JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER

 

RED WINES

 

OREGON

2015 Vincent Wine Company, Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon (S) 23.99/259.09

Owner-winemaker Vincent Fritzsche launched his eponymous winery in 2009 after years of apprenticing in wineries in Oregon and California. His elegant, understated wines have earned an ardent following in the Willamette Valley and beyond. Vincent’s 2015 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir casts a pure ruby robe followed by beguiling aromas of pomegranate, cranberry, fresh rose petals, and loamy earth. On the palate, the wine layers its deep core of luscious Bing cherry and red raspberry fruit alongside suggestions of cinnamon, menthol, and subtle barrel tones. Unusually cool, deft, and vibrant for the vintage, we applaud Vincent (and his growers) for crafting such an elegant, beautiful, and delicious Pinot. Delightful now, it will also gain complexity and nuance with three to five years in your cellar. Pair with cedar plank salmon, roast chicken or duck, pork loin chops, and dishes spotlighting morel mushrooms.

FRANCE

2013 Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Nuits-Villages, Burgundy, France 27.99/302.29

The great Maison Joseph Drouhin’s 2013 Cote de Nuits-Villages is a terrific value play for a fine Cote de Nuits. Drouhin crafts this lovely, affordable red Burgundy from vines in four communes of the Cote de Nuits. A crimson-tinged ruby color, Drouhin’s 2013 Cote de Nuits-Villages casts deep red Burgundy aromas of sour cherries, cranberries, black tea, and wood spice. Deep and earthy on the attack, the wine delivers waves of cranberry, currant, and loganberry fruit complemented by hints of aged tobacco, leafy sous bois, and pungent limestone earthiness. Conveying the persistent freshness and terroir transparency of the 2013 harvest, the wine finishes long, deep, and driven by its dark limestone minerality. With superb vibrancy on the palate backed by Burgundy’s inimitable limestone soil signature, this is a superb choice now and over the coming seven years served with roast chicken, broiled salmon, grilled pork loin and potatoes au gratin. Limited.

2015 Domaine Brazilier, Coteaux du Vendomois, Tradition, Loire Valley, France (B) 11.99/129.49

The Brazilier family traces their winemaking back seven generations to 1780. Today, father Jean and son Benoit employ biodynamic farming and craft their wines in 12th century caves carved out of limestone hills. Brazilier’s sensational rouge Tradition is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Pineau d’Aunis, and Pinot Noir. On the nose, the Pineau d’Aunis component comes to the fore with aromas of white pepper, jalapeno, flint, and limestone dust. Tangy Cabernet Franc goodness comes through on the palate with leathery currant and cherry fruit accented by blond tobacco and fine, chewy tannins. Light, deft, but packed with character, Brazilier’s rouge Tradition finishes with fresh red currant and cherry fruit, framing peppery tannins, gunflint, and limestone dust on your lips. Pair this beauty now and over the coming two years with grilled chicken, pork or lamb kebabs, grilled squashes or a big, juicy cheeseburger. Give it a little chill and serve over the warm weather months.

2014 Oinos, Corbieres, Les Carderes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 9.50/102.60

The rugged landscape of Corbieres 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, and Carignan from the terroir-expressive 2014 vintage, Oinos’ Les Carderes presents an opaque black plum robe and gorgeous, textbook Corbieres aromas of blackberries, cassis, black pepper, black olives, tar, and herbal garrigue. Bright and peppery on the palate, the wine’s vivid core of black fruits yields to suggestions of parched limestone earth, lavender, black licorice, and mushroomy sous bois. Plentiful chewy tannins segue the wine to its long, peppery finish, which readies your palate for another forkful of ratatouille, grilled sourdough bread slathered with garlicky tapenade, grilled lamb rib chops, or roast pork shoulder. Enjoy this deliciously rustic and savory Corbieres now and over the coming three years. A frequent feature in these pages, we’re delighted to name this the finest Carderes yet!
[Note: Vintage correction from printed version.]

2012 Chateau Trebiac, Graves, Rouge, Bordeaux, France (S) 16.99/183.49

Following on the success of Trebiac’s gorgeous 2015 Graves blanc in April, we’re delighted to feature Trebiac’s superb 2012 Graves rouge. A classic claret crimson-ruby hue, Trebiac’s 2012 rouge fills the bowl with scents of red and black currants, cedar, and vanillin oak. Vibrant on the attack, the wine casts waves of soft cherry and currant fruit framed by round tannins and hints of herbs. Long, fresh, and lingering, the Trebiac finishes with another round of creamy currant fruit, a lashing of gravelly minerality, and a kiss of sexy French oak. This is classic young claret that’s ready for your table now and over the coming three years with beef Wellington, roast leg of lamb, burgers hot off the grill, and veggie casseroles rich in earthy mushrooms. Awarded the Medaille d’Argent at the prestigious 2014 Concours General Agricole.

2015 Domaine de la Biscarelle, Cotes-du-Rhone Villages, Rhone Valley, France (S) 14.99/161.89

Domaine de la Biscarelle’s Cotes-du-Rhone Villages is fashioned from 40- to 70-year-old vines abutting the northwestern sector of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Essentially a baby Chateauneuf, Biscarelle’s core of Grenache (55%) is accented by 20% each Syrah and Carignan with a dollop of Cinsault thrown in for extra complexity. A classic opaque black cherry color in the glass, Biscarelle’s Cotes-du-Rhone Villages opens with aromas of clove-scented cherry fruit accented by hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, freshly cracked black pepper, sappy herbs, and sweet orange zest. Deep and satisfying on the palate, fine tannins sneak in and serve to frame the wine’s chewy kernel of black currant and black cherry fruit. A chalky, stony soil undercurrent persists and segues the wine to its long, lingering finish of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, baker’s chocolate, and preserved oranges. Buy this deep, resinous and complete Cotes-du-Rhone Villages by the case for enjoyment now and over the next five years with roast herbed leg of lamb, dishes featuring porcini mushrooms, anchovy-rich tapenades, and braised hare.

ITALY

2013 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy 18.99/205.09

In southeastern Tuscany’s Montepulciano zone, the Sangiovese wines 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 violets. Old-school depth, restraint, and structure mark the Vino Nobile’s palate, where sappy cherry notes mingle with dusty limestone earth and hints of menthol, anise, and vanilla bean. On the finish, the Vino Nobile’s tannins dissolve into the tongue while wild cherry fruit, firm tannins, brisk acidity, and suggestions of tobacco prepare the palate for another bite of bucatini all’amatriciana, mushroom sautees, grilled beef, roast pork, and rich Tuscan bean stews. Drink now and over the next six years.

2013 Fattoria di Petroio, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 13.99/151.09

Fattoria di Petroio’s 2013 “normale” continues our love for Petroio’s wines – and this highly lauded Tuscan vintage – with a deep, rich, lush, and inviting Chianti. Based on a core of Sangiovese (90%) complicated by a blend of Colorino, Canaiolo, and Malvasia Nera, Petroio’s 2013 casts a translucent black cherry robe and a complex, delicious bouquet of violets, leather, mushroom, pencil lead, and dusty limestone soil. Hailing from the prestigious Castelnuovo Berardenga village in the very south of the Chianti Classico zone, the wine’s pure, elegant core of cherry and red currant fruit marries with tangy acidity, a wave of ultrafine Sangiovese tannins, and complex suggestions of tar, leather, herbs, and dusty earth. Deliciously lush and accessible in the great 2013 Tuscan vintage, Petroio’s Chianti Classico finishes long and charming with complex notes of tar, leather, tobacco, and sappy cherries. Pair this beauty now and over the coming five years with hearty pastas, roasts, and rustic casseroles featuring tomato, zucchini, and potatoes. Yet another stellar success from Petroio!

2014 G. D. Vajra, Langhe Rosso, Piedmont, Italy (S) 13.50/145.80

Vajra’s Langhe Rosso, the venerable winery’s creative regional blend, has become a client favorite over the past decade. Vajra’s Langhe Rosso blend is primarily Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera, with deft touches of Albarossa, Freisa and Pinot Noir for added complexity. A translucent garnet color in the bowl yields to vibrant aromas of black currants, black tea, tobacco, and tar. Brisk and lively in the mouth, the wine conveys a core of chewy cherry, loganberry, and cassis fruit before transitioning to a long finish marked by notes of menthol, tobacco, cloves, sarsaparilla, and fresh button mushrooms. The combination of dazzling aromas, fresh, transparent red and black fruits, food-friendly tannins, authentic Piemontese character, and everyday affordability will make Vajra’s Langhe Rosso a lovely choice at the table with pasta tossed in a butter and sage sauce, grilled burgers, salumi, beef, lamb, sausages, pizza – anything that calls for a robust, versatile red. Enjoy now and over the next three years.

SPAIN

2015 Bodegas Inteus, Rioja, Joven, Tempranillo, Aviadores del Terruno, Spain (O) 12.99/140.29

In 1980, Luís Palacio’s father planted the first certified organic vineyard in Rioja. The results inspired him so much that he quickly converted the remainder of his family’s holdings to organic principles. From 20-year-old “selection massale” vines, Palacio crafts this juicy, delicious Tempranillo for immediate pleasure. A translucent plum-ruby in the bowl, Palacio’s Joven casts aromas of blackberries, plum skin, bitter herbs, and arid earth. Fleshy on the attack, the Joven tightens quickly to reveal plentiful, dusty tannins, and suggestions of tar, leather, and cinnamon-scented Mexican chocolate. Deft and lively on the finish, the fine, mouth-coating tannins frame the wine’s fleshy plum-fruited core and make it a lovely foil for barbecued ribs, meat and vegetable tapas, burgers, and other happy, summertime fare. Enjoy now and over the coming year.


WHITE WINES


FRANCE


2015 Jean Pabiot, Domaine des Fines Caillottes, Pouilly-Fume, Loire Valley, France (S) 18.99/205.09

Pouilly-Fume is arguably the world’s greatest appellation for the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Farming sustainably with no synthetic fertilizers, Alain and Jerome Pabiot of the Domaine des Fines Caillottes fashion this superb Pouilly-Fume from fruit grown on thirty different parcels inside the appellation. Sporting a bright lemon-gold color, Pabiot’s Pouilly-Fume casts smoky aromas of grapefruit, green pineapple, juniper, and green peppercorns. At once crisp, ample, and packed with sappy fruit, the wine offers bold expressions of lime peel, pear skin, yellow plum, and passion fruit infused with suggestions of lemongrass, white pepper, and quinine. Long, fresh, and lingering, notes of honeydew melon emerge alongside flinty minerals and herbal notes of juniper and tarragon. This is textbook Pouilly-Fume and a superb buy in “grand cru” Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy now and over the coming three years with trout amandine, perch in a beurre blanc sauce, pan roasted clams or mussels, and asparagus in a hollandaise sauce.

2014 Domaine Gonon, Macon-Bussieres, Chardonnay, Burgundy, France (S) 13.99/151.09

Jean-François Gonon crafts this deliciously smoky and compelling Macon from vines planted on the finest slopes at the foot of the famous Solutre Cliffs in the village of Bussieres. Brilliant gold in the glass, Gonon’s 2014 Macon-Bussieres opens with classic white Burgundy aromas of orchard blossoms, green pear, and smoky minerals. Brisk, intense, and soil-driven on the palate, the wine fleshes out mid-palate to reveal notes of green plums, lemon curd, and raw hazelnuts. As Gonon’s Bussieres warms, it gains weight, texture, and complexity, finally finishing with brilliant acidity buoying latent, satisfying buttery richness. This is terrific Macon, and one that brings to mind far pricier white Burgundies from the Cote de Beaune. Enjoy now and over the coming five years – at cool cellar temperature, not chilled, please – with sauteed mushrooms, salmon, pork, roast chicken, duck, boudin blanc, and light pork dishes.

2015 Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Macon-Villages, Burgundy, France 26.99/291.49

This is a sensational Macon that drinks like a young Meursault! Dominique Lafon is an undisputed Burgundy superstar. His exemplary 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 2015 Macon-Villages gleams with a Meursault-like golden hue followed by soil-driven aromas of lemon juice, yellow plums, and brown butter. Fresh and invigorating on the palate, the density and extract of the great 2015 vintage joins with a spine-tingling acid backbone to propel a golden core of smoky apricot and Mirabelle plum fruit. Impressively taut and nervy for such a rich vintage, Lafon’s Macon-Villages finishes with waves of limestone minerality propelling reprises of golden orchard fruits. Buy by the case to enjoy now with some aeration, and to cellar for five to seven years while the wine gains richness and texture. Pair with broiled salmon, mushrooms in a cream sauce, roast pork tenderloin, or rich sausages. Limited.

2015 Albert Mann, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France (B) 18.99/205.09

Over the past decade, the Albert Mann domaine has catapulted itself into the highest echelon of Alsatian producers. Biodynamic, delicious and always an incredible value, Mann’s Pinot Blanc again satisfies far beyond its price tag in the tiny, extremely high quality 2015 vintage. Lovely lemon-gold in the glass, Mann’s 2015 Pinot Blanc deftly balances a bold core of peach and pineapple fruit with soft minerality, acacia honey, and smoky, herbal notes. A full, lavish palate features suggestions of peach, Mirabelle plum and nectarine. On the finish, lifting acidity buoys the wine’s citrus and stone fruit expressions, while reprises of nectarine and yellow plum fruit yield to hints of fresh ginger and slate minerals. This is a textbook, mineral-driven Pinot Blanc in the elegant yet palate-staining Alsatian style: the kind that serves as inspiration for Pinot Blanc specialists in Italy and Oregon. Enjoy this over the coming two years with broiled salmon, choucroute garni, pork roasts, duck confit, quiches and washed-rind cheeses.

PORTUGAL

CASE SAMPLER: Portuguese Vinho Verde Sampler 169.09 reg. 187.88

A cool trio of wines from the Vinho Verde, crafted by one of the region’s superstars, Anselmo Mendes. Perfect for spring and summertime sipping! Case sampler contains four bottles of each selection.


SPAIN

2016 Mokoroa, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain 14.99/161.89

Situated just outside of San Sebastian on the coast, Mokoroa’s seventeen acres of Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza vines are planted in the famous Getariako Txakolina D.O. A shimmering, ultra-pale lemon-gold color in the bowl, Mokoroa’s Txakoli opens with aromas of briny green olives, lemon zest, honeysuckle blossoms and saline minerals. Taut, linear, and still sporting a dose of dissolved CO2, Mokoroa’s Txakoli revives the palate with suggestions of key lime juice, green apple skin, orange water, and smoky minerals. Fresh, fruity, and gripping, the wine finishes with layers of citrus zest, quinine, saline minerals, and hints of freshly grated ginger. A very distinctive, crisp, and refreshing Txakoli – and a rare value for its denominacion – this is a superb choice for midsummer refreshment or for partnering with acidic vegetables, grilled asparagus, fresh and steamed shellfish, light squid tapas, ceviches, and delicate poached white-fleshed fish dishes.

2016 Huguet de Can Feixes, Blanc Seleccio, Penedes, Spain (CO) 13.50/145.80

The historic Can Feixes estate is situated on gravelly amphitheater-like slopes near the famous Montserrat pinnacle. Vineyard plantings at Can Feixes dates back to 1400, and the estate has been in continuous production since 1690. Only the estate’s finest high-altitude fruit – a blend of primarily Parellada and Macabeo, with dollops of Chardonnay and Malvasia de Sitges – goes into their Blanc Seleccio. In the glass, Can Feixes crisp pale green-glinted, lemon-gold Blanc Seleccio offers mineral driven aromas of lime, green melon, crisp pears, and nectarine. On the palate, the wine’s brisk acidity elevates the refreshing, mineral-infused core of citrus, melon, and Bartlett pear. Clean and oh-so-refreshing on the finish, the Blanc Seleccio lingers with hints of freshly grated ginger, juicy tangerine, quinine, and a reprise of flinty minerals. Enjoy this crisp, refreshing, low alcohol wine over the coming two years paired with oysters, white-fleshed fish selections, scallops, and other seafood dishes.


ROSE WINES

2016 Domaine de Margui, Vin de Pays du Var, Rose, Perle de Margui, Provence, France (O) 17.99/194.29

Once again the Perle de Margui Rose is the finest Rose we’ve had this year! The 2016 Domaine de Margui embodies precisely what makes the greatest of roses: the crispness and refreshment of a great white wine with the depth and grip of a great red. A pale cantaloupe-ivory salmon color, Margui’s rose exudes elegance, grace, and deliciousness the moment it’s poured. A blend of organically-grown Cinsault, Grenache, and Vermentino, Margui’s rose is at once deft and refreshing while also conveying impressive grip and depth. Aromas of wild strawberries, Rainier cherries, and red currants blend with smoky, stony Provencal soil and sappy wild herbs. Crisp and refreshing, yet deep and complex, the wine’s yellow plum and orange fruit spectrum is accented by lavender notes. Full-bodied yet seemingly weightless on the palate, the wine finishes as satisfying as it begins. Enjoy now and over the coming two years with fish and seafood, pork, poultry, light game, light pasta dishes, and sauteed vegetables.

2016 Andre Dezat & Fils, Sancerre, Rose, Loire Valley, France 19.99/215.89

This is simply brilliant Sancerre rose and a rare treat at less than $20 a bottle! Andre Dezat’s rose – fashioned from 100% Pinot Noir grown on Sancerre’s incomparable silex and caillottes soils – gleams from the glass with a brilliant orange-salmon robe followed by aromas of gunflint, grapefruit, rose petals, and curry powder. Crisp, focused, and packed with energy in this vintage, Dezat’s 2016 rose fuses shimmering acidity with a kernel of gooseberry, white currant, bitter orange, and tart cherry fruit, followed by a lashing of flinty minerals. Juicy and brimming with electric energy, the Dezat Sancerre rose finishes clean, brisk, and mouth-watering. Buy enough to get you through the coming year and enjoy this beauty by itself after a hard day’s work or pair it with crab, rare ahi, sashimi, sauteed summer squashes, fresh chevres, and beef tartare.


NV J.P. Xiradakis et La Famille Ducourt, Rose Lime, Vin Rose Aromatisee, Bordeaux, France 13.99/151.09

Rose Lime is outrageously delicious, refreshing and needs to be in your refrigerator this summer when the evening sun is still hot and your thirst needs slaking. Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, owner of the celebrated Bordeaux restaurant La Tupina, joined forces with the venerable Bordeaux winemaking Ducourt family to revive the historic recipe of this old-fashioned cocktail, which marries crisp rose wine, citrus aromatics, a touch of sweetness, and a light spritz. Pale hot pink in the glass, the Rose Lime opens with aromas of pink grapefruit, yellow peaches, navel oranges, strawberries, and sweet freesia. Delicately sparkling, the Rose Lime refreshes the palate with a crisp citrus fruit expression accented by notes of peaches, sweet grapefruit, and candied ginger. Drink all by itself as a delightful aperitif, or pair with simple poached fish dishes, salads, fresh lightly sauteed green vegetables, and not-too-sweet desserts. Pink lemonade for grownups!

CASE SAMPLER: Our South of France Rose Sampler 145.80 reg. 161.94

Tour the south of France with four beautiful rose wines: 2016 Domaine Fonsainte Gris de Gris (Corbieres); 2016 Vetriccie (Corsica); 2016 Chateau Jouclary (Cabardes); and 2016 Domaine de la Fouquette (Provence). Each case sampler contains three bottles of these four selections.

 


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

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

June 16
Our Semi Annual Champagne Blast: Let’s celebrate Summer!

July 7
Why Roses matter: Rose wines from around the world.


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

June 3
Sample great Slovenian wines with winemaker Aleks Simcic.
. Plus, from Spain: Mokoroa Getariako Txakolina, Huguet de Can Feixes Blanc Seleccio, and Bodegas Inteus Aviadores del Terruno Rioja.

June 10
From France:
Dezat Sancerre Rose, Jean Pabiot Pouilly-Fume, Albert Mann Pinot Blanc, Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Villages, Joseph Drouhin Cote de Nuits-Villages, Dom. de la Biscarelle Cotes-du-Rhone Villages, and JP Xiradakis Rose Lime.

June 17
Maik Hildebrand from Germany’s Fritz Haag
winery will be on hand to pour his wines – don’t miss this very rare event! Plus, from Italy: Vajra Langhe Rosso, Petroio Chianti Classico, and Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

June 24
From Oregon:
Vincent Wine Pinot Noir. Plus, great French wines: Dom. de Margüi Rose, Dom. Gonon Macon-Bussieres, Dom. Brazilier Coteaux du Vendomois Tradition, Oinos Les Carderes, and Ch. Trebiac Graves.


SPECIAL EVENTS AT L&E

A TASTNG OF CROATIAN WINES WITH EDI SIMCIC

Sat. June 3 - 12-4:00 p.m.

Come taste some of Croatia’ finest wines and meet the ever so delightful Edi Simcic. No fee.

__________

MEET CAMERON ABBOTT
"THE PIEDMONT GUY"

Tues. June 6 - 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Please join us for an exciting tasting of superlative wines from the Piedmont region of Italy. Cameron Abbott represents a great catalog of Piemontese wines, and we want to share them with you. The wines to be served will be on our website.

No reservations are necessary. Tasting fee: $10.

__________

A TASTING OF FRITZ HAAG RIESLINGS WITH MAIK HAAG

Sat., June 17 - 12-4:00 p.m.

Fritz Haag wines are among the world’s finest! Don’t miss this rare opportunity to taste them and meet export manger Maik Haag. No fee.

 



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.