NOVEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

THIS MONTH’S SAMPLER

Our Beaujolais Sampler … 210.00 per case  reg. 236.99

In a blind tasting of many Beaujolais submissions, these four wines were the clear-cut winners! Ready for the season, the sampler contains three bottles of each wine:
  • 2014 Joseph Drouhin, Morgon (19.99) Full-bodied, and earthy, with sappy strawberry and raspberry fruit tones.
  • 2016 Lapierre, Raisins Gaulois, Vin de France (15.99) Snappy, crisp raspberry and orange fruit, with hints of black pepper and earth.
  • 2014 Domaine Rochette Morgon, Les Micouds (18.99) Clay earth tones mingle with strawberry fruit, dried herbs, and black pepper.
  • 2014 Joseph Drouhin, Fleurie (23.99) Dusty earth, cinnamon, cranberry, and pepper combine with riveting acidity.

 

RED WINES

OREGON

2016 Broadley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 16.99/183.49

Broadley Vineyards has a stellar track record of crafting exemplary Pinot Noirs. Broadley’s vibrant, chewy 2016 Willamette Valley cuvee – crafted from a blend of grapes bought from the valley’s top vineyards – opens with a brilliant crimson-ruby robe and dusty aromas of pomegranate seeds, cranberries, and red raspberries. Bright and classically styled on the palate, soft tannins frame the wine’s kernel of fleshy cherry and crunchy cranberry fruit alongside suggestions of violets, vanilla bean husk, and rose petals. The wine finishes fresh and ample with reprises of red fruits accented by a pleasant bitterness that makes the wine especially food friendly. Broadley’s 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot is ready for your table now and over the coming three years with burgers, roast chicken, turkey, duck, and vegetarian lasagna.


FRANCE

2015 Domaine de la Pepiere, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire, Cuvee Granit,
Loire Valley, France (O) 13.50/145.80

Muscadet maestros Marc Olliver and Remi Branger produce their delicious Cuvee Granit rouge from a blend of primarily Cabernet Franc with small dollops of Cot (Malbec), Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon added for complexity. The cool Atlantic climate in the Loire Valley’s Nantais sector imbues the wine with superb transparency, bright red fruits, and a saline minerality, while the warm 2015 vintage graces the wine with a deliciously generous fruit expression. Pepiere’s Cuvee Granit casts a rusty ruby hue followed by floral aromas of cherry blossoms and violet petals. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, the wine is layered with deep expressions of currant and black cherry fruit framed by mouthwatering tannins. Pepiere’s Cuvee Granit finishes with echoes of red berry fruit infused with stemmy herbs, spicy cinnamon, and smoky granitic minerals. Terrific for those who love lighter, food-friendly red wines, the wine is ready to serve now and over the next three years with pork terrines, roast duck or chicken, grilled steaks, and hearty potato preparations.

2015 Oinos, Corbieres, Les Carderes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 9.50/102.60

The rugged landscape of Corbieres, just north of Narbonne, produces some of the Languedoc’s wildest and most characterful wines. Oinos’ Les Carderes is a textbook introduction to Corbieres’ charms and “sauvagerie.” Based on a delicious cuvee of Syrah (50%), Grenache (25%), and Carignan from the warm and generous 2015 vintage, Oinos’ Les Carderes presents a translucent black plum robe and textbook Corbieres aromas of blackberries, black peppercorns, oil-cured olives, menthol, and herbal garrigue. Impressively deft on the palate, the wine’s fleshy core of black fruits yields to complex overtones of tar, limestone, lavender, meat, and leather. Soft, food-friendly tannins segue the wine to its long, peppery finish, which readies your palate for another forkful of ratatouille, garlicky tapenade, grilled lamb rib chops, or roast pork shoulder. Enjoy this deliciously rustic and savory Corbieres now and over the coming three years. This is most the delicious, complete and ready-to-drink Carderes yet!

2014 Arnoux & Fils, Vacqueyras, Jean-Marie Arnoux, S.Rhone Valley, France 18.99/205.09

Vacqueyras’s Arnoux family traces its winegrowing tradition back to 1717. Today, brothers Jean-Marie and Regis Arnoux direct this benchmark domaine. Arnoux’s Vacqueyras Cuvee Jean-Marie Arnoux – a blend of Grenache (65%), Syrah (30%), and Mourvedre raised in neutral oak – casts an opaque black plum robe followed by savory aromas of black cherries, salted plums, mushrooms and leather. Vibrant on the palate, the wine weaves earthy notes of game, tar, garrigue, and a pleasant dose of good ol’ French funk into its bright, chewy kernel of black fruits. Showing impeccable balance and old-school restraint, Arnoux’s Vacqueyras finishes with fine tannins and vivifying acidity, which freshen the palate and urge you to take another bite of roast lamb, grilled eggplant, ratatouille, or an earthy mushroom preparation. Southern Rhones enthusiasts who prefer elegance over jammy fruit should buy this sensational Vacqueyras by the case! Eighteen cases available.

2015 Joseph Drouhin, Chorey-les-Beaune, Burgundy, France (B) 26.99/291.49

Chorey-les-Beaune, lacking a premier cru and situated on the wrong side of the tracks, is often overlooked by even the most astute Burgundy lovers. Every year, the great Maison Joseph Drouhin produces a superb, affordable, soil-driven Chorey from the domaine’s own biodynamically farmed vineyards. Showing a gorgeous, deep ruby color, Drouhin’s 2015 Chorey casts fresh, vibrant aromas of violets, black raspberries, and aniseed. On the palate, Drouhin’s Chorey conveys a fleshy, fruit-saturated texture and palate-staining intensity. Complex suggestions of licorice, smoke, and kirsch segue to a long and delicate finish lifted by savory, food-friendly tannins and buoying acidity. Enjoy this special Cote d’Or value now and over the coming decade with roast chicken, grilled salmon, seared duck breast, and rich mushroom ragoûts.


ITALY

2015 Casale del Giglio, Cesanese, Lazio IGT, Italy 13.50/145.80

Casale del Giglio’s Cesanese is magnificent from the moment it’s poured. An opaque black plum color in the glass leads to deep aromas of black cherry skin, green peppercorns and licorice. On the palate, the wine alternates waves of sweet cherry and plum fruit with savory notes of pepper, herbs, and violet petals. Rich, ample, and bristling with energy, the Cesanese finishes long and complete with beautiful tension among its sweet kernel of black fruits, its appetizing bitter edge, and its herbal complexity. This is one of the most exciting wines we’ve tried from the hills south of Rome and a perfect introduction to the joys of Cesanese. Pair this beauty now and over the coming five years with cacio e pepe, pizza, peppery salumi, roast duck, hearty beef stews, BBQ pork ribs, and pastas topped with wild mushrooms.
- Ian d’Agata, Vinous: 90 points

2013 Fattoria di Felsina, Chianti Classico Riserva, Castelnuovo Berardenga
Tuscany, Italy 30.99/334.69

The great Felsina estate makes what many Tuscan wine aficionados assert is the reference point Chianti Classico. 2013 is shaping up to be a classic, age-worthy Chianti vintage, and this benchmark Chianti Classico Riserva delivers impressive depth of fruit, classic Sangiovese structure, and incomparable elegance. A classic rosewood-rimmed ruby color, Felsina’s 2013 Riserva explodes with textbook Chianti expressions of black cherries, saddle leather, sage, and dusty earth. Composed entirely of Sangiovese, Felsina’s Riserva presents cool, spicy, dusty cherry fruit accented by hints of tobacco, wintergreen, and button mushrooms. Pliant Sangiovese tannins and juicy acidity lead the wine to its long, elegant finish, which features complex notes of game, cedar, pencil lead, and vanilla bean. Pair this beauty now and over the short term with rich eggplant dishes and grilled beef, but the patient among you are advised to hold onto a cache for enjoyment when the wine reaches its maturity in seven to twelve years.
- Antonio Galloni, Vinous: 93 points

2012 Cascina Tiole di Massimo Grasso, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy 34.99/377.89

Folks, this is terrific, old-school Barolo! From the hallowed Perno sector of Barolo’s Monforte d’Alba zone, Massimo Grasso crafts this lovely traditionally-styled Barolo. Tiole’s 2012 Barolo conveys Monforte’s legendary balance of bold fruit, firm structure, poise, and potential for long ageing. A beautiful brick-garnet color in the bowl, Tiole’s Barolo – aged exclusively in large, neutral Slavonian oak “botti” – casts gorgeous aromas of pie cherries, red currants, cinnamon, dried rose petals, and leafy underbrush. Further notes of cinnamon, licorice, tobacco, tar, and dusty earth emerge on the wine’s long and complex finish. The wine shows well enough today to serve with rich Piemontese cuisine like tajarìn, risotto and osso buco, but also shows the reserve to ensure at least a decade’s ageing in your cool cellar. At this price, it’s the Barolo buy of the year (or longer) and a sure bet to tickle the fancy of even the most ardent old school Nebbiolo stalwarts.


SPAIN

2015 Akutain, Rioja, Cosecha, Rioja, Spain 14.99/161.89

In Rioja, the term “cosecha” designates a wine from a single vintage that is not subject to the region’s unusually long ageing requirements. Akutain’s cosecha is just what the doctor ordered: a fresh, young Rioja with no oak, that’s bursting with fruit and ready for everyday enjoyment. An opaque plum-garnet in the glass, the wine opens with a delicious bouquet of black cherries, plums, and loamy earth. Brisk and snappy on the palate, the wine unfurls with layers of chewy cherry and cassis fruit followed by delicious suggestions of sassafras, cinnamon, and bay leaf. Buoying Tempranillo acidity lifts the wine as it finishes, and begs you to pair it now and over the coming two years with meat, mushroom, and vegetable tapas, baby back ribs, hearty stews, and burgers or marinated Portobello mushrooms hot off the grill.


WHITE WINES


AUSTRIA

2016 Weingut Stift Gottweig, Gruner Veltliner, Messwein, Niederosterreich
Austria 16.99/183.49

Founded in 1083, the Stift Gottweig is a Benedictine monastery perched 450 meters above sea level on the southern banks of the Danube. The uber-talented Fritz Miesbauer recently assumed direction of the monastery’s wine interests and, as expected, has raised the winery’s quality to new heights. This is the estate’s Messwein – or altar wine – produced only with the blessing of the bishop and crafted to be pure, light, and drinkable. Stift Gottweig’s 2016 Messwein bursts out of the glass with brisk, high-toned Gruner aromas of lime zest, white pepper, and salty minerals. On the palate, the Messwein’s crisp, tactile, mineral expression of green melon, grapefruit, and ginger gives way to a long, classic Gruner finish featuring notes of lentils, barley, crisp snap peas, and white pepper. Folks, this Gruner is so clean, pure, refreshing… and such a steal for its quality. Pair it now and over the coming two years with veal and pork dishes, lentil soups, light freshwater fish preparations, shellfish, and all green vegetables – even artichokes and asparagus.


FRANCE

2015 Pierre Henri Gadais Muscadet, Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, Saint-Fiacre
Loire Valley, France 9.50/102.60   reg. 11.99

Few wines in today’s market combine soil specificity, refreshment, food friendliness, and value like great Muscadet. Pierre Henri Gadais’ Saint-Fiacre cuvee, grown on soils marked by fossilized mollusk shells, is Muscadet in its purest, most crystalline expression. Pale green-gold in the glass, Gadais’ Muscadet shines with notes of lemon drops and pear skin infused with bay leaf, fleur de sel, and oyster shell minerals. Clean, zesty, and bone dry on the palate, the wine conveys impressions of lemon zest, quinine, ginger, cardamom, and chalky minerals. Lovely as an aperitif, Muscadet always shines brightest when paired with briny oysters on the half-shell, pan-roasted mussels, fried razor clams, Dover sole, and sauteed green vegetables. This is the value play white wine of the newsletter and will delight now and over the next five years, or longer.

2016 Eugene Carrel et Fils, Vin de Savoie-Jongieux, Savoie, France 10.99/118.69

Longtime readers know that we’re huge fans of the low alcohol, refreshing, and glacially pure Jacquere wines of the Savoie. Jongieux is widely considered to be one of the finest viticultural zones in this high-altitude, steeply sloped subalpine region. Eugene Carrel’s gorgeous 2016 Jongieux opens with a brilliant pale lemon-gold color and refreshing scents of lemon zest, green pears, chamomile, and limestone minerals. Clean, fresh, and bristling with crisp, juicy citrus fruit, Carrel’s Jongieux offers thrillingly pure suggestions of lemon juice, tart plums, malt, and sweet meadow flowers. The wine finishes with reprises of citrus and tart orchard fruit while leaving that special tactile dusting of saline minerals on the lips and inner cheeks. This is sensational Jongieux – our vote for Carrel’s finest yet – delightfully low alcohol and versatile enough for brunches, light midweek dinners, and after work refreshment. Enjoy now and over the next year with poached fish preparations, green vegetables, and any time the call is for a refreshing, mineral-driven white wine.

2016 Joseph Drouhin, Macon-Villages, Burgundy, France 12.50/135.00

Leave it to Drouhin to elevate the humble Macon-Villages to new heights by capturing the Macon’s delicious clay and limestone minerality and buttressing it with a core of lemony Chardonnay fruit. A lovely green-tinged gold color in the glass, Drouhin’s 2016 Macon-Villages opens with lilting, classic white Burgundy aromas of meadow flowers, roasted hazelnuts, lemon, and soft limestone minerality. Crisper and fresher than usual in 2016, Drouhin’s Macon shows the precision and elegance of the vintage with persistent minerality, notes of sweet butter, yellow apple, lemon zest, and apple blossoms. Crisp, focused, and again emphasizing its persistent soil expression, Drouhin’s 2016 Macon finishes with reprises of freshly-squeezed lemon, hazelnuts, and a final wave of limestone minerals. It will also make a wonderful complement now and over the coming three years for roast chicken, pork, halibut, and snapper.

2016 Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Macon-Villages, Burgundy, France (B) 26.99/291.49

Dominique Lafon is an undisputed Burgundy superstar. His topnotch portfolio of Meursault premiers crus and Le Montrachet are among the most eagerly sought and cellared white Burgundies worldwide. Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon is Dominique’s estate in the Macon. Here he fashions the most coveted Macons with the same attention and care he gives to his prestigious Meursaults. In the glass, Lafon’s 2016 Macon-Villages gleams with a Meursault-like golden hue followed by smoky, soil-driven aromas of lemon juice, yellow plums, and brown spices. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, the verve and acidity of the classic 2016 vintage propels the wine’s golden core of tart apple and Mirabelle plum fruit. Aged primarily in old “foudres,” Lafon’s Macon-Villages shows impeccable balance and finishes with floral limestone minerality propelling reprises of apple blossoms and crunchy orchard fruits. This is a Macon to buy by the case to enjoy now (with some aeration) and to cellar one to five years while the wine gains richness and texture. Pair with broiled salmon, mushrooms in a cream sauce, roast pork tenderloin, or rich sausages. Sensational!

2016 Champalou, Vouvray, Loire Valley, France (S) 19.99/215.89

From 35-year-old vines on Vouvray’s inimitable clay, limestone, and siliceous tuffeau soils, Didier and Catherine Champalou fashion some of the region’s most floral, expressive, and soil-driven wines. Champalou’s 2016 Vouvray opens with a pale lemon-gold color and textbook Vouvray aromas of honeysuckle blossoms, tufaceous minerals, crisp melon, and lemon zest. Brisk on the attack, the wine shows textured yellow melon fruit before tightening up and revealing the riveting, nervy, acidic spine that elevates the vintage to classic status. The wine finishes long and clean, with electrifying acidity propelling laser-like Chenin fruit, floral overtones, and a persistent smoky mineral undercurrent. Enjoy Champalou’s Vouvray now and over the coming ten years with poached, delicately sauced fish dishes, sauteed squashes, fresh chevres, shellfish, or light chicken preparations.


GERMANY

2015 Hofgut Falkenstein, Riesling Spatlese Feinherb, Niedermenniger Herrenberg, Mosel, Germany 19.99/215.89

Father and son team of Erich and Johannes Weber are throwbacks to Mosel wines of a century ago. They farm very old vines along the Saar River with soils consisting primarily of red and blue slate. Falkenstein’s 2015 Niedermenniger Herrenberg Spatlese – denoted “feinherb” for its tendency towards dryness – is crafted from low-yielding ungrafted vines and raised exclusively in very old neutral fuder (the region’s traditional large, oval oak barrels). A pale green-glinted lemon-gold color, Falkenstein’s Spatlese explodes with dusty, high-toned, soil-driven aromas of honeysuckle blossoms, lime zest, petrol, and perfumed slate. Brisk and intense on the palate, the wine juxtaposes tart white currant and peach fruit with suggestions of sweet green melon, lemongrass, and petrol. Finishing essentially dry, this is superb, impeccably balanced Saar Riesling. Serve it at your holiday table with turkey and trimmings, or pair with pork braises, light fish dishes, oysters on the half-shell, and mild, semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses. Drink now and over the next ten years.


ITALY

2016 Tenuta Olim Bauda, Gavi del Comune di Gavi, Piedmont, Italy (O)
15.99/172.69

Olim Bauda’s 2016 Gavi, based on the Cortese grape, opens with a brilliant, green-glinted lemon-gold color and fresh aromas of grapefruit, green pineapple, and chalky minerals. On the palate, Olim Bauda’s Gavi unfurls with juicy white grapefruit, lemon, and yellow plum notes followed by suggestions of juniper, tarragon, and menthol. A sweet floral note segues the wine to its crisp and lip-smackingly delicious finish, which echoes further hints of juicy citrus, lemon balm, and bitter medicinal herbs. Drink this fantastic, affordable, and delicious Gavi young to capture the wine’s freshness, crispness, and zip. Enjoy with golden trout, snapper, soups, vegetable frittatas, sauteed zucchini, clams, and halibut.


SPAIN

2016 Gorka Izagirre, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 15.99/172.69

Situated on the Bay of Biscay around Bilbao, Gorka Izagirre blends equal parts of indigenous Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Zarratia to craft this shimmering Txakolina. A lovely lemon-gold color in the bowl, Gorka Izagirre’s Txakoli opens with aromas of lemon zest, pineapple, honeysuckle blossoms, and quinine. Taut, linear, and bristling with salty minerality, Gorka Izagirre’s Txakoli enlivens the palate with suggestions of green apple skin, juicy Meyer lemon, olive brine, and sappy herbs. The wine finishes fresh, gripping, and mineral-driven with layers of citrus fruit, Pippin apples, quinine, saline minerals, and hints of freshly grated ginger. An exceptionally mineral and crisp Txakoli – and an excellent value for its denominación – this is a superb choice for oyster season or for partnering with acidic vegetables, grilled asparagus, fresh and steamed shellfish, light squid tapas, ceviches, and delicate poached white fleshed fish dishes. So refreshing!


SPARKING WINES


FRANCE

2014 Albert Mann, Cremant D’Alsace, Extra Brut, Wettolsheim, Alsace, France 23.99/259.09

Lean, with notes of Honeycrisp apples, salty limestone, smoke, lime, and strawberry. A fabulous blend of Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir.

NV Val de Mer, Cremant de Bourgogne, Brut, Non Dose, France (S) 18.99/205.09

Undoubtedly the finest sub-$20 sparkler in ages! The Val de Mer presents salty, chalky minerals inside a wrapper of buttery lemon curd. Fresh, with plentiful pinpoint bubbles, a creamy mouthfeel and notes of brioche.

N/V Domaine de Vieux Pressoir, Saumur, Fines Bulles, France 13.99/151.09

We challenge you to find a better sparkling wine at this price! A brilliant blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay that exhibits notes of cream, honey, roasted apple, and light toast.

N/V Aubry, Brut, Premier Cru, Jouy-les-Reims, Champagne, France
37.99/410.29  reg. 46.99

A superlative blend of Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Arbanne. The Aubry is zesty and crisp with notes of lemon curd, green apples, lime. A silky and polished palate. Wow!

 


LINER & ELSEN
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Thanksgiving Day
Nov. 23

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while you shop


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

Nov. 3
A tour of Chianti: Castell’in Villa, Felsina, Vignamaggio, Montenidoli, and more.

Nov. 17
Say What? Say, Pouilly-Fuissé… for lovely Burgundy wines.

Dec. 1
A Tasting of Great Bordeaux
to start the month right!


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

Nov. 4
From Oregon: Broadley Vineyards Pinot Noir. And from France: Eugène Carrel Jongiuex, Joseph Drouhin Mâcon-Villages, Dom. de la Pépière Cuvée Granit, and Arnoux Vacqueyras.

Nov. 11
Wines from here, there, and everywhere: Weingut Stift Göttweig Grüner Veltliner Messwein, Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese Feinherb, Gorka Izagirre Bizkaiko Txakolina, Akutain Rioja. Plus: Sample our holiday Champagne and sparkling wines!

Nov.18
All things French: Pierre Henri Gadais Muscadet, Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon-Villages, Champalou Vouvray, and Oinos Les Cardères Corbières. Plus: We’re pouring our Beaujolais Sampler.

Nov. 25
Italian Beauties: Olim Bauda Gavi, Casale del Giglio Cesanese, Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva, and Cascina Tiole di Massimo Grasso Barolo.


Happy Thanksgiving
to all our friends!

 



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.