MARCH 2019 REVIEWS


RED WINES

OREGON - RED

2017 Broadley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 18.99/205.09

Founded in 1981 in the southernmost, warmest, and driest sector of the Willamette Valley, Broadley Vineyards has a stellar track record of crafting exemplary Pinots Noir. Broadley’s vibrant, chewy, and delicious 2017 Willamette Valley cuvee –a blend of grapes purchased from the Valley’s top vineyards – opens with a brilliant purple-ruby robe and pure aromas of boysenberries, black raspberries, and dusty soil. Saturated and palate-staining soft tannins frame the wine’s kernel of fleshy boysenberry fruit alongside suggestions of menthol, vanilla bean husk, and rose petals. The wine finishes fresh, ample, and authoritative, with reprises of black berry fruits accented by ripe acidity and plentiful food-friendly tannins. Broadley’s impeccable and well-priced 2017 Willamette Valley Pinot is ready for your table now and over the coming three years with burgers, roast chicken, turkey, duck, and vegetarian lasagna.


AUSTRIA - RED

2017 Judith Beck, "Beck Ink," Burgenland, Austria (B) 13.99/151.09

The 2017 Beck Ink is a classic and unusually affordable Austrian red. Judith Beck, a staunch advocate for biodynamic winegrowing, crafts her Beck Ink cuvee from a blend of Zweigelt (90%) and St. Laurent. The wine casts a vivid young violet robe and an explosive nose of peppery cherry fruit, spicy game, and savory herbs. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, the Beck Ink presents black cherry and brambly black raspberry fruit followed by suave tannins and impressions of salumi, Szechuan peppercorns, and a touch of high-toned wild yeast funk. It delivers a mouthful of spicy, gamy, black-fruited goodness that drinks well by itself and as a match for heartier fare. Pair now and over the coming two years with barbecued ribs, pulled pork, hanger steaks, bean and meat stews, and grilled marinated Portobello mushrooms. This fabulous wine is a perfect choice for a robust winter red.


FRANCE - RED

2016 Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Beaune-Villages, Burgundy, France 31.99/345.49

Drawing from its portfolio of impeccable sources in the COte de Beaune, Maison Drouhin blends wines from the finest villages to fashion its COte de Beaune-Villages. A brilliant red-ruby color in the glass, the 2016 Cote de Beaune-Villages exudes Drouhin elegance with a bouquet of earthy raspberry and red currant fruit infused with dried orange peel and Burgundian limestone soil. The wine, initially tense and coiled, opens mid-palate to express a kernel of red fruits mingling with fine, suave tannins and complex suggestions of wood smoke, game, violets, and brown spices. Showing the pedigree and intensity of the small-quantity-to-high-quality 2016 vintage, the wine finishes with reprises of red fruits, smoky soil, and earth. As Burgundy prices continue to escalate, especially in the short 2016 vintage, Drouhin’s Cote de Beaune-Villages represents a rare value play. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming five to seven years with full-bodied, savory fare such as gratin dauphinois, duck, roast chicken, and pork. Fifteen cases available.

2016 Chateau Lestage-Darquier, Moulis-en-Medoc, Bordeaux, France (S) 19.99/215.89

This is delicious claret that pulls off the rare feat of being delicious young and packed with the cedary, currant-rich complexity of a great Medoc. Francois and Brigitte Bernard farm their twenty acres of vines in the Moulis-en-Medoc’s superb Grand Poujeaux district, considered to be among the finest in the Medoc. Chateau Lestage-Darquier makes just one wine, an elegant cuvee of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Merlot (43%), and Cabernet Franc, that opens with a classic young claret color in the glass and old-school Medoc aromas of cassis, mint, cedar, and potpourri. The wine is elegant and suave on the palate, juxtaposing bright red berry fruit with complex suggestions of Belgian chocolate, dried herbs, tobacco, floral top notes, and brown spices. Sneaky tannins emerge as the wine transitions to its long, graceful, bright, and savory finish. Ready for your table tonight, pair this terrific claret with everyday classics like burgers, pan-seared pork chops, mac ’n’ cheese, braised lentils, and grilled Portobello mushrooms. Enjoy now and over the next six to eight years.

2016 Domaine Berthet-Rayne, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, "Tradition," Southern Rhone Valley, France (CO) 30.99/334.69

At less than thirty bucks by the case, this is the most honest, delicious and ridiculously affordable Chateauneuf-du-Pape in memory! Berthet-Rayne is fashioning a portfolio of elegant and restrained wines from the Southern Rhone’s finest terroirs. A classic crimson-tinged black cherry color, the domaine’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition opens with grand cru aromas of wild cherries, leather, vine smoke and black pepper. Sleek, suave and elegant on the attack, the wine blossoms on the palate to reveal firm, old-school Chateauneuf tannins framing suggestions of Bing cherries, tobacco, cinnamon, camphor, and anise. Based on a classic blend of Grenache (65%), Mourvedre (20%), Cinsault, and Syrah, the wine finishes fresh, vibrant, chewy, and appetizingly tannic, bringing to our minds the balanced, age-worthy, and characterful Chateauneufs of yesteryear. Enjoy this classically-styled Chateauneuf now and over the coming seven years with roast lamb, grilled burgers, and ratatouille.
- James Suckling: 93 points
- Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 93 points

2017 Domaine La Cabotte, Cotes-du-Rhone, Colline, Southern Rhone Valley, France (B) 14.99/161.89

Burgundian vigneron Gabriel d’Ardhuy of the Domaine d’Ardhuy first fell in love with the Domaine La Cabotte in 1980 while on a bicycle trip with his grandchildren. He was so taken by the beauty of the property that he bought it and brought it back to life. Today, Gabriel’s daughter and son-in-law run the domaine using organic and biodynamic farming practices. Their 2017 Colline rouge opens with a saturated ruby color and pure aromas of loganberries, pepper, dried herbs, and lavender. Succulent and expressive, the wine complements its deep kernel of vibrant red berry fruit with juicy acidity and suave tannins. Spicy, peppery notes emerge to segue the wine to its long, berry-driven finish featuring reprises of dried herbs, black pepper, game, and latent structural tannins. Enjoy this exceptionally delicious, fruit-forward Cotes-du-Rhone now and over the coming two years with roast leg of lamb, ratatouille, and recipes favoring rosemary and fresh garlic.


ITALY - RED

2016 Elio Grasso, Dolcetto d’Alba, "Dei Grassi," Piedmont, Italy 14.99/161.89

This is delicious, ready-to-go Dolcetto with impeccable pedigree at a most reasonable price. Barolo superstar Elio Grasso crafts his lone Dolcetto from vineyards situated in Barolo’s hallowed Monforte d’Alba zone. Crafted to be delicious and drinkable young, Grasso’s Dolcetto opens with a translucent black cherry robe followed by aromas of sun-warmed cherries, black raspberries, bay leaves, tar, and perfumed clay soil. Appetizingly bitter on the attack – as a great Dolcetto should be – the wine softens and fleshes out mid-palate to reveal a sweet core of cherry and blackberry fruit complicated by notes of menthol, cloves, nutmeg, and bittersweet chocolate. A hint of candied orange peel joins in to segue the wine to its long, lush finish. Enjoy the 2016 Dolcetto now and over the coming three years with egg pasta dishes, burgers, vegetable frittatas, and pan-seared pork chops.
- Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 90+ points
- Vinous: 90 points

2015 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy (O) 23.99/259.09

The Sangiovese wines from Tuscany’s Montepulciano zone are often warmer, friendlier, and more approachable than their brethren from Chianti Classico and Montalcino. Once Tuscany’s most revered wine, the esteemed Vino Nobile di Montepulciano shares much of the warmth and character of a fine Brunello di Montalcino, but at a far lower tariff. A translucent black-ruby color in the glass, Gracciano della Seta’s Vino Nobile reveals authentic Sangiovese goodness with deep aromas of Morello cherry fruit complemented by notes of leather, tobacco, and smoky limestone soil. Old-school depth, restraint, and structure mark the Vino Nobile’s palate, where sour cherry notes mingle with dusty limestone earth and hints of menthol, anise, and tobacco. On the finish, the Vino Nobile’s tannins dissolve into the tongue while wild cherry fruit, licorice notes, brisk acidity, and suggestions of tobacco prepare the palate for another bite of bucatini all’amatriciana, mushroom sautees, grilled Porterhouse steaks, roast pork, and rich Tuscan bean stews.

2016 San Felice, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 16.99/183.49

The great San Felice estate is situated in Castelnuova Berardenga, considered by many experts to be the greatest of all the Chianti subzones. The finest wines from Castelnuova Berardenga zone possess that elusive balance of power, intensity, elegance and ability to age. San Felice’s delicious 2016 Chianti Classico – a blend of Sangiovese (80%), Colorino, and Pugnitello – epitomizes all those traits while being approachable and delicious upon release. A beautiful cherry color in the glass, San Felice’s 2016 Chianti Classico casts aromas of black cherries, black tea, dark leather, earth, and dried rose petals. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, the wine balances its core of tart cherry and red currant fruit with fine, framing tannins and complex notes cedar, button mushrooms, untanned leather, smoke, and medicinal herbs. Plentiful, fine, buffered Sangiovese tannins segue the wine to its long, tobacco-tinged finish. Pair with pastas, pizzas, grilled steaks, burgers, eggplant preparations, and mushroom ragoûts now and over the coming five years.
- Wine Spectator: 94 points
- Wine Spectator: #19 “Top 100 Wines of 2018”


SPAIN - RED

2016 Vinyes d’En Gabriel, Montsant, "L’Heravi Seleccio," Tarragona, Spain (O) 16.99/183.49

Here’s an absolutely superb wine, and the must-try red of the newsletter! Over the course of the 150-year history of Vinyes d’En Gabriel, no chemical products have been used to treat or boost the production of its vines. The winery’s L’Heravi Seleccio, based on old-vine Carinena (Carignan) and Syrah, reflects a black plum robe and striking aromas of ripe figs, cassis, licorice, and smoky minerals. Taut and energetic on the palate, the wine meshes fleshy red berry and black plum fruit with firm tannins and an undercurrent of earthiness. A saturated palate presence yields to a long, savory finish featuring reprises of black fruits, salted plums, game, earthy funk, and a brilliant, slate-driven soil signature. This full bodied red deftly balances its layered fruit expressions with firm tannins and a distinctive, unforgettable earthiness. Pair now and over the coming three years with hearty meat and mushroom tapas, dry-aged beef, grilled burgers and sausages, and eggplant parmigiana.


WHITE WINES

FRANCE - WHITE

2017 Andre Dezat & Fils, Sancerre, Loire Valley, France 19.99/215.89

From the warm, welcoming 2017 Loire Valley vintage, the Andre Dezat & Fils 2017 Sancerre deserves a spot in your cellar and on your table. This Sauvignon Blanc casts a pale, green-tinged gold color in the glass followed by aromas of grapefruit pith, lime juice, gunflint, and dusty, chalky minerals. On the palate, the wine alternates waves of juicy citrus fruit, white pepper, and herbal overtones of nettles, basil, and menthol – all lifted by bristling acidity and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a fresh, elegant, and authentic Sancerre, and, at under $20, the rare Sancerre value. Buy this by the case and enjoy now and over the coming three years with fresh chevres, poached freshwater fish dishes, oysters, clams, mussels, vegetable risottos, white pastas, or on its own as a top-shelf reward for a hard day’s work.

2017 Philippe Ravier, Vin de Savoie, Apremont, Savoie, France (S) 11.50/124.20

Bone dry and oh-so-refreshing, this is simply a glorious white for year ‘round enjoyment. Fashioned exclusively from the indigenous Jacquere grape, this low alcohol refresher brings to mind crisp Alpine breezes and pure, cool mountain spring water. A gleaming lemon-gold in the glass with green reflections, Ravier’s Apremont presents a lovely bouquet of green pineapple, gooseberries, jasmine blossoms, and flinty minerals. On the palate, the wine follows with crisp, crunchy expressions of green plums, Pippin apple, lemon zest, quinine, and chalky minerals. Enjoy now and over the coming year as an aperitif, or serve with smoked trout, white-fleshed fish dishes in a beurre blanc sauce, oysters, salads, fondue, and cheese plates featuring tomme de Savoie, young gruyere, and other semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses from the Jura, Savoie, and Switzerland.

2016 Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, Chablis, Burgundy, France (CO) 23.99/259.09

Grossot’s Chablis are renowned for their racy acidity, oyster shell minerality, and ability to age effortlessly. Pale lemon-gold with green glints, the Grossot’s organically grown 2016 Chablis explodes with terroir-driven aromas of the flint and oyster shell minerals imparted by Chablis’ special Kimmeridgean limestone soils. Bold and intense thanks to the small 2016 vintage, the Grossot’s Chablis expresses a core of lemon curd and green apple skin infused with notes of iodine, raw hazelnuts, and saline minerals. As the wine lingers on the palate, alternating waves of lemon, flint, golden apples, Mirabelle plums, iodine, and crushed oyster shells emerge before the wine finishes clean and begging you to follow it with a freshly shucked oysters. This impeccable, riveting Chablis should grace your table now and over the coming five to seven years for pairing with vegetable souffles and all things seafood, particularly bivalves.

2017 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot, Macon-Villages, Clos de la Bressande, Burgundy, France (S) 13.99/151.09

Vigneron Pierre-Emmanuel Sangouard farms 25 acres in the Maconnais’ most hallowed terroirs. He spotlights the Clos de la Bressande cru’s superb aspect and classic clay-limestone soil to craft this delicious Macon-Villages. A bright golden color in the glass, Sangouard’s Clos de la Bressande brilliantly expresses its Maconnais origins with high-toned white Burgundy aromas of clay-limestone soil, lemon zest, and white peach flesh. Crisp, lemony, and stony on the palate, the wine suffuses its juicy core of yellow plum, white peach, and white currant fruit with mineral undercurrents, balancing acidity, and complex notes of butter and raw almonds. The wine, vinified and aged in stainless steel to preserve its minerality, finishes long and tangy with persistent echoes of its calcareous terroir. As with all selections in Sangouard’s portfolio, this is superb, terroir-driven white Burgundy, and, at its sub-$15 tariff, an unbelievable value. Serve now and over the next three years as a welcome wine or as a lovely foil for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

2016 Domaine Sylvain Gaudron, Vouvray Sec, "La Butte du Tresor," Loire Valley, France 12.99/140.29

Domaine Sylvain Gaudron’s vines are planted exclusively on Vouvray’s special porous yellow limestone subsoil called tuffeau, which imparts the finest Vouvrays with their inimitable fresh aromas and soft, appetizing mineral expressions. Fashioned from thirty-year-old Chenin Blanc vines, the domaine’s Vouvray Sec reveals a brilliant lime-accented gold color in the glass. Waxy, textbook aromas of bee pollen, honeycomb, jasmine, gardenia, and quince yield to a full, resinous palate featuring impressions of smoky minerals, juicy yellow plum, pineapple, and golden apple fruit. Impressively transparent and soil-driven, the wine finishes with complex echoes of yellow orchard fruits, blond tobacco, sweet honeysuckle blossoms, and refreshing, nervy acidity. Comfortably priced well below $15, you’re gonna have to look long and hard to find a more delicious, satisfying, terroir-driven and food-versatile white wine. Enjoy now and over the coming five to seven years with all things seafood, potatoes dressed in a walnut oil vinaigrette, rillettes, light pork preparations, and fresh chevres.


SPAIN - WHITE

2017 Pares Balta, Garnatxa Blanca, "Indigena," Penedes, Spain (B) 17.99/194.29

This is our kind of low alcohol, soil-driven white wine! The winemaking history of the Peres Balta estate dates back to 1790, though the winegrowing tradition in the area goes back two millennia. Now led by Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas, Pares Balta employs biodynamic viticulture and minimalist winemaking to fashion an impressive portfolio of the Penedes’ finest still wines and cavas. A deep lemon-gold in the glass, the Indigena Garnatxa Blanca blossoms to reveal gorgeous aromas of fresh apricots, pear skin, lemon, chalky minerals, and white flowers. Brisk and snappy on the attack, the Indigena Blanca broadens mid-palate to reveal waxy quince fruit complicated by hints of ginger, lime zest, and calcareous minerals. The wine – fresh, zippy, and sporting a mere 11% alcohol – finishes clean, refreshing, and propelled by fresh citrus fruits and chalky minerals. We suggest pairing it now and over the coming two years with pike quenelles, delicate fish preparations, seafood and vegetable paellas, light poultry, and sushi.

2017 Bodegas Albamar, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain (S) 19.99/215.89

Winemaker Xurxo Alba crafts this delicious Albarino, which wonderfully weaves the variety’s citrus, melon, orchard, and tropical fruit characters with bristling acidity and tactile saline minerality. From vineyards “al alba del mar,” or next to the sea, Albamar’s Albarino casts a pale green-gold color and classic Albarino aromas of Bartlett pear, passion fruit, green pineapple, honeydew melon, and iodine. On the palate, the wine is packed with chiseled, almost Sancerre-like lemon, lime, melon, and grapefruit expressions backed by riveting acidity and complex suggestions of quinine, salty sea breeze, and white pepper. Showing superb transparency and focus, Albamar’s 2017 Albarino finishes with further waves of citrus and tropical fruits and a final lashing of saline minerals. This is superb Albarino that will delight now and over the coming two years as a partner to prawns, seafood tapas, vegetable tortillas, ahi tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi, sashimi, and mild cheeses.

ROSE WINE

SPAIN - ROSE

2017 Bodegas Muga, Rose, Rioja, Spain 14.99/161.89

Year in and year out, the rosado from Bodegas Muga is one of the most distinctive and compelling roses coming out of Spain. Salmon-pink in color, Muga’s 2017 Rose casts beguiling aromas of red currants, Rainier cherries, and chalky minerals. Crisp and mouth-filling on the attack, the wine fuses the rich, resinous texture of Viura (30%) with the brisk acidity of Tempranillo (10%) and the red-fruited juiciness of wine’s dominant Garnacha component. Following a long fermentation, the three-month period in large wooden barrels imbues this world-class rose with sappy, resinous qualities that contribute texture and dimension. The Muga finishes with complex notes of blood oranges, white pepper, and chalky-clay minerals, leaving the palate absolutely clean, refreshing, and impossible to resist. This is one of the finest and most delicious roses of the vintage, and sure to be a terrific partner to grilled salmon, ceviches, vegetable tortillas and frittatas, paellas, and rich seafood stews.
- Josh Raynolds, Vinous: 93 points

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

Website
Online Store
Contact Us

Map and Directions

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

Free on-site parking
while you shop

 

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

Mar. 1 - California Zinfandels 1999-2003: Zins from Ridge, Neyers, Ravenswood, and Biale.

Mar. 15 - Special Event: A Burgundy Lovers Evening with Didier Séguier, winemaker for Dom. William Fèvre (Chablis) and Bouchard Pere & Fils. Reservations are required.

April 5 - Great Nebbiolos from Barbaresco.


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

Mar. 2 - A Tasting of Oregon Wines with Thibaud Mandet from Clos Griotte, and wines from 00 Wines with Ewald Moseler.

Mar. 9 - Sample very cool wines from Mexico! Taste the wines from Bichi Winery, located in Tecate. Plus, from Spain: Bodegas Muga Rose Rioja, Pares Balta Garnatxa Blanca Indigena, Bodegas Albamar Albarino, and Vinyes d’En Gabriel L’Heravi Seleccio.

Mar. 16 - Italian Beauties: Elio Grasso Dolcetto d’Alba dei Grassi, San Felice Chianti Classico, and Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Plus from Burgundy: Sangouard-Guyot Macon-Villages Clos de la Bressande, Grossot Chablis, and J. Drouhin Cote de Beaune-Villages.

Mar. 23 - La Belle France: Philippe Ravier Vin de Savoie, Dezat Sancerre, Dom. Sylvain Gaudron Vouvray Sec, Ch. Lestage-Darquier Moulis-en-Medoc, Dom. La Cabotte Cotes-du-Rhone, and Dom. Berthet-Rayne Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tradition.

Mar. 30 - A Tasting of Oregon wines with winemaker Dominique Mahe from Furioso Vineyards. Plus: Judith Beck, Beck Ink (Austria), and Broadley Vineyards Pinot Noir (Oregon).


SPECIAL EVENTS:

A GRAND EVENING OF
BURGUNDY WINE


With winemaker Didier Seguier from Domaine William Fevre
and Bouchard Pere & Fils

Friday, March 15 5:30-7:30

We welcome Didier Seguier on his first visit to our city! Awarded White Winemaker of the Year in 2018 by the International Wine Challenge, Séguier has been with Bouchard since 1992, and Fèvre since 1998.

This will be an informal presentation of old and new wines from both wineries.

Reservations and pre-payment are required: $40.

------------

WEINGUT EHRHARD TASTING
with Carl Eharhard

Thursday, March 28 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Winemaker Carl Ehrhard will be here for a tasting of superb wines from Weingut Ehrhard, located in Germany's Rheingau region.

No reservations needed. Tasting fee: $10.

------------

~ See the full list of wines to be served at both events ~


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.