate is currently run by Alois Lageder IV and is renowned for its outstanding white wines. Their Schiava comes from several plots, some with vines planted as far back as 1946. It sees no oak and is bottled in the spring following the vintage. This is a quintessential warm weather red; low in alcohol (11%), and best served with a slight chill. Perfect with a light charcuterie.
2020 G.D. Vajra Claré J.C. Nebbiolo di Langhe
Piemonte, Italy · $22.99 | Sale $19.99
There is a very cool story behind this wine. Aldo Vajra was reading through Thomas Jefferson's 1787 description of Nebbiolo as a light-colored, slightly sweet wine. Fascinated by this bit of vinous history, he continued his research into winemaking of the past and discovered some writings from 1606 by G.B. Croce (no relation to Jim), the jeweler for the House of Savoia. Using fruit from the young vines of his Barolo and other top vineyards, he followed the centuries old recipe to produce Claré J.C., a perfect summer bistro red. Off-dry with a slight spritz. "Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for Piemonte, 1606!"
"This was one of my favorite discovery wines from last year. Showing a luminous and bright ruby color, the bouquet shyly reveals wild cherry fruit and cassis. In a second moment, you taste bitter almond, candied lilac and hints of fresh garden herb or rosemary blossom. It's hard to image such a young wine tasting so good at this unbelievable price."
93 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2020 Domaine Saint Cyr "La Galoche" Beaujolais
Bourgogne, France · $19.99 | Sale $17.99
In days old, when wines weren't bold and Beaujolais was best forgotten, it was often thought of as no better than an undistinguished jug wine. Often served chilled, it was simply used to wash down whatever plain fare was abundant. These days, there has been a qualitative renaissance in Beaujolais that belies its less-than-stellar reputation of years gone by. Domaine Saint Cyr has always been one of our favorite Beaujolais producers. Their rosé regularly sells out, and their Pet Nat is one of the best on the market. But let's not overlook their flagship wine, their regular Beaujolais, La Galoche. Galoche is the name of a small stream near the winery, and is also French teenage slang for making out! The estate has been certified organic, and since 2017 they have been using cold carbonic fermentation with only naturally-occurring yeasts. This retains more freshness than traditional carbonic fermentation techniques. This is the quintessential Beaujolais - delicious, joyful and easy to drink. A wonderful warm weather red. Serve slightly chilled.
"Lively and expressive, this Beaujolais cuvée from organically farmed Domaine Saint Cyr combines concentration with freshness. Think ripe juicy cherries, spicy redcurrants and a taut mouthfeel, giving this wine great length."
90 points | Decanter
2020 Evening Land Vineyards Seven Springs De Mûres Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon · $20.99 | Sale $18.99
The unpredictability of the weather in recent years has brought challenges and opportunities to contemporary winemakers. As wildfires raged through Oregon in 2020, vintners feared that smoke taint would make their grapes all but unusable. At one of Oregon's most revered sites, Seven Springs Vineyard, they came up with the novel idea of creating a sort of red wine/rosé hybrid. The grapes are macerated on the skins for a brief period, but longer than usual for a rosé. The skins are then removed before there is any trace of smoke taint. The wine is aged for eight months in neutral barrels before bottling. The result is a light bodied Pinot Noir, somewhat resembling a rosé, but with more depth. Flavors of fresh picked berries with aromatic floral notes. When you consider that it comes from one of Oregon's best vineyards this is a great deal. And it's biodynamic!
2018 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria
Sicilia, Italy · $23.99 | Sale $20.99
The Planeta family has owned their estate in Italy since the 1600s. Here, they produce Sicily's only DOCG (an elevated classification). Frappato and Nero d'Avola grapes are grown on red sandy soil, hence the name Cerasuolo (cherry or cherry-like). The wine, too, has cherry-like flavors. Macerated on the skins for only eight days, there are still some soft tannins on the finish. This is a patio red. Perfect with seared tuna, fowl, pizza, or almost anything needing a fruity yet dry lighter red. Serve slightly chilled.
"The 2018 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a lovely red wine from Sicily. It exhibits aromas and flavors of red fruit, dried herbs, and a hint of minerality. Pair it with a juicy, grilled ribeye topped with minced shallots." 91 points | Wine.com
2019 Quivira Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Sonoma, CA · $20.99 | Sale $18.99
Founded in 1981 by Holly and Henry Wendt, Quivira is a leading producer of Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Rhône varietals in the Dry Creek AVA of Sonoma County. In 2006, Pete and Terri Knight purchased the winery and vineyards with a vision of biodiversity. The Knights worked tirelessly to make the winery organic by installing sustainable farming practices. Now the winery has an educational garden with 100+ raised beds, a 500 cubic yard compost pile, and is mostly powered by solar energy. According to the Knights, these practices have made the vineyards healthier and the wines more complex. We certainly noticed the qualities of their wines when we sampled them and have included two of our favorites in this newsletter. The Sauvignon Blanc is zesty and refreshing, full of citrus and tropical fruits. It has a little weight to it from the blend of stainless steel and oak aging. Perfect with oysters and goat cheese.
91 points | Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
2019 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc
Napa, CA · $28.99 | Sale $24.99
Cliff Lede's Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, although not inexpensive, has always been one of our favorite Napa Cabs, displaying wonderful complexity without suffering from heavy-handed use of oak. Along with their Cabernet, they also make one of Napa's most rewarding Sauvignon Blancs. They blend Sauvignon Blanc (85%) with Sémillon (12%) and a small amount of Sauvignon Vert (3%) from vines planted in 1947. Known in Italy as Friulano, Sauvignon Vert adds a subtle spicy character. Atypical for Sauvignon Blanc, 68% of the wine is fermented in Franch oak with the remainder in stainless steel. A small amount is fermented experimentally in large concrete eggs. The result is a wine with more richness than usual for Sauvignon Blanc, but also with a lot of depth of flavor.
"This delightfully complex, structured white blends in 12% Sémillon and 3% Sauvignon Vert, fermenting in a majority of French oak, as well as stainless-steel tank and concrete egg. Seamless and supple, it explodes in lemon meringue, tangerine and a subtle hint of brioche, long on the finish in crushed rock and stone." 93 points | Wine Enthusiast