MAY 2018 NEWSLETTER


THIS MONTH’S SAMPLER

Our Southern France Sampler…194.29 reg. 215.88

Here’s our newest sampler from the south of France, perfect for any time you want a hearty, earthy red wine. The case sampler includes four bottles of each wine:

  • 2015 Chateau Canorgue, Luberon, Rouge (20.99/226.69)
    Predominately Syrah, this is an elegant and silky blend, with lots of herbs, cherry, and strawberry fruit, plus a hint of spice, smoke, and earth. Superb!

  • 2014 Andre Berthet-Rayne, Cairanne, Tradition (15.99/172.69)
    A beautiful old-vine, rustic Grenache with dollops of Syrah and Carignan, aromas of black raspberries, wild cherries, black pepper, lavender, and clove.

  • 2016 Terres des Chardons, Costieres de Nimes, Bien Lune (16.99/183.49)
    Primarily Syrah and Grenache, this luxurious and velvety blend exhibits dark fruits, bacon notes, pepper, and earth tones. Caresses the palate!

 

RED WINES

OREGON

2016 Cameron, Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge AVA, Oregon (S) 23.99/259.09

The irrepressible John Paul spotlights the Ribbon Ridge AVA’s especially intense, structured fruit in this beautiful 2016 Pinot Noir. An opaque ruby color in the bowl leads to deep aromas of black cherries, wood spice, and loamy earth. Packed with brilliantly focused, palate-staining blackberry and currant fruit, the wine resonates on the palate with fine tannins, freshening acidity, and notes of dry earth, black cherry, and smoke. Still young and coiled, the wine needs air and coaxing at this stage, but all the components are present for a long, positive evolution in your cool cellar. Lovely bitter cherry skin notes linger as the wine segues effortlessly from its chewy black-fruited palate to the long, mouthwatering finish. Enjoy now and over the coming seven years with duck, pork, and hearty casseroles.

2013 Adelsheim, Elizabeth’s Reserve, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 39.99/410.29 reg. 53.99

In the cool, lithe 2013 Willamette Valley vintage, Adelsheim has succeeded in fusing the elegance of Chehalem Mountain fruit with a sense of power and authority rare for this harvest. Elizabeth’s Reserve is the legendary Adelsheim Vineyard’s barrel selection of their finest Pinot Noir lots. A translucent ruby color in the bowl segues to sweet aromas of Bing cherries, marionberries, and wood spice. Round and suave on the attack, the Elizabeth’s Reserve tightens mid-palate to reveal framing tannins, saturated blackberry fruit, menthol, cinnamon, and dried rose petals. Long and lingering on the palate, the wine finishes strong and satisfying with further waves of black cherry fruit and a final loamy, earthy undertone. This is a terrific, unusually full-bodied example of the underrated 2013 vintage. Enjoy now and over the coming decade with roast chicken, duck, grilled strip steaks and spring morels in a cream sauce. Limited quantities.
Neil Martin, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 91 points; James Suckling: 92 points

WASHINGTON

2016 Involuntary Commitment, Red Wine, Columbia Valley, Washington 18.99/205.09

Involuntary Commitment, a new project from the good folks at Andrew Will Wines, shows all the nuances of premier Washington State grapes and drinks wonderfully right out of the bottle. Their debut Red Wine, a blend of Cabernet Franc (61%), Cabernet Sauvignon (22%), and Merlot, casts a deep young claret robe and Cab Franc-driven aromas of cassis, tobacco, dried herbs, and dusty soil. Propelled by cedary Cabernet Sauvignon fruit and plummy, chocolatey Merlot, the wine achieves a wonderful harmony on the palate thanks to refreshing acidity and plentiful soft tannins. Reprises of red and black fruits carry through to the back-palate and segue the wine to a long, delicious, Right Bank-inspired finish. Enjoy the wine now and over the coming five years by itself or with roast lamb or beef, eggplant parmigiana, and recipes spotlighting spring morel mushrooms.

FRANCE

2015 Domaine Camus-Bruchon, Bourgogne, Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France 27.99/302.29

This is lovely, classically-styled Bourgogne rouge that packs tons of character at a very comfortable price point. Savigny superstar Camus-Bruchon fashions his Bourgogne rouge from old vines grown on the family’s holdings in Savigny-les-Beaune. Casting a brilliant black garnet robe, The wine opens with Savigny’s gamy, earthy, sauvage aromas wrapped around a core of bright red fruits. Brisk and transparent on the palate, mouthwatering tannins frame the wine’s chewy red currant and raspberry fruit expressions. Dusty limestone soil currents emerge midpalate and segue the wine to a long, chewy, and rustic old-school Burgundy finish featuring notes of Seville orange peel, wood spice, herbs, and violets. Enjoy now and over the coming decade with roast duck, chicken, pan-seared pork chops, potatoes au gratin, and medium aged cow’s milk cheeses.

2016 Domaine du Cros, Marcillac, Lo Sang del Pais, SW France 13.99/151.09

Marcillac, an isolated appellation located east of Cahors in France’s Massif Central, is home to the wonderfully obscure grape Fer Servadou (or Mansois in local dialect). Fashioned exclusively from the Fer Servadou, Domaine du Cros’ Lo Sang del Pais casts a translucent rusty plum hue in the glass followed by exotic aromas of Szechuan peppercorns, jalapeno peppers, cedar, and ferrous earth. Bright, spicy, and peppery, the 2016 Lo Sang del Pais presents a lithe, shimmering palate marked by notes of red currants, pipe tobacco, freshly ground black pepper, and bay leaf. Plentiful fine tannins dust the lips and transition the Pais to its long, mineral-driven finish. Enjoy this beautiful and distinctive Marcillac rouge now and over the next five years with sausages, burgers, grilled vegetables, and cassoulet. A unanimous staff favorite every year, and this year it’s back to showing all its wild, spicy goodness!

2016 Domaine de Pallus, Chinon, Messanges Rouge
Loire Valley, France (B) 13.99/151.09

Employing biodynamic viticulture and patient winemaking methods, Bertrand Sourdais of the Domaine de Pallus has in a very short period of time rocketed himself to the upper echelon of Chinon’s producers. Sourdais’ Messanges Rouge cuvee hails from Chinon’s stony, silica-laced terroir whose perfumed soil signature runs like an electric current through the wine. An opaque black cherry color, the 2016 Messanges Rouge bursts with classic Chinon aromas of ripe cherries, tobacco, cedar, and perfumed limestone soil. Electric and energetic on the palate, the Messanges Rouge delivers everything we love about the noble Cabernet Franc from its spiritual homeland: vibrant cherry and leafy blueberry fruit infused with notes of dried herbs, tobacco, and autumnal leaves. Endlessly delicious, vibrant, and ready to drink, this versatile beauty pairs now and over the coming three years with roast shoulder of pork, chicken, duck, mushroom duxelles, or fresh chevres.

2015 Joseph Drouhin, Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France 59.99/615.49

The bad news: recently we were able to purchase 10 cases of this wonderfully complex Gevrey-Chambertin from Joseph Drouhin, and they sold out very quickly. The good news: we were able to get another twelve cases, and they too will be gone in a flash! The 2015 Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin possesses a very complex nose of pie cherries, strawberries, raspberries, orange, vanilla, clove, allspice, cinnamon, wet stones, and a touch of wood spice.
The promise of the aromatics comes through very precisely on the palate. A myriad of flavors, and an underlying earthiness, make for a very compelling, food-friendly Burgundy. With hints of orange, tangerines, red berried fruits, cranberry, pumpkin spices, forest floor, meat and herbs this adds up to a heckuva Gevrey. There is plenty of acidity, dusty tannins, and fruit, which will allow this wine to age another next decade or two. If you’re planning to drink this sooner, a decanting and a duck would be just fine. Very limited: only 12 cases available.
Wine Spectator: 90-93 points

ITALY

2014 Vignalta, Colli Euganei Rosso, Venda, Veneto, Italy 14.99/161.89

We’re delighted to feature again Vignalta’s Venda Rosso, a compelling Bordeaux-style blend with old-world grace and world-class affordability. This terrific rosso is a blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) grown on the highest altitude vineyard site in the Veneto’s Colli Euganei zone. A crimson-garnet color in the glass, the wine offers a cool, inviting bouquet of sour cherries, dried herbs, rose petals, and clay. Brisk and vibrant on the palate, the Venda rosso presents a core of spicy cherry and red plum fruit framed by brisk acidity and complex suggestions of tobacco, cedar, button mushrooms, and vanilla. The finish is long, with pie cherry, currant, and herb-tinged notes. Serve this beauty with all red meats, poultry, game and stews rich in beans. Enjoy now and over the coming five years.

2013 Oddero, Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy (O) 20.99/226.69

Little has changed over the decades at Piedmont’s staunchly traditional Oddero estate. Oddero Barolos back to the fifties are still intact and drinking remarkably well. Modern vintages also possess the same harmony and promise, thanks to Oddero’s careful land stewardship and adherence to time-honored vinification practices. Hailing from organically farmed vineyards in Barolo’s hallowed Castiglione Falletto and La Morra zones, these superior terroirs translate into a smashingly delicious and serious Barbera d’Alba. A transparent red plum hue in the glass, Oddero’s 2013 Barbera casts gorgeous aromas of cherry skin, licorice, menthol, and blond leather. Bright and zippy on the palate, the wine features a resonant core of wild cherry and pomegranate fruit accented by notes of cinnamon bark, tar, and peppery salumi. The Barbera finishes suave and satisfying, with reprises of bitter cherry pit accented by food-friendly tannins, palate-freshening acidity, and complex notes of untanned leather, cinnamon, and button mushrooms. This is sensational Barbera that charms now with its vibrant fruit expression, but promises to repay time in your cellar with added complexity and harmony. Enjoy now or hold for an additional decade.

SPAIN

2016 Raul Perez, Mencia, Ultreia, St. Jacques, Bierzo, Spain 18.99/205.09

Many consider Raul Perez to be one of Spain’s – if not the world’s – finest winemakers. Perez crafts wine in several regions in northwestern Spain, but he makes his home and many of his finest wines in Bierzo. An opaque black ruby color in the bowl, Perez’s Ultreia Mencia St. Jacques conveys the fresh, vibrant side of the Mencia grape with vivid currant and wild cherry expressions accented by notes of game, stemmy herbs, wintergreen, and caramel. Brisk and vibrant on the attack, the St. Jacques stains the palate with deep impressions of black raspberries, crunchy pomegranate, smoky minerals, and a lovely kiss of toffeed French oak. Brisk acidity and fine tannins buoy the wine’s lively core of red and black fruits, and segue it to a long finish that adds suggestions of cocoa, cola, and smoky minerals. Delicious now, the wine will prove a huge hit at springtime barbecues with grilled steaks and burgers, baby back ribs, bean tapas, salumi, braised rabbit, and hearty stews.


WHITE WINES

OREGON

2016 Eyrie, Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon 15.99/172.69

Jason Lett carries the torch of distinctiveness lit by his father, in this full, rich, and expressive Oregon Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley’s most legendary estate. From the granddaddy of Pinot Gris in Oregon, the legendary Eyrie Vineyards continues its nearly fifty-year tradition of producing the state’s reference point Pinot Gris. Eyrie’s 2016 rendition casts a straw-gold color and refreshing aromas of Williams pears, hay, hazelnut shells, and loamy minerals. On the palate, Eyrie’s Gris conveys a crisp, dry, Alsatian texture with layers of yellow plum and lemon curd complemented by notes of clover, fresh ginger, and smoky soil. The wine finishes long and satisfying with complex suggestions of Mirabelle plums, quinine, bay leaf, and white pepper. Enjoy now or over the coming four years with sturgeon, salmon, halibut, oysters, roast chicken, and braised pork preparations.

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 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

NV (2016) Emile Balland, Sauvignon, En Attendant les Beaux Jours
Vin de France (Loire Valley), France (S) 12.99/140.29

In the early morning of April 27th, 2016, the Belland estate lost 80% of its harvest when frost descended on his vines that were just sending out spring buds. In this devastating year, Emile added on "En Attendant" (waiting for) to his usual "Les Beaux Jours" (beautiful days) name for this delicious Sauvignon Blanc. A classic pale-green-gold color, Belland’s En Attendant casts flint-infused aromas of Mirabelle plums, fresh grass, basil, and Serrano peppers. Fresh and minerally, the En Attendant shows impressive harmony with its deep mineral undercurrents buoying crisp impressions of lime, lemon, gooseberries, and greengage plums. Impressions of freshly cut basil, chervil, and savory join with juicy citrus fruits on the wine’s long, resinous finish. Impeccably balanced and oh-so-drinkable, pair this beauty now and over the coming two years with sauteed green vegetables, fresh oysters, clams, mussels, freshwater fishes with a beurre blanc sauce, and as a revivifying aperitif after a hard day’s work.

2015 Joseph Drouhin, Pouilly-Vinzelles, Burgundy, France 19.99/215.89

The Maconnais’ Pouilly-Vinzelles appellation is perhaps less famous than its neighbor, Pouilly-Fuisse, but the zone’s steep clay-limestone slopes and relatively high altitude impart impressive freshness into its classically Burgundian Chardonnays. In the critically acclaimed 2015 vintage, Drouhin has fashioned a remarkably crisp and classic Pouilly-Vinzelles that’s unusually lithe and savory (the way we like it). The 2015 Pouilly-Vinzelles sports a lovely pale lemon-gold color in the glass followed by aromas of perfumed limestone, honeysuckle, apple blossoms, and fresh lemon juice. On the palate, the wine is zesty and energetic, with suggestions of green almonds, white flowers, lemon zest, and sweet cinnamon amplified by lilting acidity and a vibrant undercurrent of saline oyster shell minerality. A haunting echo of raw hazelnuts marks the wine’s long lip-smacking finish. Enjoy this lovely, authentic, reasonably-priced white Burgundy now and over the coming five years with salmon, pork, roast chicken, duck, boudin blanc, and light pork dishes.

PORTUGAL

2016 Contraste, Vinho Branco, Douro, Portugal 15.99/172.69

The terraced, shale vineyards of the Douro are a sight to behold. Here the vines cling to the precipitously steep hillsides and absorb the plenitude of minerals in the shallow soils. Conceito owner-winemaker Rita Ferreira Marques is a rising star in the Douro Valley. Working with renowned winemaker Dirk Niepoort, Marques has mastered the craft of producing expressive, characterful dry wines from the Douro’s myriad indigenous varieties. A blend of old-vine Códiga do Lorinho, Rabigato, Larinho, Arinto, and literally dozens of other varieties, Marques’s Contraste Branco explodes out of the glass with a shimmering, pale green-gold hue and a piquant, deep mineral expression reminiscent of a top-notch Muscadet. Brisk and bracing on the palate, the wine’s brilliant acidity propels its tart kernel of green pineapple, honeydew melon, green plum, and kiwi fruit. Floral notes and waves of dusty shale and schistose minerals segue the Contraste to its long, clean, zesty finish. Enjoy this stunning value as an invigorating sipper or as a complement to green salads, sauteed zucchini, oysters on the half-shell, sashimi, steamed clams, and seafood tapas.

2016 Vale da Capucha, Vinho Branco, Fossil, Vinho Regional Lisboa, Portugal (O) 18.99/205.09

Vale de Capucha is a 32-acre, organically farmed estate north of Lisbon situated a mere thirteen miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The fossils found in the estate’s clay-limestone soil inspired the wine’s brand name as well as its beautiful label. A blend of Fernão Pires (50%), Arinto (35%), and mixed indigenous varieties, Vale da Capucha’s Fossil Branco casts a deep lemon oil robe followed by captivating scents of sunflowers, gardenia blossoms, guava, and yellow plums. Rich, ample, and elegant on the palate, the Fossil Branco conveys delicious suggestions of honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, bergamot, quince, and camphor. Clean, crisp acidity drives the wine’s fascinating floral and fruit expressions, leading to a long, refreshing finish. Pair this Portuguese beauty now and over the coming three years with squid, octopus, potato and eggplant tapas, rich squash dishes, and grilled steak fishes such as ahi, albacore, and swordfish.

SPAIN

2016 Frore de Carme, Albarino, Envidiacochina, 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 Tête 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.


ROSE WINES

OREGON

2017 Crowley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 17.99/194.29

Winemaker-owner Tyson Crowley hits it out of the park with this low octane, low-alcohol beauty crafted from a single block of Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, grown at 800 feet in the McMinnville coast range. A gloriously pale salmon color, Crowley’s Rose opens with crisp aromas of watermelon, golden raspberries, coconut water, and white meadow flowers. Crackling with energy from the first sip, the wine combines the chalky lightness of a fine Sancerre rose with the depth and sappy, herbal tinges of the best from Provence. This is a rose that you simply want to drink – anytime and anywhere. We could expound further, but with only 285 cases made, you’re going to want to call the shop immediately and reserve your case. Pair now and over the coming year with fresh chevres, broiled salmon and steelhead, light poultry, summer squashes, and pork tenderloin. Limited.

FRANCE

2017 Commanderie de la Bargemone, Côteaux d’Aix en Provence, Rose
Provence, France (S) 17.99/194.29

Don’t miss this lovely Provençal rose, a superb example of the soon-to-be-acclaimed 2017 vintage. Renowned for its scented, refreshing roses, the Côteaux d’Aix en Provence is the go-to source for Provençal roses aimed at those who want Bandol-like character at a decidedly more affordable price. Primarily a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon from 25+ year-old vines, the rose sports an orange-tinted salmon color in the glass followed by lovely aromas of cherry blossoms, herbal garrigue, ruby grapefruit, and white pepper. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, Bargemone’s 2017 rose offers crisp, crunchy suggestions of Rainier cherries, golden raspberries, quinine, and bitter orange peel suffused with flinty minerals. Dry, tensile, and bursting with refreshment, the wine finishes with notes of sour cherries, bracing acidity, and a dusting of saline minerals. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming year with sushi, sashimi, broiled salmon, roast chicken, seared ahi, braised and smoked pork, cured meats, and squashes.

 

 

LINER & ELSEN
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STORE HOURS:
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Mon. May 28

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FRIDAY TASTINGS:

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

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

May 18 - A taste of wines from Burgundy’s Savigny-Les-Beaune appellation.

June 1 - Our Semi-Annual Champagne Festival!



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

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

May 5 - Wines from Oregon: Crowley Rose of Pinot Noir, Eyrie Pinot Gris, Cameron Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge, and Adelsheim Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir.

May 12 - La Belle France: Commanderie de la Bargemone Rose, Balland Sauvignon, Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles, Dom. Camus-Bruchon Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Drouhin Gevrey Chambertin, Dom. de Pallus Chinon Messanges Rouge, and Dom. du Cros Lo Sang del Pais Marcillac.

May 19 - Drink Iberian wines! From Portugal: Vale da Capucha Fossil Vinho Branco, and Contraste Vinho Branco Douro. From Spain: Frore de Carme Albarino, and Raul Perez Mencia Ultreia St. Jacques.

May 26 - Wines from here and there: Our Southern France Sampler (France); Oddero Barbera d’Alba and Vignalta Venda (Italy); Malat Gruner Veltliner Furth-Palt (Austria); and Involuntary Commitment Red Wine (Washington).



SPECIAL EVENTS THIS MONTH:

A Taste of Alsace
From Domaine Weinbach


Thursday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Join us for a tasting of one of the leading wineries of Alsace, Domaine Weinbach. The focus of the tasting will be a lineup of wines from the 2016 vintage. Seating is limited and prepayment is required. Fee: $35 per seat. Reserve now



Piedmont Wine Tasting

Monday, May 14, from 6:15 -7:15 p.m.

Join Cameron Abbot, “The Piedmont Guy,” for a tasting of superlative wines from Italy’s Piedmont region. No reservations are necessary. Tasting fee: $10.



A Comprehensive Tasting of
Spanish Wines from Raul Perez


Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Make no mistake about it: Raul Perez is making the Spain’s greatest wines! Here’s your opportunity to taste a comprehensive selection of these brilliant wines. Seating is limited and pre-payment is required. Fee: $40 per seat. Reserve now



Coming in June: save the date!

Andrew Will Wines Retrospective Tasting with Chris Camarda

Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Join winemaker Chris Camarda for a comprehensive tasting of the great Washington wines from Andrew Will Winery. We will begin the evening with wines from the 1993 vintage and move forward in time.

Additional details to be announced...

 

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.