MAY 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

THIS MONTH'S CASE SAMPLERS


SOUTH OF FRANCE ROSE SAMPLER … 145.80  reg. 161.94

The taste of the season has arrived! Each case sampler contains three bottles of these four selections:

  •  2016 Domaine Fonsainte, Corbieres, Gris de Gris (reg. 13.99/151.09) - Blended Mourvedre, Genache, Cinsault, and Carignan provide a smoky, earthy, mineral palate and with a bolt of acidity. This is the perfect wine to cool off on a hot summer day!

  •  2016 Vetriccie, Corse (reg. 12.50/135.00) - Corsica is making some of the finest roses in France, and this blend of Nielluccio, Sciaccarellu, and Grenache proves the point. Limestone earth notes with plush fruit and shimmering acidity combine for lip-smacking goodness.

  •  2016 Chateau Jouclary, Cabardes (reg. 11.50/124.20) - Cab Franc marries with Grenache and Cinsault to make a lush raspberry, strawberry, herb spiced, minerally delight.

  •  2016 Domaine de la Fouquette, Provence (reg. 15.99/172.69) - A luscious mouthful of apricots, peaches, herbs, pepper, and citrus.

OUR PORTUGUESE VINHO VERDE SAMPLER … 169.09  reg. 187.88

Here’s a cool trio of Vinho Verdes from one of the region’s superstars, Anselmo Mendes. Perfect for spring and summertime sipping, these are also wines to take seriously. They are individual, distinctive, compelling – and very much worthy of your attention. The sampler contains four bottles of each selection:

  •  2015 Anselmo Mendes, Muros Antigos, Escolha (reg. 13.99/151.09) - Escolha is a Mendes’s blend of his three best white varieties: Alvarinho, Loureiro and Avesso. Alvarinho conveys structure and body; Loureiro offers aromatic intensity; and Avesso brings acidity and minerality. Very floral and citric with juicy tangerine notes, mingling with jasmine and gardenia blossoms.

  •  2015 Anselmo Mendes, Muros Antigos, Loureiro (reg. 15.99/172.69) - The most citrus-driven of the three wines. Notes of juicy key lime, lemon zest, quinine, coriander, and juniper. Better than a gin and tonic on a hot day!

  •  2015 Anselmo Mendes, Muros Antigos, Avesso (reg. 16.99/183.49) - Soil-driven and serious; reminiscent of the raw minerality found in fine Savennieres. Delicious now, but built to age.

 

RED WINES

CALIFORNIA

2012 Schug, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, California 24.99/269.89  reg. 30.99

Founded in 1980 by Walter Schug, formerly of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Schug winery has been producing top-notch wines, and the 2012 Cabernet is a screaming deal in a subtle, well detailed, totally delicious Sonoma wine. The wines from Schug firmly land in the “old-school” camp of winemaking: subtlty, earthiness, minerality, and not a whole load of new oak. Aromtically there are appealing hints of baking chocolate, cloves, graphite, rose petals, smoke, and black cherry underscored by earth notes. The palate is suave and subtle. Fine-grained tannins, bright acidity, earth and chalk background, and a kiss of new oak provide a delicious and impressive Cabernet that satisfies from first sip to a lingering finish. Drink now and over the next five to seven years with all manner of red meats.
- Very limited: only ten cases available.

FRANCE

2015 Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Reserve, Burgundy, France 17.99/194.29

This is a sensational wine and a superb value in authentically textured and scented red Burgundy. The venerable Bouchard negociant has fashioned a deeply colored, fleshy, and generous 2015 Bourgogne rouge. A bright, translucent ruby color, Bouchard’s 2015 Reserve casts a dazzling bouquet of black raspberries, wild cherries, game, and sandalwood. Packed with fruit yet deft on the palate, the wine’s tangy core of black raspberry fruit fuses with complex suggestions of wood spice, fruitwood smoke, and Burgundian earthiness. Complex and satisfying far beyond its modest price tag, Bouchard’s 2015 Reserve finishes long, pure, and transparent with raspberry, cassis, and cured meat notes backed by savory tannins and vibrant acidity. Enjoy now and over the coming five years with pork terrines, game birds, roast chicken, sweetbreads, and gratin dauphinois.

2012 Domaine Berthet-Rayne, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilli en Fut de Chene
Rhone Valley, France (CO) 31.99/345.49

Berthet-Rayne is fashioning a portfolio of elegant and restrained wines from some of the southern Rhone’s finest terroirs. A classic crimson-tinged ruby color, Berthet-Rayne’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilli en Fut de Chene (matured in oak casks) opens with spicy aromas of wild cherries, mint, leather, and black pepper. Sleek, suave and elegant, the wine blossoms on the palate to reveal old-school Chateauneuf suggestions of pie cherries, tobacco, underbrush, cinnamon, and anise. Based on a classic Chateauneuf blend of Grenache (65%), Mourvedre (30%), and Cinsault, the wine finishes fresh, vibrant, chewy and pleasantly tannic. Affordable, honest and utterly delicious, enjoy this chewy, classic Chateauneuf now and over the coming seven years with roast lamb, grilled burgers and ratatouille.
- Very limited: only ten cases available

2014 Chateau de la Liquiere, Faugeres, Vieilles Vignes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 15.99/172.69

Faugeres, is a cool, high-altitude appellation north of Beziers in the Languedoc. One of the region’s leading lights, the Chateau de la Liquiere, employs 50- to 100-year old Carignan vines (40%), Grenache (40%), Syrah, and Mourvedre grown on rocky schistose soils in the hallowed, steeply-sloped northwest sector of the appellation. Opaque black ruby in the glass, la Liquiere’s Vieilles Vignes cuvee bursts with aromas of blackberries, tobacco, walnut skin, and herbal garrigue. Intense on the attack, the wine’s fresh, chewy core of black cherry and blackberry fruit is complemented by plentiful rustic tannins and complex suggestions of wild garrigue, tar, cured meat, leather, and smoky soil. Dense and chewy yet vibrant on the palate, this Southern French beauty should be enjoyed now and over the coming decade with only the heartiest of fare: braised hare, game, squab, grilled lamb, mature cheeses, and wild boar. This wine is the very soul of Languedoc!

2016 Chateau de Breze, Saumur, Clos Mazurique, Loire Valley, France (CO) 15.99/172.69

The high-altitude vineyards of the towering Chateau de Breze feature the Saumur’s famous tuffeau limestone mixed with varying proportions of clay and sand. A youthful purple claret color in the glass, the Clos Mazurique casts aromas of red currants and wild cherries infused with tuffeau limestone dust. Full and vigorous on the palate, the Clos Mazurique reins in its floral-scented kernel of currant and cherry fruit with brisk acidity and complex overtones of orange blossoms, button mushrooms, and gravelly minerals. Brimming with energy and Cabernet Franc nobility, the Clos Mazurique finishes with waves of black fruits infused with floral notes of violets, lavender, and rose petals. Complex and satisfying for its paltry tariff, the Clos Mazurique delivers a mouthful of Cabernet Franc goodness today, but has the poise and reserve to reward five to seven years’ ageing in your cool cellar. Pair in cool weather with roast chicken or hearty mushroom dishes, or serve it at cellar temperature in the summer with grilled zucchini, bbq chicken, ribs, and fresh chevres.

ITALY

NV (2015) Centovigne, Rosso della Motta, Northern Piedmont, Italy (S) 12.50/135.00

Located in the subalpine Piemonte at the foot of Mt. Rosa, Centovigne’s Rosso della Motta hails from the Coste della Sesia zone, made famous by the wines of Gattinara, Lessona, and Bramaterra. Centovigne crafts exuberant red wines with all the character of this hallowed sector of Piedmont. A translucent crimson garnet color, the Rosso della Motta opens with a delicious bouquet of red cherries, lavender, stemmy herbs, cinnamon, and bitter orange peel. Clean and crisp on the palate, the Rosso della Motta – fashioned from Nebbiolo (80%) and a blend of indigenous Vespolina and Uva Rara – presents suggestions of sour cherries, cloves, tobacco, and rose petals. Supple, deft, and elegant, fine tannins sneak in on the back-palate and segue the wine to a long, soil-driven finish that reprises waves of fruit, clay soil, and medicinal herbs. Serve this delicious, affordable, and fascinating Piemontese rosso with roast poultry, meats and game, salumi, pastas tossed in a butter-sage sauce, as well as regional cheeses like Toma Piemontese, Bra Duro, and Castelmagno.

2013 Falchini, Chianti Colli Senesi, Titolato Colombaia, Tuscany, Italy 11.50/124.20

We love the Titolato’s combination of deliciousness, versatility and value. From Chianti’s Colli Senesi zone, named for the hills around Siena, the venerable Falchini estate fashions this classic Chianti cuvee of Sangiovese (90%) blended with Canaiolo and other indigenous red grapes. Falchini’s 2013 Titolato Colombaia opens with a deep ruby robe and tangy aromas of pie cherries, leather, button mushrooms, and menthol. Bright cherry and red currant fruit fuse on the palate alongside plentiful, food-friendly tannins and appetizing hints of tobacco, leather, dried herbs, and mushroomy underbrush. Compelling suggestions of camphor and dusty limestone soil finish the wine and make it a terrific choice to pair with everyday fare like bucatini all’amatriciana, grilled zucchini, burgers, and pizza. Pick up a case of this affordable beauty for everyday enjoyment over the coming three years.

2012 Castell’in Villa, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 21.99/237.49

Chianti Classico does not get any better or any more traditional than this! Castell’in Villa issues some of the most old-school, long-lived Chiantis from its vineyards in Chianti Classico’s southernmost Castelnuovo Berardenga zone. Much to our great pleasure we’re able to present their superb 2012 Chianti Classico, a wine that will have lovers of old-school Barolo, Brunello, and Chianti cheering. Sporting a bright ruby color and classic Chianti aromas of sour cherries, menthol, oregano, leather, and a touch of that good ol’ funk, Castell’in Villa’s Sangiovese offers a bright red fruit expression and superb flinty soil transparency. Suggestions of Bing cherries grace the palate and give way to complex hints of tobacco, licorice, tar, vanilla bean, smoke, and cocoa. Firmly tannic on its long finish, the Castell’in Villa announces that it is first and foremost a food wine and should be paired with hearty, rustic fare like rich pasta dishes, roasts of lamb or beef, or long simmered stews. Drink now to reminisce about the way great, age-worthy Chianti used to be, and then age enough to last you seven to ten years.

2015 De Forville, Barbera d’Asti, Ca’ del Buc, Piedmont, Italy 17.99/194.29

Barbaresco’s great De Forville estate crafts this superb Barbera from the Ca’ del Buc cru in Castagnole Lanza, located just to the east of the Barbaresco zone. An opaque plum-ruby hue, De Forville’s Ca’ del Buc opens with gamy aromas of black plums and Bing cherries accented by overtones of jasmine and tobacco. Bright and deliciously funky on the palate, the Ca’ del Buc soars with impressions of sun-warmed cherries, leather, leafy underbrush, bay leaf, and aged tobacco. Brisk acidity and soft tannins frame the Ca’ del Buc’s crunchy cherry and plum fruit and make it a perfect foil for all things Piemontese, especially braised beef, egg-rich pastas, and mature cheeses. It will also pair beautifully with traditional American fare like burgers, steaks, and pan-seared pork chops. Enjoy now and over the coming seven years.
- A Neal Rosenthal selection

2014 Terredora di Paolo, IGT Aglianico, Campania, Italy 13.50/145.80

Campania’s rich viticultural tradition stretches back to Roman times, when it produced what were considered the finest wines of the Roman Empire. One of Campania’s superstar estates, the Terredora di Paolo estate, is leading the region’s renaissance with thrilling wines that honor Campania’s traditional varietals and expressions of the land while offering modern purity and refinement. Aglianico, southern Italy’s most noble grape, achieves the glory worthy of its legend on Campania’s finest volcanic slopes. Opening with an opaque rusty ruby color, Terredora’s Aglianico opens with deep aromas of plums, cassis, brown spices, and a piquant, volcanic soil signature. On the palate, spicy expressions of red plums and currants fuse with impressions of blond tobacco, bitter herbs, gentian, baker’s chocolate, and bay leaf. The long, soil-driven finish allows the wine’s fruit expressions to merge seamlessly into its firm tannic structure and riveting undercurrent of smoky volcanic soil. Fantastic with pasta tossed with sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, rich lasagna, grilled eggplant, and roast lamb or goat. Enjoy now or over the coming five years.

SPAIN

2015 Raul Perez, Ultreia, St. Jacques, Bierzo, Spain 18.99/205.09

Many consider Raul Perez to be one of Spain’s finest winemakers. While Perez crafts wine in several regions in northwestern Spain, he makes his home and many of his finest wines in Bierzo. “Ultreia” is a form of encouragement for the many pilgrims that have passed by this vineyard since the 3rd century en route to Santiago de Compostela. A deep garnet color in the bowl, Perez’s St. Jacques conveys the fresh, vibrant side of the Mencía grape with fresh raspberry and wild cherry nuances accented by notes of game, stemmy herbs, mint, and mushroomy underbrush. Full and plush on the attack, the St. Jacques stains the palate with deep impressions of red raspberries, cherry compote, smoky minerals, and just the slightest kiss of French oak. Brisk acidity and fine tannins buoy the wine’s chewy core of red fruits and segue it to a long finish that adds suggestions of cocoa, cedary pencil shavings, and violets. Serve now and over the next five years with grilled steaks and burgers, ribs, bean tapas, salumi, braised rabbit, and hearty stews.


WHITE WINES


FRANCE

2016 Domaine de l’Idylle, Cruet, Savoie, France 11.50/124.20 [corrected price]

With their low alcohol content, sensible price tags and high refreshment quotient, the Savoie’s Jacquere-based wines are among our personal go-to wines for everyday enjoyment. Pale green-gold in the glass, l’Idylle’s Cruet explodes with fresh green apple, Comice pear, and lemon-lime fruit accented by honeysuckle, fresh fennel, and limestone. Bright and lively on the palate, the Cruet’s transparent core of orchard and citrus fruit is accented by notes of lemon zest, pear skin, and saline minerals. Brisk, bracing, and ready to be enjoyed all year long, we suggest offering this wine as an eyebrow-raising aperitif or as a lovely partner to shellfish, crustaceans, sashimi, and white-fleshed fish. It will also be a terrific choice with Savoyard cheeses such as raclette and tomme de Savoie, fondues, scalloped potatoes, and grilled seasonal squashes.

2015 Joseph Drouhin, Drouhin-Vaudon, Chablis, Burgundy, France (B)
20.99/226.69

Drouhin-Vaudon’s biodynamic viticulture and masterful winemaking imbue its Chablis portfolio with authentic terroir expressions and impressive purity of fruit. Brilliant lemon-gold in the glass, Drouhin-Vaudon’s 2015 casts sea breeze and iodine-infused Chablis limestone notes alongside hints of pear skin, grapefruit, and flint. Rich yet brisk, intense, and energetic on the palate, suggestions of Golden Delicious apples and acacia blossom fuse with undercurrents of flinty limestone soil, buttery lemon curd, and quinine. Further waves of saline minerals segue the wine to its long, full, citrus- and oyster shell-driven finish. Impressively deft and restrained, Drouhin-Vaudon’s 2015 Chablis is drinking smashingly well at this early stage, but will easily reward five years’ patience in your cool cellar. Pair with all things seafood, vegetable souffles, potatoes au gratin, light poultry, and pork preparations.

2015 Joseph Drouhin, Saint-Veran, Burgundy, France 16.99/183.49

Drouhin’s Saint-Veran is a serious testament to the 2015 vintage’s intensity and impact. Drouhin has fashioned a full throttle, immediately enjoyable, soil-driven wine from this under-heralded region wedged between Pouilly-Fuisse and Beaujolais. The 2015 Saint-Veran sports a lovely lemon-gold color in the glass followed by aromas of sweet cream butter, honeysuckle, apple blossoms, and an intense blast of limestone minerals. On the palate, the wine is savory, satisfying and packed with energy. Suggestions of sappy hazelnuts, buttery lemon curd and bitter herbs – amplified by lilting acidity and a vibrant undercurrent of saline oyster shell minerality – mark the wine’s long, lip-smacking finish. Enjoy this lovely, authentic, reasonably-priced white Burgundy now and over the coming three years with salmon, pork, roast chicken, duck, boudin blanc, and light pork dishes.

2014 Bernard Herivault, Vouvray, Silex d’Orfeuilles, Loire Valley, France (O) 18.99/205.09

This is our “must-taste” choice of the newsletter. The beautiful, inimitable perfumed soil of Vouvray is on full display in this sleek, dry Silex d’Orfeuilles from Bernard Herivault. A vivid lemon-gold in the glass, the Silex d’Orfeuilles, crafted from old-vine Chenin Blanc, expresses aromas of preserved lemons, honeycomb, orchard blossoms, and bee pollen. Lithe, incisive, and intense, the wine lights the palate with gorgeous impressions of honeydew melon, ripe pears, and a riveting undercurrent of flinty (silex) minerals. Full-bodied, yet chiseled and palpably dry, the wine finishes with persistent melon, beeswax, and pear fruit infused with the vineyards’ inimitable smoky silex minerals. Enjoy now and over the coming two decades with goat cheeses, creamed spinach, light chicken or freshwater fish preparations, and milder Indian, Vietnamese, and Cantonese cuisines. A superb Vouvray sec and a thrilling, vividly terroir-expressive wine!

ITALY

2015 La Staffa, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore, Marches, Italy (O) 13.99/151.09

Young Roberto Baldi of La Staffa produces a mere 2,500 cases of authentic, traditional, handcrafted wines from his small estate just inland from the Adriatic Sea. Baldi’s full-throttle, mineral-driven 2015 Verdicchio casts a medium lemon-gold color followed by appetizing aromas of green apple flesh, marjoram, and smoky soil. Showing impressive freshness, an ample palate, and a vibrant mineral expression, the wine conveys a juicy core of key lime and yellow plum fruit alongside notes of white meadow flowers, bay leaf, and salty limestone minerals. Clean, fresh, and satisfying, La Staffa’s Verdicchio finishes with impressive clarity, vibrant fruit and final suggestions of almond skin and freshly ground white pepper. Enjoy now and over the coming year with clams, mussels, baby squid, grilled green vegetables, mushroom risotto, braised lentils, white bean stews, young goat cheeses, and light pork recipes.

SPAIN

2016 Ostatu, Alavesa, Blanco, Rioja, Spain (S) 13.50/145.80

Rioja is the oldest and most famous winegrowing region in Spain. The Ostatu estate, located in Rioja’s Alavesa sub-zone, features predominantly clay-calcareous soils which are essential for creating wines of great concentration and complexity. Ostatu’s high altitude, old-vine blend of Viura (85%) and Malvasía casts a brilliant straw-gold color and dazzling aromas of gardenia blossom, lemon zest, and chamomile. Vibrant and mineral driven on the palate, Ostatu’s blanco presents a complex melange of lemon juice, quinine, Mirabelle plums, and limestone dust. Brisk, clean, and pulsing with energy, the wine finishes with juicy citrus fruit infused with suggestions of marcona almonds, botanical herbs, ginger, and pungent limestone minerals. Enjoy this crisp Rioja blanco served cool, but not too cold, now and over the coming two years with all things seafood, vegetable tapas, roast pheasant, and fresh cheeses.

PORTUGAL

CASE SAMPLER: Portuguese Vinho Verde Sampler 169.09 reg. 187.88
(see above for details)


ROSE WINES

AUSTRIA

2016 Weingut Stift Goettweig, Rose, Messwein, Niederosterreich, Austria (S) 18.99/205.09

Wait till you taste the 2016 Stift Rose! The Stift Goettweig is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1083, perched 450 meters above sea level on the southern banks of the Danube. This is the estate’s rose Messwein (altar wine) produced only with the blessing of the bishop and crafted to be pure, light and drinkable. Stift Goettweig’s pale salmon colored Pinot Noir rose bursts out of the glass with high-toned aromas of pie cherries, red currants, raspberries, cinnamon, and smoky soil. On the palate, the Messwein rose is crisp and fruity, with hints of wild strawberries brightened by juicy acidity and a mineral underpinning. The wine’s core of crunchy berry fruit reemerges on its long, clean, zesty finish. Enjoy it now and over the coming two years served by itself or with lentil soups, lighter style salmon preparations, roast chicken, sushi, sashimi, and mild Asian cuisines. This is sensational Pinot Noir rose!

FRANCE

CASE SAMPLER: Our South of France Rose Sampler 145.80 reg. 161.94
(see above for details)

 


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:
Memorial Day, Mon. May 29

Free on-site parking
while you shop


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

May 5
It's a Natural Wine Festival: Taste what everyone’s talking about!

May 19
Superlative wines from the Savoie region of France.

June 2
It’s the “Not Only Malbec” Argentinian wine event!


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

May 6
From France
: Dom. de l’Idylle Cruet, Bernard Herivault Vouvray, Drouhin St.-Véran, Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Ch. de Brézé Saumur Clos Mazurique, and Ch. de la Liquière Faugères.

May 13
Diana Lenzi of Fattoria Petroio
returns to pour the family’s Chiantis. Plus, from Iberia: Ostatu Rioja Blanco,Raúl Pérez Mencía Ultreia St. Jacques, and our Portuguese Vinho Verde Sampler.

May 20
Italian beauties:
La Staffa Verdicchio, Falchini Chianti Titolato Colombaia, Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico, Centovigne Rosso della Motta, De Forville Barbera d’Asti Ca’ del Buc, and Terredora di Paolo Aglianico.

May 27
Great European wines:
Stift Goettweig Rose, Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis, and Berthet-Rayne Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Plus: Our South of France Rosé Sampler.

 

We will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 29

 



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.