The 2022 Newsletter -Volume 4 · Winter Edition- is Here
Wines of the Month
2021 Poggio del Moro "Ivole" Bianco
Toscana, Italy · $19.99 | Sale $13.99
Located in the heart of Tuscany, in the neighborhood of old Chianciano Terme, is Poggio del Moro. This area to the south of Montepulciano has been famous for its rich agricultural lands since ancient times. Imagine a scenery of hazy hillsides, roads hidden behind cypress trees, and pleasant views of vineyards and lush olive groves – this is the atmosphere in which, for more than three centuries, winemakers have been producing Tuscan wine and olive oil. The incredible 2021 "Ivole" Bianco comprises 70% Trebbiano, 20% Grechetto, and 10% Malvasia. Smell the fresh, crisp sweetness of the plum trees, pear, and melon from a forgotten garden somewhere in an Italian province. Feel the mirthful bouquet of wildflowers and herbs tickle your tongue in a joyous, lighthearted reverie, a taste that lingers on the palate, shimmering with blossoming lemon and orange trees. An exhilarating utopia in a glass, this intoxicating white drinks far above its price point.
2019 Jax Y3 Cabernet Sauvignon
California · $24.99 | Sale $19.99
The search for quality affordable Cabernet Sauvignon from California can seem Sisyphean, at times. There's a lot of plonk out there. Buy some grapes on the open market from anywhere at a discount price, slap a Cabernet Sauvignon label on it, and more often than not, if it's cheap enough, you can sell it. This is why we are so excited about the Jax Y3 Cabernet. Sourced only from sustainably-farmed Napa and Sonoma vineyards, this is one of the best value Cabernets we have tasted in years. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts, and then aged 22 months in premium French oak barrels, 35% of which are new. This is the usual procedure for wines costing three times this price. The resulting wine is dense and powerful with a textbook Cabernet nose of cassis, red currants, blackberries, and espresso. Less than 4000 cases are produced of this gem. Don't miss it! “This is an impressive wine at an unbelievably fair price point... smooth, with an easy drinkability. Red fruit, black pepper, and toasted oak play well together with balance.” 90 Points | Wine Enthusiast - Editor's Choice
Veneto, Italy · $18.99 | Sale $13.99
Prosecco has become a staple in the American home over the past decade. In truth, such lackluster quality has hit the American market that many bottles cannot be differentiated when tasted together. Enter Bervini! With its pale platinum hue, host of tiny, happy bubbles, and a fragrant nose bursting with lemon, melon, pear, and a hint of mint, this is a tasty fruit-forward style with a dash of sweetness and well-balanced acidity... A refreshing change to all the generic Proseccoes we're seeing. Experience flavors of lemon/lime, grapefruit, Bosc pear, and a nice slap of minerality with a mid-palate of Golden Delicious apple and tart lime. This bubbly can be paired with food or simply enjoyed as a sipper.
Peter Rosback is one of the most unique souls that we've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He is so deeply in love with his wine, and the incredible vineyards that he works with, that he's spent a good amount of his life living at his winery… as in sleeping on a cot in the back. He just cannot be pulled away from his passion. This astonishing devotion shows in every bottle he produces. His wines are thoughtfully-crafted, showing power and elegance in every sip. He crops his vines low, keeps his production small and focused, and does not put his wine in for scores. It's not about fame for him. "I'll probably lose money on it," he said about one of the inexpensive bottlings he had cropped so low that he only got an average of one cluster per shoot of fruit. "Yet when I taste the fruit and the wine side-by-side, I have to ask why I'd bother doing anything else. It is so good!" He is a pure soul in a world of consumerism, here to give you his best wines at a fraction of what they are truly worth.
2021 Sineann Red Table Wine
Oregon · $19.99 | Sale $16.99
This wine is essentially all the Sineann wines combined. The Old Vine Zin, the Resonance Pinot Noir, the Champoux Cab, and more. It is a perfectly-proportional blend of all the reds they make, from press wine and the wine they leave in barrels when they rack. The result is quite attractive, offering up a mix of red and dark fruits, a supple yet energetic texture, and just an overall likability.
2021 Sineann "Abondante" Red
Oregon · $25.99 | Sale $21.99
"Abondante," Italian for "generous," is a blended wine crafted with grapes grown in the Columbia Valley. There is Merlot from the Hillside Vineyard and Zinfandel from a couple of vineyards owned by Lonnie Wright - a pioneer in the Oregon wine industry. Abondante is one of the best value wines Sineann offers, showcasing bright flavors of red berries and cherries with a hint of milk chocolate, suggesting some exposure to French oak. Unlike all too many cheap red wines, it is unmanipulated, ripe, and absolutely fresh. The alcohol pushes near 15%, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.
2017 Sineann Zenith Pinot Noir
Eola-Amity, Oregon · $46.99 | Sale $42.99
Eight favorite barrels were selected to create this gem of a wine. The "holy grail" of wine grapes comprises ripe fruit with good acidity. The Van Duzer corridor, which funnels cool coastal air to the Eola-Amity Hills, allows Pinot Noir to grow with these favorable characteristics. Zenith is a Pinot Noir to make you swoon. Marionberry, loganberry, and boysenberry all explode from the glass. The palate exhibits even darker berries, as well as licorice and cassis. The finish is redolent with dark cherries.
BODEGA CHACRA: A NEW LEGEND
In Patagonia, "chacra" is a special piece of land destined to pomology (the science of growing fruit.) Chacras are also the vital energy centers that connect us to the universe around us and beyond us, much like how wine opens us up to the land that it comes from, the people that create it and the food that we share with it. This incredible winery was created by Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, a member of the famous Italian wine family of Tenuta San Guido, creators of Sassicaia. He came to Patagonia, Argentina to find the most unobstructed expression of microclimate and terroir to bring his wines to life. This reflects his true respect for the land, shown through ungrafted old vines farmed organically and bio-dynamically.
Patagonia | $112.99
Crafted in collaboration with top French winemaker Jean-Marc Roulot, this Chardonnay is vinified from the fruit of 40-year-old vines and is bursting with character. An intense wine that is energetic, high-pitched and lively, round and austere, refined and mineral-driven. A Chardonnay for the Burgundy drinker. 97 Points | James Suckling
2020 Barda Pinot Noir
Patagonia | $29.99
Chacra’s introductory Pinot Noir. Pure, minerally, and powerful, with concentrated flavors of red plum and dried raspberry, followed up by meaty notes, sandalwood accents and lingering tannins. Drink fresh and young.
92 Points | Vinous
2021 Sin Azufre Pinot Noir
Patagonia | $45.99
This is a wine made without science, relying purely on the eyes, nose, and reasoning for its creation. "Sin Azufre" means no sulphites, driving home the purist approach to this bottling. Soft, balanced, led with a beautiful acidity and pure red fruits, there is an herbal brightness that is unforgettable here. 96 Points | James Suckling
2021 Cincuenta y Cinco Pinot Noir
Patagonia | $56.99
Vineyards were planted in 1955 (hence the name) in typical riverbed soils of small pebbles. It is fermented whole cluster which gives the wine a beautiful floral fragrance while keeping a serious tension in the juice. An extremely pure wine with dried strawberry, iodine, cherry, and undertones of smoke, game, and mineral. 96 Points | Decanter
SOUTH AFRICAN DESSERT
The first truly great wine to come out of South Africa was a dessert wine that graced the halls of the kings and queens of Europe as far back as the 17th century. Since then, the tradition has continued with outstanding quality wines, no matter the price point.
2021 Mullineux Straw Wine
Swartland, South Africa · $56.99 | Sale $51.99
Defined by their passion, Chris and Andrea Mullineux have shown the world what the Swartland is capable of. After working several vintages at wineries in both France and California, the two decided to settle in and claim their homeland vineyards as their base of operations. They have been named Winery of the Year in South Africa a shocking four times, and Chris was Wine Enthusiast's International Winemaker of the Year in 2016. This straw wine is their pride and joy, receiving outstanding accolades every year without fail. Made from 40-year-old vines, the palate is a complex, enticing blend of dried peaches, apricots and marmalade, with savory, nutty aromas of almonds, marzipan, and honey. The grapes are dried outside for three months, then barrel fermented for a unique and insanely pleasurable bottle of wine that rivals the greatest Sauternes for a quarter of the price. 96 Points | Vinous
2020 Benguela Cove Noble Late Harvest
Hemel-en-Aarde, South Africa · $23.99 | Sale $19.99
Penny Streeter, owner of Benguela Cove, made her fortune by helping others. She had a rough start to life. Her parents’ failing marriage had her moving around Africa and England, and a rough turn of luck in her adult life put her in a homeless shelter for two years with her three children. During that time, Penny saw a gap in the healthcare market and began the only 24/7 service placing temporary medical personnel in struggling hospitals and other medical care facilities around England, offering more jobs and better quality of care to thousands. Now she and her husband own Benguela Cove, a picturesque piece of land in the Hemel-en-Aarde that grows grapes closer to sea level than anywhere else in the world. Their late harvest Sauvignon Blanc is wonderfully fruity and succulent, offering up a wafting nose of tropical notes, elderflower, and lemon zest. While sweet, the palate is alive with acidity and can be drunk on its own or paired with fresh fruit or a lemon tart.
2018: A NAPA VINTAGE TO REMEMBER
There is a standing joke in Napa Valley that every vintage is the best vintage. While there hasn't been a truly rough vintage since 2011, 2018 was perfect in every way. It will go down as the best vintage in the 21st century, thus far.
2018 St. Supéry Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $49.99 | Sale $42.99
St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery is a 100% estate-grown, sustainably-farmed winery located in the renowned Rutherford growing region in the heart of Napa Valley. The winery combines French château estate tradition with Napa terroir. Cassis, black plum, and dark raspberry aromas combine with anise and subtle vanilla, evidence of the toasted oak maturation. Juicy blackberry and black currant flavors mingle with dark cocoa, black licorice, espresso, and lightly toasted oak. This textured and elegantly structured Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a velvety tannin finish.
92 Points | James Suckling
2018 Jax Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $55.99 | Sale $49.99
The brother and sister team of Trent and Kimberly Jackson saw an opportunity to buck the "en vogue" winemaking style of their day to focus on the unique terroir of their family vineyards. Soon after their inception, cult winemaker Kirk Venge was recruited to create balanced wines reflecting varietal character and a sense of place. The Jax Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is pulled from the family vineyards in Calistoga. The land was chosen for its ideal terroir, encompassing alluvial loam soil and dry-farmed vineyards. Black fruit, currants, and black cherry compote with bay leaves and dark chocolate intermingle. 93 Points | James Suckling
2018 White Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa, CA · $69.99 | Sale $59.99
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 by a French husband and American wife duo. Their three children harvested grapes as soon as they could carry them, keeping this a family business built on a deep love for winemaking. Gorgeous, well-integrated French Oak (only 35% new), frames sturdy but well-knit tannins and a long, complex finish. Red and black fruits frame tertiary notes of cigar box and wild herbs. This wine shows the true potential of the valley.
92 Points | James Suckling
TAYLOR FLADGATE PORTS
Taylor Fladgate was founded in 1692 in Villa Nova de Gaia, Portugal by an English merchant named Job Bearsley.Now almost four centuries later, Taylor Fladgate remains one the largest, most celebrated, and well-respected Port houses in the world.They continue to make ruby, tawny, white, late bottled vintage and vintage ports.It is one of the very best Port houses, and we decided to share two of our holiday favorites! These two outstanding Ports are very different from one another and would make excellent gifts for the experienced or novice Port drinker, alike. And of course, don't forget to treat yourself, also!
2016 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage
Oporto, Portugal · $21.99 | Sale $17.99
We love Vintage Port, but it requires lengthy aging and can be expensive. Taylor Fladgate recognized this and wanted to craft a more ready-to-drink Port that still had complexity and character. In 1955, Taylor Fladgate created Late Bottled Vintage Port (called Vintage Reserve until 1965) which is aged for four to six years after the vintage, then is bottled and ready to drink. It also provides consumers a Port with complexity at a fraction of the cost. The 2016 LBV is bold and full of dark fruit, raisins, and a slight leather character. It is dense and harmonious with a beautiful sweetness. Try it with dark chocolate, figs, and hard, rich cheeses. 91 Points | Wine Spectator
Taylor Fladgate 20-Year Tawny
Oporto, Portugal · $53.99 | Sale $44.99
A 20-year tawny is a blend of aged ports where the average age of the blend is 20 years. The name tawny refers to the tawny color the port receives from the oxidation they experience during the maturation process in porous wooden casks. Taylor Fladgate’s 20-year is a beautiful example of what tawny ports can be. Flavors of walnut, fig, and spice erupt on the palate. Rich and complex with a velvety mouthfeel and a finish that goes on and on. Perfect as dessert or pair it with crème brulée, tiramisu, blue cheese, or apple pie. You will not be disappointed!
93 Points | Wine Spectator · 93 Points | The Wine Advocate
2021 Christophe Patrice Chardonnay
Vin de France · $22.99 | Sale $19.99
If you follow the news, at all, from the vineyards of France, you already know that 2021 was one of the most challenging vintages in a generation or more. Extreme freezes in April decimated the vines, followed by unsettled weather throughout the growing season. The result is a vintage of small quantities and very inconsistent quality. Yields were so low, in some cases, that wines were released that did no favors to the reputation of some estates. We have been very selective in our purchases of wine from this vintage. Here at Coaltrain, we taste the "crap" so you don't have to. Nonetheless, there are excellent wines to be had. One such is the Chardonnay from Christophe Patrice. Christophe is a Chablis producer who lost most of his crop in the April freeze. He supplemented his few lots of Chablis with Chardonnay purchased from neighbors whose vineyards lie just outside of the Chablis appellation. Although not technically Chablis, the wine displays all of the characteristics of true Chablis, with hints of green apples, lime zest, and the unique stony minerality of the region. With the ever-rising prices, this is a good value in crisp, unoaked Chardonnay.
2019 Domaine Gérard Julien et Fils Bourgogne Rouge
Bourgogne · $35.99 | Sale $29.99
Small domaines abound in Burgundy. There are over a thousand of them. This is one of the reasons the region is so fascinating. (Great wines help too!) Located in the small town of Comblanchien, near Nuits-Saint-Georges, the Julien family has been making wine in the area since the late 19th century. They currently own about 20 acres of organically-farmed vineyards. Aside from several cuvées from Nuits-Saint-Georges, they make about 250 cases of an excellent Bourgogne Rouge - 100% Pinot Noir. We purchased all of the available stock in Colorado, which wasn't much. You'd be hard- pressed to find Pinot Noir of this quality from Burgundy at this price. "Expressive and charming, the 2019 vintage has turned out very nicely at this address." The Wine Advocate
2018/19 Vincent & Sophie Morey Santenay Passetemps 1er Cru
Bourgogne · $56.99 | Sale $49.99
Santenay was once known as an area for inexpensive rustic wines. Quality has exploded in the past decade or so, as young winemakers eschew some of the traditions of old and continue to make better and better wines. The domaine of Vincent and Sophie Morey is a relatively new one, having been established in 2006 with the marriage and subsequent aggregation of vineyards between Vincent's family in Chassagne and Sophie's family in Santenay. Their Santenay 1er Cru comes from the Passetemps vineyard near the border with Chassagne. Some of the vines are 60 years old. Quite a bit of new wood is used here (50%) but the oak is well-integrated and the wines are quite approachable. We are fortunate that we were able to obtain quantities of both the 2018 and 2019 vintage which can make for an interesting comparison, if you are so inclined.