AUGUST 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

Wow! There seems to be no end to the superb rose wines available this year, so we felt compelled to put together another great case sampler from France. Travelling from the Loire Valley, we stop over in Provence, and finally dive into Corsica. Join the tour! We think you’ll be thrilled with these unique and delicious selections.

The sampler consists of four bottles each of the three selections listed below:

 

RED WINES

CHILE

2016 Cacique Maravilla Pipeno, Pais, Region del Bio-Bio, D.O. Secano Interior de Yumbel, Chile (1 liter) (O) 16.99/183.49

In the 16th century the Pais grape was the first vitis vinifera grape imported into the Americas by Spanish explorers. Today, Pais is one of Chile’s most widely planted varieties. The Bio-Bio valley’s cool, windy, moist climate and extended growing season are very well suited for the cultivation of the Paìs. Cacique Maravilla’s Pipeno Pais casts a rusty crimson hue followed by pungent, Fer Servadou-like aromas of cinnamon-scented potpourri, pepper-cured meats, sassafras, and ferrous earth. Light in weight but full of flavor on the palate, the wine’s earthy, volcanic origins come to the fore with piquant, spicy minerality. Savory, zesty, and packing a lovely dose of that earthy funk we so adore, the Pais finishes with dusty, lip-smacking tannins and echoes of dissolved volcanic minerals. A fascinating wine, this is our pick for pairing with smoked brisket, tacos, empanadas and tamales, patatas bravas, and other spicy tapas. Fascinating wine!

FRANCE

2015 Marc Colin et Fils, Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France (S)
19.99/215.89

Domaine Marc Colin now encompasses twenty-six vineyards in St. Aubin, Chassagne, Puligny, and Santenay. Noted for their purity and finesse, Colin’s wines are undeniably faithful to their underlying terroirs. Colin’s Bourgogne Rouge hails from 30+-year-old vines in Chassagne-Montrachet and St.-Aubin, and are crafted for delicacy, transparency, and immediate enjoyment. A garnet robe in the bowl, Colin’s Bourgogne Rouge casts beautiful aromas of cherry skin, rhubarb, red raspberries, and earth. Clean and focused on the palate, the wine is at once plump, ample, fresh, and soil driven. Showing remarkable coolness for this warm vintage, Colin’s Bourgogne Rouge finishes with suggestions of mustard seed, tangy cranberries, and dark limestone earth. This is terrific sub-$20 red Burgundy that is wonderfully versatile. Pair this rouge with roast chicken or duck, broiled salmon, burgers, grilled seasonal squashes, or gratin dauphinois. Limited – only 15 cases available.

2015 Domaine des Hauts-Baigneux, Touraine, Les Pentes, Loire Valley, France (CO) 15.99/172.69

As with Chenin Blanc, Azay-le-Rideau is also admired for its ability to produce the Central Loire’s great red grapes. Hauts-Baigneux’s Les Pentes is a blend of Cabernet Franc (60%), Gamay (20%), and Grolleau fermented on natural yeasts in concrete tanks. A translucent ruby color, Hauts-Baigneux’s Les Pentes opens with classic Touraine aromas of black currants, cherries, rose petals, and cinnamon imbued with the region’s high-toned limestone perfume. Brisk and savory in the mouth, Hauts-Baigneux’s Les Pentes presents a bright kernel of spicy black raspberry and cherry fruit accented by notes of pink peppercorns, rhubarb, and herbs. Dusty tannins and brisk acidity lift the wine’s pure kernel of berry fruit and segue it to a long, tangy, satisfying finish. A superb buy in natural, minimal intervention Loire Valley rouge, this wine should be enjoyed now and over the coming two years with pan-seared pork chops, dry rubbed ribs, burgers, sauteed seasonal vegetables, and fresh chevres.

2014 Domaine Giacometti, Patrimonio, Cru des Agriate, Corsica, France (O) 16.99/183.49

The Agriates Desert is a large, rugged, arid swath of land between the Cap Corse and Calvi on the northern end of Corsica. It’s swept year ‘round with the Libecciu, the hot and dry wind that rolls down off the Italian coast. The Giacometti family has long made a generous, approachable style of Patrimonio, similar to what has traditionally been served by the pitcher at the Corsican dinner table. A blend of primarily Niellucciu (Sangiovese) and Grenache grown on clay and granite soils, Giacometti’s Cru des Agriate presents a translucent ruby robe followed by aromas of Provençal cherries, dried herbs, and dusty soil. Bright and tangy on the palate, the Cru des Agriate follows with cherry and currant fruit accented by chewy tannins and notes of floral limestone, spicy cinnamon, and bitter herbs. Bright, fresh, and delicious, the wine finishes with notes of ginseng, black tea, pepper, blood orange zest, and baker’s chocolate. This is a superb and affordable introduction to the wonders of Corsican wines. Pair the Cru des Agriate now and over the coming three years with grilled mushrooms, seasonal squashes, burgers, lamb, chicken, and pork.

2015 Terre des Chardons, Costieres-de-Nimes, Bien Lune, Southern Rhone Valley, France (B) 17.99/194.29

Farming biodynamically and performing minimal intervention in the cellar, Jerome Chardon fashions Bien Lune, just about the most stunning Costieres-de-Nimes rouge we’ve ever tasted. Reminiscent of a blend of Northern Rhone Syrah and a fine Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chardon’s Bien Lune – composed of Grenache (80%) and Syrah – shows a rust-tinged ruby robe followed by captivating aromas of cherry skin, orchard blossoms, bacon fat, leather, and peppery garrigue. Bright Provençal cherry and spicy plum fruit notes grace the palate alongside framing tannins and complex suggestions of smoke, game, tar, tobacco, walnut skin, and sappy thyme. Supple, delicious, and inviting, the wine finishes with further reprises of chewy cherry fruit infused with cloves, wild herbs, leather, and earth. Serve now and over the coming five years with braised lamb shanks, eggplant lasagna, duck confit, grilled burgers, and rustic casseroles.

2012 Chateau de Pibarnon, Bandol, Provence, France (O) 31.99/345.49

This is simply fantastic Bandol at a most affordable tariff! The esteemed Chateau de Pibarnon is situated on steep hillsides at the highest point in the Bandol appellation. This extreme elevation and the influence of the Mediterranean allow Bandol’s signature Mourvedre grape the long growing season it requires to reach optimal ripeness. The result is one of Bandol’s greatest wines, year in and year out. The favorable vintage conditions in 2012 yielded this most charming and approachable Pibarnon rouge. A deep black plum color in the glass, Pibarnon’s 2012 Bandol unfurls with textbook aromas of blackberries, plum skin, leather and tarry earth. A blend of Mourvedre (92%) and Grenache, the wine penetrates the palate with an intense kernel of cassis and black plum fruit accented by herbal garrigue, lavender, leather, game, and iron. Plentiful, polished tannins sneak in mid-palate and segue the wine to a long, serious, gripping finish featuring notes of baking spices, chalky minerals, and birch bark. Pair now and over the coming two decades with all things Provençal, especially grilled lamb, roasted eggplant, and hearty stews.
Jeb Dannuck, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 93 points

2008 Chateau de Bellevue, Lussac St.-Emilion, Bordeaux, France (CO)
23.99/259.09

Lussac St.-Emilion is often regarded as a “satellite” appellation of St.-Emilion. Lussac’s terroir is of exceptional quality and the region’s wines offer some of the Right Bank’s greatest quality-to-value ratios. A blend of Merlot (95%) and Cabernet Franc, the Chateau de Bellevue rouge – grown on a plateau of pure chalk – casts classic Right Bank aromas of black cherries, plums, cassis, dried herbs, mushrooms, and Belgian chocolate. Bright and high-toned on the palate, the Bellevue conveys old-school structure with fine, framing tannins and juicy, mouthwatering acidity derived from its chalky soil origins. Long, elegant, and energetic, the Bellevue finishes with the brightness and lift of Right Banks of yesteryear, and makes it impossible not to take another sip. At under $25, this is an incredible Bordeaux value and a versatile partner for beef, lamb, duck, lentils, and rich potato gratins. Delicious now at nine years of age, it has the energy and reserve to cellar for another decade or more.

ITALY

2013 Scacciadiavoli, Montefalco, Rosso, Umbria, Italy (O) 15.99/172.69

Scacciadiavoli – or “banish devils” – refers to an Umbrian legend where a local lady was exorcised of her demons by drinking a chalice of the local red wine. Casting a translucent plum ruby hue, Scacciadiavoli’s Montefalco Rosso – a classic Montefalco blend of Sangiovese (60%), Merlot (25%), and Sagrantino – opens with generous aromas of Morello cherries, black raspberries, licorice, vanilla, and dark roast coffee. Firm on the palate, with zesty acidity and plentiful, fine tannins, the Montefalco expresses suggestions of tar, plums, cinnamon, wintergreen, root beer, and licorice root. Scacciadiavoli’s Montefalco Rosso finishes vibrant and energetic, with reprises of tobacco-tinged black fruits, leafy suggestions of tobacco and cedar, and bitter medicinal herbs. Balanced and authentic, Scacciadiavoli’s Montefalco Rosso is poised for a medium-term evolution in your cool cellar, but will pair well now with richer fare like baby back ribs, burgers, game, pastas, and creamy risottos topped with Pecorino Rromano.

2014 Montaribaldi, Langhe Rosso, Trestelle, Piedmont, Italy (S) 11.99/129.49

Barbaresco superstar Montaribaldi crafts this delicious, versatile Langhe Rosso from vineyards in the hallowed villages of Barbaresco and Treiso. A blend of equal parts Barbera, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo, the crimson-tinged plum-colored Trestelle casts scents of sour cherries, violets, rose petals, leather and herbs. Crafted for immediate enjoyment, deft tannins frame the wine’s vibrant core of pie cherry and red raspberry fruit accented by hints of mushrooms and grilled herbs. Long and satisfying on the finish, the Trestelle fuses a persistent undercurrent of clay-limestone minerality, and leafy underbrush with further waves of spicy cherry fruit. Designed for versatility, the Trestelle will pair well now and over the coming three years with risottos, roast chicken, burgers, mushroom recipes, pastas, and pizza.


WHITE WINES

AUSTRIA

2016 Mantlerhof, Grüner Veltliner, Lossterrassen, Kremstal, Austria (O)
17.99/194.29 reg. 21.99

The Mantlerhof domaine has long been regarded as among the finest estates in the Kremstal and one of the leading producers in all of Austria. Grapes for the estate’s Lossterrassen hail from steep, terraced vineyards with the deep loess soil that Grüner Veltliner so adores. A limpid green-glinted lemon-gold, Mantlerhof’s Lossterrassen explodes with classic Grüner aromas of snap peas, lima beans, watercress, lime zest, and earthy minerals. Ample on the palate and bursting with juicy acidity, the Lossterrassen adds notes of grapefruit, lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaves. The wine finishes crisp, clean, and oh-so-refreshing, with further waves of citrus fruit amplified by a dusting of saline minerals. This is a classically styled Kremstal Grüner that’s light on its feet but packed with flavor and character. It will pair beautifully now and over the next two years with green vegetables, lentil dishes, light fish, pork, poultry, veggie burgers, and seafood pastas. Limited.

FRANCE

2015 Domaine des Hauts-Baigneux, Touraine, Les Chenes, Azay-le-Rideau,
Loire Valley, France (CO) 15.99/172.69

In 2013, longtime friends Nicolas Grosbois and Philippe Mesnier set about on an ambitious project to restore Azay-le-Rideau’s reputation as one of Chenin Blanc’s great terroirs. From vines grown on clay soils atop limestone, Grosbois and Mesnier’s organically grown Les Chenes cuvee conveys Azay’s lean, smoky, flinty expression of Chenin that’s completely different from the Touraine’s better known appellations, Chinon, Vouvray and Montlouis. Pale gold in the glass, the bone-dry Les Chenes opens with smoky, soil-drenched suggestions of yellow plums, Bartlett pears, and white orchard blossoms. Crisp, lean, and coiled on the palate, the Les Chenes continues with notes of the Touraine’s perfumed limestone, crisp celery, green pineapple, and green plums. Fresh, bright, and chiseled, this is Chenin for the most ardent Chenin fans. Azay’s wines are known to age brilliantly for two decades or more. While this beauty has the nerve and structure for a long evolution in your cool cellar, it shows awfully well today paired with brook trout, salmon, shellfish, green vegetables, and light pork preparations.

2015 Marc Colin et Fils, Bourgogne Aligote, Burgundy, France (O) 16.99/183.49

Aligote is the new hipster wine in Burgundy. Lean, chiseled, and highly transparent, Aligote is gaining renown for its uncanny ability to express its varied terroirs. From old vines situated on the plains of Puligny, Chassagne, and Saint-Aubin, Colin’s Aligote shines with a brilliant lemon-gold hue and bright aromas of chalky soil, lemon zest, and flint. Brisk and bracing in the mouth, Colin’s Aligote begins with juicy lemon fruit and eye-wincing acidity before gaining richness and weight on the palate. Vinification and elevage in barrel imbue the wine with a luxurious palate texture and subtle hints of brioche and vanilla bean. Clean, precise, and conveying its prestigious Cote-de-Beaune origins, the wine finishes with racy acidity and further suggestions of white flowers, lemon meringue, flint, and smoke. This beautiful Aligote begs to be paired now and over the coming three years with the freshest halibut, black cod, rockfish, and morels in a cream sauce.

2015 Domaine Paul Buisse, Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine, Loire Valley, France (S) 10.99/118.69

Paul Buisse’s beautiful Touraine blanc shows just how well this central Loire Valley sector can grow the famed Sauvignon Blanc. A lovely gold color in the glass, Buisse’s Sauvignon casts compelling aromas akin to a great Pouilly-Fume, but with a fruitier, more floral and less flinty profile. Deep and full on the palate, Buisse’s Sauvignon shows a ripe kernel of grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, and nectarine fruit. Notes of freshly cut grass, mint, white pepper, and smoke develop as the wine lingers, leading to a long, chalky, mineral-driven finish. This is superb Sauvignon and a steal for its paltry tariff. It deserves a place at your late summer table, served by itself as a refreshing aperitif or alongside pan-fried trout, halibut, grilled green vegetables, and fresh chevres.

2014 Kientzler, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France 13.50/145.80

A frequent feature in these pages, Kientzler’s delicious 2014 Pinot Blanc again knocked us out. Andre Kientzler and his sons, Thierry and Eric, are producing delicious textbook, character-filled wines from all of Alsace’s noble varieties. Best of all, they are available for extremely affordable prices given their quality. A pale straw-gold in the glass, Kientzler’s Pinot Blanc offers aromas of fresh lemons, white meadow flowers, pear skin, and menthol. In the mouth, the wine balances the richness of fleshy Mirabelle plum fruit with crisp lemony acidity and deft hints of freshly squeezed ginger and citrusy lemongrass. Kientzler’s 2014 Pinot Blanc finishes crisp, clean, and driven by its mineral undercurrent. It’s always a joy to offer a superb Pinot Blanc that offers this much character, finesse and balance for such a modest tariff. Enjoy now and over the coming three years with roast turkey breast, salmon, halibut, duck, green vegetable souffles, and, of course, choucroute garni.

2015 Domaine Leon Boesch, Sylvaner, Les Pierres Rouges, Alsace, France (B) 14.99/161.89

The family Boesch are eleventh generation Alsatian vignerons who adhere to the mystical principles of biodynamics to grow and vinify their exemplary range of traditional Alsatian varietal wines. Here the Boesch family gives the lovely, aromatic Sylvaner grape its rightful place as one of the most delicious and refreshing varieties in the Alsatian portfolio. A bright lemon-gold in the glass, Boesch’s Sylvaner casts smoky aromas of green apple skin, lime zest, malt, and cinnamon-tinged potpourri. Fleshy on the palate, the wine fuses juicy pear and nectarine fruit with touches of smoky minerals, mint, and tarragon. Boesch’s Sylvaner is long, lingering, and full-bodied, unleashing a generous palate of fleshy fruit that stays dry, mineral, and elegant from start to finish. Pair now and over the next two years with roast poultry, rich potato recipes, grilled summer vegetables, and raie à la grenobloise.

ITALY

2016 Terredora Dipaolo, Falanghina, Corte du Giso, Irpinia, Campania, Italy 13.50/145.80

Falanghina is one of southern Italy’s most historic and noble white wine grapes. Thanks to modern, temperature-controlled fermentation, we can now capture and retain all of the Falanghina’s fragile floral and tropical fruit aromas. Brilliant lemon-gold with green highlights, Terredora’s Falanghina conveys beguiling scents of orange blossoms, yellow melon, green apples, and a whisper of volcanic minerals. On the palate, Terredora’s Falanghina presents suggestions of star fruit, Mirabelle plums, and lime juice. The wine finishes fresh and snappy, with complex notes of quince, lemon zest, and citrusy hops lifted by brisk acidity and a spicy mineral expression. Enjoy this versatile and superb Falanghina over the coming two years with sushi, clams, mussels, squid, and vegetarian and seafood pasta dishes sporting lots of fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

2016 Giovanni Almondo, Roero Arneis, Vigne Sparse, Piedmont, Italy 13.99/151.09

The Giovanni Almondo estate is one of the Roero’s benchmark producers of the fickle yet delightful Arneis grape. The darling of many Manhattan somms, we’re fortunate to have Almondo’s wines in our fair city and are delighted to have secured enough to feature this reference-standard Arneis. A brilliant pale lemon-gold in the glass, Almondo’s Vigne Sparse Arneis casts juicy aromas of Comice pears, fresh straw, and lemongrass. Bristling with energy on the palate, the Vigne Sparse explodes with suggestions of jasmine, ginger, bay leaf, and grapefruit zest. Fresh, zesty and packed with character, Almondo’s Vigne Sparse finishes by revisiting its juicy core of citrus fruit and adding complex notes of crisp fennel, slivered almonds, and fenugreek. This is fantastic Arneis and a superb call for a crisp, aromatic white wine on a warm summer day. Enjoy this now and over the coming year with steamed clams, sauteed zucchini, angel hair pasta dressed in a light white sauce, and seafood or vegetable paellas.

 


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

Aug. 4
Ahhh! Cool off with white wines from Croatia.

Aug 18
Not your typical Pinot! Pinot Noir from Franche Comte, Austria, Alsace, Italy, and more.

Sept. 1
Celebrate the resurgence of Hungarian wines.

* Fees and wine selections for these tastings will be available several days ahead of the event.


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

Aug. 5
French beauties from Burgundy and the Loire Valley:
Marc Colin Bourgogne Rouge, Marc Colin Bourgogne Aligote, Dom. Paul Buisse Sauvignon Blanc, Dom. des Hauts-Baigneux Les Chenes, and Dom. des Hauts-Baigneux Les Pentes.

Aug. 12
Tutti Italia:
Giovanni Almondo Roero Arneis Vigne Sparse, Terredora Dipaolo Falanghina Corte du Giso, Montaribaldi Langhe Rosso Trestelle, and Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Rosso.

Aug 19
From France:
Dom. Giacometti Cru des Agriate Patrimonio, Terre des Chardons Bien Lune Costieres-de-Nîmes, Ch. de Pibarnon Bandol, and Ch. de Bellevue Lussac St.-Emilion. Plus: Our Rose Sampler.

Aug 26
We’re pouring goodness!
Dom. Leon Boesch Sylvaner Les Pierres Rouges, Kientzler Pinot Blanc, Mantlerhof Grüner Veltliner Lössterrassen, and Cacique Maravilla Pipeño País Región del Bio-Bio.


SPECIAL EVENT AT L&E:

An Evening of Portuguese Wines

Weds. August 9
5:30-7:00 p.m.

In the last few years Portugal has burst onto the wine scene with an astonishing array of red and white wines that have captured attention of wine writers and wine lovers alike.

Join us for a tasting of Portuguese wines from Fitapreta (Alentejo) and the Azores Wine Company with Felipe Rocha, a founding member. The list of wines to be served is on our website.

This is a walk-in event, and reservations are not necessary. Tasting fee $10.

 



B = biodynamic methods; CO = certified organic; O = organic; S = sustainably farmed


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