© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Availability and prices may have changed since the newsletter date.

 

MARCH 2016 NEWSLETTER

 
RED WINES

OREGON - RED

2014 Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon
(S) 39.99/431.89

Veronique Drouhin has crafted a beautifully rich and precocious Oregon Pinot Noir that oozes Domaine Drouhin Oregon’s elegance and style. Bright, red ruby in the glass, the 2014 Pinot explodes with deep black cherry fruit accented by notes of Assam black tea, rose petals and potpourri. Suave and velvety on the palate, waves of black raspberry and black cherry fruit mingle with suggestions of vanilla bean and cassia. Long and lingering with just enough latent structure to balance its dense core of cherry fruit, DDO’s 2014 Pinot finishes with complex notes of sweet bay leaf, earthy cranberries and smoky soil. This lovely, approachable and generous wine is a sure hit now and over the coming decade with richer fare such as roast duck and chicken, morels in a cream sauce, or New York strip steaks grilled rare.

2009 Z’Ivo, Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
20.99/226.69 reg. 32.99

Mature Oregon Pinot alert! Crafted from 100% estate-grown fruit grown on rocky hillsides in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Z’Ivo’s 2009 Pinot casts a bright garnet color from the bowl followed by spicy raspberries, strawberries, earth and sweet orange peel. The wine coats the palate with saturated raspberry and cherry fruit accented by notes of loamy earth and sweet vanilla. Rich and silky with the exuberant fruit that defines the vintage, Z’Ivo’s Pinot finishes with further waves of palate-staining red berry fruit accented by an undercurrent of rocky, loamy soil and complex barrel notes. This is a superb buy in mature Oregon Pinot and a great choice for drinking now and over the coming four years with broiled salmon, roast chicken, grilled vegetables, pizzas, burgers and aged cheeses.

FRANCE – RED

2014 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, Reserve, Burgundy, France
17.99/194.29

The venerable Bouchard Pere & Fils have fashioned a deliciously elegant and accessible expression of red Burgundy based on fruit from the renowned Cote-de-Beaune villages of Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune, Savigny-les-Beaune, Santenay and Maranges. A bright, translucent ruby color, Bouchard’s Reserve casts a dazzling bouquet of wild cherries, peach skin, smoke and game. Bright and zesty on the palate, the wine’s tangy red-fruited core mingles with complex suggestions of wood spice, fruitwood smoke and pungent limestone minerals. Complex and satisfying far beyond its modest price tag, the wine finishes long, pure and transparent with complex red currant and cured meat notes, savory tannins and vibrant acidity. This is a sensational wine and a superb value in authentically textured and scented red Burgundy. Enjoy now and over the coming five years with pork terrines, game birds, roast chicken, sweetbreads and gratin dauphinois.

2013 Chateau Jouclary, Cuvee Tradition, Cabardes, France
11.99/129.49

A perennial favorite, Jouclary’s Cuvee Tradition is stunningly deep and satisfying in the 2013 vintage. Casting a translucent crimson-ruby hue from the glass, Jouclary’s Tradition fuses its soft and plummy Merlot component (50%) with equal parts Grenache and Syrah that contribute cherry, leather and game complexity. On the palate, the Cuvee Tradition offers fleshy plum and cherry fruit accented by firm tannins and hints of dried herbs. Deep, soulful and incredibly delicious, the wine adds hints of cinnamon, earth and mushrooms on its long, satisfying finish. Enjoy this distinctive, terroir-expressive value now and over the coming three to five years with hearty roasts of beef, grilled leg of lamb, roast goose, cassoulet, and other rich, robust and savory fare.

2012 L de Lafitte Laujac, Medoc, Bordeaux, France
15.99/172.69

This is a superb value-play in authentic, soil-driven red Bordeaux. Located in the heart of the Medoc area, Chateau Laffitte Laujac employs traditional viticultural techniques to craft this lovely Medoc. Opaque plum ruby in the bowl, the L de Lafitte Laujac casts warm, inviting aromas of plum skin, cassis, dried herbs and game. On the palate, fine tannins frame a gravelly core of currant and plum fruit accented by barrel tones of smoke and caramel. The appetizing gaminess reemerges on the wine’s long, silky finish alongside suggestions of Belgian chocolate, menthol, gravel and leafy underbrush. Pair now and over the coming five years with standing rib roasts, roast lamb and duck, game, and rich vegetarian fare emphasizing earthy mushrooms.

2012 Chateau du Cayrou, Cahors, Southwestern France (O)
16.99/183.49

At the apex of Southwestern French red wines are those of the hallowed Cahors appellation. Historically considered a rival to the wines of Bordeaux, Cahors was devastated by the phylloxera epidemic that decimated the vast majority of French vineyards in the mid- to late-1800s. Cahors didn’t recover quite as quickly as Bordeaux, but now its wines are again being recognized for their distinctiveness, versatility and impressive ability to age. Among the top estates is the Chateau du Cayrou, whose wines offer incredible value and extraordinary longevity. A blend of 95% Malbec and 5% Merlot, the 2012 Cayrou opens with meaty Bordeaux-like aromas of cassis, black raspberries, tobacco and loamy earth. On the palate, the wine’s lush and suave attack is framed by the Malbec’s fine, palate-coating tannins. Suggestions of walnuts, wood smoke, tobacco, bitter chocolate and vanilla mark the impressively long finish. This is reference-standard Cahors and a steal for its quality. Enjoy now and over the next decade with roast goose, grilled ribeye steaks, braised short ribs, duck cassoulet, rich eggplant casseroles and potatoes au gratin. Limited.

ITALY – RED

NV (L2014) Centovigne-Castello di Castellengo, Rosso della Motta, N. Piedmont, Italy 12.50/135.00

Located in the subalpine Piemonte at the foot of Mt. Rosa, Centovigne’s Rosso della Motta hails from the Coste della Sesia zone, made famous by the wines of Gattinara, Lessona and Bramaterra. Centovigne crafts an exuberant, ready-to-drink red wine with all the character of this hallowed sector of Piedmont. A translucent crimson garnet color, the Rosso della Motta opens with a delicious bouquet of pie cherries, juniper, lavender, dried orange peel and gravelly soil. Clean and crisp on the palate, the Rosso della Motta – fashioned from 70% Nebbiolo and a 30% blend of indigenous Croatina and Uva Rara – presents suggestions of sour cherries, menthol, tobacco and faded rose petals. Soft and very transparent, fine tannins sneak in on the back-palate and segue the wine to a long, soil-driven finish that reprises cherry fruit, gravelly soil and bitter herbs. This is delicious, affordable and fascinating Piemontese rosso to pair with roast poultry, meats and game, salumi, pastas tossed in a butter-sage sauce, and Piemontese cheeses like Toma Piemontese, Bra Duro and Castelmagno.

2013 Tenuta le Velette, Rosso di Spicca, Rosso Orvietano, Umbria, Italy
13.50/145.80

Far better known for its thirst-quenching white wines, Umbria’s Orvieto zone also boasts a proud tradition of crafting rustic, satisfying Sangiovese-based red wines. Grown in the Orvieto Classico zone, the Rosso di Spicca blends 85% Sangiovese and 15% Canaiolo into a bold and delicious offering. A translucent plum ruby color in the glass, Tenuta le Velette’s Rosso di Spicca fills the room with warm aromas of plums, black cherries, leather, bay leaf and smoky volcanic minerals. Bing cherries, black plums and volcanic earthiness saturate the palate before yielding to a long smoky, leathery finish that sports just enough ripe tannins to balance the wine’s bright fruit expression. This wine begs you to pair it with rustic Tuscan bean stews, sauteed Umbrian lentils, mild goat and cow’s milk cheeses, and American classics like roast beef and burgers. Drink now and over the next three years.

2013 Damiano Ciolli, Silene, Olevano Romano, Cesanese Superiore, Lazio, Italy
15.99/172.69

This is one of the most exciting Italian discoveries for us in memory! The rare and fickle Cesanese grape reaches its apogee on hillsides south of Rome. A rusty crimson garnet in the glass, Ciolli’s Silene explodes with aromas of wild cherries, Calabrian red peppers, dark leather, licorice and dried rose petals. Spicy and soil-driven on the palate, the wine presents a core of cherry fruit accented by hints of rhubarb, crushed red peppers and oregano. Chewy, spicy, softly tannic and oh-so-delicious, the Silene finishes long and lively with a final touch of smoky volcanic soil. Pair now and over the coming two years with grilled sausages, peppery salumi, cacio e pepe, pasta dressed with hearty ragù or mildly spicy tomato sauces. Ian d’Agata of Vinous asserts, “Italian wine insiders know [the Silene] is one of the country's top 20 wine buys in almost every vintage.”

SPAIN – RED

2012 Compania de Vinos del Atlantico, Gordo, Yecla, Murcía, Spain (O)
14.99/161.89

Paying tribute to his father, Jose – El Gordo – Patrick Mata crafts this warm, inviting Yecla red from 40-year-old dry farmed and organically grown Monastrell (Mourvedre) (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%). Casting a translucent black plum color, the Gordo offers sun-warmed aromas of plums, blackberry, Morello cherries, leather and black pepper. Soft and vibrant on the palate, the wine’s chewy core of cherry fruit is accompanied by notes of cloves, five spice, pepper and toffee. Bright and spicy on the finish, the Gordo’s fruit becomes sweeter and more vivid. Modest tannins and dusty limestone minerals emerge as the wine lingers on the palate. Enjoy now and over the coming two years. Pair with rich pork braises, grilled lamb, burgers and gently simmered ratatouille.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous – 90 points


WHITE WINES

FRANCE – WHITE

2014 Francois Cazin, Le Petit Chambord, Cheverny, Loire Valley, France (S) 14.99/161.89

Francois Cazin’s Cheverny is the benchmark for the delicious and affordable Sauvignon Blanc-based wines from this increasingly important central Loire Valley appellation. Cazin’s 2014 Cheverny is based on a snappy core of grassy, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blanc (70%) with a dollop of Chardonnay (30%) added for richness and texture. This refreshing blend yields a wine with a crisp, clean bouquet of white grapefruit, Thai basil, nettles, lemon zest and flinty minerals. On the palate, Cazin’s Cheverny conveys vivid gooseberry, grapefruit and key lime fruit lifted by brisk acidity and smoky minerals. Reprises of crunchy Bosc pear and green apple fruit join with lip-dusting flinty minerals to highlight the wine’s long, refreshing finish. Very versatile with food, this affordable, authentic Cheverny will complement roasted pheasant, chicken, shellfish, freshwater fish dishes, fresh chevres and light pork preparations. This is a wine to buy by the case to enjoy now and over the coming two years.

2012 Domaine Bru-Bache, Jurancon Sec, SW France (B)
14.99/161.89 reg. 18.99

From Kermit Lynch’s esteemed portfolio, the Domaine Bru-Bache farms steep, terraced vineyards and employs biodynamic viticultural practices to fashion the full range of superb Jurancons. Crafted from 100% indigenous Gros Manseng, Bru-Bache’s Sec casts a rich golden color from the glass followed by distinctive aromas of ripe pear, apricot and clay-limestone minerals. Full and rich on the approach, Bru-Bache’s Sec counters with a lashing of electric acidity, a resinous texture and smoky soil tones. Long, intense and palpably dry, Bru-Bache’s Sec finishes with hints of wildflower honey, pear skin and persistent currents of smoky minerals. Don’t let the color fool you: this beauty is vibrant, versatile and 100% alive. Delicious served with steamed mussels, clams or rich lentil soups, this rare wonder should be enjoyed now and over the coming decade.
A Kermit Lynch selection

2014 Domaine Pinson Freres, Chablis, Burgundy, France
21.99/237.49

The 2014 vintage in Chablis produced classic, acid- and soil-driven wines. The venerable Pinson domaine’s Chablis A.C. sports a bright lemon-gold hue in the glass followed by textbook Chablis aromas of high-toned chalky minerals, freshly-grated lemon zest, iodine and sweet butter. Brisk and citric on the palate, Pinson’s Chablis shows brilliant acidity and crushed oyster shell minerality that fuses with and lifts the wine’s kernel of buttery lemon fruit. The wine finishes brisk and focused with deep saline oyster shell mineral notes, eye-wincing acidity and that ineffable Chablis iodine note. Showing impressive grip, persistent minerality, a deep kernel of citrus fruit, and a most comfortable price point, this a superb Chablis for pairing now and over the coming five years with oysters, mussels, crustaceans, light fish dishes and vegetable souffles.

2014 Vignoble Guillaume, Chardonnay, IGP, Vin de Pays de Franche-Comte, France
14.99/161.89

Guillaume’s 2014 Chardonnay seemingly fuses the soil-inflected nuttiness of a fine Jura Chardonnay with the detail of a white Burgundy from the Cote Chalonnaise. Medium lemon-gold in the glass, Guillaume’s Chardonnay presents aromas of smoky limestone, lemon zest and dry roasted hazelnuts. On the palate, brisk acidity and smoky, chalky mineral undercurrents join with the wine’s brisk green apple fruit and sappy hazelnut expressions. Fresh, zesty and 100% delicious, the wine revisits its citrus and hazelnut notes while offering impressive soil transparency for its modest tariff. Enjoy this delicious fusion of our two favorite Chardonnay appellations – Burgundy and the Jura – for a fraction of the cost of either. Drink now and over the coming two years with roast chicken, braised rabbit, semi-firm cows milk cheeses, potatoes au gratin and light pork preparations.

2013 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot, Pouilly-Fuisse, Terroirs, Burgundy, France (S) 18.99/205.09

Pouilly-Fuisse is the Maconnais’s finest appellation, and Sangouard-Guyot captures the full-bodied richness, buttery texture and golden minerality that mark the finest Pouilly-Fuisses. A bright lemon gold-color in the glass, Sangouard’s Terroirs cuvee expresses its southern Burgundian origins with aromas of buttery lemon curd, toasted brioche, pste brisee and roasted almonds. Impressively rich on the palate, the Terroirs offers smoky clay-limestone mineral expression, remarkable clarity, shimmering soil expression and suave, buttery Chardonnay fruit. This is simply superb white Burgundy and a terrific value. It will wow as a welcome wine with hors d’oeuvres, and serve as a lovely foil for herb roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, or blanquette de veau. It will also reward with several years of aging in your cool cellar.

ITALY – WHITE

2014 Elisabetta Fagiuoli, Montenidoli,
Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Tradizionale, Tuscany, Italy (O)

15.99/172.69

Vernaccia finds its singular voice in the predominately sandy soils around the medieval hillside village of San Gimignano. This bold, rich, long-macerated Vernaccia from Elisabetta Fagiuoli shows the serious, age-worthy side of the much beloved Vernaccia di San Gimignano appellation. A deep golden hue in the bowl, the 2014 Montenidoli casts expansive aromas of pear skin, Golden Delicious apples, beeswax and dried oregano. Brisk, intense and palate staining, the wine melds chewy pear fruit with suggestions of bay leaf, dried orange peel, citrusy hops and dusty minerals. Long, resinous and tactile on the finish with added notes of raw almonds and straw, this Vernaccia raises the bar for the denominazione in terms of complexity, intensity, richness and age-ability. Montenidoli’s intense Tradizionale demands rich fare such as poultry, pork and game birds, grilled prawns or steak-fishes such as swordfish, ahi or opah. It will also pair well with difficult green vegetables like steamed asparagus and artichokes as well as with salty cheeses such as Pecorino. Enjoy this superb Vernaccia now or over the coming four years.

PORTUGAL – WHITE

2014 Faldeas da Serra, Quinta das Maias, Vinho Branco, Dao, Portugal (O) 11.50/124.20

Portuguese white wines continue to wow us with their unique fruit and soil expressions — and their extraordinarily low prices. Quinta das Maias’ 2014 Vinho Branco, a blend of primarily Malvasia with complex dashes of Verdelho, Sercial and Barcelo, offers a medium straw-gold hue and aromas of green apple skin, Bartlett pears, lemon zest and cinnamon. Tense and focused on the palate, the wine projects shimmering impressions of citrus, pear and green melon fruit, while introducing complex notes of lemon thyme and chamomile. Quinta das Maias’s Vinho Branco finishes brisk and snappy with suggestions of lemongrass, crisp green pear and crunchy Pippin apples followed by an appetizing dusting of smoky schistose minerals. Highly distinctive, bone dry and bristling with acidity, this distinctive Portuguese white blend will shine with pan roasted brook trout, broiled halibut and tapas featuring potatoes, prawns and octopus. Enjoy now and over the coming two years.

SPAIN – WHITE

2015 J. Esteve Nadal, Avinyo Blanc, Petillant, Vi d’Aguilla, Penedes, Spain (O) 12.99/140.29

Esteve Nadal’s Avinyo Blanc Petillant is vinified as a lightly sparkling wine, specifically to be fresh, zesty and exuberant. Vi d’Aguilla – or “wine with a prickle” – is a year-round thirst quencher crafted from 80% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains. Pale green-glinted gold in the glass, Avinyo’s Vi d’Aguilla presents light effervescence, which propels the wine’s musky, floral nose and citrusy bouquet of white grapefruit, key limes and saline minerals. Bristling with dissolved CO2, the wine greets the palate with expressions of tarragon, lemon, ginger, muskmelon and gardenia blossom. Bracing acidity lifts the wine’s citrus fruit core and segues it to a crisp, refreshing finish that makes it perfect as a welcome wine or as a complement to seafood and seasonal vegetables. It will also complement light poultry and pork dishes and fresh goat cheeses. Enjoy now and throughout the coming warm weather months.

2014 Bodegas Albamar, Albarino, Rías Baixas, Galicia, Spain
17.99/194.29

The noble Albarino of northwestern Spain is one of the staff’s favorite go-to wines for all things seafood, especially flash-grilled squid and seafood tapas. We favor the incisive, citrus-tinged, saline expressions of Albarino, and this delightfully fresh and zingy rendition from Bodegas Albamar exceeds all of our requirements and expectations. Let us quote the insightful and discerning critic Josh Raynolds: “Lively citrus and orchard fruit scents are underscored by a chalky mineral note and a suggestion of quinine. Dry and nervy on entry, then fleshier in the middle, with juicy Meyer lemon and pear flavors given spine by tangy acidity. The mineral quality drives the finish, which leaves a subtle chamomile note behind.” Enjoy this joyously crisp, lemony, saline Albarino as a welcoming aperitif or as a partner to cephalopods, prawns, oysters on the half shell, steamed clams, vegetable tortillas, sashimi, light pastas and mild cheeses.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous – 90 points

LINER & ELSEN
2222 NW Quimby St.
Portland, OR 97210
800-903-9463
503-241-9463

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STORE HOURS:
Mon.-Sat. 10am - 6pm


FRIDAY TASTINGS:
First and third Friday
of the month
5:30-7:30 p.m. - Fee

Feb 5 - A tasting of superb Nebbioli from Gattinara.

Feb. 19 - Come taste the bold wines from Italy's Campania region.

Mar. 4 - Is Chenin Blanc the finest white wine on the planet? Find out!


SATURDAY TASTINGS:
Weekly; Starts at
12 noon - No fee

Feb. 6 - Wines from La Belle France: Dom. Gonon Macon-Bussieres, Ch. d’Orschwihr Pinot Gris, Jean-Francois Garlon Beaujolais, Bichot Savigny les Beaune, Jean-Philippe Padie Petit Taureau, and Jerome Calmes Minervois Les Vialas.

Feb. 13 - A tasting of sparkling wines for Valentine’s Day. Plus, superb wines from here and there: Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir (Oregon), Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner (Austria), and Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat (Spain).

Feb. 20 - Italian Beauties: Miali Verdeca, Jubilaumskellerei Pinot Blanc, Falchini Titolato Colombaia Chianti, Caprili Rosso di Montalcino, Italo Pietrantonj Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, and Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna.

Feb. 27 - From France: Dom. de l’Idylle Cruet, Dom. Leon Boesch Sylvaner, Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone, Dom. des Champs Fleuris Saumur-Champigny. Plus, from Oregon: Cameron Winery Pinot Noir.


SPECIAL EVENTS:

AN EXTRAORDINARY
SHERRY TASTING
with John House from Ole Imports

Tues., Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. sharp

This will be one of the most unique Sherry tastings ever held in the U.S.! Some of these wines have not seen the light of day in this country: among them are Soleras started before 1800.

For those of you wanting to learn about Sherry – and for those of you who thought you’ve tasted them all – these wines will blow your minds!

The list of wines to be tasted are online at our website.

Seating is limited, and pre-payment is required. Price per seat is $100. Contact L&E or purchase seats online at our website.


BURGUNDY TASTING
With Luc Bouchard from Bouchard Pere & Fils and Domaine William Fevre

Mon., Feb. 22
from 6:15-7:15 p.m.

Join Luc Bouchard for a tasting of red and white wines from one of Burgundy’s most esteemed estates. The wines of Bouchard date back to 1731, and over the centuries they have produced so many astonishing wines.

We’ll taste wines from a variety of vintages. The list of wines to be tasted are online at our website.

No reservations are needed. Fee for the tasting is $10.


CHANDON DE BRIAILLES
Burgundy Dinner at Castagna Restaurant

Tues., March 8, 6:45 p.m.

Please join us for dinner at Castagna Restaurant as we welcome one of our favorite Burgundy winemakers, Claude de Nicolay of Domaine Chandon de Briailles.

Her wines are among the purest expressions of red and white Burgundy. The Domaine selections, matched with the incomparable food at Castagna, guarantee a wonderful evening!

The list of wines to be tasted are online at our website.

Seating is limited, and pre-payment is required. Seats are $130 per person, all inclusive. Contact L&E or purchase seats online at our website.

 

 

 


B = biodynamic methods; CO = certified organic; O = organic; S = sustainably farmed

© Liner & Elsen, all rights reserved. Information and prices apply during the current month only. Wine availability and prices are subject to quantity on hand. We are not responsible for mispriced items in the newsletter.