JANUARY 2018 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES


OREGON

2015 Domaine Divio, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon (S) 28.99/313.09

Divio means “sacred fountain” or “sacred gathering place” in the Roman Gaul language. It is also the original name for the town of Dijon, the gateway to the Cote d’Or. Winemaker Bruno Corneaux honors his Burgundian patrimony with this charming Oregon Pinot Noir. A brilliant ruby color in the bowl, Domaine Divio’s 2015 Pinot casts inviting aromas of Bing cherries, red currants, cinnamon, and wood spice. Suave and silky on the palate, the wine marries its beautiful kernel of red fruits with sexy barrel tones of cocoa nibs and dark roasted coffee. Long and sumptuous on the finish, Divio’s 2015 Pinot reprises its delicious currant and cherry fruit expressions with further barrel notes of vanilla and toffee. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming three years with cedar plank salmon, roast chicken, pan-seared pork chops, and vegetable quiches. This is among the sexiest and most seductive Oregon Pinots we’ve tasted!


FRANCE

2016 Les Terres Blanche, Gamay de Bouze, Pot d’Vache, Loire Valley, France (CO) 17.99/194.29

Celine and Benoit Blet organically farm their small central Loire Valley domaine in the village of Oiron about 25 miles south of Saumur. Gamay de Bouze is a red-fleshed grape that imparts an intense, deeply colored, and peppery expression of Gamay. Terres Blanches’ 2016 Gamay de Bouze casts an opaque black-plum color in the glass alongside aromas of cassis, plum skin, elderberries, violets, and Szechuan peppercorns. Brisk, peppery, and soil-driven on the palate, the Gamay de Bouze reveals layers of black fruits accented by hints of morel mushrooms, licorice, black tea, and appetizing herbal notes. Finishing spicy and peppery, the wine reprises chewy licorice notes alongside firm tannins and smoky soil. Terres Blanches’ Gamay de Bouze is delicious and savory today, but has the poise and the balance to reward three to five years’ aging in your cool cellar. Pair this distinctive Loire Valley rouge with charcuterie, mushroom terrines, lamb chops, and aromatic Moroccan cuisine.

2016 Thevenet & Fils, Bourgogne Rouge, Les Clos, Burgundy, France 18.99/205.09

This is gorgeous, soil-driven, single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the southern reaches of Burgundy and a steal for its modest tariff. Jean-Claude Thevenet’s superb Macon and Saint-Veran always resonate with our discerning Burgundy clientele. This month we present Thevenet’s sole red wine, sourced from a superbly situated single vineyard in the village of Bussieres. A brilliant garnet color in the glass, Thevenet’s Les Clos presents dusty, soil-inflected, authentically Burgundian aromas of cranberries, black raspberries, earth, and orange peel. Chewy and sappy on the palate, the wine alternates vivid impressions of Bing cherries, tangy raspberries, soft tannins, and dusty limestone soil. Bright minerals, balancing acidity, and appetizing bitter herbal notes carry the wine to its long, savory finish. Pair now and over the next three years with poultry, pork, stews, and rich recipes featuring morel mushrooms.

2015 Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Beaune Villages, Burgundy, France 25.99/280.69

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 deep garnet color in the glass, Drouhin’s 2015 Cote de Beaune-Villages conveys senses of earthy raspberry and red currant fruit laced with Burgundy’s classic limestone soil signature. Soft and supple on the palate with Drouhin’s inimitable suave texture, the Cote de Beaune-Villages’ earthy red fruit mingles with fine, buffered tannins and complex suggestions of licorice, wood smoke, game, and vanilla. Showing the pedigree and persistence of the superb 2015 vintage, the wine finishes with reprises of red fruits, smoky soil, and earth. As Burgundy prices continue to escalate, Drouhin’s 2015 Cote de Beaune-Villages represents a rare value from such a critically-acclaimed vintage. Enjoy this beauty now and over the coming three to five years with full-bodied, savory fare such as gratin dauphinois, duck, roast chicken, and pork.

2015 Domaine Berthet-Rayne, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France (CO) 28.99/313.09

The Domaine Berthet-Rayne is poised to become the next Rhone Valley superstar. Employing organic viticulture, manual harvesting, superbly situated old vines, and traditional methods in the cellar, the domaine is fashioning a portfolio of elegant, restrained wines from some of the southern Rhone’s finest terroirs. Classic youthful black-ruby in color, Berthet-Rayne’s 2015 Chateauneuf-du-Pape opens with spicy aromas of wild cherries, black pepper, lavender, licorice, and thyme. Perfumed, layered, and generous on the palate, the wine blossoms to reveal old-school Chateauneuf suggestions of macerated cherries, anise, blood orange, leather and garrigue. A classic Chateauneuf blend of Grenache (65%), Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Syrah, the wine finishes fresh, balanced, and pleasantly tannic – bringing to mind memories of Chateauneufs from the 1980s. Affordable, honest, and utterly delicious, enjoy this classically-styled wine now and over the coming ten years with roast lamb, grilled burgers, and ratatouille. Very limited.
Josh Raynolds, Vinous: 89-91 points

2010 Chateau Bel-Air, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France 28.99/313.09

You won’t find a better Bordeaux for under $30. Chateau Bel-Air crafts its lovely, elegant Pomerol from a blend of Merlot (95%) and Cabernet Sauvignon. Vinified in traditional cement vats, Bel-Air seamlessly fuses the supple, silky texture that marks the greatest Pomerols with impressive old-school restraint. A black plum color in the glass, the 2010 Chateau Bel-Air opens with delicious aromas of black cherry fruit accented by baker’s chocolate, leather, and morel mushrooms. Supple and suave on the attack, the wine then tightens mid-palate to reveal fine, buffered tannins, bright acidity, and subtle notes of plum skin, dark roasted coffee, savory herbs, and leather. This is pre-Parker Pomerol from a great vintage. Enjoy now and over the coming decade with roast pork, gratin dauphinois, baked or fried eggplant, and subtle (not spicy) Asian cuisines.


ITALY

2015 Tenuta di Ghizzano, Il Ghizzano, Costa Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy (CO) (B) 16.99/183.49

The leading light in the Costa Toscana IGT, the Tenuta di Ghizzano leverages its commitment to biodynamic viticulture and the cooler climate of coastal Tuscany to fashion one of the most exciting portfolios of traditional Tuscan and noble Bordeaux varieties. Based on a blend of Sangiovese (95%) and Merlot, Tenuta di Ghizzano’s Il Ghizzano cuvee bursts with Tuscan warmth, freshness, and early approachability. A translucent black plum color, the 2015 Il Ghizzano’s bouquet is redolent of plums, dried roses, licorice, and Chinese five spice. Taut and balanced on the palate, the estate’s coastal location infuses the wine with brisk, palate-freshening acidity that lifts its generous kernel of red fruits. Notes of dried orange peel, tobacco, and cinnamon complete the Il Ghizzano, leaving a haunting licorice note. Perfect for cold winter nights, pair this Tuscan charmer now and over the coming three years with grilled T-bone steaks, burgers, eggplant parmigiana, roast chicken, and pastas tossed with Marcella Hazan’s buttery tomato sauce.

2014 Pertimali, La Querciolina, Lorenzo Sassetti, Montecucco Rosso, Tuscany, Italy (CO) 19.99/215.89

The Montecucco DOC sits in southern Tuscany’s Maremma zone between the hallowed Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano appellations. The Livio Sassetti family run the La Querciolina estate organically with the same care and dedication as their flagship Pertimali estate, famed for its impeccable Brunello. Opaque black plum in the glass, La Querciolina’s Montecucco Rosso casts warm, soil-driven aromas of blackberries, plums, licorice, star anise, sweet tobacco, and limestone dust. On the palate, impressions of dried cherries, black currants, baker’s chocolate, and spice cake lead the wine to a long, firm, dusty, and authentic Sangiovese finish. Deep, delicious, and ready to warm your winter evenings, pair this superb Tuscan value with Porterhouse steaks, pork roasts, egg-rich pastas topped with a long-simmer ragù, and hearty white bean soups and stews.

2008 Cantina Sociale Cooperativa, Copertino Riserva, Puglia, Italy 13.99/151.09

Folks, this is a ridiculously great wine and a dead ringer for the great, long-lamented early Notarpanaros and Salice Salentino Riservas from Dottor Cosimo Taurino. Like Salice, Copertino emphasizes the Negroamaro grape. Crafted from Negroamaro seasoned by a dollop of Malvasia Nera, the Copertino Riserva casts a kaleidoscope of aromas, from leather to red currants, ripe cherries, cinnamon, cola, and cured beef. Supple on the palate, the wine packs a wallop of funky, leathery fruit followed by framing tannins and herb notes. Long, lingering, and with impressive staying power, the wine finishes with earthy, mushroomy notes alongside reprises of saddle leather, tobacco, game, and peppery salumi. Buy this soul-satisfying rosso by the case and serve with pizzas, pasta in a sun-dried tomato, pine nut, and olive oil sauce, grilled sausages, and marinated flank steak.


SLOVENIA

2014 Rojac, Refosk, Istra, Slovenia (CO) 15.99/172.69

Rojac’s Refosk is January’s “geek selection” and a must try for everyone who relishes wild, natural, and utterly distinctive red wines. Widely considered to be Slovenia’s king of Refosk – or Refosco, as the grape is called across the border in northeastern Italy – Uros Rojac is following his legendary father’s traditional methods in the vineyard and in the cellar. Slovenska Istra, named for a peninsula that juts out into the Adriatic Sea between Trieste and Rijeka, is Slovenia’s most Mediterranean-influenced winegrowing region. Casting an opaque black plum hue, the 2014 Rojac Refosk blossoms with classic Refosco aromas of wild blackberries, elderberries, cured meats, bitter medicinal herbs, and piquant soil. Wild and rustic on the attack, Rojac’s Refosk fleshes out on the palate to unfurl layers of blackberry, huckleberry, violets, star anise, and white pepper. Rustic and compelling, the wine finishes with reprises of sappy, herb-inflected dark cherry and blackberry fruit complemented by hints of leather, smoke, and pipe tobacco. Pair now and over the coming five years with hearty stews, lamb shanks, rich bean casseroles, and marinated Portobello mushrooms.


WHITE WINES

FRANCE

2016 Domaine du Pas Saint Martin, Saumur Blanc, La Pierre Frite, Loire Valley, France (CO) 15.99/172.69

In the heart of Saumur, Laurent Charrier and his mother run the Domaine du Pas Saint Martin producing an impressive and complete portfolio of central Loire Valley wines. The Charriers’ Saumur blanc La Pierre Frite, fashioned from Chenin Blanc grown organically on silica-rich limestone soils, is given extended ageing on its lees to enrich the wine’s palate texture and express the Saumur’s special terroir. Pale straw-gold in color, the wine shows the incredible purity of the 2016 vintage with aromas of Bartlett pear and honeydew melon complicated by notes of iodine, freesia, and gardenia blossom. On the palate, juicy acidity drives the wine’s core of melon, pear, and kiwi, while brisk acidity amplifies the wine’s smoky tuffeau limestone soil signature. Further notes of green pineapple and Pippin apple flesh complete the wine as it finishes long and complicated by the vineyard’s special flint-and-limestone terroir. This is splendid, expressive Saumur blanc that’s ready to drink now partnered with everything from bivalves to cephalopods to halibut to sauteed zucchini to light poultry recipes.

2016 Domaine Girard, Sancerre, La Garenne, Loire Valley, France 18.99/205.09

The Girard Sancerre La Garenne cuvee comes from a six-acre vineyard on a steep, east-facing slope with stony clay soils over a deep limestone base. This special soil brings out the characteristic flinty, mineral, and green notes of Sauvignon Blanc. We love the lithe, elegant 2016 Sancerre vintage, and Girard’s La Garenne captures the harvest’s beauty with pale green-gold color and explosive aromas of kiwi, gooseberries, lime zest, chalk, and flint. Brisk and invigorating, the La Garenne grips the palate with eye-wincing acidity, a resinous palate texture, and brilliant Sancerre notes of lime juice, green apple skin, chalky minerals, and freshly-cut herbs. Alternating expressions of green fruits, fresh herbs, and deep mineral tension, the wine finishes with the vibrancy and energy that separates Sancerre from Sauvignon Blancs anywhere else in the world. Pair now and over the coming three years with green vegetables, lightly dressed salads, steamed clams and mussels, fresh chevres, and oysters on the half-shell.

2015 Domaine Sangouard-Guyot Macon-Bussieres, Burgundy, France (S)
15.99/172.69

Third-generation Burgundian vigneron Pierre-Emmanuel Sangouard farms 25 acres in the Maconnais’ most hallowed terroirs. From a tiny, superbly situated parcel on the border with Pouilly-Fuisse, Sangouard takes full advantage of 40-year old vines and Bussieres’ classic clay-limestone soil to craft a cru Macon of incomparable depth and precision. A bright golden color in the glass, Sangouard’s Macon-Bussieres brilliantly expresses its Maconnais origins with aromas of dark limestone soil, raw hazelnuts, smoke and toasty brioche. Deep, intense and concentrated on the palate, the wine fuses a juicy core of buttery lemon curd fruit with notes of pate brisee, brioche, toffee and a penetrating limestone mineral undercurrent. Head-spinning acidity and delicious suggestions of buttered yellow corn kernels send the Bussieres to a long, mineral-driven finish. As with all selections in Sangouard’s portfolio, this is superb, terroir-driven white Burgundy and a terrific value. Served cool – not cold – it will wow as a welcome wine, and make a wonderful partner for herb-roasted chicken, trout amandine, chanterelles in a cream sauce, and light pork preparations.

2015 Domaine de Roally, Vire-Clesse, Tradition, Burgundy, France (O) 23.99/259.09

Domaine de Roally’s style is not shy. Young Gauthier Thevenet took over the reins of the venerable Domaine de Roally in 2000 upon the retirement of the legendary Henri Goyard. Goyard’s tradition, spirit, and passion for excellence continue in Thevenet’s talented hands, yielding one of Burgundy’s most distinctive and compelling Chardonnays. Roally’s Chardonnays are pruned for low yields and harvested late, which amplifies the wine’s fruit and mineral expressions. Roally’s 2015 Vire-Clesse casts a beautiful gold color from the glass followed by aromas of honeycomb, mango, ripe yellow plums, and sweet cinnamon. Rich and mouth-filling, yet brisk and mineral-driven, the wine fuses suggestions of apricots and ripe yellow apples, refreshing acidity, and a firm spine of limestone soil. Long and smoky on the finish, the wine’s fleshy core of yellow fruits coats the palate while its acidity and oyster shell mineral energy simultaneously enliven it. A white Burgundy of incomparable character, Roally’s Vire-Clesse was made to handle the richest fare: briny oysters, lobsters in drawn butter, seared scallops, fatty pates, roasted marrow bones, and spring Chinook salmon. Enjoy now and over the coming decade.

2016 Kientzler, Chasselas, Alsace, France 11.99/129.49

Andre Kientzler is producing textbook, delicious, character-filled wines from the entire portfolio of Alsace’s noble varieties. Best of all, they are available for extraordinarily modest tariffs. Bright green-gold in the glass, the 2016 Kientzler Chasselas explodes with mineral-driven aromas of green plums, jasmine blossoms, heather, and quinine. Fresh and zesty on the palate, the wine’s laser-like acidity propels a fresh kernel of yellow apple, lemon, and nectarine fruit before finishing clean and precise. Serve this extremely versatile wine by itself as an aperitif, Kientzler’s Chasselas will also prove a wonderful partner to traditional Alsatian cuisine and with everything across the vegetable, seafood, light poultry, and pork spectra. Buy a case to enjoy now and over the next two years.


GERMANY
 
2015 Monchhof, Riesling Kabinett, Urzig Wurzgarten, Mosel, Germany
20.99/226.69  reg. 27.99

The venerable Monchhof estate was first established in 1177 as a Cistercian abbey, and its grand cru Urziger Wurzgarten vineyard features weathered red volcanic and slate with a high iron content that gives the soil its vivid color and its wines an intense, spicy soil signature. Monchhof’s 2015 Urzig Wurzgarten casts a pale green-glinted gold color followed by dazzling aromas of honeysuckle blossoms, peaches, red currants, and piquant ferrous minerals. Zippy and off-dry on the palate, the wine juxtaposes tangy kiwi, lime, and papaya fruit with teeth-shattering acidity and a riveting undercurrent of slate minerality. Light, precise, and impeccably balanced, the wine finishes fresh and indescribably delicious. Drink it on its own, or pair now and over the next three years with sushi, sashimi, medium spicy Asian cuisines, delicate freshwater fish, seared scallops, and pork. Limited.

ITALY

2016 Markus Prackwieser Gump, Weissburgunder, Mediævum, Sudtirol,
Alto Adige, Italy (O) 16.99/183.49

This is knockout Pinot Bianco as only the Alto Adige can produce. Markus Prackwieser’s Gumphof estate comprises twelve acres of organic vineyards nestled in the steep, high-altitude slopes of the SUdtirol’s hallowed Isarco Valley. Gumphof’s 2016 Weissburgunder (Pinot Bianco) Mediævum casts a brilliant green-glinted lemon-gold color in the glass alongside Alpine-fresh aromas of crisp golden apples, lemon pith, chamomile, honeysuckle blossoms, and chalky minerals. Brisk and refreshing on the palate with 2016’s purity of fruit, the wine presents juicy Comice pear and Mirabelle plum fruit complicated by notes of preserved lemon, raw hazelnuts, and fresh ginger root. Smoky limestone minerals reenter the landscape as the wine transitions from the palate to its long, juicy finish. Pair it now and over the coming two years with lighter fare such as sauteed kale, roasted squash, lentils, shellfish, sushi, and sashimi.


PORTUGAL

2016 Anselmo Mendes, Alvarinho, Contacto, Vinho Verde, Portugal 18.99/205.09

Join the Iberian wine revolution! Anselmo Mendes is unquestionably one of the most esteemed producers in Portugal’s Vinho Verde zone. Mendes’s 2016 Alvarinho Contacto, made from Alvarinho (a.k.a. Albariño), is given extended skin contact to coax greater depth, character, and intensity from the usually delicate Vinho Verde’s noblest grape. Dazzlingly aromatic, the Contacto greets the palate with intense expressions of lemon zest, grapefruit, under ripe pineapple, yellow plums, and menthol. Electric acidity and a deep granitic mineral undercurrent drive the wine’s core of yellow fruit and segue it to a long, zesty, citrus-driven finish. Pair this amazing wine now and over the coming two years with seafood and vegetable paella, vegetable and seafood tapas, sushi, sashimi, and seafood pasta dishes.

SPAIN

2015 Fraga do Corvo, Godello, Monterrei, Galicia, Spain 15.99/172.69

Godello, the hottest white grape in Spain, was almost lost after the ravages of phylloxera. Thanks to its distinctive fruit expressions and its brilliant ability to convey the nuances of its site, Godello is enjoying an enthusiastic revival. The Frago do Corvo’s 100% Godello sports a green-tinted lemon-gold color in the glass followed by zesty aromas of star fruit, yellow plums, pear and saline minerals. Brisk yet fleshy on the palate, the wine’s salty mineral backbone propels a core of yellow orchard fruit and top notes of lemon balm. Long and juicy, the wine finishes with suggestions of freshly grated ginger, lemongrass, bay leaf and orange blossoms brushed with salty sea breeze. Enjoy this distinctive Galician beauty now and over the coming year all by itself or as a complement to seafood and vegetable paellas, broiled halibut, salt cod fritters, raw clams and salt-grilled prawns.

 

We will be closed Jan. 1-4
Re-open on Friday, Jan. 5
_________

SHOP ONLINE: Our website will remain active and checked throughout the time we are closed

 

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

CLOSED:
Jan. 1-4
Re-open Friday Jan. 5

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while you shop



FRIDAY TASTINGS:

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

Jan. 5 Evening at “the Papes” – superlative Chateauneuf-du-Pape selections

Jan. 19 A tasting of Sagrantino: The great red grape of Umbria

Feb. 2 Two Peas in a Pod: Syrahs from Cote-Rotie and Cornas



SATURDAY TASTINGS:

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

Jan. 6 Tour de France: Dom. du Pas Saint Martin Saumur Blanc La Pierre Frite, Dom. de Roally Vire-Clesse Tradition, Thevenet Bourgogne Rouge Les Clos, and Dom. Berthet-Rayne Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Jan. 13 Tutti Italia: Markus Prackwieser Gump Weissburgunder, Tenuta di Ghizzano Il Ghizzano, Copertino Riserva, and Pertimali La Querciolina Montecucco Rosso. Plus: Oregon’s Dom. Divio Pinot Noir WV.

Jan. 20  Great wines from Europe: Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Contacto (Portugal), Fraga do Corvo Godello (Spain), Monchhof Riesling Kabinett Urzig Wurzgarten (Germany), and Rojac Refosk (Slovenia).

Jan. 27  French Beauties: Dom. Girard Sancerre La Garenne, Kientzler Chasselas, Dom. Sangouard-Guyot Macon-Bussières, J. Drouhin Cote de Beaune Villages, Les Terres Blanche Gamay de Bouze Pot d’Vache, and Ch. Bel-Air Pomerol.


SPECIAL EVENT AT L&E:

THE GREAT WHITE BURGUNDY WINES OF LES HERITIERS DU COMTE LAFON

Tuesday, Jan. 23 - 6:30 p.m.

Please join us for a tasting of the great white Burgundy wines from Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon.

“Founded in 1999 by Dominique Lafon, Heritiers du Comte Lafon was the first Cote d’Or producer to invest in the immense potential hidden in those rolling hills by buying higher altitude, old-vine parcels with the intent of letting this beautiful terroir reach its full potential.”

Reservations are necessary, and seating is limited. Contact L&E, or purchase your seats online. Price per seat is $45.

The list of wines to be served is on 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.