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APRIL 2018 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

OREGON

2016 Crowley, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 21.99/237.49

Winemaker Tyson Crowley’s focus and skills have taken him from strength to strength. Crowley’s 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir casts a gorgeous crimson-ruby robe in the glass, followed by a deep, soil-driven nose redolent of cranberries, tart cherries, allspice, flinty minerals, and Seville orange peel. Crisp and compelling on the palate, the wine’s kernel of cherry and black raspberry fruit joins with suggestions of spicy cinnamon, rhubarb, fruitwood smoke, and sassafras. Fine tannins and ample acidity buoy the wine’s snappy core of fruit and segue it to a long finish featuring complex undertones of blood orange, potpourri, and cocoa. Enjoy this most superb Pinot now or over the coming seven years with sauteed vegetables, Chinook salmon, roast chicken, duck, burgers, light casseroles, and stews.

FRANCE

2015 Domaine Collotte, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Cuvee de Noble Souche, Burgundy, France (S) 23.99/259.09

Working with very old vines in Cote d’Or’s northern reaches, Philippe Collotte is one of Burgundy’s best-kept secrets. Collotte’s Cuvee de Noble Souche – from vines planted in 1947 on Marsannay’s stony “cailloux” soils – gleams with a deep ruby robe and fresh aromas of macerated cherries, black raspberries, and sandalwood. Fleshy and ample on the palate, Collotte’s Bourgogne offers glorious northern Burgundy expressions of cherry skin, game, tangerine peel, and white pepper. Plentiful ultrafine tannins frame the wine’s generous red-fruited core and segue the Noble Souche to its long, lithe finish featuring notes of rhubarb, sappy herbs, rose petals, and dusty, stony soil. This is a fabulous and stunningly affordable Cote d’Or red Burgundy that drinks well now with a bit of aeration and will reward patience with five to seven years’ positive evolution in your cool cellar. Pair with fresh chevres, roast chicken, turkey, duck, chanterelle mushroom preparations, and light salmon dishes.

2014 Le Vigne Mouton Macon-Bray, Le Mouton Noir, Burgundy, France (B)
18.99/205.09

Le Vigne Mouton’s owners, Sebastien and Delphine Boisseau are creating mind-bending wines of impressive depth, intensity, and minerality. Cultivating old vines – up to 115 years old – and employing biodynamic viticulture, their Mouton Noir is crafted from 100% Gamay grown on clay-limestone soils. A gorgeous black-ruby color in the glass, the Mouton Noir opens with an explosive bouquet of white peppercorns, star anise, spicy cherries, black raspberries, and sassafras. Bright and appetizingly tannic on the palate, the wine layers waves of cola, sarsaparilla, black pepper, vanilla, and dusty soil on top of its chewy kernel of black cherry fruit. Complex notes of game, paprika, mustard seed, and wintergreen appear as the Mouton Noir lingers on its long finish. Light on its feet and packed with character, this fascinating natural wine is a superb choice for springtime barbecues and throughout the year with potatoes au gratin, grilled burgers and chicken, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, and vegetarian recipes featuring earthy mushrooms.

2015 Domaine la Fourmone, Gigondas, Le Fauquet, S. Rhone Valley, France (S) 21.99/237.49

Earning consistent accolades from critics, the Domaine la Fourmone’s 2015 is a testament to the structure, complexity, and gorgeous black-fruited nature of this critically acclaimed vintage. Reflecting an opaque black-garnet robe, Fourmone’s Le Fouquet fills the room with textbook Gigondas scents of black raspberries, black licorice, garrigue, bay leaf, and hickory smoke. Warm and generous on the palate, the wine tightens mid-palate to reveal plentiful chewy tannins that frame and buttress the wine’s palate-staining kernel of black fruits. Fourmone’s impeccably balanced Le Fouquet cuvee, comprised of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, finishes bright and spicy with added suggestions of orange zest, lavender, quinine, licorice, menthol, cocoa, and macerated cherries. A terrific value in classic, old-school Gigondas, the wine will make a lovely foil for herbed leg of lamb, burgers, grilled eggplant, mushroom ragouts, and hearty stews. Enjoy now and over the coming two decades.

ITALY

2014 Antonelli, Montefalco Rosso, Umbria, Italy (O) 13.99/151.09

Montefalco Rosso pays homage to Umbria’s traditional red varietals, Sangiovese and Sagrantino, while also welcoming the nuance, texture and complexity that the noble Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, can contribute. Antonelli’s Montefalco Rosso – a classic blend of Sangiovese (70%), Sagrantino (15%), and Merlot (15%) – offers a gorgeous, transparent black-ruby color in the glass and dark, earthy aromas of elderberries, black cherries, menthol, and licorice. On the palate, the wine seamlessly fuses the dark, brooding, tannic nature of the Sagrantino with the high-toned cherry fruit of the Sangiovese and the plum and mocha notes of the Merlot. The wine finishes long, earthy, and appetizingly tannic, with further waves of blackberry fruit accented by complex notes of dried herbs, cedar, tobacco, and baker’s chocolate. Uncompromisingly firm and authentic, Antonelli’s Montefalco Rosso is poised for a long evolution in your cool cellar, but will pair well now with richer fare like pork ribs, burgers, game, and pasta dishes topped with Pecorino Romano.

2014 Feudi di San Gregorio, Rubrato, Aglianico, Irpinia IGT, Campania, Italy 15.99/172.69

Feudi di San Gregorio’s Rubrato embodies all the hallmarks of a great Aglianico wine: a dense black-crimson color, flavors of plums, wild cherries and licorice, and a finish that expresses the volcanic ash soils from nearby Mount Vesuvius. The 2014 Rubrato sports a deeply pitched nose of black cherries, violets, star anise, and tar. The palate is firm, tannic, and classically Aglianico with nuances of black plums, cinnamon, star anise, menthol, and cloves, but it’s on the wine’s long finish that Vesuvius’s volcanic terroir emerges and conveys the unique expression of ashen soil that simply can’t be matched anywhere else on the planet. This is a wonderful, versatile wine that’s tailor-made for grilled meats, salumi, hard cheeses, eggplant parmigiana, and pasta dishes with sundried tomatoes. Drink now or over the next seven years.

2015 Biondi Outis, Nessuno, Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy (S) 25.99/280.69 reg. 32.99

In 1968, Etna became Sicily’s first D.O.C. Today it’s undoubtedly Italy’s hippest wine zone, and with one sip of this wine, you’ll understand why. As one of Etna’s most distinguished producers, the Biondi estate fashions its Outis Rosso from a classic blend of Nerello Mascalese (80%) and Nerello Cappuccio (20%). The 2015 offers a lovely pale rust-tinged garnet robe and spicy aromas of wild cherries, figs, ferrous soil, fruitwood smoke, and piquant herbs. On the palate, the wine presents elegant, transparent sour cherry, plum, and pomegranate fruit alongside firm, dusty tannins, juicy acidity, and complex suggestions of dried orange peel, bay leaf, leather, cinnamon, and dried flowers. The Outis’s long finish delivers savory, ferrous minerals dancing inside the wine’s spicy core of red fruit, which makes for one of the most delicious and compelling Southern Italian wines in memory. Enjoy now or over the coming seven years as a lovely complement to dishes featuring rich tomato sauces, pine nuts, olive oil and fennel. Limited.
Ian D’Agata, Vinous: 93 points

2015 Podere Le Cinciole, Toscana IGT, Cinciorosso, Tuscany, Italy (O) 14.99/161.89

Located in Panzano – one of the most hallowed villages of the original Chianti Classico zone – the Podere Le Cinciole fashions an impeccable portfolio of delicious and critically acclaimed Chiantis. The estate’s high-altitude vineyards (1300-1500 feet) preserve the Sangiovese’s precious acidity, which makes for some of the most lip-smackingly delicious wines in all of Tuscany. This is Le Cinciole’s “entry” wine – a blend of Sangiovese (70%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%), Syrah, and Merlot – which casts a classic purple-ruby hue and bright aromas of black cherries, cassis, red plums, leather, and underbrush. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, the wine’s spine of shimmering acidity lifts a crunchy core of red fruits while notes of cedar and menthol add complexity. Firm, fine tannins complete the palate impression and segue the Cinciorosso to its long, zippy finish. Simply delicious, this zesty Tuscan red wine satisfies on all levels – and it’s organic, too! Serve this affordable beauty as a partner for light pasta dishes, grilled porterhouse steak, fried zucchini blossoms, vegetarian casseroles, as well as everyday foods like hamburgers, pizza, and grilled chicken.

2014 F.lli Cigliuti, Barbera d’Alba, Vigna Serraboella, Piedmont, Italy 18.99/205.09

According to Antonio Galloni, “Cigliuti remains one of Barbaresco's under the radar jewels.” From vines in the grand cru Serraboella vineyard in the Barbaresco zone, Cigliuti has crafted a Barbera of exceptional depth and dimension. A brooding, classic Barbera black plum color in the glass, Cigliuti’s 2014 Barbera Serraboella casts savory aromas of salted plums, pie cherries, rose petals, and menthol. Brisk and tangy on the palate, the wine sparkles with mouthwatering acidity and rich impressions of black cherry skin, leather, underbrush, camphor, and limestone dust. Fine tannins sneak in on the back-palate and lead the wine to a long, savory finish that begs for classic Piemontese cuisine. Pair this exceptional Barbera now and over the coming five years with grilled hanger steak, pastas with a rich ragù or Bolognese sauce, fritto misto, carne cruda, and myriad risottos.

2013 F.lli Cigliuti, Barbaresco, Vie Erte, Piedmont, Italy 35.99/388.69

Cigliuti’s sensational 2013 Vie Erte, from the Bricco de Neive cru, shows the beauty and harmony of this great Piemontese vintage. Returning to classical methods and long aging in neutral botti, the Cigliuti estate is emerging as a superstar in Barbaresco’s Neive zone. Offering a transparent orange-rimmed, rusty garnet robe and classic Nebbiolo aromas of sour cherries, blond tobacco, wintergreen, and dried underbrush. Palate-staining and appropriately tannic, the Vie Erte explodes with vibrant cherry and red currant fruit, peppery salumi, pencil lead and limestone minerals. This beautiful, detailed minerality follows through on the long finish of grand cru length and dimension. Folks, this is a sensational sub-$40 cru Barbaresco that will drink well now with plenty of aeration, or will reward ten to twenty years’ aging in your cool cellar. Pair with classic Piemontese fare such as carne cruda, risotto, braised and grilled beef, and egg-rich tajarin sauced lightly with butter, sage, and Reggiano. Very limited.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous: 93 points


WHITE WINES

OREGON

2017 Cameron Winery, Pinot Blanc, Giovanni, Dundee Hills, Oregon (O)
14.99/161.89

The 2017 Oregon harvest is earning raves up and down the Valley. But for us the proof of the vintage’s potential greatness is in this lovely bottle. Sporting a bright lemon-gold color and at a lithe 11.7% alcohol, Cameron’s 2017 Giovanni opens with spellbinding Oregon Pinot Blanc aromas of Anjou pears, white peaches, ginger, and refreshing menthol. Brisk and invigorating on the palate, the Giovanni dazzles with crisp, juicy pear and yellow apple fruit buoyed by tangy acidity and a savory mineral undercurrent. The wine finishes clean, fresh, and delicious. This gets our vote for the most complete, refreshing, enjoyable and all-around satisfying Giovanni to date. Enjoy over the coming eighteen months as a complement to grilled halibut, cedar plank salmon, zucchini frittatas, omelets, brook trout, and grilled vegetables.

AUSTRIA

2016 Malat, Gruner Veltliner, Furth-Palt, Kremstal, Austria 17.99/194.29

Ninth-generation winemaker Michael Malat crafts an impeccable portfolio from some of the Kremstal’s finest vineyards. Malat fashions his Furth-Palt Gruner Veltliner from rocky loess soils on the foothills of the famed Stift Göttweig monastery. A brilliant, pale green-gold in the glass, Malat’s Gruner, from the superb 2016 Austrian vintage, casts a bouquet of lime peel, apple skin, green pineapple, wintergreen, and flinty soil. Fresh and nervy on the palate, the wine fuses crisp expressions of green melons, Pippin apple, and salty loess minerals with the fresh sugar snap pea notes that make Gruner so special. Invigorating and crackling on the finish, the wine leaves the palate refreshed with final suggestions of crisp fennel and white pepper. Thanks to its low 12.5% alcohol, Malat’s Gruner will work effortlessly as a picnic wine, an aperitif, or as a complement to sauteed green vegetables, grilled zucchini, braised pork, and roast chicken. Enjoy now or over the coming two years.

FRANCE

2016 Chateau de la Ragotiere, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine,
Sur Lie Selection Vieilles Vignes, Loire Valley, France 13.50/145.80

Classically styled, lithe, and terroir-expressive, the wines from the 2016 Loire Valley vintage continue to wow us. This black label Selection Vieilles Vignes is Ragotiere’s top-of-the line Muscadet, crafted from 40 to 60-year-old vines grown on mica schist soils. From the glass, Ragotiere’s Vieilles Vignes presents a pale green-gold hue followed by deep aromas of gooseberries, lemon zest, oyster shells, and mint. The wine delights the palate with crisp green apple, Anjou pear, and white currant fruit laced with notes of quinine, oyster shell, lime peel, and perfumed soil. The wine’s zesty and resinous palate impression is countered by bracing acidity, hints of menthol, ginger, citrus, and another blast of oyster shell terroir. Lovely as an aperitif, Muscadet always shines brightest when paired with briny oysters on the half-shell, pan-roasted mussels, clams, Dover sole, crab pastas, and sauteed green vegetables. Drink now and over the next three years.

2016 Domaine Labbe, Abymes, Savoie, France (S) 10.50/113.40

Domaine Labbe’s benchmark Abymes is back in classic form in the crisp 2016 vintage, showing the crunchy, refreshing and glacier-like purity that we so love in the best Savoyard wines. A pale green-glinted, lemon-gold color in the glass, Labbe’s 2016 Abymes offers aromas of crisp yellow apple skin, honeysuckle blossoms, fresh turmeric and dolomite dust. On the palate, juicy acidity propels expressions of white grapefruit, shaved fennel, and greengage plums. Crisp, zesty, and effortlessly refreshing, Labbe’s Abymes shows that impeccable balance of citrus and orchard fruit, salty limestone minerals, and the palate persistence rare for the appellation and its modest tariff. We suggest pairing this Alpine refresher with oysters, scallops, white-fleshed fish dishes, and cheeses such as Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie. Enjoy the wine young in order to capture all the Abymes’ crisp acidity and crunchy minerality.


2015 Domaine Bernard Defaix, Chablis, Cuvee Vieille Vigne, Terroir de Milly
Burgundy, France (CO) 23.99/259.09

We’re delighted to present Defaix’s 2015 A.C. Chablis, a textbook example of character, intensity, and value from vineyards in the very heart of the Chablis appellation. Brilliant green-glinted, lemon-gold in the glass, Defaix’s Chablis casts rich aromas of lemon curd, Brazil nuts, and flinty soil. Fleshy and intense on the attack, the wine fuses a juicy core of lemon, Bartlett pear, and green apple fruit with electric acidity and a pulsing undercurrent of flinty, oyster shell minerality. Impressively vibrant, rich, and textured on the palate, this is superb Chablis that combines the region’s electric Kimmeridgean limestone mineral expression with impressively intense Chassagne-like Chardonnay fruit and sappy suggestions of raw hazelnuts. It also leaves that special limestone dust on the lips, which always makes us reach for another pour and will ensure that it will prove a lovely foil for oysters, clams, mussels, prawns, and the entire spectrum of fish and shellfish. Enjoy this delicious, full-throttle Chablis now and over the coming five years.

2014 Trimbach, Riesling, Alsace, France 20.99/226.69

Through its many Riesling bottlings, Trimbach gives the varietal the consideration, diversity, and respect it deserves. 2014 was a classic high-acid Alsatian vintage: one that will drink young with the region’s rich traditional fare, as well as repay mid-term cellaring. A brilliant green-tinged, lemon-gold color in the glass, Trimbach’s 2014 Riesling opens with a kaleidoscope of aromas including Pippin apple skin, papaya, green melon, and smoke. Uncompromisingly dry on the attack, the wine awakens the palate with impressions of pomelo, green plums, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and flinty minerals. Notes of lemon zest and preserved ginger emerge on the back-palate and segue the wine to its long mineral-driven finish. Clean, crystal clear, incisive, and spine-tinglingly dry, this is the old-school Alsatian Riesling we all want in our glass. Approachable now with shellfish and savory fare, one would ideally put a case in the cellar for enjoyment over the next five to seven years.
Ian D’Agata, Vinous: 89+ points

2016 Chateau La Rame, Bordeaux Blanc, Bordeaux, France 16.99/183.49

Chateau La Rame is among the oldest and most renowned properties in Bordeaux’s Sainte-Croix-du-Mont appellation. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc (75%) and Semillon (25%), La Rame’s bone dry Bordeaux blanc reflects a pale green-gold hue and piercing Sauvignon Blanc aromas of gooseberries, grass, oregano, mint, and chalky minerals. On the palate, the wine balances a gorgeous core of kiwi, green melon, gooseberry, and passion fruit with riveting acidity, impressive freshness, and a persistent undercurrent of chalky, stony minerals. Brisk and invigorating, the wine finishes clean and zesty with reprises of the Sauvignon’s signature lemongrass, basil, and mint expressions. Pair this now and over the coming three years with trout amandine, perch in a beurre blanc sauce, pan roasted clams or mussels, lightly dressed salads with avocado, fresh chevres, and asparagus in a hollandaise sauce.

2015 Domaine Bachey-Legros, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France 22.99/248.29

The Bachey-Legros domain blew us away with this remarkably affordable Bourgogne Chardonnay. From vines planted in the Cote de Beaune village of Santenay, Bachey-Legros’ Bourgogne Chardonnay reveals a classic lemon-gold color and deep aromas of lemon curd, raw hazelnuts, stony minerals, and barrel tones of toffee and smoke. At once concentrated on the palate, fresh and sprightly, the wine adds notes of cashews, white meadow flowers, vanilla, lemon juice and Comice pears. Fresh, smoky, and packed with everything the white Burgundy lover looks for, Bachey-Legros’ Bourgogne Chardonnay is a terrific value play for enjoyment today and over the coming seven years. Serve cool – not cold – it will wow as a welcome wine or make a wonderful partner for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

SPAIN

2016 Frore de Carme, Albarino, Envidiacochina Tete de Cuvee, Rias Baixas
Galicia, Spain (B) 23.99/259.09

In 1983, prior to the establishment of the D.O. Rias Baixas, Eladio Pineiro was handcrafting serious, artisanal Albarinos from his tiny cellar. Today, working biodynamically, Pineiro’s Albarino Tete de Cuvee expresses the intensity of great Rias Baixas Albarino. A brilliant medium gold in the bowl, the wine casts intense aromas of pineapple, passion fruit, white peaches and salty minerals. Juxtaposing a rich, ripe fruit expression with firm minerality and structure, the wine layers the palate with creamy tropical fruits, quince, yellow melon, jasmine blossoms, and candied ginger. Long, lithe and chiseled, the wine focuses its exotic fruit expression into laser beams of acid and saline minerals. This superb Albarino will delight now and over the coming two years with to prawns, seafood tapas, vegetable tortillas, steak fishes, sashimi, and mild cheeses.

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FRIDAY TASTINGS:

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

April 6 A tasting of Southern Rhones wines from Gigondas.

April 20 Wines from Italy’s Alto Adige region.

May 4 What’s all the fuss about Natural Wines? Come and find out!



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

Weekly; 12-4:30 p.m. No fee

Mar. 31 - All Oregon! Taste a comprehensive line-up of wines from Day Wines, Goodfellow Family Cellars, and Resonance.

April 7- From Oregon: Cameron Pinot Blanc Giovanni, and Crowley Pinot Noir. From Austria: Malat Gruner Veltliner Furth-Palt. From Spain: Envidia Cochina Albarino Tete de Cuvee.

April 14 - Beautiful Burgundy: Dom. Bernard Defaix Chablis, Dom. Bachey-Legros Bourgogne Chardonnay, Collotte Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvee de Noble Souche, and Le Vigne Mouton Macon-Bray Le Mouton Noir.

April 21 - Tutti Italia: Antonelli Montefalco Rosso, Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico Rubrato, Biondi Outis Nessuno Etna Rosso, Podere Le Cinciole Cinciorosso Toscana, and Cigliuti Barbera and Barbaresco.

April 28 - La belle France: Ch. de la Ragotiere Muscadet, Ch. La Rame Bordeaux Blanc, Trimbach Riesling, Dom. la Fourmone Gigondas Le Fauquet, and Labbe Abymes.



SPECIAL EVENTS THIS MONTH:

Spanish and Portuguese
Wine Tasting

Tuesday, April 3 6:00-7:15 p.m.

Get ready! Our new lineup of fabulous red and white wines from Spain and Portugal have arrived, and will be available for tasting. The complete list of wines is on our website. No reservations are necessary; tasting fee: $10.


A Tasting of Alsatian Wines with Anne Trimbach

Monday, April 9 6:00-7:15 p.m.

Anne Trimbach will be here to serve an array of some of the family’s finest wines, including Clos St. Hune. Be prepared to taste some of France’s finest wines! The complete list of wines is on our website. No reservations are necessary; tasting fee: $10.


2015 Domaine Chandon de Briailles Burgundy Tasting

Tuesday, April 17 6:30 p.m.

Please join Doug Culver from C&G Wines for a tasting of the red and white Burgundies of Domaine Chandon de Briailles. The focus will be the 2015 vintage. This will be our 17th annual tasting of these superlative wines – guaranteed to impress!

Seating is limited and pre-payment is required. The complete list of wines is available on our website. Reserve now online or by contacting us. $85 per seat.

 

 

 


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.